WGNA Answers your Questions – Part 3

Compiled by TollhouseFrank

Hello ladies and gents!

I wish to apologize for the delay in getting part 3 of the answers for your questions. I hope that you will find the delay worth it. In this edition, there will be many answers by the Devs themselves! I will hold another question gathering thread next Friday to get another batch of questions in to WGNA and the Devs.

I will be starting with the Dev answers first, then I will get to the NA staff answers in the next section. There are 2 Devs that answered questions – Andrey Biletsky and Anton Bobrov.

AB = Andrey Biletsky

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What is the reason only console WoT (Console) gets special single player modes? Is there a plan for these modes to come to PC?

AB: Yes, there are. We started experiments with cooperative PVE the last year with the newcomer’s Bootcamp and Halloween special event, and we are planning some more PVE-oriented activities soon. Ultimately, our goal is to build a technical base for WOT PC, like high performance server side systemic AI solution, and prove it before taking further steps into a permanent single player or cooperative experiences.

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Can spectator mode be added for Strongholds and Clan Wars so that clan mates can watch and learn?

AB: A few months ago we tested elements of a new spectator solution during our Frontline event. Once done, we will consider this application. For me this idea sounds worth trying.

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How exactly is it decided by WG that a tank is overperforming or underperforming? Why is it that it can seem to take a year or more to make this determination whenever the player base is calling for action sooner?

AB: We try to make our decisions based on hard data, rather than on feelings. I mean, that it seems very easy to judge a vehicle from a subjective point of view. But, it easily can become a rushed, wrong judgement. Once a new vehicle is added, it’s quickly adopted by the most active, and often the most skilled of our players. Plus, others have a very limited knowledge on how to combat this new enemy – what are its weaknesses, where to shoot and so on. So, for the first several months any statistics related to it are distorted because of who is playing it, and how people play against it. After a while, usually in about half a year give or take, stats stabilize and we can separate the human factor from vehicle power to draw any conclusion on how the vehicle actually performs.

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Would it be possible to bring all chat back with Alive/Dead players kept in separate channels?

AB: For now, we are not planning to do anything with cross-team chat.

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With regards to the maps, will there be any effort put forward into making maps more ‘fluid’ for matches?

A.B: Not sure what this question is about. Match fluidity is a combination of multiple factors, including the layout, tier the match is being played, the combination of vehicles in both teams and their exact composition, its breakdown, players’ personalities, individual tactical preferences and multiple other factors. Maps that are designed to reduce the variety of these factors are generally unpopular, and sooner or later are called off for the redesign. Unfortunately, not every design, or redesign, is equally successful.

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Would it be possible for us to get more detailed feedback from the validation team at WGMods, as well as an understanding of how exactly they test the mods we upload?

Anton B.:Yes, they do. There are two stages of testing. 1. Every new mod of new version of existing mods do not become available for download instantly after uploaded. First it’s premoderated by a special team (currently it is volunteers who are good with mods and have a lot of experience working with them) – they run basic smoke tests and make sure there’s no inappropriate content in the mod. As soon as the mod is checked, it becomes available to players. 2. (Optional step) Upon achieving a certain number of downloads, a mod undergoes more thorough stability and performance testing by our QA team. If any issues arise, it’s sent back to its creator for improvement. There’s a hidden feature in the backend to mark some of the mods as ‘trusted’. These mods will skip the usual testing procedure and become available instantly. We use this feature for our official mods and super-trusted mod makers whose mods are checked by our QA team prior to WoT updates anyway.

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Are Devs looking at RNG and possible changes to it?

AB: There are multiple RNG elements in the game. Generally, when players speak about RNG, they mean damage and penetration distribution. These rules are in the game to represent armor and shell quality variance and other variables too complex to calculate in real time. For example, many cast turrets had varied armor thickness due to their complex shape, and even hundreds of armor groups won’t reflect it with any grade of accuracy. So instead we use randomization to emulate the influence of such factors on an individual shot, and we are quite happy with how these two work. However there is one RNG element we are looking into right now. It is a random function governing how shots are spread within the reticle. I can’t share any specific info on what are we planning yet, but we aim on making it more predictable and better reflecting what a particular gun is good (or bad) at.

