To improve the Balance 2.0 experience, we have made several low-Tier vehicle changes to the original Balance 2.0 plan that we published in our series of Developer Diaries.
The changes are as follows:
We previously announced that in Balance 2.0 there will be three Tier 1 vehicles – the M48 Patton, T-54 and Type 59 Main Battle Tanks, replacing the original two (M113 and PT-76). To introduce more diversity, to the vehicle setup, we have decided to change this plan. The abovementioned three MBTs will be replaced by Light Tank class vehicles.
For Sophie Wölfli, instead of the M48, players will receive the M41 Walker Bulldog Light Tank (which will move from Tier 2)
For Marat Shishkin, instead of the T-54, players will keep the PT-76 Light Tank (it will not be removed as previously announced)
For Zhang Feng, instead of Type 59, players will receive a new vehicle, the Type 62 Light Tank
Progression version of the T92 Light Tank will be introduced to the Sophie Wölfli tree after the M41. Additionally, the LAV-150 is not going to be removed from the game either (contrary to previous plans) and will be the third alternative unlock, available from the M41.
This way, players will get to choose the following vehicles from the M41:
Giving them a significantly better choice of gameplay style. Type 62 will lead to Type 69 (and later on to OT-65A) while the PT-76 will lead to the T-55 and the Scimitar.
The M48, T-54 and Type 59 MBTs as such will not be present in the game in Update 0.19 - they are very similar to their successor tanks:
The M48 isn't all that different to the M48A3
The T-54 and T-55 are quite similar as well
Type 59 is just a T-54/55 and visually similar to Type 69 to boot
We listened to player feedback on too many similar vehicles appearing in the game and have decided that, in this case, the removal of these three "copycat" designs is warranted despite their undeniable historical significance. It's possible that these vehicles will appear in Armored Warfare in the future.
From a game design perspective, this solution should help new inexperienced players from other tank games to get into the game without having to learn about the armor mechanics right off the bat. It will also allow for a better natural progression than starting with a Main Battle Tank straight away, making the game more accessible to new players overall.