Our next set of answers from the development team is in - learn about the development of the game in this round of questions and answers!
Question: Will other players be able to see our statistics eventually?
Answer: The system that is going to be showing up in 0.12 is that you will be able to choose from one of 3 settings:
- Private – No one else can see your stats. This is the default setting
- Friends Only – Only people you have on your friends list can see your stats
- Public – Everyone can see your stats including websites/external APIs once those are available
There is one exception – currently, everyone within a Battalion can see each other’s stats no matter what the privacy setting is. It was felt this would be information battalion leaders have a right to have access to and when we discussed it further, it was decided that battalion members in general should be comfortable with sharing their stats as a social group. The Battalion decision however is under revision due to negative community feedback.
Question: When will you fix the shot delay?
Answer: The shot delay issue is something we’re actively working on. It’s been a difficult thing to reproduce in a testing environment even with different network lag simulators and packet loss generators in our internal testing. We have reproduced it by introducing extreme load on the game server CPU, but only at load levels that are 5 to 6 times higher than what the live game servers are hitting in terms of CPU processing time.
There is definitely a technical problem somewhere along the line between the client/server in getting those shots processed as fast as they should be considering the round trip ping times where shot delay can still happen and we’re continuing to narrow down the problem.
In 0.12, we will be adding a game options toggle so that you can determine if your cannon firing audio and visual effect will fire the instant you click the mouse (client-side feedback) or wait until the client hears back from the server on the shot fired (server-side feedback). The latter option will cause the whole cannon firing to be better synchronized with the projectile launching but will result in feeling that delay a bit more. This isn’t our ‘solution’ for shot delay but just something to let players decide how they want the audio and VFx feedback to be timed in general.
Question: What exactly happened to T-90MS in 0.11.1616?
Answer: The T-90MS lower front plate was originally integrated with a much smaller gradient then intended internally, making it far too easy to penetrate even multiple tiers lower. During the process of adjustment and testing new numbers, the wrong data was applied to Live which had outdated, far too high armor thickness that only certain Tier 9's might be able to get through. A quick hotfix set these to the appropriate values that they are now. It is set into three even strips: The top strip is 380mm of composite armor, and is impenetrable. The middle strip is 190mm of composite, and can be penetrated by some Tier 8/9 vehicles. The lowest portion is only 188mm of high yield steel, which even some Tier 6 vehicles can go through. This is the same makeup as the T-90 from Tier 8, only slightly enhanced, and should not be considered a 'new' weakness or debuff as it's merely carrying over what was already present in the series.
Question: Will in the future the events like Halloween be different on NA/EU servers or will they be similar to each other?
Answer: It’s possible that the events will in the future be different for both servers, but for the rest of 2015 they will remain identical.
Question: Will there be a token system for tier 10 vehicles too?
Answer: That is currently not yet decided. It is possible, but not certain. Another option will be to tie the appropriate tier 10 vehicles to the existing tier 9 ones. Which version would you prefer?
Question: Will there be a token system for retrofits?
Answer: We are planning to make the retrofits easier to obtain. The players will have more choices regarding which vehicles they want to play to obtain the retrofits they want.
Question: Are there any improvements to the base system planned?
Answer: Absolutely. In the future, we will add more building levels with improved bonuses to correspond to the maximum vehicle tier increase from 8 to 10. Certain buildings will also produce useful consumables that, for example, increase the reputation or credit gain from one battle by a large margin.
Question: Any plans to rework the weak spots of Tier 8 MBTs?
Answer: We are constantly improving the armor layout of the vehicles and checking it not to contain any bugs or issues. In Update 0.11, we made some improvements to the armor of high tier Main Battle Tanks, while the second batch of other classes and lower tier MBTs will come in Update 0.12. As for the shape and size of the weak spots, that is mostly a balance consideration. We do not want the game to degrade into “pixel hunting” where players are trying to aim at tiny holes in armor, but we also do not want the heavily armored vehicles in the game to have massive vulnerability zones in the front that would completely negate the rest of the vehicle’s frontal armor.
Question: Are you planning to separate ammo loadouts or retrofits for PvE and PvP?
Answer: This is not planned currently, but it comes up from time to time as one of the possible solutions. In ideal case however the practical ammunition loadouts should be roughly identical to both modes.
Question: What about the reload time correction? Reload times shown in battles are often inaccurate!
Answer: This is a known issue that has unfortunately been very difficult to fix, since it is not always tied to the specific vehicle values but also to the connection between the client and server. We are working on a fix that we hope will be introduced soon.
Question: When will the visual camouflage system come? Can you share any details?
Answer: This is currently quite high on the upcoming feature list and it will come relatively soon. The camouflages will be separated into woodland, desert and snow variants and will influence the vehicle camouflage factor.
Question: How does the camouflage factor work in the game exactly? What does the number “0.10” mean for example?
