WoWS Q&A – 19th March 2016

Seb is back in business.
Thanks to Carnotzet.
Hi there fellow captains. It’s been quite a long time since we had some juicy news from over the iron curtain, but the wait is finally over. Developers have heard our voices (/s) and decided to bless us with their insight once again.
So, let’s start with our very well known Q&A.
Q. 1. Does the torpedo aim assist (gray indicator) take into account the Torpedo Acceleration skill (when learnt)?
A.Yes, it does.
2. Would it be possible to allow for more customization regarding what elements we want to see on the interface, for instance, I find player names (above ships) useless whereas HP’s and ship names are much more important.
A. It isn’t possible at the moment, but we plan to add marker customization.
Q. Please explain why Clemson’s 100mm HE shells are doing 1500 damage while Soviet DD’s 130mm shells, 1600 damage….why not 1800? (it would match the 30% increase in caliber).
A. Because of game constraints. If their HE damage was 1800, they would be overpowered. Let’s not forget that, unlike US DD’s, Soviet DD’s have good ballistics.
Q. I watched the Japanese movie Yamato (2005) and it shows the battleship using her main guns to shoot at aircrafts (with special AA shells). Thus, here is my question: do you plan to allow main guns to fire at aircrafts? Players would have to aim and fire at aircrafts manually. It would allow players to really take part in and improve their AA defense.
A. Historically, BB’s AA shells were practically useless. Regarding Yamato, take a look here.

“Common Type 3 Sankaidan Anti-Aircraft Shell. The concept behind these shells was that the ship would put up a barrage pattern through which an attacking aircraft would have to fly.  However, these shells were considered by US Navy pilots to be more of a visual spectacular than an effective AA weapon”.
So, it was more about putting on a show (and disturbing the attack) than inflicting real damage.
Moreover, main guns that could historically fire on air targets efficiently – a lot of CA/CL and DD’s guns – can also do it in the game. Regarding manually aiming and firing on planes, we don’t want that mechanic in the game and it’s unlikely it will be added. It’s simply not interesting for the players; the game remains about ship battles.
Q. It has been reported several times that Ishizuchi’s rudder and turrets get incapacitated by HE shells. Those modules shouldn’t be incapacitated by HE damage. After all, turrets (and ammo magazines) were the most protected parts of a battleship. Is this a bug in the modelling?
A. It’s not a bug. However, we plan to fix the protection on this ship so situations like the ones you described will not repeat.
Q. The game models two types of shells: HE and AP. When googling these two shells, we can see that HE have a lot more explosive than AP. Now, in the game, it’s possible to citadel certain ships with HE shells (for instance CV’s). So why are HE shells doing less damage (when hitting citadels) than AP while having a bigger explosive charge?
A. AP damage is higher because it’s assumed that AP shells, when penetrating the citadel, explode deep inside the “compartment”. On the other side, when HE shells penetrate very thin armour, they detonate on the edge of the “compartment”. This is the reasoning behind the maximum damage values of each type of shells. And it also makes sense balance wise.
Q. I have a question regarding “Captured a base” and “Assisted in capture” ribbons.
We all know that if I capture a base alone, I receive the “Captured a base” ribbon. But what happens when 2 or 3 ships capture a base? Do all of them receive “Assisted in Capture” or does one of them receive “Captured a base”?
And what about when a 4th ship enters the point circle?  Does he receive any points? IIRC, only three ships can effectively capture a base.
One last question: do both ribbons give the same amount of points (xp/cred)?
A. If a player earns 80% of the capture points needed to capture a base (without leaving the base nor receiving damage), he receives a “Captured a base” ribbon. If less than 80%, he receives a “Assisted in capture” ribbon.
Moreover, if a 4th (5th, 6th, etc) enters the cap, he also receives points. Only the capture speed doesn’t increase after the third ship.
Regarding economics (xp/cred), ribbons aren’t taken into account, only the percentage a player added to the capture point.
Q. How are dual purpose guns handled in terms of their AA role? When firing at ships, do their damage decrease against planes?
A. Dual purpose guns fulfill their AA role only in the abstract. AA fire is separated from artillery fire (main and secondary guns). So even when you’re firing at ships with your dual purpose guns, they can still fire at planes at full efficiency.
Q. Players who spend money on the game and are willing to spend more, those who buy your products…don’t you have any plans for them such as giving them discounts, bonuses or allowing them to get new ships (or other things) first?
A. We have some plans (for instance, by proposing personal offers, a mechanic which is being tested at the moment).
Q. How do torpedo hits work? Can there be duds, or ricochets? Or do they all explode on impact? They sometimes seem to hit at steep angles, while having the detonator on the nose. Only torpedoes equipped with a magnetic detonator would explode at those angles. Are all the torpedoes in the game magnetic?
