Hi there! Posting this now, even though I can't check responses til after work. I hear morning posts do better.
I took a long break from this game, I think 9.10/9.12 was about where I last played regularly. Whenever the Czech tree
came out. It helped a lot in regards to frustration factor, for any of you out there thinking about it. Anyway, I felt like posting some thoughts about the state of things after playing again for about 3 weeks.
The HD client looks great, I love the thought of driving through some water and seeing my tank actually be damp & muddy up to the height of the water!
They seem to have gone through and buffed some weaker/older tanks, which is nice. I was in a battle that included a Tortoise for example, and an astounding 45mm of armor was apparently added to the front of the vehicle! I thought I was just the unluckiest guy ever, not penning the "weak" side.
Events are really good it seems as well (NA player btw), I guess I missed one hell of a Christmas event, but was just in time for the Black Market/D-Day. Rewards for Merit are quite nice, too. The blueprints they give are helping me get to a tank I want without playing the crappy one before it!
There was also a matchmaking rebalance recently, and grinding tier 7-8 (I generally do not play below these tiers) is much more pleasant. Games of 15 v 15 tier 8 feel quite good to play in, and I don't remember the frontline mode being around, but that can be pretty fun too (as long as you aren't defending) in addition to having decent rewards for investing time in it.
Artillery was apparently rebalanced again, I think I was playing when they did it the first time (alpha nerf, stunning mechanic introduced) and I maintain the possibly unpopular idea that stunning was a buff. Not only do they usually still just punish active aggressive play instead of the opposite, now you have to deal with the fact that you were hit for up to 20+ seconds after! That's half of the reload for the high tier SPGs.
Onto the next, how has there not been some sort of ammunition and/or armor rebalance? It's impossible to not notice the heavy use of premium ammunition right now.
I was playing my AT 15 yesterday in a bottom tier match, and was unfortunate enough to be caught by an Object 140 (tier X medium). In the middle of our little fight (he couldn't flank me), he changed to HEAT, even though he had a 100% pen rate before hand and was damaging me every shot! That's just an example I found particularly absurd. It seems there's also a shitload of vehicles that lower tier vehicles have little chance against, sometimes even with the '2' key. There are a lot of new high-tier russian 'Object' series vehicles, particularly, that appear to have some insane low tier/noob proof armor. For its flaws and lack of success, I liked the concept of how ammo worked in Armored Warfare (let's ignore rockets here). HEAT dealt higher alpha but generally had less pen, AP was a solid general purpose round, etc.
There is also the subject of maps. A lot of the newer ones seem pretty awful (Studzianki is horrible imo, 80% of the map is unplayable, I used the new blocking feature on it).
I am reserving judgment for the most part until I get more experience playing on them.
I am actually having fun playing this game again in spite of "The Bad" section being larger than the good; not instant-tilting every match, and even got some friends to come back with me (which helps too!). So, what do you all think? Am I a moron? Am I right here & there? What are your own thoughts about the current state of World of Tanks? I may have missed some cool new things here & there.