.Wargaming has held a Q&A with Kayi4ek, Junior Game Producer and Miloš Jeřábek, Development Director for the Czech community. All information was taken from Wargaming EU Stream and a massive thanks to Beroun for taking his time to translate so I could share this information with everyone.
Miloš Jeřábek confirms the changes to Object 263 branch won’t be coming to the Live Server, as Supertest results and the community feedback showed this wasn’t the best solution. Supertest is designed for this, to test if some ideas might work or not and I’m glad Wargaming decided to listen to the community and will try other ideas.
Why do you manipulate with each player’s RNG and MM? I have worse RNG when I am close to my 3rd mark.
We really don’t have the power or the ability to secretly manipulate with such core game mechanics. However, we already know that people will continue having such opinions, no matter what we do.
Are there plans to add any new Czechoslovak tanks to the game?
No, currently there are no plans for new branches in this nation.
So there will be no new branches just yet… What about a Czechoslovak tier 8 premium tank?
That is something we are actively looking into, our guys already gave us some ideas, but we cannot tell when or which tank will it be, as we haven’t decided anything yet. However, we know that it is the only branch that hasn’t got any tier 8 premium, and we would like to add one.
What about “multi-level” tanks, like the console version has? (not sure what they mean here, as I don’t play the console version of the game)
There are no plans for that. There have been some ideas, but right now we are not considering to add that.
Are there plans for more “sci-fi looking” premium tanks, like the Defender?
First of all, the Patriot or Liberte are tanks with a sci-fi camo, but the defender skin comes from historical findings. To the point, we definitely want to continue with the customization mechanics. As all of you for sure know, in the Common Test, there is a new customization system, which will be introduced with the new patch. Its biggest problem was that a lot of people wanted to have pink tanks, but also a lot of people wanted only historical skins and colours.
That’s why there will be a Settings option which will allow you to see only historical skins. However, it won’t work for tanks like the Patriot or Liberte just yet, only for the manually customised tanks in the garage. Despite that, there is a possibility that in the future you will be able to disable these skins as well, but we cannot promise anything right now.
This is only the beginning, depending on how well these changes will be received by the community, we might continue with 3D customization. This, however, also depends on the time and resources we will have, as we would have to revamp all the physical tank models once again, and that would mean hundreds of hours of work.
(OT – Milos’ favourite tank is the Maus, and he immediately tried a pink skin on it. Currently, he doesn’t like historical camos on it because the Kubinka specimen looks exactly like the Maus in-game when it doesn’t have any camouflage on.)
Will you do something with the Type 4, Type 5 and their guns?
It is extremely difficult to balance tanks like these. Even though a lot of players say that the “new weakspots” aren’t really weakspots, it can be confirmed that they ARE weakspots nonetheless. As always, we have to wait until we gather enough data and how the gameplay has changed since the introduction of their weakspots. A lot of players see those 2 tanks as a problem, but you have to ask yourself how many of them you really see on the battlefield. Statistics show that “normal” heavies are played way more than the Japanese ones, and we understand that it is frustrating to play against them, but you have to understand as well that it is very difficult to balance them if such low amount of players play with them in the first place.
We think that the Types are not breaking anything in the game. They are very difficult to play. When a type 5 one-shots something, everyone points out how broken they are. However, they don’t realise how many shells did the type 5 driver unsuccessfully fire before that. Obviously, if a Type 5 goes to banana road in Himmelsdorf, nobody will be able to push that road in the enemy team, so you will have to go somewhere else. But think about what can a Type 5 do in Sandriver, and you will realise how many weakspots they have.
Deleting weakspots on tanks is the new meta?
Every tank has its weakspots, even the types pre-nerf had (sides and rear, low manoeuvrability and speed). If you see a type in front of you, just don’t try to fight him, go to his sides and rear. A great example of this is the Halloween mode. The Leviathan and a type 5 heavy are in fact pretty similar. You can hear that monstrous gunfire across all the map, and you know it has a long reload. If it is aiming at you, you already know you have to hide.
