One of the most far-reaching changes coming to World of Tanks in the 7.5 update will be changes to the way the Matchmaker operates. The meat of this change is that the tier spread that one is likely to face will become a lot narrower. Most tanks will now no longer face tanks more than two tiers above them – the primary exception to this being Tier IV light tanks which will continue to see Tier VII tanks in their role as scouts.
Having looked at the new chart (one version of which can be found here), and pondered it for a few days, here are my thoughts on the most notable changes.
Tier I tanks will now see Tier II Tank Destroyers, which they currently do not. Likewise Tier II tanks will see Tier III Tank destroyers, which again they previous did not. I think this is really interesting because currently Tier I and II tanks face a relatively limited number of opposing tanks. The above change means they will be exposed to all sorts of new opponents earlier, and generally I think this is a good thing though I do think it will make those first few battles “harder”. That said, I also think new players in three months time will adapt very nicely. However, Tier II and III tank destroyers are the other beneficiary of this change as it will introduce more targets below then. This is no doubt the reason behind the downward tweaking of these Tank Destroyers, but even though these vehicles will still face Tier IV and V opposition respectively, I think their performance will still be equal.
In the mid-tiers, medium tanks, heavy tanks, and tank destroyers now all only face tanks no more than two tiers above them. This is in comparison to regularly facing tanks 3, or sometimes even 4 tiers above them. Again I view the prime beneficiary of this change to be the tanks in the Tier IV-VII range, as there will be fewer tanks on the battlefield against which they are generally ineffective. The necessary other effect of this change is there will be fewer softer targets for higher-tier tanks, especially the Tier IX and X tanks. However, this should actually make battles far more competitive, and therefore engaging, and will I am sure result in better game experiences all around even though the higher tier tanks might occasionally have less easy stomping.
The situation for Tier IV and V light tanks is almost unchanged, the rationale for scout tanks still existing. I am, I have to say, somewhat less sure of the wisdom of this. It feels to me like World of Tanks does not reward spotting terribly well, making it an easily under-appreciated and unrewarding occupation, something I intend to post on another time. I don’t personally expect the minor tier spread that Tier IV light tanks has will make them any easier to play, though we shall see.
Overall though this is going to very greatly change the nature of many World of Tanks matches. It will be a change that I think will be for the better, but I do not think it will be the panacea that some people in the forums seem to think it will be. Also, there is a sense here of being careful for what one wishes for … if less matchmaking spread leads to much longer wait times for battles I wonder if people will start to complain (though given the number of folks online I don’t seriously expect to be waiting ages for a battle in the ordinary course of events). I am looking forward to them however, even despite the downward adjustment being made to my Marder II. Got to take the rough with the smooth.