Wargaming announced they are going ahead with the previous changes to Object 263 branch at Wargaming Fest. Miloš Jeřábek recently stated he wouldn’t be replaced and he was right, it’s not replaced if it goes down one tier and Object 268 v4 is introduced as the new Tier X.
I’ve many times voiced my voice against these changes and offered a possible alternative, like many others already have. The problem is that Wargaming is going to replace a high DPM Tank Destroyer for yet another high alpha one, similar to Object 268.
Even by reducing the alpha damage from 750 to 650 per shot, the tank feels the same but with a rear turret placement. If a new Tier IX was introduced, replacing SU-122-54 as it doesn’t fit the branch, players could then choose in between Object 263 that fits the exact same gameplay, lower alpha damage with high DPM, or Object 268 v4 that offers similar gameplay but high alpha damage with low DPM.
Either Wargaming doesn’t seem to want to hear the community or the most plausible solution is that they can’t find a good enough tank to fit Tier IX, making the announced changes an easier choice for them. Nonetheless, we Community Contributors received a more in-depth explaniation for all the changes.
- Boosting gameplay variety with new rear-turret heavy tanks we’ve been working on supertest server. They offer an interesting take on HT gameplay, which is not currently available through other top-tier vehicles. Not to mention their design and the fact they’re all modelled off tanks that have seen their share of action.
- Fixing the lines of Soviet rear-turret/superstructure vehicles on both the medium tank and tank destroyer lines to deliver a more logical progression to top tiers. These vehicles were totally mixed up in between the tech tree lines: rear-turret/superstructure vehicles were mixed with other vehicles with a more conventional layout and vice versa. As a result, the gameplay was varying a lot from tier to tier, which caused a lot of frustration and seriously undermined the lines’ popularity. They played oddly, so it’s not surprising only few people wanted to research the line and/or play in them.
the concept we had in mind for the revised line:
- High forward and (more importantly) backward mobility combined with medium manoeuvrability
- Good frontal armour, but weak sides
- Average damage per shot with a high reload time (to compensate for mobility and protection)
- Accuracy and aiming time that would make them effective at short-to-medium range, but also reduced their effectiveness at long range
- Poor elevation angles due to historical design
To sum up, these vehicles are meant to drive the breakthrough of the flanks. Outstanding mobility lets them quickly reach and occupy key positions and hold them until allies catch up. They specialize in mid and close-range combat. They can pop out from the cover, deflect enemy shells, and send a few solid punches in return before quickly retreating back to safety.
The first iteration we offered you to supertest was built on this concept. In it, we:
- Moved the Object 263 down a tier enabling it to make a sensible contribution with its damage per shot and armour. At the same time, this re-shuffle stopped us from increasing to make it fit for a Tier X.
- Added a new Tier X TD: the Object 268 Variant 4. It inherits the speed, armour and good gun from its predecessors, but unlike them, it can mount a gun above 130mm and doesn’t suffer from an open hatch
With these changes, we felt we almost reached our goals but were left with the SU-122-54 that just didn’t fit into the concept because of its traditional turret placement. It was clearly out of the line in terms of gameplay but was valuable from a historical point of view. As an interim solution, we decided to test it as a Tier VIII to see if it can be viable there. Unfortunately, it was just as unimpressive at Tier VIII. It was no good at blocking damage even at tier VIII and still felt like a huge step away in terms of gameplay.
The Object 263 and Object 268 Variant 4 showed excellent results in the tests. The vehicles perfectly blocked the damage and performed as assault TDs–fast, armoured with an average damage per shot and not very big DPM for TDs.
You spoke out against moving the Object 263 to Tier IX, but the testing result told us the opposite. The Object 268 Variant 4 proved superior to Object 263 and therefore better suited for the role. So we took them both for another round of testing to verify the initial results.
For the 2nd test we:
- Removed the SU-122-54 completely and made a line fully composed of rear-turret/superstructure vehicles
- Returned the SU-100M1 and SU-101 to their places, improved their armour and gun parameters
- Reduced the Object 268 Variant 4 alpha strike from 750 to 650 to maintain the uniformity of the gameplay in the line. There’s no abrupt change in alpha damage and reload time now, when you move up from Tier VIII to Tier X.
Here’s the final setup: SU-100M1 >>> SU-101 >>> Object 263 >>> Object 268 Variant 4
The 2nd test solidified our belief that these vehicles demonstrate a very interesting type of gameplay.
- They’re fast, with 47+ km/h from Tier VII to tier VIII and 55 km/h at Tier X
- They excel in blocking damage, although they have weak spots in their lower plates
- They aren’t OP. Their average damage per shot is lower than that of classic TDs but still higher than that of heavies or mediums, which prevents them from having a huge DPM. This was intended as we did not want to create fast, armoured vehicles able to deal the same amount of damage as regular TDs.
We believe that the final setup will provide a fresh take on TD gameplay, and invite you to take the revised line for a stroll during the upcoming Common Test. Give them a shot, try to keep a somewhat open mind, and let us know what you think! We will monitor these and other revised Soviet tanks to see how the tuning adjustments are working out in real live server condition, and if further iteration might be needed.
Last but not least, we strongly recommend you to follow our official channels for communication on all re-balancing work being done in order to get the latest and most accurate information on changes to come. We will on our end double our efforts to keep you updated on the reasoning behind the changes we make to the tanks you play and love.