Take a break from the festive Holiday Ops hustle to get up to speed on the changes coming to USSR vehicles! Update 9.22 will take on the nation’s least played tanks, revitalizing them through an injection of new vehicles, structural re-shuffles, and several come-backs.
First, a quick refresher as to why this is happening. The SU-100M1 and its peers are rarely seen on battlefields, just like Soviet rear-turreted mediums. Blame it on the rather complex play style, the drastic changes in gameplay from tier to tier, or the combination of these two, it doesn’t change the fact. Few would unlock them, and even fewer would play them. This round of Tech Tree revisions is designed to make them relevant again by giving each line a consistent structure and pronounced gameplay narrative. On top of that, the update offers a fresh take on HT gameplay with new rear-turreted vehicles at Tiers VIII–X.
Let’s take a closer look at what we’d like to change, how, and why, to ensure we’re all on the same page when testing begins.
The A-44 line taught you little about the tank that you will be playing at Tier X. Having mastered the ins and outs of rear-turreted mediums at Tiers VII–IX, one would naturally expect similar gameplay at the top. But instead, you were treated to a classic close-range MT, which caused a lot of frustration and seriously undermined the line’s popularity. It was quite a bumpy ride, so it’s not surprising only a few people wanted to go down this line.
What could possibly convince you to give it a second chance? Perhaps, giving it the very thing it lacked in the first place: consistency. Update 9.22 does it by moving the Object 430 down to Tier IX, where it forms a mini-line of well-armored assault MTs with high alpha.
Debuting at Tier X is a completely new tank: the Object 430U.
Being a smaller target with decent mobility and quite the angled armor, this newcomer can easily flank an opponent, take them out with its impressive alpha, and move on to the next one unscathed.
Объект 430У = Object 430U
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The rear-turreted trio will eventually get a new Tier X, too. It will continue the line’s legacy of tough turret armor, offering gameplay that feels like a natural progression from the Object 430 Variant II.
New Heavy Tank Line
For quite some time, Brits and Germans were the only nations to treat you to Tier X HTs with rear-mounted turrets. Some enjoyed them, others would rather go with a more conventional option instead, but few would argue that the FV 215b, Pz.Kpfw. VII, and the Global Maps darling VK 72.01 (K) were dull. This bunch welcomes a very Soviet reinforcement in Update 9.22, introducing a fresh take on the classic IS design at Tiers VIII–X (straight up from the IS).
Pointing their pike noses towards enemies, the IS-M, Object 705, and Object 705A sport the nation’s trademark alpha, partially offset by aiming parameters. But that’s not the case in point. The rear turret placement is. Combined with tough armor, solid-for-their-class mobility, and powerful guns, it lets them push around other tanks, no sweat.
ИС-М = IS-M
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Play to their strengths, and they’ll prove handy in supporting an attack or effectively killing the enemy breaking through. They fight like a blend between the Pz.Kpfw. VII and the IS-7, and this gameplay doesn’t change as you move up the tiers. The firepower does though, from a 122-mm gun at Tier VIII to a whopping 152-mm when you make it to the Object 705A.
Объект 705А = Object 705A
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Swift and thick-skulled, the T-10 is often seen on battlefields, quickly changing its course and raining destruction on its way. However, as great as it is, it didn’t fit well between the durable IS-3 and IS-7 and therefore gets replaced with the Object 257. Don’t worry, we aren’t removing the T-10 altogether. It’s proven its worth far too many times over the years, so it gets a mini-line to itself and a Tier X vehicle that feels like a tangible step-up from it. We’re still working on this newcomer and will reveal it to you further down the road.
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Alternative TD Line
We’ve been trying to bring this TD bunch back to relevance for quite a while now. Simply tweaking vehicle parameters in Update 9.20 took us nowhere. We were fully aware of the problem and designed a new solution, which is reworking the line into mid-to-close range assault TDs.
