These are my early impressions of the 8.5 update, based solely upon the 16 games I played yesterday and this evening. Before I go onto the changes in the game itself, it appears since I last loaded in Jimbo’s Crosshair mod it has been expanded to include some XVM stat changes on the after battle report and service record. I had been thinking of adding in the XVM mod or another stat mod for just those additions, but had never gotten around to doing so. Now I no longer need to bother, but it does mean that I cannot judge the changes Wargaming apparently made to the after battle screen.
1 – It didn’t register that they were introducing a Encounter mapmode to Prokhorovka. So far I played it twice, both from the southern starting position, for one victory and one loss. At first exposure I think it feels okay – the base is in the town and the starting positions are almost exactly the same as for the standard battle.
2 – The new status at the top showing the symbols of tanks does not bother me – but neither do I think it adds very much. I am more likely to glance at the tank lists than I am at the tank symbols at the top of the screen.
3 – I have not yet purchased any premium consumables, I will most likely wait for an offer to do so.
4 – The new cheaper credit camouflages are a very good thing. The change here has been twofold – first the seven day camouflage now costs a quarter of the 30-day camouflage, whereas it used to be half the price of the 30-day; and second the overall cost has been slashed – heavily. Under the old system I recall at Tier III it used to cost 45k or 90k credits for a 7 or 30 day camo respectively. Now at Tier III it costs 7500 credits for a 7-day and 30k for a 30-day. I have already made use of this and given my Jagdpanther and KV-1S 7-day camos. Overall I see this has Wargaming further reducing the pay to win element of the game – for higher tiers especially camos could be expensive (and 7-day camos even more so under the old system where you got less than half the value). Now the credit cost has been brought down – 75k credits (I think) overall to equip a Tier X for all three camos for a week, for example, does not seem unreasonable.
5 – I have yet to play the Pearl River map
6 – Fewer new tanks around than I expected, even at the low tiers.
7 – Assault map-mode in Sand River is essentially opposite of what it used to be, with the attackers starting in the north and the defenders’ base being located in the town.
Given my limited exposure my initial impressions are positive.