WG got a lot of things right this time. There are still some concerns though.
Good: It is easy to have decent enough crews for new players.
Because 6th sense is free, one can go straight toward BIA. It just cost a few crew books.
And if you have a few crew trainers, they are quite useful to jump start the crews. I mainly use level 2 crew trainers to train skills and for end games. Most of my level 2 crew trainers are from events and Prime Gaming. So I think that these are still can be obtained for F2P players. However, given the number of nations around, you will not be able to have them for all nations. So you have to focus on a few lines. WG clearly wants to sell crew trainers.
A single 20K exp crew book can train a fresh crew from level 1 to level 6.
A single 100K exp crew book can train a fresh crew from level 1 to level 11.
A single 250K exp crew book can train a fresh crew from level 1 to level 17.
Overall, crew 2.0 is very good if you want to start a new set of crews. And starting with 100% crew for your tank is tremendously helpful for new players. When I played the game initially, it was just such a pain to train the crews from 50%. Even though later on WG finally give out 100% level 1 tankers, what about tier 2, 3, 4, 5 tanks? I played a lot of tier 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 tanks not reaching 100% for so long. It was a mega disadvantage against seal clubbers. And being able to have couple skills quickly is helpful for new players.
Good: there is a significant less need to retrain the crews, unless you pick the wrong skills.
Currently, as you go from no skill to 3 skill, there is a constant debate whether or not your should retrain to get camo, or repair. You can play long periods without BIA fully trained / active. Retraining using credits is very costly in exp, and using gold is expensive. With the new system, if you can compensate the lack of certain skills using crew trainers. It is also easier to obtain 1-2 skills quickly. The end result is that if you plan correctly, there should be little need for you to retrain the crews, without sacrificing much crucial skills.
Obviously, with the complexity of the crew 2.0, players are bound to make mistakes picking the wrong skills. It will take a while for players to figure out the right combinations of skills. Until then, it is going to be costly in skill reset. I highly recommend players to experiments on sandbox and test servers. This way, once it goes live, you do not need to reset much. When equipment 2.0 was introduced, I did use quite a bit demount kits. However, later on it becomes pretty easy, so demount kits become more or less useless. So I predict that crew 2.0 is similar. In the long run, there is less need to do skill reset.
Good: The default skill selection for converted crew closely matches the existing ones. And the first reset is free.
Good: Same crew can be used for 3 tanks. 750g is a reasonable price to pay, as you essentially adds a crew trainer tank. It is not as good as having a premium tank, but the price is much lower as well.
The cost of crew exp is pretty high though if you already have a decent crew if you do not plan to pay gold. And it is not cheap in credits either.
WG also made sure you can only train for additional tanks after reaching specific levels. I guess that this is to prevent the loop hole of have 0 skills and trained for 3 tanks.
WG also fixed an issue in the last iteration of Crew 2.0. Now crews trained for premium tanks can basically have its 1st slot open.
Ugly: Move a Crew on a single tank to next tank is very costly in credit / exp. That is, even if you are just replacing the tank on your crew, it still cost excessive of XP and credits. Previously, it only cost 20K exp or so. WG needs to address this issue as it effectively prevent players from moving down the line.
Say you played 1000 games in KV-1 as a F2P to earn credits. Now you want to play T-150, the next tank in line. Now, not only you need to buy the tank T-150 itself, you also need 1/5 million credits for crew retraining. And even with paying that much, you would still stand to lose 300K+ crew exp.
I would suggest WG to cap the exp loss and credit cost to match the current cost for transferring crew from one tank to another.
Bad: P2W Uber Crews. WG addressed uber crews by making sure crew books cannot be used on crews past level 80. In fact, if your crew just need 5k exp to reach level 80 and you uses a 20k crew book, you will get a warning that you will be losing 15K exp. WG also cut down the bonuses of crews past level 80. These are all good changes. However, I doubt WG could do something about players who would use up all the crew books to create uber crews before crew 2.0 hits live.
Edit: As K41M4 pointed out, WG still allows free XP to used be past level 80. Then whales can just use XP conversion to generate uber crews.
Needs Clarification: Unused Crews with 3-4 skills. WG's crew 2.0 article did not make it clear what would happen to the crews with 3-4 skills. It only said that the crews without 1st skills would be converted to crew books. I have American tier 8, 9, 10 heavies all with 4-5+ skills. Since I can use the same crew for T110E5 for T32 and M103, I can train that crew much faster. Then what do I do with the left over T32 and M103 crews? (I also have T57 5+ skills). This is a crucial concern for me, because I have similar situation for all tech trees. In game though, it appears to say that all crews not converted to new crews would be converted to crew books on 12/30/2021. I think that this is fair, but the article should make it clear.
Needs Clarification: What happened to 0-perk crews in bunker not trained for any tanks? WG's article did not specifically address the issue. I have roughly 40 0-perk commanders in the bunker not used. The reason why I am asking is because they are valuable crew books. Given how crews exp are now calculated with 0-perk considered, then they have at least 1 skill, and possibly more (1 – 2) additional skills. Were the skill on them converted to crew books? I just want to make sure WG also considered the 0-perk in the conversion process.
Bad: There is a lack of build variety. Some skills are just too important. BIA, SA are pretty much given for most tanks. That makes tactical training a must. The talents for this course are also quite powerful. Then Repair, Concealment and Safety Measures are very important as well for most classes, particularly if you run food and/or worry about ammo rack / fire. The talent for Technical Training course Thrill of Hunt is also very good. The result is that for all classes, except autoloaders, can just use these two training courses.
And I would argue that Thrill of Hunt is better for autoloaders than Rapid Fire. Once you have 5 hits, you have constant 10% buff, rather than merely 5 second (and the first shell does not benefit from it). And if you missed / bounced the first shell, sucks to be you with the Rapid Fire.
In the end, other than lights (which can use Operational Intelligence), I just do not see myself using talents from other training courses.
Or maybe this is good, because most players do not want to think too much on the minute differences of each skills / builds, unless CCs tell them which build is good.
Bad: Crew trainers are P2W. The level 3 crew trainers are just too powerful in terms of the skill bonuses. Level 2 crew trainers feel about right. Level 1 crew trainers are just too poor. It used to feel that the female crews from personal missions are just as good as most other 0-perk crews, now they are just fillers…
Bad: Crew 2.0 can make games even faster. WoT games have become too fast. Often the game is already lost at 2-3 minute mark, and over by 4:30 minutes. There are too many games where the whole game was lost before heavies even reached the usual spot. While equipment 2.0 brings a lot of build variety, it also made many tanks significantly stronger. Crew 2.0 will undoubtedly makes guns more accurate and / move faster. These all contribute to make the game even faster. This one major concern.
Ugly: Arties get significant buffs, more so than any other classes. Thrill of Hunt and Fighting Spirit are very easy to obtain for arties. Because arty has such a low HP to begin with, it is just so easy to get 3 levels of Fighting Spirit. And because arties can hit anywhere on the map, arties (particularly fast reload ones like 261) can quickly get 5x bonuses of Thrill of Hunt. I think that the two talents needs to be nerfed for arties. Additionally, Preparation is pretty much activated all the time. If there are multiple arties and they are aware, they can have Coherence activated all the time as well. These all bring significant accuracy, aiming and reload buffs that no other classes can get. Take this very first arty game on sandbox as an example: