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

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

[WoWP] We Are Fixing Stuff

Below is the response of the World of Warplanes Dev team, including Lead Producer - Anton Sitnikau, on a major feedback topic - One Thing That Breaks It All. I'm just quoting what they said. :)

1. Respawn (long waiting time, transition time / battle time ratio)

For relatively high-spec systems battle waiting time is now about 40s, including 30s pre-battle counter. 
At the same time average battle duration - is 3.5 minutes. 

We do accept that this is an issue. And it is being solved at this time in several ways:

Firstly, with the help of optimization. It's definitely not the easiest way, since the amount of data to be loaded before battle us huge. That's why we don't expect a major improvement in this area. It's loading time that made us introduce pre-battle counter in the first place - it is required to ensure that are players have managed to load.

Secondly, by increasing the time players spend in battle. This is where conceptual stuff comes in. Let's consider the options.

It would make little sense to introduce respawn for the current game mode. Respawn would severely decrease the importance of each destroyed aircraft. It's not clear how to refill bombs and rockets either - same goes for destroyed ground targets. 
We do want to introduce respawn - however it has to be a separate game mode. I will get to game modes a bit later. 

Battle duration is also affected by ramming. We don't want to dump ramming completely - self-sacrifice is a part of team-play. What we do want to do is to give players more chances to destroy enemy in head-on attack before ramming happens and decrease the necessity of ramming. 

2. AA are useless (up to tier 7/8)

We are continuing to balance AA guns. Avg damage inflicted by AA guns has decreased. One of the reasons for that - change of firing algorithm. Now intense manoeuvring gives more chances to avoid being hit. We are planning to increase damage of AA guns. We are also working on a special UI that will show areas covered by AA guns. 

3. Tier balance is terrible

Well, it's not that terrible, however we are not satisfied at this point. Generally speaking, we have got two major leaps: going from tier 3 to tier 4 (can differ across factions), and going from propeller planes to jet planes. Our balancing dept is now busy with making these transitions smoother, however we won't be able to eliminate them completely. These big leaps in history of aviation can't but impact smooth in-game progression. We can't avoid it without serious historical compromises. 

4. Mouse control (lack of direct feel)

A lot depends on settings. Try using Vector or Hybrid presets instead of default one.

5. Not being able to see the altitude of targets and friends on the minimap

We have decided not to display altitude on the minimap to avoid mess and overcomplication. Right now we have got so-called strategic map in development. This enlarged map (M-button) has much more space to display useful information - aircraft altitudes, crash sights, AA-gun areas, etc

6. Hangar UI (Slower that WoT, "Where is Barracks?",no ammunition on main screen, differ the WoT)

Hangar UI will be reworked. At this point both sides - WoT and WoWP teams - agreed to make the UIs closer to each other. Installed modules, consumables, ammo and "battle!" button are going to be displayed on all screens. Moreover, we have managed to improve UI performance a lot: most of the delays and glitches were related to updating information for in-game store. The store itself is still rather slow, and we are working on this.

7. Heavy fighters are way too powerful (World of Heavy Fighters)
We are planning to introduce more differences between classes and highlight them. As for heavy fighter, we are going to implement several changes. First, we are not going to use the coefficient that decreased the damage when shooting down-up any more. Second, high-altitude planes will get additional penalty in manoeuvrability when flying low. Third, we are going to provide more possibilities for low-altitude aircrafts to avoid boom-zoom attacks.

8. Progression trough tiers too slow

It’s not entirely true when it comes to overall pace picture. If you played Tanks, then you’ll see that our progression is much faster. The principles of earning exp and credits are a different story though. We’ve found and fixed the issue that led to incorrect calculations in situations when a higher tier enemy was taken down.

9. The fact that kamikaze gives a frag

Sometimes ramming is a conscious tactical decision for the sake of the team. I have already mentioned that we are going to increase the chances of avoiding a clash but we are not ready to eliminate this game element.

