Sandbox #2 Test Results and Phase 3 Preview

Phase 2 ends Feb. 20, and we are excited to share the preliminary results with you. But first, we’d like to thank you for all the great, constructive feedback! So far, this year’s Sandbox has been equal parts tough, exciting, and ultimately rewarding. We’ve managed a lot in the past four weeks, and we couldn’t have done that if it weren’t for your input.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the test results.

Phase 1

Accuracy revision was implemented to reduce the number of “unbelievable” shots (hitting weak spots without taking full aim, or shots on the move or at great distances) while keeping accuracy with full aim intact. And, coupled with other changes, it worked. The values of damage dealt decreased for the majority of vehicles: medium tanks caused 20–25% less damage than on live servers, heavies and most TDs—10–15% less. However, it also reduced the accuracy for those who take full aim, when shooting. Indeed, there are fewer instances of “unbelievable” shots now, but it was achieved at too high a price. That’s why we won’t implement this change into the game. The stats and feedback we collected will be used to develop a new solution. We already have several alternative concepts on the drawing board, but it will take some time before we introduce them for you to test.

When testing the damage falloff, we applied the same mechanic to all vehicles. The results show that it won’t work the way we want it to (i.e. encourage heavies to shorten the combat distance), unless we significantly rebalance HEAT shells. It’s a major decision that would affect the overall gameplay and most likely come with balance tweaks to other shell types as well. And once we rebalance all of them, it might fix the problem without systemic changes to damage falloff. We will return to it after thorough calculations and modeling. As for way in which we introduced and tested penetration loss over distance—it won’t make its way into the game.

We are still reviewing loads of data and feedback on alpha damage revision. Unlike with other features, here we are comparing player behaviour on all vehicles that went through changes, which takes a lot of time. So, these are just some preliminary results. The idea of scaling 120 mm gun damage to the damage rating of 122 mm guns resonated with testers and showed good results. We’ll return to further refining it after we analyze all data. If we see that it only works for select vehicles, we might increase alpha damage for those few, while leaving the rest unchanged. Please note that these changes won’t happen any time soon. We need to ensure the decision is well thought out and thoroughly tested before we proceed. As for the changes to high-caliber gun damage per shot, it had little effect on the JagdPz. E 100’s combat efficiency and behavior. However, British TDs, which primarily deal damage with HESH shells, suffered, becoming unbalanced. We’ll keep on working on a solution for the whole pack of vehicles that, historically, had very large calibers, but not within this iteration.

Phase 2

The stun mechanic seemed to click with plenty of players, and we are really motivated to keep refining it. Following feedback from the 1st week, we tweaked its initial parameters, the guaranteed stun duration and the stun effect on accuracy, to make heavy and super-heavy tanks a bit more susceptible to the stun effect. As for the lighter vehicles, things will stay the same for them. Although it will take us some time to process the stats, it’s already clear that this mechanic makes matches feel fairer. In the following weeks, we’ll continue ironing out the stun mechanic on an expanded vehicle roster (Tiers VIII–X in the Sandbox, Tiers V–VII during a Supertest).

We saw from your comments that new UI elements (target area marking for friendly vehicles, stun indicators, and alternative aim) proved instrumental in coordinating SPG actions with teammates. They made it easier to evaluate the ever-changing combat situation and quickly adjust your battle plan. We’ll keep on monitoring your feedback and polishing UI additions in the weeks to come.

Multi-use consumables earned a “thumbs up” from the Sandbox community, too. You reported that they made your gaming experience more enjoyable, and battle stats only reaffirm their positive effect. The new consumables mechanic boosted battle dynamics, especially during the middle and last minutes (which means more fun!), while your spending per battle stayed the same. We’re keeping them in for the 3rd phase.

Finally, the limit of no more than 3 arties per side added to the overall experience as well. Just as we’d hoped, this rebalance facilitates gameplay variety: the imminent threat of getting hit by an arty shell went down, forcing more active engagements. SPGs themselves benefit from it, too. They no longer have to compete with each other for the best target.

