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Jan 11, 2013

Chieftain's Q&A: US server

Thanks to Vipez from the German community and US guys, we have some answers from The Chieftain, who is one of the historical experts working on World of Tanks and is active in the US community (he's the counterpart to EU's The Challenger) :)

I skipped the questions about Challenger's real life experience with tanks, if you have time - go over it, it's rather interesting


Q: I find the lack of communication between players in the game. So my question is: are there any plans on fixing this gap in communication. And how do you handle tactical decisions in "pubbie" matches?
A: Yes, there are such plans. Partially for tactical communications purposes, and partially also just to enhance the social aspect of the game. It's a team game, after all, why not talk with your team mates?

Q: When will chat be fixed/changed?
A: I've seen a date, but can't recall what it is. But I have seen a date. They've been working the problem for a while.

Q: Light tanks like T-50-2, ELC AMX and Chaffee can reach really high speeds. So I was wondering were there a lot of losses caused by bad driving, or driving on uneven terrain that led to tanks being lost or crew being seriously injured? I assume there were some losses but were they really big, or was it just an occasional thing?
A: Heavy tanks can cause the same problem. You've seen those publicity shots of a T-90 shooting whilst in mid-air after launching from a ramp? Yeah, I do -not- want to be the gunner on that tank when it hits the ground and the sight comes up to meet him. Even a solid application of the brakes on a 70-ton M1 can result in lost teeth atop the hatches.

Q: What books would you recommend on Tank lore?
A: On the specifications? For the US, Hunnicutt is the standard. For German, Doyle/Jentz. British, usually Fletcher, and Russian is much easier if you speak Russian.

Q: Heard someone on forums suggest 5man platoons that get paired up with other 5man platoons in 15v15 matches. Any plans on something like this?
A: Not that I'm aware of. Would reduce the enjoyment of the random pubbies who become 'also rans' and 'cannon fodder' for the 5-man platoons.

Q: What arty do you think should be used to fill in the gaps if the current 8s go to 10 as has been mentioned in the past by WG?
A: I have sent some suggestions to Minsk. Whether they listened to me or not is another matter, but some of those suggestions have appeared on the proposed ten-tier branch I've seen come back, so I choose to believe that they did.

Q: First off, what is the story with Italian tanks?
A: Last I heard they are still going into the Pan-Euro tree. I've seen an interesting player proposed tree with enough entrants to almost make Italy a viable nation on its own, however, but I think it falls short at the Tier X level.

Q: Second off, have there been thoughts about adding in other cosmetic options to tanks other than inscriptions and flags?
A: There have been such thoughts.

Q: Any info on the American-British lend lease line? Looking forward to driving a Firefly and a desert rat Stuart.
A: I don't know if they'll put the Jerboa icon in the right place for the lend-lease tanks, but otherwise you'll be OK. I even see the Caunter scheme as a camo option. As for which specific lend-lease tanks will be there... I'm not in a position to reveal if it's not out already.

Q: Hi. I'm curious if you're happy with the state of clan wars and if you'll pursue eGaming more than you are now?
A: Clan Wars is still in Beta, so obviously someone thinks it can still be tweaked. We are making a much bigger push into E-Sports this year.

Q: Are there any plans to introduce skills/perks/bonuses unique to a country with some relation to history? eg German tanks get +5% view range ontop of optics because they had the best sights during WW2 and Americans get +5% on repairs because of their massive production lines etc.
A: I don't see the view range thing being implemented, it should already be a factor in the view range. Repair skill time is an interesting idea, however, I'll kick it up. I haven't actually seen anything directly on point to your suggestion.

Q: Can we expect expansion of the variety of tanks? Such as tiers above 10, different tank roles (such as rocket platforms), or maybe more nations?
A: Tier X is a hard limit. Other roles have been mentioned (I think the Sturmmoser Tiger is one example, and I seem to recall hearing about command tanks). We've a few more countries to come yet.

Q: Thanks for being here. I only have one question at the moment: One of the items I am most excited about is the possibility of Garage Battles. Will this ever become a real game type, and if so, how soon do you think we may see this kind of variety in the game?
A: I'd put a few dollars on it becoming a real game type. Actually, I'm not sure why it hasn't been already, they've been talking about it for long enough. I do not know the specific date off the top of my head.

Q: Why do HE shells feel so useless outside of large "derp" cannons? Are they even meant to be a viable options anymore.
A: Simply because HE shells are not a primary armor defeating round, but the game has nothing but armoured targets. I usually carry at 10 rounds HE or 1/4 of my loadout. Very useful for resetting caps, or just annoying things I can't otherwise damage.

