In 2018, we continued our efforts to improve matchmaking and Grand Battles, while adding new vehicles, nations, challenges and other breathtaking game events. We also celebrated the 10th anniversary of the idea of World of Tanks and won our fourth Golden Joystick Award by taking home the Still Playing category for the second year in a row. We’re already hard at work making great plans for the future, which we’re ready to share with you!
In 2019, we're going to:
- Solve some substantial issues with the matchmaker
- Bring back the Frontline mode
- Introduce Swedish medium tanks alongside other new vehicles
- Make clans more accessible
- And much more!
Premium ammo has always been one of the hottest topics in World of Tanks and over the upcoming year, we’ll make a key revision to the entire mechanic.
Earlier this year we took the first step towards rebalancing Premium ammo by removing the ability to purchase ammo and consumables for Gold. Therefore, the terms "Premium ammo" or "gold ammo" are no longer appropriate – let's call them collectively “special ammo”.
We’ve been waiting for the amount of “special ammo” in World of Tanks to decrease and for players to adjust to the new concept. Just to be clear, let's start off with the key reasons for rebalancing.
- Players choose their ammunition based on what’s happening on the battlefield. When it comes to high explosive shells, these tactics are justified. We all know that these shells are almost always guaranteed to cause damage, but this damage is usually much less than the damage dealt with standard shells. Basically, HE shells are used to fire on unarmored vehicles, for inflicting maximum damage per shot, or for targets that have few hit points left. In any game situation, the pros and cons of these shells are clear to everyone. Therefore, it's obvious that constantly using HE shells, while you have standard shells, is simply ineffective.
- When a player has to choose between standard shells and “special ammo”, they focus only on armor penetration. Types of ammunition differ in characteristics, for example, shell velocity, but the key factor for most players is still armor penetration. Using "special ammo", most notably APCR or HEAT, you get an advantage just by spending more Credits.
What Do We Want to Do?
Our top priority is to help players choose their ammunition loadout more consciously. We want players to evaluate the advantages of different shells and take into account the consequences of their choice.
It's extremely important that, above all, the new system suits you, our players. That's why we've decided to try the solution that you actively offered in your feedback on our forum.
As a result, we are going to implement the following mechanics:
- Standard AP shells are now the most attractive in terms of cost and damage. They have high damage per shot and they are cheap, but it's harder to hit armored vehicles when using these shells.
- "Special ammo" is good for firing on armored vehicles, because of a higher chance to penetrate. But they come at a high cost and have a lower damage per shot (by 25-30%) than the standard shells.
- High explosive shells make it possible to inflict damage with a greater probability, regardless of whether the vehicle is armored or not. They are effective against poorly armored vehicles but have low armor penetration, cannot pierce obstacles, have the lowest damage per shot in case of non-penetration and often, the lowest velocity.
We’ve put a lot of work into these improvements and we’re excited to hear what you think. Your input is crucial as we continue the rebalancing process of “special ammo”. If the feedback we receive on our proposed solution is positive, we’ll release it for testing and analyze how it affects the current gameplay.
If all the testing steps go as planned, we will then try to adjust the cost of all shells, depending on their effectiveness and how often they are chosen.
In some cases it will be necessary to change the cost ratio or the characteristics of a vehicle, but it will be too impractical to look for a "one-size-fits-all" answer. The decision to implement this mechanic has not yet been made! We would like to analyze your feedback, so feel free to leave all your thoughts and concerns on the forum.
A few months ago, we outlined that 2019 would be a big year for the matchmaker so prepare for big changes coming over the next twelve months. We're all aware of the existing issues, so let us begin with a brief overview.
Evolution of Change
The matchmaker’s main objective has always been getting players into battle as quickly as possible. Ever since 2010, the various versions have valued speed as the top priority.
As a result, we encountered the following key challenges:
- So-called "fail Platoons", which consist of vehicles that differ by more than three tiers (most often it was top tiers + low tiers in a single Platoon)
- A large number of SPGs in teams (up to 8)
- Teams were getting matched in such a way that there were very few opponents of your Tier in battle. For example, there could be 13 Tier Xs but only 2 Tier VIIIs vehicles on your team.
In 2017, Update 9.18 was designed to solve these issues and brought with it a template system that we’re all aware of. These templates (the main ones being 3-5-7 and 5-10) are still in use today.
The templates bear strict rules: there should not be more tanks at the top than in the middle, and no more in the middle than at the bottom. Thanks to the templates, in each battle, players had a sufficient number of enemy tanks with which they could compete on an equal footing. Even playing at the bottom of the list, you always have the same number of tanks of your tier in the opposing team.
