If the mere mention of Strongholds sends your head spinning faster than an exploding ammo rack, you’re not alone. While the mode was originally a way for some players to get involved in the World of Tanks metagame, Strongholds ended up being too complicated and demanding. It’s a game mode, not a full time job. However, currently, Battles for Strongholds make clans defend their territory six times a week, and when defeated, they lose resources. Game sessions take an age, and the complexity of leveling past Level IV creates a barrier to entry so high you need a ladder to get over it. All of you told us as much, so all of us around the studio rushed to set things right and inject a healthy dose of fun into Strongholds.
In Update 9.17.1, we’ll roll out a set of comprehensive changes to the game mode and its key elements (Skirmishes, Strongholds economic system, Reserves, and more) all designed to simplify it, making it easier for tankers to jump in and have fun. To name a few, we’ll replace Battles for Strongholds with a new format: Advances, while also opening Battle rooms for legionnaires and adding all-new “War Games” challenges.
Now that we have your curiosity, do we have your attention? Read on for more details.
New Mode: Advances
Battles for Strongholds resemble Darwin’s evolutionary theory of “survival of the fittest”: stronger clans prefer to attack weaker clans, to avoid being pillaged. As a result, clans that upgraded their Strongholds to Level V are frequently attacked and end up losing resources that require a lot of effort to be restored. When you add compulsory Stronghold Defense six days a week, many clans said “bye-bye” to the mode.
To break this vicious cycle, we’ll replace the current format with Advances, where:
- Battles begin at a fixed time and matching is automated, so it’s impossible to choose a certain clan to attack. Instead, you get matched against a clan from the queue, members of which have the closest skill level to your clan members.
- Clans don’t need to defend their Strongholds 6 times a week anymore.
- Unlike Battles for Strongholds, participating in Advances isn’t obligatory. It’s totally up to you and your clan.
- Defeat doesn’t end in structures being pillaged, and the defeated clan doesn’t lose Industrial Resource
- The amount of Industrial Resource that winners earn depends on their Stronghold level, only.
- Clans can invite legionnaires to their Advance detachments.
Available for detachments in Tier X vehicles, Advances include a series of battles with the option to change the vehicle set enabled for each battle. Though, you will have to play one more battle to define which clan will be attacking or defending.
Changes to Skirmishes
Here, we’ll replace the 10-vs-10 format with 7-vs-7 battles for detachments in Tier VIII vehicles. So, Skirmishes will include three battle formats: 7-vs-7 for Tier VI vehicles, 7-vs-7 for Tier VIII vehicles, and 15-vs-15 for Tier X vehicles.
Open Battle Rooms
Once we open Battle rooms for legionnaires in 9.17.1, they will be able to take part in Advances and Skirmishes after receiving an invitation from a clan to join their detachment. We’ll add a special interface for it, like in Team Battles.
Every volunteer will easily be able to find a team for battles in the Stronghold mode. Clan players that fight as legionnaires will earn Industrial Resource for both their clans and those they fight for.
Revised Stronghold Economics
Starting in 9.17.1, there will only be one Industrial Resource Storage. So, you won’t have to channel players to structures and transport Industrial Resource between them.
As there will be no structures to pillage (and clans won’t lose their Industrial Resource if they lose), we’ll also change structure building and reserve preparation costs to better suit the new setup. Players earn an equal number of Fame Points during an event on the Global Map. So, all who fight in a Stronghold battle will receive the same amount of Industrial Resource regardless of whether they fought till the end or were outed from the battle at the very beginning.
Changes to Building and Demolishing Structures
Good news for new clans that have no Strongholds yet: you’ll no longer need to create one to try out the mode—we’ll take care of that.
With no pillages, the very process of building structures will change as well:
- To upgrade the Command Center, you’ll have to ensure that the total level of all buildings meet the requirements for its upgrade. Simply put; clans will need to upgrade more than one or two buildings.
- To prevent regretful instances of Demolishing a structure accidently (or doing it purposefully, then having serious second thoughts about it), we’ll remove the opportunity to rebuild and demolish them altogether.
- Finally, you can forget about opening Zones and the frustrating clan member limits they have. With the Strongholds revamp, you’ll be able to create a structure on every construction site.
New Reserves Classification
Revised, reserves will get divided into 3 groups. And instead of activating just one at a time (the way it works currently), you’ll be able to have two (from the 1st and 2nd groups) simultaneously:
- Reserves that provide additional crew and Free XP
- Reserves that give additional credits and vehicle experience
- Reserves that increase Combat Reserves efficiency and the amount of Industrial Resource earned. (These can be enabled in a battle room before an Advance or a Skirmish.)
Currently, the gap between the power of Combat Reserves for different levels gives one team an edge over others (a strong team gets even stronger). Not only this, but the usage of two reserves simultaneously significantly affects the outcome of the battle.
We’ll decrease the influence of Combat Reserves on the balance of power, which should eliminate the gap between clans with different reserves:
- The efficiency of Combat Reserves will depend on a battle level (VI, VIII, or X), regardless of their actual level
- Clans will only be able to use one Combat Reserve (Airstrike or Artillery Strike) in Stronghold battles (Skirmishes or Advances)
- The Combat Reserve level will only influence the amount of Industrial Resource
- Reserves that influence the Industrial Resource will get restrictions depending on the battle mode: High-Capacity Transport can be used in all battles; Requisition—only in Advances.
- We’ll add Level XI and XII Reserves that will have a larger effect than those of Level X. To earn them, you’ll have to upgrade the Command Center to Level X or get special clan achievements. We’ll describe the latter in more detail soon.
War Games to Replace War Departments
With the removal of pillages and mandatory battles, it would have been really easy to reach the top levels of Strongholds development. As a result, War Departments, which are now mainly used by top clans who earned their stripes in combat, will become available to more players. Everyone will have access to a structure that gives Gold, Premium Account time, credits, and other resources with no quantitative and level limitations. This would disrupt the fair play environment. To prevent this from happening, we decided to remove War Departments altogether and add a new competitive format: challenges, dubbed “War Games.”
In War Games, clans that participate in Skirmishes and Advances will compete for rankings in different categories. Top clans and legionnaires will get in-game Gold, advanced Level XI and XII Reserves, and other rewards. This way, clans that used to get bonuses from War Departments will be able to keep their leading positions by competing with each other.
Lastly, because we’ll get rid of pillages, Quartermaster Unit will be removed as well.
As you can see, Strongholds are in for a massive revamp. To ensure that the transition goes smoothly, we’ll take it one step at a time. Update 9.17.1 will introduce Advances and changes that this new format entails. War Games will make its way into the game after the update launches: we’ll take some time to make sure the ecosystem’s ready for them.