World of Tanks Developers Q&A - Preferential MM Premiums, Ranked Battles, Matchmaking, Game/Vehicle balance changes and Premium ammunition.
First part of the complete summary of the developer Q&A held 2 days ago in Minsk. This part will expand on the changes to premiums with preferential matchmaking, ranked battles, matchmaking, game/vehicle balance changes, and premium ammunition.
Preferential Matchmaking Premium Vehicles
There are two solutions for preferential matchmaking Premium vehicles. They can be changing their MM or changing their characteristics. Wargaming already tested the MM changes (on internal testing servers) but didn’t like it the changes. Currently they are testing changing the characteristics and see how it works. First vehicle will be the KV-5, but there are lot of problems with how to do it, compensation and things like that.
Changes will be tested on Sandbox and Supertest by the owners of KV-5. After the results, Wargaming will decided what to do and there will be compensations or offering a choice, etc.
The reason why KV-5 was selected as the first test it’s because it was the most notorious case. After will probably be the IS-6.
Easiest way to balance it is to buff the small turret (Radio Operator won’t die anymore lol) and/or buff the penetration, or even removing the weaker side armour.
Changes to preferential matchmaking Premium vehicles won’t be postponed anymore.
M6A2E1 used to feel amazing in the old MM, now players think it feels horrible, but giving it better MM will make it “OP” again.
There are two sides of the pref. MM: Players who play MM vehicles and players who get matched against it. In short, that’s why the MM changes for pref. MM vehicles don’t work that well.
Wargaming doesn’t plan to buff a lot of Premium vehicles in one go.
Wargaming will keep these vehicles in the game, no matter what the compensation, “don’t just sell your vehicles just yet”.
There will be fair compensations for owners of the pref. MM vehicles that won’t like the changes.
If the KV-5 rebalance goes well, Wargaming will be able to rebalance other vehicles faster.
IS-6 is special because of its penetration, FCM 50t its interesting because of mobility and gun.
Each vehicle will be looked at specifically.
The worse way to balance them is to make them one by one, the best way would be to find a good solution for all and speed up the process.
One way of compensation could be to offer players to choose a new Premium vehicle of the same tier and trade it, like for like.
Wargaming wants to completely remove preferential matchmaking.
Lower Tier tanks with pref. MM will be done entirely differently.
The experience earned in battle isn’t linear and easy to calculate. For example, spotting an enemy for the first time, or close combat give different amounts of experience. It’s not the perfect metric, but it’s the best Wargaming has.
Wargaming can’t introduce a Hall of Fame like mechanics for Ranked battles at the moment. There are several reasons, but mainly it’s because it can’t be calculated in real-time or immediately after the battle.
Wargaming considers seeing Damage, Spotting and Damage Block enough data for players to see during the battle. Adding Experience would be difficult and very confusing for the player.
The reason why “specific actions”, for example fire 10 times, can’t award bonus experience is because it doesn’t work as a “tick box”. Actions from other players around a player, can influence and change how much experience he earns for example. Once the battle is over, the player will receive the rewards. During the battle would be too confusing.
Ratings for Ranked Battles will be calculated immediately after the battle.
Wargaming will investigate how they can change the experience system to make it clearer.
Hall of Fame was more or less successful and Wargaming likes it.
Anomalies detected will be definitely changed, but there are no plans to radically change the experience formula any time soon.
Damage isn’t always the prevailing factor when calculating experience.
Introducing a system where a player is Top Tier after playing a battle as Bottom Tier isn’t simple and would make queue times much longer.
Waiting 4 to 5 minutes with a Light Tank to get into a battle isn’t acceptable.
Matchmaking is universal, but how flexible it can be, depends on each server because of player numbers.
Tier X vehicles is continuously growing in RU Server.
At the moment it's like a reverse pyramid, more high tiers than lower tiers. To have three Tier VIII as Top Tier, it’s required to get twice as much Tier VI for each battle and there aren’t many Tier VI at the moment anymore.
New features and changes to the Matchmaking are implemented almost every patch.
The system is so big and complex, any changes can’t be announced before they are tested.
Game, Vehicles Balance and Other Changes
A player spends half a year grinding a tree, but the top tier is not different, as some tanks can't be researched from the tanks they used to be able to be researched from before. For example, somebody wants to get Obj. 263, but gets Obj. 268v4 instead. Sure the Obj. 268v4 is good, but the player doesn't get what he wants, and that's really annoying for some players. This is the reason they didn't remove the FV183, FV215b, Foch 155 but let the players keep it anyway.
