Sandbox Test Server

1. Sandbox: 1st Iteration Review

Updated

Tank Commanders!

As you know, we have completed the first phase of the Sandbox test.  The Sandbox servers are currently offline, and we have been hard at work analysing player feedback and statistics that we collected during the test so that we can make changes for the next phase of Sandbox testing.

In this report we will talk about the original goals of the features we tested, the assumptions that we checked, the results that we received, and what we intend to do next, having seen the results of testing.

Goals of Sandbox

Our primary intent was - and still is - to address the most prominent and consistent feedback we have had from our players. We understand your major concerns regarding balance (this includes the matchmaker, interactions and relations of vehicle roles, problems with some maps, and so on).

These issues came about as a result of a number of smaller changes that accumulated over a long time. There is no fast and easy solution to these issues; they collectively require in-depth study to be fully and properly fixed.

Over time, we intend to use the Sandbox to test many of our longer-term changes.  First up is vehicle balance, followed by a new matchmaker, and then creation of new maps and improvement of existing ones. Your feedback will become the starting point of further development of the game.

So for this first step – vehicle balance – we intended to accomplish the following goals:

  1. Reduce the cost of players’ mistakes, giving them chance to survive and stay longer in battle.
  2. Reduce the average distance of combat, favouring more intense close up battles and encouraging more dynamic gameplay over “pixel hunting” and “camping.”
  3. Rework SPG gameplay, moving away from having one-shot death machines that miss a lot and take forever to reload to gameplay that is more interesting to both SPG players and their opponents.
  4. Create more varied gameplay by allowing different types of tanks to serve roles according to their strengths – so heavily armored, defensive tanks can close with the enemy and set the battle line, mobile flankers can circle their enemy to find vulnerability, scouts can effectively scout, etc.

We realise that it is important to provide variety (in terms of gameplay) for our players. Our goal is to create gameplay where different tank types allow for distinct experiences. The four individual goals above are thus aimed at achieving this objective. This is why we are looking for ways of making changes that will allow players to perform different roles in tough battles and feel strong emotions using various tactics.

What Did We Do?

Penetration Falloff and Shot Dispersion – Making Armour Matter

In order to reduce the average distance of combat, we increased the importance of armour. We made two big changes to accomplish this: we reduced the distance at which shell penetration falloff began and also increased the dispersion of shots within the aiming circle. These changes made firing from long distance much less effective. The change in penetration falloff meant that shots didn’t penetrate easily from long distances, and the change to dispersion meant that players engaging from far away had to let their aim circle shrink more in order to score a hit. This made it much harder to score a precise hit at long ranges, and required players to wait longer in order to shoot effectively at that range.

This also reduced the effect of "focused fire" and allowed players to feel more protected by their armour. This encouraged them to leave cover and actively seek combat. Well-armoured vehicles became more popular thanks to their ability to blocking damage with armour, and the statistics we collected showed us that these changes did in fact reduce the averge distance of engagements.

Many players pointed out some problems with the first iteration of these changes. For example, it became harder to aim at vulnerable spots of enemy vehicles not only from afar, but also at shorter ranges. The change to penetration falloff also significantly affected the way in which battles were fought, and it may have been too big a change... but for both of these features, we decided to be more aggressive in the first round of testing in order to push the boundaries.

In later iterations of the Sandbox, we will make further adjustments to technical characteristics using both statistical information and your feedback. We have been discussing internally the possibility of  adjusting individual guns to suit the roles of particular vehicles.

We also are discussing individual adjustment of gun accuracy for particular vehicles: knowing the technical characteristics of your vehicle and those of an opponent's vehicle can enable you to make more informed decisions as to how best to engage, which will eventually lead to more varied gameplay.

Varied Gameplay – Tank Roles

There are more than 400 vehicles in World of Tanks. Experienced players can easily evaluate the technical characteristics of a newly purchased vehicle and understand how to play in it.  However, this is a much bigger challenge for newer players. We decided to simplify this aspect for all players and preliminarily divided vehicles into roles according to their most prominent characteristics, so that all players can find vehicles that suit them best. At the same time, we tried to make less critical changes and succeeded in it in several areas.

Dreadnought, cavalry, and scout players quickly understood the gameplay offered by vehicles in those categories. In addition to the changes noted above regarding penetration distance and shot dispersion, we also made a general reduction of View Ranges, which allowed players to be less afraid of being spotted and destroyed from distance, since vehicles that are not intended for "ambush gameplay" were no longer effective when shooting from long distance. This encouraged players to move more actively, thus increasing the importance of scouts.

