World of Tanks – New Balance Review

The new and possibly last iteration of Sandbox is here, and some of the most important questions regarding game balance will be addressed here. This new patch titled the “New Balance” is one of the most important things to happen to the game in its history and I will be breaking it down for you readers what you should expect from the patch.

I will be approaching each change individually and provide mine as well as RagingRaptor‘s experience with the new patch and give you our ideas on how Wargaming should improve upon it.

Revising Established Shell Ecosystem

Changes to AP are very significant – it ranges from +5 damage to low caliber autocannons to +300 AP damage on the largest guns. However, this is the wrong approach to the game. Increasing AP damage conflicts with game balance – tanks with large cannons receive a major buff to their overall DPM while using AP, and this value is usually bigger than the current HP increases for all tanks. For example, the Tortoise, with its ridiculous highest potential damage output has 22.5% higher DPM, the WZ-120-1G with a  22.8% DPM increase, Strv 103B – 21.8%, Badger – 22.9%, Grille 15 – 23.9%, Jagdpanzer E-100 – 24.8%. These massive DPM increases counteract Wargaming’s attempts to increase survivability by having adverse effect to HP buffs.

Furthermore, the problem lies within premium shells as well – not only they have less damage, their insane 5x bigger cost stays, which is very problematic when facing some “broken” armor vehicles. The AP shell increase doesn’t matter when some tanks in the game have outright broken armor and in fact it makes the meta worse as tanks have increased HP pools, which buffs broken tanks with impenetrable with AP shells frontal armor ( 279(e), looking at you). Not only now tanks like 279(e) have better DPM with their AP rounds and more hitpoints, other heavy tanks like E-100 are essentially at their mercy as they are forced to fire premium shells with less alpha damage to have any sort of fighting chance against a tank like Object 279(e).

The approach Wargaming took to balance the shells is rather horrible. Instead, Wargaming should leave AP shells as-is and nerf current premium ammo damage by 25%. This approach is not going to increase the DPM of all tanks and instead tackle the issue – Premium ammo having next to no disadvantages. But this is not optimal either – some tanks are getting an indirect buff with this change, which leads me to include a new point Wargaming has not included in their “New Balance”:

 

GLOBAL TANK REBALANCE

The only way to fix the problems premium ammo nerf will arise is to nerf the all broken tanks in the same patch as the premium ammo rebalance. Chieftain, Object 279(e), Object 907, Object 430U, Super Conqueror, etc – these vehicles have efficiency parameters a lot higher than other vehicles and rely on their absurd armor to protect them. This must be changed in order for premium ammo rebalance to be succesful. Biggest culprit here is especially the Object 279(e) – having no lower plate, this vehicle is a big RNG machine and nearly impenetrable to AP shells, meaning it uses the HP buff and its own higher AP shell damage to be even more competitive in the current meta. These vehicles must be rebalanced or any sort of attempts at rebalancing the game will fail.

 

Back to actual changes that are being tested in the Sandbox.

Changes to HE Shells

Tanks that retain higher HE damage over other vehicles.

The new changes to HE shells are pitiful to say the least. Wargaming’s excuse to make “HE damage more predictable” has had quite literally the opposite result – new HE damage is incredibly inconsistent (as showcased here) and nearly useless in most scenarios. Tanks like our good old E-100 have horrible HE damage and when fighting Object 279(e)’s can’t reliably cause damage to the vehicle, giving them another indirect buff.

Not only this, removing HE shell penetration buffs vehicles like FV4005 and other tanks with horrible armor significantly. This should not be the case, as it will lead to the simple rule of what a good vehicle is – (Mobility, Firepower, Armor) to simply be redundant and leave mobility and firepower as the main important factors of what a good tank is, as paper vehicles can’t be punished anymore.

However, there is, in my humble opinion, no need to change HE shells and how they function. Not only they are usually not a great choice of shells on a one-on-one heavy tank scenario, a player will always deal more damage with an AP or Premium shells unless firing at a paper armor target, meaning non-HE shells are far more useful in hands of skilled players’ when it is not the correct situation to use HE.  This factor alone constitutes as a valid factor to leave HE as-is and focus on changing premium shells instead.

 

Tank Health Buff

While I understand Wargaming’s idea of making tanks more survivable, this really is not necessary as long as many vehicles that are unbalanced exist. In the current meta, changing hitpoints of tanks above tier V or VI is a stretch, and I do not agree with the new meta. If Wargaming also rebalances many overpowered vehicles that rely on armor and are impervious to AP frontally, this change would be rather welcome for even higher tier tanks. What has to be mentioned though, is that hitpoint buffs of vehicles of tier IV or lower are extremely important to a beginning player, as many veterans enjoy one-clipping tier II vehicles in their Light VIc’s or vehicles of similar type. This change to lower tiers ensures that the meta will be far more forgiving and less ruthless to new players.

