Reddit Q&A – part 2

Source

Citing TollhouseFrank:

„What I am posting today is a follow-up based on questions you all sent in this past August, as well as some questions/info the devs didn’t have time to give in the live AMA. I would have released these much sooner, but I was asked to hold off on doing so until after the live AMA. Anyways, let’s get on to the questions!”

NA Staff Specific Questions

DOMO = DomoSapien

TC = The_Chieftain

*Note* – All of these questions in this section are from the question gathering session in August

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If there was a moment that cemented in your mind that your job with the NA branch of WG was “the right choice”, what was it?

Domo: Before I accepted my transfer offer, Cabbage pulled a bunch of us into a meeting room and laid out what the corporate structure of the new team was going to look like. Once I saw who I was going to be working with, I was confident that we would have a lot of really bright and passionate people working on the project, and we could make some positive impact on the direction of World of Tanks NA.

TC: Day 0, when I was first given my job description. “You’re going to pay me for this…?”

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You have stated in the past that you are welcoming and open of ideas, suggestions, and feedback. Can you expand upon that in more detail?

Domo: You are welcome to send suggestions to Customer Support, as they collect all feedback they receive in a spreadsheet that we check regularly. You can also participate in the Wargaming Community Feedback Request Subforum, as feedback request threads are easily the best way to get direct feedback sent to our dev team.

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How’s the moon base coming along?

Domo: I haven’t seen it yet but I hear they just got new carpeting and Chocolate Fondue fountains installed. The giant solid-gold statue of SerB is still on backorder.

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What’s the puppet up to nowadays? I hope we get to see that monstrosity again sometime.

TC: He seems to have taken up residence in the SF Bay Area at Mike Lovan’s house, I saw him last month, still healthy. I personally would have thought it would have been a great opportunity to get Meathead into two places at once by relocating one of them to Austin, but it seems to not have happened.

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Just want to say, I love how involved WGNA is with their community (despite your guys’ relative distance from the game’s development) even if it doesn’t look like it sometimes. Thank you guys for being awesome! 🙂

Domo: Oh stop it, you 🙂

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Your openness with us is a wonderful thing, especially in doing these Q&A sessions. Is this openness something new, or has it always been there, but nobody reached out to take advantage of it?

Domo: Probably a combination of both. We’ve always been receptive to communication, but it may have been harder to find out who exactly to ask in our old corporate structure. The team is certainly a lot more streamlined now.

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How about a second Let’s Battle Tour? I really enjoyed the last one.

Domo: We are looking into doing more live events, however if we do it likely may not be on the same scale as the Let’s Battle Tour.

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Was WG NA aware of the wheeled vehicles being developed? And if so, can you give us a hint if any other new game mechanic is being actively worked on?

Domo: Yes we were aware, but things change frequently and we can’t tease information about things that may or may not be implemented too early on in the development cycle. Sadly that means I can’t answer the second part of your question either.

TC: Yes. I provided, for example, about 90 pages of US Army test reports on the Panhard EBR.

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Who is the current best WOT player on staff at WGNA?

Domo: _Irony_ or Algray_Solipso, for sure. Those guys are insane.

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Any favorite 2 or 3 marked tanks that WGNA staff would like to boast about?

Domo: The only 3-Marked vehicle I own: The Pz. Kpfw V/IV (Pretty sure the only reason I managed to 3-mark it is because there are about 140 of them on the server.)

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Some people may know who many of you are, some may not. Is there a way for you to list and explain who everyone is and what it is they do? For example, CabbageMechanic has This Position and his duties include X, Y, and Z.

Domo: Hard to say exactly, our responsibilities are constantly evolving and shifting. Domo, KRZY, Jambi, Cabbage, Gnomon: Community Team – Feedback reports, Forum Engagement, Community Contributors/Influencers management, Streaming, Tournaments, Contests, Social Media etc.

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There have been lots of accusations slung for several years, that the Staff do not listen, do not care, and never have. What are you doing in trying to combat this perception?

Domo: Considering many of us are and have been active WoT Players, I think that’s painting with a pretty broad and inaccurate brush. It’s easy to say that someone doesn’t care when they don’t agree with you. And it’s hard to agree with one voice when you are swimming in a figurative sea of dissenting voices. A perfect example would be maps: On one hand, you have players complaining about corridor maps. On the other hand, you have players complaining about open maps being ‘campfests’. Both are valid opinions.

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When it comes to putting together your video series – Inside the Chieftan’s Hatch – where you explain a tank/vehicle inside and out, do you get to choose the vehicles in question, is it chosen by WG, or is it a combination. Next question in the same vein – How/where do you compile your research on each vehicle to ensure that the information you are dispensing is correct and historical, and not something taken out of context by “a mechanic’s uncle’s cousin’s brother”?

