Sandbox Server 1st Iteration

1. Vehicle Roles


Role System: Background

Currently there are more than 400 vehicles in the game. They are divided into 5 classes – Self-Propelled Guns, Tank Destroyers, Light, Medium and Heavy Tanks. But within the same class there might be completely different vehicles: the Maus and AMX 50 B as Heavy Tanks, the E-50 Ausf. M and TVP 50/51 as Mediums, the Grille 15 and T110E4 as TDs, etc. These vehicles significantly differ in terms of their tactical use in battle. As a result, it may be difficult for players at times to choose the vehicle they are interested in, as well as understand how to play it. To solve this issue, the system of tactical roles in WoT is being worked on currently.

Our long-term goal in testing the role system in Sandbox is to create a system of interaction between the various tank roles in battle. In the short-term, we are aiming to adjust vehicles balance, fix obviously imbalanced tanks and give our players the opportunity to test the vehicle-role system in battle.

Role System: Roles Description

For the role system, it’s planned that there will be seven roles, with Hybrid vehicles (i.e. tanks that have two roles) also being a possibility. At the same time, hybrids will be designed in such a way that their effectiveness in a specific role will be more limited, when compared to a single-role tank.

  • Cavalry: Cavalry will mostly be represented by medium tanks – they will be mobile and relatively armoured vehicles. Their key traits will be their good manoeuvrability and stabilisation, as well as their narrow view range. Cavalry vehicles are designed to deal with quick team breakthroughs. They will be particularly effective in close quarters with heavily armoured vehicles, as their manoeuvrability and rate of fire will allow them to confidently “circle” and hit vulnerable places on enemy vehicles. Typical representatives of cavalry tanks are Soviet and Chinese high-Tier medium tanks. Currently on the Sandbox server, cavalry are represented by the following vehicles: the T-62A, E-50 Ausf. M, Object 140, Object 430, and the 121.
  • Fire Support Vehicles: Typical examples of fire support vehicles are those with a good view range, effective armament and decent mobility. At the same time, these vehicles don’t have good armour. The main goal for these vehicles is to cause damage to opponents from the second line of battle – close range battles are not the best idea! It’s possible to determine the most effective battle distance for a specific vehicle by looking at its armour penetration value – the higher it is, the greater the distance at which the tank can battle. Representatives of fire support vehicles include: the AMX 50 B, M48A1 Patton, Leopard 1, T57 Heavy Tank, Bat.-Châtillon 25 t, AMX 30 B, FV4005 Stage II, Centurion Action X, TVP T 50/51 and the STB-1.
  • Ambush Vehicles: The role of ambush vehicles is the most common for Tank Destroyers. The basis of the gameplay for this type of vehicle is using camouflage and firing from cover. Battle distance is determined by the concealment of the vehicle and the survival rate and effectiveness of these vehicles will directly depend on the player’s skill using this parameter. It’s a pretty difficult class to play, that will only fully open up under the control of an experienced player, that is tactically competent and capable of keeping in mind a number of factors. In addition to stealth, these vehicles stand out with their high firepower and excellent armour penetration. Ambush vehicles are not meant for battles at close distance. Examples of ambush vehicles: Object 268 and Grille 15.
  • Scouts: Scouts are presented in the game as the Light tanks class. These vehicles have the highest view range and excellent manoeuvrability.The final realisation of the vehicles of this type is now being discussed and worked on. Representatives of scouts-vehicles: the T-54 ltwt, RU 251, and T49.
  • Assault Tanks: Assault tanks are mobile heavy tanks, with good front armour and are the main striking power of a team in battle. The guns on vehicles of this type are suitable for battles at close and medium distances and have good values of rate of fire, armour penetration and alpha damage, but suffer from poor stabilisation and accuracy. The goal for these vehicles in battle is to keep control of key points on the map and engage in attacking actions. Typical representatives: Т110Е5, IS-7, Т110Е4, 113.
  • Dreadnoughts: Well-armoured vehicles with lots of hit-points. They play the role of “team’s shield”, by soaking up the opponent’s damage, however they are slow and have poor manoeuvrability. In a battle at close distance they can be “circled“ by more mobile opponents. These tanks will perform best in pushing the line, shielding allied vehicles, or in defending strategic positions. The list of heavy tanks: Е 100, Т110Е3, IS-4, Jagdpanzer E 100, Maus, Type 5 Heavy.
  • Artillery: The rebalanced SPG class. On the Sandbox server, vehicles of this class have a completely new role: instead of causing damage to individual tanks, now they rely on teamwork. Stunning an opponent with shock reduces their combat effectiveness and makes them more vulnerable to allied fire. Nevertheless, the ability to cause damage still remains – due to the increased radius of fragment dispersion, SPGs can hit more enemies. The most effective tactic will be firing at groups of enemy tanks, causing damage and stunning several vehicles at the same time.

