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Economy Revision - Our Plan in Detail

Dear players,

First and foremost, we would like to express our gratitude for your patience during the past few weeks as we diligently worked on outlining the roadmap for the highly anticipated revision of the War Thunder economy.

We understand that many of you were eager to receive concrete information regarding our plans and actions to address your concerns in a timely manner. Please be assured that during this time, we have been fully committed to meticulously analysing your feedback and our own data to devise a plan of action to improve the current state of the War Thunder economy.

These proposed changes are not arbitrary. Over the past several years, we have been working behind the scenes to improve the economic models for our game. To that end, we've been experimenting with various new economy models internally to strike the right balance between maintaining an engaging gameplay experience and ensuring the long-term viability of the game. These models have been crafted to suit a range of gaming preferences, while also considering the need for a fair monetization system that would allow us to continue improving and expanding War Thunder. We have conducted long-time tests on thousands of random players, by increasing their progression speeds with different ratios and analysing their long term engagement compared to baseline.

The changes we're now planning to introduce are a direct result of these tests, trials and the analysis of our statistics data. You will undoubtedly observe that some of the proposed changes are quite significant, and we believe they have good chances to improve the experience for both free and premium players, while ensuring the economic viability of the game.

Please note, however, that we're in a stage of accelerated implementation: we had planned to introduce these changes gradually, but now, we've decided to radically expedite the process. This may lead to having to modify or revert some or all of those changes, if we realise that they are just not working in the live game.

To provide clarity, we have categorised our planned changes into two primary areas: the balancing of Silver Lions earnings and expenditures, and the Research Points based progression system. All changes are scheduled to be implemented gradually throughout 2023, and each section will include the targeted implementation dates as currently planned. We will provide comprehensive information through dev blogs and articles to further explain the changes as they are being rolled out and ensure clarity where needed.

We sincerely hope that you find these changes enjoyable and beneficial to your War Thunder experience. We highly value your feedback and eagerly anticipate hearing your thoughts and insights in the comments of this post, on social media platforms, on the official forum and on other discussion areas that we read.

Full roadmap of planned changes

A significant portion of the feedback we received was focused on the current balance of Silver Lions. Indeed, the general rules for balancing SL earnings have not undergone significant alterations in recent years. Meanwhile, the number, variety, and ranks of vehicles have steadily increased, and numerous additional opportunities to spend SL have emerged. Consequently, the capabilities of players to earn SL can no longer reliably meet their demands, which unfortunately we did not address promptly enough.

Therefore, we aim to implement a comprehensive revision of the SL economy into the game. Our goal is to increase the amount of SL earned per battle and reduce the SL cost required to repair destroyed vehicles.

This revision will lead to increased SL earnings across the board, with a particular focus on medium to high rank vehicles. Our goal is to ensure that the average player at all ranks can maintain a positive or at least neutral SL balance, even without an active Premium account.

In the past, repair costs were primarily based on a vehicle's effective performance in battle. This meant that the best-performing vehicles would have the highest repair costs, requiring players to excel in battle to maintain a positive balance. This therefore made it difficult to constantly play a vehicle with a high repair cost, with many players having to periodically earn SL by playing vehicles that had lower repair costs. Our primary intention at that time was to prevent the emergence of vehicles that had clear advantages in earnings compared to their counterparts. By equalising the effective earnings through high repair costs for the best vehicles and low repair costs for the underperforming ones, we sought to enhance the variety of vehicles encountered in the game.

Since our transition to a rank-based vehicle economy starting February 2022, the repair costs of individual vehicles were balanced less on their effective performance in battle and more dependent on the rank of the vehicle. This has resulted in a 1.5 to 2-fold reduction in maximum repair costs, depending on the vehicle and game mode. For example, in Air RB, the B-29, which was the most expensive vehicle to repair, saw its cost decrease from 48,000 SL to around 16,000 SL, and currently, the most expensive vehicle to repair in Air RB sits at around 22,000 SL.

Our planned revision will mean further substantial changes to vehicle repair costs. We will not only reduce them across the board, but also modify the way they are calculated moving forward. While we still consider repair costs as an important factor in incentivizing players to assess risks appropriately and avoid "wasting" their vehicles, we believe a more streamlined approach to calculating repair costs is more suitable.

