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.
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.
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 scout vehicles include: 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, 113.
- Dreadnoughts: 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. Dreadnoughts are tanks such as: 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.