Purpose of this blog

Dmitry Yudo aka Overlord, jack of all trades
David Lister aka Listy, Freelancer and Volunteer

Saturday, January 19, 2013

[ALL] ChrisK Has Joined the Club!

I'm extremely excited to introduce one more speaker (finally native with English :)) who has just joined the blogging crowd and is going to use this resource as means of communication with you, guys. Chris Keeling aka ChrisK is Senior Producer at Wargaming.net, make him feel welcome here.


I started freelancing in game writing and design on Panzer Elite for Wings Simulations in 1998, while I was still on active duty with the U.S. Army. After I transferred to the reserves, I continued to work freelance on games like America's Army: Operations, America's Army: Soldiers, Twilight War, and Order of War. I also squeezed in a year and a half combat deployment to Iraq, published my own World War II tabletop miniatures rules, and earned a Master of Fine Arts in Videogame Production and Design along the way. In 2009, I accepted an offer to teach full-time in the Game Design program at Full Sail University.

Things changed fairly quickly after that - I developed and taught several classes, and eventually became the Program Manager of the entire Game Design program (responsible for more than two dozen Course Directors and over 1,600 students!). I retired from the Army Reserve after 23 years of total service and continued to freelance part-time for Wargaming.Net. After the release of Order of War, the company kept growing, from about 60 developers in Minsk (plus one American consultant!) to over 1,300 developers in several studios with offices in about a dozen countries. We could only do this because of the amazing success of World of Tanks, and the potential we could see in World of Warplanes and World of Warships

After about four years of freelancing, I was offered a full-time position as Senior Producer here at Wargaming.Net. I have now embarked on the adventure of a lifetime working for a really amazing company loaded with vision, drive, and purpose. Among other things, I suggest Westernization practices and features that will enhance our appeal to players in North America and Western Europe (and, hopefully, everywhere else!), while working on secret new game ideas that may see the light of day in the future. On this blog I will help clarify some of the reasons behind our design decisions, predict some of our future endeavors, and occasionally explain some of the “historical elasticity” used to keep our games balanced between authenticity and fun.

When I’m not slaving away over my keyboard, reading player feedback in the forums, analyzing development plans, or playing other games (it’s research, honest!), you can find me playing as ChrisK on World of Tanks and in the World of Warplanes closed beta, or alpha testing a couple of games still under wraps, like World of Warships. 

See you on the battlefield!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

[WoT] Do You Love Tanks?

based on 8.3 release on EU and NA

Do you love tanks as much as we do?

Don't bother to reply, that's rhetorical. The main reason for World of Tanks becoming a great game (apart from millions of great players all around the world) is our passion for tanks and engineering.

True that we are not aiming to reach the highest level of historical authenticity, we simplify a lot, but on the other hand, this gives us an opportunity to tell our story to many, not few. 

USSR - Germany - USA

Those are undoubtedly the "big 3". The major tank nations of the era. You can have your own favorites and the hated ones, but one can't argue that those tank schools affected modern tank development most.

France and Great Britain

That's how it all began. Back in WWI days with British Mark I that laid down the foundation of armoured motor vehicles and up to French Renault FT-17, one of the the most revolutionary and influential tank designs in the entire history of engineering.

Those two deserved their spots regardless any further contributions or lack of them.


I must admit that initially we did share the common opinion that China had never had its own, even partially independent and unique, tank development. To our great surprise and astonishment, when our Chinese partners brought up the idea of doing some research to prove that we were wrong - we just couldn't refuse.

The documents we got eventually are a true terra incognita even in China, not speaking of the rest of the world. Generally speaking, China is a closed (?) country, extremely reluctant when it comes to sharing its defence projects with others. The fact that we were able to obtain the information that allowed us to make up medium and heavy branches - is a great deal. It's rewarding to see how results of your hard work become "alive" in game. When our Chinese partners finish their research on SPGs and TDs, we will eagerly add those two missing branches as well. 

That's how the Chinese tree was planted. True thing that initially it was intended for Chinese server only, however when we realized it all looked great, we had no other option, but to share our results with the rest of the world.

Our next stop...

Japan, rest of Europe? ....

By the way the new poll is up.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

[WoT] Global Vision: Part II

This post is the continuation of the recent Global Vision: Part I article where we covered the CW plans for the near future.

What else we have in stock.

Sabotage and how to fight it

Sabotage is a kind of special clan consumable which represents a mobile tactical unit that can be sent behind the enemy lines with the aim to ... guess what? - Perform sabotage, yes.

It works this way: using your scout/intelligence you can assess revolt chances for a particular enemy province, the higher the chance, the more likely it is that your sabotage will be successful. The outcome of your sabotage will be known next turn. Typical sabotage effects to choose from:
- minus 1 token to enemy defense in a given province
- "railway war" - disables borders between provinces for some time
- destruction of enemy HQ
- provocation - chance of starting revolt in enemy province
- etc.

Just as revolts/pillages, this functionality is likely to be tested as CWs special.

Counter-intelligence is the best way to prevent your enemies from successful acts of sabotage. The lower revolt probability of your province, the lower enemy chances to perform successful sabotage on your territories.

Global Map Seasons

The below is a bit more distant in terms of time.
The entire mode of Clan Wars will be changed due to the upcoming implementation of seasons.
Season is a sort of global event that takes place in all provinces, i.e. active throughout the Global map. Each season is preceded by wipe/reset - everyone starts from scratch on a completely virgin map.

