Japanese heavy tank branch rework proposal 2.0

https://preview.redd.it/xwm0cezzqca91.png?width=759&format=png&auto=webp&s=e5a0840e26e6b0c972cfb092df1e8700f5dda216

TL;DR at the very end of the post. This proposal was originally written on Google Docs; link to that version:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vp_dCXVEnzRmcKzf4_2vtYPhmLZatIoUeUd-3-zJeyg/edit

Table of contents

1- Introduction

2 – The problems of the Japanese heavies

3 – How to fix the Japanese heavies

4 – Reworking of the Japanese heavies

4.1 – Type 5 Heavy and Type 4 Heavy

4.2 – O-Ho

4.3 – O-Ni and O-I

5 – Conclusion

1. Introduction

Before we start, I want to clarify that I’m not a developer. This is just a proposal, not an actual thing Wargaming is planning to do. While I have a rough idea of balance, I’m not actually someone who has worked on balancing the game. The numbers are just rough values to show the direction of the changes I’m proposing – I can’t know for sure whether the SPECIFIC numbers I’m showing would be too little or too much. If this proposal would actually get implemented, the numbers would most likely look different than the one displayed on this proposal. I’m just a random guy obsessed with Japanese heavies. Thus, this is merely a fan-made proposal to breathe a new life to the goofy Japanese heavies they’d deserve.

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Hello, I’m leggasiini from an EU server. I’ve always been a big enthusiast for the big heavy tanks – super-heavy tanks in particular have always been a great interest for me. With Japanese tanks being another subject I’ve always been particularly interested in, it’s no secret that I absolutely adore the Japanese super-heavy tanks in World of Tanks. They’re hands down my favorite vehicles in the game, having played overall thousands of games with them in total, achieved 3 marks of excellence in every single one of them, and have a lot of experience of playing them in pretty much every state they’ve been in. If you know me, chances are you know me as “that Japanese heavy tank guy”, and you’d be exactly correct. They’re basically my spirit animals.

That being said, the Japanese heavy tanks have had some serious problems since their introduction in patch 9.10, released in September 2015. The Type 5 Heavy, for example, has never been in a truly balanced state – it started out as extremely weak, would receive a 15.2 cm “derp gun” 1.5 years later, making it overall too powerful and also very controversial within the playerbase. Once the 15.2 cm gun was toned down, the vehicle became fairly weak again, only becoming worse and worse as time progressed. As of 2022, the Type 5 Heavy is one of the least popular tier 10 vehicles in the game, doesn’t perform too well and is a popular candidate for the worst tier 10 heavy tank in the game, and one of the worst tier 10s for that matter. It is almost completely outclassed by the E 100 in almost every way, suffers from having painfully mediocre firepower for its tier, and armor, that while very strong against standard ammunition and lower tier vehicles, is very weak against special shells. The lower tier Japanese heavies aren’t much better – the Type 4 Heavy shared the same problems, and the O-Ho is in an even worse state than the Types. As such, the Japanese heavy tank branch is currently regarded as one of the absolute worst tech trees in the game, with only the first tank of the branch, the O-I, still being considered to be somewhat decent.

Now, are the Japanese heavies unfixable? Some people believe this is the case, given Wargaming hasn’t been able to successfully balance the Type 5 Heavy. But is this actually true? Not at all! In fact, the Japanese heavies are actually not that hard to fix. Whenever they’ve been rebalanced, most of their issues just haven’t been addressed, particularly the incredibly flawed armor layouts they have.

This is why I’ve been local about the idea of reworking the Japanese heavy tanks since the very beginning. Back in 2017, I released my first rework proposal on EU forums. It was decently popular and the majority of the community had a positive response to it. This is why this proposal is “2.0” – it’s not actually the first one. The original Japanese heavy rework proposal touched on some other subjects, too, such as historical accuracy. It was very complicated and involved changing tiers of existing Japanese heavies, adding new tanks, etc., but the main goal was the same as this new, more modern proposal – rework the Japanese heavies, so they would become both more fun to play as and fun to play against. The ideas of the original proposal still influence this proposal, even 5 years later. However, the first proposal is unreasonably complex, somewhat archaic, and focuses way too much on things that are frankly just unnecessary at this point. For this reason, this new proposal is significantly more simple, with the sole focus on fixing the gameplay of the Japanese heavies. No new tanks, no changing tiers, no changing whole models, no changing names – simply focus on balancing the 5 tanks on the Japanese heavy tank branch and address their issues. Nothing less, nothing more.

