On 10th and 11th September, at the historical-cultural complex "Stalin Line", a tank holiday was dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Tankers' Day.
Wargaming broadcasted this event on the official Wargaming Twitch channel.
The broadcast covered the following topics:
- Details of the reconstruction and presentation of the legendary tank KV-1.
- Vehicles balance changes discussion with Murazor.
- Future plans and changes in World of Tanks.
We've compiled the key points of the broadcast for you in text form, here.
Answers by Aleksandr Bobko, Projects Manager
Alexander, KV-1 is not the first tank restored with our help, right?
Yes, this restoration is not our first such experience. The first one was the T-34-76, the restoration of which took place at Stalin Line as well. We are constantly undertaking various projects. Our historians are helping museums and restorers all over the world to restore vehicles. The T-34-76, however, is a unique case because almost all the items in it are the original ones.
In 2014, we had a collaboration with the Kubinka Tank Museum where we retrieved a KV-1 from the bottom of the Don River. The procedure was extremely difficult; it was only possible to retrieve part of the suspension, and the turret was not found. This time, however, we managed to get a hold of the turret! The suspension was taken from ISU-152, and many other parts had to be recreated manually. Yesterday's reenactment was the first-ever presentation of the restored KV-1. It even helped to make a wedding proposal!
What other projects were there, and what other projects will there be?
The main purpose of these projects is to help museums that are looking for lost vehicles, and we are always happy to help with such projects. For example, specialists from Stalin Line helped to restore an SU-100, and it will be participating today in the reenactment.
The 100-year anniversary of the first use of a tank in combat is coming up. Could you tell us more about it?
Yes. During World War I, on 15 September 1916, the British tank, Mark I, first saw battle. Today there is a mock-up of this tank. On 15 September, a real Mark I will be put into action. Recently we made a panoramic video tour of the very first tank ever, so if you didn’t have an opportunity to see the tank live, be sure to watch the video.
Can players participate in the restoration of vehicles?
Yes, there were several cases where players suggested that they could help; either that or we asked them to come to museums and participate in restoration and renewal projects for vehicles and museums. The Central Museum of the Armed Forces is located in Moscow, and thanks to our players, we were able to update about forty tanks. In the Minsk, Krasnodar, and Kaluga regions, similar events were held as well.
Do you have plans for similar projects in the near future?
We announce all such projects on the official website, social networks, and the site pomnimvse.org. Nowadays, we see that players, as well ourselves, have developed a keen interested in augmented reality technology. We have created a Tank 100 application, which makes it possible to learn the history of the first tank. In the game itself, there will be a special game mode called “Convoy” that will be released on 15 September.
Alexandr, did you have a chance to ride the tanks that you restored?
A museum is not Disneyland, so to speak. There are safety regulations, so an outsider can’t simply climb into a tank and ride it. However, the project where we got the KV-1 out of the bottom of the Don River stands out in my mind. It was summer, and all the local guys that were aware of the project helped out actively.
Answers Daniil Parashchyn, Special Projects Expert
What are you doing in Cyprus?
Actually, I don't only work in Cyprus now; I am often in the Minsk office as well. I take part in projects going on in both offices. I also actively participate in preparing updates. We review what is ready, what can be released in this update, and what needs to be planned for the next one. It is possible to do something quickly, for example, to upgrade premium tanks, so they appeared in the previous updates.
Aren’t you bored in Cyprus?
How should I put this... I spend most of my time in the office and I sometimes manage to go to the seaside, but it is very hot there so I don’t even want to spend a lot of time outside.
Did anything shock you when you became a developer?
There was nothing shocking, but most problems were multi-faceted. From an observer's perspective, everything seems to be much easier than it really is.
You celebrate Tanker’s Day in Minsk now. Did you intend to celebrate it here?
I really intended to celebrate Tanker’s Day in Minsk. There no such events in Cyprus, so I’m very happy to be here.
As far as I know, you are responsible for game balance and Sandbox, right?
Yes, that’s true. Sandbox was originally intended to be a platform for testing major changes; changes of vehicle classes; mechanics. We want these changes to be clear and accepted by players, so internal tests are not enough.
The first iteration of Sandbox is over now. There were some major changes, and players have conflicting impressions. What can you tell us about that?
Yes, it was necessary to get used to the changes, and we faced some opposition from the players. However, that's just because we are all used to the tanks as they are in the current version, and we had to learn a lot from scratch.
What conclusions can you make based on the first iteration?
We collected lots of reviews and feedback. We understand that players want changes, but such major changes are not really clear to them. In fact, changes can completely change the game. Now, we will do it differently. We'll release more detailed changes on Sandbox and listen to player feedback. If the changes are approved, we will further develop them, but if not, we will not implement them.
What's the next step for Sandbox?
