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LittleWhiteMouse

Q&A about Community Contributor content-previews, testing & feedback to WG

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There's a lot of confusion, misconceptions about the Community Contributor program -- specifically how we access preview material, what we do with it and what rules Wargaming has.  This thread is here to allow players to ask me (and any other Community Contributor who wishes to participate) about these processes and our feelings about them.  As a disclaimer, I will not answer any questions that may violate non-disclosure agreements I have signed from Wargaming -- I will let you know when something veers into that territory.

For the record, I have been playing World of Warships since March 2015, a Supertester from October 2015 until January 2016, a part of "Club Wargaming"  -- the precursor to the CC-program from September 2015 until its dissolution in December 2015 and a part of the Community Contributor program since its inception on World of Warships (December 2015).

Ask away.  Turn around time on answers will vary, and I will ping whomever asked the question(s) when formulating answers.

Edited by LittleWhiteMouse
Typos, word choice and other stuff I should have caught in my first draft.
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Well, knowing that the developers are revising the point Community Contributors can show their content to the public, can you detail the SuperTesting process of ships since they are announced? Including the point you all were allowed to record content before and where are they allowing to show content now, please. Have seen some claiming this as censorship, but I don't buy that.

Also, how many ships are in Development Hell? Referring to ships that already went through testing but not premiered (sold, given, etc.) in the game.

And thank you for your work, your reviews and game mechanic posts are always awesome

Edited by hanesco
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Do you feel that the community's generally negative reaction to various changes in testing have caused the change in Wargaming policy?

 

Do you feel that some CCs have sensationalized the negative things Wargaming has done (PR, lack of meaningful change to Kremlin, testing of ships nobody wants, the new Russian CAs etc.) which has caused Wargaming to tighten the reins?

Edited by Neko_Ship_Akashi
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thank you for doing this, a voice of truth in this sea of rumours.

can you tell us how it would work with the new system? in particular when cc would be allowed to put out content (i heard one week but i could be wrong)?

 

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We're essentially back to the old days of doing content. Ships will have an embargo date and CCs will not be able to stream/release content until that time hits. Prior to that date, we will most likely reply no comment, NDA if asked about said ship in game. This change affects streamers a lot more as they can no longer immediately stream ships as soon as it is released.

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Does Wargaming reward CCs?

if yes

What sort of rewards do you recieve from WG?

What is the approximate monthly value (premium shop equivalent) of those rewards?

if no

why put up with the constraints of the CC programme? (NDA for example)

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2 minutes ago, LoveBote said:

Does Wargaming reward CCs?

if yes

What sort of rewards do you recieve from WG?

What is the approximate monthly value (premium shop equivalent) of those rewards?

if no

why put up with the constraints of the CC programme? (NDA for example)

Yes, we get CC container/camo codes to give away. If we do a video or something for [insert name] premium ship we can give it away to our viewers.

We get monthly allocations of CC camo and dubloons (do keep in mind that most of these dubloons do get spent just respeccing captains for all the various test ships we get, assuming you are actively playing the test ships)

We get premium ships credited to our accounts when they are released.

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3 minutes ago, iChase said:

We get monthly allocations of CC camo and dubloons (do keep in mind that most of these dubloons do get spent just respeccing captains for all the various test ships we get, assuming you are actively playing the test ships)

We get premium ships credited to our accounts when they are released.

Thankyou for replying. Could you give us an approximate monthly (average) value of these goods? (monetary equivalent).

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Can you detail the information flow process and talk about the development pipeline decision gates that a ship passes through on its way from concept to release?

Please detail the potential inputs for feedback from the various stakeholders.

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Just now, hanesco said:

Well, knowing that the developers are revising the point Community Contributors can show their content to the public, can you detail the SuperTesting process of ships since they are announced? Including the point you all were allowed to record content before and where are they allowing to show content now, please. Have seen some claiming this as censorship, but I don't buy that.

Also, how many ships are in Development Hell? Referring to ships that already went through testing but not premiered (sold, given, etc.) in the game.

@hanesco Let me answer this in the Drachinifel order:

Development Hell:

The following premium/reward ships are in development (in order by tier then sorted by DD/CA/BB/CV).  Those that have been in development for a "long time" (going back to at least the summer of 2019) I have marked with an asterix.