The limit we set for arty resulted in a longer queueing time for many of you. However, it was unavoidable because without it, the experience wouldn’t have been representative of live servers. We’re grateful to those dedicated players who spent a lot of time queuing with arty to test them out.

What’s next?

Suggested changes to accuracy, penetration falloff, and alpha damage didn’t work as intended. We’ll take some time to iterate on them internally. As for arty, we’ll pick up where we left off in the 3rd phase, which begins Feb. 27, this time with a larger selection of vehicles (Tiers VIII–X). At the same time, we’ll fine-tune these new elements improvements for Tier V–VII SPGs as part of a Supertest.

The new mechanics worked well on Tier X. Now, we’re inviting you to playtest stun, refined UI, and multi-use consumables on a larger scale. Our goal here is to check how recent adjustments affect Tier VIII and IX gameplay, and make further tweaks (if necessary). We’ll do this while keeping the two-way dialogue between you and the dev team. Also, we’ll add Tier IX–X light tanks that some of you have already played during the Supertest.

We’ll have a detailed breakdown on the 3rd phase coming your way in the very near future. Be sure to stay tuned.

Source: Sandbox blog

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32 thoughts on “Sandbox #2 Test Results and Phase 3 Preview

    1. They wont listen, they will keep on messing with stupid stuff, albeit they wont implement those silly stuff now, but in the future who knows.

      Like

    2. Maybe because the suggestions can be summed up as “nerf/remove TDs and artillery, nerf HT armor” until the game becomes CS with tanks.

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    1. “Heavy tank players complained their armour didn’t work when people press the 2 key and fire heat HEAT. We tried to fix this by nerfing AP into the ground so everyone would be forced to only use HEAT, but this didn’t solve the problem.”

      No
      Fucking
      Shit

      Like

    1. they all have j*w brains, but they wont make money with these changes for now. But in the future who knows.

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  1. “…unless we significantly rebalance HEAT shells.”

    Hey, they finally acknowledged the elephant in the room!

    Glad the arty rework is moving forward. They’ll never remove it, so this works for me.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Things like this restore my faith in WG’s balance department. Then again shit like IS-3A, Skorpion, M4 49, T26E5 and Obj252U scream “this game is dying and we’re gonna milk it until it dies”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Things like this restore my faith in WG’s balance department.”

      This is like looking at some guy with a bag of fireworks, who is testing if it would help him run faster if he lit them up and shove up his ass, but giving up eventually because it hurts too much to put them in.

      Now, would you say you have a faith in him restored? Because I’d say he’s fucking retarded.

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    2. I’d actually want some of the biggest content creators and streamers to openly talk about patriot, liberte, skorpion and other premium op shits and call out wg for being too greedy but they won’t bite the hand that is feeding them.

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      1. +1000

        P2W they are introducing will finish off the game super-fast.

        And the only people who might not mind the new, OP premium tanks are rich, spoiled Westerners, that will just buy whatever OP shit FOTM premium WG comes out with.

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        1. I feel offended by this, haha.

          I can easily afford prems, so I bought the Skorpion, Liberte and Patriot. I like the Skorpion, because that one relies on skill. No armor, no camo, just a good gun on tracks.

          The Liberté and Patriot make me play like an idiot. When top tier, you feel quite invincible. You are literally forcing people to shoot gold. I only play them to make money or when I’m in a streak of bad luck/RNG, but there isn’t a lot of fun in playing them. I feel a bit guilty for awarding WG for this kind of P2W shit.

          I’d rather play the Löwe. The armor works, if you take the time to master it’s angling. Good pen, not devastating DPM and average mobility. It’s very powerfull, but it depends on skill and that’s fine.

          I’m not going to buy that Object 252U. Fucking idiotproof tank. It’s only there to give tomato’s the feeling that they might be able to contribute to their team without learning some skills.

