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May 22, 2013

0.8.6 - Storm on rebalance, part 2

Just a few more points from Storm's article discussion:

- the "economy change" won't be the gold shell hardcap
- the armor coefficient (see previous part on FTR, spall liner HE calculation) is 1,3, not 1,1
- it's Zlobny's call how much the arty will be nerfed, not Storm's
- it's possible that the shell credit reimbursement will be in 0.8.5 prices
- the normalisation of regular AP rounds wasn't touched
- Storm states that immediately after the patch goes live, we can expect anything, real results will show after like a month
- 7/42 will come this year

And a two late evening answers from the regular Q&A thread as a bonus:

- the new T10 tanks will have regular tank profitability, but crew-wise (switching the crews etc.) will work as premiums
- dry trees don't give a camo bonus

0.8.6 - Storm on arty rebalance


Well, I translated the whole thing, only to notice WG did it by themselves. *sigh* Oh well, at least the EU people aren't sitting on their asses and jerking each other off as usual. The english version can be found here.

Here are a few points Storm answered in discussion:

- the visibility range system will stay as it is now
- if you have a spall liner installed and it gets changed to another type (Jagdpanzer E-100 case for example, that one will get the superheavy one), the old one will be uninstalled and the new one will be put into your depot
- the reason for the spall liner buff is that big heavy tanks make fat targets for arty
- more info will come on friday
- tracks act as spaced armor against HEAT in the following way: let's say a vehicle has 40cm thick tracks, which are 10cm away from the hull. In this case, if a HEAT shell impacts on the tracks, it will lose 5 percent of penetration for each 10cm from the point of detonation, plus the amount of penetration for the tracks armor value, eg. in this case, 5*(50/10)+25 percent from tracks armor value
- armor screens modules for tanks will not come anytime soon

The new spall liners will work like this:

Let's say a 1800 damage arty hit impacts on your 100mm of armor and doesn't penetrate. In the old system, you will get (when you have a spall liner):

Old: 1800/2 (half damage for nonpen) - 100*1,3*1,15 = 750dam
New: 1800/2 - 100*1,3*1,3 = 731dam

However, for small caliber artillery (BatChat), when you are using a heavily armored vehicle (200mm armor let's say), it's more effective (than if you don't use it at all that is):

Old: 1250/2-200*1,3 = 365 dam
New: 1250/2-200*1,3*1,3 = 287 dam

- spall liner doesn't work at all for penetrating arty hits tho
- test won't come this week
- tier 10 tanks don't have XP negative modifiers
- there will be apparently a video made on the 8.6 mechanics changes before the 8.6 goes live
- Löwe won't get a buff
- 0.8.6 won't come before 3rd June
- 152mm HEAT shells on KV-2 were removed, because they weren't historical
- E-100 with the current gun is apparently not historical either
- the mortar guns got only shell velocity nerf, their trajectory remained the same
- KV-1S won't lose its 122mm, statistically it's doing fine
- the arty reload nerf is connected with the transfer of the arties to their new levels
- stocks of shells, that are removed, will be sold for full credit price when 0.8.6 goes live, if you bought 152mm HEAT shells for gold, you'll get their credit price back


 Ugh, SerB is in fulltroll mode today.

