Swedish tree, Supertest and beyond: Messed up models and Made up stats

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Author: sp15

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So as you probably know the next patch will bring the introduction of the Strv m/42-57 as the first Swedish vehicle to be added to World of tanks. Unfortunately, it seems that it will also mark the introduction of one of the most unnecessarily convoluted tech tree’s in the games history. As tanks have started to leak from the supertest it has become clear that historical accuracy was not a major concern for several vehicles. And this is in addition to a frankly botched TD line and several messed up models.

Perhaps not all of this was avoidable but as somebody who has worked on getting Sweden into the game for over 3 years, and as one of the two people who made this tree possible in the first place, I find this kind of treatment of the tree both depressing and infuriating.

TD line

The problems with the Swedish tech tree really started with the decision by WG to use the Strv 103 as a TD. I’m not going to go into great detail here, but historically the Strv 103 should be considered a main battle tank in the same sense as the centurion. Due to its unconventional combination of features, It has become one of the most misunderstood tanks of all time (something which I think contributed to WG’s detection) and I would like to recommend this article by Renhanxue if you want a greater understanding of the vehicle: http://tanks.mod16.org/2016/08/19/strid … destroyer/

The reason for this decision, as described to me was that players would not be able to understand a turretless medium tank. This was despite the fact that such vehicles already exist in the form of the M3 Lee/Grant and that there are unconventional medium tanks like the Batchat which is arguably more like a tier 10 light tank than anything else. There were also historical vehicles which could have offered more conventional alternatives like the UDES 14 Alt 9 for the TD line, and the UDES 15/16 which could have offered an alternative turreted medium tank line.
UDES 14 Alt 9
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UDES 15/16
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WG’s choice of vehicles for the Swedish TD line was obviously inspired by a proposal I made back in 2014 for a line focused on the Ikv series of vehicles. However, they didn’t go all the way and mixed in vehicles from my more conventional TD line proposal (destroying the chance for a 2nd TD line in the process). This in combination with the the strv 103 as the tier 10 resulted in a line which lacks the real Swedish tank destroyer projects and makes little to no chronological sense.

For an example, the Ikv 72 (tier 3) was developed in the early 50s to supplement/replace the Sav m/43, yet its a tier lower. This situation is repeated with the UDES 03 (tier 8) and Strv 103 where the UDES 03 was developed in the 70s with the intent of replacing the Strv 103.
Chronological tier 3-6 TD line
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All this is to say that the structure of the TD line was poorly thought out and could have benefited immensely from having asked Renhanxue and me about it (even if the Strv 103 still had to be the tier 10 TD). However, we only found out the final composition of the line about a month before the official reveal at Gamescom, at which point it was too late to address these issues.

Model Issues and Fake stats

When tanks started leaking from the supertest it became clear that several models were wrong to varying degrees. The worst offenders were tanks like the Strv fm/21, Lago, and Strv m/40L as originally these were meant to be entirely different versions of these vehicles. Though none of them were so wrong that they wouldn’t still work in the line. The models for Emil, Leo and Kranvagn also has major issues, which is something I might address in detail in a future article provided I decide to stick around.
In game Lago compared to actual prototype
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However, with the leak of the Swedish tier 8 heavy tank, a much bigger problem became apparent. While the model itself was of questionable quality the real issue was the use of completely made up stats. All of the frontal armor was increased by up to 30% over their historical values and the top speed was nerfed by 6kph.

Presumably, they did this because as WG stated in the Developer’s Panel video ( https://youtu.be/69ZM8L2BlZU?t=3844 ) wanted to give the new tanks a role which is not already covered by tanks already in the game, something I think is an admirable goal. However, when this means taking the historical stats and throwing them out the window I’m going to have a slight issue with that.
In fact, I had it confirmed that the balance department figured they could fake the stats of the Swedish heavies because only the hull of the tier 10 was actually built and because they thought nobody would/could call them out on it. By doing so they created a fake vehicle which does not represent the real project on which it was supposed to be based, even though it would have worked with its historical stats.

