I was contacted a while ago about an upcoming WW2 based MMO called World of Tanks. The title pretty much tells you what the game is about, large scale tank battles online. As a Battleground Europe player I agreed to a Q&A session with the company behind world of tanks. The questions that follow were put to Wargaming.net by myself and a few of my Battleground Europe squaddies. I have to admit it’s a game I hadn’t heard of so the info below is new to me as well as many of you reading this post.
Q: Can you give a quick overview of the upcoming MMO World of Tanks?
World of Tanks is the first and only massively multiplayer online action game dedicated to armored warfare. It’s a mixture of multiple genres such as TPA, FPS, RTS, simulator and traditional RPG, where not only you will be able to upgrade your tank but a tank crew as well. The game will feature armored vehicles from America, Germany, and the Soviet Union from the period of early 30’s and up to the Korean War. We will subsequently add other nations such as Italy, France, Britain and Japan. Gamers will get light, medium, and heavy tanks, as well as tank destroyers and long-range self-propelled howitzers with a possibility of endless historically grounded modifications. But being an experienced tank ace isn’t enough to win. In World of Tanks it’s all about teamwork. The victory is achieved by combining your tactical skill in developing the right strategy to defeat the enemy!
Q: How is the game structured with regards to missions or campaigns?
At the moment there are two main modes in the game. To win you need to either capture the opponent’s base or eliminate all enemies. We’ll be also introducing more diverse modes like Capture multiple flags or Last man standing, different historic campaigns and other missions such as Garage Wars, where players will be applying all of their tanks by turns in one battle until they run out. It’s also quite possible that we will make a “Survival” mode, where a team will be surrounded by a bunch of NPCs looking like crash models of tanks, and the player will have to survive the waves of ”zombie-tanks” coming from all directions like in “Left 4 Dead” and you will only be able to destroy them by purchasing silver bullets
Q: What makes World of Tanks different to other MMO’s, for example why should players of say Battleground Europe check out your game?
Well, first of all it’s totally unprecedented MMO game. We combined two contradictory concepts: Tanks and MMO, and that seemed a bit like a crazy idea at first but luckily Russian beta statistics show quite the opposite. Second, it’s the persistent world, where the strong spirit of competition that promotes socialization and team play is of great importance. Third, the game is simple to learn, but hard to master! It’s understandable, accessible and fun-filled gameplay that will definitely attract Battleground Europe players. We promise them a lot more action and drive
Q: Is progression available in this MMO and is it xp based?
Absolutely! There are 4 types of progression in World of Tanks.
First one is when you level up your tank. You start with the lightest and cheapest tank and by earning your experience points you can further upgrade your vehicle and installing better equipment of higher levels. There will be around 40 tanks representing each nation, so the player can grow from let’s say Leichttractor all the way to a monstrous Maus. All the upgrades are available according to the development trees. Second, you will be able to level up your crew members. Every tank will have a tank crew, and every member of a crew will have their own skills that will influence tank characteristics. The tankers will learn their skills relatively fast, and by the time you climb up the top of the development tree, you’ll have several maxed out tank crews. Third, we are introducing tons of tank modifications in the game. You can always get a better gun, turret, radio, various ammunition types and other useful equipment. And last but not least, is your personal avatar upgrade. Every player will have one, and by getting a certain achievement, it will be leveled up accordingly as well. This will probably be the most valuable rank as it’s the hardest to achieve.
Q: Is the game based on real events, how historically accurate is it in terms of both gameplay and equipment?
We tried to find a happy medium between realism and gameplay to make the game as fun as possible.
The skirmishes in World of Tanks are not associated with any particular historical events, but we will be introducing so-called historic campaigns, where the battles will take place on authentic maps (very close to the historic prototypes) with certain tank types allowed for this or that particular battle. In other words, each campaign will have its historic sets of available tanks. Of course, we are not talking about a recreation of real historic battles as in MMO games players are the ones who control the progress of events. In terms of equipment, there are over 150 historically grounded tank models in the game. We went through tons of military literature to make sure that all models as well as their modifications are historically accurate.
Q: In relation to the above question, a Battleground Europe player in my squad asked “In the trailer why can a 2c damage the Sherman?”
Well, actually, there was a famous incident when a light Soviet tank T-60 completely destroyed legendary German Panther, although this was probably the singular instance in tank history. But generally all models and their damage systems will be historically accurate. We have also implemented a sophisticated damage system which allows using peculiar tactics against different vehicle types or even deal higher damage to a particular tank model knowing its weak points.
Q: What types of equipment will be available?
We are introducing a large amount of different tank equipment. When you first purchase a tank it’s already loaded with some basic stuff, but you can install a better hull, turret, gun, radio or tracks of higher level. Every tank model has about 10 different modifications, i.e. 2 choices of turrets, 2 different tracks, 3 engine types and up to 6 gun modifications. We’ll also present different ammunition types: from regular armor-piercing to high-explosive anti-tank shells.
Q: What are the system requirements to play World of Tanks?
Minimum system requirements:
CPU: 2 GHz
RAM: 1 GB
Video: GeForce 6600GT (128 MB) / ATI analog
Connection rate: 128 Kbps
Average system requirements:
CPU: 3 GHz
RAM: 2 GB
Video: GeForce 8600GT (256 MB) / ATI analog
Connection rate: 128 Kbps
Maximum system requirements:
CPU: 2 Core 3 GHz
RAM: 2 GB
Video: GeForce 9800 (512 MB) / ATI analog
Connection rate: 1024 Kbps or higher (for faster downloads)
As you can see anyone with an average computer will be able to play World of Tanks.
Q: How much does it cost to buy and play?
World of Tanks is a free-to-play game. So you can simply download the client and start playing right away. An average player will not spend a dime in the game. We expect the majority of our audience to play for free, but we will include a few paid services as well. For example, we’ll have premium accounts available that will let you speed up the progression by 50 per cent and save yourself some precious time. Players will also have the possibility to customize their “steel cowboys” by purchasing all kinds of cool stuff, such as clan logos or special emblems. Therefore this will only be a visual appearance of your tank, something to help you stand out from the crowd. Let’s not forget the premium tanks that will be available for sale as well. However, none of the top-level vehicles will be presented as premiums as we try to stick to free-to-play model and make the game fair to those who don’t pay.
I would like to add that there will be no progression limit for the majority of players that play for free, all variety of modifications in all development trees are available for every player.
Q: How often are you planning to update the game? What kind of content can be expected in future updates?
We see World of Tanks as a continuous service, therefore we will be constantly updating it. We are discussing a possibility to release one new map or a few new panzer models per week. Our plan is to provide a lot of micro updates regularly. As I had mentioned before we are planning to introduce new tank nations, new modes and missions. Unfortunately, I cannot reveal everything that’s coming, let’s keep it under-the-table until after the release date
Q: What is the expected release date?
World of Tanks is getting released in Fall 2010.
Neither myself or any of our writers here have yet played the game, have any ties to Wargaming.net or are making any money out of this post. As an MMO blogger interaction with MMO companies is something I always look for and hopefully (are you listening MMO dev’s ), more posts like this will appear in future.
Hopefully the questions and answers above will give you enough of an idea to decide whether this upcoming MMO is something you’ll want to try out. If any of you do let us know your thoughts here via the comments.
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