For us, War Thunder is a bit of a shooting range for 20th century combat vehicles, an opportunity to see vehicles from various nations and of different designs in one battle, study their features and characteristics until we can recreate them more or less accurately, easy and comfortable to control and make them interesting in terms of gameplay. And post-war main battle tanks (MBTs) meet the criteria.
These tanks are really interesting gameplay wise - high mobility, powerful armour from a narrow arc which means that if you position your vehicle correctly you become almost invulnerable, you let your enemy outflank you - then you are almost certainly doomed. Side armour in most modern tanks may be penetrated by the AP round of a T-55 or M-47 from distances greater than 2 km. However their front, where the tanks are heavily protected so they can handle ammunition with penetration values of 1000-1200mm. Almost all post-war MBT’s had gun stabilizers that allows them to fire on the move which also improves game dynamics. Smoke screens may give a second chance to a player who made a mistake, these systems were implemented on tanks of all nations.
There are already post-war ground vehicles in the game, even some machines from the 80’s (Japanese SPAA type-87) and thus rank 5 has vehicles that were created with 30-40 years difference. However implementing post-war vehicles and dividing them into separate ranks will make researching top-tiered machines more logical and balanced, This is why from the player’s point of view it is wise not stick to one or two tanks but rather use all the vehicles that meet conditions of interesting game processes.
We plan to add a new rank to the ground forces research trees - rank 6. We will begin with the vehicles that represent the second generation of MBTs such as the Soviet T-64 and the American experimental MBT-70 etc.
We will gradually from one update to another add interesting post-war machines (not only MBTs) for all available nations.
The game economy was initially not intended for rank 6 that’s why in future, the rules for researching will be slightly different. There will be no drastic increase in RP and Silver Lions requirements compared to the difference between ranks 4 and 5 for example. These requirements will not be much different from what we have at rank 5 currently. Moreover, once we have enough vehicles at rank 6 we plan to reduce the requirements for researching and purchasing vehicles of rank 5 and probably even lower ranks as well so that the time our players spend reaching the top ranks remains the same as it was before the introduction of the new rank.
Questions and answers
Will there be the Abrams/T-90/Leo 2 etc?
We are not excluding any modern tanks at some point provided that we can recreate them with a sufficient level of detail and depending on their combat capabilities.
Will there be thermal sights/night vision devices?
We will decide after we create some prototypes and test night battles with these devices.
Do you plan to add helicopters? Like it was in the April Fool’s event earlier this year?
Yes, it is possible that rank 6 aviation will be represented by helicopters that have interesting gameplay in combined battles. There is no final answer or list with strike aircraft at the moment, we haven’t run all the necessary internal tests yet.
Do you plan to introduce modern military planes?
Unlike tanks, modern air combat became more hardcore, less spectacular and doesn’t reveal a pilot’s skill as much as earlier air combat. It became clear even with the Korean war jet aviation that has been in War Thunder since the very beginning. But one thing influences combat tactics especially strongly - homing missiles, these do not require control after launch and though such combat may be interesting outside the range of vision in terms of gameplay, it depends 100% on working with the instrument panel and is very hardcore (requires specific knowledge and means lots of gameplay “in one’s imagination” without any feedback). That’s why making modern air combat interesting, comprehensible and realistic at the same time is extremely difficult (if possible at all). This will mean that the air and ground parts of War Thunder will have great differences in terms of the time period of the vehicles in the game.
However we first plan to run internal tests of the jet aircraft from the Vietnam era where the first homing missiles were used. They had many limitations for missile launch (maximal and minimal distance, angle etc.) and their maneuvering performance was not as high as more modern missiles. This is why with a certain degree of caution, we might say that this stage of aircraft development will probably find its way to War Thunder some day.
Do you plan to change BR’s after the introduction of the rank 6?
Yes, most likely some of rank 5 armoured vehicles e.g. ATGM tanks will receive new BRs and probably some of the existing tanks will move to rank 6. It will not happen on the first day of 1.71 update release, but after some time, enough to gather statistical data.
Should we expect some features (such as reactive armour) to be implemented on the existing vehicles?
Implementing such protection - both passive (T-62M) and reactive armour increases tank efficiency and of course affects balance, this is why introducing such modifications will be done from a balance perspective and an according increase of BR.
Can we expect rank 5 premium vehicles, since it’s not the top rank anymore? What will happen to the rank 4 premium vehicles research efficiency, how will it affect rank 6 research progress?
Rank 5 premium vehicles are possible. Research progress for rank 4 vehicles whilst researching rank 6 will work using the same rules we have at the moment for other premium vehicles - there will be a penalty for researching vehicles 2 ranks higher.
How will these “New ERA” vehicles be introduced? Will they be given the usual CBT treatment?
No, the new ERA vehicles will be introduced normally and available to all players using progression.
Will you add 6th rank tanks for the other nations?
We plan, over time, to add rank 6 ground vehicles for all nations, sometimes these will be new vehicles, sometimes they will be vehicles moved from rank 5