Home > Ftr news > OPINION: What Armored Warfare should be like

Hello everyone.

After a very long break, I return and I think I might be adding more stuff to For the Record than I used to. Why?

Because I feel like it and because, recently, I ran into a number of topics I’d like to discuss with you on a platform of my own,mostly not related with Armored Warfare. But, this article is.

Let’s start with this.

Recently, I got asked by several players what would be my idea of Armored Warfare. Well, this is it.

This is basically a redacted version of a summary that I made some time ago regarding how I would like Armored Warfare to be. They require some knowledge of the game because the report was meant for people familiar with the design.

I made it because I felt that some things have to change in order for Armored Warfare to succeed.

Just to be clear:

This is not a development plan, these are just my personal opinions only, nothing else. Just to be clear, I have zero influence on any development decisions.

Additionally, some parts had to be redacted because they contained internal information. Some of these ideas are not really fleshed out either and the drawings are also pretty crude.

Just… consider it a basic line of thought, nothing more.

Proposal 1: Mode Overhaul

Reasoning/background:

One of the biggest problems of Armored Warfare on EU/NA is the lack of players for PvP and Global Operations and the toxicity it generates, driving the sentiment that the “game is dead”. The 15v15 mode was never truly popular, it existed primarily because REDACTED, it is basically an atavism with standard PvP battles forming (estimate) less than 1 percent of AW battles overall. This is not a healthy or sustainable state.

Proposal:

In summary:

  • Standard PvP (including Skirmishes) as such should be removed or converted into a hardcore team based small scale (5v5-7v7) high-end mode
  • Global Operations should be converted for more engaging MOBA style gameplay
  • PvE should be converted into “standard” PvE with single difficulty and “hardcore” Special Operations
  • PvE and Global Operations should be consolidated into a single system to give a semblance of connected gameplay

PvP

The mode has proven itself to be unviable on the western servers. It is generally uninteresting, it resembles Global Operations (or vice versa). Due to pre-AI (the PvP bots) Type 69 sealclubbing, I would hazard a guess that it is also responsible for driving more than one player away while at the same time brings nothing to the table with newbies being driven off by long queues and WoT veterans by the fact it resembles WoT a lot.

REDACTED

I’d propose to convert it to basically a form of Tier 10 endgame PvP team mode with improved prizes with emphasis on team (5 man team gameplay). An organized team (5-7 man “platoon”) is a prerequisite, solo players cannot enter.

It could be advertised as a seasonal tournament mode, consisting of:

  • Qualifiers (basically team-based Ranked Battles with more advanced mechanics, similar to REDACTED )
  • Play-off (Top teams for each “Season” play in a tournament like fashion where only the winner advances to the next round until only one team remains)

The Play Off could feature very high prizes including unique skins/commanders/avatars/titles or a reward premium vehicle.

Global Operations

This should be the bread and butter of the game, a standard “progression” mode. However, in the current iteration, the mechanics are quite boring and predictable. Additionally, new players are overwhelmed by cluttered UI and tons of information.

I propose to convert it to a MOBA style mode where both sides consist of:

  • Limited number of player tanks with special abilities (for example, based on class – IFVs can summon infantry fortifications that shoot ATGMs, tank destroyers can summon fire support barrage for their advance etc.)
  • Ever respawning periodic waves of bots going through three main directions (this will allow players to easily recognize the flow of battle)

Bots drive forward through pre-defined paths until the encounter the enemy, in which case they start firing at them. Both sides have series of bases posted along the path of bot advance that only players can capture, like this:

Both sides have an equal number of bases on each lane. Each base needs to be captured once and then cannot be recaptured. In order to capture the final base, all the bases in at least one lane have to belong to your side.

This is an extreme case because Barren Divide is a very large map, this concept would actually work better on smaller maps where the number of AI opponents is manageable and players can “switch lanes” quick even in heavier classes. Existing smaller PvP maps could be converted for the purpose.

A note about base capturing:

  • only one player can be capturing it at one time (the first one to start the process). Vehicles can be configured to capture base faster (for example commander skills) but more than one vehicle within the capture circle does nothing
  • capturing should take sufficiently long time for players to be able to cross the map and attack, or for AI to make their way

The wildcard mechanism could be either re-used, or could be converted to “special abilities” on cooldown in order not to clutter the UI with additional objectives and to focus on core gameplay.

