World of Tanks Developers Q&A - Crew skills & Perks, Rule violations, Maps, Vehicle balancing, Mod implementation and In-battle changes.
Second part of the complete summary of the developer Q&A held 2 days ago in Minsk. This part will expand on crew skills & perks, rule violations, maps, vehicle balancing, mod implementation and in-battle changes.
Crew Skills & Perks
Right now it's in the same way it was in 2012, but it's very bad at the moment, as some perks are useful and the rest are just garbage, and obviously needs changing. Crews go from one tank to another (for example, Tiger I crew to the Tiger II) as the player grinds the line and suffers from it. And why do the crews lose the skill to drive one tank when they are retrained for another? ATM they are making a radical rework of the whole crew and perk system. Wargaming stated they “want to make it the most logical in the reality of the game and yet not contradict our own reality.” They also stated “We want to get rid of the situation where there are several "builds" for the crew, and when the skill amount reaches 5, those several become just one.” Crew Quarters (the Barracks) will definitely be changed, as they made it sound like they hate how it is currently. They will also:
Remove the trash from the interface
Remove the crew build predictability, but leave some of it.
Make space for creativity in terms of builds, but don't bring too much perks in the game so they don't confuse anyone. For example, you see an enemy T-62A - you should be able to understand what it can and can't do. So for example you understand it may have from two to five different things in terms of crew skills, but you don't know which ones and you'll definitely find out as soon as you clash with it.
Definitely not 200 skills. It was made in 2012, and people have so much time put into those crew members, they need some "transfer" function to not upset anyone. Wargaming will definitely test that in 2018. Wargaming want a new crew skill system with variability within reasonable limits, and a way to not hurt anyone, make proper transfers and let people know that 7 skill crew they had is still a very valuable crew in the new system. Apparently people also want national perks, heroic perks, etc. Crew skills are basically the characteristics of the vehicle, so serious changes to them could pull behind them changes to equipment, consumables and the game balance as it is. They’d probably need to balance tanks with crew skills in mind as well, and we need to make it crystal clear of course, especially for the new players. Wargaming can't say they will definitely release it in 2018, and they won't release it till its ready, but they will test it in 2018. They wanted some changes to crew like Crew 1.5 but in order to get Crew 2.0 done they scrapped all of that. Wargaming could allow nationality change for crew members for gold or a lot of silver, Wargaming don't work on it now because we are busy with crew 2.0.
Wargaming will think of allowing changing of nations for girl crew for people who "misclicked", but if it will be done, it will only be available once. The girls you received from New Year stuff will NOT live unrecruited long enough for you to be able to train them to Italian tanks. It’s possible they could make Sixth Sense to be available for everyone without skills, like in Blitz, like make it an in-build feature for the commander and remove it as a perk or heavily modify it. Wargaming said they will “release what we come to to Sandbox and will wait for your reviews.”
Remove XVM/ Cover your nickname or stats in battle?
Wargaming are not doing anything for covering nicknames, so that means it will not appear in 1-3 months, but they are aware of the problem. They are banning people for prohibited mods, and are also working for closing the client and most importantly from any third-party mods, with only WG-approved mods allowed.
Wargaming has been saying that for a long time, what stage is the work at?
Wargaming are working at the "WIndow" or "Showcase" this mod portal that will be available in game center, and the team is working on closing the game interface from third-party mods. They cannot, however, say when it will be done because it's not an easy task. Most approved popular modpacks will definitely be in that mod catalogue (QB’s, Circonflexes, etc.). It's very hard for the servers to handle "fog of war" in normal battles, and amount of battles there and in CW is incomparable. WG: “It was a thing we wanted to do once, but it's not possible right now. Maybe we could do it for Ranked Battles, but it's really hard technologically. If it was to be implemented, you would probably be able to see the amount of each class enemy has (how many artys or heavies) but you won't know which ones.” They will have something interesting in May, and in it Wargaming will test complete removal of team damage (like on Console) , if they can do it in time. We won't test it in standard battles because it’s too controversial, and only in special events or modes. They also cannot remove stunning allies because it's impossible technically.
Rule violations, maps, vehicle balancing, mod implementation and in-battle changes
What about the "idiots"? Letting people know they are really walking on thin ice and should quit it?
You could shoot him to let him know that. And if there is a whole platoon of them? And they randomly decide to block you from all sides or push you somewhere for lolz? They will attempt to solve TK-ing, but pushing and blocking? They will try to do something with it. Wargaming said “We have a solution for the CIS region, for all popular CCs to unite and proclaim a campaign for "clean game" promoting fair play.”
