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"Did I miss much?" - The guide to convince yourself that you're better off missing or no...


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Aoyama_Blue_Mountain #1 Posted 20 June 2021 - 10:46 PM

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At around the 5th or 6th CW campaign... or was it years of playing the game... and also when I started missing tanks, this was when this thought first popped into my mind. Or rather, it is perhaps because of this thought popping into my mind that I decided that I can start affording to miss some tanks. As in, not marathoning or campaigning for every tank.

 

A bit of my history, I used to play really a lot. That was back when tank balance was not just OP premium tanks stuck behind a paywall. That was when most premium tanks could be bought for gold. And I had a lot of gold from events, more than 40k in the bank at one point. As I said, I used to play really a lot.

So, collecting all the tanks used to be my goal. But as time went on, I realized I have more and more tanks that are just sitting in the garage rusting. Because there is simply no reason for playing them. Reward tanks are the worst offenders by far in terms of performance, but there are paid / marathon tanks that don't live up to their hype either. Yea, playerbase prediction based on paper stats before release can be off sometimes majority of the time nowadays, which is actually a good sign and shows that the balance team is doing a good job since a well-balanced tank should appear well-balanced to both the user and the enemy, so thank you. In contrast, a badly-balanced tank is hated by both the user and the enemy. See: FV215b (183)

 

So the purpose of this thread - I'll be looking at some of the premium tanks in history and also recent history if I have them, and see if I can manage to break good news, that you are better off missing the chance to acquire them. Some of this are very obvious now e.g. Mutz (for some reason. Because I think it is a balanced tank.), yet was considered OP at some time in the past, be it justified or unjustified, so we will just have some laughs.

 

Disclaimer: This will be based on personal experience and knowledge and as much as possible tanks winrate stats (ASIA) from wotlabs. I would have loved to get recent usage stats to measure a tank's popularity but I can't seem to find reliable data on this.

 

1) T95E2 (Tier 8 MT, referral reward)

I figured it is best to start with a good example, and an elusive tank no longer available is a good example.

This tank is horrible, period.

 

Now, there are lots of 240-damage MT and most of them are not noteworthy in any way, so comparing them all is too difficult for me. Instead I will compare the T95E2 against nearly-direct clones a.k.a. The Tumor Boys, as well as USA MTs. And then I just threw STA-2 in there for an example of something out of this group.

 

Firepower

Spoiler

 

Already in the first picture, we can see that this tank's gun is lame. Somehow everyone else had their gun penetration buffed, but this guy hasn't.

But apart from being just slightly worse than normal and on the whole mediocre, the gun isn't too bad.

But notice the shape of the tanks in the top pictures. I call these guys The Tumor Boys for a reason.

Yes, this turret is the M48 Patton turret, or more accurately one of the variants. A very popular turret in this game it seems. And also, tumor. TL-1 LPC has a smaller tumor, and the in-game M48 tier X used to have this big tumor but got buffed and reduced. (But M60 still has it.) 59-Patton also has that tumor. And Chieftain/T95, while not an M48 turret, has a tumor and suffers from similar issues. Oh, Renegade has a tumor too, but that tank is overall good due to strong performance everywhere. All the tanks in the picture don't.

Notice the tanks with tumor on the whole have better paper stats than tanks without tumor. And rightfully so, to make things fair. But that means T95E2 is already the worst of The Tumor Boys. And the nightmare has only just started and this is the tip of the iceberg.

 

Rest of the stats

Spoiler

 

A lot of green in the picture. This is never good.

 

For some reason it gets a fast top speed, but it never reaches it with that engine. And it also traverses slowly.

The Tumor Boys as a whole gets worse camo than the Pershing, so that's ok.

 

The biggest problem The Tumor Boys have, and is hard to see from the numbers above, is protection.

Apart from that big tumor, the turret itself is huge and has a large area not covered by the mantlet. The effective thickness is variable but is only ~200mm at the weakest.

But TL-1 LPC has that same thickness and that is a good tank. Because LPC has higher mobility, higher alpha, and a gold round with high penetration that can spam the enemy to death, allowing it to be played as a dynamic fire support. Also, smaller tumor.

 

Overall, T95E2 is not super-horrible in any aspect. But it is slightly bad in each aspect, and overall becomes horrible. Just take a look, TL-1 LPC straight up outclasses it, and people don't even think TL-1 LPC is worth buying. Meanwhile the Non-Tumor Boy trades a bit of overall performance everywhere to be much stronger defensively. So there is no reason to get T95E2 unless you just want to drive something with the name T95E2. It doesn't even get preferential MM, which considering the low pen, low armor, and not-so-good mobility, it should. Even T26E4 gets pref MM with a 202mm pen and 14.24 power-to-weight and much better armor and we still think that tank sucks. Can you imagine how bad T95E2 is now?



Ezz #2 Posted 20 June 2021 - 10:58 PM

    How many flipping posts do I need to get past Major?

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Came for the preamble, staying for the rest. I love a good balance diatribe.

