Update 1.0

1. Map Time—Level Design Improvements to Fisherman’s Bay, Ruinberg, and Pilsen

Updated

Fisherman's Bay

The left flank is tricky for both teams. The northern team (upper base) had an advantage in attack, which often relusted in taking control over the lane. At the same time, the southern team suffered considerable loss.

Positions of the second defence line of the southern team. After the northern team broke through the left flank, the southern team used the area as an intermediate defense position. Since the southern team had only a few proper covers, it had hard time defending the base.

The central village used by the teams as the frontline. Only vehicles that featured good gun depression angles could play in the area. At the second stage of the battle, if the northern team took control over the crossroad in the south-eastern area, the vehicles of the southern team were under fire from three directions.

The urban area was a proper place for well-armored vehicles. Technically, this part of the map was good for attacks of the southern team, but losing control over the western lane kept the team from developing the success.

1. The left flank is tricky for both teams. The northern team (upper base) had an advantage in attack, which often relusted in taking control over the lane. At the same time, the southern team suffered considerable loss.

2. Positions of the second defence line of the southern team. After the northern team broke through the left flank, the southern team used the area as an intermediate defense position. Since the southern team had only a few proper covers, it had hard time defending the base.

3. The central village used by the teams as the frontline. Only vehicles that featured good gun depression angles could play in the area. At the second stage of the battle, if the northern team took control over the crossroad in the south-eastern area, the vehicles of the southern team were under fire from three directions.

4. The urban area was a proper place for well-armored vehicles. Technically, this part of the map was good for attacks of the southern team, but losing control over the western lane kept the team from developing the success.

The version of the left lane was revised to fit both teams. We added additional covers that will ensure similar conditions in attack. We have also changed the defence positions of the southern team.

The central part of the map will offer equal chances for all vehicle types irrespective of the gun depression angles. We have also improved positions for different vehicle types: it will be easier to spot enemy maneuvers, find covers and good positions for firing from distance.

1. The version of the left lane was revised to fit both teams. We added additional covers that will ensure similar conditions in attack. We have also changed the defence positions of the southern team.

2. The central part of the map will offer equal chances for all vehicle types irrespective of the gun depression angles. We have also improved positions for different vehicle types: it will be easier to spot enemy maneuvers, find covers and good positions for firing from distance.

IMBALANCES

Teams spawning in the south had a rough time working the left flank, since most cover spots on their way (and there weren’t many) were of little use, unless you had good gun depression. At the same time, the team in the north had far better chances at breaking open the flank and setting up a strong defense there, which foreshadowed an eminent loss for the southern team.

After the northern heavies and mediums had pushed the flank, their light tanks advanced further south, while their punchier allies stifled southern vehicles’ attempts to move up to the center of the west flank and counterattack. Eventually, the southern team would gather near the crossroads and camp there. First-line attackers from the northern team continued the push, supported by TDs from the second line. As soon as they owned the southwest, they would systemically destroy enemies positioned in the central area and along the road on the east flank.The push often continued till the northern team occupied a greater area and closed in on the enemy.

Technically, the town to the east could give a decent platform for attack to the southern team. They rarely managed to make it there though after losing the west flank. However, if they succeeded, the northern team were left with no other options except for passive defense.

CHANGES

The map received a more balanced frontline and offers both teams equal chances at pushing key directions. Now, the valley to the west has more cover, giving both teams equal chances at taking over the flank. The team that starts in the north still can win over strategic areas closer to the center of the flank. But they can be stopped now. The southern team can leverage defensive positions in the lower left edge of the map to stifle enemy attacks.

Regardless of the side you’re on, you no longer need to camp in safe zones waiting for an enemy to misstep. Use the mill to support allies as they advance into the enemy territory.

Both teams used to have a tough time in the central area, although the southern team had it a little easier thanks to several favourable spots. The northern team had just one good spot in the center, which wasn’t enough for an active push and left them exposed to enemy artillery. Now, the area is more open and offers many opportunities to scouts from both camps.

Cover positions were redesigned to minimize the impact of gun depression, which made them useful for a wider range of vehicles. Finally, we moved a few bushes and trees, making it easier to detect firing routes, find cover and favorable shooting spots.

STATUS UPDATE

We need to fix several more issues to label Fisherman’s Bay ready for release. Currently, the center of the map offers clear shots at key directions, the town to the east, and the west flank. Taking control of it can become a game-changer. So it’s only natural that both camps will channel greater forces there, which undermines the map balance overall.

Ruinberg

From this position the northern team had a clear view at the open radial area and was able to hold the attack of the southern team in the urban area.

New position for the southern team (lower base). It allows quick vehicles to counteract enemy in the northern outskirts

The area that divided the urban zone into two parts. Attacks of each team directly depended on them: to engage the enemy in close-range combat, this open area had to be crossed. Usually the northern team had an advantage after taking positions in the northern outskirts.

A new position for the southern team intended for controlling the radial area.

1. From this position the northern team had a clear view at the open radial area and was able to hold the attack of the southern team in the urban area.

2. New position for the southern team (lower base). It allows quick vehicles to counteract enemy in the northern outskirts

3. The area that divided the urban zone into two parts. Attacks of each team directly depended on them: to engage the enemy in close-range combat, this open area had to be crossed. Usually the northern team had an advantage after taking positions in the northern outskirts.

4. A new position for the southern team intended for controlling the radial area.

IMBALANCES

In addition to visual enhancements, we tried to fix imbalances that made the battle easier for the team that starts off in the northern section of the map.

The team spawning in the north had a big advantage in urban combat, since they could set up in firing spots along the central road. This lowland provided them with solid cover (dense bushes and lower ground). So they could wear down enemies entering the city from the southeast, organize a push to the city and/or support allies fighting in the city—all with minimum chances of being spotted from the city. As a result, the northern team would often take control of the central or upper city, grip the southern team in a vice, and win.

CHANGES

To level out chances at victory, we added a new position at the eastern edge of the city (north of the central road). It’s mostly useless to the team in the north. On the contrary, taking control of it can become a game-charger for tankers who spawn in the south. They can prevent the scenario we just described by taking out enemies positioned in area A and those scattered across the field.

To further strengthen the south team, we also rebalanced the location at (4). Now, you can shoot at tanks advancing from area (3) here.

Pilsen

The lowland with hangars is on the same level as the rest of the map now, opening clear shots all the way to the middle area.

Hills at the edge of the map that allow tank destroyers to provide fire support to the allies.

Hills at the edge of the map that allow tank destroyers to provide fire support to the allies.

A new crossing area between the small and the central hangars. It reduces the time required to switch flanks and increases variability of actions.

The central part of the map with a bigger number of open areas exposed to fire.

Coal hills that can be used by scouts and mediums for quick maneuvers. Scouts can poke over hillsides to detect enemies and mediums should keep behind scouts and fire on anything that’s been spotted.

The hills at the north and south of the right flank are added for control over the coal hills. These positions are suitable for tank destroyers.

The hills at the north and south of the right flank are added for control over the coal hills. These positions are suitable for tank destroyers.

