[Sandbox] The Next Step: Further Testing for HE Shells


As the ongoing revisions to ammo in World of Tanks continue to be a hot topic in the community, we've decided to share some additional insight into the recent HE shell mechanics tests.

During the first stages of Sandbox testing, we collected data for HE shells with different efficiency settings, from the highest to the lowest possible values. On October 25, a micropatch was deployed to test the updated mechanics of averaged HE shells settings and values, so we could compare them to previous Sandbox iterations. This presented a middle ground between the two extremes of earlier testing iterations.

Here is what was changed:

  1. Increased HE shell damage by 40% over the first iteration of testing. After the first iteration of testing we bumped up damage by 75% for HE shells and the result was that they were excessively efficient. So damage was scaled back a bit from those high values. 
  2. Reduced splash damage to armor by 20% as compared to the second testing iteration.
  3. Reduced armor spalling damage by approximately 30-35%
  4. Reduced damage within the burst radius. In the current iteration, the damage value on the edge of splash was 0.2 (compared to 0.1 in the first and 0.5 in the second iteration). In addition, we changed the dependency of damage drop-off from distance to explosion — the damage drop-off became more balanced with respect to the new extreme value.
  5. Removed the improved HE shells for USA light tanks and Japanese heavy tanks. This is not a balance measure and we are not trying to remove this type of shells forever. Rather, within the testing, we were adjusting the efficiency of standard HE shells. Based on those adjustments we are planning to change the improved HE shells. During prior testing, improved HE shells of these vehicles were used excessively.

Damage Per Shot Values

We continue to search for the best suitable ratio of damage caused by HE shells, the value of their situational use in battle, and the extent of their use in battle. We used HE shells with low damage during the first tests and used HE shells with considerably higher damage during the second test. This resulted in their extensive use in battle. We think that HE shells demonstrated too much damage during the second testing iteration, so we're considering it the threshold value and will not test higher values.

Currently, we're working on a middle-ground solution based on these previous iterations.

The Mechanics of Causing Damage

This presented a precise mechanics change that works in the same way as reduction of damage per shot: we corrected causing damage with HE shells for vehicles with different armor. Changes in splash damage will affect all vehicles but will be most noticeable to vehicles with weak armor. The mechanics of causing damage with armor spalling will be also applied to all vehicles but will have the strongest effect on medium and heavy tanks. Changes to the distribution of damage within the shell burst radius are also planned — with the introduction of the new settings, the external modules will be damaged in the areas that are closer to the shell burst point. This will reduce the number of cases when firing at a turret might result in damaging tracks.

Lessons from Testing

Thanks to your feedback and data, we made sure that the mechanics work without technical issues. We have been detected and fixed several bugs.

Now, the result of firing an HE shell has become more predictable and firing at vulnerable spots of vehicles provides a more predictable result. Players should now have an idea of the approximate amount of potential damage when firing at the specific spot and this amount of damage will be predictably higher when firing at a vulnerable spot on a vehicle. This means that we have to determine the proper values for HE shells.

In addition, your feedback suggested that a part or parts of a vehicle being susceptible to HE shells is important for players. We'll take this into account during the process of development of separate and individual changes to vehicles.

Looking Ahead

We encourage all players to join Sandbox tests. In the near future, we will continue collecting data and release additional changes to HE shells settings and mechanics for causing damage. Each change will approach the HE shells settings to their final values. Consequently, the gameplay for HE shells will gradually become closer to the one we are expecting on live servers. Player feedback is important to us.

By collecting data and your feedback on the changes, we will be able to take the next step towards our goal — the complete rework of HE shell mechanics. Your feedback is a key aspect of making decisions on future changes.

Stay tuned for more information on the next developments!