Answers from the developers
We have another round of questions and answers for you, with War Thunder producer Vyacheslav Bulannikov!
Q. When the “Starfighters” update was released, the Mach 2 F-104A/C models regularly faced non-supersonic aircraft as they were BR 9.7. In the most recent BR update, you fixed this by moving them to 10.0, but at the same time lowered the equally powerful Lightning F.6 down to 9.7 so it now is able to face exclusively 8.7-9.7 aircraft and outclass them with ease. What was the reason for this change? Could you please reconsider this and move it back to 10.0 so that all Mach 2 supersonics are above the 9.7 cutoff?
The reason is in both cases the same - the statistics and efficiency of the aircraft in game. In the case of F-104, it was over the maximum and in case of Lightning it was depressingly low. The ability to reach Mach 2 (which is usually at high altitudes and isn’t useful in the battles in War Thunder) will not guarantee a certain level of BR. It is just one of many characteristics of the aircraft.
Q. Ground Forces were recently extended to 10.7 BR, can you tell us when we can expect to see this for aircraft too? As it would help to spread out many of the jets with countermeasures from those that don't as well as early supersonics from later ones.
In short: when it becomes necessary and possible. More detailed: we have said many times that we are always very cautious about expanding the BR range and it will be made based on the statistics because in addition, an unobvious “benefit” in terms of balance there are many risks in the form of less interesting battles due to more homogeneous compositions and increased waiting times for obvious reasons.
Q. Air defense on airfields in the top ranks. It was a good suggestion to add 1-2 points with surface to air missiles. At the moment, a supersonic jet approaching at kph 800+, is able to vulture aircraft on the airfield and escape, taking minimal damage. It won’t be good to increase airfield AA’s damage and accuracy, so AA missiles look decisive, making enemy aircraft maneuver and dodge, thus granting some chance of survival for landed aircraft.
This is a difficult question. AI has a rather specific game task in the game: in the first place, not to shoot down (especially with a one-shot), but to warn about entering the restricted area. Only after an enemy aircraft stays in this area for some time, will the AA inflict critical damage and shoot them down as a result. In some aspects, missiles do have advantages over artillery in this task, but they also have disadvantages. However, I suppose that over time, the growth of the capabilities of jet aircraft in the game will force the introduction of missile weapons for the AI, so we will discuss this issue, but so far without terms and guarantees.
Q. Is the position of ammunition unlocks being reconsidered? Examples of unequal distribution would be the Leclerc and Type 90. These tanks have to unlock their more powerful APFSDS ammunition, which is placed in tier 4, using the recently adjusted DM12 shell. Comparable tanks unlock their APFSDS ammunition in lower tiers or are provided with APFSDS ammunition in stock configuration.
Yes, it is possible and planned for it to happen for vehicles of rank VI-VII which has the default HEAT shell.
Q. Are there any considerations underway for M833 ammo for the M1/IPM1 and L26 for Challenger 1 Mk 3 / L27 for Challenger 2 respectively?
We plan to add the M833 shell for IPM1. The British Challenger 1 Mk.3 and Challenger 2 don’t need a new shell yet as the statistics show.
Q. Can you tell us if you plan to improve the quality of composition of Ground Battle lineups in Simulator to remove the issue of the same vehicles facing each other?
Technically it is impossible to make the ground vehicles of one nation fighting on two teams at once. Currently there is a mechanic that allows you to query the location of an ally and so allows you to determine if you have an ally or enemy in front of you. In addition the vehicles of different nations have different camouflages and in the case of Italian tanks also additional identification marks which also helps to determine the ownership of the vehicle. We don’t plan to remove similar vehicles from the setups because players who are researching specific game nation trees will simply lose the opportunity to play in SB mode.
Q. When will old SB mode be back and when will the RP test be over?
New RP system works fine. This mode has become more popular, and we’ll keep it. The test is over indeed, but we are still working on the win rate adjustments for every vehicle setup.
Q. Why was the RP mode implemented for SB mixed battles? - having vehicle setups obviously unbalanced
The balance of setups is constantly a work in progress and can only be completed if the addition of new vehicles and new weapons for old vehicles stops. Each major update introduces new tanks and aircraft that have an impact on the win rate. The system of RP respawns is aimed at improving the "balance" not only from the statistical point of view, but also for gameplay, because after the loss of a certain type of vehicle, it allows you to take another, more suitable for the situation. At the same time, by changing the cost of the respawn, you can reduce the influence on the victory rate of some vehicles.
Q. Why is the test going on for all SB setups?
The RP system has been implemented for all setups in order to receive win rate change data as soon as possible, and allowing us to react on these changes quickly. Besides, by simultaneously enabling the RP system for all setups we have an opportunity to get precise data for analysis of changes between old and new SB modes.
Q. Why did you implement the new system without any changes from the last testing session, and without taking into consideration previous feedback?
