In our recent Developer Diary series about the Main Battle Tanks, Armored Fighting Vehicles and Tank Destroyers, we’ve discussed some of the vehicle mobility and Ready Rack changes coming to Armored Warfare in Update 0.22.
Today we’ll take another look at both changes.
Vehicle mobility is one of the top three most important characteristics a vehicle can have alongside firepower and protection. In Armored Warfare, it is equally as important as it is in real life. To make the vehicle mobility more realistic, we are introducing multiple changes to the vehicle movement model. Starting from Update 0.22, vehicle movement will be determined by more characteristics, making different vehicles move in a different fashion. One of the more important ones will be the type of the engine the vehicle has. Simply put:
- Diesel-powered vehicles will accelerate well right off the bat and will reach mid-range speed (usually around 30-40 km/h) quite fast, but accelerating from the mid-range speed to their top speed will take some time (these typically include most Soviet tanks, the German Leopards and many Light Tanks)
- Turbine-powered vehicles will accelerate from zero do mid-range speeds slower than diesel tanks but they will reach their maximum speeds faster (these include the Abrams MBT series and the T-80)
This change will have a significant impact on each vehicle’s movement characteristics – some vehicles can even choose between a turbine engine and a diesel engine and this change will make the choice even more important.
Vehicle acceleration will also more depend on that vehicle’s power to weight ratio – lighter tanks with powerful engines will have easier time accelerating, engine horsepower will therefore play a bigger role and upgrades will feel more significant.
Another change concerns damaged engines – currently, vehicles with damaged engines have trouble driving up slopes due to the decrease in engine’s power, often getting stuck in gullies and becoming easy prey for any enemy that happens to appear. This will no longer be the case in Update 0.22 with even the weakest engines being able to push the tank over many slopes and out of danger.
And, last but not least, we are planning to improve the engine sounds including their interaction with obstacles. An engine trying to push a 50 ton behemoth across a ditch should sound worthy of the effort.
Speaking of obstacles – we are also improving the surface interaction with various vehicles. On winter maps, tanks will drift on icy surfaces and driving off-road will become more difficult for certain vehicles. This will introduce a new gameplay element to the game – players who know the maps like the back of their hand will have a clear advantage over those who don’t by knowing exactly where to drive to maximize the performance of their vehicles. Heavy MBTs will feel this change the most while lighter tracked vehicles such as AFVs will stay very mobile even when driving over soft, muddy terrain. The transition between different surfaces will also become more realistic – in the past, crossing between terrain types caused the vehicle to immediately lose a lot of speed. This will no longer be the case as these transitions will become far smoother.
Finally, driving in water will also feel differently – the deeper the water, the more the vehicles will slow down, although driving in shallow water will not affect the mobility much. Emerging from water will, however, become easier (the vehicles won’t slow as much during the transition) due to the abovementioned terrain transition changes.
Wheeled vehicle movement will also be affected by the changes. Many of them will become more controllable and predictable, making it easier to steer and to avoid obstacles.
Our general goal is to introduce more interesting gameplay elements and diversity. The vehicles will feel more unique and different from each other, allowing for some interesting module choices.
Ready Rack in real life is the (usually very limited) set of shells that are stored near the gun to allow the loader to load the gun quicker than if he had to reach out to the hull for more ammunition. As such, they are very handy but, usually, the turret design won’t allow for high capacity ready racks and once depleted, the loading process becomes much slower.
To reflect this fact, we’ll update the Ready Rack mechanism in the following way:
- The Ready Rack will have a limited capacity (much like the standard “clip” autoloader)
- As long as there are shells left in the Ready Rack, the rate of fire of such a vehicle will be quite high
- Whenever a shot is fired from the Ready Rack, the Ready Rack automatically fills every several seconds independently on the gun fire (it’s not possible to fill the Ready Rack like a clip by pressing C). Unlike standard “clip” autoloaders, this process does not prevent the gun from firing
- Firing the gun resets the Ready Rack reload timer – when the loader is busy loading the gun from a Ready Rack, he can’t be reloading the Ready Rack from the standard ammo rack
- If the Ready Rack is empty, the loader loads the gun directly from the standard ammo rack, increasing the gun reload time to match the Ready Rack reload time
In other words, a tank has two reload times:
- Gun reload time (example: 2 seconds)
- Rack reload time (example: 5 seconds) As long as there are shells in the Ready Rack, the gun can fire every 2 seconds. Not firing makes the loader replenish the Ready Rack with one shell every 5 seconds. Once the rack becomes empty, the loader loads the gun directly and the tank is only capable of firing every 5 seconds. However, not firing fills the ready rack back, allowing the tank to fire faster later.
- Ready Rack reload time is influenced by any bonuses affecting standard loading time (like Loader skill for example)
- When switching the type of ammunition, the Ready Rack empties completely and starts being loaded from scratch
The vehicles that will feature this Ready Rack in Update 0.22 include:
- Centauro 105
- Centauro 120
- AMX-10 RCR
- Stingray 1
- Stingray 2
- Merkava 2D
- XM1A3 (with its 120mm gun)
This list is, however, not final and will be added to as we continue to update the game.
We hope that you will like these changes and will see you on the battlefield.