A long, straight alley with dense shrubs and hardly any other cover. It goes along the far-right edge of the map and can be used for flank breakthrough.

1. The lowland with hangars is on the same level as the rest of the map now, opening clear shots all the way to the middle area.

2. Hills at the edge of the map that allow tank destroyers to provide fire support to the allies.

2. Hills at the edge of the map that allow tank destroyers to provide fire support to the allies.

3. A new crossing area between the small and the central hangars. It reduces the time required to switch flanks and increases variability of actions.

4. The central part of the map with a bigger number of open areas exposed to fire.

5. Coal hills that can be used by scouts and mediums for quick maneuvers. Scouts can poke over hillsides to detect enemies and mediums should keep behind scouts and fire on anything that’s been spotted.

6. The hills at the north and south of the right flank are added for control over the coal hills. These positions are suitable for tank destroyers.

6. The hills at the north and south of the right flank are added for control over the coal hills. These positions are suitable for tank destroyers.

7. A long, straight alley with dense shrubs and hardly any other cover. It goes along the far-right edge of the map and can be used for flank breakthrough.

IMBALANCES

Pilsen felt too small and gave little in terms of gameplay to turretless TDs and thinly armored vehicles. Medium tanks kept away from the center of the east flank since it offered no cover from arty shells. The west flank had way too many shoot-through zones, which prevented both teams from pushing/defending certain directions and turned battles into a fine frenzy. Once you entered this area, you were effectively stuck there with no way to retreat or advance. Finally, the central area promoted camping since the impassable big hangar there was a death trap for anyone reckless enough to move past it.

CHANGES

Addressing your feedback, we enlarged the map to 1x1km, added cover spots and increased the distance between hangars on the left flank, removed some of the buildings in no-man's land in the center, and completely redesigned the eastern (right) flank.

These changes should foster a more versatile experience, while also making the map friendly for all vehicle classes.

Please note: The redesign of Pilsen is planned to happen after the release of Update 1.0. Stay tuned!

2. Update 1.0: Join the Beta!

Updated

Ever since we started working on a new graphics engine, HD maps, and new sound, we wanted you to hit “Battle!” one day and say that it both looks and plays fantastically without qualifying that with: “Good for an eight-year-old game.” This moment has finally come! Update 1.0 enters public testing today. So you can literally hit that button and roll out in HD maps, listening to immersive ambience and new original tunes. And that’s not all. Not only are we opening the remastered experience that World of Tanks 1.0 is to all of you—we’re inviting you to become part of this massive makeover.

In this article, we’ll call out what’s on tap for you at this point in testing, what will be added in the upcoming weeks, and what you can expect when the update in its entirety hits live servers in March. Let’s dive straight in! 

Realism Redefined

Before we explore the update, let’s take a minute to discuss where the game we all love is at right now. It’s been over seven years since we opened World of Tanks to you. The gameplay holds up well (which is largely thanks to your continued support and feedback through the years) and there’s never a dull moment with hundreds of battles raging at any given second. But does it meet the graphic quality bar for this day and age? Hardly. It looks exactly how a game from 2010 would look. That’s the sad truth.

We’ve been working relentlessly for years to bring it to modern standards. The team pumped up the game’s looks several times over the years, from switching to a new graphical renderer with realistic shading/lighting models through to integrating the Audiokinetic Wwise sound engine. However, technology was moving a lot faster than we possibly could, and the BigWorld engine simply couldn’t keep up with it. So we brought client engine development in-house and created a solution tailored to the game’s needs: the Core engine. It redefines the game’s looks using the latest technology for graphical content processing and rendering, and has enough capacity to let us advance graphics in tandem with technology.

Core took us three years to develop and optimize so that there’s no adverse effect on performance. Another year went into overhauling the game’s maps, recreating all in-game content from the ground-up. Now, we’re finally ready to roll it out for you to test.

Why are we focusing on remastering the graphics?

In fact, we’re fighting on several fronts. The team is neck-deep in the trenches, with fixes to the preferential matchmaker, several new national trees and modes in development. Not to mention a few maps that cry for major redesigns and a few more that are waiting their turn to get reworked into HD.

We know how hungry you are for new maps and that’s exactly how we feel, too. And we’re working to fulfill the promise of expanding the map roster as we speak. A number of totally new locations have been through several Supertests over the last year, and teams around the studio are now processing your feedback. They’ll move forward from level design to balancing and polishing Minsk, Studzianki, and the new Asian map we’ve Supertested lately. Although they won’t get into 1.0, we’ll give you a guided tour of them this month in a series of overview articles.

As you can see, we’re steadily moving forward on all of these, and new graphics and sound is something we’re ready to get out for you all to check. They don’t disrupt the work on other key issues or mark the final step in improving the game’s visuals. Instead, they mark a major experience uplift and lay a technological foundation for further improvements.

Graphics Settings

As the game switches to the new engine, graphic configurations will be reset to default. So you’re likely to notice changes in the visuals and performance when playing for the first time. Follow this guide to tweak your settings and update drivers, and things will return to normal.

The interface of graphics settings is subject to change with the 1.0 update release.

If you’re playing on Normal settings, you might have to switch to Low or Minimal. Worry not; it won’t affect the framerate. As for the picture quality, you will instantly notice an injection of extra realism and detail even with Low settings. We worked hard to optimize stability and framerates, reduce the memory load, and give you the headroom to enable extra effects. So you’ll be able to enjoy new graphics and sound even on mid-range and older PCs, while high-end rigs will let you explore remastered visuals to the fullest.

Multistage Beta Testing

Reproducing a better-looking version of the original World of Tanks has been a massive endeavour, and we’ve turned to you for help many times. New graphics have been through a number of iterations and focus tests. Thousands of you joined us in fine-tuning HD maps in Sandbox. Now, we’re entering the final and most crucial stretch in overhauling the way the game looks and feels.

From music and atmosphere to big reworks on select maps and a complete visual redesign on others to destructible props and effects—how World of Tanks looks now is effectively new. At the most basic level, it’s the good old gameplay laid over a completely new visual world. And as any new game that is about to be released, it calls for something more serious than the usual Supertest/Common Test framework.

That’s why we’re running a Beta test instead:

  • It’ll see us test new content in batches, keeping a close eye on performance and your perception of changes.
  • It’s open to everyone so that we can collect enough feedback and data to make necessary tweaks.
  • It’s divided into several stages, allowing us to identify issues and address your feedback with quick-fixes right away.

We’re going to engage with you on forums and in social media to see what you like and what you don’t like; then, make immediate improvements and outline a list of bigger issues that require more time to fix.

Why release new content over multiple stages and not add all of it right away?

The last thing we want is rushed and messy testing, and this framework allows a more focused approach. By releasing content in batches, we can test it in a controlled environment, identify issues, and address them with quick-fixes.

Besides, waiting for a regular update to download and install is hardly convenient. Now just image how big an installation it would be, if almost three dozen HD maps, the new soundtrack and ambience were there right from the start.

We’ll use a similar approach when releasing Update 1.0. You’ll be able to pre-download it well in advance and hit the battlefield when the day comes. No delays and long hours of waiting.

