Victor Kislyi Interview

Good day everyone, brief interview with WarGaming CEO Victor Kislyi:

We know the number of possible tanks and tech tree branches isn’t unlimited, and they constitute most of the major updates to the game. What direction will the game go when the possibilities for tanks are exhausted?

  • Our researchers have already dug up material for Polish, Italian and Hungarian tanks. Even by modest estimates that is enough material for several years. After that we’ll see. I don’t really agree with the idea of tech branches being the only backbone of updates, we just launched Grand Battles, which is something I long dreamed of.

Do you plan to add modern tanks into the game?

  • We’re often asked about this. Huge walking robots, helicopters, modern tanks. With WarGaming we have 4,500 people working for us, a lot of them extremely creative, so we think of everything. From time to time these ideas go into concepts and prototypes, though we only release info on these outside of the company if we’re sure the idea will work. For example, not everything we first tried with Grand Battles worked out and went on into the final version. That’s the law of show business, hits aren’t easy.

Single player campaigns have appeared on consoles. Are there any plans to develop something like this for PC?

  • We’ll see how it goes. Initially World of Tanks is a PvP game, but not everybody likes PvP… You also can’t forget that the whole game industry was first built on PvE. If everything goes well we’ll look further into the idea.

World of Tanks just completed it’s first season of Ranked Battles, which was heavily criticised. Do you consider that criticism justified?

  • Ranked battles, or as some people say skill based matchmaking, is a subject long discussed in World of Tanks. It was a first attempt, and the statistics say that over 90% of our active players tried the mode. Yes, a number of defects were picked up, but this is normal for any large scale mode. We listened to the players and took their feedback into account for the second season. It will be much better than the first. If necessary, the third version will do, or as many as we need to reach an ideal option… If people write, or criticize, it means they’re interested. If nothing is criticized, it’s suspicious. Maybe they stopped playing? When I launch World of Tanks I’m immediately piled by messages. Most are thankful for the game, but sometimes they like to swear. Like “Oh, you’re a so-and-so”. I immediately screen these and send them to specially trained people. Let them see what players complain about.

Are you playing a lot now?

  • I play in tanks and ships. I platoon in Blitz with my son. Since the beginning of the closed beta I’ve been playing Total War: Arena. It could have been earlier but I’m still an addicted man. I want everything to be finalized, but in general I like games, since the early 80s.

It was recently revealed that Blitz will have tanks from Warhammer 40k.

  • Yes, that’s right, several tanks. Of course this doesn’t mean full scale alterations of the game. In Blitz there’s a kind of tradition that it’s audience accepts, that there will be more fantastic machines from time to time. By the way, I myself really like Games Workshop. Some time ago, my son and I went to Nottingham, where Robin Hood splits the arrow in half, and spent the entire day in the Games Workshop factory and shops. I have a lot of respect for the company.

Recently, Sega and Creative Assembly have become your partners. How did the cooperation for Total War: Arena start?

  • Even when we did Operation Bagration at different exhibitions I first pestered Creative Assembly first, then Sega about doing something for the Second World War. That didn’t really go anywhere, but I knew some people there. Now we have tanks all over the place, happily fighting each other in PvP, and now we come to Sega a little bit more solidly, and we agree that Total War with PvP is an interesting concept. They shook hands and we began work.

In December, you announced an action MMO called “Caliber”, but since then we’ve heard nothing. How much longer is the wait?

  • The answer to that one is simple: work. Games need a lot of work over a long time. This is a somewhat new genre for us, and it’s a team effort. As soon as we have something to show, we’ll show it.

What do you think is the future of the WG Labs project, which so far has only released one really noticeable game, Master of Orion?

  • WG Labs isn’t a separate company. We must understand that we put the WarGaming stamp on solid, long-term projects. WG Labs is a search, with the task of going out and being friends with everybody, knowing where everything is going, going to all of the exhibitions, and from time to time coming across interesting projects. In this case hundreds of games are shoveled. Understand that hits do not appear every year.
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Victor Kislyi Interview

33 thoughts on “Victor Kislyi Interview

  1. Pt76 says:

    Victor, Sir – grand battles are a flop, sorry. They are boring, long and give people headaches with miserable rewards.
    “Ranked battles are much better now” – for Wargaming maybe. MM bends you over again and again and after 5-8 loses in a row your only achievement is that you didn’t lose a stinky chevron. The only pleasure I have is to see Bulba, G and Mahou to be thrown into the miserable teams so the scream in horror

      1. DickherMax says:

        Grand Battles with 500m render range. I could see a tank on such map with half-closed eyes on further distance. This mode is pointless without increased viewrange and more tactical points on the map. It feels like a normal map, just bigger. Still 3 so called “Mordors”, winning one usually means winning the whole map.
        Grand Battles made me realize why WG maps are often so claustrophobic, it’s due to their engine and viewrange. Only such maps can hide such limitations to some extent.

