Purpose of this blog

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

Thursday, October 17, 2013

[WoTB] Mobile Gameplay

The current principle for WoT Blitz we try to adhere is focusing primarily on battle aspects of the game, at the same time trying to streamline and simplify the garage management part as a whole. This includes having cleaner interface for main garage screen, overhauling crews as concept, changing the way consumables/shells/equipment is handled.

What things from your perspective should be considered? Any changes to progression? Currency balance for WOT? What would be the things you would be willing to spend money for in general in such a mobile game? Like having limited fuel or energy that replenishes with either time or money? :)
What could significantly change the steep learning curve of WoT (there is such on PC, recollect your first battles) on mobile while preserving certain challenge which is absolutely necessary for any game?

Feel free to post most radical things.

56 comments:

  1. From my point of view; this this would be attractive;
    -Ability to use my regular WoT account
    -But connecting to WoT Blitz server if using mobile device.
    ->Simplified garage interface.
    ->Simplified controls
    ->Simplified gameplay.
    -Only playing with/against other mobile device users on the WoT Blitz server.

    I could play tanks and grind when commuting, travelling, or out of place. You could charge ingame gold for each game on the WoT Blitz server because it's an added service.

    A great way to get people to try WoT Blitz on mobile devices would be to sell unique premium tanks on the WoT Blitz server. After X games on the WoT Blitz server such a tank would be unlocked/parked in the regular WoT garage as well. You'd get plenty of people over the threshold.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since we are treating Blitz as a separate game, even though it does belong to WoT-franchise which is going to be different both content- and gameplay-wise. So, we are not planning any cross-platform integration like sharing free exp, or grinding credits on mobile.

      Charging money simply for playing would be too harsh.

      Delete
    2. Really :( :( . That is too bad. I would have liked it if I could just use my tablet (its a good one this time) to continue playing my tanks when on a bus or something :( . Like, only one account may be active at a time, and blit people fight only blitz people, but its ONE garage . Would love that :(

      Delete
    3. Overlord; there is both demand and a huge existing playerbase for the concept I suggest. It is also the one add-on where pay-to-play could feel natural since it's an added service on a mobile device. I think you are missing out on an opportunity. I would be very surprised if a separate light WoT would get any traction in the existing playerbase or generate a new playerbase in untapped segments that's anywhere close in size... well maybe in China, South Korea, Japan, etc. but not here in Europe. Anyways, I could be wrong and I wish you luck.

      PS. I wouldn't use a tablet to grind credits on the commute train. I would get some daily doubles out of the way.

      Delete
    4. We want to broaden our horizons with Blitz, and the audience as well. I do understand that potentially less current players will stick with the game. And we are ready to make that compromise.

      Delete
  2. How about unifying accounts with the pc version if possible i.e. if you have premium time for the pc, you have premium time for blitz. This will allow not only your already pc installed user base to easily us blitz as well, but will also act as an advertising tool in order to convert user to the pc version as well.

    This along with Kenneth's tank idea and possibly unlockable camo patterns, inscriptions or even combined/introductory packages that include stuff from Blitz, WoWP and WoT (premium tanks ,planes , garage slots, premium consumables) at a higher discount than normal (since it is spread out and designed to encourage people into all of the games), will overcome the biggest hurdle which is creating an installed user base by using your huge pc one.

    And don't do an energy/time system as it will deter the pc users who generally hate that Farmville style gameplay. Focus on the same things you have in the pc version

    Also to further sweeten the deal, increase the premium for blitz, but limit credits and xp earned to blitz, in order to provide a quicker progression more suitable to a mobile device

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shared premium does look incomplete without shared gold and free exp, doesn't it?

      Delete
    2. Never said no to shared gold and free xp could be earned at the same pc rate, as not to imbalance the contributions from Blitz, then by renaming credits or something along those lines, you could restrict that currency to just Blitz.

      Even though you said that you didn't plan on including it into the unified account scheme, I think what you will see is that is probably one of the most desired features from the pc community, and by not modifying such a system to include Blitz in such a way will hurt its growth immensely.

