WG Leaks 9: Game Balance

We are ready to answer the first portion of your questions. For the first publication we have collected your questions for the Game Balance Department. Andrew Panasiuk, Lead Game Balance Designer of World of Tanks Blitz, answered the most interesting and popular ones.

Our next article will be devoted to clans. We will be glad to answer your questions!

Most new tankers start playing Soviet heavy tanks, this results in lower overall statistics for these vehicles. May it become the reason of incorrect balance changes?

For high-tier vehicles we primarily take into account the players with a 60% or higher victory ratio. Such players don't have distinct preferences in vehicle nations. They usually select vehicles with high performance characteristics. Sometimes these vehicles even appear to be imbalanced and we rework them.

You can learn more about candidates for nerfing or buffing below.

What makes it necessary for a tank to be nerfed or buffed?

The statistics for each tank are grouped depending on the configuration of modules mounted on it. For balance purposes, the top configuration is the most important. We consider stock and intermediate configurations as well, but separately.

After that, the data is sorted by groups of tankers who played in these vehicles. We consider the results achieved in a particular tank of the selected configuration, broken down into tankers with different victory ratios (40–50%, 50–60%, 60–70%). For each group of players we analyse numerous indicators, including:

  •        number of battles
  •        average damage
  •        average damage caused with player's assistance
  •        average number of vehicles destroyed
  •        shots fired (including percentage of premium shells)
  •        costs for resupplying consumables

First of all, we analyse data from players with a victory ratio over 60%. If performance of a vehicle operated by such experienced players is lower than that of other vehicles of the same tier and class, it becomes a candidate for improvement. This mostly concerns medium tanks that require highly skilled tankers to perform well.

But not all these factors taken into account when making the final decision. Sometimes a tank may not have great statistics among experienced players, but it performs quite well for its tier and class when operated by other groups of players (40–50% and 50–60% victory ratio). This is mainly true for slow and well-armoured tanks. In such cases, buffing is not required.

Another example: a vehicle stands out by the damaged caused, but lags behind by victory ratio. It often happens with tank destroyers, this class of vehicles is highly dependable on the team. Such vehicles don't need a buff either.

In version 2.2, why have vehicles that are already powerful and popular been buffed, while less popular American and British medium tanks have been left without necessary improvements?

We have already answered this question above. However, it should be noted that the popularity and power of tanks are different things. Unbalanced low-tier vehicles, the Hetzer for example, could have been determined by its popularity. But for high-tier vehicles such an approach doesn't work.

Please explain why the E 100 has been nerfed in version 2.2?

The E 100 had very good statistics for all groups of players, even for those who seldom used HEAT shells.

I purchased the Löwe, but I didn't like it: played 3-4 battles, and would hardly play it any more. How do you take into account players who purchased a tank, but don't use it?

We don't include inactive players in the sampling. But we take into account the overall number of battles played in a tank, so in such a case the tank will be included in the sampling. We collect statistics for tanks separately. We determine how often players enter the battle in a particular tank, how often they purchase or sell it, etc. But these indicators do not depend on the balance directly.

Speaking about the Löwe, we are not going to change its armor scheme. But we're aware of its problems, and focus on improving other balance characteristics to make the Löwe more popular with players. However, the style of play for this tank is really different from that of other heavy tanks.

Do you have plans to buff the T26E4 SuperPershing?

Currently, this tank has moderate, but stable popularity among all groups of players.

My tank gets allocated into battles where it can't penetrate any enemy tanks. When will you fix this?

We need more details for an exact answer. In cases when the tank is not a top one and its stock gun lacks power, we provide several preferential battles and Free Experience, which can be earned in a previous tank or received for completed missions. If the problem is that other tanks are two tiers higher and heavily armoured, you should find their weak points: every tank has them. Another option is staying near top tanks of your team and helping them.

Should we expect +1/-1 tiering next year?

We have discussed this question, but we haven't made up our minds yet.

Will HESH shell penetration be increased for the FV215b (183)?

Premium shells are intended for special cases. Premium shells of some tanks have high penetration and may be useful when it is difficult to penetrate an enemy tank. For the FV215b (183) using premium shells with increased damage is recommended when an enemy exposes its vulnerable side.

So you should think strategically before using a HESH shell.

These shells are less effective when used in improper situations. We have intentionally made it impossible for HESH shells to penetrate a frontal projection of high-tier heavy tanks and are not planning to change this. However, there is an idea to completely rework HESH shell mechanics, but it is a very distant plan.

Why do opposing teams sometimes have a different number of vehicles of a particular tier? I didn’t encounter such situations before.

We haven't changed anything in the matchmaker mechanics, except for the level of battles for tier III–IV vehicles, and increasing the number of preferential battles for all vehicles during the first 6-8 battles after purchasing the vehicle. Now we use the same matchmaker as in World of Tanks and are not going to rework its mechanics. It should be noted that the team composition depends on tiers of vehicles waiting in a pre-battle queue. The matchmaker forms the teams from available vehicles.

Will single shot damage of the Jagdtiger’s top gun be increased to 560 like in the PC version of World of Tanks?

Damage of all guns in World of Tanks Blitz, not only the Jagdtiger’s gun, is calculated based on a formula that is different from that of the PC version. And we are not planning to change it in the near future.