As announced earlier, Wargaming has finally unveiled some information of what is planned to come with it’s called New Balance Update, or as some are calling it World of Tanks Balance 3.0, and released the Sandbox server for you to test these changes. The reason why I say some information, is because there are still a few details of what will happen with the new balance that isn’t clear. Still, there is a lot of information to go through, so I will try to break it into parts, but this initial post will be basically the same information Wargaming is sharing. If you haven’t read it yet, here’s all we know so far from Wargaming.
Revising the Established Shell Ecosystem
Initially, all the proposed changes were conceived as a system of shell rebalancing where we wanted to align the efficiency ratio between standard and special rounds. There have always been three types of shells in our game, but one of them has always been an unconditional favourite in terms of efficiency—the special (or gold) shell. It is available to everyone for credits, it deals the same damage as the standard one, but its armour penetration values are much higher. This means that it has always been more effective because the chance of causing damage when using it is higher. This is a shell that has no disadvantages in battle.
Given that the special shells had higher penetration values, other things being equal, their use was more effective in all combat situations. The only downside was the price. Therefore, in the new system, our main task is to reduce the effectiveness of special shells and increase it in standard ones so that, in different game situations, both types of rounds have their advantages.
Over time, it has become clear that new approaches and a consistent system are required, which includes other game-related aspects besides shells, so we started working on those concepts. In this new system, all shells will be more balanced, and each of them will have their own specific role.
In the new paradigm, the standard shell has the highest damage, good armour penetration, and a low price. A special shell, on the contrary, has the highest armour penetration but deals less damage compared to the standard one. The cost of this shell is several times higher than that of the standard round.
So, when should players use each type of shell?
- A standard shell is best used when you are sure that you can accurately penetrate the enemy’s armour and inflict maximum damage per shot.
- A special shell is needed in cases where it makes sense to sacrifice damage per minute to increase your chances of armour penetration.
- A High-Explosive shell is useful when you need to reset base capture progress, finish off a tank low on HP, or damage an external module (e.g. knock off the tracks), as well as when it is impossible to inflict damage with other types of shells.
Changes to HE Shells
HE shells are an integral part of the existing ecosystem of shells in World of Tanks. Their main feature, which differs from other types of rounds, is their unique mechanic for causing damage. When rebalancing standard and special rounds, we also needed to rework HE shells. We wanted these shells to be effective in some specific tactical situations mentioned above.
In the new system, these shells became more effective on calibres less than 120 mm and lost effectiveness on calibres above 150 mm. It is also important that the mechanics of causing explosive damage have been improved, making it more predictable for both the vehicles doing the firing and those being hit.
For tanks that use HE shells as a fundamental element of gameplay, we tried to adjust their shell characteristics in the new system in such a way as to maintain the same average efficiency. Almost all High-Explosive and HESH shells with the new mechanics cannot penetrate armour. HE shells, which in the old system differed from others due to their higher penetration values, now do more damage as compensation. The only exceptions are the KV-2 and KV-2 (R), which still retain the ability to penetrate armour with HE rounds.
Artillery as an Essential Part of the World of Tanks Ecosystem
Artillery is also an essential part of the game ecosystem, but due to their radically different gameplay, all changes for SPGs are of a different nature. We do not want to change the effectiveness of artillery in terms of damage, but instead change the approach to its gameplay and make changes similar in logic to those mentioned above regarding shell rebalancing.
As a consistent part of these changes, new types of rounds will be added to the arsenal of SPGs in order to:
- make artillery gameplay more diverse.
- increase the impact of shell choice in specific situations on the player’s overall performance.
- reduce the overall damage caused by High-Explosive shells.
- decrease the total amount of stun dealt.
- So when playing artillery, the following shells will now be at your disposal:
Standard High-Explosive. They are still able to stun the enemy and remain unchanged.
- Special High-Explosive. They are characterized by increased damage, do not have the ability to stun, and have a large splash radius.
- Armour-Piercing or Cumulative. Their distinctive features are high armour penetration and predictable, but low, damage.
Taking Another Step Forward
During previous iterations, we changed the shell paradigm and redesigned special and explosive rounds. In addition to rebalancing shells, we also adjusted the HP of all vehicles to increase their average lifespan. We added extra HP to all tanks from Tiers I–VI and thereby aligned the progression on HP from tier to tier. These tanks now have greater survivability, and the cost of making a mistake has been reduced.
We are almost done with the balance changes, and feedback from players who have played on the Sandbox open server shows that we are moving in the right direction. As a result, each of the three types of shells is suitable for different game situations.
This February’s tests will be the final and most extensive iteration, where all previous and future changes in New Balance will be put together like building blocks. All changes announced before are saved, and new features will also be added. You will be able to evaluate the changes that New Balance will bring from all sides.
Key Changes: Revising Vehicle Research Branches
This is one of the main changes that New Balance will bring. We all know that some nations’ tech trees are large and often confusing, with complex and unclear transitions. This is especially true of the main nations: the United States, Germany, and the USSR. They can be difficult for players to navigate and calculate their optimal research path, so we want to visually update them.
To do this, we are proposing a number of UX changes, including:
- A simplified tech tree structure.
- Clear and logical transitions.
- Grouping vehicles into classes. The central branch will be the clearest and simplest—this will be the branch of heavy tanks. From there, there will be transitions to medium tanks and tank destroyers, and artillery and light tanks around the edges will frame the tech trees.
- Easy navigation through Premium vehicles, which will be situated separately from researchable tanks.
See for yourself how easy it will be to navigate through the research branches after all these changes are put in place.