I have been using a premium account now for almost five years ever since I first started playing World of Tanks. I renew my account annually or every six months.
I consider myself a decent player almost always amongst the top five players even if we lose the battle. I've never really had any problems with the matchmaker before as everything seems random which is fair to me. I don't buy alot of other premium features as I prioritize to always have premium active instead.
Now for what happened which I have no explanation for, but I do have a suspicion.
I logged on last night and played a series of ten'ish battles and everything went without incident with a few losses and a few victories here and there but with my regular performance. I closed down the game to grab something to eat before I got back to the game and queued up for another battle. This is when everything started going to hell. It felt like I forgot how to play the game and was performing extremely bad for my standards. I was taken out pretty instantly and went back to the garage. I tried around eight more battles and everytime I was put at the bottom of the tiers, my shots bounced on literally everything, my tracks got blown off by every hit, and the the main cause of death was engine fires, or just getting insta-killed pretty early. I even tried to bring out a low-tier vehicle because I got extremely frustrated and just wanted to have some fun, but wouldn't you know it! I was put in a tier four battle as a tier two…
Back at the garage again I was trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. I inspected my ammunition, consumeables, crew, and equipment but found nothing strange.
This is when it hit me across the face… My premium account had expired! For the first time in almost five years of constant premium account usage it had expired on me. Probably because I was so focused on trying to figure out what was wrong with me or the game. I'm not one to put on a thin foil hat and blame the matchmaker rigging my battles to get me to pay for more premium time… But unfortunately this started to become more clear than ever the following 23 battes the same night, and a few battles this morning.
I ordered a year of premium time as I usually do and to my surprise like flipping a switch I was back on my regular matchmaking and performance again. Of course appearing in the bottom tier still happened like it did before, but not as frequent. The vast majority of the time the past five years with premium account I'm either top tier or middle tier. And again like flipping a switch when renewing my premium account I'm almost never bottom tier, my shots land where they should, and getting my tracks blown off or engine set on fire is a rarity again.
What do you people think? To me its getting pretty clear premium content affects the matchmaker to make people keep buying premium. While I don't mind spending under 1% of my income on a game to maintain a premium account I can only imagine how unfair this is to new players.