An important part of the mode would be the AI behavior:

  • Under standard circumstances, AI only attacks other AI
  • AI does not capture bases, but attempting to capture a base while enemy AI is present will immediately make every AI target you
  • AI also targets you if you start shooting at it, following WoW-style aggro build mechanics

AI should be sufficiently tough to make it impossible to ignore but destroyable in case no enemy players are present.

PvE Consolidation

Currently we have basically five PvE queues. This needs to be consolidated. I propose:

  • Merging all three standard PvE difficulties (Easy, medium and hard) into one (roughly equivalent to current PvE Hard), converting ALL standard maps to this new difficulty, available Tier 4-9
  • Special Operations are available only on Tier 10

Additionally, entering Special Operations in a 5 man platoon will automatically activate “hardcore” mode that is much more difficult and requires coordination (this is clearly communicated to the players). By “much”, think heroic/mythic WoW dungeons. Coordination is necessary, a pick-up 5 man group of randoms should not be able to finish this mode at all but the rewards are very big and visible to everyone – skins, even a whole premium tank for the few who complete the ultra achievements. Note: players should be forced to run the Spec Ops in intended order at least once before all are unlocked (see the Merc Company proposal for explanation).

Additionally, the following changes should be made to standard PvE missions:

  • They should be not only reviewed for difficulty, but their briefings and voiceovers should be sanitized to become generic (replacing specific groups with “enemy mercenaries”) – this will allow us to disregard them in the future when making story-driven spec ops, we’ll be sure they don’t contain any contradictory information to the lore
  • AI opponent types need to be overhauled to be realistic (currently, we have AI using vehicles that were one-off prototypes in real life), this completely breaks the immersion of the conflict. The bots should use location-appropriate vehicles (missions taking place in the USA – bots use US vehicles like Abrams and Bradley, missions taking place in Russia – bots use Russian tech etc.)
  • The bots should use standard mission appropriate camouflage (grey/white in winter, green in summer) instead of the vile looking garish colors they use now (that’s also a huge immersion breaker)

The goal is to make the players feel they are in a real operation. Wild camouflages and colors must be reserved to players only.

How would this all work together:

Players start on Tier 1 with the only access to GLOPS – which should by the way be renamed to something more generic, like “Conflict” or “Battle”, where they learn the basics of both PvP and PvE (aggro mechanics) at the same time. This has two advantages:

  • It’s important to keep the queue unified at low tiers.
  • It allows us to say that we are “removing GLOPS” which are unpopular anyway

We’d need a new tutorial for that of course. We should also make new players spend more time on these low Tiers to REALLY learn the basics.

It should be very clear that this is the main mode of the game.

Stage 1

Upon unlocking Tier 4, players are given a big, flashing announcement – something like:

“WE CAN ENTRUST YOU WITH SPECIAL MISSIONS, COMMANDER!”

This marks the unlock of PvE. PvE should at first time feel more difficult than the “Conflict” (ex GLOPS) mode so that it feels like an “upgrade” – added difficulty. We can add some more prerequisites like “complete X battles in Light Tanks” to make sure players aren’t joining PvE in classes they do not understand.

Stage 2

Upon unlocking Tier 10, players are given another big flashy announcement, something like:

“NOW THAT YOU’RE ELITE, YOU WILL BE ENTRUSTED WITH THE MOST DIFFICULT MISSIONS”

Which unlocks:

  • PvP (the abovementioned “team mode”)
  • Special Operations

Additionally, we need to introduce more randomness and replayability to the battles, including:

  • More random spawn points in PvE missions (except for Special Operations which should be predictable, like a World of Warcraft dungeon)
  • Random loot drops (including very low chance items, skins, even premium tanks) so that the modes can be “grinded”

Proposal 2: Mechanics Overhaul

Reasoning/background:

Another massive problem of Armored Warfare is that players do not understand its mechanics and how they work despite numerous guides and articles on our media. This is because AW mechanics are extremely complicated and have a lot of caveats (and that’s not even speaking of bugs). In other words:

  • Players are finding it almost impossible to exactly predict the consequences of their actions, such as firing a shell
  • Players never know whether the behavior is a result of some twisted mechanic, or a bug

The chief culprit behind those is the armor and shell interaction. We have many types of armor, many types of shells. These mechanics are often very old and depend on legacy equations by Obsidian, which are full of bugs. The best solution, in my opinion, would therefore be a total overhaul and massive simplification (as far as players are concerned) of both armor and shell mechanics with the goal of making them predictable.

