there haven't been any patch for quite some time. It is not because we would lose interest in BK but simply because we've been swamped with work and duties in our real lives. We have been, however, following the discussions on the forum and this patch is bringing changes that address some of the most debated topics and also fixes many of the reported bugs.
Let's get to it.
One of the big topics was the Sturmtiger and its general usefulness. You brought up several suggestions to make this unit more appealing in Propaganda doctrine. We decided to lower the cost of the rocket and also add more utility to Sturmtiger so that it has a bigger impact and more functions that just "shoot one huge rocket somewhere every 6 minutes. Infantry can now reinforce around Sturmtiger and this tank now also has the "fear aura" that Tigers and Kingtigers have. It seems that the general consensus was that the rocket ability was too expensive and had too long cooldown, so this has been changed too.
A topic that has been brought up several times was the general state of "ultimate" offmap abilities - Longtom, 150mm, 280mm and the Firestorm. The complaints pretty much boiled down to the fact that these abilities were just "braindead click-to-kill" abilities, which were mostly used to quickly erase from the map whatever unit was your biggest problem. These abilities hit very quickly and left almost no time for reaction, but at the same time obliterated anything in the hit zone. This made many late game units much less viable because these abilities allowed wiping these units without much of a sweat. We want these abilities to be a heavy solution against strong defenses and possible finish-off for immobilised units, but not an "oh, there's a SP/KT/JT over there! *click* Problem solved!" kind of ability.- Changed the cost of Sturmtiger shot to 100 ammo and recharge to 90s (from 150 ammo and 360s)
- Added an ability to Sturmtiger to reinforce infantry nearby
- Added an ability to Sturmtiger to apply debuff aura same as Tiger tanks (also requires the same unlock)
Several changes have been made. The most unpopular is most likely going to be the red "warning" flare. The flare is going to land about 3 seconds before the artillery starts hitting the target zone. This should provide some reaction time to retreat units from the hit zone, but since the ability is intended to target strong defenses (which are usually static) or finish off immobilised units, it should still be able to its job. The delay between shots has also been increased. While working on this, I noticed that Firestorm ability actually sent two barrages into the selected zone. Given how this was implemented, I am fairly sure this was a mistake in coding and so this has been fixed.
The Combat Engineer Training unlock in Armor doctrine has been considered one of the best (if not THE best) first unlocks in any doctrine. The effects of this unlock were pretty strong and gave to the doctrine a very strong close-combat squad for just 1 CP. This might be somewhat justified in a doctrine that is focused on infantry, but it is hard to justify in a doctrine that is focused on vehicles and tanks. Therefore, the effects of the unlock have been brought down a bit.- Added a warning red flare to Longtom, 150mm, 280mm and Firestorm offmap artillery abilities
- Changed the delay between shots of the 280mm Offmap rocket artillery ability to 1-2.5 sec (from 0.25-0.75 sec)
- Changed the delay between shots of the Firestorm Offmap rocket artillery ability to 1-2.5 sec (from 0.25-1 sec)
- Increased scatter radius of 280mm offmap rocket strike to 30 (from 20)
- Firestorm ability no longer fires twice as many rockets than intended
A big discussion came about the artillery again. Specific point was how fast the first dedicated howtzers can be built. We agreed that some doctrines were able to build 105mm howitzers very quickly after investing just 2CP. This enabled Defensive doctrine in team games to just sit back, collect the CPs and then just shell everything everywhere. Defensive doctrine now needs to also build the Tank Factory in order to build howitzers.--"Combat Engineer Training" unlock changed:
- Removed a free Veterancy level
- Reduced the damage reduction to -15% (from -25%)
- Reduced the XP boost to +10% (from +20%)
Stuka Halftrack still kept the veterancy bonuses from vCoH which allowed it to survive a lot more damage taken and probably enriched its rockets at Vet2 with some more potent explosives as this Vet level also increased damage of the rockets by 20%. This has now been changed and this unit gets Vet bonuses that affect only its arty abilities, just as other arty units.
