Wargaming, a game developer that changed the industry in a few years by believing that free-to-play is the new way of making games. And even though it was a brave step, it also was a move that changed everything for Wargaming. Going from a small company in 2010 into a giant in 2017, and it is still going growing strong every day.
And with the release of the French Cruiser line in World of Warships, we had the opportunity to sit down with Artur Plociennik (Global Publishing Producer World of Warships).
Thank you for your time during this event. Today it’s about showing us the French Cruisers. But as most World of Warship die-hards probably know, we already posted about it a few weeks ago. So let’s get to it!
So, first of all. Why the French ships instead of finishing the Royal Navy or the Kriegsmarine lines for example?
Artur: That’s partial because of production timelines. In some cases, we cannot work on to many ships in parallel because we don’t have the blueprints, and for us, it’s also about variety because at certain periods it’s also good to say we adding a new nation into the game. On one hand, it’s just good marketing material for us as a company and as a brand. But it also keeps those people happy that are waiting for a specific line or nation.
You can imagine we are missing an Italian flag in the game, so we need to make an Italian ship.
Talking about the Italian line. What about the release schedule? Can we compare it to the release of the Dunkerque and the release of the French Cruisers?
Artur: No, it might not necessarily take that long, but I can’t really comment on when you will see the first Italian branch because that also depends on the Research Department, but it’s most likely going to be Italian Cruisers. This is because they are the easiest to play, at least for new players. But when that is going to happen I’m not sure for now.
Generally speaking, we try not to make people wait that long, if we can. Sometimes we don’t have an option because we know that people are waiting, we also want to release some ships, so either they have to wait a long time for an entire line or we release some ships and make them wait until we release the next ships.
It’s a hard decision for us, but we think it’s better to give the players at least something than nothing at all.
And in terms of the French Cruisers and not finishing the other lines, it all comes down to giving the game more variety.
And when you look at the branches, you have different branches (Polish, Pan-Asia, Commonwealth) that only have one or two Premium ships. Some of these ships have been there for some time. Are you working on those branches as well?
Artur: We have ideas for a couple of mixed- or minor nation, as we call them. Poland is something different, because we are talking about making a Polish brand. Technically it’s possible, but on the other hand, you will see a lot of ships from other branches in the Polish branch because they had British, Soviet and French destroyers. So it would be more a copy/paste for us. So we are now discussing if that will make any sense.
But in terms of these minor nation. That’s the opposite of what I said before. If we want to do a branch of that, then we will still prefer a branch of a major nation. For example, you would see a second branch of the American Cruisers sooner instead of a branch of a mixed- or minor nation.
Does this mean you will release Premium Ships for small nations to please that player base?
Artur: Generally, in terms of Premium ships, we try to spread the love around the world very equally, which means a few ships for every region. This will be very easy for regions like American. For example, we just released the Alabama for the US, but for regions like Asia, it will be very hard. That it because there are a lot small nations with specific ships that only fit in specific places, so that makes it very hard for us, but there probably will be some Pan-Asian and Commonwealth Premium ships later this year, but availability is the thing that is missing. The main reason from releasing some Premium ships is that we want to give to players more ships to choose from.
Next to all these new ships, we see a lot of tweaking, nerfing, buffing and even a new Commander Skill tree. All these changes, why do you keep on changing them, and based on which info?
Artur: Well, talking about the changes, the whole time we are looking at the game as a test phase. Hopefully, the game will get better over time, we will try to advance the gameplay all the time. And that’s how you need to see free to play MMO’s in generally. But if it turns out that it’s not good for the game balance, we will change it again. Either to a new set-up that will work differently or to the previous set-up which we had, it’s always possible. It’s not something that we don’t want to do because the whole point of it is that we want the improve the game.
For instance, let’s talk about stealth fire. We never intended stealth fire in the game, because you can create a situation where a player can not react to it and they will be helpless, and this is something that should not be in the game. We also acknowledge the fact that it was in the game for a long time and we didn’t work on it. So people got used to it, it became part of the game. But the point is that we are changing it for the better and it will not break the game. We know some of the ships needs buffing and we are looking into that at the moment.
Also, some ships will start to function differently. But there are ships out there that are primarily gunboats and we know they are having a real hard time right now. They will get buffed in the near future. And the community is reacting really hard to this change, but we also saw that when we introduced Radio Position Finding. Everybody was complaining about it and now people think it’s not that big of a deal anymore, it didn’t break the game. All I want to say is: Come on guys! There needs to be a bit of thrust. We trust you, please trust us. And believe me, if we change something in-game and it breaks the game, we will fix it as fast as we can base on the data we get.
And last, but not least. We found out that on the Russian Test server that Wargaming is testing a new way of exchanging gold from World of Tanks/World of Warplanes for doubloons in World of Warships if your World of Tanks/ World of Warplanes account is inactive for more than a month.
Does this mean you are looking for 1 type of currency in all the games or is it a one-time exchange for the World of Warships players?
Artur: That’s a question, that I don’t really know how to answer because the Wargaming management has not decided what to do. To be honest, we (World of Warships) don’t want to take this step, because it might threaten the game economy from our side. But at the same time, we know that it’s something our players want and it potentially makes them happy.
So that why on certain clusters, on certain times, it might be possible to have an event where you can transfer them with either an exchange rate or a one-time thing. So, before we commit to having a UI-option and a whole system that does that for you, we’ll just do it manually for now. Just to keep players happy when we can.
And that wraps it all up for us. So, who knows what we can expect in World of Warships in the future, who knows which ships will be in the game and which line will be released during this year.