Proposal:

I discussed this matter with REDACTED rather thoroughly. There are basically three approaches how to do it:

  •  Volumetric armor
  •  Damage reduction (spoiler: I favor this one)
  • Cone of protection

Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

The current armor model basically works the way where the surface of the model is treated as a two dimensional plane. If you fire a shell at the tank, it’s a virtual point in space that, upon encountering the outer boundaries of the vehicle, runs a penetration check. If the check is passed, the shell penetrates and then deals damage.

TLDR: works basically the same way as in World of Tanks.

Volumetric Armormeans a system comparable to War Thunder – armor thickness is actually physically modeled. In other words, an armor plate is no longer a two dimensional square, but a three dimensional block.

Advantages:

  • It can look very cool in the game
  • It’s easier to imagine in your head how it works

Disadvantages:

  • Adding it would be massively costly
  • It can produce really weird results (strange penetrations, strange non penetrations – example)
  • It’s not realistic (modern armor does not work this way)

My opinion: It’s not worth it. Even though it looks cool, at massive resource cost, we are risking getting an unpredictable system that might end up being even worse than what we have.

Damage Reduction is a very radical idea. We’d cancel the entire concept of current armor and penetration checks – instead, every shell will deal damage, but the damage will be reduced by the amount of armor the vehicle has. It does not need to take armor angling into account (or it can), depending on the level of complexity, but it is a much simpler mechanism than the current one. Ricochets still apply. At the same time, the armor zones would be simplified to a maximum degree (homogenous frontal/side/rear protection) with the exception of special armor types and weakspots.

Advantages:

  • It’s very simple to understand
  • It’s easy to balance
  • It seems relatively simple to implement
  • It’s a really innovative idea that would set us apart from WT or WoT
  • Damaging something is a satisfactory feeling while getting a non-pen is inherently frustrating

Disadvantages:

  • It will piss off hardcore PvPers and WoT veterans who are used to the current mechanics
  • It’s very gamey and unrealistic (although the part where every shell penetrates basically does apply to the actual modern battlefield)

My opinion: This is what I would do if I was the developer. It’s simple and elegant.

Cone of Protection is another rather radical idea. Modern armor doesn’t work the way it did in WW2 due to extremely different (and completely unintuitive) ballistics that behave strangely to someone who does not understand. Basically, today’s protection is generally set in “cones” – for example: “This vehicle can resist 23mm shells in a 35 degree angle from the front” – which means you draw an axis from back to the front of the vehicle and within 35 degrees of this axis (frontally), the vehicle can resist certain shells.

In game terms, it’s a modification of the existing system, but:

REDACTED

My opinion: This was my original proposal until some points REDACTED. It would solve some issues (providing it’s implemented correctly) but it’s still very complicated and new players would likely not understand it because the whole principle is difficult to imagine.

Describing all the permutations of the system would be extremely long, so:

Here’s what I would do:

Basis – damage reduction system: each shell has a damage value only, armor thickness reduces shell damage:

  • APFSDS shells fly fast, do moderate damage
  • HEAT shells fly slower, do massive damage except for MBTs with composite armor (can be indicated – if hitting the front of a composite armor MBT, they do small damage, a small red exclamation mark pops up and the commander says or a tooltip shows “HEAT shells ineffective against composite armor”) (anti light vehicle shells)
  • HE shells fly super slow, do a lot of damage against everything except for MBTs (anti-TD shells)
  • HESH shells fly super slow, do a lot of damage against MBTs but little damage against everything else (MBT killers)
  • Ricochets happen at extreme angles but otherwise, angling moderately improved damage reduction (but not massively so, just enough for WoT veterans to feel it has any effect, newbies can do without it though)
  • ERA “eats” certain amount of HEAT shell damage (single use – once its spent, does not work), it can eat an entire shell
  • SLAT eats less HEAT damage but doesn’t get destroyed (if too complex, can work basically like ERA, just with lower damage eating)
  • Spaced armor acts just like normal armor, only with increased thickness (reduction) versus KINETIC rounds

This is just a really simple basis that needs to be developed further, but the damage reduction sounds like the easiest way to go. Internal modules mechanics seem satisfactory with the exception of their effect description.