- This applies only for RU for all I know: it's possible that e-sports and tournaments (including Clanwars) will get their own dedicated server with separate statistics
- Storm on the amount of rage the "First campaign" generated (specifically the fact the reward tanks will be available only for clanners and not good players in general, despite the fact some good clanless players already paid a lot of money for free XP and are loyal to the game): "Well, if you don't dare to enter a clan and prove you play better than others - we can't help you. Loyalty has something to do with it? What - was it necessery to give those vehicles to everyone for free?" and "If we made the vehicles available for all random players but with such difficult conditions that only a few thousand most skilled players would be able to get them, you would still whine because you still wouldn't be able to get those tanks (looking at your stats)."
- devs made the Campaign event so more players would enter clans and play the Clanwars
- devs consider the post-patch competitions ("Art of War") to be a random equivalent of the Campaign (SS: apparently, since the devs get allegedly thousands of questions "how do I get Type 59" every day, they consider it an equal prize to the new T10's)
- the new reward tanks won't be stronger than the regular T10 vehicles
- there won't be a public test of those new T10's, "they have already been tested"
- SerB (SS: as an answer to a particularily dumb physics question): "Hurry to school. Learn physics from like 6th grade. Or was it seventh? In other words: uninstall the tanks and learn, learn, learn. And then we wonder why our rockets are falling from the sky..." (SS: "Learn, learn, learn" is a known Russian V.I.Lenin quote)
- SerB doesn't consider it an archievement to unlock a whole branch (or tree) to elite status
- SerB to player complaining that there will be no random rewards: "And why should we indulge your whims?"
- while an engine (or transmission) can be set on fire by ANY hit (SS: this was limited for lowtier rapidfire autocannons to reduce the amount of lowtier fires), the vehicle catches on fire only from completely destroyed fuel tanks
- on the forum, according to SerB, Storm plays the "good cop" and SerB the "bad cop" - this is a tactic they developed based on experience with the community
- the T10 tanks won't be available for collectors, because "you can't get the full WoT tank collection anyway, because Panzer V/IV or KV-220 were available only as supertester rewards"
- SerB states that there were actually no developer actions, that wouldn't start a wave of forum whining
- the new T10 tanks won't count towards the expert medals
- SerB is not afraid that people with the special T10 tanks will be teamkilled more often out of envy: "We'll ban the retards and the game will be cleaner."
- the fact that the best players in the game are getting the new T10 tanks will be taken into account, when analyzing the stats of these tanks
- Storm states that in order to match the same level of difficulty when obtaining the new T10 tanks in random, the players would for example have to have an 85 percent winrate over 1000 battles
- regarding the 0.8.6 patch, the developers are happy with the new shell distribution and won't delay the patch any further
- 2nd German TD line will come this year, possibly in autumn, but Storm is not sure yet
- there will be a really small piece of info released today on 0.8.6
- ricochet check happens before normalisation is taken into account
- when making some calculations that work with gun caliber (SS: for example overmatch), the gun caliber and its shell caliber are always equal (SS: eg. subcaliber shells are not taken into account)
- test 0.8.6 won't start tomorrow
- no plans for Marder II new gun
- the new T10 tanks will be (just like premium tanks) usable with crews trained on another tanks from the same class (SS: eg. M48 crew will be usable in M60 etc.), they won't have increased income
- according to Storm, there is a patch plan for this year till 2014 and by now, it's being followed quite accurately.

Ensign's Q&A Answers #4

By EnsignExpendable

Lots of excellent questions coming in this round! Here are the answers:

Q: What do the different letter codes mean? A, B, F, etc.
A: There really isn't much rhyme or reason to them (each factory or group got to choose their own), but here you go:

2##: initially Kirov factory, then factory #100, then NII-100
7##: construction bureau of the Kirov factory in Chelyabinsk
##-K: factory #8 in Kalinin
A: factory #183
BL: Beria, Lavrentiy. Factory #172.
B: Bolshevik factory in Leningrad
Br: Barricade factory in Stalingrad, factory #221
D: Devyatka, "niner", factory #9
F: factory #92, Grabin's construction bureau
S: TsAKB, Central Artillery Construction Bureau
U: UralMash
V: factory #75, but they weren't the only ones to use that index
ZiF: Zavod imeni Frunze, "factory named after Frunze"
ZiS: Zavod imeni Stalina, "factory named after Stalin"
ZiK: Zavod Imeni Kalinina, "factory named after Kalinin", factory #8 during evacuation

Q: How well was the M3 Lee received in Russia?
A: The M3 Lee, appearing in Soviet documents as M3s or M3 Medium, was not exactly a favourite. Once Shermans became available, the USSR started ordering those. In his book on Lend-Lease tanks, Baryatinskiy puts it politely: "The Red Army met the M3 Medium without excessive happiness". The tankers themselves made a song about it:

"America gifted Russia
An M3 medium
It's loud, but pointless,
and as tall as the sky"

The Lee also earned the nickname "Certain Death" and "Mass Grave". The Lee was barely used in its primary role: as an infantry support tank, due to its massive size and low agility. Interestingly enough, the Soviets managed to fit 16 people into it (10 infantrymen with SMGs and the crew), and could still fire both guns. There was a recommendation to use it as an APC. There is, however, no indication that it was ever used in this role, as the Red Army was already getting non-worthless tanks in sufficient amounts. Lees were sent to the Transbaikal front, where the Japanese tanks didn't offer them much resistance.

Due to the use of ethylated gasoline, which many Soviet tankers never encountered, the Lee ended up killing its crew members by poisoning them before even leaving for battle.

