My previous prediction on how wheeled vehicles may be represented in the game was, unsurprisingly, not entirely accurate. In fact I think Wargaming's implementation of them is pretty decent, although it needs some improvement. After my own experiences playing with these things, and from reading the opinions of other players, I think their role in the game can be perfected. Moreover, light tanks are also in need of some rebalances of their own to compete with these new zoom zooms.
Step 1: Make wheeled vehicles their own class.
I think this is pretty straightforward. Scouts they may be, but tanks they are not. I'd suggest formally making wheeled vehicles their own class called "Armored Cars". The point of this is so that they become more distinct from the other vehicles in the game. It's one thing for Armored Cars to physically play different, but it doesn't mean a whole lot when the game doesn't currently identify them as different. They need to have their own identity.
However, even as their own class, there's no reason they can't still easily get clumped together with Light Tanks for match maker calculations. Additionally, this doesn't get in the way of wheeled tank destroyers being introduced, as those would still get classified as tank destroyers. Remember that the TD class (and SPGs too, to some extent) is an all-encompassing class. There are TDs that play like heavies, mediums, and lights (ex: Obj. 263, Jagdpanther, and Hellcat, respectively). There's no reason there can't be ones that play like cars.
Step 2: Limit the gun calibers.
The biggest issue with wheeled vehicles in the game currently is their guns. It's not necessarily their dispersion values, as high accuracy is a necessity as the role for an active scout. Rather it's a combination of their gun's penetration and damage, and the great determiner of those values is typically the gun's caliber. Generally speaking, damage and penetration increase with a gun's caliber size. The simple way to deal with this is to limit caliber sizes. While there will always be exceptions, I think a safe rule of thumb would be the following:
- No Tier X armored car will have a gun caliber larger than 100 mm
- No Tier IX armored car will have a gun caliber larger than 90 mm
- No Tier VIII armored car will have a gun caliber larger than 80 mm
This way, penetration and damage per shot is kept deliberately low. Currently, the one thing that wheeled vehicles should not be are snipers. Yet they can penetrate targets at range and on the move quite easily due to their incredible accuracy. Yet they need that accuracy to be able to fulfill their hit-and-run style of active scouting at close rangers. So by limiting the gun caliber, we directly limit their penetration. At long distances, penetration drop off should be enough of a factor that they can't damage most targets. But at close range, where these wheeled vehicles are supposed to be, that limitation doesn't factor in to the equation.
As a result of having fewer chances at penetrating targets, and in turn doing less damage overall because of the smaller caliber sizes, wheeled vehicles could see a considerable buff to their DPM to compensate.
Step 3: Fix the light tanks.
If armored cars are going to be active scouts, then light tanks need to be passive scouts. Fortunately, they can do this already pretty well. However, we should also remove their ability to be active scouts. They should retain a high degree of camouflage, but the total on-the-move bonus should be removed entirely and kept solely for the new Armored Car class. As compensation for this, light tanks can receive an appreciable degree of gun accuracy that is up to par with both medium tanks and heavy tanks of their tiers. We can also remove the awful penetration drop off penalties these tanks tend to experience.
Not much would generally change with light tanks in terms of game play. The aim of this change would be to discourage them from active scouting while promoting passive scouting. They could also snipe now, but still not to the degree of excellence that some medium tanks and tank destroyers can.
Step 4: Profit
Hopefully with these changes, the roles of scouting become more easily defined. Armored Cars become more identifiable not because of the fact they have wheels, but due to their active scouting role and aggressive style of play. Light tanks can still do the things they already excel at, but now are less punished for being what they are.
Now the game just need more maps that actually let scouts be scouts, and scouting may become pretty darn close to being fixed.
Also maybe modify the physics some so cars actually drive like cars.
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