In our previous developer diary about vehicle balance, we mentioned player feedback as one of the important sources for game changes. Today, we’d like to demonstrate the principle on an issue that’s been brought up a number of times in the recent past by the Armored Warfare community – the problem of recon AFV gameplay and performance in PvP.
We’ve carefully monitored your feedback regarding the PvP gameplay issues of a number of recon AFVs with the Tier 7 VBL being the most common culprit. These issues are caused by two main factors:
- The way the AFV camouflage factor interacts with environmental camouflage
- The way the AFV camouflage and environmental camouflage interact with skills
Simply put, under certain circumstances (when using specific camouflage-boosting commanders like Erin O’Connell), these AFVs are too stealthy, making them almost impossible to detect, let alone eradicate. In skilled hands, such recon AFVs are able to completely dominate the flow of battle far beyond the level intended by our game designers.
To remedy these issues, we’ve prepared a number of corrections to the existing camouflage mechanics (the existing mechanics are described in a dedicated article.
In the current iteration, the distance at which a vehicle becomes spotted is directly reduced by the vehicle’s camouflage rating and the environmental bonus received from for example bushes or other foliage. This led to two problems:
- It allowed players to gather enough camouflage bonuses for the vehicle to have enough camouflage to become possible to spot only at the minimal automatic spotting distance (50 meters)
- After reaching a certain camouflage value threshold, it made no sense to further improve environmental camouflage bonuses from bushes (or for players to seek more advantageous positions) because the camouflage value was so big that the vehicle could only be spotted at the minimum distance
This is why we decided to overhaul the environmental camouflage equation as such. Using the new formula, the distance a vehicle is spotted at will still be reduced by the camouflage factor, but afterwards, this value will be divided by (1+environmental bonus for the bushes between you and the enemy). Please note that two bushes at most are counted for the purpose of this equation – you can’t receive a bonus from more than two bushes.
The current equation looks like this:
- SpottingDistance = 50+((ViewRange-50)*(1-Camouflage))
The Camouflage value from (1-Camouflage) is currently defined as:
In other words, the whole equation looks as:
- SpottingDistance = 50+((ViewRange-50)*(1- VehicleCamouflage-EvironmentalCamouflage))
After the changes, the formula will look as such:
- SpottingDistance = 50+((ViewRange-50)*((1- VehicleCamouflage)/(1+EvironmentalCamouflage)))
Naturally, after such a change, we also have to overhaul the environmental bonus provided by in-game foliage. Previously, the maximum environmental bonus per bush was 0.3 (that could stack up to 0.5 for two bushes) – now, the bonus per bush will have a value of 1 and will stack up to the maximum value of 2.
So, let’s say a VBL with its standard camouflage value of 38% stands behind two bushes and you are driving a Warrior so you have a spotting distance of 410m. Currently, it will work as this:
- SpottingDistance = 50+((410-50)*(1-0.38-0.5) = you see it at 93 meters
With the updated model, it will work as such:
- SpottingDistance = 50+((410-50)*((1-0.38)/(1+2))) = you see it at 124 meters
To address the issue of hidden AFV behind bushes firing missiles without being spotted, we will be also changing the way environmental camouflage bonus loss when firing a weapon works.
In the current version, your environmental camouflage bonus can be reduced by firing your own weapon with the bush carrying the highest environmental camouflage bonus value within 15 meters of you losing 66 percent of their environmental camouflage bonus for 5 seconds.
In Season 1, we will be changing this mechanism – upon firing, 50 percent penalty will applied to the entire (final) camouflage bonus the vehicle receives instead. In other words, the penalty will not affect the “best” bush, but all the bushes and other environmental camouflage bonus sources providing a bonus to the vehicle in question.
As a result of these changes:
- Vehicles with very low camouflage such as MBTs will get a bit more use out of the changes
- Vehicles with mid-range camouflage such as large TDs will remain roughly the same
- Extremely stealthy recon AFVs will become easier to spot
- It will become harder to fire from bushes while staying hidden
We hope that you’ll like the changes and will see you on the battlefield!