Armored Warfare: Developer Questions & Answers 21

Our next set of answers from the development team is in - learn about the development of the game in this round of questions and answers!
Will Update 0.20 mark the official end of the Open Beta phase?
Not necessarily, but Updates 0.18 to 0.20 will be major steps towards Armored Warfare’s official release. Update 0.18 and 0.19 are planned for this year while Update 0.20 should arrive in early 2017.

Are you considering making guns have a very high penetration value that would allow them to penetrate larger parts of the MBT frontal armor?
That’s not something we are currently considering. Our goal is to introduce a semi-realistic system of shell penetration based on real life shell penetration values at 2000 meters. At the same time, the miniature weakspots will be made organically larger based on the real life thickness of the particular vehicle’s armor to allow for more consistent gameplay without the excessive “pixel hunting”. This change will also go hand in hand with a multi-faceted accuracy adjustment, which among other things will remove the excessive accuracy stacking through retrofits.

Will you by any chance improve the maximum aim circle size in Armored Warfare?
Accuracy on the move is something we are interested in as a part of dynamic gameplay. On the other hand, it is not our intention to have players consistently targeting vehicle weak spots while traveling at full speed. Maintaining above average accuracy on the move will remain a core trait of Light Tanks and certain MBTs like the early Leopard.

Regarding Balance 2.0 – are you going to nerf accuracy stacking and make it linear just like you did to reload time?
Yes, accuracy stacking is definitely something to be rebalanced. In some cases, the magnitude of the bonuses will be reduced, in other cases, the way they stack will be altered.

Some thin skinned vehicles, like TDs, have armor that despite being weak in comparison to other vehicles is still capable of protecting from rounds up to and including 30mm. Will we see any sort of modifier added to these vehicles to provide them a higher level of protection from certain auto-cannons?
While the majority of armor values will be rebalanced in 0.19, the armor system will remain approximately the same with the actual armor thickness including three factors:
  • Nominal armor thickness
  • Armor modifier
  • Impact angle
Vehicles with appropriate protection against autocannons already have their protection levels included in their armor thickness and modifiers. Our autocannons are currently over performing due to having inflated penetration values, these will be toned down by giving them historically appropriate penetration.
Will you be adding the Leopard 2A6M CAN cage armor kit to the Leopard 2A6?
Not at the moment, such an upgrade would represent a major buff to the vehicle. It’s very possible we will introduce Canadian Leopards in the future.

Can we expect more tank animations like moving mudflaps, sideskirts or ejecting shells?
Yes, ejecting shells is something we are working on for example, although we do not have an eta to give at this time.

Is there any possibility of separating PvE vs PvP module damage, at least for the tracks and gun?
Our plan is to bring the two modes closer together mechanics-wise, not push them farther apart. We want to make these mechanics to feel fair and balanced regardless of what mode you choose to play.

Will the Chinese line get any sort of niche?
Our goal with Balance 2.0 is to make each vehicle feel unique while having characteristics similar to those found on the vehicle in real life. Chinese vehicles in particular are a unique blend of eastern (lower tiers) and western (higher tiers) influences. That puts them in mobility, protection and firepower somewhere between the Russian and German MBTs.

What happened to more friendly chat rooms?
We are still planning to implement updated chat rooms as part of our long-term social UI overhaul.

PvE map rotation was supposed to include more maps, but at the moment we only have 10 missions per day. Was this idea abandoned?
Not at all. We are still planning to introduce all maps to the daily rotation.

Will HEAT-MP rounds work in the game the way their description states?
Yes, they are actually quite a potent round in real life and will behave as intended once we’ve implemented our Balance 2.0 ammo overhaul.

Are there any plans to introduce infantry?
Not per se – introducing living soldiers would have a negative effect on the game’s parental rating. We are, however, considering introducing deployables for IFVs. This is something which is still very much in a “concept” phase, but we like the potential of the idea.

Are there any plans for White Phosphorus rounds?
No. That type of ammunition has no effect on armor.

The Challenger tanks had the ability to create a smoke cloud to conceal them. Will this ability be introduced?
Yes. We are planning to introduce smoke generators that will form a cloud of smoke around the vehicle. The current plan is to introduce this feature on select vehicles in Update 0.19, with more added after.

Are there plans to make ATGM gameplay more realistic by including for example different guidance principles with distinct advantages/disadvantages?
We are planning to introduce several types of missiles – from the rather inaccurate “wobbling” missiles found on lower tier vehicles to the modern, accurate variants. The warhead mechanism will be changed as well. More on that in our upcoming Developer Diary.

Are there plans to limit ATGM firing on the move to low vehicle speeds only?
Like their historical counterparts, some of the lower tier vehicles will be only able to fire when going slowly or even when standing. More modern vehicles will be able to fire while moving at higher speeds.

How are vehicles that historically did not have ATGM at all or only negligible capabilities going to be treated in Balance 2.0?
Historically, most of the vehicles in Armored Warfare had an option presented to mount an ATGM launcher, a recoilless gun or a rocket launcher at one point or another. Those that did have them mounted and currently only have an autocannon will receive an appropriate ATGM launcher. On the other hand, vehicles today can be retrofitted with ATGMs and other third-party equipment by a number of manufacturers. With this in mind, it is easy to justify adding a relevant ATGM option to vehicles which are in need of them. Ultimately though, we will aim for the most historical option first whenever possible.