Season starts just as CWs beta did back in 2011 - with global contest mode - all provinces are available for landing.

Each season will last 2-3 months and eventually get its own winner and, of course, losers.
Seasons will be broken into several stages with different rules, conditions, and restrictions for each of them - e.g. vehicle tier restrictions, missions and goals (gold farming, capturing specified key provinces), etc.

Depending on the functionality available that time it can be Revolution stage with higher revolt chances for one stage, with totally different rules for another stage.

Based on clan performance during each stage special Victory points will be awarded and stage winners defined based on them.

Winner of the entire season will be determined by the total number of Victory points earned throughout the season. However, this concept is still subject to design changes. Winners will get special and huge prizes (this is not subject to change).

Seasons end with another Global map wipe/reset and shuts down for vacation while everyone is waiting for another season with new rules and new prizes. 

Make it comfortable

Such a crucial mechanics change as seasons requires an overhaul and massive improvement of clan functionality available for players. This work is going to be done in parallel. We are planning to add clan statistics, leaderboards, achievements, thinking of how to facilitate clan communication and action logging.

Obviously this would require some time to be done, but there is no other way.

Let us know

In these two posts I have given only the basic ideas on what will happen to Global map in foreseeable future. Sure thing, we have got many more plans and ideas. I intentionally left out the mercenary thing (it hasn't been dumped), CWs merger, transfers, and some other delicious stuff.

Just like with client-side updates, we are planning to communicate update notes and release plans for CWs since it's an inherent part of WoT.

Monday, January 14, 2013

[WoT] Global Vision: Part I

Last time we spoke about Global map was not so long ago, but it's about time we summarized everything, provided our feedback and some additional info on the subject. I'm going to give an update on the current state of things in two posts. You about to read the first one.   

For simplification purposes (multiple regions, multiple releases) I will use Russian (RU) server as an example.

Clan Wars mode is still at beta stage (yeah, rather continuous I must say) in ALL regions, we still have got a lot to do so as to ensure the release quality of the product.  As usual, there are lots of ideas and plans in the air on what to improve.

Technical side

On RU side (to a lesser extent this applies to EU and NA) Global map can be prone to technical failures because of high server load for the main RU1 server. To solve the issue we are going to implement new mechanics - provinces will be assigned to a separate server closest to their precise location (not just one dedicated server for all regions as it is now). Taking RU as example again, battles for Moscow and nearby regions will be played on Moscow-based hardware, same for Siberia. The thing is that it will allow not only to cope with the load better but also to prepare for making Clan Wars really global. Yes, merge is still in plans, however the ETA is unknown. Once things become global, the above mentioned feature will make sure battles for respective regions are played on respective servers. In respective prime time. :)

Because of the peculiarities of turn processing, battle room can be created only 1-2 minutes before the battle start, not regular 15 minutes. This is a known issue that is planned to be reworked as a part of code optimization.

Demand for new stuff

Clan Wars mode has been at beta stage for ... how long?... Should be around 1.5 years for now. This is very unfortunate that our end-game content suffered most from the lack of manpower and required resources. Clan Wars, as a separate project within Wargaming, got its own dedicated team only in late 2012. We have planned really a lot from game design perspective, but were shorthanded where it came to actual implementation. Now things are determined to get better.

Global Map Events are special semi-historical scenarios that last for limited period of time.

For testing purposes events were conducted only on RU server. There were 2 of them:
  • Atlantida (summer) - our first try with a separate island that came to the surface in the Atlantic and later drowned again. It was defended by WG's Rattes and some of the top clans.
  • Mongolia (late autumn) - for Mongolia provinces with vehicle tier restrictions - tiers 1-3 (yeah, SU-26 time!). It received a warmer welcome than the first one.
It is decided to continue such events in future.

So, what's planned?

Again we do really hope (and there are reasons for that!) that things will get better in 2013 from production point of view. New version of the portal that is planned for release on RU server in January/February will contain two major features: pillages and revolts, and on top of them - modified tank freezing mechanics.


The concept resembles the one used in Total War series. After you have conquered the province you can either pillage it or just occupy as usual. Pillage brings you 3-day income at once, after that the province won't generate any resources to any owner for 7 days.


With certain probability that depends on various factors each owned province can become a starting one (regular landing rules apply) till the end of the current prime time. The following factors can increase chances of this happening: clan loses any province or HQ, there are no troops / tokens in the province, etc. And vice versa.

Both pillages and revolts are almost ready and are likely to be introduced as a kind of special on RU region (with subsequent releases on other servers) to test how things will work out. If the results are satisfactory, the features will stay.

Freeze times for vehicles are meant to be changed. Successful offensives will be rewarded with decreased freeze times - let's assume that invaders capture hypothetical resources to repair their machinery while defenders have got nothing else apart from what they already have. :)

Having captured a regular province, you will get -50% freeze times, for gold province - 90%. Offensive gameplay is incentivized.

New make-up

Apart from new features, later this year (approx summer for RU), we are planning to upgrade visual part of CWs (engine) and greatly improve usability (UI). The most important change is giving up region-based system on portal - you won't have to select a separate region to view it anymore. The entire Global map will be available at a glance. Troops relocation and multiple attacks will be made easier to perform.

To be continued...