2. The problems of the Japanese heavy tanks

From the very start, the Japanese heavy tanks have had three major problems that have caused them to be mostly either overperforming or underperforming. These are the following:

Armor layouts. The conventional, so-called “AP guns” being too weak. HE guns being either too powerful & toxic or way too weak.

The armor layouts of the Japanese heavies are their single biggest problem. The sheer issue comes from their universal armor thickness, where the fronts of the Japanese heavies have roughly the same effective armor on most places. Due to this, the Japanese heavies have little to no frontal frontal weak spots, making them very hard or even outright impossible to penetrate with standard shells. However, they can’t angle their armor as effectively as the German heavy tanks can. When you combine this with the armor thickness that is enough to stop standard shells, but not enough to stop special shells, as well as the massive size of the tanks, the Japanese heavies tend to be completely defenseless against shells with high penetration, namely the special shells. This ultimately results in a problem, where the Japanese heavies have too strong armor against standard shells, but too weak against special shells. This technically does make their armor “balanced”, but because a lot of people tend to just automatically fire special shells the moment they see a Japanese heavy tank, their armor can struggle a lot. Because of this, fighting against a Japanese heavy mostly revolves around the opposing player loading a special shell, not on the skill of either of the players. This, combined with their weak firepower, is the main reason why the Japanese heavy tanks are struggling. Changing the special shells could technically help with them. However, the armor layouts of the Japanese heavies is just fundamentally flawed – simply removing or nerfing the special shells could easily make the Japanese heavies too powerful. You have to look at their armor layouts and change the tanks directly – I don’t believe you can fix them otherwise.

The Japanese heavies come with two gun options – HE guns and more conventional, so-called “AP guns”. The latter tend to have good alpha damage, but that’s usually the only thing they have going for. They often suffer from lacking penetration, particularly with their special shells, very poor rate of fire, and terrible accuracy. Other than the Type 4 Heavy, their alpha damage isn’t even the best, with some other same-tier heavy tanks outclassing them. Generally, the AP guns are just way too weak. When the derp guns used to be stronger, the AP guns almost always were completely useless. In fact, the main reason why they’re the best option right now is not because they’re good, but that the derp guns are even worse.

The derp guns were the main reason why some of the Japanese heavies used to be overpowered. The high-explosive shells could more or less completely negate the armor of the opposing tanks, making the Japanese heavies very hard to deal with. Even a perfectly sidescraping Maus or a hulldown Super Conqueror could take 500 damage from a Type 5 simply splashing a special HE shell on them. However, over time, with the combination of very significant nerfs to the derp guns and the HE rework implemented in patch 1.13, the derp guns are now on the opposite spectrum, being almost completely useless on the higher tier Japanese heavies, and really only useful on the tier 6 vehicle, the O-I. The derp guns are a leftover of a flawed, now archaic concept of Japanese heavies using non-penetrating HE shells to slowly dig out opposing armored targets. While they’re no longer too strong, they’re now incredibly weak, really serving no purpose other than being very underwhelming “meme guns”.

3. How to fix the Japanese heavies

To fix the Japanese heavies, you need to address the three aforementioned issues. Improving the AP guns is fairly easy. The derp guns are a bit trickier to fix, but just some sufficient buffs would help them a lot as well. Fixing the armor layout, which is also the biggest problem that makes the Japanese heavies so fundamentally flawed, is slightly more complicated, though. However, fixing the armor layout isn’t actually as hard as it sounds.

The entire rework of the Japanese heavies can be summarized in three short sentences:

“Weaker weak-spots, stronger strong-spots and better guns.”

