With the Sandbox phase of the New Balance tests wrapped up, Wargaming gives us the low-down on the feedback given by the community, and how they'll act on it...
Firstly, the most asked questions about the New Balance, and what its intended and actually effect will be on the game.
Shell and HP Pool Rebalance:
-How will this affect gameplay?
-Will the vehicles have an even harder time playing in the bottom tier position? Will Tier VIII vehicles fight against Tier X opponents with the same level of performance?
-Which vehicles will become more or less relevant in the new system?
-What will happen to vehicles that have low penetration values for standard shells already?
-How will this affect Premium vehicles?
"We understand and share your concerns about these issues. The main purpose was to check how increasing the vehicle's lifetime in battle and enhancing the role of armour may affect game balance, before introducing any changes to specific vehicles. Thanks to the Sandbox, we now have the necessary data to keep making progress with our research and development.
Changes to HE Shells:
"You quite rightly noted that the new mechanics of causing damage with HE shells did not become more understandable and predictable, which means that the implementation of this idea did not work as intended. Also, it was a mistake to remove penetration from the parameters of HE shells. We wanted to rework not only the mechanics of causing damage with HE shells, but also specific parameters of this shell type."
"Our goal when testing artillery was to add more diversity to gameplay and decrease the overall duration of the stun effect. The tested SPG rework only makes sense in conjunction with the wider shell rework. Further testing in regards to SPGs will be continued once a new solution for shell rebalancing has been designed. However, one thing can be said for sure; armour piercing shells [for artillery] turned out to be ineffective and undesirable in the shell paradigm currently tested on Sandbox.
"It is already clear that the new paradigm of shells and the reworked HP pool of vehicles, together with the mechanical changes to HE and SPGs, require further improvements and are not ready for release."
Next, the "Confirmed Hypotheses"
Tech Tree Changes and Collector's Vehicles:
"The tech tree interface has become more user friendly and transparent. There is now a universal layout for vehicle types inside the Tech Tree. You don't have to start researching a branch from low-tier vehicles, whcih will spare the time,experience, and effort of players, especially those mainly interested in the high tiers.
Your concerns were mainly related to the vehicles moved from the Tech Tree to the Collector's Vehicles section of the in-game Store, and the assumption that they would disappear for good. However, we'd like to assure you this will not happen. If these changes go to the main versions, all vehicles moved from the Tech Tree, including tiers VI to X, will be accessible and available for purchasing with credits. There is no need to rush to research those vehicles as you will be able to buy them any time after this change is implemented."
Durability Increase for Low-Tiers:
"On the Sandbox server, we additionally increased the HP of all Tier I to VI vehicles, which made the power progression through the tiers more smooth and consistent. The results fully justified our expectations. Your feedback showed that the cost of minor errors in battles was reduced, and low-tier vehicles now survive for longer. The average duration of battles, and overall comfort in playing these vehicles, both increased. Note, however, that we will finalise the exact HP values after we have fully analysed the data from this test.
Overall, the New Balance will not be released in the same manner that we saw it on the Sandbox server, in particular the shell rebalance and artillery changes. However, WG will be proceeding with the HP increase for low tier vehicles, the Tech Tree rework, and the implementation of collectors vehicles, all of which we shall see in more detail soon. Those features that will not be implemented will "not be released anytime soon", and will likely undergo additional internal and Sandbox testing before we see even a halfway finished version. All in all, this Sandbox appears to have been very successful from both the point of view of the devs and the community, bringing meaningful changes to the game which will improve the quality of life for players.
As always, more information can be found at the following link: