Sandbox Test: Reworked SPG Mechanics – FAQ

Commanders!

The third iteration of a series of Sandbox tests has begun. This time, we are putting reworked SPG mechanics to the test.

If you would like to participate, download the Sandbox test server client and begin experimenting with the overhauled damage and shell system for artillery. We need your support and feedback for the test to be a success.

Before you jump in, we would like to clarify several details, quell any concerns, and answer a few of your frequently asked questions.


Reworked SPG Mechanics and Changes

1. What's the difference between the new shells and what situations are they best suited to?

High Explosive With Stun (standard): Penetration hasn't changed, damage is decreased by 10%. If it doesn't penetrate, it doesn't cause critical damage to modules and crew. It has the lowest shell velocity, but the trajectory is better. This shell will be useful in situations when you need to hit and stun several targets at once.

High Explosive Without Stun (alternative): This shell is useful for firing at light and medium armored vehicles. Its burst radius is half the size of that of a standard shell, and its area of effect is a quarter of the size.

At the same time, its armor penetration will be 50% higher than the current value, and its damage will be 10% higher. Also, unlike standard ammo, the alternative shell will be able to damage internal modules and injure the crew. Additionally, it has a higher shell velocity than the standard shell, but a worse trajectory.

Armor-Piercing: This shell is intended for rare combat situations. It's effective against slow, well-armored vehicles that can't be damaged much by HE shells. Armor-Piercing shells will not have a burst radius and stun, and will only be able to hit one target when fired from a short distance. At the same time, they cause much higher damage than HE shells if they penetrate, which is 4 to 6 times more likely. Armor-Piercing shells have the highest velocity of all. The player will have to consider that the trajectory of this shell is the flattest of all when firing, i.e. it has the lowest angle to the ground. This shell has high penetration and good damage, but if the situation demands switching the AP shell to another one, or vice versa, the Intuition perk, which considerably decreases the time of changing the shell, will allow you to be flexible and react to the situation in battle.

Standard
  • Penetration
  • Damage
  • Burst Radius
  • Damage to Modules
  • Stun
Stuns the crew. Has a large burst radius and can damage several targets at once. Causes low damage. Does not damage modules / injure crew members upon non-penetration. Has a low shell velocity but a high angle trajectory.
Alternative
  • Penetration
  • Damage
  • Burst Radius
  • Damage to Modules
  • Stun
Does not stun the crew. Has decent penetration and a small burst radius. Causes higher damage. Causes damage to modules / injures crew members upon penetration. Has a higher shell velocity but a lower angle trajectory.
Tactical
  • Penetration
  • Damage
  • Burst Radius
  • Damage to Modules
  • Stun
Has no burst radius or stun effect. Causes the highest damage upon penetration. Can only damage one target. Has the highest penetration and shell velocity but the lowest angle trajectory.

2. Will the HE shell changes from the previous Sandbox tests affect SPG shells?

No. The damage-dealing mechanics for SPG HE shells and the standard HE shells of other vehicles will be different.

3. How does adding new shells solve the "stun issue"?

Currently, SPG players have two nearly identical types of shells. With the new system, maximum efficiency can be achieved only by playing with different shell types. Now, there will be three shell types available for various situations in battle. Only one of them has the ability to stun, which will decrease the total number of stuns in the game.

From last year's Sandbox test, we saw that more choice of shell types reduced stuns in battle by up to 50%.

4. What is the estimated efficiency of the AP rounds?

It will be a completely situational shell (10–15% of all shots). If used wisely, it will be more effective versus slow, well-armored vehicles compared to HE shells.

5. How high is the module damage of the AP rounds?

The same as AP shells for regular vehicles.

6. In the past, for some SPGs, HEAT was a tactical shell. Will the new tactical shell always be AP?

No, for some SPGs it will be HEAT shells.

7. Why does the SPG HE shell damage model not match the new HE shell Sandbox model? Why the difference?

SPGs are a completely different class as they can't aim as accurately as other vehicle types. The range and aiming mechanisms are also different.

8. Was removing penetration for SPG rounds ever considered?

Yes, but penetration is low on the current SPGs, so we don't want to remove it completely.

9. Do I need to learn the Intuition perk with my SPG crew or is it a "free" perk?

Yes, you have to learn it. But on the Sandbox, it will be researched on all vehicles.

10. Are you planning tweaks to individual SPGs?

Maybe, depending on the Sandbox results.

11. Are there plans to limit the number of SPGs per team?

No.

12. How does Sound Detection work?

Sound Detection works if the vehicle is in the damage area, whether it's spotted or not. If the artillery fires with a lead and the vehicle is not in the damage area when it fires, the indicator will not appear. The damage area will depend on the burst radius of the artillery shell.

13. Will Sound Detection work even if you're not spotted?

Yes.

14. Will there be any indication on the minimap showing from where the SPG has fired?

No.

15. Why did you introduce Sound Detection in such a way?

We want to give additional information about SPGs' actions and decrease the unpredictability of their fire. The player who has received a warning that they are about to be fired upon can perform evasive actions. For example, drive closer to a building or a rock, or leave the area that is under fire.

Knowing when the artillery is firing will allow you to understand the situation more quickly, choose safer positions, and make your offensive more efficient. Also, Sound Detection means non-SPG players can avoid the current situations when SPG players scare off players by simply aiming at them and not firing.