      2. DickherMax says:

        I liked the beta test of this 3km x 3km map though. It was some smart thinking there, one big map, but split in a way so it felt kinda like seperated, but with possibility to do some big scale tactics. They used their engine limitations under consideration there and developed interesting idea thanks to that.

      3. Anonymous says:

        If grand battles were same tier mm for ALL TEN TIERS (1s would face only 1s so on and so on) there would be more of them. Imagine a tier three grand battle with pz 1 c and bt-7 racing around the map.

    1. Anyone says:

      I wish i knew. There are so few people that play on SEA that to date I have not had a single Grand Battle. At only 10% of tier 10 games its almost pointless for it to be part of the game. If I want to play one, I have to use the Test server and we all know how that goes. :/

    2. Dreadnought1906 says:

      Like hell it’s a flop. Finally we have standard battles on larger maps, big enough that view range, intuition, and selecting the best area/route that suits your tank’s abilities (especially late in the match) become critical. The small maps are just too limited.

      I’m really looking forward to additional GB maps being added.

  2. ThePegasus1979 says:

    Grand Battles and Ranked are an even larger fail than the modes which could earn you the T-22 sr. All larger Youtubers from the Region that pays WG (=EU) and top WGL players eg MaiIand have deactivated both. The moded are dull, stupid and especially Ranked not even close to be skill based. Yeah on RU pure prem spam is daily business…but that lack of real skill explains very well why that region is so poor, underdeveloped and 50 years behind.

    1. SCARed says:

      well, Grand Battles are fun to mee. but ranked has IMHO two main problems:
      1) spam of prem ammo. WG should at least try one season where prem ammo is NOT allowed in ranked. yes, this would mean a totally different meta, but this could be very interesting. though some of the balance-problems of tier 10s would be very obvious, but that would be positive side effect in my book.
      2) way to short seasons. one season being only one week? this is just for people playing a lot and having a lot of time. with longer seasons, the idea of skill-MM (to some extent …) would divide the players just way better, pitting tomatoes against tomatoes and unicums against unicums. as it is now, both are thrown into the very same pool for some days and only before the end of the week they are divided somehow.

    2. IHatePotatoes says:

      @ThePegasus1979, “Ranked not even close to be skill based”. Of course it’s skill based you complete and utter clown. That’s why the best players are at the top of the Leagues and potatoes like you can’t even get placed on the Leaderboard. It’s not Wargaming’s fault that you’re a shitlord…

    3. Pierasso says:

      I suspect you didnt even try ranked on your own since you cant “deactivate” it. So instead of building your opinion on base of youtubers and streamers that make a living off wot and have to please their audiences that mostly contains people that are below average and wouldnt stand a chance in grand battles or ranked go and give it a try on your own. Furthermore to base the economics of a region based on a game that youre bad at apparently, is a really, really stupid comment.

  3. Nexu9877 says:


    -Grand Battles are a failure,Victor incase you failed to notice. Apparently, you are only dreaming as you said.

    -It’s glaringly apparent you are not playing the PC version of your game.

    -Are you going to finally fix the Match Maker between now and the next patch, before everyone abandons the game? And are you going to fix tier 8 ?

    -NA server population is still decreasing even after you have merged it into one server now. It’s still shrinking.

    You are just not in contact with the people on the NA, not the players that pay you money.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Useless Q&A.
    NA server population too small, many game modes are not working because of this. Any plans for fixing it?
    More premium tanks on the pipeline? Players are tired of these better than tech tree premiums. Any plans for fishing it?

    1. Pierasso says:

      more people are aware of that they exist. But tbh ranked battles are really toxic and unplayable on the first 2-3 ranks. If you manage to go higher its still toxic but at least people know how to play.

  5. Fix says:

    If you have crashes with WoT 9.20 update, try disable either of these (if you have)

    Faulty components:

    NahimicMSIOSD.dll (Nahimic)
    SS2OSD.dll (Sonic Studio 2)

  6. RAD FROOD 25 (Console) says:

    You think that ranked battle’s are crap on PC they are a complete and utter joke on console, people just fire Premium rounds

  7. Ulysses says:

    I actually really like Victor Kislyi, he seems like a friendly down to earth guy who enjoys spending time with his son and playing video games. Im down with that.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Good father, horrible CEO. He is only good for aploafter something really bad has happened.
      What about listen to the players and fix problems before they become really bad?

  8. Limoncello says:

    I dont understand WG. Like a normal company, they should try to fix the main problems first and not just the small things arround. Ranked battles arent the main problem. Or new gamemodes. In my eyes, what I have been experienced from myself and from allot of other players, that gold ammo, matchmaking, RNG and stuff like overpowered tanks are the MAIN problem. And these are not just small things. These thing are making the game or destroy the game. So really, wg should try to fix these things and then try to add new gamemodes.