Answer: Camouflage factor represents the reduction of opponent’s view range. To give you an example: if the camouflage factor is 0.10 and opponent’s view range is 100 meters, it will be reduced by 10 percent to 90 meters. Camouflage factor is influenced by vehicle size, cover (bushes, trees), class specific camouflage adjustment, movement and shooting.
Question: What about the visual camouflage net that can be seen on certain bots in PvE?
Answer: Visual camouflage nets are a part of the customization system and will come in near future.
Question: Is it possible to include the Centauro 155 in a separate wheeled SPG line? Such a class could have high speed, be great at repositioning but lower rate of fire and limited gun traverse.
Answer: It’s possible. There are some wheeled artillery vehicles that we are considering, for example the Czechoslovak DANA or the French CAESAR system. These vehicles will however be introduced only when we are satisfied with the overall artillery performance.
Question: Will there be more customization options for UI?
Answer: Yes, we are preparing improved interface customization, for example alternative aiming reticles.
Question: What vehicles have you been thinking to introduce to the third dealer? What will it focus on?
Answer: The third dealer will focus on Chinese, French, Polish, Czechoslovak and Scandinavian vehicles and will bring both tracked and wheeled vehicles of all classes with the exception of artillery. Third dealer artillery will be introduced later.
Question: Can we hope to see further Direct X 11 features implemented in game, such as realistic weather effects, dirty/snowy/muddy tanks and better textures via tessellation?
Answer: Definitely – one of the things the graphics and programming teams focus now is the improvement of the visual quality for high-end computers alongside the ongoing optimization process. We are planning to introduce for example the effect where the environment affects the tank looks – going through mud will make it dirty etc. Weather will also be implemented, as will the improved lighting and texture render.
Question: The C1 Ariete looks disparate from its tree. All of other tanks on its tree, like the Challenger, have heavy armor and low speed, but the Ariete has light armor and high speed. Is it possible it will be replaced in the future?
Answer: We are aware that the Ariete does not exactly fit the branch characteristics-wise and we do want to replace it in the British tree in the long run by something else, possibly in 2016. For now, it was buffed in 0.11 and we will continue to monitor its performance.
Question: What is the proposed end-game for those not interested in clan wars?
Answer: Hardcore PvE mode. We are preparing a mode for both single players and organized teams where the players will get to fight “bosses”, which will require significantly higher amount of coordination compared to the usual PvE missions, while yielding much higher rewards. Another thing that we are considering is to make a server-wide scoring and leaderboard system for the current missions, but that’s just a concept for now.
Question: What are your plans for events? World of Tanks usually has weekend events every week with some kind of bonus to encourage playing more. The Halloween event was fun, so do you plan on having more events like that in the future?
Answer: Certainly – we believe you will find the Christmas event most satisfactory. In 2016, we are planning a number of events both online and offline.
Question: Can you name some artillery candidates for tier 9? Will there be any tier 10 artillery?
Answer: Too early to tell. One of the high tier candidates is the AHS Krab or the XM2001 Crusader but these vehicles will not be implemented soon. In theory nothing prevents us from implementing tier 9 and 10 artillery vehicles but before we do that, we want to make absolutely sure that the artillery in the game is balanced to our and, more importantly, to player satisfaction.
Question: What countries' tanks will be featured in the fourth dealer?
Answer: It’s a bit too early to tell here as well. Currently we are considering the South Korean and Israeli tanks. Please note that the Israeli can comfortably build an entire branch and it is completely possible that they will receive just that. The first Israeli tank will arrive relatively soon.
Question: Will there ever be bigger maps than Reactor? Will you rebalance the existing maps to make the teams more equal?
Answer: It is possible, but keep in mind that bigger map does not always equal improved gameplay. Maps where both teams spend minutes looking for each other and where the teams caught on the flank opposite to the one the enemy uses to advance cannot react on such a development are not entertaining to play. We are currently investigating the existing maps for disproportionate winrates of both sides and we will implement corrections wherever required.
Question: Will anything be done to address PvE missions such as Rolling Thunder that tend to be very unforgiving to anything except MBTs? Perseus is a great map where any team composition can succeed. What about the SPG’s?
Answer: Yes. We will adjust the map design as well as bot behavior to improve the position of light vehicles on the maps (for example by making the bots target the heaviest player vehicles first, an equivalent of the “mobs target plate” principle appearing in many MMORPGs). We will also make certain design changes to make the artillery more PvE-viable.
Question: What will be the tier 1 starter for the 3rd dealer?
Question: When can we expect more PvP maps?
Answer: Two maps currently in development are Coastal Threat and another, Africa-themed map. Some players might remember the first one from the very early days of Alpha and Early Access. The map was removed due to performance and balance issues and was completely overhauled. Both maps will appear in the upcoming updates.
Question: In the PvE mode, will the AI opponents stop firing so accurately? It’s unfair!
Answer: We have made some adjustments to the AI opponent behavior – they will be introduced in Update 0.12. The bots will behave more like players (with certain reaction time) than regular MMO monsters. This should also improve the situation of lighter vehicles, suffering from the accurate hard to evade fire. We have also made some changes in 0.11 in terms of where AI vehicles are aiming on player vehicles that will reduce the accuracy of AI vehicles in terms of being able to hit fast moving targets on the move.
