In 2011 Wargaming announced ambitious plans for 2012, claiming to be releasing new tech trees, new countries and new features.
It turns out Wargaming fell into a situation that many game developers have stumbled into: they made promises they couldn't keep and failed to manage player expectations. Now, we can't heap all the blame on Wargaming for this, although they made the announcements and set the time frames, these were things players had been asking for, demanded from them.
Being objective it could easily be put down to Wargaming's lack of experience of managing large communities and their expectations; simply put, bad communication. Alternatively, Wargaming could have meant to come good on what they stated but their product development teams were just not up to the challenge, either due to lack of experience, lack of resources or poor management.
Either way, this time around Wargaming have kept their 2013 plans much more open, with details of what is to come in 2013, limited and with no specific time frames. They've adopted a Blizzard-approach i.e. "We might be doing this and if we are, it won't get released until its ready".
Personally, I feel that's a better solution than saying you're going to do something and then not do it.
Anyway, what do we know about 2013 in World of Tanks?
The Germans seem to be a problematic bunch, not the actual Germans themselves, but the way some people feel about how Wargaming has implemented them in World of Tanks; constant accusations that they're poorly portrayed or deliberately nerfed, the various forums nearly always have one of these threadnaughts on the first page.
So what does 2013 have in store for the German Tech trees?
SerB, World of Tanks Lead design/Producer and troll extraordinaire responded to a player's question about the Leopard, the first German post war production tank: "you will get your paper tank".
Wargaming then produced a new German tech tree which saw a new Medium Tank tree starting at Tier VII with the existing VK3002DB and three new tanks, the final of which is the Leopard 1.
Time for rejoicing? Yes and no. While the real Leopard 1 was an excellent tank we're not exactly sure how it will work out in World of Tanks given it had quite thin armor relative to other Tier X tanks.
Wargaming also plan to enhance the Tank Destroyer line up with a full second line including the powerful Pak43 armed Nashorn, a Sturer Emil which uses the enormous 128mm Pak40/L61 and Waffentrager versions of the Panther, Tiger and E100.
What the hell is a Waffentrager anyway? Basically, it's an assault gun but it has more than one function. Sadly though, these would be purely based on drawings as the only real Waffentrager the Germans produced was based on the 38D chassis and everything else were just sketches. The Nashorn and Sturer Emil, however, were real anti-tank guns and they'll all be quite similar to the Dickermax; big guns and low armor.
There is a possible expansion on the SPG lines as well, with the E10 and E25. Based on the classic concepts that only existed as ideas and rough blueprints, these SPG's would also be fantasy vehicles. Very little is known about them because of this.
Рабоче-крестьянская Красная армия
What's in store for the players of Uncle Joe's Soviet hordes?
So far it looks like balance revisions and a few individual tanks will be added. Wargaming mentioned they may look to add the KV7, and plan to add 3 new mediums from Tier VI to Tier VIII including the Object 416.
No images or details exist at the moment, other than images of the real prototypes.
We do know, however, that an SU-100Y is in the works and it is rumored it will feature in 8.3. This will likely be a Tier VI Tank Destroyer and feature a gun similar to the S70!
Image courtesy of Wotbase.ru
Arme blindée cavalerie
Wargaming has announced the first Tier VIII French Premium in 8.2 but other than that, details about new tanks remain limited. In all likelihood, new French tanks would feature in foreign trees such as the Middle Eastern, European and Chinese Trees.
There is plenty of scope for adding more French tanks from the 1950's but whether or not Wargaming chooses to add these is anyone's guess.
Royal Tank Regiment
The British will get a Tank Destroyer and SPG trees in 2013. What is not known is when, and what will be in them.
There is plenty of speculation and odds are we'll be seeing the A39 Tortoise, A30 Challenger and Archer Tank Destroyers before 2013 is out.
As for SPGs, there are plenty of options for Wargaming to pick from and the only model seen so far is that of the Sexton. It's anyone's guess what will be in the final tree, but it might include some post-war vehicles as the British had a tendency to use towed Artillery over SPGs.
These additions are rumoured to be appearing after the German Medium line changes.
8.2 sees the introduction of a number of new US tanks, but after that, little is really know about Wargaming's designs on the US Tech trees.
What is known is that the T1E6 will likely make an appearance, possibly as a gift tank!
Image courtesy of Wotnews
After the slight disappointment that Chinese tanks would not feature in 8.2, there is little doubt they'll feature in 8.3 which will appear early next year.
Wargaming have not officially announced an SPG or Tank Destroyer tree for the Chinese but that doesn't mean there won't be one. The Chinese announcement and planned introduction was done in quick succession, so its possible we may see something next year.
What else do we know?
So the developers and producers often answer questions on the RU forums and here is a collection of what they've said about various tanks, maps, balance issues and anything else they've got an opinion on:
- Komarin and Swamp maps will return in mid 2013.
- No loyalty rewards are being planned for long term players.
- There are no current plans for a Linux client.
- Map rotation won't change.
- There won't be hard caps on numbers of Artillery and Scouts.
- There is a possible "Middle Eastern" tree, which looks like a mix of imported Britsh, US and Soviet tanks in Isreali, Egyptian and Syrian service.
- There are no plans to change antialiasing in 2013.
- The Free camera mode will come but will be different to what was originally planned.
- No plan to remove transmission fires from the game.
- 2013 will see 10 new maps!
- They might add a feature to buy back crew and tanks you accidentally sold - On the RU server you can ask Customer Support to credit you back with a Premium tank accidentally sold already.
- HESH ammunition might get its own mechanic - Currently its mechanic doesn't work like HESH really did.
- Premium consumables for credits might happen.
- Japanese tanks will happen.
- There will be an European tree, but no date is set.
- Some tanks with extremely high damage Premium rounds, like the VK2801, might get rebalanced.
- No automatic anti-bot system is planned.
- Historical battles are a low priority however Garage battles is still on the cards.
- No plans to limit Tiers in some Clan Wars provinces.
- Tier X Artillery is a possibility. Current Tier VIII Artillery would be moved to Tier X and new Artillery would be added.
- The Chieftain FV4201 is being considered as a British Tier X Heavy.
So overall the list of specifics for 2013 is limited and quite non-specific in a number of areas. New maps are certainly welcome but personally I hope Wargaming will work on balancing and new game modes.
So what the hell is that Katyusha render then? I have no idea, but rocket artillery means might mean Sturmtigers too!