In this article, SeanPwnery looks at the upcoming 7.5 patch from Wargaming.net’s World of Tanks.
WoT Patch 7.5
Well, here we are a couple of weeks removed from the 2012 Olympic games in London, England. The finishing touches are being made to the arenas, and the British Military are ramping up security on a prodigious scale. In an interesting turn of events, Wargaming too has been shoring up the defenses for the latest installment of World of Tanks in the 7.5 update.
After the North American server population has more than doubled in the past 10 months since I’ve personally joined, and the countless threads of matchmaker complaints and gripes, 7.5 promises to “tighten up” the battle-tiers to give the player a much more balanced feel in public battles. Three new maps have been added: Seaport, Highway, and Quiet Beach. These three maps are made to imitate areas you’d see here in North America, and playing through them, they do feel a little closer to home than previous offerings. You can see all of the basic details of what’s coming in 7.5 here:
Most of the maps and mechanics aren’t what this is about though. The purpose of this article today is to give you, the player what you want. There will be 12 new tanks added for your destructive enjoyment. After much suggestion, bickering, demands, and overall ranting, Wargaming has decided to grace us with Tier 10 Medium tanks and Tank Destroyers. In addition, an alternate Tier 8 Tank Destroyer for Germany in what will most likely be a “third” tank destroyer branch in the very distant future, as well as two new premium tanks, maybe
three – but the last one is pretty elusive to even Veteran Testers such as myself.
So without further adieu, and without trying to sound too biased or opinionated, we’ll be briefly covering who’s who in the new tank world and what makes them “better” than the
tier 9’s that precede them. Let’s start with the US tree since we’re playing the North American Server.
The M48A1 – Patton III Tank
Positives: APCR round as standard (costs you silver coins, not gold ones), Very maneuverable, good armor, good acceleration, good speed, great view distance, and lots of extra penetration with the new 105mm M68 main gun. It’s basically like someone took the M103 heavy tank and placed it in a copy machine set at 70% and this came out.
Negatives: The Commanders hatch (similar to the T110E5 from 7.4) is an obvious weak spot, and very vulnerable from the rear with only 35mm of armor protection.
How does it play?
Well… really nice actually. It’s a great balance of speed, maneuverability, firepower and durability with a great view distance and good radio signal power. It’s an ideal
flanking tank and it’s very obvious that tanks such as this were the precursor to the Main Battle Tank.
The T110E3 Casemated Heavy Tank Destroyer
Positives: 155mm T7E2 is an improvement to the T7 AT from the T95 with better penetration and a slightly faster rate of fire. It accelerates better than the Maus which most T95 drivers
requested a performance buff to match, and has a higher top speed as well. Frontal armor is incredibly thick at 305mm like the T95, but due to its shape, bounces shells off better.
Negatives: Although the traverse speed is good at 26 degrees a second, it’s still not “good enough” in terms of being able to defend itself against pesky medium tanks. With half-as-thick
armor on the sides and rear compared to the T95, at least you’ll be put out of your misery quicker.
How does it play?
It’s everything a T95 owner wanted which they could have easily have had if Wargaming would have simply given it a bespoke engine upgrade, rather than giving
it the same one as the T28 TD. It’ll move and move well. It will be able to get away from that inevitable artillery shot if it’s spotted. It packs a huge punch with the new gun, and the armor is
effective enough to bounce off multiple gold round shots from other tier 10 tanks.
The T110E4 Turreted Heavy Tank Destroyer
Positives: Well, to be honest, it’s more or less the exact same TD as the T110E3 but with the added benefit of a turret; same engine, same gun, same radio. With a turret, your binoculars and camo netting will not be effected by the traversing of your main gun while keeping the hull stationary. The lesser armor in the front will give you a top speed of 35 km/h which really helps you relocate once spotted.
Negatives: As a sense of balance, they have the T110E4 a slightly longer reload time, and a thinner front hull and 50hp less. The turret can turn only 180 degrees (90 degrees each way from the 12 o’clock position) – not exactly a negative but be aware it stops at 90 degrees either way.
