Hello everyone, so, I downloaded the new test server patch, played for a while and I am ready to write down my impressions from the test server. After a slight hiccup with the installation (the delay of the test server), everything went smooth and the first thing I noticed is that I am pleased to say WotViewer still works, so the vehicle model change wasn’t THAT severe (I will make a post on that right after I write this down). Well, after (relatively smooth) installation (no queue, although my WG source reports this test to be relatively popular despite the fact there are no new vehicles to test), I kinda set out to explore the interface and there are some neat changes. There is a whole new selection of aiming reticles: This is how some of them look (they come in red and green) Neat, but I will stick to my old crosshairs. Then there’s the new crew operations interface, also very handy: Another useful interface feature is the additional button (or, well, bunch of buttons), allowing you to go either straight to that tank in your garage, or (in the tech tree) to see the tanks stats. Well, so much for the interface, time to explore the new maps! I didn’t make really any serious screenies, because everything was pretty much leaked before, the only screenies I made are from the new map – besides, you will have to try it yourself to get the “feel” for the map. First to check training room chat, whether anyone’s free for training room. As you can see, Russians are “friendly” as usual… Anyway, I just disabled the encounter and the assault (to try out the national battles) and onwards we go with my tier 10 T-62A to test it! So, new map, new Windstorm and national battle (can’t remember the official term for it). Soviets versus the French. Right now I can tell you that the national battles are the single most retarded World of Tanks idea I’ve EVER seen. Our team composition was pretty normal (probably one third heavies, one third meds, rest TD’s and one arty or so). Their ENTIRE fucking team had autoloaders! Batchats, Foch 155′s and autoloading arty. After one minute of “poking” at each other (they held back, waiting for autoloader reload), our team got roflstomped in seconds. I know this is just test server and all, but this kind of roflstomp doesn’t happen on random battles, at least I’ve never seen it. I will continue to test this mode specifically, but I really don’t see how you can actually survive such a combo. On the other hand, the Windstorm map plays pretty nice, the city is well defendable, the open terrain is open, no obvious advantage – at least none that I have noticed. What I did notice however were two minor “bugs” - one, the Windstorm map loaded twice or three times as long as the rest of the maps, which is odd - the chat has the tendency to appear and disappear depending on whether you press enter or not, it’s kinda annoying Otherwise, no problems on Windstorm, the FPS was just fine. After this, I dropped on the new Erlenberg. The changes are pretty significant and I must say I like them, attacking feels much easier now, because a lot of the obvious “someone is hiding here and you can’t spot him because of 50000 trees” spots were removed or levelled. Very nice change. At this point, I decided to try my luck with training rooms and I got into one led by DominikoPL, who was kind enough to select the Ruinberg on Fire and winter Himmelsdorf on my request – thanks, mate :) First was the Himmelsdorf and – well, apart from the snowy textures and snow effect it is just the good old Himmelsdorf, practically no changes. I really, REALLY like the textures – but what’s best, it comes with zero FPS drop. I was afraid of massive object spam and subsequent FPS drops, but on medium details, it goes really smooth, in fact – even smoother than the old Himmelsdorf for some reason. The map is really beautiful and I must say, really good job. Next came the Ruinberg on fire. Here, after Storm posting that the rain effect comes with FPS drops, I was really afraid, but luckily, my fear was unwarranted, it runs smoothly and let me tell you, it’s a beautiful map. The new undertones really add to the atmosphere even on medium details and I like it a lot. Again, great job, developers. I made some screens – check for yourselves. Not even the flames reduce FPS and I must say I am very impressed. All in all, it’s a good patch. In a way I am grateful that there are no “new” tanks so we can grind in peace. But that will change in 9.0… there is a huge storm coming, I hope we all are ready :)

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