Dev Q&A answers!
You had questions, and we have answers! A couple weeks ago we put out a call for all of your burning questions, inviting everyone to lay siege to us with your curiosity and interest. While there were too many questions to fit into such a short (but also way too long) article, we’ve picked out some of the best ones and answered them for you here. Let’s jump in shall we?
Joining us for this inquisition are:
• James, Community Manager
• Matt, Community Manager
• Artyom, Product Director
• Kostya, Development director
• Stefan, Game Designer
• Sergey, System Designer
• Fiodar, Historical Consultant
• Nata, Narrative Designer
Please note that some answers have been edited for clarity and length, but all are accurate and representative of the dev team’s thoughts and opinions.
Are there any future plans for a PVE mode?
Kostya: There are no current plans to implement a solely PVE game mode into Project CW but we’re always looking for ways to make the experience more immersive and entertaining so never say never! In the meantime, we’ll be continuing to improve the performance of our bots for those of you who can’t stand interacting with other people.
How has the community influenced Project CW so far? What changes were made directly due to community input?
Kostya: You might have already noticed, but we’ve been releasing hotfixes focusing on balance and quality of life over the course of the playtest and we’re not planning on stopping any time soon. Most of these changes have come about as a direct result of us trawling through and reading all your suggestions, so keep them coming over in the <#1104087384439672885> -box!
How did you all settle on the theme of Project CW? Was it just a “let’s do this thing, it might be fun” or was it more complex than that?
Artyom: Game development is always a complicated process, but from the very beginning we knew that we wanted the game to be as fun as possible and really lean into the feelings of curiosity and exploration. Being able to try new things over the course of development is essential for us.
We really wanted to try and pick a setting that allowed us the freedom to embellish, without straying too far from the source material, so we arrived at Cold War! It also helps that this is a theme that we know quite well so there were plenty of benefits to going with this one.
As development continues, we’ll be further nailing down and improving our style so you can look forward to more unique features, Agent, and Vehicle designs as the game progresses.
Will the game prioritize monetization or balance and enjoyment?
Great question! You’ve landed on one of the biggest challenges when it comes to the Free-to-play model.
It’s still a little too early to talk about how monetization will work specifically, but we can very confidently say that fun and enjoyment are our top priorities by far. We’ll be keeping the game free-to-play to to ensure that it is accessible to as many people as possible while making sure that nobody is given an unfair advantage just because they spend their hard earned money.
What did you have for lunch?
James: Oh, I usually fuel up on a hearty meal of Diesel and Motor oil just to give me that extra boost of energy halfway through the day! (*Editors note: this was a joke, I do not drink motor oil. It’s normally ham and cucumber sandwiches*)
Do you plan to focus only on the usual standard modes, or create some crazy ones as in WoT Blitz?
Stefan: We are excited to explore and test what kind of game modes we can add to Project CW, both standard and crazy to see what fits best! We are not planning to limit ourselves to just standard modes, although the crazier game types may only be available for a short time during events instead of being always available.
How much influence will the community continue to have throughout game development?
James: We’re extremely committed to making sure that you all have your say when it comes to development. Of course there will be times when the correct choice won’t necessarily be the popular one, but we’ll always make sure that you have a voice in the room where the big decisions are made, that’s precisely what Matt and me are here for after all!
Are there going to be premium tanks that make the game pay to win?
Artyom: We will not be adding anything that makes Project CW pay-to-win. The current plan is to allow purchasable items such as time skips, cosmetics, and other common mechanics including battle passes, but nothing that will give a distinct advantage in-game.
From the very beginning we have been adamant that every player should be given a fair chance. Where’s the fun if you could lose to another team just because they paid more real-world money?
What is the point of agent divisions? What are they for?
Stefan: Currently in the Alpha test the Agent Divisions don’t serve a purpose. The intent behind them is to group agents under different Divisions and link that to progression, but this feature is still being worked on and we will have more information regarding it in the future.
Are there any plans to do more with the characters represented alongside vehicles?