Beta Stage 1 Scope

Here's a rundown of the graphics and sound enhancements you can explore starting today:

29 maps reworked in shiny HD: The switch to the new Core engine led to a complete graphic overhaul with every object being recreated from the ground up using new technology. Zooming in lets you count the leaves on a tree and discover how each is unique in foliage, size, and shape. Wide expanses stretch well beyond the map border. Modifications to how terrain and water are rendered give a depth and sense of place to aged locations. You can roll out, gloriously destroying smaller objects thanks to Havok technology. Photorealistic skyboxes and moving clouds give maps a more dynamic feel. And global illumination technology adds harmony to the picture, accurately simulating how light reflects and refracts between different surfaces.

Seeing is believing, and you can take a glimpse at HD maps right now in the screenshot gallery below. Enjoy it here, or, better yet, hit the battlefield to see new graphics, technology, and effects in action.

Keep in mind, though, that it may be too much to absorb at once. So take your time to familiarize with remastered landscapes and let it sink in before jumping to conclusions. Also, stay tuned for a guided tour of the new graphic technology. We’ll explain every improvement in detail over a series of image-heavy articles during the Beta.

Gameplay improvements to select maps: The majority of HD maps didn’t call for level design changes and offer pretty much the same experience, but with greater visual fidelity. On the other hand, Erlenberg, Kharkov, Steppes, Ruinberg, and Fisherman’s Bay were considered problematic because of visible imbalances. They underwent prominent redesigns to end camp fests, ensure both teams have equal chances for control of the territory, and deliver an enjoyable experience for each vehicle class. In the next few weeks, we’ll walk you through changes to them, explaining how these changes should address imbalances. Now it’s your turn to give them another try and tell us if it worked. If not, we’ll keep on building on the initial changes with more redesigns until we get it right.

Four original music themes: The first Beta stage is primarily focused on graphics. However, we couldn’t help but offer you a sneak peek of the new soundtrack. Further on, each map will get its own music composition with a unique loading screen music theme, a dynamic battle overtune that evolves and changes depending on what’s happening on the battlefield, and a closing theme for the battle results screen. By the way, that last track you hear will depend directly on the match outcome with unique music for a win, draw, and defeat.

Immersive ambience: The full scope of ambient sounds is getting reworked to give each map more realism. Now, you can literally hear a living, breathing world around you, disturbed by the sounds of conflict. Gunshots and explosions don’t sound the same in a forest, village, or urban area. They echo from mountains and across the fields. So what you hear depends on where you are, where fire is coming from and which obstacles it encounters along the way. Just like in real life. Even shells! Pay attention and you’ll notice that each shell whizzing past now has its own sound.

Preliminary List of Changes

Expand

Maps

List of maps that have been reworked into HD quality after transferring to the Core graphics engine:

  • Abbey
  • Paris
  • Mines
  • Cliff
  • Murovanka
  • Malinovka
  • Prokhorovka
  • Steppes
  • Sand River
  • Himmelsdorf
  • Lakeville
  • Ruinberg
  • Ensk
  • Live Oaks
  • Siegfried Line
  • Mannerheim Line (former Arctic Region)
  • El Halluf
  • Airfield
  • Mountain Pass
  • Karelia
  • Redshire
  • Fjords
  • Tundra
  • Overlord
  • Serene Coast
  • Erlenberg
  • Westfield
  • Fisherman's Bay
  • Nebelburg

The Core graphics engine includes the following features:

  • General improvement of the image quality at any graphics settings.
  • Complete rework and optimization of lighting.
  • Added the system of Global Illumination.
  • All structures have been reworked into the new graphics quality.
  • Terrain, water, and foliage have been reworked into the new graphics quality.
  • High-resolution textures have been applied to all objects.
  • Object destruction has been improved using the Havok® Destruction technology (displayed only at the following graphics settings: High, Maximum, and Ultra).
  • Added the vehicle wetting effects when passing water obstacles (including the effect of drying water), as well as effect of vehicle's surface dirtying and dusting.
  • Improved display of the vehicle suspension operation, when driving over various obstacles.
  • Reworked map outlands (areas beyond the map border): now game locations visually feel vast and unlimited. At the same time, map borders remain unchanged.
  • Enable the terrain tessellation function (partially at the maximum graphics settings and in full at the Ultra graphics settings).
  • Reworked the track effects on different terrains. Added the realistic effect for drifting.
  • Added the procedural generation of grass and bushes to decrease the load on computers.
  • Now all foliage interacts with vehicles: grass and foliage are shaken by shots and made flat by vehicle tracks, etc. Note, this feature will not affect vehicle concealment, since the animation is displayed only on your computer.
  • Implemented a new water processing system with geometrical waves (tessellation) and SSR (Screen Space Reflection) for modeling reflections in water.
  • Implemented a realistic model of water behavior: when passing water obstacles, the vehicle pushes water forward and thus creating a wave; when a shell hits water surface, it creates realistic circles, etc.
  • Each map has received a completely reworked skybox with cloud animations.
  • Implemented full support of the DirectX® 11 functionality (tessellation, etc.).
  • Significantly improved performance and memory consumption
  • Improved display of hit decals.
  • Smokes and various effects now cast shadows.

Optimizations

  • Optimized game performance, memory consumption, GPU and CPU load.

Reworked sound in the game

Added conceptually new sound to the game. A total of 180 sound themes have been created. Now they indicate clear regional belonging of the map. The music is interactive now: it depends on the current situation in battle.

At the Common Test we use only four themes (sound sets) distributed among all maps. After the release of Update 1.0, each map will have its own unique sound set that will include:

  • main theme for the loading screen
  • 2 interactive battle-related tracks based on the main theme that can be played almost infinitely without repeating thanks to the possibilities of the sound engine
  • 3 ending themes for the battle results: victory, draw, and defeat

The sound logic will change depending on the battle type: it will be different in the Random Battles, Ranked Battles, and Grand Battles. In clan or team battles, when the voice chat is crucial, no music will play in battles to avoid additional interference in the voice chat.

Ambient Sounds

  • Completely reworked the ambient sounds for each particular map. The ambient sounds are now rich and natural depending on the map region. Sounds of vehicles (shots, explosions, sound of tracks, etc.) now change and depend on the sub-location of the combat action. As result, the same sound will vary in mountains, forest, village, urban area, open field, etc.
  • The entire sound environment has also been adjusted to the multichannel 5.1 and 7.1 system.
  • Reworked almost all sounds of destructible objects that will be introduced with the release of the new destruction physics.
  • Reworked sounds of flying shells. Each of the four shell types will differ both visually and by sound, which will provide players with additional information.

Disabled the Proving Ground mode

The Proving Ground mode will be disabled. Bootcamp remains available to players.

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3. Map Time p. 2 – Level Design Improvements to Erlenberg, Kharkov, and Steppes

Updated

Steppes

Imbalances

The Sandbox test showed that the team spawning in the south could easily rush through the lowland, leaving the other camp with hardly any safe retreat routes.

