russian armor

June 23rd Patch


Hail to the patch, baby!

A new COH2 patch is due to hit lives servers on June 23rd, the first since March. A variety of changes to game balance is sure to play a role in refreshing the meta for all game modes. The full extent is yet to be seen, and with the patch just around the corner we have assembled a preview of the changes with balance commentary by COH2.ORG strategists and staffers.

Official Notes can be found here on the official COH2 community forums.

There are some significant changes for mod support, but there is a separate newspost for that. Here we are focusing on gameplay and balance changes

Relic's Stated Objectives

Increase the Number of Viable Strategies in the Game
  • Make core tech tree units more desirable
  • Increase the viability of light vehicle combat.
  • Promote and Encourage Combined Arms

Reduce Negative User Experiences in Gameplay
  • Reduce the amount of frustrating moments that can be caused by undesirable gameplay
  • Improve usability and remove unintended behavior from the game
  • General game balance tuning
  • Reduce the amount un-desired randomness generated

Analysis & Highlights

This patch features a variety of balance changes, some of which have been proposed by community members in the past. Although many players have expressed concern about additional changes which may have been left out of the build, much of the speculation is positive. Increasing the amount of viable strategies, reducing negative user experiences in gameplay, and reducing RNG mechanics are stand out features of the patch.

Rather than go over the whole list item by item in order, we've chosen to look at these thematically and hopefully dig out the changes that will have the most effect on gameplay. Our review features COH2.ORG strategists and staffers providing commentary to help understand what to expect from the changes.

Stand Out Changes:

  • RNG Reduction
  • Heavy Tank Limitation
  • Changes to Tank Snares

RNG Reduction

The chance of planes crashing into one of your units was extremely rare but when it does, it can be devastating and game changing for that player. Although we feel this is a spectacular event, we want the effects to be less punishing to both Players.
  • Plane crash AOE reduced from 15 to 6
  • Plane crash damage reduced from 750 to 240

!"Extremely rare" in the same sense that cockroaches are an endangered species.

Remember: Every Plane Crash tells a Story(TM)

So there should now be a point in buying AA because letting the plane attack you is now more dangerous than shooting it down and having it land on top of you. An indirect nerf to doctrines that rely on planes and an indirect buff to things like Soviet T3vV

Flamethrower Criticals
  • Units with flamethrowers will no longer have a chance to explode until they are the last unit in the squad
  • No more flame criticals above 50% health.
  • Flame AOE Damage increased from 0.25 / 0. 625 / 1 to 0.4 / 0.7 /1

!Flamers were too random in both directions. Either the upgrade blew up randomly, *cough* Rifles, and / or they randomly crit nearly full squads with no counter to it - an unpleasant mechanic for everyone, especially on the receiving end.
Keeping squads at full health will now prevent them from premature losses, while at the same time Flamers are now persistent damage dealers, with less risk of losing the upgrade.

From "let's spam flamers and roll the dice" to "consistent AoE crowd control"

Vehicle Criticals
  • Main Gun Destroy critical chance moved from 0 health to 25% health
  • Engine Destroy critical chance removed
  • Engine Damaged critical cause by handheld snares can be repaired at 75% health

!So a vehicle is less likely to dodge death by getting a Gun destroyed when it would otherwise be killed, but more likely to get a Gun destroyed before it gets killed.

Engine Damage now gets repaired in the middle of a repair process rather than right at the end, because repair crews now realize that making the engine run properly might just be more important than beating out every single dent in the panels first before you look in the engine bay

Basically means vehicles will repair better and patching them in the field so they are drivable then pulling back at full speed to finish them off is an option.vV

Heavy Tank Limitation

Super Heavy Call in Vehicles (Tiger, Tiger Ace, Elefant, IS2, ISU, Jadgtiger, Sturmtiger, KV2)
We are limiting Heavy Vehicles to a field limit of 1. We want the players to use the Heavy Tanks to support core units or have core units support the Heavy Tanks. We are anticipating this change will encourage players to spend their fuel on other units within their tech tree as it will be in-efficient to continue accumulating fuel. This also severely effects 3v3 and 4v4 games where players can see up to 12 Heavy Vehicles in a match.

!From a 3v3/4v4 perspective, this change is sure to have a large impact on the team-game meta. Building 2+ heavy tanks is a popular strategy in large games, as the quantity of AT available between teammates creates the opportunity to hold out fuel for the heavies. Players should consider teching to medium tanks earlier, in order to bide time for your lone heavy.

Although this counts for all heavies, some heavy tanks such as the Tiger, IS2, and ISU-152 are the most common tanks to hit the field in numbers. This will change the way skilled teams and players choose to field heavy tanks, as the value of mediums is increased. The frontal armor and firepower of heavy tanks devalued mediums in situations where flanking was difficult, or excessively risky.

