Wargaming has launched the Sandbox server again to test ammo revision and the impact, together with the low-to-mid tier HP pool changes. Here’s all the information Wargaming shared with the players.
Reasons for Adjustments
- Currently, a significant portion of players chooses ammo type solely on its armour penetration. For them, this single parameter is what makes the difference between a basic and a special round. The other stats (like normalization, penetration of environmental objects, auto-bounce angle, and velocity) are often ignored.
- While deciding to use special rounds, these players consider their immediate tactical situation. When firing special shells, one gets a clear advantage which is not offset by anything on the battlefield itself. However, the cost of using special shells only becomes apparent when the fight is over and the player realizes they have spent more Credits than expected.
One of the main goals of the ammo rebalancing is to encourage the player to choose ammunition more responsibly and thoughtfully in battle, taking into account the possible consequences of this choice. We want the player’s decision to be influenced not only by armour penetration but also by a slew of other factors.
Changes to Tier I–VI HP Pool Progression
Together with the alterations to ammo mechanics, we are going to modify the low-to-mid-tier vehicles’ HP pool progression.
We have already told you about a Supertest we held for it; the results were satisfying (as was your feedback), so we shall integrate renewed HP progression for all Tier I–VI vehicles for the entire duration of this Sandbox test.
Ammo Revisions: The Latest Iteration
And now for the main changes to be tested on the Sandbox server. After a long Supertest for the first round of adjustments to ammo mechanics, a scrupulous examination of all pros and cons and the weighing of different viewpoints, we have decided to come up with an alternate concept for the rebalancing of shells. The new solution is a complex one, coming in two large parts:
Boosting the HP pools of all vehicles in the game. The relative increase will not be the same for every tank and will depend on two factors:
- Its current HP pool (relative to other vehicles).
- The vehicle’s Survivability parameter, which is defined by such stats as its armour protection and HP.
For example, boosting the HP of the Maus and the Leopard 1 by the same ratio will benefit the Maus much more. The exact gain for every vehicle will depend on how efficiently that vehicle uses its HP pool in the current tactical environment. Well-armoured tanks able to mitigate more damage with high survivability will receive a proportionally smaller increase in HP compared to their less-protected brethren. This is necessary to keep the vehicles’ relative survivability at the same level. The HP pool boost will range from 15% for heavily-armoured vehicles (depending on tier), up to 30% for lightly-armoured ones (for an average of 26%). The aforementioned Maus and Leopard 1 will get 18% and 29% respectively. These are test values and may change if needed based on the Sandbox test results.
Increasing the one-shot damage of the basic shell. It will improve by different amounts, depending on two factors:
- The calibre of the gun (the primary factor). The larger the calibre is, the larger the damage gain will be. For example, the current mean value for a 90-mm Tier VIII gun is 240 points. After the rebalancing, it will go up to 315 points (an increase of 31.25%). An average 150-mm gun currently has an alpha strike of 750 points; after the changes are applied, it will increase to 1060 points (an increase of 41.33%).
- The tier of the vehicle (the secondary factor). This one will not have as big an impact as the gun calibre, but will still produce some minor value differences. We shall maintain the correlation between the alpha strike value of guns of the same calibre and the vehicle’s tier. For example, a 105-mm gun on a Tier V tank currently deals 300 points of one-time damage on average. The shell rebalancing will boost this to 400 points (an increase of 33.33%). At Tier X, currently the most common damage yield of a 105-mm gun is 390 points; once the rebalancing is done, it will increase to 525 points (by 34.62%). The difference in relative gain between Tiers V and X is just over 1%, but it still exists.
It should be noted that tanks with basic HE rounds will also gain in alpha damage, albeit less: around 22%, with the exact value depending on the gun model. Though the one-shot damage increase is smaller for HE shells, the specifics of their damage-applying mechanics will keep their efficiency the same compared to that of other basic shell types.
During the Sandbox test, we will continuously fine-tune the increases to vehicles’ HP pools and basic shells’ alpha strikes as and when it is necessary, to define the optimal ratio. The one-time damage of special rounds will remain the same, as the rebalance will only affect basic rounds.
These measures are to increase the share of damage done with basic shells relative to other shell types. We also want to create more variability for the players when they are choosing their round types and considering their current tactical situation.
We are going to test the following shell usage logic:
- The potential one-time damage of basic rounds will become higher than that of all other shell types, and you will still have to aim for enemies’ weak spots. The basic round will become the most appealing shell type with the combination of armour penetration, damage, and price.
- The special rounds will retain the highest armour penetration amongst all shell types, and a high probability of inflicting damage as well. With these revisions, their alpha damage will likely be lower than that of basic shells, and their price will be higher. Special rounds will remain the optimal shell to fire at a heavily-armoured target.
- Damaging opponents in Sandbox will be most likely when employing HE rounds (as it currently is on main servers). Yet, the actual mean yield will be the lowest among shell types because of low penetration chance. HE shells will have many situational uses, just like now: preventing base captures, finishing off opponents low on HP, dealing greater damage to thinly-armoured targets, or increasing the chance to chip a small amount of HP from an opponent with good protection.
In the Sandbox test, every shell type will be highly efficient in battle (with correct situational use). The need to choose the right round type will by itself add tactical variability, have more impact on the situation on the battlefield, and increase your effectiveness.
Important: We would like to highlight that the current test will not include any changes to the parameters of HE shells (save for basic ones). We will make sure to consider changes to their combat efficiency later. After we get the Sandbox test results, non-basic HE rounds may undergo stats adjustments, too.