16. If two vehicles are in the damage area, will Sound Detection work for both players?

Yes, Sound Detection will work for both.

17. Tell us more about the SPG hit visualization. What will happen to an existing mark if the SPG fires more often than once every 10 seconds, and will it be displayed on buildings and water?

A marker appears when the shell hits, and remains on the minimap for a total of 10 seconds. The time is the same for all SPG hits and doesn't depend on reload time or vehicle tier. If the shell hits a building or water, the mark will also be displayed.

18. How useful is the information about SPG hit locations?

Very useful. Hit locations allow players to understand how many SPGs fired a shell and how long ago it happened. With this information, players will be able to act more efficiently in battle by knowing when it's safe to change positions and at what area the artillery fires the least. This will help minimize HP loss from SPG fire.

19. Brighter shell traces don't look like a useful feature. What are they for?

You shouldn't underestimate the new traces. They provide a lot of useful information about SPG actions. For example, they will allow players to estimate the location of an SPG and understand when and where it is firing. All this opens up new possibilities for both attacking and planning your actions against artillery. An even more efficient way to use them is to combine the information from brighter traces with SPG hit markers. It's easier to detect where the artillery is firing from, how many SPGs have fired, and for how long you will be safe from new shells.

20. Will there be compensation for special shells?

It's too early to say. We are testing the mechanics and want to hear your feedback first.

21. Will Personal Missions and the conditions for earning particular awards be revised?

If the analysis of the received data shows that the changes will strongly affect Personal Missions, we will work on changing the conditions for some of them. But this will happen only in case the revised mechanics are approved by the players and released.

22. Will these changes affect Premium SPGs?

Premium SPGs will retain their old shells. If your SPG does not currently have shells that can stun, everything will stay the same.

23. Tell us more about fast switching between shells.

This is the job of the reworked Intuition perk. It will become a skill that changes the shell type in the loaded gun faster the more it's trained. The fully trained skill will speed up reloading by 60%, and bonuses from Brothers in Arms, Improved Ventilation, Extra Combat Rations, etc. can increase this value up to 83.16%.

24. Will the bonus to reloading work if I change the shell type during the reload?

No. The skill only works if the shell or drum is fully loaded.

25. Why was the Intuition reload perk not included in the Crew 2.0 Sandbox, and will it be delivered with Crew 2.0 or with the SPG update?

It's an independent perk. If the SPG changes are released earlier than Crew 2.0, we will release the perk with the current crew system.


Sandbox Server

1. How do I participate?

  1. Download the Sandbox launcher.
  2. Install the Sandbox client by launching the downloaded file. If you're running the Game Center for the first time, you'll have to authorize and restart the downloaded installation file.
  3. Wait until the Sandbox client is downloaded and installed.
  4. Open the World of Tanks tab, select World of Tanks Sandbox, and click Play.

2. What are the special missions and Tokens? What do I need to do in order to earn rewards for participating in the Sandbox test?

It’s quite simple. Six combat missions will be made available on the Sandbox server. Five of them are completed simultaneously and unlock access to the sixth one. The sequence can be completed three times.

An overview of the exact mission conditions is available in the main guide.

Once the chain is complete, the missions will become available again, but not earlier than the next day.

Shortly after the Sandbox testing is over, the Tokens will be transferred to the main server and players will be able to spend them in a dedicated part of the in-game Store for rewards. Don't forget to spend your Tokens before the next test starts, or else they will be converted into credits at the rate of 1 Token : 10,000.

3. When will the accumulated Tokens be transferred to the main server?

Between 24 and 48 hours after the test is concluded. We will try to do it as quickly as possible, and will notify you after the Tokens have been transferred to the main server.

4. Are the Tokens for each iteration counted separately, or is it possible to collect them and then spend them all at once on rewards during the final iteration?

All of the Tokens earned during a test iteration have to be spent before the next Sandbox stage begins. Tokens don't stack, so don't forget to choose a reward in the time between the tests.

5. When will we see the 2D style and decals?

We are working on the 2D style and additional decals right now. They are still being drawn, tested, and carefully prepared for presentation to the public. However, we can already show you the decal for the SPG mechanics test:

As for all the others, you will have to wait a little longer.

6. When and where will I receive the survey?

The survey will appear in the main game client. Some players who have fought a certain number of battles will receive the survey during the testing phase. All other players who have fought more than five battles will receive the survey in the final days of the test, or immediately after it ends. If you don't receive the survey right away, please be patient. To make the technical load lighter, we'll send the survey out in batches.

7. Why do we have to download the full Sandbox client every time?

This is the nature of the Sandbox server test. Each iteration means a separate client that was built for a new feature separately from other mechanics. Unfortunately, the production process requires this approach.

8. What will be tested during the final stage of the Sandbox?

Everything depends on the results of the HE shells and artillery testing: will improvements be needed? Will we be able to realize them with a tight deadline? How will the community react?


Rewards

Complete special missions on the Sandbox server to collect Tokens and unlock different reward levels.

Sandbox 2021: Changes to SPGs  

If you have any questions that have not been answered here, please head over to our forum where our community team will be happy to assist. You can find the link below.

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