Wargaming want to start accepting replays with blocking/pushing, make an email account where you would send a replay, it will get processed, if it was accepted and the offender was punished - the sender would get encouraged(possibly with in-game bonuses). Perhaps one day it will become an in-game karma with likes and dislikes like in a lot of games.
They are actually serious at making commendations a thing, and at the same time expanding the report system
All Chat return?
Wargaming said very blatantly No. Only after the toxicity is majorly reduced
Are there any built-in mods you wish to implement?
They have some mods they want to put in-game, such as expanded statistics of the battle session in-game, zoom-out, setting the default x of the sniping mode, minimap, and a lot of the popular mods in fact. A clean client right now and a clean client two years ago are two really different clients in terms of functionality, so a lot of mods have been already integrated.
Why not make all of that mod stuff in 1.0, so that when people return to the game it will be easier for them?
Apparently they swore an oath that 1.0 will not have any special features besides new engine and HD stuff and music. Any feature than makes it into such major releases destabilises everything and brings pain. “Visual changes are so serious,” Pankov says, “it's basically a new WoT-like game.” So they just want to do that, and they'll need some time to optimise it after release, too. We have so much different types of PCs as our player base it takes a LOT of time to stabilise. The most important thing for us to do is come to a consensus on what to do and what not to do So many ideas and people running around.
A lot of things that seem really easy to do from a user viewpoint can be really hard technologically and consuming a lot of time.
WG: “If we want to make, say, Personal Missions 2.0 to be released in October, we start work on them two months ago.” (H: he said it in an interesting way, I'm not sure if it's truth).
We are working on UI scaling, both for small notebooks and big 2K and 4K monitors.
Changes to +-25% RNG?
Buying premium tanks for bonds?
WG: As they are currently - no, plans for this in the future - probably.
Is this okay T8 platoons get matched only to T10s?
Shorten the time before battle - those 40 seconds of countdown?
No, but they have considered making a minigame of sorts of it in the future. They cannot significantly shorten the timer, we need to make sure at least 80% of the players are ready. The worst computers people use to play WoT are the computers that literally cannot load certain maps.
Wargaming also have a system that will replace the Wargaming League, but it is still in development, however, you could still earn physical money at that. Wargaming League was outdated and people were tired. They want something close to the game as it is and interesting - more standard formats, more tiers etc. Announcement will come until end of summer this year. Their goal is to test it and have a first tournament until the end of the year. Cannot comment on details of the format. Wargaming want to make it more interesting for common players, so they don't just cheer for NaVi, they can learn from what's happening and use their skills in battle. WG: “What will replace Wargaming League will be majorly different from what we had before. First person view probably will be available.”They also want to support certain third-party tournaments, like the personal achievements ones that use something like a Ladder.
There will be new fun events this year.
They will see how they can balance the tanks within same class and tier to negate power-creep, but they say it will be hard, as they have "shaken the fishtank" a lot recently, but they are not in any rush to do it. "You buff some - others get worse, you nerf some - you create OP tanks somewhere else." They want to really be considerate about it.
We are looking into the "turbo battles" problem with battles finishing in about 3 minutes with one team completely dominating the other. And they have 80 pages+ research papers about it. Apparently it can't be "generalized" and "classificated" because different tanks, different players, different maps, etc. Also, apparently the average battle time has in fact increased over the last 1.5 years. They understand power-creep exists, and perhaps it was inevitable. Giving new mechanics to tanks is something they do to counter power-creep. WG: "If we nerf all of the tanks to certain level to slow battles and annihilate power-creep - we'd have a literal revolution with torches and pitchforks." Super Conqueror is on special watch already. Meta of the game always changes with changes to the game, it's a never ending process, can't stop it. Rebalancing of tanks takes a lot of time as well. Balance isn't a mathematical thing, it's a state, it's not a "every character has 50% chance to win against any other", it's a shifting state that WILL keep shifting as long as we keep adding new tanks. Mathematical balance is not achievable. WG said, "In most of the games, new is better, because devs want the players to be interested in the new thing. We cannot separate player skills from goodness of the vehicle that easily, especially with Obj. 268v4 at the moment." They are working at some bots that will help us analyse the power of the tank we are testing. "We need a bot that will behave as a 48% player".
There were a lot of complains about Update 1.0 maps specific issues. What can you say about this?
Not a problem, if we see something not OK - we will change it.
