WoT Tankfest Q&A (27.06.2017)

Interviewed were Thaine Lyman (L) (ex-Activision employee, now at Wargaming) and Vyacheslav Makarov (M).

Q: First, I’d like to ask about the event itself, and then we can look at the questions of the Facebook users.
L: A great achievement is the Tiger collection here at Bovington. To see them in reality, especially Tiger 131, in working condition and in the game, fills us with pride and happiness.

Q: First question is about premiums – why are newer premiums much better than old ones?
M: This is most likely about the Defender and Chrysler, well, we’ve worked on these vehicles while working on the Maus branch in parallel. The main idea was to return the role of armor into the game, since players were complaining that they weren’t able to tank as much on HT and that they’re getting penetrated all the time. So we hurled tanks into the game which were well-armored. The problem is that after many years of development and changes to the game, and the increase in penetration on tier 10 we cannot reliably tell how a tank will behave in random battles. Regarding the Defender, we’ve likely overbuffed it and thus removed it from sales for as long as it takes to change the matchmaker at minimum. A good example is the Type 59 – it’s a good tank after the matchmaker changes and became an ordinary vehicle. We might have overbuffed Maus and Type 5 (which will soon be nerfed), but this is the process of returning armor to the game. It’s a different story with the Chrysler. Statistics showed that it’s not overbuffed. Yes, it’s very strong at the front, but it pays for this with speed, bad depression, rear turret. All of this makes it unique and it’s a hard enemy from the front, but a normal tier 8 tank. We currently have tier 8 tanks which are quite weak for their tier and this is what we want to fix. I once talked about a pyramid shape, where tier 10 are at the top and after that, it’s only declining. Currently, there is a huge difference between tier 10 and 8 tanks. And we want to change that by buffing tier 8’s and lower.
L: We’ve realized that there is a bad testing process of new tanks and we’ll change that in the future.
M: Another problem is the rate of introduction of new changes. There were times where we didn’t have the chance to fix the mistakes of the last patch before a new one was due to be released. We really want to introduce many novelties, which the game really needs, but in the development process, errors do happen, and we’re currently balancing between new content and fixing the errors.
L: Long ago, premium tanks were a bit worse than their regular counterparts. We don’t want to work this way anymore where people who spend real money on a tank get “kicked in the balls”. It’s kinda unfair. So now we look at premium and regular tanks as equals. But sometimes, we make mistakes and I hope our viewers can understand that we do realize that we made a mistake and will be more careful with future tanks. But many tier 8 tanks will soon be buffed.
M: Yes, we have a list of tanks that will receive buffs very soon (one-two months) and yes, the KV-5 is in this list.

Q: Well, this leads to the next question: what will be done about old premiums?
M: Yes, old premiums will receive a buff. Some are easy and we’d like to keep the uniqueness of the vehicles, but sometimes it’s quite difficult.
L: As you know, some old premiums have a preferential matchmaker, which additionally interferes with rebalancing.

Q: Another question revolves around premium ammo. With new tanks, the need to use premium ammo seems to rise (for example Chrysler).
M: We try to balance premium ammunition with in-game economics and are currently thinking of removing the price in gold. So that this ammunition is simply a more expensive ammo type in the game. This would give us the option to vary the shell price more widely. But this is just a concept now.

Q: There were recently vast changes to artillery. What is your opinion on it right now, can we expect more changes?
M: Arty needs some minor corrections, but it’s looking good right now.

Q: When will the USSR buff come, for example IS-7?
M: This is planned in the next 2 patches.
L: Planned, but there are also many other tanks awaiting a buff.

Q: When will the Polish branch come and how will it look?
L: The branch will come, but we can’t disclose dates. We didn’t want to release it earlier since it would’ve been a copy of other nations.
M: We’re currently receiving projects from the Polish archives. When we have 10 tanks, we’ll start adding them to the game. But it’s very difficult to find something so we cannot make any promises on dates.

Q: Regarding matchmaker. The players really like the new matchmaker, but how does it look to you “from the inside”?
M: Well, it’s good, but we’ll have to work further on it, especially on low tiers.
L: Of course we have to work on the matchmaker. And we’re quite happy that the two problems players complained about the most – artillery and matchmaking – were basically solved in one patch. Of course, there’s still work to be done, but such huge changes have to be monitored, and if statistics and feedback show that something has to be changed, we’ll change it.

Q: Will there be changes to personal missions?
M: To put it bluntly, yes. We’re waiting for statistics and will work based on it.

Q: Regarding Ranked battles. Many like the mode, but the rewards are questionable – meaning the improved equipment.
L: Yes, we’ve noticed the feedback of the players. This is a test season. We’re trying many new things in it – matchmaking, ranks, economy, rewards and bonds. The best players can buy two improved equipments for bonds, and this is not much. Bonds are currently present in ranked battles only, but we have plans to include them everywhere else as well.
M: We can include bonds in marathons, and I think there are more possibilities to reward the player and give him something valuable.

Q: When can we see new modes in the game?
L: The 30 vs 30 test went well. We as well as the players liked it, but we can’t say when it’ll go live.

Q: When will new HD maps come?
M: HD maps will have to be implemented all at once. The render technology is done, we’re currently working on the maps themselves.

Q: Will TOG II be sold?
L: This depends on the region.

Q: Will there be platoons for more than 3 players?
M: Only in special modes.

Q: Will there be more fun-modes, like WoT 8-bit or Tank racing?
L: Yes, there will be such modes in the future.

Q: What about Sandbox, will it be continued?
L/M: Yes. It has it’s own capabilities and has already helped us greatly. It allows to try things out which may not appear in the game at all.