WoT AMA: Crew Perk Changes Q&A with Product Owner Evgeniy Krishtapovich and Lead Designer Igor Svetikov

source: reddit

We have Product Owner Evgeniy Krishtapovich and Lead Designer Igor Svetikov here to answer questions. To make sure you understand their roles better, here are short descriptions of what they worked on for this feature.

Product Owner Evgeniy Krishtapovich

To provide and explain how the feature works, what changes are planned and collect feedback to share it with the development team.

Lead Designer Igor Svetikov

Responsible for crew changes and made decisions for this feature. Owned the feature and ensured all development works.

  • Q: Do you think adding new perks that increase crew efficiency, tank speed and dpm even further is a good idea?

A: Here we have considered several factors, including the things we believe that play a factor in the frequency of turbo battles and the speed of battles.

The truth is that we are very limited by characteristics that are non-toxic and safe enough in terms of balance. At the same time, we need to make the new perks useful and in demand. We do not intend to speed up the gameplay too much. That’s why all these perks do not work all the time, but are activated under certain conditions, which makes them less universal.

As for the speed +1 km/h, this change cannot significantly affect the speed of the game; the purpose of the perk is different – to give an advantage in survivability when tanking, mainly for heavy tanks.
Thirdly, can understand that players are concerned about turbo battles, which the question refers to, is not in the increased characteristics of the vehicles. In most cases, a turbo battle occurs when the ‘main’ tank in the team moves in an irrational direction and ultimately does not provide the expected advantage.

To sum up: we will introduce such perks very carefully and will see how this affects the game. Right now, this decision does not seem risky, but we are carefully monitoring the situation and ready step into action if needed.

  • Q: Why would we accept that equipment can be swapped out at the start of a battle but skills cannot?

A: The Secondary Equipment loadout is unpopular feature – we see that less than 2% of players use it – so the benefits of such system does not pay out for most players. And we don’t want the same fate for perks. Also, any additional layer makes it more complicated which also affects general perception and usability of the system overall.

  • Q: As it stands, World of Tanks is a vastly complex game, with many variables and positional considerations for players to make to determine how and when they act. With the introduction of so many new conditional crew skills, are the team at Wargaming concerned over whether they may overcomplicate gameplay?

A: We don’t think situational perks currently being tested add complexity to the gameplay. The tests, including the current one, show that more than 90% of players have no problems understanding and using these perks.

It’s a matter of choice, after all. Situational perks obviously require more skill and coordination from the player to use them effectively but with time, we believe players will get used to them and get familiar with how they work.

We will be closely monitoring the new system, we want to make sure that situational skills also contribute to the variety and customizable gameplay we want to achieve without breaking the balance.

  • Q: The current proposal with six skills inadvertently buffs heavies, brawling mediums or assault TDs that do not need the camo skill, because they get to choose an extra more useful new skill. A way to fix this would be like with firefighting, make camo a single person skill, like you have done with firefighting?

A: With the introduction of Bonus Perks we believe most LTs and MTs will be on par in terms of performance with the HT and Assault TDs. The crews on those vehicle types also had double specialities and are now limited to 6 perks. Players will be need to sacrifice some perks over others which should make the new system much fairer than the current one. Also, crew perks are a part of the tanks overall balance and can be addressed with general and further potential rebalances.

  • Q: I have lots of crews, I hope you don’t intend to reset all their skill so I have to select all those skills on each and every crew member again. Have you taken that into consideration?

A: We have added special buttons for the mass training and resetting and we have given players a free perk reset for every crew member. Also, there is a button for mass auto-training – but if you aim to create the best possible outcome for your playstyle manual perk selection is still the best option.

  • Q: Given that Crew 1.0 was balanced around three (3) skills/perks required to be competitive and Crew 2.0 is balanced around six (6) perks to be competitive. What is the rationale for changing the perk balance point? Why have a perk limit of six? Meaningful choice is great but what if you want to grind towards 9/10/11/12 perks and get everything?

A: Both statements aren’t true to be honest – in the current system you still want to have as many perks as possible even though they don’t provide a lot of advantages after 3rd or 4th perk. In the new system we implemented more perks not because we think that 3 it is bad competitive border but because we want the crew system to be valuable for players – reach 3 perks it is matter of week or even days if you have a member with two zero-perks – in such reality you will lose interest in this aspect very fast. 6 perks it is achievable level but requires much more effort and also pays out much more. Such limitation makes all the crew system much fairer for players, give an achievable goal for each crew member, bring some diversity into perks builds and make it possible for us to add some new perks in future with it being achievable for players who don’t spend to increase their XP earnings.

