When I played through the VK3001H I found a tank I very much enjoyed, and which I played quite successfully as a fairly aggressive medium with the 8.8cm gun. I decided to retain it as a “replacement” medium as I expected the VK3601H to be changed to a heavy tank. If I had thought about it a bit, I would have realised that the recently announced change in 8.8 of the VK3001H from a Tier VI medium to a Tier V heavy would be a distinct possibility. For the Record has a very interesting article about where the new VK3001H is likely to be in-game, as well as explaining some of the likely historical basis for this decision.
Looking at this change from the perspective of the overall game I think it is a good change – it will give the Germans a heavy tank line beginning at Tier IV and so end the wait until Tier VII to start playing a German heavy tank (the premium Panzer B2 740f notwithstanding). It leaves the Chinese as the only nation having to wait until later tiers until they get into heavies – and realistically there is probably not all that much Wargaming can do to get around that.
However, there is no doubt that the Tier V heavy VK3001H – whatever it precisely ends up being – is going to play very differently from the Tier VI medium. I must admit my first gut-reaction when I read this change was a bit negative. After all I enjoy the current incarnation of the VK3001H, which will never be again – and while it is silly to get overly worked up about a computer game I play World of Tanks in part to de-stress from the day-to-day. There has been lots of disruption in the day-to-day just these last six or seven weeks, so it is a bit annoying that one of the tanks I enjoy so much in World of Tanks is being caught up in said change.
The benefit of waiting for a few days to digest the news though is one can gain a certain perspective. Partly this is the view above that this is overall a good change for the game. Also since this change is going to take place regardless of what I do the decision is what to do – or more particularly what to do with the crew I have currently in the VK3001H. Essentially I have two options – either keep them in the VK3001H and have them converted to a German heavy tank crew when the change happens, or retrain them before 8.8 launches into another medium. In particular right now I could place them into the VK2001D that I have sitting in my garage.
I am currently undecided. Part of me is certainly intrigued by the idea of a the VK3001H as a heavy, and having a reasonably good quality crew would enable me to probably enjoy playing through the lower-tier German heavies (I would replay some games on both the altered VK3001H and VK3601H, in addition to the Tier IV entry). Also it means I would have another good quality crew to put into a higher-tier German heavy should I choose to retain one of the other German heavies. Food for thought – and no doubt I will wait to see what the future brings.