10. Maps are too small

We conducted experiments where low tier aircrafts were on maps of high tier aircrafts. The results were not 100% positive. It takes long to reach the opponent, pretty hard to find them. We believe that the maps are appropriate for the current battle mode. For other modes, especially the ones involving organized teams, we are planning to use maps of the existing size as well as enlarged ones. 

11. No Clan Wars

We were planning to start clan system right after the release and start clan wars slightly later. However, we changed the concept during the implementation (we are going to provide more details on that later) and the deadlines were changed, too. Unfortunately. We do understand how important clan wars are. Basically, that was the reason why we put them off: we can make them better than we planned according to the initial concept.

12. Need Garage battle mode

Garage battle mode is not our highest priority at the moment. The second random game mode and battles for organized teams are the things we consider more important as for now. These two types are more in demand and less risky.

13. Attack Aircraft (Ground Attack) are useless (Destroying ground targets must affect gameplay)

We agree with the observation that in the current iteration of the main game mode the role of attack aircraft is less significant than it used to be. At present we are sending off to test some experiments (to public test) aimed at increasing its significance.

14. Having to ride my shotdown fighter into the ground before I can right click to watch from another plane

In version 1.2. (first update in 2014) a new camera system will be added to the game. No more suffering for players! Basically, the system is ready, just not implemented yet.

15. Very high impact of current hight vs optimum height has on aircraft performance

The impact of altitude system will be re-balanced in the few upcoming updates. What we released was the fully-functioning mechanics of altitude influencing aircrafts behaviour. Further development, adjustments and balancing will be taking place in more than one update. Plus, we are planning to notify players about altitude (in garage etc.) 

16. Need Missions and New modes


A new game mode is being developed at the moment. Missions and quests are planned for the very near future. 

WoWP dev team via Overlord

UPD. On 1.1 update that is being publicly tested right now:
  • mouse controls will be different
  • Focke Wulfs will be different 
  • There will be less bugs

33 comments:

  1. Most of these are good, but I think the mark was missed in several areas:

    1) Introducing a new mode divides your playerbase in two. That doesn't make for faster game times, it makes them twice as slow.

    2) AA guns will take a regular fighter to 25-50% of its health in the time it takes to kill one ground target. Oh, and maneuver does nothing - twisting and turning or flying in a straight line, health is lost at the same rate. So unless the goal here is to make it impossible for anything other than GA to be over AA, please do not buff the guns.

    3) The cliff dropoff is not from 3-4. That can be done in one night and is relatively painless. The problem is 4-5. At 5, because of the low population, you will usually see 7 or 8s at the top of the other team. Its just not fun getting pounded by such better fighters, and so players have stopped progressing. Releasing those tier 5 premiums might help, but that remains to be seen.

    8) Progression at high tiers is ponderously slow. A new gun for a tier 7 aircraft is sometimes double what it would be in WoT, and the XP income is not any higher for the average player. The fast progression you are seeing is dedicated players farming free XP at tiers 3-4 by seal clubbing. They are not flying their tier 8 until they can put new guns on it. If you wanted to squeeze more money out of the playerbase, by forcing more XP conversion, I don't think its working, especially when you think about number 3 above.

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    1. Sorry that should be from 5-6, not 4-5. Once you have your tier 5, that's where the going gets slow and painful.

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    2. 1. Only if this game mode is selectable.

      3. I believe this was mostly concluded from RU server which is somewhat larger.

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    3. 2. Regular fighters are not supposed to be shooting at ground targets.

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    4. @Overlord

      1) He specifically says that it will be under #12 above.

      3) Yes, I've noticed we are now getting this on the NA server as well. Tier 4's fare poorly against the worst of the overpowered boom and zoom crowd that sit at six.

      @Homer_J

      2. Sometimes they have to Homer. If you have just one enemy left and you need time to track them down, it often means regular fighters blasting enough ground targets to reset timers. At the current AA rate you can buy some time, but not a whole lot. Buffing the AA DPS would make this a no win situation.

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  2. quick question:
    why isn't anywhere mentioned battle recording for WoWp ?!?!?!

