One of the most important and common pieces of your feedback is the request to make vehicle classes more distinctive in their play styles. Tank Destroyers should be destructive snipers, Light Tanks should be swift battlefield hunters, AFVs should be the ultimate scouts and spotters of Armored Warfare while the MBT class should be a well-rounded baseline with enough armor to protect it from the other three. To emphasize the class battlefield role better, we’ve prepared a new Active Ability system.
The core of the system is boosting the properties of specific vehicle groups (mostly classes, but also certain sub-groups within a specific class) in order to make them more suitable for their intended battlefield role by giving them an ability that needs to be activated by players. Some vehicles are suitable for more than one role – those will receive the option to select the ability that is best suited for their players.
These abilities will only be available for Tier 5 vehicles or higher and will be possible to inspect on the Garage screen where a new ability slot will appear right next to the ammunition. If a vehicle is eligible for more than one ability, this slot will allow players to choose. In the first version of the system, we will be adding five special active abilities:
- Engine Overdrive
- Rapid Fire
- Silent Running
- Adjustable suspension
This active ability will boost your engine power, providing a considerable bonus to acceleration and agility as well as a small bonus to maximum speed. On the downside, activating this ability will provide a major penalty to camouflage when moving.
It works the same way as the existing overdrive ability of some Chinese MBTs. This ability will primarily available to most Light Tanks as well as the Terminator vehicle series, including the T-15 and the Abrams AGDS.
This active ability will boost the vehicle’s rate of fire (and therefore its damage output) by 25 percent for a short amount of time at the expense of overall accuracy. This ability works with all kinds of weapon systems (including guided missiles where the accuracy reduction increases missile noise instead) and is available to several high-Tier Light Tanks, specifically:
- Vickers VFM5
- M8 Buford
- M8 Thunderbolt II
Additionally, the M8 Buford and the M8 Thunderbolt II owners can choose between Engine Overdrive and Rapid Fire.
This active ability will turn you temporarily into the deadliest sniper on the battlefield, significantly increasing your accuracy, rate of fire, aim time and camouflage. This major boost has an equally important major drawback – when this ability is activated, the vehicle cannot move at all and the turret traverse rate is significantly reduced.
This ability will be accessible to many Light Tanks and Tank Destroyers, sometimes as an alternative to another one. While sounding overpowered at first, being discovered while this ability is active spells a certain death sentence to the vehicle using it. One has to be very careful when employing such a powerful tool.
The fourth ability, introduced with the Arabian Nights update, is called Silent Running. As its name suggests, it increases the vehicle’s stealth significantly (by 30 percent) while reducing its speed and acceleration by 70 percent for a certain period of time. It’s worth noting, however, that the effect is broken if the vehicle fires a shot and that the skill cannot be activated if the vehicle is actively spotted (indicated by the yellow eye icon), burning or moving faster than 30 km/h – it does not work like a Klingon cloaking device! Rather, imagine it as applying a camouflage net to spotting vehicle.
This ability will be fairly rare and will be only available to certain vehicles, specifically:
- ASCOD LT-105
- Taifun II
This is the ability you are already familiar with from the Object 279 Tier 4 Premium Main Battle Tank. When activated, the vehicle lowers itself for a firepower and camouflage bonus at the expense of view range and mobility.
In the Arabian Nights season, we will be adding this ability to the existing vehicles in the game that have it in real life, specifically the Russian BMD AFV series, AMX 10 RCR and the Kampfpanzer-70 and MBT-70 tanks. The last two vehicles will, however, not have the simple system you know already – rather than that, they will have the option to tilt themselves forward or backward in order to angle their armor or increase their elevation or depression.
We are currently implementing the same tilting system on several upcoming vehicles and are also considering adding it to the Challenger 2 ATDU.
It’s worth noting that this is not an active ability per se – you will not have to choose between an adjustable suspension and another active ability, it will always be there.
As we mentioned before, several Light Tanks will be able to choose between two abilities in order to reflect their nature and to make them more universal. These are:
- ASCOD LT-105 – Sharpshooter or Silent Running
- BMP-3M Dragun 125 – Engine Overdrive or Sharpshooter
- M8 Buford – Engine Overdrive or Rapid Fire
- M8 Thunderbolt – Engine Overdrive or Rapid Fire
- WPB Anders – Rapid Fire or Sharpshooter
- PL-01 – Rapid Fire or Silent Running
All this is, however, just the first iteration of the system – we do have other abilities planned for the future, such as:
- The ability to deploy ATGM-firing infantry teams by in-game IFV vehicles like the Bradley
- The ability to fire smoke shells for the Chieftain
Stay tuned for more details and we’ll see you on the battlefield!