The second part of Reddit Q&A, this time mostly questions posted by the North American Community, and a few from the SEA Community. It’s a long read, so grab some coffee and biscuits.
Q: Wargaming should remove the retraining cost for tech tree tanks from Tiers 1,2,3 and 4. When new players start a new account they get a 100% crew. That’s great… except you only need to play tier 1 1-5 games. Tier 2 doesn’t last very long; Tier 3 takes a little longer. Tier 4 takes a decent amount of time. At that point, it is worth it to keep the same crew from Tier 4 to Tier 5. I was trying to help a new player understand the crew system (Their crew was 81% in the tank); after helping them understand they decided it was best off to just quit because they don’t have the time to invest in doing that. P.S. The Crew system is bad, and it will be until next year that we hopefully get a change/to revamp.
A: We promised to rework the entire crew system and we are working on that. The new system contains a solution to this as well as many other issues with the crew.
Q: With the addition of map blacklisting, is there any data being collected around what maps are commonly blacklisted and any possible correlations, or interesting information you can share? Or potentially if data is being collected if it’s being used to help inform any changes to maps or the game?
A: Yes, we are using this as a data source. We are also conducting surveys from time to time and were quite puzzled that many of the blacklisted maps actually were on top of maps from the survey results. Soon we are planning to share some data with players.
Q: Any plans on balancing Chieftain, 279e, and 907? Currently, they massively outperform tech tree tanks.
A: This issue is quite delicate. From one side those tanks are rewards for high-end activities, so players expect them to be quite powerful. And they are. However, one cannot say that those tanks have no weak spots to counter them in battle. From the other side, while some tanks are possessed only by top skilled players, it is hard to make conclusions that they massively outperform the others. For example, Batchat which is not quite in current meta is a powerhouse if controlled by a top skill player. At the moment we are also conducting a series of Sandbox tests to validate some new ideas for balance. With the help of these tests, we are trying to find a more generic solution on how to create an attractive interesting reward vehicle that won’t feel as unfair as they sometimes feel now.
Q: What is the current state of the revisions coming to crew mechanics?
A: It is in progress. Our first take was too dramatic, and we went too far with our ideas. The following design was way too conservative, and we figured out it won’t satisfy you guys as well as us. So now, we hope we are on the right track with the changes. Stay tuned for more information.
Q: Will tracked light tanks get their top speed back from when most of them were nerfed in 9.18, with the introduction of wheeled lights seeing how they outperform tracked lights in both p/w and top speed?
A: At the moment we do not feel that tracked LTs as a class requires a buff. We are currently testing our big rebalance initiative on Sandbox and if it proves our ideas to be right, it could lead to a significant change for all classes, LTs in particular. Thus, we will be able to correct the balance between tracked and wheeled light tanks as well, if we continue to gather proofs it is indeed needed.
Q: Can we please get assistance for breaking the wheels on the race cars? Please. If my 155mm shell isn’t enough to do damage after hitting the wheel a little assisted damage would heal the wound faster.
A: That is actually a good point. Let us investigate this further.
Q: Are you planning improvements to the penetration indicator? It does not appear to accurately report penetration with HEAT vs spaced armour. Nor does it report overmatch as a separate condition/colour from penetration.
A: For spaced armour, this is quite a heavy calculation in real time. As far as we remember, it should work properly for overmatch, let us doublecheck.
Q: I really like the changes made to the WOT Premium Account. However, the fact that the x3 modifier experience increase goes to the vehicle instead of towards crew training is very frustrating, especially when it’s an Elite Vehicle / Tier X vehicle, and you are trying to grind up the crew skills with the ‘accelerate crew’s training’ option. I understand that you don’t want players swapping out crews, then applying the x3 bonus, but can’t you just give us a second checkbox for ‘Premium Account: Accelerate your crew’s training with x3 exp bonus?’, and if the checkbox is set, the XP gets applied to the crew training automatically at the end of the winning match?