This is the main theme that applies for all 5 Japanese heavy tanks that are included on the tech tree – the O-I, O-Ni, O-Ho, Type 4 Heavy, and Type 5 Heavy. It is very simple but also very self-explanatory. Adding proper frontal weak spots mean that players firing standard ammunition, as well as lower tier vehicles, have a better chance fighting against a Japanese heavy tank, if they know their weakspots and can aim well that is. Having weakspots also encourages the Japanese heavy tank driver to consider them more, such as wiggling their tanks or attempting to hide them. On the other hand, strengthening the non-weak areas of the frontal armor makes sure that the opponent actually has to aim at the weakspots of the Japanese heavies. It is now much harder to simply load special shells and penetrate the Japanese heavy from almost anywhere, completely negating their armor. Special shells will still help penetrate the Japanese heavies, but you now have to at least aim instead of simply aiming for almost any flat surface and almost guaranteeing a penetration. And finally, improving the guns of the Japanese heavies will make them more competitive, give them more teeth to fight back, and make them much more fun and exciting to play.

The goal of these changes is to make both playing as a Japanese heavy tank and playing against a Japanese heavy tank more fun and engaging, reward skill and game knowledge more on both players playing the Japanese heavies and playing against them, and make them more competitive and fun vehicles, while retaining their very unique style and personality. The Japanese heavies are among the most unique vehicles in the game, so making them be able to shine with their unique characteristics, yet not breaking the game balance, would be truly a beautiful sight to see.

4. The reworking of the Japanese heavies

As per above, the main rework comes from significantly changing the armor layout of the Japanese heavies – the frontal armor will become much thicker, but at the same time, much weaker areas that are easier to penetrate will be added in the fronts of the Japanese heavies, functioning as proper weakspots. In addition, both of their gun options will receive significant changes, particularly at tier 8-10. And finally, there will be some distinct changes on each Japanese heavies to make the gameplay to help with some specific issues they have, and make the progression of the Japanese heavy tank branch more logical and consistent.

The Japanese heavies will have very strong frontal armor, which, combined with their excellent stabilization, will shape them into true “assault super-heavies” – perfectly suited for leading a slow but steady attack. Because their front armor is now very hard to penetrate at long distances, the Japanese heavies are great for pushing through flanks and breaking enemy defenses. This allows them to close the gap much more effectively. While their new weakspots are fairly easy to hit up close, their hard hitting gun and massive HP pool makes sure that almost no tank wants to trade blows with the Japanese heavies, making them kings of brawling. Instead of sidescraping like German heavies, the Japanese heavies prefer to expose their frontal armor on corners, making the effective armor even higher, while simultaneously hiding their weak side armor and hull cheeks. Because the Japanese heavies can’t sidescrape very well, they won’t be as effective for holding corners and defending as the German heavies are, but they’re better for aggressive breakthroughs and pushing through flanks. As such, compared to their German counterparts, the Japanese heavies are worse at defending, but better at attacking.

The Type 5 Heavy, Type 4 Heavy, and now the O-Ho thanks to its completely new selection of guns, come with two gun options with their distinct features – AP gun with great penetration, and a pseudo-derp gun with HESH shells as their special shells. Both guns are well suited for close range brawling, and have been noticeably enhanced to make them stand out more, giving the Japanese heavies unique gameplay.

The AP guns have great alpha damage, fantastic gun handling for their caliber, and most notably, they’re unique in their penetration parameters. Up close, they pack among the highest penetration values of all heavy tanks in the game; however, they quickly lose penetration over distance, giving them a significant penetration advantage only up close. This feature is already present with the 14 cm guns of the Type 4 and Type 5, but they only have the high penetration drop-off, while only having fairly average penetration even up close – this will be improved so that they retain the high penetration dropoff, but have significantly better penetration up close. Their DPM also has been improved. The HE guns, or better known as derp guns, will retain the choice of AP, HESH and HE shells. Their penetration has been enhanced, and they have much better accuracy and stabilization. Their key feature is the fantastic alpha damage, and with the HESH shells, they’re among the hardest hitting heavy tanks in the game! The derp guns are “high risk, high reward” gun options. Although their standard AP shells now have great penetration, their lack of conventional special shells with additional penetration means that the derp guns tend to struggle against heavily armored targets. This encourages the Japanese heavies to get as close as possible, where they can use their massive height to hit the enemy weakspots easier, overmatch the weak roof armor of opposing tanks, or even land a heavy blow with their HESH shells.

The O-Ni and O-I will remain more simple, and they will keep their existing gun options. However, they also will receive improvements to their aiming time and accuracy.