Following the next economy update, repair costs will no longer be balanced individually for each vehicle based on its performance or rank. Instead, economic parameters will now be calculated using the data of all vehicles of the same vehicle class and Battle Rating, after which they will be used to calculate reward multipliers and repair costs for each vehicle in accordance with its economic rank, which is determined by the vehicle's rank and position within that rank. In effect, this means that all vehicles of the same class, Battle Rating and economic rank will share the same reward multiplier and repair cost going forward.

This change will make repair costs more consistent among similar vehicle types and reduce the need for frequent follow-up economy adjustments. It will also decrease the magnitude of those remaining adjustments since the overall performance of an entire class of vehicles is unlikely to change drastically.

However, this new approach may lead to situations where certain individual vehicles are more effective at earning SL at a given Battle Rating than others. In such cases, we may use other methods, such as adjusting the vehicle's Battle Rating, modifying its technical and combat characteristics where possible, i.e. altering access to certain shell types or adjusting reload speeds, or applying general balancing factors to all vehicles in that class. To clarify, we will only be changing soft factors such as these, and won’t artificially alter any elements such as armour thickness or top speed etc to change a vehicle’s performance.

It is important to mention that while these upcoming changes are quite radical overall, not all vehicles will experience significant alterations. For instance, the impact on helicopters in Arcade Battles will be limited, since these vehicles already have low repair costs and high earnings, and thus generally maintain a positive SL balance on average.

However, there will be noticeable changes for higher-ranked vehicles in general, particularly for less commonly played nations. Take the French MARS 15 in Realistic Battles, for example. Its repair cost will be nearly halved, reducing from 11,200 SL to 5,900 SL, while its reward multiplier will increase from 1.6 to 1.8. Similarly, ground vehicles of ranks V to VII across all modes will see a reduction in repair costs ranging from 15% to 40%, accompanied by reward multiplier increases between 20% and 50%. In Arcade Battles, the repair costs for SPAAGs will drop significantly, such as the WZ305, which will decrease from 16,700 SL to 6,500 SL. Likewise, light tanks in Simulator Battles, like the Strf 9040B, will undergo similar changes, with repair costs in this particular case decreasing from 14,800 SL to 6,800 SL.

Similar drastic adjustments will also be evident for aircraft. In Realistic Battles, many aircraft of ranks VI to VIII will experience a 20% to 40% reduction in repair costs and a corresponding increase in reward multipliers by 30% to 50%. For instance, the Swedish J29F will have its Air RB repair cost reduced from 20,000 SL to 12,700 SL, while its reward multiplier will climb from 2.8 to 3.8. These changes will be similarly pronounced in Arcade and Simulator Battles, and in some cases even more significant, with certain vehicles having their repair costs reduced by three to four times. For instance, the F-104S.ASA in Arcade Battles will see its repair cost change from 13,400 SL to 4,000 SL, while the Mirage F1C in Simulator Battles will have its repair cost reduced from 38,600 SL to 12,200 SL.

As we prepare for the upcoming economy update, we have compiled several tables outlining the planned changes. We eagerly await your feedback on these proposed adjustments:

If the community votes in favour of these changes, this economy update will be released a few weeks after the “La Royale” Update

Vote

While we aim to ensure that vehicles break even for the average player across all ranks regardless of having a Premium account, it is important to consider scenarios where multiple vehicles are lost in a single battle without achieving any kills, or any other contribution to the team’s success.

In such cases, it is highly probable that the expenses for repairs will outweigh the earnings, even with a Premium account. Consequently, we have made the decision to enhance the Premium account feature in order to prevent players from accumulating a negative balance, even after an exceptionally unsuccessful battle. If your total repair cost exceeds your income, you will be compensated after the battle, ensuring that your SL tally for the match remains at zero, unless you have teamkilled.

This additional feature will be automatically included with every Premium account and will not require a separate purchase. It will also apply to all currently active Premium accounts without any additional action required.

We plan to add this mechanic in one of the updates during the summer of 2023.