Q: I was looking through the projected tech trees for each nation the other day and noticed that there is a second planned American medium tank line capped by the T95 MT. Can you give us any information about the tank that isn't readily available on other sources? (i.e. Wikipedia)
A: Hunnicutt's "Abrams" does a very good overview of it, I guess. It looks a lot like a squished T54. The project was started at the same time as T110, along with T96, except the T110 was designated a short-term one. Eventually they realised that the heavy guns intended for T96 could actually be mounted on T95 anyway, so T96 was nixed. In the end T95 became more a weapons testbed than a viable tank project in itself.

Q: Why did the soviets trade/give so much tank technology with the Chinese? and what modifications were done to these tanks to adapt them to the different terrains?
A: Ideological partners, I guess. Good communist friends. Not much. The Chinese tree seems to have a number of vehicles which are changed from the usability/internal space standpoint, more than the mobility/environment standpoint. USSR was so big that their tanks had to be capable of dealing with pretty much any environment that existed in China anyway. The significant change, I think was the creation of more light tanks in China, a reflection of the terrain in some of the neighbouring countries, and the requirement to get a few across to Taiwan.

Q: Hey Cheiftain, i have a question pertaining to the German medium line coming in 8.5(?). The World of Tanks forums have been debating what version of the Leopard 1 will be used, and was hoping you could clarify which it may be.
A: Well, I'm quite sure it won't be the welded turret A3 or A4! Beyond that, I'm not convinced myself. I've seen a couple of proposals, but the 3D model has not yet been created. At least, I can't see it and I can see plenty of other unreleased tanks.

Q: What do you think about the low tier game?
A: The new player experience has been a focus for us for a while. I know, it's not Eve, but there's still a learning curve particularly for someone not used to games with things like 'spotting mechanics', it can be seriously frustrating. Especially if you don't figure out that there are no respawns. Fortunately, some steps have been, and continue to be, taken to help new players adapt to the WoT environment. We're also taking the lessons to heart and immediately implementing what we can into WoWP and WoWS before they get launched.

Q: You probably don't know or can't say, but can you give us any information on the British tank destroyer tree?
A: Not much. Your typical favourites, Archer, Achilles and Tortoise are liable to be around somewhere. I'm afraid the 2pr isn't the cool-looking Aussie LPA Carrier, Tank Attack. There was a slew of British designs int the leadup to Tortoise (AT-15 is in the game already) so I might not be surprised to see some of those show up either.

Q: Sooo the Archer TD has a rear facing gun.... is that going to be implemented? Because that'd be awesomely hilarious.
A: Yes, but last I heard, they still haven't decided which way the thing will go when you press 'w' No, he won't get killed/hurt when you fire. There are a number of tanks which would cause significant bodily injury if they tried to shoot/move in the manner they do in the game. M26 and T-54 come to mind, for example. Loaders wouldn't last at all.

Q: How they going to play? Like the heavies, heavily armored and mediocre guns or different?
A: My guess is similar to the US line, except with slightly better guns. I'm sure they'll lose something to compensate.

Q: When are the British TDs going to come? Next patch? One after?
A: Can't answer (Not permitted)

Q: If introduced how would TD/SPG's like the Strumtiger work?
A: Last I heard, they were considering categorising those big boys as their own class of vehicle, neither TD nor SPG. I've not pushed finding out information on them, due to time prioritisation.

Q: The Leopard 1 and AMX 30 have been announced for the game and we allready have a T62 variant in game. Could a configuration of the M60 Patton fit into the game? If so, how do you think this would work out?
A: The cannon would surely be the M58 105mm if it were to be incorporated. (I can't think of another.. the 120mm smoothbore is way too OP for WoT). Probably the counterpart to the later versions, such as AMX-30B1/B2 or Leopard 1A1A4 or Leopard 1A5.

Q: How are those new french super heavies going to be played? they have multiple large guns so will multiple gun support be added with them?
A: Last I saw, multi-gun support was not yet enabled for them.

Q: Where German tanks really superior in ww2 and if so why they r not very good at the game?
A: German tanks were superior at what they were designed to do. Ease of maintenance, for example, was not one of those superior traits. American crews probably didn't care how many hours of sleep the Panther crew had lost trying to replace the #2 inside left roadwheel, they were far more concerned about the rather big gun and heavy armour facing them. I think they're pretty good in game. Tiger (P)s in particular annoy the heck out of me, and I defy anyone to say the 3601(H) is a poor tank.

Q: Will there ever be a skill based matchmaker?
A: And I believe Chris Keeling also gave a definitive 'no' about three weeks ago.

