Reported bugs with the USF 81mm Mortar are currently being investigated and will be fixed when possible.
A huge thanks goes out to Miragefla, Mr. Smith, and Cruzz for their help identifying and testing bugs for this patch.
After over three months of countless posts of forum feedback, numerous surveys and tournaments, and over 10 mod iterations, the final changes put forward in the Winter Balance Preview are ready to be released into the live game.
A massive thank you goes out to community members Mr. Smith, Callum from GeneralsGentlemen, and Miragefla that put in countless hours to make the following balance changes possible. But of course, they did not do it alone. Community members such as Nacho, Cruzz, Le Saucisson Masqué, Capiqua, Osinyagov, and Planet Smasher were instrumental in identifying and helping fix bugs as well as implementing multiple QoL features, top players in the community were crucial for providing high level balance critique and of course the constant vigilance of the entire community that playtested the mod and provided ongoing feedback over these past few months made the iteration process possible. For all your efforts and dedication, we thank you.
As a refresher, the changes below were designed to target specific dominate meta in order eliminate default build orders and promoting strategic diversity. The scope of this patch was focused around two primary pillars: Light Vehicle Play and Infantry Scaling, as well as, two secondary areas of Dominate Meta: Soviet Guards and Penals, and the USF Mortar. Finally, a number of Quality of Life changes such as Squad Formations and “Ghosting” have been targeted to improve gameplay and feel.
We wanted to make using these units less frustrating as a reinforcement platform and more reliable in order to better supplement Wehrmacht field presence.
The following unit types will contribute to shared veterancy to nearby officers/halftracks at the following rates:
We feel that the Sniper’s cloak ability is over performing, making them extremely difficult to counter with infantry. To address this issues we have made the following changes:
To bring other stealth units in line with the cloaking changes made to Snipers, we have applied the following re-cloaking restrictions:
Anti-tank infantry squads were attaining veterancy disproportionately fast compared to anti-infantry squads. This was allowing blobs of infantry to scale versus armour too easily. This also allowed anti-tank-equipped squads to outpace dedicated anti-infantry squads and trade more efficiently than they should. With this change we aim to streamline the speed of veterancy gain or all squads.
We wanted to tone down the performance of the Quad to be in-line with Light Tanks and other suppression platforms. In order to make infantry counters to this unit viable, the M17 can no longer suppress enemy squads on the move.
The escalation of mortar power has made them over perform compared to other types of more costly artillery pieces that had not received this bonus such as Pack Howitzers and Mortar Half-tracks.
The combination of the raw amount of bonuses Penal Battalion squads receive with the power of their flamer upgrade made the squad capable of winning nearly all engagements vs infantry, in almost any situation, creating very limited avenues for counterplay. To address this, we are removing some of the raw power of Penal battalions. At the same time, we are giving Penal Battalions access to some anti-tank utility to give Soviet T1 some tactical versatility, which it previously lacked.
PTRS x2 upgrade
* Cost 60 Munitions
* Same damage as Guards PTRS (refer to Guards changes)
* Accuracy lowered from 0.69/0.575/0.253 to 0.15/0.105/0.06
* Has 0.33 drop-rate
Penal satchel charges can now also behave as vehicle snares:
Guards were proving to over perform in ratio to their cost, appearing to supplement any strategy, thus, limiting variation in Soviet commanders.
RGD-33 Fragmentation Grenade (Affects Partisans, but not Shocks)
* AOE far damage reduced from 0.5 to 0.25 (Same as MK2)
* Ready aim time increased from 0.125 to 0.625 (to match MK2 overall delay)
* Munitions cost reduced from 45 to 35
We feel that the T-70’s high damage and AOE allowed it to wipe infantry too effectively, not giving the opposing player sufficient time to react, particularly if units are clumped in cover. The changes below will make it so that the T-70 loses its characteristic pinpoint accuracy on the move while maintaining its ability to flank teams weapons and push back infantry squads.
To give Wehrmacht more staying power on the field, Medkits will now fully heal up a squad. We are also giving some QoL improvements to the ability.
We felt that pioneer damage output was under-performing and proving ineffective in combat.
