Thursday, 28 February 2013

World of tanks patch 8.4 is live on the russian server

The patch is available for download right now as a separate .exe, while they update the server.

So basically you can expect it in EU and NA servers in a couple of days. No test3 means that we get what we saw in the test2 patch notes, namely - damn huge 183mm gun with HESH, a whole line of mobile bunkers and strange things in the german light tank line.

Monday, 25 February 2013

World of tanks update 8.4 - tier 3 german light tank Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. G or Panzer II G

In addition to the race car known as Panzer I C, update 8.4 will bring us the Panzer II ausf G, a machine that is by tactics, a polar opposite of the I C.

How and why?

First things first, let's describe the Pz II G. Standing at 11 tons when elited, with a crew of 3. Armour wise its similar to the Pz I C, though a bit bigger in size. In terms of speed and maneuverabilty though, the Panzer II G is nothing to brag about - the 65 kmph top speed is not something it can achieve by its own power.

To demostrate how it handles, here is a video of it.

The video brings us to the one specific point of the PZ II G - the gun. You will first encounter the 3cm M.K.103 gun on the Pz II G so you'd do best to learn its quirks now, because you will see it on the new Luch and leopard as well.

The 3cm is an autocannon, with a 3x2 magazine allowing for 180 damage per mag, and the quite impressive 95mm penetration(!) This is topped by poor accuracy, poor aim time and very long reload - 17-18 seconds.

Needless to say -95mm is quite the overkill for tier 3 and you will have no problems penetrating. The damage output however, combined with the slow reload mean that your offensive abilities at tier 3 are not very adequate. In comparison the 40mm Bofors on the Cruiser IV can dish out 200 points of damage every 5-6 seconds with better accuracy and aim time. Ok, so if you can't fight other tier 3 tanks, what CAN you fight? The answer is in the video as well - you fight big fish. 95mm is enough to punch through KV1, T-1 Heavy as well as Panzers, shermans and t34-s frontally. Thus where other tier 3 tanks can only grind their teeth in anger when placed in a tier 5 game, the Panzer II G, simply locks and loads. In this matter its a polar opposite of the Panzer I C.

World of tanks update 8.4 test 2 - tier 3 German light tank - the 8.4 Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. C or just Panzer I C

The new update will bring us new faces in the german light tank branch. One of them is the Panzer I C, a new high speed, machinegun tank. And boy does it have things to offer...

The first thing that catches the eye is a top speed of 79kmph(!). No, thats not a typo, since it was not fixed in Test 2. The tank is indeed capable of reaching that speed(though with difficulty) and has the turn rate to supplement it too.

With view range of 340, and 700 radio range - its abilities as a scout are more than adequate for tier 3.
The armor layout is, actually quite decent too - 30mm front turret and hull.

Two crew members mean its good for fast training of a driver/commander.

Here you can see it on a quick test run showing both the speed and the gun.

Ah yes - the gun. The Mauser AT machinegun is a little wonder. With 33 penetration, it can fire 40 shots in 5x8 bursts for a whooping 360 damage. Of course a good deal of that will bounce of course, though if you are experienced in driving a T2 light tank, you'd know what to do to avoid it. Loading a new drum takes less than 10 seconds which is another bonus. In fact you pump out so many shots, its possible to run out of ammo.

Now the cons. Its not all good here. While the Pz I C can wreak havoc in a tier2-3 game, versus tier 4 and 5, the top gun is virtually useless, and you are relegated to scout duty and hoping your team is decent. The two crew members is both a boon and a problem. As with the Hotchkiss, its not unlikely that you will be knocked out from losing your crew before your actual tank is destroyed. Still, those are minor issues that all similar tanks suffer from. 

Saturday, 23 February 2013

British tank destroyer AT2

With no changes to it happening between 8.4 test1 and 8.4 test2, its safe to say that the british tier 5 tank destroyer, the AT2 will remain the way it is now for the official patch release.

Here you can see a quick drive of it on the test server that shows the most important aspects of it.

Now let's describe them in detail.
There are a number of things that define the AT2 - one is staying power, the other - the fact that it marks a line of tank destroyers that are very similar in performance all the way to the tier 9 Tortoise. This tank is NOT about the gun. As a matter of fact your choice of weapons is hardly impressive - one being the good old 6 pounder, though with rather impressive 26 shots per minute,the other a short derp cannon.

It is also not about speed. The video clearly shows how slow the traverse is and the 20km top speed is something you will have to get used to if you want to grind british tank destroyers.

Ooookay you'd ask - so what are the benefits? Its a tank destroyer that lacks the big gun or the big speed to flank the enemy, where's the good part?

The good part is that the AT2 is soon going to flood the world of tanks forums with cries for nerfing. It has a whooping 450 hit points - same as an equal tier meduim tank, a T-34 or a Panzer IV, and also with armor that can be found on a tier 10 tank - a whooping  203/101/101.  Yes - it makes a KV-1 look like an ELC AMX.

The listed armor is not a trick - the front is indeed 203mm  thick and lacks obvious frontal weakpoints, as the video clip above me shows. The side and rear armor mean that even if you get flanked, the guns of tier 3 and most tier 4 tanks will ding harmlessly and even other tier 5's will have problems penetrating with every shot. The commander cupola is an obvious weakness, though its not as weak as it seems, and good luck hiting that with consistent shots, given the accuracy of other vehicles in tier 5. Tier 6 tanks will have the same problems though premium ammo on some guns will be able to punch through. Tier 7 is the first that offers guns that will be able to deal with the AT2 with relative ease, although against Tier 7 tanks, the AT2's own weapon is no longer adequate.

So - how do we use this moving brick?
Obviously its not a traditional tank destroyer - it does not rely on greater firepower to take out the enemy before retaliation, instead duking ing out blow for blow and earning steel walls with ease. That makes it an excellent chokepoint defender AND breaker. If one of these rolls down a street in Himmelsdorf, that street is  under British occupation, no exceptions. Obviously it can be used as a breakthrough vehicle as well, a tier 5 Maus if you like.

Moving to your natural predators... Artillery is the obvious one - all slow moving tanks fear the sound of artillery fire. Mind you - the AT2 is quite resilient, but you will attract shells like fire.

Derp gunners is the second - All the short barrelled HE guns can put quite the pain on you in a peek-a-boo game.

Finally - fast moving flankers is the 3rd.

So what can be expected from the AT2?

What I can see is this - it will dominate in tier 5. You will rule the map, especially if there is no pesky artillery and your team is at least moderately adequate. However,the poor gun and mobility will leave you hanging in a tier 7 game, where a Stug 3 could have sniped to his heart's content.

Friday, 22 February 2013

World of tanks patch 8.4 test 2 notes

Yesterday the first test of the upcoming patch 8.4 ended and test 2 began.

Those are the changes listed, though Im sure as always, that we will find other stuff, not mentioned in the notes.

- 0.8.4 MM and vehicle MM weights have been finalized
- fixed (finalized) the armor of Brit TDs: AT8, Alecto, FV215b, Tortoise
- finalized the XP and credit prices of new Brit TDs and German light tanks
- fixed minor model bugs on 110, WZ-131, Pz38tNa, Hetzer
- fixed model bugs on IS-6, Churchill, M6A2E1 (incorrect proportions)
- fixed the firing effect of Valentine AT
- fixed the lower frontal plate thickness of Panther, Pz V/IV, Panther M10, Jagdpanther
- fixed the correct thickness of the weld between lower and upper frontal hull place on Conqueror and Caernarvon
- fixed the tech tree location of the British premium TD AT-15A
- fixed the E-100 frontal armor bug
- returned the old depression to E-50 and E-50M
- Churchill GC is now unlocked from Churchill I
- 183mm HESH for FV215b now costs 20g
- fixed the bug where multiple critical hit sounds are incorrectly used when the player switches between tanks in post-mortem mode
- fixed some tutorial texts
- fixed the bug where there are missing cases of reports of damage when the vehicle gets detracked
- fixed some tutorial bugs
- fixed some environmental model bugs
- fixed some menu issues with accounts that are not in clans
- fixed the bug where the trees don't load, if the client is minimized during the battle loading screen
- fixed FPS drops on some configuration when explosions and fires are rendered in sniper mode
- fixed the bug where the HE damage is not randomized when the shell lands near the tank and not on it
- fixed the client crash when alt-tabbing during the battle being loaded in some cases
- fixed the incorrect display of battle data in post-battle statistics
- fixed the bug where some accounts crash when loading the garage (desynchronisation of one part of the garage)
- fixed the appearance of mouse cursor when pressing right ctrl
- fixed some problems with screen refresh rate (frequency)

Unfortunately there isn't much done to the new vehicles to warant much discussion. The british tier10 TD - the FV215B stays as it is, only the 183mm HESH shells would cost you 20 gold or a whooping 8000 credits. Definitely not the nerf that a lot of people were asking for. The shell still does 1750 damage on average and on penetrating hits it will earn you about 15-16k credits, 5-6k if you just splash someone. Sure this will make people more carefull with flinging so much money in the air, as if they did not with a TD that reloads for half a minute. Important factor for the british TD line, is that we can start our way from Churchill I . As it seems the branching was done wrong in test 1. E50 series gets its gun depression back which is well and good but otherwise thats it.

Something that will need testing is the supposed fix for the UFP and LFP seam on the british top heavy tanks, aparently there was a gap in the model - possibly one of the reasons for the horrible splash damage that the FV215B tank took from any artillery piece. The seam should be the strongest single part of the front hull, and right now should stand at 254mm - sufficient against most guns in the game.


I'm Shash, your host and a long time World of Tanks player. By long time I mean that I remember the old days when men where men, tanks were tanks and having IS7 was considered akin to Godhood. Of course that was years ago. Nowadays things run differently in our lovely russian bias based game. From two initial tech trees, that bred the ancient German or Russian as well as the whole russian bias thing, now we have French, american, chinese, british and eventually japanese and god knows what other tanks in the game. Its a  madhouse I tell you, a madhouse.

Test 1