The Chrysler K in the bigger picture

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Author: SP15

In light of the sir Foch vs WG controversy I thought I would go ahead and offer some thoughts on why we have seen the game take the direction it has with the arguably OP premiums that sparked this controversy in the first place.

Pushing for premiums

As someone who was personally involved in the research and creation of the Swedish tech tree I was in contact with several people at wargaming for quite some time. Trough one of my contacts from that time I know that Wargaming have been pushing for larger numbers of “more competitive” premium tanks for quite some time now, dating back to the introduction of the Panther 88.

When it was added to the game the Panther 88 was a thoroughly mediocre tank and arguably worse than some of the older premiums with restricted matchmaking. The tank underperformed in sales so badly that WG even had to lower its price and give players that purchased it early some of their money back in gold credits mere weeks after its introduction.

Later patches would improve the performance of the panther 88 but the damage was already done and WG requested a new more competitive German tier 8 medium premium to replace the panther 88. The Swiss Panzer 58 was chosen for this role as no actual German candidates could be found in time and it was introduced as the Pz 58 mutz. This started the cycle of WG introducing more and more powerful premium tanks, as they didn’t want to repeat the mistake of the panther 88. But there is more to it than that.

The way world of tanks itself was balanced changed and its arguably this that allowed tanks like the Chrysler K or even the Maus (with the recent armor buff) to become overpowered in the first place. This is why I would say the Chrysler K is just the symptom of a greater problem, but to explain what I mean ill have to explain how wot was balanced in the past and how it has changed.

 

Wot and balancing

During most of its development world of tanks was balanced around the idea that the Historical data for a vehicle should be the determining factor of how that vehicle plays.

A good example of this mentality is the tiger which despite its reputation of being a armored behemoth plays nothing like that because Wargaming chose treat its historical stats seriously and put it up against some worthy competition.

Historical accuracy used to be taken extremely seriously with tanks receiving updated armor models and even having modules removed or added with the purpose of making them more historical, this was the case with the German high tier engine rebalance for example. In the most extreme cases entire branches was reworked to replace tanks like the fv4202 or the T23 which had unhistorical aspects.

Fv4202 was once the British tier 10 medium

Of course there were cases where unhistorical elements were introduced for the sake of balance like buffs to the gun depression on high tier Russian vehicles, but generally these cases were rare and often the result of flawed research.

 

Soft stats

As we established the Historical data for vehicles in the game was only very rarely changed for the sake of balance, this led to them being termed as “hard stats”.

However to keep certain tanks that had an advantage in their “hard stats” from being straight upgrades over others in the same tier a number of balancing stats were introduced, these became known as “soft stats”. The “soft stats” basically include any stat that is not tied to the historical data of the vehicle, this includes things like hit points, accuracy, reload times, traverse speeds and module health.

Terrain resistance is an example of a soft stat. In the game its used to determine how much resistance a vehicle encounter when driving over certain terrain types and thus the ease of which it can reach its top speed.

The role of terrain resistance in particular is not only to keep vehicles with high power to weight ratios and top speeds like the AMX CDC from replacing light tanks but also to keep tanks like the Maus and t95 viable despite their lower power to weight ratios and top speeds.

Most of the “soft stats” serve similar roles and help the developers by providing many avenues for balancing tanks around their historical stats as needed (instead of altering them directly), this in turn allowed the diversity of tanks we see in the game today.

In short “soft stats” are stats that are used to compensate for a vehicles historical advantages or disadvantages, and are necessary for balancing the tanks in the game.

 

Changes in wot’s balance process

Around patch 9,17 we saw a shift in the way WoT was balanced which was likely the result of changes in the Balance department for Wot. From what I have personally heard most of the balance team was “replaced” with a lucky few keeping their positions (although with much less influence). What we know for sure is that the head of the Balance department Veider was fired and replaced by Murazor.

The AMX M4 49 which was the first vehicle handled by the new balance team was originally released on the Russian server with a moderate set of stats to compensate for its very strong armor profile. The tank was balanced but it was not particularly popular, so in an attempt to make the tank more popular before it was added to the other servers the tank was buffed.

This would have been fine but instead of just improving the soft stats the balance team decided to mess around with the historical data by slapping on some fake armor instead. If this was because the team was either unwilling or unable to balance vehicles around their historical strengths and weaknesses or due to pure laziness is anybody’s guess, but this disregard for the historical data continued with tanks like the Chrysler K and Object 252U which were added with fake armor and guns to suit WG’s need for these tanks to sell.

If you look at the early supertest versions of any of the Swedish heavy tanks or the more recent premium heavies you will find that while they all started out with their historical armor they later received major changes so that their armor would be able to take more shots. In the case of the Object 252U this meant going from a hull armor of 90/90/90mm to 140/100/90mm, and the Chrysler K started with 114.3/76.2/76.2mm hull armor which turned into 152.4/101.6/76.2mm.

