This past week at GDC we had the chance to meet with Victor Kislyi from Wargaming.net. There are a lot of updates coming to World of Tanks in the coming months, the best of which is bringing the game to mobile platforms. Wargaming.net really does dominate that tactical warfare MMO like no one else. We have enjoyed years of World of Tanks and now with a graphical upgrade and tablets coming around the corner it was great to hear what the team is working on.
Before we even started talking, each of us was handed an iPad and we jumped right into a seven vs. seven battle for World of Tanks Blitz. Luckily I have been playing a lot lately so I have to take the win where I can and walked away from the combat still alive on the winning team. The game played extremely well on the tablet. Victor said that they spent a lot of time getting the controls right because it was a huge leap to touch screen from controller or mouse and keyboard. We had no issues driving our tanks around the field and finding the best spots for cover. Shooting was easy as well and there was a button to adjust into first person mode to lock onto your enemies.
The game comes with the full garage system. Just like on the other platforms it has all the customization and boost features for players to unlock or design their camo. Each match is a set to have only 7 vs. 7 battles for now to keep the time short and because of the smaller maps. It will also host Clan Wars and full competitions going forward. Victor wanted everyone to know that the game is free to download. You can jump right in and fight without ever spending money. The upgrades are fair and mirror the game store for PC and Xbox.
We asked about what challenges the team faced when making the game and Victor said the biggest was to get the controls right. They wanted to have smooth gameplay because driving the tanks is critical for players. Many of us know the tanks handle just like anyone would expect a real world tank to drive. They still wanted to capture what it was like to drive these massive machines on a small mobile device. The controls worked well during our demo and after a few rounds of driving we were very comfortable with how to maneuver. Finding the key positions of cover for your tanks to fire is a critical part of the game and the iPad version allows for some great cover and deadly firepower.
The team at Wargaming.net is listening to feedback and are looking forward to feedback gained from the ongoing closed beta so they can work with fans and hardcore players to really iron out any issues. The team is dedicated to bringing World of Tanks at its highest level of performance on mobile.
Next week in Poland, the Wargaming.net eSports crew will be hosting the world Championships in Warsaw. The event is hosting the top fourteen teams from around the world for $2.5 million in prizes. Victor said how great it is to see the global community get together for the championship. With a complete graphical overhaul and incorporation of Havok physics coming to WoT in the near future, Tanks looks poised to hold onto it's tactical dominance in a crowding market.
World of Tanks has proven its gameplay and now is continuing on polish and design. The mobile platform is next. We did ask about World of Warplanes and the team explained that they are working hard to tweak some of the features and mainly the controls for ideal design as well. They've learned now that they can't just take Tanks' design and port it to other machines and expect it to work 100%. World of Warships has also been coming along and they are about to start doing some alpha testing on the title. For now, get ready to roll your tanks onto the tablets because the newest war will take place in mobile.
Garrett Fuller / Garrett is the Industry Relations Manager for MMORPG.com. He cosplays as an orc, plays X-Wing on weekends, and loves Adventure Time. You can follow him on Twitter (when he uses it) @Gfulls.