 

Artillery Changes

With the new rework, artillery got back their old AP shells back again. However, with the changed HE mechanics, the HE damage they deal is a lot weaker and, overall, artillery has been nerfed this patch. The AP shells aren’t very effective with the unpredictable accuracy of artillery and overall, I quite like the changes to artillery.

 

Tech Tree Rework

Personally, I quite like the changes to the Tech Trees. While the removal of over 90 vehicles from the tech tree seems like a big deal, it really is not. These vehicles are not leaving the game and are getting a new special – Collector’s – status. For a new player, this change will save a lot of headache and simplify the trees.

Also, the addition of new more fitting vehicles to the trees (BT-5, Cavalier, T6) and the role changes of some other tanks like Crusader, VK 30.01P and T54E1 will fit the lines and playstyles they represent far more.

However, my main point of concern is the removal of some high tier vehicles, like the 113. Wargaming, please credit these vehicles to the owners of these tanks and do not monetize them in an unfair way. These vehicles would be a good addition to the bond shop and it would make the rather bland roster of tanks there more lively.

 

Conclusion

While this patch is the beginning of shifting to the right direction for the game, they are doing so in a very extreme way and are not tackling the main underlying problems. Wargaming, please do a global tank rebalance. Don’t simply cancel the reworks simply cause they don’t work and make sure they do work by listening to the community.

I can applaud Wargaming’s efforts to at least make the game better for beginners, but with some of nonsensical changes that were included it is hard to rate this patch, or at least the ammo rework part of it, positively.

 

 

31 thoughts on “World of Tanks – New Balance Review

    1. Arty’s new AP shell is not worth firing….with those risks of fail at least give it more damage if you want people to use them. Everyone will stick with the HE and HEAT. It’s even more pay to win now with the arty.

      Btw what’s going on with the site? It’s slow, it’s crashing and the comments are showing up late.

  1. I like some of these changes, like the shells, but I i am very displeased with the HE changes, changing the HE will makes vehicles like the EBR 105 (I own one) irrelevant and have no advantages at all in battle. I do know its a light tank and it should be used to spot, but with useless HE it wont be able to counter enemy lights. I’m gonna be honest, it’s gonna be sad not seeing all of those historical tanks in the tech tree anymore, but I do understand what they are doing. Have a good day!

    1. What are you smoking the EBR 105 is not strong because of the HE it strong because of the speed and it will be still strong against otherr scouts because of the speed it is actually a good rebalance for that vehicle because the good He was just to much.

      1. What I was saying is that the HE changes will make the EBR have no defense against heavy tanks and strong meds. But I also understand what you are saying. Its also my opinion but i’m sure you have never played the EBR before.

      2. EBR is not strong because of its HE shell?
        What are YOU smoking dude?
        It can YOLO and flush out any other (hidden)light and ANNIHILATE it with HE for 500/shot+fires/module/crew damage,while it cant be hit/punished/penned by the enemy light.This HE is the real reason why no other light dares to take aggressive positions at the start when playing against a wheelie,thus beeing too passive/useless for its team.
        The speed/kevlar rims combo AND the monstrous HE break it.

  2. Cart before the horse.

    IDK if its a good idea for WG to try doing this all at once, but WG really can’t do a global tank rebalance before the shell rebalance is implemented. WG may as well just do a total board wipe of the current game meta [specifically the idiotic “press 2 = more good” meta] and then rebalance the tanks from there.

  3. They will not “rework” the overpowered tanks because is a way for WG to make money. For those who don’t agree…. I’ll make a drawing and show it to you! Some don’t have enough …. Insight!

  4. Honestly, what even is the point of all this changes?
    Sure, “special” ammo needed a rework, but everything else seems pointless and change for the sake of change

  5. VK 30.01 (H) was changed to a heavy years ago. Same tier KV1 has 75mm of front and side hull armor, and can 2 shot a VK with 122mm HE. That was a really bad move. It should be a medium. Now VK 30.01 (P) is changing to a heavy. It is going to suck. I better 3 mark it now and never come back again.

  6. For premium ammo, it should cost the same as standard round, and have reduced damage. Armored Warfare has a good system called over penetration.