  • Leone* - tier VI Italian destroyer
  • California* - tier VII 'Murican battleship
  • Arashi - tier VIII Japanese destroyer
  • Orkhan - tier VIII Pan European destroyer
  • Tone* - tier VIII Japanese cruiser (lul)
  • Kitakami* - tier VIII Japanese cruiser (double-lul)
  • Petr Bagration - tier VIII Soviet cruiser
  • Talinn - tier VIII Soviet cruiser
  • Asama - tier VIII Japanese battleship
  • Odin* - tier VIII German battleship
  • Borodino - tier VIII Soviet battleship
  • Impero - tier VIII Italian battleship
  • Z-35 - tier IX German destroyer
  • Siegfried - tier IX German cruiser
  • Agir - tier IX German cruiser
  • Zarya Svobody* - tier IX Soviet battleship (this is a holdover from Soviet tech tree battleship testing -- it may never see the light of day)
  • Hayate* - tier X Japanese destroyer
  • Paolo Emilio* - tier X Italian destroyer
  • Slava* - tier X Soviet battleship (again, a holdover from Soviet tech tree battleship testing -- it may never see the light of day)
  • F.D. Roosevelt - tier X 'Murican carrier

Wargaming is also working on the tech trees for Soviet cruisers and German aircraft carriers.  The former involves reshuffling the current tech-tree and introducing both new light and heavy cruisers to fill the gaps and I'm not including Kirov or Moskva in this list despite them being reintroduced as premiums in some form.  There are also submarines coming but I have no first hand information on those, so I am leaving them out.  I'm probably forgetting one or two.

The real outliers here (ignoring Tone & Kitakami) are Leone and Paolo Emilio.  They've been in the works since early last year.

Supertest Process

So here's generally how test ship information was shared with CCs, including the content creating process.  This is before the recent changes and after they relaxed the way the previewed content back in 2016:

  1. We're given advance notice that a Facebook Devblog is incoming -- anywhere from a day or two in advance, but usually a few hours before it gets posted.  We may be told what the subject of said announcement is but we see the post the same time you do, when it goes live.  So this is usually the first time we get to see newly announced ships.
  2. Occasionally (and not very often), we will be given access to a test-ship on another server, such as the Public Test Server or, very rarely, on one of the Supertest servers.  In these cases, we're usually prohibited from playing the ship and could only feature them in what content we made through displaying in-port stats.  This would always be for an exceedingly limited amount of time -- usually little more than a weekend or a few hours on X-day or whatever.
    It's important to know that at this time, Supertesters are busy behind the scenes making sure there's nothing broken with the ship.  You may see these vessels being played by Supertesters on the Public Test server.  More likely, they're busy working out the kinks of a given ship on the Supertest server long before CCs ever get their mitts on them.
  3. After the Supertesters have had first crack at these ships on the live servers, Community Contributors will be given access to them.  This is typically on a Monday.  So if the patch dropped the previous week, we're waiting until after the weekend to play with the new goodies.  Again, this gives time for the Supertesters to do their thing, provide initial feedback, address obvious points of concern / bugs, etc.  Never underestimate how much work the Supertesters do.
  4. Once we've got our hands on these ships, we were free to produce content for the most part.  A "Work in Progress" signage was mandatory.  Wargaming has guidelines on how prominently this must be displayed.  We also must provide a disclaimer that Wargaming gave us these ships and that we did not pay for them.  We have a spreadsheet in the World of Warships Community Contributor Discord that helps us keep track of what ships we may or may not play, what signage and disclaimers need to be shown, etc. 
  5. Once upon a time, it was required for Community Contributors to submit playtest feedback to Wargaming if they wanted continued access to preview material.  This involved filling out forms on google-docs, giving our views on how the ship performed.  This is everything from perceived power level, to how we thought the ship should be changed, etc.  Supertesters should be familiar with this -- it was the identical forms for a while.  The format of this feedback changed over the years.  Keep in mind this wasn't the only form of feedback -- we also have direct channels to talk to the devs about how we feel given test ships are performing, sometimes with specific channels for JUST a given ship / system change, etc.  Wargaming have since relaxed the need to produce feedback forms in order to receive access to preview material.
  6. Test ships remain on the account until significant changes occur.  This usually requires someone at Wargaming to manually remove and re-add ships as they get patched.  The test process continues with every new iteration, with newly required feedback under the old system, though that's long since been relaxed.  Many CCs produced content for each new iteration of ship.
  7. Wargaming would generally let the CCs known when a ship was finalized.  How much time in advance depended with more being provided during he earlier part of the CC program with less (and less, and less) warning being provided as time went on.  The finalized ship would be credited to CC accounts for content production after release.