Links to these vehicles initial stats

 

Conclusion

By messing around with the “hard stats” of these vehicles WG opened a can of worms that should have been left alone. Had they followed the old balance model they could still have added some very competitive premium tanks (by the use of soft stats) and there wouldn’t have been a reason for Foch to get worked up in the first place since the historical armor was capable but much weaker than what we have now. Even if he got upset about the other stats of the tank WG could have simply justified it by saying that is how the vehicle was historically.

But right now sir Foch’s accusation of Wargaming adding tanks that have no weakpoints and are essentially there as premium sponges is well supported by the way they chose to add fake armor instead of balancing these new premiums properly. As it stands WG has introduced a series of unbalanced tanks that externally look the part but don’t represent the vehicles on which they are supposed to be based.

 

Some final thoughts

As I stated at the start of this article I was one of the people behind the Swedish tech tree, as such I saw first hand how the Swedish tree was affected by the new balance team and their changes, and that is when I originally started writing this article.

I could honestly go on for ages on this topic but as somebody who spent years researching what would become the Swedish tree it broke my heart to see how tanks in the Swedish tree  were ruined by the way they were balanced with fake armor, gun depression and engine outputs etc when they could have so easily been balanced with “soft stats” instead.

Swedish engines in game vs real life

I only hope that now that this balancing issue have also affected the game at large and sparked this controversy the playerbase can start pushing back against WG when they try this again.

If you are interested in how the Swedish heavies were affected then I already have an article on the subject: Link here

If you made it all the way trough this article i want to tank you for sticking with it. This is something i Iave wanted to talk about for quite some time now since i feel its ruining the game. Anyway ill hopefully be back with the next part of my Q&A answers which will be up in the next couple days.

Mizutayio: Articles like these really make me respect SP15 a lot. I can’t thank him enough for writing such an article for us.

Liked it? Take a second to support Mizutayio on Patreon!

46 comments on “The Chrysler K in the bigger picture

  1. Shrike58 says:

    Good piece. WG has created quite a mess for themselves and it’s going to be very hard to undo now that people have spent a lot of real money. It would be different if this were WoWs where premium ships are not sacred cows; at least to the same degree.

    Also, here is a good blow-by-blow analysis of the economics of the Chrysler from a NA player who a lot of Europeans might not be aware of:




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  2. DeadArashi says:

    Thank you SP15. Love this article and reallty puts this issue into perspective. Hopefully the balance team will finally get their shit togetger and we go vacm to the old way of balance




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  3. Anonymous says:

    Only some pasionate people will care about this. Most of the people who play they don’t care much about this. So …I need a Defender, but also a Chrysler si ok.




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  4. LeeRoy says:

    If the new premiums are so overpowered. Why are the ones that are not t8s such duds.with 1 exception the Cromwell B.
    The days of the prem that is a little weaker then the same teir tech tree tank is over. They were not fun or versatile




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    • Shrike58 says:

      I think that’s a legitimate point, particularly if premium MM had to go away; if people are paying real money for a tank it HAS to be competent.

      However, people would be a lot happier if WG did something to balance premium ammo; oh to be a fly on the wall at the meetings of the people responsible for in-game economics.

      A lot of this could also be as simple as WG trying to recoup lost ground from the post-2008 bad times, except that I agree that they’re sacrificing the future for a quick payoff.




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    • Thagomizer says:

      I disagree, they’re are some brilliant premium tanks. Looking at my win rates:
      Dicker Max 53% (brilliant for exploiting hills)
      SU-122-44 59% (one heck of a brawler, and dat HE shell)
      E25 54% (cockroach of death)
      FV201 56% (RoF master)
      HT VI 49% (mediocre)
      Skoda T40 59% (alpha beast)

      The difference between these and the new Premiums are these are all awful tanks in their own way whilst the new Premiums (made of impenatranium) seem idiot proof. They require no more skill than drive straight at the enemy and spam gold.




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    • madogthefirst says:

      @ LeeRoy None of the Berlin tanks are bad, way to prove how well you can talk out your ass.




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    • Berlin tanks, E25, T28 with F30, Pz II J, whatever the russian tier iii light is, SU-122-44 armor buff means most tier 6’s and 7’s need to fire gold, type 64, list goes on, tier 8 isn’t the only tier with wallet warriors




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  5. themadkitten says:

    The thing is, soft stats alone dont have enough influence anymore (Or at least in the eye of people who buy the tanks), with the game’s current “Press 2 to Pen” meta that people’s been crying about for years




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  6. Don’t compare the chrysler to the Maus. After grinding the T10 Maus you deserve getting a tank with top specs – in this case armour. However to introduce a premium T8 which is OP by any standards undermines the original principle that premium tanks are middle ranked in their own tier for performance.
    To get around this debacle wg should have restricted maximum match – making, in other words 8,9 10 only.