A: The core issue is that this bonus might be applied way after the actual battle happened and a player might manipulate a crew meanwhile like move it, disband, etc. As we have failed to find a good answer initially, we made the bonus ineffective towards crew training. We believe we have a good solution now and we are currently working on the fix. It will go live shortly.
Q: Might some reward tanks be made available in the Bonds shop? There are rare vehicles like the IS-5 and the T23E3 that I would very like to get my hands on, but I’ve missed out on getting in the past.
A: Yes, that is exactly the idea for Bonds shop content. We had some tech issues with Bonds shop operations, so it did not go live in 1.5, however, we hope to get it fixed soon and at the moment we are finalizing the first batch of offers for the shop.
Q: Are there plans for a Japanese tank destroyer branch? They could easily fill one out and I believe it would be far less controversial than the heavy line.
A: Yes, we are looking into it.
Q: Might it be possible for some tanks to be researched by tanks of other nations? For example, might I be able to research the British Firefly from the American M4A3E8 (at an increased XP cost)? This might be a way to add nations to the game that would otherwise be unable to have complete tech trees of their own.
A: You have just hit a bullseye. Seems you’ve got access to one of the designs we have on the table for a while 😉 Still, at the moment we are pursuing somewhat different solution as we believe it will allow us to reach the same goal w/o making the trees even harder to read than they are now.
Q: Any plan for chieftain MK 6 tech tree tank?
A: Not at the moment.
Q: Why are some tanks so erroneously misnamed? The Object 279 (e) should be called the Object 726, the AMX M4 51 should be called the AMX M4 49 bis, and the IS-M should be called the IS-2Sh, to name a few. I have a post over here that identifies a lot of the misnamed tanks in the game.
A: In many cases vehicles that never reached mass production or were cancelled in early prototype (or even tech requirement stage) have different names in different sources. This is especially true with experimental vehicles, like Obj 279/279(e)/726 when the same vehicle based on the archives, we have access to has changed its name several times based on document time or even origin, and some of the abandoned names were also re-used later on. In any case, when selecting a particular name, we put our trust on our historians and the hard evidence we got on hands with legal means. But seriously, thanks for the question and the link. We’ll definitely pass it to our guys for a double check.
Q: I’m one of the few players who has all 3 tier 8 CW tanks, one of which I paid 12k gold for. Any plans on buffing them? I know this is not relevant to many people but the dust on my IS-5 is a foot deep.
A: This is something we are considering at the moment.
Q: Upcoming tank: Will the ST-II be a replacement for the IS4 and if so, will the IS4 become a legacy tank like the Fv215b/FV215b 183 and Foch155? The tank was already leaked from the Supertest allot of us would like to keep the IS4 and also know if the ST-II is planned to be replaced.
A: If ST-II and other double-barrelled vehicles will make it into the game, they will form a separate sub-branch.
Q: What can you tell us about wheeled vehicles? What is Wargaming’s current perception of them? When might we expect more wheeled vehicles added to the game? Has Wargaming considered making them their own class (ex: Armoured Cars)?
A: We are carefully looking into the data and are happy with wheeled vehicles performance at the moment. It had some issues in Frontline mode and we are addressing those. As for the new wheeled trees, it is too early to say something. However, we do not see it necessary to create a new class, since wheeled tanks have same purpose on the battlefield as light tanks.
Q: Seal Clubbing. Do you have plans on fixing it? I’m not referring to seasoned players who just started grinding a line but to those who already have higher tiered tanks on the same line playing on lower tier games. This essentially discourages a lot of new potential players that will populate the game.
A: We have finally got to this issue and plan to address it (relatively) soon.