      One of the biggest strengths of this franchise in it's business model, in that the unified account in and of its self, is a marketing tool that promotes the player base to move from their comfort zone i.e. WoT, into other parts of the franchise.

      By not creating a unified system (not necessarily restricted to the WoT/WoWP interaction), you are hamstringing your game in that your not utilising your already established user base to inflate the early adoption numbers of Blitz.

      In short, larger player base = snowball effect = more new players = more money.

      Don't limit yourself to a strict 'unified can only be done one way' mind-set. Include unified to secure the future of Blitz and allow your system to provide a better, more complete service than your competitors.

      Delete
  3. I would like to see:
    - Faster progression than on WoT PC
    - Not losing (much) money even when losing on higher tier battles
    - Frequent updates, about the same as on PC
    - No oneshot kill tanks
    - Easy to pick up and play
    - Fun2Play (no pay2win)

    Looking forward to play it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. It will be faster.
      2. By the way in WoT things are not better than they used to be. Credit income was boosted not so long ago.
      3. Sure
      4. Thinking of that.
      5. What exactly do you mean here? Can you elaborate?
      6. Sure.

      Delete
    2. "5. What exactly do you mean here? Can you elaborate?"
      Well I just meant that you could easily to play a match or two without needing to wait a long time between matches and so on

      Delete
  4. Since it has already been confirmed that Blitz maps are smaller, I think one of the biggest things that would improve the mobile gameplay is to remove the current spotting system. If it were removed altogether and everyone was visible all the time, it'd solve a big beginner problem with
    not knowing spotting ranges and "invisible tanks".
    One of the big reasons why tanks are not visible all the time in PC WoT is so that there aren't 1km battles with everyone camping. This wouldn't be as much of a problem on mobile because trying to aim at those ranges on a touchscreen would be almost impossible compared to a mouse.
    With everyone visible, there would also be faster battles because you don't have to worry about people camping in a bush hidden as you try to do something. Maybe change it so that they don't have a name over them all the time unless you specifically "t" them up or some similar function. Camo would still play a factor in visually hiding yourself but it'd be easier to get into and be a familiar system to new players coming off of Battlefield or something similar. To do this right, you'd need to lock down the skin system from modding so that people can't just throw on a red tank mod and have everyone lit up easily.

    I am not sure if the tech tree is going to go up to Tier X but the XP and money requirements for Blitz shouldn't be as steep as the PC. People aren't going to be playing for hours at a time like they can on a PC. While it shouldn't be neutered to alienate the WoT PC fanbase, it should not take as much time to get to higher tiers. Because of this, tanks and garages should not be connected between PC and Mobile. It would be nice to connect accounts so stats (under a different number) and premium can be shared among them.

    I agree with some of the previous posts as well. Give some incentive to the PC players to play Blitz like unlockable content. Maybe even have a system transferring XP and silver over to the PC side for some gold. Those hardcore PC players could then be playing Blitz when they aren't at their computer and still be improving their PC side. WG benefits by using gold to transfer and it appeals to those that only care for the PC side and would otherwise not be playing Blitz. With a modified money and xp system on Blitz, conversion rates would have to be taken into account.

    -Armourcore9brker (it keeps trying to post my wordpress as anonymous).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maps are indeed approx 4 times smaller. As for visibility we somewhat sorted this out by increasing vehicle view range and simplifying the cover system (less bushes). So it should be ok.

      Yup, trees will stretch from tier 1 to tier 10 as on PC. Progression will be faster. As for integration we weren't planning any shared resources, since we can't do the entire package - gold, free exp, premium.

      Delete
    2. I'm not really saying to share them completely. Just have a way to send over silver or free xp over. There are already ways PC resources can be externally modified (during updates when xp, creds, gold gets refunded or buying silver + gold from the gift shop).

      I'm not saying to integrate gift shop packages between them. Just give some sort of benefit to the PC players so they have incentive to play Blitz and spend gold on it. They don't want to split their resources generally.

      Also, are the Blitz servers separated like on PC (NA, EU, RU, etc)? I suppose that if there is a difference in the way the servers are implemented, it could pose a problem for any account integration.