Real armor values for Emil 1951
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Emil 1951 compared to the WG model
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Other vehicles which followed the leak of the Emil were also affected by unhistorical values. Notably, the Ikv 103 not only received a fake and weaker engine (compared to the planned top engine) but also had its gun depression reduced from the historical -16° value to -12°. Compare this to how many, if not most higher tier Russian tanks have their gun depression buffed by several degrees.
Ikv 103 datasheet
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It was at this point that I asked myself why I was in digging up information for WarGaming when it was going to be ignored and replaced with fake stats anyway. I then asked my contacts at WG the same thing at which point I was told there was nothing they could do. I was told a bit later however that this was a sign of things to come, which may have been confirmed with the leak of the Ikv 65 Alt 2 since (much like the ikv 103) it lacks its intended top engine. EDIT: the Ikv 90 B also has its top engine nerfed from the historical 330hp to 310hp, because Balance! (seriously though how hard would it be to balance that extra horsepower with worse ground resistances?)

Addressing the problems

On the off chance anybody from Wargaming actually, reads this I would like to offer some opinions on how to change things for the better.
1: Tree

First off there needs to be better communication with your historians in the future to avoid situations like the Swedish TD line. As for the line itself, its beyond repair. The Swedish tech tree was too far in development 6 months ago so I doubt anything could be done other than giving the TD line vehicles their historical stats. The structure of the medium/heavy line is good, though the choice to add a premium medium tank for this line is a bit odd. Still, the medium Line can be expanded in the future and there is a possibility for a premium heavy tank in the future.


2: Models

There are several models that should be reworked, the biggest offender is the Emil, which should have its turret moved forward and changed back to its historical configuration. But the majority like the Strv m/38 and Strv fm/21 would only require minor tweaks to be fixed. As I stated before It’s possible that I will make another article addressing these.
3: Stats

I don’t think the original intention was to fake the stats of the Swedish tanks given that nations like Japan and Czechoslovakia had the stats of their vehicles respected. Instead, as I said earlier the fake stats are likely a result of the decision to attempt to differentiate the tanks from ones already in the game. While I think this is a good idea I also think there need to be some boundaries on what should be allowed to be changed.

If you are going to implement a line of vehicles you need to first and foremost look at their historical data and decide if that is what you really want. If the answer is no, then you should look for a line that has what you want. The real statistics of vehicles above all else should dictate how they are balanced within the game. There is no point in implementing the Swedish heavies if you are going to give them unhistorical stats unless they absolutely would not work without them. Stats like gun depression, armor profile, size, and module placement should be left alone (same as they were historical). Things like softstats, accuracy, penetration, and top speed can be used to balance the tanks. But this should still be within reason, do not drastically change the top speed or penetration from irl values. A vehicle with a power to weight ratio of 14hp/t should not be as quick as one of the same type with 20hp/t.

And finally remember that you have historians that can and should be consulted on tech tree decisions. Having to come up with stats for something at the 11th hour isn’t acceptable, especially when it’s something that shouldn’t be in the game, to begin with.

Final thoughts

Without me and Renhanxue a Swedish tree would have been impossible, yet we had little to no input on how the tech tree was handled. To other people working on tech tree proposals, take this as a cautionary tale of what can happen when you try to get a lesser known nation added to WoT. I think that WG thinks they can get away with a lot more for a nation like Sweden since there are not enough people to call them out in case they mess something up. In any case, I’m taking a step back until things change for the better. I am still very much interested in helping, but not if my feedback isn’t going to be taken seriously. Because what is the point of spending hours gathering data if its just going to be made up in the end anyway? I don’t think a rebalance has a very high chance of happening, though, but maybe that has changed given that the head of the balance team was just replaced. I wouldn’t hold my breath for it, though.