Bottom line for 3v3/4v4 gameplay is that you should expect to prepare for mediums sooner, and field them sooner yourself.Ohme

!This should help appease the "It was like that in COH1" crowd. I somewhat doubt that Sturmtiger spam was a problem that needed addressing, so really this in practice will affect Tigers and IS2s only

It's a big change that means T1+T2 into Heavy Call ins won't be a go-to in the meta anymore

A lot of people have been asking for this, almost as many have been asking for this to apply to King Tigers as well, but at least as yet it doesn't affect core units though Relic have said they will keep this under reviewvV


Panzerfaust / AT Grenade/ Rifle AT Grenades
We are retuning how infantry snares work; as they act as a big deterrent to using light vehicles. We hope this will encourage more cover and positional play with infantry to deal with vehicles.
  • Can no longer deal Engine Destroy critical
  • Can no longer generate critical to units over 75% HP for Medium and Heavy Vehicles

!In my opinion this will be the single most important change of the patch in terms of shaking up the meta-game. This change is a massive buff to medium tanks and a big indirect nerf to trying to stall for call-ins without any other form of tech.

First, to clarify, the engine damage check will be applied *after* the damage is incurred by the AT nade/Faust. This means that all light vehicles will still be snared even if they were at 100% hp before the snare landed.

One of the biggest risks in using medium tanks prior to this change was how vulnerable they were to getting snared and then dying to a single AT gun. It was also incredibly hard for medium tanks to flank heavies because they were practically guaranteed to be snared by infantry supporting the heavies. Ultimately the inability for mediums to use their speed advantage against heavies to get to the rear armor made mediums generally undesirable.

With the changes to engine damage mechanics in place medium tanks will have a lot more freedom to apply pressure to players trying to stall for call-in on the back of only AT guns.

Finally, the removal of fielding multiple heavies simultaneously combined with the increased potential for mediums to reach the rear armor of heavies should result in players needing to support their valuable heavy vehicles with medium armor. CieZ

Other Balance Highlights

(More or less in order of significance)

SU 76
  • Health increased from 320 to 400
  • Penetration increased from 90/ 100/ 110 to 180/ 190 / 200
  • Cost increased from 240/70 to 280 / 75

  • Health increased from 400 to 560
  • Penetration increased from 110/120/130 to 170 / 185 / 200
  • AOE Penetration to match other tank destroyers profiles
  • Scatter Max to 8
  • Radius reduced from 1.5 to 0.5
  • Reaction Radius reduced to 0.5
  • Distances adjusted to match other tank destroyer profiles
  • Cost increased from 230/80 to 280/90

  • Reload increased from 3.8 to 5.3
  • Health increased from 400 to 560

!Well they've forced us to use "combined arms" by limiting the heavy tanks, here comes one of the buffs to core units to help make core stand up better.

The SU-76 might be the most radical change in any patch notes, penetration being doubled moves it from a light tickle to something enemy tanks might have to worry about.

The STUG-G receives similar, though not as radical a buff, meanwhile the E becomes tougher but slightly less good against infantry with it's longer reload.vV

!Besides the major penetration increase on the StugG, the health buff is quite huge, and a major TTK (Time to kill) increase overall. Examples: taken enemy AT hits from 3 to 4, Jackson hits from 2 to 3 (can now soft-counter Jacksons due higher ROF and cheaper pricetag), Zook hits from 5 to 7. StugE has been slightly nerfed in terms of first impact due it's increased reload time, but will now be a better addition to combined arms throughout the whole game.
In combination with the overall change to medium armor, and recent Jackson buffs, StugGs will even be a viable solution to tech down for.kamk

All Heavy Machine Guns (HMG)
  • Incremental accuracy multiplier changed to 1.15
  • Incremental search radius changed to 10/12.5/15
  • Nearby suppression radius changed to 13 (except maxim HMG)
  • Min / Max Bursts unified

Incremental accuracy is a value that changes the accuracy of the weapon based on the number of entities in the search radius. So by increasing this value, HMGS will be be more accurate vs bigger squads than smaller squads. It also means the weapon accuracy will shoot up much higher if its aiming at a blob of infantry. Because we increased not only the incremental accuracy multiplier but also the incremental search radius, this is a huge lethality buff for all HMGs especially vs blobs of infantry.

!This change will provide a large increasing in blob-stopping power to most machine guns (USF M2HB, Wehr MG42, OKW MG34, Sov Dshka). It should require significantly less time to suppress large groups via AoE suppression. This is also an indirect buff to the suppression power of a machine gun attacking a vehicle and suppressing nearby infantry. Maxims will perform better, but not to the same degree as other MGs.Ohme

Soviet Vet Changes
  • Both mortars have Flares instead of Precision Strike at Vet1
  • Katushya has Creeping Barrage instead of Precision Strike

!One of the minor but impactful meta changes IMO.
Playing with support weapons as Axis was rather frustrating and annoying when facing indirect fire from SOV. The lack of such will grant all Axis team weapons a better staying power - they won't get one shot wiped that easily anymore. It doesn't only indirectly buff non-doctrinal teams, but also doctrinal positions like the Pak43, which is now a more valid counter to the current Guard Motor meta, or any tank based army in question. At the same time Soviets receive a very powerful scouting option to poke on Axis fortified positions, or simply find desirable strategic targets more easily, which may directly lead to other commander synergies in general.kamk