Who the [edited] are you? Get Spoofed! "wouldn't be a proper WG balance change if they didn't [edited] something up after all "

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Aoyama_Blue_Mountain #3 Posted 20 June 2021 - 11:29 PM

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2) SU-130PM (Tier 8 MT, marathon and cash (and also gold sometimes? can't remember))

Let's do something that is more in the middle in terms of mixed opinions. Because this is where there will be more people on the fence and with questions.

And more controversial too perhaps. Because there are people who think this tank is good, to the point of P2W even. It is also a popular tank in terms of usage and ownership.

In terms of winrate, this tank is higher than Skorpion G. But that's only if you consider a winrate that is sandwiched between T77 and T-54 mod. 1 as good. So the winrate is inconclusive and does not tell us much.

 

So what's wrong with SU-130PM? Because Skorpion G exists. And also because 0.34 accuracy. C'mon there are non-TDs that can do that. Yes they do it with a smaller gun, but Skorpion has a 490 damage gun with 0.29 accuracy. And without having the turret locked into 155 degrees of traverse.

So, the gun is not the most accurate. But does it have some armor so we can use it at shorter distances? No. It is completely paper.

Does it have speed then like the frenchie flankers? Not really either. It's a decent MT type of mobility, which Skorpion also has.

One thing that SU-130PM scores well in is camo, but that's only for stationary and moving. When you shoot, it's not usable anyway. And a non-shooting TD is useless.

 

So how is it going to work with 0.34 accuracy at sniper distances? Well at least now we have Equipment 2.0 and Improved Aiming Unit, so this is one tank where IAU actually comes in useful. Mandatory, even. Rammer is also important, because the reload time is horrid. GLD becomes a potential choice for stop-and-shoot. Camo and viewrange equipment are also choices, but you have only 3 slots.

 

But still, how does it work with 0.34 accuracy? The answer that I found: Gold rounds. 320mm of HEAT penetration, which means it does not lose penetration with distance and you can penetrate by touching anywhere. Wait for enemy to appear, right click on the enemy, wait until enemy is nearly stationary, left click. Laugh at how dumb this is as the enemy loses 500HP.

 

And also 320mm means you can do something like this, when you are leading the charge, in an SU-130PM, in a bottom tier battle. Because pubbies.

Spoiler

 

Overall, the SU-130PM is not a bad tank, but it is simply outclassed by Skorpion G, and anything it tries to do, it does it flawed in a way that there are always other tanks that can do it better. It is usable, but there are better options.



Aoyama_Blue_Mountain #4 Posted 21 June 2021 - 12:07 AM

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3) 8,8 cm Pak 43 Jagdtiger (Previously gold, removed since 2015)

Ending off today with another "good news" and a bit of history lesson for the newer players. I don't think I even saw this tank in pubs in the last 3 years. That's weird for something that was once complained as "tier 9 armor in tier 8" in the past. Even many years back there were cries to buff it. Now people just forgot about it or gave up.

 

So what went wrong? Gold rounds and power creep. Jagdtiger 8.8 was a scary, overpowered killer in the past, when the 250mm superstructure and 200mm-equivalent UFP *and* LFP was impenetrable except to tier 8 heavy tanks and TDs, and it can get even stronger with smart hull angling when needed. That was where the "tier 9 armor in tier 8" came from. WG fairly balanced it with horrible mobility and a gun that's weaker than the tech tree TD due to the pref MM it receives, and while 212mm penetration is not unusable, it is slightly lacking for a TD at long distances.

 

So that armor worked well until guns with >250mm penetration started appearing. Then the UFP became a big target of free penetration. Then following the penetration creep was the armor creep, which further sealed the fate of the slow yet once-feared machine gun of 4.89s reload.

 

I think there's novelty to this TD when you look at its unique combination of stats, but if you're thinking of getting it to play to win, no way. Even if it was powerful in the past and my WR in it is 59% but that was in the past.


Edited by Aoyama_Blue_Mountain, 21 June 2021 - 12:15 AM.


mttspiii #5 Posted 21 June 2021 - 12:16 PM

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Can't believe I missed out on T95E2. A waste.

 

SU-130PM is one of those few tanks where the Soviet trait of trade-alpha-for-accuracy doesn't work. And that's because of its chassis: the gun is too far back and couldn't traverse rearward. It can't peekaboo like Skorp can, it can't shoot-and-scoot like Skorp can.

Skorp with the 130PM's gun would be even more fun as a hybrid TD/MT, 130PM with Skorp's gun and accuracy might actually be worse.

 

And JT88, it sorely needs either a buff to 280 alpha (the same-tier MT outalpha-ing it is just sad), or a pen boost to make its DPM work. Or spaced armor 30mm?


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LeSigh #6 Posted 21 June 2021 - 12:46 PM

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I've played the 95E2 in fronties just because it's something different. It's pretty much on a par with the TL1 as Blue says, which isn't great.

