HLL Developer Briefing #56 - JUMBO!

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Hey everyone!

Happy new year from the entire team at Black Matter and at Team17!

We’ve got one hell of an action-packed year planned so we’ll be starting to reveal more content and take a detailed look at what’s coming week on week.

As a reminder, here’s but a few of the new content drops that’s coming in the first third of the year -
  • New non-verbal communications systems (including pinging, map marking, quick-marking and more)
  • New vehicles
  • New FPP & TPP animation system
  • New maps
  • SFX engine upgrade and continued overhaul
  • Ballistics overhaul
  • Polish of HUD and UI elements
  • Expansion of existing mechanics
  • New loadouts
  • New customisation
  • Rebalance of progression systems (to generally make it faster for many roles to progress)
  • Fixing of bugs and crashes (the exp bug is the first on the list)
And loads more, including our regular bug fixes and optimisation work. We’re keeping a few things under our helmets that we’ll be revealing when the time comes.

20,000th Discord Member & 12,000+ strong on Reddit!

January 1st marked not only a new decade, but also the 20,000th user joining the HLL Discord. We want to say thanks to the community for being so welcoming and friendly to newcomers - in both showing them the ropes in game and on the forums, subreddit and Discord.

The Hell Let Loose Reddit community is also going from strength to strength, thanks again to being so welcoming and producing some of the finest memes from the frontline.

Check out the official Discord[discordapp.com] and Reddit to join in - all players are welcome.

US Heavy Tank - The Jumbo!

We’ve teased the US heavy tank offering for a while now and many of you quickly spotted the thickened frontal armor and 76mm barrel as the key standouts for the variant. We’re now excited to formally reveal and show off the M4A3E2 Sherman "Jumbo" variant.

In homage to the Battle of the Bulge and in preparation for our scoping out of vehicle camo variants, we’ve dressed it in the iconic livery of the “Cobra King” - the most iconic Jumbo of the entire 4th Armored Division.

Cobra King was issued to 37th Tank Battalion of the 4th Armoured Division on the 24th or 25th of October 1944 and was assigned as the company commander’s vehicle of Company C.

During the German winter offensive, the Battle of the Bulge, the important crossroads town of Bastogne, Belgium had been cut off and surrounded by German forces. Patton’s Third Army was tasked with trying to break through the German lines in the south with the 4th Armored Division as the main spearhead of this counterattack. On December 26, 1944, Lt. Boggess, commander of Cobra King, was fighting his way on the road from Assenois, Belgium to Bastogne.

The following passage is from an article written by Charles Lemons, former curator of the Patton Museum:

“Cobra King was way ahead of the rest of the column and had just destroyed a German bunker along the road when Boggess spotted several uniformed figures in the woods near the bunker. They wore the uniforms of U.S. soldiers, but knowing how Germans were disguising themselves as Americans, he maintained a wary eye. He shouted to the figures. After no response, he called out again and one man approached the tank. “I’m Lieutenant Webster of the 326th Engineers, 101st Airborne Division. Glad to see you.” With that meeting at 4:50 p.m. on December 26, 1944, Patton’s Third Army had broken through the German lines surrounding Bastogne.”

Using the Jumbo

The Jumbo was not a typical heavy tank in the same vein as the Tiger, or the Pershing. Born out of necessity, the Jumbo was an up-armored and up-gunned version of the medium Sherman tank - with additional armor welded to the casemate and the front chassis, with upgraded gearbox to account for the additional weight.

While able to weather brutal fire to the front, the Jumbo will need to guard its flanks and rear from long range anti-tank fire. Designed to play the same role it did during WW2, the Jumbo is the mainstay American “assault” tank - the armored spearhead designed to soak up damage as it drives a column of Shermans into the enemy lines. Be wary though - while the Jumbo’s main gun packs a punch you’ll need to account for the slightly slower speed on account of the additional armor.

The Jumbo will be deployed to the battlefield in Update 5.

This will not be the last Sherman implemented into the game...

Oh and one more thing, you'll be getting a full reveal on a certain new uniform for the US next week:

See you on the frontline!

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