Developer Diary: Update 0.21 Vehicles

Part 1

Hello, tankers. My name is Dmitry Tabakov and I am the Armored Warfare Creative Producer. Today, I’d like to tell you about the new vehicles in Update 0.21.

We are carefully reading the forums and are listening to the feedback of both supertesters and common players. Two perhaps most discussed topics are new vehicles and when are they coming as well as class balance. The latter mostly concerns MBT domination and the AFV issues, especially when it comes to poor autocannon performance.

And so, with the introduction of the Update 0.21 vehicles, we decided to kill two birds with one stone by introducing new interesting vehicles and, secondly, to solve the autocannon issues and prove once and for all that even lightly armored vehicles can be real killers.

The data collected and your feedback regarding the performance of these vehicles will be used to rebalance other vehicles in the game. You could have noticed the camouflage factor changes in the PTS patchnotes, which will allow Tank Destroyers to play as stealthy snipers, as well as the autocannon and missile changes, improving their damage output even against armored targets.

Now, let’s talk about each vehicle in turn.

The first vehicle, BVP Šakal, is a heavily modernized BVP-2 variant. We intended this vehicle as an introduction to the branch style. Players can see on it what kind of vehicles follow down the line, which is why it has a powerful autocannon with higher rate of fire as well as the SPIKE missiles which guide themselves.

A bit more about this feature.

When we first introduced it, we took our time to consider how to balance it. Some of the negative feedback included the reduction of player skill requirements and excessive gameplay simplification. That is why we decided to give players a choice. Guiding the missile manually will allow players to hit weakspots, allowing them to penetrate even heavy vehicles, especially thanks to the high penetration value of these missiles. Using auto-aim will guide the missile towards the center of the enemy target with corrections, which means that the missile can hit the thickest armor or even the ground. That’s why players have a choice. The fire and forget mode is there for hitting fast-moving targets or peeking out, firing and hiding again. For hitting exact areas, the manual aim mode is better.

While not overpowered or very special, the vehicle can be used to getting used to these mechanics.

The following vehicle, the Tier 7 Rosomak, represents an interesting experiment. It’s the first high-Tier Balance 2.0 vehicle that has an autocannon only. This weapon is supposed to deal a lot of damage and its AP and HE shells are balanced to do just that. It is also supposed to be able to defeat its targets both at distance, especially light ones, and in brawling by flanking them and aiming at their weakspots, their sides and their rear.

Of course, we will take a look at how this vehicle performs, including player feedback, how comfortable it is to play and at all its statistics, starting from its winrate to its ability to spot and destroy enemy targets.

The following vehicle is the Rosomak M1M. It differs by two things. First, it again has ATGMs – this time the more powerful Spike ER (Extended Range) with 1000mm of penetration. These ATGMs are powerful enough to penetrate the front of the majority of MBTs when aiming correctly and reliable enough when using the fire and forget mode against light vehicles, tank sides or rears.

Apart from that its autocannon has a completely new type of shells: PELE. These are armor-piercing shells with significant fragmentation effect, the kinetic energy of which causes massive damage. These shells were developed to be universal: they are useful against both light and medium-level armor vehicles since they both penetrate and have the HE effect. We would like to test them on this vehicle. In a way, it represents the development pinnacle of this development direction.

This is where the main part of the line ends. You can progress further using the Token system for Tier 9 and 10. We’ll talk about them in the next part.

Part 2

Last time, we talked about Tier 6, 7 and 8 of the new line. This time we will focus on Tier 9 and 10 vehicles that are obtainable using Tokens.

The Tier 9 and 10 vehicles represent a departure from the convention that all vehicles in a line should be similar. Instead, we decided to adopt the approach that every vehicle should have its own logic, should be interesting and diverse. That is why there is the WPB Anders on Tier 9. In real life, it is a predecessor of the PL-01 that we already have in the game. It will differ from it by having somewhat weaker gun and thinner armor, but it should nevertheless be a nice Light Tank with an unmanned turret that will receive reduced damage. In other words, it will be a vehicle for aggressive players, allowing them to break through and flank. In this sense it is a continuation of the previous vehicles in the line with high firepower but thin armor.

