World of Tanks Sandbox 3.0 is out and this time players are asked to test a new game mode: Frontline. This mode features two new main aspects, 30 versus 30 battles and 3 by 3 kilometers map.
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Please remember this mode is still “Work in Progress”, this means there will be changes to it and it will differ from the final version.
The map: Epic Normandy and each team has one clear objective: Attack or Defend. If you are Attacking you will start on a Normandy beach in a random sector and your first objective is to capture one of the first area so you can start advancing forward to the final area. The Defending team will have to hold on wave after wave until the time expires.
There is a line that Defenders can’t pass, even if they hold all the areas, but if they lose one sector you can’t capture it back and as soon as all three areas in the same line are captured, the defensive line moves forward blocking those sectors to the defending team.
While players spawn on different areas, they still can move to a different area and support their team there, it’s ideal that once an area is captured, they move to a different area so they can help their team holding more sectors. Moving between areas doesn’t require any loading, it’s an actual 3 by 3 map.
Once they are destroyed, the players are able to select a spawn point, different tank (previous one will be blocked for one spawn duration) and the load out for that tank. But the longer you survive the better, because you have a limit of respawns, by a limit it means you need to hold for about four minutes for a tank icon, at the lower left area of the screen, to turn orange. Each orange tank icon means a respawn, if you run out you will have to wait four minutes to respawn again. There is no real limit to how many times each player can respawn, but this prevents suicide rush by scouts or players to just rush into death trying to capture/defend an area.
Players are also able to press M to see the overall map and even send commands to other players, enabling some sort of coordinated communication with the team.
One of the major problems I’ve found with Attacking is the fact players seem to forget the defending team can reset capture points, just like in a normal Random Battle. The amount of times I’ve seen players just getting inside the Capture Circle and just camp in the middle with no cover, getting hit time after time and losing capture points, got to a point that I almost gave up to capture the zone. But the same happens with the Defending Team, players seem to camp behind the Capture Circles waiting for an attacker to get inside, so they can farm damage, instead of pushing the limit of the map, so the attacking team isn’t able to control the map. The Attacking team will eventually capture the zone and move forward… I’m not sure about other testers, but I was never able to win the game when I was defending because players simply refuse to cooperate and play as a team.
There are several Repair and Resupply Zones where players can get their health points back, for some reason is not resupplying ammunition or consumables, but it might be a bug. But if a player is trapped in an area, or just wants change vehicle, they can press J to recover their vehicle and go back to the garage, where they can select another vehicle, loadout and respawn in a different sector. But be aware, each time you fire, a timer will reset to 30 seconds and you won’t be able to recall, so to be able to use recall you can’t engage any enemy for 30 seconds.
Last but not least, how can you win the match? If you are defending you just need to wait for the time to run out, it doesn’t matter how many enemies you have killed, the only way to win is to defend your Pillboxes while time runs out. To win, you need to destroy three of the five existing Pillboxes, but to get there you have to get two zones (for example A and D).
Overall I enjoyed playing this new mode, but I’m still not 100% sure it will work as it is now. The main problem is teamplay, players lack the ability to cooperate with other players and play for the team, the majority of the players only play for their own score, almost like a random. But in a 30vs30 battle, one player or even a platoon of five can’t change the game if the rest of the team doesn’t cooperate.
The other issue is the fact each battle can last for quite a long time. I enjoy World of Tanks because each battle lasts 15 minutes maximum, and on average only seven. With this mode I was in a single battle for almost 35 minutes before my team won and I was able to go back to the garage. This means, if a casual player wants to enjoy a quick battle and then leave, he can’t anymore. This might be a problem for some, but not for others, but at least for me it means I would only play this mode if I actually know I had enough free time to do it.
What do you think? For those who have access, did you enjoy? If not, what would you change? For those without access, do you think you would play this mode? Leave your feedback in the comments.