Good day everyone,
Quick interview with Director Milos Jerabeck on Ranked Battles taken during the WGL Grand Finals. From the Polish site Gamezilla:
As a tank player I first have to ask, how many battles do are you at?
Milos: At the moment I’m at around 14,000 victories. So between 50-51%
I wanted to ask you, what will be the next big thing that you add to WoT? At the conference you spilled that there will be a ranked battle ladder. Tell us more about it.
What we lack at the moment is an endgame. Something for players who have already reached Tier X. Our Director, Thaine Lyman, says that their Tier X tanks are like Ferraris in the garage. You probably won’t want to purchase something like that, because your lower tier does better for you. Ranked Battles will hopefully make you want to leave that garage.
The new mode is only for Tier X, and the best players have come to this level. The system will be seasonal, and the first test will be June on the European server. That season will be composed of four sections lasting a week.
Each week will be divided into five ranks, demonstrating the players skill. To earn points to advance you need to be among the the top 12 players on the winning team or top 3 on the losing team.
We understand that sometimes a player can have a great game, and that despite their skills their team may still lose. This player should be rewarded. On the other hand, sometimes you are on the winning team but were only a burden to your teammates. In this situation you don’t do well, and you don’t gain a point. Collecting points are what gets you into higher teams.
The new mode will bring a new currency- bonds. What can you get with these?
The first thing is improved equipment, the second is directives. The equipment is what you already know in game, but better, more effective. Of course we tried to keep some sort of balance with that. Directives are similar to Personal Reserves, but assigned to specific tanks.
Are these able to be used outside of Ranked Battles?
Yes, you’ll be able to use them in all modes: Random Battles, Clan Wars, or Strongholds.
Are you planning on expanding Ranked Battles to lower tiers?
At the moment we are focusing on Tier X. Never say never though, and we certainly talked about it amongst ourselves, but it’s definitely not something we’re looking to introduce in the near future.
Another big change that was recently introduced was the change to artillery. Now SPGs fire more often, but with weaker damage and the ability to stun crew. How have these changes affected people’s willingness to play arty?
We new in advance that you can’t look into data from the first two days. It was like a shock wave. I think each player then decided to to jump into SPGs and see what they could do with them. At the moment the data is showing artillery being used about as much as it was before the update. Only slightly lower than before.
Prior to that, playing artillery was very much more talk than play. Now with the accelerated loading, increased accuracy, and the splash area it’s more likely that you can influence a battle, even with doing less direct damage.
Have you seen changes in the average amount of XP gained by players in SPGs?
This is monitored all the time. There are differences, but part of this stems from the fact that players need to learn to play artillery again under the new mechanics. Update 9.18 was only the beginning of the work. We’ll observe the data and make adjustments on the fly.
Another major novelty is the matchmaking system. Before the interview I read on the forum that some players were seeing battles of 13 v 13. How is that possible?
Things like that happened during the first days of the update. At the time a lot of players were trying the light tanks and artillery, do to the fact that these changed a lot. The game tried to create matches with ideal parameters. The best arrangement was the 3-5-7 arrangement, though the matchmaker also takes into account the vehicle types. Sometimes though, in order to get that ideal distribution you have to wait to long. In those situations the system will reduce expectations for the match. The very last option for the matchmaker is to reduce the total number of players. Those situations should not happen now.
Lets go back to the same system, in Random Battles the matchmaking doesn’t take into account the skill of players?
No, I definitely don’t want to introduce such an option now.
Will you see how Ranked Battles go to decide on the matter?
This is not the end of skill based matchmaking, or of ranks. Depending on your results you will be promoted to higher ranks or falling into lower ones. Then you hit matches with people of the same rank. Everyone will be in the new season starting from scratch. The first battle will determine who will go up and who will fall in rank.
I’ve asked this to WG employees before, but you understand I have to do it again. What about Polish tanks? Has anything changed?
As soon as I saw the Polish press interviews on the list, I knew that this question wouldn’t miss me. Our historians collect all the data and projects, and people from balance and gameplay are considering all of the options. I don’t have any specifics at the moment, but you should keep track of the news and wait.