The only bright moment in the life of the M3 Lee in the USSR is when Soviet divers retrieved 12 Lees from a  sunken transport, after a year at the bottom of the ocean, and 11 of them could be repaired and sent into battle.

There are some accounts of M3 Lees allegedly shooting down planes strafing Lend-Lease convoys, but this is extremely unlikely, as the vehicles on deck were covered in waterproof tarps (which were glued on) and shipped covered in grease and without ammunition. Dmitriy Loza writes that it took over two days to "undress" a new Sherman. It is unlikely that the Lee could be prepared to repel an air raid.

Q: Tell me more about T-34 prototypes: A-20 and A-32, as well as the A-43, A-44, and Object 416.
A: The A-20 was developed by Koshkin. He was ordered to produce the A-20 tank (sometimes in documents at T-20), a lightly armoured tank that followed existing Soviet light/medium tank doctrine: fast movement on tracks or wheels will protect a tank better than heavy armour. The tank featured a vertically stabilized 45 mm gun.

However, he was unhappy with the thin armour and wasteful convertible drive. On his own initiative, he developed a tank called A-20G, or A-32. The A-32 had a 76.2 mm L-10 gun, and was slightly better armoured. A second prototype of the A-32 had a 45 mm gun. It was overloaded with weights to 23 tons in order to determine the feasibility of increasing front armour to 45 mm.

The A-34 was what followed the A-32. The tank had the longer L-11 gun, 45 mm of front armour, and a new engine. The M-250 diesel was an improved V-2, but failed trials due to a very high oil temperature. The A-34 served as a basis for the T-34.

The T-34M (A-43) was developed at factory #183. The project got as far as a wooden model of the tank, and production of various components in metal, before the war started and the project was cancelled. If not for the cancellation, the Soviets would have had 800 of them by the end of 1941.
The T-34M solved most, if not all, problems with the T-34. The tank had a commander's cupola, as well as a dedicated gunner, two features that would not be implemented until the T-34-85. The armour of the A model was the same as the T-34. The B model had 60 mm in the front. In April of 1941, front armour was upped to 60 mm, and roof and bottom to 30 mm. This variant was called T-60. The engine was a 2000 RPM 600 hp V-5. A variant with a planetary transmission, T-34T, was also planned. The T-34M had a more modern torsion bar suspension. The tracks were slightly narrower than the T-34's at 450 mm.
The T-34M A variant could theoretically accelerate up to 60.5 kph, the B variant could go up to 55. The operational range was 330 km.

The A-44 (not related to the T-44) was developed in 1941, and meant for production by 1942. Three A-44 project were proposed with the ZiS-4, ZiS-5, and ZiS-6 guns, 75-120 mm of front armour at 60 degrees. Maximum speed ranged from 53 to 65 kph. 

The Object 416, despite its similar layout, was unrelated to the A-44. The tank was equipped with a M063 100 mm gun that, according to calculations, could achieve a muzzle velocity of 1000 m/s. The armour, however, was not so great, with 75 mm in the front hull. The tank turned out to be very light, but had no advantages over other medium tanks, and was thus not adopted by the army.

Q: What about the captured Panther and PzIV?
A: The PzIV was considered a good tank by the Red Army, and usable for both regular service, and infiltration missions. The Panther, however, was deemed inferior for both tasks to the PzIV and StuG III. Nevertheless, there were projects to re-arm both tanks with Soviet guns: the PzIV would get a 76 mm gun, and the Panther would get an 85 mm. A captured tank in-game wouldn't just be a recolour. With these modifications, a PzIV could be a serviceable tier 5 premium with preferential matchmaking, but it would be pretty tough for the Panther to work anywhere above tier 6 with preferential matchmaking.

Q: Do you have any information on the upcoming Soviet tier 7 medium?
A: The T-44A (Object 136) was based on the second T-44 prototype, and was armed with the 85 mm ZiS-S-53 gun, and had a 500 hp engine, which was capable of accelerating the tank to 60.5 kph. So it's a stock T-44 that goes slightly faster (although good luck getting to that full 60). It will be a pretty lackluster tier 7 premium. I hope you enjoy firing gold and running three engine boosting consumables.

Keep sending in your questions to! If you already have, and I haven't answered it yet, don't worry, I'm getting there. :)

Previous Q&A.

0.8.6 test not tomorrow

Sorry, was just a hoax. Storm confirmed it's not true.