Wargaming.net: Community Management on the Front Lines!

Wargaming.net is a franchise of games including World of Tanks (WOT), World of Warplanes (WOWP), World of Warships (WOWS) and not, as one might be forgiven for assuming, World of Warcraft. It is a huge MMO gaming platform that has been around for more than 15 years serving gamers from all over the world. With a significant social presence, Facebook and Twitter keep the community informed of updates while players can visit the worlds’ homepages not only to play, but to interact with each other. Plus they can talk to admin, or seek customer service.

Battle Commence!

When you enter the Wargaming.net website, even as a rookie it is incredibly clear, and there are several options to click:

  • Join now
  • Support center
  • Forums
  • WOWP website
  • WOT website
  • WOWS website

One of the benefits of being a gamer with Wargaming is the management of the Customer Service Center as it is comprehensive and readily available with a clear FAQ section. However, it seems that the community management team need to improve their general communication with the everyday users. Take a look at this screenshot from one of their threads:

Wargaming Forum Post

Now this person was not happy that another player was practically cheating, and therefore killing everyone. The unhappy gamer also claimed to have evidence against the offender, and therefore this thread garnered a lot of attention. This is just one of the threads that expresses severe frustration with the Wargaming service, but what’s really surprising is the absence of response from any of the community managers, which implies a lack of concern for customer feedback and satisfaction, not to mention brand reputation since this can be found on their own official forum.

So things aren’t looking particularly good on the homefront, but what about the frontlines? Let’s take a look at their social media pages…

Social Media is Not Your Enemy!

The Wargaming homepage may be accessible for fans, yet the Facebook homepage is not. Its main function is promotion. The individual games have their own Facebook pages where the fans can interact more, yet on no page can a gamer post on the wall, which only says one thing to fans – ‘We’re not interested in what you have to say’. If Wargaming were to open up their Facebook pages to two way communication they might just find that they’d benefit from customer feedback and input. Not only that, but their players would also feel like they were being looked after, allowing them to increase their fan retention rate. This aside, the Facebook page is excellent at promoting new aspects of the game, and functions well as a news source for everything Wargaming.net has to offer.

World of Warplanes Facebook

The most negative aspect of the Facebook pages is that they are not moderated very well (nor are sites like Reddit where the comments also go unmediated, as demonstrated below). When it comes to reactive community management, Wargaming is slow off the mark.

World of Tanks forum post

The sheer size of the Wargaming community makes multilingual communication a necessity and many of their channels are available in multiple languages, with separate Twitter accounts for each. However, a recent issue that the Wargaming franchise is experiencing with their multilingual communication comes from their Facebook pages, and is a source of frustration for fans. The problem is caused by the community managers posting in multiple languages through one page. This means that any Wargaming fan has to sift through the different posts to be able to find a language they can read, not to mention the frustration of having their Facebook feed cluttered with irrelevant posts:

World of Taks Facebook DE

World of Tanks Facebook PT

The above examples are from the same page and were posted within a matter of hours. They have managed to alienate users with something that could have been potentially interesting and can so easily be rectified. With Facebook’s geo-targeting option there really is no excuse for this and it only highlights their inability to effectively localize content for their fans:

 Wargaming Facebook

But let’s cease fire for a moment, because while the franchise’s online community management leaves a lot to be desired, they’re breaking ground in areas that few other online gaming communities are even beginning to touch…

Bringing the War to Your Door

One of the awesome things that community management can do for you is the organization of events outside the game – that’s right; community management can transcend digital boundaries and bring the game to life! The events organized through Wargaming differ from large to small. Everyone can attend  and all events cater to the different gamers’ needs. For those drawn by the history, players can join Wargaming on a visit to the Italian Air Force Museum, while avid gamers can attend the Taipei Game Show 2014 where Wargaming will be featuring again. Last year’s events included a trip to Warsaw to see tanks at Muzeum Polskiej Techniki Wojskowej, which demonstrates how the community management team really are working to bring the games to life and the community together. For the less adventurous there are other types of events to partake in from home, such as tournaments and clan wars.

Even if the team isn’t quite on the ball with monitoring their social channels, it’s hard to fault them when they’re taking the initiative to make the experience more than just a game.

The Tactics of War

There are a few things that could be improved at Wargaming.net. Their online community wants to be heard, and through monitoring forums and comments this could be achieved. Visible interaction with gamers on all social media channels would enable them to improve their audience’s enjoyment of the game. By collecting feedback from threads set up for this particular purpose a community manager could assess where the game is lacking and how to improve the experience.  Granted, there are locked threads that higher ranked players are invited to and feedback can be found there, but a good community manager should take feedback from players of all levels in order to understand how the experience is perceived. Indeed, new players can often provide the most valuable feedback as they can shed light on how to make the game more accessible to new markets. The most insignificant player of March 2014 may become the biggest player of March 2015.

Another aspect that could be improved is the forum structure – it is not always clear and sometimes things are in the wrong places. For example, the Italian community is labelled under ‘other languages’, and is not grouped with the European languages as it should be, which is sure to irk some players, nevermind confuse them. With an ever expanding user base, updates like this are crucial to keep on top of in order to ensure that each community receives the same level of service.

There is constant growth in popularity in Wargaming.net, and the community is at an advantage through its numbers. It plays a significant part in the game development and there have even been calls to add a new world, World of Submarines, to the portal.

Wargaming Forum Thread

Unfortunately, it has taken them so long to release WOWs in the past that it has been coined ‘World of Wait’ by fans across social media. Yet with plans for more worlds there is light on the horizon. Let’s just hope they can iron out those wrinkles first.

 World of Warships

At MO Group International we have years of experience in international video game community management and can develop a multilingual strategy tailored to you channels. We specialize in fueling engagement and helping you to understand your communities and so expand your markets. Visit our website today for a free quote.

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