We’re reopening Sandbox for another round of testing. To keep you in the loop about the latest Sandbox happenings, we have a dedicated blog. Check it out for in-depth information about joining the server, the changes being tested, and more.
After introducing a lot of massive changes all at once in the 1st iteration, we collected and analyzed your feedback. This time, we’re taking a more “compartmentalized” approach and continue fine-tuning features that showed good results during the previous test. We’ll cluster the changes into two phases, each with specific “packs" of changes for you to test:
- Phase 1: Armor penetration and accuracy mechanics; normalizing damage values of overpowered and underpowered guns
- Phase 2: All-round work on artillery
The first phase begins January 19. Here, we’ll test tweaks aimed at creating more fun, active gameplay for well-armored, slow vehicles. Their intended role is to lead an attack, while taking on enemy fire thanks to their solid HP pool and strong armor. Instead, the current mechanics encourage these tanks to shy away from close-range engagements and force them to play a lot like tank destroyers, to avoid being spotted and destroyed before they can ever set the battle line. We end with a somewhat dull camping match all too frequently.
To make armor relevant again, we are altering several core mechanics. We hope these changes encourage players in well-armored heavy tanks to be more mobile and seek ways to close the distance to targets. And we’ll need your opinion to see if we got it right.
- Shot distribution within the aiming circle. The revised mechanic has fewer shots clustered closer to its center. As a result, hitting weak spots at range is more difficult for the guns that have bad dispersion (0.4 or more), while aim time, armor, and gun stabilization become more important. Those who participated in the first Sandbox iteration will find the new solution is nearly the same as then, but this time, the perception of this change is unaffected by other significant changes surrounding it.
- Penetration loss over distance. AP and APCR shells penetration values begin decreasing at 50 m (not 100 m) and they lose 18% and 23%, respectively, of their initial values at 500 m. This should facilitate action-packed, close-range engagements and make armor thickness more relevant, while maneuvering in the enemy's sight becomes safer with distance. We tested a similar solution in the first iteration, and found it too radical. Now we’re testing reduced penetration falloff to see if it’s enough to make maneuvering and flanking safer, without disrupting the fun.
Finally, there’s also a “pack” of less fundamental, yet significant changes we’d like to test during the first phase: revised alpha damage of heavy tanks and TDs.
- Currently, vehicles with very high alpha damage (the JagdPz. E 100, FV 4005, or FV 215b (183)) foster artillery-like gameplay. We’ll try to fix it by reducing excessively high alpha damage of very high-caliber (170+ mm) guns, while also improving their reloading time to keep the DPM unchanged.
- At the same time, we’re increasing the damage of 120 mm guns to the damage rating of the 122 mm guns (at the moment, this minuscule difference in caliber results in a 10% reduction of damage: 400 vs. 440). Their reload time gets increased as well, to keep the DPM intact.
These are two delicate issues, and Sandbox gives us the perfect opportunity to see how the changes will impact gameplay.
We’re hoping that all these tweaks and changes are going to make the game better. By listening to you—the players—we can discover what requires further tweaking.
So, jump on board with us and let’s make the game better—together!