WoT PC Sandbox: The Balance Test

Written by Joseph Banks no comments
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A host of major changes to the balance and structure of WoT PC are heading into the Sandbox phase of testing soon. Here's the details...

Beginning on the 10/02/2020, and continuing for approximately 10 days, the latest round of Sandbox testing is a comprehensive one, comprising a whole host of alterations to the game that aim to address some of the balance issues that have arisen in the years since the game's release, and some quality of life improvements for new and veteran players alike. 

The Shell Ecosystem:

When World of Tanks first launched, there were three types of ammo in the game. "Standard" and "HE" shells could be bought for credits, while "Premium" rounds could only be bought for gold. These Premium rounds were, both at the time and in the years since launch, a flat upgrade over their "Standard" counterparts in nearly every situation aside from the cost of purchase, with the ability to purchase them for Silver being added some years after launch, and the ability to purchase them for Gold being removed after that. On other vehicles, however, the HE round may be the shell that holds no drawbacks; with damage values large enough to ensure consistent damage with very little counter on the part of the target player, and the potential to penetrate thin armour and utterly annihilate the target. 

The purpose of the revisions to the Shell Ecosystem is primarily to address this balance, ensuring that every ammunition type has a purpose for every vehicle in the game. 

Standard Shells:
Standard Shells should be the primary ammunition type for the majority of vehicles following the rework. They will have higher damage than Special Shells, with less penetration.

Special Shells:
Special Shells should be used when you can sacrifice your DPM in order to achieve a greater chance of being able to damage the enemy. Their penetration will be higher than Standard Shells but their individual damage will be lower. 

High Explosive:
HE shells will primarily be used by players when small amounts of confirmed damage is required. Examples include finishing off low-health or thinly-armoured targets, knocking off capture progress, or damaging external modules. However, they are going to be subject to a greater level of tweaking than the other types of shell.

With the new system, HE shells will become more effective on guns with a calibre less than 120mm, and less effective overall on guns with a calibre greater than 152mm. The mechanics for causing explosive damage will also be improved, making them more consistent for both the firer and the target. 
Tanks which are designed around utilising HE shells as their primary ammunition choice, such as the KV-2, or vehicles with the option to mount a howitzer (such as the Panzer IV or M4) will be adjusted in such a way that their average efficiency will remain consistent with their current state. However, nearly all High Explosive rounds will now be unable to penetrate any amount of armour with the exception of the KV-2 and its premium counterpart, and any HE rounds (or equivalents, such as HESH) that are characterised by their higher penetration will possess higher damage after the rebalance.

Artillery Rebalance:

In WoT, Artillery is an essential part of the game's ecosystem, however due to its radically different playstyle from the other classes of vehicle in the game, it cannot receive balance changes in the exact same way as the other classes. As such, changes will be introduced in Sandbox that aim to have a series of effects on Artillery in the wider scope of World of Tanks:
-Make Artillery gameplay more diverse
-Increase the impact of correct shell choice on player performance
-Reduce the overall amount of damage done by HE shells
-Decrease the total amount of Stun dealt
As such, Artillery will now have three types of shell:

Standard HE: 
Much like the current Artillery HE, it can stun enemies, and will remain largely unchanged
Special HE:
Special HE will possess increased damage and splash radius at the cost of lacking a stun capability.
AP or "Cumulative":
This shell type will feature high armour penetration and predictable, but low, damage, in an "all or nothing" system. Either the shell penetrates or it doesn't. 

Vehicle Survivability:

The HP of all vehicles will be increased from Tiers I to VI, reducing the effectiveness of certain types of vehicle and weapon, improving vehicle survivability, reducing the cost of minor errors and being matched up against higher tier vehicles.

Tech Tree Rework:

World of Tanks has steadily been adding vehicles to the various tech trees in the game since its initial launch, and as such, some of the oldest lines such as the Russians and Germans have become a bit of a mess to both navigate and understand, for new and veteran players alike. As such, a number of vehicles from all tiers are going to be moved to a new "Collection Vehicles" tab in the in-game shop, and the Tech Trees will be restructured to separate standard and Premium vehicles, and generally clean up their layout. 
Vehicles from Tier I to V that are removed from the Tech Tree are currently confirmed to be available post-Rework for credits, rather than the current Credits and XP, allowing collectors to pick up either vehicles of particular historical interest, or simply complete their collection without "wasting" XP that could otherwise be better used in progressing  up the Tech Tree. The manner in which players will be able to acquire Tier VI to X vehicles is currently unknown, however those already in your garage will be moved to a Promotional category, and will recieve their "Elite" status even if you have made zero progress on their individual modules. 

In-Game Statistics:

Due to the balance changes, the currents statistics associated with parameters such as Average Damage Dealt may possibly become irrelevant. However, lifetime statistics will not be lost after the release of the balance patch.
New statistics systems will also be added, introducing a new section with a fixed "current" period that will reset each time.

Refining Personal Missions:
Personal missions will be adjusted following these reworks, and may possibly require temporary de-activation in order to reset their requirements.

Adjusting In-Game Economy:
The game economy will be adjusted due to the impact the above balance changes will have to the game. The profitability of all battles will either remain consistent, or increase, making sure that players will earn just as much as they did before.

Testing Rewards:
In order to encourage testing during this period, a series of three missions will be available, rewarding the players who participate with premium times, Personal Reserves and premium consumables. 

 

As always, more information on the Sandbox testing period is available at the following link:
https://worldoftanks.eu/en/news/general-news/sandbox-february/?fbclid=IwAR3StYPl6s0g8FPWhZ6V71ueKNru-UzXJZUcojFxVE-vGM1ZChSHgqbzpWs

While a video explaining the changes can be found here:
 

 

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