  7. its so simply..
    all this change is USELESS if fkn P2W PREMIUM PRICES DO NOT GO AWAY !
    PREMIUM THINGS HAVE NO PLACE IN ANY GAMEPLAY BALANCE PARAMETERS !

    just DIFFERENT SHELLS, NO SPECIAL NO PREMIUM ! Thats all for a great balance
    then of course, imbecile armors needs rework too
    and then premium consumables turn

    about HE changes…are just idiotic
    i played SB a bit…and if someone can explain what FAIR “balance” is between HE and HESH now when HESH simply have more damage and NOTHING as drawback, i can die in peace.
    Besides that, its still fkn P2W because guess what, HESH is premium shell with X7 times price !

    GREAT BALANCE ! clap-clap

    1. Actually they made a HUGE mistake here on HESH / HE case because :

      HESH counterpart is HE , not AP
      They changed it according to AP changes…this is just stupid.

    2. Also, another big fail:
      just take a look at S35CA and SU100Y case…it is just disgusting how they can present to us such things and call them “balanced”

      not to talk about arty AP shells… – just nothing more useless and the other 2 wich are really nice balanced guess what…fkin p2w pricesruins everything

      BALANCE KOMRAD !

  8. I disagree with some part of this strongly.

    First of all, buffing both hp pool and AP shell IS a relative nerf to gold shells. It makes no sense limiting the term “nerf” to just lower the damage of gold shells. The concept of buffing AP shells and hp pool is rather a better solution, since it bypasses some restrictions like nerfing premium vehicles. Also nerfing the damage of premium shells increases the survivability drastically of those heavy armored vehicles and all those disadvantages have been discussed before. That’s the reason for buffing vehicles according to their armor level. So the survivability of all tanks stays the same, avoiding those disadvantages. The point of bringing up the old and worse proposal of nerfing the damage is not a constructive criticism at all.

    Also, talking about overpowered vehicles, I’d say Obj 279 is indeed very overpowered and so do some other tanks. But Super Conqueror is not an example for tanks with absurd armor at all. Most of it’s armor is either paper or invincible. And the side is even more vulnerable to AP, especially in side scraping scenario. Also, “which buffs broken tanks with impenetrable with AP shells frontal armor” this logic works totally fine on tanks like Maus and Type 5 heavy. The point is not Obj 279 has invincible armor, but combined with firepower and mobility makes it overpowered. So do other vehicles. It is true that the hp pools of such tank should be buffed with lower percentage or even leave as the same. But nerfing damage of premium shell will undoubtedly benefit tanks with heavy armor, while giving them a relative nerf on hp pool could counter this side effect. Again the beloved historical Maus is in game and this level of armor should be considered. Criticizing tank with no weak points is not so different from blaming the introduction of Maus. The tanks with no weak points should be balanced by nerfing other part of the tank.

    Talking about paper armor tanks, now with increased damage of AP shells, I would not use HE on the paper armor vehicle at all since HE is rather unstable if you hit space armor or at an absurd angle. AP is kind of taking the job of dealing more damage on light armored vehicles from HE. It’s really not a big deal to get rid of penetration of HE. I do agree the new system need more work to accomplish its goal of making HE dealing more consistent damage.

    The economy of the game is outdated indeed. The shell and repair cost, the way to grind a tank or receive a reward tank, all those are obstacles Wargaming had made to both player getting a good tank and their incentives to balance such tank. The game itself is so poor on end game content and needs all those systems to keep players playing. You get bored even on your favorite tank in your favorite tank after years don’t you? The way Wargaming wants to keep the game alive, the way players desire to be outstanding in the game, the way old players get bored and quit the game. It is a typical life cycle for every game and every game eventually die. There’s really not a simple solution to it. Think how many tanks you need to complete a CP or Obj 279 missions, and how much effort and money you need to put in this game from the incentive of getting a Obj 907, a FV4201 or a Obj 279. The problem is so simple, that this game is not so fun after years.

    1. Thank you, finally someone.
      Has anybody noticed the huge HP buff for Tiger II? It would be impossible with just nerfing prem Ammo.
      This way every tank can be balanced individually.

  9. I think some people are missing the context of “predictable” as WG has laid it out. By HE damage being more predictable, they mean “players will no longer get one-shot” by HE shells. Which is true in the New Balance and absolutely good for the game. Its not even up for debate. In a game with no respawns, the ability to one shot a player is bad game design.

    1. By “HE will be more predictable” they probably mean “HE will be more predictable”, which means that HE should be more predictable, aka you can more easily predict the result of HE rounds.