High forward and backward mobility combined with medium maneuverability, which lets them quickly reach and occupy key positions and retreat back to safety
Good frontal armor to deflect enemy shells, but weak side armor and lower front plates
Average damage per shot with a high reload time to compensate for mobility and protection
Accuracy and aiming time balanced to make them effective at short-to-medium range, but also reduce their effectiveness at long range
Poor elevation angles due to historical design
Reshaping the line off this concept called for a set of structural and balance tweaks. We started by moving the Object 263 down a tier, where it can make a sensible contribution with its damage per shot and armor. The next step was designing the right vehicle for Tier X, and we picked the Object 268 Variant 4 for this role. It inherits the speed, armor and good gun from its predecessors, but unlike them, it can mount a gun above 130-mm, doesn’t suffer from an open hatch, and dishes out 650 damage per shot.
The Object 263 and Object 268 Variant 4 showed excellent results in the tests. The vehicles perfectly blocked the damage and performed as assault TDs—fast, armored with an average damage per shot and not very big DPM for TDs. However, you spoke out against moving the Object 263 to Tier IX and we couldn’t ignore it. So we took them both for another round of testing to verify the initial results. The Object 263 remained untouched, but we reduced the Object 268 Variant 4 alpha strike from 750 to 650 to eradicate the abrupt change in alpha damage and reload time between Tiers VIII and Tier X.
Объект 268 Вариант 4 = Object 268 Variant 4
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The last and probably trickiest task was tuning mid-tier vehicles for mid-to-close range assault gameplay. The SU-122-54 didn’t fit into the concept because of its traditional turret placement. We faced a huge dilemma here: it was clearly out of the line in terms of gameplay, but was valuable from a historical point of view. As an interim solution, we moved it down a tier to see if it can be viable there. Unfortunately, it was no good at blocking damage even at Tier VIII and still felt like a huge step away in terms of gameplay, plain and simple. That’s why, we removed the SU-122-54 and made a line fully composed of rear-turret/superstructure vehicles.
The second round of the supertest solidified our belief that the concept we designed for the line reshapes these TDs into a more desirable state, giving them a distinct character they lacked before. Well-armored, fast, and capable of dealing solid high alpha damage, they are meant to drive the breakthrough of flanks and should provide for an enjoyable experience. As of now, the latter assumption is largely based on the data from Supertests. We’re eager to get the TD line into your hands to test this hypothesis, define if further tweaks are needed, and drive to the best possible outcome together.
2. The New Alpha in Town: Meet the Object 430U
Reshaping the Object
The Object 430 has always been a decent Tier X medium tank. It had what it takes to become a popular choice for those who opt for close-range fights, as opposed to sniping out rivals or assisting frontline folks from midrange.
But the Object never managed to become as successful among players, as the T-62A and Object 140. The 430’s specs have always been very similar to those of his “elder brothers," making it just a copy of renowned models. There’s more: to reach it, you had to go through a few machines with rear-mounted turrets and a completely different playstyle, forcing you to eventually throw away that experience gained at tiers VII–IX.
With an excellent gun, mobility, and view range, it’s still a good choice if you want to lock horns with an enemy. It even has decent armor for a medium tank, but it lacks something that could make it a fun-to-play machine—character. That’s why it’s not often you notice it on the battlefield.
Here’s how we want to fix it.
First and foremost, we’re moving the 430 to the Tier IX of the classic-layout line, where it becomes the successor to the T-44. Second, since the T-44 already has the mighty 122mm gun, starting from Update 9.22 this tank will pave the way for a new line of Soviet machines—medium assault tanks with frightening alpha.
With these changes made, the A-44 line will remain without a top-tier tank for now. There is an option we’re considering at the moment, but we want to make sure the tank fits the role well enough, so please expect some testing to unfold before hearing from us on the approved candidate. So, if you’re planning to explore the top vehicle from the A-44 line, it might make sense to keep the XP points amassed on the Object 430 II until we introduce it to the tech tree. On the other hand, getting the 430 before 9.22’s release can save you time on your way to the 430U.
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Mouse over the points to display the info on the vehicle
So, there’s a new sheriff in town. What’s up with the specs?
As we’ve said before, the main goal is to emphasize the line’s role as assault vehicles. To reach that, both the 430 and the 430U will get a 122mm gun. Face the 430U in combat and brace yourself for a mean slap from that 122mm damage dealer, as the gun whips out a massive 440 points per shot from your health bar. In a battle of MT platoons, this can become the most compelling of arguments, so it’s better to have it among your teammates. As an inevitable drawback, reloading takes considerably more time. Not a feature you would expect from a Soviet medium, but that’s a fair price to pay for the firepower.