How does it play?
Superior to the T30 in every quantifiable way. It moves faster, it traverses faster, but the turret turns at the same speed which won’t put you into shock. The TD can take a beating, and it sits lower to the ground and offers a smaller silhouette when spotted. The above picture was after taking multiple gold round hits from a T62A medium tank and a JagdPanzer E-100 with the 170mm main gun. Chicks dig scars right?
“Super Pershing” Premium Medium Tier 8 Tank
Positives: Most premium tanks are cited as being better than stock version of like-tier tanks, but worse than a fully elited like-tier tank. The Super Pershing is a bit of a conundrum when it comes to this doctrine. Basically what you’re looking at is a heavily modified M26 Pershing with a Panther tank front armor plate welded onto it, and extra plating added to the gun mantlet.
The gun is good, and the armor makes this tank VERY stout.
Negatives: All that armor plating adds weight, LOTS of it – 10 and a half tons to be exact. As a measure of balance, it only comes with a Ford GAF V8, which at engine tier 6, is something
between what you’d find in the M4 Easy 8 Sherman’s last two engines in terms of power.
How does it play?
This tank is SLOW. It’s literally a heavy in medium’s clothing. You have to really be tactical with the Super Pershing. You can survive a brawl, but honestly you’re better
being the backup to the main flank, or even the backup to a heavy who can absorb the hits in your stead. Try to avoid climbing hills for long distances since you can and will be outrun uphill by a JagdPanzer E-100. That being said, if you’re cautious with your map placements, and you can master the wild recoil of the main gun (which could only be compared to the T14 Heavy tank) and land some good shots, it will stamp credits out like a premium ATM of a tier 8 should.
The AMX-50 Foch 155 Tank Destroyer
Positives: This TD is a further improvement of the Tier 9 Foch TD. It’s long, sleek, and low in the weeds. It puts off a VERY small frontal silhouette and has good camo value for something this large. The recoil is very controllable, the aim time is fair and accuracy is decent. This is the only TD to sport an autoloader mechanism similar to the later-tier AMX series tanks.
Negatives: The autoloader, while convenient to get shots downrange, only holds 3 rounds per clip. The reload of the autoloader is 45 seconds with a full crew. Being of an autoloader design, you cannot equip a rammer, but it does let you use that third equipment slot for something like Ventilation Class 3, which will add 5% performance to everything (including reload time).
How does it play?
It’s quick. Acceleration is excellent as is the traverse speed. For a while I had a bad habit of over compensating the turn to get onto a target. The gun sweep for a casemated
TD is good, and the firepower will scare off tier 10’s. Wargaming has done a great job with Tier 10 TD’s in general, making them once again feared by tankers on the wrong end of the gun.
Bat-Chatille 25ton Medium tank
Positives: Now I know, you’re saying “Wait a minute, this was a tier 9 from 7.4 and older, what happened?” Well, the answer is simple, Wargaming realized that this tank was pretty
overpowered for its tier, and a change had to be made. They took everything from Tier 5-9 and bumped it up a tier and slotted in an ELC AMX at tier 5. I can report the new 105mm main gun is pretty good for its type and has a 5-shot autoloader. Penetration and damage is very good, and the reload time is acceptable for what you get.
Negatives: Well, the negatives aside from the reload actually have more to do with the players, not the tank. People are a bit upset that the Tier 9 Bat Chat owner gets a free tier 10 when
the bump-up happens. The same thing sort-of happened with the release of the US M103 and T110E5 a few updates ago. All you had to do was beat the clock and get it before the update
and you ended up with free tanks. In this case, you end up with a free tier 10, and your Lorraine 40t will “double” in value on the resale, meaning you break even with what you originally paid for it.
How does it play?
Well, the way it plays hasn’t changed since 7.4, but at least now you have more firepower at your disposal. This tank will definitely still have a place in Clan Wars.