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    • Maus was already pretty beast before the buff. The problem was always premium ammo and artillery. Hell, I got HT-15 for the T-55A in the Maus before the buff.

      Also, you’re not making a terrible amount of sense with restricting maximum match making. Tier 8’s already are restricted to mm between 8-10. But I agree with you that premiums should not be better than standard tanks.




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      • Windswepter says:

        It was about time super heavies come into their own in WoT, I agree with everything WG has done in the last several patches. Supers should not be punching bags for medium tank, they should have to work really hard to take one down and they should be able to carry in a game in my opinion. Medium players and arty have been spoiled in this game for too long.




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  7. Twitch says:

    I think it needs a reload and mobility nerf and a partial rotating turret, or they could just discharge it from the game




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  8. Charcharo says:

    I want the OLD team back!
    At least the NORMAL Swedish non-premium tanks can be balanced back to reality. But the premiums are harder to change. I only hope Wargaming’s team improves to its old method of work or learns not to mess with SOME elements (at least not much, like several mm of armor to stop an overmatch or 80 vs 85 frontal Panther armor is OK, but 50mm more? No).




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    • madogthefirst says:

      It ain’t any harder, they just refuse to do what is needed.

      Balance > Money

      Balance should be the most sacred thing to them but they go around like it is optional.




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  9. Nocomment says:

    I would argue historical accuracy was always just a convenient reason for making balance changes or not.

    Throughout its history this game has had tanks with unrealistic guns, engines etc, tanks have shrunk and grown in size and had unhistorical armor values, Traveled at different speeds, changed gun angles, the list goes on.

    As an example I can remember at least two sets of armor values for the KV1-s before it finally got fixed.

    I don’t deny this is a trend and a trend aimed at profits but its not new. As usual I blame prem’ ammo as the root cause.




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  10. HEATARD says:

    Balance?! WoT never had any kind of balance. I would really love you ppl to erase the false thought of balance from your mind if you think about WoT. Historical stats can be changed in favor of comfortable gameplay and gameplay need to suit any kind of player and if I pay for a seriously overpirced tank I expect it to perform above any other. That’s that. These tanks are powerful? Indeed. That is their selling point.




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  11. jakub_czyli_ja says:

    From player’s perspective it’s still a power creep aimed to grab more money.




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  12. Never mind says:

    Outstanding write up. You seem to have hit the nail on the head.

    Just one question about the “under preforming” Premiums, the Panther 8.8 had been out for a long time BEFORE last years list of crap tanks, like the T28E-F30, AC-1, and later AC-4, and the PZ III K. all of these tanks were less than wow, yet many of the “YouTubes” sold them like hot cakes and WG pushed out a long list of shit, before getting to the Obj 252, and the K-tank. This is not new, and those of us that recall gold ammo for gold, have had to suffer through this. When will WG get their mind right? At some lever I think Foch was 100% right the model work is lazy, put in a gun port or a drivers hatch then don’t make it a weak spot is just lazy at the least, and dishonest at the most.

    I know WG “cleaned house” last year for all sorts of reasons, I suggest they “clean house” again starting with whoever is leading the development team.




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    • Teknokraatti says:

      You have a rather broad view on “less than wow”. According to VBAddict statistics, the T-28E F-30 is one of the most OP vehicles in the game, restricted reward vehicles not included.

      The thing is that it’s a T4 tank that has 2 unnecessary crew members, making it a fairly bad crew trainer. However, as a tank, it’s splendid and one of the few T4 vehicles that can pen the O-I frontally.




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    • With exception to your understatement of the T28 with F30, well said. A rework of game balance is greatly due, especially for premium ammo and weakspots




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  13. zeroyuki92 says:

    As I expected, Panther 8.8 bullshtery had a role in this. I bet noone was expecting that one disaster sales due to cries of anti-german bias would lead to something like this…




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    • Panther 88 failed because it was a fundamental gameplay copy of the panther ii and as a whole, tier 8 mediums normally aren’t competitive. Didn’t help either that none of the german mediums (especially high tiers) at the time were competitive either. It was always a localized balancing problem and making something interesting for gameplay like a t54 mod 1 or amx cdc.

      Lazy design means lazy rewards.




