Monday, April 22, 2013

22.04.13.

- the transmission cover plate on frontal T-70 armor (the rectangular cover on the left side from your POV) is 35mm thick, just like the rest of the frontal upper plate
- in Russian 0.8.5, Sexton I did not appear in the shop. The reason is that it's not balanced properly
- when bigger maps than the current ones are introduced, the teams will get bigger too (how much bigger is not yet decided, but more than 15 per side)
- it's possible there will be a new (separate, different) platoon search engine (SS: from rough description something like the WoW dungeon finder)
- the impact of repair skill on track repair time is not going to be changed from what it is now
- recent Malinovka re-work saw the windmill arms turning, this change will be implemented to other maps with windmills
- the devs have considered to reduce the amount of XP needed to train 4th and 5th crew skills, but decided not to do it
- Type 59 and WZ-120 are identical vehicles
- it's not yet known whether the decals will be re-worked so they on tanks after their destruction
- patch 0.9.0 is supposed to be something big, but it's secret for now
- there seems to be a new 0.8.5 low FPS issue (FPS drops 10-20 on some computers), it's unknown when (or whether) this will be solved
- new desert and winter maps will come
- according to Storm, developers do listen to both regular players and top known streamers, there are special people who collect the public opinions in the developer team
- Object 263 vertical gun range has not been improved
- T-70 on supertest recieved its historical crew number (2 instead of 3) - but the 2-man turret remained, it's completely possible that it will be replaced in future with another turret, such asDedkov's cast turret.
- a platoon doesn't have any extra MM weight
- if two identical tanks have a platoon, their MM will be calculated according to the "older tank in the platoon".
- Jagdpanzer 38t "Hetzer Starr" is not planned for now (SS: this question was confusing, because the player claimed there was some sort of Hetzer with a "105mm launcher tube". I have no idea what that is, there was never such a project as far as I know, apart from the rigid-mounted 105mm L/28, which was the Starr mount AFAIK, perhaps the player was referring to PAW, but AFAIK there was no such project either, PAW went to 38d)
- it's possible the Hetzer in game will be renamed to Jagdpanzer 38t
- apparently extra consumable giving more power to diesel engines is not planned
- it's possible IS-4 will be renamed to (historically correct) IS-4M
- metal sheets on Ersatz Panther won't be implemented as spaced armor
- 2nd branch of Sovied medium tanks won't come this year
- 2nd branch of German TD's will come this year
- 2nd branch of French TD's will come eventually
- premium tanks of the same tier have the same moneymaking coefficient, regardless of their type (T5 premium med has the same coefficient as T5 premium TD for example)
- according to Storm, no tanks are designed primarily as gold ammo shooters
- Storm is very happy with Object 907 performance
- there are premium tier 8 medium tanks coming (SS: unclear, whether in 0.8.6 or later)
- until 0.8.6 is out, no additional arty nerf/limit is planned

Extending the WOT German Tech Tree - Porsche Heavy Tanks

This is a purely speculative article that takes into account WOT German tech tree and uses historical tanks to speculate possible new tank additions.
While trying to keep the articles faithful to history some room for inaccuracy is allowed within these rules:

1) No tank or tank part will be 100% made up, at least a mention about tank role and vague specs are needed

2) Components not planned for the tank are allowed, provided it wouldn't create grotesque inaccuracies like putting a gun that would obviously cripple a tank under its weight

3) This will be limited to WWII plans, anything post war risks to be too arbitrary to properly balance

No serious expectation of anything listed to appear in WOT as described is applied, but as we're discussing about implementing history into an arcade game some items will be controversial.
This is unavoidable as WOT tech tree rules need a tank to be better than the previous one and ergonomics are not exactly cared about, meaning that most designs are over-performing their real counterparts.



This article of mine will also be slightly different, first of all because it is aimed at revolutionize an already existing tree, but also because unlike the previous ones it will start in reverse, from tier X.


