Welcome to the fourth issue of the Developer Digest series. In this issue, Senior NA Producer Joshua Morris continues to answer some of the most commonly asked questions by the community!
The first part of his answers can be found here.
How many people are working on Armored Warfare?
Over 100 people at Obsidian alone.
What data and what parameters are used or will be used in balancing vehicles?
We don't share all this information but it does include wins, Reputation gains, Credit gains, skill levels, damage done, etc. We can look at it from hundreds of stats tracked to determine balance.
What data do you have about maps?
We have a lot of data on these as well, including multiple heat maps that show deaths, kills, and travel paths.
I'd be interested in some kind of PvE content aimed at more hardcore PvP players in terms of difficulty. Is anything like this planned?
I think we only want "trash" mobs to be so smart, but there is no reason we can’t make mini bosses more intelligent and possibly use coordinated assaults. We do have to keep in mind win percentages of maps, we could easily make very smart bots and had pin point accuracy and wipe our players with little effort.
I believe that the requirements to advance as a player in some cases are way too high!
We are still going through rewards for both PvP and PvE and seeing what we can do to level the time/challenge/and reward ratio. PvE is interesting in that you generally cannot lose credits through normal participation, so credits tend to be less of a challenge.
Why are Tier 1 and Tier 2 only able to play Easy missions?
We could look at unlock Medium and even Hard difficulty for these levels after you play x number of total matches, but considering that most players don’t play these vehicles for long, it has been lower on our priority list.
What are you planning to do with retrofit and skill stacking?
Retrofits and Crew skills both need a rework to smooth out things like this.
Why do you add so many new features? Shouldn’t the developers focus on issue fixing?
We obviously need to continue to add new features to keep people entertained but at the same time we need to stabilize what is already included to a level of polish that is acceptable to the majority of players. To that end we will be dedicating a portion of the team for this purpose and you should see improvements in this area in every update moving forward some small and some large.
Will there be any alternative ways of unlocking Retrofits?
Alternative ways to unlock retrofits have been on our list for a long while; we just have had higher priority items that have pushed it down.
Are you planning to add some soft kill system features in a game later?
We would like to add more cutting end high tier systems to make Tier 9/10 gameplay a bit different, I am sure that will happen at some point.
Why are PvE and PvP earnings not equal?
The challenges/risk/and time investments are not equal. That being said we should look into adding a more difficult mode, something that may say have a 50% win rate max that would allow better rewards for PvE.
Will there be any Tank Destroyer rebalances?
Tank Destroyers are not in the worst shape from a class perspective, I would say addressing non-scout AFVs should be higher on the list. After that we can evaluate where TDs are, and what is needed.
Can you tell us about end-game content?
It will take shape in a few forms, and some are already in early development. However details can't be shared quite yet.
Is there going to be more options for Camouflage such as camouflage nets?
Yes and more decal options both in variety and flexibility.
When it comes to the community, do you listen to the PvP playerbase more or the PvE playerbase? Or to both equally?
Well PvP obviously needs a little more focus at the moment. However, changes and fixes we come up with will also affect PvE as well. We need to get PvP in a healthy state on all servers, but it’s been proven that players do want more PvE content and that it is a successful mode we can build on.
When can we expect the tier 9 and 10 Chinese MBTs?
They are on the list for this year.
Will there be any South-Korean vehicles?
You can expect South-Korean vehicles for sure; models will be decided over time.
We have some unfinished tank models in the files (IS-7, K1, K2, AMX 13 75/90). Can you comment on those vehicles?
They will be added at some point, but I can't speak about how they will be obtained yet.
Can you tell us how WZ-1224 is performing?
It was over performing at the start, but that is fairly natural for a new vehicle, not due to power but who tends to purchase vehicles first. Currently I haven't checked on that particular vehicle, but we are always looking to adjust outliers.
What’s your opinion on Tier 6 and Tier 7 meta-game? Aren’t you concerned about the so-called “pixel-hunting”?
The meta up to Tier 6 is actually pretty good and there are even improvements at Tier 7. "Pixel hunting" as everyone has begun to call it is just a small part of the end game meta that isn't quite working as an enjoyable experience. While there are possible solutions to this particular issue, they will take some engineering work beyond just number adjustments. Both the Anti-Tank Guided Missiles and Autocannon systems need to be looked at closely. It’s a part of the solution to break pixel hunting, and have better class balance. While we want MBTs to maintain "armor" as a primary strength, and remain a powerful class, we need to bring up other classes to be viable at all tiers. As said before this includes rebalances, map design, and overall improvements to class design.
Will you implement a web-based clan management portal with expanded options?
Yes, these systems will get upgraded as we add more tools for competitive play we will need to give you more tools to effectively manage your battalions.
Many issues that are reported on the PTS server still make it to the live server. Why?
We recognize this, which is why we will also have internal test servers to give us more time to correct major issues before going to live, PTS is often too late.
Why aren’t you basing the game changes mostly on Community Feedback? Seems to me you are interested only in money!
We will continue to develop the game using telemetry, community feedback, and internal design to improve the game over time. Simply reading the forum isn't possible as there is never 100% agreement on many changes. Skill-Influenced Match Making (SIMM) is a perfect example of something that no matter the choice will always have resistance. We are now gathering actual data on a non-SIMM match making. It’s actually a good way to proving to ourselves which is better rather than just guessing. As for money, of course it is important as a business, we can’t continue to update the game and employ developers without income, it’s not evil, and our pricing model is actually much friendlier than similar games.
What is your opinion on the cost of retrofits?
These are the initial prices with scaling; we will have to evaluate many things from Tier 7-10 including pricing.
How does Obsidian intend to further player immersion into the world of Armored Warfare?
Story is something that we do want to immerse people in, creating factions and rewards. I think major features moving forward will have embedded story elements that will start to give you more insight into the AW universe. We will also release some promotional videos that highlight some of these elements.
When will the existing lines be completed (the BMP line, TD line, etc.)?
Vehicles should all be selected at this point and work on some has already started to my knowledge. All trees lines in the first dealers will be complete, including the UK line.
Would it be possible to pick all three daily challenges individually from a list (Credit, Boost and Global Reputation challenges)?
Already in the works!
When can we expect the ERA armor for T-80?
I am not sure the base T-80 will get this upgrade.
When can we expect more Base buildings?
We want to make improvements, but I’m sure you agree there are some game play issues that are higher priority at the moment.
Are there any planned improvements to the commander and crew systems planned?
We would like an overhaul to this system, and it ranks higher than bases.
Are you planning Battalion achievements?
We would like to expand achievements in many directions including Battalions and have linked rewards. We also have to be careful on how to create these as we don't want to impact normal gameplay.
When will Centauro 155 return to Armored Warfare?
We don’t know when we will find the right place for that vehicle, but we have the model.
Could you add a clock to the game?
That is an often requested feature. This will become more important to add when we have in game matches/tournaments etc.
Will you buff the Camouflage stats of the Stryker and both Centauros?
I don’t think Camouflage is supposed to be the big benefit of those particular vehicles.
Will you make changes towards to artillery gameplay?
After we get to some other issues first.
Will you introduce Cruise Missile Launchers like the Tomahawk?
Maybe but not in standard gameplay.
Armored Recovery Vehicles?
It’s been discussed, and would be interesting to investigate more for the future.
That's it for today. See you in the next issue!