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Over the past few weeks, we’ve been completing work on Update 9.18. The team pored over years and years of community feedback to re-think and alter some of the game’s core elements, addressing the most frequent issues you reported. It’s been a massive quest, and we are thankful to those of you who joined us for the Common Test and in the Sandbox to work on these improvements and refinements.

We implemented an all-new, template-based matchmaking algorithm. Light tank branches were stretched to Tier X, which marked the introduction of the regular ±2 tier spread for them. Finally, comprehensive tweaks to SPGs reshaped them into efficient team players, making this class less frustrating to fight against and more satisfying to play and have on the team.

Let’s give a few specific items some well-deserved attention. You ready? We’re diving straight in.


World of Tanks servers will be down on 27 April from 01:00 to 06:30 CEST (UTC +2) to get everything in order. Also, we’ll be freezing the Global Map for 24 hours, temporarily closing the Clan portal and cancelling Strongholds battles.


Current Premium players will be credited an additional 24 hours of Premium account time to make up for the maintenance period. If you’d like to make any in-game purchases, please wait until the servers are up and running again.

We’ve been detailing various improvements arriving in 9.18 during its Common Test. Click the images below to check out deeper details on each feature.

Improved Matchmaker

The improved matchmaker introduces a new template-based algorithm that balances the “ideal” setup against the speed of matching. First, it tries to create a ±2 battle using the 3/5/7 template. If assembling two teams according to it will leave you queuing too long, the system loosens its restrictions a bit to make sure you get into a match quicker. In this case, you can get a two-level or a single-level battle, which are rare. The majority of battles have the ±2 tier spread. This way, you don’t get tired of waiting and always end up with a setup that’s optimal for the current situation on the server.

You always face a team that has the same number of vehicles at the top/middle/bottom of the list as yours. Plus, whichever template the matchmaker uses, tanks at the bottom will always be in the majority and the middle is bigger than the top. Simply put, regardless of your position on the list, there are enough players in the same position to turn the tide of battle.

Stretching Light Tank Branches to Tier X

Light tanks now reach to Tier X and benefit from standard ±2 matchmaking, which should create more varied, enjoyable, and exciting gameplay. They no longer have to suffer: no more battles against Tier X vehicles for swift, yet frail Tier VII light tanks. But wait, there’s more! Following the addition of top-tier vehicles, LTs evolved into a standalone battle unit and received a number of balance tweaks. They still play as support units, but now have decent enough firepower and excellent speed to make an impact.

The new Tier X light tanks are swifter and more maneuverable than their peers at lower tiers. Their gun stabilization, penetration power and hit damage allow them to excel in close- and mid-range combat. When facing off against medium tanks, Tier X light tanks are anything but an easy target incapable of returning a favour. Their guns are just a little less powerful than those of medium tanks, and have enough penetration power to pierce through the side and rear armor of the majority of heavies. They have what it takes to punish opponents who might naively consider them harmless.
We reviewed American, Soviet, and French LTs leading to the release. Check out the links for insights into balance changes and new vehicles. And stay tuned for the lowdown on German and Chinese lines.

All-Round SPG Revision

The new stun mechanic transformed arty into long-range support fire vehicles: efficient team players, who cripple targets and help set the attack direction from afar. Instead of kicking players out from the game in a single shot, they now temporarily weaken mobility, accuracy, and reload time of vehicles in their splash radius. This negative effect can be reduced with Spall Liners or lifted with the now multi-use First Aid Kits. As soon as the stun effect passes you are as good as new and can fight on.

We also considerably lowered the penetration and damage per shot for HE shells and removed AP, APCR, and HEAT shells for SPGs. Now, they deal less direct damage, but benefit from the damage their teammates cause to stunned targets, similar to scouts. So, shooting at multiple targets is now more efficient than picking just one. This change, together with the introduction of the stun mechanic, should force SPGs to change their play style and aim to hit multiple targets.

