Interview with Joshua Morris, Armored Warfare
We got the chance to talk with Joshua Morris, North American Publishing Producer for Armored Warfare, about the upcoming new strategic title from Obsidian. He was kind enough to answer our questions and this is the result: a very interesting interview where we get to know this breathtaking modern-warfare game with armored vehicles.
If you don't know Armored Warfare (unlikely) and you like World of Tanks or War Thunder, you might want to check out what Joshua said about this new free to play title.
QUESTION: First of all, thank you for giving us the chance to interview you about Armored Warfare. Would you be so kind as to introduce yourself to our readers?
Answer: Thanks for having me. My name is Joshua Morris and I am the North American Publishing Producer for Armored Warfare.
QUESTION: How would you describe Armored Warfare to someone who has never heard of it before?
Answer: Armored Warfare is a new game from Obsidian that's a strategic, modern, tactical shooter with armored vehicles.
Players take on the role of the leader of a Private Military Corporation, and drive various armored vehicles dating from the 1950's to the present day into battle in locations that might be hotspots of a modern military conflict, like oil refineries, shipping ports, and urban sprawls.
QUESTION: What makes Armored Warfare stand out in its genre? Why should a player choose to play Armored Warfare over any other tank games like War Thunder or World of Tanks?
Answer: We really respect the work what Wargaming and Gaijin have done with their projects.
We also feel the genre has a lot of room for growth and innovation. The modern setting is more than just a way to introduce new vehicles. Modern warfare is faster, and more deadly than the earlier WW2 era. There were many innovations in both weapon and defense systems that are available in the modern era, giving us lots of room for new toys and interesting gameplay.
More importantly, we would like the game to be more accessible to a larger audience while still appealing to the hardcore. This means features like four person missions, where players can team up and play scenarios against computer AI opponents. It also means we will add in suitable game mechanics to avoid frustration. For example: players will automatically be informed when their tank is spotted after several seconds, this time can be further reduced, depending on the vehicle type and commander the player has selected.
QUESTION: How many tanks do you plan to have on release? Will there be other armored vehicles like armored trucks?
Answer: We plan to have at over 60 different armored vehicles by open beta, but that number will grow rapidly over time. We are also not limiting ourselves to tanks or tracked vehicles. There's a whole range of armored vehicles out there, and many of them are interesting and haven't been given much attention in video games. We'll have everything from the standard Main Battle Tank (think M1A2 Abrams, T-90 or Leopard 2) to wheeled armored personnel carriers and armored fighting vehicles like the M1128 Stryker.
QUESTION: How much will we be able to customize our vehicles? Will we get modern features as thermal vision, night vision, camouflage systems or guided projectiles?
Answer: Customization is a big part of Armored Warfare! Players will be able to customize their vehicles in all sorts of ways in terms of configuring ammunition load-outs, applying upgrades to the vehicles that reflect the real-world evolution of the individual vehicles, and integrating various pieces of global technology such as thermal vision and camouflage improvements.
We've basically categorized functional upgrades for the vehicles: firepower upgrades, armor upgrades, mobility upgrades and technological upgrades, with technological upgrades being a sort of catch-all for everything that doesn't fit the other categories.
QUESTION: How will the targeting/spotting system work? Will it be realistic like in War Thunder or more simplistic as in World of Tanks?
Answer: Our system takes into account many variables to determine if a vehicle is spotted and displayed. We are taking great effort to avoid unrealistic situations like large vehicles sneaking up on you in the open, or vehicles firing repeatedly from the same position without being revealed. In addition our cover system is volumetric, so the size of the concealment and your position within that cover makes a difference. So, being in the middle of a bush may give you less cover, but will get that concealment benefit from several angles.
QUESTION: How will the armor and damage system work? Will the tanks have realistic damage models or will they have hit points? Is the damage going to be visible and permanent?
Answer: It’s a mixture of both. There are complex calculations when determining ballistics and penetration but we felt having hit points, combined with critical system damage, gave the best result for portraying damage to the player.
Again, we would like to make the game more accessible. We will have penetration indicators reflect actual chance of penetration including the angle of attack that will reduce new player frustration, while still allowing veterans to take advantage of their knowledge to line up better shots. We would also like to limit the random factors to an appropriate level.
As far as visible damage, vehicles can have a wide array of armor types and systems like cage armor. For example, Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) panels can be detonated by shell impacts, leaving them no longer effective at providing protection to the vehicle.
QUESTION: Will there be different game modes for players who want, for example, more realistic battles?
Answer: We don’t really want separate players into different groups. We really want to create a good mix that appeals to all gamers.
To this end, we are concentrating on making features that give players important choices and incentivize teamwork.
Artillery is a good example. We are currently testing a system that promotes “Counter Battery” tactics. When an artillery vehicle fires, its location is revealed on the map to enemy artillery players. This creates a more dynamic role for artillery as they must choose between supporting their team by targeting enemy vehicles on the front line or, attempt to destroy their opponent’s artillery. In addition, while our artillery does damage over a large area, it needs help in for the form of recon vehicles to reduce aim time and deliver that damage efficiently.
QUESTION: What kind of environments will you fight on? What will be the approximate size of the maps? Will there be more than 2 teams in a map?
Answer: There will be environments representing hot spots from all around the world. There will be urban and rural areas. The Crytek game engine will also allow us to model snow, dust storms, fog, and different times of day and night.
Maps will initially be around 1.2km square, but it will be possible to create larger maps in the future to support new game modes. You might think that doesn’t sound that big, but consider that 1.2km square is about 40% greater area than 1km square, which is a map size that many players have experience with , and the size increases quite rapidly if we want to make bigger maps later on.
We currently only have plans for two sides in PvP, but there could be some scenarios in PvE that might include more sides if it fits into a particular story line.
QUESTION: Can you tell us something more about the PvE missions?
Answer: The PVE mode in Armored Warfare to go on special missions with a group of friends. This allows players to improve their combat skills, learn to play in a team, or just relax and have some fun.
All PVE battles will take place on maps specifically designed for this mode and modelled on real-world locations. Tank commanders will have to operate in very different surroundings: in deserts and mountains, forests and swamps, towns and deserted steppes, in snow or slush.
Missions will be divided by difficulty levels: easy, normal and difficult. The higher the difficulty, the greater the reward upon successful completion. These rewards include experience, reputation and game currency.
PVE give players a great introduction and alternative to competitive play, while still allowing you to earn rewards.
QUESTION: Will you implement something like Clan Wars from World of Tanks or something similar for players to compete with each other?
Answer: We are very interested in having long term strategic and competitive game mode. We want to spend time to design, test, and polish such an important feature. Before we implement something of this magnitude, we would like to support competitive features like ladders, rankings, and tournaments.
Our immediate focus is to build a strong foundation of features and systems that will support these future efforts. Things like having a match making system that incorporate factors like player skill and vehicle upgrades and a spotting system that gives results that do not frustrate the player are of critical importance.
QUESTION: Will there be any premium tanks and microtransactions or we will have to pay a certain amount of money every month to play the game?
Answer: Armored Warfare is a free to play game in the best sense.
Money will never provide a combat advantage. All of the purchasable items in the game will either be cosmetic upgrades or will save the player time. We will offer several unique and interesting premium vehicles, but they will be carefully balanced to be less powerful than other vehicles of the same level.
QUESTION: Do you have a release date planned yet?
Answer: Our Closed Beta test is scheduled for the 1st Quarter of 2015.
QUESTION: Thank you for all your answers. Would you like to add something?
Answer: Thank you! I’d like to ask everyone to sign up for Beta. We want you to be involved in helping us make this the best game possible!
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