New Update, New Challenges
After the introduction of the template system, the battles became more acceptable. On the other hand, we've faced new serious burdens and challenges:
- Players rarely get matched with vehicles of their tier and 1 or 2 tiers lower, and mostly they play with higher tier tanks. In other words, you often get to the bottom of the list. This is especially true for Tier VI and VIII vehicles.
- Players with preferential Premium vehicles play most of their battles in the 5-10 template with higher tier tanks, and rarely get matched with vehicles of lower Tiers. As a result, this greatly smooths out the benefits of preferential matchmaking.
The templates in the current matchmaker architecture are strict, so they cannot quickly adapt to the queue evolution, creating these issues. In other words, the matchmaker cannot analyze the queue and has no tools for operating with it dynamically.
What Will Happen Next?
We are working on fundamentally new tools with which the rules for assembling battles can quickly adapt to the queue and to a specific game situation. We also assumed that the enjoyment of battles was more important than the queuing time. Waiting for a battle may take a little longer, but the teams need to be better balanced.
In the future:
- Templates will become more flexible, depending on the current situation in the queue
- In addition to the classic 3-5-7 and 5-10, new templates may appear in order to help sort the queue
- For a two-tier battle, there may be 6-9 and 7-8
- For a three-tier battle, there may be 4-5-6 and even 5-5-5.
Put simply, we would like players to be top of the list more often.
Your Feedback = Our Success
There’s a lot in the works, and even more on the way for the new matchmaker in 2019. The technical part of the architecture is almost ready and is currently being tweaked and tested. If we are satisfied with the outcome, we're planning to launch an updated matchmaker on the main servers in all regions and we’ll be carefully analyzing the effect of these changes.
We're excited to hear what you think about all these tweaks, please post your general feedback in the special thread on our forum. Gradually, step by step, we're going to improve matchmaking and make World of Tanks even more enjoyable.
Frontline is coming back, kicking off in the first quarter of 2019!
Frontline has received a slight revamp as we want to solve a fairly clear yet challenging issue. We would like to keep the old friendly and relaxing atmosphere, where you can play just for fun, but at the same time give you the opportunity to fulfill interesting medium- and long-term goals to keep you engaged. Most importantly, Frontline will not be a short-term event, but a whole series of events throughout the year, with heaps of rewards and other bonuses.
The core gameplay of Frontline will remain unchanged. You receive ranks and points for good performance in combat and these points can be used to boost your level. Once you have reached a certain level, you start earning rewards (credits, consumables etc.). There are 30 levels and once you reach the top, you can Prestige, which will reset your progress and you can start earning rewards again.
We’ve added more to the Frontline formula, let’s take a look:
- Frontline kicks off every calendar month and will be available for a week. Your journey through the event will last a week every month and 10 weeks in total.
- There are now more Prestige levels. We’ve increased the number of Prestige levels from three to 10. Prestige level availability will be added gradually with each Frontline week. There will be no strict timeframe for reaching the Prestige. However, you can make some progress and get ahead by 2 Prestige levels in a week. For example, in the second week you can reach Prestige level 4. And when the 8th week of the event starts, you can complete all 10 Prestige levels.
- In addition to the basic rewards, players will be rewarded with special points for reaching a Prestige level. Use these points to purchase special reward vehicles. The availability of these special tanks will be added gradually, as you reach certain Prestige levels.
XP and Credit earn rates will remain the same in next year’s Frontline. Repair and shell costs won't change either.
This year we’ve been actively working on vehicle rebalancing, adding new tanks, and removing some old ones. Now we’re ready to take the next step.
We’re going to improve the vehicles that will be most affected by the rebalancing of “special ammo”. We’ll also focus on vehicles with poor efficiency and overhaul some overpowered tanks to revise their characteristics.
The following vehicles will be rebalanced first:
- E 100
- Leopard 1
We’re also looking at rebalancing mid-tier vehicles. The list provided is not complete and it’s possible that other tanks will be added to it. We’re happy to hear your feedback, so feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions.
At this point we have no concrete plans for a new nation, but the dev team has discussed the possibility of adding a new nation.
At the end of 2016, we released two Swedish tech trees simultaneously, now it's time to add some new vehicles to the nation! Get ready for the arrival of Swedish Medium tanks next year.
Swedish Medium tanks are maneuverable vehicles with fast-firing, accurate guns. But what will really set them apart is the option to switch into Siege Mode - a feature you’ve already seen in the Swedish tank destroyers.
