Developer Diaries: Double-Barreled Vehicles Branch

In September, a new
mechanic for World of Tanks was announced at WG Fest:
double-barreled vehicles. Straight after the announcement,
we started testing it on the Supertest. Our test vehicle saw many
battles on the internal server over a period
of several weeks. During testing, the inner workings and
parameters of the mechanic were modified. Now it fits organically in the
World of Tanks battle ecosystem. But there’s still work to be
done and the next big step is a very important one: testing
particular vehicles with this mechanic. At this stage we plan
to add 4 vehicles to the game. One of them, the Object 703 Version II,
was used as the test vehicle. After the successful tests,
it may be added to the game as a Tier VIII Premium vehicle,
just as players thought. Let’s talk about the other
vehicles in more detail. We gathered a lot of
information on the topic. Our historical consultants studied all the available data
and blueprints thoroughly. Certain components of manufactured
and prototyped Soviet vehicles were used for creating the game
models of double-barreled vehicles. Technical solutions were thoroughly
worked on by our specialists and they’re all based
on real blueprints. Installing double-barreled
guns almost always affected the width of the vehicles, as well
as the length of the hull and turret. Increasing the number of crew members
and the amount of ammunition led to an
increased turret volume. In some cases, the turret race
ring diameter had to be widened, which affected
the hull width as well. The vehicles became heavier. The contact surface
length had to be increased to keep the crossing capacity
high; this made the hull longer. And finally, more powerful
diesel engines were needed. Despite all that,
many vehicle elements weren’t too different from
similar vehicles with a single gun. Working on the vehicle models looked
just like building a construction set. Some details were completely new,
others were elements from old vehicles. That means if these
vehicles had been built, they would look exactly
like they do in our game. The branch will start with
the IS-2 Version II heavy tank. You can guess from the name that it’s
an upgraded version of the famous IS. But the transition will
happen from the KV-3, because some components of this
vehicle are better suited to this branch. At Tier VIII we plan to test
two top-tier gun options. The first one is a 100mm gun. With it, we want to focus
not on damage per shot, but making the new
mechanic more accommodating. The shot preparation
time will be shorter, and the guns will be locked after the
double shot for a shorter period as well. With the 122mm gun we want to
focus primarily on the damage per shot, but the new mechanic
will not be as adaptable. The key differences of the
IS-2 Version II from a normal IS will be mainly be the damage
per shot and penetration. The stats will be better
because of the peculiarities of the double-barreled guns
and being a higher tier. Movement speed will be okay, a bit slower than its tier-mates
but pretty comparable. The weak point of the
vehicle is its hull armor; it was inherited
from the Tier VII vehicle. However, the turret
will be better armored. At Tier IX
is the IS-3 Version II. Its hull is very similar to the IS-3, so
it’s not very well-armored for Tier IX. The turret has also
been gifted from the IS-3 but it was heavily modified to
mount the double-barreled guns. The caliber of the
guns themselves is 122mm and the damage per
shot is 390 hit points. The vehicle will be
pretty mobile for its tier. For Tier X, we have
a pretty famous vehicle that was anticipated
by players—the ST-II. Let’s talk a bit more about it
and compare it with the ST-I. The hull shape and armor
are pretty much identical. The turret also has
not changed very much. The reason for that
is that the ST tank project was developed with
two versions: ST-I and ST-II. The turret design
was created to facilitate the installation of double-barreled
guns from the very beginning. The gun caliber will stay as 122 mm;
the same as the IS-4 and the ST-I. The damage per shot
will be 440 hit points. The most important
feature of these new vehicles is that they have
several firing modes. Each of them has
its own peculiarities. Let’s use the ST-II
as an example for how a double-barreled
vehicle can behave in battle. The main and easiest
to understand mode is cyclical. There are just
a couple of nuances. After shooting the active
left gun, it starts reloading. The camera automatically switches
to the right gun and it becomes active. After the left gun is
loaded, take another shot. Now the right
gun starts reloading, the camera goes back to the
left gun and the process repeats. It’s similar to firing a normal vehicle
but with a shifting aiming camera. It’s unusual but
easy to get used to. The second mode
is consecutive firing. After shooting the active
gun, the camera shifts, however you can’t fire
the second gun right away. The timer on the left
shows when you can shoot. It’s similar to the well-known
and understood mechanic of reloading between shots. It’s generally quite
short, up to 5 seconds. When the timer ends,
you can fire from the second gun. It’s important to remember that loading
the first gun will be interrupted and a sequential loading
of both shells will start again. This is why it’s beneficial to wait a couple of seconds
to fully load the first gun. The third and the most interesting
and unusual mode is the double shot. No other vehicle can do it. To fire both guns, click
and hold the left mouse button. The shot preparation will start
which lasts about 3 to 4 seconds. The double shot will be fired
automatically after preparation. The progress
is shown close to the reticle. It can be cancelled at any time simply
by releasing the left mouse button. It’s important to note
that after the double shot, both guns are locked
for a couple of seconds. They cannot be fired
or loaded during this period. After they are
unlocked again, the shells are loaded
sequentially to both guns. After both guns are fully loaded
you can fire both guns again. You can do that
as often as you like. Double-barreled vehicles
have several qualities that differentiate
them from other vehicles. It’s important to remember that
both guns are still a single module, so if one of your guns
is critically damaged, the other one
will not be able to fire. Also, you’re easier to spot after
a double shot than after a single one because a double shot exposes your
vehicle much more than a standard one. The third quality is the fact
that if your two shells hit you have a higher chance to damage
internal modules or injure crew members. This vehicle is suitable for combat
at short or medium distances. You play it like
a classic Soviet heavy: close in on the enemy, angle
your hull, bounce a shot, fire back. But there is one more thing: you can always fire a second shell
if your enemy makes a mistake. And the main thing is,
of course, the double shot. The enemy won’t
anticipate this and if it hits, it always deals an immense
amount of damage to them. However, this mechanic has a downside
too: the shot preparation time. It must be considered
before the shot. The gun lock is
a pretty lengthy period that should also be
considered after the shot. And, of course,
the shell loading itself. During reloading and a very
long period of passive behavior, you must understand
that you have two options: wait for this long reload
in a safe spot somewhere… Or end up back in the Garage. Double-barreled vehicles
have another peculiar feature. We didn’t show it
in the first video, but it’s now the time
to show some exclusive content. After the double shot
the vehicle rolls back a little. But if you played
a certain “Great Car Stealer” game, you surely remember that
if you turn the turret 180 degrees, get some speed and take
the shot, this will happen. The vehicles will be tested internally
before hitting the Common Test. Each of them will
have its own test cycle, during which their
characteristics will change. Developers are constantly
in search of an optimal ratio between pros and cons
for the double-barreled guns. They will balance their power
with changes to such parameters as switching time between
guns, shell loading time, shot preparation time,
and gun locking time. And only after the
vehicles are fully configured will we decide whether
to add them to the game. In the meantime, share your
opinions in the comments and leave your
feedback on the forums. Good luck on the battlefield!