The E-50 Ausf. M – Medium Tank
Positives: Well, at the advent, there was a big stink about how Wargaming would characterize the transaxle of German armor taking “engine” damage when shot from the front. German tank design generally has the engine in the rear, with a torque tube similar to what you’d see on modern Corvettes, linked to a front Transaxle system. This Ausf M is based on a design proposal that had the engine mid-rear (like a Ferrari, or Lambo) and the transaxle in the rear driving the rearmost sprockets instead. Other than that, the turret was moved forward, and the HP pool was increased befitting of a tier 10. The tank is slightly lighter and ever so slightly lower with a bespoke turret to the Ausf M. APCR shells are also standard to this tank, and all other tier 10 mediums.
Negatives: The biggest complaint I’ve heard on the test server is that this tank just feels and looks like the one that came before it. While I can’t dispute that, the performance with
standard APCR rounds helps the penetration immensely. I can’t say for sure, but I don’t really understand why the rear of the tank now sports E-75’s muffler cans compared to the one’s on the E-50 at tier 9 – it’s the same engine on all 3 tanks.
How does it play?
Well, one positive of looking the same is if you run into somebody that doesn’t have a keen enough eye to pay attention to your tier above your tank, or noticing the
muffler-cans. The extra pen of the standard APCR or the HEAT gold-round will definitely get their attention. Other than that, it’s still agile, and still hits hard, and plays well. This was the
one tier 10 I wasn’t in a hurry to unlock.
JagdPanzer E-100 Super-heavy Tank Destroyer
Positives: I know it’s really hard to not sound biased, but I swear, the lead developer at Wargaming must have had my picture in a frame at the corner of his desk and said to his staff
“Let’s build this guy a tank.” It basically takes every aspect of the JagdTiger, which is one of my favorite AFV’s in the game, and cranks them up to 11. German Tank Destroyers before the
tier 10 mainly focus on DPM (damage per minute – good rates of fire), but the JagdPanzer E-100 adopted the Soviet doctrine of massive alpha damage per shot. This TD is definitely Big
Daddy Kane when it comes to presence on the battlefield. To show up, wipe 60% off of a tier 10 heavy and watch them cower in fear is exactly what a TD is supposed to do, and this does it
Negatives: Now that I have the love-in out of the way, this TD does have some negatives, all of which I can live with in the name of “balance.” The traverse is still rather slow at 18 degrees a
second which is right in between the 20 degrees/sec of the E-100 this is based off of, and the GW Type E’s 15 degrees/sec. The gun traverse sweep is pretty shallow at about 20 degrees total sweep so you’re constantly turning the body which in turn negates the binocular and camo net effects until you stop moving again. The lower plate is typical to the E-100 and rather soft, so hide it well. Having no turret, you’re easy to flank, and the rear doors are really soft.
How does it play?
A word of advice when you go after this tank destroyer; be sure you have a friend who is getting one too. The JagdPanzer E-100 while very capable itself, best works like a
pair of Chinese Fighting Fish. In pairs they’re literally the brothers of destruction reminiscent of the old WWE’s pair of Kane and the Undertaker. Having twin 170mm main guns will command fear and respect from the enemy and working side by side (in close proximity, not literally right next to one another) will help protect each other mutually like using a Combat Box in a B-17 formation.
The JagdPanther II – Medium Tank Destroyer
Positives: Wait, this is a tier 8? Why are you covering this? Well, because it’s coming! You will see this TD branch off to the side right next to the Ferdinand as an alternative before going to
the JagdTiger. I believe that this will eventually be a 3rd TD branch coming in a distant future update; the 2nd being the open-topped TD tree which was already announced. That all aside,
this is a fun TD for tier 8. It’s sort of a glass cannon with much thinner armor being based off a Panther chassis, however you’re really fast. Traverse and acceleration are excellent and you still get to pack that 128mm main gun also found on the Ferdinand. If you’re really good at shoot-and-scoot, this is the TD for you.
Negatives: It’s vulnerable to big hits, but you will get quite a few surprising bounces with that heavily sloped front end and casemate. \
How does it play?
