Update 9.17 is now officially underway. With it comes a full line-up of new features and content: two branches of Swedish tanks, overhauled ricochet and overmatch mechanics, a few new HD vehicles, reworked minimaps, and other tidbits. While teams across the studio are diligently getting the game ready for the Supertest, we’re excited to shine a spotlight on each of the upcoming additions. Let’s get to it!
Coming off the production line in 9.17 is a branch of Swedish tank destroyers. All lightly armoured, and therefore swift and mobile (unlike the majority of tank destroyers currently in the game), these newcomers will be able to occupy favourable positions first, deal solid damage with their powerful guns, and stay hidden thanks to their low silhouettes.
As if that wasn’t enough, Tier VIII–X Swedish tanks have hydro-pneumatic suspensions and can adjust their gun traverse and gun elevation using their hulls. They bring some extra heat to the battlefield as they all feature two modes: travelling and firing.
Intrigued? Well, we were. So, we caught up with the Game Balance Team to get some extra details and offer you a sneak peek of the Swedish TDs:
Another, hybrid branch starts with the first armoured vehicles ever built by the Swedes, the light Strv fm/21, and introduces a variety of medium and heavy tanks. The three classic medium tanks revving their engines on Tiers II–IV (Strv m/38, Strv m/40L, and Lago) are dynamic universal soldiers with good elevation arcs, perfect for newer tankers honing their combat skills and tactics.
Then, the real fun begins with the Strv m/42 (Tier V). Featuring exceptionally good gun depression (-15°), this mobile vehicle is a genuine stealth master, capable of picking off enemies and staying completely hidden on uneven terrain.
The Tier VI Strv 74 makes up for its poor mobility and thin armor with a powerful gun. Thanks to the great gun depression (-15°) of Swedish tanks, it can take opponents out from afar and remain hidden. The prowling Tier VII is Leo, which boasts the best dynamics and the highest alpha damage of its tier, but lacks manoeuvrability and armour.
Sitting proudly at Tiers VIII–X, Swedish heavy tanks sport well-protected turrets, autoloader guns, and the nation’s trademark gun depression. These features inspire new tactics, gameplay, and clever use of the landscape. The Tier VIII Emil I is a tough nut to crack due to its thick frontal armour, decent mobility and speed and autoloading gun. Comparable to the AMX 50 120, the Tier IX Emil II outperforms its French cousin in terms of frontal turret armour, and has better gun depression. Crowning the branch is Kranvagn with its well-armoured turret, autoloader gun and excellent gun depression.
Designed to ensure enjoyable gameplay for tier VIII–X Swedish tank destroyers, the mechanics revision was shown to you during the 1st Common Test. You generated an impressive amount of feedback, providing us with plenty of in-game data and a number of reasonable suggestions on the new setup. This feedback allowed us to conduct a quick analysis, which showed that the reworked rules could influence the overall game immensely. They could lead to some deeper changes to vehicles strong and weak spots: a lot more ricochets where chances of them used to be zero.
Just like you, we wouldn’t want that. That’s why we’ll be taking some extra time to revise and fine-tune the mechanics thoroughly. We won’t release them until we’re sure they have been constructed intelligently and efficiently to reach our high standard of quality and without disrupting the gameplay fun.
Until we do, we’ll stick to the old, time-proven mechanic for all vehicles including the tier VIII–X Swedish tank destroyers.
Hot on the tracks of the arrival of Swedish tanks comes a change to how ricochets function within the overmatch mechanic. Replacing the current system will be a single, simpler mechanic that takes into account both the impact angle and the shell's calibre. This will boost the combat effectiveness of tanks with steeply sloped armour, including Swedish tank destroyers.
With the impact angle included in the equation, overmatch will result in more normalisation and a greater ricochet angle. The latter will depend on the calibre/nominal armour thickness ratio. Formulae aside, you’ll be able to bounce high calibre shells with thin but steeply sloped armour if the impact angle is large, and you'll also be able to penetrate well-armoured vehicles with shells that aren’t thrice as wide as the armour's thickness if they strike the armour at a small angle of impact.
The work on game balance is in full swing. With the salvo of tweaks coming in 9.17, we’ll improve combat parameters of significantly underperforming Premium tanks. Thanks for being vocal about them! Your feedback (combined with battle stats) was instrumental in fine-tuning their characteristics.
We’re working on sound with a few improvements:
Another seven minimaps are getting remastered visuals: Karelia, Pilsen, Sand River, Mountain Pass, Tundra, Windstorm, Winter Himmelsdorf. Get a first look in the gallery below: