As predicted the Sandbox Server is now live and ready to be used for more testing. The second iteration will have two phases:
- Phase 1: Armour penetration and accuracy mechanics; normalizing damage values of overpowered and underpowered guns
- Phase 2: All-round work on artillery
This time Wargaming wants to improve their communications and they have created a blog so everyone can follow what is being tested. If you want to apply, just visit the Sandbox Blog and all information is there. Here’s the main areas that will be tested:
Shot distribution within the aiming circle
The reworked system makes hitting weak spots at range more difficult for guns with bad dispersion (0.4 and up), while aim time, armor, and gun stabilization become more important.
With fewer shots clustered around the center of the aiming circle, the number of “unbelievable” shots (hitting weak spots without taking full aim, or on the move or at great distances) is reduced. This also increases the overall survivability of well-armored vehicles (and their ability to bounce rounds):
- Faster-aiming vehicles with decent dispersion cement their role as effective long and mid-range warfare masters
- For less accurate guns, or when firing with high dispersion, the chances of successfully “snap-shotting” a target at long range decreases
The aim of this change is to balance tanks with either high alpha or high DPM.
Today, tanks that rely on DPM (standing and shooting) have a disadvantage. They have to stay at the line of fire and expect to get shot at in return. But this isn’t as frequent with high alpha damage vehicles. They can get out of cover, quickly aim, fire, then return to cover relatively risk-free.
We’re trying to make these types of tanks equally viable—compared to now, where a battle with alpha strikers doesn’t feature much action, and a battle with DPM dealers is chaotic and mostly unpredictable.
Revised alpha damage
Currently, vehicles with very high alpha damage (the JagdPz. E 100, FV 4005, or FV 215b (183)) foster artillery-like gameplay and outperform other vehicles in their tier, thanks to downright devastating alpha damage. It won’t make your winrate increase, even if you’re shooting Gold rounds, but it’s enough to obliterate the target and hurl an unsuspecting player back to their Garage. However, long reload times also leave these tanks defenseless for an uncomfortably long time if you miss.
At the same time, the T57 Heavy, T110E5, AMX 50 B, Kranvagn and others with a 120 mm gun deal 400 alpha damage. Just compare it to 440 of 122 mm guns: the 2 mm difference in caliber results in a 10% reduction in damage.
To better balance these two groups of vehicles, we are:
- Reducing high-caliber gun damage per shot, while also improving their reloading time
- Scaling 120 mm gun damage to the damage rating of 122 mm guns; the reload time on all affected tanks was increased to keep their DPM intact
These are two delicate issues, and the changes we are making are just one out of a few ways to set the things right without replacing tanks or totally rebuilding them. They look good on paper, now only you can help us check if they really work.
Penetration loss over distance
Penetration values of AP and APCR shells begin decreasing at 50 m (instead of 100 m), and they lose 18% and 23% of their initial values at 500 m.
Changes to the way these rounds lose their pen power at range can facilitate action-packed, close-range engagements and make armor thickness more relevant.
It will be difficult to soften up targets at range—you’ll no longer have the penetration needed to get the job done. This then forces you to get up close and trade punches. Solid armor paired with smart angling to increase your relative armor thickness, will leave you undamaged while your opponent smolders.
We tested similar mechanics during the first Sandbox iteration, but that was a much higher penetration loss over distance, as well as other changes that diluted the experience. Now we’re trying a more focused test with different values.
A lower penetration loss over distance means a less pronounced impact on the battlefield, but we think we found a good balance. The revised mechanic will encourage heavies to shorten the combat distance while still not allowing them to behave recklessly.
Yet with all our internal tests and models, we can’t reliably answer the most important question: “Is it fun for our audience?” Therefore, we’re asking you to help us.