Proposal 3: Mercenary Companies

 Reasoning/background:

The third big issue to be mentioned in this document is the player lack of identity. The game progression system and the entire basic Garage UI was – with some small changes – taken from World of Tanks. This system comes with one obvious flaw – the lack of player identity. Even though we claim in our communications that the players are the members of the commanders of a mercenary company, in reality, the players have no reason to really feel that way. We should implement measures to make players feel themselves into the role we imagine for them – the members or leaders of a mercenary company in order to strengthen their attachments.

At the same time,

REDACTED

This proposal attempts to solves both issues at the same time.

Proposal:

We should introduce a system where players get either to create their own mercenary company in the User Interface, or join an existing one.

Creating and maintaining a mercenary company should be a long-term grind goal, like assembling resources, that can (within reason) be accelerated by paid boosters. It should take even paying players at least half a year to reach a point where they unlock the full feature, which would be presented as one of the end game goals for solo players.

The basics are simple:

A player is presented as a single person, an operator who hires other commanders on the market to fight for him or with him or is hired to perform tasks and operations. The endgame solo goal is to create a mercenary company which would consist of:

  • Own name
  • Own banner
  • Own crest
  • Cosmetic Garage items

To get the player to the feeling, we should introduce a sidekick who will comment player choices – ideally a tough, hot chick that the players would be able to relate to (example: the reception to the Kathryn Grey My.com storyline was very positive).

Tier 1 to Tier 10 progress would then introduce players to the overall plot and storyline in Armored Warfare, via cutscenes (dont have to be cinematic, a dialogue with an avatar image on one side and the image of the sidekick on the other would be sufficient), that would drive the initial story and culminate in the introduction of Special Operations (that’s the “lore” branch of game progression).

Example of a dialogue box (obviously, ignore anime):

dialogue box.

 

Industry example: The Old Republic MMORPG where players progress by “normal” means but reaching a certain level unlocks another part of the lore.

In praxis, this would look as such:

  • Upon entering, a player is greeting by the sidekick, explaining what happened (for example, player was kicked from the military or corporations killed his kitten or whatever) and telling him to get a job in the local merc office, or that she heard entity X is recruiting for a job
  • Upon a certain threshold (level 3-4?) another cutscene appears, explaining another bit of the world (“now that we have some experience, we can start working for the ISD – oh you dont know what ISD is, well shit, let me explain”)
  • Another threshold is another part of the story, sidekick starts to reveal personal information about her so that the player forms an attachment
  • The story series culminates on Tier 10 and the unlocking of Global Operations (players should be forced to run the Spec Ops in intended order at least once before all are unlocked to make sure the lore is coherent)

Instead of to their tanks, players should form attachment to the sidekick. The feeling should be that it’s him and her against the world with tanks not being owned by him (he’s not a warlord), but rather being available to him (for example, via good relationship with their owners, explaining the whole “REPUTATION” thing, which we never really did).

Premium companies could also be sold as packages.

Players can store available companies and switch them at any time (with certain cooldown)

A premade military company would consist of:

  • Name
  • Tone
  • Lore
  • Vehicle fleet
  • Company Traits (bonuses, dependent on lore, not the fleet)
  • Commander
  • Modified Garage (graphics, background music)
  • Vehicle camouflage, decals

The goal is to convert existing premium skin vehicles (optional) or introduce new ones to this system while giving players the impression that we are off I will give you an example for the Shark Edition.

Name, Tone and Lore

This sets the tone of the entire company and should be visible in the Garage (apart from the garage design itself). Should include a motto or a battlecry. In our case, let’s say:

Name: Iron Sharks

Battlecry: “Surf’s up, boys!”

Tone: California, Tropical, colorful, wild

Lore: Formed in 2035 under the Bordeaux Treaty from several Californian National Guard units after the failed Californian secession attempt, the Iron Sharks have since become known for their brash and reckless actions all over the world, taking part in the Corporate Wars of the late 2030s in the Pacific. Their commander, Zack Stewart, is an experienced former U.S. Army officer and his aggressive tactics reflect the American gung-ho attitude of old.

The goal is to make the players feel they are a part of a certain type of outfit. The sidekick can actually comment on that (“Are we really gonna join these reckless maniacs? I worry about you!”)

Vehicle Fleet

Self-explanatory – it’s the set of premium vehicles the Shark use, based on a common denominator. In this case, it’s basically all aggressive, fast stuff (including the T-80 MBT, which is a brawler).