The effective thickness of the upper front plate reaches as much as 320mm. The turret’s “forehead” gets even more with up to 380mm. There are hatches, of course, but they are well-armored, as well, so your input can be more than valuable for your team, if you position the tank well. You’ll have to think twice before turning superhero against enemy tank destroyers or heavies (especially if you leave your thick lower front plate open, which is only 180mm in effective armor), but battling against “classmates” can leave you pretty confident. And don’t forget about the 60mm side armor that allows you to tease opponents by unveiling your hull under sharp angles.
With a top speed of 50 km/h, the Object 430U is not the fastest tank in the roster. However, this average number is compensated by good acceleration and low speed loss under active maneuvering. The available dynamics are enough not to lag behind the pack. When it finally gets to action, the tank’s ability to move really turns its performance into a waltz of destruction.
The base view range is 400 meters. Not the best value, but still enough to deal those massive shots. The 430U is an assault vehicle, so it’s all about finding your way around in the heat of close combat.
How to Play
Use your mobility to make the most of your alpha power and armor.
Don’t rely on the gun’s accuracy. Cut the distance, make sure you're close enough to hit enemy weak spots and proceed to wreak havoc.
Be a team player. Going head-to-head against a same-tier medium tank can cause you trouble due to lower DPM values. Your best option is to help lead the charge with teammates.
3. Urban Crusher: Meet the Object 705A
Few top-tier vehicles among the Soviet lineup feel all that different to play in the big picture. Update 9.22 will fix that with a heavy-armored close-range fighter, which can bring more versatility to a rather traditional tank design school.
The Object 705A that entered Supertest last December is set to crown the upcoming alternative line of Soviet heavy tanks, starting with the IS-M at Tier VIII and reaching the Object 705 at Tier IX. The most authentic point about the trio is their rear-mounted turrets, which define their core playstyle.
The all-time classic, IS, will become the foundation for the upcoming branch, so you can start hoarding the needed experience to explore the three newcomers.
Now back to the 705A. Finding proper analogues to this model would be a problem, but if you really want a relatively fair comparison, think of an IS-7 crossed with a Panzerkampfwagen VII.
You can easily tell that the 705A belongs to the Soviet line, just by looking at its shape. The hull somewhat resembles the IS-4, but, again, the feature to look at is the turret.
A tank this big must hide some impressive figures. Let’s take a closer look at what the Object has got.
Mouse over the points to display the info on the vehicle
This is one of the most distinguishable characteristics of the Object 705A. The 152-mm gun is truly intimidating, compared to other barrels among heavy tanks, and will allow you to hold your opponents in awe thanks to the 650 alpha. But only at short and medium distances (up to 250 meters). Remember this is a Soviet tank, and the gun’s accuracy will significantly reduce your hit chance from 300 meters or above.
ProTip: Come closer, aim true.
If you own the 705A, be prepared to reveal your position before you notice an enemy. The tank is too far from being considered a sharpshooter, so the mediocre 390 meters of view range is all it’s got. If you decide to snipe, think of your teammates waiting for your help at the frontline.
ProTip: Don’t waste your time in the bushes.
The tank’s defense is especially effective in head-on encounters. The Object 705A can withstand the majority of shells hitting its upper plate with its 350mm of effective armor. Not to mention the turret, which starts from 330mm and reaches the crazy heights of 580mm. If you've been flanked, there are side skirt plates that can absorb incoming damage, but there’s also a part of the armor that’s only 100mm thick and has to be considered.
Your lower plate won’t be your best friend, either, as it’s only 244mm; almost bare minimum to survive at Tier X. Hiding it behind an obstacle will be the best of options, but if you’re completely exposed, try to angle your tank in a way that both helps you avoid penetration from the front and doesn’t reveal the thin line of your side armor.
ProTip: Focus on heavies, mind mediums, avoid TDs.
The tank’s weight (around 100 tons) forgoes outstanding dynamics, as the Object can accelerate up to 40 km/h. In a massive drag race of tier-X heavies, it will come somewhere in the middle, and this is quite a reflection of the tanks’s dynamics in combat. With this max speed and 15 horsepower per ton, you can both reach a strategic point on a map swiftly enough and change your position in case there’s a breach on another flank.
ProTip: You can afford to make a wrong turn.
