Update 9.18 Is Here

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been completing work on Update 9.18. The team pored over years and years of community feedback to re-think and alter some of the game’s core elements, addressing the most frequent issues you reported. It’s been a massive quest, and we are thankful to those of you who joined us for the Common Test and in the Sandbox to work on these improvements and refinements.

We implemented an all-new, template-based matchmaking algorithm. Light tank branches were stretched to Tier X, which marked the introduction of the regular ±2 tier spread for them. Finally, comprehensive tweaks to SPGs reshaped them into efficient team players, making this class less frustrating to fight against and more satisfying to play and have on the team.

Let’s give a few specific items some well-deserved attention. You ready? We’re diving straight in.


World of Tanks servers will be down April 18 from 01:00 to 07:00 PT (04:00 to 10:00 ET) to get everything in order. Also, we’ll be freezing the Global Map for 24 hours, temporarily closing the Clan portal and cancelling Strongholds battles.


Current Premium players will be credited an additional 24 hours of Premium account time to make up for the maintenance period. If you’d like to make any in-game purchases, please wait until the servers are up and running again.

We’ve been detailing various improvements arriving in 9.18 during its Common Test. Click the images below to check out deeper details on each feature.

Improved Matchmaker

The improved matchmaker introduces a new template-based algorithm that balances the “ideal” setup against the speed of matching. First, it tries to create a ±2 battle using the 3/5/7 template. If assembling two teams according to it will leave you queuing too long, the system loosens its restrictions a bit to make sure you get into a match quicker. In this case, you can get a two-level or a single-level battle, which are rare. The majority of battles have the ±2 tier spread. This way, you don’t get tired of waiting and always end up with a setup that’s optimal for the current situation on the server.

You always face a team that has the same number of vehicles at the top/middle/bottom of the list as yours. Plus, whichever template the matchmaker uses, tanks at the bottom will always be in the majority and the middle is bigger than the top. Simply put, regardless of your position on the list, there are enough players in the same position to turn the tide of battle.

Stretching Light Tank Branches to Tier X

Light tanks now reach to Tier X and benefit from standard ±2 matchmaking, which should create more varied, enjoyable, and exciting gameplay. They no longer have to suffer: no more battles against Tier X vehicles for swift, yet frail Tier VII light tanks. But wait, there’s more! Following the addition of top-tier vehicles, LTs evolved into a standalone battle unit and received a number of balance tweaks. They still play as support units, but now have decent enough firepower and excellent speed to make an impact.

The new Tier X light tanks are swifter and more maneuverable than their peers at lower tiers. Their gun stabilization, penetration power and hit damage allow them to excel in close- and mid-range combat. When facing off against medium tanks, Tier X light tanks are anything but an easy target incapable of returning a favour. Their guns are just a little less powerful than those of medium tanks, and have enough penetration power to pierce through the side and rear armor of the majority of heavies. They have what it takes to punish opponents who might naively consider them harmless.
We reviewed American, Soviet, and French LTs leading to the release. Check out the links for insights into balance changes and new vehicles. And stay tuned for the lowdown on German and Chinese lines.

All-Round SPG Revision

The new stun mechanic transformed arty into long-range support fire vehicles: efficient team players, who cripple targets and help set the attack direction from afar. Instead of kicking players out from the game in a single shot, they now temporarily weaken mobility, accuracy, and reload time of vehicles in their splash radius. This negative effect can be reduced with Spall Liners or lifted with the now multi-use First Aid Kits. As soon as the stun effect passes you are as good as new and can fight on.

We also considerably lowered the penetration and damage per shot for HE shells and removed AP, APCR, and HEAT shells for SPGs. Now, they deal less direct damage, but benefit from the damage their teammates cause to stunned targets, similar to scouts. So, shooting at multiple targets is now more efficient than picking just one. This change, together with the introduction of the stun mechanic, should force SPGs to change their play style and aim to hit multiple targets.

9.18 is one of the most significant updates we have ever introduced to the game, both in terms of the importance of the issues it tackles and the sheer scope of fundamental changes it simultaneously introduces. Matchmaking and arty have been a source of heated discussion for years now, and it has taken us several iterations to transform them into something we feel happy to put into your hands. And if our own experience and the feedback we gathered working with our community during the testing phases are any indication, the revisions made in 9.18 will make the game feel both fairer and more fun.

The team has been working tirelessly to react to your feedback up to release, and we have been thrilled by the passion and involvement of our community. We didn’t expect to see so many driven players pitch in to test new mechanics in Sandbox and during Common Test. The genuine dedication you showed us definitely makes months and months of work worth it! And we do not intend to stop here. As we get 9.18 out the door, work continues. We’re calling on you to hit the battlefield, see what it’s like, and get back to us. Moving forward, among the top priorities for the team is continuing to fine-tune and refine the new matchmaker and arty, working off your suggestions and commentaries.

Also, we believe that the best way to thank you for being with us every step of the way is to stay focused on further improvements that fundamentally push the quality of the game forward. Now that we’ve addressed two of the longest-running complaints in the community, we’ll get down to tasks that are no less important: refining the game’s other components and expanding it with new mechanics, scenarios, and setups. There’s a lot more in store for 2017!

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