  • Q: There’s not even a hint of monetization in this proposed crew rework? So I’m curious – If you go the Armory Captain / Commander route like World of Warships you just end up eventually obsoleting anyone who doesn’t have the “Unique” captain / commander that has the improved versions of the perks. Which undercuts the stated goals of meaningful choice and bridging the gap between new and older players. So how does this crew rework lead to increasing ARPPU for WoT from say €50 to €70+? Anything you can make public would be appreciated.

A: Monetization was never a core and decisive aspect of this crew feature and rework – in all iterations we tried and focused on how to improve the system to make it more diverse, deep and interesting to really reflect the importance of the crew in the gameplay without monetization. It is important for us to keep the crew as a free-to-play feature as much as we can, accessible and fair to all our players.

  • Q: How do you intend to maintain fair play across new, returning and current long term players while incorporating a new factor in tanks balance into the game?

  • Q: World of tanks has already had numerous discussions about how fair the game is to newer players and how advantageous it is to be a long term player, and there has been gaps in the statistics already with Equipment 2.0, field mods etc, this is yet another mechanic added into the game that will further create a gap. What sort of ways can you ensure this gap does not expand.

A: As mentioned already in previous answers to this AMA, the main point of this crew system improvement is to reduce the gap between all kinds of players. This isn’t the first change aimed at that but with the perk limitation, the default sixth sense, retraining bonuses, grace periods, and the generous conversion rates we will be reducing the gap that you are referring to, at least in this new crew perk system. The new system is much friendlier to newcomers than the current one – the 6 perks limitation won’t allow players to go to unreachable performances of 7,8,9 perks, instead, it now offers a ceiling for experienced players to hit and new players to achieve.

  • Q: Players need goals to work towards. Do you really feel that just earning crew books is going to meet that need?

A: It is a good question and we added the post-progression feature based on community and Contributor feedback.

One of our main aims is to set an achievable goal and allow players to max-out their crews and performance. We are not willing to keep increasing the performance by providing additional bonuses to that crew. Instead, the extra XP earned can be used to accelerate other crews’ training. This seems to be the most logical and non-toxic way to provide a reward for maxed-out crews and players.

  • Q: Why can’t the perks that are basically required (like BIA, the proposed RNG reduction, etc) be baked into the game like 6th Sense was, and we just have more skills and perks that offer side-grades instead of straight buffs that will always favor higher XP (ie longer time) players?

A: Simply because if every player has these perks, it would mean the same as if no one had them, just raising the characteristics raise to a new level. We don’t want to do that.

Plus, I would argue with people who claim that such perks are mandatory in the new system. Think about it, let’s take BiA as an example: a 5-person crew needs to spend 5 perk slots to get a 5% crew bonus. Let’s consider the commander. Are you sure that taking BiA specifically for them is the best idea? Because if we take, say, Emergency instead, we lose 1% crew bonus but gain much more.

So, as long as these perks remain in the system, they are still able to give the player a choice.

Future AMAs will be linked back to each other or can be found on this account’s profile.

AMA has concluded, thank you for your questions.

9 thoughts on “WoT AMA: Crew Perk Changes Q&A with Product Owner Evgeniy Krishtapovich and Lead Designer Igor Svetikov

  1. can’t wait for 3 man platoons with all of the crew efficiency perks stacked on top of one another, wolf packing it around and destroying everything in their path because their dpm (in 140’s for example) will be nuts.

    1. I agree. My 907 is already about 4,050 DPM with the current equipment and crew skills. A platoon of 907s could mow down everything if they play smart.

  2. Adding new skills and perks in future should be forbidden, that could be a huge monetisation opportunity and some kind of FOMO…
    The rewards after 6th skill are uninteresting, the game gives shayt tons of crew books already…

  3. Giving crew books after maxing out a crew is a good idea but not very good we wont be having infinite need of new crews and many players have few tanks…

    They should give either free XP or credits to be more interesting

  4. So they blame turbo battles on higher tier heavy tanks going to the wrong place on the map and/or the same heavy tank player being a 43% useless knob

  5. These changes “won’t speed up the game too much”, is WG aware the average random battle lasts 4-5 minutes WITHOUT them?

    1. Where can I get those long 4-5 minute battles? I am happy if it is 3.5 minutes until the steamroll finishes.

  6. “Monetization was never a core and decisive aspect of this crew feature and rework”

    Bullshit… They just sold anime crews with 4 perls on it. “WHY ARE YOU LYING?!”

    This goes through is the day i uninstall.. Cause i had 12+ crew perks… Its funny the youtubers were against this… And now they are okay with it cause wg paid them off.. Im not going to put up with this game im going to move on after this and play another video game..

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