Q: Historically how would have the Batchat 25t and the Leopard 1 compared?
A: Batchat 25t really was a fairly unique design. More of a cavalry tank than a battle tank, I would say. Certainly history has borne out the winner, the Leopard seems to have been easier to build, easier to protect from NBC effects, and easier to upgrade. Especially once things like gun stabilisation were invented. I don't think BatChat would have ever had a front-line tank role in the French Army, but I can definitely see a use for it in specialist roles, if they had the money and personnel to spare.

Q: Do you plan on having any sort of Stuka zu fuss or calliope?
A: I seem to recall seeing Calliope as a proposed vehicle.

Q: When will you improve the chat box? Sometimes messages scroll too fast and I miss them.
A: When the improvement is ready. They're working on it, I don't have a date.

Q: Have you heard anything about a historic battle mode around the office any?
A: Yes. When, I don't know, but yes. I know Serb is personally a fan of the concept.

Q: I was wondering if we could get your opinion on/any news about changes to the 'scout' matchmaking. That is, those light tanks that tier 4 and higher (with a couple of exception) can get into much higher level games than same tier mediums and heavies, while being excluded from most matches where they would be top tier.
A: Being discussed. I don't think the role of the light scout is completely gone (esp in company battles and some maps on Clan Wars), but yes, I understand where you're coming from in random battles. I suspect that future game modes may well prove to make it worthwhile to have a light scout in your garage, even without expanding the light tier level. (eg M41 for US tree)

Q: Is there any word on the FV215b and it's conversion to Tier X TD and whether it will use the historically accurate 183 mm cannon.
A: FV215b (183) is the Tier X TD as far as I know. It is -not- however currently slated to be a converstion from the FV215b (120) which is scheduled to sit happy as larry in its current position on the Heavy line.

Q: How do you think the S-Tank will play when/if it ever will be in the game.
A: Presumably like a TD. It's an interesting problem, though, because there is no traverse to the gun at all, so any 'aim' will require movement of the track and thus blooming of the aiming reticle. Maybe they'll give it a really low 'aim on the move' modifier?

Q: Any chance you can tell us when to expect the German TD line to be finished?
A: Nope. At this point, I don't know myself. The models exist, at least. I guess it's down to final balancing and the release schedule.

Q: Has there been any further thoughts/info about being able to fire multiple guns on a tank (eg M3 Lee)?
A: No. Still on the 'we'd like to do it but haven't done it yet' list.

Q: Are there any plans to introduce some of the more obscure premium tanks into the game, at least that you can tell us about?
I'm mainly interested in the Type 59 G, and WZ-111.
A: I don't believe either of those two are likely to be seen on the US server. If you're referring to 'regional oddities' like the PzIV Hydro or M4A2E4, they are server-specific, and are also unlikely to appear on servers that they are not currently found on.

Q: Can you confirm that the current british t10 will go TD and be replaced by the chieftan?
A: I cannot. I'm really not sure where that rumour started, last I heard FV-215b with the 183 was going to be the TD, leaving the current FV-215b as the top Heavy.

Q: Is there a chance that countries that have no tier 10 tanks (and tier 9, ect.) might be added? (For example, Japan might be one of the countries.)
A: I have seen no proposals for countries without Tier X tanks. Otherwise, where's the reward for grinding through it?

Q: Tank Emblems, we will be seeing anything new in the future? I like the ability to add custom decals others can see in game, and realize that "over-doing" this option could really ruin the look and feel of the game. But the current emblems are kind of boring and poopy looking
A: They are a little bit, aren't they? The desire to put bumper stickers all over the tanks seems to be a particularly American trait, there's less demand for it elsewhere. Which I guess makes sense, if you look at the back of a car in Dallas vs one in Birmingham. We're still expanding them, though, albeit a bit slowly. Personally, I'm not a fan of the things at all, but I'm a killjoy. I don't even put camo on my US tanks, as they were rarely applied in real life.

Q: Is there going to be new tanks to the dedicated light tank lines?
A: Yes. Light lines are going to be expanded, I believe M41 was pretty much confirmed by the Minskonians this week.

Q: What do you think about being able to veto a number of map so we don't/rarely play them ? Also new game modes would be appreciated.
A: Personally? I don't like it. You'll have all the artillery vetoing Himmelsdorf in the hopes that they will get Prokhorovka, all the heavies vetoing Prokhorovka so that they don't have to worry about the artillery... The whole rock/paper/scissor balance will be thrown out of whack. However, there has been talk of 'reduced probability' options, or 'increased probability' options which I guess I can live with if correctly implemented. Agreed on new game modes. They're still working on them.

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