In addition to a significant reduction in vehicle repair costs, we have an important and intriguing change planned regarding how these costs are calculated. Currently, repair costs are determined based on the average lifespan of a vehicle. However, it is evident that the actual lifespan of a vehicle can vary greatly in different scenarios.

Consider this: a player surviving for 10 minutes, eliminating 5 or 6 enemies, capturing a point, landing numerous hits, and providing several assists would render a repair cost of 6,000 to 7,000 SL quite insignificant. On the other hand, being taken out in the initial minutes of a battle without having taken a shot or captured a point would make that same repair cost appear significantly higher. The price is the same, but the consequences are a lot more negative.

Given this disparity, we have made the decision to refine the system and directly correlate repair costs to the actual lifespan of vehicles. In other words, the shorter time your vehicle remains operational in battle, the lower its repair cost will be (but in any case not higher than a certain limit). This information will be displayed on the stat card of each vehicle, indicating the repair cost per minute alongside the maximum possible repair cost. Furthermore, when voluntarily leaving a vehicle, the maximum repair cost will be applied as a default.

We hope this mechanic will make repairs more forgiving in the event of an unsuccessful battle.

We plan on adding this mechanic in one of the updates during the summer of 2023.

Across the board, Premium vehicles have always had an increased reward multiplier and a reduced repair cost compared to regular vehicles. On average, Premiums will almost always break even, but on top of this, the overall increase in reward multipliers and the reduction of repair cost will apply to them too, hence Premium vehicles will earn even more.

Furthermore, we plan to provide a set of Backups with each newly acquired Premium vehicle. This means that while players are familiarising themselves with their new vehicle, they will have the ability to respawn if the battle does not quite go to plan.

We plan to add this feature in one of the updates during the summer of 2023.

Teamkilling has always been a continuous talking point in War Thunder, and we understand the frustration that comes with being intentionally damaged or destroyed by malicious teammates. Based on the feedback you've provided, we will implement several changes to address your concerns. That being said, we do believe that the concept of "friendly fire", as in the accidental or irresponsible harm to allied players, has its place in the more realistic game modes of War Thunder, so our priorities are focused on minimising the damage and frustration teamkills cause.

Firstly, we will completely remove having to pay for repairs if your vehicle is destroyed by an ally - regardless of the reason that leads to your destruction by a teammate.

Additionally, we'll add an apology mechanic - if you’re teamkilled, you’ll be able to accept an apology from the player that destroyed you. This allows you to judge on a case-by-case basis whether you deem the destruction by a teammate an unfortunate, but forgivable, situation of "friendly fire" that requires no further action against the offender.

In this case, all players in the match will be informed of this via the battle chat and the killer will not be kicked out of the session for this teamkill.

We plan on adding this mechanic in the next major update in September 2023.

Currently, the reward for capturing a point is given to each player on the point at the moment of capture. A fault of this approach however is that players who assisted, but were destroyed before the point could be completely captured, are not rewarded for their effort. A number of players drew attention to this issue, and so we have decided that all players who helped capture the point should be rewarded, not just those who survived until the end.

Capturing points can at times be fairly risky, so we hope this change will help to incentivise players to capture points more often.

We plan to add this mechanic in one of the updates during the summer of 2023.

After a battle, sometimes it can be difficult to work out exactly how your final SL and RP reward has been calculated. The total is of course dependent on your actions in battle, so for transparency and clarity we have decided to make the post-battle results screen more detailed.

Now, the battle log will show exactly which actions each part of your total SL and RP reward came from, and this information will also be available in the Battle Results tab in your Messages.

We plan on adding this feature in the major update planned for September 2023, and will continue to improve and expand on it in the future as well.

Players naturally appreciate foldered vehicles as they eliminate the need to research them in order to progress higher up the ranks in a specific research tree. From a slightly different perspective, fewer players tend to utilise these foldered vehicles, which has a detrimental effect on the variety of vehicles in battles and leaves many interesting machines underappreciated. Consequently, this situation gives rise to additional challenges, such as distorted data on their effectiveness, making it more difficult to balance them properly. Considering the ongoing expansion of vehicles in War Thunder, some compromise is required. Fortunately, we believe we have found a solution.