We know that not all maps allow flanking manoeuvres, but in those situations, you just have to be patient and wait for your opportunity. Same with the new Badger. That tank is very situational and slow, if you see one, don’t stand in front of its gun, go around him. There is always a way how to deal with those tanks, and remember that you cannot win all the battles you play.
We know some tanks haven’t been well designed, we openly admit that the Chrysler K wasn’t exactly a success. But overall, we are not removing the tanks’ weakspots, that’s not the way we want to do it.
What can you say about all the machine gun ports that have been removed as weakspots, when the vehicles turn into HD?
If you look at it from a historical perspective, it is true that hitting a machine gun port or a driver’s hatch with an HE shell could damage it heavily, but if you shot it an AP round, it wasn’t really weaker than the rest of the armour. Every tank that comes into the game is the result of the work of a lot of tank historians, so there is definitely something truthful about the current HD models.
Will you address the “older” standard tanks? (p.eg. Tiger II, T-34-2, T32, etc.)
Definitely. We have almost finished the rebalance of the tiers 10, 9 and 8, as we wanted to start from the top, and we know that currently tiers 7 and 6 have a lot of problems, but we will address those issues as well. However, I cannot tell when it will be done. It is difficult to do anything with the lowest tiers, as they are usually just a box with a gun, but the tiers 5-7 have a lot of potentials.
Couldn’t you just increase the HP pool of the lower tiers? This way the battles will be overall longer and players wouldn’t be so frustrated to die after the 2nd shot they received.
This question is very interesting, as it would obviously not solve anything. In fact, quite the opposite, it would be maybe even more frustrating. In the high tiers, tanks are very rarely one-shotted (except for things like Death Star and so on), and usually, it takes some time to kill a tank. We think that increasing the HP pool overall would harm the game more than help it.
What will you do with the Obj 907?
That is again difficult for the same reason – if we want to change it in any way, there is not enough data on the server, very few players play it. And also, as it is a reward tank, we don¨t think it is nice from us to nerf a tank that players have got as a reward for their effort and skill.
E 50 M and Leopard?
A. We think that the 50M is a very good tank, it was changed not too long ago. With that great hull armour and laser-point accuracy, we don’t really understand why do you think it should be buffed.
The Leopard is very strong, a good sniper from 2nd or 3rd line. If you are the first one to get spotted, you won’t do so well, but with that penetration, accuracy, camouflage it is a great all-rounder and it would be too OP if we buffed it.
(People started to ask about every tank in the game, so they decided not to go into each tank in particular).
Why is the Type 64 available both in the premium shop and in the tech tree, when tanks like the Blackdog or the 57GF cannot be bought?
The answer is easy. Type 64 is a normal tier 6 premium light tank, whereas the Blackdog or the 57GF have been sold only for special occasions such as the Grand Finals. We don’t nerf premium tanks anymore due to legal reasons, that’s why tanks that are too strong won’t be nerfed, they just won’t be sold again
Will there be further rebalances to SPGs? I suggest, limiting them to only 1 per battle, or deleting the game breaking and stupid stun mechanic.
Currently there are fewer people whining about arty than before. There are always some who will hate arty to death, no matter what we do, and they will want them to be deleted, but there is also a similar number of those who play SPG and enjoy them. Most of the player base just enjoys playing the game and doesn’t care too much about SPG. I would call that a problem without a solution, we are constantly looking into new possibilities and will continue doing that. The biggest issue with limiting their number to 1 per battle is that there would be no more battles without arty, and that is something we don’t want. We don’t think that currently arty is a big issue, but we will keep monitoring the situation and doing tests on our side.
Are there plans to change the stun mechanics?
Not currently. In the Halloween mode, you could see where will the Leviathan’s stuns land, but we are not planning to add that mechanic to arty. It was only added because the Leviathan could fire 5 shots in one go every 10 seconds. We are not planning to change the stun mechanic in the foreseeable future.
Are there plans to add a tutorial “how to not get hit by arty”?
We are currently working on the boot camp and we have already improved the tutorial quite a bit (I guess very few of you have tried it), but we are continuously working on improving the learning experience of the new players, so that we reduce the problem of statpadders playing at tier 2.
Is the premium ammo going to be rebalanced?