4.1 – Type 5 Heavy and Type 4 Heavy

Proposed changes to the stats of the Type 5 and Type 4 Heavies.

The two top tier kaijus, the Type 5 Heavy and Type 4 Heavy, sit at the top of the Japanese heavy tank branch. They’re very similar vehicles, having similar looks, armor layouts and mostly the same gun options. It is no surprise they also share similar problems, and thus a lot of their changes will be shared, albeit modified to fit their respective tiers.

Type 5 Heavy

Type 5 Heavy is currently one of the least popular tier 10 heavies and is widely considered to be one of the worst heavy tanks in its tier. There’s little reason to play it – the E 100 is more mobile and offers significantly better firepower, while the Maus has superior durability, making it better suited for the players who want to be as tough as possible. It has two fairly underwhelming guns that are neither effective or very fun to use. The goal is to fix these issues – making the Type 5 Heavy unique, more competitive and more fun, with its own distinct role.

Proposed changes to the Type 5 Heavy’s armor layout. Red means that the armor has been thickened, green means that it has been weakened.

To start things off, the armor thickness of both lower and upper glacis plates will be significantly increased from 270 to 330 mm. The turret armor will receive similar significant improvements, with the frontal turret armor being increased from 280 to 300 mm, and the gun mantlet from 280 to 350 mm. However, the tank will receive weaker weakspots, with the armor of the machine gun port and driver’s hatch being reduced from 260 and 250 mm to 230 and 220 mm, respectively. The armor of the hull cheeks will go down from 270 to 230 mm, and the side armor will be reduced from 160 to 130 mm on the upper part, and 140 to 115 mm behind the spaced armor and tracks. Finally, the armor of the commander’s cupola will be reduced from 210 mm to 195 mm. On the bright side, the top part of the commander’s cupola is now spaced armor that results in a non-penetration, making the commander’s cupola a harder target to hit.

The Type 5 Heavy will receive significantly reduced dispersion during movement, greatly improving its already good stabilization. This change affects both guns, but they will also be changed significantly by themselves – both of the guns will be replaced with new, improved versions, unique to the Type 5 Heavy! The new and improved selection of guns will help balance the tank better at tier 10, while its little brother, Type 4 Heavy, retains its existing guns.

The new AP gun, 14 cm/50 3rd Year Type Kai, has significantly increased penetration at close range – 257 to 275 mm with its standard shell, and 290 to 318 mm with its special shell. This means that the new 14 cm gun now has the highest penetration of all heavy tanks in the game with the standard AP shell, and the special AP shell will also be very effective! However, the gun will retain very high penetration loss over distance, which means the penetration will be fantastic only up close. The reload time of the gun will also decrease, giving the tank around 2300 DPM.

The new derp gun, 15 cm/45 41st Year Type Kai, will receive greater alpha damage to make the gun feel like a proper upgrade from the tier 9 – 680 to 750 with the AP shell, and 900 to 950 with the HE shells. The new derp gun will also receive greater penetration – 252 to 268 mm with its AP shells, 192 to 205 mm with its HESH shells, and 75 to 85 mm with its standard HE shells. The gun will also receive significantly improved accuracy and significantly reduced dispersion when turning the turret, which makes the gun much more effective at hitting enemy weakspots at close range, and helps the Type 5 to deliver big blows more accurately. Alternatively, increasing the alpha damage even further at the cost of some DPM is also an option – 800 with its AP shell, and 1000 with its HE shells. This would give the Type 5 the highest alpha damage out of all heavy tanks in the game! However, while it would make the Type 5’s derp gun truly stand out and potentially make it even more very fun to play, I personally don’t think that going past the 750/950 alpha damage “limit” is a good idea, as it could cause some balance problems. Again, I’m not a developer, so I can’t know for sure… but I’d rather be somewhat safe. Even with 750 / 950 alpha, the derp gun would still stand out with its HESH shells, as it could still effectively have the highest alpha damage of all heavy tanks against moderately armored targets.