TC: To a large extent it comes down to accessibility and money. There are occasional times when we select a vehicle because we know of some big event happening in the game, as we did with AC1 or M56, but usually it’s about efficiency. Flying myself and a camera crew around the world costs quite a few dollars, and the musea, reasonably enough, often charge access fees. Some collections, for example, charge ‘Hollywood’ rates for vehicle access for filming by commercial companies. Fantastic tanks, great condition, but not practicable for a freely distributed Youtube video.

These costs can be mitigated by filming in batches, so even if a museum has a particularly interesting vehicle in the collection, such as the Soumo Arsenal-modified Shinhoto Chi Ha in the Indiana Military History Museum, as a good steward of the company’s money, I can’t really drag everyone there for just that one tank without particuarly good cause. Another criterion is ‘quality’ of the vehicle. As much as possible, I try to find the ‘best possible’ examples of a vehicle to root around. So, long answer short, an arbitrary decision is made on “where can we go to get the most vehicles of the best quality covered at reasonable cost?”

As to the second part of the question, I answer it at the beginning of the M56 Scorpion video, Pt2: The guiding document is the operator’s manual. If that’s not available (or if it’s in a language I don’t understand), there are usually pretty reputable secondary sources. For example, for German vehicles, the Doyle/Jentz books are pretty much unimpeachable. (Indeed, for one Panzer, yet to be released, Hilary Doyle goes over the vehicle with me). Another option is quite simply to ask the guys who run the vehicle what they do: “OK, tell me if I’m getting this process straight: To change the transmission, you have to pull off the entire top hull of the tank?” “Yes, we hate it…”. There are certainly times I get it wrong, for example, often times when a restoration happens, they do something not in the manual and I have to take a guess. As much as possible, though, I like to see something in writing before I put it into the script.

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Are there any thoughts on longer format? (month long league style tournaments)( https://worldoftanks.asia/en/content/apac-league/ )

Domo: Indeed. We hope to get a bit more experience with the tournament system under our belts before we try anything too crazy. But I would like to run month-long Clan Tournaments, broken down by clan rating, during CW offseasons. The idea would be to offer some tournaments that aren’t seeded at complete random like our weekend tournaments, but rather broken down by skill so that smaller clans have a fighting chance at victory as well.

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Is Wargaming open to giving out bonds for doing well in a tournament?

Domo: Bonds are a tricky subject, because they are a unique element in our economy that hasn’t been around as long as our other currencies. Long story short, like Jambi said, yes. But we have to get the correct approvals and award them in reasonable quantities, so that these prizes don’t negatively impact our other Bond-related content.

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Are you open to seeing tournaments for any tier on any map in any format?

D: Certainly, albeit there are some limitations that we can’t necessarily get around easily. For example: our system doesn’t allow us to limit by vehicle class. We like class-restricted tournaments, and so do our players, but they involve a LOT of work on our end. The only viable format for class-restricted tournaments is Round Robin. This allows us to remove the cheating teams from the rankings after the fact and adjust the brackets. It involves a lot of time editing spreadsheets in Excel, but everyone enjoys a good SPG-only rumble. That said we are always open to fun & crazy gamemodes that would be a little bit less skill-based than standard tournaments.

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As the “face” of competitive play in World of Tanks NA what do you feel needs to be done to move sportsmanship forward in Clan Wars,Tournaments, Strongholds and Advances? (part 2) what are you and your team doing to win back the trust and love of the competitive players who make good points in a wide range of issues around competitive play on the NA server? (are you willing to even make a small post just saying “i have read this thead?” just to let us know you’re aware of what is going on?

Domo: First things first, I think calling us the ‘face of competitive play’ isn’t entirely correct. Jambijon and I are certainly the face of tournaments, but not competitive play in general. There are a lot of folks on the team involved with competitive play, for example 1984BigBrother is the point of contact for NA Clan wars. So, you’re painting with a very broad brush by referring to competitive play as one umbrella term; I can tell you that there are exciting things in store for CW, which will hopefully make Clan Play more accessible to small and medium-sized clans, as well as more social/casual clans. The first of these features is the Alliance Mechanic that we teased recently. Also, it’s always kind of frustrating to see posts along the lines of “WGA PLEASE READ THIS” several days after they were posted – If you have a major issue, send a message instead of hoping we will happen to be looking at the ‘recent topics’ box when you post your thread. As for love and trust, feedback-wise I have seen an overwhelming amount of positivity from our Tournaments community, despite the recent technical issues that have been plaguing some of our tournaments. There are always a few folks who are quick to remind us when something is messed up, and usually we are able to do something about it in a relatively timely manner.

