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Supertest: BZ-176 and new Chinese rocket booster derp heavy tank line - the Chinese Super Caliban

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There was a no topic for these, so I figured I'd create one just because how fucking utterly ridiculous this entire tech tree/premium is.

2 weeks ago, WG announced that the next tech tree is going to be 2nd Chinese heavy tank line, consisting of total bullshit, completely fictional designs that make no sense (surprise surprise). The line will start from the Type 58, with 4 tanks at tier 7-10. Obviously, there's going a tier 8 premium for the tech tree, of which the stats were already announced:

unknown.png

That's right, fucking 1100/800 alpha at tier 8. This abomination has a 160 mm derp gun. It'll oneshot Skorpions, SU-130s and even Bourrasques with a highroll.

The tech tree has two very notable key features - a choice of two large caliber guns (supposedly more conventional 122-152 mm guns, and 160-180 mm derp guns), and a mandatory new gimmick attached to them - rocket boosters. In short, these tanks get limited charges of rocket boosters that will temporarily greatly increase their engine power and top speed, allowing for these otherwise slow and fat tanks get into places much faster and open up possibilities for some silly ramming shenanigans. 

Mechanic in action:

However, WG already greatly buffed the rocket booster mechanic, as per this link: https://vk.com/wotclue

- top speed from 39 to 52,5 km/h

- engine power from 1200 to 1500

So with rocket boosters, its a fairly fat heavy tank that can temporarily go as fast as many mediums with better specific power than some LIGHTS. That seems...fine to me.

The statistics of the tier 8 premium, BZ-176, are already on tanks.gg (just remember that it still has the old numbers for the rocket boosters):

https://tanks.gg/v11810ct/tank/bz-176

This reveals that the armor layout isn't quite as crazy as the paper stats suggests. The side armor isn't entirely 152 mm (which would be fucking insane), and the turret has weakspots, surprisingly - two cupolas, roof overmatchable by very large caliber guns (seems like WG specifically made it immune to 122 mm guns, but anything bigger will overmatch it), and an interesting weakspot around the gun breech. The gun breech sticks out of the turret roof when the BZ-176 depresses its gun - this gun breech is only 29 mm thick, meaning that the BZ-176 has a weakspot, even when hulldown, that is overmatchable even by 90 mm guns (though Centurions with 20 pdr guns get utterly fucked). This weakspot can be hidden if the BZ just points it gun up, which then makes it about as resilient as the Italian TDs...but hey, at least it has SOME hulldown weakness. The armor is still great, just not as absurd as the displayed stats would suggest.

On the other hand, this gun...

The alpha is absurd, but what really makes the gun dumb as fuck is the fact it has...such a great gun handling for that alpha. The dispersion values are 50% better than the Caliban, it aims like 1.2 seconds faster and has almost 50% better base dispersion, too. And while the reload is slow, it can mount a gun rammer and it isn't restricted with absurdly long reloads due to the autoreloader. This thing basically has the same gun handling as the Skoda T56 (which by itself has too good gun handling), while having almost double the alpha. 

And the best part? It's like 99% certainly on the Christmas boxes this year. I'd be fucking shocked if it wasn't.

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WG has yet to announce the details of tech tree itself, but we know a few things about the tier 10. Firstly, leaked from 1.18.1 CT with rocket booster tips or something, this tank is presumably the tier 10:

unknown.png

Looks really pretty, at least.

The second thing we know is that the tier 10 supposedly has 152 mm and 180 mm guns. The 152 mm gun is probably some 650-750 alpha 60TP-esque gun, whereas the 180 mm probably is very much like the derp gun on the tier 8 premium, with mega alpha HE as standard, and HESH with much higher pen but worse alpha as premium. Given the tier 8 prem gets 1100/800 alpha, and its a fucking 180 mm gun... I wouldn't be surprised if the tier 10 had fucking 1600/1200 alpha. Reincarnation of the pre-nerf Type 5 Heavy? :minidoge:

These are classified as Breakthrough heavies, so the tier 9-10 get +4 km/h field mod. Assuming the tier 10 is faster than the tier 8 prem, it probably has 55-60 km/h base top speed with rocket boosters, so as much as +70 km/h with turbo + field mods...