The changes to the armor layout now makes the Type 5 more effective at exposing its frontal armor to the enemies, but at the same time, it needs to be careful with its weaker side armor and weaker hull cheeks. While the latter are still very strong head on, they will become fairly weak when the Type 5 angles its armor too much. The armor changes, combined with its amazing stabilization, makes the Type 5 great at breaking through the enemy defenses, pushing through flanks, and leading the charge. As the new weakspots are fairly small, the Type 5 is very hard to penetrate at long range, which allows it to close the gap and get into its favorable brawling range much more effectively.

Type 4 Heavy

Type 4 Heavy shares similar problems to its brother, and thus, will receive very similar changes, though some of the changes will be unique to it.

Proposed changes to the Type 4 Heavy’s armor layout.

The armor changes will be very similar to the Type 5, but suited for tier 9. Lower and upper glacis plates will be increased from 250 to 300 mm, turret armor from 250 to 280 mm, and gun mantlet from 250 to 320 mm. The weakspot changes will be similar, with machine gun port and driver’s hatch armor reduced from 240 and 210 mm to 220 and 200 mm, upper and lower side armor from 140 and 120 mm to 120 and 105 mm, and commander’s cupola from 200 to 180 mm, with the upper part of it becoming spaced armor. Because the Type 4 already has weak hull cheeks unlike the Type 5, they will actually slightly improve from 200 to 210 mm, but they will remain fairly weak and weaker than its brother.

As the Type 4 will keep its existing guns, they will receive a smaller amount of changes, but the changes will still be in line with the Type 5. The 14 cm AP gun will receive better penetration on its both AP shells and a faster reload, while the 15.2 cm derp gun will receive better AP penetration, better dispersion and better gun handling. The 12.7 cm stock gun will also receive improvements to be in line with the changes to the O-Ho. And finally, the Type 4 will also receive noticeably improved dispersion when moving, affecting all the guns.

Type 4 will also receive a few changes unique to it. Its reverse speed will be increased from 10 to 13 km/h, and its HP pool will increase from 2050 to 2200 HP. Now Type 4’s HP pool is more in line with its German counterpart, Mäuschen, making it overall more durable.

All in all, the Type 4 received similar improvements to its bigger brother, giving it a very similar playstyle. It’s now great for preparing the player for the top vehicle of the Japanese heavy branch.

4.2 – O-Ho

Proposed changes to the O-Ho’s stats

For a long time, the O-Ho has been the “black sheep” of the Japanese heavy tank line. It doesn’t have the hard hitting guns like rest of the Japanese heavy tanks have, it has incredibly awkward secondary turrets that limit its gun depression, and even its armor is surprisingly mediocre for such a huge, unwieldy machine. With several new tanks added and old vehicles buffed at tier 8, it’s no wonder that the O-Ho’s performance is incredibly lacking in its current state. Because of this, the O-Ho is incredibly unpopular, and has a rather infamous reputation for being considered to be one of the worst tier 8 vehicles in the game. With this in mind, the O-Ho will receive the most significant changes out of all Japanese heavies.

Proposed changes to the O-Ho’s armor layout.

Beginning with the armor layout, the frontal armor will be greatly enhanced – upper front plate, mid front plate and lower front plate will be increased from 200, 105 and 200 to 250, 125 and 230 mm, respectively. The frontal turret armor will improve from 200 to 250 mm, and the gun mantlet from 200-220 to 270 mm. The fronts of the secondary turrets will be weakened from 200 to 170 mm, hull cheeks from 200 to 185 mm, and commander’s cupola, rear secondary turret and rear turret armor will be reduced from 200 to 150 mm. The O-Ho will also receive better stabilization, and the reverse speed will be improved from 10 to 12 km/h.

The most significant changes are done to O-Ho’s guns. O-Ho will receive two completely new gun options that are more like the guns on the Type 4 and Type 5 – a powerful 12.7 cm AP gun with fantastic penetration, and a hard hitting 14 cm gun with HESH shells as special rounds. Its existing guns will be completely reshuffled, too – the 10 cm Cannon Type 92 and 15 cm Howitzer Type 96 will be removed entirely, and the current top AP gun, 10 cm Experimental Tank Gun, will become the new stock gun, with improved aiming time and dispersion.

