Q&A with the Developers

1. Q&A - "Stalin Line"

Updated

On 10 and 11 September, the Stalin Line fortifications hosted the 70th annual Tanker's day event.

For those who didn’t have the opportunity to attend the event on 11 September,  there was a broadcast on our official Wargaming Twitch channel with the following:

  • Details of the reconstruction and presentation of the legendary KV-1 tank.
  • Vehicle balance changes discussion with Murazor.
  • Talk about the future plans and changes for World of Tanks.

Text version of the Broadcast

Answers from Aleksandr Bobko, our projects manager:

Alexander, the KV-1 is not the first tank restored with our help, right?

Yes, this restoration is not our first experience: The first one was the T-34-76, the restoration of which took place at the Stalin Line as well. We are constantly conducting various projects, and our historians are helping museums and restorers all over the world to preserve different vehicles. The T-34-76 was unique because almost all the items in it are the original ones.

In 2014, in cooperation with the Kubinka Tank Museum, we got the KV-1 tank out of the bottom of the Don River. This procedure was extremely difficult: It was possible only to get part of the suspension, and the turret was not found. But this time the turret was found, and the suspension was taken from an ISU-152 (many details had to be made manually). Yesterday was the first presentation of the tank, and it was even involved in a real wedding proposal!

What other projects were there or will there be?

Our main focus is museums that are looking for lost vehicles, and we are always happy to help with such projects. For example, the SU-100 was also restored by the specialists of the Stalin Line, and today it will also be participating.

Very soon, it will be the 100 year anniversary of the tank – could you tell us more about it?

Yes, during World War I, on 15 September, 1916, the British Mark I tank was given its first trial in combat. Today, there is a mock-up of this tank, and on 15 September, in London, a replica Mark IV will be displayed. Recently, we made a panoramic video tour of the first tank, so if you didn’t have an opportunity to see the tank live, be sure to watch the video!

Can players participate in the restoration of vehicles?

Yes, there were several cases where players offered their help, or we asked them to come to a museum and participate in a vehicle's restoration. In Moscow, there is the Central Museum of the Armed Forces, where about forty tanks were updated thanks to the help of our players. In Minsk there were also similar events.

Are any such projects planned for the future?

We announce all such projects on our official website and on our social media networks. Now that we see that players are particularly interested in augmented reality technology, we have created a Tank 100 application, where it is possible to learn about the history of the first tank, and in the game itself there will be a special game mode, Convoy, that will be released on 15 September.

 

Answers from Daniil Parashchyn, our special projects expert:

What are you doing in Cyprus?

Actually, I am not only in Cyprus now – I am often in the Minsk office as well. I also take part in preparing our updates. We review what is ready, what can be released in the update and what needs to be planned for the next one. 

Was there anything shocking for you when you became a developer?

There was nothing shocking, but most problems can be approached from different angles. 

You are celebrating Tanker’s Day in Minsk now – did you intend to celebrate it here?

I really intended to celebrate Tanker’s Day in Minsk. There's no such event in Cyprus, so I’m very happy to be here.

As far as I know, you are responsible for the balancing and Sandbox, right?

Yes, that’s true. Sandbox was originally intended to be a platform for testing major changes to the in-game mechanics and the vehicle classes. We want these changes to be clear and accepted by our players, so internal tests are not enough.

The first iteration of the Sandbox is over now. There were some major changes and players have contradicting impressions. What can you say about that?

Yes, it was necessary to get used to the changes, so there was some opposition from the player's side. It’s just because we are all used to the tanks as they are, and we had to learn a lot from scratch.

What conclusions have you made after the first iteration?

Lots of reviews and feedback were collected. We understand that the players want changes, but major revisions are not always really clear to them. From now on, we will do it in a different way: We will release a more detailed list of changes for Sandbox and will listen to players’ feedback. If the players approve, we will work on the change further – if not, we will not implement it.