Q: When is the T110E5 getting a Buff? Why is the S. Conqueror allowed to exist today (no problem with S. Conq balance) but the T110E5 got hit with the nerf hammer so hard? The S. Conq excels at it’s designed role very well (ridgeline warrior same as E5) it has better gun handling, DPM, much better turret armour, 200 more HP and an extra 2 degrees of gun depression. As the E5 currently stands it has better mobility and slightly stronger upper plate. In the hands of equally skilled players a S. Conq would win a fight against an E5 7/10 times minimum. Is anything going to be down to buff/improve the E5 so it’s once again competitive? Realistically all that needs to be done is remove the Cupola (like blitz) or strengthen it to withstand premium round penetration at least 50% of the time, as its cupola is much more pronounced/larger and in the front of the turret. No real need to buff anything else to make it competitive again, though a small gun handling/mobility buff would make it play like a true heavy/medium hybrid. I say this in the hopes of being able to grind the line with the on-track event coming up and enjoy the E5 as it was designed to be (before it was nerfed). I do not wish or hope the S. Conq gets a nerf.
A: If you recall, some years ago we strengthened the cupola and community started to ask us to nerf it, as E5 quickly becomes a Swiss army knife of heavies. So, we did. Now it is quite a solid tank, however, we cannot disagree that in duel scenario SC (that was not available back then) is stronger and is also generally simpler to play. At the same time, we believe that it is not quite right to measure the vehicle’s performance on duels. As you’ve mentioned, better mobility and stronger upper plate are giving E5 tactical edge in many situations. Still, we started a big rebalance initiative, that you can try out on Sandbox server, in order to find a more generic solution to individual vehicles balance issues. If we’ll get proof that the direction is right, we would do a big rebalance sweep based on it. If we prove it’s a wrong turn, we might consider getting back to incremental changes until we’ll come up with a better generic solution. And thanks for not asking to nerf SC, by the way.
Q: I’m sure you guys get fan-made tech trees and branches all the time. What are some things you look for in these proposals? What makes for a good fan-made tech tree?
A: With every tech tree at least for the past few years we are trying to reach both gameplay diversity (hence new mechanics for Swedes and Italians etc) and a certain grade of historical accuracy at the same time. The latter means that we are constantly looking for legally acquirable hard evidence (documents, photocopies, letters, military protocols and so forth) that could give us a solid ground for a new tree/branch composition. For example, it took us three years of working together with some Polish military institutions to build a Polish tree that is composed of something original, not just modernized versions of USSR tanks Polish army was using past WW2.
Now, back to your question. A good fan-made tech tree in our eyes should meet both the above criteria: be contrast enough from the gameplay POV and be based on some solid evidence that does not require our guys breaking into classified archives and James Bonding blueprints from there to obtain 😉 Still, the community efforts are often serving as the source of ideas and inspiration both for design team and our historians that do field studies across the globe.
Q: Has Wargaming considered a combined “Latin American + Spanish” tech tree? This could be a way to get tanks from Brazil, Spain, Uruguay, and Argentina into the game, amongst others.
A: We did. We believe we have a better answer now to how to introduce some specific tank variants into the game and will be happy to present it to the community soon.
Q: Are there any materials to suggest it’s possible we might see additional tank branches for the Czech, Japanese, Italian, or Polish tech trees?
A: There are some indeed, not for all the nations you’ve mentioned though. At the moment we are in progress with Japanese TDs and looking for opportunities with Czech and Italian trees as well. Once we have something solid on hands, we’ll make it public ASAP.
Q: When might we expect some premium tanks to change nationalities? I know there’s been talk of the Rudy becoming a Polish tank. But others like the FCM36Pak40 and the 105 LeFH18 B2 are German conversions, not tanks of French design.
A: This is coming soon.
Q: Will you implement a tool or mechanic to transfer crew XP from one crew member to another? With the SoS, Berlin, and other zero skill crews we need a way to take full advantage of those crews and not let those old crews’ XP go to waste in the barracks.
A: Not in plans yet.
Q: I am moving to EU soon from NA. Are there any plans on adding in account migrations between servers?
A: There is such a feature on demand.
Q: Can you share with us what some of the most blocked maps are across all regions?
A: We are planning to share this data soon
Q: The Black Market not only introduced long-lost tanks back into the game, but also buying premium tanks with credits, and premium T10 tanks, which had never been done before, but also introduced a new store mechanic of items on a “flash sale” for a certain period of time. Any plans to reprise this? Perhaps later for Black Friday? Or a “summer tank of the week sale”?
