Changes to Vehicles and SPGs in Update 1.13

SPGs have always had their own place in World of Tanks, and they’ve seen many changes that have affected their gameplay. A few months ago, we suggested several new mechanics for both artillery and its opponents. After testing them together with you, we’ve come a long way. Now, we’re ready to introduce all these changes into the game. In anticipation of the release of Update 1.13, let's take a closer look at the new features and how these mechanics will work.

Counteracting SPGs: Sound Detection

Let’s start off with the features for counteracting SPGs and alerting players. Until now, non-SPG Commanders lacked useful information, which meant they didn’t have effective tools to actively counteract artillery. It was difficult to track an enemy SPG's actions and predict the direction of potential incoming damage. Now you’ll have more opportunities for tactical analysis, which will help you make smarter decisions and, as a result, take less SPG damage or even avoid it completely.

Sound Detection (aka "Sixth Sense for Arty") is a brand-new commander perk that will warn you of incoming shells from enemy SPGs. When an SPG fires a shot, players whose vehicles are inside the danger zone will see a special indicator. The size of the danger zone will depend on the splash radius of the SPG’s shells.

If a vehicle is outside the potential danger zone at the moment when an SPG fires a shot, but moves into the area while the shell is flying, the indicator will not trigger. This can happen with vehicles that are moving fast.

Also, Sound Detection won't trigger if your vehicle accidentally drives into the shell’s trajectory, provided that the distance to the point of impact exceeds 75 meters. If your vehicle is within this radius, you will see the indicator.

Depending on the shell velocity and travel distance, you will have a short time to react, so try to make the most of it. If you are playing in a slow, well-armored vehicle, these valuable seconds may be enough to move the hull and protect your tank more effectively. These actions will be enough to reduce (sometimes quite significantly) the damage you take.

Fast and maneuverable vehicles can even try to leave the affected area, and the further you are from the center of the explosion, the less damage and stun you will take. It may seem too little to make a difference, but even moving away from the blast center by at least half a meter will already help reduce the potential amount of damage and stun, regardless of which vehicle you are playing in.

Brighter Shell Tracers

SPG shell tracers are now much brighter and clearer, so you can easily see and identify them from a distance. Such shell tracers will allow you to gauge:

  • Approximate positions of SPGs
  • Directions (from where and when) they fired

Previously, you could only approximate an SPG’s location on the battlefield, but the brighter shell tracers will allow you to confirm your suspicions. Plus, you’ll be able to tell when arty is shooting specifically at you, so you can find a safer position to avoid getting hit.

The starting point of the tracer is calculated randomly along the trajectory of the artillery shot and appears at a distance of at least 10 meters from the SPG.

Although you won’t be able to pinpoint the location of artillery to within one meter, this feature will still enable you to better plan your battle strategy.

And while they will now be much easier to spot, competent SPG players should already be planning to change positions after a shot. Even if the opponent has seen your tracer, it doesn't mean you need to stick around to get caught!

Field of Fire Markers on the Minimap

Field of fire markers on the minimap will help you track the actions of artillery and better plan your tactics in battle. Once an artillery shell hits the ground, a vehicle, or any other object, a shot marker will be displayed at that spot on the minimap. It will be visible for only 10 seconds before disappearing, giving you enough time to spot the shot.

Keeping an eye on the minimap has always been very useful—all strong and skilled players constantly do it. A lot of important information can be gleamed from the minimap, and now there will be even more of it. Attentive Commanders will be able to take full advantage of this feature. For example, if a shell tracer is visible next to you, and a marker for another shot appears in a different part of the minimap, this means that both SPGs are now reloading their guns. You won’t take damage from above for the next 20–30 seconds, which gives you time to execute your next move. You can continue the attack, change your position, or even flank an enemy while still having time to find cover before the SPGs fire again.

Reworked Intuition: Helping You Make the Right Shell Choice

Another important new feature all non-SPGs now have at their disposal is the reworked Intuition perk. It will become a skill and be available for the loader to learn. Thanks to this feature, an already loaded shell can be quickly replaced with a different shell type.