It’s too early to unveil how many vehicles will appear in the new branch and at what tier they will start. At the very least, we can say that we are carefully evaluating candidates and all vehicles will be entirely historical.
We‘re also experimenting with mechanic settings for new Swedish tanks because we’d like to make the switch to Siege Mode automatic. As soon as we completely configure the branch and refine the mechanic, we’ll share new information with you.
In 2019, a new series of Ranked Battles will begin and promises to be quite different from earlier versions!
Thanks to your feedback we’ve decided to fix several key issues. Previously, a casual player had to push themselves to the limits to reach Rank 15. At the same time, top players could reach the max rank quickly and, and felt 15 Ranks were not enough for them.
In order to find a solution that would be the best fit for the majority of players, we decided to rework the entire Ranking mechanic and break it into 4 divisions. Each division involves 15 Ranks. Of course, we reduced the number of chevrons you need to reach Rank 15, so don’t worry – you don’t have to work 4 times harder!
The first division is Qualification. In this division, you start off with a clean slate. When you reach Rank 15, you end up in the next division, Bronze.
And this is where the fun begins! Depending on how well you performed in the Qualification division, chevrons in the Bronze division will be easier or harder to earn.
In the Silver division all the mechanics will be similar. If you have proven yourself in previous division, you will earn more chevrons.
The ultimate division is Gold – and it’s the most challenging one! Only the best of the best will be able to reach the top.
These are far from the only changes in Ranked Battles, but perhaps the most interesting.
This year we completely reworked the in-game shop. Players now have the opportunity to purchase items, equipment and directions for Bonds and in 2019, we want to add the ability to purchase tanks for Bonds.
We’re planning to put vehicles on sale that are not currently available in the Premium Shop, but are present in the game. These tanks include gift tanks and vehicles that have been removed from the tech tree but are still owned by players.
At the moment we’re compiling a list of vehicles that may be purchased for Bonds. We can definitely say that these will be tanks of various tiers.
We’ll individually evaluate each vehicle and choose a fair price for it depending on its uniqueness. As a result, a Tier X vehicle may cost less than a Tier VIII tank, and it’s possible that some very rare collectible vehicles will be offered for Bonds in the future.
On the Horizon
We plan to add vehicles to the Bonds shop in two rounds. The first lot will appear in the spring of 2019 and will include more affordable vehicles. The second one will contain more exclusive tanks and will go on sale in the second half of 2019.
In addition, we’re discussing the possibility of adding other goodies and specials to the Bonds shop. We also plan to gradually increase the sources of Bonds in the game so.
2019 will bring a truly fundamental change to Premium Account. The current version of the Premium Account has been around for more than eight years and some of its features are no longer as important for players as they used to be. For example, Personal Reserves offer similar and sometimes even better bonuses, so the appeal of the Premium Account has lessened.
Increasing Profit & Convenience
We’re still working on nailing down the specifics, but our ultimate goal is to make Premium Account more profitable and, most importantly, more convenient for everyone. Perhaps the updated Premium Account will provide players with some additional opportunities. Following your feedback, we will see what the future holds.
But don't expect the Premium Account concept to be revised quickly. Our plans call for a comprehensive approach to this issue, which requires a lot of time and attention. The whole scope of potential changes is still under active development, so stay tuned for more news!
This year we have released many cool customization styles, let us refresh your memory:
- “Winged Hussar” for 50TP
- “Fear Naught” for Caernarvon Action X
- And, of course, our two exclusive Warhammer 40,000 styles: the "Valhallan Ragnarok" for the KV-2 (R) and "Mordian" for the BDR G1 B.
In fact, we got brand-new vehicles with completely new graphic details on their armor. In the “Holiday Ops” event, we introduced new 3D styles for 4 tanks.
- The T57 Heavy has been styled to look like the tanks that took part in the Vietnam War.
- The Bat.-Châtillon 25 t looks like it took part in military actions in Algeria, that is why you can see traditional ornaments on its hull.
- The Grille 15 features a loadout from an alternative history where German tanks have been equipped with protection against phosphorus bombs and anti-grenade nets.
- The IS-7 has been upgraded to survive nuclear war with new hatches, screens over the suspension and other additions.
Next year we will continue to work on customization and development of new unique 3D styles. We are sure that many tanks will pleasantly surprise you!
Enjoy the holidays, Commanders! Don’t hesitate to leave any suggestions or questions you might have on the forum!