At the same time, cavalry vehicles and scouts can easily circle dreadnoughts. In other words, they can now do what they were made for.

However, there is much work to be done to improve the balance for some of the other roles: some vehicles do not have a distinctive role or a role has not been determined for them yet. Also, the gameplay for ambush vehicles not clear enough yet. During the test, we found out that fire-support vehicles required a little more attention, mainly because vehicles of this specialisation have hard times in battle due to poor armour.

In future, we plan on making individual changes to vehicles and adjusting the interactions between vehicles of different roles so as to level the playing field. We are also considering other ways of compensating for the poor armour of fire-support vehicles and will work on further developing the potential of scouts.

Reworked SPGs

We believe that any vehicle should be interesting to at least two players in battle: the one who uses the vehicle and the one who fights against it. On live servers, SPGs currently represent a combination of "The Sword of Damocles" and the "Eye of Sauron". They are all-seeing vehicles that may perform a sudden and instantly lethal strike on any point on the map.

We want to reduce the pressure that SPGs place on players by changing the very concept of artillery vehicles in the game. We want them to remain useful to the team, but something must change because the constant fear of an SPG insta-kill was a huge factor that caused players to not break from cover and close the distance with their opponents.

The Sandbox tests show that SPGs can remain useful in battle even without destroying enemies with a single shot, with our new SPG mechanics. We managed to reduce the effectiveness of "focused fire" at particular targets by reducing penetration and damage caused by HE shells. It resulted in less negative attitude towards SPGs, because they now do not destroy enemy vehicles with a single shot. At the same time, changes to the burst radius increased the effectiveness of SPGs when shooting at groups of targets, and the aiming marker for allied SPGs contributed to team play.

This is one of the key changes in the Sandbox. A completely new SPG mechanic (tested by a large number of players for the first time) was developed, and we will keep experimenting with the burst radius and stun duration. It is possible that the final result will be completely different from what we initially tested.

Looking Forward – Where Do We Go From Here?

There are many test stages ahead. For the next stage, we originally intended to add Tier VIII and IX vehicles for testing, but after a month we came to a conclusion that we need to work more with Tier X to tune the current mechanics.

Right now, we cannot reveal all the details about changes to come in the second test iteration except for a few things that we are sure about. In addition to the changes we have already discussed, we also plan to work on switching between targets and some small changes to the mechanics of crew injury (known as "stun").

We are grateful to everyone who participated in the test, shared their feedback, and asked important questions. We appreciate your interest and desire to make the game better, and we hope this note helps provide more context for what you have seen so far. Stay tuned for more information.

As we get closer to the release of the second Sandbox phase, we will provide more information about what is coming in that phase.  We look forward to playing with you in the Sandbox again soon!

2. Sandbox: Vehicle Roles

Updated

Introduction

The video above describes the current situation on the Sandbox server, upcoming changes, and about long-term goals which we plan to achieve in terms of close cooperation between players and the development team.

Important! Sandbox is a special server for testing the prototypes of new balances for World of Tanks. On this server we plan to test different versions of the game's balance and choose the most appropriate one that will help to solve the issues and give players greater satisfaction.

By “new balance”, we mean a range of changes and even new features added to game mechanics, technical characteristics and other changes. Besides that, we are also working on these changes with the intended roles of vehicles in mind. More information on the role system can be found below.

Role System: Background

Currently, there are more than 400 vehicles in the game. They are divided into 5 classes – self-propelled guns (SPGs), Tank Destroyers (TDs), Light Tanks, Medium Tanks, and Heavy Tanks.

However, within the same class, there might be completely different vehicles: the Maus and AMX 50B are completely different types of Heavy Tanks; the E-50M and TVP 50/51 play differently as Medium Tanks; the Grille 15 and T110E4 are not the same kind of TD... the list goes on.

These vehicles significantly differ in terms of their effective use in a battle. It isn't easy for players to sort out this diversity and choose the vehicle they are interested in, and know how to use it all at the same time. To solve this issue, we are working on the system of tactical roles in WoT.

From a long-term perspective, we hope that by creating and refining a role system for vehicles in Sandbox, we can create a refined system of interaction between different types of tanks in a battle. From a short-term perspective, we will adjust vehicle balances, eliminate obviously imbalanced tanks, and permit players to test these balance changes (and the interaction of vehicles roles) before they are actually implemented.