Just wish the in game model had the pretty shields of the TL1
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Aoyama_Blue_Mountain #7 Posted 26 June 2021 - 03:29 PM

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4) IS-2 Shielded (Road to Berlin (2020) reward, probably available for $$$ often, I don't keep track)

 

 

  • "Unfortunately the IS-2S looks like a stinker; on paper at least."
  • "So, in other words, this thing is not only a useless tier (7 = pubs only), but it’s a piece of crap for that tier – other than the gun. Not worth the gold, and certainly not worth the extreme grind to unlock it ‘free’ (hardly!). It’s all about getting that piece of purple idiocy."
  • "If you own any other tier 7 or above premium - no, absolutely not, it's a sub-par IS clone that does almost nothing better than the tech tree IS or any of the other million or so IS premium versions."

 

I believe the below comparison is the main reason why people were saying that. I too thought I would have preferred the premium IS-2:

 

 

So you're trading (relatively) a lot of mobility for less inaccuracy on the move. Sounds like a really bad deal.

 

So people would be thinking IS-2 Berlin (a.k.a. IS-2B) would be the better tank.

 

But let me do some magic:

 

 

And suddenly, IS-2S becomes the better tank.

 

The trick is the equipment: I gave IS-2S turbocharger, the first IS-2 a Rotational Mechanism, and the second IS-2 GLD.

 

The problem is that the IS 122mm gun is really inaccurate. This is especially the case with tier 7 and below, where HTs do not get vertstab. Aim circle is horribly large after movement, as expected from a value of 0.22.

 

However IS-2S's gun has better moving dispersion. So this is like having a vertstab, in a tier where tanks don't get vertstab. So we get to use a slot for turbo to offset the lower mobility. And the result is: IS-2M has slightly better mobility on hard ground, and still slightly better moving dispersion. Meanwhile for IS-2, to get better accuracy, I give it Rotational Mechanism. IS-2 in this form does get faster traverse. In practice, the better gun accuracy on IS-2S feels much more usable.

 

I assume vents would be used on all these tanks so it is not included for comparison.

 

I got the IS-2 eventually via Black Market, but now IS-2 is the one in my garage rusting away, because IS-2S just feels better.



Aoyama_Blue_Mountain #8 Posted 26 June 2021 - 09:34 PM

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Guessing people will be more interested in recent marathons. At the very least I am interested. And I hoped for someone to share information like this so I can decide before I buy.

 

5) Object 274a (Polar Challenge Marathon 2020, also available for $$$ from time to time)

 

 

This thing surprised me multiple times, and the public opinion has also been a roller coaster.

 

Spoiler

 

In my eyes, public opinion swung from:

  • 1) Before release and during "early access": OMG SO OP WG P2W AGAIN
  • 2) At release: It's balanced / It's horse excrement
  • 3) Now: Nobody gives a **** about this tank

 

Ownership numbers are on the low side too.

Spoiler

 

Yet despite the low ownership numbers and how nobody is talking about it anymore, I find myself playing this tank more often than other MTs, and it shows up in pubs relative often too.

 

I was surprised multiple times. First when I got it, I felt it was a scam. Low speed + inaccurate gun + unreliable armor means it was unplayable.

Then there were people who recommended playing it as HT. Even worse idea. The armor is useless on flat ground and city distances, HTs have comparable gun handling, and 1200HP is insufficient for a HT job.

 

But after 200 games at 57%, and is my go-to tank for daily missions, something does not look right.

 

It just happened to suit my playstyle.

 

It's not a HT. It's not an MT. It's somewhere in between. Faster than a HT, almost as fast as an MT, loses to a HT, but wins against an MT.

(When I say lose and win I mean when doing the same role. A LT will win a HT on Prokhorovka of course.)

 

So what I do in it is, I play it like an MT, using the speed to reach where HTs cannot. (See screenshot above.)

Then using better-than-MT armor and firepower, hammer the enemy repeatedly until it dies.

Then bring the firepower somewhere else. The gun is also better than HT accuracy if you're standing still.

 

This is kind of my default strategy nowadays. Some MTs fail at it, some HTs fail at it. But I do it anyway.

 

This is a boring tank. It does not feel good in any way. But it is somehow effective. Plays kind of reminding of the older days of WoT where tanks are not overpowered in terms of speed and accuracy. If you play it like a modern fast MT farming WN8, it is horrid at that. If you play it in standard roles, it is outperformed. You have to find a unique way to play its unique combination of stats.

 

Is it worth buying or not? I'm neutral. It's a good tank but not what I find particularly essential.

 

And it's definitely not a LIS. I don't have a LIS but I know it's similar to the T-44-100 except slightly bigger gun and slightly slower speed. In fact on the 274a if you use turbo (which you should) and drop rammer you can narrow the gap from LIS somewhat, Then the DPM/pen/mobility become somewhat comparable. But with 274a you get turret armor while losing gun handling.


Edited by Aoyama_Blue_Mountain, 26 June 2021 - 09:41 PM.


mttspiii #9 Posted 28 June 2021 - 09:14 AM

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The IS-2S rehabilitation post is good.

 

Hm, but what about bond tanks? IS-5, KV-4 Kres have just been recently buffed, so people might see them as alternative rewards. Also 121B


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