Sandbox is a limited-access server for testing new balance prototypes in World of Tanks. With its help, we plan to test variants of new balance, and select the most effective implementation that meets all specified requirements and is approved by the game community. The primary goal is adjusting the balance for top-Tier vehicles. Only Tier X vehicles will be tested during the first iterations. Next, the approved solutions will be applied to vehicles of lower Tiers.
The list of available tanks:
Ru251, T49, Т-54 ltwt., Bat.-Châtillon 155 58, G.W. E 100, Conqueror Gun Carriage, T92, Object 261, 121, 113, TVP T 50/51, AMX 30 B, Bat.-Châtillon 25 t, AMX 50 B, E 100, Leopard 1, Grille 15, Jagdpanzer E 100, E 50 Ausf. M, Maus, STB-1, Type 5 Heavy, T110E4, T110E3, T110E5, M48A1, T57 Heavy Tank, FV4005 Stage II, FV215b (183), Centurion Action X, IS-7, Object 140, Object 268, IS-4, Т-62A, Object 430.
New Vehicle Balance Goals
- Increase the importance of armour in the game. Currently, armour is significantly less important than speed and firepower. We would like to make armour more relevant in battle.
- Reduce the cost of mistakes made by players in battle. We are going to encourage players to fight actively in battle. Increasing the role of armour will allow players to fight, without being afraid of going to the Garage right after being spotted, as to penetrate the tank from a distance will be much harder.
- Decrease the risk of being focused from afar. Increased armour importance should increase player survivability at far distances, even when focused by several enemies. Covering directions and focusing spotted vehicles will become less effective, because it’ll be harder to penetrate armour at long distances.
- Decrease combat distance. Long-range clashes should not be the ultimate way to win battles for the majority of vehicles. Vehicles should perform certain roles: shielding allies, soaking fire, pushing through the defence, etc.
- Increase the gameplay variety. Roles for different types of vehicles should be distinguishable and performing them should make the battles more diverse. When choosing a different class of vehicles, you should also be choosing a new distinct style of gameplay.
- Improved gameplay experience. The changes to armour penetration at a distance will encourage players to put in more effort if victory is to be achieved.
First Iteration: Main Changes
Some of the main game mechanics will be changed on the Sandbox server, in order to achieve the balance goals listed above.
Distribution of hits within the aiming circle
The goal is to decrease the effective firing distance, in order to increase vehicle survivability when being focused from far distances. Players will now have to aim their shots more carefully. The distribution comparison between Update 9.15 and the Sandbox is as follows:
Decrease in armour piercing capacity at long distances
Armour-piercing capacity decreases more significantly depending on the distance, in order to increase the importance of armour in the game. Shooting from afar will become less effective – thus, players will be encouraged to engage in close-range combat. They will have to fight more actively and manoeuvre more in order to cause damage to enemy vehicles.
According to this feature, the chance of penetrating a vehicle frontally is decreased at far distances. Thus, heavy-armoured vehicles will be able to battle through the flanks.
Penetration reduction values over a distance, for the Sandbox are as follows. The initial distance of reduction is also specified:
Reworked damage caused by shells
Initially, there were few gun types in the game, but over time, many high-calibre guns have been introduced. Therefore, the guns should be reworked. Within the Sandbox tests, it is planned to test the new system of distributing damage per shot for different guns. The goal of the new system is to decrease the risk of being destroyed with one shot and increase the importance of the amount of damage a gun can cause per minute.
Changed manoeuvrability of vehicles
Since it is planned to increase the survivability/ time spent in battle, fast vehicles featuring poor armour will also be improved. It was decided to determine the relation between suspension speed and turret traverse speed for each vehicle type within the class and role systems. As a result, fast vehicles will be able to use different manoeuvres to outflank slow, heavy-armoured vehicles.
Role models for different types of vehicles
Currently, all vehicle types can perform different roles. I.e., vehicles of each type (except for SPGs and some light tanks) can perform multiple roles effectively. Thus, players use similar tactics when driving different types of vehicles, which makes the gameplay monotonous. The improvements listed below are supposed to diversify the vehicles in the game, according to their roles, and depending on the functions they perform. Seven in-game archetype roles have been distinguished on the basis of expert evaluation. These are the in-game roles that each vehicle should perform:
In general, if we talk about system changes, general reductions to manoeuvrability and View Range changes stand out, which contributes to role-based gameplay.
On the Sandbox, the role of SPGs will be changed from damage dealers to support vehicles. In addition, SPGs will receive some new features:
- Explosive blast – A new feature for SPGs. Explosive blast occurs together with splash effects after the shell explosion. The tanks that are in the radius of this explosive blast temporary have their characteristics worsened. The damage caused to the battered tanks is counted as damaged caused with your help.
- Allied SPGs target area marking: displaying approximate areas allied SPGs are aimed at. If the SPG is not aiming at any particular vehicle, pressing the Requesting fire/ Attacking button (the T button by default) will display the special marker. Otherwise, the standard notification of attacking an enemy vehicle is displayed. The marker will be displayed in the corresponding area on the minimap and in 3D view. Besides, the notification of the SPG status (loading/ready to fire) is displayed. This feature should help players to coordinate actions.
- Alternative aiming for SPGs. A new aim mode changes the aiming display for SPGs and makes aiming more convenient for players, which is similar to sniper mode.
Changes will be made to HE shells as well: the amount of damage caused with this type of shell will be decreased in most cases, but the dispersal of HE shell fragments (the radius of splash) will be increased. In short, SPGs will be dealing less damage to single targets, but their attacks will have a better chance of affecting multiple targets at once.