Just posting the last little bits of the Q&A that Carnotzet translated on the EU Forums. This part isn’t so much a typical, to-the-point Q&A about the game as it is about the development process and the decisions the devs make. So, don’t expect too much WoWs info, specifically, but it’s still a decent read if you want to get into the devs’ heads or something.
More on the same topic.
This time by Turing_Bombe (GD Analyst):
He responds to a player saying that developers often give contradictory answers to one question.
“Well, if the developers have different positions, they will give different answers; if there isn’t a specific guideline established by the company (diverting from this guideline will lead to the boss kicking your butt). Fortunately, I haven’t heard of any team meetings teaching us “how to respond on the forums”.
A game is a complex world and none of the developers knows everything about it. Generally nobody. We are all human after all and each of us has his own opinion on certain things. Let’s take a specific case: what causes battles to be drawn out until the end of the timer (20min)? If you ask the people who are in charge of game modes and maps, their expertise will focus on what was the map, in what mode and where did the ships sail. If you ask the people in charge of ship trees, they will see look at it from their own point of view (battleships are a bit too large, guns are slightly weak, players are firing at each other for too long without destroying each other). In order to draw precise conclusions, we need to spend a lot of time on analysing our data. And again, in order to perform an analysis, we need to understand what we need to look at; is it a map problem or a balance problem, for instance. We have a list of hypotheses.”
“Not every question is worth exploring. Examining it and finding its place in a larger mosaic requires resources in the form of man-hours. And there’s not always the guarantee it will give positive results. We can ask ourselves a huge amount of different questions.
“What percentage of the player base uses mods?”
“Does the age of the players taking part in team battles differ from the age of the player base in general?”
“After how many consecutive defeats do players quit the game?”
We can ask ourselves dozens of questions like this. Analysts are necessary to answer these questions, the director needs to understand which questions need an answer for him to make decisions.”
A player asks : “Why is it so problematic to tell us where the game is heading for the next six months? For instance, you can just say that “we will add weather effects” and everyone is instantly happy.”
Turing_Bombe: “Is it better for developers to say something that could eventually not be implemented? Regarding weather effects, it’s been in development for a long time. Now, it’s clear we can release it to the public. Incidentally, in all the surveys where we ask players what they want to improve maps, the most requested feature is “adding weather effects”. Well, the developers know that what will improve map immersion the most is adding weather effects. Rather than, let’s say, a flock of flying seagulls screeching in your ear. But I, for instance, want to hear seagulls. There isn’t enough seagulls. Developers, you’re reading this topic, add seagulls. I want to look in my binoculars and see a giant seagull and hear how its screeches.
For a lot of features that are being developed, we generally need to see if they can be shown to the public first. Or, for whatever reasons (for instance, it uses too much resources) a feature is released but not at its full extent, players won’t be so pleased because the reality doesn’t meet their expectations. And in the end, developers will be hated because they “didn’t keep their promises”.
Naturally, it’s an active work which should tell us rather early if we can meet our deadlines. Which in turn will allow us to make an early announcement to the public.”