          But maybe it’s the introduction for a new meta. Look at the Panther 8.8. It’s way better then the current Panther II, but when 9.17.1 comes, the Panther II will outclass his premium brother again. Maybe they will buff all the regular tanks to keep the powercreep going.

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        1. He is the only streamer/youtuber that isn’t on the paylist of WG, together with Circon and Orzanel. QB makes nice content, but being critical about WG will cost him money in the long term. AgingJedi tries to be a bit critical, but doesn’t dare to be completely honest if you ask me.

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      2. Do you even watch any of the big streamers/YT’ers?
        Pretty much all of them went on about how the Liberté, Patriot and Skorpion are OP…

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        1. Dude,theres a difference saying “fuck you WG,you are ruining this game with your OP premium power-creeped shits”, and saying some politically-correct,mild bullshit like QB does………..

          Liked by 1 person

      1. Videogames ARE business. They don’t simply pop out of nowhere. They’re not some mushrooms, you know. They need to be financed and produced.

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    3. Game isn’t dying, were still buying and this is a business not a charity for everyones benefit. I think its going well. Ok not everything is awesome like killing arty outright…but its better and I still play plenty. Beats golf and I dont have to buy a Lexus nir join the Masons…

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    1. And in the meantime can WG stop prem spamming, or only bring prems for lines that doesn’t have crew trainers. We don’t need 5+ perms for Ruskie HTs or German TDs.

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  3. Oh my….the accuracy changes didn’t work. What a surprise.

    I wonder why they keep wasting time with these dumb changes which obviously won’t work. They just gotta do one thing and one thing alone: Nerf the hell out of artillery.
    After the number of SPGs drops to nearly 0, they can start thinking of rebalancing the game and opening up the maps.

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  4. Heat is problematic for vehicles which rely on armor to do their job?You dont say WG………….
    Really now WG,you encouraged stat-whores to go full prem ammo cuz obviously bouncing 1/8 shots is bad for their WN8,you encouraged bad players to go full prem ammo cuz who the fuck has time to learn weakspots or learn how to flank,you encouraged insecure kiddos to go full prem ammo cuz rerolling and pretending to be purple after 4k battles wouldnt be possible else,and at the same time you encouraged players to grind Heavy tank lines with great armor values and impressive thicknesses,for their armor only to melt away just by pressing “2” key.Ofc you didnt realize that this brings dissapointment,frustration and toxicity in the game.
    Its a great day today,cuz for the first time after 5 years playing this game,you aknowledge that problem officially,and i hope you gonna do something about it.

    Like

  5. We said in the Sandbox 1 & 2 go ahead WG and do your dumbed down retarded Penetration and Damage mechanics, and make it a brawling only game if you dare?
    and ~ we likely most players will stop playing or worse maybe uninstall and play other games instead

    they listened!
    So all Sandbox new dumber ideas are rejected and so no changes (surprise!

    what a waste of time WG, seriously like why?

    however Sandbox SPG for Artillery was a success in general

    most players were positive (in general) Stun was a little long for Mediums but stun is 100% better than the current meta meme of Arty 1 shots a T10 tank right back to the garage from outer space with a lazy casual click

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  6. Called it.
    I can’t wait until the next ‘brilliant’ Sandbox idea the players will abslutely hate for obvious reasons, yet WG will think is a good idea.

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  7. I’m as cynical as the next guy but I do think WG with the early run of series 9 patches became more acutely aware of the law of unintended consequences and didn’t want to screw things up even more. This is not to mention that the things that would make a purple unicorn happy are not the same things that would make a casual player happy. Glad AW survived long enough to be a goad to our Belorussian overlords!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m actually surprised that WG realized that nerfing the accuracy yet again would be a huge mistake.

    And regarding those “unbelievable shots”, everyone and their mother are boasting about that time when they managed to snapshot with their KV-2, from the move, an ELC that was speeding 300 meters away. But they’re rather less vocal about all those times that they missed a fully aimed shot to the side of a stationery O-I 50 meters away.

    Like

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