Today the Halloween event went live and I have a couple gripes/frustrations from my first impressions I would like to share. Hopefully some of you guys will find this helpful and maybe you can relate to what I'm talking about.
1. It's actually kinda good.
For starters, I want to say that this is a fine mode. The polish on it is amazing, the Art Department once again carrying their socks off with the amazing visuals, the very moody atmosphere, and the cool 3D skins you can pick up. The fact we are getting so many 3D skins made available for us all at once is quite an amazing thing as WG has said previously that they take a long time to make.
Other than the art, it's a very similar gameplay loop to the Last Waffentraeger mode; avoid the big un-killable bad guy (The Immortal), kill the smaller tanks (bots), get magic sauce points (mirium), and eventually get through enough of the bots to win the game. There are a few crucial differences, but I will address those soon.
The rewards for this mode are actually surprisingly good here. You can get the usual directives and some boosters for credits and XP, but the big thing, other than the 3D skins, is crew booklets for all nations! This is huge, because this is the first time WG has let us buy them for a special game mode currency, which is something I plan to fully take advantage of. Good rewards, WG!
2. About Those Differences I Mentioned…
As I said, there are a few very crucial differences between this and the Last Waffentraeger event that you guys should be aware of.
The first if these differences is in the way the bots spawn in, including The Immortal. The spawn points for the normal bots are all shown on the map, but that's where it ends. The Immortal will spawn wherever it feels like with there being no indication on the minimal where he spawns in a round. In my experience he doesn't spawn on the first stage, but that's the only good thing. The Immortal kind of lumbers around but there is no clear way to tell where he is coming from other than the little bar above the map, which is just a proximity intensity gauge. He doesn't seem to shoot all that often, but it's still a pain in the butt to be clearing a spawn of bots and he just shows up out of nowhere.
Speaking of the bots though; this is my biggest gripe of the entire mode. The bits are not necessarily bad or anything, nor are they exceptionally good, its that they seem to get very good RNG in my experience. Not that they have amazing damage, but that, even when I play the Centurion 7 or M103, they pen your weak spots very reliably and do a lot of damage, much more so than the bots in The Last Waffentraeger event. Given the gameplay loop is so similar, this is a cause for concern for me as the time limits are shorter and the means to winning is basically the same. But this is not the only reason I don't like the bots. As with The Immortal, these bots always spawn in when you are right in their spawn point, not when you get kind of close to them or, as was the case in The Last Waffentraeger event, at timed intervals, regardless of your position on the map.
Combined with the good RNG on their accuracy I talked about, these bots are very annoying and can easily kill you if you're not in group of other people. The obvious side effect of this is that, if you're not lucky, it is almost impossible to carry a game by yourself, no matter how good you are. If you are lucky to not run into The Immortal and the bots get bad RNG, then you can potentially clutch a win in this mode, but again it is super hard and unlikely to happen.
3. The Vehicles and Their Consumables
Compared to The Last Waffentraeger, there is a lot more variety in this mode because of the vehicles you can choose, but also because you can choose some consumables. The tanks are balanced fine, but there are 2 tanks you can buy ina bundle or earn over a very long time that are the equivalent of premiums for this mode, which I think is a little excessive on WG's part to monetize this mode. Otherwise, I feel that the consumables are a little weird and are hard for a new player to understand; Im an older player and I get confused by what does what sometimes. However, they're honestly more on the underpowered side and their utility feels kinda limited.
But the Commander system.
Oh boy, do I not like the commander system. If you're a free-to-play player and cant afford the money to buy the premiums, you can only play 3 games of this mode PER 24 HOURS without investing significant amounts of you're own CREDITS to play more. If that didn't sound bad enough, the consumables you use are also paid for by your own credits, with the slightly better ones being 20K PER POP. As I write this, this is actually my most hated part of the mode. It screws over FTP players once again right when they don't need it. It's a seasonal mode, don't make people pay for it WG.
Overall, its not bad. There is plenty of eye candy to feast on and it is a fairly enjoyable mode. However, given the excessive randomness in the spawns of The Immortal and the bots, combined with the immense amount of credits you have to spend if you want to play this more than 3 times per day, makes for a costly experience that does have a hard cap for how much fun I can get from the mode. I preferred The Last Waffentraeger event over this and that's about all I have to say for it.
TL;DR: The Last Waffentraeger event was a bit better.