Good day everybody,
A few things from the last WoT Console developer stream with WarGaming Chicago Creative Director, TJ Wagner aka. PAINGOD.
Are there any plans for balancing certain game mechanics, such as RNG, or physics?
- 3.5, which should be coming towards the end of this month, takes all of the physics changes from 9.15 on the PC, and there’s quite a few balance changes. The game is going to feel quite a bit different. RNG? No plans yet. We’ve talked about it but I don’t have anything concrete to share (other than somebody suggesting random RNG numbers per day).
How come we don’t have a lot of premium artillery in-game?
- I don’t know, I’ve seen the same question on the page earlier. I promise I’ll go kick the tank planning team, because I look at the plans for the year and there’s no plans for premium artillery other than a small, low tier one.
Can you please post and pin a description of how the matchmaker works?
- Yeah, we can definitely do an article on it. I looked in our own game guide and was shocked to find there was nothing about matchmaking in it, because I know I’ve written extensively about matchmaking in the past. We’ll get to work on that. That stupid patent was filed by somebody on PC a long time ago and never implemented (Referring to a WG patent that influenced the matchmaker to keep players at around a 50% win rate).
It used to be that rare premiums could only be sold after a certain amount of time, but it seems they’re becoming more common. The T-34-88 for example was sold twice in 2016 after being unavailable for more than a year on Xbox. Can you tell us how you’re thinking of “rare” premiums now?
- Absolutely. We started out kind of following the PC model and we made a ranking of how rare certain tanks were. Super rare ones would come back once a year, next level down would be every 9 months or so and that’s how we scheduled them out. We had some new people come into our global management team that were doing analyses and saying ‘’Guys, you could be selling these tanks a lot more often, because console players lifetime is kind of cyclical, they play other games and come back. So when you have tanks coming out 9 month to a year you have a lot of people missing an opportunity to buy them, so we should probably shot those times.” So yes, we’re bringing them out more often. We haven’t locked down a frequency for every tier yet.
Is it possible we can have Playstation and Xbox play together?
- (Only slightly exasperated) I’ve answered this a hundred times, because it’s the same answer and I don’t have a better one. It’s actually the way we test things, across all three platforms. It works, there’s no technical barriers to it, it’s a matter of policy with the people who make the consoles and what they allow us to do. Please stop asking me and file petitions to them. If they change their rules, we’ll do it. I’m dying to do it.
As we know, 2016 was the year for ‘’competitive tanking’. Can you tell us what the focus is for 2017?
- The competitive focus is still ongoing, we’re not done yet, we’re still making improvements to ranked battles. Then we’re working on tournaments, everything from eSports to personal tournaments. If you follow the Xbox blog you might have seen an announcement about us working with them, and their tournament support coming around the end of March. Getting everything into the game so you’re not having to go to web pages and all that will carry us to about the end of summer.
What are the plans for retaining veteran/long-time players?
- A lot of the competitive stuff is what we’ve been working on for our high-tier veteran players. After that we’ll start working on other retention features as well.
Can we expect any long-term operations/personal missions?
- I see the request for personal missions like PC, but I have to temper that sometimes, because when we do try longer ops we get complaints about player fatigue. Its one of those ones where the data say longer ops aren’t popular, but players request personal missions which are very, very long, so we got to figure out some middle ground. I don’t know what that is yet.
A lot of early premium tanks are getting outclassed by recently introduced premiums. Any feedback?
- Isn’t this years car model always better than the previous year? But seriously, it’s probably a good time to look at the older premiums and their stats. When looking at the Panther/M10 for a the Champion Tank (reward tank for a community op) and we decided it needed a refresher, which will affect both versions. (DN: Tech tree tanks could use the same treatment, PAIN)
Is Proving Grounds ever going to be an offline mode?
- I totally lied there. It turned out to be far more of a technical challenge than I thought it would be. So that dream died, and I apologise. It’ll be quite a bit of work if we look into it again.
When are Tier 10 TDs getting balanced?
- Never. They’re balanced. I look at balance data day in and day out. Hey, there’s popular tanks people are good at. There are some changes coming in 3.5. If I changed something like the E-100, a lot of people get sad and something else becomes the most hated tank because everybody switches to that. Not saying they’ll never be balanced, but that we’ll never be able to make everyone happy.
Are you ever selling Heavy Tank No.6?
- Yes. We are selling it in 2017. Around an appropriate regional holiday related to the tank.
How long will WG support Xbox 360?
- As long as it’s viable and Microsoft supports it. It’s a considerable number of players and revenue.
Are Global Maps and Strongholds coming soon?
- Not as you see them on PC, and not any time soon. There are plans for higher level gameplay.
Any announcements about the upcoming patch (3.5)?