Another thing connected to artillery is the Victor Target ability, which allowed to fire many arty units into one place for a fraction of the cost it would have cost to shoot each unit individually. In my infinite genius I got an idea how to make make VT cost grow based on how many units participate in the VT barrage. The main benefit of this ability should be the unlimited range and the option to bypass cooldowns on arty units to immediately fire somewhere. The fact that it was possible to fire 5+ arty pieces to any place on the map for about 70 ammo was ridiculous and so it now has been changed. The VT cost is still lower than when shooting each arty piece individually but the costs are now cummulative.- 105 howitzers in Defensive and Infantry doctrines now also require Tank Factory/Tank Depot (from just only CP)
- Stuka Halftrack no longer gets 25% damage taken reduction at Vet1, 15% more HP and 20% more damage dealth at Vet2
Please, test this for each doctrine that has any form of VT. The change is quite complex and I am not 100% sure that I haven't forgotten some units.
The HE of 37mm units has been causing trouble in the early game. There were some problems with settings of some of these units which made them hit pretty much every time, but there was also the problem that these units often one-shot entire squads and so they made higher-tier units with the same purpose rather obsolete. These units now still deal good damage to infantry but they now apply suppression and damage rather than massive damage only.- VT abilities now raise in cost based on how many arty units participate in the VT barrage
A lot has been said about the Scorched Earth doctrine. The main complaints were that the doctrine has very early access to two offmap artillery abilities, both of them being very strong. Then there were other complaints and suggestions about the general focus of the doctrine. We agree that the two early offmaps were a bit of an overkill. Out of the two, the sector artillery was the stronger of the two because it instantly hammered any unit in the selected sector with a "laser-guided orbital strike". Firestorm was added in one of the latest patches as it fits thematically with many of the fire-based weapons that the doctrine has at disposal. We removed the Sector artillery and postponed the Firestorm offmap. Also, as already mentioned, the Firestorm suffered from a bug that doubled its strength so that is now also fixed. As for the general focus - we can see people would like to see some changes but it seems that people canno agree on what direction the doctrine should take. We'll keep an eye on this and possibly bring some changes in the future. Flank Speed has been another highly discussed topic. Some people call the ability "cartoonish", some say it allows bypassing defenses too easily, others say it is OK. The polls were tilted more to a change, but not by some vast majority of votes. We decided to remove the ability but add some compensations to the units that used to have the ability. Comets and Cromwells are already 20% harder to hit just because of their "armor type" and they are pretty fast even without the ability. These tanks got an extra 5% "dodge" chance on the move so it adds to approximately 25% dodge chance when moving. Achilles/Wolverine don't have the basic 20% dodge, so they got 10% "dodge" while on the move. Jackson used to require the engine upgrade to get flank speed and the upgrade costs resources. To still justify getting the upgrade on Jackson, its "dodge" bonus is 15% on the move and the upgrade now also adds acceleration bonus.-- Tweaked HE rounds on 37mm units (Stuart/37mm HT/PaK36):
- Accuracy set to 1/0.9/0.75/0.65 (from various values)
- AoE set to 5
- Base damage set to 55
- Damage modifier vs infantry changed to x1 (from 1.5)
- Penetration modifier vs infantry changed to x1 (from 10)
- Suppression set to 0.2 (from 0.001)
All these "dodge" bonuses kick in only after the tank has been moving for at least 1.5 seconds. This is to prevent people from shift-clicking a milimeter in front of and behind the unit to keep it "technically" moving and milk the dodge bonus while practically not moving at all.
The 222 Armored car in PE lost its flank speed but to keep the unit useful even without the flank speed, it now has the "sprint" aura for infantry around. This aura requires no unlock and it is the only vehicle available to all PE doctrines that has this ability (TS doctrine can still unlock this for all light vehicles). The 222 is a reward vehicle for 250/9 and if 222 got the sprint aura and 250/9 got nothing, there would be no reason to ever go with 250/9. Therefore, we added the reinforce option to the 250/9. If you have the micro to fully utilize the sprint advantage, go with 222, if not, the reinforce option of 250/9 might be more useful to you.