Role System: Final Goals

The development and implementation of the role system aims not only to clarify tank roles (by dividing and describing vehicles by their behaviour in battle), but is planned as a way to make battles more interesting and diversive. Adjusting this system implies giving vehicles unique features in order to give specific roles to vehicles.

2. Development Q&A


Questions from Jove (CIS contributor), answered by Anton Pankov (Executive Publishing Producer) and Daniil “Murazor” Parashchyn (Special Projects Expert)


  • Why in Sandbox has stabilisation been cut when shell distribution within the aiming circle has been increased?


Not every tank has decreased stabilisation – some vehicles have received different changes. Stabilisation was done in such a way that players could easily hit the target at close distances. I can’t say that it’s perfect now, but it is for this reason that we need to collect statistics in order to decide how the game balance will be improved. Additionally, all heavy tanks have received a nerf to the manoeuvrability of their turret and hull, and now it’s possible to circle heavy tanks. All of these changes are being tested as part of the new vehicle-role system and game balance.


  • Do you plan to add new people to Sandbox?


Each week we try to add new players of all skill levels – not only the ones with good statistics. Now it’s summer and many of those whom we have invited are not yet active, but we believe that the interest in Sandbox will remain high.


  • Artillery now has very good accuracy – is it too much though?


Artillery can no longer one-shot anyone, so we took the decision to increase its accuracy so that it would be possible to make a predictable shot. The new stun/ shellshock feature was not in the game before and it’s not fully set in stone how it will function. There will be the opportunity to decrease the duration and strength of the stun. Yes, it can be annoying, but you can now easily go out and make a push on the enemy team, safe in the knowledge that you will not suddenly be destroyed by artillery.

However, one of the new features that we plan to test is the prohibition or limitation of artillery when playing within a platoon.


  • And what about a bonus for tanking?


We are implementing it little by little. At the moment that we were ready to release it, we felt that it gave too large of a bonus and that we couldn’t make it right without making more changes. Almost the same thing can be said about the bonus for artillery’s assisting.


  • Why does the Т110Е3 have the 120 mm?


We are rebalancing tanks that are over-powered. There can't be any super-armor and super-alpha damage tanks, but I don't really like the current balance on the T110E3. It'll be upgraded later. We also need to take into account that the rebalance will limit the number of tier X tanks in each battle.


  • Have you planned anything interesting for the maps?


Some of the more problematic maps will be added to Sandbox. However, for the moment, we want to focus on technical characteristics and after those, there will be other changes.


Some of the problems with maps will be resolved with the release of new balance changes, as due to the new vehicle roles and changes to artillery, players should be behaving differently on the maps.


  • Will Stun/Shellshock be the only feature that artillery will have?


Yes, there won’t be any smoke shells, spotting shells, etc. We have discussed it more than once and do not plan to include them due to the reason that that average teams may not be able to use them effectively. Smoke rounds risk interfering with the gameplay experience of allied players and could negatively impact gameplay.


  • Why is it forbidden to stream from Sandbox?


We are not ready to allow unlimited streams yet. Some changes are coarse and untested, and streams could worry players that are not aware of the purpose of Sandbox. It is a very important project for us. Later, there will be both official and unofficial Sandbox streams and videos.


  • Because of the large splash range, artillery causes damage mainly to allies rather than opponents. Will you be doing something about this?

Causing damage to allies will result in penalties to the artillery player. We feel this is the best way to discourage players from shooting near allied team members. However, the system is currently in development.


  • I have read that balance changes will initially focus on Tier X tanks and after that changes will be made to lower Tiers. However, there was an opinion that Tiers VI and lower won’t be changed – is that true?


It’s not true that there won’t be any changes at all, but there will be fewer changes for the lower Tiers. Our new role dynamics are for high-level vehicles. There will be changes for lower Tiers, so that they are more balanced and enjoyable to play, but no significant changes are currently planned.


