Q&A: Wheeled Vehicles

A collection of answers from the WoT devs, first broadcasted on the Wargaming FM radio on the 16th of November 2018. The questions about the new wheeled vehicles (and new grass) were answered by Alexey ‘Iniaki’ Ilyin (WoT Product Manager) and Yuri ‘Yurko’ Fillipovski (WoT Balance Department Lead)

– The French wheeled vehicles branch in WoT will start from the VI-th tier. One of the machines will be available from the AMX ELC bis.

– In all, the line will have 5 vehicles, and of course a premium tank. The premium tank is already known. All the vehicles will have a considerably low amount of HP.

– Wheeled vehicles won’t be a separate class – all of them were classified as LTs and will be balanced as such. The matchmaker won’t make exceptions, although it will try to place two players within the queue in separate teams.

– The first shown vehicle is of course the Panhard EBR 75, an VIII tier premium. This is a known and popular machine, which was the base for the other abominations higher in the tree. The amount of work put into it is high, and that’s why you have choices of gun and turret.

– The IX tier will be the EBR 90 with a 90mm cannon as the best gun. The X tier will be the EBR 105. The EBR 90 was historical, but the EBR 105 was made based on modernization plans. We tried to make it as faithful as possible to the engineering project and keep it historical. We think that if the EBR 105 was made, it would look identical.

– From a gameplay standpoint we want to know what exactly the players want. We can’t just introduce a historical vehicle like that. An example would be the Kanonenjagdpanzer, which really needed that 105mm gun on tier VIII. We debated a long time which gun to put on the EBR 105, since this wasn’t something to decide in one session. The 105mm gun looks really interesting gameplay wise, as the crowning of the wheeled vehicle tree.

– The VI tier will be a 4-wheeled, 2-axled Panhard 60. It won’t have any new mechanics aside of the new ‘proximity’ auto-aim, where you just click in the vicinity of the enemy tank to auto-aim it. It was decided like that so that LT players starting to play wheeled vehicles have a smoother transition.

– The VII tier will get a third axle, and it will be named Hotchkiss EBR. It will get the new ‘boost’ mechanic, allowing to increase engine revs while stationary and gain powerful acceleration at the cost of reducing engine HP. Most likely two or three boosts will be needed to damage the engine to yellow state, and the player will be notified that it will happen.

– If one wheel gets damaged, the vehicle will move on. It won’t stop in place, but the mobility will decrease, and depending on which wheel gets damaged, speed or maneuverability will be further compromised.

– All vehicles will be AWD

– The suspension’s physics were written from scratch

– Finding the tier VIII candidate was a long process, but we finally decided on the AML Lynx with 3 axles and 6 wheels.

The more wheels a machine has the better, since it will gain more traction and stability. Starting at tier VIII the vehicles will gain two modes – terrain and city. Lowering the central axle(s) will be possible with the X key. You won’t be able to use ‘boost’ on the move.

In the city mode, the vehicle will be agile but slower. In the terrain mode the speed will be greater, but the stability and maneuverability will be worse. Which mode you will use is purely your choice.

– The IX and X tiers will have 4 axles.

– Wheeled vehicles don’t have good in-place turns like tanks, since the turn radius is abysmal. The players will need to get used to it.

– The new auto-aim mode will work using the same principles as the old ones, so it will definitely aim at center mass.

– The amount of XP needed to research the whole branch is similar to the light tank one (about 700k)

– Other nations also have the possibility of gaining wheeled vehicles, even whole branches. For now only the French ones will be introduced, but everything is still under consideration.

– By the time the wheeled vehicles are introduced on the live server, all map boosts will be disabled.

– The first big scale tests of wheeled vehicles will begin next year on the Supertest. For now we’re doing the testing internally, tweaking what we can to provide the best quality. We are in contact with players and we understand what risks the new machines pose.

– When the new auto-aim mechanic will be enabled, the player using it will have a new icon visible only to them for better visibility.

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30 thoughts on “Q&A: Wheeled Vehicles

  1. Does this mean a premium with alternative guns??????? :– The first shown vehicle is of course the Panhard EBR 75, an VIII tier premium. This is a known and popular machine, which was the base for the other abominations higher in the tree. The amount of work put into it is high, and that’s why you have choices of gun and turret.

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  2. – By the time the wheeled vehicles are introduced on the live server, all map boosts will be disabled.

    excuse me, but what’s the meaning of “all map boosts”?

