So I have patched to 8.8, and managed a total of thirteen battles this evening, getting a chance to experience some of the new features of 8.8. My overall luck was somewhere from middling to poor – but ended up with a 6-7 record this evening – which given at one point it was 3-6 I will happily take. The following are going to fairly brief summaries – note these are only first impressions on a handful of games.
Got to play twice on the new Tundra map with the southern starting position, both in my Marder II. One was a close hard-fought loss. The other was a victory in which I ended up playing very little part. The map has a number of clear flashpoints, and it is also clear everyone is seriously learning. It does not strike me as being as complicated as something like Sacred Valley. In terms of visuals it most closely reminds me of Karelia. Will be interesting to see how the gameplay develops.
Also had a game, again in the Marder II, on the revamped Swamp map from the northern starting position. Now my memories of Swamp are a little hazy, but there are clearly quite a few changes around the central swamp area. That was where I fought, so I don’t really know about elsewhere on the map. Had another good fight, albeit a bit lopsided in the final result.
Played 4 games in my previously favourite Tier VI medium, now a Tier V heavy. I played 4 games because I lost the first three. In the first match I left myself exposed a bit, and ended up being peppered to death by two T-34s. While now a heavy it is not in the heavily armoured mode, and I am going to have to get used to that. The Konisch though is an absolute dream. At Tier V it can penetrate just about anything, and even against Tier VI and VII targets you can reliably make a pain of yourself – even without using the premium ammo. Had a Tier VII match on El Halluf (which we lost) where I killed an AT 8 and generally annoyed a KV-3, albeit we eventually lost the match (highest tier players did very poorly). My intention currently is to play around 30 games or so of this tank in its new configuration and decide from there.
The replacement German Tier VI medium. Only played one game in this, my last of the evening, Karelia Assault Tier VI match and we were defending. It was a blast. It clearly has many of the characteristics that so attracted me to the old VK3001H, in particular it is fairly nippy around the battlefield. Again I am going to end up playing a series of battles on it before I decide whether to keep it or not, but as of right now I have a nice warm feeling you get from a great first match.
New Service Record Page
Mixed feelings about this. Or rather, largely positive with one quite pronounced negative. I hate the fact that victories, defeats, and all the other totals are displayed only as percentages and not as percentages and absolute totals. Otherwise it is mostly a matter of getting used to the presentation. I like being able to track my status of things like Lion of Sinai, or seeing how close (or not) I have come to getting the Invincible award. The calculation of destruction rate (kills/death) and damage rate (damage done/damage received) is good.
I do not think Wargaming’s new Personal Rating system is going to gain much traction as currently designed, because it involves the number of battles played. To put it bluntly, some people with 15k battles are absolute ninnies who can be outplayed by players with only 1k battles. Unless and until it undergoes revision, I just do not see it gaining traction.
This is a great addition, also especially the way missions are displayed in the after-battle results page tracking relevant progress. This is an excellent addition to the interface by Wargaming and I can easily see how it will influence play – and perhaps persuade me to play for “just one more match” to complete this or that mission.
I have already benefited from getting extra experience and credits by winning a Battle Honour whilst on the losing team – it happened on the VK3001H on the El Halluf battle I mentioned above. It is a great, great change.
Encountered a couple of minor hang-ups. First in the Barracks screen it initially displayed none of my crews, but fiddling around with the filter options fixed it easy enough. Likewise there appears to be a hang-up now and then when setting a tank to Primary or Reserve, and scrolling through the tanks is a little jerky.
In battle my fps and ping appear fine, definitely not obviously worse than previously. Given that World of Tanks used to run pretty smoothly spotting any improvement is actually going to be tricky.
I forgot to turn on national voices, so opinions of that will have to come later, and likewise did not see the other revamped maps or Encounter mode on Mountain Pass. Despite the losing record it was a largely enjoyable evening’s tanking. The thing with no totals (other than battles fought) in the Service Record does bug me, but there is clearly a lot to like in this update so far.