Below you'll find all-new answers from the team at Obsidian Entertainment to many of your questions about Armored Warfare!
How will variants of tanks be integrated into the game? Will they be different tanks that need to be unlocked separately, or can you upgrade a tank to its variants? In real life, you can’t always upgrade directly. The way variants will be represented in Armored Warfare depends on the vehicle and how different the variant is. In many cases where variants did not feature a large number of technological changes, they will usually be represented by having the changes present in the Vehicle Upgrade Trees. For variants that were a significant change in technology, armor, appearance, or armament, it is more likely that the variant will be included in the game as a separate vehicle.
How do you solve the problem with the fact that many of the characteristics of modern tanks classified? Most of the details that we’re interested in when we’re modeling vehicles aren’t going to be particularly difficult to determine. If there is something we can’t find, we’ll get as close as we can. Vehicles will have some compromises made for gameplay purposes in any case, so it won’t be a dealbreaker if we can’t find publicly available information. We will continue to research any and all sources that become available to us and as additional information is found.
Will vehicles in the game feature characteristics of the originals? For example: Would a single PZH2000 or Archer self-propelled howitzer be capable of Multiple Round Simultaneous Impact fire? Or in a broader sense of the question: How do the developers draw the line between realism and balanced gameplay? Representing the vehicles for what they can do, especially when it comes to unique mechanics that makes vehicles special, is important to us. However, there are some mechanics that would be poor for gameplay if they were implemented exactly how they exist in the real world. In cases where we can't implement a weapon system exactly how it would work in the real world, we will still take its mechanics into consideration when figuring out the stats of the vehicle. In the case of Multiple Round Simultaneous Impact, we have not made a final decision as to whether this mechanic can be implemented in a way that would good for gameplay but it is possible it will make an appearance in some form.
Will upgrades to vehicles be applied permanently or will it be possible to save different configurations for a vehicle (tank 'builds' in MMO terms) to adapt them to different mission profiles? For example: One Leopard 2 with additional armor for urban combat, while another build instead sheds the additional armor to reduce weight but adds the more powerful L55 gun for engagements in open fields. Initially, there will not be a Loadout system for the vehicles, though we have discussed designs for a system like this internally. However, nearly all of the upgrades applied to the vehicle can be changed out without any penalty or cost in the Base. This means it will be easy to try different vehicle configurations to find the one that fits your preferred playstyle. However, it will not be possible to change vehicle setups on demand once you have queued into the matchmaker and are loading into a map.
Could you explain the mechanics of smoke grenades in greater detail? Does the tank disappear from view entirely? Obviously this depends on the positioning of the vehicle in the smoke cloud, but yes, vehicles will be obscured. That being said, there are some technology upgrades that might assist you in penetrating that smoke and enable you to get an idea of where the target is anyway, but that upgrade would be a tradeoff against other benefits.
How will composite armor be modeled? Vehicle Armor will be modeled differently depending on the actual composition of the armor. This means different types of armor will be more effective against different types of ammunition. To provide a common way to compare armor across all vehicles, armor will be expressed in terms of RHA and will show different effective thicknesses against Armor Piercing and Shaped Charges.
Will there be penalty for ramming allies? Dealing damage to allies by either shooting or ramming them will be punished by the anti-griefing systems that we will have in place.
Why fire extinguishers? On modern tanks automated fire extinguishing system. Some vehicles will have Fire Suppression Systems as part of the Technology Upgrades available to that vehicle. However, not all vehicles in Armored Warfare are modern enough to have Fire Suppression Systems and for those vehicles, Fire Extinguishers make more sense. We have not finalized the consumables available to the various vehicles at this point so the Fire Extinguishers seen in current marketing materials are potentially placeholders as well.
Since modern fighting vehicles are equipped with infrared equipment and high-tech sensors, will there be nighttime maps/battles to be fought? You bet! In future we’ll be including night-time battles and even storms and significant weather effects where additional visual technology upgrades will be helpful.
Will travel through the water and mud affect the appearance of the tank? For performance reasons, water and mud will not affect the appearance of the vehicle as it drives through them. However, we are interested in exploring ways to implement this feature in the future when we can find a way to support it without sacrificing the performance (FPS) of the game for players.
Can you shoot\hit gun of a tank? If not, why not? It is possible to damage the cannon or autocannon of a tank by targeting the gun itself. If you damage the player's gun it will impact the accuracy of the weapon and if you manage to destroy it, players will be unable to fire the cannon for a while. While in the real world, it would not be possible to repair a tank's cannon within the time duration of the match, we are avoiding putting players into situations where their vehicle is no longer able to participate in a match simply due to damaged modules.
In the PAX Gameplay Stream it didn’t seem like different terrain impacted the way the vehicles moved. Will this kind of thing be modeled in Armored Warfare? Different terrain types will definitely have an impact on the way the vehicles move throughout the environment. In addition, slopes and hills will also impact the acceleration and top speed achievable by the vehicles. At the time the PAX Gameplay Stream was recorded, this system was work in progress but in newer versions of the build, terrain types and slopes have a more noticeable effect on the speed vehicles move and accelerate.
Will it be possible to include a mission creator in the game where players can create their own missions on existing maps later in the game? We may consider adding this later on, but right now we don’t have any plans to include a mission creator in the game.
Will there be a testing ground for vehicles? There will not be a testing ground for vehicles at launch but it is a feature that we may consider adding to the player's Base in the future.
How long would it take to move from the closed beta, once it is launched, to get to the open beta? That depends entirely on the feedback that the beta testers provide. We’re hoping that it will only be a few months, but the reality of game development is that sometimes things take longer than anticipated or hoped.