Some Hard Facts: Back to the Future – Part 3

Thanks to TollhouseFrank for allowing me to repost this.

In the prior post, I discussed the the year of 2013 and what it brought to World of Tanks in the terms of patches and changes. This time, we are going to take a hop, skip, and a jump up to gaze into the crystal ball and see what the year 2014 has in store for World of Tanks.

Patch 8.11 This was a much smaller patch, considering the massive and sweeping changes of the year before. Windstorm and Ruinberg on Fire were added to the map rotation. Some tanks in the game had their sizes changed.

This patch also brought about an across the board nerf to tier 10 TD’s. Alpha on the guns was brought down from 850 a shot to 750 a shot. Many of the TD’s had other changes/nerfs. This is the patch that “killed” the French TD’s.

Also coming in this patch was the ability to turn off battle chat for the first time.

Patch 9.0 I’ve talked about the “best” patches before. This one is hands down one of the worst, if not the absolute worst patch to this game. It has nothing to do with changes to tanks. Nothing to do with buffs or nerfs, or new tanks added, or new maps added or old maps removed.

This patch single handedly was almost responsible for the largest exodus of players from this game. “How can this be, Private_Public? What was so bad about this patch?” It can be surmised into a single word: BUGS. This patch was so buggy, that easily a half of the entire worldwide playerbase was unable to play the game for nearly a month. I was one of the ones caught up in this. There were several micropatches to try to fix the issue, but they only alleviated it for small amounts of people at a time. WG quickly worked on getting out Patch 9.1 with a lot more bug fixes (which honestly did fix at least 95% of them).

Besides the terrible bugs/crashing related problems, what else came in this patch? National battles. On the few occasions I managed to get the game working before the micropatches eventually fixed the worst of the bugs, I was able to participate in some National Battles. You basically queued up, and if you were in an American, Soviet, German, or French tank, you had a chance to be on a team composed entirely of your nationality. It was actually a highly anticipated mode, yet people quickly found out that it was extremely unbalanced, and it lost its fun very quickly. As far as I can recall, this mode was removed before patch 9.1 came, it was that unpopular.

Patch 9.1 Welcome to one of the most celebrated patches in the history of World of Tanks, if only because it fixed the worst of the bugs from patch 9.0. We also saw the introduction of the Kharkov Map in this patch.

MoE, aka Marks of Excellence, debuted in this patch. People at first poked fun at the concept, but soon found it a way to really show who was either very dedicated to a tank and/or very good at playing said tank.

This patch also brought to us changes in light tank matchmaking (no longer did they see +4 or +5 MM, but now saw a +3 MM) and several buffs to a handful of light tanks as well.

Patch 9.2 Clans hated this patch because it ‘took away’ from the bigger, better clans, and opened things up to the smaller, weaker clans. What am I talking about? Strongholds, of course! They were introduced in this patch. The arguing over this mode was fierce and many CW heavy clans opposed them. However, the mode has turned out to be very popular over time, and the ones who initially were staunchly against Strongholds would probably now say that they were never against them in the first place.

The eventual death of Komarin starts in this patch, as it was reduced to tiers 1-8 only. Wintersdorf now no longer seen by low tier (tiers 1-3 MM), so it no longer makes sense to put winter camo on your seal-clubbing tanks.

Along with the various usual buffs and nerfs of vehicles, this patch saw the first steps towards the removal of the Waffentrager E-100 with a significant nerf including reducing the amount of shells in the 128mm clip, keeping the reload practically the same, making it less accurate with higher dispersion on turret/movement, etc. Other German TD’s in the tree leading up to the WTF E-100 were also nerfed.

The ever mighty rebalancer of rebalancers, the Deathstar, the FV215b 183, was also nerfed this patch with the pen on the premium HESH round, being nerfed heavily from 275 pen to 230 pen.

Patch 9.3 Strongholds gained the War Department and ability to use Legionnaires in a match. The Chaffee was nerfed heavily, as the T37, Walker Bulldog, and T49 were added this patch, along with LTTB and T54 Lightweight, and the RU251. The original KV-1S (tier 6 monster) was heavily nerfed/removed to tier 5. The replacement tank, the KV-85, was not very well received.

This patch was a HUGE buff to tier 7-10 German tanks. Prior to this patch, if you wanted to take out a German tank, you shot it in the lower front plate or in the front drive wheel, and it would set on fire from frontal transmission. This patch removed that, and instantly, German tanks became a lot tougher, especially the Heavies.

This patch also brought along another small, yet huge change. Prior to this patch, if a shell ricocheted, it was gone. This patch allowed the shell to continue on (with reduced pen) and still remain dangerous. Thus, we now have .gifs and youtube videos of people killing others with ricochet shots. Also, earning of MoE was made a lot easier, as WG found statistical proof that the formula for it had gone wonky and was requiring such insane stats to earn, that it was literally impossible, even for the best players.

Patch 9.4 Stalingrad Map was added and Team Battles format was changed to headline this patch. T-34-3 was slightly buffed, and AT15-A was massively buffed with more hitpoints, and going from full MM to preferred Matchmaker.

Graphical performance receives one of many optimizations, though this one was one of the biggest boosts in this game (not quite as big as 8.0, but still very big boosts). Ramming issues were fixed and less ‘bugs’ like grinding alongside a friendly tank taking 50% or more of your hitpoints were gone overnight.

Historical Battles (which I really didn’t cover before, as they were so poorly thought of/conceived) were finally removed from the game.

Patch 9.5 We have now made it through another year of World of Tanks. The game somehow survived, despite all naysayers and the huge gloom-n-doom crowd that always shows up to proclaim that each patch will be the death of World of Tanks.

This patch brings us the 2nd British TD line. Well, a combination of Mediums and TDs. People hate on the FV4005 from the start (and for good reason), and even the tier 9 FV4004 is thought of very poorly until much more recently. People generally stop at the new Charioteer and call it a day. The FV215b 183 at the same time gets some very good armor buffs.

Ghost Town, Mittengard, and Winterberg maps were added. Severogorsk and Ruinberg on Fire were removed.

Another patch where game performance is enhanced. Again, people find themselves getting a lot better performance out of their machines as WG optimizes the client and graphics.

People now earn MORE XP for spotting/assistance damage of tanks higher tier than them. This helps the scouts in the game get even more XP than before. Speaking of earning more, Strongholds now go from 10 reserves to 1000 reserves allowed to be stacked at once on a building.

So all in all, in just the 3 years of 2012, 2013, and 2014, this game has changed so much, that it honestly barely resembles what it was at the beginning of 2012. If you were to have played in patch 7.1 (with the French introduction) and then stopped and not played again until really recently, then this is a totally different game. Yet, we still have not gotten through 2015 or even more recently, 2016, yet. I hope to cover those next time.

Again, stories and memories about these patches are more than welcome.