  • Platoons of Tier VIII vehicles are always in the bottom of the list – are you aware of this problem?


We are aware of the problem. Currently the matchmaker tries to match platoons to other platoons, and when it doesn’t find any platoons of Tier VIII vehicles, it looks among Tiers IX and X. We are trying to solve this within the new matchmaker. 

We are also considering a system of 33/33/33, where ~33% of the time a player is on top, ~33% in the middle and ~33% on the bottom.


  • Are there any plans to change the situation with +/-25% RNG?


For now we think that it is OK. There are no serious problems with it even in the eSports scene.


  • For how long will you be testing Balance 2.0?


For us this activity is new and very complex. Our team will be working until the moment that players that are playing in Sandbox say that the game has become better and they like the vehicles more. If there is a situation that we have been testing, but in the end the players say that the balance on the main server is better, then we will not change anything and will not release Balance 2.0… but we hope that we won’t have such a situation.


  • How do you plan to improve the role of light tanks, besides handling and view range?


The spotting role will be returned to them – that’s clear. We want them to be the best scouts, but the problem is that light tanks don’t cause a lot of damage, as it’s difficult for an LT-8 to play with Tier IX and X vehicles with the new balance. I won’t promise anything right now, but we are currently testing different solutions.


  • Will you be adding new perks to Balance 2.0?


Of course we will, though for now it’s at the concept stage. However, we understand that the current perks are not enough.


The topic of perks was raised many times, but first we want to focus on the balance for the new vehicle-role dynamics, and then we will consider introducing perks for the same roles.


  • What do you plan to do about gold ammo?


We want to decrease its impact. Our goal is to increase the lifespan of tanks within a battle and there are several ways this can be done—all of which we plan to test on the Sandbox.


  • About the matchmaker and balance. Will you be adjusting the matchmaker so that there won’t be one team with seven Tank Destroyers and another one with none at all?


We are currently working hard on the matchmaker, and ideally it would consider this a problem. What the matchmaker will do for certain is ensure there are an equal number of Tier X, IX and VIII vehicles on each team.


  • Do the developers plan to remove the “15 m from the bush” feature?


Currently this mechanics is ok for us. When we move to a more accurate state of balance, we will see how this matches the new state of gameplay, but for now though, we don’t plan to remove it.


  • Aren’t you afraid that players will be confused with the new vehicle roles?


This is certainly a concern of the team and as such we will be working to make things as clear as possible through information in the client and via the web portal. We will be moving to the new vehicle-role model gradually, so that players have time to adjust. Our aim is to provide additional information for player about what strong and weak points their tank has.


  • Why are you afraid of making the balance +/-1 as in World of Tanks Blitz?


We think that it won’t work as things are at the moment. Currently, we are making balance changes for +/-2 and we don’t want to introduce any artificial limitations as in this case. We feel that it would be boring to battle with +/-1.


3. How to apply


What is the Sandbox server?

The Sandbox is a separate test server, where developers, together with players, will be working on the new vehicle balance of World of Tanks.

The testing on the sandbox server will start this summer. We can’t reveal all the details yet, but you will for sure be able to see entirely new roles for vehicles, including SPGs.

How to get access to the Sandbox server?

To get started, send an application by clicking on the button below. You will get to a special page, where you will complete filling in the application in a couple of steps.


What are the entry criteria?

Not everyone will receive the access to this test server. The criteria for choosing participants will depend on the specific stage of testing but the main objective will be to invite active players who are interested in providing their feedback in order to improve the game.


How do I know that my application was approved?

Players who have been granted access to the test server will be informed via the following sources:

  • An email to your mailbox linked to your account
  • Notification in the game client

We will need some time for processing the applications and evaluation of the number of invited participants.

4. Q&A


Q & A

How does Wargaming determine who will be a tester?

  • As our main goal is to get the most quality reviews. We are interested in enthusiastic tankers. Sometimes we are interested in certain types of players, depending on what we're testing in a specific case. For example, if we want to test changes to any heavy tanks, then we select experienced heavy tank players.

How often are applications processed?

  • We invite participants every few weeks, so that they can look at the changes from a new perspective. When choosing, we are guided primarily by criteria based on the current testing phase, and then by the order in which candidates applied.

Why not to give access to testing to everyone?

