Recently, the Community Contributors, Circon and Mailand were invited by Wargaming to discuss game development with the Devs, this meeting was confirmed on social media by a photo, which I first saw it surfacing on Twitter and since seems like it was since taken down but it’s still possible to view on Mailand’s Facebook page:
Translation from German by “Shade1982”:
“So, why was I in Paris yesterday? Together with Circon, I had the opportunity to talk to four of the main developers for WoT from Minsk. And it’s been quite a day! These are the people with ideas, work with them and eventually make decisions. We talked about virtually every aspect of the game. We saw opportunities, challenges and limitations. All in all, it was all very open to talk about the complex WoT-system and all its intricate details, and as a whole. Based on that, I am planning to do a video series in which I will start to discuss several different specific subjects about the game. The goal is to show and explain to people the game mechanics, connections and possibilities/engine limits. Even though I can’t share all the details with you yet, it has to stay interesting for you after all. Stay posted! And to conclude, a big thanks to these gentlemen for taking the time, and thanks to WG for making all this possible. In the picture, from left to right:
- Ph3lan (EU Community Operations Lead)
- Me Andrey Biletsky (WoT Creative Director)
- Georgiy (Lead Game Designer)
- Igor (Lead System Designer)
- Alexey Ilyin (Product Manager) Circon”
Now, the reason why no one is speaking about it?
Well, all of the remaining Community Contributors have not been informed that this meeting was going to take place beforehand, despite everyone’s understanding that not everyone can be invited, but not only that;
Wargaming has also put the whole meeting behind an NDA wall barring every Community Contributor from being at the same level of information about the game which is a new precedent and especially given the current poor state of affairs.
Some Community Contributors, myself included have already shown their displeasure about the situation being behind closed doors, but the current powers in control of the CC program (and Development is also to blame for this) are simply not open for discussions with us and believe that they are not doing anything wrong, this has been their ongoing attitude for over a year now.
I asked a couple WoT communities (not just mine on my discord) whether anyone had heard anything from other CCs talking about this subject and it has been a unanimous “No”. Even the CCs who have been verbal about this privately are not talking, I can only say that I am not very surprised that no one is speaking.
Between the CCs I spoke to, there is general discontent about how the program is being run for at least the past 2 years, some people have given up on caring and are branching slowly away from WoT, others are just afraid to be kicked out of the program if they express their concerns publicly (This was never a problem before).
I personally already been very subtly invited to invite myself out of the program, based off some incredibly poor and fabricated excuses, it was all settled amicably under the basis of “its a misunderstanding” and “It’s how this person speaks”, but the person who did it could not even come forward with an apology about the way he handled the situation. Also, I am very happy to report that the same employee seems to no longer have a problem finding his way towards PMing me with requested material/codes, a problem only I, very tragically, seemed to have as I browsed around with other CC peers about it and even after contacting Ph3lan about the issue which had turned into futile attempts. Now ain’t that nice, one positive outcome. 🙂
I also have been told in confidence by other CCs whose names I’m keeping private, that they have been politely warned they may receive fewer opportunities if they participate in any sort of “rant”, a bit troublesome when most of the constructive feedback is seen as a “rant” these days.
(The cherry on top of cake personally was when a member of staff called me emotional for saying that WoT was greedy for selling the E-25 after they promised they would never again for obvious reasons. I must admit that one gave me a sensible chuckle as I spoke in no different tone from anyone else.)
CC Management says that every CC is equal more but more than ever some are now more equal than others and I would sincerely urge other CCs to start being more vocal about the way things are turning.
And to the readers, I am sorry if you wanted a Q&A or any update. There is none. You can forget a Q&A from Tankfest as well, they ended those too and pretty much blamed us, even when most came from abroad, making the effort to travel early to attend the meetings. They blamed us for not making it constructive when it was one of the WoT staff members giving the answers that kept deflecting questions and brushing things with bad jokes.
Same for those monthly/patch Q&As, they stopped that too saying that no one gave feedback which is very much untrue, as I had very explicitly told them why fewer and fewer people were attending them.
To simply: Q&As failed because World of Tanks’s CC Management/Devs got this genius idea of putting Q&As under NDA, they expected us to attend Q&As where most answers -to your questions, mind- were not allowed to be brought back to the community which defeats the whole purpose of holding such meetings in the first place.
I have been a World of Tanks Community Contributor for over 6 years. That’s 1/3 of the life of the teenagers reading this. I have seen good and bad WoT staff come and go, good and bad decisions happening, I have had some extreme disagreements with some staff but I got to also create many friendships. I have pretty much have seen it all, with one exception… I have never before seen CCs being treated this way. I have never seen people more disconnected or/and afraid to speak their opinion.
To end, despite my low morale after having been pretty much beaten down by some members of staff/decisions, I still absolutely love World of Tanks and I want to remain a Community Contributor, produce more content, give life to some tank projects I got on my mind, etc. However, I am aware of the risk I am taking by writing this article for you but it’s because of how much appreciation I have for the game and community that I am stepping up and doing this. During these couple of years that I have run RSR, the one thing I soon realised is that most of the time matters only improve when we speak publicly about them, and given that no advice/feedback is being taken internally, it’s necessary and about time to be open about this. And for those that may think it will only affect the few of us Community Contributors, each of us comes with their own community… There is a Domino Effect.
And just before I shut down the shop for the night after this more personal toned article, one more thing:
I would like to give some knowledge to some of the members (active and previous) of WoT staff who have positively impacted the community like Vuque, DellRoh, “My Numero” Juan, Pigeon of War, MeatHeadMilitia, Ectar (despite our arguments somewhat I dearly miss), Ash, Crysantos, Mrconway, Lumberjack, etc, etc.
I can’t possibly name everyone obviously but I am pretty sure you could enlarge the list. We surely need more people like them and we should give some appreciation to the ones that are still around.
Thank you for your time;