Introducing nonrelated edition vehicles can be explained by:

  • We offer the whole package, our unit can do anything
  • Introducing different subunits to each mercenary company (for example, BMD Wolf can be explained as a part of the Wolf company’s recon team)

Company Traits

This is where stuff gets interesting. Each pre-made company (we sell or give away) should come with a small, named bonus or trait that reflects their nature and is useful for its vehicles as well as any other vehicles the player has available.

For example, in the Iron Shark company, such a trait could be.

Name: “Aggressive”
Tooltip: “The Sharks don’t mess around – if you poke the fins, you get the fangs.”
Bonus: All brawler MBTs get +5 percent mobility

And

Name: “Acute Senses”
Tooltip: “The Sharks are known to sense the blood of their prey at long distances.”
Bonus: All AFVs get +5m spotting range

The bonuses should be big enough to be interesting to min maxing high end players but not big enough to be gamebreaking (unless we make them a part of core vehicle balance).

Commander

Also self explanatory. Each company should come with a special commander suitable for its style. In this case, “Zack Stewart” could be an aggressive brawler commander.

Modified Garage

To give each company a unique feel, a special adjustment to garages is needed. The minimalistic part is that for example the garage displays flags or banners of that company along with its name and motto on the bottom, but it would be MUCH cooler if the company garage had:

  • Different look (for example, a wooden tank shed on a Californian beach for the Iron Sharks, invoking the feeling of color, warmth, sun, paradise)
  • Different sound (rolling waves of sea in the background in this case, radio playing old )
  • Different music (marimba or Californian Beach Boys style tune)

The sidekick could comment on this as well (“I do love the beaches!”)

Vehicle Decals, Camouflage

Another self-explanatory thing. Apart from the premium vehicles in the company, the Shark PMC package should offer for example free decals, or even free camouflage for existing tanks (we could limit this to the tanks the company uses – like T-80, ERC 90 etc.)

Providing the Experience

The goal is not to just sell vehicles, but provide the experience of being a part of an outfit. To that end, each bundle for such company should always contain:

  • Company name, lore, motto
  • Company Traits
  • Company Garage

Vehicles, Commanders and additional cosmetic items could come extra.

Proposal 4: Role and Trait System

Reasoning/background:

This is tied to Proposal 2 and making the game easier to understand. To put it simply, while there are basic rules to the game that are generally known, there are TONS of exceptions that are basically undocumented and have a major impact on high end gameplay (for example, Challenger’s special durable ammo racks, or the engine boost active ability for Chinese MBTs). Additionally, players often misjudge vehicles’ capabilities based on its look (the fact that a Soviet MBT is low doesn’t mean it needs to be stealthy) and need to be sort of told what to do with them, which we are currently not doing except for portal content.

Proposal:

Introduce Trait and Role boxes to the Garage for every player to immediately see (no tooltips).

Traits would work much like MMORPG perks, combined with commonly used item quality level color scale (that started from World of Warcraft). They would come in four qualities:

  • Basic (“grey” traits) that exist on every vehicle
  • Uncommon (“green” traits) that exist on many vehicles
  • Rare (“blue” traits) that exist on only a few vehicles
  • Unique (“purple” traits) that exist on only one or two vehicles

Examples of basic traits and tooltip/UI explanations, should describe mobility, firepower, armor, spotting and stealth:

  • Tracked vehicle (excellent off-road, slower on roads)
  • Diesel engine (accelerates faster from the start)
  • Turbine engine (accelerates faster after reaching 32 km/h)
  • Main caliber gun (low rate of fire but high damage)
  • Autocannon (high rate of fire but low damage)

Examples of uncommon traits:

  • Soft kill APS (this vehicle can cause ATGMs to miss their target)
  • Hard kill APS (this vehicle can shoot down ATGMs from the sky)
  • Gun launched ATGMs (this vehicle can launch guided missiles from its main gun)

Examples of rare traits:

  • HESH shells (this vehicle can fire HESH ammunition, dealing additional damage to crews)
  • PELE rounds (this vehicle can fire PELE APFSDS, dealing additional damage even during non pens)
  • Blow-out panels (ammo rack fire causes less damage than normal)

Examples of unique traits:

  • Overdrive (this MBT has the ability to temporarily increase its speed by overcharging its engine) for the Chinese top tiers
  • ADAPTIV system for the PL01
  • Advanced Ammo Rack for the Challenger 2
  • Top Down attack missiles for the NM142
  • Superior Suspension for the Sucuri

Role box comes hand in hand with it. Example:

Flanker – this vehicle is fast on its tracks or wheels but cannot withstand as much punishment. The best way to use it is to go around the enemy and attack them from their vulnerable sides and rear at medium distances.