  • Sandbox is a small and fast-paced environment where developers can work together with the target groups of players over Balance 2.0 and experiment with new gameplay elements. This environment should be a positive and constructive ecosystem in which developers and testers can collaborate effectively. We are looking for positive and involved tankers and are inviting new participants every few weeks so that Sandbox can remain active.

What rule of conduct will there be on the server?

  • On the test server and forum there are the same rules that are applied on the game servers. Our goal is to maintain a constructive and positive atmosphere during testing. Therefore, testers that demonstrate toxic behaviour towards other participants will be deprived of access to testing without further right of appeal.

Does Wargaming monitor what is happening on the test server regarding swearing and so on?

  • We're monitoring the behaviour of players in Sandbox in the same way as we do on the live server. If you notice that someone in the game behaves inappropriately, please use the reporting system. Testers seen misconducting themselves will be deprived of access to testing without further right of appeal.

How can I apply to be a tester?

  • Each tanker can apply to participate in the testing. Visit the appropriate page to submit your application or to inquire about the status of your application. If you got access to testing you'll get a notification to your email and the game client.

When applying, I did not provide any information. What do you know about my account?

  • Once you have clicked on the button "Apply", your account has been sent for review. Basic information about your account is already known: the preferred vehicles, nation, the number of battles, win rate, your violations and more. The application process simply shows us that you are interested in testing.

Where can I download the client for the test server?

  • If your application was approved, you can download the test client from the page you submitted your application from.

Will my account be empty?

  • Once your application is approved, you need to wait 48 hours, during which all your vehicles, gold , credits and other items will be copied to the test server. There won't be any changes to your live account.

How do I get information about new tests and the start of the test?

  • The main source of information about Sandbox is the list of threads on the forum of Sandbox, that will be created for discussing any changes. Please note that the features of the gameplay on Sandbox are not finalised and some may never appear in the game. Unfortunately, we are not ready to talk in detail about all the changes that will be run on the test.

How can I find other participants of the test?

  • To join with other testers, join the chat in the game client.

Where can I leave my feedback about the test server?

  • You can share your opinion about what you've seen on the test server on the forum of Sandbox.

Why is the test server unavailable?

  • Sometimes we deploy updates to the server. At these moments, it has the "Unavailable" status and you will be unable to log in. When this happens, try to log in again in an hour or two. If Sandbox is still not available, please check the test forum - there you can find notifications about the temporary unavailability of the server:
  • English Speaking Community
  • German Speaking Community
  • Polish Speaking Community

Why do I have a high ping?

  • The Sandbox server is located in Frankfurt (Germany) and has a lower bandwidth than the live game servers. Therefore, depending on where you log in, it is likely that your ping may be higher than usual.

Is there a queue for the server?

  • We expect some excitement after releasing updates. If the number of input requests exceeds the maximum supported number of concurrent authorisations, you will have to wait in a queue.

Why can I not find opponents to play with as quickly as the live servers?

  • The number of players in Sandbox is smaller than on the live servers, so the matchmaking may take longer than usual.

What languages does the server support?

  • The test client will be available in English and Russian. Any support will be available in Russian, English and other European languages.

Do you need feedback or I can just play?

  • We are very interested in your feedback, because based off of it (in conjunction with the statistics) we will make the changes on Sandbox.

5. First Iteration


The Sandbox test server is now live! If you have applied to participate, please check your mailbox - players accepted for testing have been sent instructions how to join the tests.

Important: Access to the test server can be terminated or restricted at any time for non-compliance with the EULA and Terms of Service. In particular, pursuant to paragraph 17 "Beta Tests" of Terms of Service, “the beta games, including information about features and functionality to be offered as part of the games, are confidential.”

*Any information sharing from Sandbox server (live broadcasts, video reports, etc.) is prohibited without coordinating it with Wargaming representatives. You can consent a publication of such materials in the special thread on the Sandbox forum.

More details

Vehicles available to players are limited to Tier X, and also to Light Tanks of Tier VIII. Each vehicle will have a crew with 100% in Major Qualification and enough Crew XP to train 3 extra skills/ perks. At the beginning of testing, players will be given a one-time crediting of 5,000,000, and each day they will also get 500upon logging in. In addition, the credit acquisition rate will be increased 200% compared to the standard game server. Also, the possibility to purchase premium shells for credits will be switched off.

