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Reshuffled tech trees on Sandbox - low-tier changes similar to Wot Blitz incoming?

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leggasiini #1 Posted 30 October 2019 - 10:49 AM

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Right now, Sandbox is about testing ammo types. First two tests focused on reworked standard ammo, "special" (premium) ammo and increased HP pools, the third (current test) focuses on HE shell and the fourth test will (supposedly) focus on HESH shells and arties. However, one unannounced thing caught my eye. It was already present on the first two tests, but with some vehicles being actually reshuffled, it truly caught my eye and I feel like they are testing something focusing on simplifying the lower tier vehicles, especially since they also plan on significantly increasing their HP pools. Most probably to make the new player experience better.

 

Bear in mind that Sandbox, although it added new lines on this iteration, doesn't have all the branches. Notably, Czech, Italian, Polish and Chinese trees completely lack anything but tier 1 vehicle, and most nations also lack a few lines. Despite that, there is some changed stuff that I found pretty interesting.

 

Lets go through every nation with full branches and how they are configured on SB:

 

USSR

 

Missing lines: 268 V4, 277, K-91, and Object 430U, as well as T-62A

 

Germany

 

Missing lines: Leopard 1, Pz VII, Grille 15, GW E 100

 

USA

 

Missing lines: T57 and T110E4

 

France

 

Missing lines: AMX 50 B, AMX 30 B

 

UK

 

Missing lines: Conqueror GC, Manticore (the SB uses patch 1.5 build)

 

Japan

 

Missing lines: TDs none 

 

Now, there's some interesting stuff on low-tiers. As noted above, WG could've just left some vehicles away, but they actually have done some clear changes on some low-mid tier vehicle tierings and done some hidden balance changes. A lot of these stuff eeriely remind me from what they did to low-tiers on WoT Blitz around a year ago.

 

(article for reference: https://wotblitz.com/en/news/updates/low-level-vehicles-changes/)

 

In short, they removed a significant portion of low-tier vehicles, as well as they removed some autocannons and other stuff.

 

Some major notes from SB:

 

  • All tier 1s lead to just one tier 2 (except MS-1 leads to two, russian bias!!!!11) - a generic tier 2 light tank.
  • Tier 2s lead to 1-2 tier 3 LTs or MTs. Lines that eventually become dedicated LT lines usually start from here.
  • At tier 4, first TDs start to appear.
  • Heavy branches start from tier 5 (or in the case of Japanese and Germans, tier 6). France gets B1 at tier 4 instead of a LT/MT like other nations.
  • Arty lines start from tier 5, from tier 4 TDs. This means that tier 1-3 are completely arty free (apart from Sexton I which practically almost no one has). Yay... I guess?
  • In short, the amount of tier 2-5 vehicles in tech trees has dropped significantly. Probably makes it less confusing, easier to approach and more consistent for new players.

 

Some nation specific changes:

 