Whilst they have an initial impact, their damage fall off, manpower bleed, grenades and veterancy scaling made them not scale well into the late game. Therefore, to improve their scalability, we have made the following changes:
Panzer Grenadiers are a strong unit but their timing means other factions already have veterancy on their infantry making it difficult for PGs to scale in veterancy vs their opponents.
G43 Package (Also affects Stormtroopers but not Grenadiers)
* Far aim time multiplayer reduced from 3.5 to 3. (Boosts long range DPS)
* Now increases sight range by 20%
* Fixed an issue with the G43 package interrogation ability that would not reveal all enemy units in a sufficiently-large map.
* Elite Doctrine Stormtroopers now have access to Panzergrenadier G43s, and can upgrade G43’s in enemy territory
The 222 also wasn’t scaling with veterancy as well as other light vehicles and suffered from inconsistent damage output preventing it from tracking infantry properly. We also felt that the auto-cannon was too reliant on AOE for damage. Another concern with the 222 was that it was too cheap relative to its performance,
* Autocannon accuracy from 0.06/0.04/0.02 to 0.05/0.04/0.03
* Autocannon AOE Near damage reduced from 1 to 0.6
* Autocannon Rate of fire multiplier from 1.4/1.2/1 to 1/1/1
* Autocannon penetration increased from 35 to 40
* Autocannon Mid range distance from 15 to 20
* MG42 now properly tracks infantry
* MG42 accuracy reduced from 0.6/0.425/0.25 to 0.44/0.385/0.275
* MG42 accuracy increases with veterancy: +10%/+15%/+15%
* MG42 range distance near from 10 to 0
* MG42 0.75 accuracy modifier versus Snipers (down from 1.5).
The Stug E was proving to be overly effective for its cost, especially as a call-in tank that could bypass tech requirements. Furthermore, Target Weak Point allowed the Stug E to have strong anti tank utility even though it's primarily an anti-infantry vehicle.
Target Weak Point (TWP)
* TWP now applies Stuart Blind (5 seconds: no vision, guns disabled)
* TWP damage reduced from 80 to 40
* TWP Always penetrates
The Puma serves the role of a anti-vehicle and soft counter to tanks, however, the Target Weak Point’s ability to stun even the heaviest of tanks made it over perform for its cost and mobility.
Target Weak Point (TWP)
* TWP now applies Stuart Blind (5 seconds: no vision, guns disabled)
* TWP Damage reduced from 120 to 60
* TWP always penetrates
* TWP munitions cost reduced from 40 to 35 to match other TWP variants
The ability to equip two M1919 LMG’s on a squad was resulting in over performing long range DPS for a squad as durable as Riflemen or as cheap as Rear Echelon.
To improve Wehrmacht's late game infantry scaling, USF Riflemen have received a slight reduction in their vet 3 bonus to their received accuracy.
The USF Mortar barrage, rate of fire and veterancy bonuses have been causing this unit to overperform in most engagements. Furthermore, it has overshadowed the more expensive pack howitzer, lacking only range on its barrage until the pack howitzer hits veterancy 2.
Critical repair allowed USF vehicles to escape too easily after getting caught by a Panzerfaust or hitting a mine.
We felt that the Stuart was over-performing in its role as an anti-infantry unit and as a strong light vehicle counter. Furthermore, its stun rounds allowed it to hunt down light vehicles that were designed to counter it. Thus, we have made the following changes to solidify its role as primarily an anti-light vehicle unit.
Due to the changes in the opposing factions (most notably 222 changes and Luchs), we are adjusting the performance of M15 to bring it in line with the other light vehicles. This will also help prevent the Lieutenant tier from dominating over the Captain tier.
Given the changes to light vehicles, we felt that the risk vs reward for the Mechanised HQ as a tech choice would become too high due it not offering any type of healing. To compensate, Sturmpioneers have Medical Supplies available from the start.
OKW’s heavy Panzerfaust cost made them excessively vulnerable to vehicles, especially when compounded with their other anti-tank options.
Due to the changes made to Stealth, the Raketenwerfer has become overly vulnerable to infantry flanks. We feel that this leaves the performance of the Raketenwerfer somewhat lacking against vehicles.
We’ve found that the 251 Half-Track was underperforming in its role as an anti-infantry unit due to its immobility and vulnerability to vehicle rushes, lack of infantry support, and inability to counter some of OKW’s primary threats such as MG lockdown.