Other roles include:

  • Spotter (scouts for the enemies, AFVs)
  • Brawler (short range combatant – Soviet MBTs)
  • Defender (lots of armor, slow – Challengers)
  • Jack of All Trades (can do everything but not as good as specialists – American MBTs)
  • Fire Support (heavy AFVs, Terminators, missile carriers – basically second line fighters)
  • Sniper (dedicated TDs, maybe some AFVs)

This is how it would look:

UI example

Proposal 5: Storyline

Reasoning/background:

REDACTED

Proposal:

REDACTED

The reasoning mostly concerns internal corporate matters and is really not ALL that important.

Storyline

I would limit the scope of the story and focus on people.

Currently, we are veering towards a world war type of scenario that’s turning out in my opinion kinda lame and players either get lost in it (this is especially the case for RU audience who has no idea who Clayburn is, yet the name appears in the Spec Ops) or just dont care. This is caused with a combination of:

  • Limited storytelling (there is generally very little info about the lore in Spec Ops, it just starts with a generic guy sending you threats and then behaving like a bond villain)
  • Mechanics are not that immersive (the “enemy AI” is perceived as just bots because they use totally random vehicles)
  • Obvious plot holes that are intended (“will be revealed later”) but at the same time, given the limited storytelling part, instead of getting thrilled to find the reason for it, players are just assuming it’s a bug
  • Zero lore portal presence apart from the My.com storyline campaign, written stories, zero background explanations apart from hat I wrote.

What I think we need to do storywise is:

1)      Slow down, make it a story of “you”. I’d cut the current “story” after Spec Op 1 or Spec Op 2 and get back to the roots

This can be achieved for example by ending the final battle with a cutscene with a character saying stuff like “right, I know you’re really lost in what the hell actually happened – to understand, we need to get back to the beginning”

2)      Introduce a “Guide” character

A secondary, strong character that would interact with you (you are mute “a nameless commander” or “the commander”, Skyrim hero style, but you have an avatar – this was used really well in the Strike Commander game) and with your sidekick (who you are already familiar with at this point).

This character will act as your guide in the merc world, explaining things and generally telling you what’s going on. It should be a charismatic character you can form attached to and should look and act that way (an example of poorly designed character is IMO AW’s commander Cortez, who looks like an asshole and has a punchable face).

3)      Start slow

You can start in a merc bar in Istanbul or whatever with the character explaining you stuff. Then you, step by step, discover the world in a series of flashback missions. Each term is explained to you in sequence (corporations, corporate space, what happened in the 2020s and 2030s, defunct NATO, defunct countries etc.).

Each mission should expand on the lore until you get to the point where you play Spec Op 1 (we can even make it so, prompting players to “now, go play spec op 1, it will all make sense”)

And THEN we can start with the real story.

Storyline Future

I don’t like “Magnus Holter”. We need an enemy who will actually APPEAR like a good guy, not like someone who wants to throw chlorine bombs on a city.

I’d:

  • Kill Holter off (“he was a pawn of a much bigger threat” or whatever)
  • Start with a new charismatic “bad guy” who says things that make sense to you (this is a very long story, I’d have to explain in detail what I mean) – think Illusive Man from Mass Effect, but more subtle
  • Involve you in a story that contains actual mystery

The last point will not be easy but could include for example:

REDACTED

Players need to be immersed, they need to be looking for answers or looking forward to the new chapters. I do have some ideas but this can be an extremely complex topic and would make this report much longer.

It’s important to put players into a position of a character in the game who knows nothing about these things, just like the player – players and the character discover the conspiracy together. This helps immersion a lot.

The pitfall is that making a summary might make it sound really lame – like the original story of the Storyline Campaign that was well received can be summed into:

  • Commander leads a rebellion of corporate forces from a bad guy
  • Commander is the badguy, betrays everyone LOL

Sound stupid, but with a proper buildup, you get a story that is well accepted (within reason of course), as proven by the Storyline Campaign we ran. That’s my point.

