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: How do you determine which tier a vehicle will end up ? It is weird to see a tier 7 Warrior only have autocannon while some tier 5 and 6 vehicles do have ATGM or auto cannon to deal with various threats. Answer: First and foremost, please keep in mind that the tree you are currently seeing in the game is not finished and might be changed at any point during the Early Access stage. With that being said, we are generally trying to match certain eras to certain vehicles. Lower tiers represent the 50’s and 60’s while tier 8 represents for example the 90’s to contemporary vehicles. Using your example of the Warrior, the vehicle was built in very late 80’s while the missile-shooting Soviet BMP-1 production started in mid-60’s.
Question: Will the developers consider faster implementation for less known vehicles if there is a proper thread with enough information (background, sources, suggestions about balancing) to work with in the suggestion sub-forum ? Answer: We would like first to implement the best known and most important vehicles before we start delving into the obscure. On the other hand any and all info provided by the community helps us in implementing the vehicles the players want and if we have to choose between two candidates with one candidate having a full exposition and a support thread on the forums, we will naturally listen to the voice of the community.
Question: Will every tier 10 have its corresponding tier 1? Answer: Not necessarily. Trees can be asymmetrical and one tier 1 can branch into multiple vehicles.
Question: How do you approach the ideas and suggestions that are coming from the community on the forums? I would like to see how you work that through and what your criteria are. Answer: We do carefully read the forum feedback. It might sound like a cliché but it is not. With that being said, there are certainly some criteria we are sticking to. Threads with obscenities calling us names will likely not catch our attention when searching for quality feedback. Threads charged with emotions against a certain feature usually do not contain good feedback. We only ask all players to give the features we are preparing a fair chance – it’s completely possible for some elements or game mechanisms to be completely overhauled based on the community feedback but for that we need honest and unbiased opinions.
Question: How will the retrofit system play out? Answer: It will be a system of upgrades to the vehicle replacing the traditional “equipment” mechanism from other games. Players will be able to modify their tank to boost some of its characteristics.
Question: How many dealers can we expect for the Open Beta? Answer: Two when Open Beta starts. More will be added in the future.
Question: Will we see tier 1 and 2 MBT class vehicles? Answer: The next content update will introduce two Tier 2 MBTs, the T-54 and the M48 Patton. They will be replacing the Tier 2 positions occupied by the Scorpion and the LAV-150 and both of those vehicles will be moved into dedicated AFV vehicle blocks.
Question: How does the cap timer work exactly? Answer: The capture progresses from 0% to 100% with a tick every 2 seconds. Each vehicle, up to 3, contributes at least 1% of progress each tick. This means that 3 vehicles with no bonuses to capture speed will gain 3% toward 100% every 2 seconds. How this translates to actual time required to capture depends on the map as capture timers are tuned differently from map to map and depending on the match mode. Finally, some vehicles have a bonus to capture speed. These vehicles contribute more than 1% each tick. On each tick, the system will pick the 3 vehicles with the highest capture bonus to use for calculating progress. Finally, if there are more than 3 vehicles on the capture point, the capture points accrued are divided across all vehicles. For example, if there are 6 vehicles on the point for a tick, each vehicle will accrue 0.5% credit toward the capture. Vehicles with a bonus to capture speed will be given additional capture credit on the tick. This means they will earn more rewards for the same amount of time capturing than vehicles without a bonus.
Question: What about very large maps? Answer: We are preparing a huge 1400m x 1400m map. Maps this large however need to undergo proper testing.
Question: Will there be a camouflage system before OBT? Answer: It’s possible.
Question: Will visual camouflage affect vehicle’s camo factor? Answer: The current plan is for visual camouflage (paint schemes) to be a purely cosmetic change and not impact gameplay. We will continue to evaluate this direction when the system is closer to being introduced live.
Question: You've confirmed implementing AA vehicles like the Gepard in the future. What role will they have? AFV's? Answer: These vehicles will tentatively be introduced as additional AFVs. They tend to be lightly armored with rapidly firing cannons which is similar to most of our AFV characteristics.
Question: Will we ever see dynamic tank names? As an example, Chieftain Mk. 5 turning into Chieftain Mk. 10 once Stillbrew and any other relevant modules are mounted? Answer: We have discussed this system and while we aren’t in principle against it, we are concerned that regular players who are not “history buffs” will become somewhat confused with the amount of names of the vehicles in the game. One thing is to learn the names of like 60 or so vehicles in the game – but what if each one has 3 additional modifications? What if there are 100 vehicles? Or 300? What we want is for the players to instantly recognize what they are facing and such a system might make this more difficult.
Question: Will spotted vehicles be rendered at any range or is there a limit? Answer: The vehicle render limit is a 707m radius around the player's vehicle. This render limit actually has nothing to do with technical limits and everything to do with gameplay. For the longest time, we had no upper render limit and the side effect was that players were often getting targeted and shot by vehicles at extreme ranges of 800+ meters which made moving around the maps extremely difficult. As of right now, the 700m render distance feels about right for the preliminary map sizes. As we continue to explore larger and larger maps, we may find that we can remove this limit all together on certain map sizes.
Question: Will we get a Realistic Mode and Arcade mode? Answer: Currently, we are attempting to create modes for as wide audience as possible. Realistic (“simulator”) mode is a feature that is generally not massively popular in any game. This however does not mean it will not be looked into in the future.