The following changes aim to make Luchs much more consistent in its damage output (reducing spikes, as well as removing several sources of inconsistency). These changes are intended to keep the unit a strong AI vehicle while giving opposing players enough time to react in an engagement. To do this we are making the main gun of the Luchs ignore suppression modifiers of the target unit. We are also increasing the performance of Luchs when it closes in on enemy squads. With this change, the Luchs will ignore cover of nearby infantry units if driven up within 10m from them, (similar to small-arms fire weapons, i.e. the Point Blank mechanic)
Veterancy 5 "Suppressive Fire" ability
* Veterancy 5 passive turned to a timed “Suppressive Fire” ability.
* Suppresses enemy squads
* 10 Munition cost
* 20 seconds duration
* 60 seconds cooldown
* Reduces main gun damage by -50%
2cm vs Garrisons
* Garrison Damage Multiplier from 0.25 to 0.3
* Garrison Accuracy Multiplier from 0.4 to 0.5
* Damage all in hold set to True
Aimed shot ability
Given the changes to the other factions’ light vehicles, this ability would make it so that the Puma would also be the best vehicle for wiping infantry squads. To mitigate this, we have made the following changes:
We feel that PIAT’s are a primary influencer to why the British are experiencing a disparity in the early and late game anti-tank capability. PIAT’s also pose a problem between game modes, skill levels and maps due to the fact they must be manually and precisely aimed. The following changes will make PIATs feel more consistent and easier to use at all skill levels and in all situations:
We have found that the Sapper squads simply scale too well due to the reduced reinforcement cost bonus they achieve at Vet 3.
We found that the AEC’s anti-infantry damage was too potent for a vehicle with so much anti-tank capability, yet its main gun was very inconsistent due to its comparatively large scatter. The AEC also suffered from extremely low armour causing it to be destroyed by S Mines and HMG teams too easily. Finally, we have made changes to the Treadbreaker ability that will make it considerably more consistent and easier to use.
Turret rotation in treadbreaker mode increased from 33 to 40 (makes it more reliable)
We feel there is a disparity in how squads are assigned formations which is impacting squad performance. To address this problem we have implemented the following changes:
Give all squad members a roughly equal breathing space, regardless of the size of the squad (be it 2 members or 6 members)
“Ghost Wire/Sandbags” is the name for a common exploit in competitive play which allows partially completed fortifications to block movement. While unfinished fortifications could be destroyed by small arms, they took several seconds of focus fire to destroy what could be placed instantly. If players want to impede enemy movements with barbed wire and/or sandbags, they now have to fully complete constructing them.
The base layout of several armies makes it so that retreating infantry units often get caught up in high-congestion areas. This, in particular, makes it difficult for nearby-stationed medics to reach injured soldiers, thus reducing the efficiency of healing.
Soviets engineers and Werhmacht Pioneers will be able to select the rotation of base buildings to allow players to optimize paths, as well as create unique layouts!
The following community-made maps have been removed from automatch and the map list
A big thank you goes out to the community balance team for once again supplying the curated balance changes described below. Of course, these changes wouldn't be possible without the feedback and dedication of the community so once again, we thank you for your continued support and commitment to this game.
We feel that the dominant Soviet “Maxim-spam” strategy is over performing with the benefits of this strategy heavily outweighing the risks.
To address this issue we will be increasing the arc of the Maxim MG while severely reducing its suppression performance to compensate. We have also removed sprint (which allows MGs to “get away”) and we are increasing the setup time to other MG levels. We are also increasing the reinforcement cost of the original crew to match the reinforcement cost of Conscripts.
To make up for a low base-value suppression (to avoid early-game spam) we've also give the Maxim, we are giving the unit strong multipliers vs light-cover and suppressed squads to allow the Maxim to scale well into the late-game.
The new Vet 1 ability (Sustained Fire) will help the Maxim perform more reliably vs blobs. An improved burst time will allow the Maxim to deal increased suppression vs persistent targets. Reduced cooldown allows the Maxim to switch targets more easily. Finally, the forced reload at the start of the ability can be used to guarantee that the Maxim will not chew through its ammunition belt during a crucial fight.
