More details shared by Wargaming on the official Sandbox blog on how Frontline will work. Remember this is a work in progress, so the final version will be different and still there is a change of this never making it to the live server.
Vehicles: All Tier X medium/heavy tanks, TDs and SPGs and Tier VIII light tanks (NOTE: the latter is a temporary restriction caused by the technical nuances of testing. Eventually, the mode will switch to Tier X vehicles of all classes).
Teams: 30 players on each side with an opportunity to team up in Platoons of five.
Roles: One team plays in defense; the other attacks.
Battlefield: In Frontline you fight over a 9 km2 large “Epic Normandy” map. When battle begins, defenders start on the 1st defensive front, while attackers spawn across the Deployment Zone at the map’s coastal area. As the battle spreads, attackers capture land and move deeper into defensive fronts. The 1st and 2nd fronts are each divided into three segments: East, West, and Central. Each segment is the size of a regular World of Tanks map (1 km2) and has a base capture zone. As soon as attackers capture a base, the action spreads to the 2nd defensive front and one of its three segments opens for both teams. The final face-off unfolds on the 3rd defensive front with five high-caliber guns, known as “pillboxes.”
Objectives: Attackers must break through defensive fronts and destroy at least three out of five pillboxes (explained in more detail further down). Defenders must hold strong and keep at least three out of five pillboxes intact.
Battle duration isn’t fixed. Initially, attackers are given 12 minutes to break through and destroy pillboxes. Each successful base capture on the 1st defensive front grants you an additional 2 minutes to complete the mission, while capturing a base on the 3rd defensive front gives you 2.5 minutes. If the defending team stifles an offensive right away, the game ends in the first round. All in all, battles can last from 5 to 20 minutes.
At the beginning of battle, teams are deployed across three segments of the 1st defensive front (with 10 players per team on each segment). As attackers rush to fight for control over the front, defenders must prevent them from capturing bases. As an attacker, your goal is to capture the base or destroy all defenders, while defenders can stifle the offensive by sending all enemies back to the Garage or overthrowing the attack. Overall, this is quite similar to Assault mode with a few nuances:
- Five rather than three players can participate in capturing at the same time. The more players are in the capture zone, the faster the cap counter reaches 100%
- If the capping vehicle loses HP and/or gets its module damaged, it temporarily loses its ability to capture the base
- The cap is reset only when you destroy the capping vehicle
- Base capture on the 1st defensive front adds an extra 2 minutes to the battle’s duration; capturing the base on the 2nd defensive front adds an extra 2.5 minutes
Once attackers succeed in capturing a segment, it becomes their territory. They can continue the offensive, advancing on the 2nd defensive front and beyond until they reach the 3rd front.
The other team must leave the captured area within a minute. And they’d better be quick—all defending tanks are instantly destroyed 60 seconds after base capture.
Don’t get overwhelmed when playing attack, and remember that landing on the 2nd front before you get hold of at least one segment in the 1st front will also result in instant destruction from an AI airstrike.
As soon as attackers reach the 3rd front they can embark on their primary mission and destroy pillboxes, which are long-range guns, each with their own HP pool. Pillboxes are protected by armored hoods and virtually impenetrable from head-on. Aim at their rear where there is significantly thinner armor, or better yet, come prepared by studying their armor scheme beforehand.
Respawn, Repair and Resupply Zones
It would be pretty frustrating to get destroyed or run out of shells in the course of a massive tank battle, don’t you agree? But fear not. We’ve got you covered. You’ll have several lives for each stage of the battle. Attackers begin with two, while defenders have just one, and each player receives an extra “life” every 5 minutes, with a maximum of three lives at a time for every tanker. It gets a bit trickier should attackers capture all six bases across the 1st and 2nd defensive fronts. In that case, defenders play a now-or-never game, left with just one life each.
In the Respawn screen that opens after your vehicle is destroyed you can:
- Choose any Tier X tank (or Tier VIII light tank) in the Garage (except for the one that was just destroyed)
- Set up its configuration, ammo load and equipment. Regular rounds and consumables are replenished automatically, while Premium items are taken from the Depot
- Pick a respawn point where you’d like to get back into the battle across the segments controlled by your team
There are also special spots scattered across the active combat area where you can restore your HP pool, repair modules, and replenish ammo. There is one spot for both repair and resupply on each map segment. These zones can only be used by the team that controls the segment. Just as with respawning, Premium rounds and consumables are only replenished if you have them in the Depot; regular ones are replenished automatically.
Keep in mind that zones have a cooldown time. So, once you have repaired your vehicle to 100%, you’ll have to wait 120 seconds before you can use it again. The cooldown is counted for each player individually, which means that several vehicles can use it at the same time. If you happen to get hit while in a Repair and Resupply Zone, you must wait another 20 seconds to stock up on rounds and finish repairing the vehicle.
A great battle performance (capturing a base or resetting the cap counter, damaging/destroying enemy tanks) will earn you special ranks. And you can earn several of these ranks within one battle, levelling from Private all the way to General!
Joining a Battle
If what you’ve just read has you excited, apply to join the test. Once in the Sandbox, all you have to do is choose “Frontline” in the mode dropdown in the Garage (to the right from the “Battle!” button).
ONE IMPORTANT NOTE: Frontline’s economic system is a work in progress. Our primary goal with the 1st round of the Frontline test is to gather feedback and stats on gameplay, new mechanics, map structure, etc., and to define how we should tweak them going forward. After that, we’ll get down to tuning the mode’s economics.