The "Porsche unleashed" articles brought a lot of attention towards the good old German colossus, a tank that many feels is becoming obsolete in a world of fast, hard hitting tanks where armor is loosing importance.

Initially I wanted to do a "Buff my tank!" about the Maus, but with the recent news influx I instead decided enough material for a massively reformed tank tree.

Note: A similar article will follow for the Henschel branch, please bear with me some odd-looking things when compared to the actual trees. 


So, how do you improve a tree in which so many tanks are already overstretched from their historical counterparts?

Simple enough, you nerf them back to history:

Don't worry though, the nerfs are in reality buffs, as a massive down-tiering will also follow.

The main aim of this reform is twofold:
restore the specialization of the Porsche tree and improve historical accuracy.
This way, they will behave close to the soviet IS-4 line, in which you have slower, heavily armored tanks that also can retaliate nastily, although possibly not as well as their lighter armored cousins.
Tier X: Maus II

 
The picture says most of it.
The pinnacle of the long Maus development, this version was to receive a newly designed turret with an enlarged turret ring and several other minor improvements.

In game this would allow to keep similar mobility to the current Maus, with the possibility of installing the 128mm L/61.
This would allow the Maus to improve its ability to fight off other heavy tanks, although the price for increased penetration would likely be in DPM, soft stats and/or HP.

Tier IX: Maus




The historical Maus and current tier X.
While keeping its mighty armor, it pays an hefty price for it in terms of mobility.
The extremely optimistic 1750HP engine is kept for tier X and replaced by a weaker one.
Starting from the absolutely terrible Porsche Typ 205/2 rated at 780HP, it follows to the MB 509 at 1080 HP to the final 1200HP MB517, for a top speed of 13kmh.

Armament wise, the stock cannon could be the 105mm L/68 (basically the production version of Lowe's cannon), followed by 127mm "KWK 41" (derived from naval artillery and discussed during development) L/45 to the classical 128mm L/55 that was finally mounted on the prototype.

We even have historical stock and elite turrets:
 
This would make Maus a real grind, where you will have to rely on armor but at the same time a force to be seriously reckoned with when top tier as most tanks won't easily penetrate you without gold ammo.

Tier VIII: VK 100.01 (P)

An early Maus draft,design specs were fluctuating wildly at this stage so we can take a few liberties to use different pieces of the early Maus development  to fit it on tier VIII.

Derived from the Porsche/Krupp VK 70.01 Lowe project, this 100 ton tank was to be heavily armed but with less than spectacular armor.
Basically a Lowe on steroids, frontal armor was planned to be 120-140mm with sides at 80-100mm.

The Porsche Typ 205/2 rated at 780HP will serve as stock engine, replaced later on by the Porsche Deutz Typ 180/2.
Mobility would still be relatively low, around 20-25kmh but this would be compensated by the armament side.

As neither armor or mobility for its size are especially spectacular, we can slightly compensate with armament.
88mm L/71 will serve as stock gun, with a first upgrade being the 88mm L/100.
105mm L/52 and 105mm L/68 will serve as upgrade path towards the Maus, however we can allow ourselves one optional gun.

Depending on chosen armor thickness, either the 127mm L/45 or the 15cm SFH L/30 could be used.
One is a naval gun firing semi-AP shells, while the other would be a tank version of Hummel's upgraded gun, so an howitzer with a semi-decent gold round.

Tier VII: VK 45.02 (P) Ausf B

The good old tier IX tank was in fact so overbuffed by Wargaming that it's almost unbelievable.
Historically, both ausf A and B were designed for the 88mm L/71 and sported a meager 80mm frontal armor.
While being sloped means that it would be marginally better than Tiger's, by WOT standards it's just paper.
It was planned to increase it but no amount is given, although we can be sure it wouldn't be as much as right now.

A more realistic amount could be anything from the original 80mm up to 130mm depending on effects on mobility and additional plating availability.
For balance purposes, I will allow myself to use an additional 30mm plate (the most common size for this purpose), bringing protection to a decent 110mm.

