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  1. Commanders! The next iteration of shell rebalancing tests is just around the corner, and World of Tanks needs your help again! This time you have the opportunity to try out fundamental changes in the mechanics of dealing damage with HE shells. The testing will again be open to all tank commanders and will be held on the Sandbox server — join it and give us your feedback! Why Rebalance HE Shells? In the two previous iterations of Sandbox, we tested changes in the mechanics of the two main types of shells in our game — standard and special. We reworked the parameters of standard shells, after which the demand for special ones also changed. The main goal of these changes during the previous Sandbox testing was to make standard shells more popular than special ones, and to slightly reduce the effectiveness of special rounds. These changes worked well, and now we are ready to take the next step towards the complete rebalancing of shells in World of Tanks, we need to rework HE shells. We couldn’t leave them out, because significant changes in the mechanics of standard and special shells would inevitably affect High-Explosive ones, too. Moving Forward Changes from previous Sandbox iterations (the revision of the standard shells and changes in the number of hit points for all vehicles in the game) worked well, and they will also be included in the next iteration, in which you can try out the new changes. We’re currently testing the mechanics for dealing damage with HE shells only for regular tanks. This does not apply to SPG rounds or HESH. We will test them in a separate iteration, but only if we receive positive results from the current Sandbox tests. The mechanics of dealing damage with HE shells are perhaps the most complicated aspect of our game to understand. It consists of a large number of stages and takes into account numerous parameters for the calculation. Let’s take a closer look. The HE shell hits the armor, and the armor penetration is calculated depending on whether the armor is penetrated or not. If the armor is penetrated, damage from the full nominal damage is calculated. If the armor is not penetrated, damage is also calculated, but only from half the value of the nominal damage. Next, the damage application point is calculated. Simply put, a weak spot is chosen in the radius of the sphere where the damage is done. The value of half the nominal damage is reduced proportionally to the armor thickness and other factors at the damage application point. In addition, the damage calculation is affected by whether a Spall Liner is mounted or not. After all these calculations, we arrive at the total damage value. But when we talk about calculations of this mechanic, most of the current aspects are outdated and don’t match the current realities of the game. This doesn’t allow us to fine-tune the effectiveness of HE shells for specific guns, and that’s exactly the aspect we want to change. Current Issues with HE Shells Our players rarely use High-Explosive shells as standard ammo for reliably dealing damage. This mainly happens when playing on vehicles with calibers of 150 mm and above. For lower and medium ones, HE shells are often used to: Reset the base capture progress; Finish off an enemy low on HP; Deal damage in a situation where it’s impossible with other shell types. On the contrary, the effectiveness of HE shells on medium and small calibers is very low, and the use of HE rounds in the above situations doesn’t guarantee a result. At the same time, HE rounds can cause huge damage to weakly armored vehicles, and very often this happens by accident, when you shoot without carefully targeting your enemy’s weak spots. The amount of damage is always different, and even an experienced player cannot predict it in each specific case. Given all of the above, the main goal of the changes for us is to balance the effectiveness of High-Explosive shells for all guns and calibers existing in our game. We want to reduce the amount of total and alpha damage on large calibers 150 mm and above, and to improve the performance of HE shells onlower and medium calibers in specific situations. Here’s how we plan to achieve this. 1. High-Explosive Shells Armor Penetration Removal Yes, that’s right — we want to completely remove the ability to penetrate armor with HE shells. If the tests are successful, then HE rounds will no longer have an “Armor Penetration” parameter. Initially, High-Explosive shells had this characteristic to simulate HE damage mechanics in a more realistic way, but as stated above, HE shells in World of Tanks are almost never used for reliably dealing damage. Even with a skillful aim, penetrating and inflicting huge damage is not guaranteed. We want to avoid a huge spread in the final value of damage, when players cannot predict whether they will inflict a nominal value damage, a third of it or no damage at all. 2. Changing the Mechanics of Damage Distribution Over the Splash Radius If an HE round didn’t penetrate the armor, then the system started calculations according to the damage formula from 0.5 in the center to 0.05 at the edge of the splash. Put simply, when a High-Explosive shell doesn’t penetrate armor in the current gameplay, half of the shell’s nominal damage is immediately deducted, and then the damage decreases depending on the distance to the center of the explosion. With the new mechanics, HE shells don’t penetrate armor at all, which means that this method of calculation is no longer relevant. After the rebalance, the damage will be distributed over the splash radius, varying from 1 in the center to 0.1 at the edge. The full nominal damage of a HE shell will be used for calculation. 3. Nominal Damage Reduction Given the above, such a high nominal damage inflicted by HE shells is no longer needed, and we’ll significantly reduce it depending on the caliber of the gun. The proportion of damage and the specific caliber will also change. Previously, the base damage for the highest calibers (150 mm and above) was truly great. Now the damage gain with increasing calibers will be smaller and more consistent. Below is a table comparing old and new damage values for the main calibers in the game (parameters may vary depending on the individual tank or shell settings). Caliber Old values New values 76 mm 156–260 55–95 90 mm 270–370 95–115 105 mm 360–510 130–180 120 mm 440-530 180-190 122 mm 450-560 180-190 130 mm 580–750 210–270 150 mm 890–950 320–330 183 mm 1750 480 4. Damage Decrease from the Center of the Splash In the new system, damage is calculated from 1 in the center to 0.1 along the edge. The fundamental difference between the new system and the previous one is that splash becomes less “dense”: even at a small distance from the center of the explosion, the damage is greatly reduced. At the same time, it remains possible to cause low damage at the edge of the splash. The splash effectiveness will be reduced, especially closer to the center. Accordingly, HE rounds will cause lower damage to internal and external modules, as well as crew members. 