WoT Dev Q&A Part 2

Continuation of the Q&A with Kayi4ek and Miloš Jeřábek (click here for Part 1):

What caused the changes to the Foch and FV215b (183) branches?
– Regarding Foch, it was a machine that is very difficult to balance. So we decided that it would be easier to make a brand new tank, leaving the old AMX 50 Foch (155) to the players.
Concerning the Deathstar, it is very simple. If you look at the branch, you will see that Tier 10 had nothing to do with the rest of the tanks of this tree.
Most of the changes are made precisely for these reasons. We want the gameplay to be similar at all tiers of a certain branch. One of the first modified branches Maus line. Many not very experienced players were confused when they moved from a “well-armored cushion” to a Tier 10T with a rear turret and really only well armored at the front, and then to a heavyweight tank with a turret in the middle.

Why aim, if RNG is just going to determine where the shell will fly?
– We believe that without a random number generator game, the game would not be at all fun. It’s not a linear thought (like the more randomness percentage the better) but without some potential for randomness, it would not be fun. If you look at the range of aiming, then you have an 80% chance to get to or near its center and only 20% will get you to the edge. You probability actually to get to the very edge of the circle 2-3% of the time.

Many fights end in 3 minutes with a result of 15: 0 and 15: 3. Are you going to do something about this?
– We are analyzing it now. It’s true that the number of 15 to nothing defeats grew by 5% in 9.18. We were a little afraid of this, but it was because people were not used to the new balancer. At the moment, the average duration of the battle is approximately at the level of 9.18, i.е. 4-5 minutes. We now think how it is possible to make fights longer, but there is as yet no solution. A skill balancer will not affect the duration of a fight.
Interestingly, this is due to the number of cardboard tanks and Auto-loaders. This was one of the reasons why we divided them into classes in the new balancer so that he would put the same number of tanks of each group in each team. Now we are watching how this affects the duration of the battles. It also depends heavily on their tier. High-tier battles generally last much longer, while at low levels end very quickly.

What about preferential balancing? 
– We know that this is one of the biggest problems of the current balancer. We realize that Tier 8 is very problematic, while Tier 9 works almost without problems. We would like to make balancing at all levels the way it is now for the Tier 9s. We will not touch the preferential tanks for the time being, but we will approach this topic in the next year, 2018. Despite this, we can say that, in addition to problems with 8 and some shortcomings with Tier 6, the balancer now works better than before 9.18 and many players are happy with it.

Why not have +1/-1 matchmaking?
– +2/-2 adds a lot of variability. In one battle you are in the top, in the other – at the bottom of the list. If you only have 3 tops in the team, they do not affect the outcome of the fight so much and your tanks can be fought with from below the list. This is much better than having 14 tops and 1 lower tier.
We are constantly working to improve the balance. We divided the medium and heavy tanks, we divided the tanks into groups, for example super heavies and auto loaders. The problem is that the more rules, the more difficult it becomes, and this can lead to very long queues for battles, or all battles being the same.

How much do you like forbidden mods/cheats?
– I do not like it at all, really. That should be clear, judging by the waves of bans. Some say, “Until I see the nicknames, I do not believe that you are really doing anything.”
Closing the client so that no one else can do the fashion will not help with this. A good example of this is GTA- they froze the client, and this was followed by a “Vine”, which they had to open the client just 3 days later. The community of modders is so big and strong, and they will not let us completely close the client. We will continue to fight against cheaters. How does it work? The player tries the forbidden mode, plays one fight with it, then the next day again, and then our spider network (cheat detector) catches and banishes it.
During the first wave of bans, 6 WG employees were banned – the rules are the same for everyone.

The community would accept a clean client, if there were no more cheats. 
“No, I would not.” Look at GTA. They did just that, and the community turned the life of Rockstar Games into hell for 3 days until they unblocked the client for mods.

What about XVM?
– Some of our guys want to remove the XVM completely, or show the status after the battle, but not during the game, and others think it’s not bad. We would like to compare this situation with arty. There are players who love XVM and would be upset if we took it away, and there are those who would celebrate the disabling of this functionality. And we believe that there is no solution, none of the answers are absolutely correct. We are constantly thinking about whether to do anything with statistics in battle, but so far there are no plans for this (there is no compromise in WG, for example, Kayi4ek wants to completely remove the XVM, Milos believes that this is not so bad).