The list of available tanks:

Ru251, T49, Т-54 ltwt., Bat.-Châtillon 155 58, G.W. E 100, Conqueror Gun Carriage, T92, Object 261, 121, 113, TVP T 50/51, AMX 30 B, Bat.-Châtillon 25 t, AMX 50 B, E 100, Leopard 1, Grille 15, Jagdpanzer E 100, E 50 Ausf. M, Maus, STB-1, Type 5 Heavy, T110E4, T110E3, T110E5, M48A1, T57 Heavy Tank, FV4005 Stage II, FV215b (183), Centurion Action X, IS-7, Object 140, Object 268, IS-4, Т-62A, Object 430

Important: The changes tested in this iteration are not final, and as such they are not bound to be applied to the standard game servers in their current form. The changes that will finally be implemented will depend on the information collected and analysed throughout all iterations.

New Vehicle Balance Goals

  • Increase the importance of armour in the game. Currently, armour is significantly less important than speed and firepower. We would like to make armour more relevant in battle.
  • Reduce the cost of mistakes made by players in battle. We are going to encourage players to fight actively in battle. Increasing the role of armour will allow players to fight, without being afraid of going to the Garage right after being spotted, as to penetrate the tank from a distance will be much harder.
  • Decrease the risk of being focused from afar. Increased armour importance should increase player survivability at far distances, even when focused by several enemies. Covering directions and focusing spotted vehicles will become less effective, because it’ll be harder to penetrate armour at long distances.
  • Decrease combat distance. Long-range clashes should not be the ultimate way to win battles for the majority of vehicles. Vehicles should perform certain roles: shielding allies, soaking fire, pushing through the defence, etc.
  • Increase the gameplay variety. Roles for different types of vehicles should be distinguishable and performing them should make the battles more diverse. When choosing a different class of vehicles, you should also be choosing a new distinct style of gameplay.
  • Improved gameplay experience. The changes to armour penetration at a distance will encourage players to put in more effort if victory is to be achieved.

First Iteration: Main Changes

Some of the main game mechanics will be changed on the Sandbox server, in order to achieve the balance goals listed above.

Distribution of hits within the aiming circle

The goal is to decrease the effective firing distance, in order to increase vehicle survivability when being focused from far distances. Players will now have to aim their shots more carefully. The distribution comparison between Update 9.15 and the Sandbox is as follows:

Decrease in armour piercing capacity at long distances

Armour-piercing capacity decreases more significantly depending on the distance, in order to increase the importance of armour in the game. Shooting from afar will become less effective - thus, players will be encouraged to engage in close-range combat. They will have to fight more actively and manoeuvre more in order to cause damage to enemy vehicles.

According to this feature, the chance of penetrating a vehicle frontally is decreased at far distances. Thus, heavy-armoured vehicles will be able to battle through the flanks.

Penetration reduction values over a distance, for the Sandbox are as follows. The initial distance of reduction is also specified:

Reworked damage caused by shells

Initially, there were few gun types in the game, but over time, many high-calibre guns have been introduced. Therefore, the guns should be reworked. Within the Sandbox tests, it is planned to test the new system of distributing damage per shot for different guns. The goal of the new system is to decrease the risk of being destroyed with one shot and increase the importance of the amount of damage a gun can cause per minute.

Changed manoeuvrability of vehicles

Since it is planned to increase the survivability/ time spent in battle, fast vehicles featuring poor armour will also be improved. It was decided to determine the relation between suspension speed and turret traverse speed for each vehicle type within the class and role systems. As a result, fast vehicles will be able to use different manoeuvres to outflank slow, heavy-armoured vehicles.

Role models for different types of vehicles

Currently, all vehicle types can perform different roles. I.e., vehicles of each type (except for SPGs and some light tanks) can perform multiple roles effectively. Thus, players use similar tactics when driving different types of vehicles, which makes the gameplay monotonous. The improvements listed below are supposed to diversify the vehicles in the game, according to their roles, and depending on the functions they perform. Seven in-game archetype roles have been distinguished on the basis of expert evaluation. These are the in-game roles that each vehicle should perform:

In general, if we talk about system changes, general reductions to manoeuvrability and View Range changes stand out, which contributes to role-based gameplay.

Remember: all suggested changes are not final and may be altered, depending on the feedback from the tester community and in accordance with gathered statistics.