    1. You hit the nail on the head, the big issue is that WG seems to be in it for the quick buck these days.
      Right now they have a community they can milk, if its gone in a few years, they made enough to survive. While if you look at a game like warframe the developers make you want to spend money, the game is a lot of fun and doesnt really require any money to be spent. (Except tennogen stuff, but that has to do with law stuff and how they pay the creators)
      It means the game has to be great/fun. WOT almost forces you to spend money AND sells to powerfull tanks AND makes premium ammo mandatory. I think the armour on the maus and type 5 are not the issue though. They should be really tough from the front, but the maps are the issue on most maps its pretty much impossible to flank without getting obliterated the moment you get spotted. Like I would say make the current maps for tier 2-6 and create new ones with decent flanking possibilites for tier 6+ by that time the player should have the skill to play the game somewhat. Cause thats what I feel WG is kinda doing catering to the bad players to give them a decent game, and you know a lot of bad players are more willing to spend more mone, cause they either dont have the time or dedication to get really good at the game.

      I would say they need to do a tier by tier rebalance, and dont look at player stats too much, ofcourse a tank like the skorp G is played by a lot of bad players, doesnt mean the tank is balanced…
      Also stop their we are not nerfing premiums, just do it, introduce most/all into the tech tree and have a permanent trade-in event. If people dont like their prem getting nerfed they can trade it in.


      I always feel like posting a much expanded version of this on the forums, but I dont think that would be any use at all, as WG barely seems to listen to us.

  9. Then I want to criticise Ranked. It’s a huge piece of shit, ruled by MM, wether you get into the winning or not.

    The XP calculation is a complete garbage, which is not a problem in random, cas why would I care who gets more XP where it doesn’t matter. But in a game mode where it matters, it’s total bullshit that TDs snipe from 300+ meters and they get less XP for doing so. It is their task for Christ’s sake. Real example: 4k dmg Object 263, got less XP than a Leopard 1 for 700 dmg and 700 assist. All because I was a TD sniping from the distance. I might be naive, but I think sniping is the TD’s job. Interestingly, SPGs are not punished like that. Other example. Maus Prokhorovka, I push 1-2 line or the team camps and gives up map control. I made 2k dmg, 4k blocked and 2k spotted. We won. I was not in the top 10. Well done. With out my move, we would have lost, but in the eye of the system, I am not worthy of getting a chevron.

    This game mode is the worst game mode ever existed in this game. In the first season I made it into League 1, but now I am not willing to waste my time and patience on this dice rolling game mode, where players are still stupid and camping for nothing, XP calculation is unfair, and the rewards are laughable. Complete joke.

  10. smelly appenzeller cheese says:

    Our researchers have already dug up material for Polish, Italian and Hungarian tanks.

    fuck all those (soviet)clones; give us the swiss branche!!!!

  11. Gb for the most part hasn’t really done well because its not really a grand battle on a grand map … its mines for tier 10’s. Artillery can easily hit the whole map, anyone in the center is spotted and subject to fire from the edges on either side and the battle degrades down to the same basic mechanics we see in a classic mines match.

    30v30 on a 1.4k map [which most maps are 1k] isn’t spread out enough to make the match feel epic or grand at all. Now if the map was 3k then yes it might feel a bit more grand, artillery would have to move and sniping td’s wouldn’t be able to remain static either. it would also have allowed for pockets of tanks to fight out side the support range of these two classes … but that’s never been what WG wants. They want tight close in brawl fests with little or no tactics.

    And so Grand seems very boring to most players. Ranked is more less a bust because of the community more than anything else, mm and mechanics contribute to issue with the mode. People clamor for skill based mm, but in reality skill and playing to win are two very different things. People currently play the mode to farm chevrons, not win necessarily – which means there not as concerned with playing skillfully.

    Any how’s most of these modes are just WG Carrots to encourage grinding [spending] to tier 10. Its a short term marketing idea and for the most part its working, player remorse occurs after the grind so WG see’s no lose by doing this.

  12. GlennA says:

    I just don’t see how they can justify Grand Battles or Ranked Battles as “successes” when the mm parameters effectively made that mode DoA and ranked battles the amount of people playing that dropped off significantly so not that many people play it compared to the beta.

    Yet again WG wasting more of its resources on new game modes that realistically won’t work.

    1. Money generated off premium time / xp conversions and grind times [premium shells etc] to get to tier 10 to play these modes for players who don’t have tier 10’s already. Which is the demographic they want, they want people to push hard to the top tier because it usually involves some sort of monetary expense [premium time / premium tank / boosters / etc …]

  13. Anonymous says:

    Can someone ask the wg developers to go back to 9.14 mm? Don’t argue that it isn’t possible due the light tanks.. either downgrade Them on tier 8 or just leave the light tier mm
    How it is now but please give us back the old
    Mm.. there was so much more variety.. games that didn’t end After 4 min 15-3.. it’s Happening now every 2nd game and all you guys do is buffing one end turrrt After another.. Im a Long
    Time player but I see the bad direction you taking for the game!

  14. Jabster says:

    Mm pre 8.6 would be better, thats when they introduced “player balance” + mm created losses, where “randomly” enemy gets every better player +u get 3-10% less wr per player.

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