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What about +1/-1? Wouldn’t that be an easy solution to Matchmaker?

AB: Henry Louis Mencken once said, that for every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong :) Speaking seriously, the current MM supports two-tier battles and we have no indication people are enjoying them more than three-tier ones. The issues with MM we are facing now (for example, with preferential MM vehicles or with adding extra strict matching by roles) are related to its code architecture and to the servers’ cores utilization, not with the principal matchmaking rules. After receiving really strong community feedback on our approach to preferential vehicles changes, we are now looking into rebuilding matchmaker’s core. Once done, it will naturally lead us to reviewing every MM rule once again to ensure none of the decisions for a new architecture are dictated by the old tech requirements. I promise we will take another look into +X/-X rule as well.

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Why has there been a focus on map changes that seem to discourage ranged play?

AB: We don’t have such focus. Some of our new maps, like Glacier or upcoming Studzianki offer plenty of long-range gameplay. Also, I’ve heard complains that we have too much bush sniping in our game, y’know… ;)

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Will there be updates or changes to how map rotation is handled, so that we do not see the same maps or similar style maps over and over in a row?

AB: Last year, we modified map pulling rules to lower the chance for each player to see the same map twice in a row or just too often, and based on players feedback and our data we have succeeded – with current maps selection the chances to play the same map twice in set of 7 matches are less than 1%. However, that solution does not cover “styles” of maps it pulls. First off, there are people who want style variety, and there are people who don’t, and by satisfying one group we’ll alienate the other; so leaving it to RNG looks like overall better idea. Then, the way servers handle arenas require us to maintain a certain quantity of maps for variance pulling to work. Thus to support style-based pulling in addition to the current one we will need LOTS of maps, many times more we have now.

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When will we get British Light Tanks to tier 10?

A.B: Unfortunately, not this year. We are about to start discussing the production plans for 2019 and I definitely will bring this question to the table.

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Do you know when we will be getting the Chieftain Tank?

A.B: That depends on what Chieftain you do mean. Right now we are considering adding a Chieftain and US T95 hybrid, known as Chieftain/T95 – the product of standardization and parts interchangeability projects initiated by the UK, United States and Canada in 1957 – 1959 when both the Chieftain and T95 were still in development; but it is unlikely we will add the Chieftain Mk I any time soon.

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Will we see a shift towards selling things like preset camo and other visual-only premium content, and as a follow up, would such sales possibly allow premium tank prices to go down?

A.B: Over the last Christmas, we offered the first out of four planned Visual Customization updates, one more is in production right now and we plan to have it live really soon. So, we indeed wish to offer to you guys better decorations for your favorite vehicles. At the moment, I can’t foresee how it will impact the pricing of the other premium options. Mainly we aim to have lots of customization pieces becoming achievements based rewards.

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Was the account roaming idea completely scrapped? And if so, are other options considered to facilitate playing with friends from other servers?

A.B: It wasn’t completely scrapped, but as it affects very few of our players, we decided not to look into it this year in favor of other features. I’m sorry about that.

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When it comes to in-game physics, are there any current plans to revisit physics to deal with some of the weird behavior regarding rocks, buildings, and how tanks flip?

A.B: Yes, both for particular vehicles physics tweaking and map objects collision shapes changes. Still, I want to stress that it is often a question of compromise as often tweaks that are addressing one weird behavior are also creating a new issue, or few issues, due to the almost endless amount of various situations a player can find himself at. So, sometimes we just have to stop when it is “good enough” not to make it worse.

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Will an easier method of righting a flipped vehicle come to the game to replace simply pushing the allied tank?

A.B: To the best of my knowledge, no.

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Is it possible to change rocks back to the way they used to be pre 1.0?

A.B: If you mean glitches with some objects collision, than yes and we are constantly working on it; I’m really sorry it is taking longer than we all wish for. If you mean changing the rocks models back to what they were before (or re-making them with new engine so they will match vertice-to-vertice of the old models), then I’m afraid my answer is no.

