What 1.0 means for World of Tanks - After eight years, it's ready
World of Tanks launched in Russia in 2010, then in Europe and the US the next year. It’s been around the block, pitting war machines and players against each other in war-torn cities and pastoral paradises, but today it’s only just hit version 1.0. Eight years after launch. For a long-running, living game like World of Tanks, that 1.0 label doesn’t mean what it normally does.
“It means a new game,” says development director Milos Jerabek. But if it is a new game, it’s one with old guts. There’s a new graphics engine, new sound design, 29 reworked maps and one brand new one, and now small buildings and objects can be blown to smithereens thanks to the inclusion of Havok Destruction. But the mechanics, the tanks and the strategies players are used to remain the same.
Every single rock and shrub has been recreated with new textures and physics, and no map has gone unchanged. In most cases it’s purely visual, though some have also been expanded and tweaked.
Some of the almost comical excessiveness of the update must also contribute to its size. As graphics engineer Denis Ishmukhametov walked me through the new engine, he pointed out all manner of ridiculous and impressive touches that you’d hardly notice until they were highlighted. There’s a whole system for how snow acts when it’s on a tank, and how it changes and eventually melts. The same goes for mud and water.