  • Some Russian tanks have changed tiers, though these really make no sense (unlike others) and generally seem to have unaltered stats other than HP, proving that it's very early testing phases. SU-76M is a tier 4, replacing SU-85B, with no other changes than HP pool. BT-7 and A-20 are uptiered with practically no changes other than HP pools. KV-1S replaces KV-85 for some reason, but amusingly enough it's 85 mm got a pen buff (no clue why it's there over KV-85). None of those make any sense (why have SU-76M over SU-85B, or BT-7 and A-20 as tier 4-5 instead of A-20 and T-50 as tier 4-5, or why not just keep the KV-85). KV-2 leads to SU-152 instead (which honestly makes more sense than it leading to arty line)
  • Pz I replaces Loltraktor (no clue why but probably for consistency and although Loltraktor is a legend by WoT community, Pz I is absolutely a way more known vehicle for the others so I guess that's why? And I guess it fits in better with the Pz II). VK 30.01 H is reclassified as a MT with buffed mobility, while VK 30.01 P is reclassified as a heavy (with nerfed top speed, but huge HP pool). Stug III B is chosen instead of the Hetzer, and JP II is nowhere to be seen.
  • M7 replaces M3 Lee as tier 4. This one is what makes it pretty obvious that this has to be some kind of test of simplifying low-tier tanks and lines, as M3 Lee is infamous for being a confusing blockage for the new players. No other major changes on US tree, though.
  • Medium I, II and III are all gone from the British tech tree. Instead, Cruiser I, II and Valentine are the tier 1, 2 and 3 instead. This kinda makes sense since the Medium X - series are huge, unarmored boxes that are undoubtedly uncomfortable to play for new players (I know this by experience, Medium I was the first ever tank I played). And no, Cruiser II doesn't have the derp anymore (not like it matters as it would be pretty garbage with the HE changes and buffed HP pools anyway). In addition, Valentine AT is the tier 4 TD over the Alecto, which I guess makes more sense as Valentine AT is more in line with the TDs after it (also it comes from a tank it's based on; this also probably means the Bishop, which is also based on the Valentine, will come from Valentine AT). Achilles starts from the AT 2. Finally, Sherman III replaces the Crusader.  Another one that really makes no sense (Crusader is more iconic AND fits there way more), but oh well, it's still Sandbox.
  • As for Japan, the low-tier LT line is gone, though Ha-Go replaces Chi-Ni on the MT line. The HT line starts from the Chi-Nu, which means the O-I Exp, garbage lowtier HTs and I-Go are gone. Again, the configuration here (such as Ha-Go being chosen over Chi-Ni) makes me think they prioritize more well known tanks when changing low-tiers over some lesser known ones (in this case Ha-Go, a widely used tank in WW2 is more iconic than a mere prototype that is the Chi-Ni). With how some tier 2s became tier 1s, though, I feel like the I-Go should've been a tier 1, but eh. In addition, the O-Ho gets slightly faster rate of fire with it's 15 cm, putting it somewhere in between the pre-1.5 O-Ho and post-1.5 O-Ho (still closer to it's nerfed iteration).
  • Any kind of "alternative" vehicles that connects two different lines are gone. These include: Jumbo Sherman, Churchill GC (;__;), KV-13. The KV-2 remains, though.

 

Likely reasoning for the changes:

 

  • Makes new player experience better. It's easier to learn a simple tank with a rotating turret at first, and as players progress a bit then they can start testing the type of vehicles they actually want to play. In addition, the tech trees are less confusing and more linear, making progression easier. Also, with only 1-2 tier 2-3 vehicles, they don't have to go all way back to tier 1 when starting a new branch.
  • Promotes less seal clubbing. If tier 2-3 vehicles are all fairly generic, chances of OP clubbing monsters being there among them decrease. In addition, seal clubbers almost certainly will have less interest in seal clubbing if they only have similar, fairly generic vehicles to drive. This doesn't mean that seal clubbing will be entirely gone though with all the free gift tanks, low tier premiums and if things go like in Blitz, all the existing vehicles that will be removed from tech trees will become gift tanks as well. However, at least it will still reduce the amount of seal clubbers, as it will be less likely that new people eventually become seal clubbers as well.
  • With HE changes, HP buffs and TDs and arties being gone from the lowest of the tiers, getting oneshotted or even losing a huge chunk of HP with one shot will be gone for the most part at these tiers, also helping the new player experience.

 

I feel like this is kind of stuff that probably makes a lot of people mad but in the end is still mostly a positive change. From what I remember, exactly that happened on WoT Blitz. A lot of us don't even bother with low-tiers, anyway; personally I feel like the low-tier environment should be a safe-zone for the new players. IMO this would be a pretty good change. Making new player experience better is VERY important for the future of the game as right now it's fairly bad and probably one of the worst aspects of the game. With this, HP changes and then hopefully rework of crews (removal of 75% or at least 50% crews, sixth sense for everyone) should make the new player experience so much better than what it is now. Low tiers already feel a lot more enjoyable to play on SB, I was shocked how much playable it is than it is now on live server.

 

Thoughts?

 

TL;DR: Low-tier lines are significantly simplified and reshuffled on SB, which possibly indicates a similar change of simplifying low-tier lines and making them consistent just like how it was done in WoT Blitz a year ago or so.

 


Edited by leggasiini, 30 October 2019 - 12:01 PM.


splash_time #2 Posted 30 October 2019 - 11:01 AM

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Interesting, it makes me feel to download the sandbox test server.......nah.