We know that a lot of players are complaining about it. Just out of curiosity we looked into the statistics, and the overall percentage of standard ammo penetrations and the premium ammo penetrations differ only by decimals, meaning that almost the same percentage of shots bounce no matter if you have standard or premium ammo loaded in your gun. In the future, it’s very likely that it will be changed, but we don’t know how, and honestly, we don’t think it’s the biggest problem in the game right now. It obviously differs on the tank you are shooting at and your own tank, but according to the statistics, it usually doesn’t make a difference if you are shooting standard or premium ammo.
A lot of players want the premium ammo to be available for golds only, and at the same time you complain that the game is too pay to win, and that is a little bit contradictory. Statistics also showed that in the RU server a lot more premium ammo is being fired and there are no complaints about it, as it is freely available for everyone.
Are there plans to decrease the cost premium ammo so that it costs the same as standard ammo?
Definitely not, that doesn’t make any sense. What would happen is, everyone would load only premium ammo and standard ammo would be useless. There might be some changes in the future, but that’s all I can say for now.
What reasons led you to make the changes you did to the Foch and to the FV215b 183 techtrees?
Regarding the Foch, it was extremely difficult to balance that tank, so we decided that it will be easier to make an entirely new tank while allowing players to keep the old Foch 155.
Concerning the Deathstar, it is very clear. If you look into that line, you see that the tier 10 didn’t have anything in common with the other tanks in that line.
Most changes are done exactly for that reason, we want the gameplay to be consistent across the tiers in one specific line. One of our first tech tree changes was the Maus because a lot of less experienced players were really confused when they went from a not very armoured heavy to a heavy with a turret in the back and armour only at the front, to a superheavy with the turret in the middle.
Why do we have to aim when RNG decides where the shell will go anyways?
We think that without RNG the game wouldn’t be fun at all. It is not linear (p.eg. the higher the RNG % the more fun), it doesn’t work like that, but if there was no RNG at all, it wouldn’t be fun. When you look at the aiming circle, you have 80% chance that you will hit the centre of the aiming reticle or its surroundings, while only 20% that you will hit the exterior. To hit the far end of the aiming circle you have something like a 2% or 3% likelihood.
A lot of battles end in 3 minutes with a result between 15-0 and 15-3, are you going to do anything with that?
We are currently looking into it, as it is true that the number turbo games had increased by 5% in 9.18. We were a little bit afraid of it, but it was because players weren’t used to the new MM. Currently, the average battle time is similar to the one before 9.18, which is between 4-5 minutes. We are looking into it, how to possibly make battles longer, but we have no solution just yet. (OT – Milos would like longer battles as well, but he doubts that it is possible to find a solution). Skill MM would not increase the battle time. Interestingly enough, it was related to the number of tanks with paper-thin armour or autoloaders. That was one of the reasons why we divided them into classes so that the MM puts the same number of each group in both teams. We will now monitor how this changes battle times. It also depends on a lot on the tier, high tier battles last much longer in general, whereas in the low tiers it is over pretty quickly.
What about tanks with limited MM?
We know that this is one of the biggest problems in the current MM. We realise that tiers 8 are very problematic, whereas at tier 9 the MM works almost flawlessly. We would like to make the current quality of the tier 9 MM standard across all tiers. We are not going to touch right now the preferential matchmaking tanks, but we would like to address it during the next year. However, besides the problems at tier 8 and some minor issues at tier 6, we can say that the MM is better than before 9.18 and a lot of players are happy about it.
Why not introducing +/-1 MM?
The +/-2 MM gives much more variation. You are one battle at the top, then you are at the bottom. When you have only 3 top tier tanks, they don’t influence the outcome of the battle so much and you can deal with them with your bottom tier tanks, it is much better than having 14 top tiers and 1 bottom tier.
We are continuously trying to balance it further. We divided medium tanks from heavy tanks, we divided vehicles into groups, like superheavies, autoloaders, etc. The problem with that is, the more rules we apply, the more complicated it becomes, and it can reach a state that battle queues would be incredibly long, or that every battle would be the same.
