World Of Tanks – Q & A With Alexander Shilyaev
- Updated: 22nd Feb, 2011
Following on from my popular World of Tanks – Open Beta Launched And First Impressions post I got the chance to ask the World of Tank’s project manager – Alexander Shilaev – a number of questions about the game, including the hot topic of tank SPG’s (self propelled guns).
When will users be able to customize their tanks via personal drawings, insignias, clan emblems or custom camos?
AS: Our artists already work on expanding World of Tanks camo collection, so when they are done, every nation will have a selection of both historically accurate and made-up camos. Some time later we’ll add a pre-set collection of pics the players will be able to use as their personal insignias. After that, clan emblems will be introduced. All these will take us around two months to implement. As for the custom drawings, we had to put off their introduction, because we haven’t yet worked out any mechanism that will let us moderate them as we want to avoid all sort of nationalist and extremist pictures. Custom inscriptions with players’ mottos or credos are planned as well.
Has anything surprised you from the beta feedback you’ve received so far?
AS: The biggest surprise was the number of beta-testers that joined the game – we had to install extra servers to host all the players willing to try out the game. As for some funny moments, I personally liked the stylish skin of the SU-14 SPG that our players call “the school bus” or the video showing 14 light tanks knocked out with one shot:
There’s been a lot of talk on the WoT forums about tank SPGs being too over powered and unbalancing the gameplay. Are there any plans to address this?
AS: We will rebalance artillery and other classes of vehicles as soon as we realize that a particular class has a crucial advantage over others. What we see now is that there’re on average 2-3 artillery units on one team in random battles and it’s what we were expecting to see. If we make artillery weaker than it is now, there’ll be fewer people playing it and this will automatically cause “extinction” of other classes – light and medium tanks. Were artillery overpowered and extremely profitable, there would be 5-7 players driving Hummels or SU-14’s on every team. In one word, the game is a complex mechanism with lots of interdependent components, so when we change one parameter, many others are affected. Anyway, with every new patch we add some balance changes based on the statistics that we gather on a weekly basis and we’ll definitely continue doing this further on to improve the gameplay.
Any further details on the PvE (Player vs Environment) content that’s currently in development?
AS: World of Tanks is a 100% PvP (Player vs Player) game at the moment and we’ll focus all our efforts on further exploring its PvP potential. What could be more fun than fighting against real players not just scripted AI bots? In future we’ll pay more attention to CvC (Clan vs. Clan) elements as we believe this gameplay layer will be of most interest to our fans. However, we’ll probably add some PvE training missions that will let novices learn the ropes of tank driving and tactics.
What anti-cheat methods do you have in place and are you aware of any attempts at cheating so far?
AS: Well, we’ve seen a lot people selling World of Tanks cheats recently. Some of them promise to enhance combat characteristics of your vehicles; some are supposed to unlock the desired tech tree… I want to assure you that none of the cheats will ever work, because all the game calculations are server-based. So beware of FRAUD! The real problem that we have in the game is AFK (Away from Keyboard) players. To address this issue we’ll soon introduce an anti-bot system that will track and report these players studying their battle statistics.
What for you is the most exciting aspect of the Clan War mode?
AS: A hard question! The great thing about the Clan Wars mode is that it gives players some things that are more important than just wins or control over territories, so I would answer – team spirit and the feeling of unity with your clan are the most exciting aspects. Wargaming.net clan took part in Clan Wars beta-test in Russia and even though I didn’t participate in the battles myself, I entered the clan room to listen to the talks and share the tense moments with the comrades. After the battle, when you get back to the Global Map and see a new province conquered by your clan, you definitely feel proud of your team… or pissed off if the territory was lost?. All these feelings make Clan Wars really involving and captivating.
Thanks to Alexander Shilyaev for answering all my questions and Arthur Pratapopau from World of Tanks for setting it up.
World of Tanks is currently in beta and is free to play now on PC.