5. Changing the Tracing Algorithm and Minimal Damage Damage dealt will be much more predictable, not only due to the removal of penetration, but also thanks to two other components: Changing the tracing algorithm — finding points for causing damage to various armor groups, modules, and crew members. The current algorithm often “doesn’t find” obvious weak spots, and HE shells may not cause any damage at all. The new algorithm “finds” the required points more often and more accurately than the current one. Simply put, the chance to “find” a weak spot in the enemy’s armor is higher and calculated more accurately, but the amount of damage dealt is much lower. The new algorithm is not fine-tuned yet, so it will be adjusted depending on the results of the upcoming testing on the Sandbox server. The ability to inflict minimal damage due to splash mechanics. Damage done in this way will not be high, but in critical situations, it will increase the possibility of causing at least minimal damage (for example, to prevent base capture) to almost 100% (if you hit the armor or the module, thereby damaging it). Detailed Splash Mechanics Splash mechanics will include three components: Shrapnel from the shell explosion; Spalls on the outer surface of the armor; Splash radius. Shrapnel from the Shell Explosion Shrapnel is formed by the metal jacket of the shell, when the explosion breaks it into separate pieces. They scatter around in a sphere and get stuck in obstacles. After rebalancing, fragments will scatter only to the first obstacle in their way — this is the key difference compared to the shrapnel acting according to the laws of the current mechanics. As a result, shrapnel cannot damage internal modules, except for vehicles with open cabins. Armor damage from this mechanic is absorbed linearly — the thicker the armor, the greater the absorption. For the player, this change means the exclusion of illogical cases of causing damage when, for example, an engine inside the hull catches fire after getting hit in the commander’s hatch. Spalls on the Outer Surface of the Armor Armor spalls are formed on the outer surface of the armor during the explosion of a High-Explosive shell. They are scattered on a conditional “cone” perpendicular to the armor. It doesn’t matter at what angle the shell hits the armor. Spalls damage the armor and can damage the internal modules and crew members. Like shrapnel, spalls cannot penetrate obstacles. The damage from this mechanic is also absorbed linearly — the thicker the vehicle’s armor, the higher the absorption of spalls. For most HE shells, all three mechanics work simultaneously, but can be configured differently. For each armor group, each module, and each crew member, damage is calculated for each mechanic (if the mechanics, in principle, can cause damage to a specific object). Splash Radius Unlike shrapnel and armor spalls, the splash radius is not shielded by obstacles. In this case, the damage is only reduced. Also, the splash radius doesn’t cause damage to crew members, and the armor absorbs it non-linearly (the thicker the armor, the greater the absorption, but the armor cannot completely absorb the damage from the splash). This is why HE shells will inflict at least minor damage on almost any armor. Changes to HE Shells HE shells will do less damage on average per shot (up to 66–75% of the previous damage value). HE shells will do less critical damage to internal and external modules and crew members. It will be impossible to set fire to the engine if you hit the commander’s hatch. There will be virtually no cases when damage doesn’t occur at all when a HE round hits the armor (excluding spaced armor). This will help to improve the “behavior” of HE shells, for example, when preventing base capture or finishing off an enemy with only a few HP remaining. HE shells will expand their scope of use. Now they will be effective not only at large, but also at small and medium calibers. Weakly-armored vehicles will no longer receive such enormous damage from penetration. They will still take more damage than heavily armored tanks, but not 3 times more. Uses of Reworked HE Shells We want to further increase the impact of situationality in the usage of High-Explosive shells. In a nutshell, firing mainly with HE rounds will put you at a disadvantage. Instead, you should use them in the following specific game situations, where they will be more useful than before: Resetting base capture progress. Now the chance to reset the capture is much higher. Finishing off opponents low on HP. Immobilizing enemy vehicles. For the reworked HE rounds, the chance of tracking or damaging an external module is higher. View the full article
  2. Last December we announced our intention to decrease the damage done by special rounds by 25–30% while keeping their armor penetration values. As such revisions require rigorous testing, more time was needed to implement them. Now that we have completed this round of changes, we would like to invite you to test it in the Sandbox. How to Join the Test The test launches today on the Sandbox server, and everyone is eligible to participate and evaluate the modifications we propose: you just need to apply on this site. Once your application is approved, your WGC launcher will feature a new title: World of Tanks Sandbox. You will need to install it to access the Sandbox server. Important: The test will run from June 04 to June 10. Reasons for Adjustments Here’s why we are making these revisions: Currently, a significant portion of players choose ammo type solely on its armor 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 armor 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 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 armor 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-armored 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-armored vehicles (depending on tier), up