So what we possibly have at tier 10 is a tank that likely weights around 60-70 tons, could potentially go +70 km/h with rocket boosters, possibly has 300 mm armor panel on the front (if its again like the tier 8 prem), and potentially has near FV 183 alpha with HE, and likely still more alpha than JP E100's AP with HESH. Imagine this abomination ramming a MT for 800-1000 damage, and then finishing it off with its 1100-1200 alpha HESH shells, completely deleting it from existence in less than a second. I don't know man, but I feel like a tank like that might cause "slight" balance problems. Just slight. The tier 8 premium is already really, really fucking ridiculous.

I'm not gonna lie, the French super-heavies would've genuinely been less ridiculous than these...

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the good part is though: when you turn the rocket booster on, you cant turn if off AND you have like no reverse speed.

So idiots using it at the wrong momebt get themself killed rly easy (or they push teammates out of cover with their turborcharged heavy tank...)

Also you only have 4 charges, if u use them early game, u get shafted in the end (because without rocket, they seem slow) yet ``keeping the rocket for late game`` is also stupid, if your a baddie who never lives till the end anyway...

The main problem with these is the idiotic alpha dmg, the rest can be balanced i guess...

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To be honest, it seems less imbalanced than the Italian TDs which the tier 8 premium and the tier 10 are pretty ridiculous, because their gimmick here is really quite gimmicky, meaning there are situations where it will be crazy strong, and situations where it could get you killed, so a lot will come down to players being able to select the right moments to use it, which as we all know, for the majority of the player base, is probably not very often.

But it is the continuation of WG wanting to put more extreme random crap into the game. It's ironic that after they nerfed HE significantly by making it all or nothing that they have then put in a substantial amount of tanks into the game that are entirely based on that all or nothing manta. Either the HE will pen and it will do ridiculous amounts of damage (as noted with the tier 8 premium, one-shotting paper TDs and some medium tanks of the same or lower tier), or it will not pen and do next to nothing.

They do look pretty sexy though.

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8 hours ago, GehakteMolen said:

So idiots using it at the wrong momebt get themself killed rly easy (or they push teammates out of cover with their turborcharged heavy tank...)

Can't wait to be that team mate!:triggered:

The rocket gimmick looks cool, and could potentially be a lot of fun. It's the HE/HESH derps I'm less enthusiastic about.

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The gimmick by itself looks fine, and the concept in general is pretty reasonable and not as ridiculous as you'd first expect (these were a thing IRL, just on Soviet MTs and not on ridiculous fake Chinese MBTs made into pseudo-superheavies). Rocket boosters DO have a downside of having no reverse speed and limited uses, that is correct.

The problem is that the said gimmick are on fat heavies with ridiculous gun depression and very respectable armor, and it gets even way beyond worse when the said tanks also have oneshot HE/HESH derp guns. Balancing all 3 things together seems impossible. Doesn't help that the BZ-176 honestly seems like a pretty strong and certainly very problematic vehicle even without the gimmick. So instead of being balanced around it, they simply slapped the gimmick on it. For example, the CS-63 is clearly balanced around its gimmick (without the turbo mechanism, the CS-63 is very unremarkable and like a tier 9.5), bu this thing isn't. The derp gun is so ridiculous that I kept forgetting that it even has the rocket boosters when I was looking at it on tanks.gg.

The gimmick and mega derp HESH gun likely will make it very fun to play, as I mentioned before. Something the Italian TDs fail - they're awful to play against and awful to play with. So I guess these Chinese heavies will be better in that regard. The combination of mega derps, armor + gun gun dep and a mobility gimmick just seems like an ultimate balancing problem. Given the premium will have a derp gun, not the conventional gun option, I hiiighly doubt WG will scrap the idea of mega alpha derps altogether.