When developing the current system, not only the feedback from the previous player testing was used, but also the statistics and online data, which showed the audience's interest in this format. The number of battles are now slightly higher than under the old respawn system.
In previous tests, the mode was based not only on the respawns for the RP, but also on the allied markers on the minimap. This innovation drew the most criticism from the players, who perceived it as a way to deal with team killers, and not as a team interaction. At the same time, we believe that this is one of the weak points of the mode, because when re-spawning, the player can no longer understand where the battle is taking place, what tactics need to be applied and in what areas he will be more useful. Adding markers to the minimap does not make it easier and faster to identify enemy vehicles, but it allows you to be more useful for your team.
Q. Why in some top-tier setups, the heavy tank costs are designated medium, and some SPGs (like Ferdinand) as heavies?
In top setups, the cost of heavy tanks respawns was equated to medium tanks and MBT, because they no longer provide the same protection against any type of shell as at medium tiers. This is true for 8_2_2 and 9_2 setups. For the 8_2 setup, we returned the respawn cost to 450 HP to improve the winrate.
At the same time, some vehicles might have an increased cost of respawn, for example, Ferdinand is equated to heavy tanks, because despite the lack of a turret, it has good armor and is protected from most tanks at its rank, as well as Jumbo, which had the highest efficiency in his setup and brought an imbalance in battles.
Q. Why can’t you change mounted weapons on an aircraft or helicopter on an airfield without losing the RP?
Changing the type of mounted weapon without losing RP would allow a player to respawn infinitely, ruining gameplay for others. Leaving the vehicle is now equal to losing it. Now every player has an equal amount of RP before the battle starts, allowing players to estimate and plan how many times they will be able to face the enemy.
Q. Can you tell us the status of the Longbow Hellfires on the Apache aircraft? These would appear to be a good counter to other more advanced helicopter weaponry already in game such as PARS 3 which already features "fire and forget", so such a system is not impossible to replicate.
At the moment we are not working on Longbow Hellfire missiles for the AH-64D. In comparison to the statistical inequality of the Tiger UHT, which required reworking of the PARS3, existing statistics of the AH-64D looks fine. Also, we’re always cautious to add ‘fire-and-forget’ equipment designed to destroy ground units. It has to be considered, that unlike PARS3, which use a thermal seeker from which you can hide the tank with special multispectral smoke, the AGM114L will be able to see the target through such smoke, plus it has a slightly longer launch range, and the helicopter itself can carry up to 16 ATGMs, unlike the Tiger UHT. All this seems to us to make such missiles too unbalanced to add at this stage.
Q. Can you share your thoughts on the proposed Swedish Helicopter tree from the community? Do you think it's viable to create a whole tree based on these examples of armed helicopters and it's something you would consider?
The author of the topic has done a good job but so far we can not comment on the implementation and even more about the timing of the Swedish helicopter tree. However as we have repeatedly said in terms of content we strive to give all game nations complete vehicle setups.
Q. In simulator ground battles, you can spawn into a helicopter twice with ATGMs right from the start of the battle. Could you please review this and change the system to something more appropriate like what was done with RB Ground Forces limiting Helicopters from overpowering ground battles with ATGMs at the start?
At the moment the statistics of the efficiency of the helicopters in SB is at an acceptable level, so we don’t plan to limit the respawns yet. It should be remembered that conditions in SB are different from those in RB: control type which will be used where the aircraft can respawn directly in the air.
Q. With the arrival of the Italian Fleet, we saw the first guided missile boat in the form of the Saetta P-494. Can we expect to see comparable ships for other nations soon?
At the moment we are investigating this issue. This type of the anti-ship missile with relatively short range and beam guide is quite rare and hasn’t been widely used, so there may be problems with adding it for all nations.
Q. Lots of maps with smaller ships seem to have very shallow areas around the spawns that hydrofoil ships such as PG.02, PGH-2 and now the Sparviero can get stuck on or beach themselves. Do you plan to add their historical functionality to allow them to fold up the hydrofoils for shallow waters? Or perhaps adjust the maps?
Yes, we have some plans for this issue. As they will be in a high degree of readiness, we will talk about them in more detail.
Q. Update “Regia Marina” included a lot of bug fixes and improvements with a smaller focus on content. It was great to see lots of attention being given solely to improvements and fixes! Can we expect to see more of such updates in between the larger content focused major updates?
Yes. In general it is our standard to release “minor” updates (when the third digit inside the version is changed) with a significant number of bug fixes between big content patches.
Q. The “Quarantine Maneuvers” event was very popular as it allowed people to try out vehicles in battles they wouldn't normally have and enjoy new gameplay experiences. Have you considered such an option perhaps to promote Helicopters EC and Naval Forces EC? For example perhaps a test event where anyone with Rank V unlocked can join special battles with Helicopter Lineups or Larger capital ship Lineups?
Yes, we are not excluding it.
The War Thunder Team