    I tried many times to get an accurate answer to this, and every time devs dodge it

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    1. It's in the works now. Will share more details a bit later.

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    2. Update. Replays are planned for v. 1.2 at this time.

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  3. http://forum.wotlabs.net/index.php?/topic/5341-wowp-test-server-wargaming-are-you-even-trying/

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    1. On 1.1 update that is being publicly tested right now:
      -mouse controls will be different
      -Focke Wulfs will be different
      -There will be less bugs

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    2. Personally I played 1 game WoWP since release and have been playing WT (mostly historic battles) for ~1 month now, though I m dreading 1.37. I don't plan to come back:

      - WoWP graphic is much worse but produces lower FPS, They have much bigger maps, proper MSAA, more details ...
      - Arcade in WT, which I dont like much btw, makes more sense to me than WoWP damage and flightmodel wise
      - less donkeys (% wise) in WT historic battles than in WoWP and WoT, totally different playerbase. Much less "Siemka PL - Pozz - Moin, moin!" idiots.

      Cant be many testers, if the test client produces CTDs all day long ... .

      You should have skipped aircombat totally and gone right to ships, there you have a chance to do it right and win "the match" against Gaijin, if you dont srew it up with BS like 5x5 km maps.

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    3. Typical warthunder fanboi response

      "ive played one game and after my in depth test of that one game WoWP is crap"

      Play 200+ battles and then come back to me with an in depth assessment, till then, crawl back into that hole you came from

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  4. Could removing the atmospheric squash (or at least lessening it) (by "atmospheric squash," I refer to how the altitude-related values of planes in the game are ¼ of what they were in real life) lengthen matches without affecting ramming or requiring respawn?

    I know that it was first introduced to prevent players from running away from fights and to encourage players to use land formations for maneuvering, though I find that players tend to do either of those things already if they have that intention, or already don't if they have no intention of doing it.


    Also, what plane branch, if any, will be added in version 1.2? (It's obligatory for me to keep requesting information on the return of the F5U, so now my mission is to find out how soon the American heavy fighter branch might be coming!)

    Also also, when will WoT and WoWp be able to share their free experience? (This, too, is related to the F5U as far as I'm concerned.)

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    1. Just as expected the atmospheric squash brought both good and bad. Now it requires less time to gain altitude and allows to use level design options better, making high-altitude aircraft less invincible. And still, right now, high-altitude planes need some nerfing.

      Battle duration is a sort of secondary parameter for now, we don't want to increase by enabling longer pursuits for example.

      During the development we have changed altitude ceiling several times already, and the current version seems acceptable. There will be some altitude changes, but they relate to more to in-game balance than to general game mechanics.

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    2. 1.2 will bring some new planes. It's secret which ones exactly.

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    3. @Also also, when will WoT and WoWp be able to share their free experience? (This, too, is related to the F5U as far as I'm concerned.)@

      It will happen pretty soon. Free exp will be unified, there is not going to be any conversion mechanism from WoT to WoWP and vice versa. No commission, no exchange rates. Same as with gold.

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    4. You will not try to lengthen the duration of the pursuit? Which is like.. the best thing in the game, a good dogfight? Which currently doesnt exist due to insane damage on all guns on all tiers? I've barely had an actual dogfight since release, just 1 second kills or 1 second be killed. You better make the entire game realistic and make the damage model arcade than the other way around imho..

      Matches are so short because everyone dies in an instant, and since release everyone goes one side in stead of the 3 sides they start to, so everyone dies at once as well
      Higher damage output all around doesnt compress the skillgap, it makes skilled players rack up more kills even quicker, lower it and everyone gets a fairer chance;)

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  5. 14. It's not just the right click, but I can't seem to click a specific player on the team list. Only way is to keep using the right mouse button until I'm able to view that player.