But even when something breaks horribly, there is always a response of support and gratitude from the tournament community.

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All Other Questions

CM = CabbageMechanic

TC = The_Chieftan

TL = TragicLoss

*note* – some of these are from the Question gathering session from August, some were asked in the Live AMA and didn’t get a response on time before the Devs had to stop for the evening

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Are there any plans to release the data on tanks Wargaming undoubtedly has into some kind of book? I’m really interested in learning more about tanks with little public information or in languages I can’t read.

TC: The question of what to do with the information has been in the back of our minds for some years now, and unfortunately, we’ve concluded that doing some sort of ‘bulk release’ in multiple languages simply isn’t practicable. However, that’s not to say that information isn’t coming out. The material found in the US National Archives on Tank Destroyers was released in “Can Openers” last year (See Echo Point Books site in NA, Panzerwrecks in EU). A lot of materiel found by the Russian researchers such as Pasholok or Shein (on not only Russian vehicles) has been released in books by Tactical Press. However, that’s in Russian, so if you don’t read that language, Lombardy Books has started slowly releasing translated versions in English, go look up Worldoftanksbooks.com; the first is on ISU-152 development, the second on T-34 operational use. More will follow. Finally, I think we’ve also been the impetus for some independent works which have come out recently. For example, a player on the NA Server, Andrew Hills, has recently released a book on TOG, which is quite simply everything you never knew about TOG and weren’t afraid to ask. (Tanks of TOG, available on Amazon).

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I appreciate Clan Wars being more continuous here on NA, but it’s mostly for gold and unique camos right now. Will we start seeing campaigns that reward the non-tier 10 vehicles, like the T23E3 and KV-4 Kreslavskiy? I’d really like to be able to add those vehicles to my collection.

CM: Not in the immediate term but the next Clan event will be exciting for people who like reward vehicles.

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Events on weekends is bad for me, why you support only the weekend activity?

CM: It is simply when most players are able to play the most, we do run events that don’t absolutely require weekend play (Kursk and the British Challenge come to mind)

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Will Frontline be returning for all tiers?

CM: Yes it will be returning, not for all tiers at this time.

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Will Battle Royal be returning?

CM: Probably, but no dates at this time.

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When will we start getting maps that are good for TD’s, Light Tanks, and Artillery?

TL: Prohk is still in the game 😉 But in all seriousness, we are adding maps to the game. Making maps that are well accessible for all vehicles is a difficult task.

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Since the wheeled vehicles were announced, can we expect halftracks, possibly as tank destroyers, added to the game in the future?

CM: Kevin Garnett says anything is possible.

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Some news sites are reporting that only post-war wheeled vehicles are planned to be introduced from Tier V to Tier X. Is there a chance that the developers will change their mind about this and include WW II designs too for the low tiers? There were quite a few iconic designs, for example: the Puma, the M8 Greyhound, the AEC and Daimler Armoured Cars and the Sd. KfZ. 222 just to name a few.

TC: Given that the first wheeled line to be introduced starts with a pre-WW2 armored car, I would be cautious of what those news sites are saying. I see no reason why some of those vehicles cannot eventually make it into the game, beyond wondering about tiering. For example, the Puma wouldn’t be more than a Tier V. Unless we bring MOWAG or Steyr armored cars in under the German flag for the higher tiers, we’re going to have to get creative…

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The high-tier turreted US tank destroyers are kind of a mess. The T110E4 never had a turret, the T30 is a heavy tank, and the T28 Prototype and T25/2 never existed to my knowledge. Are there any plans to revise this branch of tanks?

TC: Not at this time. The problem is that the US kind of got out of the gun TD game in the early 1940s, T30 was moved from being the Tier X US Heavy a few years back to the current Tier IX TD to help fill in the gaps with something which was actually built. T28P is loosely based off an artist’s sketch available in Hunnicutt’s “Firepower”. You have us on the E4, but, again, we needed a vehicle for the slot, so some creative license was used.

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Now that the Polish nation is coming out, will the “Polish” Rudy and its “Polish” crew be left languishing on the Russian tree, or can they be switched over to Poland? Will players be able to choose between a Polish Rudy or keep the Russian one?

CM: This has not slipped past the devs, keep an eye on future updates

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The Tiger II (H) and Jagdtiger (H) have been sitting in the game files for a while. Are there plans to add more historically configured tanks? Will they ever be released?