TLDR: it’s not as much about WHAT, but HOW

Mechanics

More dialogues, more player interaction with the characters for some small bonuses (or maluses for wrong choices), which also drives engagement (players discussing on the forums), especially if the choices have further consequences that we clearly communicate it to players.

Example:

  • In mission 1 of a Spec Op, you tell FUCK OFF to a merc offering help for X credits
  • In mission 3, this merc appears on enemy side as an additional enemy saying “Haha you told me to fuck off, now Im back and Im gonna fuck you up”

Additionally, we should introduce a “world” storyline mechanic that would work on server wide statistics:

Examples:

If enough players complete mission X from Day 1 to Day 20, whole server gets a short cutscene that it happened and players get an additional small bonus of some sort

The options are limitless.

Proposal 6: Progression

This ties to everything above. The current progression system is sort of old, hard to understand, arbitrary and pointless. What I think we should do is the following:

  • Keep the Tier system (WT’s battle rating is very messy IMO)
  • Cancel dealers (remove them completely), make every vehicle available from every vehicle of lower tier
  • Cancel the existing retrofit system (it’s a WoT equipment copy anyway)
  • Make vehicles skip Tiers using upgrades that increase its COMBAT VALUE (this is a real life thing BTW, pretty realistic).

Basically, each vehicle has a Combat Value. If it earns enough CV, it skips to a higher Tier. CV can be increased to a degree by installing realistic upgrades on your tank within its armor, turret size and weaponry constraints.

What I mean:

  • You can install better optics on a tank
  • You can fire better ammo (that’s post WW2 nature of things – the same gun was often upgraded with better ammo)
  • You can install an ATGM suite
  • You can install a better engine or an additional armor to improve the tank beyond its Tier

A fully kitted M60A1 is more than equal to a M60A3 for example. This will allow players to stick around with their favourite tanks longer instead of having to unlock another one and start from “stock”.

We can introduce a “component store” where players buy, sell (or even trade) components and upgrade their tanks.

Hell, we can even introduce a crafting system where players gather components from battles to build a new weapon system. That would be awesome.

Finally, I think that due to the story reasons above, we need to make progression more linear and MUCH slower.

  • Players spend almost no time on Tier 1 to Tier 5 where they should be experiencing the progression at least over a month
  • Players progress to Tier 10 too quickly

Therefore, I believe the progression has to be more linear (not completely, but we want players to spend more time on lower tiers).

Alternatively, we can scrap the entire tier system and replace it with prerequisities instead. We’d have to realistically deal with the existing Reputation situation though.

Proposal 7: Support Class

Reasoning/background:

There is a group of players who inherently like to either support others, or stay away from front lines. This group preferred the old artillery and while it is not as large as other players, I believe we need to offer it a more casual experience. Self propelled mortars are not the right kind of approach I think because they target the same “active” group of players that plays normal classes – they are an aggressive type of vehicle despite the indirect fire mechanics.

Proposal:

What I would propose for the players who like support is two types of vehicles:

  • Support vehicles (“Command Vehicles”)
  • Anti-support vehicles (Flak)

Support vehicles (“Command Vehicles”)

In real life, there are command versions of many IFVs and tanks on the battlefield that have extra radio and electronics equipment to coordinate with other units as well as their own troops. In AW, this could be implemented as a weak second line vehicle that however summons flying drones/light helicopters/anything else that flies.

Gameplay would resemble aircraft carriers from World of Warships, but on smaller scale. Players would aim their swarms of drones using a map. It’s important to note that drones would not act like spotters, they’d be only able to attack already spotted targets. Destroying a drone would not reveal the attacker’s position either.

Players have a certain amount of drones at their disposal for each battle (equivalent of ammo). Anyone can shoot down a drone, but it’s hard for some classes (drones should be faster than the GLOPS one)

There is a lot of potential for customization here:

  •  Players would be able to arm their own drones, unlock different drone types
  • Crafting drone system?
  • Drone visual customization?
  • Just drones? Maybe summoning a helicopter instead of multiple drones?
  • FPS view from summoned helicopters?

Anti-support vehicles (“SPAAG”)

We already have some of these in the game – basically mobile anti aircraft guns like DRACO that would be primarily used to counter the drones or helicopters from the support class.

The reason for this is that these vehicles have very high rate of fire and some players just love to let the ammo fly. Against ground targets, these would be basically like AFVs with high ROF but low PEN and no missiles.

Anyway, this part is not really well fleshed out.

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