      Delete
    3. There will be the same region-based system in WoT Blitz.

      Delete
  5. I won't consider playing Blitz if there is no connection with regular PC WoT account - for example by sharing free XP.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No connection most likely - progression speed will be different.

      Delete
  6. I have question about the smart-phones operating systems. Will also WoTB work in Windows Phone 8 operating system? From my point of view it would be logical to play in Win Phone 8 operating system platform.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Win Phone market is not that strong at the moment. For now we are planning to go only iOS and Android.

      Delete
  7. For me the most important features are
    - simplified controls / gameplay. I've got few great titles on my mobile device, that are just unplayable with complex accelerometer / gyroscope controls when I'm traveling by bus, car or anything. I think we all know that very well.
    - do not make limited time-dependant gameplay. Such games just seem to prevent players from playing them, often especially when one wants to play... You know, time / fuel / whatever runs out, suddenly there's nothing more to do, and player turns off the game to play different one.
    - account unification. I understand, that full integration isn't possible due to big differences between games, but reasonable integration would be very motivating to play both titles. One thing that comes on my mind is making similar system as it works with free exp. For example: on your main WoT profile you get some percentage of credits / exp gained in Blitz. With small numbers, like up to 5% it is always something, but without too big influence on progress in game. Well, just an example of way of thinking.
    - faster progress doesn't mean much for me, but I suppose it would be crucial for most of mobile gamers. Such games are just more casual in general, and (as someone already said) they need to be easy to start playing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. Can you elaborate the simplified gameplay part?
      2. Agree

      Delete
    2. It's hard to think of Blitz as of brand new game, rather than WoT port, so it's difficult to avoid comparison of both titles... but let's try. 'Simplified controls' part quite speaks for itself, but it actually corresponds with simplier gameplay. What I mean the most is to avoid complex penetration and armor simulation mechanics. It's easier in WoT, you know, armor angling, careful aiming at weakspots, taking real physics into account when driving, etc. In mobile game (with quite restricted controls) that would make you rather fight handling your own tank, than fighting your opponents. I know that such simplifying would come at the price of realism and richness of tactic playstyle, but hey, that's not PC WoT clone, that's mobile game! And as such it should deliver the satisfaction of pure tank fighting at first place, without too much worry about all things you have to think about in WoT. By these I mean for example hiding your gearbox not to being put on fire, rotating turret to make your commander cupola harder to hit, etc, etc... Somehow I cannot imagine driving a scout at full speed and trying to detrack the opponent I cannot damage other way, using just small screen and touch controls ;) Hope I made myself quite clear.

      Delete
    3. One more thing I forgot about. And quite important one. I do not know broadband requirements of Blitz for fluid gameplay, but I've already tried many live multiplayer games and things weren't that pretty. I'm talking about all kind of lags, disconnections, and so on. Everything looks nice with WiFi connection, but mobile signal (and data transfer) coverage differs from place to place, sometimes it disappears at all, and if you play when when on the move it can be most frustrating. What came on my mind is adding some sort of single player experience. I'm not even thinking of full enemy AI implementation, cause it would be close to impossible (unlike in WoWp), but maybe some sort of minigame(s), that would make people occupied in game, when there's no technical possibility to play against others. Of course such thing should be less rewarding in terms of credits and experience, but still it would give players the feeling of progression in game, as long as the game has any sort of connection with server to record the progress and prevent from offline cheating. All in all it's a mobile game, and it should be playable whenever you want, and wherever you take it with you.

      Delete
    4. As for controls, you made it pretty clear. For Blitz we have preserved original battle mechanics of PC version with some minor modifications. It was the easiest way in terms of time, and I think generally we have managed to adjust it to mobile and touch controls properly.

      As for network issues. This is the part where BigWorld comes in. It's pretty good in terms of performance, so connection requirements are moderate and stability is very good.
      Offline mode would be difficult since the mechanics is calculated on the server.