We have selected the changes and mechanics that players liked. For example, fixes for artillery were well-received. Stun effects gave players grief, but we plan to add resources to remove it.
A year ago there was an impression that we don’t do a lot of positive things with the game. What are your impressions since you have started working under “Tanks”?
The changes that we have planned will be seen in future patches, but I can’t tell you about it yet. From the latest project I was involved in to the upgrade of the 112 that will be in version 9.16.
Recently, there were a lot of upgrades to Premium tanks. Will regular tanks be upgraded?
It’s easier to fix Premium tanks because researchable tanks are a part of a branch. We don’t want to fix just one vehicle; we want to fix the whole branch.
Do you have time to play games?
Yes, I do, but not as much as I would like to have. Hotel Internet connections are bad, and it’s not always possible to carry a gaming laptop with you. I do try all the tanks that we release, especially premium ones.
We had a positive trend in Update 9.14. Do you think that it will continue?
I believe so. I would like to mention improvements to spotting mechanics in 9.16. It was a major problem in the game, and its fix required serious server contribution.
Battle chat will be disabled. Why is that so?
We have lots of players that complain about abuse in the chat. In all regions, players don’t like that. Opponents write negative comments far more often than positive ones.
Should we thank you for the German Skorpion?
You may thank me for that.
How about these traditional questions from players: where is skill balance, and +/-1 Tier?
We don’t need skill balance in Random battles, as it will turn out that skilled players are playing with each other and nobody will be able to dominate. If you mean that we need separate modes – that may be true.
We won’t make +/- 1 Tier, but we are working hard on the matchmaker right now. I’m not sure yet, but we plan to show the results in Sandbox.
Answers Maxim Chuvalov, Projects Manager
Maxim, what do you do?
I promote our game in all regions. In order to do that effectively, I work with the developers. I also communicate with media and players, and speak out at events.
Do you think 9.14 and 9.15 are good updates?
Yes, I think players have noticed that. 9.14 and 9.15 were quite well-received, and we don’t plan to diverge from that direction. We have changed our approach to development; we've started communicating more closely with players.
After the recent updates to physics and sounds, we gathered a lot of feedback that helped us to improve in-game sounds in 9.15, and we will improve them even more in 9.16.
Please tell us about the Common Test for 9.16. What is the most important thing about the update, in your opinion?
Spotting mechanics! One of the most major changes that will affect all players. Previously, spotting occurred within 1.5 to 2.0 seconds of an opponent coming out of cover, and now, opponents will be spotted instantly when they move away from obstacles.
“Convoy” Mode – what will we have in it?
We will have the in-game mode dedicated to the first tank of World War I – the Mark I. This 15th September will mark 100 years since the combat debut of tanks, and we couldn’t help but support this event.
Convoy Mode will see dynamic battles. Players will get into the atmosphere of World War I; they will see airships and biplanes. This mode will have wheeled vehicles. Because of the physics environment introduced in Update 9.14, this is now possible. Teams will consist of 7 players each, and one team will escort a Mark I to a finish point. For the first time, we will test out mechanics for short-term buffs to guns: there will be pick-up items that will significantly improve gun characteristics for some time. There will also be personal missions in the mode, as well as medals and awards. Players will also see a special Hangar dedicated to this occasion.
We announced the Swedish branch of tanks at Gamescom. Tell us more about this nation, please.
Yes, we announced at Gamescom that the Swedish nation is coming. Historically, the Swedes focused on defence. They prepared for battles on their territory; on difficult terrain against superior numbers; that’s why they have unique features and technology. Swedish engineers were not afraid to experiment. Air suspensions on their Tier X TDs will allow a player to adjust tank's height, and rearward speed will be comparable to forward speed.
When will we be able to see the Swedish tech tree?
The nation will be released by the end of this year. It will consist of a TD branch and an LT-MT-HT branch. There will be unique crew voiceovers and emblems. 9.16 will come with a Swedish premium tank: Tier VI, with an autoloader and three crew members, the same number of crew members as in top HTs.
STB-1 also had an air suspension, what about its future?
First, we need to check the technology; to learn if players like it. If it is convenient and useful, we will probably include it on the STB-1 as well.
Is there any news about the second iteration of Sandbox?
The second iteration is coming. I think that the developers’ diaries will describe it in detail soon.
What plans are there for the matchmaker?
Currently, we are working on the new matchmaker, and it’s difficult to say for now which version it will be included in or which event it will be tested in, whether in Sandbox, internal tests or common tests. The main goal of the new matchmakers is to increase the number of convenient battles for players. The number of battles spent being in top, middle and bottom tiers in the match should be equal, and teams should be balanced by the numbers and classes of vehicles.
Will premium vehicles be nerfed? Players are worried about the Skorpion.
Nothing bad will happen to premium vehicles. You may have noticed that we upgraded them instead, in the latest update.