to 30% for lightly-armored 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 caliber of the gun (the primary factor). The larger the caliber 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 caliber, but will still produce some minor value differences. We shall maintain the correlation between the alpha strike value of guns of the same caliber 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. Important: 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 armor penetration, damage, and price. The special rounds will retain the highest armor 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-armored 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-armored 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. Your Feedback is Important! Sandbox tests are necessary to assess the viability of our ideas and make sure our calculations for exact adjustment modifiers are right. We still have not decided on whether to implement the entire set of modifications listed in this article as we are awaiting the Sandbox test results, so we are counting on your active participation! But most importantly, we would like to let you try out all these changes in battle for yourself and give us your feedback, instead of just reading articles about them on this portal. Important: We still have not decided on whether to implement the entire set of modifications listed in this article as we are awaiting the Sandbox test results, so we are counting on your active participation! Everything described above is a working concept of the rebalance, comprising of our ideas and suggestions. We need to hear from you about all the proposed innovations to make sure we are making a step in the right direction. Join the open Sandbox test and share your opinion. Let’s make our game better together! View the full article
  3. Last December we announced our intention to decrease the damage done by special rounds by 25–30% while keeping their armor penetration values. As such revisions require rigorous testing, more time was needed to implement them. Now that we have completed this round of changes, we would like to invite you to test it in the Sandbox. Reasons for Adjustments Why are we making these revisions? Currently, a significant portion of players choose ammo type solely on its armor penetration. For them, this single parameter is what makes the difference between a basic and a special round. Other stats — such as normalization, penetration of environmental objects, auto-bounce angle, and velocity — are often ignored. When deciding to use special rounds, these players consider their immediate tactical situation. When firing special shells, one gets a clear advantage that 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 ammo rebalancing is to encourage players to choose ammunition more responsibly and thoughtfully in battle — taking into account the potential consequences. We want the player’s decision to be influenced not only by armor 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’re going to modify the low-to-mid-Tier vehicles’ HP pool progression. We’ve already told you about the Supertest. 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 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’ve decided to create an alternate concept for 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 armor protection and HP. Boosting the HP of the Maus and the Leopard 1 by the same ratio, for instance, benefits 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-armored 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 armored vehicles (depending on Tier), up to 30% for lightly armored 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 caliber of the gun (the primary factor). The larger the caliber 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 caliber, but will still produce some minor value differences. We shall maintain the correlation between the alpha strike value of guns of the same caliber 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. Please note 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’ll 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 armor penetration, damage, and price. The special rounds will retain the highest armor 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-armored 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-armored 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 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. Sandbox Test Ruleset The changes described above will affect every vehicle in the game, and we would like you to test them in vehicles of every Tier. Tier I–X progression will be available during the Sandbox test, with its speed greatly increased. Our valued testers will all receive the following benefits: An unlimited supply of Credits and Gold; you will just need to do battle and get XP to research the vehicles you want! The ability to research vehicles of any class and tier promptly. The ability to use different shell types and Premium consumables without limitations. Fight bots at Tiers I–V (to simplify the process of team composition for the matchmaker). Considering that Sandbox is a test server, there will be just five (5) nations available and their Tech Trees will be simplified. In terms of economy, we are keeping the shell prices and the repair costs the same for the duration of the Sandbox test. After we process the results, we shall address this very important aspect of the game too. It is very likely that it will also require adjustments and improvements. Your Feedback is Important! Sandbox tests are necessary to assess the viability of our ideas and make sure our calculations for exact adjustment modifiers are correct. We still have not decided on whether to implement the entire set of modifications listed in this article as we are awaiting the Sandbox test results, so we are counting on your active participation! But most importantly, we would like to let you try out all these changes in battle for yourself and give us your feedback. IMPORTANT! We still have not decided whether to implement the entire set of modifications listed here as we are awaiting the Sandbox test results, so we’re counting on your active participation! Everything described above is a working concept of the rebalance, comprising our ideas and suggestions. We need to hear from you about all the proposed innovations to make sure we are taking a step in the right direction. View the full article
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