Changes

To make the right flank more playable for both teams, we added hills on both sides of the lowland. If you’re playing support on the northern team, sneak there and destroy opponents at medium to long range to slow their advance.

New cover spots in the lowland area provide a safe retreat route for the northern team. These are also good for setting up a defence line to prevent the enemy from overwhelming the flank and carving an open route to your base.

The section behind the railroad (west flank) gained a few defensive spots to further strengthen the team in the north. Finally, the area near the rocks now offers an opportunity to hide and send long-distance shots the enemy’s way.

Status update

Tests showed that southern teams still have an easier passage to the centre of the lowland. Right now, we’re working to balance this out while also strengthening defensive positions by the railroad.

Kharkov

Imbalances

Most confrontations happened in the middle area where buildings offer protection against SPG fire. The urban layout favored tough medium and heavy tanks, offered some options to TDs (these would keep to the outskirts), and completely disregarded the rest. Battles tended to end quickly and often boiled down to swift close-range encounters.

Changes

Obviously, slight tweaks wouldn’t suffice—we had to significantly rework the map to make it enjoyable for each vehicle class. The redesign started with increasing the map size from 800x800 to 850x850 m, adding defence positions, and open fields.

Status update

Though the tests showed an increase in battle duration and made gameplay more versatile in terms of tactics, the new Kharkov ended up being too open and felt somewhat dull (according to your feedback). So we rolled back on these changes. Right now, we’re working on a completely new set of level design tweaks to the default version of the map. We’re considering increasing the urban area, but making it less dense. Key sights (the theatre, square, etc.) will stay, while the rest of the city is getting reworked to increase fire range and provide more options for snipers (turretless TDs, etc).

Attention! At the current stage of the beta, Kharkov is not available for testing just yet. Also, the changes to Kharkov are planned to happen after the release of Update 1.0. Stay tuned!

Erlenberg

Imbalances

Battles on Erlenberg had a sad tendency to turn into battles of patience, with players choosing to wait in one spot. Though the centre of the map offered a lot of cover, much of the action occurred in the northwest and southeast. Each side knew exactly what to expect: teams would head to the hills early on, set up their defences, and wait for the enemy to rush the centre. However, it rarely happened, leaving both teams frustrated to say the least.

You know why: it's difficult to organize a rush and even more difficult to make it actually work with bases located diagonally opposite each other and just three bridges across the otherwise impassable river. If you advance to cross by the central bridge, you’re likely to get a few to the hull from either the western or eastern ridge. Try other bridges, and you’ll run into the same problem of gathering a lot of attention.

Besides, the terrain was never on your side: hills prevented snipers from getting a clear shot (unless you were on one of the hills). At the same time, lights and mediums with good gun depression had a hard time leveraging the uneven terrain because of the locations of the hills.

Changes

We redesigned the town in the centre and the area along the riverside to add more variety to battles. There are new areas to cross to the other side, while the river banks bridge tightly built houses. The closer you get to the centre, the denser they become. Though there’s not enough space for heavy tanks, well-armoured mediums have just enough of it to thrive, using large areas of hard cover to tear down whoever dares to set foot on their land. Taking over this area will prove instrumental later in the battle or when you brave crossing the river.

We changed terrain a lot, narrowing down fields, creating more pronounced gorges, and making forests dense enough to provide cover. This should make it easier to read the map, predict the enemy’s next move, and plan yours.

Changes to the urban area improved battle dynamics, but weren’t enough to make the town a popular spot. Battles often played out in the same old scenario with teams taking over opposite river banks, instead of leveraging hard cover that the town offered. So we made another round of tweaks to make this area more attractive:

  • Several streets were blocked to simplify town structure and make it easier to organise defence spots
  • There are fewer break-through routes leading into the town now, which should make it easier to control the area
  • We reduced the number of shoot-through areas in the central town (cracks in ruined buildings, windows, etc.) by adding tall buildings. You can fully focus on battling with enemies in close-range urban duels now, without fear of getting a few shells from enemies positioned in the hills
  • Newly-added and strengthened defence spots on both sides of the riverbank offer a clear view at popular positions behind the mill and castle. Push the enemies out of the city, nest in these new defence spots, and counterattacks coming from there
  • The river is no longer an impassable barrier and you can now cross at almost any spot.

4. Update 1.0: The Second Beta — HD Garage, Glacier Map, and Music

Updated

Beta Phase Two for Update 1.0 is here! If you haven’t tried it out yet, there’s never been a better time to join the Beta, get hands-on with 1.0 and help fine-tune the update! Here’s what to expect:

Garage — Now with People and In Stunning HD!

The Garage has received a major renovation. The old Garage has been knocked down and now your tanks will been shown in all their glory amongst Mother Nature. Located deep in the forest, you might notice there are a selection of vehicles dotted around the garage.

Tanks are par for the course in any Garage, but there’s something you’ve never seen before — people!

The crew have set up camp and can be seen wandering around, sitting by the campfire or even chopping logs to fuel the fire. Crew members certainly bring a whole new level of atmosphere to your Garage.

At present, the crew cannot be interacted with. Come on, they’re busy guys after all and have jobs to do, they don’t need to be bothered!

I Need a Hero

There’s one tank you will notice in all its glory, the Hero. Displayed behind your selected tank, the Hero will change intermittently and just like your tanks, you can interact with it in great detail. By simply clicking on the Hero in the background, the camera will fly over and this tank will take the foreground and all its vital information will be displayed.

Also, at the bottom of the screen, you will notice the “PURCHASE” button, which if you click on, you will be sent to the Premium Shop. We would ask you to test out the feature properly to make sure that it works correctly. Don’t worry, you will not be buying anything and no in-game currency will be taken from your account, this is simply to see if it is working as intended.

Get Closer Than Ever Before

With the previous Garage, the maximum distance you could get away from the tank was 12m. Now, you can zoom out even further (perfect for viewing the gigantic Japanese super heavies).

You can also zoom in further than before so you can see a level of detail, you’d never noticed before especially if you’ve ever had trouble reading the script on a gun.

If you are inactive for a period of time, the camera will go to work and flyover the tank. This can be disabled or tweaked in the settings.

Also, when using the Garage, parallax scrolling is now in effect (meaning the screen moves with your mouse). If this is something that brings on motion sickness for you, don’t worry: the effect can be turned off in the settings as well.

Glacier

The latest map to be added takes you and your tanks to Scandinavia. Battle in the midst of ships lodged in the ice with these steel behemoths forming the very landscape around you.

The active zone for light tanks. Thanks to the landscape and terrain, you won’t be left out in the open. But be careful, those pesky tanks might be hiding up by the carrier.

Tank destroyer spots. Good viewpoints, often with concealment, and even with a thinly armored vehicle, you can still do some damage.

There’s a large number of small shelters that won’t protect you from enemy artillery fire here and bushes. It’s a perfect spot for the mediums and not a bad location for tank destroyers either.

Tank destroyer spots. Good viewpoints, often with concealment, and even with a thinly armored vehicle, you can still do some damage.

In the case of a successful enemy advance to the center, take position on top of the aircraft carrier. By controlling the aircraft carrier, your team can help your heavies break through. Even by locating yourself by the sides of the carrier, you can help support your team in the center.