Overall, the changes are the following:
* Arc of fire increased from 60 degrees to 90 degrees (other MGs have 90-120 degrees)
* Setup time from 2 to 3 (other MGs have 3)
* Burst duration from 2.25 to 4.5
* Damage reduced from 4 to 3 (the DPS of the Maxim remains the same)
* Tracking speed from 35 to 28
* Reinforcement cost from 15 to 20
* Sprint removed from Vet1
* Sustained fire ability added at Vet1
* Suppression reduced from 0.00015909 to 0.00006
* Suppression versus light cover from 0.5 to 0.75
* Suppression versus heavy cover from 0.1 to 0.2
* Suppression vs suppressed targets increased from 0.5 to 0.65
* Nearby suppression modifier from 0.8 to 1.25
* Nearby suppression radius increased from 10 to 13
* Maxim squad formation changed
* Rotation changed from 120 to 225
* Acceleration/Deceleration increased to infinite
* Removed cover-traversal penalties from the Maxim
* Increases burst length duration by x2
* Reduces reload time by 0.5 (multiplicative)
* Reduces cooldown time by 0.5 (multiplicative)
* Forces a reload at the beginning of the ability
* Cancels (with no refund) if the Maxim moves
* 30 second duration
* 50 seconds cooldown
* Costs 20 munitions
To prevent unintended behavior, as well as to assist with targeting the ability, we are splitting the functionality of the Penal Satchel ability into two separate abilities. Note that both abilities launch precisely the same projectile with respect to damage and critical effects. The two abilities only behave differently with respect to targeting.
* This ability targets a location on the ground.
* If the satchel collides with a vehicle, the satchel will stick to the vehicle
* This ability can only be targeted on enemy vehicles
* If the vehicle remains within range while the ability is casting, the satchel will home-in on the enemy vehicle
To prevent players from over-relying on sherman call-ins and skipping teching, we are increasing the dispatch time between successive Shermans. Moreover, longer recharge time between shermans will prevent players from spamming Shemans, when the Command Point requirements becomes met.
Note that, at the same time, we are not affecting the cost-efficiency of the Shermans. Thus, the doctrine will still reward the players with a highly-efficient USF-made tank. At the same time, the longer recharge time will force the Soviet player to want to field Shermans side-by-side with Soviet-made tanks. We believe this will also add a touch of authenticity to the doctrine.
To encourage strategic diversity, we are reducing the cooldown of the Sherman dispatch ability once T4 has been reached in order to help ensure the doctrine can continue to be useful in multiple strategies.
We find that the M10, which is a highly cost-efficient tank hunter is overperforming with respect to how it deals with infantry due to its potency to crush squads. Therefore, we are taking steps to remedy this, without, however, affecting M10’s mobility.
We found that the early arrival of OKW panzerfaust combined with the complete lack of scaling potential for light vehicles made it prohibitive for players to integrate light vehicle strategies in their games. Moreover, we find that the cost-efficiency improvements on the Panzerfaust were too dramatic.
We feel the Mark Target ability is overperforming relative to its cost. This is primarily due to the +50% damage bonus that the ability bestows on the target. Our changes to the Mark Target ability aim to make it less efficient at “bursting-down” enemy vehicles, while still allowing the ability to perform better in a sustained-fire role. This allows the ability to remain relevant, while offering options for counter-play to the targeted player.
To prevent the vehicle from being too dominant in teamgames, we are making Command Panther mutually exclusive with the King Tiger. Moreover, we are changing the way the Command Panther’s aura affects teammates. We are also increasing the Command Point requirements of the Command Panther to bring its arrival closer in line with its value.
* +range, +sight, +speed bonuses removed from infantry-affecting bonus of the aura (Vet5 aura still awards +accuracy/+reload to infantry)
* +sight/+range parts of vehicle-affecting aura no longer affect teammates
* Vet 5 infantry-affecting aura no longer affects teammates
We find that the ability is over performing relative to its cost.
We find that the ability is over performing relative to its cost. We are also removing the ability of players to “tune up” the tanks of their teammates with the ability.
To make the ability fire more reliably (i.e., without bugs), we are changing the nature of the ability such that the AEC has to be stationary to fire it. At the same time, we are increasing the responsiveness of the ability to give UKF players that build and preserve their AECs with a reliable snare ability.
We have found find that the Cromwell's ability crush models is far too potent. To help reduce this potency we are reducing the unit's rotation rate. However, to allow the Cromwell to retain the feel a higher-than-average mobility, we are compensating with an increased turret rotation rate.