A: We are processing the statistics from the event at the moment to understand the full extent of it. PS: there were no T10 premiums on sale.
Q: Wargaming has said they want to give 6th Sense as a base skill for the commander. Why not just make the 6th Sense Directive to cost 0 bonds until the time comes when you actually add it to the game? That would be a welcoming change – certainly for the new players that have 50% or 75% crews.
A: We are thinking about changing the pricing for Directives till the new Crew System is finished
Q: Is there any plan to revitalize the competitive side of WoT? WGL isn’t around anymore. Tournaments are in the decline due to low gold pay-out and there aren’t any more “large event” tournaments like there used to be. Ranked battles aren’t present in NA and APAC, this leaves players feeling like there’s no outlet for top performing players…we’re all just stuck playing random battles day after day which is quite unsatisfying for me personally.
A: There are a few different questions here. First, we have the solution for RB for NA and APAC, so it is coming. Second, we are reworking everything tournament at the moment, and it should address low attractiveness of such competitive activities – we want to re-introduce large events back, just not the WGL format itself. The WGL story is definitely over though unless we will find a better game mode to at least make competitive play more enjoyable to watch
Q: I love the introduction of session statistics, and I have always liked the individual tank stats like average dmg per game, average exp per game, etc. Is there any way the game could track my most profitable tank in terms of credits? After “resupply cost” would be even more useful. When I’m grinding credits to be able to afford that t10, a feature like this would be really helpful!
Answer: This is just the first iteration of Session Stats, more are coming. Thanks for the idea, we’ll consider something like that.
Q: My estimates suggest it’s possible to introduce a full branch of TOG tanks beginning at Tier IV. What do we have to do to make this happen?
A: Andrii Biletskyi: Thanks man, you made us stop for a while and discuss a few of the craziest events and modes I can recall since I was 15.
Q: Will changes be made for South Spawn on Mountain Pass allowing for the Heavy tanks to actually be able to get to the southwest corner and don’t either be dead or near dead?
A: We are picking up the next map to modify once we’ll deal with Minsk. It might be Mountain Pass
Q: On the subject of light vehicles: any chance for the lower tier light tanks to get their “fun guns” back (i.e. VK 28.01’s 105mm derp, MT-25’s and 59-16’s low-pen autoloaders, SP I C’s autoloader [maybe on the HWK as well?], etc.), and/or top speed nerfs reverted? While the light rework was nice to get tier 10 lights (and I love most of the tier 9s), many of the lower tiers all feel the same to play (especially at tier 6, where they are nearly identical to one another, save for the AMX 12 t), and – coupled with the much more limited top speeds – no longer have as much “fun factor” to them, making them feel a lot less interesting/rewarding to play post-rework.
A: Hopefully past the big balance paradigm shift we are trying to validate now. If it turns out to be something solid, the next steps would include low and mid tiers re-balance and role adjustments guaranteed. Unless the tests on Sandbox fail, we’d rather avoid doing multiple out of sync increments on specific nations/vehicle classes
Q: Any planned buff to the FV201 (A45)? It could do okay as a preferential matchmaking tank, but seriously needs buffs in its current state. It has the lowest pen of all tier 7 heavies, poor speed, and a hull and turret that can be penetrated easily by even many tier 5 tanks, let alone tier 9. Also, seeing as the M46 KR was recently replaced by the T92 in the tech tree, is this a sign of a larger-scale tech tree premium rotation as in Warplanes?
A: No specific planned buffs at the moment due to our main balance experiment running on Sandbox. Once it will be concluded, will be happy to give you more details
Q: Are there currently any plans to put in new branches or full lines of wheeled vehicles into the game? What nation could be next?
A: Brits, but it’s not a plan yet, just a desire. We will wait for a few more months to make sure French wheels are operating as intended and before investing in any other wheeled vehicles.
