- When and how came the idea of an online tank game?
Wargaming started as a development studio focusing exclusively on military RTS games. All in all, we’ve released RTS 13 titles. Games gained generally positive reviews, but we somehow felt they lacked whatever they needed to hit the real big time. We took a closer look at what was its going on in the market. It turned out that we were going upstream. The industry has matured, gaming was growing truly global, and MMO genre became a clear trend. We decided to take the risk, try a new for us direction, and experiment with business models, genres and gameplay.
Frankly speaking, we considered developing a traditional Tolkien-style MMO game. Besides, the trend was telling us it was the best way to tap into the MMO market. We as gamers, however, have always been passionate for military theme, most of our RTS titles were centered on the warfare…The idea to develop a game about military warfare came as a watershed, “oh my god” moment. We thought, “What’s the point in building yet another orc’n’elf game when the industry is teemed with them? Why not focus on something we truly enjoy and build a title we ourselves would eagerly play?” And we did.
- Is the game - or the first version - based on any film or an other game?
I’d rather say we drew inspiration from XX century military history and its major conflicts. We created a solid, historically accurate, niche-targeted, hardcore gameplay and made it accessible for millions of players.
What we really adopted was the business model. Free-to-play payment structures have been rapidly gained ascendance in large-scale MMOs recently. However, when we started working on World of Tanks it was a completely unheard of and exotic idea. We took quite a research into the free-to-play market in South Korea and realised the model was highly perspective, so we started to think ‘why not do free-to-play games in the Western world’. Of course, the model went through several adjustments to meet the specifics of the estern gaming community.
- How many players are online nowadays?
We surpassed 30 million registrations this spring. But that includes China, which is approximately 50 percent of the world’s online market.
Our peak concurrent users in Russia, the record one, was 452,000 Russians playing at the same time.
- How are you modelling the types of vehicles? Another way: how will a historic tank (or prototype) be reborn as a WoT type?
Each vehicle model in World of Tanks pertains maximum historical fidelity and takes several months to develop. The process starts with a team of researchers and historical consultants who spend their days in libraries and museums pouring over books and blueprints, gathering historical references. Then, programmers and game designers develop a 3D model. After that, we tweak the primary combat setting to balance the vehicle so that it fits neatly into the gameplay. When it comes to the game balancing, the process slows down because the stats analysis needs to be done with maximum accuracy and precision.
- How much do you see a real tactical value of a tank type, when you integrate it to the game?
Every vehicle model present in the game calls for the same tactics as its real life counterpart. For example, as a heavy tank, you shouldn't waste time firing upon an "easy kill" when there's a more prevalent threat, such as an enemy heavy behind cover waiting to duck out and fire. A quick medium tank may be able to outmatch a stronger heavy tank by simply outmaneuvering it and firing at its weakest points while avoiding its slowly rotating turret. This is particularly effective in one-on-one combat on open ground where there's little cover. Also, playing on a medium tank, it's better to go the softer targets to support your heavies than waste your fire on targets you know you can't penetrate. An exception to this is when the "easy kill" target is scouting your position for enemy artillery or a heavy target is about to capture your base--in both cases, the tank has just become a bigger threat and primary target.
- What is your prediction about the new World of Battleships? Aren’t you afraid that the World of Warplanes and the World of Battleships will bring away players from WoT?
World of Tanks, World of Warplanes and World of Battleships are no competitors. Instead, they complete each other to provide maximum holistic and rounded military gaming experience. World of Warplanes is highly dynamic and calls for timely reaction. In World of Battleships the focus will be on strategic play. World of Tanks lies somewhere in the middle between the two. Together they bring variety and choice: you’ll get a chance to choose whichever vehicle type best fits your gaming style, while integrated user account will allow you switch between titles and transfer economic recourses.
I mean, of course, many World of Tanks veterans will try World of Warplanes, but this doesn’t mean they’ll leave ground battles for good. The core community will stay.
- What are your plans with the Tech Trees? What will be the newest developings?
We are planning to have Tank Trees for 7 Nations (USSR, Germany, USA, France, Britain, Japan, China) and Combined European tree. The Brits will be the next to enter the game, the Japanese will follow.
- When will the British Tech Tree appear?
The Brits are expected to arrive at the end of the year. The first British premium tank (Matilda Black Prince) is currently in testing and will be introducing in the coming Update.
- Is there any plan or idea for a „Middle-European” Tech Tree? For example with Hungarian types? (Toldi light tank, Turán Medium tank, Tas heavy tank, Nimród and Zrínyi tank destroyers, etc…)
We are working on a Combined European tree, but it’s not finalized yet. What I can say for sure is that it will comprise Hungarian, Swedish, Swiss, and Yugoslavian tanks among others. We are still thinking about Italian and Polish trees, if we manage to extend them to tier 10, we will make them separate. Otherwise - they both will be a part of EU tree.
- There are rumours that the soviet vehicles have great extra advantages against all other nation’s tanks. What would you say to that?
Well, there are certain Russian tanks in the game that are better than their German or American counterparts and vice versa - but that’s okay. Had we made all the tanks 100 per cent equal, the game would immediately lose its beauty and fun.
- When will the WoWp and the WoB „enter service”?
World of Warplanes entered Closed Beta in June. In several months we are shooting for Open beta with millions of players participating, many hundreds of thousands at least. As for the release date, nothing is set is stone. We’ll release the game when we feel it’s polished and finalized.
Our naval MMO game is shaping up as well. We carried out the second focus-testing of World of Warships two weeks ago. It was successful. However, the Alpha Test dates are still uncertain.
- We know that there are Polish, and now Czech supports and communities. Is there any plan for a Hungarian support and community?
We are planning to add Hungarian support in future, but I can’t name a firm date now.
Reporter: dr. Bársony Atilla (Atiraptor)