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    • I don’t mean to take anything from what you’re saying. I think it does have an undeniable merit of truth in there. 🙂




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  14. this game is almost unplayable now with all those OP tier 8 premiums in every f**king battle.. getting in a team with Löwes and IS-6 as top heavys against chrysler platoons and Defenders every single game




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    • I really want to give your comment a thumbs up because you’re right it does happen a lot… sorry man, anyways, fuck this game lately




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    • Twitch says:

      except the defender is like the is-3 with a little more hull armor and a little worse turret it is not that op.
      I think the is-6 needs to lose a few hit points, have a 13 sec. reload, and be moved to tier 7




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    • Radical1299 says:

      The K Tank is not that great. It pens nothing even with gold. It was hyped up and has bombed. You never see anything but tiers 9 and 10. It will bounce a few rounds but you will never carry a game with one.




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  15. Paglia says:

    The story is a very short one :

    WG left behind the free to play and chose to fully embrace the pay to win…

    … don’t look any further. And the more OP tanks they will introduce, the less this game will bring fun home.




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  16. Anonymous says:

    It is very sad to see the state of affairs. Until about a year ago I used to play the game regularly and could never stay away from it for more than a month. Use to by most of the premiums when they were released for different play styles they offered. But now WG has messed it up. I have hardly played the game continuously in last 6 months. Haven’t spent money on renewing my premium account in about last one and half years. I attribute this to idiot proof tanks that WG is trying to push at tier 8. When I joined WoT back in 2012. There were tanks including lights, mediums, TDs and heavies that fit their role (except arties). There were maps where lights could play their part (except arty). There was imbalance, there were premiums but they were getting balanced pretty neatly. Now, everything seems like Pay to Win. Noobs/idiots with 45% win rate and not knowing how to shoot or how to angle a tank carrying game by sitting in front of enemy is too much to digest.

    The game does not reward good gameplay most of the time now. I know would get dislikes, would be called whatever in the comments. I don’t care.

    But here are my parting thoughts. Good for you WG that you could make the game a success and make it part of ESL. But once are part of ESL, is not “just a game” anymore. I hope you realize the meaning of this statement and make ammends.




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  17. madogthefirst says:

    Maus is fine now, poor thing has been the whipping boy of tier 10 for far too long. The only thing that did not need to happen was the HP buff.




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  18. madogthefirst says:

    Great read by the way.




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  19. MOTHER'S LOLL says:

    From my opinio, WG left the path as they introduced the Japanese heavy line -> end of the “game”.




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    • Fair enough, I thought it started back when the IS-6 went HD or the armor change to the IS-3




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    • Harverato says:

      If you ask me, it became blatantly obvious when they decided to keep the VK 45 B as it is, with it’s retarded armor, instead of just switching it for the Mäuschen (as it was planned originaly, remember that VK B premium tier VII?).

      Instead of, maybe, keeping the VK A as a tier VIII heavium, between the 100.01 and the Tiger II, and turning the B into a prem with it’s historical stats, they chose to make yet another unhistorical tank as a new tier X.




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  20. Anonymous says:

    Great article, definitely agree with you!




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  21. YGCO says:

    balance…..
    As a player who has played in Chinese server, I want to say the agent did something even more stupid(all 122 gun on tier 8 chinese tank have penetration:300 HEAT,include WZ111/T-34-3/112 ….)
    Now, Chinese TD almost become an insult to many chinese player=_=




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    • irsanchez says:

      Why do you find them insulting? Is it the bad? specs or them beeing KongzHong “invention”?

      It’s a bit “funny”, as for many people from EU/NA the Chinese TDs looks pretty decent (specs wise) – better than quite a few old TD lines. Though our CN tanks are not using the old OP heat values, it’s nerfed to 250.

      Don’t get me wrong – generally casemate/turretless TDs are obsolete here just as much as in CN region (i suppose) but the Chinese TDs look really decent comparing to other TD trees.




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  22. ROMBAT says:

    Wg has a darkside o humor regarding balancing tanks. In a way they are launching powerfull/op tanks to determine players to grind or to buy it and then they ninja nerf it by working on the soft stats.
    As fare as i remember type 59 was the first victim. After they stop selling it fewer and fewer people played it.
    Next one was love and then t34.
    On the new era of wot t110e5 was made almost unpenetrable on front and weeks later the same tank got a nasty disease…almost every shoot in the side was ammorack. After the new shaved armor of yhe tumor suddenly ammorack grow stronger on t110e5.
    Last night i played 10 games in the so called hyped op obj 252 u defender.
    No top tier for me in the all 10 games.
    In everygame i was ammoracked 2_3 times and in 4 games i was put in flames…guess what in the first month of the existance of defender none of this events happened.
    So wg has a nasty habbit of screwing us all.




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  23. mattbrix02 says:

    Fix the Toxicity of Gold ammo, for tier 8 and above atleast. ~ .~




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