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Glad I haven't played this game in two years. Sounds like a disaster with all the OP tanks.

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Oh yeah, the tier 10 stats were leaked recently:

bz75.thumb.png.5065b8954fad2626bbdd967e9b6e4a4b.png

I called the standard HE alpha - 1600. I'm not even surprised. However, with current HE mechanics, it won't do that much damage, though it'll still be able to pen your MT ass for 1600 and potentially oneshot if it maxrolls. The HESH is worse than I expected, honestly. 1050 alpha is still batshit insane, but its somehow lower than I expected, and the pen is the same as the tier 8. The 152 mm is interesting, basically a 705A gun but without completely disastrous accuracy. With it, the BZ-75 is basically a 60TP with 100 less alpha and 100 less HP, but a pretty strong gimmick and potentially better armor. It wouldn't even need the derp gun to be decently unique, but since the tank happens to have it, of cource pubbies will use it and yolo you, just to (possibly) pen you once and die.

 

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Got the BZ-176 in a lootbox. Current alpha is 600 for AP, 800 for HESH.
It's kinda broken and toxic, but unlike many other new premiums that are broken and toxic (like Vipera) this one doesn't suck to play. It's actually kind of fun.

I don't like that the AP has less pen than the HESH, it's really only usefull in rare instances for the overmatch mechanic, or when cleaning up arty late game and you don't want to spend big bucks on the HESH. Gun handles much better than I thought just looking at the numbers.

Rocket boost mechanic is nice, I like it.

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On 12/5/2022 at 5:29 PM, Panzergraf said:

Got the BZ-176 in a lootbox. Current alpha is 600 for AP, 800 for HESH.
It's kinda broken and toxic, but unlike many other new premiums that are broken and toxic (like Vipera) this one doesn't suck to play. It's actually kind of fun.

I don't like that the AP has less pen than the HESH, it's really only usefull in rare instances for the overmatch mechanic, or when cleaning up arty late game and you don't want to spend big bucks on the HESH. Gun handles much better than I thought just looking at the numbers.

Rocket boost mechanic is nice, I like it.

*650 alpha on the AP.

I also got one in a lootbox. Can concur that it is actually quite fun to play as it is quite a meme of a tank, but yes, it is absolutely broken and toxic for the game.

I actually quite like playing it with AP mostly, because the low penetration absolutely forces you to think very carefully about shots due to the low DPM, but at the same time, the large calibre of the gun means there are many overmatch opportunities if you know your tanks. 220ish pen HESH also feels super unreliable except against rears and absolute paper targets for me, especially against sides where tracks and other spaced armour can just gobble up your shot if RNG is against you. Obviously hugely benefits from the Intuition skill to be able to switch out from HESH to AP depending on the circumstances.

The gun handling is pretty bad in my experience, but I am kitted out fully to try and mitigate it (using Vents, Rammer and Aiming Device with the latter in the firepower slot) so it feels okay.

The rocket boost mechanic is actually done okay - it is only 10 seconds duration and only 4 charges so it's not like you can be constantly boosting around the map. You need to be in a straight line to get maximum benefit and you can't reverse with it active so it does punish poor usage as well, but good usage can absolutely get you to a key location just that bit quicker, or potentially get you out of trouble. Actually seems balanced, which is pretty amazing for a WG gimmick.

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I do think that post first positioning, the rocket boost mechanic is legitimately fairly balanced and requires some thought, but I also think that its ability to thoughtlessly get you into that first position before any other heavy could possibly be there is more powerful than most people anticipate. Whether that’s to take a traditionally medium location or simply set up a preaimed 800 alpha shot into the heavy line, theres a ton of value there that takes literally no effort to take advantage of. What you do with the rocket boosters after that is just icing on the cake.

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