Role System

We intend to implement vehicle roles by changing technical characteristics of vehicles to suit a given purpose. There will be 7 possible roles, although it's also possible that some of the vehicles will be hybrids that can fulfil 2 roles. Hybrids will naturally not be able to play each role as well as those that are focused on a single role.

  • Cavalry: Cavalry will mostly consist of medium tanks, and will be mobile and relatively well-armoured vehicles. Key characteristics that define them are good manoeuvrability and stabilisation, and narrow view range. Cavalry vehicles will actively engage in combat and facilitate breakthroughs. They will also be particularly effective in close combats with heavily-armoured vehicles. Their manoeuvrability and rate of fire will allow them to confidently run in circles around them and hit them where it hurts most. Typical representatives of the cavalry are Soviet and Chinese high-tier medium tanks. Currently, on Sandbox server, the cavalry is represented by the following vehicles: T-62A and E-50M, Object 140, Object 430, 121.
  • Fire Support Vehicles: Typical examples of fire support vehicles include those with good view range, effective armament, and decent mobility. At the same time, these vehicles don’t have good armor. The main purpose of these vehicles is to cause damage to opponents from long distance, preferably with their allies in front of them as a protective screen. Close combat is not recommended for these vehicles. It’s also possible to determine the most effective range of engagement for a given vehicle by looking at their armour penetration values. The higher the armour penetration value, the greater the distance at which the tank can engage. Here are some examples of fire support vehicles: MX 50B, M48A1, of Leopard 1, T57 Heavy Tank, Bat.-Châtillon 25 t, AMX 30 B, FV4005 Stage II, Centurion Action X, TVP T 50/51, STB-1.
  • Ambush Vehicles: The role of ambush vehicle is commonly played by TDs.These vehicles are played by firing from concealed positions, preferably with the use of camouflage. Ambush vehicles are not meant for close combat. Engagement ranges are determined by the stealth level of the vehicle, because survivability and effectiveness will directly depend on the player’s ability to fully utilise this parameter. It will not be an easy class to play; its full potential will only be realised in the hands of an experienced player who is tactically competent and has excellent situational awareness. In addition to stealth, these vehicles are known for high firepower and excellent armor penetration. Examples of ambush vehicles: Object 268, Grille 15.  
  • Scouts: Scouts exist in the game as Light Tanks. These vehicles have the highest view range and manoeuvrability. We have not yet decided exactly how these vehicles will be played, but we will first explore how best to adjust their firepower and Battle Tiers. Representatives of scouts-vehicles: T-54 ltwt., RU 251, T49.
  • Assault tanks: Assault tanks are heavy tanks with good mobility and front armor. They make up the bulk of the team's firepower. Guns of vehicles of this type are suitable for battles at close and medium ranges. They have guns with good rate of fire, armour penetration and alpha damage. However, they lack stabilisation and accuracy. These vehicles are meant to attack and hold key points on maps. Examples of such assault tanks include: Т110Е5, IS-7, Т110Е4, FV215b (183), 113.
  • Heavy tanks: These are well-armoured vehicles with lots of hit points. They act as the team’s "shield” by soaking up damage in battle, but their ability to take damage also results in their lack of mobility. In close combat, more mobile opponents can run circles around them and attack them with impunity. These tanks will perform best in pushing, shielding allied vehicles, and in a role of containing vehicle which defends directs from opponents. The list of heavy tanks: Е100, Т110Е3, IS-4, Jagdpanzer E 100, Maus, Type 5 Heavy.
  • Artillery: These are rebalanced SPGs. On the Sandbox server, vehicles of this class have a completely new role: instead of targeting specific opponents, they now support the team as a whole. They are able to stun opponents with their attacks. The shockwave from exploding artillery shells will reduce the affected opponent’s combat effectiveness and make their vehicle more vulnerable. Nevertheless, SPGs are still able to deal substantial damage. The difference is that their shells now have an increased blast radius, and will hit multiple enemies instead of focusing on just one. The most effective tactic will be to fire at groups of opponents’ tanks, causing damage and stunning several vehicles.

Role System: Final Goals

Adjusting this system implies that vehicles are getting new and unique features instead of adjusting their existing capabilities, but that is not the case. The development and implementation of the role system is meant to clarify vehicles' roles by classifying and describing them by the purpose they serve in batle, and also to measure the diversification of battles. 