Secondary to these changes, we are adjusting several other attributes of the Cromwell to bring its cost-efficiency in line with other tanks of its callibre.
Finally, to partly offset a weak British early game, we are giving Cromwells default access to smoke shells.
The Comet is receiving changes that are similar in-spirit with the ones already described for the Cromwell. In addition to these changes, we are also reducing the range of the main gun of the Comet to 45 to match other anti-infantry-capable tanks (e.g., Pershing, Tiger). We believe that Comet’s higher-than-average armour and mobility will still allow it to overcome the reduced range. At the same time, this will make standoffs with the more-specialist Panther more balanced.
We find the range of both abilities (80) and the lethality of the White Phosphorus to be over performing. At the same time, we are introducing a critical fix to both abilities to make them more reliable.
To bring UKF emplacements in line with the emplacements of other armies, we are preventing players from building UKF emplacements in the base sector:
To improve counter play vs the Land Mattress we are allowing anti-tank weaponry (e.g., AT guns and tanks) to target the gun directly in order to destroy the unit without having first to de-crew it. This brings the durability of the Land Mattress down to static howitzer levels. We also feel the rate of fire of the Land Mattress does not give its opponents a sufficient amount of time to react to a barrage.
We find that Artillery Cover is an ability that is too efficient for its cost. Therefore, we are significantly reducing the effects vs different types of targets, allowing for greater opportunity of counterplay.
* The radius of the ability now properly drawn on the battlescape
* Delay until the barrage begins increased from 4 seconds to 8 seconds
* Decreased the AoE radius of anti-vehicle shells from 8 to 6.
* Reduced speed of anti-vehicle shells, so that it is now possible to dodge them
* Reduced the duration of loader-injured critical from 10 seconds to 5 seconds
* Suppression vs infantry reduced, so that incoming anti-infantry barrages no longer pin infantry squads, but rather only suppress them.
To improve usability of this ability, we have made the following changes:
We are adjusting the amount of resources players can attain from vehicles using doctrinal salvage abilities. Previously, certain wrecks would award large amount of munitions/manpower, which wouldn’t correspond to their class. We are now changing salvage so that only fuel and munitions are awarded from salvaging a wreck. Moreover we are normalizing wreck values so that the amount of resources gained now depend on the worth of the vehicle.
(Values are given in Munitions/Fuel)
The changes to salvage affect both Tank Hunter Doctrine (Soviets) and Tactical Support Regiment (UKF) salvage abilities.
We are further modifying the handbrake ability to make it provide additional utility to the players. The new ability is similar to a hold fire ability. However, instead of preventing firing, it simply prevents the vehicle from automatically rotating to face enemy units. The vehicle will still rotate to attack enemy troops, but only if an explicit attack command is issued. If a movement command is issued, the vehicle will respond to the movement command. At the same time, if the ability is on, the vehicle will stop automatically rotating once the movement is complete. With handbrake v2.0 a maneuver can be executed without having to repeatedly toggle the ability.
In addition to the original affected vehicles (i.e., all transport vehicles), we are also adding handbrake v2.0 to the following vehicles. This will allow players to control whether they want the vehicles to rotate to face the enemy or not:
Nevertheless, the following vehicles retain the original (i.e., immobilize) version of the handbrake. This is because for the following vehicles, unwanted movement incurs a potentially lengthy setup time:
We find that the lack of a proper hold fire ability makes players resort to half-measures to control when their AT-guns or tanks can fire.
The affected units are:
Note: To make UI experience consistent, the doctrinal Soviet AT ambush ability has been moved one row below its previous position.
In Relic and SEGA's ongoing effort to support the conservation of wildlife and endangered species, we have partnered with Whales and Dolphins Conservation and The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to help raise funds for these great causes.
6 new conservation-themed skin sets created by community member RitaRush have been added to the game. All of Relic's / SEGA's associated revenue from the sales of these items will go to their associated charity. If you would like to help protect endangered species and give your favorite COH2 faction a fresh new coat of paint, you can buy the WDC Charity Camo Pack and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Conservation Charity Camo pack on Steam.
Note: These items are available on their corresponding Steam store pages only and are not available in the in-game store.
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