first of all, tomorrow the AW EU servers will be shut down for 2 hours, with the player increase the servers havee been getting some troubles and the company will reinforce them.

-18 February: from 8am to 10am CET.

Anyway, there is a new Q&A from the US office:

What is the developer’s view on changing the class designation of vehicles whose playstyle does not match with its given designation?
While possible in theory, vehicle class is something carefully considered during the vehicle’s long development process. The general vehicle behavior can be determined before its actual introduction by looking at its real world characteristics. When determining vehicle class, we also look at the vehicle designation in real life. The Leopard 1 is a Main Battle Tank for example, even if it has relatively thin armor. When faced with a vehicle with characteristics that don't match the typical case for its real world designation, we look for ways to shape the vehicle as a hybrid of the class it fits into better. This is something that we intend to take further as we continue to evaluate how different vehicles perform within their designated classes.

Are there any plans to replace the active ability for tank destroyers?
Not at this time.

Will the Swedish AFV make an appearance?
In the future, yes.

Can we expect at some point that we will have different play style among MBTs? Now all of them have similar characteristics. It would be great to see some MBT with unique features such as very long reload and huge damage per shot.
Vehicles with extremely high damage per shot are something we are actively trying to avoid based on negative feedback from the Early Access phase and even the Alpha phase. While the notion of destroying enemy targets with one shot might seem entertaining at first glance, such unbalanced vehicles would have to be compensated by having poor armor and mobility. This results in gameplay which can be both frustrating for the player and their opponents. With that being said, the MBT class is actually quite diverse – on one hand you have thinly armored, but mobile MBTs such as the Leopards, all-rounders such as the Abrams, damage-focused tanks like the T-Series and heavily armored juggernauts such as the Challenger. We will continue striving to keep the entire class diverse enough for every MBT player to find vehicles which fit their preferred playstyle.

When it comes to map development, has the idea of dynamic maps and or dynamic objectives been considered?
It has been considered but such an approach has several serious drawbacks. The most important one is that even under normal circumstances, balancing maps is a taxing process which often takes weeks or even months to “get it right”. Dynamic maps add another layer of complexity which can open up more opportunities for maps to feel unbalanced and lead to unfair battles. For this reason, we are currently focusing on improving our future map designs based on player feedback, but we do want to expand upon both PvP and PvE game modes in the future. At that time, we may revisit making maps more dynamic.

I know that four new buildings are planned for the base, but what is the long term goal for the Base feature?
We are developing a major update to the base that will expand its systems to interact with all aspects of Armored Warfare. In the long term, the player base will always be something that adds to existing systems in some way but will probably never block advancement in other systems. Our intention is for the base to be optional so it will not gate access to other mechanics and features but it will be designed to augment or enhance other systems throughout the game.

Any comments/news regarding the Tier 8 and above MBT dominance?
Yes. We have several ideas on how we plan to address MBT imbalances at higher tiers. One of them potentially involves the “armor damage” model that was mentioned in one of the earlier Q&A’s (armor gets progressively weaker as it gets damaged), but this is something we are still discussing. In the meantime, we are definitely looking to reduce the effectiveness of MBT side armor to make it easier for non-MBTs to penetrate when flanking. It’s a complex problem and nerfing MBT side armor is unlikely to be the only thing we address when tackling this issue.

How will the developers solve the problems occurring due to low server populations?
The developers have recently been focusing more on building both a short-term and long-term plan for increasing server population. These plans involve better marketing, but also other solutions which will bring the game to a larger audience both before and after the game’s official release.

Are you considering adding the T-15 heavy IFV? Which tech tree line will it most likely be in?
Yes, we do plan on introducing the IFV variant of the T-15 in the future. At this time, the most logical place to fit it into is the Tier 10 position of the Terminator line, but this could always change.
How many tanks from early post-war can we expect? Specifically, will we see any more casemate-style Tank Destroyers like the Kanonenjagdpanzer or odd vehicles such as the M50 Ontos?
Early post-war vehicles are usually present on Tiers 1 to 3. For a line to be complete it cannot go without these low tier vehicles as well, so it’s logical that more Cold War era vehicles will be implemented. As for the casemate Tank Destroyers such as the Kjpz, it is completely possible more vehicles of this type will appear in the future. Unique vehicles like the Ontos are something we’d love to introduce as well.

It's frequently requested by a number of players that artillery be removed from the game. What is your opinion on this matter?
The Artillery class will not be removed as a whole as this would be a huge step backwards. Instead, what we want to do is make artillery more tactical by introducing (for example) additional support shell types. We understand that there will always be players who will be against any indirect fire class in the game on principle, which is perfectly fine – it’s not a class for everybody. We simply believe that a well-balanced indirect fire class is an integral part of the game’s eco-system.

While we'll almost undoubtedly get more camouflage patterns, can we also expect more base paint colors? Additionally, will we get universal tones like black?
In the future, additional base paints will be made available through several means, including as rewards for achievements and as other potential rewards from the Loot system.

What about visual camouflage nets? Are they coming?
Yes. You might have seen the prototypes we released pictures of in the past and the Chieftain Mk. 6 represents our first player vehicle in-game to feature a visual camo net. While there is currently no specific ETA of this feature, it will be added as an option in the future.

