General Q&A with one of WG’s product managers, Maxim Czuwalow, regarding the potential of a Polish tech tree, and a few other things.
I’ll start with the most important thing, how many battles do you have on your account?
Not so much on Russian servers, about seven thousand. I also played on the European, American and Asian, all together roughly 12,000.
Now, what stage is the development of Polish tanks in World of Tanks?
We collected a lot of information about the Polish tanks. A wide variety of models. What blocks us at the moment is the lack of tanks at high tiers. Low and medium tiers are filled, but not all machines are unique, there are modifications of Soviet machinez, but it is not a tragedy. With the “tops” however, we have a serious problem, especially with Tier X. Thats why we took to the Swedes first. There is no shortage of vehicles of the future.
We would like it if Polish tree finally made it into the game. We will work on this, but we don’t know how it would end up. Whether or not Polish machines will go into the game as a separate tree, whether it will be rather a collection of machines from different countries.
But, all is not lost?
The case is still open, the work continues. We do not know just when it will be complete and what will be the final result. We do not want to make promises, but you can be sure that we are doing what we can.
Now about the Swedish tanks. We can see their tree Stridsvagn tank 103. This is a vehicle produced in 1967, so it is very modern. Where is the time limit for tanks in World of Tanks?
From the very beginning we were interested the period from the 20s to the end of the 60s. We try not to go further.
I wonder if there is a chance to return historical battles that have recently disappeared from the game.
We thought about it. The last time failed to realize all the things that we wanted. Therefore, it proved to be not entirely successful. Now we think about how to do it in a way so that history does not necessarily spoil the game. For now, we’re operating at the level of concept.
Now the focus is on the main part of the game in the most important modes. On tank balance, on improving maps, or the interface. We are improving the graphics, sounds, physics. All the time we’re updating so that the game does not seem outdated. A lot of effort is put into it in the optimization of WoT.
Do you think at some point in time it will be necessary to complete the transition to the new engine?
If you compare the game with 2010 and now, it turns out that it was a completely different engines. WoT is designed so that a single leap would be very difficult to realize. We have too much content. Maps, physics, balance, and therefore, we are improving our engine gradually.Recently, we worked on optimizing visibility, migrated to new physics movement for the tanks. In short, we do not plan on switching to a completely new engine.
A large number of people who are concerned about the coming “global rebalance” for World of Tanks. What can you say about the changes?
No need to be afraid. We need help in the tests. The first version has brought us a huge amount of data and player feedback. Nothing will go to the game if we test it and don’t recieve a positive response from players. Our community has responded to the changes carefully, and even negatively. No wonder, because during the tests the players see a game very different to that which they were accustomed to. Many tanks have changed, which is often hard to accept. So now we aim to change on a smaller scale. This year we’ll conduct a second phase of testing, and we are inviting you to participate. What goes into the game depends entirely on the players and their assessment of our experiments.
Okay, but if there are three players, there are three different opinions, and if there are millions … How do you decide whether ones opinion about the game is worth listening to?
We collect feedback from forums and social networks, listen to our “opinion leaders.” It may be YouTubers, or members of a clan. Those for whom the tanks is there greatest passion. The response from the community is a double-edged sword. On one side would be happy players, on the other hand you can not give the millions what they want. Therefore, the opinion of the players is approached carefully and we do not try to change the game blindly in accord with what they say. We remember, however, that without their participation and their opinions nothing will come out. Like most detailed, constructive comments. They give us a lot more than the usual “the game is ruined” or “I do not like this.”
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the participation of the tank in battle in World of Tanks, we had a new mode. Why aren’t special versions of the game implemnted forever?
First, we introduce these modes for players to break the monotony of random battles. To be able to play without thinking about statistics, developing tanks and so on. We calculate them for a short time, and their real task is to test new mechanisms in the game, to see how the players respond. During convoy, created to celebrate the centenary, we prepared the physics for movement with wheeled vehicles. We’ll see how it will work and may in the future take advantage of that.
And if any of the special modes proved sufficiently popular.Then could they be with us on a permanent basis?
I think so, but it would be necessary to build more content, goals, achievements for players, if any of the special modes proved especially popular. We reflect on these, but preferably in a refined form and only after some time. So it was with football.
I wonder what you think of amateur made mods in World of Tanks? A statement to a player about which ones should be used or not.
Some modifications are forbidden, for example, auto-shooting, or mods that showed the location of enemy tanks from shell tracers. We look at the useful parts, and areas for improvement, for example, improving the interface. There was one that added an additional selection bar for tanks in the garage. We loved it so much that we add something similar in the new update. There are lot of great ideas, but there are also harmful ones. They can not be called a fraud, but they give an unfair advantage. With this fight. This is an eternal debate. We lock things up, a modder will invent a bypass our locks. Lock everything we do not want, and then we also lose many good ideas that created fans of the game. That is why we are working on a comprehensive solution. We want to keep the possibility of creating mods, but also not allow the people to spoil the fun others. It will be a platform for exchanging ideas, which modifications will be tested by us. For perhaps improving mods reduce the performance of the game. Players will therefore be able to easily and safely download and install mods, without having to visit external websites and end up downloading something to spoils our fun, or a virus.