Some Hard Facts: Back to the Future – Part 2

Source: TollhouseFrank

Part 1 link

Welcome again, to another post where I pretend to be smart and reap the pretend internet points from it! But seriously, I love going back in time and looking at the game as it used to be compared to now. I also enjoy the usual handful of stories about memories from those patches.

Anyhoo, last time, I went over the year 2012 in World of Tanks. This time, we will gaze back through the foggy mists of time and gaze into the future that is 2013. What is coming up for World of Tanks in the far off future’s past of 2013 that might just shake the game to its core, and convince the worldwide audience that it is doomed and that the game will fail any day now? Let us see.

Patch 8.3 The Chinese really and truly are added. I made a slight mistake last time, as they were on the test server, but did not make final cut until this patch.

This patch also was the FIRST nerf to arty. Most of them had lots of things nerfed, from aim time, to dispersion, to mobility, and more.

Patch 8.4 The old tutorial for new players replaced with a newer tutorial. This was universally applauded at the time (as it really was a huge upgrade over the original). However, as time has gone on, this tutorial hasn’t aged very well. Dragon Ridge and Serene Coast game maps are both temporarily removed for the first time.

This patch also brought to us British TD’s. They were universally considered OP at the time, from tier 5+. That sentiment has changed drastically over the years, though at tier 5 and 10, they are still monsters that cause salty tears for more than one reason, for pubbies.

For those that remember, this was also the first patch (that I can find) that officially supported NVIDIA SLI.

Patch 8.5 The tech tree for the Germans is expanded once again and the Leopard 1 is added as a new tier 10. This line is truly the first time that the Germans went away from being about armor/toughness and more towards having some mobility to go along with good guns.

Pearl River is added to the game as a playable map. For the first time, Premium Consumables are now available for silver credits instead of either literally paying for gold to use them, or earning gold from Clan Wars to use them. While the CW community moans and whines about it no longer being an ‘exclusive perk’ of CW, the rest of us enjoy the option to use them with silver (at the current silver to gold exchange rate).

Also added to to this patch is the ability for non-premium players (standard accounts) to create 3 player platoons. Before this point, in order to create a 3 player platoon, you had to be on premium time, and it was considered a perk for premium players. This was a bit controversial at first (taking away our perks!), but soon everyone forgot and just enjoyed playing with more friends at once.

Another small change (that I have personally benefited from) is that this patch introduced the change that when a new tank/line/tree is introduced, you no longer lose having earned your Tank Expert or Technical Expert badges you had earned in prior patches.

Patch 8.6

This is one of the absolute biggest, most game changing patches in the history of World of Tanks, for several reasons. I hinted in the prior post about the top 3 changes/patches for what they did to the game, and this is one of them.

The first huge change was Arty no longer ending at tier 8. It now ended at tier 10. This was a HUGE change to the game, and both semi-solved and semi-worsened at the same time a prior MM issue. Previously, tiers 6, 7, and 8 arty could all see the same tiers of matches. Thus, lots of arty got clustered into tier 8-10 (MM tier 8-12 at the time) matches. People didn’t like it. WG decided that stretching arty to 10 tiers and giving them standard MM weight would reduce this effect, and it did in most tiers except tiers 8-10 where it actually got worse.

Another huge thing that changed this patch with regards to Arty is that tracers in overhead mode were completely gone (aside from enemy arty). No longer could an Arty player hover over a heavily forrested/camo bush’d area and wait for hidden tanks to fire so they could shoot at where the tracers came from. This made camo-sniping a lot more desirable and easy.

Sacred Valley was added as a new playable map. New birds were added to Lakeville and Ruinberg (this was a meme for several weeks).

Another small, but huge change was that new accounts (and new tier 1’s introduced after this patch, for older players) would come with 100% crews at tier 1. This may not sound like a lot, but it was huge.

HEAT shell mechanics changed this patch. This changed them from being straight up the best round in the game, to you needing to worry about ricocheting, being absorbed by spaced armor, and not going through angled armor super easily anymore.

Before this patch, the only assist damage you would get was from raw spotting. This patch added in the ability to get assist damage from tracking enemy tanks. This made scouting and even playing arty a lot easier to grind as you had a new method to get extra XP from playing the game. Players also, for the first time, got credited with/blamed for physics kills.

This patch also saw a nearly game-wide buff to profitability of tanks (there were a handful nerfed) so that all the tanks were more even in their earnings. Before, certain tanks were just plain better for earning profit in because they got better co-efficients or whatever else behind-the-scenes nonsense was going on.

This patch also saw a massive rebalancing of shell penetration/costs across all tiers, especially with no more Tier 5, 105mm Derp Tanks auto-penning you for 450+ damage every few seconds as their pen was reduced massively, along with the changes to HEAT mechanics which made HEAT even less desirable to use all the time.

Patch 8.7 This patch introduced us to the British Arty. People laughed at ‘how terrible’ the FV304 was on the test server, and then once it hit live and the average player started getting to it and the good players started experimenting, it turns out to be one of the best/worst (depending on your point of view) additions to this game. Speaking of best/worst, the ever loved/hated E25 was added this patch.

This patch personally made me sad, as my most played (at the time) tank was the T-50-2, and it was removed for the MT-25. The T-50-2 was the first tank I had over 1k+ games played in, and the MT-25 ruined it for me. It was a pale shadow of what the T-50-2 was, and it wasn’t buffed to being much better (what it is now) for a long time. [Seb: I also got very annoyed that WG removed the best T-50 engine (effectively destroying the tank), and I still am. It was a crucial arty-killer back in the day.]

Patch 8.8 The Object 140 and line to it were added. T-34-3 and 112 were added to the game as premiums. Tundra was added to the game, and Komarin, Swamp, and Serene Coast were all re-added after prior removals, with changes to the maps.

Super Pershing was heavily nerfed, and this was the patch that re-affirmed to WG that nerfing premium tanks was a VERY bad idea, as they ended up offering refunds to anyone with a Super Pershing, and a vast majority of owners did take the refund (I didn’t, I kept my Super Pershing).

Patch 8.9 The 2nd German TD line was added, ending in one of the most controversial (and then later removed) TD’s in the game, the Waffentrager E-100. This patch started the tradition of releasing a premium tank the patch before a new Tree/branch, as the Chi-Nu Kai was released for people to buy and start training a crew before the Japanese Mediums were added.

WG also added in their own rating called Personal Rating, but people did not like it and preferred WN7 (I believe it was WN7 at the time, as WN8 was still in development stages at the time, I think).

Patch 8.10 This leads us up to December of 2013, where the Japanese Mediums were introduced to the game. At the same time, the Russian tree got a slight expansion with a little podunk tank known as the Object 430 at tier 10, a tank which nobody played then and nobody plays now (yes, I’m being facetious, it was well loved then and now).

This patch also brought in another small, yet game changing/game breaking mechanic in the ability to shoot through cover and damage an enemy. Prior to this patch, anything breakable (from a wooden fence to a car to a thin wall) would stop any and all shots. This patch allowed AP and APCR to continue through cover and still have a chance to pen the enemy (at reduced pen rating, of course). For this one reason alone, we lost the map Port, as it became insanely unbalanced (to the north, I believe) because of this change.