The first Supertest iteration for the re-balanced medium tanks is over, and we would like to share the results with you.
The plans to re-balance some MTs prompted a heated discussion within the community. WG totally agree this is a very important matter for many of you as the proposed changes concern Tier X vehicles—the prized ones which one doesn’t get in a day or two. Even positive adjustments to top-tier vehicles may impact the motivation to invest in their research. That’s why they do their best to inform you on every change beforehand.
Here are some additional adjustments to the MTs in more detail, and will also explain what was intended to achieve. It should be noted that two of the five vehicles mentioned before, the Object 430 and the Object 430U, will stay intact for now.
Please take note that all changes are currently being Supertested, and the stats may be further tweaked during the next iterations. The final stats of the tanks involved will be defined only before the release.
From its inception, WG envisioned this tank as a mobile sniper able to swiftly react to the battle dynamic and lend support to allies while staying far from the enemy. A good sniper needs a quality gun, so WG concentrated their efforts on the tank’s armament. After two closed test iterations, WG boosted a range of its parameters, including accuracy, stabilization, armor penetration, and shell velocity.
The APCR will continue to be the basic round of Leopard 1, and will travel at a speed of 1,480 meters per second. During the tests WG came to the conclusion that keeping this shell type best suits the tank’s role (a long-range striker). The new special shell will be an ACPR, too (as we told you before), but its armor penetration will be improved even further, up to 323 mm. Its velocity of 1,613 meters per second will make it one of the fastest rounds currently in the game. The increased gun accuracy of 0.29 makes the Leopard 1 the most precise shooter among all Tier X medium tanks.
If the testing goes well, the operators of the Leopard 1 will be able to choose between two kinds of APCRs, both with fine stats. On top of that, these rounds’ armor penetration stays high at long range.
But that’s not all. WG plan to test the improved stabilization which will amount to 0.13 both on the move and while taking a turn (approximately 28% better than the stabilization on the main server now). Together with the short aiming time of 1.7 seconds, this will let the Leopard 1 get ready for firing much faster.
The Leopard 1 will get these modifications now, and if these are up to our expectations, the tank will become the ultimate mobile sniper. By increasing the alpha, the accuracy, and the stabilization, they’re fine-tuning the top German for comfortable play in its redefined role. High shell velocity and armor penetration will allow to damage an opponent even from afar. Of course, the vulnerabilities shall stay: the armor won’t thicken, still being almost a ‘placeholder’ one. Please keep that in mind: a true sniper should be very cautious!
Currently the STB-1 is a generic tank which plays pretty well at mid-range but lacks a unique style. WG intend to create one—by introducing a very peculiar feature plus significantly boosting the stats, to make it a formidable close-to-mid-range fighter.
The said feature is a hydro-pneumatic suspension the tankers have kept asking for—because the real-world STB-1 had one. Thanks to this mechanic, the Japanese will be able to tilt its hull, increasing its effective gun depression. The suspension will switch on automatically, just like on the new Swedish medium tanks. The total gun depression will increase from 10 to 12 degrees. Because of the introduction of a new mechanic the ‘tilt input’ will be split 50/50: 6 degrees at the expense of the hull and 6 degrees at the expense of the gun. Should WG get positive test results, the STB-1 will be able to use terrain folds to maximal efficiency, hitting its enemies at extreme angles from unexpected directions.
WG are also going to test the second important adjustment: a boost to turret protection. For the STB-1 to keep it together in a brawl, and do the following:
Get rid of weak armor zones in the gun mantlet
Increase the mantlet armor thickness
Bolster the overall frontal turret protection
After such a complex upgrade to the turret’s armor, the STB-1 will cope with enemy strikes much better. Together with the new suspension, this will strengthen the tank’s terrain-based play. The Japanese medium will be able to dish out damage reliably while surviving multiple hits.
“Reliable” is the best word describing the damage dealing capacity of the STB-1, as the third essential change to the tank is the increased damage per minute. While the alpha will go down, the DPM will grow even more compared to the first Supertest iteration. Due to reloading time decreased from 7.3 to 7.1 seconds, the DPM will cross the 3,000 threshold, reaching an awesome height of 3,042 points of damage which is the second best for the Tier X medium tanks. Besides that, the STB-1 will keep its improved gun stabilization from the first testing phase. Due to the combination of all these factors—the increased DPM, better stabilization, and the introduction of an AP shell—the tank will be able to shoot more often while sustaining high DPM.
The changes to velocity of the rounds should be addressed separately. During the Supertest, the APCR shell will be substituted by an AP one. This entails a speed decrease, but after the first testing phase WG decided not to make it drastic (from the current 1478 to 1185 meters per second). Thus, both rounds (basic and special) are in fact becoming slower. Still, due to the changes to the STB-1 tactical role, the velocity of its rounds ceases to be a very important parameter. The tank will excel at close-to-mid-range combat, using its hydro-pneumatic suspension and also its improved turret armor, DPM, and gun stabilization. AP rounds will normalize better, increasing the chance to penetrate enemy armor.
WG want to run one more test iteration for this one with its stats unchanged, so it will transition to the next stage as it is.
Re-balancing Tier X vehicles isn’t easy, and that’s why the closed test consists of many steps. Not all the tweaks make it into the release; those bringing needed results get into the Common test where you can probe them yourselves. WG's objective is to make these tanks more diverse gameplay-wise, and also more efficient in their respective tactical roles. WG want every player to be able to find a tank that suits them most and have fun fighting in it while using its potential to the fullest.
Once again: please remember that all the changes we’ve mentioned are in closed test now, and the tanks’ stats may change when a new stage starts. The final parameters will be defined just before the release.