[VIDEO] Dev Interview: Let’s Talk… the Bisonte C45!

July 9, 2021

The Bisonte C45 Premium vehicle introduces Italian heavy tank tech to World War II mode!

This week, the first Italian heavy tank arrived in the game! The Italian Tier VIII Bisonte C45 Heavy Tank features an auto-reloading gun that’s capable of devastating damage.

When you look at fire, reload times, and DPM for auto-reloading tanks in isolation, the vehicles might not seem impressive. But using them strategically relies on more than just the raw stats.

Here to talk about the design process behind the Bisonte C45 and share insight into the best ways to play this powerful tank is Senior Game Designer Leo Flores! (Video transcript below.)

Hello, everyone. I’m Leo Flores, Senior Game Designer, and I make all the tanks.

Can you tell us the design philosophy behind this tank?

So for this one, it’s kind of like the other medium Italian tanks. They all came with auto-reloaders, so they’re pretty well balanced. But their main advantage is the auto-reloaders themselves.

Unlike standard autoloader tanks, they don’t have any weak periods. So, for an average autoloader tank, they are completely helpless for roughly 30 to 50 seconds. For that time, you can’t shoot, can’t really do anything. The only thing for you to really do is just hide.

Well, with auto-reloaders, no matter what you’re doing, you’re constantly reloading. So, the reloads are slightly longer than normal tanks, but at the same time, you have extra shells to add out the damage.

In terms of stats, how is this tank performing?

Well, that’s a couple things, actually!

For one, I mean, in the simplest terms, it’s kind of like a car. You can’t have a car with an amazing engine but, like, bald tires, because it won’t help anything. Or, you can’t have a car with really bad brakes but then great everything else. It’s the overall package that makes it what it is. It’s the same thing with tanks.

I mean, they [auto-reloader tanks] do tons and tons of damage. And that’s the thing you have to think about is, you’re going to be reloading, moving on to your next target. You’re going to use a couple shells to take someone out immediately, where they’re just an easy opportunity, and it’s going to keep popping up.

We just did a play test right before this, and sure, if you unload everything, you’re going to have a long reload time. But as long as you’re managing your shells, you’re going to destroy everyone because you just sit back and just pick them off as soon as they even show the slightest weakness. You’re just going to be running around, moving on to your next target. Because that’s all I did, was just take out anyone even slightly close to dead and move on, and then by the time I got to the next tank, I was ready to take them out.

What should we expect from the Bisonte?

It’s probably going to do very well. We have a lot of data on all the Italian mediums, and they’re all doing very well—some better than others, but we have a pretty good idea that it’s going to do very well against other tanks. It’s not going to play like normal heavies. It’s not like a straight-up brawler. It’s more of a support tank, kind of like some of the AMX 50s or T57, where you have those extra shells. So, you don’t really want to be taking all the damage, but you can do a little bit of tanking. But you’re basically supporting or trying to support others and then dish out all the damage while taking a couple shots here and there.

So usually everyone’s going off of the perceived reload rate of that first shell, and so a lot of tanks are like 1100 or 1000 or 900 [for damage output], and it’s very, very low compared to everything else. But they’re not really taking into consideration that there’s roughly 720 more damage if there’s two extra shells, or a couple thousand if there’s more shells on the higher tiers. So, there’s a whole bunch of extra shells that they’re not accounting for, and that’s where the DPM disparity is a lot.

You’re not always in a fight, so you’re constantly reloading. So, when you’re moving to another spot, you already have multiple shells ready to go. You’re not hiding for half the match; you’re not blinking away a little couple rounds. You have that extra advantage of, if someone’s slightly injured or even remotely close to dead, you’re most definitely going to take them out with your multiple shells.

Any protips for the audience to succeed in the Bisonte?

It’s more work than normal tanks because you have to decide, when are you going to use your shells? Because the biggest thing about this tank is, you want to mainly use the one shell as much as you can and save the reserve shells for when you have an opportunity on, like, a weakened tank or tank that’s just about to die. That’s when you use those shells is to just take someone out of the game immediately.

That’s the biggest thing is just saving those shells and managing your shell and damage output, because, sure, you might have an opportunity to take someone out right away or just do more damage, but then you’ll have a longer reload time. So, if you save those extra shells for when you really need them, you’ll be reloading when you’re moving on to your next target, so you’re always reloading. You’re not like an autoloader, where for 30 to 50 seconds, you can’t shoot, you’re completely helpless, you’ve just got to run and hide, and if anyone’s near you, you’re pretty much dead. But with these tanks, you’re always reloading, so by the time—if you’re managing your shells correctly, you’re never out of shells, and by the time you’re at the next target, you have a full loadout of shells to just destroy them.

Got more questions or thoughts about the Bisonte C45? We want to hear them. Visit our forums or our Discord and ask away!