Also, Pankov stands corrected, as apparently the changes to gold rounds price are not going to come in 1.0, but in the next patch after it. No test can give them 100% correct information about the tactics and behaviour of the players, only thing they can do if release them. First they wanted to transfer the maps to 1.0 "as is", but soon found it to be impossible, as with the new engine the picture changes so much, and also some maps had to get remade, like Erlenberg. If new version of Erlenberg does not work in 1.0, we will forget about having it in-game whatsoever. Stalingrad was already forgotten about, it was hopeless. A lot of boosts and climbs on certain maps had to get removed because they didn't think it was okay for the game to have them.
Maybe they’ll try to organise several streams with the mapmakers for them to explain why everything is the way it is on the maps and why certain maps seem to have one side in favour of the other.
At least 5 maps are in development right now. Mirror maps don't work great. The house on Redshire base will get removed. Windstorm might get removed, not sure. Mines will still be available for Tier 10. They have some experiments going on about expanding small maps, because now with the new engine it's much easier to change maps. They do acknowledge turbo battles exist and they are a problem.
Another one of the reasons turbo battles happen is the view range inflation. WG had a really big argument about LT10 view range before 9.18. Right now it's easy to get to the max levels of view range, unless you have the T-100, in which case it's pretty hard. Two factors always conflicting - view range and camo. There isn't a lot of way you could boost your camo, and a max level for each tank, but view range gets boosted by a lot more things. And the battle get boosted no matter how big the map is due to faster inflation of view range compared to camo.
The statement of "if arty doesn't get better with the changes it got - we'll have to remove it" still stays, and it wasn't a joke. But it had another addition to it: "return everything as it was." Arty should not be playing solely for damage, that's not what we want from it. Wargaming think arty is fine for now, though we keep monitoring it just in case. They will also see what we can do with M44, as it's not okay that arty is in top of average damage dealt compared to most other tanks of its tier. And they'll definitely see into the minimal stun time being too high for some arties.
Perhaps they could increase repair costs for people who self-drown. Amway's idea: "What if the more times you get hit by stun, the lower the stun time gets, so if you're a poor heavy that get arty spammed, you could at least play instead of being perma-stunned?" That's an interesting idea, perhaps it could make it in the reworked crew skills.
Limit the amount of LTs in battle, so poor players cannot die that easily in one of the most important classes for the team at the first minute of the game in great numbers, creating an instant loss. WG: "Every limitation hurts the MM greatly." So, no. We'll see what can we do to allow player-made show matches in training rooms with proper functionality(allowing a greater amount of observers, Attack/Defense mode etc.).
No premium accounts for several hours/several battles.
Loot Boxes - they liked them, they won't get in permanently, will probably appear for events such as New Years, Christmas, etc. However it's very good as a way to distribute rewards as a buyable thing, but only for events.
-+15% pen like in Blitz?
Wargaming is planning something for PvE.
Server-based replays with any player's PoV available are being worked on.
They are really needed for new wargaming league replacement plus its already a thing on consoles, so it's easier for us to work at them.
Wargaming place to announce something nice for veteran players in the future, especially since we have a pretty big date on the horizon, and no, it's not Wargaming turning 20 years old, no, it's something close to the end of the year.
Fun modes: something in may, football, something in summer(probably football), something in autumn and the new year.
They really want 3D customisation to happen this year, perhaps in the new year event we could already receive canisters to put on the tank.
Type 5 is not seeing any changes to it currently.
HE rounds are only being timidly contemplated and experimented with right now.
Apparently Type 5 is very fine statistically, perfect curves ranging from bad to good players.
Still don't know what to do with HE and HESH. HE needs to be remade, as it doesn't do what it should, no reason to have more than 2-3 of them to shoot at occasional Lorraine or Waffle. Unless you have a HE gun of course. WG stated “What we have now if pretty realistic compared to our world, but not really interesting gamewise and really unpredictable.”
Vspishka's idea: "Give the repair kit a function to unflip the tank and keep going because waiting for an ally to flip you is a lost cause" WG doesn’t like the idea with the repair kit, but accept that they should think to give the flipping problem their attention.
Perhaps lowering costs to the Directives, the equipment and crew perk “consumables” you buy with bonds is possible, as when they made them, they were very afraid of negative feedback by players. With the new tanks for bonds some changes to bond economy could be made.
No seeing your stats for the specific update - too much data, we'd want it but not in the foreseeable future.
Personal Missions 2.0 will still have only one mission for a class available at a time, because when it's like that, it urges the players to modify their behaviour in battle to achieve a certain goal. And WG doesn't see it as a bad thing, in fact, they like it. The only problem with it is the specific requirements for each mission demanding things unreasonable to do in most battles. But the Personal Missions 2.0 promise to have "different requirements", so hopefully they've taken that problem into consideration.