Designated spot for heavies. The perfect place for the heavies to fight, covered from artillery fire, there’s a plenty of options to maneuver amongst the blocks of ice and frozen shipwrecks.

1. The active zone for light tanks. Thanks to the landscape and terrain, you won’t be left out in the open. But be careful, those pesky tanks might be hiding up by the carrier.

2. Tank destroyer spots. Good viewpoints, often with concealment, and even with a thinly armored vehicle, you can still do some damage.

3. There’s a large number of small shelters that won’t protect you from enemy artillery fire here and bushes. It’s a perfect spot for the mediums and not a bad location for tank destroyers either.

4. Tank destroyer spots. Good viewpoints, often with concealment, and even with a thinly armored vehicle, you can still do some damage.

5. In the case of a successful enemy advance to the center, take position on top of the aircraft carrier. By controlling the aircraft carrier, your team can help your heavies break through. Even by locating yourself by the sides of the carrier, you can help support your team in the center.

6. Designated spot for heavies. The perfect place for the heavies to fight, covered from artillery fire, there’s a plenty of options to maneuver amongst the blocks of ice and frozen shipwrecks.

Music to Your Ears

A large-scale project for the World of Tanks team, the new soundtrack was recorded by the Prague Symphony Orchestra and aims to create military “tank” music that is as authentic as possible for each map. Drawing inspiration from the music all across the globe, the music aims to match its locale. There certainly are some great tracks with hidden references in, see if you can find them!

Take a Listen!  

Preliminary List of Changes

Expand

New Garage

  • The Garage is implemented with the new graphics technologies of Core.
  • Added animated characters to the Garage.
  • New camera in the Garage:
    • The distance of zooming in and out depends on the selected vehicle.
    • Changed the distance the camera passes when zooming in/out (when scrolling).
    • Added the parallax effect upon camera rotation. The effect can be disabled in the General tab of the Game Settings.
    • If the player performs no actions in the Garage, the camera starts rotating around the selected vehicle. The option can be configured or disabled in the General tab of the Game Settings.
  • A promotion vehicle is added to the Garage (it is displayed on the background behind the selected vehicle). Players can hover the mouse over the vehicle and click it to move the camera to this vehicle. The vehicle technical characteristics and crew members are displayed in the vehicle preview window. Besides, players will be able to click the Purchase button to go to the vehicle purchase page in the Premium Shop.

Music and Sound

  • Each map will receive its own soundtrack that will include the following:
    • main theme for the loading screen that is played while loading a battle and during countdown
    • 2 interactive battle-related tracks based on the main theme that can be played almost infinitely without repeating
    • 3 ending themes for the battle results: victories, draws, and defeats.
  • These soundtrack sets are unique for each map in the game.
  • The new Garage sounds including the music theme played at the battle queue screen have been added.
  • The music and visuals of the login screen have been reworked.

Maps

  • Added the new winter map, "Glacier" (HD quality).

Changes to the Graphics and Effects

  • The new water has been added to all maps; now it varies: calm lakes, swift rivers, sea surf, etc.
  • Added new effects to all maps: fires, waterfalls, burning grass, sand blown by wind, artillery strike, bees, butterflies, etc.
  • Added realistic shell tracers.
  • Reworked all vehicle effects: moving, exhaust gas, vehicles set on fire, ammo rack detonation.
  • Completely reworked the effect of shells hitting various terrain types: added more details, scattered sparkles, and shards.
  • The track effects became more realistic; added realistic effects of drifting.
  • Reworked and added realistic decals (on vehicles) of shells hits. Now, the decals look more realistic with the Physically Based Shading (PBS) technology. Thus, the metal material and pattern look properly.
  • Added the "effect of hot air" to all exhaust gases, explosions, shots, and fires. The effect will also be displayed on the hot desert maps along the horizon.
  • Now, vehicles realistically interact with water: all water effects (driving across water, hits, etc.) now have water deformation, foam, and shock waves.
  • Deformation of grass and bushes: vehicle tracks flatten the grass, and the shock wave of shots and explosions realistically interact with grass and bushes.
  • The smoke and dust cast shadows.
  • Reworked all shards of the destruction effects: they look more realistic and detailed thanks to proper lighting and normal maps.

Other innovations

  • the boundary (red line) of the map can now be adjusted. It can be done in Settings / Battle Notifications / Map boundary.

Bootcamp

  • Bootcamp has been completely reworked into HD (including the corresponding Garage).
  • Battle loading screens have been reworked.
  • Minor changes to the Bootcamp difficulty.
  • Improved behavior of AI-driven vehicles.
  • Added new notifications displayed when shooting at enemy vehicles. They include:
    • notifications about causing damage to an enemy vehicle
    • notifications about ricochets and damage blocked by armor
    • notifications about critical hits 

Fixed Issues

  • Fixed the issue when at the standard graphics settings cloud of dust appeared around the vehicle and followed it.
  • Fixed the issue of several indestructible objects on the maps.
  • Fixed the issue when some trees had behavior of bushes, when interacting with them.
  • Fixed the issue of impossibility to open the crew member's Personal File, when the vehicle is in battle.
  • Eliminated artifacts on the Paris and Ensk maps at the minimum terrain quality (previously, the terrain texture were black or colored, while different terrain artifacts were visible to players).
  • Shell craters are now processed properly, and vehicles do not hover in the air.
  • Fixed the issue of black textures displayed on buildings located far from the player.
  • Now, all trees can be knocked down properly.
  • Fixed the issue of vehicles moving through several trees without knocking them down.
  • Fixed several bugs related to the terrain textures.
  • Fixed the issue of improper display (splitting) of vehicles when in the Sniper Aim.
  • At the beginning of a battle on the Mines and Mannerheim Line maps, vehicles are no longer spawned lying on the side.
  • Fixed the issue of the game client freezing upon exiting a battle.
  • Fixed the issue related to the vehicles featuring magazine reloading systems.
  • Fixed the issue of the Garage freezing after purchasing days of Premium account. 

