Transcript: Victor Kislyi Meets World of Tanks Players

*Edit* Added Photos, provided by WGNA.


As you may know recently Victor K. visited the NA office, I made a transcript of the footage available for you:

10.0, we cancelled it, is gone, what was all that about?
Well, now matter how good the game was 6 years ago, recently because, you know, having more than 150 million players in the game, we have 400 tanks now as compared to approximately 100 back in the days, 40+ maps, E-sports, Clan Wars… some people who are playing the game for 6 years kinda of evolved as WoT players too. So for the last let’s say, a year or a year and half, we were still very kinda immersed into thinking about new stuff which we can add to the game and kinda forgot a little bit about the old good game, those things which made players happy in the beginning and because of the balance issues and much more complex mathematical model behind it and now we have servers all around the world, is not just you know like Russia, Europe and America, we have players in South-east Asia, in Japan, in Korea, in China, in South America, so all resulted in the fact that the game probably needed more attention on its core and our players were more and more vocal about that and we did a mistake of not listen good/well enough for that and we were in the middle of preparing this next, big Rubicon 10.0 kinda of patch and we were a little “deaf” towards what players were crying on the forums and in the video blogs but then we realized “Okay, something is really wrong”, we jumped on it, we just brought the best people including those 2 guys who invented the game and made it successful in the first couple of years and analysed everything so data, met with the players, met with the videobloggers and “omg” the picture was not so good. We had 2 choices, keep going pretending like nothing is happening or be honest and and transparent about the fact that we were kinda screwing up, we chose the the latter. We admitted, I stood in front of camera and said sorry we screwed up, we have to cancel, can, postpone, like, we are not going to release this Rubicon thing, instead, we are going to roll back and see what’s wrong with the game and fix it in the first place, that’s what happened.

We immediately did a lot of significant changes to the leadership of the tank development team, some people had to go, some good new people came in and 9.14 actually was a good example of our turning of this big huge ship towards what players really want and we are going from now on,we are going to be this, from now the player feedback is going to be the total part of our strategy. And yes, we were saying this before, every company says like you know “we will listen to our players” but it takes special procedures, special attention, time, people (like what we are doing now) to actually be listening to the players and then following up and just actually do what they are asking.


Guy with narrator voice and cheesy ass music in the background: “All together we managed to release updated 9.14 which was greatly appreciated by players and this is just the beginning. To make players happy, the company will continue to search for top professionals across the globe. Victor told us about the staff changes that will improve the game and help avoid similar mistakes in the future. First of all, Slava Makarov and Serb will be working in the game again, they help shape the game at the very beginning and created a great game that everyone liked.
Secondly, western professionals have joined the team, Thaine Lyman from the USA who previously worked on CoD and Destiny now heads WoT development. Neil Pettit a former British submariner and a experienced manager is at the helm of the Minsk studio.

The New Physics in 9.14 appear to be very well received and everyone seems to really like them and in particularly here in the NA when we did the update, the amount of people with their headphones on, then started making noises because of all the new sounds had happened, were wonderful.
Well obviously what happened in the 9.14 is just the beginning, we have tons of things planned for 9.15, 16, 17, etc and this list (of planned things) this time is comprised from the players desires and from those request from forums, from meetings like these, our community Managers work, you know, asking what they (players) want. So there’s is not going to be something ground breaking in 9.15 and I will tell you why, ok, the things that are going to be there for sure is we will buff something like 10 old premium tanks, is just so happen that those Premium tanks are not good/comfortable to play and the players cry out loud that “Come on, you are selling this and this and is not up to…”
-Bennet: I saw the list, I agree. I think all the tanks we picked and we are going to buff, they are all good, they are all the right tanks to pick.


Guy with narrator voice and cringe music in the background: Besides this, Rampage mode will be gone for good in the next update. However, some of the modes mechanics can reappear in the game in the future.

Victor K: The biggest thing we have to do before we think about anything else big is the rebalance and its gonna be a huge project, Its actually undergoing now. So let me please explain you how we will do, obviously now we have 400 tanks, more than 40 maps, players who play for 6 years, etc and the methodology we were using for balance, for matchmaking, for premium tanks kinda was a little bit outdated from 2011 or 12 when we launched the game.