- I’ve already talked about the physics changes, which is huge. Adapting every tank for it we had to remake every tank in HD, and SD for the 360. Balance changes as well. We’re getting the e-brake, some people will be happy, like you light tank players. Changes to the HUD radar. We’ve improved the new player experience to retain new players through that beginning process. Changes to the spectator camera. There might be a new line of tanks hidden in there to be unlocked at a later date.
Will you ever consider tank trade-ins or partial gold refunds for unwanted premiums?
- I’m certainly open to it. If we don’t make them awesome to where you want to keep them we can let you trade them in. So we’ll certainly consider.
Can we ever expect gold earning ops?
- Not anytime soon. There are some 1st party agreements. You don’t buy gold from us, you buy from Microsoft and Sony. Maybe it’ll change eventually. We find a way around it, make another currency, I don’t know.
Can we expect a language update? Getting tired of hearing a bland American voice in my German tanks.
- I can’t say how soon do to gory technical details, but we are changing our audio system. It’ll give us a lot more capability to do things we’ve wanted like national crew voices, maybe female crews and other stuff. Sometime in 2017 maybe but I can’t really tell you because we’re ripping out a sound engine right now. New one comes in and audio guy works a lot of hours getting things right again. Then we can start adding features.
Is more UI customization coming?
- HUD customization isn’t possible at the moment do to performance restrictions on the HUD and the system for rendering that. Something else that needs to be ripped out and replaced with something better.
Any dates for French line updates?
- Early summer, possibly May or June.
Any plans on implementing a replay system?
- Yes, we’re actually having people fly in who work on the server team to talk with our system teams, myself and our UI teams to plan all of that out.
World of Warships introduced a crate system to reward players. Are we getting anything similar?
- Straight answer, we worked on a crate system last year, got it to a point it was functional and found out that we didn’t really have enough there for a crate system that didn’t feel cheap and repetitive. So it’s back to the drawing board on that. We don’t want it to feel cheap and tacked on.
Any chance of transferring XP from elite and premium tanks as Crew XP?
- There is a chance. We had a feature brief on it but we haven’t started any design work on it yet.
What are the chances of seeing new equipment or consumables?
- Very, very high. We already had the new consumable meeting, those things are in the works.
Any news on the poppy emblem or other Remembrance Day features? (Relating to WoT Console neglecting any mention of Remembrance Day last year)
- We have the poppy emblem, we have it functional. Trying to figure out how to deploy it, since it shouldn’t be sold, we shouldn’t profit off of that. Hoping it can be a permanent donation. Not promising that will happen but it’s what we want.
Any info on Czech tanks?
- Yeah, I drove one earlier today. Maybe that’s the secret line I said is in the next update to be unlocked latelater? I can’t say, I’m not allowed to say anything PR haven’t announced.
When can we see spotting and radio ranges on the minimap?
- Well, check out 3.5 when it comes out and give us feedback on the changes we put to the minimap. We can’t add too much do to performance reasons, but check out what we implemented. No answer on when you can make it bigger yet.
Any word on adding horizontal stabilization in sniper view?
- There’s a long standing debate with the guy who writes the code of the camera, shooting, and all that, about all of the terrible things he says that’ll do to the game. Hopefully we’re reaching a solution on that.
- Oh yeah, play 3.5, you’ll see some flipping tanks! Stupidest feature ever. Who aspires to be a freaking turtle? We actually put in a solution to right your tank because we couldn’t turn off flipping, so yeah, there’s a timer. It’ll flip your tank back upright after a period of time.
Any chance of seeing a Tier 11 or 12?
- I’ve wanted to do that for 3 and a half years. It kind of went from we are forbidden from doing so to all kinds of other reasons. Now we’ve gotten to where we can, but what does that mean to matchmaking? Matchmaking is complex enough. So the things we have to do before we can do that are find ways to make the matchmaker healthier. Frankly one way of doing that is putting fewer tanks in the game. Somedays I want to rip off the band-aid and say ‘’We’re doing 10v10” deal with that fallout and then make other changes like skill based matchmaking, taking into account the packages on the tanks, and crew skills.
Will the WTE-100 be removed?
- It’s not going anywhere. I’m not taking people’s favorite tank away, that’s lame. When the Grille comes, it’ll get added and the Waffentrager will stay, sorry.
Why are very popular and rare tanks locked behind expensive bundles? (Example being the T23E3 being locked in a bundle costing 54,000 gold)
- Locking things behind paywalls… we’re testing out certain things with the bundles. Recently we tried putting every tank on sale, but that particular tank got missed, it hasn’t been around since the Founder’s Packs, my apology, we’ll get that out for sale on its own as soon as possible.
Will we ever see ever see double-flag assault?
- Hell, change Assault to double-flag and be done with it.