these are the full third iteration Sandbox changes:
The stun mechanic, new UI elements, and multi-use consumables performed well at Tier X. They facilitated teamwork, boosted battle dynamics, and made matches feel fairer. In Phase 3, we are testing the same scope of changes across Tiers VIII–X to see how they play out in a wider range of vehicles and affect overall gameplay.
The 2nd point on the agenda is Tier X light tanks. The main goal of their addition is to eliminate the frustrating +3 matchmaking that the class currently has. Stretching light tank branches to Tier X makes the regular +2 matchmaking possible for them, which should turn them into a standalone battle unit. The matchmaker will be able to assemble diverse teams, and faster, while light tanks will fight in a more balanced environment and have a chance to contribute to the battle outcome meaningfully.
Schedule & Restrictions
The phase will run Feb. 27 through Mar. 5 and consist of two rounds:
Feb. 27 -Mar. 1. We start with Tier X vehicles to see how the addition of the new Tier X light tanks affects the gaming experience compared to Phase 2
Mar. 2–5. When Tier VIII–IX vehicles roll out on March 2, we’ll focus on analysing how these changes affect top-tier gameplay.
The addition of Tiers VII–IX might lead to a longer queue time. As everyone rushes to test the tweaked arty mechanics in these newly added vehicles, it would take the matchmaker much longer to assemble a proper, +/-2 team. And you’d end up waiting to hit the battlefield for up to 10 minutes. We wouldn’t want that.
We’ll stop it from happening with a special restriction: no more than one battle on the same Tier on Mar. 2–5. For example, after playing in a Tier IX vehicle, you’ll have to choose either a Tier VIII or a Tier X tank. Of course, this wouldn’t fix the issue altogether, but it will let us cut the queueing to 2–3 minutes.
Changes to SPGs
We shared a detailed breakdown of changes to SPGs ahead of Phase2. Here’s a quick summary.
With the new stun mechanic, we want to transform arty into long-range support fire vehicles: efficient team players, who soften targets and help set the attack direction from afar.
On live servers, arty rids you of HP for good and might kick you out from the game in a single shot. In Sandbox, tanks in the arty splash radius have their characteristics temporarily weakened, and this negative effect can be reduced or lifted with First Aid Kits.
SPGs now deal less direct damage but benefit from the damage their teammates cause to stunned targets, similar to scouts.
Tier X SPGs roll out to Phase 3 with no major changes compared to the previous round of testing (just some server-side improvements). The alternative aim, target area marking for friendly vehicles, and multi-use consumables remain as well, improved following your feedback from Phase 2.
Tier X light tanks in detail
Light tanks were initially designed as support fire vehicles, rather than a standalone battle unit. Unlike any other class they only have eight tiers. That’s why these vehicles (Tier III and higher) get special matchmaking on production servers and often end up against tanks that are three tiers higher and can’t contribute to the battle meaningfully.
The addition of Tier X light tanks and stretching their branches to Tier X enable the transition to the regular +/-2 matchmaking for the class. The transition to regular balancing should create a more varied, enjoyable, and exciting gameplay.
With the speed to secure key positions, the camouflage to stay there, and the punch to seriously cripple an enemy, Tier X light tanks pose a real threat to the enemy, if played well.
More swift and maneuverable than their predecessors, they excel in close- and mid-range combat thanks to their solid gun stabilization and decent gun parameters (penetration power and damage per hit). Newcomers benefit from the class’ trademark camouflage bonus while moving. So, you can opt for active or passive scouting, just as you do with other light tanks. Plus, there are a few new combat opportunities for you to explore.
When facing off against medium tanks, new light tanks are anything but an easy target incapable of returning a favour. Their guns are just a little less powerful than those of medium tanks, and have enough penetration power to pierce through side and rear armor of the majority of heavies. So, they have what it takes to punish opponents who might naively consider them harmless.
However, gun parameters don’t allow Tier X light tanks to pick out targets at distance. It encourages them to always be on the move, maneuver a lot, change positions after firing, and pick targets carefully.
T-100 (the U. S. S. R). The closest analogue of the iconic T-50-2, the T-100 is a small, mobile, and well-armored vehicle. The best armor among Tier X light tanks lets it live through hazardous situations, while its compact size (the smallest of the newcomers) allows it stay hidden from opponents. The T-100 is at its best at active scouting and in maneuverable, close-range engagements. The gun isn’t powerful enough to pick off a target at mid-range, though.
Spz. 57 (Germany). The Spz. 57 is a lot similar to the RU 251. It packs a powerful, accurate gun, with gun depression at -10°, which, combined with its excellent mobility and solid-for-its-class penetration, makes it a perfect pick for positional fire. It can work magic on uneven terrain, but won’t be great in close-range combat.
XM551 Sheridan (the U.S.A). This Sheridan prototype stands out among its brethren just like the T49. It has two guns to choose from: 105 mm and 152 mm. The second comes with much easier gun handling than that on the T49. The hull is protected with enemy shells with screens.
АМХ 13 105 (France). Just one note before we brief you on the new French LT. The nation’s light tanks are in for massive balance changes, which are all aimed at improving their combat efficiency. Rolling out on Tier X, the АМХ 13 105 combines small size (and hence solid stealth parameters) with an autoloader gun that deals great damage per shot.
Type 62C and WZ-132-1 (China). The Chinese LT branch is getting two absolutely new vehicles: the Type 62C at Tier IX and the WZ-132-1 at Tier X. The WZ-132-1 boasts a highly efficient 105 mm gun. Gameplay-wise, top-tier vehicles resemble the WZ-132 a lot and benefit from powerful guns and high damage per shot.
SPGs: Detailed Change List
First Aid Kits (regular, premium) and Spall Liners (heavy, superheavy) no longer reduce the negative stun effect on technical characteristics.
Their effect on the stun duration was changed as well:
Regular First Aid Kits now have no effect on its duration (previously 20%)
Premium First Aid Kits reduce the stun duration by 5% (previously 20%)
Heavy Spall Liners reduce the stun duration by 5% (previously 10%)
Superheavy Spall Liners reduce the stun duration by 10% (previously 30%)
The shell stun duration was tweaked accordingly.
The minimum stun time was increased from 2 to 5s.