SPG rebalancing

On the Sandbox, the role of SPGs will be changed from damage dealers to support vehicles. In addition, SPGs will receive some new features:

  1. Explosive blast – A new feature for SPGs. Explosive blast occurs together with splash effects after the shell explosion. The tanks that are in the radius of this explosive blast temporary have their characteristics worsened. The damage caused to the battered tanks is counted as damaged caused with your help.
  2. Allied SPGs target area marking: displaying approximate areas allied SPGs are aimed at. If the SPG is not aiming at any particular vehicle, pressing the Requesting fire/ Attacking button (the T button by default) will display the special marker. Otherwise, the standard notification of attacking an enemy vehicle is displayed. The marker will be displayed in the corresponding area on the minimap and in 3D view. Besides, the notification of the SPG status (loading/ready to fire) is displayed. This feature should help players to coordinate actions.
  3. Alternative aiming for SPGs. A new aim mode changes the aiming display for SPGs and makes aiming more convenient for players, which is similar to sniper mode.

Changes will be made to HE shells as well: the amount of damage caused with this type of shell will be decreased in most cases, but the dispersal of HE shell fragments (the radius of splash) will be increased. In short, SPGs will be dealing less damage to single targets, but their attacks will have a better chance of affecting multiple targets at once.

6. First iteration: Review


The Sandbox test environment is a new testing format for us on World of Tanks since its release, and somewhat resembles beta-testing at early in-development stages of the game. This means it is a very experimental format: battles on this server offer a very different game experience, and we realized and expected that players would have mixed emotions about such big changes.  This is why we felt it so critical to involve our community in these tests well in advance of bringing anything to our live servers for the full game. And as expected, we have gotten a wide range of feedback on this first phase of the Sandbox, but the common trend is a desire to understand much more about what the changes you have seen on the Sandbox mean for the future of the game

So with all of this in mind, we wanted to share our current thinking around the Sandbox.  In this report we will talk about our original goals of the features we tested, the assumptions that we checked, the results that we received, and what we intend to do next.

Sandbox: Goals

Our primary intent was, and still is, to address the most prominent and consistent feedback we have had from our players. We understand your major concerns regarding balance (that includes the matchmaker, interrelation among vehicle roles, problems of some maps, etc.) These issues have been the result of a number of smaller changes accumulated over a long period of time that now collectively require a deeper change in order to be fully fixed. We couldn’t simply “quick fix” these away.  Over time, we intend to use the Sandbox to test many of our longer-term development solutions. First, the vehicle balance, then develop a new matchmaker, and creation of new maps and improvement of existing ones, etc. Your feedback will become the starting point of further development of the game.

So for this first step – vehicle balance – we intended to accomplish the following goals: 

  1. Reduce the cost of players’ mistakes, giving them better chances of survival and stay longer in battle.
  2. Reduce the average distance of combat, favouring more intense close up battles and encouraging more dynamic gameplay over “pixel hunting” and “camping.”
  3. Create a more varied gameplay by allowing different types of tanks to serve roles according to their strengths – so heavily armoured, defensive tanks can close with the enemy and set the battle line, mobile flankers can circle their enemy to find openings, scouts can effectively scout, etc.
  4. Rework SPG gameplay away from “occasional one shot wreck machines that miss a lot and take forever to reload” to something that is more interesting to both SPG players and their opponents.

We realize it is important to provide variety to gameplay for our players. Our goal is to create gameplay where different tank types allow for distinct experiences. Taken all together, the four individual goals above are aimed at achieving this one overall goal. This is why we are looking for ways of making changes that will allow players to perform different roles in tough battles and feel strong emotions using various tactics.

Aiming at The Goal – What Did We Do?

Penetration Drop and Shot Dispersion – Making Armour Matter

In order to reduce the combat distance, we increased the importance of armour. We made two big changes to accomplish this: we reduced the distance where shell penetration drop began and also increased the dispersion of shots within the aiming circle. These changes made firing from long distance much less effective: the penetration drop change meant shots didn’t get through from as far away, and the change to dispersion meant that players at a distance had to let their aim circle focus further in order to hit, in addition to making a pinpoint shot much harder at distance – so they had to wait longer to shoot effectively from distance as well.