Why do players who do nothing for the whole game (AFK) still get experience and credits?
– Believe it or not, here in Minsk (outside the WG office) the Internet is not very stable, and Milos was disconnected two games in a row when he was playing from home. But if this happens very often, our automatic system determines and punishes such a player.

Are there plans for new game modes for low tiers? Like a Grand Battle mode for low tiers?
-We are constantly working on new modes. We thinking about what to do strongholds to further improve this mode. We had a meeting with representatives of top clans from EU and RU regions on this occasion in Minsk. They greatly helped in creating the Halloween mode. We also tried Rank Battles, designed for only Tier 10. Do not forget that both the Grand and Ranked Battle modes are in the beta stage, and we are still working on them.

If I have a very good battle I can get 1-5 Bonds. At this pace, it will take me 2-3 years to gather enough equipment. 
– Bonuses are designed for TOP levels and the best players. We do not want this to be another XP or credit type reward, so you get a serious number of bonuses only when playing on TOP machines.

What about Team Battles? Will they eventually die?
Yes, they will eventually die. We are now concentrating on the Strongholds and Ranked Battles. We can also introduce new competitions, but we’re not working on Team Battles.

What can you say about the coming changes to Strongholds? 
-No one of us participates directly in the development of the Strongholds. But if you look at the guys who work on them, they work very hard every day, so I can say that something new will be released in the near future.

What will be the next step in the development of Ranked Battles, after the terrible changes in the second beta season?
– I can say that we are working on the first real season (so there will likely not be another beta season). “Horrible” changes actually went fairly well. We deliberately made the first season very easy, so that the players noticed that the second season is very difficult. We preferred to go into extremes, because if we moved with small steps, it would be very difficult for us to notice the effect of these changes.
We saw that the balancer worked well, arty too, there were problems with the map rotation, and there were complaints about the complexity, but we did it on purpose. Our next step is to make the first real season somewhere in the middle, in terms of complexity (not too easy and not too complicated).

In Halloween mode, there were bots (Leviathan and others were under AI control). Will we see a PvE mode in the game?
– AI is a big step forward and it opens up a whole new world of possibilities. WoT Console have done an excellent job with War Stories and we expect to introduce PvE mode into the PC version of the game, but nothing has been decided yet.

How about tanks for Mac OS systems?
– Work on this version is carried out by an external team. Unfortunately, the number of players on the Macs is very small and the priority is not high.

What language is WoT written in? 
– The game is developed in part in C ++, the servers use Python, and the interface uses Action Script 3.

What about the March of Nations?
– On the EU and RU the prizes were absolutely the same. At NA they decided to make a marathon, because the last time that the EU and RU had a marathon, in America there wasn’t. The awards were different, because the marathon and the March of Nations are completely different things. MN is based on skill. Each office decides what events to hold, in Minsk they do not decide about the “marathons” for the EU server.

Any plans to rebalance the Defender? 
– It’s not going to be nerfed, it will remain as it is now.

Will they sell it again? 
– No comments.

Will you sell tanks such as IS-5 or Chieftain/T95?
– Clan reward tanks will not be sold.

What will happen to tanks that were previously sold, but now no longer available?
– There are some tanks that were removed from the premium store and are now sold only on special occasions. Others will not be sold ever again. For example, Type 59 has never been sold since it was removed from the store. I can say that while I remain Director of Development of WoT, Type 59 will not be returned to the market.

Why does WG take away the boosting/climbable areas of the map? 
– Because the players asked. At first, we did not consider this a problem, but soon there was a mod showing a specific route by which you could climb to a certain position, and at that moment it became an unfair advantage, which had to be removed.

What will happen to the T-10? 
– This is a big surprise. There are many options for what to do with it and we are considering all of them.

Are there any plans to display hidden characteristics in the garage? Ground resistance, shot scatter etc.
– The reason that these parameters are not displayed is that even now the current stats are hell for beginners. We can’t have 50-60 different stats on display that most players don’t even understand. All these options are available, you can find them on external pages.

Liked it? Take a second to support jerryatrick53 on Patreon!