For the Record: 0.8.6 test impressions
it's kinda pointless to post here the test server vehicle stats (the data are out on various places anyway), so instead a few impressions for those, who don't play on test server and don't intend to. Please, feel free to comment, whether you agree with me or not. Keep in mind that these are subjective feelings of mine, not facts.
The comments are written from the POV of a non-arty player, who prefers mediums and heavies (tested vehicles: T110E5, Maus, Panzer IV)
- probably the most important part of the patch: the arties. While it's hard to say how many arties will be "left" on public server, I have a really bad feeling that this patch didn't fix the old arty issues (but created new ones). In other words, there are a LOT of arties around on top tiers. Now, arty has a chance to be top vehicle of the team (for some reason it happens very often, but maybe it was my bad luck).
- my impression is that in hightier (T9-T10) battles, arties weren't nerfed too much when it comes their ability to make heavy tank's day very very miserable. I assume that the accuracy nerf somehow helped the fast medium vehicles such as the Batchat or Leopard, but subjectively, T110 doesn't have its job any easier and despite increased durability from the new heavy spall liner (subjectively, it doesn't work at all, because it doesn't help with the real arty problem - module damage and chain detracks, maybe the damage recieved is better, but I didn't spot that really). I can imagine even harder accuracy nerfs for toptier arties in the future - as I said, very little changed. Either way, top artillery does influence the battle perhaps more than it should. If your team has arty retards and the other team doesn't, you WILL lose.
- speaking of the new XL spall liner, it's not very effective. Maus still gets pounded to dust.
- midtier arties (from the POV of medium/heavy player) feel a bit OP actually due to their limited MM spread. I had several oneshots done on my Panzer IV. On mid tiers, slow = dead. I can imagine this will frustrate new players heavily. But maybe it's the fact they are being tested, so there are so many.
- armor buff - it works. Spaced armor now eats HEAT like candy. This is especially visible on E-100 and Maus - earlier, you could load up gold and shoot it wherever, now sides will eat it and front will ding. If we count out arty, Maus is now a pretty awesome tank to drive. IS-6 is a total monster now, it dings like hell at eats HEAT shells too, IS-7 feels buffed too this way, T110 - no buff, feels even more fragile than usual. As for tanks with heavily sloped frontal armor (Chinese especially...) - remember the pre-nerf T-54 frontal armor? Yea...
- accuracy buff - works. Guns are more accurate now. This is bad news for tanks with glaring weakspots (again, T110 with its tumor turret, but also KV-5), they do get hit more often. Sniping on longer distances is a joy, shells fly where they are supposed to (funnily enough, it feels easier to derp-snipe with KV-2 too, which probably wasn't an intended consequence)