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Are there any more regular branches in the works for existing nations? It feels like we’ve been too spoiled lately with new nations and premiums.

A.B: Yes, but I won’t spoil.

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What is the current status of armored cars, alternate hulls, multiple guns/turrets, and server roaming? I’m not looking for an ETA or anything, but I’m curious if these ideas are just shelved for time being or if they’ve been cancelled entirely.

A.B: Tricky one, but I’ll try to answer without too many leaks. We do not have any plans for now to introduce alternate hulls, and we are not working on server roaming at the moment. We are seriously considering at least one tank with two guns, namely ST-II, but we are not completely happy with multi-turret tests we made during the last Halloween event, and will not release anything unless we have a better controls for several weapons (in essence, two fully synchronized turrets are very similar to two guns on one turret, at least from input / controls perspective).

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What are the developers’ opinions on recoilless rifles, high-tier autocannons, and low-caliber (50-75mm or so) smoothbore guns?

A.B: These things do not fit into current World of Tanks paradigm. But who knows what the future holds? ;)

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Is there any intent on doing a balance sweep back through old tanks that haven’t been updated since patch 9, give or take? And, to help provide insight to the development balancing, what is the team’s cadence on reviewing performance and balance on tanks? If you can speak to it, what is your +/- % performance gap (10%, 15%, etc.)?

A.B: Yes, we are working on the rebalancing of mid and low-tiers right now. This is huge task as we are talking about making changes for up to several hundred vehicles in total. So we are starting with one nation only, to verify our design logic first. As for balancing cadence, we have a special team that is in charge of keeping everything in check, and they are working on it full time. Every change we are making, every new vehicle we are shipping is causing ripples through the whole ecosystem, changing over time what people are playing and how, what they are leveling and so on, so you can’t control it just with periodic checks.

There are automated tools that are running all the time and signaling when something is starting to get too far away from where it was intended to be. We also have a few predictive tools (not precise, to be honest), as well as all kinds of dashboards for periodic manual reviews. The main challenge for us is to withstand the pressure from our regions (sorry guys!) for as long as it is needed to collect enough good data to isolate human factors from vehicle power in the battle statistics. ;)

As for the performance gap, it is somewhat more complicated than a simple number. Making it really simple, if one would imagine that a “”balanced”” vehicle played by a perfectly average player should be at 49% of wins and 2% of draws, than a gap in performance we are fine with would be around +/- 3%. But this is too synthetic to actually use for balancing.

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Now, on to the NA Staff’s Answers.

CM = CabbageMechanic

TL = TragicLoss

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What are the plans to help moderate in-game toxicity, and are there plans to help moderate it more heavily?

CM: We have implemented a monitored system that detects and punishes players who use inappropriate language (obscenity, hate speech etc.), and we still ban players regularly who are reported via the in-game reporting system. I understand that using the in-game report system is unsatisfying, and that is something that should be improved, but it really does work. The threshold to punish someone has to be set at a level where it is difficult to use maliciously, but each report stacks and if the behavior continues they will see escalating chat bans. If you have an extraordinary example of toxicity (threats etc.), please submit a ticket.

TL: One of the best things you can do about in game toxicity, namely physics abuse and harassment/flaming, is report players using the ticket system (r/https://na.wargaming.net/support/en/products/wot/). This ensures it is looked over by a person. Due to our privacy policy we can’t disclose actions against a player, but I assure you repeat offenders and players who get reported often are sanctioned.

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Why continue to revamp old maps over and over instead of make new maps? Why does it take so long to produce a new map? Why do new maps seem so low in priority for development?

TL: There are actually several new maps currently in development right now. Originally, reworking all of the old maps into 1.0 was a pretty huge priority over trying to test and balance completely new maps as this would have taken longer. Once completing the old maps currently being converted to HD, we hope to be reintroducing removed maps (cross your fingers for Dragon Ridge) and new maps should appear as time goes.

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Is there any indication from WG if they are leaning towards keeping arty or removing arty?

CM: There are no plans to remove SPGs.

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Is there any consideration to remove Stun Mechanics from SPG’s?

CM: Not that I am aware of.