Well, when I first got it, I thought “Oh here we go, a Ferdinand with a smaller rear box, this’ll suck.” But in my first match with it, I ended up with 4 kills and almost a
defender medal coming all the way back to base from theirs. Speed saves lives – namely your own, but it also takes lives if you master this TD.
The Dickermax “Fat Max” – Tier 6 Premium Tank Destroyer
Positives: The biggest positive I have to say is Wargaming realized their little snafu when it came to the price point of this TD. In 7.4, Russian Supertesters were given access to this TD at
the staggering price of 9,500 gold! That’s more than the tier 8’s and Löwe pre-price change! I can happily report now it sells for a much more reasonable 3,200 gold. The traverse is good, the speed is fair, the gun hits hard and fairly accurately, and the radio is good for its tier.
Negatives: This TD is known as a “Glass cannon,” that is, it’ll pack a punch but it can’t take one in return. It’s like a boxer with a glass jaw. Being of an open-topped design, this TD is very
vulnerable to artillery and HE shells.
How does it play
To be honest, it plays a lot like the JagdPanther I with the exception of being more vulnerable to damage. This is definitely one of those “camper’s specials” for people who
like to stay in the weeds and see without being seen. For an ATM-tank destroyer, this will fill in a niche for people who refuse to take the Tier 8 premium plunge, but still want better earnings potential compared to something like a Churchill or Matilda.
T-62A Tier 10 Medium Tank
Positives: Again, APCR as standard, HEAT rounds as a gold round option. Traverse and turret rotational speeds are incredible. Surprisingly enough, with all the talk of “Russian Bias” of the
past, I feel like this tank got the short end of the stick.
Negatives: There’s a big stink about the engine that comes with this tank. Most of the tier 10’s are elite right out of the box, meaning there’s nothing you have to research or upgrade. The
problem with this is that it has less power than the engine that is stock on the T-54 that came before it. The T-54 offers up a 700hp upgrade engine, however the T-62 does not. One can’t
help but to imagine how much better this tank could be had it been given a proper upgraded engine befitting of its tier.
How does it play?
Pretty darn good to be honest. This feels like a Type 59 on steroids. I didn’t have the T-54 before test but have been told by several people who do own them that the 62
actually still feels pretty nimble thanks to its fast traverse speeds of both hull and turret. Maybe the engine was WG’s sense of balance since you really can’t “have it all” with one tank. To be honest, I’m not in a huge hurry to unlock this one when it goes retail.
The Object 268 – Tier 10 Heavy Tank Destroyer
Positives: This TD gets the typical “massive alpha” of Soviet TD’s but with a slightly faster rate of fire as compared to the BL-10 seen on the ISU-152 and Object 704. Aim time is improved as is the accuracy. As a TD it scoots pretty well with a traverse speed increase a little over 66% better than the Object 704 that comes before it.
Negatives: This TD is based off of IS-8 hull, which if any of you have ever played one, know the front end is rather soft and fairly squishy. These 268’s seem to get killed rather easily. In
addition to that, the accuracy is sometimes vague despite having better figures than the BL-10. I feel like there’s an error somewhere in the way it was coded.
How does is play?
If you keep in mind the softness of the armor, and you keep your engagement middle to middle-long range, you’re a serious force on the battlefield. Your 30 degree a second traverse definitely helps you keep the business end toward the enemy.
7.5 promises to bring a more balanced public match experience with the narrowing of the battle-tier spread, 3 new beautifully detailed maps, and a whole lot of obviously new tank content. If you’ve been leery of giving up your tier 9, don’t be. In every instance, Wargaming has made definitely improvements in one way or another to our beloved tier 9 medium and tank destroyers and in the case of the latter, have certainly made the TD a viable choice for clan wars yet again. The “missing link” tank I didn’t cover was the advent of the Matilda Black Prince which I had advocated for back in January. This was slated to be released in 7.5 to introduce the UK tree branch in the shop, but seeing how the testing phase of this tank has changed to a very select few, I suspect this will actually show up in an update after the 7.5 update. Release for this will probably appear sometime in the middle of August… we can only hope.