What will be the next step with Sandbox?

We have selected the changes and mechanics which players liked for inclusion – for example, the fixes to artillery were perceived positively by players. Stunning irritated a lot of players, but we plan to add resources to remove the effect.

A year ago, there was the impression that we don’t do a lot of positive things with the game. What are your impressions since you started working under “Tanks”?

The changes that we have planned will be seen in future patches, so I can’t talk about them yet. From the latest one I was involved in, it would have to be the upgrading of the 112 that will be in version 9.16 which I think will be most positively received.

Recently there were a lot of upgrades to Premium tanks. Will regular tanks be upgraded?

It’s easier to fix Premium tanks as researchable vehicles are part of a branch, so we don’t want to fix just one vehicle – we want to fix the whole branch.

Do you have time to play?

Yes, I do, but not as much as I would like to have... in a hotel, the Internet is bad, and it’s not always possible to carry a gaming laptop with me. But I try out all the tanks that we release, especially the Premium ones.

We have had a positive trend since Update 9.14 – do you think that it will continue?

I believe so. I would like to mention the improvements to the spotting mechanics in 9.16. It was a major problem in the game, and its fix required serious changes to the servers.

Battle chat will be disabled – why?

We have lots of players, in every region, that complain about chat abuse. Much more often, opponents would write negative comments than positive ones.

Should we thank you for the German Skorpion?

You may thank me for that as well.

It's a common question from the players, but where is the skill balancing and +/-1 Tier?

We don’t need skill balancing in Random battles, as it will result in the skilled players playing with each other and they won't be able to dominate. If you mean that we need separate modes, that’s true.

We won’t be implementing +/- 1 Tier, but we are working hard on the matchmaker right now. I’m not sure yet, but the plans are to show the results on Sandbox.

 

Answers Maxim Chuvalov, projects manager

Maxim, what do you do?

I’m promoting our game in all regions. In order to do that effectively, I’m closely interacting with the developers. I communicate with the media, our players, and I speak at events.

Do you think 9.14 and 9.15 were good updates?

Yes, I think 9.14 and 9.15 were perceived positively. We have changed our approach to development: We started to communicate with players more closely, and after the release of the improved physics and sounds, we gathered a huge amount of reviews and feedback that helped us to further improve the sounds in 9.15, and we will improve them even more in 9.16.

Please, tell us about the Common test of 9.16. What is the most important thing from the update in your opinion?

The new spotting mechanics, as it is one of the most significant changes that will affect the players. Previously, spotting occurred in 1.5-2 seconds, and now spotting an opponent when they move away from obstacles will be instantaneous.

Convoy mode – what we will have in it?

We will have the in-game mode dedicated to the Mark I tank. On 15 September, it will be 100 years since the first tanks were used in battle, and we wanted to support this event. The mode will have dynamic battles, and players will get to experience the atmosphere of World War I. The mode will have wheeled vehicles – it has become possible due to the physics that was introduced in 9.14. Teams will consist of 7 players, and one of the teams will have a Mark I that will need to be escorted to the finish point. We will try for the first time to introduce short-term weapon improvements – it’ll be possible to get a game item that will significantly increase the gun's characteristics for a short period. There will be personal missions in the mode with medals as awards. Players will also see a special Hangar dedicated to the event.

We announced the Swedish tank line at gamescom. Can you tell us more about this nation?

Yes, we announced the inclusion of Sweden at gamescom. Swedes historically were prepared to fight a defensive war. They were preparing for combat in a landscape with lots of difficult terrain against a numerically superior enemy. That’s why they have unique features and technologies. Swedish engineers were not afraid to experiment, so there will be lots of interesting vehicles at the top Tiers. Air suspension on the Tier X TD will allow the player to adjust the level of the tank above the horizon, and its rearward speed will be almost comparable with its forward pace.

When will we be able to see the tree?