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Can we have more legionnaires in Tier 8 Strongholds similar to the EU server?

CM: Yes. (I believe this has been done as of now, thanks for bringing it up).

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Would there be consideration for a 7/5/3 MM variant to allow you to be top tier more often than current 3/5/7?

CM: It’s an interesting idea, seems like it would be an exponentially worse experience for the bottom 8.

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Will MM be changed away from +2/-2?

CM: It’s not in any immediate plans.

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Last year, gold was ‘flowing freely’. This year, that has dried up and been replaced by bonds, boosters, and premium time. Why has this changed?

TL: In general we are trying to bring back different ways of earning different kinds of rewards overall. IE bringing back things like TankRewards.com and Tournaments should help revive some Gold income for folks.

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Are there any plans to merge Gold, Free XP, or both with World of Warships for a true ‘Unified Account’?

CM: No information at this time.

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Will we be able to purchase tanks for bonds in the future (outside of Clan Wars)?

CM: No information at this time.

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Will the SU-85i or the SU76i ever be on sale again?

CM: Possible, but no plans at this time.

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Why was information release day about weekend events/missions/etc. moved from Thursday to Friday? Is it possible to have it on Thursday again?

CM: Generally this will be covered ahead of time in the monthly previews on the news portal.

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Are there any plans for more ‘side’ events like Soccer, Chaffee Races, etc.? When can we expect them?

CM: Yes I think so, but unfortunately no timelines to share. I will say that I hear about Chaffee Races more than anything else and I want them as well, so keep showing your support on that front :)

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Are there any plans to introduce tiers beyond Tier 10 (for more modern tanks)?

CM: No information at this time.

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Is there any news on a potential ammo rework?

CM: None yet – it’s in the cards though.

TL: To bring it back to QnA pt 1 just for spreading awareness sake, the removal of premium ammo purchasing via GOLD was done to ease the viability of reworking them in the future.

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When will we get a crew retraining special again?

CM: This has come up a few times recently, hope you took advantage of it last weekend!

TL: We just ran one! This was suggested a few weeks ago and we had one in for you guys!

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Additional Notes: Sheriff accounts are still currently undergoing fixes and will hopefully be fixed with the 1.1 Update.

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23 thoughts on “WGNA Answers your Questions – Part 3

  1. Basically no useful information and I’m guessing most of the answers are total bullshit.

    “There are automated tools that are running all the time and signaling when something is starting to get too far away from where it was intended to be.”

    This is absolute 10000% bullshit, OR they just ignore the signals.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “There are automated tools monitoring the tech tree tanks but certainly not our newest and best-selling premiums” This sounds more True.

      Like

  2. More questions about PVE. WOT PC should take the only really good thing from console version: War Stories. It’s not something that everybody will do all the time, just something for newer player to play around with, properly learn game mechanics and get some credits, consumables and premium time in addition for a good start. Really, it’s great.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I was sceptic about that at first. But it’s a great feature. I don’t know why WG still didn’t implement it. But then again we all know that PC gets any kind of gameplay updates very slowly, unlike consoles and WoT Blitz. For better or for worse is debatable.

        Like

        1. Well recently console has hit that slow update area so has blitz (Sort of).And I feel like the reason for WG not implemeting console or blitz features is that it can be hard (probably) to convert code from console or Phone to PC, this at least my opinion. And in my experience I can say slow updates can be good because when they do announce an update it can be exciting or they can hype it up or whatever they decide to do, but again this is only my opinion.

          Like

  3. Collecting hard data on tank performance to determine wether a tank is balanced or needs nerfs is fine and all, but with problem tanks like Object 263/268 v4 and Type 4/5 Heavy one doesn’t need to be a unicum to wreck face – the tank is just that strong period. I can hardly imagine how an average 48%er would have trouble driving such a vehicle to be honest, one needs to be very, very special to fail hard when most of the work is already done by the tank.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Much like Object 430, it’s a tier 10 tank that sees tier 7, sits in possibly the best place among the high tiers given that tier 9 is extremely kind with the fixed MM template, and lost very little of its effectiveness with the downtiering (and if anyone tells me a 550 damage 270mm pen gun carried by a fast tank with 300+ effective frontal armor is crap, then I have no idea what qualifies as OP for them). Oh and, but this is a bonus, it has a bloody easy stock grind (again, same as Object 430).