The new top AP gun will be 12.7 cm/50 3rd Year Type, which is the stock gun from the Type 4 Heavy. This gun causes 450 HP of damage per shot. It also has fantastic penetration – the penetration value with the standard AP shell is 237 mm, and 272 mm with its special AP shell. However, be aware that its penetration will quickly lose its effectiveness over long distances. This gun has an aiming time of 2.9 s, dispersion of 0.4, and reloading time of 16 seconds.

O-Ho with its new 12.7 cm gun.

The new top derp gun will be 14 cm/40 11th Year Type. This will replace the 15 cm Howitzer Type 96 as an alternative top gun. In real life, this gun was mounted on many Japanese submarines, which is fitting for O-Ho’s appearance. This gun has fantastic alpha damage of 520 HP per shot with its AP shells, and 700 with its HE and HESH shells. The AP shell has great penetration of 232 mm, while its HESH shell can penetrate 180 mm of armor. As a large caliber weapon, the gun is effective for overmatching weak armor plates. However, the other parameters of the gun leave a lot to be desired – it has an aiming time of 3 s, dispersion of 0.45, and a very long reloading time of 20 seconds.

O-Ho with its new 14 cm gun.

It is also worth noting that due to the design of both of these guns, the O-Ho will be able to depress these guns more effectively over the secondary turrets. While the secondary turrets are still in the way to prevent the gun from depressing to full 10 degrees, it is now limited to around 5 to 6 degrees over the secondary turrets with both 12.7 and 14 cm guns. This is a significant step up from 3-5 degrees with the 10 cm AP gun, and mere 1-3 degrees with the 15 cm howitzer.

The changes will breathe completely new life to the O-Ho. It has greatly enhanced armor, and its new selection of guns now gives it a similar playstyle to the Type 4 and Type 5 Heavies. The O-Ho is now both much more competitive and enjoyable to drive.

4.3 – O-Ni and O-I

Proposed stat changes to the O-Ni and O-I

Finally, we come down to the O-Ni and O-I. These are the first two vehicles of the Japanese heavy branch. They perform better than the higher tier Japanese heavies, with the O-I in particular being a decent performer, so they will receive significantly fewer changes. Nevertheless, some changes will be made to be in line with their higher tier brothers.

O-Ni

O-Ni boasts features that higher tier Japanese heavies lack. Due to its relatively light weight, it has surprisingly good acceleration for such a huge tank. It also has an incredible health pool of 1550 HP, which is the highest in its tier. Due to this, it performs better than the O-Ho, Type 4 Heavy and Type 5 Heavy. However, it will still receive changes to its armor layout, and slight improvements to its guns to be in line with the rest of the branch.

Proposed changes to the O-Ni’s armor layout.

O-Ni’s upper and lower glacis plate will be improved from 175 to 200 mm. Its side armor will also be improved slightly – upper side armor will be increased from 70 to 85 mm, and the lower side armor behind the spaced armor will be increased from 42 to 50 mm. While its side armor is still weak, it now puts it roughly in between the side armors of the O-I and O-Ho. However, the O-Ni will receive a much weaker commander’s cupola, with its thickness being reduced from 150 to 105 mm. The fronts of the secondary turrets will be reduced from 175 to 125 mm, and the rear hull armor will be reduced from 150 to 125 mm. Like its successors, the O-Ni’s dispersion when moving will be slightly reduced.

All of the O-Ni’s 3 guns will receive the same changes – faster aiming time and better dispersion. The howitzer in particular will be much more accurate, which helps it overmatch with its AP shells more reliably

O-I

O-I is probably the most popular tank on the Japanese heavy tank branch. Its 15 cm howitzer can still hit extremely hard, and the tank features some of the heaviest armor in its tier. Because of these factors, the O-I performs rather well. It will only receive some armor changes and minor improvements to its 10 cm AP gun.

Proposed changes to the O-I’s armor layout.

The frontal turret armor and the frontal hull armor behind the secondary turrets will be increased from 150 to 170 mm. However, all the cupolas – both on the main turret and secondary turrets – will be reduced from 150 to 105 mm. The secondary turret at the back of the tank will also be reduced from 150 to 105 mm, being consistent with the 105 mm rear armor of the tank.

The 10 cm Cannon Type 92 will receive improved aiming time and dispersion to be a slightly more attractive alternative to the 15 cm derp gun.

5. Conclusion

Left: Current patch. Right: After the proposed rework.

The main goal is to shape the main role of the Japanese heavies into slow yet aggressive super-heavy tanks, that use their extremely robust frontal armor to close their gap to the enemies, after which they can use their massive HP pool and powerful guns to trade blows effectively. They are great for breaking through flanks and enemy defenses, as their frontal armor is very hard to penetrate unless the opponent is up close. The way to use their armor is different to the German heavies and many other heavies – instead of sidescraping around the corners, the Japanese heavies excel at angling their frontal armor on corners, allowing them to hide their weak side armor and hull cheeks, while making their frontal armor very hard to penetrates. It is necessary to keep moving, however, as the Japanese heavies will almost always have at least one (albeit small) weakspot exposed. Fortunately, their fantastic stabilization allows them to fire rather effectively even when moving.

The Japanese heavies will feature a choice of two guns that both excel at close range combat. The AP guns are a slightly more well-rounded alternative, with high alpha damage, good gun handling, and fantastic penetration up close, but they have sub-bar accuracy and have considerably less effective penetration over long distances. The derp guns, on the other hand, will have a harder time dealing with heavy armor, encouraging the Japanese heavy to get as close as possible, so they can use their large caliber AP shells and powerful HESH shells to land heavy blows on engine decks and turret roofs of opposing tanks.

Keep in mind that the numbers shown are arbitrary, and there actually are several other options for the Japanese heavies. For example, they could be given a more traditional armor layout similar to German heavies, where their lower plate is their weakspot while rest of the armor is thick, making them good at sidescraping. The armor layouts have several other options, too. Similarly, the guns could be changed in dozens of ways. Really, as long as you follow the principle of “weaker weakspots, stronger strongspots, and better guns”, you could really do anything to the Japanese heavies, and it would most likely improve them significantly. My proposal is just one of several ways of changing the Japanese heavies. The point is to show that it is easily possible to fix the Japanese heavies.

Closing thoughts

Thank you for reading this proposal. I originally have worked on the 2.0 of the Japanese heavy rework proposal since 2018. I merely spitballed some ideas and never went to actually release it. During 2022, it would evolve into this and certain factors finally motivated me to push it and release it. The Japanese heavy tank line is in a very sad state right now, which is really unfortunate. I don’t want the return of the degenerate derp monster that was the Type 5 Heavy back in a day, with its 1400 alpha damage special HE shells, but thanks to the HE rework, THAT Type 5 will never return. I want a balanced, fun Type 5 Heavy, and for that matter, Japanese heavies.

Again, I want to clarify that this is merely a proposal. There’s no guarantee that these changes will go through. I simply wanted to raise awareness that the Japanese heavies – despite causing some balance problems and now being in a very, very sad state – are actually perfectly fixable, and could be made into unique, fun and balanced vehicles. Many people don’t believe that the Japanese heavies are fixable, but that’s far from the truth. You just need to believe hard enough, and anything’s possible.

That’s all folks!

~leggasiini

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TL;DR:

All the 5 Japanese tech tree heavies would get significantly stronger frontal armor, but the weakspots would become noticeably weaker. This makes the armor harder to penetrate at long distances and makes it harder to penetrate for premium rounds, but it now has weakspots that can be penetrated with both standard and premium rounds. Most of the Japanese heavies would have reduced dispersion when moving, significantly so at higher tiers. The Type 5 Heavy would receive two new, improved gun options that replaces its existing guns. The new 14 cm will have fantastic penetration, improved DPM, and great gun handling, while the new 15 cm will have significantly improved accuracy, gun handling, alpha damage, and DPM. Type 4 Heavy would receive improved penetration and gun handling on all of its existing guns. Its reverse speed and HP pool will also be increased to be more in line with the Type 5 Heavy and its fellow tier 9 super-heavy, Mäuschen, respectively. The O-Ho would receive two completely new gun options to be in line with the Type 4 and 5 – a 12.7 cm AP gun, and a 14 cm derp gun. The top 10 cm becomes a stock gun, and the stock 10 cm and 15 cm derp would be removed entirely. O-Ho will also receive slightly better reverse speed, and its existing guns The O-Ni and O-I would receive gun handling and dispersion improvements on their existing guns.

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