      Delete
  8. I've dumped a Tonne of cash into WoT, much of that was for FreeXP early on, but I also love many Premie tanks. I will most likely *try* Blitz, but if there is absolutely no connection (of at least some kind) between tablet and PC accounts then I almost certainly will Not be spending money on Blitz; I have too much invested in PC and enjoy it too much to split my resources to something else.

    I'm not even saying what that connection has to be, but *something* so that my main account benefits, and I probably Will spend money on Blitz. Let's say credits and FreeXP are share-able, then I would quite enjoy buying a few Blitz Premie tanks, as that would allow me to support my "crack habit" while at the coffee shop or waiting at an appointment. *That* might be your biggest selling point for it.

    Beyond that (and pipe dreaming) being able to access my Blitz Garage from my PC client would be waaaay cool. The other way around would be even more spectacular, but there are probably security concerns with that?

    Thank you for being interested in our feedback!
    DeathMongrel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks.

      Since the content (tanks) will be different on PC and mobile - it's impossible to implement that kind of garage thing. We didn't plan to anyway.

      Delete
    2. As far as accessing Garages back and forth, I only meant something like the Tech Trees and perhaps an equipment menu, Not the full fledged interface with Battle capability.

      But more importantly, are there any future thoughts on "Credit/FreeXP sharing"? Hmmm, perhaps that could be a paid service...? ;)

      Thanks!
      DeathMongrel

      Delete
    3. Currently, we are not planning that. See other replies to this post.

      Delete
  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. The most important thing for me, which I would spent money is very simple:
    Personalisation !!!
    You want to be different, you want to customize just the look of your tank (avatar or whatever). You want the others to recognize you. You remember Manfred von Richthofen? What comes in your mind when you hear the name...
    Sadly for me for now there is not enough to satisfy it. The emblems are too small. The camo is too few and common. The inscriptions are too small and most of them i do not understand. When I look backwards, I only recognize them in the 30s before start, when i bother to look around. Since 14:59 I never see a decal again...

    ReplyDelete
  11. If u cant share free exp/credits, then at least do some cross platform events, like do X in Blitz -> get Y in WOT. Gotta keep in mind competitions like top50 are already easy to rig, and guess it will be even easier on mobile (less players). :O

    IDK what i'd pay for, I havent paid in a year for WOT.. maybe for cheap customization? I guess there wont be mods, so stuff like MG on top, some bags and shit hanging around, premium only camo (looks unique and leet, but with same camo bonus), maybe have some of those things 1st unlockable by performance in battle or exp to add some meaning.
    Sorry if its a wall of text but what bugs me in normal WOT is that all tanks always look like brand new toys, and I want people to know how leet I am in my Obj 416 for example w/o xvm.. sort of give my badass performing tanks some sort of badass veteran look, ya?

    BTW can have gun barrel sticking out in sniper mode, even if thats unrealistic, like on Xbox? :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cross-platforms events are doable, yes.

      We gave the barrel thing for usability reasons. I like it on Xbox though. :)

      Delete
  12. Overlord, you should consider the Unified account WITHOUT sharing Credits/Gold like this:

    1) One premium is used on Wot,WoW, WotBlitz, nothing complicated. So the more you give us games to play with ONE account, the more we are tempted to pay premium days because we KNOW we will be able to use them from the PC, the couch or even when we a are visiting a friend.

    2) NOT sharing premium means we have to pay TWO separate premiums, but that means if i pay wotblitz premium i won't be able to maximize my "farming" on wot without paying a second premium and loosing every minute "i'm not playing wot but wotBlitz". That's nonsens if you force a player to choose between two games he will just zap the new one.

    3) You wrote "unified without sharing Experience/golds is tricky" (something like that). Did you considered NOT calling that GOLD and SILVER ? that's simple: two new names, so it's not the same ressource "name" and then you DON'T have to share them between accounts: just the premium.

    Call Credit: Blitz funds
    Call Golds: Blitz Golds (or anything shiny)

    So i farm Blitz Funds in my Wot Blitz, and you can easily explain why there is different ressources: different servers, different playstile, different platform, different play session lengh = different ressources: each one adapted to the platform.

