Preface: This general topic is for the discussion of the problems with Operations Mode reward distribution.
As many of us are probably aware, Operations Mode has certain limitations. Chief among them is the lack of incentive to play a particular scenario after completing it with five stars and acquiring the full rewards possible. While Operations rotate weekly, one thing remains constant: the rewards do not reset. In practical terms, this means there is no incentive for a player to replay an Operation once it has been completed with a five-star rating.
Wargaming has a marvelous thing going with Operations, as it adds some much-needed depth to otherwise monotonous random or cooperative gameplay. The fundamental design of Operations is excellent as it offers players a more fulfilling mode of play that is otherwise not present in regular game modes (Domination, Standard, Epicentre...). Even the somewhat despised Newport Defense scenario is entertaining and interesting because it challenges players and forces them to create solutions for problems that they are likely to never have come across in regular modes. In short, Operations is Wargaming's version of what made the Battlestations games the classics they have become.
So how should Wargaming approach the obvious problem with Operations? How should Wargaming offer players an incentive to return to an Operations scenario once they've completed it with a full five-stars when it comes back up on rotation?
First of all, we need to identify what makes Operations such a profitable way to play: For a relatively easy four-star rating, players receive a blank 10-point commander for ships of a particular nation. This is the reward that most players are shooting for, and so making this reward available every rotation will keep players coming back to Operations. If Waergaming wants players to replay Operations each rotation, they need to make this reward available every rotation.
And here we run into a game balance issue: Being able to obtain a free ten-point commander as easily as Operations makes them is just asking for profiteering abuse. Commanders of this rank shouldn't be quite so easy to obtain. Wargaming's solution is to make them a once-only reward, but this may not be the best solution. The chief incentive to replay Operations for most players comes from the promise of a free ten-point commander. It may take them a dozen tries, but that is still quicker than grinding out a ten-point commander the long way.
The way to "fix" Operations and give players the incentive to replay scenarios, as I see it, is to make ten-point commanders available on a monthly basis. Consider the following:
1) Every month, a player may complete a total of four Operations (one per week) from a selection chosen by Wargaming [at the rate new Operations are being released, it won't be long before Wargaming has seven or eight permanent scenarios available to them]
2) If a player completes these four Operations each with at least a four-star rating, then that player is rewarded with their choice of ten-point commander as dictated by the Operations that Wargaming has put on rotation for the month.
3) In practice, this means that players can only receive a single ten-point commander every month, but it alows them more freedom to decide which commander they wish to be rewarded with.
4) Every month, the rotation changes and so do the ten-point commanders available. This gives players the incentive to return to and replay Operations regularly for a useful reward in exchange for solid performance while also preventing the community from being saturated by mid- to high-level commanders without needing to actually put in some effort and manually grind those levels.
Thoughts? Does anybody else find Operations in its current state to lack replay incentive, and if so, how would you go about giving Operations this incentive?