This is a somewhat serious article, so if you're not interested in reading opinions, discussion and analysis, I bolded the important bits.
So, the Vk buff in the CT passed. To anyone who is unaware, the VK 45.02P was rebalanced in 9.2. Details are as follows:
UFP(Upper Front/Glacis plate): 170mm -> 200mm
LFP(Lower Front/Glacis place): 150mm -> 200mm
Turret Roof : 40mm->60mm
Bow machinegun weakspot (somewhat) removed
^So what does the above mean? THis is what I've been able to gather after blasting through 20-30 games in a row in the VK since the patch:
1. UFP/LFP changes mean that the VK's hull is now almost impenetrable to ANY gun in the game aside from t10 prem. With the armor angle taken into consideration, both hull plates have >300mm effective thickness. Thats MONSTROUSLY good. I;ve had everything from t10 gold to WTF e100s bouncing their whole clips off the front. the machinegun weakspot is still a weakspot though, its now considered to be the same piece or armor as the hull, but its almost FLAT where the gun sticks out, so keep that in mind.
2. Turret roof is no longer overmatched by most guns in the game. Excluding the DeathStar, nothing can really pen the turret roof frontally. Cupola is still a weakspot, but E-75s can no longer blow holes in your head while you're struggling to laze his hatch.
To summarize, the VK's front armor is now straight up better than the E-75s and even arguably the E-100s and the Maus because of the lack of big glacis plate weakspots. Vk players will now find themselves cackling with glee when everything just bounces and bounces.... I know i have.
Is it OP currently? Well, right now its still hard to judge because the players are still struggling to figure out tactics to beat it. I think such an early judgement call is unfair and biased. Everyone is still trying to blow holes in my lower plate and failing. I'll watch and wait for a couple of months before making my mind up. Also, the basic limitations of the VK still apply. It's got a rear mounted turret, its hellishly slow, its DPM is lousy and its side armor is only good enough to autobounce frontally.
What can the VK do now? Well, i've had success playing it in 2 ways:
1. The Battering Ram of DOOM. Lead the charge and drive headfirst into 7 enemy tanks and watch them bounce and bounce and bounce. The new VK does not care for you peasants. On a narrow choke, or with enough support that the enemies cant exploit your vulnerable flanks, the VK can really ruin the 9-0 line HT ball on Redshire or any other city map.
2. Area Denial. If you have insufficient support, hunker down and play Bunker Simulator 2014 down a choke. However, this is generally a 1 way trip because eventually, people will either start vomiting gold (and bounce most of it anyways) or just push you. But I had a game where i held down 2 IS-7s, an IS-8 and a AMX 50 100 all by myself and by the time i was dead, their team was down 12-3 because their heavies were too occupied. Honourabru sacrifice!
IMO, i think this change is pretty huge, not just for us Maus grinders but also for HT gameplay. The VK now has a nice niche to hold at Tier 9 as the brick wall. This is a tank which cannot simply be dewedged frontally through sheer perseverance and gold reliably. Unless the VKs team completely donk out, removing the VK would basically be throwing 3-4 top tier tanks away for 5 minutes That would pretty much screw your team over.
Now, there is a legitimate need for your team to succeed. The way I've played it, currently the best way to kill the beast is to flank it, or pin it there until support arrives (via the other flanks winning). And this isnt hard to do. The VK is basically a big credit/XP pinata once it is outflanked. It simply cannot defend itself from more than 1 direction. Try it.
And i think this change is amazing for future gameplay (theoratically). I think Wargaming has indirectly taken a big step to motivate team based tactics in the game. I've faced down t110e5s and IS-7s, tanks that are among the best in 1v1 situations, and i am only average (1000 eff). Under the right situations (described above), the VK is so lethal that it kind of breaks the game in its current meta of "every man for himself". On the other hand, there is a clear way to counter it. The only reason i could have won those 5v1 encounters is because they were all trying to take me on by themselves. If one of those ISs had just tracked me and gone around, I would have been wrecked instantly.
I know there will be a counter argument about "noob teams" and "selfish players" but i personally dont think im asking to much right now. 2-3 tanks with some slight coordination shouldnt be too hard in T9-10 games. Maybe Wargaming will have some motivation now to give the game a few more team oriented features.
What do you guys think? I welcome any discussion in this thread. Thank you to anyone who was willing to read the whole passage, i know its longer than your average weekend post. This is my 1st post, so i cant get everything right.
TL;DR - VK is now a REALLY strong tank to fight from the front. I've taken on 3-4 tanks in 1 shot and won because they were all selfish and trying to win for themselves. Is it OP? I dont think so because the VK has huge weaknesses that can EASILY be exploited like it's terribad mobility and sluggish gun. Therefore, I think the VK will force teamwork among average players and is a really potentially strong 1st step by Wargaming to improve the quality of pub gameplay and motivate team tactics. Or, people could just cry OPOPNERF and it'll be batted down 2 patches from now.
Edited by BLTzSam, 02 August 2014 - 07:14 PM.