Under the new system, we will not be able to produce content until #7 -- where the ship is finalized.  All of that other stuff will still go on, including the multiple levels of testing and preview.  Feedback is submitted every step of the way and many a (heated) discussion will be had.  About a week before release, we're told the ship is finalized and the date/time we can publish content or stream the ship in question.  If we don't have access to the ship, we may be given access through the Public Test Server / on one of our test-accounts to facilitate content production.

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26 minutes ago, TobTorp said:

can you tell us how it would work with the new system?

It's not a new system per se, it's a return to the old system, the way it used to be before CC NDAs were significantly relaxed.

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Does WG answer/reply any feedback CCs provide? If so, do they give appropriated asnwers/replies? 

 

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6 minutes ago, LoveBote said:

Thankyou for replying. Could you give us an approximate monthly (average) value of these goods? (monetary equivalent).

My best guess? About $100-150 a month?

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3 minutes ago, Xlap said:

Does WG answer/reply any feedback CCs provide? If so, do they give appropriated asnwers/replies? 

 

UHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH...I'll let Mouse answer this...

 

[EDIT]: Mostly because on a personal level, I don't think they give af anymore what any CC thinks.

Edited by iChase
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Given that the bar for data mining is now incredibly low (there are already posts on some changes to Borodino etc.) do you think this will really have any positive impact?

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4 minutes ago, LittleWhiteMouse said:

 Those that have been in development for a "long time" (going back to at least the summer of 2019) I have marked with an asterix.

  • Leone* - tier VI Italian destroyer
  • California* - tier VII 'Murican battleship
  • Arashi - tier VIII Japanese destroyer
  • Orkhan - tier VIII Pan European destroyer
  • Tone* - tier VIII Japanese cruiser (lul)
  • Kitakami* - tier VIII Japanese cruiser (double-lul)
  • Petr Bagration - tier VIII Soviet cruiser
  • Talinn - tier VIII Soviet cruiser
  • Asama - tier VIII Japanese battleship
  • Odin* - tier VIII German battleship
  • Borodino - tier VIII Soviet battleship
  • Impero - tier VIII Italian battleship
  • Z-35 - tier IX German destroyer
  • Siegfried - tier IX German cruiser
  • Agir - tier IX German cruiser
  • Zarya Svobody* - tier IX Soviet battleship (this is a holdover from Soviet tech tree battleship testing -- it may never see the light of day)
  • Hayate* - tier X Japanese destroyer
  • Paolo Emilio* - tier X Italian destroyer
  • Slava* - tier X Soviet battleship (again, a holdover from Soviet tech tree battleship testing -- it may never see the light of day)
  • F.D. Roosevelt - tier X 'Murican carrier

Damn, that is a list, you forgot Akagi from Beta though.

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Hey Miss Mousey, Happy Easter to you.Wasn't there a time, when CC's didn't get the ships until they were released? There didn't seem to be so much controversy when a ship released Back in the earlier days. It seems to me there is a lot more release worries since Twitch has gained in popularity and CCs started broadcasting live. Has WG changed the non-disclosure rules since Twitch became more of a thing? If they haven't, do you think they should?

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37 minutes ago, Neko_Ship_Akashi said:

Do you feel that the community's generally negative reaction to various changes in testing have caused the change in Wargaming policy?

Do you feel that some CCs have sensationalized the negative things Wargaming has done (PR, lack of meaningful change to Kremlin, testing of ships nobody wants, the new Russian CAs etc.) which has caused Wargaming to tighten the reins?