Guy with radio voice and cringe music in the background: Victor stressed that the full scale rebalancing will help take the game to the next level. It is essential to diversify the game and ensure that gameplay is different and unique for each vehicle type and nation.

Victor K: The whole rebalance needs to be done, tanks, nations, classes, the usage you know, shooting distances, speeds, traverse, etc. Of course the New Physics will play role in that because it changed the gameplay by definition. We were under the misconception before, ok, if players don’t like matchmaking, we just fix matchmaking, ok, they don’t like this or that map, let’s take them out, etc. So, that’s why for our friends at balance we will take some extra time to make sure to analyse everything and to suit everything and make those changes, you know, nicely so they don’t break the whole system.


Questions mostly from people I don’t recognize:

I hate arty, all my friends like AkulaV, they arty arty too. Is there anything you can do to fix it?
*sigh* I can hear you…like yeah, everybody hates artillery apart from, artillery players but like in this biological ecosystem there is no way we just cut it out and everything is good. Arty is a class in WoT, it has its purpose, is it overpowered today? Too easy, too sneaky? Yes, but we’re going to balance, rebalance it, nerf it or up it, whatever is required as a part of this overhaul rebalancing with attention to maps (changes in maps), other classes, shooting distances, matchmaker, etc.

What are your thoughts in the current map on the current map pool and map design and what changes can we expect in the future?
Maps also are part of this ecosystem and this is probably the most tricky part, you understand, map is a couple of scare miles, a battle lasts for 15 minutes, 30 guys and girls, ok, mostly guys, are trying to destroy each other in various types of tanks in those maps.

What can be done to fix the matchmaker and balances regarding tiers and tank types?
You know, I am a physicist myself so I know something about maths, statistics, physics and it is being worked as a part of this overhaul rebalance and again, matchmaker is a part of this system. We tried but there is no such as easy solution as +- 1 level or just platoon of one tier allowed, this are kinda of good ideas but we need to see how they work to an extent in conjugation with rebalance of tank classes.

What can be done to reduce griefing in random battles?
The other aspect of it is, we understand that people use now more often bad language because they are frustrated more often and is the whole thing of this rebalance and bringing back the game you love.


What you feel of having a positive feedback system in place besides just the negative options right now?
You know, you are absolutely right, that’s a very good question and the answer will be very short, we should absolutely do this, like “click, chose players name, say thank you, send kudos”. We are kinda trying to address this with your dynamic platoons, you can click on the player of your team, invite him to platoon and then you can tell him whatever you want good or bad things, right, but the extremely line, facebook style, thumbs up/kudos is an easy solution, I will put this on the list, we will make it.

Bennet: If we only recording this and we could hold you… oh wait we are… That’s a great example of listening to the players, that’s it, we can do that, we gonna do that. He said so.


When we look ahead, to the next year for tanks, I am super excited about the rebalancing, the fact that we are doing rooting branch, everything ecosystemically balanced, you know, I cant wait to turn up knowing what’s next year, I am really really Jazzed (RG: or jizzed? will go with Jazzed…) about it but if there was a message to the you wanted to get people people to take away from your time here with the players and people watching on the video, what would be the message about WG that you want them to hear?
Well, of course I’m so happy to be where I am and I’m so happy for Wargaming for where it is, ok, we had ups and downs, we had all this problems, you know, Rubicon and that’s why we are talking and some players are very unhappy but philosophically like in general, I’m so happy to be in a gaming company which is making games which I love, strategy games, combat games, tactical games, team-play games, I’m so happy to be playing this games, to make good business out of it.


Guy with radio voice and cheesy ass music in the background: Viktor said, that we finally realized our crucial mistake, we weren’t listening to players. Now players are viewed not just as buyers but as part of the game and as important as vehicles, maps and physics, all employees now have the same motivation.

Viktor K: And this simple very true phrase is just 2 words, “Happy Player”, and at Wargaming if you look at us very philosophically, what we do, we are little magicians who are putting together in the right balance this challenge and happiness for you. Whatever hypothesis you have, you have to test making sure that players like it, making sure that is making players happier and then roll it out, so, from now on “Happy Player” is our main phrase.


And a extra bushy man for you:


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