Question: If your ATGM is fired and the enemy pops his smoke, is the missile affected in any way by the smoke? Answer: The smoke screen will hide the enemy vehicle but will not directly affect the missile in any way. It will be harder for the player to guide it to the target vehicle due to no longer being able to see it, but their control over the missile will remain unchanged.
Question: Are there any plans to implement battles larger than 30 players? Answer: For now, no. We have decided that the 15 vs 15 format is ideal for the types of battles we want to have in Armored Warfare. It’s possible that in the future different formats will come but there are no immediate plans for that.
Question: Will we be able to use sensors such as IR or night vision? Answer: We do plan on introducing night battles as a fleshed out feature and having access to vision enhancing technology will definitely be a part of that roll out. We will likely limit IR/Night Vision to First Person view only so that your normal view of the map in 3rd person is unaffected, but we will experiment with the exact interface details when we are closer to delivering the mode.
Question: Would it be possible to let us pick the battle that we get our daily double in? Answer: We will not have the ability to decide when to use your daily win bonus at first, but we are discussing different ideas for improving the control players have over this mechanic. We will release more details when we have something solid but for now, the win bonus will automatically trigger on your first daily win in a vehicle.
Question: Are you considering allowing players to use object destruction to damage enemy players? Answer: No, not for now.
Question: About the ATGM’s specifically. As the tiers go higher, soft/hard kill module will available to many vehicles. How will ATGM get balanced to deal with such an ATGM environment? Answer: Just like there are special types of armor to defeat HEAT-based missiles (such as ERA), there are missiles (notably the tandem warhead ones) that are designed to defeat these advanced types of armor. The competition between armor and firepower never ends. However, we understand that the counters to ATGMs get stronger the higher tier you go, making them feel less useful to have access to. We will be continuing to evaluate the interaction of ATGMs verses their high end countermeasures to make adjustments so that both feel worthwhile to have.
Question: In the open beta do you intend on keeping tier-gaps, i.e. from Sheridan (T4) to LAV-300 (T6) for example? Answer: In principle it is possible to have these gaps in our trees. We’d however prefer to have as few as possible. With each content update, the number of gaps remaining should decrease until they are completely gone.
Question: Will getting a T8 fully upgraded cost about the same in all trees or will some lines cost more because of available upgrades (guns, systems) in reputation and credits? Answer: All the lines should roughly cost the same but some divergences are possible.
Question: Now that MM is turned on, are all of its proposed features active? Answer: We are constantly working on tweaking the matchmaker system and in the Early Access 3 phase the matchmaker received more improvements. In the recent Early Access phase (especially outside of peak hours) however the matchmaker was influenced by lower numbers of players online. Such situations make the matchmaker drop some of its rules in order to build matches quickly, resulting in some less than favorable setups. We are working on a system that will allow the MM to shift between rulesets based on online populations dynamically to be able to better adjust to the current number of players queueing up for matches. We are also tuning it to be more tolerant of starting matches with fewer than 30 players if it means getting a match going in a timely fashion. In Early Access 4, we have fixed a bug that allowed uneven teams when starting with less than 30. With that fix, team sizes will always be equal.
Question: What will be the difference between “standard” artillery vehicles and self-propelled mortars? Answer: SPMs as a class are still being iterated on but here are a few of the ideas we will experiment on with them. The main difference is the firing arc. Mortars fire under very high angles, allowing them to lob shells even over obstacles a regular artillery vehicle would not be able to overcome but in order to do so, the SPMs will need to move very close to the front lines of battle rather than staying way in the back like SPGs do. Additionally the mortar vehicles have higher rate of fire but generally less firepower than their howitzer-equipped counterparts.
Question: Have you ever considered the possibility of removing a vehicle from the game because it is very hard to balance? Answer: Of course this is possible. We have no intention of forcing the players to put up with unbalanced vehicles in battles.
Question: Could we have a clarification on how auto-aim is supposed to work? Its current function seems lacking. Answer: Autoaim is designed to lock your cannon/gun on the center of the target you have right clicked on. It does not account for shell travel time or correctly lead targets, so the further away you are from a moving target, the less useful it will be. It will also not automatically target weak points, focusing only on maintaining aim on the center of the target vehicle. Autoaim is supposed to persist until either the target has been destroyed or the target manages to escape far enough away so that vision on the target is lost. However, we are aware that autoaim seems to be dropping more frequently than its design suggests it should and that even at close range, it seems to be inaccurate enough as to frequently miss. We are reviewing the system for improvements at this time to address the problems with it but do not have a time estimate on fixes yet.
Question: Will we get a free camera view after death on the battlefield and in replay system? Answer: After death – certainly not. Such function could be abused. In the future replay system it is likely.
Question: Will the effect of a shell being ejected out of a turret/gun/auto-cannon be included in the later stages of the game?
Answer: We definitely want to add visual details like these over time. We also have plans for adding additional animations to vehicles, including ATGM launcher deployments on vehicles that support it and even SPGs deploying their earth spades or supports if they have them.
Question: Are you considering adding your own player rating beyond the standard “winrate”? Answer: Not at the moment.
Question: Are you planning to introduce mouse button inversion for left-handed players or some additional settings in the control menu? Answer: Yes, this feature is planned.
Question: Are there plans for South Korean and South African tanks in Armored Warfare? Answer: Definitely.
That's it for today, stay tuned for the next part!