        Like

        1. It has bad dpm, terrible traverse and a lot of frontal weakspots so even tier 7s can pen you. Bot to mention very bad side armor and open top. 263 is not even close to OP. It’s very strong and you can play aggresively but you need to be VERY careful, unlike with 268/4.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. The problem is the data collection, the dev is right, first ones to get a new tank are unicums and best players, making stats jump up, then all the hype junkies jump in, bringing stats down, any reforms in between these events will be misplaced.

      My problem is, when all winds settle and the tank holds at over-the-top win percentage, still no fix is coming. Only about half a year of cries and stat padding, when all the youtubers made a feature about how broken this tank is, WG make a move, nerfing LFP by 4mm.

      About a year since the mistaken overbuff, WG fixes the situation. I don’t think it speaks well of their data collection and balance system. This stinks even more when it’s not a new tank in game, but a buff to old one.

      Supertest sucks, on many occasions clearly OP vehicles got into the game. So, giving us the up-down wave bullshit is in no way a valid answer.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. 7/5/3 MM? If they do that. They might as well go back to the old MM by removing 3-5-7. I don’t mind capping top tiers so you don’t get the odd 29 tier 7’s and one tier 5 games that we did see rarely before. But I don’t see a point of any 3 numbers if they go that way.

    Like

  5. The 3-5-7 MM template did work properly ONCE and everyone was amazed at how good it was for just 1 week you filtered through the 3 and 5 and top tier regularly and had many +1 games and 0MM same tier games as well – the MM worked and worked well

    ~ then 1 week later Wargaming did a quick (within a week) small mini-update and completely changed how the 3-5-7 template operates as it does today where your mostly or always bottom tier this from 60% ~ 90% depending on the tier you play,

    example Tier 8 now gets 90% -2MM as currently T10 is now popular with 50% of players having a or many T10’s. the MM needs all those ‘come here little fella’ T8’s to get those over-power T10’s into fast loading games so T10’s can enjoy good gameplay
    (according to wargaming, and we all trust WG dot we …….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The issue is because there is still no ideal endgame for tier tens. Clanwars isn’t it. So they need a way of keeping the tier ten players interested by crushing noobs in Lowe’s when their regular tiers are five or six. Tier ten needs to be capped at tier ten so you only see tens in a ten. Or add in more modern vehicles and ten becomes the new tier one (tier 11 becomes tier two) in 2.0 and so on.

      Like

  6. Who the fuck supports flipping the tanks?
    Why would anyone believe that is a good idea?
    They have to not allow a tank to flip, unless it’s aided by an allied tank

    Liked by 1 person

    1. On consloes if you flip your tank you have to wait a bit and it will unfuck itself and you can keep playing. So one silly mistake won’t ruin your game but if you do that during an important moment you’re gonna die for sure. I think that’s fair.

      Like

  7. “Speaking seriously, the current MM supports two-tier battles and we have no indication people are enjoying them more than three-tier ones.”

    Are they serious? And if so, who is telling them these lies?

    “There are automated tools that are running all the time and signaling when something is starting to get too far away from where it was intended to be.”

    I think they do have tools, but they are not detailed enough. The T67 has an incredible skill ceiling, and a very low skill floor. So overall by their tools, it looks average – no need to tweak it. But the reality is that its a very uneven tank, and good players can do far more than they should be able to with it. They need tools to track not just the average stats of a tank, but its bell curve distribution. Either they have that capability and aren’t using it (unlikely, IMHO), or they don’t have it and need to get it running, stat.

    Like

    1. I’d say its just as much a problem that many tanks have very low skill ceilings and there’s very little they can do to recover from a snowball situation. The paradigm of very low skill floor and very high skill ceiling is ideal. Any one player should remain a threat even when outnumbered or out-tiered. So I’m not as mad at the T67 for being overpowered as I am at its competition for being so inflexible and team-dependent.

      Like

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