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146 comments on “Swedish tree, Supertest and beyond: Messed up models and Made up stats

  1. unable2pwn says:

    If they really cared about balance they would nerf the t67




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    • dinepada says:

      please no, they already nerf if, wg needs to buff the other tier 5 Td’s specially non turreted




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      • vochinsky74 says:

        no it needs nerfed….the only disadvantage is no armor, and semi slow turret traverse, everything else is 100% spectacular




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      • polkadot9000 says:

        Are you actually crazy Dinepada? It is CRAZY good. It has spectacular camo, great view range for its tier, a gun that is accurate, high DPM and high pen for a tier 5. It can hit the view range cap really easily, which is impressive for a tier 5. To put it in perspective over more than 100 battles I averaged a 65% WR and over 1200 damage per game. That’s INSANE for a tier 5. I wasn’t even being a tryhard either. I was playing solo without platoon mates to spot and farm kills, I was playing without a decent crew and without premium ammunition or consumables. That is just ridiculous. I could play as a TD and a scout at the same time when top tier without fear of being spotted because of my insane camo and view range advantage, and in +2mm I didn’t feel at all out classed because I could scout as well as any LT and I could still penetrate most tanks, even the heavies (IS, Tiger, T29) frontally, the tanks I had difficulty with were uncommon (T28 HTC if I didn’t hit it’s weakspots, Black Prince), which just made it easy to have a huge impact on every single round.




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  2. Anon says:

    This tech tree is going to ruin the game. About time we all gave up playing.




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    • It’s not going to ruin the game, that is jumping to conclusions. WG makes money when it pushes out content for its free to play sales pitch. The big problem here is that they’re getting lazy while doing it and disrespecting their researches on top of Sweden as a country. End of the day they’re going to shoot the steak they’re giving to everyone, like free steak yay! But why is half it missing and why do I have to pick out the shot gun pellets?




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  3. deadarashi says:

    I’m sorry but WG can be absolute tools most of the time… rather them go with historical accuracy as a primary then balance as a secondary… so much wrong with this game it isn’t funny




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    • pixywing says:

      So the Maus needs its speed reduced by 75% then?

      I would far rather have a playable game than having tanks get one shotted from someone camping 800m in a bush that I never saw after spending 5 minutes driving to the field.




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      • deadarashi says:

        I’m sorry, did I stutter when I said “historical accuracy as a primary then balance as a secondary”?

        Meaning that tank lines and the tanks themselves would be historical in the sense that anything from paper tanks to built tanks as historically specified in details… AND THEN BALANCE THEM… that way they are still historical but are still playable… and you don’t get WG fakes like the T28, T28 Proto, T110E4… you also don’t get unhistorically classed tanks like the STRV 103 will be and the T30… there’s also unhistorical armor because WG made tanks well over tier like the VK45.02 tanks




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  4. Stop trying to make a turretless medium line happen, It’s not going to happen. It’s just a bad idea. You offered the M3 Lee as an example, and that is one of the worst mediums in the game. A tier 10 medium without a turret, while it may be somewhat refreshing, would be played like a TD by most players. Let’s face it, the S-tank should be a td in WoT. Also, I think they butchered the chances for 2 td lines appearing because they deemed the play styles too similar (not sure about that, I never read most of your articles about the Swedish tree)




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    • pixywing says:

      The e-25 is what would happen with turretless mediums, being played as back line snipers and support flanking tanks as they should be instead of the yolo into 6 heavies and snipe them to death from the front spamming APCR into their front upper plate from poking a hill.




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  5. Stop trying to make a turretless medium line happen, It’s not going to happen. It’s just a bad idea. You offered the M3 Lee as an example, and that is one of the worst mediums in the game. A tier 10 medium without a turret, while it may be somewhat refreshing, would be played like a TD by most players. Let’s face it, the S-tank should be a td in WoT. Also, I think they butchered the chances for 2 td lines appearing because they deemed the play styles too similar (not sure about that, I never read most of your articles about the Swedish tree)




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  6. Stop trying to make a turretless medium line happen, It’s not going to happen. It’s just a bad idea. You offered the M3 Lee as an example, and that is one of the worst mediums in the game. A tier 10 medium without a turret, while it may be somewhat refreshing, would be played like a TD by most players. Let’s face it, the S-tank should be a td in WoT. Also, I think they butchered the chances for 2 td lines appearing because they deemed the play styles too similar (not sure about that, I never read most of your articles about the Swedish tree).