Question: Are the 200, 250 and 300 rounds per minute rates of fire for autocannons just placeholders or balance values? In real life, some of the autocannons can fire many times as fast.
Answer: The rate of fire was reduced for both balance reasons and for technical reasons. Every round fired in the game has to be calculated by the server (its trajectory and impact result). Having too many rounds flying through the air at once (for example in the case of many autocannon-equipped vehicles on the map) would impact the server performance negatively. We can theoretically introduce the graphics effect of the guns firing faster and completely overhaul the way autocannon shells are calculated (for example as “beams” doing periodical penetration and damage checks) but we are not convinced such a solution is required.
Question: Are you planning to introduce the same maps in different time, especially night?
Answer: We are partially doing that already – some PvE maps are based on PvP map segments with different weather, lighting or skyboxes. We do however not want to introduce copycat maps to PvP like that in order to keep the gameplay sufficiently varied.
Question: Will tier 6 Light Tanks be rebalanced? At the moment both premiums (Expeditionary Tank and VFM) are better tanks than the Stingray, the Expeditionary Tank being the best one and unobtainable for anyone new starting the game.
Answer: It is true that the Stingray is slightly underperforming, but all the three mentioned tanks are well within acceptable margins. We will continue to monitor the performance of all three however.
Question: With the introduction of Tier 9 and 10, is there any plan to change the tier of any of the actual vehicles? Especially the premium tanks.
Answer: No, that’s not planned.
Question: If Obsidian Entertainment plans to have user editable emblems and vehicle skins, will they develop an additional toolkit to implement that feature, since Cryengine uses different format for texture assets?
Answer: It is possible, but the priorities currently lie in core development.
Question: Will there be PTS for NA?
Answer: Yes, eventually it will return. We cannot however give you any specific date on that.
Question: Are there are any candidates for tier 9 and 10 wheeled tank destroyers?
Answer: A few – such as the PTL-02 variants with improved armament.
Question: Will we get a T-55 in the game? It's kind of unfair not to have one. And a Centurion?
Answer: It’s possible both will be implemented in 2016 – one way or the other.
Question: Would it be possible to unify the global chats into a single channel?
Answer: That’s something we’ve been looking into. We expect the chat to be overhauled in the future.
Question: Are self-propelled mortars still going to be introduced into the game?
Answer: They are currently on hold until the artillery gameplay is satisfactory to both us and the players. They will very likely not be introduced in the first half of 2016.
Question: How far back in history are we going to go in this game when it comes to vehicles?
Answer: The earliest vehicles in the game (such as the T-54) were designed during the Second World War or shortly after. That is about as far as we want to go – we do not aim to introduce vehicles that specifically fought in World War Two such as the T-34.
Question: Have you considered implementing SPGs that require some kind of deployment to take place before they can be fired?
Answer: Yes. But look at it from the gameplay point of view – it’s like taking the controls from the player for several seconds each time he or she wants to use the artillery. That’s not very entertaining and – what is worse – prevents the artillery players from actually moving from the spot. This can lead to a number of situations that we do not want, such as players being motivated not to move (“takes a few seconds every time, so why bother”), artillery on both sides doing nothing after firing one or two shots but checking each other for signs of counter artillery because both sides expect the other not to move etc.
Question: Will there ever be fire and forget missiles in the game? That way you can have a missile that you could fire on the move.
Answer: No. The missile mechanism in the game is specifically designed to require player interaction. Without it, guided missiles would become “just another shell type, only firing slower”.
Question: What is the angle at which the shell will auto-bounce from the armor and why is the effective armor capped at 3x the nominal armor thickness?
Answer: It’s not capped per se, that notion comes from the poor wording of one of the tips on the loading screen. In reality, the ricochet angle is 20 degrees for AP shells (or 70 from vertical if you will). At that angle, the effective armor thickness is roughly equal to three times the nominal thickness and everything beyond that angle will ricochet. The confusing tooltip will have to be removed as in the case of (for example) SC impacts, the effective armor can be higher than the 3x mentioned.
Question: Why are we not getting any compensation for team damage?
Answer: This is something we will definitely address in the future.
Question: When will you start balancing platoons so one team doesn’t have 3 tier 8 platoon players and the other team only tier 7s for example?
Answer: We are working on a matchmaker overhaul that will be introduced relatively soon. It will contain a fix for this issue.
Question: How long does it take on average to create a tank from blueprint till we see it in the game?
Answer: Roughly 3-4 months.
Question: Why did you decide to develop the game using the CryEngine on not, say, the Unreal Engine?
Answer: When we started working on Armored Warfare, we evaluated the different engine options available at the time. CryEngine stood out for its ability in making large exteriors with great graphics. It also came with solid vehicle physics that we were able to build up from which helped us ramp up development quickly.
That's it for today, stay tuned for the next part!