3. Sandbox: Developer Q&A July 2016

Updated

Sandbox questions from CIS region contributor Jove and answers by Anton Pankov (Executive Publishing Producer) and Daniil “Murazor” Parashchyn (Special Projects Expert)

 

  • Why has stabilisation been cut when shell distribution within the aiming circle is increased?

Murazor:

Not every tank has decreased stabilisation – some vehicles received different changes. Stabilisation was done so that players could easily hit a target at close distances. I can’t say it’s perfect now, but that's why we need to collect data in order to decide how the game balance will be improved. Additionally, all heavy tanks have reduced turret and hull manoeuvrability, and now it’s possible to circle heavy tanks. All these changes are being tested as part of the new vehicle role system and game balance.

 

  • Do you plan to add new players to Sandbox?

Pankov:

Each week, we try to add new players of all skill levels – not just ones with good stats. Now it’s summer and many of those we invited aren't yet active, but we believe that interest in Sandbox will remain high.

 

  • Artillery now has very good accuracy – but is it too much?

Murazor:

Artillery can no longer one-shot players, so we decided to increase its accuracy so it would be possible to make a predictable shot. The new "stun/ shellshock" feature was not in the game before and we haven't set in stone how it will function. There will be an opportunity to decrease the duration and strength of the stun. Yes, it can be annoying, but now you can easily go out and make a push on the enemy team, safe in the knowledge that you won't suddenly be destroyed by artillery.

However, one of the new features that we plan to test is the prohibition or limitation of artillery when playing within a Platoon.

 

  • And what about a bonus for tanking?

Pankov:

We're implementing it little by little. When we were originally ready to release it, we felt that it gave too large of a bonus and that we couldn’t make it right without making more changes. Almost the same thing can be said about the bonus for artillery assists.

 

  • Why does the Т110Е3 have a 120mm?

Murazor:

We are rebalancing tanks that are over-powered. There can't be any super-armor and super-alpha damage tanks, but I don't really like the current balance on the T110E3. It'll be upgraded later. We also need to take into account that the rebalance will limit the number of tier X tanks in each battle.

 

  • Have you planned anything interesting for maps?

Pankov:

Some of the more "problematic" maps will be added to Sandbox. But for the moment, we want to focus on more technical aspects first.

Murazor:

Some of the problems with maps will be resolved with the new balance changes, as due to the new vehicle roles and changes to artillery, players should be behaving differently on the maps.

 

  • Will Stun/Shellshock be the only feature artillery will have?

Murazor:

Yes. There won’t be any smoke shells, spotting shells, etc. We have discussed it more than once and don't plan to include them, because average teams may not be able to use them effectively. Smoke rounds risk interfering with the gameplay experience of allied players and could negatively impact gameplay.

 

  • Why is it forbidden to livestream from Sandbox?

Pankov:

We're not ready to allow unlimited streams yet. Some changes are coarse and untested, and streams could worry players that are not aware of the purpose of Sandbox. It's a very important project for us. Later, there will be both official and unofficial Sandbox streams and videos.

 

  • Because of the large splash range, artillery seems to cause damage to allies rather than to opponents. Will you be doing something about this?

Causing damage to allies will result in penalties. We feel like this is the best way to discourage players from shooting near allies, but the system is currently in development.

 

  • I read that balance changes will initially focus on Tier X and after that, changes will be made to lower Tiers. However, there was an opinion that Tiers VI and lower won’t be changed. Is that true?

Murazor:

It’s not true that there won’t be any changes at all, but there will be fewer changes for the lower Tiers. Our new role dynamics are for high-level vehicles. There will be changes for lower Tiers so that they are more balanced and enjoyable to play, but no significant changes are currently planned.

 

  • Platoons of Tier VIII vehicles are always in the bottom of the matchmaker list – are you aware of this problem?

Pankov:

We're aware. Right now, the matchmaker tries to match Platoons with other Platoons, and when it doesn’t find any Platoons of tier VIII vehicles, it looks amongst Tiers IX and X. We're trying to solve this with the new matchmaker. 

We are also considering a system of 33/33/33, where ~33% of the time a player is on top, ~33% in the middle and ~33% on the bottom.

 

  • Are there any plans to change the situation with the +/-25% RNG?

Pankov:

For now we think that it's OK. There are no serious problems with it, even in the eSports scene.

 

  • For how long will you be testing Sandbox?