Are there plans to remove the skill based matchmaker and replace it with a random one that only balances tier and vehicle class?
First and foremost, it’s important to note that there is currently no such thing as a “skill based matchmaker”. The only thing the matchmaker actually does is sort the players acquired based on their internal rating to one team or another so one team does not end up with all the skilled players while the other gets all the newbies.
With that being said, many occurrences in the game that are actually not tied to skill in any way have been blamed on the “skill matchmaker”. This is unfortunately an issue with perception and the matchmaker itself (save for extreme cases that will be fixed in Update 0.13) does not have a hand in these things.

Do you have any details on the loot system?
The Loot system will be introduced in one of the upcoming updates. The basic idea behind it is quite simple; apart from receiving the usual rewards from battles, players – after meeting certain criteria – will be able to earn extra rewards including some very rare “drops”. It is too early to list the rewards players will be able to get from this system but they are intended to tie into a number of existing systems within Armored Warfare.

Will the Terminator and Expeditionary Tank be sold as normal premiums in the future? If so, what will happen to the Founder’s Pack versions?
Both Founder’s Pack vehicles are exclusive for one year, counting from the Open Beta release. After this exclusivity expires, it is possible they will be re-introduced. The Founder’s Pack versions will receive distinctive visual markings – either a different skin or a camouflage for example.

Are there any plans for the introduction of SPAAG Vehicles?
Some of these vehicles are quite suitable as AFV’s (after all, that’s what the B1 DRACO is). It is possible more will be introduced in time.

How do vehicles interact with the map terrain? It seems that whether the vehicle is a heavy tank or light wheeled vehicle they have about the same interaction in terms of slowing them down on various terrain types.
Each class behaves slightly differently on the same terrain. It’s safe to say as an example that identical heavy terrain will make Light Tanks lose less speed than Main Battle Tanks for example. The differences between classes however are not extremely high. That being said, we’d like to perform another pass on our movement modifiers in order to improve the overall feeling of driving over (or through) certain types of terrain and obstacles.

Will the XM1 be buffed anytime soon? Its nerf was way too much.
Looking at the latest results, the XM1 is still within acceptable parameters.

In future are you considering add cosmetic things for tanks like machine guns, sandbags and such?
It’s possible this feature will be added as a part of the customization system.

Have you put any thought into reigning in power creep? The jumps between Tiers 8 and 9 seem very high.
Excluding the earliest tiers, each vehicle tier represents a power increase of 10% over the previous vehicle tier. The same goes for Tiers 8 and 9. At the highest tiers, vehicles have some of the strongest composite armor along with ERA, cage armor and APS. These make vehicles equipped with this technology formidable foes when compared to those who lack these upgrades. In short, we do feel the jump in power at the top tiers is too high and are looking at ways to adjust the power growth in those tiers.

At what stage will AW come out of beta?
We do have a date in mind but it really all comes down to reaching the point where we feel the game has hit all the goals we want it to reach before release. We have no plans on keeping the game in OBT for years.

When will the Replay system be available?
It’s possible it will appear on the PTS in Update 0.14

While vehicles that fought in WW2 are not being considered, will vehicles that were designed in the cold war as significant upgrades to or conversions from WW2 era vehicles be considered?
Yes. After all, what would be an Israeli Main Battle Tank line without vehicles like the Super Sherman?

Any plan to improve the amount of time spent on updating/maintenance server to make it shorter than 4 hours?
The time required to perform server maintenance is determined by a large number of variables and while we do perform every maintenance cycle as fast as possible, the amount of time it takes is simply unavoidable. We will however stop Premium Time and Boosters from ticking down. They will no longer run during server downtimes.
How often will new vehicles be rolled out in 2016? Can we expect a quick turnover on the third dealer or should we expect to only see a "completed" tree by the end of the year?
The next major addition of multiple vehicles after the introduction of the Third Dealer will be Tier 10 vehicles. After that, we are planning to introduce more regular lines, although not every line will start with a Tier 1 and end with a Tier 10. We have decided to be a bit more flexible with how we roll out our lines.

Do you intend to change the penetration model to real life mechanics?
No – mostly because there are no “real life mechanics”. In reality, a fight between two modern vehicles would almost always come down to who fired first. Armored Warfare is a game first and foremost and we will always put playability first.

Do you intend to introduce more upgrades for tanks already in game?
Yes. For example, the Type 69 which we are adding in Update 0.13 currently lacks ERA. We plan on adding this upgrade to the vehicle in the near future. Additionally, we will be adding smoke grenade launchers to the M8.

Are you really working on shot delay?
Yes. It’s possible Update 0.13 will bring improvements in this area. Unfortunately, given the complexities with how shot delay functions, we will only know how truly effective our improvements were once these changes have been implemented in a live environment.

Can the game support maps twice or thrice the size of what we have now? Are they considered for higher tiers?
No, we are not planning to introduce such maps for any foreseeable future. There are two reasons for that. One is purely technical – while the engine can support all sorts of things, weaker PC’s will have trouble with maps larger than what we have now (even minimum configuration PC’s currently have trouble with our Reactor map). The other is tied to gameplay – the larger the map, the more difficult to it is to form an effective team-strategy or just find the action. Very simply put, very large maps would lead to more one-sided confrontations which players are not exactly fond of.

Is there a feature considered where you can “shoot straight”, shooting in the direction you are looking, and not shooting already zeroed in to the point of impact?
We are discussing designs regarding this issue.

Would the developers consider adding in a "The Crab" title as an unlockable for the Crab to fall in line with the Fox and The Wiesel?
An excellent idea! We will look into it.

That's all folks!