      If they meant “HE will no longer be able to oneshot”, they have said something like “HE will no longer be able to oneshot”

      Back to “predictable” them. The same HE round can hit the front of a super armored tank for full-alpha then hit the same tank again for half that damage. One game in the 705, firing one HE round on the 430U, do 30dmg, then fire again for 200. That’s less predictable than it is right now in the live server where thanks to penetration you can predict that X shot will pen and do full damage while a shot that wont pen will do less than half of its nominal alpha.

  10. Low tier tech tree clean up: yes please
    High tier tech tree clean up: why not, i can save few crews this way and have “unique” vehicles that are mostly obsolete and useless (except amx30)
    Low tier hit point buffs: finally!!! My nightmare were Hetzers sitting in bushes near spawn with camo net and bino oneshoting tanks without sixth sense that played the game and playing 350hp light tanks against tanks with 390 alpha or derps
    HE changes & Sky PiGs: have not tried yet, no opionion
    Premium ammo changes: this is brutal and it buffs some overpowered tanks and nerfs underpowered ones. It’s win-win situation for already OP assault TDs. They are penetrated mostly by gold ammo into weakspots frontally and this increases their survivability which is not needed. They have enough penetration themselves so they are class that does not need gold ammo that much. On the other side of spectrum there are mediums with horrible penetration per tier and low flexibility (Pershing) and tanks with autoloaders that have no flexibility in switching ammo. In my opinion current damage nerf is extremely simple solution to problem that exists in heads of some heavy tank players who want to be invincible. And also when prem. ammo is necessity and tanks have 25% more hitpoints, it means that we will need to spend 25% extra credits and time to kill tanks with broken armor.

    My opinion on premium ammo (I’m not heavy tank player, so it may be biased): I can understand that playing E100 against T-54 that can penetrate it with HEATs at 500m frontally is not fun. But problem can be solved by buffing hitpoints of E100 and/or by nerfing penetration of T-54. Gold ammo is not broken in general imho, since it was made necessary game mechanics in last three years with introduction of broken tanks like defender, japanese heavies and removing weakspots on many tanks. Problem is prem. ammo was not rebalanced since some HEAT nerfs in 2013. This patch does not balance premium ammo at all. It globally nerfs damage and indirectly buffs armored tanks and nerfs tanks with crap standard ammo. It does not look any deeper, it does not try to resolve problems like why Patton has 225pen on APCR at 500m while T-54 at the same tier has 330 penetration and both tanks are meant to be rather brawlers, than snipers. I believe that nearly 50% difference in penetration does not exist anywhere else, but for some reason Patton has both low penetration and huge loss of penetration over distance on both APs and APCRs.

  11. I kinda disagree with most of this….

    First off… lower tier vehicles definitely need their HP boosted. Low tier games are over way too quick, and for new players they really have no way if actually learning when they get killed in a few shots.

    Secondly, WG can not change premium shells. That would indirectly mean changing the characteristics of premium vehicles, and opens a whole new can of worms having to offer refunds etc.

    The shells in WOT should always have been the way the “new balance” is proposing. There is no reason why the prem shells should be doing the same damage as the standard shell.

    People need to understand the role of their tank better. As a bottom tier medium, you’re not supposed to be able to fight a heavily armoured tank head on. Not even as a mid tier medium. It’s a team game! As rubbish as teams can be in WOT, it’s still a team game. Tanks have different roles, and they have different roles depending on tiers as well.

    As for the HE changes I don’t have a problem with them. Making that one shot sure is fun.. but when it happens to you, not so much. Not that it’s a big problem… Honestly, from what I’ve played the HE changes are honestly a storm in a glass of water.

    Artillery.. well.. Not really much of a change. Remains to be seen how many will choose the prem shell instead of the standard. Doubt many will choose AP as it seems the HE shells will do more damage anyway, based on my games.

    I agree with the tech tree rework.. It’s not a big deal to have most of those tanks moved to a collectors tab. I would have liked to see them keep a couple tanks down low though. So let’s say from T2 to T3 you get a choice.. Some nations is still a straight line at that point. But whatever.

    One point I have failed to see mentioned with this is that with WOT’s Boot Camp you effectively get a T6 tank when you complete it. So I assume that will then unlock the collectors tanks as well for that nation. Hopefully they will mention this to new players.

    I would have also liked to see a better description of the tank lines in the tech tree so new players can see and understand when they go from one tank type to another e.g. LT to TD.

    Also! Important to understand that these changes will surely not be final! They will tweak and adjust after it hits the live server. It always happen. WOT is a perpetually evolving game.