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  7. SchnitzelTruck says:

    SP15 is one of the largest cry babies i’ve ever seen




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  8. silentstalkerftr says:

    Oddly enough the Czechoslovak branch had no such issues and pretty much everything went the way I wanted it. While I am not excusing the obviously wrong models, changing stats for the sake of gameplay balance is more or less justifiable.




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    • pixywing says:

      Yeah I agree. No one whines about the maus moving at the speed it does. This is a game not reality we have HP bars for crying out loud.

      At the end of the day realistic =/= fun. Is driving a tank for five minutes to get one shotted by a TD camping behind a bush 400 meters away realistic sure, its it fun? Not at all.




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    • Tigeh says:

      Likewise a tank with a high-mounted gun and -16º of gun depression is potentially game breaking – even -12º can be seriously abused by people who know what they’re doing, especially if the tank isn’t a two trick pony like the Dicker Max. Complaining about extremes being brought in a bit isn’t really heaps mature – the main points that stand to me are:

      1) Don’t nerf historic engine HP, nerf ground resistances
      2) Get your models right.




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      • Terminus says:

        The ground resistances are already terrible for the most part 2.

        The problem is, Swedish tanks generally had good/great mobility IRL, but you cant have a tank thats fast, accurate, has a great gun handling and is super stealthy, unless you wanted to have like a 3rd of the HP of the other tanks at its tier have.

        So something had to get changed, unfortunatly changing hard stats that have IRL values is not the way to go.

        Armor and Engines are something wargaming should not be changing. Penetration values i can see having wiggle room for hard balance reasons, but you have ground resistance to counter H/P, and dispersion and aimtime and RoF to counter gun statistics.




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    • deadarashi says:

      only if the changes made for balance do not utterly shatter the realm of history…*looks at all the fake US TDs and the very unhistorical VK45.02b*




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  9. vochinsky74 says:

    ” Russian tanks have their gun depression buffed by several degrees.” Rita sorry im calling BS, russian tanks dont have 7* of gun depression, most have 5, so unless the guns are stuck at +2* the math doesnt add up.
    then theres the t62 which is unhistorically nerfed to 5* from 6
    if you believe in russian bias you’ll believe in m60 codes.




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    • atomicemu says:

      Some of them do.
      For example T-34-85 has 7°, T-43 8°, T-44 7°, when they should have 5°. Most tanks with 122 mm guns have 5° instead of 3°.
      On the other hand this applies to other nations as well. Like T32 and M46 with second turret having 10° instead of 5°, M4 having 12° instead of 10°, E-75 having 8° with a gun that would never fit inside the turret, etc.




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      • vochinsky74 says:

        Yeah but its spread around to make the game more playable. Theres no bias if its all nations. And again she said 7* .
        I have no problems with some artificial buffs for overall game playability.
        +1 for coming with exact numbers over many tanks




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  10. Anonymous says:

    It is hilarious to see that there are players thinking that WG is trying to make the game better LOL




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  11. Wesley says:

    WG make up plenty of stuff. Most of the Japanese Heavies are pure fiction




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    • Anonymous says:

      they were not actually fictions, most of them were just sketches and diagrams, Type 4 heavy was based from a rough drawing, also the turret was served as a coastal guard, O-Ho, and O-Ni were just drawing, aka sketches and O-I… well… it didn’t had a turret….. and no photographic images remain.. but a piece of track still exist.