The nation will be released by the end of this year. It will consist of a TD branch and a LT-MT-HT branch. In 9.16, there will be a Premium tank from this nation, a Tier VI with an autoloader and three crew members, the same number of crew members as a top HT.

The STB-1 also had an air suspension – what about its future?

First we need to see if players like it, and if it will be convenient and useful for them. If that is the case, then we will probably add it to the STB-1 as well.

Is there any news about the second iteration of Sandbox?

The second iteration is coming. I think that a future developers’ diaries will talk about it in detail.

What are the plans for the matchmaker?

Currently we are working with the new matchmaker, and it’s difficult to say for now which version will include it and which event will test it: on Sandbox, on the internal test or on the common tests. The main goal of the new matchmaker is to increase the number of convenient battles for players. Put briefly, the number of battles at the top, middle and bottom of the list should be equal, and teams should be balanced by the number and classes of vehicles.

Will Premium Vehicles be nerfed? Players are worried about the Skorpion.

There won’t be anything bad happening to Premium Vehicles. You might have noticed that with the latest update we upgraded them instead.

2. Q&A with the Developers

Updated

Q&A with the Developers

Will the information about terrain crossing capacity and stabilization be added to the client?

- We can’t say for sure. We are still discussing what additional parameters should be displayed in the characteristics.

What’s the reason behind nerfing DPM of STA-2?

- Upgrading other characteristics of this vehicle.

When should we expect a rebalance of the top guns' rate of fire for the British Valentine?

- There is no special gun rebalancing of Valentine planned.

Will WG reset crew skills and perks of the WT auf E 100 upon its replacement with the Grille 15?

- No, there won’t be any perk reset of WT E 100 crew when replacing it with Grille 15.

Will we see the top turret of the Caernarvon return instead of the one invented on the basis of prototype?

- Yes, there will be a turret change. Probably by the end of this year or at the beginning of the next one.

Are there any plans to add the 20-pounder gun to the Challenger?

- No, there are no plans for that.

WZ-120 has two top guns: 100 mm and 122 mm. Are there any plans to add 100 mm to the 121 one?

- No, there are no plans for that.

Dynamic platoons with a difference of three of more Tiers – will they be penalized as well?

- There won’t be any penalty or bonus for dynamic platoons (for a battle where it was formed). But in the next battle for this platoon the rules for penalties and bonuses will apply just like for any other.

When and how will arties be rebalanced?

- Rebalancing of SPGs will be done with a global rebalance of other tanks. The details about the terms of these changes will be available soon.

Will you rework the map pool (specifically corridor maps)?

- There are plans to rework some of the maps, but we still are in discussions of how it can be done in a better way.

Are you taking steps (on the developer level) against "cheat" mods?

- Yes, we do take them, and we will be increasing our focus on cheats going forward. We can’t provide any details yet in order not to make the life of creators of these mods easier. We will remain very supportive of mods overall but we will actively deal with the mods that have a negative influence on the game.

Any plans to introduce skill based/improved match making? (maybe +1/-1 instead of +2/-2)

- No plans to introduce anything like this at this time.

When and how are we changing/removing Premium Ammo?

- There are no plans to remove Premium Ammo from the game at this time. But during major rebalance of the game there will possibly be some changes of their parameters and mechanics.

Will 25% RNG be changed?

- There are no plans for this change right now.

Are we planning to introduce better tutorials?

- Yes. There are plans for improvements of tutorials for newcomers.

The new low caliber gun sounds might be realistic, but they don't sound very good and are boring. Are you going to change the sounds again or offer the old sounds as alternative sound-pack?

- Current sound content will be worked on. We don’t plan to put old sounds to the game.

In 9.15, you’re rebalancing 16 Premium vehicles. How did you decide which tanks to rebalance and how did you determine what changes needed to be made?

- With the help of the statistics of these vehicles that we have. What exactly and how to improve for a vehicle we also define with the statistics and expert opinion of the vehicles balancing team.