And, last but not least, the Tier 10 Wilk XC-8. This is a vehicle that many players suggested as a Tank Destroyer. And that’s what it is – simply a good, powerful TD. It has a very high damage per minute value, good camo value and good accuracy. Yes, it doesn’t have an autoloader or a ready rack, unlike other vehicles of the line, but it is nevertheless fully capable of dealing a lot of damage when remaining hidden. One specific feature shared with the rest of the line is that it is quite tall, leading to a gun depression value that can be used to target enemy roof weakspots but also makes the aiming relatively difficult.

Generally speaking, it’s possible to say that we tried out several new ideas in this line that include new shells for autocannons, an autocannon-only vehicle and additional self-guiding mechanism for the ATGMs. We also tried to make the module unlocks interesting. For example, you might have already seen the Q-Net mesh, used on several of these vehicles, that significantly increases the protection from HEAT rounds, which is important in 0.21 as the HEAT shells make a comeback from their niche position of limited use to that of a full-scale gameplay choice.

We can now get to the topic of light vehicle changes and the changes made to AP and HEAT shells in general. In Update 0.21, after analyzing player feedback and statistics, we realized that the players were using AP shells almost exclusively at the expense of both HEAT and HE shells. In the previous In Development articles we wrote about our plans to fix the situations. To that I would like to add that the new line uses the new rules to full extent for its guns because you can clearly see how the AP shells interact, how the HE shells interact and each shell type’s role on the battlefield.

Here, you can see something interesting. Many argued that penetration value is not important for ATGMs as you either target a weakspot that you penetrate reliably or you fire at armor that you can’t penetrate at all. Now, thanks to the new mechanics, when the HEAT jet penetrates armor, how much penetration was left after armor thickness deduction is taken into account. That is why a HEAT-based guided missile with good penetration will automatically work better if it has analogical base damage.

Of course, we will tweak the mechanism further and it’s possible that the coefficients we use now will improve or be reduced, but we do want the HEAT shells to take their rightful place as a viable choice.

It’s worth noting that the Anders LT and the Wilk are two of the vehicles where the HEAT gameplay is, according to our opinion, important. They do have quite powerful HEAT shells. This rule is also somewhat realistic. If a vehicle has a low muzzle energy weapon, it is not effective in shooting AP rounds in real life either because their kinetic energy is insufficient. HEAT shells, on the other hand, do not care whether the gun has high or low muzzle energy. They generally work the same way. That is why we believe that in Update 0.21, it will be easier for light vehicles to penetrate using HEAT shells a to both deal more damage by and receive more damage from the analogical HEAT shells that in many cases received a damage buff and are able to effectively defeat even MBTs. Along with the other fixes such as the camouflage changes or the multiple firing mode options for the Stryker and some Light Tanks, this will improve class balance, especially on higher tiers.

You could have also noticed that apart from the new line, we also added one more vehicle – the Type 99. This is a Chinese MBT, taking the Tier 8 slot of the Chinese MBT line. Here, we can say the following. After a number of checks with our advisors, we realized that Type 98 and Type 98G, how we called them in the game, are not the correct names for them used in China. The spread of these names can be attributed to western sources on Chinese tank industry. That is why the Type 98 MBT is renamed to 9910 in Update 0.21 after the first, pre-production prototype of the Type 99. The Type 99 is added as well.

This tank is quite powerful for an MBT and can be considered a stepping stone towards further Type 99-based vehicles that will arrive in the upcoming updates.

And this is where the newly introduced line ends. We believe that it should be interesting to play and well-balanced and we are of course looking forward to your feedback. Whether they are bug reports or suggestions, we are always listening to you and are balancing the vehicles not only using statistics, but also with your opinion on our mind.

Naturally, not only we will add to the vehicles you will see in Update 0.21 in the future, but, as I said, it will also become the basis for the rebalance of older vehicles. We definitely think that light vehicles in Armored Warfare need global improvements to become interesting to play. You will see some of them in Update 0.21.

We would also like to thank all of the players who play on the Public Test Serve for their submitted feedback and the statistics we were able to collect for the vehicles. And to everyone who plays Armored Warfare: we care about you and want all the vehicles to be interesting, well-balanced and diverse. And each Update is a step in this direction. Thank you for your opinions, for playing our game and good luck on the battlefield.

Oh yes, and fear the HEAT now!

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