Nata: What you see now is just a small part of what the Agents are supposed to be. We believe that any game benefits from having characters whose stories players can follow and engage with.
You lot might not have an NDA anymore, but we devs still do, so we can’t say too much! It’s safe to say that you’ll see Agents’ personalities tied better to their gameplay features, as well as fun interactions and relationships developing between them in the future. Our goal is to make every battle a unique experience depending on your chosen Agent’s personality and their story so far.
Could we possibly get some stats after the playtest? How many people signed up, how many played, how many battles were played in total etc.
Kostya: We should absolutely be able to get some stats together for you yes! We’re always interested to see what happened over the course of a playtest and I see no reason why we can’t share some of that information with all of you too.
How modern will the tanks get?
Fiodar: Currently we’re just looking at tanks from the most iconic period of the Cold War era, so think from the 60s through until the 80’s. We’re also using some elements from the 90’s but very sparingly right now so as to keep true to the theme. We may add some more modern vehicles in the future, but we don’t have any specific plans right now.
What’s your favorite pizza topping and why isn’t it pineapple?
Matt: Pepperoni. It is the pinnacle of pizza toppings. When you think pizza, you think pepperoni. It is without a doubt the most perfect addition to bread, tomato sauce, and cheese. Pineapple does not belong anywhere near pizza. Cheese with pineapple? What kind of heathen puts cheese on pineapple? And don’t even get me started on pineapple and tomato sauce. I’m pretty sure that’s illegal in Italy. (*editor’s note: Pineapple on pizza is delicious, Matt is clearly a madman – James*)
As more heroes are added, how will rebalancing work? Some games have massive waves, while others do constant micro adjustments.
Kostya: While we’re capable of supporting both huge waves of rebalancing and also smaller more focused adjustments. We prefer doing smaller changes for now as it allows us to put out updates more consistently, as well as lets us gather feedback on each change to ensure it was the correct decision.
You can see this approach in action with the recent modifications we’ve been making to Akira and a few others. It seems to be working swimmingly so far so we’ll keep at it for now!
How will the matchmaker work? Is it skill based? Does it balance platoons like one team got a platoon of 2 so the other gets a platoon of 2 as well?
Sergey: So right now, the matchmaker is not skill based. It’s running off of quite a simple algorithm with its main purpose being to make teams equal in terms of agent roles, squads and bots.
The matchmaking process currently happens something like this:
• First of all the matchmaker selects the game mode
• Next it selects a map (both randomly, and with predefined weights).
• Then it tries to assemble 2 teams.
When it comes to assembling the teams, the algorithm creates thousands of potential team combinations and evaluates them. It attempts to identify how even the lineups are to ensure a fair match, for example, if one team has 3 defenders, and the second team only has 2 (and in all other respects they are the same), then that team will be given a penalty. The more penalties, the lower the final score.
Once all teams have been given scores, the team with the best score is selected. This is how teams are generated right now, I hope this all makes sense!
We are still working on how it will work in the future. There are many ongoing discussions, but we want player feedback to be looked at before we make a final choice on how to proceed, so let us know how you think it should work.
How do you feel about modding the game in the future?
Artyom: At the moment, it’s challenging to delve into specific technical details about modding. As an initial thought, we see no reason to prohibit small mods that don’t affect gameplay, a note taking mod for example is fine in theory, but we’ll have to develop our mod policy further. Of course, we will be ruthless towards any modifications that give a gaming advantage through unfair means, as this goes against our whole philosophy.
Will this game replace other Wargaming games?
James: Not at all! Project CW is its own game and is not meant to replace or take away from any other Wargaming title. We don’t want to risk angering our friends across WG by outdoing them 😉
Thanks for reading!
As we get closer and closer to the end of the playtest, we just wanted to take a second to offer a huge thank you to everyone who has played, enjoyed, and offered feedback on Project CW so far. The reception has been astounding and we can’t wait to continue making the greatest vehicular combat game that has ever existed or will ever exist (Is that too optimistic?… no I don’t think so…).
In the meantime, let us know what you thought of the Q&A and if you think we should do more in the future.