But nice notes man, well done. :)



tajj7 #3 Posted 30 October 2019 - 11:42 AM

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Seems like some good changes, making lower tiers less painful will probably help retain more newer players.

 

Might annoy some dedicated seal club players, but to be honest who cares about them, they are abusing newer players and taking that ability away or at least reducing the ability for them to do that seems a good thing to me. 

 

Weird WG has not said much about it though. 

 

You kind of feel they need to be more clear on these things and they would get better PR



leggasiini #4 Posted 30 October 2019 - 11:43 AM

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One thing I forgot to mention - this would also explain why the British LT line lack the tier 2-6, even though we all know and we also kinda expected the line to be a full branch from tier 2 to tier 10. Why bother modeling tier 2-6s if the low tiers are getting reworked like this anyway? That being said, the line could've at least still be expanded to start from tier 3-4, but it at least kinda makes sense now. It doesn't still explain why WG picked exactly those vehicles over more iconic picks, though, but that's not the point here. 

 

Same with French wheelchairs, which easily could've been a full line from tier 2-10, as well as basically every line in past few years that is not part of the new nation. None of those have been full lines; the last full branches (that aren't part of new nations) we got were the Chinese TDs in 2017, and then Japanese HTs in 2015.

 

View Posttajj7, on 30 October 2019 - 12:42 PM, said:

Weird WG has not said much about it though. 

 

Felt exactly the same way, I know that's not the major focus of the tests but I would've expected them to mention at least something. Hence why I decided to post this, would be nice to hear some words from WG.


Edited by leggasiini, 30 October 2019 - 11:45 AM.


Cobra6 #5 Posted 30 October 2019 - 11:53 AM

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Removing content is never a good idea, if it isn't working, redesign/rebalance it properly.

 

That being said, lately I'm platooning a lot with two colleagues from work who are my new recruits, so I'm playing a lot of Tier 2/3/4. It's quite a bad experience but not because of the vehicles but rather because the meta is very different due to lack of education on WG's part of new players.

Basically you see *exactly* why Steve in his Lowe or even Maus is in a completely irrelevant location on the map, because they weren't taught where they should be in their tank to start off. (when you get better, you can start experimenting with positioning a bit, when you can salvage the mess you make because of it.)

 

Cobra 6


Edited by Cobra6, 30 October 2019 - 11:56 AM.


VarzA #6 Posted 30 October 2019 - 12:00 PM

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The good news is that they gave collector status to the vehicles they removed, i don't want to lose out on the Hetzer, Cruiser IV, m2 with derp, and so on.

eldrak #7 Posted 30 October 2019 - 12:01 PM

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It seems weird that they would remove the low tiers were most of the actually built and combat tested tanks are.



Knuddelwolf #8 Posted 30 October 2019 - 12:04 PM

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Removing 2 entire arty lines as well as removing a lot of other vehicles? Not a good idea. Even worse, if we don't get proper compensation for what they remove.

Cobra6 #9 Posted 30 October 2019 - 12:04 PM

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View PostVarzA, on 30 October 2019 - 11:00 AM, said:

The good news is that they gave collector status to the vehicles they removed, i don't want to lose out on the Hetzer, Cruiser IV, m2 with derp, and so on.


Oh you will because first they'll wreck HE damage and mechanics, before they will make further changes.

 

They've already made clear they want every tank in the game to be the same boring pew-pew tank way back when they started by removing autoloaders from the 59-16, SP1C and remove the 10,5 from the VK2801. This will just be another step on the same ladder, removing interesting variation and cool tanks all to shelter players that should not need sheltering but rather education.

 

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Denton_0451 #10 Posted 30 October 2019 - 12:09 PM

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I really hope WG isn't going to remove a ton of low tier historical and iconic vehicles from the game after they make the lower tiers more enjoyable with the HP buffs.

leggasiini #11 Posted 30 October 2019 - 12:14 PM

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View PostKnuddelwolf, on 30 October 2019 - 01:04 PM, said:

Removing 2 entire arty lines as well as removing a lot of other vehicles? Not a good idea. Even worse, if we don't get proper compensation for what they remove.