PE in general had build menus on Panzer Grenadiers, Assault Grenadiers and also Assault Pionners. Some things were possible to build by all of them, which led to overlap in their functions. Another thing was that in some doctrines there were so many buildable things in the build menu that you couldn't even see all things that a unit should be able to build.- Removed Flank Speed ability from all units
- Comets and Cromwells are now 5% harder to hit when on the move (bonus is active only after 1.5 sec)
- M10 Achilles is now 10% harder to hit when on the move (bonus is active only after 1.5 sec)
- M10 Wolverine is now 10% harder to hit when on the move (bonus is active only after 1.5 sec)
- M36 with the engine upgrade is now 15% harder to hit when on the move (bonus is active only after 1.5 sec)
- M36 engine upgrade now also increases acceleration by 20% (original +20% max speed bonus is still in place)
- Sdkfz 222 in PE now has the "sprint aura" for infantry around (no unlock or doctrine required)
- Sdkfz 250/9 in PE now has the ability to reinforce infantry around
This has been changed now. PGrens still build base buildings, and basic defenses - wires and sandbags (the heavy bunker in SE) and that is it. Assault Pioneers can build basic defenses, trenches, MG nests, road blocks and mines. Assault Grenadiers can no longer build anything - they are your main combat infantry that can still repair things around, building defenses is not necessary for them, especially if you have the pioneers to take care of that. Normal bunkers have been removed from PE altogether.
It has been requested to give Defensive doctrine PIV F2 or J to allow for at least some limited way of offensive advance. Defensive doctrine is focused on defensive play and so offensive capabilities are intentionally weaker. Despite that, we decided to try to try adding the PIV F2 and see what sort of impact it will have.- Normal Bunkers removed from PE
- Mortar Bunker (SE) is now buildable by PGrens
- Infantry, Teller mines and Roadblocks can no longer be used by PGrens
- Assault Pioneers can no longer build Trenches
- Assault Grenadiers can no longer build defenses
This patch also brings some bug fixes. Specifically:- Panzer IV F2 is now available in Defensive Doctrine
Give it a try, and see if everything works - especially the VT and MG gunner on M18 when in camo. If you find any problems, please report them here and each in a separate topic - it is easier to keep trac of individual problems that way.- Fixed extremely low accuracy of PIII vs targets in trenches
- You will no longer lose control of squads when using satchel charges (not sure if I remember all the squads that have this, so maybe I've forgotten some)
- Commandos using the Assault ability will now throw grenades properly
- Passive camo of Commandos should no longer become permanently turned off
- Hauptsturmführer's command aura should now properly display an icon above affected squads
- Luftwaffe squads in FHQs now correctly require their unlock first
- The .50cal on top Hellcat should no longer auto-target things while in camo (the MG gunner is disabled for as long as the camo mode is active)
- Increased Commandos' grenade throw range to 22 (from 15 - more in line with other grenade throwing abilities)
- AT Commandos will no longer get reduced range
- Fixed incorrect penetration drop when using ALRS
- Hotchkiss now only has ammo upkeep when the Stuka rockets upgrade gets installed
- Leader of the SAS can now be detected in camouflage at the same range as the rest of the squad
- Firestorm ability no longer fires twice as many rockets than intended
- 2inch mortar smoke should no longer kill infantry
I forgot to mention this change that is also in the beta update:
This was added as a reaction to complaints that certain units activate "Crawl" ability mid-combat and just vanish into the thin air. This was obviously an abuse of the ability, but it also activated the "attack from camo" bonuses which provided an immediate bonus to combat effectiveness to the squads in the middle of a fight.- Units that can crawl can no longer enter crawling mode when they are in combat
One more forgotten thing:
This was also suggested by players. Vsturms get suppressed and/or killed rather fast so this utility change opens more options in combat. Not to mention that with Stuka halftrack, Sturmtiger and 280mm Offmap, there isn't really a need for another very deadly offmap ability.- Swapped Offmap mortar barrage of Propaganda Officer for an Offmap smoke barrage