Another day, another rant about gold ammo. Whatever. I played this game since 2011 and since they made gold ammo accessible for credits, something in the flow of the game has been broken that was never fixed to this day. The problem itself is not that they turned gold rounds accessible to your average player, but that they turned it accessible at all. Before this day, nobody in their sane mind would spend real money to throw it away in an expendable fashion like ammo, so this ammo wasn't used at all, but now people can just buy that and voilà, now you can do something your tank wasn't supposed to do.
Then come the average player's argument, who never knew the game before gold ammo purchasable by credits:
"They are too tough" -> Learn to aim for weakspots
"But some tanks are simply impenetrable from the front, without any weak spots" -> Flank them
"I can't flank !!!" -> Then they outplayed you, and now you are stuck on a combat you shouldn't be in to begin with.
Complaining about OP armor is like complaining a medium tank got your heavy tank in the open and now you can't outturn him, or that this tiny light tank is firing from the sides of your casemate-TD, rendering you unable to do anything. This is strategy, and WoT is more than anything a strategy game, not a shooter. Even then, we still can fire HE rounds.
"But low-caliber HE rounds do almost no damage" -> Yea, that's the price you have to pay to be able to do damage from the enemy's strong side.
"But their armor is so tough i can't do damage at all" -> Then you have no business fighting them head-on, i.e. they outplayed you by fighting on a place that exacerbates their strengths and makes you useless.
Some tanks are armored like battleships, and this is to be expected. They have extreme drawbacks to have those advantages. They can't run to save their lives, more often than not they have average or sub-par guns, and are huge bricks that a one-eyed myopic artillery gunner could land direct shells on their head any day. Being slow means they can't do much other than the simple advance/retreat gameplay of tank alleys, that i will reiterate, should be avoided at all costs if your tank is not one of the big boys.
Then come the game flow problem per se:
Most gold rounds are just better versions of the normal rounds on the tank (the HEAT ammo is a notable exception here). There is no drawback for using those rounds other than their cost. Such a drawback has no impact on the flow of the match, as someone can simply decide to take longer to earn their money (as now a considerable part of their profit will go to pay their ammo) and get an unfair advantage in the game. What happens outside the match should influence your experience on the game overall, but not inside the matches themselves (someone could say that crew level, camouflage and extra parts influence the tank in the match, but they are nowhere near as game-breaking as premium ammo and give you a sense of evolving your tanks and crews). Within each match, tanks should be set against each other in a fair manner. When someone decides to load gold, they are saying "welp, i can't really beat this guy, so instead of either retreating or accepting they outplayed me, i will press this button which will make me take longer to buy that tier X tank, and just win this fight right here". This has no place in the game. Nobody would accept an ability that allows someone to respawn in the middle of the match at the cost of losing 1000 XP, but still it's something like this (less exaggerated, of course) that we have with the gold rounds.
Now the problems don't stop there. When we have premium ammo, it only affects tanks with a lot of armor. Tanks like the BatChat and the Leo1 are completely unaffected by gold, while tanks that rely on that like the Maus or the Type5 lose the only thing that makes them relevant (besides HP, of course). It isn't as if we had things like gold armor, which would make your tank well matched against gold rounds (which i am not in any means suggesting, as it breaks the game in the same way). It's only a hammer against heavy tanks and TDs.
I don't care if they nerfed these rounds a little bit. The whole concept makes no sense gamewise. These issues can only be solved through either limiting the rounds to a couple of them per tank and setting their prices to normal (so that everyone would have them, and people would use them like a ultimate ability of sorts, having to choose the right moment to load these rounds), or by nerfing their damage and/or penetration decay per distance and also setting their prices to normal (so that you would have a drawback that had to be taken into account). This would give a reason in the match for the player not to use them and instead fire AP shells. Then we're talking again about strategy.
Some smartass could say that technically APCR has only 2 degrees of normalization versus the 5 degrees of the AP ammo, but that is almost irrelevant considering the huge benefit in the penetration parameter, so i'll not discuss this either. I don't expect at all WarGaming to fix this, as this makes the game more accessible to the average noob (sorry if i sound elitist) as they can simply avoid having to learn the game properly, and it also incentivizes the players to buy premium tanks and accounts, to offset their money losses.
Whatever, if you read this far, thanks. If you disagree, post a reply.