@Neko_Ship_Akashi Drachinifel answer order:

Sensational CCs
Of course some CCs have sensationalized the negative things.  They'd be damn fools not to.  Being level headed and the voice of reason does not get eyeballs onto your channel / content.  I don't think this is what prompted WG to tighten the reigns -- they've always been very supportive of letting content creators say what they wish, even at the expense of causing chaos and unrest.

Change in Policy:
I honestly think this is in reaction to Puerto Rico blowing up in their faces.  This was a problem of their own making.  Their response is understandable, if disappointing.  Rather than communicate information better to those providing preview content and managing them on a needs-be basis, they're restricting the flow of content to eliminate the complications caused by previewing work-in-progress features.

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33 minutes ago, TobTorp said:

thank you for doing this, a voice of truth in this sea of rumours.

can you tell us how it would work with the new system? in particular when cc would be allowed to put out content (i heard one week but i could be wrong)? 

@TobTorp  The new system summarizes pretty much to this:

  • WG tells us a new ship is coming.
  • We're given access to the new ship.
  • We test new ship.
  • We provide feedback.
  • We argue lots over Discord about BALANS™.
  • Test ship gets changed.
  • We provide feedback.
  • We argue lots over Discord about BALANS™.
  • Test ship gets changed.
  • We provide feedback.
  • We argue lots over Discord about BALANS™.
  • Test ship goes away.
  • Many moons later, the ship returns.
  • Nobody remembers what the old ship was like.
  • We vainly try and research all of the test changes which are sometimes poorly documented.
  • We argue lots over Discord about BALANS™.
  • Wargaming tells us the ship is finalized and gives us a date and time we can produce content.
  • Wargaming gives us access to the finalized ship which is a disappointment to most parties involved.
  • We argue lots over Discord about BALANS™.
  • Content gets published on the agreed date / time or after.
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26 minutes ago, LoveBote said:

Does Wargaming reward CCs?

if yes

What sort of rewards do you recieve from WG?

What is the approximate monthly value (premium shop equivalent) of those rewards?

if no

why put up with the constraints of the CC programme? (NDA for example)

@LoveBote  iChase seems to have your stuff handled.  If you want to hear from me specifically, lemme know.

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23 minutes ago, iChase said:

We're essentially back to the old days of doing content. Ships will have an embargo date and CCs will not be able to stream/release content until that time hits. Prior to that date, we will most likely reply no comment, NDA if asked about said ship in game. This change affects streamers a lot more as they can no longer immediately stream ships as soon as it is released.

I really can't say that I am against that, when Twitch streamers comment that a WIP ship is OP or UP the sheople start grabbing shovels, pitchforks and spears. What they say can directly affect ship sales numbers.

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9 minutes ago, iChase said:

UHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH...I'll let Mouse answer this...

 

[EDIT]: Mostly because on a personal level, I don't think they give af anymore what any CC thinks.

The F2P thing adds a few twists to what would normally be considered the "testing" phase.  I think that just gets worse the further down the cycle you get.  I think we're kind of in deep territory :P

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Just now, LittleWhiteMouse said:

@LoveBote  iChase seems to have your stuff handled.  If you want to hear from me specifically, lemme know.

all good; his reply was transparant and informative.

being a CC seems to be a very complicated affair, not least all those spreadsheets./ - but I have enjoyed reading this thread so far, keep up the good work!

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2 minutes ago, LittleWhiteMouse said:

Change in Policy:

I honestly think this is in reaction to Puerto Rico blowing up in their faces.  This was a problem of their own making.  Their response is understandable, if disappointing.  Rather than communicate information better to those providing preview content and managing them on a needs-be basis, they're restricting the flow of content to eliminate the complications caused by previewing work-in-progress features.


 @LittleWhiteMouse

Question: on the particular point of the Puerto Rico event, do you think LESS information made avaIlable to the public prior to that event going live would have resulted in WG having come off looking better than the way it actually worked out?

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1 minute ago, BrushWolf said:

I am a bit surprised about the doubloons as I thought you would get test captains with zero cost respecs like the ST's do.

The free respecs don't last very long, like we could have test ships that last 28 days, but the free respec will last at most a few days. Depending on the content creation schedule, it's often times not really enough to get through all the ships

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