This is a bit late, but here’s a resume of a Q&A with SerB.
Q: Is there anything in World of Tanks that you want to improve?
A: Well, we would’ve set up the branches differently and change some mechanics, but wouldn’t change the big picture: sessions of games, wartime vehicles. After the release of WoT only lazy ones didn’t jump up on the train.
Q: You often times talk on live journal about the “Bovington grass” which serves as an inspiration. We understand that it’s connected to the Tank Museum, but after all – what exactly is it?
A: In a narrow sense, it’s the development of tanks by British engineers, in a wider one – all weird tank constructions. All nations had some of them, the Germans and we as well.
Q: Each year, a new nation comes to World of Tanks. How many years will it take for you to drop this rule, since there won’t be any nations left?
A: Soon, the Swedish tanks will arrive. There are also the Italians, which have quite formidable low- and mid-tier vehicles, but have problems with top tiers. There are some pre-requisites for Poland, but it’s not easy since the Poles were basically out of the war from 1939 and couldn’t properly create something on their own. There are interesting projects there, but we don’t want to stuff up with clones of Soviet vehicles. We’re trying to find something interesting and are searching through archives. What else? Well, maybe we’ll compose an Israeli tree. But there’s this problem – they only have one really original tank, the Merkava, and it’s too advanced for WoT. So we would have to take some early prototype. All other vehicles are modifications of foreign vehicles or clones. The amount of nations is of course limited, but there are many interesting tanks which are not in the game. Soviet ones, material sent by the Chinese. There is also my favourite Argentinian tank which I really want to see in the game.
Q: What do you like about it?
A: Well, he has a really great name – “Nahuel” that means “fuck off” in Russian. I think our players will like it.
Q: After the release of WoWS you wanted to try out the hypothesis of the equal status of USSR and Imperial Russia in the minds of the players. Did this work out?
A: Not quite yet, since the Russian-Soviet BB line isn’t released yet, but I can say that Russian and Soviet cruisers and destroyers have somewhat equal status. So they’re liked for their characteristics, not for being Russian or Soviet.
Q: Why do you think WoWP and WoWS are not as popular as WoT?
A: WoWP simply didn’t turn out well. With WoWS, the situation is more difficult. In Russia, it didn’t manage to grab the attention away from Tanks, but in Asia, for example, it goes really well. We’re even struggling to compete with WoT ourselves. Each new project on the Russian market should offer the “tanksmen” more than WoT. In a gameplay sense, WoWS couldn’t do that, but WoWS is a working and profitable project. We hope to improve it after all. I’ll be in Petersburg later today, working on it.
Q: Currently, several companies are trying to develop the “tanks” topic, but all are from the former USSR. Why do you think Blizzard or EA aren’t trying to develop something, since “Tanks” are everywhere?
A: Well, one of the games is developed by Obsidian, but published by a Russian company. And aside from us, maybe the Germans could do something. For the Americans, WWII consists more of the Pacific ocean and the fleet. Of course they, as well as the English, Italians participated in land warfare, but only we and the Germans were really serious about the use of armour. The thing is that the Germans don’t like to remember all of this. When we inquired in one of the automotive factories who produced tanks in WWII, asking to access the archives, they declined. They said it like: “We stand for peace all over the world, please go your way”.
At the same time I don’t rule out the possibility of USA or Japan making such a game. We all remember the Japanese tank simulator Panzer Front. There was the fantasy tank E-79 with a crew of gnomes: a normal person wouldn’t fit in such a thing. But it looked interesting! We kinda wanted to buy a license and implement the tank in the game. But only kinda.