The arty lines and other missing lines are missing from SB simply because they don't have all the vehicles there. I doubt none of the +tier 6 tank branches will be removed (also applies to arty lines). The point here is the low-tier vehicles.



VarzA #12 Posted 30 October 2019 - 12:21 PM

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View Posteldrak, on 30 October 2019 - 01:01 PM, said:

It seems weird that they would remove the low tiers were most of the actually built and combat tested tanks are.

 

It makes total sense, the company is taking the easy way out, while also creating some 40+ tanks future collectors 'must have'.

 

At the same time they can claim with a straight face they balanced the low tiers, and it's allllll gooooood.


Edited by VarzA, 30 October 2019 - 12:22 PM.


tajj7 #13 Posted 30 October 2019 - 12:21 PM

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View Postleggasiini, on 30 October 2019 - 10:43 AM, said:

Felt exactly the same way, I know that's not the major focus of the tests but I would've expected them to mention at least something. Hence why I decided to post this, would be nice to hear some words from WG.

 

Not only on this, but on the HP boost for lower tiers, a better explanation of the premium ammo re-work and probably more clarity on the HE re-work so people don't over react.

 

I mean they have talked about this sandbox re-working HE, but you consistently see comments from people asking why they are re-working HE not premium ammo, they need to make it more clear the changes they have made.

 

 

View PostKnuddelwolf, on 30 October 2019 - 11:04 AM, said:

Removing 2 entire arty lines as well as removing a lot of other vehicles? Not a good idea. Even worse, if we don't get proper compensation for what they remove.

 

Removing any arty is never anything but a good thing and removing those lower tier derp and OP tanks that sealclubbers abuse I can't see being anything but a good thing either.

 

Just because you like abusing newer tier players in your tier 3 and 4 arty that you have hundreds of games in, doesn't mean the game should allow you to do it.

 

Plus what compensation do you need, those vehicles are a few thousand credits and barely an XP to unlock. 

 

 



SiliconSidewinder #14 Posted 30 October 2019 - 12:31 PM

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the tech tree concept and your reasoning are sound, there would even be the advantage of players having a easier time learning the individual strengths of their enemies.

(and seriously making people play arty beneath tier V is just sadism anyway)

that said I would loath the removal of so many classic tanks.

 



Desyatnik_Pansy #15 Posted 30 October 2019 - 12:46 PM

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egg

 

Spoiler

 



VarzA #16 Posted 30 October 2019 - 01:14 PM

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If they do this thing, i'm gonna need to get A LOT of garage slots during next sale.

gunslingerXXX #17 Posted 30 October 2019 - 01:24 PM

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Maybe you are making too much from this and they just made stuff simpler for testing and download size? There are almost no side paths, everything straight to tier 10. I would seriously consider they just made stuff easier and smaller for testing purposes.

Gixxer66 #18 Posted 30 October 2019 - 01:27 PM

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The Sherman Jumbo also seems to be missing from the US Tech Tree, despite it being blind ( with the better 1st turret / for a medium ) and slow, I'm going to be very disappointed if it's removed.

Spurtung #19 Posted 30 October 2019 - 01:42 PM

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View Posttajj7, on 30 October 2019 - 10:42 AM, said:

You kind of feel they need to be more clear on these things

 

Like they've said they would be, multiple times?



Nishi_Kinuyo #20 Posted 30 October 2019 - 01:54 PM

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To be completely honest, I think that would be a bad idea because a lot of iconic/historical tanks would be lost from the game.

Especially for the Japanese, since the I-Go was one of their most produced tanks that wasn't a tankette.

Now, I could be acceptable about it if the I-Go was rebalanced as a tier 1 instead of that Renault FT clone.

But it would still sadden me to see a bunch of my tanks evaporate.

 

So for the reshuffle on sandbox:

I think it is more to do with wanting to test specific lines, and specifically the higher tier vehicles on those lines.

Grinding your way up to hightiers on the sandbox is a peace of cake, but wargaming still wants/needs to collect data on the lowtiers, and thus force people to at least grind a few battles in them without making it a chore for the players to get to the tanks they actually want to play.







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