Most of the high tier changes are done for now, and Wargaming will focus on fixing the tech trees.
Wargaming can't announce tank changes/replacements six months in advance, but will try to do it in one/two months in advance.
They will have a serious pause in the changes, of which Wargaming have managed to get about 85% of the changes they wanted.
Contributor questions if isn't the reason of so many Tier X and lack of lower tiers the amount of attention WG gave to Tier X and didn't give to lower tiers last year? At lower tiers, almost no work is going on right now. There are some good tanks at Tiers V-VII that are fine, but what about others? Not as good, so people either use free XP to skip past those tanks, or just skip the tier altogether and Tier VIII don't see them. But on different regions it's a different story.
As soon as everything settles, Wargaming will start working on "the next segment". (H: No details what the next segment is.)
Wargaming will definitely do something with the middle tiers, but only after a pause between any announcement and actual change to give you time to research any tanks that a player would want.
Will the T67 and/or the E25 be nerfed?
Wargaming don't think nerfing the T67 is a good idea as of right now, however, they said they could "work with" the E 25, but nothing specific. Wargaming have said about the T67: "Panicking and frantically changing the outstanding vehicle doesn't prove to look like a good idea."
Were there any plans to change the IS-4 line? And if so, is there any clarification?
Yes, there are plans for IS-4 and ST-I (at least). Wargaming will announce at least half a year prior to the changes. As far as other changes, the "December 2011 Plan" - with the plans for 2012 - had Japanese tanks, the Sturmtiger, and other things, but Wargaming still haven't done about 30% of that. And they try to not make any promises they can't do anymore. First Wargaming will make, then test, then show, then test again and show, then they test it once more but on a smaller level, then they release.
Wargaming have a lot of things in development in different stages.
While the community want to know what Wargaming is working on, there are a lot of things they wanted to do and found it's a bad idea and scrapped all without announcement. If Wargaming announced Bat.Chat 25 t changes half a year before the planned changes, those announcements would be a lie at least twice: if Wargaming does it and if Wargaming don't do it. However, they did in fact try to compensate for it, like what they did with the KV-13 XP when they announced the new line on WGFest.
Wargaming will remove the gold price for gold rounds after Update 1.0 and make it where only silver/credit price is left.
Anton Pankov corrected the initial statement where it was said it would be in Update 1.0, by saying this was an error and the gold price removal would happen on the update after 1.0.
Premium ammunition is a very complex problem to fix, because some rare people on all regions still buy Premium Ammo for Gold, so they can't directly nerf them right now because it's prohibited by law in some countries. So, Wargaming will let everyone keep those rounds, but remove the gold price. Wargaming will wait until people shoot out all the rounds they bought for gold, which will probably be within a week, depending on how often someone shoots gold. Then they will do rebalances with them. Wargaming said, “Wait for Sandbox, we will have changes for gold rounds there.” There are a few ways of rebalancing gold ammunition:
First Scenario: No more concept of the "premium" ammo, just another type of ammo in general. Different types of ammo for different uses (more/less alpha, more/less pen, maybe some speed changes, etc.), but they'll feel like a proper different type of ammo for some specific use, and they will not cost a lot anymore in that variant. The cost of most premium rounds is not reasonable, but the main changes won't happen in the same update, as it will simply remove the gold price and that lets us do everything.
Second Scenario: Make premium ammunition available only for Gold again. Wargaming doesn't like this at all and the idea is practically scrapped.
Third Scenario: Change the whole economics of shooting. For example, changing all prices. So for example, <some_type_of_shell> doesn't cost 25x as much as <some_other_type_of_shell>. A lot of prem tanks have their economics regulated by the price of their ammo. And they know it and will look at how everything affects everything and won't do any rash decisions. That's the very plan for this year. Economics could possibly change so much they could need a change the gold to silver/credits exchange ratio. Changes to silver/credits earnings due to no more premium shells, plus all those boosters, so we'll have to wait and see. It's also possible shells could be absolutely different from each other, not only like AP from APCR, but HEAT from HESH too. In the worst situation they could simply refund the gold for all the gold rounds bought for gold. It's a really long term plan with a lot of variables and ways it could go, and this was meant to solve the gold problem and return the armour to WoT.
This was the first 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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