For the Record: Historical Matchmaker
For years, SerB’s answer to a request for buffing or nerfing stats like HP or matchmaker weights was “show me a document where is says the historical matchmaker weight”. Of course, such a feat was impossible. That is, until today! Among many other interesting items in the CIA’s FOIA database, there is an alleged Soviet document*giving the combat potential of domestic and potential enemy weapons. The section that interests us is, of course, “Tanks and Self Propelled Artillery, Infantry Combat Vehicles, Armoured Personnel Carriers”. Although this was a report written in 1977, it still includes a number of vehicles we consider low. Starting at the very bottom, once we get past the IFVs, we have the SU-76 (in the “potential enemy” section, so likely a Chinese one) with a rating of only 0.32. Rather fitting for a “tier 3″ vehicle. From here, we must jump all the way to tier 5, with the Type T-34 (marked only as T-34 with 76 mm gun, but in the Chinese section) with a rating of 0.43 and SU-85, with a rating of 0.48. Seems that no other “tier 5″ vehicles made it into post-war service. So far so good, WG’s tier model seems to follow reality with two data points. Let’s move on to tier 6. At tier 6, we have the T-34-85 (0.49), SU-100 (0.55). Seems that, like in WoT, the numbers are stacked towards anti-tank performance. Having a turret only earns the T-34-85 0.01 additional points over the SU-85. However, there is still correlation between tier increase and combat potential increase. The system works! Heading up a tier, we finally get a larger selection. The IS-2M (even though it’s not really in the game, but I doubt a one-plate upper glacis would have scared anyone in the 70s) scores a hefty 0.7 points. The rest of the tanks in this tier are lights: the M41 Walker Bulldog (joining us in patch 9.3) at 0.36 points, Type 62 at 0.42 points and…AMX 13 75 at 0.8 points!? OP FRENCH AUTOLOADERS NERF PLZ Going up a tier once more, we hit the ISU-152, stripped of its fearsome BL-10 at 0.79 points, IS-3 at 0.83 points, T-44 at 0.75 points, and AMX 13 90 at a mystifying 0.54 points. The Type 59, which enjoys preferential matchmaking at this tier certainly has not earned it, with an astronomical score of 0.9 points. Still, if you strip out those pesky light tanks, Wargaming’s system works. Tier 9 is where things get interesting, as we get into post-war tanks. The T-54 earns 0.87-0.9 points, depending on configuration. The SU-122-54 (abbreviated to just SU-122) earns a meager 0.6 points. The T-10M (IS-8 in game) has a whopping 1.51 points to its name! Now, tier ten, the one you’ve all been waiting for! The Americans have two whole contestants here, the regular M48A1 Patton with a single point and Clan Wars reward M60A1 Patton that beats it narrowly at 1.1. The Leopard 1 also scores 1.1 points. The Soviet showing at this tier is not exceptional, as the T-62, even with the smoothbore gun absent in the same, only manages one point even. So there you have it, aside from outliers like the SU-122-54, IS-8, and light tanks, the system work! Wargaming’s hammering of tanks into rigid tiers more or less follows the evaluation of actual military professionals.