Saturday, 11 December 2010

Taking a look at what the new patch notes really mean Pt 3

To wrap up the patch notes review, I am taking a look at the changes to the US tanks. I apologise for the delay in posting these thoughts but I have had a few real life issues to tie up and sort out which has delayed this feature.
USA:
  • Gun 37mm_M-6_L53: price in credits 8350->2500.
  • Gun QF_6_pounder_Mk_III: penetration: AP 89->110, APCR 145->180, accuracy 0.4->0.38.
  • Gun 75mm_Gun_M3_L37: dispersion 0.38->0.4.
  • Gun 75mm_Gun_M2_L28: dispersion 0.39->0.41.
  • Gun 76mm_Gun_M1A1: reload (in seconds) 3.2->2.85, dispersion 0.37->0.38.
  • Gun 76mm_Gun_M1A2: dispersion 0.34->0.35.
Some misc changes in the lower end guns, of which the M4 Sherman, M4A3E8 Sherman and the T1 Heavy/M6 use. Not sure how useful these minor buffs/nerfs are going to be with balancing things up for these generally underpowered tanks.
  • Gun 90mm_Gun_T15E2M2: dispersion 0.33->0.32, reduced dispersion during turret traverse.
Ideal for the American Mediums which use the 90mm as their main gun. A rather nice buff though not in the right area.
  • Gun 105mm_Howitzer_M2A: reduced aiming time by 15%.
I have to guess that this is the M2A1 which is onthe M7 Priest. Sounds like a nice buff because I absolutely hated the M7 Priest. Inaccurate and packs zero punch.
  • Gun 105mm_Howitzer_M4: reduced aiming time by 15%, HEAT penetration 60->53.
A buff for the most popular M4 Sherman weapon. Oh how my T29 and T32 hate those Shermans with the 105mm HE cannon of annoyance.
  • Gun 120mm_Gun_T53: aiming 3.0->2.4, reduced dispersion during turret traverse.
  • Gun 155mm_Gun_T7: aiming 3.0->2.7, significantly reduced dispersion during turret traverse.
Buffs for the T34 and T30 main guns, improving their accuracy and lowering dispersion on the move. Positive upgrades for these two much maligned tanks.
  • T29, Т32, Т34, Т30: fixed error with discrepancy between displayed and actual hull armor. Actual armor decreased by 20%.
Possibly the end of US tanks as a useful force in the game (until the next patch of course). This 'fix' is going to reduce already reasonably squishy tanks into very squishy tanks which will be ventilated by anything and everything. 

The T29 is, in my opinion, a bit overpowered for it's tier, capable of dispatching it's equivilent tier tanks and even able to give a King Tiger with 10.5 long or the IS-3 with BL-9 a run for their money. The T32 is the most heavily armoured American heavy tank, with a godlike but tiny turret and decent + angled front armour. Even in it's current state it's front will be penetrated rather easily by the 10.5 long or the BL-9, it's direct competitors but does a good job of bouncing shots from a lot of lesser guns.

It may be a 'fix' to correct an unintentional buff but in isolation I personally believe that this change could singlehandedly annihilate the usefulness of the American heavy tanks. We will see later this month!
  • M6, T1: reduced experience cost Wright_G200_m_781C9GC1 19800->10900.
Major buff. The experience cost of 19,800 was completely unreasonable and 10,900 seems to be much more in-line with it's competitors and place as a Tier 5/6 tank engine.
  • RamII: reduced repair cost by 20%.
  • Т14: reduced repair price by 5%.
Always a pleasure to see buffs applied to the Premium (gold) tanks. Making the credit earners even better at earning credits :)
  • T29: increased visibility of the tank, by 5% increased influence of movement and traversing on accuracy, 105mm_Gun_T5E1 - reloading (in seconds) 9.5->10, by 10% reduced speed of traverse for top turret, fixed display of frontal armor for both turrets, changed guns ammunition.
  • Т32: by 5% reduced pass-ability on medium grounds, by 8% decreased accuracy during movement and traverse, by 6 deg/sec reduced traverse speed of first tracks, by 2 deg/secк - of second, 105mm_Gun_T5E1 reload (in seconds) 9.38->9.4, changed guns ammunition.
The 105mm T5E1 gun is amazing on the T29, it's just a phenomenal (OP?) gun for a Tier 7 tank to have. It's a 'rough' equivilent to the JagdPanther's 10.5cm long, not as good but it's a decent gauge for comparison purposes. For the T32 however, it is very lacking compared to the Tiger II's 10.5 long and the IS-3's BL-9 gun. To nerf the 105mm T5E1 for the T29 is justified but to nerf it for the T32 is not a great thing in my eyes. Disappointed T32 owner here.
Decreased accuracy on the move and during traverse could be interesting but I haven't noticed that my T29 or T32 were that amazingly accurate on the move already. The decrease in the turret traverse could be justified as they are quick turners.
  • Т34: changed guns ammunition.
  • Т30: changed guns ammunition.
This appears in the T29 and T32 tank notes also. I have no idea what this means but it could be something as simple as a renaming of the shells used. Any thoughts here?
Overall the first patch for the American tanks appears to water down a heavy tank line which has had a mixed reception with the calls of an overpowered for it's tier T29, a lukewarm T32 and the major flops which are the T34 and T30 tanks.

The T1 Heavy and M6 get better access to their engines with reduced experience costs but face minor tweaks to their 76mm M1A1 and 76mm M1A2. The 90mm for the M6 gets an improvement which should make this tank a little painful to drive.

As far as medium tanks go we don't really see that much change. The M4 Lee is a catastrophe unless it is in a Tier 4/Tier 5 maximum match and we all know that in this matchmaking scenario, that is rare. The M4 Sherman is a bit lacklustre for tier 5, the M4A3E8 Sherman is undergunned for tier 6 and lacks a 90mm which could be put in for the tank and beyond this, the T20 and T23 are labelled as 'tanks with no bounce', everything ventilates them and no changes have been made in this regard. All they seem to get is a decent buff to the 90mm main gun which has already been called the worst of the Tier 8 medium tank 'top guns'.

We should all reserve judgement on these preliminary patch notes until we have had a few days to settle on the changes and form an informed opinion on them. However, I do feel that although there are some massive improvements coming into this new patch, there are also some pitfalls which either completely avoid some of the bigger issues in the game or create new issues with tank balance.

Roll on patch time is all I can say!

Check out my other World of Tanks previews and guides