A. All torpedoes explodes on impact. This is not an attempt to depict magnetic torpedoes but it was done to make the game less complex.
Several interesting discussions were held on the RU forums.
Here are some of the most interesting answers from the devs. 
Speaking about the possibility of adding ships to be purchased in game via doubloons, Jluca explains that “we always have said we don’t want and don’t plan to sell ships in game [for sales limited in time]. In order to do that, we would need to lay off some development and add a client update when the sale begins and add another one when it ends. It would mean that for every sale, you’d need to update your client and wait for maintenance”.
Another topic where a player compares WoWs to WoWp and thinks the game is in decline (population wise).
To this, mal_h (general manager) explains that:
“1. there are 130’000 concurrent players (all regions included).
2. The population decrease WoWs has suffered is due to players going back to WoT. For the first time in a long time, we released a successful update (9.14). So the number of players passing from one game to another is quite significant. It already happened a couple of times before. After some time, players start to come back to WoWs.
3. WoWs yields about twice the profit of all of the games available on
4. Globally, the number of concurrent players is rising.
5. In April, WoWs Russian playerbase will stabilise.”
“The production cycle of a tank, from the beginning of the development to the release is about a year. For ships, it’s about half a year. Because of that, it’s nearly impossible to  react quickly to what is happening at a specific moment. When it comes to cycle of an update, the amount of interconnected data that needs to be modified and tested is enormous. During those six months, there’s a lot of stress put on some key people, who barely see their family and spend their nights working. I’m not complaining, just explaining how it works. By virtue of its complexity and internal design, a MMO game is about as complex as a space shuttle. Because of that, when I read on the forums about proposals on how to fix everything easily, I cannot help myself but smile. A lot of players have taken part in the game development with different responsibilities. And all of them were staggered when they started to understand how complex a MMO game is. What is our governing principle when making decisions? It’s you, the players. We listen, analyse, test – and according to that, we develop the game.”
About the people working for WG : “The former Head of Blizzard Europe is our Publishing Director, Frederic. Our US department is lead by Jay, who is from DICE and created Ubisoft America, Thain helps with tanks at the moment, he was the head of the FPS department at Activision, head of human resources at Riot games, he formed the team working on League of Legends. And so on. Viktor Kisly works hard so that WG is a respectable and competent firm.”
“The problem with balancing elements of the game is that no amount of testing by testers, supertesters or during public testing will give us a good representation of what will happen when it’s eventually released to all players. Often, all of our predictions are swept away by public statistics”.
About matchmaking, PPK explains: “At the moment, our algorithm works as follows: If a players is bottom tier with a given ship 4 times in a row, the next battle, he’s assured to be top tier. The counter is calculated for each ship, in addition to a general counter for the account. I have recently done some statistics regarding matchmaking, it seems the chance for getting into +0, +1, +2 battles is 40%, 30%, 30% respectively.”
“Counters don’t work on T10 ships since they’re always top tier.
Ideal balance: fully mirrored teams.
Ideal gameplay: diverse, unpredictable, with prodigious victories (winning against all odds, with less ships) and humiliating defeats. Those two points contradict each other.
The ideal matchmaker puts a player into battle as soon as he click “To Battle”.
The ideal matchmaker carefully chooses for each player the ideal team composition and opposing team composition.
Here again, these two points contradict each other.
> not rigidly tied to other elements of the system.
However, this is unfortunately not the case. Formerly, the matchmaker could create teams equal in strength but not in number of players in each teams, and it created interesting gameplay.
Then, the notion of “Superiority” was introduced in the game and the number of players in each team became a very important factor. It was necessary to have the same number of players on each team.
It’s similar to the problem with DD’s.
Of course, we could easily put a filter in the game that says “no more than 3 DD’s on each team” and adapt everything else to that rule. But I would be happier if the players themselves would step on DD’s toes, with beefed-up cruisers. It’d make me much happier.”
mal_h on DD’s overrepresentation : “The option of limiting the number of DD’s in a battle is quick and simple. However it could have a snowball effect on the DD’s that are not chosen by the matchmaker. Let’s say 10 DD’s enter the queue, 6 of them are chosen in a battle, 4 remain in the queue. 10 more DD’s enter the queue, the matchmaker let only 6 of them enter a battle. Now, 8 are still waiting in the queue. So in the end, after a critical amount of time (if all of them have the patience to stay in the queue), will the matchmaker throw them all at once in a battle (pure DD battle)? Or will it throw them back to the port?”