Known Issues

  • Improper display of large knocked down trees on the Live Oaks map.
  • The suspension of some vehicles is displayed improperly at the minimum settings in the SD client.
  • When switching to the full-screen mode during the first login, the entire Garage background is green after automatic detection of the graphics settings.  To eliminate the issue, restart the game client.
  • Freezes in some cases when the player's vehicle is destroyed.
  • FPS drop in the sniper mode when aiming through semi-transparent bushes.
  • The map loading time may exceed the expected duration.
  • Low performance at the Ultra settings during the first seconds after loading a map.
  • Performance drops in some cases when switching to the sniper mode.
  • Performance drop when objects are destroyed by the HAVOK technology.
  • Improper names of settings in the game client.
  • It takes much time to load vehicle textures when entering a battle.
  • When in the full-screen mode, the signal (game) frequency does not correspond to the screen refresh rate.
  • The issue related to the vehicle silhouette outline.
  • Sometimes, decals are not displayed on vehicle armor upon receiving a hit, or decals are displayed in a different location.
  • Players can get to areas that are not intended for playing. Example: a pillbox on the Siegfried Line map.
  • Sound gets muted in one of the channels (left or right).
  • The sounds of receiving damage is not played.
  • The red flash effect displayed when a shell hits the player's vehicle is excessively bright and distracting.
  • Vehicle silhouette outline is not displayed when aiming at the vehicle through fences.
  • The terrain shape in the client differs from the terrain shape on the server on the Paris map at square K 3–4.
  • Players can get into the castle on the Himmelsdorf map.
  • Graphics artifacts are displayed in the sky on the Ruinberg map.
  • A rock is displayed hovering in the air on the Redshire map at square B8.
  • Artifacts are displayed on tesselated latices on the Himmelsdorf map.
  • Sometimes, the actual default condition of the map border does not correspond to the map border default option.
  • When playing on the Cliff map, wet vehicles are "flickering" at particular camera angles.
  • Shadows flickering on the player's vehicle in the Garage.
  • Gamma Settings may work improperly.
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5. Update 1.0: Remastered Graphics — Part One

Updated

Graphics are the backbone of creating a realistic battlefield from the ripped steel of a destroyed tank to the fauna and flora dotted around the map. Water, terrain, clouds, trees and more all individually combine to make up the most genuine battlefields created with the help of the new graphics engine.

In the wake of this major visual uplift, we invite you to take a closer look at how Update 1.0 will redefine World of Tanks looks through this three-part series. Today we will focus on the clouds in the skies and shadows.

What Makes a Game Look Realistic?

We all know graphics include: buildings, plants, other small objects but there are also some components you don’t see and they can be the most important. The lighting is a prime example —without proper lighting, everything just looks murky and details are lost—or terrain—without it, your tanks would just fall through the map! Sky and water also play their own parts—without them, it would just be dark and gloomy.

Our goal here is finding a perfect combination of all of these elements to really capture a realistic view of the battlefield. At the same time, we put about as much work to ensure you can enjoy the view with no adverse effect on performance.

It’s easy to detail (and notice) what has changed graphically with 1.0 but the sheer scope of the process is enormous. So before we delve deeper into improvements, let’s take a quick detour to go over key pillars that make Update 1.0 what it is—a major game remaster—and the steps we took way earlier.

  • Preparatory work: Update 9.15 added the support for DirectX 11 to mainly improve performance on computers supporting DirectX 11 (you can guess we were already planning the future of updated graphics).
  • Technological platform: At some point we realized that the BigWorld client tech was too old to allow for major advancements. So we created the new graphics engine to kickstart the process of improving the visual world and add technological capabilities that were previously unavailable.
  • Content redesign: The majority of content for every map was recreated from the ground up using all the technologies that this new engine supports.
  • Optimization: To ensure everyone can see new visual world, we reworked the graphical subsystems and processes to reduce the footprint of graphics on your rig. In other words, optimized framerate and stability so everyone and anyone could enjoy the new graphics.

The work on graphics won’t stop with Update 1.0. We want to continue fostering and embracing latest technology, and this is just a big step towards that. Now that we have a robust foundation, we’ll continue building on the remastered game’s looks during 2018 and further out.

That’s it for a quick detour. Now onto the juicy details!

The Sky is Always Changing

With the power of photorealistic skyboxes, it’s always sunny in Prokhorovka. Skies looked rather artificial before but now clouds move with wind flow and the sky changes color depending on the lighting.

The lighting itself has affected more than just the skybox and its clouds, just take a look at how the flora has now come to life.

There’s a Light That Never Goes Out

Lighting is one of the most important components of graphics. It affects how textures look, how shadows are formed and more importantly, the lighting interacts with all other components of the visual design of the game.

The global illumination technology, which was added with the addition of the new graphics engine, results in all objects interacting as if it were reality. Take a look for yourself, we certainly hope you can see the difference:

We integrated SpeedTree 6 with heavy modifications to fit the requirements and needs of World of Tanks and significantly changed the interaction between flora and lighting. Just take a look:

Delving even further, the technology calculates the interaction of light between objects. For example, light passing through a colored translucent surface will create colored shadows on other surfaces.

With light, there must be shadows…

In the Shadows

World of Tanks has many features which aren’t immediately evident, but significantly affect the atmosphere and realism. For example, shadows. If they are performed qualitatively, the game will look more natural.

Adaptive Shadow Maps calculates shadows from static objects: buildings, stones, trees, etc. and stores them in a special reusable shadow texture. This reduces the load on the processor and graphics card. Moving objects (machinery, falling trees, and more) will get improved dynamic shadows.

The new graphics engine with shadows interacts with particles effects. That means steam, dust and smoke now have semi-transparent shadows. For example, when your tank travels in the shadow of a mountain, there will no longer be an unnatural glow coming from the track dust. Instead, the dust will absorb the shadow of the mountain and be illuminated as a machine and other nearby objects. And, finally, we applied the material shadow effects which will help to more accurately convey different material’s depth.

6. Update 1.0: Remastered Graphics – Part Two

Updated

To make a map as realistic as possible, it’s vital that the graphics engine really make the landscape shine. Terrain and water are two of the key elements in World of Tanks for making great battlefields so let’s go into further detail to see how it’s all changing for the better.

Terrain: It’s One of Many Layers

With the new graphics engine, we increased both the geometric and textural detail of the landscape. Even the tiniest elevation is more noticeable—and all the small things: grass, leaves, and stones. The level of detail is much more than you’ve ever experienced before in World of Tanks.

Virtual texture has been used to increase the level of detail while keeping the performance at a similar level as before—it allows for improved blending of textures. When standing still the terrain will not change, however moving will result in new textures being generated gradually between frames.

Greater detail is achieved through tessellation technology—meaning that the volume and complexities of various objects are better realized by adding more triangles to the geometry, dramatically increasing the overall level of detail.

Outland: More Changes on the Horizon

Another goal is to increase the rendering of the terrain to the horizon—in simple terms, all the details beyond the map’s limits. As you may have seen on the Sandbox server, it looks impressive. Maps may seem familiar with a foreign twist. Space is no longer limited, for example:

  • Prokhorovka – No longer limited by space constraints, the battle takes place in the midst of the endless steppe of Russia
  • Himmesldorf – Clashes on this summertime map are transferred to the heat of the city battles in Danzig
  • Mountain Pass – The natural landscape now becomes part of the mountain range found in the North Caucasus

For all this to be possible, we have developed a special mechanism for Outland—drawing terrain up to the horizon. On some maps, Outland covers more than 1000km2! So what does this mean for performance? The entire process is not demanding, for example: with standard graphics, we use a snapshot of objects outside the map in 360 degrees. This allows for the atmosphere to stay the same, just with a little less dynamism.

What's Next

We’re still striving to improve performance and increase the number of objects using tessellation in the foreseeable future. This not only means greater realism for terrain, but tanks with a lot of smaller details.

Plans are also in the works to increase the interactivity of the terrain. The foundations are laid: the terrain is already interacting with the tracks and shells, which leave behind traces. But for now, this is only seen by the player and his impact on the battlefield.