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    1. Probably they mean that they will stop fucking around and just put invisible walls, instead of putting random rocks and slightly changing the angle of terrain so as to make unintended positions on the maps unreachable. (No more climbing on top of hills on maps like Mannerheim Line or Lakeville etc.)

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  3. We debated a long time which gun to put on the EBR 105? Are you taking the piss?! What else than a 105mm gun could you put there?!

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  4. “An example would be the Kanonenjagdpanzer, which really needed that 105mm gun on tier VIII.”
    Why did they implement it as a tier VII in the first place then… -.-

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  5. Dissapointed not to see the Panhard 165/175 and 178.
    Happy to see the Panhard AML 60 and the Hotchkiss EBR.

    Looks very promising nonetheless.

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  6. “From a gameplay standpoint we want to know what exactly the players want.”
    Did anyone ask for redundant, uncontrollable speed? Did anyone ask for gimmicks like the boost or the different travel modes? Don’t get me wrong, the new autoaim and the resistance against tipping/fall damage will be great conveniences and all tanks would benefit from having them. But the major takeaway is that in the current meta, this sort of gameplay seems massively impractical.

    And what saddens me is that the idea had great potential. They could have given wheeled tanks excellent view range and made them the new breed of dedicated scouts, but they didn’t. They could have given wheeled tanks very high DPM to make them dangerous flankers, but they didn’t. They could have given them high penetration to make them counter the armor/corridor meta, but they didn’t.

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      1. Lol – Sytricka, you are spot on.
        Mikosah, how could WG have done any of the suggestions in your second paragraph without breaking the game further and making one or other class of actual tanks redundant?

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        1. I do actually agree that the current light tanks also face similar problems in the current meta. The suggestions made specifically for the wheeled lights would have to be made with the tracked lights either being treated the same way or as a different subclass.

          If for instance the wheeled lights were given high view range, then the tracked lights could also have their view range buffed. Lord knows they need it. Or plan B- give the wheeled lights view range and the tracked lights DPM, separating dedicated scouts from flankers/skirmishers. Or plan C- do the vice versa with the tracked lights getting view range and the wheeled lights getting DPM.

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          1. Thanks for replying in more detail Mikosah. A lot of the maps are generally too small for any view range buffs for any class so I think battles would become more of a campfest. Higher dpm would impinge on the role of many mediums. I get your point but I think following your suggestions would unbalance the game further and make that ‘global re-balance’ even more of a pipe dream. Peace.

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            1. I don’t think there’s such thing as a map too small for view range buffs, because the smaller the map the greater the focus on close combat, and in close combat view range has no tangible benefit. And conversely even on extremely large maps, you’re still limited by the spotting and render caps. If we start to see base view range values higher than what we’re used to then the only two likely implications are getting to either have decent view range without needing equipment, or using view range equipment to simply cancel out more enemy camo. And in my book both of those possibilities are acceptable.

              And as of higher light tank DPM encroaching on the medium tank role, its really just a question of how a light tank will make use of DPM. If the lights are compelled to get close, circle, track, and put shots into the flanks, that’s a significant difference in playstyle compared to mediums that often play support and fire from range.

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      2. I think what Mikosah is saying is that they could have had these fill a certain role, one of the 3 listed. Think of the periods after the word “didn’t” as “OR”.

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  7. I hope someone with access to info on those revealed in this Q&A can sometime soon write an article about them because it seems to me the mixed the names of a bunch of vehicles, unless it was a translation mistake

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      1. I understand but I was not directly suggesting it had to be someone from TAP, I just meant it in a general way about someone possibly writing something about it to sort of “fact check” them, afterall the possibility that they gave wrong names to real machines seems to hint they once again used a bit of “WG magic” while making this line

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  8. Notice the mostly nonexistent hard terrain element, reason tanks came to be, tracked and all, is exactly this. Wheeled vehicles, faster and nimbler may they be, would get stuck in mud, snow, sand, and battle torn terrain.

    In WOT, it’s only a slowdown at best, or impassable terrain all together. In real life, wheels are easy to slow down or come to dead stop by muddy ground. That’s why we need tracks, to pave their own way, and still tanks get stuck quite often, obviously not often enough to convince WG, but in reality it’s a major concern.

    Tanks can go where wheels cannot, why this important reality element is being ignored? Now unstoppable imaginary wheels are in the game, I think a step closer to reality would be nice.

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