This Q&A session took place on June 22 and features answers from Kirill Peskov, Development Director for World of Warships: Legends. This article is based on the transcript by RowanHKC, with a few phrases changed for simplicity's sake.
Q: Considering the recent announcements from Microsoft and Sony, what are the plans for the next-generation consoles?
A: We plan to support them and have been working on preparing for them over the past couple of months. There’s a lot of effort involved, but we will be on both platforms.
First, we will port the game to the next generation and make sure it works, and that you can safely bring your account over. After that we will begin using the hardware potential to implement various improvements to the graphics.
Q: How has Coronavirus impacted the game development?
A: It did significantly slow down the process. First, we had to organize working from home. Almost everything took longer, as person-to-person communication became more difficult. Version 2.3 was released with entirety of the team staying home, which was a challenge, but we adapted! We are able to continue providing a new update every 5 weeks, so you can expect new content to be coming, though we may have to change the scope of the updates a little.
Q: What is the current state of aircraft carriers and submarines?
A: We are keeping an eye on the development of submarines but have determined that they will not arrive to the game first. Aircraft carriers, on the other hand, are expected to arrive and they will precede submarines. We are going to start working on carriers soon. We plan to run one or more test events before they are added entirely— much like the Yamato event—but we have no dates yet, and it will likely take several iterations.
Q: What are the plans for Operations or PvE gamemodes?
A: There are no plans for dedicated game modes like this—outside of events—this year or the first half of next year. PvE gamemodes for events are possible!
Q: Do you have any plans for additional PvP scenarios, like Epicentre or Arms Race?
A: We do have both of them, as well as different scenarios for Ranked Battles, in the Backlog. This means that we will get there sooner or later. Hopefully sooner, but I cannot say when exactly at the moment.
We definitely want to try 1v1 or 3v3 Ranked Battles, but the current intention is to work on Tier VII Ranked Battles. However, we can see that more players need to have Tier VII ships to participate, but we will get there. Arms Race is one of the more realistic scenarios that we could bring in, we just need to start working on it!
Q: What is the Backlog?
A: The Backlog is a sort of big list of “To-Do” items. Every idea, issue, or feature goes there.
Q: When will 4K support be available for PlayStation?
A: This feature was postponed to allow our tech-team to work on next-generation. When we are happy with next-gen, we may go back and get this feature working for PS4.
Q: Will there ever be an armor viewer?
A: Yes, definitely.
Q: Should we expect a more detailed post-battle results screen?
Q: A Replay Feature?
A: There's a good chance for that too.
Q: A detailed ship statistics overview (profile statistics)?
Q: What about more communication wheel options, or the ability to ping the map?
A: Actually, the first rework of the communication wheel will be unveiled in the next Update. This will include some new commands and anti-spam filter, as well as muting. The ability to send sector alerts with the tactical map will be implemented in a version or two later.
Q: Are there any further plan to improve or change ship spawning points (starting positions)?
A: We’re looking carefully at the data we have, so we’ll be sure to investigate it and decide after that, but nothing immediate.
Q: What about ship horns?
A: End of July! The horn trigger will become a part of the new quick-command wheel.
Q: Any improvements planned for secondary armaments in the near future?
A: Yes! The easiest way would be to have a dedicated button for manual secondaries, but the problem is finding room on the controller that is easy to use for all players (excluding double presses and combinations that is). The first improvement is currently being designed by our game development team and we plan to have it released by the end of the year. Then we can collect data and see where to go from there. We hear you, and we are working on making them better!
Q: What are your thoughts on the Bureau and how the community responded to it?
A: It’s a new mechanic that lets us distribute any type of content, be it ships, permanent camos, or anything else. The community reception seems to be OK, but we’ll need to wait until players have completed a few Projects to see how expectations fare against actual live performance.
Q: Will there be a faster booster conversion system this year?
A: It’s in quality assurance testing now, so it might come in August or September, it’s not that far away. It's actually tied to something else, but we're not ready to unveil that yet.
Q: Will we ever have a 155 mm armed Mogami?
A: We’ll definitely add that configuration, perhaps in one of the future Campaigns. She will arrive as a separate ship.
Q: What about weather that changes gameplay, like typhoons/cyclones? Or night maps?
A: We do actually have twilight conditions on the Trident, Atlantic, and Trap maps, but more variations will become available. Weather effects are not planned at this moment though.
Q: Will we see a tutorial in the future?
A: Good tutorials are very expensive in terms of development. If we could get it from PC, we probably would have a long time ago, but to produce a really strong tutorial would take a huge amount of resources and effort, so now we are thinking of how to do it less expensively—maybe using videos, or combining videos with in-game tutorials—but at the moment there is not a good, inexpensive way to do it in Legends. Sorry guys!
