Welcome to the fourteenth issue of the Developer Digest series - find out more about the development of the game straight from the developers themselves!
Today’s round will focus on Update 0.17, Global Operations and the upcoming Balance 2.0 changes.
I saw the Global Operations announcement – how will the AI bunkers work, like turrets in MOBA?
ATGM bunkers do not work like MOBA towers. They are emplacements you can choose to put down in certain areas of the map.
What about the Global Operations map? I would like to play it as a standard PvP map.
The map used for Global Operations will also be a standard PvP map. There will be more Global Operations maps released in the future. Some larger than Desert Crossing.
The Global Operations bombers sound very overpowered and potentially frustrating.
Bombers are going to be somewhat rare and you won't see a ton of them per match. They are the "top" tier wildcard you can currently get.
What about the Global Operations AI? Fighting bots doesn’t sound fun.
There's plenty of AI to fight and with respawns you won’t feel as punished in the PvP portions of the match when you die. The mode is a TON of fun. It's got a lot of potential and it will only improve as we add more maps/wildcards in the future. Much of the tech which has gone into Global Operations can and will be ported over to PvE gameplay. AI opponents will be featured throughout the match, but you will be fighting enemy players the most.
When is the announced Survival mode coming?
Survival mode will more than likely integrate some of the mechanics introduced in Global Operations. However it will take some time to create all new PvE maps. Currently our map team is focusing on revamping some of our PvP maps for Balance 2.0 and beyond.
Will you improve the Base soon?
In short, Base has been removed in Update 0.18. We are working to roll the bonuses into the baseline rewards players earn in-game. It may return in the future after we revamp it completely.
There is reason to remove it, it’s a resource hog and you will be getting the bonuses from it anyway. One of the big reasons how slow the garage loads is because of the base. This all needs to get reworked and fixed into a usable system before its placed back into the game.
Do the developers even play Armored Warfare? I fought some of them during the Bounty Hunt events and they didn’t play well.
Many of the developers who played during the hunt were just artists and programmers. While they play, they aren't going to be the best of the best. There are a number of good AW players who are on the design team.
It was mentioned that the in the future, there would be more promotional vehicles like the Chieftain Mk.6. I do not like that. Vehicles should be available for everybody.
I don't think there are any examples of this in Armored Warfare. To my knowledge promotional or achievement vehicles may initially be rare but over time get distributed in larger numbers. For example, the Chieftain Mk.6 was originally given to Youtubers and Streamers for giveaways, but over time it was used for other purposes, and finally available for a small donation to a charity to everybody.
Is Harbinger coming back?
Yes, we are working on completing the map's revamp as we speak.
What’s the reason behind the Update 0.17 change to gun-launched ATGMs?
With the changes to reload rate for ATGMs and firing on the move, ATGMs were superior to HEAT in most situations. Now you can elect to shoot ATGMs for the benefit of higher penetration and no aim-time. Also, there is no RNG with ATGMs. They go where you point them. We will continue to make more changes to ATGM balance in Balance 2.0.
Can you tell us more about Balance 2.0?
It's been said numerous times already, but please forget whatever balance currently exists when evaluating future changes. We are changing everything. There is literally no point in bringing up current performance of individual vehicles.
With that out of the way:
Smoke launcher, APS, and ATGM availability gets really murky if you try and map things to "historical" availability. Modern day tank equipment works a lot like attachments for modern day assault rifles. You find a piece of equipment you want, smoke launchers for example, and you either bolt it on or "slot" it onto your tank. As such, it's very easy us to justify adding or removing equipment as needed for balance reasons going forward. Armor, APS and guns will be as historical as possible.
Tell us more about Garage 2.0 and the cool render we saw on the screenshots!
The new visuals for Garage 2.0 (not UI just the visuals) are going to be part of 0.18. How you see it in the screenshots is how it looks in-game. It does not use PBR currently as that will take a LOT of time to fully transition over to if/when we implement it. What you are seeing is 4k textures in the garage and our new shaders we've implemented.
What about Crews, Retrofits and Balance 2.0?
Crew and Retrofits will be getting some nerfs or changes before we roll out any new crew or retro systems. We will most likely not be able to fully roll out these new systems in time for Balance 2.0's initial release, so we need to make sure they aren't causing any balance concerns in the meantime. They are something we will be following up with shortly after Balance 2.0 is released, though. Our main goal currently with them is to ensure they do not throw the balance off of what we are attempting to achieve with Balance 2.0. This means nerfing things like accuracy or damage stacking.
Accuracy is getting worse? How will I be able to hit the small weakspots?
Pixel weakpoints are going away. You needed pixel weakpoints in the past because accuracy was able to stack to such laser pin-point accuracy numbers. This will be toned down, but nowhere near WoT levels. I see a lot of players falsely claim the current laser-point accuracy abilities present in AW are more accurate representations of what modern day fighting vehicles can achieve. While MBTs are much more accurate than their WW2 counterparts, they are actually still fairly inaccurate over even medium distances. Please see my thread regarding this matter.
Alright, but please implement the accuracy change together with the armor overhaul.
Yes. If we didn't change armor and just decreased accuracy, it would be the worst thing possible.
You mentioned that not all AFVs should be scouts. So if I understand it correctly, if a vehicle belongs to the AFV class, it does not automatically mean it is supposed to scout. Other classes can also be used as scouts, if they have the right traits. So small fast AFVs will still most likely be the best scouts of the bunch, but vehicle like Stingray (Light Tank) might become better scout than Terminator (Armored Fighting Vehicle).
That sums it up nicely.
Will the accuracy changes affect the more machinegun style autocannons like those found on the Terminators, so that they are less able to go full auto sniper and more have to use small bursts?
Small bursts are what we are going to encourage, yes.
You mentioned overhauling the spotting system. How about having tanks rendered at all times and just when they are spotted, they get the red outline and a ping on the minimap?
This will never happen, too easy to hack.
That's it for today. See you in the next issue!