Wargaming – Interview on zombie tanks, global server and more

Invited by Wargaming.net to Gamescom 2012, there is bound to be an exclusive session with the developer of popular online war games such as World of Tanks and World of Warplanes. As a non-fan of the series, I got Wargaming.net’s COO, Mr Marat Karpeko and PR & Marketing Manager, Max, to answer a couple of questions.

World of Tanks
Q: Will World of Tanks be forever sticking to its “actual reality” settings? Most shooter games out there now have various fantasy modes, with the zombie ones being the most popular. Zombie tanks or PvE maps shooting down Godzilla, any thoughts on this?
A: We do have ideas on fiction content, but currently Wargaming is just focused on developing World of Tanks using historical facts. There are many things we will like to do, but they are not the priority now. With the upcoming 8.0 patch, we are giving a major upgrade to World of Tanks. Now, there is a better in-game physics, where tanks can collide and destroy each other and tanks can push enemy tanks off cliffs etc. There is really some fiction stuff in World of Tanks now, as there are several models which only have blueprints and were never manufactured in real life.
Q: Ever thought of having a tool to allow players to mod their own maps? I will like to see a 3D Battle City map.
A: Like the fiction modes, we will consider this later down the road for World of Tanks. Given the limited manpower and time, the top priority now is still to fully develop the game based on actual historical facts.
Q: Will there ever be a truly global server connecting players from all around the world?
A: Yes, we are definitely looking into it. It will be great to have players from China playing against American players, Korean players against SEA players and so on. There is still the technical part to overcome, since latency is still the major issue here. We are looking into it, and yes, it is in our plan to connect the gamers.
I bombarded Mr Marat Karpeko with ideas about zombie tanks, with the tanks being made of organic flesh, with an actual zombie piloting each. He talked about how these tanks should shoot heads, and promised to let me know if this mode is being done. Yeah!

World of Warplanes
Q: As someone who has yet to play World of Warplanes, I have read about a match lasting just around 15 minutes. With the 360 degrees view and combat out in the open skies, wouldn’t it take players a longer time to complete a match given the amount of maneuvering required? Or is it that the maps are smaller compared with World of Tanks’?
A: The maps are actually bigger, from 10 times to 20 times bigger than those in World of Tanks. Each match in World of Warplanes is faster due to the planes moving much faster compared to tanks, as well as the firing rate which is much higher. With a standard 15 Vs 15 round, players are bound to be killed faster as well.
Q: In both World Wars, there were planes in which there are 2 people on-board, 1 the pilot while the other the gunner. Will it be possible for us to see this type of planes where there are 2 actual players controlling?
A: Like in World of Tanks, there will be an AI character which players may choose to upgrade and let him learn the appropriate skill. This AI acts as the 2nd pilot.
The duo also talked about how weather will come into play in the future, with events such as planes being struck by lightning. Max also showed us how the “fog” system is already working in World of Warplanes, simply by flying in the midst of thick clouds. This is freaking awesome!
Also, it is possible to control the plane and play using just one hand plus the mouse, without the usage of WASD or any movement buttons. While I am not a fan of World of Tanks, World of Warplanes is another different story!

World of Warships
Q: Are there submarines?
A: No. *I gave a sad face*
Q: While World of Tanks have various land structures to provide hiding spots and World of Warplanes having the 360 degrees freedom to dodge attacks, World of Warships takes place on a plain, flat water surface. Will it be harder to have tactical strategies?
A: Each battleship will have many different parts to upgrade, the tactical part comes in when players choose which upgrades to get to overcome which kind of enemy ships and scenarios. Also, there will be a fog system, with mountainous islands providing cover for ships too.

Max went on to talk about the “time positioning” of the games. World of Warplanes is considered as the fastest game in the trio, World of Tanks coming in the middle and World of Warships being the “slowest”. Each game will appeal to different crowds, but also give alternatives to players as well. For example, a World of Tanks player may not have the time to play a game or 2 during lunch, but World of Warplanes will allow him to complete a fast game.

With World of Tanks: Generals being announced recently, the duo also talked about the future of the Wargaming.net games. Generals is a browser-based card game, sort of like World of Tanks meets Magic: The Gathering, with skills, traps and more. In fact, I was shown the hard-copy of the cards, which will become an actual collectible trading card game series soon. This will be yet another way to expand the Wargaming.net franchise.