There is also a lot of research done in other Wargaming titles that suggest tutorials do not work that well, meaning that if players get hooked, those players will find a way (like one of our many community channels), if they're not, a tutorial won't keep them.
Q: What was the biggest challenge working on cross-play between PlayStation and Xbox?
A: First, we just didn’t know how to do it, since there was no roadmap anyone could share, so it was a big learning curve. We had a lot of questions for and communications with the platforms, as both Microsoft and Sony have their own policies, and not everything was instantly clear. So with literally every step, we had to go to the platforms and see how we could implement everything, and that took us about three months or so just to agree on implementation details. The technical solution wasn’t that complicated. The complicated part is down the road, working on the cross-platform friends lists and cross-platform Divisions. We have no timelines for those yet, as it is hard to estimate, but we will be working on them.
Q: What would you have done differently over the past 15 months of Legends’ development, and what ship would you most like to see come to Legends?
A: I’m a huge fan of the British light cruisers, so sooner or later, Minotaur will come to Legends and I will be very happy! As for the first question, as the person responsible for every mistake on the project, of course I would like to not have made any of those, but each mistake is a learning experience. On the other hand, World of Warships: Legends is doing quite well in terms of player base, perception, and goals, so it's hard to pinpoint anything in particular, looking back. We will stay the course but provide the necessary corrections as the need arises.
Q: What about a Clan feature?
A: We haven’t started the work on it, but soon we will. Currently, we're discussing the best scenarios of implementation and will work on prototypes in a couple of months. In sum, Clans are on the horizon and they are a prioritized feature, and development will start soon, but there is no estimated date yet.
Q: Is there any plan to implement a quick command log/chat-box?
A: As mentioned above, it will come in July. There will be a messaging box keeping the commands in a log.
Q: Are there plans to display consumables used by friendly ships? For example, an icon that shows if a ship next to me is using Radar.
A: Not planned for now. We don’t want to over-clutter the screen with UI elements, so for now we will implement the Battle Log and see how that goes moving forward.
Q: Is it possible that we will see alternative lines in the future? For example, a secondary-focused USN line or German battlecruisers, etc. Is there anything that might come that PC doesn’t have?
Of course we’ll have alternative lines but we’ll still use content from the PC team. The Legends team is not that big, so while we can reorganize and rebalance those ships, we just have to use the content from PC or it would make production really expensive, as well as significantly slower. So yes, alternative lines will appear, but I cannot give you exact timelines, though USN Light cruisers are obviously the first.
Q: Is there anything you can announce that has not been announced for this year? Are there any new ship nations this year?
A: Yes! There will be one new nation, one new alternative line, and one full branch for an existing nation. Speculate away!
Q: Can we get a Training Room?
A: When we get closer to implementing more competitive modes, we will get the Training Room as well.
Q: Will we ever get Des Moines?
A: We can’t say anything about that. There a couple Legendary ships that will arrive but it’s not time yet to disclose them. Especially when I say a Legendary destroyer is on her way. This is not about keeping secrets, but rather about our understanding how the community consumes these new Bureau projects. We can put a new Legendary ship in the game maybe every second update, but would the community be able to make use of it? That’s the big question. If you open up the Bureau and you have like 10 projects to research, you’ll be a bit frustrated I believe. Paralysis by choice is a real thing.
Q: What do you think of the current state of Commanders and their development, and are there any adjustments or changes in the future?
A: It’s a good feature. Mostly it fulfills our vision of the feature and we’re finding more ways to utilize the Commanders, like Patrons in the Bureau, yet there are a couple of issues to be solved. First among them are Legendary Skills. We can see that Legendary Skills are not "Legendary" or desirable enough, and that is what we’re working on, and traditionally, in our estimates—though no promises—there will be a Legendary skill rework this year, and then we’ll see how it’s appreciated and consumed by the players. There are a couple more plans, but we need to get the data of how the Legendary rework will go. It’s a very interesting feature, and a very powerful one, we just need to see how best to use it and how to preserve the balance by introducing very powerful skills and/or traits. Please do not expect a third inspiration slot in the near future.
Q: If someone wants to do a whole transcript of this session, will we give them something?
A: Uhmm, sure.
(Shout-out to Quartermaster RowanHKC for the first Transcript!)
Q: Do you like long walks along the beach in the evening—in the sunset?
A: In the evening, in the sunset, in St. Petersburg, in November? Of Course!
Q: Will there be any new weapons arriving in the future?
A: Weapons? Nunchucks? Missiles? No. We’re still keeping the setting and timeframe of WWII/WWI.
Q: Are there any plans in the future to nerf water?
A: Nerf water? Is it too flow-y? I think it’s too wet. Too overpowered. Let’s make it gel. We need to dry it a little bit.