Will drones break the game? Will there be drones for Titans? Will there be paint jobs for drones?
Last Friday, Sophie, WR lead designer of drones, held a Q&A session in War Robots official Discord. This article spotlights the most interesting and relevant questions Sophie answered during the Q&A.
Will Drones break the game?
All new things we implement add some temporary turmoil to the game because believe me balancing things before they are available on live server is hard! But we've done that before and we know how to deal with such things and how to make sure that soon enough everything plays out well. We've been doing it for six years after all!
What is the main reason behind the idea of drones?
The drones were born from the belief that it'd be cool and tactically interesting to adapt for the current situation on the battlefield. For example you have your last bot and it's a squishy one, but you know that you have to drop on a contested beacon if you want to win. And right now it's a suicide mission, but with a proper drone you can make your robot more durable right here right now and have a chance in retaking the beacon and dealing with the enemies.
How will you guys manage combos like decreased ability cooldown + glider drone? that decreases leech cooldown to 5 seconds
This chip actually got to test server by mistake (oups!), and there will be no chips that allow anyone to do something like 5s cooldown on Leech. But there might be some cool (but not game-breaking) combos you can find if you experiment with the setups - that's the idea of the whole thing!
Why 7 drones but only 5 bots?
To allow for more flexibility in battle. This way you can have more drone setups for more potential situations and drone-robot combos.
Drones might prove to be too confusing for new players. What will you do to explain the feature to new Players?
The drones are indeed not an easy feature to get a grab of. So they will only be available from level 27 and new players will not have to deal with them at all. And of course there will be a step-by-step tutorial for those who've reached lelvel 27, not to mention all the info pop-ups you can access from all drone-related interfaces. Moreover, we plan on publishing guides and other explanatory materials after the release. To sum up, we'll do our best to make sure that drones are an easy to learn (but hard to master) feature.
how combining microchips works?
In short, you take a few T1 microchips, which are the weakest ones, combine them, and - whoosh - you get a new T2 chip of the same kind (socket type). This works for all the tiers up to T4, so if you have some T3 chips, but you want a better one, you can combine them to get a T4 chip.
Can a drone apply all the special effects to its target at the same time?
Yes it can! But there are certain restrictions. As each drone has a limited number of chip sockets and energy, it's not like you can make an uber-drone with 8 T4 chips that, say, boost damage. You'll have to balance the power the drone gives you against these requirements. Moreover, the more and the better chips you install in your drone, the more it costs to deploy your drone in battle. Generally, drones require a lot of pre-thought and strategical thinking if one wants to maximize their power.
The tick mechanic of some weapons (like flamethrowers) seems to allow for insta applying all the effects at once. How will you balance that?
First of all, the best chip out there only allows to accumulate 2% of the effect charge per hit, so in order to actually suppress or freeze anyone, you need to get 50 hits straight, which is not something easily done on all weapons. But some weapons such as, as you mentioned, flamethrowers, can do that indeed. But even with the flamethrowers it still requires skill. Moreover, A-type sockets where you can put the chips for these effects are also the sockets where the battery chips go into, so it'll always be a tradeoff: more energy and more high-tier chips or less energy an just these effect chips.
Are we gonna be able to put drones on titans and have multiple drones on it?
No, at least in the first update and for some time after there will be no drones for Titans. Titans are powerful already and they don't need the support the robots could use (especially when fighting against titans).
Will it be possible to pre match a Drone with a robot rather than choosing it right away when spawning a bot? Time matters when we're talking about holding beacons.
This is a very popular suggestion. We're already working on a way to implement it in the game in case the problem with holding beacons really presents itself on live servers. But we playtested the drone extensively and in just a few hours deploying a correct drone really stops being an issue and it just takes a split second to deploy the drone you need. It might have been unclear on test server, because it was hardly possible to invest the necessary time and thought into setuping your drones the way you would have done on live.
What's your favorite drone design?
Oh gosh it's hard! When I was just thinking of the different drone designs, I was rooting for Nebula, but then when the artists showed me the sketches of the actual drones I just fell in love with good guy (I call him good boi lol).
How affordable will drones be as a feature?
We aim at making the chips affordable for all the active players. Not on release itself but soon after there sill be a chance to get chips from all the chests, from battle pass and so on. You can expect to get a lot of chips, especially T1 chips, from almost everywhere in the game and since you can combine them together to get better ones these should be accessible as well. But of course getting the setup you desire will take time and effort.
will we be able to put different paint jobs on drones?
I'm afraid not. Drones are way too small to paint anything eligible on them, so our art department said paintjobs for drone are a no-go :C
What is your favorite microchip?
I think the Phasing Repairer (repairs the robot after Phase Shift) is the one. I am actually a very cautious player and I love healing above anything else because it makes me less stressed when I lose HP.