    1. “tanks have different roles”?…
      Not since they released broken russian, fast multi-role vehicles,like 430U,Obj 277,good old hull down IS7,chinese WZ-5A,or even Obj140 hull down spamming HEAT at enemy Heavys,which can shut down ANY flank (medium or heavy) effectivelly……

    2. People need to understand the role of their tank better. As a bottom tier medium, you’re not supposed to be able to fight a heavily armoured tank head on. Not even as a mid tier medium. It’s a team game! As rubbish as teams can be in WOT, it’s still a team game. Tanks have different roles, and they have different roles depending on tiers as well.

      I disagree with this. I’m trying high risk, high reward gameplay with mid tier tanks if there’s a chance it will work without suiciding, but maps are designed mostly in a way that we have two viable corridors (one of them usually more important) and you have no other choice than fighting higher tier vehicles head on and before half of enemy team is dead there’s no option to flank. Maybe some maps are not always optimal for 15vs15 battles.
      Sadly some tanks are designed the way that there’s no other option to kill them than premium ammo.

      Well, it’s a team game and it sort of worked this way in team clash mode. Since we have stats like damage per game, mark of excellence, kill to death ratio, wn8 etc, sometimes players can decide to play against team: blocking tank which is doing damage by stopping closer to enemy tank in line of fire, sacrificing others to safe own hitpoints (sometimes it’s reasonable, sometimes it’s not and means losing flank and possible battle). But no one wants to sacrifice his hitpoints to save anonymous player for example when he is permatracked.

  12. is there a expected date/season for these changes?
    since i see 4 sandox tests, but i also did read somewhere that these changes will happen in the spring somwhere.
    sadly i do not have any of the tier x yet.
    played a couple games on sandbox server, not sure what to think about HE changes yet,
    hp pool increase is perfect for lower tiers, since seal clubbing is a serious issue, i am guilty of that myself in my locust with pimped out crew

    also someone must say this, thanks for searching this out, i tried it myself, costing losts of time/effort and still was not sure about most things
    so thanks for all the work put into these posts 🙂

    1. No information on release date of these changes. Expect them to go through multiple iterations which would put test length, assuming it’s not getting cancelled, at 2-3 months.

  13. @Verrox I agree with your writing.

    The one major issue I have is with the HP buffs on those tanks with already too efficient armor profiles and are lacking proper weak points. From (new/reworked) content on tier 8 to tier 10.
    These tanks still (require) promote a high use of high cost Special Rounds to be used against them, on maps where flanking is not (yet, except in late/end game) possible, to deal with their armor profiles/lack of weak points.

    This will have a adverse effect on all players who already have few/low available credits, mostly the NON WoT Premium Account players (or those with who don’t play a lot). Even those who buy tier 8 premium tanks.
    The ones not or much less effected are those players who run (a bought) WoT Premium Account and play regularly. They have much higher quantities of available credits and thus will be in essence not effected.

    Thus it can be said that these changes increase, I hate the term, increase the ‘Pay to Deal more Damage’ factor of all Special Rounds.

    So how can this be dealt with?

    Content with too effective armor profiles on their tier, and lacking weak spots, MUST be better offset though either:
    A) lowering their HP pools, by the % increase of their regular rounds alpha buffs, as an offset to their strong/weak point-less armor profiles; OR
    B) reworking of their armor profiles and weak points, so it does NOT promote the use of Special Rounds.

    Regretfully the cynic is me says: Wargaming will not do ANYTHING and will leave most of the changes done as they are.
    Because it better reflects and promotes their monetization strategies: buying a Wot Premium Account to comfortably play and sales of Premium tanks.

    I predict these changes to go through with a few minor tweaks, despite ALL feedback that generally points them to the issue described above.

  14. These changes are so bad, i dont have words to descibe it.They spent last 3 years to do this to the game???We loose so much things,just to nerf gold ammo, i really wonder who are those people who could do this changes,are they have even basic knowledge of this game?
    Just one example: look at the joke of SU 100 Y – with these changes,this tank have gold round with less pen and less damage than normal one,and it is 5-6 times more expensive???WG stuff, are u joking or what,do u really know what are u doing,what is happening?
    Not to mention, we need to learn new gun stats for all tanks, instead to just nerf gold ammo by 25%, and resolve the problem.And these HE bulls..t with 0 pen is so ridicilous,now shooting HE will be even more RNG than it was,and that was the biggest problem with it.Buffing super heavys, even more, with these changes cant be good for the game, i dont see any reason for so many bad decisions with these changes,i bet 95% of players with some average knowledge of the game will say the same.Very very very bad decision WG.

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