So the first public test of 8.1 is live.
Looking at the initial offering of the patch notes. The “big thing” with this update is the introduction of the British tanks. To some extent everything else is window-dressing, but nevertheless it can be quite important window dressing even so. Looking through the initial patch notes here is what I find interesting.
Firstly we are getting the Dragon Ridge map back, something I am looking forward to. Presumably they will have made some amendments to it to resolve the perceived problems. Also, the Assault map-mode has been removed from the Prokhorovka map. In all honesty this was probably needed. Even though it was very possible win as the attackers, all too often folks seemed to give up, skewing the map even more. Additionally more maps are getting the improved render graphics, generally making the game look prettier. There are also some more premium tanks be added.
The most important change though is to gold ammo – so important it even has its own item in the general news. Gold ammo, or premium ammo to give it its proper name, is ammunition bought not with credits, but with gold, which is World of Tanks’ real-money currency. Gold ammo, as a general rule of thumb, does no extra damage than regular ammo. Instead it has a higher penetration value making the chance of doing damage is greater. Well, they are going to try allowing premium ammo to also be acquired with credits and not just gold. The way this will work will be quite simple, a 400-1 conversation rate. Therefore, if the gold ammo costs 3 gold per shell it will also be available for 1200 credits per shell.
Gold ammo is one of those somewhat divisive things. More than anything else it is World of Tanks “pay-to-win” option. I can only think by opening premium ammo out to credits as well as gold Wargaming as seeking to give the impression of “levelling the playing the field” – especially in Clan Wars.
There are also, of course, a list of fixes and some other potential changes, but the ones above seem the most important to me. The premium ammo change itself is very significant, and it will take time to work out what it means in practice. Thankfully Wargaming seem to realise this – they make it quite plain the period from 8.1 to 8.2 is basically going to be one big test of the idea, so I would not be surprised to see this tweaked over the next few updates.