as you probably already know, the new motion physics test was started in the morning – you can check the details here.
All I can say about is… go try it, because it’s really hard to describe the feeling with which the tanks handle now – and no, videos don’t help either. You really have to feel it.
I’ll try to describe it a bit anyway though, as best as I can.
First thing you’ll notice (apart from the laggy server, more than usual anyway) is that the tank movement (any tank really) is more… I don’t know, fluid. No longer does the tank react in a “choppy” manner (as if you were turning a tank toy with your hand instead of a real tank). Those, who are afraid of too many “drifting” tanks (like in War Thunder) can rest easy though, the tanks don’t have terrible tendencies to drift and the turning is quite accurate. If I was to compare it to something, I might think WG got heavily inspired by Armored Warfare alpha (there the movement feels just as fluid), but considering how long this feature was developed, I’d say it’s simply a case of parallel development, that reached roughly the same goals.
Basic movement forward and backwards however has a MAJOR change – first, some tanks accelerate much slower. This is especially visible on Panzer IV – it feels much more sluggish. Second, what is worse is that they brake much slower as well. It feels completely different than the usual WoT and I suspect the braking (if implemented like this) will cause huge issues to players, who are used to current model. It happened to me in practically every battle that I was planning to hide behind an obstacle and I used the “usual” routine to brake, only to end up meters behind the obstacle, because I didn’t count in the intertia.
Next feature is the handbrake. As far as I am concerned, it has one major flaw. There is no special sound effect for its use (connected to sliding tracks for example, tank equivalent of “screeching tyres”). As such, it’s pretty hard to determine, whether your tank is already “slipping” or not and therefore it’s also hard to create a perfectly controlled drift. And yes, tanks do drift a lot, especially the light ones, but even for heavy tanks, on some surfaces (Himmelsdorf cobblestones), the tank behaves a bit like on ice – not as bad as in War Thunder, but enough for you to notice and be annoyed. Other than that, the handbrake works exactly as advertised – it locks your track. Some tanks can use it to make VERY sharp hull turns even in lower speed – this might become a balance issue: where you previously managed to destroy an enemy by circling around it, it’s possible that due to this new mechanism, the enemy will keep up with your circling (as I learned the hard way in the AMX-13/90).
Speaking of Himmelsdorf – I noticed a very nasty feature of the new physics there. Basically, running into some obstacles (houses, barricades, stones, but even corpses) makes (instead of locking you on them like previously) your tank sort of “bounce” from them, resulting in (sometimes drastic) hull turns – an example: in IS-3, I was going backwards to be stopped by a mound of rubble (you know, one of the ones in the banana corridor on Himmesdorf map). Instead of being stopped by it, the tank “slid” off it, angling the hull by cca 30 degrees, much to the amusement of another IS-3 that was shooting me.
Pushing… tanks are now much easier to push around. I don’t have to tell you how annoying it is for lighter tanks. What is strange is that this applies to corpses as well. Actually, it looks good, now corpses are no longer “stones”, they can be thrown around a bit, looks very fancy.
Climbing… the vehicles can get on all sorts of obstacles now. How that will influence the gameplay (for example mediums getting through mountains previously inaccessible), I have no idea. As I mentioned, the movement is much more fluid though, that counts even for overcoming obstacles, that previously made the vehicles swing like mad.
Turning on the roof… I tried to do it several times, including trying to make enemy tanks fall on their roof. Unless you push someone off the cliff or some really strange coincidence occurs, it’s not easy to do “just so”. As such, I’d discount this mechanism as mostly marginal, you won’t be tripping vehicles on roofs on regular basis.
It’s neither good or bad, it is new. Personally, I don’t know. Some parts of this new movement mechanism are very good, especially:
- tank movement is very fluid, tanks no longer get stuck on even small obstacles, let alone rails
- handbrake works (needs the sound effect though)
- different behavior on different terrains
- better terrain passability for lighter vehicles (can climb on obstacles)
Some however are bad – and by bad I mean anything from “needs a tweak” to “WTF is this shit” level:
- no handbrake sound effect as I mentioned (yes, it IS important)
- some surfaces are way too slippery
- braking is way too slow, some vehicles have way too much intertia and players, used to current system will not get used to this easily (they will pass obstacles and get themselves open to enemy fire)
- acceleration of some tanks is much slower (Panzer IV)
- hitting an obstacle (stone, wall, corpse) can make your vehicle seriously change direction, resulting in you being shot because you are suddenly not behind cover anymore
It’s a good start. Personally, I’d remove more inertia from the tanks and fix the obstacles, for starters.