Status Report: WG Blog: “FEEDBACK-DRIVEN DEVELOPMENT IN WORLD OF TANKS”
Wargaming’s blog posted the following article:
“For update 9.15, we heavily interacted with our community to discover how to improve their gaming experience.
World of Tanks Update 9.14 brought with it some big changes, namely in the physics and sound department. A couple of months later, after speaking with the fans across social media, the forums, and speaking directly to opinion leaders in the community, we’re back with 9.15. Thanks to you all, we’ve been focusing on the areas that you all believe need the most attention. So, what can you expect in the latest update? More physics and sound enhancements, improved interface elements, and official mods.
We had a chat with Alexey Ilyin, Associate Global Publishing Producer for World of Tanks, about what you all can expect in the latest update. Read on to find out.
Alexey Ilyin, Associate Global Publishing Producer for World of Tanks
After the community reacted so well to our physics improvements, we didn’t want to slow down, so we kept on building. You all told us about some critical issues that you wanted to fix and provided lots of feedback during testing.
The first point is that tanks will be harder to roll over. Obviously, it’s not like your tank will be glued to the ground; if you’re racing around in a light tank and make sharp turn—especially on decline—you’ll probably end up like a distressed turtle. Another important factor is tanks getting stuck on the environment. In the past, we’ve all been there—you get caught on a bit of terrain, you’re trying to sidescrape and then get jammed. It’s not great. Then, finally, we tweaked how much damage you take from falling. Again, it’s not as if you won’t get damaged if you decide to take a shortcut down a steep cliff face, but smaller drops will target the parts of the tank actually affected.
Whereas graphics have slowly been improved over time, sound has taken somewhat of a backseat. It hasn’t significantly changed since 2010. One of the issues was the old sound engine. Implementing new SFX was a really time-consuming process. The best you could implement was a sub-par option, which we didn’t want to do. With 9.14, and the introduction of Audiokinetic Wwise, everything changed. Shell hits, enemy engines—there was a lot of great new features.
9.15 let us delve deeper into the gameplay aspects of sound design. You can now select sound presets, like “Acoustics 2.0/2.1” and “Headphones”. Now sound production is influenced by your soundcard and your chosen audio output.
Mods have been popular in the World of Tanks community for a while, but because the developers are rarely involved in their creation, their implementation within the game can be difficult. You have to go to third-party websites most of the time, and it’s a challenge for mods to be up to the standards that we have in the game. Now, though, a number of mods are available for you to officially run in the game.
This ties in with further interface improvements. One of the big requests was a way to view vehicle characteristics in a more dynamic format. Not only is this good to know what’s changing when you’re upgrading/switching modules, but it makes the game a lot more accessible for newer players. In addition, you can also check out tanks in your Garage before purchasing them. With this, you can see which path on the Tech Tree is the best to take and which vehicles have the parameters that you’re looking for.
So, now you’ll find it’s possible to extend Garage filters, view several previously hidden vehicle characteristics, which will change in real-time when certain upgrades are used, and more, in a safe and easy way.
LEVELLING THE PLAYING FIELD
One of the biggest missions that we have ahead of us is rebalancing all the tanks in the game. So far, we’ve already been working on a number of vehicles, especially Premium tanks, 10 of which you can discover in update 9.15. This is where the community played a big part because they let us know which vehicles needed the most attention.
As part of this rebalancing, we retired the legendary Waffenträger auf E 100. In its place is the Grille 15, which we’re sure you’ll have a lot of fun with. Let’s be hoenst, the Waffenträger auf E 100 was a little OP—it trounced a lot of similar vehicles, which took a lot of fun away from the game. It’s not great when you head into battle and you see a lot of the same vehicles and already believe you’re going to have a bad game because of it.
UNDER THE HOOD
One of the biggest changes in 9.15 was the transition to the new version of the client game engine. It means we can move from DirectX 9 to DirectX 11, which is setting us on the road for a lot of great future improvements. Elements like flora, water, sky, landscape and other in-game features. Moving to DirectX 11 has been a very important technical step towards the improvement of the graphics component of the game, so we hope you’ll enjoy what’s in store.