|Trying to steal some exclusive news for you, we interviewed Alexander Zezulin the Project Manager of World of Warplanes, the ambitious new MMO by wargaming.net set in the Second World War as the famous World of Tanks, but focused on the battles between the planes that made the history of World War II.|
Alexander Zezulin: World of Warplanes is in closed alpha testing stage right now and we’re currently selecting new testers for it. We plan on launching the closed beta either this year or early next year.
MMORPGITALIA: Levels of progression will be similar to those in World of Tanks, or there will be notable differences?
Alexander Zezulin: We’ll stick to the same model of progression as in World of Tanks – players will research/buy upgrades first and then new planes, thus gradually moving up the tech trees.
MMORPGITALIA: You've announced that at WoWP launch we'll be able to play planes from the US, Russian and Third Reich air forces, and then Japanese and British. But what kind of differences we’ve to expect in terms of gameplay with such large variety of models? You'll point to the historical accuracy or you'll tune it to make the gameplay more fun?
Alexander Zezulin: Fun gameplay is the highest priority for us, because that’s what makes people start playing a game and keeps them coming back to it. I’m sure there’re many MMMORPG Italia readers that have at least once tried playing a flight sim, but quit playing it after half an hour because of complicated controls and sophisticated flight model. We’ll focus on reaching the perfect balance between fun and historical accuracy. As for the first part of the question, different nations will have certain peculiar features, but it’d be better to talk about them during the later stages of development.
MMORPGITALIA: You've also said that different types of missions will be available. What can you add about that? There will be interdependence between fighters and bombers, as in real air battles of World War II?
Alexander Zezulin: We’ll kick off with one basic mode where players will have to either knock down all hostile units or destroy the enemy’s base. We’re also thinking of adding “escort missions” where the team’s main objective will be to protect AI-controlled bombers flying from point A to point B on the map. Some other ideas are also discussed, but it’s too early to talk about them now.
MMORPGITALIA: At this point we've to ask you what types of aircraft will be in the game... could you anticipate something?
Alexander Zezulin: There’ll be three main classes of planes: light fighters, heavy fighters and ground attack planes that will fulfill different functions in the game. Light fighters are ideal for fast and maneuverable encounters and intercepting hostile units, heavy fighters are effective against bombers and attack planes, while ground attack planes will be used for destroying hard-to-hit ground targets and breaking through enemy defenses.
MMORPGITALIA: Can you anticipate something on which and how many types of skills will be available for pilots? Which will be the main differences between a fighter pilot and a bomber?
Alexander Zezulin: We haven’t decided on the number of skills pilots will have, but they’ll definitely have more skills tank crew has. Difference between skills of bomber and fighter pilots – most likely yes, however we’re not yet ready to share the details.
MMORPGITALIA: You said that crashing to the ground will mean insta-die. You'll also implement mid-air collisions?
Alexander Zezulin: Yes, there’ll always be a chance to ram the enemy and survive, however this will require skills and a good deal of luck.
MMORPGITALIA: At Gamescom you've also announced World of Battleships. Since you've told us that will not be any sort of gameplay interaction between WoWP and World of Tanks, what we've to expect in relation to this third title. Planes and ships seem more suitable for an integration...
Alexander Zezulin: We’re working on three standalone titles - World of Tanks, World of Warplanes and World of Battleships that will “interact” on the economic level – transfer of gold and experience, and Clan Wars. There’re no plans of uniting planes and ships in one game so far, however, in World of Battleships there’ll be an option of calling in off-map air strikes.
MMORPGITALIA: On what kind of settings are you addressing? Battle of Britain, Battles over the Pacific? Pearl Harbor? Nuke bombing? Please tell us: will we be able to raze a city?
Alexander Zezulin: The planes in the game will be from 1930’s to 1950’s - from tiny biplanes to early jets. Razing a city – no, as we are not planning fully destructible environments, however the player will be able to destroy many ground objects.
MMORPGITALIA: Clan wars: we know you do not want to say anything about it but we know that there will be some sort of connection between WoT and WoWP (and WoB!). What have you to tell to your hardcore fans who want to know something?
Alexander Zezulin: Well, clans from all the three games will be able to cooperate on the Global Map supporting each other. For instance, a tank clan and a plane clan that control the same province will be able to provide each other with certain “clan supplies” – the plane clan will get an AI-controlled anti-air tank(s) that will help it secure the base, while the tank clan will get a specific model of AI-controlled fighter(s) that will be used in combat. This sort of mutually beneficial exchange of “gifts” will be possible within the battles for this particular province only.
MMORPGITALIA: Great! Thanks for your availability.
Alexander Zezulin: Thank you for the opportunity!