Simply put, all the above elements combined to make it looks so realistic, you might have a problem distinguishing the game from the photo.

We’ve covered the terrain, now onto what lurks below.

Water: New Wave

We have developed technological tools that make three forms of water possible: calm for the lakes, current for the rivers and waves for the sea. Along with this, we also implemented a new technology for drawing reflections in water—Screen Space Reflection. Not only are objects reflected but also explosions, shots, smoke and shadows. And all of this will take less resources than before!

Remember how water surfaces were flat and you had to use your imagination to make it seem realistic? With the new engine, ripples will form and waves will crash on the shore. Rivers will no longer just be a flat water texture unless driven through, there is now a noticeable rocking on the water.

If you look at the crest of the waves, you can see that the lighting affects it: the peak becomes slightly bluish and foam is formed with the current.

When moving through water or firing, currents form and show signs of shots. It was discussed to add a feature to put out a burning tank by plunging into the water, but unfortunately it could result in tanks sitting in water throughout a battle because people wanted an economic solution to fire extinguishers.

As you can see the water looks so realistic that after the heat of battle, you might just want to submerge yourself.

 

7. Update 1.0: Remastered Graphics – Part Three

Updated

Flora: Small Details, Big Changes

The flora of World of Tanks changes completely with Update 1.0. Trees become more detailed and look just like in the wild. There’s more than just a handful of tree types: over 100, to be more precise. Whether you’re exploring the tangled routes of sunny suburbia dotted with pine trees, making your way through snow-caped spruces or meticulously picking your next target whilst hiding among widespread oak canopies — different trees and plant types help diversify the locales and give each map a unique footprint.  

Grass now loads in faster and shadows look more realistic giving maps like Karelia and Mines an extra dimension of realism. On top of that, all these trees and plants react to what’s happening in a battle, whether it be firing a shell or adjusting your hull. Worry not, this will not give away your position, these effects will only be seen by you. See for yourself in the video above.

The Future of Flora

This is an ongoing process so we are still working on certain elements. We will work on physics and animation: currently the trees do not fall as naturally as they would in real life. It is even possible that improvements will allow trees to influence gameplay, such as using a felled tree to hide your weakspot.

Objects – The Architecture of World of Tanks

Factories, small buildings, bridges, fences, stones and more—all of these objects create the atmosphere of World of Tanks and affect gameplay. Previously, we were limited in the number of textures to create these objects as it would negatively impact performance. But now…

The new graphics engine allowed us to increase the number of textures and increase their detail. Now artists have a greater opportunity to create new objects and improve their appearance. The best part: it doesn’t affect performance!

To avoid issues with performance, we used “streaming”. This technique is used to stream textures and geometry of various quality when required: The level of detail will depend on the distance between it and your tank. The further away you are, the easier it will be for your computer to process it.

The new graphics engine allows us to combine objects and terrain so that the stone lying on the ground looks as natural as possible meaning it blends in seamlessly with the ground.

For tanks, there will also be some additions. First of all, there are effects of water, dust and snow and as the tank moves around, dust, mud or water can appear on the tank itself.

8. Level Design Improvements: My Sweet Fjords

Updated

With Update 1.0, an entire smorgasbord of elements, from maps and graphics to music and much more, are being completely revamped and Fjords is no different. After receiving a huge redesign, here’s a sneak peek at the improved summertime map and rationale behind the changes.

Imbalances

  • The CQC Club: Almost all battles took place at close quarters (marked on the image as zones 1–4). As a result, tanks which are less suited to brawling had little to offer to their teammates.
  • Where’s the Camo?: A lack of hiding spots limited your influence on the course of the battle (marked as zones 5 & 6).
  • Shoot Straight: A lack of obvious positions to shoot directly across the map. In the city (zone 8), the street planning and blocks were difficult to orient and caused issues in search for the aforementioned positons. In addition to this, zone 7 was available to light tanks, but getting to this position was difficult and used by very few tankers.
  • The Monotony of Fjords: The map was perceived to be a corridor with heavy tanks taking zone 1 (and rarely making it to zone 4) and medium tanks duking it out in zones 2–4. There was no room for maneuvering light tanks save for the field in zone 9, and their effectiveness was extremely limited for this position.
  • Rain Down on Me: From zone 10, artillery could rain down on zone 1. However, fire support wasn’t possible from zone 11.

In addition to visual enhancements, we tried to fix imbalances where lights and TDs could be left out in the cold in terms of their impact on the battle. The majority of clashes took part at close range meaning those that weren’t fit to scrap were at a disadvantage. On top of that, a lack of hiding spots and positions to shoot from afar across the map made it hard for the aforementioned tank classes. Alongside this, Fjords had a perception of being a corridor map which allowed little influence for light tanks on either side.

For artillery spawning in the east, their natural position on the map resulted in them being ineffective when laying down support fire on the southern bottleneck when compared to their adversaries.

You can see below a comparison between the two minimaps (new on the left, old on the right) and notice a significant difference with the redesign:

Now you’ve seen it with your own eyes, let’s get straight to the improvements...

Changes

  • We levelled the central field and added cover and vegetation around the edges for camouflage. As a result, tanks fighting from a distance will be more effective and light tanks will be able to scout more efficiently.
  • Added easy entry to the central hill. Both teams can use this to tip the scales in their favor. In addition, we decided to develop this position to give it more importance in battle.
  • Capturing the central hill is risky but the juice can be worth the squeeze. By taking the hill, it gives control of the center of the map and allows for allied support.
  • Changes were made to the structure and layout of the city. Now it will be easier to navigate and allow for certain maneuvers.
  • Artillery locations are now more balanced—no longer will arties be able to fire from the safe space (zone 10 on the old map) at the heavy tanks located in zone 1 of the old map.
  • Tweaks to the terrain across the map make it possible to choose various angles of attack. These routes are viable for all classes, allowing them to move more freely.

Remember how we noted that Fjords was perceived to be a corridor map? Well to improve the map’s gameplay, tanks that provide fire from a distance will now have more influence in the end result and light tanks can carry out their duties more effectively.

A new addition to the map is the central hill. By controlling this point, the pendulum can swing in either teams favor as it can be used as a locale to lay down support fire. With these additions, the bottleneck brawling will become less widely seen and open up the battle to all tanks.

Artillery positions have become more balanced meaning that teams spawning in the west can no longer take advantage of raining pain from above from the safe haven in the north.

 

9. Update 1.0 – New Glacier Map

Updated

Soon your tanks will be battling it out on a new battlefield set amongst the snow-capped mountains and thawing atmosphere of a winter Sweden. With a collection of ships permeating the frozen bay and remnants of a former Scandinavian village, Glacier certainly adds its own character to the map pool. Let’s take a closer look!

Overview

  • Mode: Random Battles (only Standard Battles format)
  • Size: 1000x1000
  • Vehicles: Tiers IV–X

The map isn’t specifically based on any locale or any historical battle (due to Sweden’s neutrality during World War II). The key element is its charming winter setting. Besides, if you’re looking for a bit of variety, Glacier certainly makes for a breath of fresh air.

