In Update 1.5.1, medium tanks from Japanese and German Tech. Trees underwent significant changes. With these tweaks, the Leopard 1 and the STB-1 got a whole new life.
Leopard 1: A Mobile Sniper
Since its introduction in World of Tanks, we’ve been considering the Leopard 1 as a long-distance sniper, quickly adapting to changes in the combat situation and providing support to allies from a distance. But a good sniper needs a suitable weapon, so we focused on improving it. Through two iterations of closed testing, we improved the following characteristics of this tank:
- Armor Penetration
- Shell Velocity
- Gun Stabilization
By default, it will fire armor-piercing composite rigid shells, which will remain standard, at a speed of 1480 m/s. During the tests, we concluded that we should keep APCR shells as standard because they better suit the nature of the vehicle, designed as it is for long-range combat. As we stated previously, the APCR shells will also be special, but their armor penetration will be further improved to 323 mm. Their speed will reach 1613 m/s, which puts them among the fastest shells in the game.
The vehicle’s gun dispersion during movement and suspension rotation will be 0.13 seconds, and this is ~24% lower than its current value. This tweak, complemented by a very short aiming time (1.7 seconds), will allow the Leopard 1 to prepare for the shot much faster.
In addition, the rotation speed of the suspension will be improved to 50 degrees/s, and the maximum reverse speed will increase to 23 km/h.
These changes make the Leopard 1 a very mobile and deadly sniper.
Tier VIII-IX vehicles from this branch will be subject to similar changes. We'll also increase shell velocity for the Leopard Prototyp A, its armor penetration and alpha-damage, while decreasing the gun dispersion during suspension movement and improvings the rotation speed of the suspension itself. We will also improve aiming time and increase DPM. There will also be a slight increase in engine power.
The Indien-Panzer will receive improved gun dispersion and aiming time, as well as a slight increase in armor penetration and gun damage, so it’s easier to deal damage.
- Shell velocity
- Damage per shot (from 240 to 250 HP)
- HP pool (up to 1,350 HP)
- View range (from 380 to 390 m)
STB-1: A Versatile Support Vehicle
The major change after testing in Supertest for the STB-1 is the addition of a hydropneumatic suspension. Thanks to this new mechanic, the STB-1 will be able to incline its hull, increasing its gun depression angles. Hydropneumatic suspension activates automatically — it’s like the one available in top-tier Swedish medium tanks.
Its overall gun depression angle will increase to -12 degrees, which is two degrees higher than the current value. To better represent this new mechanism, this value will be divided between the hull and the gun in the following proportions:
- -6 degrees when the hull is inclined
- -6 degrees when the gun is inclined.
This will make the most of the relief during the battle, allowing the STB-1 to hit the enemy from extreme angles and unexpected directions.
Another important change is the reinforcement of its turret armor. To make the tank more competitive in close combat, we’re going to:
- Remove weak points in the gun mantlet armor
- Additionally increase the total mantlet protection
- Generally increase the turret armor in its frontal zone
Finally, the STB-1 will do less damage per shot, but its DPM will increase even more compared to the first iteration of the Supertest. We will shorten the reload time of its gun from 8 seconds to 7.1 seconds, allowing its damage per minute value to go to 3042 HP, the second-highest among all medium Tier X tanks in our game. Gun stabilization was already significantly improved in the first round of tests, so combined with these tweaks, the STB-1 will be able to shoot more often and become a true menace on the battlefield. To maintain a balance in combat performance, an increase in the rate of fire is be compensated by reducing alpha damage to 360 points.
A few words about reducing the speed of shells. For Supertests, we usually replace APCR with AP shells, which reduces overall shell velocity. But after the first iteration, we decided to reduce it less significantly — from 1478 to 1185 m/s. Thus, both shells – standard and special – have become slower.
However, after enhancing the role of the STB-1, high shell velocity won't be such a crucial factor for this vehicle. It will instead take advantage of its new hydropneumatic suspension, improved turret armor, increased DPM and significantly increased gun stabilization. Lastly, armor-piercing shells will be better normalized, which will increase the chance of penetration.
In addition to the changes to the STB-1, we also improved its predecessors, Tier VIII-IX vehicles. The Type 61 received a more powerful gun with improved stabilization. Its "top" researchable gun received changes similar to the STB-1: we increased its rate of fire by ~18% and reduced its damage per shot. As for the STA-1, its rate of fire has also increased (without loss when causing alpha-damage), and the tank has a similar improvement in gun stabilization.
Together with these vehicles, the Premium tank STA-2 was also improved. Its shells became faster (the velocity of standard AP shells was increased by 34%!), and the tank is now more mobile.
You can find all detailed performance changes of the above vehicles in the release patch note. If you have questions or thoughts to share about balance tweaks, please join the discussion over on the forum. We welcome your feedback, Commanders!