Update 1.1 is around the corner and it’s bringing a whole heap of new and improved maps. This article will take you from the heart of Wargaming’s history to the Polish battlefields of Studzianki and explain what to expect with these fresh locales. We’ll also dive into all the details of the improvements to older maps, so let’s get started!
Minsk occupies a special place in our hearts—it’s where it all started for World of Tanks. A city with a vast heritage and wonderful people, it will finally take its place in the list of maps in World of Tanks. The whole team is very excited as it nears full release; after all, we’ve been planning to pay homage to the city for years.
The first playable prototype was created around the same time we introduced Kharkov and Stalingrad, but didn’t make it past this stage. We learned an important lesson before resuming work on the map: while historical accuracy might be appealing, it doesn’t always provide an enjoyable experience (unless you’re looking for a virtual tour rather than a battle, of course). That’s why we’re designing the map around real locations (Victory Square, the State Circus, Gorky Park, etc.) while also changing its general layout to keep the gameplay exciting and rewarding.
This urban map recreates the central part of Minsk in the beginning of the 1970s. Though we changed some details for the sake of gameplay, the Plošča Pieramohi (Victory Square) and the circus building, for example, are very realistic. Other houses and landmarks are also recognizable for those who have visited Minsk or currently live there.
The map has three gameplay zones.
- Columns 1–2: The Lenin Avenue / Kupala Street intersection is good for mobile vehicles. Take firing positions quickly or try to flank the opposing side.
- Columns 3–7: The zone formed by Gorky Park and the Svislach river embankment is covered in trees and bushes and has several mounds. It’s a tricky place: enemies can hit you from almost every direction, but playing wisely will let you support allies on the flanks or encroach on your opponents undetected.
- Columns 8–0: Dense building blocks near the Plošča Pieramohi protect you from artillery fire, and favor well-armored vehicles and close-to-mid-range fighting. You can also try to snipe—if you’re bold enough to roll out on straight and broad streets.
Studzianki was the location of a weeklong battle between the invading German forces and the native Polish 1st Armoured Brigade and Soviet 8th Army on the Eastern Front. For the allied forces, it was a resounding success and was later commemorated in 1969, becoming Studzianki Pancerne (Armoured Studzianki).
The map features large fields, lots of vegetation, and small village houses centered around a tall Catholic church. A small brick factory sits right in the middle of this map.
There are three gameplay zones on the map.
- Rows A-C: The brick factory is for those driving vehicles with thick hides. It’s protected from tank destroyer fire but you may feel shells coming from other parts of the map. Control the factory to help your allies extend their attacks on neighboring routes or to defend, should you lose the flanks. The dried riverbed splitting the factory is a place of interest for fast light tanks and for vehicles with good gun depression: here you can secure a flank promptly.
- Rows D-F: The central part of the map can be used to spot enemies at the beginning of the battle. It suits light tanks and fast mediums. A ditch goes from the factory to the village; use it to spot the opponents or to flank them when they least expect it. The field is surrounded by hills with some concealing shrubbery offering nice striking positions and a safe passage to the village.
- Rows G-K: The village is a place for every vehicle class: lots of cover (both destructible and indestructible), bushes, and shoot-throughs. Capture it to assist your teammates at the factory or to set up a final assault on the enemy base.
Major Changes to Pilsen
Pilsen felt too small and gave little in terms of gameplay to turretless TDs and thinly armored vehicles. Medium tanks kept away from the center of the east flank since it offered no cover from arty shells. The west flank had way too many shoot-through zones, which prevented both teams from pushing/defending certain directions and turned battles into a fine frenzy. Once you entered this area, you were effectively stuck there with no way to retreat or advance. Finally, the central area promoted camping since the impassable big hangar there was a death trap for anyone reckless enough to move past it.
Addressing your feedback, we enlarged the map to 1×1 km, added cover spots and increased the distance between hangars on the left flank, removed some of the buildings in no-man’s land in the center, and completely redesigned the eastern (right) flank.
These changes should foster a more versatile experience, while also making the map friendly for all vehicle classes.
Changes to Current Maps
To correct imbalances on the map, the following changes were made:
Strengthened positions for the top team:
A moderate rebalance in favor of the south-spawning team.
One of the reasons for this is the dominance of the north-spawning team on the left flank, based on the information gathered through heat maps and observations in battle. The big island is closer to the north team, giving them an advantage in battle in the majority of cases.
After this, if the south team doesn’t manage to defend the small island, the northerners go behind the lower team tanks fighting to climb the hill, and also get an opportunity to get close to the enemy’s TD positions.
Reduced the battle tier of the map, it’s now for tiers IV–VII.