Glacier might not be set in any particular era of time but the conditions signal the end of winter on Sweden’s coastline. The cold atmosphere is beginning to thaw and soil and terrain is starting to penetrate the white snow and permafrost. Roughly a third of the map is occupied by the sheet ice across the bay and the former village is down to its bare bones; ruined houses and felled trees show its inhabitants have long gone.

Featuring the staples of any winter map, such as blocks of ice and compacted snow, the map does contain some rather distinctive architecture. They include ships lodged in the ice, worn-down ship propellers, an entire smorgasbord of ship parts and the focal point of the map, the aircraft carrier.

Gameplay

The active zone for light tanks. Thanks to the landscape and terrain, you won’t be left out in the open. But be careful, those pesky tanks might be hiding up by the carrier.

Tank destroyer spots. Good viewpoints, often with concealment, and even with a thinly armored vehicle, you can still do some damage.

There’s a large number of small shelters that won’t protect you from enemy artillery fire here and bushes. It’s a perfect spot for the mediums and not a bad location for tank destroyers either.

Tank destroyer spots. Good viewpoints, often with concealment, and even with a thinly armored vehicle, you can still do some damage.

In the case of a successful enemy advance to the center, take position on top of the aircraft carrier. By controlling the aircraft carrier, your team can help your heavies break through. Even by locating yourself by the sides of the carrier, you can help support your team in the center.

Designated spot for heavies. The perfect place for the heavies to fight, covered from artillery fire, there’s a plenty of options to maneuver amongst the blocks of ice and frozen shipwrecks.

1. The active zone for light tanks. Thanks to the landscape and terrain, you won’t be left out in the open. But be careful, those pesky tanks might be hiding up by the carrier.

2. Tank destroyer spots. Good viewpoints, often with concealment, and even with a thinly armored vehicle, you can still do some damage.

3. There’s a large number of small shelters that won’t protect you from enemy artillery fire here and bushes. It’s a perfect spot for the mediums and not a bad location for tank destroyers either.

4. Tank destroyer spots. Good viewpoints, often with concealment, and even with a thinly armored vehicle, you can still do some damage.

5. In the case of a successful enemy advance to the center, take position on top of the aircraft carrier. By controlling the aircraft carrier, your team can help your heavies break through. Even by locating yourself by the sides of the carrier, you can help support your team in the center.

6. Designated spot for heavies. The perfect place for the heavies to fight, covered from artillery fire, there’s a plenty of options to maneuver amongst the blocks of ice and frozen shipwrecks.

The area by the aircraft carrier can turn the tide of battle as you help provide support to push your heavies through and repel a centralized push from enemy forces from the top. Those heav-ies will want to utilize the frozen shipwrecks and blocks of ice located in the north west corner of the map. After all, it’s prime battling and brawling ground with these natural obstacles allowing for plenty of maneuvering options and being a relatively safe haven from shells floating in from above.

The centre really is the place for light tanks with its landscape and terrain but it’s evident that those barriers that are shielding you might just have some enemy tanks hiding behind them too so be wary. For those looking to do damage from a distance or thinly armoured, the north east and south west map points offer great viewpoints to observe the action with a good amount of concealment!

That just leaves the south east… While shelter can be found here, it’s not going to save you from enemy artillery fire so please take note. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth fighting over, it’s a good locale for mediums and with its abundance of bush, it offers a fine position for tank destroyers.

 

10. Update 1.0: Brand New War Music

Updated

New Tanking Music

With the new soundtrack, all maps will have their own signature sound. Composed by Andrius Klimka and Andrey Kulik, these 60+ unique pieces of music all come together to form the new soundtrack. Each map has original music for the beginning, duration and culmination of the battle, as well as its own loading screen tune—an introductory musical accompaniment driving through the atmosphere and mood of the map.

Thanks to the dedication of our audio team and composers, each battle will really take you to the in-game locale and add the greatest aural fidelity we possibly could!

When setting about to write each new piece of music, the audio team carefully studied map history and locale. The guys met with historians and level designers—to uncover details of each map which might be missed at first glance. These meetings helped to determine the ethnic and geographical location.

Inspiration

With the ethnic and geographic locations understood, next came the work stage: the composers needed to decide on a set of basic instruments and melodies to use in the composition of each piece, for example:

  • Cliff with its Greek setting is getting a rich variety of local folk motifs and instruments
  • Airfield, El Halluf and Sand River feature a very diverse Arabic sound
  • Mountain Pass received very distinctive vocal tunes and the inclusion of Caucasian folklore

Local Aesthetics

To give the greatest possible aural fidelity, unique instruments were selected which were recorded by musicians all across the globe. But it involved more than instruments… Vocal tunes were recorded as a way of trying to capture the characteristics of the people local to the map’s region. In some cases, well-known melodies were used due to being synonymous with a certain country or locale. Westfield, Fjords, Malinovka, Paris and many more are examples of this.

Then came the hard part; it was all about mixing these sounds together to get one single composition which fit the map.

Musical Geography

There are certain sounds and compositions that are just synonymous with a particular country or region. Utilising this can instantly transport a listener from one side of the globe to another and this thinking was a major part of the new soundtrack. The introductory composition, unique to each map, plunges us into a small, localized world with its own history and mood and for us, this might only be a fleeting moment, but it will remain with its history no matter what.

RUINBERG: The sounds of the classical music against the backdrop of burning ruins on Ruinberg might be extremely familiar to some of you. That’s because it uses Toccata and Fugue in D minor by the great German composer, Johann Sebastian Bach.

 

MINES: When taking to Mines, you can hear Balkan folklore motifs and the composition portrays a moment of calm in the small village surrounded by mountains. This is soon interrupted by the exciting tone showing that the battle still rages on and the fight is about to begin.

 

MOUNTAIN PASS: Nestled in the middle of the stunning Caucasus mountains, a peaceful moment introduces the player to the map. A Caucasian soldier sings about missing his family, his house. But then shots are heard: somewhere in the mountains a battle has started and he must join it. He must go into battle; he has to fight for his country.

 

KARELIA: Church bells and old Slavic epics were the basis of Karelia’s composition. The poetic syllable of these epics are transmitted in the rhythm with classical instruments and vocals.

 

EL HALLUF, SAND RIVER AND AIRFIELD: The musical composition is based on the ethnic music of the Berbers. Arabic music is actually very different for the Middle East and North Africa. And since the battles of the Second World War are mainly connected with North Africa, the composition utilizes the folklore of those living there.

 

No Battle the Same

In addition to the introductory, loading screen tune, the game plays certain music during different parts of the battle based off the current circumstances you and your team find yourselves in.

Close to the end of the battle, each team has a different melody depending on the current outcome of the battle. If you’re winning or close to securing a win, a victorious tone will play to spur you on. If the tide of the battle looks ominous then a more somber tune is played to encourage you and your teammates to take out the enemy and secure the victory.

 

Combat music never repeats itself thanks to the efforts of our hard-working audio team who composed instrumental parts for each sound block. These sound blocks are randomly arranged in sequences, while the soundtracks in each block further adds to its aural authenticity. After all, each battle is different so why should the music be the same?

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