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  6. I know it's late, but for what its worth. The main issue that annoyed me to the point of uninstall, is the disadvantage of joystick users. What i mean, in WoWp u do not controll the aircraft, u kind of "show it where to fly". and with joystick u can hardly compete in "pointing on the screen" with a mouse.

    richmi

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    1. Dude.. most people use the standard mouse control, which puts them at an insane disadvantage. They turn like 3 seconds slower than a joystick player / mouse player using vector or hybrid.. The more is controlled by AI (mouse controls) the worse your performance is, because the AI can never be entirely sure what you actually want to do.. Only downpart for joystick players and often heard complaint is that it is hard to aim, however as a joystick player myself, as far as I know, I have the highest accuracy on the entire EU cluster (if compared to other players who do not attack ground targets)

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    2. I use standard mouse and do just fine. I'm not sure why they are tinkering with the mouse controls after they spent so much getting them work finally.

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    3. Joystick is going to be reworked. We have got preliminary test results that show joystick can be much better. Similar fixes will help to improve gamepad controls as well. Many of the team play only using joystick, so it's in our interest as well.

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    4. Joystick is just fine.. Best version was 041 but it got killed with fysics and flight model changes. Only drawback it has is that it's impossible to have situational awareness other than using minimap/radar/snap-to-target, whereas mouse players can pretty much use free-look whenever they want to get the entire picture.

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  7. Very good. I am satisfied from all except p.10.
    IMHO, long time of flight and difficult to find enemy is implementing more realism in the battle time...

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  8. I have a very simple solution for ramming..
    If you ask me, most rams occur because of stupid mentality. "If I ram him, at least I get a kill!" instead of: "The longer I survive, the more kills I can make". You ram someone, you get a kill. You dodge rams, you have the potential of getting 15 kills. Also it already is very easy to evade rams.
    50% of rams is due to wrong mentality of the player(s), the other 50% is 2 people going head on, knowing the wreck of the enemy cant damage their plane, thinking "even if I kill him if he's 1m away, I won't die due to debris" so they keep on going, keep on going, neither dies, both collide.
    Make sure wrecks have hitboxes for like.. 5-7 seconds after being destroyed, players who do kill the enemy in the head-on in the last second, will still die due to the debris of the destroyed plane. Result: they will turn away when the enemy plane comes too close for comfort, no ram will occur..

    As for giving light fighters more possibilities to dodge BnZ attacks, that is useless. Please ask the dev team to look back at how the game was, exactly ONE year ago. Game was fun, game was balanced, HF and LF classes were very-well matched against each other, BnZ had no huge advantage over TnB, non-linear learning curve made sure for an 'easy to learn, hard to master' historically accurate based game.
    To be honest, so far I've found 1 person that was more happy with a game version in 2013, than in 2012.
    If i could, i'd pay a billion euro's to get that back, even if it wouldn't be developed any further, because frankly it didn't need anything more than content, optimisation and minor bugfixes. The most-heard complaint back then was that battles took too long, and now we have the opposite (easy fix: tune down damage dealt on all tiers and all calibres)

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  9. oh PS:
    Hope that camera system in 1.2, I sincerely hope it includes a free-roam camera functionality for casting competitive games.

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    1. PPS: Removing dispersion for firing upwards might ensure that TnB planes will deal a few HP damage to HF if they survive their first pass, however it will carry along a nasty side effect: no heavy fighter will be able to survive any other HF. Becase removal of damage bonus for firing top-down, a hf with altitude advantage over another HF cant really take him head-on because he has as big a chance as surviving as the other HF. However he cant climb away either because he will stay in the range of the lower's HF's guns who has no dispersion anymore for firing upwards (especially with crackshot skill..)

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  10. Concerning #9.

    While I agree that ramming can be a conscious tactical decision for the sake of the team, and seems to be so more often than not, that doesn't mean it should stay in the game. Most importantly, being killed by rammers ruins the fun of the game. They use a cheap and easy tactic to instantly overcome superior skill or equipment on your part, and that's incredibly frustrating.

    A frustrating unfun game isn't going to keep players around. Even if the rammer's enjoying it, a large portion of their victims aren't. Sooner or later (sooner it looks like right now) the victims will start abandoning the game. Pretty soon even the rammers who stay won't have anyone else to play against and leave as well. No players guarantees no payers, and many will stop paying even before they leave.