Pankov:

For us, this activity is new and very complex. Our team will be working until the moment Sandbox players say the game has become better and they like the vehicles more. If there is a situation we test and in the end the players say that the balance on the main server is better, then we won't change or release anything… but we hope we won’t have such a situation.

 

  • How do you plan to improve the role of light tanks, besides handling and view range?

Murazor:

The spotting role will be returned to them – that’s clear. We want them to be the best scouts, but the problem is that light tanks don’t cause a lot of damage, as it’s difficult for an LT-8 to play with Tier IX and X vehicles with the new balance. I won’t promise anything right now, but we're currently testing different solutions.

 

  • Will you be adding new Perks to Balance 2.0?

Murazor:

Of course we will, though for now it’s at the concept stage. However, we understand the current Perks are not enough.

Pankov:

The topic of Perks was raised many times, but first we want to focus on the balance for the new vehicle-role dynamics, and then we will consider introducing Perks for the same roles.

 

  • What do you plan to do about Gold ammo?

Murazor:

We want to decrease its impact. Our goal is to increase the lifespan of tanks within a battle and there are several ways this can be done; all of which we plan to test on the Sandbox.

 

  • Will you be adjusting the matchmaker so that there won’t be one team with seven tank destroyers and another with none at all?

Murazor:

We're currently working hard on the matchmaker, and ideally, it would consider this a problem. What the matchmaker will do is ensure there are an equal number of vehicles at Tier VII, IX and X on each team.

 

  • Do you plan to remove the “15 m from the bush” feature?

Pankov:

Currently, this mechanic is OK with us. When we move to a more accurate state of balance, we will see how this aligns with the new state of gameplay, but for now, we don’t plan to remove it.

 

  • Aren’t you afraid players will be confused with the new vehicle roles?

Pankov:

This is certainly a concern, and as such we will be working to make things as clear as possible through information in the client and on the the website. We will be moving to the new vehicle role model gradually, so that players have time to adjust. Our aim is to provide additional information to the players about their tanks' strengths and weaknesses.

 

  • Why are you afraid of making the balance +/-1 like in World of Tanks Blitz?

Pankov:

We think it won’t work as things are at the moment. Currently, we're making balance changes for +/-2 and we don’t want to introduce any artificial limitations as in this case. We feel that it would be boring to battle with +/-1.

 

4. Sandbox: 1st Iteration

Updated

Tank Commanders,

The Sandbox Test Server releases today!

Sandbox is a limited-access server for testing new balance prototypes in World of Tanks. Through the use of this tool, we plan to test and refine new balance changes. From the data we gather from such testing, we will select the most relevant implementations that meet specific requirements, and which are approved by our game community.

NOTE! Access to the test server can be terminated or restricted at any time for non-compliance with the EULA and Terms of Service.

In particular, pursuant to paragraph 17 "Beta Tests" of Terms of Service, “the beta games, including information about features and functionality to be offered as part of the games, are confidential.” Any information sharing from Sandbox server (live broadcasts, video reports, etc.) is prohibited without coordinating it with Wargaming representatives. You can request consent for publication of such materials in this special thread on the Sandbox forum.

In the first iterations, the focus will be on testing Tier X vehicles. Approved solutions will be applied to vehicles of lower tiers as well.

We do not guarantee the implementation of changes-in-testing on any final versions of World of Tanks. The final implementation(s) will be made depending on the information collected and analysed.

In implementing new vehicle balance changes in WoT, we aim to:

  • Increase the armor importance in the game: Currently, armour is significantly less important than speed and firepower in WoT. We would like to make armour play a bigger role in the game.
  • Reduce the cost of mistakes made by players in battle: We want to encourage players to fight actively in battles. By improving the way armour works in the game, the game will allow players to fight more actively without fear of going straight to the Garage right after being spotted. For example, penetrating a tank at long distance should be difficult.
  • Decrease the risk of being focused on at long range: By improving the way armour works, we can increase vehicle survivability, even if a vehicle is under fire from several attackers at long range. Covering directions and focusing on spotted vehicles will become less effective in general, because it will be harder to penetrate armour at long range.
  • Shorten combat ranges: We want players to engage each other at shorter ranges, because long-range clashes should not be the ultimate way of achieving victory. Vehicles should perform unique roles: tanking, pushing through defences, etc.
  • Increase the variety of gameplay: By giving different types of vehicles unique roles and providing the vehicles with the right features for their given roles, battles can be played in many different ways. By choosing a certain class of vehicle, players will choose a particular form of gameplay.
  • Increase game intensity: Changes to armour penetration at distance will encourage players to be more active in battle in order to secure victory.