    But why i insist on sharing premium ? just because the more you give us to "Use" to the max our premium days the more we are tempted to pay more premium days, the more you earn and the more you give us Updates, new games and the happier we are.


    Temujingamer (Wot Fan)

    ReplyDelete
  13. When you start a new Blitz account you should get to unlock 3 or 5 vehicles from your PC WoT account. I have too many other games on my iPad that are awesome to even consider grinding from Tier 1 again. No free boost and no transfer over to real WoT plus worse controls and worse graphics? Why bother? There must be a compelling reason for me to play besides I can play on my iPad instead of a PC.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @There must be a compelling reason for me to play besides I can play on my iPad instead of a PC.@
      Right, that's why I think that we should find new audience for Blitz as well. PC players will always compare Blitz to PC version no matter what. Those of PC players who want to play Blitz will most likely to that regardless of any integration, those who don't - won't play even if there is integration.

      Delete
  14. I read about somebody playing 3x50M platoons in the way that you'll press Rx3 at the start and you're not allowed to use the speed controls at any point in the game. Haven't yet been able to try it out but sure sounds like bags of fun. This brought an idea of a game mode in blitz like "Blitz - No breaks" or something like that where you couldn't control your speed. Just imagine the low tiers where LT's would just race around like little bees in a small map.

    All in all I think this kind of minigames or game modes like racing etc. could just be the stuff that would get the PC players interested. Making it just a streamlined version doesn't sound very interesting tbh.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Simplified tank unlocking, meaning when you unlock a tank you unlock it as a whole vehicle rather than having to unlock all the components. Then you make the progression inside a vehicle horizontal by allowing the unlocking of different models of the tank. It would mean less futzing around in the garage juggling new components. Allow crews to migrate between vehicles in the same model range with no penalty, but retain the normal retraining when moving to a new tier.

    Allow crew transfer at the crew level instead of by individual, but retain individual crew transfers in order to give people the ability to fill individual slots when needed.

    Allow for the purchase of reserve slots so that vehicles can be removed from the garage. Vehicles in reserve would not be loaded when the garage is synced. This would minimize the amount of data transferred every time the client loaded and which would be helpful for the folks with restrictive data plans and speed up the garage interface in general. There could be a credit cost imposed to 'ready' a vehicle to be stored or to be removed from storage.

    Make some customization emblems unlockable by free xp. When an epic achievement or medal is earned award a custom decal for it. The decal would only be valid for the vehicle model that earned the award.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was thinking of one avatar-like crew for all tanks without all this unnecessary on mobile micro-management.

      As for reserve, we were thinking of smth similar. Very curious that you came up with such an idea. :)

      Thanks

      Delete
    2. I first thought of it when I had 25 tanks in my garage and got tired of having to scroll through them trying to find a specific one. I remember telling folks on Teamspeak that I'd pay money to be able to put tanks I was collecting but not running into some kind of storage.

      I like the idea of a crew as an avatar rather than individuals. The fiddly bits are bad enough on PC, having to use my giant fingers to do them on my phone would be horrible.

      Delete
  16. Hey Overlord, what the hell is happening to WoT nowadays? For 4 weeks there are a lot of novice/noob players even in tier 9/10 battles! Nowadays I usually play tier8-10 matches and even if I'm usually in top3 of my team frequently dealing 5k damages or over I usually lose. After 15k matches I had 56% W/R, nowadays on a typical day I have around or below 40% even though I have WN7 1.6k and WN8 2k!!! Noone can say I'm a camper, my playstyle is very agressive (survival rate ~30%) It's extremely frustrating that in a tier 10 battle if I deal 8-9k dmg in half of the cases I lose. Overlord, WG made tier8-10 games too easy for noobs, you've started annoying average+ players! When I see that my W/R is falling below 40% and my WN8 is above 2.5k, something is VERY wrong!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Curious, haven't played for a few weeks. Will do on the weekend.

      Delete
    2. If you wish check my noobmeter - there's no secret in it:
      http://www.noobmeter.com/player/eu/MongolZ/500646168/

      Delete
    3. Sample of under 100 is not that representative in the long run. And high tier battles naturally are more difficult for a single player in terms of personal impact on the outcome.

