Today we want to talk to you about upcoming changes to the German Ground Forces tree with update 1.91. We have previously mentioned our plans to hide vehicles that were never fully materialized in real life as a complete vehicle, prototype or test vehicle. 3 such vehicles are the Panther II, Flakpanzer 341 and Tiger II (10.5 cm Kw.K), all of which have historical elements, but were never fully built. The Maus heavy tank also causes serious issues due to the impossibility of balancing it properly in the current gameplay situation. Since they were first introduced during the early years of War Thunder, the German tree has evolved massively and in order to optimize research progress and improve the trees overall balance, we plan to hide these vehicles from standard research.
All these vehicles will stay on the main tree for all players that have purchased them already. You will also be able to complete research if you started the research before 1.91.
Planned changes in update 1.91
These vehicles will no longer be available for research after 1.91 and will become collectable machines to everyone that currently owns them. These tanks will not be hidden from anyone who already owns them.
The gap after Flakpanzer 341 Coelian’s hiding will be filled with the brand-new Ostwind II SPAAG.
The M48A2 G A2 will get the DM23 shell (same as the Leopard A1A1) and will move to Rank VI with a BR of 8.3.
The new M48A2 C tank with a 7.7 BR will be added to Rank V.
All these changes will take effect in update 1.91. You have more than two weeks to start researching any vehicle planned for hide from the Panzerwaffe lineup.
In game the Maus is really the natural equivalent of other rare vehicles like the IS-7 and E-100. Large numbers of these machines should never really be present and the role that they play is very limited. In the exact case of the Maus, its exceptionally strong armour can be a menace for lower rank ground vehicles, whilst higher rank machines with more powerful APDS, HEAT or even APFSDS have no trouble overriding the Maus’s one key advantage. The design of the tank sacrifices speed and maneuverability for this overwhelming armament and protection which outclasses almost all WW2 designs, yet becomes rather meaningless when compared to postwar designs. As such, with Update 1.91 the Maus will become a rare event collectable vehicle. Being hidden from standard research and will now only be obtainable in future events and other opportunities later in the future.
Tiger II (10.5 cm Kw.K)
Veterans of War Thunder Ground Forces will remember that the Tiger II (10.5 cm Kw.K) was the crown jewel of the German tree during the early stages of development. Added as a counterpart to the IS-4 at the time, this tank is based on a 1944 Krupp proposal to mount the 105mm KwK L/68 cannon on the existing Tiger II design that was rejected and never actually built. Ground forces and the German tree in particular has expanded exponentially since this tank was a necessary requirement for the German lineup and it no longer has a requirement to be within the main tree as a researchable vehicle.
Panther II in War Thunder draws upon many historical Panther projects and developments, such as the Panther II chassis that was built but is also armed the advanced Schmalturm turret design as well as incorporating plans to mount an 8.8cm on a Panther and several other proposals such as engine improvements and IR technology. All of which are historical proposals or actually built, but not on the real Panther II. The version we have in game is not the Panther II as it historically should be. As such, with the advent of the Leopard family as well as the incoming M48A2 C in 1.91, the Panther II will be retired to a collectable vehicle for all who owned it before the update.
Flakpanzer 341 "Coelian"
The Flakpanzer 341 or “Coelian” as it originally was is a German SPAAG design based on the Panther chassis. Previously it occupied the Rank V spot before switching places with the more advantageous and deadly Kugelblitz in game and has since been the Rank IV German SPAAG. Whilst the vehicle was fully designed and proposed, due to the wartime situation no full prototype or production model was ever created. Only a full scale wooden mockup of the weaponry and turret, mounted on a full metal Panther chassis was ever made of this machine. In 1.91, the Ostwind II will take its position in the research tree and the Flakpanzer 341 will become a collectable vehicle as it was never fully completed project and other late war SPAAGs already offered superior alternatives to this machine.
New vehicles and tree optimization
Besides the above mentioned addition of the Ostwind II to replace the Flakpanzer 341 Coelian, there will also be a few changes to the current vehicle layouts. The German M48A2 C will be placed at BR 7.7, similar to the US M48A1. M48A2 G A2 shifts from the Leopard branch to replace 10.5 cm Tiger II and its rank changes from V to VI by the addition of a more powerful DM23 shell (the same featured on the Leopard A1A1). Its BR changes to 8.3, and makes the later German Patton close to the French AMX-30B2: both lacking a stabilizer, but bringing a very serious shell to their battle rating.