Keeping top speed the same, the engine grind will be the same as the current Tiger P, with the Porsche Deutz Typ 180/2 as top engine.
Armament wise, the 88mm L/71 is kept as top gun, while the 88mm L/56 will serve as stock gun.
A middle gun option can however be introduced in the form of the 105mm L/47 (source: Jentz, historically planned for the Porsche Typ 100/101), which for simplicity sake could share ammunition (and penetration stats) with Dicker Max gun, of course with lowered firepower and accuracy.
 
Tier VI: Tiger (P)

As this tank is quite popular I'm going to leave two paths: armor OR firepower.
In both cases the last engine has to go, along with the 88mm L/71, but don't despair yet.

Option 1: Armor
Simple enough, as tier VI heavy with such awesome armor, the long 88 has to go.
200mm at tier VI is simply excellent and a gun selection like the current VK 3001 (P) will be more than enough, transforming your tank into a strong anvil that can still pack decent firepower although lowish penetration.

Option 2: Firepower
A more balanced setup, this will leave you with a decent 100mm frontal armor, which will help making the tank lighter and keep some mobility.
The new top gun would be the 105mm L/47, which would basically make the tank comparable to ARL 44 or T-150 in game play.

Tier V: Porsche Typ 245





Outshone (or maybe shadowed is a better way to describe it) by the heavier Porsche designs, this Porsche-Rheinmetall light tank is another pretty "original" design in line with most Porsche proposals.

Apparently supposed to double as AA tank and armed with a 55mm auto-cannon, it was planned to be equipped with a Porsche Typ 101 engine with an advanced hydraulic transmission.

This 18 ton light tank was also well armored with a sloped 60mm glacis armor and interesting enough, it already was planned to use rubber-saving steel wheels, all in slightly under 5 meters length.

In game it could play a similar role as the british cruiser tanks, basically a light-medium tank with normal MM, armed in a similar way to the tier VK 1602.

 Of course, this leaves out two tanks from the existing tree.
I personally envision them as a connecting branch to the Henschel line, specs for them follows below:

 
Tier VII: VK 45.02 (P) Ausf A

The good old tier VIII tank was in fact so overbuffed by Wargaming that it's almost unbelievable.
Historically, both ausf A and B were designed for the 88mm L/71 and sported a meager 80mm frontal armor.
While being sloped means that it would be marginally better than Tiger's, by WOT standards it's just paper.
It was planned to increase it but no amount is given, although we can be sure it wouldn't be as much as right now.
The historical 80mm armor will be kept for this tank, maintaining its "fast heavy" role.

Keeping top speed the same, the engine grind will be the same as the current Tiger P, with the Porsche Deutz Typ 180/2 as top engine.
Armament wise, either the 105mm L/47 or the 88mm L/71 can be used as top gun, while the 88mm L/56 will serve as stock gun, although I'd favor the first.

As top of the "linking branch" this tank would be able to upgrade towards both VK 45.02 (P) Ausf B and either tier VII or VIII of the Henschel branch.

Tier VI: VK 3001 (P)

I really wanted to bring this tank down to tier V, however historical specs are in such a way that the tank is already where it belongs. Blame on WG for the horrid grind, it's completely unjustified from an historical POV.

Top specs for the tank are already quite good, so there is no need of changing them.
What is possible however, would be to ease the pointless grind that forces the player to research both tracks and turret to mount anything better than a 75mm L/48.
WG just conveniently buys on the myth that the original turret wouldn't fit a bigger gun, however the Krupp design shows an 88mm L/56 on it.

Tank upgrades would be the Tiger (P) naturally and VK4502 (P) Ausf A.

I also wanted to bring the VK 72.01 as tier VIII but unfortunately WG took it as made-up tier X.
It would also have been extremely hard to balance as tier VIII, as thin armor coupled with E-100 top gun are an extremely odd mix for a heavy tank, even balanced by awful DPM.