Anton Pankov & Murazor Q&A

Thanks Vlad.

– Why is the stabilization on Sandbox nerfed, although the dispersion inside the aim circle was increased already?
Murazor: Not all tanks have their stabilization nerfed, some vehicles got it buffed, even. The stabilization is made so that a player can hit the silhouette on close distances without problems. I can’t say that it’s ideal right now but that’s why we collect statistics. Also, all heavy tanks got their maneuverability nerfed so heavies can be easily circled now – these are all parts of the new role system and balance.

– Do you plan to add new people to Sandbox?
Pankov: Of course, we try to invite new people each week, from all types – not only ones with representative stats. It’s summer now and quite a few who were invited are not playing, but we believe that interest in Sandbox will be high, since it depends on the palyers how it all will work out.

– Artillery has higher precision now, isn’t this unnecessary?
Murazor:Well, artillery now can’t one-shot anyone, thus the decision was made to buff precision, so they could predictably hit. Stun is a new mechanic and is not completely balanced yet. The possibility to reduce stun duration and severity is given. Yes, it’s annoying, but you still can move forward and be sure not to be killed in one click. Another feature we will test is the prohibition or limitation for artillery to play in platoons.

– What about bonus for tanking?
Pankov: It’s being done slowly. The moment we were ready to release it, it was absolutely unreal, gave too high of a bonus, and we just couldn’t do it right. The same is with bonus from artillery assist – these are both mechanics with rewards without doing damage.

– Why does the T110E3 have 120mm?
Murazor: Because we have too many tanks with high alpha. There shouldn’t be superarmor and superalpha, but I don’t like the T110E3, it’ll be buffed again a bit. One should remember that with the new balance, there won’t be many tier 10’s in one battle, and how would you fight a tier 10 with excellent armor in a tier 8?

– Are there any interesting plans regarding maps?
Pankov: A part of problematic maps will be added to Sandbox, but for now we focus on tank’s characteristics, later on there will be other changes.
Murazor: A part of problems with maps will solve itself with the introduction of the new balance, since the new role model and artillery changes will cause players to behave differently on old maps.

– Is stun the only feature which artillery will have?
Murazor: Yes, there won’t be smoke or illumination rounds. We discussed this often and it won’t come because, while cybersport guys would be able to master these, random guys won’t. There would be smokes flying on allies or illuminations placed wrong.

– Why is it forbidden to stream Sandbox?
Pankov: We are not ready to allow streaming yet, since we’re not ready to display that everything is all right and working as intended. The changes are very rough and could scare many players who are not familiar with Sandbox. This is a very important project and there will be official as well as unofficial videos in the future.

– Arty is now dealing much damage to allies due to huge splash. Will this be considered?
Damage to allies by arty will be punished, no one can shoot a bunch of allies to stun one player. But this system is being developed. If arty is marking that it will shoot a certain spot and an ally drove there afterwards, penalties would be unfair.

– I read that balance is done for tier 10’s, and then go down, but there were opinions that tier 6 and lower will not change – is that so?
Murazor: It’s not true that it won’t be changed at all, but there will be less changes on lower tiers. Role models are more about higher tiers. There will be low tier changes, so it will be more comfortable to play these.

– Tier 8 platoons always being at the bottom of the list – do you know about this problem?
Pankov: Yes, we know, this is because the balancer (TN: matchmaker) tries to match platoons with platoons and if it doesn’t find a tier 8 platoon, it will search for tier 9 and 10. We will try to fix this in the new MM with the 30/30/30 principle, where there are 30% low-tier, 30% mid-tier and 30% high-tier.

– Are there plans to change +-25%?
Pankov: We consider this to be okay. There aren’t serious problems even in cybersports with this.

– How long will you test?
Pankov: This activity is new and risky for us. The team will work until the players playing in Sandbox will say that the game became better, that they like the vehicles more. But if it happens that we will test and test and the players will say in the end that the balance on the main server is okay and nothing has to be changed, we won’t release balance 2.0. But we hope that this won’t happen.

– Forbidden mods, “cheats” – what about them?
Pankov: We banned a significant amout of people with forbidden aim mods before the football event. We found a method to identify and punish them and will continue to do so in the future. We’re working on a tool that will detect 100% of the forbidden mods.

– Are there plans to do something about the Global Map to attract more people?
Pankov: Yes, there are plans, but for now the priority are randoms and the balance in random.

– Do you look at your competitors?
Pankov: We’re considering them colleagues, not competitors. We’re closely watching the development of their projects, but taking something from there or simply copying would be unfair and not right.

– Personal missions?
Pankov: We know that people want personal missions, we’re thinking how to make them distinct from the current ones (no plans to disable the current ones) and how to make it so that more people can complete them.

– Light tanks are not comfortable to play right now, what are the plans here, aside dynamics and viewrange?
Murazor: The role of scouts will be returned, that’s clear, but the problem right now is that LTs are not doing damage because it’s hard to play in the new balance with tier 9’s and 10’s. I can’t promise anything right now, we’ve tested different variants, and nobody knows what will come in the end.

– Will the MacBook client be fixed?
Pankov: This is important for us, we encountered severe problems after 9.15 release. We’re thinking about doing an own client for Mac instead of using an aside version.

– Will the balance 2.0 be augmented with new perks?
Murazor: It will be but is in concept phase for now.
Pankov: The topic of perks was raised many times, but we want to finish balance first, and then the according perks.

– What about gold ammo?
Murazor: We want to reduce its toxicity. We aim to increase the tank’s survivability time, and there are many options which will be tested in Sandbox.

– Regarding setups and balance. Will you manually adjust setups so one team doesn’t have 7 TD’s and the other has none?
Murazor: The MM is currently being worked on. Ideally, it will consider all such problems. But one thing is for sure – the MM will balance equal numbers of 10’s, 9’s and 8’s.

– Are the devs planning to remove the “15m from the bush” feature?
Pankov: We’re currently satisfied with this mechanic. Whe we reach for more detailed balance, we’ll look how this parameter performs within the new rules.

– Aren’t you afraid that players will become confused by the new role models?
Pankov: Yes. We’ll work on it so it is as understandable as possible: information in the client etc. We’ll switch to the role model gradually, so the players will be comfortable with it. The role model is additional information for the player about which strong and weak points his tank has, since classes are a wide historical notion, and heavy tanks sometimes play as mediums, and mediums as heavies.

– Why are you afraid of +-1 balance, like in Blitz?
Pankov: We’re not quite afraid but think it wouldn’t work out now. We’re doing balance for +-2 and do not want to introduce artificial limitations since then tier 10’s would play only against tier 10’s, but now even a tier 8 can cause them problems. It isn’t completely hopeless when you’re in a tier 8 fighting a tier 10. And fighting in +-1 would be kinda boring.