First and foremost, instead of reducing the number of foldered vehicles, our new plan is to include more vehicles within folders. This approach allows you to bypass researching a significant number of similar vehicles in each research line. Additionally, visually condensing the research tree will make it appear less intimidating right from the start.

As mentioned earlier, implementing this change alone could potentially result in even more vehicles being underutilised, which we aim to avoid. To address this, we will make the research requirement for these vehicles much more accessible. All vehicles within a folder, except for the initial vehicle, will have a 50% reduction in research cost. Our intention is to encourage regular gameplay with foldered vehicles while simultaneously enabling players to skip vehicles that don't pique their interest.

We plan to rework most ground and air research trees in the economy update by September 2023.

While our goal is to compact research trees, the issue of high research costs for aircraft in ranks VI and VII is a topic that is frequently discussed and has been closely monitored by our team for some time. Initially, we intended to address the progression of ranks VI-VII for both aircraft and ground vehicles simultaneously, once rank VIII ground vehicles were introduced. However, we have decided to separate these events and prioritise reducing the research cost of these aircraft sooner.

We plan to reduce the research and purchase cost of aircraft in ranks VI-VII in the economy update by September 2023, and will share more details on the exact changes in a future dev blog.

A topic we have talked about a lot within our team and recently in our Q&A as well, is finding a way to sufficiently reward players for outstanding performance in battles.

The first initial problem is working out what constitutes an ‘outstanding performance’, as this kind of metric is often relative to each individual player. Secondly, it is not always the case that a high position on the scoreboard reflects clear superiority over the enemy team. Like us, most players like the PvP nature of War Thunder, so we have decided to create some additional RP bonuses based on how many enemy vehicles a player destroys. The size of the bonus and the number of kills required to earn it will depend on the game mode and the rank of the vehicles used - we’ll tell you all about the specifics once the mechanic is introduced into the game.

But as a preliminary example, where these numbers are approximate and are subject to change, we’ll structure the bonus like this - In Tank Arcade Battles while using rank III vehicles:

- Level I : For destroying 3 enemies you’ll receive a 15% RP bonus

- Level II: For destroying 6 enemies you’ll receive a 30% RP bonus

- Level III: For destroying 9 enemies you’ll receive a 50% RP bonus

So, if you destroy 3-5 enemies, you’ve not let your team down and will receive a Level I Skill bonus. If you destroy 6-8 enemies, you’ve effectively left two players on the enemy team without respawns, for that you’ll earn a Level II bonus. If you destroy over 9, you’ve really gone above and beyond and shown complete superiority over the enemy, earning a Level III Skill bonus, awarding you with a large, well deserved RP boost.

We plan on implementing this mechanic along with the next major update in September, 2023.

Currently, War Thunder features 10 playable nations, and we have no intentions of stopping there! However, as we introduce new nations, it becomes increasingly challenging to capture the attention of veteran players. They have already traversed the ranks multiple times, and therefore, each new journey through a different tree becomes less captivating.

To address this, we plan on implementing a system to alleviate the situation. If a player has a top vehicle in a vehicle branch within one nation, they will receive a RP bonus when researching the equivalent branch of other nations.

In the research tree, certain vehicles will be marked as "top" vehicles for each nation at any given time. Once a player gets one of these vehicles, they will receive an RP bonus when researching other nations where they haven't yet obtained the top vehicles. The size of the bonus will depend on the rank being researched and will be applicable for the first three battles played each day.

The preliminary bonus for each rank will be:

  • For rank IV +15%
  • For rank V + 25%
  • For rank VI + 35%
  • For ranks VII and VIII + 50%

These are our initial plans, but we may adjust them by the time the new mechanics have been introduced.

We plan to add these bonuses in a future major update, planned for October-November 2023.

As previously mentioned in the "Changes to the Silver Lion Economy" section of this plan, our objective is to incorporate additional information into the Battle Log, providing more comprehensive details about your earnings in battles. These changes will also cover the Research Points you have earned.

We plan on adding this feature in the major update planned for September 2023, and will continue to improve and expand on it in the future as well.

Please leave your comment in feedback thread here!

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