The public test for the 8.2 update has been announced. The patch notes include pretty much everything expected, and one or two other items.
Firstly, the main addition are the Chinese tanks. There are also three premium tanks being added, two British and one French. Four maps (Prokhorovka, Redshire, Erlenburg, and Ruinberg) are being moved over to the new rendering system. The tech tree interface is being tweaked for more of the tree displays at the same time.
The big change, I felt, of the previous announcements was that fallen trees will now provide cover, and this has been clarified (though expectedly so) that they will do so in the same manner as current bushes do. For me this is still one of the big items of this patch. In addition there are going to add a timer for how long it takes a module to repair – which I feel will make a significant impact on my own gameplay.
What will be another big item in this patch for some – although we are still short on detail – is that the armour on a series of tanks is going to be re-worked “in accordance with historical data” for a number of tanks. In Overlord’s blogpost about the public test he pleads for people to be patient and wait for the specifics, but I am fairly sure most players will not be. The tanks concerned are the T-34, T-34-85, IS, Matilda (the British version), M5 Stuart, M26 Pershing, M46 Patton, and M48A1.
There are also a new class of achievement being added called “commemoratives”, which will be granted multiple times per battle if the conditions are met. I must say initially these do sound a little “cute” – for example one is called ‘Lucky’ which means being within 10m of an enemy tank when it is destroyed by a team member. Still, no one ever complained about rewards.
A minor, but very welcome change is tank vibrations from moving over rails and similar will be reduced. Going over a set of railways in the physics can be a rather jolting experience – and it shouldn’t be. There is also an extension of the drawing distance in the engine – meaning that if vehicles are spotted they will be drawn in the client from further away. This probably will not have that great an impact on gameplay most of the time, but perhaps for those on lowest settings it will make a difference.
There are a number of other minor amendments, and various bugfixes, but nothing else that is immediately springing out at me.