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    • deadarashi says:

      If you want tanks they made up the US TD line: T28, T28 Proto and T110E4… Also the T30 is a HT not a TD. hell, once upon a time it was once the tier 10 HT and the T34 was the tier 9… Back before WG descided they had to have a turreted TD line and fucked up the branch




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  12. RUSSIAN says:

    I’d rather unhistorical but balanced tanks than historical and OP.
    As for the Strv103, who cares if its a TD and not a MBT?
    The CDC should be a TD but is a medium.




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  13. Mbass says:

    If people spent enough time in the lee they could see its merits but they just try to get past it.. have several top guns in it. It’s not a bad tank if you play the tank rather than attempting to make the tank play your style.




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  14. Infryndiira says:

    A reason an engine or two were nerfed was no doubt power-to-weight ratio and possibly top speed, when compared to other vehicles of the same class and tier in the game. Some of these Swedish war machines have ridiculously good mobility, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but Wargaming might be concerned about power creep for once. Likewise, I suspect armour thickness decisions might be related to overmatch mechanics.

    Given these aren’t prems they can always buff and nerf accordingly after launch, but generally speaking it’s better to offer something that needs buffs, rather than nerfs, in an attempt to reduce power creep. I am not saying I condone or don’t condone these changes, so don’t get me wrong, just trying to offer some rational thought as to the unhistorical qualities of a vehicle or two.




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  15. xxxtommygunxxx says:

    The picture suggests that whole Swedish tech tree i fake lol.
    btw.
    It looked suspicious from the start. The whole tech tree appeared out of nowhere (at least from my perspective) 😀
    And only info about tanks could be found in swedish WoT forums. Also some of the tanks are too “new” for their tier (year of production).
    Not so long ago:
    https://ritastatusreport.live/2016/02/23/first-polish-tank-spotted-sredni-b-b-t-br-panc/
    it was stated that Polish tech tree will come next. But no, there is Swedish. (WG is somehaw inconsistent here) 😛

    The question is: How much “made up” is this tech tree ? because if only stats are “fixed” to make the tanks “fit” to the tech tree, than it is not a big issue.




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  16. Ean Baalham says:

    So what you are essentially saying is that they are taking the hard work of individuals and bastardising it it to encourage specific national groups into playing a highly addictive, unwinnable online casino (that may or may not be rigged, not that you’d ever know) that doesn’t even offer prizes?

    I’ll get me coat.




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  17. mark west says:

    The only thing the author is instrumental in is eating, shitting and sleeping and most definitely NOTHING substantive to do with tanks or any game. When i started to read this article it was with incredulity that a clueless blogger who life is one big ball of LAZINESS wants consulated about something.




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  18. Bogan Aussie says:

    WG will use your information to make money. Fair enough you did a lot of the leg work to make this happen, but you are coming across as a whiney 5 year old.

    These are relatively small issues compared to the fact that your project is actually getting made into reality. Be happy that swedes are coming, 99% of the playerbase wont give a rats arse that some models are not historically correct.




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  19. Commander chakotay says:

    Hey Rita, is it true you are five foot, 25? Also, can we get a Rita Q&A?




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  20. TSwizzlw says:

    Making the 103 a TD had not been a problem could they use the handbrake.
    Limiting the 103 to WoT TD behaviour makes it so dull I can’t care about it anymore.

    Former test driver said it could turn 180 in 1 second if you we’re good.

    Should’ve been a medium/heavy.




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  21. Ripwot says:

    The Exodus continues.




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  22. Careoran says:

    I took a step away from WoT already, because it is infested with unbelievable fake/paper/nonsense/fantasy tanks.
    I am historian (among other things) and I just can not stand all the “tank-bullshit” anymore,
    I only have hopes for the overall re-balance, which is fading though.
    Only one thing is for sure there are to many employees, without any capacity in the history of tanks, unfortunately those work in key areas …
    The upcoming swedish tree just proofs it again…

    The silly 100 year tank event with Lanchester armored cars driving around like super sports cars nearly gave me the rest.
    I guess I am no longer the target audience, but I was for sure a top customer for WG WoT …
    Why does WG WoT not team with Nintendo and Super Mario? Would fit more
    🙁
    Sorry for the rant, but WoT became a pain playing for me, I would like a WoT PvE mode now more than any new tank or tree, maybe it would be more relaxing in the end …




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  23. Laserguided says:

    Historical accuracy? Fake stats? If WG cares about that then gun depression and view range will have to go.




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    • Not exactly, german tanks in WWII had better optics and different tanks had varying spotting equipment with varying results. Removing spotting and camo would delete light tanks from the game. Also, as for gun depression, a lot of tanks didn’t need gun depression like russian vehicles because they were not expected to fight in hills but flat country and cities with infantry support. What he says about Russian tanks have buffed gun depression to its historical version is correct. Also, Czech vehicles have had a lot more care for historical accuracy and were balanced by their soft stats so WG is possible of being better, their just lazy vodka drinkers right now.




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  24. Anonymous says:

    M3 lee its one of the best mediuns on the game !!! He have DPM and Alpha damge ! thats all hes needs ! End of historie




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  25. stormcrow99 says:

    The classification matters little since they are going to break the current ones into more categories anyway. So don’t cry and be a nob.




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  26. Wahnfried III says:

    I have to disagree here Rita. Game balancing is far more important than historic accuracy. Due to being comparable modern designs, a lot of the tank in the tree have the potential to be very very overpowered. Especially in the current WOT meta where lack of armor is more of an advantage than a disadvantage.




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    • The problem is that a lot of these changes are unneccesary like a 330 horse powered engine should not be 310 in game because the difference is insignificant. Wargaming always has soft stats like ground resistance and gun handling as well as even view range/camo. There is no need to make an unhistorical tank unless you’re trying to make a joke, ie. Japanese heavy tanks. Sweden and the researchers for world of tanks don’t deserve this vodka lazy disrespect.




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    • And your opinion of armor is subjective, not everyone is running around in leopard 1’s in particular to clan battles or pubs for example




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  27. Chris Smith says:

    Your a historian, just be thankful you got a job and not stuck teaching at a college. Its a game and can be historically inspired, not historically accurate. Let it go.




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  28. 427Arbok says:

    I do agree that WG shouldn’t blatantly change vehicle characteristics to suit the game, but I do think that there are ways to adapt characteristics without completely ignoring history. If a design never made it to the prototype phase, who’s to say that, if it had, the designers might not have determined the need for applique armor to be added? Going this route, WG could not only maintain the integrity of the original design while adapting it to the game, and they could even go so far as to make this hypothetical applique optional, possibly making it a new upgrade module or simply bundling hull applique with an upgrade to an up-armored, but otherwise identical, second turret. This would have the added bonus of allowing players to choose between speed and armor in their own customization of the tank.

    However, I don’t see anything particularly wrong with the Strv 103 being made a tank destroyer. While a case-mate medium tank would be interesting, it has far more in common with TDs than mediums and heavies. Additionally, there are already several tank destroyers in the game that behave like hybrid medium tanks, like the Hellcat, T25 AT, and Jagdpanther II. In other words, the game has far more of a precedent for tank destroyers that play like mediums than it does for mediums that are designed like tank destroyers. Further, consider that it certainly wouldn’t be the first misclassified tank in the game, as the Tortoise and T28/T95 were both conceived, designed, and intended as heavy tanks; the Matilda is classified as a medium tank despite having historically been an infantry tank, the same as the Churchill, which is classified as a heavy; the Chi-Ha is somehow both a light tank and a medium tank at the same time; the T26E4 is classified as a medium tank despite having been historically classified as a heavy, as were all ‘T’ designated Pershings, and certainly has the armor to be treated as one; the T30 is another tank destroyer that was a heavy in real life, though it did have its historical class for a while; the list goes on. At the end of the day, a tank is categorized by its characteristics, not how it plays, and if WG is even vaguely smart about this, they’ll let the Strv 103 behave like a medium.




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  29. […] My thoughts on the current tree were largely covered by this article: Swedish tree supertest and beyond messed up models and made up stats […]




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