Features of the Sandbox Test Server

On this first iteration of the Sandbox test server, players will have access to the following:

  • Tier X Vehicles
  • Tier VIII Light Tanks
  • 100% Crew with enough EXP to obtain 3 skills
  • Initial credit balance of 5,000,000
  • Daily top-ups of 500 (players must log in daily to receive the Gold top-ups)
  • Doubled credit income

Note! Players will not be able to purchase premium shells for game credits in the Sandbox test server.

The following vehicles will be available on the Sandbox test server:

  • Ru 251
  • T49
  • Т-54 ltwt.
  • Bat.-Châtillon 155 58
  • G.W. E 100
  • Conqueror Gun Carriage
  • T92
  • Object 261
  • 121
  • 113
  • TVP T 50/51
  • AMX 30 B
  • Bat.-Châtillon 25 t
  • AMX 50 B
  • E-100
  • Leopard1
  • Grille 15
  • Jagdpanzer E 100
  • E 50 Ausf. M
  • Maus
  • STB-1
  • Type 5 Heavy
  • T110E4
  • T110E3
  • T110E5
  • M48A1
  • T57 Heavy Tank
  • FV4005 Stage II
  • FV215b (183)
  • Centurion Action X
  • IS-7
  • Object 140
  • Object 268
  • IS-4
  • Т-62а
  • Object 430.

Description of Main Changes to be Tested

Some of the main game mechanics will be changed on the Sandbox test server in order to achieve the balance goals listed above.

Changing the shot grouping within the aiming circle

In line with the goal of decreasing the range at which combat occurs, we will adjust the grouping of where shots land within the aiming circle, so as to increase the survivability of vehicles. The effects will be especially noticeable at long range; vehicles will be able to survive focused fire coming from long distance, because players will generally have to aim their shots more carefully. 

A comparison of the distribution of shots between Update 9.15 and the Sandbox test server is available in the following image:

Adjustments to armour-piercing capacity at range

Under the new changes to be tested, armour-piercing capacity will decrease more significantly at long distances in order to increase the importance of armour in the game. Long-distance shots will become less effective, in order to encourage players to actively engage in close-range combat. They will have to fight more actively and make good use of manoevres to effectively fight enemy vehicles.

With these changes to armour, the chance of penetrating a vehicle from the front will be decreased at long distances. Thus, heavily-armoured vehicles will be able to head into battle without fear of being picked off easily at long range.

Currently, as of Update 9.15, players can still effectively shoot from far distance.

Values of armour-piercing capacity for Sandbox are displayed in the art. The distance at which armour-piercing capacity begins to fall off is also specified.

Reworking damage caused by shells

Initially, there were only a few guns in the game. Gradually, many high-calibre guns were introduced. For this reason, the guns should be reworked. Within the Sandbox feature, we plan to test a new system of distributing damage per shot for different guns. The goals of the new system are to decrease the risk of being destroyed with one shot and also to increase the importance of a gun's damage per minute.

Changing manoeuvrability of vehicles

Because we plan to increase vehicle survivability in battle, fast vehicles featuring poor armor will also be improved. We will explore the relationships between suspension speeds and turret traverse speeds for each vehicle type within the class and role systems. Fast vehicles will be able to use different manoeuvres to outflank slower, heavily-armoured vehicles.

Role models for different types of vehicles

Currently, all vehicle types can perform different roles -- vehicles of each type (except for SPGs and some light tanks) can perform different roles effectively. However, this also means that players use similar tactics when driving different vehicles of the same type, which can make gameplay monotonous regardless of the fact that they are not using the exact same vehicle all the time.

The improvements listed above are intended to diversify the ways by which vehicles can be used, while ensuring that they function in accordance with their intended roles. Seven in-game archetypes have been distinguished based on expert evaluation:

In general, the focus will be on reduction of Manoeuvrability and View Range, which contributes to role-based gameplay.

These changes are not final and may be altered in future depending on the feedback from the game community participating in the test and the results of statistical analysis.

