On the EU forums, Babykim has transcribed and translated a video done by the Russian streamer getfun, who got to visit the devs and ask them questions – not quite an interview, but it seems like he was told some interesting stuff regardless. Here’s what he learned:
Optimization. Small patches should be implemented more frequently, ideally every 3 to 4 weeks, whereas micropatches should be kept at a minimum. Higher frequency of patches should cut the reaction time to user feedback and improve the overall quality. Starting from about the version 0.5.6 all micropatches of the client that switch on or off special content (e.g. events) will be implemented on the server, i.e. without the need to patch the client.
Both the client and servers are being cleaned up to consolidate unnecessary files and improve optimization. This is why armor layouts of the ships became unavailable. However, very soon we will be able to view the layout of each ship in the client.
Optimization/weather. The new weather should not impair the frame rate. The resources needed to implement rain are comparable to those required to implement a single battleship salvo. They continue working on the optimization.
Falling online. The developers explain falling online in the RU and NA region by cuts in the advertising intensity in these regions. This has reduced the inflow of new players. The EU region did not see this because the advertising expenditures have not been reduced. The developers expect an improvement as the advertising gets back to normal and themed in-game promotions pick up.
Patch 0.5.5. The number of files will be cut from over 200k to just over 5k. The new architecture of the client should decrease installation and loading times. However, the initial transition will be slow because the archivation of the game files will be performed locally, and may take considerable time on weaker computers. For slow computers the developers recommend reinstalling the game after about 9GB download. They plan some in-game bonuses to sweeten up the transition!
Port. The developers do not want to overburden the port with information so as not to scare off new players. However, armor layout viewing will be introduced very soon, and the measurement units used to describe the ships will be unified.
Gameplay. They are working on effects that will improve the visibility of a ship condition in battle. Now you can use the smoke to judge the speed. In the future you will be able to see flooding and module damage. Patch 0.5.6 will see changes of combat interface. Nicer ship wakes are planned for later.
Changes planned this year include gaining experience and money for support actions such as holding cap points (not de-capping but holding) and spotting enemy ships. This would require rebalancing the amount experience and money gained for capping and de-capping
Matchmaking. -1/+1 matchmaking is definitely not planned. This would significantly reduce the variety of ships encountered in a battle of any given tier. An increase of heavy caliber damage (e.g. BB) to destroyers is not planned. Instead additional damage on over-penetrating shells hits to engine (I guess some sort of critical hits will be introduced). Mirroring ship types other than the carriers (e.g. destroyers) is not planned. This would cause more harm than good, and would not solve the problems players are complaining about.
The 20 percent repair cost discount on the RU server for tiers 8-10 will be extended for another month.
The developers set priority on solving current problems rather than adding new content.
The developers are thinking about testing and releasing new ship branches step-by-step, i.e. low tiers first, high tiers later.
USS Smith (tier 2 DD) will on sale in May.
I’ll be pretty happy to see new ways to get XP, especially how that’s going to change the overall meta of the game as it is. If people can spot and hold caps for experience/credits, then things (especially for destroyers) might change quite a bit – for the better, I’d hope.
Not sure if I really approve of releasing only parts of a branch, though. Better to get it all at once than piecemeal and having to wait the same length of time for the full branch, all the whole being teased by ships you won’t have. That said, I really hope the latter half of the year steps up the pace of releasing new branches, because if they release just two in a year (Russian cruisers, German battleships) when they planned four, then that’s not good for the health of the game.