Currently, the problems are tier 8 premium MM and some issues at tier 6. We know about that and we are looking into it.
Are you planning on adding a map system that would allow players to choose which maps to play on?
Definitely not. Imagine if you could choose the map for each tank. Himmelsdorf would only be Type 5 heavy vs. Maus, Malinovka would be 12 light tanks and 3 arty on each team. That would break the game completely.
Everyone screaming in the chat “263!!!!”
There was some info from the supertest, but I remind you, that was the supertest. We have done some tests, we were thinking about replacing the Objekt 263, but currently, it seems that the line will stay how it is now. We will know more info during the next weeks, but the 263 will not be replaced.
How much do you like forbidden mods/cheats?
We don’t like them, we really do not. I think that should be clear from the ban waves. There are some who say “until I don’t see the nicknames, I won’t believe that you really do anything”. Currently, there is an ongoing clan campaign, and if you start looking up the clans, there are many whose players have been disappearing. The reason are the mods like Tundra, fallen objects, etc. that those players have been using during the campaign.
Closing the client so that nobody can make any mods would not solve it. A great example is GTA. They have frozen the client, and such shitstorm happened, that they had to open it again 3 days later. Modding communities are really big and strong and they wouldn’t let us freeze the client completely. We will continue fighting against cheating. How does it work? A player tries an illegal mod, he plays with it once, twice, next day again, and eventually, the spider web (our cheat detector) gets him and he gets banned. During the first ban wave, 6 WG employees have been banned as well. The rules are the same for everyone.
The community would accept a vanilla client if it meant that there would be no more cheats.
A. No, they wouldn’t. Look at Grand Theft Auto, to give one example, they tried exactly this, and the community made Rockstar’s existence a living hell for 3 days until they opened the client for mods again.
What about XVM?
A. Some of our guys want XVM deleted completely (show stats after the battle, but not during them), others think it is not so bad. We would like to compare this situation to the SPG. There are players who love XVM and who would be incredibly frustrated if we deleted it, others would make a party. And we think there is no solution to that, no answer is the right one. We are continuously thinking about it, whether we should do something with player stats in battle or not, but currently, there are no plans.
(Even inside WG there are discrepancies about this, Kayi4ek wants it completely deleted, Milos Jerabek thinks it is not so bad)
Why players that do nothing in the whole battle (AFK, don’t move or shoot in the entire game) still get experience and credits?
Believe it or not, here in Minsk (outside WG HQ) the internet connection is not very good and Milos here got disconnected from the game in 2 battles in a row when he was playing at home. However, if this happens really often, our automatic banning system will find and punish that player.
Are there plans for new game modes for lower tiers? Will Grand Battles come for lower tiers as well?
Regarding new game modes, we are continuously working on it. We are thinking what to do with strongholds, how to further improve this mode. We had meetings here in Minsk with top clan players from both EU and RU servers, and they helped us considerably to create the Halloween mode (quite successfully). We also tried Ranked Battles, which was intended only for tier 10. You have to remember that both Grand Battles and Ranked Battles modes are in Beta stage and we are still working on them. We can already say that a very interesting event will appear during this Christmas period.
If I get really lucky and have an incredible game, I receive 1-5 bonds. At this rate, I will have enough for improved equipment in 2 or 3 years.
A. Bonds are meant to be only for top tiers and top players. We don’t want it to be just another experience, another credit, that’s why you get a significant amount of them only when playing the highest tiers.
What about Team Battles? Is it dying?
Yes, they are dying and will eventually die, we are focusing now on Strongholds and on Ranked Battles. We might also introduce some new tournaments, but Team Battles are not something we are currently working on.
Can you tell us something about the upcoming changes to Strongholds?
None of us two are clan players nor work in the Stronghold department, but if we take a look at the guys who do work there, they are intensively working every day, so I can say that something new will come sooner rather than later.
What will be the next step regarding Ranked Battles, after the horrific changes in the 2nd beta season?
We can say that we are working on the first actual Season (so it’s unlikely that there will be more Beta seasons). The “horrific” changes actually worked really well. We intentionally made the first season very easy, so that the players would be able to notice that, and the 2nd season very difficult. We preferred to go to both extremes because if we took little steps, it would have been very difficult to see the real effects that those changes had.