Rebalancing SPGs

When rebalanced, SPGs will play a new role. Instead of being damage dealers, they will become support vehicles. In addition, SPGs will receive some new features:

  1. Explosive blast: Explosive blasts happen at the same time as splash damage after a shell explodes. Tanks caught in the blast radius will suffer a temporary debuff to performance characteristics. Damage caused to the affected tanks is counted as damage caused with the help of the SPG player.
  2. Allied SPG Aim Indicators: These indicators will display the approximate areas at which allied SPGs are aiming. If the SPG is not aimed at a particular vehicle when the player presses the "Attacking" button (the T key by default), the special indicator is displayed (in the opposite case, the normal notification that for attacking this vehicle is displayed). The marker will be displayed in the corresponding area on the minimap and on the in-game terrain. A notification with the SPG's readiness status (loading/ready to fire) will also be displayed. This feature should help players to coordinate actions.
  3. Alternative aim for SPGs: A new way of displaying SPG aim, which is similar to sniper mode, will make it easier for players to aim with SPGs.

Changes will be made to HE shells as well:

  • The amount of damage caused will be decreased in most of cases
  • Splash damage radius will be increased

Based on these changes, the SPG will essentially switch from dealing damage to specific players to dealing damage to concentrations of enemy tanks.

5. Sandbox Test Server

Updated

Tank Commanders!

Recently, we announced the upcoming launch of a separate test server called "Sandbox", where we would test new balance changes to World of Tanks with you, the players. We are pleased to announce that the Sandbox test server will soon be opened!

This server will allow us to quickly gather your opinions about upcoming changes, and you will get more opportunities to influence our decisions as to what should or should not be included in future updates.

What exactly is Sandbox?

Sandbox is a separate test server where developers work with players on the balance changes to World of Tanks.

Testing on Sandbox will soon commence, but we can’t reveal much at this time. What we can say is that you will certainly see entirely new roles for vehicles, including SPGs, in the Sandbox test server.

How do I get into Sandbox?

To get started, send an application by clicking on the button below. You will be sent to a special page with an application form. Complete the form to apply to participate in testing.

What are the entry criteria?

Not everyone will receive access to this test server. The criteria for choosing participants will depend on the purpose of the specific stage of testing at the time they are chosen, but the main objective will still be to invite active players to participate in testing and share their feedback so that the game can be improved.

How will I know that my application has been approved?

Players who have been granted access to the test server will be informed via the following sources:

  • An email to the mailbox linked to their account
  • Notification in the game client

It will take some time to process the applications and evaluate the number of invited participants. We plan to send the first wave of invitations in June.

Important: Access to the test server can be terminated or restricted at any time for non-compliance with the EULA, Terms Of Service, or other terms of Wargaming. Restrictions for actions committed when playing on the test server may also be applied to the main account of the offending player.

We're looking forward to receiving your applications. Let's make the game better together!

6. Next Stop: Frontline

Updated

You’ve been asking us to inject new life into gameplay with larger teams, bigger maps, and new combat setups for a while now. We’ve been working on a mode like this for a while now, and today, we are thrilled to finally reveal it to you. It’s called Frontline and is now available on the Sandbox test server as of 10 April, inviting you to test large-scale combat with a set of new mechanics, objectives, and more.

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Frontline is going to be 30v30, with five-man-strong Platoons, all fighting in Tier X vehicles (medium/heavy tanks, TDs and arty) and Tier VIII light tanks. The latter is a temporary restriction caused by the technical nuances of testing. Eventually, the mode will switch to Tier X vehicles of all classes. And there’s no way on earth you could fit them all on a map of 1 square km. So, we’re introducing battlegrounds of 9 square km, divided into nine sectors, with one side playing in attack and the other in defense. Each stage unfolds on a certain territory. In attack, you are fighting for control over it. In defense, you’re tasked with preventing enemies from capturing it.

This is just a quick sneak peek of the new mode. We’re saving a few tidbits for the big announcement on the Sandbox Blog. Head over there to read up on Frontline gameplay mechanics, victory conditions, and more!

To make this mode happen without hampering the work on the game’s core elements, we teamed up with Austrian game developers Bongfish. The instant chemistry between our devs and the guys from Bongfish flourished into a remarkable partnership. They worked on Frontline under our guidance, while our in-house development team focused on fine-tuning game balance, revising the matchmaker, fixing SPG gameplay, and evolving the game’s graphics.

Just because the mode rolls out on Sandbox doesn't mean the work is done. In fact, the most important stage begins now. We are asking all of you to join and help us test and polish Frontline’s every component—from UI to game balance—leading to release. The team will be monitoring feedback and game data very carefully, investigating and fixing issues you report, and reviewing your suggestions.

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