They'll have yet another one tutorial this year.
Wargaming have a "knowledge base" or however they have again renamed it in development, several blocks of it being developed, one of them is the expanded hint system (hitting alt when hovering over a tooltip will produce a graphical mini-video showing how this works).
Also expanding the current tutorial, micro-personal missions for new players. WG: “We are making bots to help ourselves test things, but if we properly configure them, we could use more of them in tutorials.” A little "encyclopedia", though that's not the correct word, more like a little handbook that adjusts to whatever the player is doing, identifies "wrong" behaviour and gives advice.
A lot of this has already been properly designed, this is why they are speaking of it freely, release dates is about this year.
New referral program being worked on, it won't just be a new tank instead of that trash, something different is promised.
Tanks of all tiers will be customisable in the future.
Historical battles only as PvE.
Why can't stock tanks have some number of battles of guaranteed top tier? WG said it's actually not a bad idea and they would like to do it. If PvE was a thing right now, stock tanks could just get sent to PvE some first battles.
Something was planned for Chinese mediums in 9.22, most notably T-34-2 and WZ-120. This came up from a discussion of stock guns vs guns that offer a variability of gameplay vs redundant guns that need to be removed. Still enough of a reason to suspect it wasn't just a "remove some guns" that was planned, but a proper buff like they do usually, but it was postponed.
Unification of grind, especially in terms of the amount of modules needed to be researched is in plans. Also perhaps ST-1 can get the D-25 stock gun removed from it...perhaps. Yet complete unification "5 modules for each tank" is not a good idea, low tier grind with their lots of modules have players see a lot of easily achievable goals that immediately award them.
Perhaps WG is going to do something about the minimap pingers. Could receive same amount of muteness or even more for continuously pinging the minimap annoying everyone that you do for spamming messages.
"Why not make an event like Day Without Arty? Why not make a server without arty? I would pay for that"
WG: "Because arty is part of the gameplay at the moment. Because it will lead to degradation of the game experience, in any shooter game on open space there is always attraction between players that pulls them in a pack, the more open a game is - the more profitable is this behaviour. What arty is doing right now is preventing packs."
T10 economics will not changed, the game was designed the way to make high tiers unprofitable and they're not changing it now, especially with all of the free stuff you can get from various sources, including premium tanks from marathons.
T-22 medium is forgotten, closed, nothing is planned for that tank whatsoever.
No researchable hulls; they were scrapped in exchange for 3D customisation.
Right now "checking off" a map you don't like is not being worked on, especially with the new unstable MM and the limited pool of HD maps in 1.0.
Perhaps later, when they can handle the MM easier and the amount of maps is greater, they'll think of it.
Maybe as a new feature for prem acc, nothing is sure yet.
No plans for changing the bond equipment, they are still waiting to gather more statistics on that.
If hull customisation influencing the tank's characteristics(sandbags in armour model, bushes on the tank, etc.) is ever going to happen, if definitely isn't going to do so in the first iterations of the 3D customisation system, although they are making it sound like they really do not like the idea. What with people covering themselves in layers of tracks to increase armour? That's why they've been removing the track present on some tanks from the armour model in the recent HD models.
First iteration of Personal Missions will not go away when the second one comes out, but the second, as mentioned before, is going to be pretty different.
WG has some plans to finally buff the CW tanks, and Personal Missions tanks will be looked into as well.
WG will definitely work on implementing some sort of "bulletin board" for clans, because recruiting people to clans via the game chat or even the forums is really not working out so well.
Crush mechanics not gonna be changed for now, the tank on top will still get as much damage
Being able to play as the AFK player: no.
Maybe WG is gonna add some hidden characteristic to display when they will again rework the garage lobby interface.
WG :"We don't know if it's still there or not but for a long time in the XML files of the client there was the "Armour Fatigue Factor" set to be zero. What does it mean? Think for yourselves, dig in the old versions of the game."
"Ending ranked battles with T8 or T9?"
"We think about it, universally and regionally, we don't see a solution yet~" (Dev 2 speaks) "We look at the ships, they hold their ranked seasons on different tiers, those competitive seasons. So, let's think, this season definitely T10 because it's started already, the next one is sure to be T10 only as well, then - we'll see. No specific plans yet, but the system we have is ready to do it."
Question from Jove, 3 million sub youtuber, to Anton Pankov, one of the most famous WG devs out there "How much do you earn?"
"I earn enough, but I earn less than you do, because I know how much money you make."
This was the second part of the complete summary of the World of Tanks developer Q&A. A big thanks to TheDailyBounce for making this article possible!
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