    You really, REALLY, need to look at reducing the damage ramming does in this game. It can not continue to be an auto-win option for this game to survive. Very few people complain about ramming in WoT because it doesn't instantly take people out of the match. You usually have to have specific tank matchups to do a large amount of damage to the enemy, and have to invest a lot of time and credits into special equipment and crew skills to even come close to the damage potential we see in WoWP. You have to work HARD to have a chance at a 1 hit kill by ram in WoT, while that is the norm in WoWP.

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    1. IF you truly are superior skilled, the guy trying to ram you wouldn't have succeeded. Besides, try to ram on purpose, you'll see its crazy difficult, much more so than shooting someone down.. therefore I am convinced that most rams are accidental or a case of playing chicken, which can be fixed with my solution offered above..

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    2. You may have noticed that some aircraft, particularly heavy fighters and cannon equipped light fighters, are at their strongest in a head on pass. Their target isn't going to be dodging as much if it's also trying to shoot back after all. Maneuvering to avoid a ram actually NEGATES some of their primary advantages and often plays into their usually more maneuverable opponent's favor.

      Now, normally these cannon armed planes can kill their targets before they get to them, but the RNG effect of spread bloom can make you miss just enough shots and suddenly you start not quite killing these targets before they hit you. Or the enemy team may string together 3 bottom tier fighters in the attack so that your guns should overheat by the last one. Either they ram you and take some very big guns out of the fight, or you manage to dodge but they get on your tail and tie you up a long time, possibly still getting the kill.

      (I have never argued that ramming was a bad choice, just that it's a cheap tactic that is FAR too rewarding.)

      If ramming damage was reduced, then the big gun fighter would be far more likely to survive but be seriously damaged starting its next engagement. This is the sort of result that should be expected by a disadvantaged target making a smart move to inflict maximum damage to a superior attacker before they go down. In pretty much no other game that I can think of would that clearly disadvantaged target be expecting anything more than giving better than they got and getting an assist by making it easier for an ally to finish off the attacker later. In WoWP they can go in anticipating, maybe even expecting, a kill.

      Another possible move to reduce the impact of ramming on the game, and a relatively quick fix, would be to put a cap on how much damage you can do based on a multiplier of how much HP you have remaining. Nothing frustrated me more than being rammed by a nearly dead opponent and having my mostly full aircraft destroyed at a touch. If their plane is about to fall apart, surely its structural rigidity had been compromised and the impact force would have been lessened as it immediately breaks apart.

      As it stands ramming is way to rewarding. Assuming you manage to hit an equal tier opponent or higher you are at worst breaking even on the scoreboard and for your personal efficiency. If all you're looking at is end results, ramming is a no brainer. The only things you loose out on are fun and improving your personal skill. But if you're already not enjoying the plane you're in, or maybe just the stock grind...

      Players in those situations in WoT suiscout or AFK leach, in WoWP they ram. If you compare the results, there is a HUGE disparity in favor of ramming when fulfilling the same role.

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    3. So you're basically saying.. that it never occurs to you to pull up? These fighters you talk of don't stand a chance in a climb and will barely be able to damage you, watch how quickly you fly away from them, when they approach stall speed, you loop, and dive on them. Their energy is completely gone, they wont be able to evade your shots, because you fire top-bottom you get a damage AND accuracy bonus, how on earth will they survive? Why play the LF game if you in a HF can force them to play yours whilst there is nothing they can do against it?

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  11. It's mildly irked me that World of Warplanes has visible pilots while World of Tanks has invisible crews. Can an option be worked in to make the pilots invisible? That seems backwards compared to most people's suggestions on this inconsistency, but I quite like the idea of these vehicles being autonomous!

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  12. Thanks for letting us know whats happening.

    2 Questions from my side:
    1. Why can´t we have solid wrecks again like in the Alpha/early beta?
    2. Why is the damage output still that high? An average battle time of 3.5 min (more like 2 mins from my experience...) is an indicator for too much damage... so why don´t you fix it?

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