as you know, I post about Czechoslovak vehicles a lot and some readers might get the impression that the Czechoslovak tanks were perhaps the best in the world. Well… some were (LT Vz.38 is the best light early war light tank in the world according to many experts and historians), but we had our share of fuck-ups as well. One of the nastiest and most-expensive disasters of Czechoslovak tank development was the plan to develop a “heavy” breakthrough tank (category III). The word “heavy” here is not used in the traditional sense of the word, it was more like “a heavier variant of a light/medium tank”. Two prototypes (or partial prototypes) were built, based on the program – one by Škoda, one by Tatra. Let’s have a look at the Škoda one.
It all started in 1929, when the Czechoslovak army issued a demand via the Military Technical Institute (VTU) for a new vehicle. The problem was, it was supposed to be a wheel-cum-track design, which, in the 20′s, was the “flavor of the year” so to say (just like the tankettes – both concepts proved to be a dead end later on). The demands were very strict – apart from the suspension requirement, the vehicle was to be equipped with a 75mm gun and two machineguns, the armor was to be at most 16mm thick and the vehicle was required to weigh no more than 12 tons. This proved to be quite unrealistic and as a result, the weight requirement was increased to 15 tons quickly.
a couple of interesting statistics from the Minsk office of Wargaming, responsible for World of Tanks.
- 73 percent of employees in Minsk are men, 27 percent women
- every third employee has children
- every month, the office works together for more than 3 million hours (342 years)
- the largest department is “customer relations” with 21 percent of employees
- there are 1288 plants in the office (SS: I wonder how much time they spent checking)
- WG has dedicated transport, moving people every day from Minsk center to the office and back, these vehicles drove 40k kilometers ever since the program was started
- WG hires over 60 new employees a month apparently
- 9 of 10 employees took part in some education programs (1264 people) in 2013
- the surface of the Minsk office is 50k square meters
- in 2013, 3400 people were sent on business trips
- the office drinks 1700 liters of milk per month and 4300 liters of kvas (SS: tasted that recently, it’s vile, no idea how they can drink that)
- the office eats cca 16 tons of sweet pastry per year and also drinks 55k cups of coffee per month and three tons of apples
- internet traffic in 2013 was more than 400 terabytes (415k GB)
- in 2013, WG recieved 25 mil of letters and sent 1,5 mil of them
- the most common names are Aleksandr and Olga
recently, an interview with Viktor Kislyi (yep, yet another one) came out on the bit-tech.net portal. You can read it if you want to, the link is above, but here’s a TLDR version:
- more than 90 mil players (SS: wasn’t it 100 mil earlier?)
- February: record – 1,1 mil players online at the same time
- we’re constantly updating… bla bla bla… historical accuracy… bla
- WG has 3500 people all over the world in 16 offices
- apparently the reason WG moved west a lot (SS: as in USA) was the release of Xbox WoT and Blitz
- Android Blitz – “couple more months of testing” (followed by a description of what Blitz is) – “so far it’s looking good” with release numbers
- 25 percent of all users are paying players
- bots in WoT are “definitely a problem”, VK adds that it’s however a “lesser problem in WoT”, as the game contains no grinding per se like Warcraft for example. According to VK, bots are “not viable” on high tiers, because you pay too much for repairs
- the biggest spender player in WoT spent like 10k to 15k USD in 2 years, it’s “very difficult to spend more than 100 to 200 USD”
- VK thinks WG can still “analyze and fix” WoWp
- some well-known bland WoWs stuff, no ETA on anything
Overall, quite a bland review, but then, Viktor Kislyi is the CEO, he’s not responsible for micromanaging everything.
Thanks to whoever shared it with me, despite my best efforts, I couldn’t locate where on earth was it mentioned and by whom.
ever wondered why your World of Tanks patch updates a bit slowly, especially from the beginning? Well, maybe you have the torrent sharing enabled. You see, torrents are the default way of Wargaming sharing updates. You can disable them of course – it’s easy:
- click on the “wrench” icon next to the “minimalize” icon in the upper right corner
- in the settings, remove the “Allow torrents” tick
And that’s it. Your download will (in most cases) go faster. So, why would Wargaming do it in the first place? Well, here’s an explanation and a really simple one, how the entire thing works. I think it’s useful for those people like me, who have no clue about computers. And – World of Tanks gets mentioned as a bonus :)
unless you are completely blind, you have probably already heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, where people pour ice water over themselves to “raise awareness” of the ALS issue, a relatively rare but very nasty disease, rendering its victims immobile and ultimately killing them. Well, Wargaming was “nominated” (or whatever it’s called) by one Russian portal and – well, as you can see, they accepted.
Personally, I’m… somewhat skeptical to this. I mean, I guess it’s a good thing that more people know about it (before this entire thing, I had no idea such a thing existed), but jumping every bandwagon there is on the internet… I don’t know. But if it really helps that a bunch of guys go out and pour water over themselves… yea, why not.
as you can see, we have a new design. Slightly. I am as surprised as you are, because it’s apparently a byproduct of WordPress updates, which in turn were necessary due to some security weaknesses. Oh well.
- there are (vague, distant) plans to encourage and reward players for “tanking” (SS: soaking damage)
- the changes, that happened in 9.2 to FV215b (183) – specifically a nerf due to the overuse of gold shells – do not automatically imply that the gold shell system is not balanced and needs a fix
- your chance to be on the top of the team depends on the percentage (composition) of the tank tiers, present in the queue at that actual moment (SS: this is the reason why you can’t see tiers on the queue screen anymore, there was a mod that abused this, allowing you to have a significantly higher chance to end up as a top tank of the team)
- a new game mode (SS: mode as in HB, team battles, etc.) for solo players (not requiring a team) playing high tiers will come soon (SS: likely a “garage battle” mode)
Also, two interesting stories appeared on the Russian forums. I have no idea whether they are true or not, but they certainly are entertaining. One is that the gold ammo for credits came actually to be as a solution from the head of Zlobny (former chief balancer) for the issue, where noobs in light and medium tanks were not able to penetrate heavies from front, complained about it and then the statistics of the meds and lights were distorted. It backfired, but by the time the side effects became noticeable, it was already too late to disable the entire system.
Second story was that Komarin came to be as a map, when Slava Makarov, one of the original WoT creators, drove a car and made a smoking stop near the village of Komarino, not realizing he parked on a swampy ground. The car got stuck and his phone was stuck inside the car as well. The map is based apparently on the landscape of the village, where he was waiting for WG staff to come pick him up.
No idea whether they are true, but… I wouldn’t be surprised.