      Personally, I don't really like to go solo on tier 9 and 10. Tier 8 is ok.

      Delete
    4. I see your point, but:
      I played JagdTiger more than 2000 times in random without playing in platoon, got 56% (at that time to play in platoon someone had to have premium). Now with JPz E100 I also gained 56% just in random (more platoon I'd say, but still not decent). Never had premium or gold ammo (on JPz it simply doesn't make sense anyway...)
      Again - I have no idea what happened when all my stats went up, just W/R gone bad
      I have 2 solution: I was extremely unlucky in the last ~1000 battles or WG made something terrific. Still don't know but it seems I am not the only one affected by this issue.

      Delete
    5. I would say it has gone down since the 8.6 accuracy buff. Now a russian heavy can rush in and snapshot on the move and hit weakspots, its more point and shoot now.

      Combined with the arty nerf, the number of pleople playing tier 9-10 are now higher, there by more less skilled players playing high tiers. (Before it was more cw players who played tier x to train/learn their tanks.) If you use xvm you can see how the team with the platoon of well skilled players most often will affect the end resault.

      Delete
  17. i saw the same thing, same situation gone from arround 60 to 40% winrate last two weeks. We are a lot in my clan that suffer from the same thing: being droped in tier 10/9 game with a tier 8 and just being usless because you can't honnestly change anything to a battle with more than 4/5 tads that can One shot (FV183) or two shot you (Object 268, E3,E4,JagE100,Fosh155).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's "good" that it seems the problem is not with me, but others suffer as well. WG made something really bad, and that's extremely frustrating.
      I don't see any problems with those tier10 td's (I also have JPZ), even if I play with IS-3, nowadays it's easy to get into a situation where about half of the team is dead and you cannot do literally anything against 7-8 tanks in the same tier. A lot of times I can kill 4-5-6 tanks, and still lose. My personal "best" nowadays is 8 kills and still have lost.
      Overlord, what did you do with MM? Are you mixing the good players with the worst players, so still the worst players can win? At the end, everybody will have 50% win ratio? Are you kidding me??? So no matter what I do, I'll have 50% at the end??? That's really motivating!!! (Hope you feel the irony.)

      Delete
    2. New version of skill based MM-ing is on. All WRs are steadily going to 49%. / sarcasm

      No idea. For sure there were no major MMing changes - I would have known about that.

      Delete
    3. OK, thanks for the infos, I'm courious about the outcome.

      Delete
  18. Let me throw in a theory:
    Missions.
    Could it be, that those missions, which do not reward "good" games are causing a problem here?
    I mean "be one of the top 3 on XP" is really good. But "do x damage", "get 15 wins" can also be done by fast farming. For people without much time they somehow try to rush the results and do not concentrate on a better playstyle.
    What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's something I've also strated to think.

      Delete
  19. Dear Overlord,

    I know it's not the right way to contact, but seems like there's no way to directly contact (seems legit).
    I think Wargaming Korea is moking players, by "manipulating" result of recent game events.
    Some players already noticed that and they're irritated. I'd be happy if i can get any contact points.

    Regards
    Diediealldie

    ReplyDelete
  20. I believe matches on mobile need to be a bit faster paced than the pc version, so they end quicker. people who play on mobile probably want to be able to pull it out for a quick game with no chance of sitting for a 15 min draw. anybody who wants to play for a long time in one session likely has access to a PC and will play there for the richer experience.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Playing Biltz on the phone and the phone rings and you need to answer it, or the connection drops out. AFK will be a much bigger issue for Biltz than PC.

    Have you considered putting serverside BOT software to continue playing for a player when they answer the phone/disconnect. I hate people using bots on the PC version but could see the value a serverside bot in Blitz. It could get very frustrating if a portion of your team goes AFK, at least this means the game would continue to go on.

    The bot would have to play worse than an average player to stop people abusing it. Plus a strict set of conditions to when it will would kick in. Plus you could possibly charge real money for people to upgrade their "autopilot" for when the phone rings.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete