November 04, 2015

Master Your Tanks As Wargaming Dominates PAX Australia

Since the very first PAX Australia, Wargaming have been in attendance in full force, each year bringing all they can to the show. This year, they were coming off the back of the launch of World of Warships, but they were not sitting back, they also have just announced World of Tanks for PlayStation 4 and they are still working on Masters of Orion. I was fortunate enough to have a chat with Max Chuvalov to find out what is coming for World of Tanks and Randall King, to find out about what has changed since I last checked out Masters of Orion, here we go.

First up I chatted with Max about what was going on with World of Tanks.

Maxi-Geek: So World of Tanks was just announced recently for PlayStation 4, can you tell me what players there can expect to have?

Max Chuvalov: The PlayStation 4 version of the game will support all platform specific features like Dual Shock 4, Vita second screen, PlayStation Share Play and for the PlayStation version, you will not need a PlayStation Plus account to play it, it will be free for every PlayStation owner who has a PlayStation account. But if you do have a PlayStation Plus account, players will get some bonus goodies from us, some exclusive camouflages, things like that and special access to sales.

We are not talking about a specific release date right now, but we are hoping for beta by the end of the year. So that is the PlayStation version in a nutshell.

MG: What about the PC version of World of Tanks, anything coming that players can look forward too?

Max: Yes, so right now we are working on different directions, the first is filling the game with new content, like new nations and maps. The second is features, lately we introduced putting new mechanics into the game, like respawn, multi-team battles like team death match, capture the flag, repair points and more. So we tried to play with some common FPS mechanics, which are new to World of Tanks and we have gotten a very good response. In the upcoming update we will introduce the game mode Rampage for high tier tanks, where players will be able to experience completely new gameplay. So this is a new direction, experimenting with new gameplay types and new features, but there are still a list of demands from the community, which they would really like us to fix like SPG class, they really want it to be more balanced, support classes and improvements to match-making. Right now the team are focusing on those very aspects, which help drive questions to the community on what they want us to fix.

Randall King is the producer of the reboot and was showing the game to select media behind closed doors, as I was one of those media I was able to learn about all the new details. First up, the new races added to the game. At E3, there were only three races in the game, the humans, the Mrrshan and the Alkari, but now there was also Bulrathi, who are much like Klingons in how they behave, the Darloks, who are shape-shifters and as such make excellent spies. The Klackon are a hive race, which follows the orders of their queen, the Psilons are brilliant researchers and able to advance faster than other races and then the Sakkra who are a tribal race and very difficult to defeat, but they also able to grow their population very fast.

One new element right off the bat for when you start a game is the seed element, or as they call it the Big Bang Seed, which is a way for you to share your favourite map with your friends, as there are countless variants available, with the seed number, you can replay the same seed over and over again, or share it with friends to see how they play through it.  When you have selected your seed or left it up to chance, you will get a cool intro video for the race you have selected, of which there is one for every race in the game.

Since I had the chance to check the game out at E3, Morale and Spies are two of the biggest additions to the game. When you are looking at your home world, you can still move around the people, taking them from food to research or what have you, those new to the series will be able to use the new features, the auto build function, which will automatically have your people build things in a set area, without the need for you to constantly being moving people around. So if you say that Food is the focus of your home world, the game will automatically move people into that area and focus on building items to help with food production, if you swap to research or another field the same thing happens there. But you can go even grander with it, on the Empire screen, you can dictate your entire race to focus on one thing, so if you need ships for combat, you have everyone in your empire working on that alone.

Morale is the other big thing that has been added to the game and as the morale of the workers goes down, things will change. Morale itself is effected by many things, so you can get low morale by even settling planets that are not ideal to that species the morale will automatically be impacted, now there are things you can do to improve it, terraforming and such. You can also place down certain buildings, like entertainment, religious and pleasure buildings, because as morale goes down your workers will strike and when they do production will slowly stop. If all of your workers stop working on the one planet, then the planet will go into a revolt state and if you do nothing they will break away from your empire and you might have to go to war to get them back.

If you make your choices and it leads to an outcome that does not work for you, you can actually go back in time using the timeline graph. You can use the timeline to see how you have tracked over the course of the game, you can even turn on the other races to see how they are going, but at any point you made a choice that impacted your game for the worse, you can actually reverse that decision by going back there and making things different. This is not a change one thing, the game will actually drop you back to that turn and you will then need to play from that point. So you get a chance to do things over, should you need to.
The game is also going to keep track of all the information that you can discover, which can help you track your planets, resources, skills and more. Diplomacy has also been improved since E3, the key thing is that depending on your standing with them, they might welcome you or threaten you for going near them. There is so much content coming to the game, that it is almost impossible for me to list all the improvements between E3 and PAX Australia, but what you can do is follow along and if you want to get early access, you can purchase the collector’s edition.

The collector’s edition will come with Masters of Orion 1, 2 and 3, a digital artbook, the soundtrack, their own exclusive race who are a group of evil humans, they will also get pixel ships, so they can have their craft look like the old school designs and players will also get early access. There will not be an open beta for the game, but those who get the collector’s edition will be able to join the closed beta.

Masters of Orion is looking like a very detailed lover letter to the games of old, but is also going above and beyond in how its allowing those new to the series to not be overwhelmed. World of Tanks is still moving ahead really well, with fans helping to shape the future of the game, there is lots to see and doing from Wargaming.

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