Are image intensifiers and/or thermal imaging still planned for implementation?
Yes. We do have a prototype ready for thermal imaging and night vision, but currently we do not have any specific deadline for its implementation. There is a possibility that night vision will come sooner than you think!

Regarding the unused Tier 9 or 10 tokens – I have 4 tokens available but no Tier 10s to unlock anymore. I assume that there will be additional Tier 9s and 10s, but is that really the case or will these leftover tokens eventually be somehow removed in order not to have players instantly unlocking all the end-game content?
The Tier 9s and 10s, coming in the foreseeable future, will be a part of Zhang Feng’s vehicle pool. We are aware of this issue, but we will definitely not remove tokens from anyone. As time progresses, we will add additional higher tier options for players to spend their tokens on. That being said, we are also working to introduce “gap fillers” to lines which are missing specific tiers and split some lines into different branches with new vehicles.

Does hitting modules at different angles produce different damage to vehicle modules?
No, modules do not act like armor – shells can’t for example ricochet from them. When a shell connects to a module, it either deals full damage or partial damage to the module depending on the saving throw made at the moment it hit the module. The shell can then continue on to hit other modules if it has not exhausted its distance into the vehicle.

Does different shell penetration and alpha damage affect module damage?
The higher the caliber, the more damage the shell does to modules. Penetration does not affect module damage.

What exactly affects the chances of starting fires on enemy tanks?
Engine fire chance (turbines have a higher one), certain modules, certain Crew and Commander skills and certain ammo types (incendiary ammunition).

After a fuel tank goes red, is there a grace period where it cannot be set on fire?
Yes, a fuel tank can only catch fire again after it has returned to a “damaged” state or has been repaired in full. Internal fuel tanks are the only ones which are guaranteed to catch fire if they are destroyed.

Following Balance 2.0, what is the next priority for Obsidian and
We are anticipating a lot of vehicle lines being introduced in the updates following Balance 2.0. Naturally, there will be ongoing map revisions, new Global Operations maps, and more core gameplay mechanics as part of the evolution of the new balance. There are other packages of features that are being planned and worked on, but it is too early to reveal more about them just yet.

With the upcoming Autocannon nerf and ATGM buff, most AFVs will essentially become TDs. Is there any plan to introduce a dedicated scout class?
The AFVs will remain AFVs, but their roles will be based more on their properties. No-one is expecting the Terminator to scout. It’s clearly too heavy a vehicle for that and shouldn’t be played like that. Vehicle’s role should be defined by its properties rather than its formal class – some Light Tanks will make more capable scouts than certain AFVs in the future. On the other hand, small and nimble AFVs, like the CRAB, will definitely be better at scouting and their characteristics will reflect that.

There was mention in the past of "linked" PvE missions as if you were actually involved in a campaign. Is this still being looked into?
This plan was put on hold along with the rest of the lore-based content as we choose to focus on the game’s major mechanics overhaul first. We may revisit this idea after the game’s official release. In the meantime, we are working on a Survival PvE mode which will have its own unique properties and mechanics – some of which will be borrowed from our upcoming mode, Global Operations.

If Balance 2.0 is as advertised, will players be given free resets on crew/commander skills and full refunds on retrofits?
We haven’t taken any decisions on that topic yet, but it’s safe to say we will provide players with a compensation plan that is beneficial to them.

Are there any plans to add more tracked TDs in the game?
Yes, among other things we are planning a full tracked casemate Tank Destroyer branch in the future, but not very soon.

With all the talk of re-balancing vehicles, have you considered replacing any of the vehicles currently in the tech tree?
Yes. Update 0.19 will bring some changes in this direction, such as:

  • Centauro 120 will be moved to Tier 9
  • XM1A3 will be replaced by the CATTB
  • Leopard 1 will be replaced by the Leopard 1A1A1
  • T-80 will be split into a Tier 6 T-80B and Tier 7 T-80U
And more. There will be numerous changes in the tech trees.
How will the Sabre (recently shown on the portal) be obtainable?
There will be two Sabres. Both will be obtainable via the Lords of War mode. Everyone (not only the best players) will have a good chance of obtaining at least one of them.

What about promised reworked T-80?
In Update 0.19, the T-80 will be split into two vehicles with new models – the Tier 6 T-80B and the Tier 7 T-80U.

Any news on the Camo Net feature?
Not planned for the near future as it requires an extensive tech and model overhaul to get it working properly with other visual customization options. We are currently focusing on introducing more vehicles to Armored Warfare.

Will we see bigger maps, that aren't square but rectangular?
Bigger maps will be introduced to both PvP and the upcoming Global Operations mode, but they will remain square due to how maps are created.

Will you introduce new rewards to Loot Crates?
Eventually, yes. We would like the Crates to reward players with things like exclusive camouflage and perhaps even rare vehicles. This change, however, will not be introduced in the near future.

When will the Loot Crates I unlock stop spamming me with Commander XP bonuses?
We are currently looking to provide players with an option to trade their unwanted Insignias for something else.

Will there be any other new PvE game modes introduced in the future?
Yes. We are working on a Survival Mode, in which the players will have to survive incoming waves of AI opponents for as long as possible while having access to several very unique mechanics. That being said, we currently have no ETA on when this mode will make its official debut.

Are there plans to introduce the Super M60 or the M60A3 SLEP?
Not at this very moment, although we do know about these vehicles. The M60 itself however will be split into M60 and M60A1 in Update 0.19. It’s safe to say we will introduce most modern combat vehicles eventually.

That's it for today, stay tuned for the next part!