TL: I believe these were introduced during the Historical battles alternate gamemode and then removed.

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Will the penetration on the IS be buffed?

TL: I’m not sure about the IS pen being buffed, however in the previous QnAs our devs discussed the low-mid-upper tier workover.

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Will the Tiger 2 be buffed?

CM: Large scale re-balances for all nations on most tiers will happen in the next year.

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Is there a chance for Israeli and Brazilian tech trees?

TL: Never say never, but we haven’t been given any information on any additional nations at the moment.

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This is really far in advance, but will there be a “Tankolympics” event (races, soccer, etc.) in 2020?

TL: *Thinking Face*

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Will Wargaming ever consider having a design your own map contest for the community where one or two maps might be tested and implemented in the future?

TL: This is an interesting idea.

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Will MM be changed to balance Auto Loaders and Super Heavy tank roles between teams?

CM: It already tries to do the latter, but not always possible pending vehicles in queue.

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How does the MM algorithm work in its attempts to find a speedy match?

CM: The current system essentially rapidly grabs groups of vehicles and tries to determine if they’re an acceptable match, launching as soon as possible. There are some variables at play (Pref MM, Grand Battles etc), but this is generally how it works.

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Waiting for more than a few seconds on a match to start after hitting the MM queue is very offputting and extremely annoying. Why is it that sometimes you can queue up, see several hundred people waiting for a match, and still have to wait several minutes for a match?

CM: Depends on the tier, if any special events are going on, and what’s currently in queue. Generally this won’t happen but some things that can cause it are: trying to fill a GB, waiting for an available arena on the game server (happens sometimes during events), lack of suitable matches among vehicles in queue.

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Does WoT include any mechanisms within the game for manipulating a player’s future tier placement in a random battle? If so, does this mechanism control downward tier placement [ie; top to bottom movement] as well as upward tier placement [ie; bottom to top movement]?

CM: No. Current Matchmaker works almost entirely by examining potential groups of vehicles in queue and (generally) tries to make the fastest matches with what is available.

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Does WoT currently include a mechanism within the matchmaker that provides temporary beneficial matchmaking for dormant and/or inactive accounts?

CM: No.

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Does WoT currently include a mechanism within the matchmaker that provides temporary beneficial matchmaking for newly created accounts?

CM: No – aside from trying to get them to play with bots.

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In the current meta its typical that frontal weakspots are either extremely small, require code 22, or don’t exist in the first place. And this in turn only increases demand for high-pen premium ammo, especially when bottom tier. And simultaneously the 3/5/7 template makes being bottom tier the most common position to be in. All this in mind, do WG plan on rebalancing premium ammo, frontal weakspots, MM, and the maps as separate problems, or as one comprehensive meta shift?

CM: Both. Obviously the different features in the game ecosystem interact with each other, but from a technical perspective each has to be handled separately. Work on premium ammo, MM, maps, and tech tree rebalances is all going on with consideration being taken on how each will affect the others – and of course tuning will occur based on the data from the results of their implementation.

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Will we see the addition of multi-nation crew trainers, aka vehicles that can accept crews of different nations? A lot of existing tanks could use this system, such as the T-34-85 Rudy (Polish and Russian) and the Pz.Kpfw. T 25 (German and Czech).

CM: Covered this on a separate question about the Rudy, but this is something Devs are aware of. Keep an eye out for more related news in the future.

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Has WoT ever included any mechanisms for controlling the player experience in random battle, dependent upon the player’s previous random battle performance?

CM: No, as previously stated current Matchmaker works solely by making groups of vehicles in queue as fast as possible.

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Are there plans to buff some of the heavily underperforming vehicles? some examples: RHM pzw, tiger II, is4, grille15, m103, sta1, e100, ru251?

CM: Answered separately, but there are large scale re-balances in the works for almost all tiers and types.

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Are there any plans to revamp or rework the crew training system to make it faster, less of a pain in the engine deck, and overall more user friendly?

CM: Yes, but not in immediate term.

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This is even coming from an arty player. Has wargaming ever considered restricting arty to SHs, Advances, and CWs. Have arty only be obtainable through missions or free xp. If you already have arty, then you get to keep it but it gets restricted. Then, to give people tanks back to play with, they get to pick tanks for free but only up to the tier it is replacing. If you have the M44 then you get any line up to tier 6 free. If you have CongQC then you get a free tier 10. Any XP you have on the Arties gets moved to free XP. The arty missions would need to be always available to earn.

CM: No, the devs consider SPGs an fixture in the game ecosystem. This doesn’t mean further changes won’t occur to their characteristics or MM limits though.

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When it comes to Wheeled Vehicles, wouldn’t it be better to work on a global re-balance to get power creep under control instead of adding yet another class of vehicle that will be mostly redundant?

CM: They won’t be redundant and they might just create roles for other classes as a counter

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Was there any gameplay significance to the Hind attack choppers in the Pushing Forward video, or were they just a bit of background content that the home office was having some fun with?

CM: Background content representing the era they chose to represent Minsk from.

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At Gamescom, it was revealed that wheeled vehicles will be classified as “Light Tanks” in-game. My question is, why not make them their own class of vehicles? There is already little distinction between Light Tanks and Medium Tanks, with some Mediums doing things better than what Lights are expected to be great at (view range, scouting, mobility, etc.). Why not embrace that, giving Lights and Mediums a relationship similar to Light Cruisers and Heavy Cruisers with ships? Then make wheeled vehicles (or rather, perhaps “Armored Cars”) their own class which will then better suit the scouting role. Historically, armored cars were used more for scouting than light tanks were.

CM: The obvious answer is that this makes them much easier to implement into the games existing architecture, but it is hardly unprecedented for different vehicle archetypes to exist within the larger classes. The Maus does not fill the same role as the Object 277 for example. To your larger point, these relationships can still exist within the classes.

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Some tanks, like the AMX 30 B and the SU-101, now don’t accurately represent their real life counterparts or their blueprints. How come over the past couple of years when it comes to re-balancing tanks, tanks have had their hard stats (specifications which there is hard data to support, such as armor values and top speed) instead of just their soft stats (such as gun penetration, traverse speeds, camouflage, etc.)? I understand fun comes before realism, but some might argue misrepresenting a real tank is just like introducing a completely fictional design.

CM: The current philosophy is that gameplay should take precedence over historical accuracy when the two are at odds. Purely historical has been tried and it has lead to the current philosophy.

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How about a Red Dawn themed map. the 1980 one, not the remake.

CM: Will pitch next chance I get

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Is Minsk aware of the lower player population on the NA server, and are they trying to increase it. Or have they given up on marketing to NA ?

CM: Definitely have not given up on marketing to NA. We would not have brought a tank to Twitchcon last month if this was the case.

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This is asked a lot by others, but I believe they are not asking it in the proper way to get feedback on why – Back during the server changes on NA that ended with NA Central being created, and LATAM being splintered off for the South American players, our playerbase was told there would be an option – for the the EU-centric folks stuck on NA – to get their accounts swapped to the EU servers so they didn’t have to deal with massively increased latency. What are your estimates on how many players this effects, and what are the mechanisms that need to take place for this to happen, that have not happened yet?

CM: Artem Safronov covered this a bit during the AMA, but basically we did the NA->APAC transfers and they were far more difficult and impractical than was projected. A solution to this problem is being developed.

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Due to new privacy laws in the EU, WGEU has to be able to provide all the information available that they have collected on each player upon request. I know that being in the USA, we are not under that law. However, because WG is an international company, they must be in compliance in th EU region. Is this something that is available to NA players as well as an extension of EU compliance, or is it just available to the EU playerbase because of said law?

CM: Yes, we will honor this request for NA players.

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5 thoughts on “Reddit Q&A – part 2

  1. Are there any plans to revamp or rework the crew training system to make it faster, less of a pain in the engine deck, and overall more user friendly?

    CM: Yes, but not in immediate term.

    come on… REALLY? Like the current crew system is just plain dumb and bad. It is one of the major things why I can’t get my friends to play the game. Because getting a crew which isn’t mentally challanged ( e.g. 100% with sixth sense) is just too much of a grind!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to agree with this person here, playing without 6S is quite terrible. For a new player they could reach tier 7-8 without a proper crew (assuming they retrain to 90% and don’t have any premium account/vehicles). It’s really mind-blowing how they (WG) ignore this problem which is actually turning away new players and old ones too (imagine starting a new tech tree without 6S in the current year, I dunno about you but I wouldn’t even try). I’m really amazed at their incompetence as this probably is a fairly easy thing to implement (time and code wise). I could be wrong here but I think it’s been at least one year they promised a crew skill revamp.

      Like

      1. Playing without sixth sense isn’t as bad as you say. Over 40 battles in my ELC EVEN 90 so far without sixth sense, approx 65% winrate.

        Like

  2. “Domo: The only 3-Marked vehicle I own: The Pz. Kpfw V/IV (Pretty sure the only reason I managed to 3-mark it is because there are about 140 of them on the server.)”

    no wonder now why game become so crap, cause employers total bots and have no clue about game mechanics.

    Liked by 1 person

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