How to Play
There are three major factors surrounding the Object—turret, firepower, and accuracy—that will define the way you play this machine:
Go full contact. If there's a group attack, you’re the one to lead the charge. The angled, thick armor will absorb multiple hits, letting your teammates unleash their rounds.
Be streetwise. Urban or mixed maps are where the 705A can really stand out. The turret will let you hide the lower plate behind 380+ millimeters of steel. Hard to pierce that.
Avoid long-range gun fights. You have enough armor and speed to approach enemies and punish them from a comfortable distance.
4. Close-Range Freight Train: Introducing the Object 268 v.4
This is our final text in a series of introductory articles before Update 9.22 rolls out, and today we’re looking at the third major addition to the USSR Tech Tree.
The defensive nature of tank destroyers always persuaded tankers to act with caution when joining an attacking group, often opting for a safe spot somewhere near the friendly base. It’s the go-to approach, like with the Tortoise or T95, and it’s proven to be effective throughout the years.
To diversify the gameplay spectrum for this class, we’ll introduce a new line of Soviet tank destroyers that’ll make you rethink everything you thought you knew about TDs.
Starting from 13 February, 2018, USSR TDs will be capable of multiple battlefield roles, as the game introduces a new line of assault tank destroyers. The branch will start with the SU-100M1 at Tier VII, going through to the SU-101 at Tier VIII.
The next Tier will feature an important shift we’ve made to add balance to this line. The Object 263, which tops the current branch, will move a step down to Tier IX, leaving a free spot for the new king of the hill—Object 268 v.4.
Just like with the new mediums and heavies, all four vehicles will get rear-mounted guns, good speed countered by low manoeuvring skills, and robust frontal armour.
The Needed Shift
The 263 had initially been designed as a pure assault vehicle, but it had several issues stopping it from reaching its full potential. Its low-effective frontal armour made it shy away from close encounters, while an open cabin made it vulnerable to HE shells. Conversely, the vehicle has great penetration values, so players tried to use it from distance to hunt spotted enemies.
With the revised specs, the Object 263 will fit the new line, paving the way to the new top-tier TD.
Meeting the Comrade
The Object 268 v.4 encapsulates the whole line. All-in-all, it’s a true pack animal effective in group attacks, but can turn into an easy prey, if left on its own. We’ll try to cover the Object’s main traits below.
Mouse over the points to display the info on the vehicle
The gun is especially effective in open fights and isn’t best at long-range shootouts. The penetration values are as high as 293mm with AP and 360mm with APCR. Alpha damage is 650, putting the Object somewhere in the middle regarding pure firepower. Still, you’ll be able to bite off a decent chunk of hit points from an enemy. However, the 17-second reload time will make you find cover each time you’ve fired another round, so a “peek-a-boo” tactic suits the vehicle best.
Pro Tip: Make sure you’re covered during reloading
One of the strongest arguments for closing in on an enemy is the Object’s armour. The effective thickness of the upper plate exceeds 330mm, while the superstructure is around 340mm. But don’t get overly confident: there’s a 250mm thick hatch that can easily be penetrated by an accurate shot, so try not to expose it.
Mouse over the points to display the info on the vehicle's armor
The lower plate deserves a separate mention, as it consists of two parts. The upper one is basically a fortress wall, boasting 345mm of effective thickness. The lower part actually reminds us of what a common plate is like with 240mm. So, standing far enough from your rivals will make you an easy target, and it’s another argument for closing the distance, where vehicles with low gun depression values just won’t be able to reach it.
Pro Tip: Always go for close fights.
As mentioned, the Object can accelerate to 50 km/h swiftly, which is more of a medium tank’s characteristic. But low manoeuvrability turns the vehicle into a freight train, which moves fast with an extremely high turning radius. It means you will greatly depend on the support of your teammates, because enemy medium tanks can easily dance around you.
Pro Tip: Make sure you’re well covered by allies.
How to play
Go full ahead: Use the Object’s dynamics to your advantage whenever you get the chance. Your role is to lead the pack, guarded by your teammates.
Avoid duels: There’s a high chance you will fail in a one-on-one encounter, especially if your opponent is manoeuvrable enough.
Mind your weak spots: There aren’t many soft spots when it comes to frontal armour. However, an experienced tanker will surely embrace given opportunities. Play active, but smart.