Translated by Carnotzet.
[Disclaimer: please be reminded that the following information comes from the Russian-speaking community and thus certain information may not apply to other clusters.]
On Saturday Vallter_ was asked what problems he thought the game has. The following thoughts are his own only and may differ from his colleagues’. They also do not define the priorities the team is working on, even though his opinion is taken into account when defining those priorities.
The problems cited below are not listed in any particular order and were written as Vallter_ recalled them.
They were a lot of complaints about the poor matchmaker. Especially at higher tiers. There were dozens of such complaints on the forums. In patch 0.5.8, we finished rewriting the matchmaker from scratch, which helped solve some of the issues associated with it, namely:
- top ships and pre-top BB’s not being mirrored;
- classes being somewhat unbalanced between teams (6 DD’s in one team against 2 in the other).
In patch 0.5.9, we solved the nation balance problem and the balance of top CV’s (unfortunately, we only solved it partially and will soon fix it). We also reduced the MM spread of low-tier ships, which is now set to +1.
What will still be done in the near future:
- we will think about further improving balance between nations and limiting the differences in classes between both teams;
- we will solve the problem regarding fail divisions.
Many players ask for a ±1, but under the strict rules of the current matchmaker and the content currently available, we would see rather monotonous battles taking place. We will thus postpone this, but I am aware of the complaints regarding this matter and will keep them in mind.
Ranked battles are a complex gamemode. It is the source of a lot of emotions, however not always positive. Especially after a series of defeats. Especially if you worked your fingers to the bones. That is why we try to improve ranked battles each season. What we have done:
- removed a star loss for the best player on the losing team;
- shifted the battles to one tier lower, so during ranked seasons it is easier to unlock new ships;
- changed the rewards and added new ones;
- changed irrevocable ranks so that players are not stuck in a league which is too hard for their “skill”.
We also made many less important changes.
What still needs to be done? Opinions differ about this. We analyse the feedback we receive, there are a lot of ideas. When we will be ready to present at least a near final list of improvements, we will show it to you so you can discuss it. At the minimum, we need to implement the new matchmaker into ranked battles, so battles are more balanced in terms of classes and tiers. We also need to think about different ways to inform players earlier, especially concerning the changes in tiers in each season.
Use of prohibited mods
Many players complain about this. And it it understandable: losing because of “skill” is alright since it is always a reason to try to get better. However, losing because the opponent has an advantage that is not part of the game gives a negative feeling. Moreover, the most annoying thing about this is that skilled players are often wrongfully accused of being cheaters. After all, it is known that there are not many users of prohibited mods.
What is being done? We banned certain mods and then immediately started to punish the players who used them. First we did it publicly, and then we stopped announcing the players we punished so users of those mods did not expect us to catch them. At the current moment, you can meet a user of such mods in about one out of a hundred battles.
What needs to be done? Since the developers of these mods stay quiet about the bans and sow mistrust of us among players, we will end up publishing the data regarding punishments once again. Especially regarding the users of mods that supposedly “cannot be detected”.
High tiers and their gameplay
There are often complaints that the gameplay at high tiers is boring. And to this day, there are many many complaints regarding balance, including class balance. What is being done? We are gradually refining balance as not to have “underperforming” ships. We forced ourselves to upset players by nerfing torpedoes characteristics (which, in turn, led to more BB’s in high tier battles). We created the Bastion gamemode, available only to high tier battles, which we are improving each patch. We introduced missions that can be completed only on high tier ships. And much more.
What needs to be done? Naturally, there is still room for improvement regarding ship balance, but we prefer to do it without having to implement nerfs. We need to add more high tier content, including keeping in mind team battles and adding clan wars. We need to work on the dynamics of the battles themselves.
Rewarded actions in battle
Currently, not all teamplay actions are rewarded. Particularly tanking, spotting, and others. We are currently actively working on this aspect of the game and in the next few updates, we will try to make you happy in this regard. In addition, this will remove some of the problems in ranked battles.
We had a lot, a lot, of ambition regarding the interface. Now, we have much less. In this regard, we have been working in two directions.
First, we analysed players’ complaints and introduced certain improvements. Moreover, we created a system that allows us to add new features into the game or solve problems rather quickly.
Here is what we have already done:
- added the option to choose one’s crosshair;
- created a more detailed post-battle screen;
- added a port selection;
- added a double armament indicator so that both guns and torpedoes reloads can be seen at the same time;
- added a island indicator for shells;
- and more.
Secondly, we worked closely with modders so that mods are not totally broken when we improve the protection of the client. To this end, certain popular modders have joined the developers’ team. We started publishing an official modpack in order for players to be able to better customize their game. To improve it, we hired the developer of the most popular modpack. Currently, we are actively adding mods to the client, for example:
- customisable minimap;
- damage meter;
- smoke borders;
- crosshairs, including dynamic crosshairs.
What needs to be done? The interface can and needs to be constantly improved. With the introduction of every new features, a new interface is made. What we want to do:
- new training room interface (along with good functionality) that will allow us to implement it in the game;
- new settings window;
- crosshairs from contest winners added to the game.
And many more, but, unfortunately, I cannot disclose such information.
Ship and HE shells balance
Even if “nerf this ship/class/ammo” threads will always exist since they are quite subjective, there are often complaints on the forum regarding HE shells, fires and balance. We need to work on those subjects, we are aware of it and are studying the situation.
I will not write about what we have already done since the size of the list would be as large as this whole post. If you want to look it up yourself, just reread patchnotes.
Obscure and hidden mechanics
The game is rather easy to get one’s hands on but very complex in terms of its mechanics. What have we already done? Detailed battle statistics that helps players understand where their income comes from, what bonuses are applied to what and what damage is inflicted on the enemy. We have improved the ribbon system in order to show what happens to you AP shells. Changed smoke mechanics to be more easily understandable. And much more.
What needs to be done? At the minimum, we need to add the possibility to see the armor layout of ships in the port. We also need to make critical hits inflicted to enemies clearer. But we cannot just stop at that. We need to make the game mechanics more easily understandable as well as reducing the impact of RNG.
40% of all battles are fought in PvE. Moreover, this gamemode remained for quite long in the state we have launched it, i.e. battles against a mirrored team of bots. We need to go further than that and improve it.
We have already tested the new gamemode “Storm” and planned certain improvements for it. During the month of July, we have launched an experiment where some missions could only be completed in PvE. We are currently analysing the data. If it happened to be successful and popular, we will add more PvE missions.
Here are the subjects that are still to be translated
- Secondary batteries
- Customer service
- Chat moderation
- Site moderation
- Karma system
- Unreleased features
- Team communication
- Bots and AFK players
- Updates size
- Gold and doubloons unification
- Too few ships and nations
- Communication between developers and players