!Flares though should also give LOS for off-map strikes, this might mean that rather than get hit by a series of precision strikes Axis defensive positions take large hits from off-maps later in the game. Non-doctrinal recon abilities are always good to have.vV

The other stuff:

Weapon Teams and Force Facing Feature in Ambient Buildings

!They now have the option to be manually faced, which means they can point where you want them to point and not whichever window the guy on the weapon thinks gives the best view. This also means that they will stay pointing out the same window unless you tell them stop even they are being flanked vV

  • Prioritize vehicle have been added to the following vehicles: Shermans (All Variants except the bulldozer) T34s (All Variants), Stuart, T-70, Greyhound, Panzer IV, IS2, Tiger (All Variants) and KV1.

!This is nice and will give more control, but the people who have asked for it will not be appeased until everything has it.vV

Weapon teams can no longer be destroyed when manned

!This is a buff to the survivability of weapon crews indirectly. Weapon teams will no longer explode as a result of the weapon being destroyed. Recrewing severely damaged weapon teams in an emergency will be more effective, as the weapon will last as long as the crew is alive. Large number of PTRS Guards or Conscripts will no longer destroy weapon teams without first killing the crew members.Ohme

Other Soviet Unit Changes

M5 Halftrack
We’ve adjusted the stats to bring it in line with other AA Halftracks.
  • Quad 50 Cal suppression increased from 0.003 to 0.009
  • Quad 50 Cal damage increased from 8 to 12
  • Improved AA capabilities to be in line with Flak-Halftrack & AA Halftrack

!Now that there is a point to getting AA this makes the M5 even bettervV

!This buff makes the M5 AA-HT deal 3x more suppression, 50% more damage, and improved Anti-Air. Players of all game modes, especially 3v3/4v4, should put more effort into acquiring this unit, as it is significantly more effective for its price.Ohme

120mm Mortar
  • Damage reduced from 100 to 80
  • Cost reduced from 400 to 340

Drop rate of PTRS at rifle and DP-28 LMG to from 33% to 10%

!No longer will you be able to tell where your Guards squads have been by the dropped weapons they leave behind like a militant Hansel and GretelvV

  • Penetration increased from 1.5/2/3 to 1.5/3/4.5

!This would be interesting if it wasn't in two doctrines one of which is terrible and the other is meh, though Lend Lease will benefit from the M5 buffvV

Direct Fire penetration increased from 340 to 600 to prevent an issue of the shot not doing any damage to high armored units

Other OKW Changes

  • Now has a toggle ability that allows the squad to camouflage (Can move at 40% speed while camo)
  • Veterancy bonuses adjusted to account for no camouflage now grants improved movement speed in camouflage

!Indirectly nerfs overextension of light vehicles (M3 / M20 / AA rushing / etc). Gives OKW a more decent option to punish such behaviour (traps), and stand their ground later in the game by not being spotted before they're in range..kamk

!Intent is to give OKW options other than shreks, people will still buy shreks anyway thoughvV

  • Damage reduced from 4 to 2
  • Suppression increase by 15%

!The MG34 will not be an effective damage platform, but its ability to slow down enemy infantry is greatly increased this patch.Ohme

!The MG34 might look like a bad unit now with the damage cut in half, but remember that machine guns do not get their power from raw damage. Suppressed units get a temporary damage reduction. This is why the suppression buff is a welcome buff to the mg34. It should now suppress units faster and more reliablySarantini

IR Halftrack
Cost reduced from 200/25 to 200/0

!I'm going to try building these things, killing them and salvaging themvV

Fallshirmjagers & Jaeger Light Infantry
Now have Hold Fire

!More surprise / ambush mechanics. Besides baiting with cutable wire, ambushing snipers / infantry, spotting, this looks like an intended synergy with the Raketen changes - hide real strength, bait, etc.kamk

Range increased to match other factions detection radius

  • Is now cuttable

Stuka zu Fuss, Sturmtiger
  • Veterancy Requirements reduced by 20%

!I saw a VET 5 Stuka once, it was a fragile thing of beauty right before I drove 3 IS2s over it. {sniff}.vV

OKW Base defences
  • Can no longer be sniped

!We don't yet know if this will apply to Flak Emplacements built in the field, it depends upon how the changes has been implemented. This does not stop other methods of stealing base defences howevervV

Other USF Changes

  • Damage increased at far from 0.25 to 0.5

  • Health increased from 320 to 400
  • Moving accuracy increased from 0.5 to 0.75
  • Penetration increased from 45/45/60 to 45/50/65
  • FOW Scatter multiplier penalty reduced from 300% to 25%

USF version of Puma? Being able to shoot more accurately on the move, surviving one more shot from AT weaponary, will help this unit to find its place.
Especially in combination with recent Howitzer buffs, freshly buffed .50 cal, and changing meta towards medium tanks, Captain Tier looks really sweet again.kamk

AA Halftrack:
  • Removed AA mode veterancy requirement
  • Gain increase acceleration at vet 1

That's it for now, see you on the battlefield!

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