MMORPG Center recently sat down with World of Tanks's Head of PR Mike Belton to talk about the game's main features.
World of Tanks is a team-based massively multiplayer online action game dedicated to armored warfare. Throw yourself into the epic tank battles of World War II with other steel cowboys all over the world. Your arsenal includes more than 150 armored vehicles from America, Germany, and the Soviet Union, carefully detailed with historical accuracy.
MMORPG Center: We found out that WOT is a PvP focused MMO. Can you please tell us how the system works?
Mike Belton: Well, the system is pretty simple. The player operates one vehicle at a time. After choosing a tank and hitting the BATTLE button, you will appear in a pre-battle room and wait until it fills up with 30 people (15 players in each team). At the moment during the Russian CBT the number of concurrent users is approximately 4 000 people, so you won’t have to wait more than 5-10 seconds for the battle to start. Once the room is filled up with 30 players the system will randomly separate all vehicles into two equal teams and that’s how the battle starts. Thus, a German Tiger can fight shoulder to shoulder with the Soviet T-34, unless it’s a historic mission, where only a certain nation tanks will be allowed on one team.
MMORPG Center: Is there any persistent battlefield in the game and how does it work? What about rewards for holding these territories?
Mike Belton: We are going to introduce Clan War mode into the game. There is a global map divided into hundreds of provinces. There will be two types of such provinces: basic ones and capitals. Occupying a basic province will give a clan credits, whereas holding a capital will result in gold benefits.
To start fighting and capturing the provinces a Clan Leader will need to gather a team of at least 15 players and declare attack on neutral or enemy province (all attacks are declared once a day). Then a corresponding number of battles will take place accordingly to a scheduled time. The bigger your clan is, the harder it gets to repel attacks and expand your empire. That’s why diplomacy is of great importance. Clans can sign treaties and non-aggression pacts— pretty much like in Civilization or Total War series. But we also expect a lot of treachery, changing alliances, double-agents, stubbing in the back and other political tricks.
MMORPG Center: How much realism is present in the game? Do factors like armor, sides armor, turret speed, distance and gun caliber count?
Mike Belton: Well, we tried to reach perfect balance between realism and gameplay. On the one hand, the battles are not connected with any real historical facts. As World of Tanks is a “living” world, the players are in control of all game events; therefore they make their own history. On the other hand, all tank models are historically grounded. There are over 150 authentic vehicles in the game. While designing the models we paid a lot of attention to ballistics and followed real historical prototypes. Therefore such parameters as shell type, distance, armor thickness (as well as the armor type), turret speed and gun caliber influence the level of penetration and directly affect the gameplay. For example, by installing a 152-mm gun on your KV-1 you’ll get yourself a solid competition to most heavy tanks and even powerful artillery. Implemented sophisticated damage system allows using peculiar tactics against different vehicle types or even deal higher damage to a particular tank model knowing its weak points.
MMORPG Center: Will players be able to customize their tanks and also own more than one?
Absolutely! There will be a possibility to change a camouflage color, stick on a cool emblem, special symbol or even get an original klaxon, something that will help you to stand out from the crowd. Eventually we plan on adding some distinguished inscriptions as well.
You can keep an endless number of vehicles in your garage but can only operate one tank while in battle. So you will be able to store German, Soviet and American vehicles all right next to each other and rotate them battle after battle.
MMORPG Center: How big are the maps and how many players can join a battle for each side?
The maps are approximately 1 square kilometer, which is about 0,4 square miles, in countryside and a bit less in urban maps. On the one hand, teammates won’t lose each other on a battlefield, and on the other, tanks require large spaces to make maneuvers, ambushes, and flanking attacks. Again, map size depends on a number of terrain elements. The rule here will be simple: the less objects are on a map, the bigger it can be. So if there are deserted maps covering battles in Northern Africa, they can reach up to 9 square miles in size. At the moment there are 15 players teams, but we are going to expand that number to up to 30, that is 30 vs. 30 people playing on one location.
MMORPG Center: Is there any single player/PVE content or is this a PVP only game?
World of Tanks is a PvP based game. Obviously, it’s much more fun to play against real players, than AI-characters. There are evident reasons for choosing PvP over PvE mode, such as drive of competition and the social factor of course. In PvP you can’t “pause” the game; it’s the whole living, thus much more exciting world.
Subsequently we are planning to add some PvE content as well, for example Garage Wars or Survival mission. Also the training mode will be PvE based, so a player can get used to controls, learn how to move, aim, shoot and etc.
MMORPG Center: How much will the game cost?
World of Tanks is a free-to-play game, which means that it is free to download and can be played without spending a dime. You can play for free, but also can buy premium accounts, premium tanks and customization items. All these paid services will give little indulgence, but not immediate advantages to their owners. For example, premium account will let you level up 50% faster, and having a premium or a customized tank will help you be notable, but will not affect the gameplay directly. At Wargaming.net we are committed to actual free-to-play model, we don’t want the game to be “a war of wallets”. In many free-to-play games there are certain stages or so-called artificial gameplay walls where a player basically is forced to buy items to progress in the game. In World of Tanks there are no such walls and there is no progression limit for those players who don’t pay.
MMORPG Center: Thanks for your time.
The European Closed beta is about to start soon and it will be followed by the release in fall 2010.World of Tanks - Interview,