Q: How come both the Churchill I and Churchill III claim to have 177.8mm of frontal hull armour? This is only over a small portion of the upper plate, and is incredibly misleading, especially to newer players.
A: Good point. The system that generates this data operates automatically, and while it’s fine in most of the cases, it might generate confusing results from time to time. Honestly speaking, we were not planning to deep dive into it up to the point Armor Preview will get into production pipeline, but we’ll see what we can do quickly
Q: Has Wargaming considered a combined “Pan-Balkans” tech tree? This could be a way to get tanks from Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Romania into the game, amongst others.
A: Well, we did. While doing it we believe we’ve found a better solution to the problem you rose. We hope to announce it to all of you guys really soon.
Q: What are your plans regarding balancing HESH rounds? Do you want them to continue functioning as higher-pen HE rounds, or are you considering alternative mechanics? For example, making them work more like old HE.
A: We had a few ideas on what to do with HESH at different moments. Currently, the team is working on the proposal to test on the Sandbox, and if the current SB iteration won’t prove us mad, you’ll be able to test it all soon. Thanks for your patience, this one is lasting for a while
Q: Many players claim that light tanks are significantly underperforming compared to other classes. Nothing has been changed for light tanks since patch 9.20.1. Are there any plans to change light tanks to make them more competitive on the battlefield whether it’s better view range, speed, or guns?
A: At the moment they are underperforming so heavily that we sometimes are seriously scared they might push Meds out of their niche.
Q: Is it part of the rebalancing to bring back and give some tanks additional weak spots on the turret and the front hull?
A: Well, this way we will have way more questions on when we are planning to strengthen a cupola/hatch/plate in this or that tank, man 🙂 To your point, our teams do perpetually monitor every tank performance and AFAIK there are no vehicles at the moment that show abnormal tanking ability. Oh, by the way, you guys will probably laugh out loud after learning how well IS-4 and KV-5 are doing in that field despite lots of people think otherwise.
Q: Why is it not an option for WG to limit the “special ammo”?
A: It is, just not a preferred one at the moment
Q: As it becomes harder and harder to find new tanks to add to the tech trees, would you consider adding more modern tanks, fake tanks, or new tech trees? Elaboration on each would be great!
Answer: We are looking into it, but it is way too early to talk about this topic. Stay tuned.
Q: Wheeled vehicles have been a rather hot topic (to say the least) since their addition in 1.4. I personally enjoy them quite a bit, but I know many who find their breakneck speed to be a bit annoying. As such, is there any chance we might see wheeled vehicles that are not as fast but focus a bit more on their firepower instead, in the future? (Somewhat akin to the role of tank destroyers they often played in the latter half of the 20th Century.) Perhaps not quite as strongly gunned as actual tank destroyers in-game, but somewhere in between lights and TDs?
A: It is a distinct possibility.
Q: Is it possible the original FV215b could see some sort of buff in the future? While it is still relatively capable in skilled hands, the vehicle has unfortunately fallen behind a bit in its’ playability due to power creep since its’ release. (And, when the Foch 155 and FV215b (183) both received slight buffs when they were retired to “special” status, the FV215b remained completely unchanged.
A: We are considering bringing it back to the game in the Bonds Shop. If it will happen, we’ll definitely look at it as the vehicle is staying retired for quite a while now and might need some love.
Q: The Christmas boxes were very compelling as a purchase, you were guaranteed at least to get back out in gold/items at least what you put in, with a chance of getting something extremely good. Will this be repeated again this coming year?
A: We are cooking the Christmas event for this Holiday season and hope you’ll enjoy it even more than ever before.
Q: Flexible premium time that gets consumed only when you are playing. What happened to it? It would be nice to have those even if it’s a few times more expensive than regular premium time.
A: Nothing, it never was like that. To some extent, a 1-day Premium Time offer is what you’re asking for. It is the most flexible through the least cost-effective option we offer.
Q: There is any chance the Grille will receive the option to mount the 128mm gun from the WT PZ IV? In this way, we can have a playstyle that focuses on DPM and not alpha dmg.