We have seen that the MM worked well, arty as well, map rotation was praised (there were complains about Ensk, we know about that), and there were complains about the difficulty, but we did that on purpose. Our next step is to introduce the First Season (non Beta) somewhere in the middle regarding difficulty (not too easy, not too hard).
In the Halloween mode, there were bots (Leviathan and the minions were AI-controlled). Will we see a PvE mode in the game?
AI is a big step forwards and it brings a whole new world of possibilities. WoT Console has done a great job with War Stories (OT – Milos played them all and really enjoyed them), and we are looking into implementing a PvE mode into PC version of World of Tanks, but nothing is decided yet.
Why were new patches introduced when there were still bugs in them?
A lot of people complained about Halloween mode and how it destroyed the chat system. We have to disappoint you, but those 2 things don’t have anything in common.
The biggest problem with the chat server was, that we didn’t know what the issue was. We would have fixed it immediately if we knew what was the issue, but players didn’t report it. After that, it got fixed, and the chat worked for someone, for other players no. In these cases, we ask you to write to the Customer Support Service, they will tell you what info we exactly need from you. That helps us a lot when trying to fix such bugs.
The chat system isn’t placed in here, the code is stored in different off-site teams, and none of those teams was guilty, every one of them had to make little changes so that it started working again. The biggest problem was to find the issue, that’s why we ask you to talk to the Customer Support if something doesn’t work for you. We had people working on it 24 hours a day (until midnight, until 4 in the morning…), but without your help and your logs it is extremely difficult to find an error in such a complex system.
What about World of Tanks for Mac OS systems?
The work on this version of the game is done by an external team. Unfortunately, the Mac player base is too small and it is not a priority. (OT – Milos has also a Macbook and knows it’s not perfect, but nothing can be done right now)
Is there going to be an EU 3 server?
Not in the foreseeable future. EU 1 and EU 2 are working well and they could even handle a higher capacity than they are doing now, if needed.
What programming language is WoT written in?
The game is developed partially in C++, the servers use Python and the UI is being developed in Action Script 3 (OT – Milos: Finally a question for my field. Action Script 3 is a dead language for 10 years already, we know that we have problems when hiring staff because of that, but we still use that language for the UI)
What about March of Nations?
EU and RU had it, the rewards were exactly the same. In NA they decided to do a marathon, because last time EU and CIS had a marathon, NA didn’t. The rewards were different because a marathon has nothing to do with the March of nations. MON was a skill-based competition. It depends on every section which events they will have, here in Minsk we don’t decide the events for the EU server, you have to ask Paris HQ.
Defender will not be nerfed, it will stay how it is right now.
Will it be sold?
No comments, we don’t have any information about it.
Will you sell tanks such as IS-5 or Chieftain/T95?
Clan reward tanks won’t be sold. We usually have info about the tanks which will be sold next only 2-3 months before they get on sale so we cannot say which tanks will appear in the Premium Shop in the future.
What about tanks that have been sold before and not anymore?
There are some tanks that have been removed from the Premium shop and now they are sold only on special occasions, others will never be sold again. P.eg. the Type 59 hasn’t been sold since it was removed from sale. (Milos talking). I can say that as long as I stay the Development Director in WoT, Type 59 won’t go back on sale.
Why is WG removing the climbing/boosting spots on the maps?
A. Because players asked for it. At the beginning, we didn’t consider it a problem, but soon there was a mod that told you the exact route you had to take with your tank in order to climb to a certain position, and in that moment it became an unfair advantage that needs addressing.
What will happen to the T-10?
It’s a surprise. There are many options what to do with it, we are looking into them.
Is it planned to add the hidden characteristics into the garage? Terrain resistances, gun dispersion when moving, turning the turret or tracks.
The reason why they are not in the game is that even now, for a new player all those stats are a hell. We cannot have 50-60 statistics in the game that nobody knows what they are for. All those stats are available, you can check them on external websites, we don’t manipulate secretly with any tank, as there are no hidden characteristics.