9.18 is one of the most significant updates we have ever introduced to the game, both in terms of the importance of the issues it tackles and the sheer scope of fundamental changes it simultaneously introduces. Matchmaking and arty have been a source of heated discussion for years now, and it has taken us several iterations to transform them into something we feel happy to put into your hands. And if our own experience and the feedback we gathered working with our community during the testing phases are any indication, the revisions made in 9.18 will make the game feel both fairer and more fun.

The team has been working tirelessly to react to your feedback up to release, and we have been thrilled by the passion and involvement of our community. We didn’t expect to see so many driven players pitch in to test new mechanics in Sandbox and during Common Test. The genuine dedication you showed us definitely makes months and months of work worth it! And we do not intend to stop here. As we get 9.18 out the door, work continues. We’re calling on you to hit the battlefield, see what it’s like, and get back to us. Moving forward, among the top priorities for the team is continuing to fine-tune and refine the new matchmaker and arty, working off your suggestions and commentaries.

Also, we believe that the best way to thank you for being with us every step of the way is to stay focused on further improvements that fundamentally push the quality of the game forward. Now that we’ve addressed two of the longest-running complaints in the community, we’ll get down to tasks that are no less important: refining the game’s other components and expanding it with new mechanics, scenarios, and setups. There’s a lot more in store for 2017!

Full List of Changes


Game Features

Specific features of the new matchmaker:

  • Pattern-based matchmaker. The new matchmaker for Random Battles based on predetermined patterns. Pattern is a complex of team characteristics, including the number of vehicles at the top/middle/bottom of the team list, number of Platoons, number of light/medium/heavy tanks, SPGs, and tank destroyers. The teams are always created according to the following rule: number of vehicles at the bottom of the team list should exceed the number of vehicles at the top or middle of the team list. The priority pattern for three-tier battles is 3-5-7; the pattern for two-tier battles is 5-10. One-tier battles are allowed under conditions when other patterns are not possible.
  • Only same-tier Platoons are allowed.
  • The number of SPGs per team should not exceed three vehicles.
  • Enabled the limitation for usage of SPGs in Platoons. Selection of SPGs in the Platoon window is disabled. The limitation affects both Platoons that include only SPGs and Platoons that include other vehicle types.
  • The matchmaker considers the number of light tanks and tank destroyers.
  • The difference in the number of Platoons should not exceed one full Platoon (three players).
  • Preference of placing a player at the top/middle of the team list, if they have already played several battles at the bottom of the team list.
  • Improvements to the map selection mechanics that decreases the chance of playing on the same maps within a game session.

New SPG gameplay:

  • Mechanics of Stunning. Stunning temporary decreases technical characteristics of enemy vehicles within the burst radius, and provides experience and credits, when allies cause damage to the stunned enemies.
    • SPGs can now stun the crew.
    • Stunned vehicles have decreased fire power and mobility.
    • The countdown of stun indicator is displayed to all players who see the stunned vehicle.
    • The stun effect can be removed by using the First Aid Kit, even if none of the crew members is injured.
    • Damage caused to the stunned enemies is rewarded by analogy with the “damage upon spotting” mechanics.
  • Decreased damage of SPG shells
  • Improved accuracy and aiming
  • Decreased reloading time
  • Increased burst radius
  • Overall adjustment of the view range for SPGs
  • All shells without burst radius (Armor-Piercing, AP Composite Rigid, and HEAT shells) were removed from all researchable SPGs
  • Added the stunning effect to the SPGs that feature guns of calibers over 150 mm
  • Alternative “Trajectory View” Artillery Aim. By default, switching between the modes is bound to the G key. This Artillery Aim shows the battlefield at the angle of the shell trajectory allowing players to aim by analogy with the standard Sniper Aim.
  • Target Area Marker shows allies that the SPG player is keeping an eye on that part of the map (T key, be default). Any of the Artillery Aims allows informing the allies (by pressing a particular button) about the point of aiming, selected target, and readiness to fire. This information is displayed in the 3-D scene, on the minimap, and in the battle chat at the same time. 