This also reduced the effect of "focused fire" and allowed players to feel more protected and encouraged to leave cover for active combat. Well-armoured vehicles became more popular thanks to their capability of blocking damage with armour, and our collected statistics showed that these changes did reduce the combat distance.

Many players pointed out some problems with the first iteration of these changes: for example, it became harder to aim at weak spots of enemy vehicles not only from afar, but from closer distances as well. Our penetration drop change also significantly affected the course of battle and it may have been too significant of a change – but for both of these features, we decided to make more aggressive changes in this first round of testing, in order to push the boundaries.

In later iterations of the Sandbox, we will make further adjustments to the changed technical characteristics using both statistical information and your feedback. We have been discussing internally the possibility of individual gun adjustment that depends on roles of particular vehicles. We also are discussing individual adjustment of gun accuracy for particular vehicles: knowing the Technical Characteristics of your vehicle and those of the enemy's vehicle you will be able to make better decisions in each particular situation, which will eventually vary the gameplay.

Varied Gameplay – Tank Roles

There are more than 400 vehicles in World of Tanks. Experienced players can easily evaluate the technical characteristics of a newly purchased vehicle and understand how to play in it. However, this is a much bigger challenge for new players. We decided to simplify this aspect for all players and preliminary divided vehicles into roles according to their most prominent characteristics, so that all players can find vehicles that suit them best. At the same time, we tried to make less critical changes and succeeded in it in several areas.

Dreadnought, cavalry, and scout players quickly understood the offered gameplay. In addition to the changes noted above regarding penetration distance and shot dispersion, we also made a general reduction of View Ranges, which allowed players to be less afraid of being spotted and destroyed from distance, since vehicles that are not intended for "ambush gameplay" were no longer effective in shooting from distance. It encouraged players to perform active manoeuvres and increased importance of scouts.

At the same time, cavalry vehicles and scouts easily circle dreadnoughts, i.e. they now can do what they are intended for.

However, there is much work to be done to improve the balance for some of our other roles: some vehicles do not have a distinctive role or a role has not been determined yet. As for ambush vehicles, their gameplay is not clear enough yet. In the course of the test we found out that fire-support vehicles require a little more attention, since vehicles of this specialization have hard times in battles due to their poor armouring.

In future, we plan making individual changes to vehicles and adjusting the interaction system among vehicles of different roles, keeping equal effectiveness for each one. Moreover, we are considering further options to compensate for the poor armour of fire-support vehicles, and want to further unlock the potential of scouts.

Reworked SPGs

We believe that any vehicle in battle should be interesting at least to two players: the one who uses the vehicle and the one who fights against it. Currently, on production servers, SPGs represent a combination of "the Sword of Damocles" and "Eye of Sauron"—all-seeing vehicles that may perform a sudden, instantly lethal strike to any point of the map. We want to reduce emotional pressure of SPGs upon players by changing the very concept of artillery vehicles while keeping them useful for the team, because the constant fear of being one-shot by an SPG was another huge factor causing players not to break from cover and close distances.

The Sandbox tests show that SPGs can remain useful in battle even without destroying enemies with a single shot with our new SPG mechanics: we managed to reduce effectiveness of "focused fire" at particular targets by reducing penetration and damage caused with HE shells. It resulted in less negative attitude to SPGs, because now they do not destroy enemy vehicles with a single shot. At the same time, changes to the burst radius increased effectiveness of shooting at enemy groups, and the aiming marker for allied SPGs contributed to team play.

This is one of the key changes in the Sandbox, since a completely new SPG mechanic (tested by a large number of players for the first time) was developed; we will keep experimenting with the burst radius and stun duration. It is possible that the final result will be completely different.

Looking Forward – Where Do We Go From Here?

There are many test stages ahead. At the next stage, we originally intended to add Tier VIII and IX vehicles, but after a month we came to a conclusion that we need to work more with Tier X to tune the current mechanics. So far, we cannot reveal all details about changes in the second test iteration, except for a few things that we are sure about. In addition to the changes we have already discussed, we also plan to work on switching between targets and change a little the mechanics of crew injury (known as "stun").

We are grateful to everyone who participated in the test, shared their feedback, and asked important questions. We appreciate your interest and desire to make the game better, and we hope this note helps to provide more context for what you have seen so far. Stay tuned for more information – as we get closer to the release of the second Sandbox phase, we will provide much more detail about what is coming in that phase.  We will look forward to playing with you in the Sandbox again soon!