Hello everyone, today, we are going to try to imagine, what the gamplay of wheeled vehicles and halftracks would look like and whether it makes any sense implementing them in the game. One of the main issues with the cars and halftracks is that for a class of vehicles, they do not reach high enough, when it comes to tiers. The reason for this is that for all their firepower, the halftracks are very fragile vehicles and in game terms, they would roughly equal an unarmored Waffenträger – only worse: halftrack suspension does not have the terrain passability of a tank, nor it has its stability. Gun-armed halftracks were in most cases stopgap or desperate measures to bring more anti-tank guns to bear (or to provide mobility for some infantry support guns for a low price yet with sufficient terrain passability). These vehicles were not fast in particular and often the limited stability of the chassis allowed for only a limited firing arc of the gun (to be fair, the lighter tank destroyers suffered from the same issues). The armor of a halftrack is, as you probably already figured out, negligible. A 20mm gunshield here, a 10mm armored plate there, any protection these vehicles offered was mostly against infantry weapons fire (and sometimes not even that). As I mentioned above, this is the same issue that the German tracked Waffenträgers suffered from, but, as we can see with the case of for example Waffenträger Rheinmetall-Borsig, it can work very well. The halftrack design is also relatively more compact. Basically, the halftracks (by their very nature) live and die by their guns and as such, they most likely are to end on tier 8 (the largest AT gun that I know of on a halftrack chassis was the 88mm L/71, but that was an extreme case). A typical case is here: this is the 88mm FlaK on a halftrack. As you can see, the design is relatively compact, but the frontal firing arc is problematic due to the halftrack cabin. Considering the fact that the entire vehicle is practically unarmored, this matters a little. On the plus side, the nature of the vehicle suspension makes the potential track module smaller – in World of Tanks terms, the tracks often cover the entire side of the vehicle, leading to higher chance of detracks, while a halftrack suspension is relatively small, giving it less chance to be immobilized at longer distances. Naturally, this is just a speculation. Armored cars on the other hand have bigger potential to appear on higher tiers due to their blazing speed as scouts. Even some of the very heavy 8-wheelers can reach speeds up to 90 kilometers per hour, which, especially when you consider the speeds World of Tanks is working with, is a lot. Realistically speaking, on harder surfaces, an armored car will probably accelerate faster than even light tanks, but this is of course in real life. In the game, tanks actually accelerate much faster than in real life, but the car should likely have an advantage in this anyway. Some even carry some very, VERY serious firepower. Take the Panhard EBR for example: This 13 ton vehicle is powered by a 200hp engine and while that doesn’t seem to be much in World of Tanks terms, you have to consider that this engine is not powering the entire track system, but “only” wheels, like a car. This means that this vehicle can go as fast as 100 kilometers per hour. And it carries some massive firepower to boot – basically the one equal to the AMX 13 (75mm and even 90mm in oscillating turret, the same guns). In fact, I do think that armored cars could be one side the French would excel in, but of course, this would require some additional research from the side of Wargaming (with an alternative mini-branch of scouts with something like Panhard AML 60, AML 90 and EBR). Why did I write the above however: The point is, apart from being relatively useful scouts, armored cars and halftracks have no really serious advantage over tracked vehicles in World of Tank terms in best case, in worst case (halftracks) they are simply worse than anything that carries the same gun. And so, their advatage (or rather, meta-advantage) has to come from somewhere else. And that “somewhere” is… Physics and Fun When we are talking about 6 wheel cars for example, I am sure I am not the only one, whose first thought was this: For those not familiar with other computer games, this is the MAKO armored vehicle from the first Mass Effect game and I personally consider it a perfect example of how a wheeled vehicle in the game can be insanely fun to play even without Spintyres-que physics. Of course, the MAKO had rockets to make it jump, but on the other hand, the World of Tanks vehicles would wouldn’t climb every mountain in sight, looking for hidden treasures, right? What I mean is – it’s possible (and crucial) to actually make the wheeled vehicles and halftracks entertaining to drive and that I think is the only way how to make them successful. If you give them essentially the same behavior like a tank has (sliding, same acceleration etc.), what you will get is basically just another set of tanks with different looks but same gameplay, only worse. Another matter however is the realism. Hmm… have you ever driven an SUV (or however is it called in English, terrain vehicles like a Pajero for example) on a muddy field or a wet meadow? I have – and it’s a lot of fun, BUT the terrain passability of such a vehicle is nowhere near that one of a tank and it’s actually not that hard to get stuck in the mud at all. What that means is, if we were to have a realistic wheeled vehicles movement, we’d have to have some serious supension of disbelief, otherwise huge areas of maps would be inaccessible to non-tank vehicles. For example: - Sand River: do you think a wheeled vehicle can climb a sand dune like a tank? Well, a Dakar special car maybe, but an armored car? Nope. - Swamp: wheeled vehicles wouldn’t be able to touch the entire center of the map (bogged down) - Live Oaks: same situations, wheeled vehicles would get stuck in the central marsh area Etc. I am all up for suspension of disbelief in this area, but it’s an easy (and cheap) way to shut down the entire car and halftrack idea. Let’s face it though, the tank behavior on World of Tanks is nowhere Continue reading →

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