Just before I went away on holiday the 8.9 public test went live with accompanying patch notes, and indeed since then the second version of the public test has also been announced. There is quite a bit I am interested in, but I must admit that one line in particular drew my attention, about the Marder II being rebalanced – or nerfed as we like to say in clearer language. I think this will be the third major nerf of my favourite tank, but I will mostly talk about it elsewhere.
The main item of the 8.9 update is however the introduction of the second German tank destroyer line, starting from the Marder II going all the way to Tier X, built around the concept of the glass cannon. Vehicles with little or insignificant armour but equipped with formidable weaponry. I am certainly looking forward to them.
Also several mid-tier SPGs are being buffed slightly, which I think speaks perhaps of how dramatic the SPG nerf was a few updates back.
We are getting a new map called North-West and an Encounter mapmode to Erlenberg. I have also heard that the Encounter mode on Mountain Pass is being withdrawn, and I can understand why. The way that one team was split into half made it quite a tricky map in random battles where team-work is often sadly lacking. The Pearl River map is also being slightly rebalanced.
There is also going to be an adjustment to Wargamings Personal Rating system, which is hardly surprising given the flaws of the current version. Whilst the changes, in particular reducing the effect of number of battles played, do seem to make it a better rating than it was before I still thing Efficiency and WN will remain very much in use for the time being.
There also appears to be two small adjustment to the rules for HEAT shells which, if I have read them correctly, count as a slight nerf to HEAT, but I really do not know enough to properly assess those changes.
All in all though, the proposed changes to the Marder II have rather concentrated my mind, and I will likely write about them once the update is live and the changes are set in stone. However, one of two things will happen: either I will continue to play the Marder II just I have always done, finding ways to make this “rebalance” work for me, or I will have three very experienced crewmembers to move into another tank 🙂 .