A: Never thought about that before. Basically, the whole branch is training a player to take on more positioning-focused Alpha-centric playstyle. At first glance, it doesn’t sound to us as a good idea, but we’ll think about it now.
Q: I really love American tanks, but I have finished the entire American tech tree and there is nothing new for me to grind. Are there any plans to expand the American tech tree with new branches? Maybe a second medium tank line (complete line with tier X medium) or another heavy line would be wonderful.
A: We do. However, it is one of the most difficult nations for us to research second only to China due to the clearance process. So, it is moving, but slowly. We are trying to find the ways in without any Mission Impossible tricks.
Q: Many players seem to want the Churchill AVRE in the game. Personally, I don’t think it’s a good idea, but have you ruled out adding that vehicle (and other tanks of monstrous calibre, like the Sturmtiger) any time soon?
A: We fully agree with you on that. Every two years or so we are building a new prototype of Assault SPG gameplay just to bury it. If we ever succeed, we’ll let everyone know new gods are coming.
Q: I recall Ardelt had a plan to fit the E-100 with a 1000 hp engine. But to make it fit, they would need to change the fighting compartment and the engine compartment of the E-100 around, effectively giving the tank a rear turret, and allowing for a long gun. Might we see this vehicle at Tier X in place of the current E-100? That way the E-100, E-75, Tiger II, and Tiger I could all be down-tiered and made a little more balanced without giving them too unhistorical characteristics.
Answer: We are not planning anything like that. Same time we hope to breathe a new life into some older vehicles like E-100 with the new balance design that is currently being tested on Sandbox.
Q: What are the current rules for adding new vehicles to the game? Would a vehicle from the year 2000 be able to be added if it was stuck using technology from 1950?
A: No smooth bore guns, no autocannons, no composite, dynamic or active armour. The XXI century vehicle stripped off all XXI century tech won’t be a good opponent for mid-XX century vehicles if it fights on their terms, i.e. shell-vs-armour with limited communication capacity. Just think about a unit of nowadays marines with their modern training armed with spears and muskets but wearing their current uniform with no protective gear trying to combat Spanish mid-XVI century tercio at Pavia. Marines would object I bet.
Q: Is there an ETA for removal of team damage from Random Battles?
A: It’s almost there.
Q: Have still continued to study the “multiple-turret mechanism”? WG also have World of Warships, they should know how to do it in World of Tanks. (…I hope to play T-35 and other multiple-turret tanks in World of Tanks, not in War Thunder.)
A: We have tested the mechanics in Halloween mode 2 years ago and that was kind of clunky, people did not liked the control scheme. We have some more new mechanics in works at the moment, but we put aside multi-turret mechanics for now. Maybe we will get back to it a bit later.
Q: Will the Girl und Panzer event/mod for PC will come back since a new movie just came out in Japan (Girl und Panzer das final part 2)
A: We are working on our agreement on further cooperation with Bandai, hope that will be possible to join WoT PC as well.
Q: On crew skin, it indicates, ‘Without voice over’. When will crew skins be added with voiceover?
A: There are some crew members with voice over (Buffon, Sabaton). There will be more in the future.
Q: Are there any plans to implement skill-based matchmaking(taking into account age, battles played, etc into account) in random battles, so as to prevent the steamrolls(15-0/1/2/3 matches)? If a player with barely 3k battles has to face a 30k battle player in the same tank, we all know the outcome.
A: Well, we plan to introduce some special MM rules for newcomers and new players in general that are based on account age, battles played and some other criteria. Still, this is not a skill-based MM by any means. So, a paradoxical “No, but yes” sounds like the best answer we can give you at this moment.
Q: Have tier 9 premiums for free XP ever been considered? WoWs has that and it works reasonably well IMO, and now WoT Console is doing it as well. Or well, have you ever considered tier 9 premiums in general?
A: We have already announced 9 tier tanks as a reward for Ranked Battles and Frontline. As for the Free XP we have not considered it yet.