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WG is going through with the Obj. 263 changes

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So it seems that WG has changed their mind again and decided to completely ignore player outrage on the changes to the 263 line. Their pathetic attempt at justifying the change is below:

Quote

"Hello everyone,

As we continue fine-tuning vehicle balance, we also want to improve how we communicate upcoming changes to you. The USSR Tank Destroyers have been through several Supertests lately, and we couldn’t but notice the heated discussion they caused. We’ve been paying close attention to your concerns, and feel that we owe you a detailed explanation on suggested changes and reasoning behind them.

Reasons

We approached the revision with two objectives in mind:

  1. Boosting gameplay variety with new rear-turret heavy tanks we’ve been working on on supertest server. They offer an interesting take on HT gameplay, which is not currently available through other top tier vehicles. Not to mention their design and the fact they’re all modelled off tanks that’ve seen their share of action.
  2. Fixing the lines of Soviet rear-turret/superstructure vehicles on both the medium tank and tank destroyer lines to deliver a more logical progression to top tiers. These vehicles were totally mixed up in between the tech tree lines: rear-turret/superstructure vehicles were mixed with other vehicles with a more conventional layout and vice versa. As a result, the gameplay was varying a lot from tier to tier, which caused a lot of frustration and seriously undermined the lines’ popularity. They played oddly, so it’s not surprising only few people wanted to research the line and/or play in them.

Concept

We slightly improved the characteristics of the USSR Tank Destroyer lines in previous updates, but it didn’t work. So we decided to revise the branch again. Simply improving combat parameters didn’t cut it and we went on to rework the line entirely. Here’s the concept we had in mind for the revised line:

  • High forward and (more importantly) backward mobility combined with medium maneuverability
  • Good frontal armor, but weak sides
  • Average damage per shot with a high reload time (to compensate for mobility and protection)
  • Accuracy and aiming time that would make them effective at short-to-medium range, but also reduced their effectiveness at long range
  • Poor elevation angles due to historical design

To sum up, these vehicles are meant to drive the breakthrough of the flanks. Outstanding mobility lets them quickly reach and occupy key positions and hold them until allies catch up. They specialize in middle- and close-range combat. They can pop out from the cover, deflect enemy shells, and send a few solid punches in return before quickly retreating back to safety.

First Iteration

The first iteration we offered you to supertest was built off this concept. In it, we:

  • Moved the Object 263 down a tier enabling it to make a sensible contribution with its damage per shot and armor. At the same time, this re-shuffle stopped us from increasing to make it fit for a Tier X.
  • Added a new Tier X TD: the Object 268 Variant 4. It inherits the speed, armor and good gun from its predecessors, but unlike them, it can mount a gun above 130mm and doesn’t suffer from an open hatch

 

With these changes, we felt we almost reached our goals, but were left with the SU-122-54 that just didn’t fit into the concept because of its traditional turret placement. It was clearly out of the line in terms of gameplay, but was valuable from a historical point of view. As an interim solution, we decided to test it as a Tier VIII to see if it can be viable there. Unfortunately, it was just as unimpressive at Tier VIII. It was no good at blocking damage even at tier VIII and still felt like a huge step away in terms of gameplay.

The Object 263 and Object 268 Variant 4 showed excellent results in the tests. The vehicles perfectly blocked the damage and performed as assault TDs–fast, armored with an average damage per shot and not very big DPM for TDs.

Second Iteration

You spoke out against moving the Object 263 to Tier IX, but the testing result told us the opposite. The Object 268 Variant 4 proved superior to Object 263 and therefore better suited for the role. So we took them both for another round of testing to verify the initial results.

For the 2nd test we:

  • Removed the SU-122-54 completely and made a line fully composed of rear-turret/superstructure vehicles
  • Returned the SU-100M1 and SU-101 to their places, improved their armor and gun parameters
  • Reduced the Object 268 Variant 4 alpha strike from 750 to 650 to maintain the uniformity of the gameplay in the line. There’s no abrupt change in alpha damage and reload time now, when you move up from Tier VIII to Tier X.

Here’s the final setup: SU-100M1 >>> SU-101 >>> Object 263 >>> Object 268 Variant 4

The 2nd test solidified our belief that these vehicles demonstrate a very interesting type of gameplay.

  • They’re fast, with 47+ km/h from Tier VII to tier VIII and 55 km/h at Tier X
  • They excel in blocking damage, although they have weak spots in their lower plates
  • They aren’t OP. Their average damage per shot is lower than that of classic TDs, but still higher than that of heavies or mediums, which prevents them from having a huge DPM. This was intended as we did not want to create fast, armored vehicles able to deal the same amount of damage as regular TDs.

Next Steps

We believe that the final setup will provide a fresh take on TD gameplay, and invite you to take the revised line for a stroll during the upcoming Common Test. Give them a shot, try to keep a somewhat open mind, and let us know what you think! We will monitor these and other revised Soviet tanks to see how the tuning adjustments are working out in real live server condition, and if further iteration might be needed.

Last but not least, we strongly recommend you to follow our official channels for communication on all re-balancing work being done in order to get the latest and most accurate information on changes to come. We will on our end double our efforts to keep you updated on the reasoning behind the changes we make to the tanks you play and love.”

It's a real shame that they're gutting one of the most unique Tier 10 TDs in the game, and in my opinion, one of the best aggressive tanks in the game in favour of statistics.

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Wow, 2 years after I stopped playing I just randomly clicked on a thread saying how WG still fucks the game up. I seriously wonder how this game is still alive with that management.

That TD line always sucked, with the only decent tank being the 263 (and the 122-54 as well to some extent), and they finally managed to change both that didn't need changes at all.

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