When will tanks become more customizable?  More camo patterns, more options for emblems or inscriptions (placement, colours, fonts), etc?

- We don’t have anything to announce about this yet.  We are looking into it though.

Why don't we have a tank carousel and filters like in WOWS?

- Please, see the details for version 9.15 – there are filters proposed already. The carousel is in planning and will be sorted a little bit later.

Maps are a hot topic, will you let players vote on the map they play before a battle starts?

- There are no plans for this yet.  However, we value player input around maps and are looking into all possibilities.

Victor Kislyi mentioned changing the skill system, will it be changed to be more like the Console version of tanks?

- We haven’t yet come to a decision about how exactly the skill system should be changed.

When the personal mission campaign was launched a year ago, there were rumors about adding a new campaign once every 6 months. Have these plans changed? Can we have a rough estimate on the next campaign?

- These were merely hearsay. We can only say that new season of personal missions is in the plans but it’s too early to provide a specific estimate yet.

I like earning medals but I don’t actually get anything for them, can you tie rewards to earning medals?

- There are no plans for that at this time.

You are removing more maps than you adding. Why don’t you give the community access to make maps? Look at the success of Team Fortress and Halo Forge mode. The community can come up with great ideas and enrich the map roster for everyone.

- When we cut some maps that were the least liked by the community, we also made changes to give players access to more variety of maps, especially in the middle tiers. We have some new maps in development right now and look forward to talking about them more when they are ready for release. Unfortunately, our current map building tools don’t allow development of maps “outside” of our studios.

Will larger maps be reconsidered or tested?

- It’s quite possible.

Many game modes have been released and scrapped shortly after (historical battles, rampage, confrontation).  What will be different about future modes?

- Right now, we are focusing on improvements and fixes of what we already have in the game.

In WoWS, any Premium Captain can be trained on any Premium Ship as long as it is the same nation. Will WoT have the same? A Heavy Tank crew in a Premium Medium Tank without penalties?

- No, we don’t have this in plans at this time.

Has Havoc been cancelled?

- We haven’t cancelled any work on the engine, but we don’t have anything new to announce about it right now.

There was an announcement of closing Rampage mode. That means we will lose the opportunity to get the T-22 medium tank. Will there be any solution or options which can make getting the tank possible?

- Unfortunately, no, not right now. We don’t currently plan on any other ways of getting this tank. Our first priority with the T-22 is to see how well it operates in the game when rebalanced, before we make any other decisions about it.

There was an announcement about the M47 Patton in the Developers Q&A on 27 June last year. Is there any update on it? 

- There are no details about this vehicle yet.

Is it possible to modify Tier II - IV tank’s MM as +/- 1 tier? Because, it is really hard to enjoy the game in +2 tier match for the beginner.

- Currently there are no plans for matchmaking +/-1 for any battle tiers in Random battles.

What do you think about the Czech tanks with autoloaders? We think they are too overpowered. They should be "nerfed" to balance with other tanks.

- We look into statistics. If it shows the need to nerf – we will nerf it.

Recently, many of XVM minimap functions were included to the basic client. What’s the next plan? Are there other 3rd party mods which will be included as well?

- Our mod community has come out with a number of great mods over the years, and yes, we intend to further integrate some functionalities of the most popular mods to the game as an official part of the basic client.

Rubicon was the sub-title of 10.0 version. Now it is postponed. How long do you plan to keep 9.x version going?

- It’s difficult to say. We decided not to chase high-sounding titles and just focus on releasing good patches.

We really liked the fun mode for April’s Fools. But one disappointing thing was that every fun mode Wargaming made had had a limited running time. Sometimes we’d like to play that mode occasionally to switch to something different. Is there any chance to have those fun modes again? One more question, it would be great that if those fun modes were supported in the Training mode.

- There are no plans for that yet, but we are glad players enjoyed the April Fools' mode.

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