Developer Digest - Pt.28

Welcome to the newest issue of the Developer Digest series. Here you can find out more about game development straight from the developers!


In the last Developer Digest, you mentioned changes to the spotting system, but on PTS all the AFVs seem to have the same view range, can you explain?

They do not have the same view range. The patch which is coming next to the PTS has more of the values we want for AFV view ranges. In addition, AFVs also get a bonus to their spotting distance when they remain still. We also have other upgrades AFVs get at higher tiers which provide even more view range. This is on top of the view range anyone can get by equipping the view range oriented retrofits.

Camouflage works a bit differently in Update 0.19. While an AFV might have greater view range, it does not mean it will penetrate the camouflage of those (like TDs) that are hiding stationary.

Spotting AFV's lose camouflage factor slowly on the move and get a spotting range bonus when standing still. TDs get the highest accuracy, least amount of camouflage loss when firing and a 20x zoom compared to other vehicles (tank 12x zoom others 15x zoom). The SPG class (now officially designated TDs) gets good camouflage firing modifiers like TD's and very strong HE ammo. At higher tiers spotting vehicles unlock equipment that lets them see better through bushes.

Will the Global Operations mode ever be available starting from Tier 1?

In the long run having GLOPs available immediately at Tier 1 is a good thing. For one, it's much more casual in nature compared to traditional PvP which is great for attracting newer players, who may not be hardcore fans of other tank games. If you look at a game like CS:GO and compare it to Battlefield, you can really see which one is more approachable to a newer audience despite both being First Person Shooters.

On the flip side of things, we do feel that our current GLOPs maps (both Desert Crossing and Barren Divide) are far too large to traverse for lower tiered vehicles. While some vehicles are fairly quick around Tiers 2-3, you still have an overall slower pace of play until everyone starts speeding up around Tier 4. We do intend to introduce smaller GLOPs maps, which would allow us to bring in smaller teams and get people into the action faster. I think once we have more maps like these we can selectively queue lower Tier players on those maps to ensure they don't spend the majority of their time in GLOPs just driving from spawn to a particular point. That's not to say we wouldn't open all GLOPs maps up to all tiers, but it's certainly something we would need to evaluate further after the introduction of Balance 2.0.

Can you elaborate on the “Commander Cupola takes full damage” decision, please?

In Armored Warfare, MBTs are already the most armored class which makes facing them from the front as a lower tier MBT an uphill battle. While other classes can flank MBTs to take advantage of their weaker side and rear armor, fellow MBTs have a much harder time doing so, especially if they get into a brawling situation using hull down cover. As such, we had to provide a small (cupola weakpoints are much smaller than standard weakpoints) area they would be able to penetrate sometimes in order to do some damage to the fronts of higher tier MBTs.

Otherwise we would have a Balance 1.0 situation where MBTs either feel way over armored or their armor is irrelevant due to large, always penetrable driver hatches and turret cupolas. It will always be easier to penetrate a different visible weakpoint against a same tier MBT than to go after the cupola.

The way we model cupolas is are up-armored and are not fully penetrable like they were previously. Now only logical areas of the cupola can be consistently penned with the proper ammunition - assuming the target isn't moving for testing purposes. Unmanned turrets are losing their damage reduction as well, but will receive their appropriate armor.

In other words, lower tier MBTs may have to resort to sniping cupolas if the opposing MBT isn't offering the best choice of frontal weak points which are sufficiently weak against the lower tier MBTs ammo. Additionally, some MBTs, like the Leopard line, have no turret cupolas.

Future cupola mechanics may be in store, but not in Update 0.19.

In recent Developer Digest, you mentioned that you’ll buff autocannons a bit compared to the old PTS version. Does it not mean the autocannon vehicles will return to the state where they destroy enemy tanks with one clip?

No, we just know the current ammo counts on some auto-cannons is a bit too low, thus reducing the amount of potential burst autocannon gameplay fun one might have. We don't want to remove too much autocannon gameplay, just enough of it for it to feel balanced.

You are announcing the Vickers Mk.7/2 – why not introduce iconic Conqueror and Centurion tanks?

They are still coming.

Why are you introducing another artillery model (M108) when the resources could have been used to introduce another Balance 2.0 vehicle?

The M108 model was ready since Early Access. It was just not introduced before. We do have several such vehicles that either didn’t do well during testing or were saved for later and their time never came. Some may yet be introduced, some (like several self-propelled mortar models we made) will most likely not.

That's it for today. See you in the next issue!

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