 Reusable Consumables:

  • All (standard and Premium) consumables that need to be activated (First Aid Kit, Repair Kits, Fire Extinguishers) became reusable.
  • After using a consumable, it becomes available again after recharging.
  • Recharge of consumables takes 90 seconds
  • Recharge times are individual for each consumable and do not depend on other equipped consumables.
  • If a consumable is used at least once in a battle, a new one will have to be purchased, just as before.
  • If a consumable is used several times in a battle, the cost remains unchanged.

Revised Awards:

Introduction of the improved matchmaker resulted in changed requirements to the team composition. For this reason some awards have been changed to correspond to the new game conditions.

New descriptions and conditions of the revised awards:

For Counter-Battery Fire

In a battle, destroy all enemy SPGs (at least 2) with an SPG.

  • The player must not destroy any allied vehicles.
  • Can be obtained in Random Battles only.

Nicols's Medal

Destroy at least 4 enemy tanks or tank destroyers with a medium tank in one battle.

  • The enemy vehicles must be at least 1 tier higher.
  • Can be obtained in Random Battles only.

Oskin's Medal

Destroy 3 enemy tanks or tank destroyers with a medium tank in one battle.

  • The destroyed vehicle must be at least 1 tier higher.
  • Can be obtained in Random Battles only.

Lehväslaiho's Medal

Destroy 2 enemy tanks or tank destroyers with a medium tank in one battle.

  • The enemy vehicles must be at least 1 tier higher.
  • Can be obtained in Random Battles only.

Burda's Medal

Destroy 3 SPGs in the course of one battle.

  • Drive a tank or a tank destroyer.
  • The enemy vehicles must be at least 1 tier higher.
  • Can be obtained in Random Battles only.

Dumitru's Medal

Destroy 3 SPGs in the course of one battle.

  • Drive a tank or a tank destroyer.
  • Can be obtained in Random Battles only.

Pascucci's Medal

Destroy 2 SPGs in the course of one battle.

  • Drive a tank or a tank destroyer.
  • Can be obtained in Random Battles only.

Orlik's Medal

Destroy two or more enemy tanks or tank destroyers with a light tank in one battle.

  • The enemy vehicles must be at least 1 tier higher.
  • Can be obtained in Random Battles only.

Yoshio Tamada's Medal

Destroy at least 2 enemy self-propelled guns with a light tank in the course of one battle.

  • Survive the battle.
  • The destroyed vehicle must be at least 2 tier higher.
  • Can be obtained in Random Battles only.

Halonen's Medal

Destroy at least 2 enemy tanks or tank destroyers in a tank destroyer in one battle.

  • The targets must be at least two tiers higher than the player's tank destroyer.
  • Can be obtained in Random Battles only.


Tier Changes:

  • New light tanks that logically extend the U.S.S.R., German, U.S., French, and Chinese branches of light tanks to Tier X.
  • Some of the existing light tanks changed their tiers.

General Changes to the Tech Tree:

  • New light tanks were introduced into the game—the branches of light tanks are extended to Tier X. 
  • In some cases, new vehicles were added; in other cases, the branches were extended by transferring the existing vehicles to higher tiers.

Reworked the following vehicles to HD quality:

  • T7 Combat Car
  • Т92 HMC
  • T1E6
  • M40/M43
  • Sexton I
  • Ram II
  • FV 3805
  • AT8
  • D2
  • Lorraine 155 mle. 50
  • Lorraine 155 mle. 51
  • NC-31
  • Renault Otsu
  • Pz.Kpfw.I
  • Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.A
  • WZ132
  • BT-2
  • BT-SV
  • T-60
  • T-70
  • Т-50
  • T-54 ltwt.
  • А-44
  • SU-101
  • Object 430 Version II
  • Object 261

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