I'm a long time player of WoT who started playing around 10 years ago while I was working in the USA.
Initially I played on NA but when I moved back to Europe I started again on the EU server. Yesterday I decided to play a few games on my old NA account, which hasn't been used for over six years, in preparation to getting the 'well deserved rewards' on that account. It was really striking how different NA now is compared to EU, here's what I've noticed over the past few days.
Tiny player base compared to EU – battles at tier 8 were taking between 2-3 minutes to find a match – I'd assume I was on at peak time, I've been playing around midnight here in EU so it would have been evening time in the US. This wouldn't be a problem if matches lasted 5-10 minutes but when you're queuing for a match for longer than the match actually lasts it all starts to feel a bit frustrating.
Lower tiers are just awful. I only have tier 5 and 6 premium tanks on my NA account so I played those a fair bit to get some credits. At tier 5 nearly all the matches were 10 vs 10 with between five and seven players on each team being WG bots. With that level of bots it makes tier 5 feel pretty horrible.
I had never seen WG bots on EU so it was a bit of an eye opener. I'll give the bots their due, they actually are better than some human players I've seen.
Toxic chat is still toxic but in a different way. It seemed as though there's a lot racist chat on NA compared to EU. I'm used to seeing a lot of 'kurva's and 'debil's on EU but not so much racism, with the possible exception of hate for Polish players.
Far less team co-ordination. Granted I've only been playing on NA for a couple of days but it really felt as though there were way more games in which players didn't co-operate and team play was almost nonexistent. Often flanks would be left undefended and few players responded to pings or requests for help. In one match on Himmelsdorf I accidentally flipped on my side at the start due to some rubber-banding problems and literally half the team (human players not bots) just drove past me without helping. Spent the entire game on my side.
Low ping is less problematic than I imagined if you avoid light tanks. I was getting around 200ms ping on the games but it mostly remained very playable. I had a few problems in faster tanks with rubber-banding but for heavies and mediums it was fine.
Tank composition felt very different. On EU I'm used to seeing a huge variety of nations with Russian tanks being dominant. On NA it really felt as though US tanks were used a lot more at the mid tiers (5-8). Russian tanks were still popular but I saw a lot more American heavies and lights than I'm used to seeing on EU. At tier 7 it sometimes felt as though the only heavies played were T29's (I exaggerate a little but it definitely felt as though they predominated)
More AKF's – possibly caused by people getting bored waiting for the MM and going off to do something else?
No particular reason for posting this other than to provoke a bit of discussion and to highlight some of the problems that may be coming to EU and Russia servers as the playerbase declines. I've only played for two days and maybe 30 or 40 battles so my experience may not be fully representative of play on NA.
It has certainly given me insight into some comments I've seen on Reddit regarding lower tier play – on NA it is a very different experience to EU.