New Map for Update 2.4: Himmelsdorf
Update 2.4 brings with it a new map—Himmelsdorf! Don’t assume this is the same Himmelsdorf that PC players know and love, as it’s been suitably modified and optimized for Blitz! Read on for more.
Interview with Illya Veliksanov, Himmelsdorf Level Designer
What's the history of this map and how is it special?
We've been thinking about creating a map like Himmelsdorf for quite a while, but creating a town map was technically impossible. This changed thanks to better optimization of the game, so we immediately got to work designing a new, town-based map. We didn't want to simply copy the existing Himmelsdorf from World of Tanks for PC—we wanted to single out its best features and adapt the map for our mobile product, with its own gameplay.
This is why Himmelsdorf for Blitz is different from the one PC players are familiar with. The most obvious differences are the lack of the hill and some city blocks; the railway area was also reworked. For starters, we decided to give up the hill due to some technical issues. One of which being that the hill was a very secluded area, which in a mobile game can lead to a large number of draws and concentrated force issues. We reduced the number of city blocks for the sake of productivity and for creating more concentrated (less dispersed) gameplay.
In contrast, the railway area is now more populated. This part of the map will be suitable for medium tanks thanks to a big number of cover positions and route variability. While working on the railway, we faced a problem with cross-firing under the train cars. We decided to knock over the railcars as if they had been bombed. With all the space left from the hill, we decided to broaden the so-called "banana" zone, where the road curves around the hill, and to add another playing line behind it.
Why did you choose the winter setting?
We though setting it during winter would give Himmelsdorf a more individual feeling, as it’ll be snowing throughout the battle.
What caused you to move the base?
The Blitz version of Himmelsdorf places the base in the central square of the map, giving it a safer position and shifting it towards heavy tanks.
With all the changes implemented in the Blitz version of Himmelsdorf, we’ve tried to reduce player dispersion across the map and make gameplay more dynamic. The landscape is mostly even, with no hills, valleys or buildings serving as dividers. This map will be for tier III–X vehicles.
This area is designed for heavy tanks. It consists of two corridors bent the same way. The first corridor is taken from the PC map. It has a lot of cover that will hide either the entire vehicle’s hull or lower glacis plate, making it easier to play using the turret. The first corridor is the main direction for heavy tanks, with medium-range shootouts taking place. The second corridor was added to diversify the range of actions for heavy tanks; it has fewer cover positions, vehicles fight at long ranges, and positions for tank destroyers can also be found there.
Town A and Town B
Both towns in the mobile version of Himmelsdorf have been simplified and feature fewer buildings. The town areas are less playable; they feature wide driveways and are mostly used in the late game.
The square doesn't serve as a primary direction for any vehicle type as it’s very exposed and has few cover positions. However, at the right moment it can serve as a good path to rush through, perfect for sneaking up on the enemy's rear.
This area was designed for medium tanks. With destroyed train cars littering the tracks there’s plenty of cover. Tactics for this zone can vary greatly: medium tanks will always be able to maneuver and attack the enemy, both from the rear and flanks.
The neutral base is equidistant from both teams. It's quite safe; you can reset enemy capture points from the square and both towns. The base is placed near the "banana," so heavy tanks don't have to go far after winning the territory.
Heavy tanks are directed towards the corridors, and this is their main battle zone. The "banana" comprises curved corridors formed by buildings. This place should be perfect for heavy tanks, especially for those with thick frontal armor. The corridor situated near the square has lots of debris that can serve as cover. The corridor near the red line is less safe, with fewer cover positions -- it's the main position for tank destroyers. An advantage of taking control of the “banana” is that it provides you with a fast route to capture the base.
Medium tanks are directed along the railway. The distance between the respawns of the allied medium and heavy tanks is about 200 meters. Since heavy tanks are slower, they won’t be able to support their allied medium tanks at the railway during the start of battle. Medium tanks have a lot of cover positions in their area, so they can safely approach the enemy, or leave the area if needed. If medium tanks take the railway then they can quickly, but cautiously, enter the enemy heavy tanks' area from the side, or make a longer but safer maneuver to the enemy's rear through town A or B.
Tank destroyers hold support and defense positions in the main attack directions of all zones on the map.