You can see the exact time it will take to change the shell type under the reload timer. Fully training the Intuition skill will speed up the shell-swapping process by 60%, and another 6% can be obtained through the commander's bonus. Bonuses from Brothers in Arms, Improved Ventilation, directives, and food consumables, such as Extra Combat Rations, can further increase this value up to 84%.

If you change the shell type while reloading, the Intuition skill will not work and a full reload of the next shell will begin. This skill will be available for all tanks.

Finally, non-SPGs Commanders will spend less time stunned. Artillery will have a wider selection of shells, and two of their shell types will not cause stun, which will significantly reduce the total stun duration in battles.

More SPG Shell Types

SPGs will now have three shell types at their disposal. Each of them will feature its own combat purpose, trajectory, and velocity.

  • Standard HE shells with stun: The easiest shell type to use. It causes low damage and stuns the crews of several targets with a single shot. It features the lowest velocity of all three shell types, but the most comfortable, high-angle trajectory. As a result, it will be easier for SPG players to hit targets behind small hills and other obstacles.
  • Alternative HE shells without stun: The optimal choice for shooting at vehicles with light and medium armor. It will have a higher velocity but a slightly lower trajectory. Unlike standard ammo, the alternative shell will be able to damage internal modules and injure the crew. They will also have higher penetration and damage values.
  • AP shells (tactical shells): These rounds will have the flattest trajectory (traveling the closest to the ground among all artillery shells) and the greatest penetration values. Their velocity will also be the highest of all three shell types, so you can shoot them without much need to lead the shot.

You don't need to constantly use AP shells. They’re meant to be rare, situational shells that require well-weighted choice and use when both HE shell types are less effective. Use them to deal damage to poorly armored vehicles or slow tanks equipped with Spall Liners. It makes no sense to compare them with HE shells, which differ in characteristics and damage mechanics. Unlike HE shells, AP rounds can ricochet or deal no damage on a miss.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Due to the different travel trajectories, it will be more effective to retarget the gun after changing the shell type if you want to shoot at the same point. You should also be aware of the combat situation and react quickly to it, so using the right shells at the right time is the key to success in battle. For example, if you see a group of opponents on one of the flanks, it would be wiser to shoot at them using a standard HE shell. You will not only cause damage, but also stun them. As for firing at a single vehicle with good armor, it is better to use an AP shell.

Changes to the SPG Ammo Interface

The changes in the arsenal of artillery led to the refinement of the interface for SPG players. Each shell type will have colored indicators that will inform you whether this shell can reach what you’re aiming at:

  • If the indicator is green, it means that there are no obstacles in the path of the shell.
  • If the indicator is red, the shell will not be able to reach the target.

In addition, a zoom scale will be displayed on the interface. By scrolling the mouse wheel, you can switch from the regular top-down view—Artillery mode—to Trajectory View. You can also press the G key to do this if you prefer.

As the velocity and trajectory of all three shell types are different in the new system, we decided to add one more feature to make SPG players’ lives easier: an estimated shell travel time indicator next to the crosshair. It will help players understand when to make a shot to increase their chance of hitting a moving target.

More Tactical Options for Both Sides

After the release of all these changes, both SPGs and their opponents will have more tactical options. SPG players will have to observe the course of the battle and respond to changes on the battlefield, keeping in mind that the enemy team will receive more information about them than they do now. On the other hand, three shell types in the arsenal will help them better adapt to different combat situations.

Commanders facing SPGs will receive much more strategic information and will be able to use it to actively counteract SPGs. Sound Detection, brighter shell tracers, and field of fire markers on the minimap will help you read the combat situation better and reduce the amount of damage you take from artillery fire. The reworked Intuition skill will make it easier to react to changing combat situations. Finally, the total stun time in the game will decrease, which is surely a change for the better.

Good luck on the battlefield, Commanders! We hope you’ll enjoy all these changes!

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