Wednesday, 18 September 2013

World of Tanks 8.8 patch

I'm afraid the monotonous wait for Battlefield 4 grinds on and on and in the meantime I continue to seek distraction in the World of Tanks. Dear Lord, I cannot believe I have strung out such a shallow game for so long (it's nearly as bad how my old clan hung on to Counter Strike)!

My mighty Tiger II, fully upgraded and decorated! It is a mark of just how long
I have been playing this game now that I have managed to attain this higher tier
tank with my free account. But man, what a grind!

Anyway, give the developers their due - they have continued to patch the game, add 'new' tanks, tinker with others and throw in the occasional new map to make the experience seem like it's progressing (somehow). The new 8.8 patch has thrown we weary tankers some bread crumbs, you can read all about the new features in the release notes here: 8.8 Update is Now Live

For me perhaps the most interesting thing was the return of three older maps that I used to enjoy. But what I especially like about the re-inclusion of these maps is that the developers have modified them to exclude a few of the unpopular 'git spots' (that encouraged mass camping) and bottlenecks that they used to have. They now play better and are more fun.

I have fairly much ignore the new tanks that are available to me as I have been pretty much engrossed in the development of my inventory of German tank destroyers (my favourite type). And sheer staying power eventually won me a pretty awesome predator, the JagdPather II...

However, there was one newer vehicle that did catch my eye and I decided to give it a whirl, the Tier VII VK 30.02 (D) German medium.

Historically I believe this tank was an early prototype for what was to become the Panther and it highlights an interesting aspect to the game of World of Tanks. In their inclusion of 'paper panzers' - drawing-board or prototype tank designs - the developers has introduced players to a whole range of novel and obscure types that are, none the less, very important if you want to understand the historical evolution of the tank.

Take the VK 30.02 (D) - if you look at the design you get a very interesting insight into the minds of the Germans at the time. Remember, the Germans had just had a very nasty shock when they invaded the Soviet Union - far from finding the huge fleets of pitifully obsolete tanks that they expected the Germans were confronted with two new types that put the wind right up them, the T-34 medium and the KV-1 heavy.

The legendary Soviet T-34 - the design that inspired the German VK 30.02 (D)?

The German tank designers were immediately put to work in an attempt to redress the disadvantage that they found themselves in and decided on a two-tier approach. They designed a new advanced medium which was to become the Panther and a new super-heavy tank which was to be the Tiger.

The VK 30.02 (D) shows that the initial response by the German designers was simply to copy many of the features of the Soviet T-34, and some might say that that was a very sensible move. If you look at the picture of the 30.02 you can see a T-34 (look at the frontal plate and the engine deck).

In the end what developed was a overly complicated, though technically brilliant, Panther. It was over-kill and something like the 30.02 might have been all that was really needed...Still, what do I know (I'm sure I don't have all the facts).

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