So World of Tanks released a fairly substantial patch yesterday. I find it interesting that we're not yet at version 1.0 of World of Tanks (just 0.6.4 or something like that). Does that mean we're technically still playing a pre-release version of the game? Certainly many of the features listed on the wiki site don't appear to be in game yet. Anyway, on to the patch.
I saw one of the new maps last night, on which we were winning, winning, winning, massacred, omg game over. Not really sure what happened, we had a strong lead and then suddenly half our team exploded. The map seemed interesting (the "hills" map) but I was sniping with a pitiful Marder II and didn't get to see much. I also saw the "mines" map, which is a retool of a map I've forgotten the name of. The one with a big hill in the middle that everyone rushes to only to blow up in a massive tank melee. I liked the changes, the map felt bigger and less constrained by the terrain. Of course, I lost on that map too. Since the patch my T1 Heavy seems more vulnerable than ever, but I don't know why it would be.
The new premium tanks seem decent enough, certainly more worth the money than the old ones which just weren't very good. Yes you could instantly buy your way into a heavy tank, but they were heavy tanks with pitiful un-upgradeable guns. Thick armor isn't much use when you can't blow anything up.
The other changes were mostly quality of life improvements. There's now a little star next to each tank in your garage to show that tank hasn't gotten double xp yet (your first victory of a day earns you double xp) which is very helpful for keeping track of which tanks have gotten that useful victory and which haven't. There's also a small banner at the bottom of the screen when you're destroyed that shows you your options - right click to jump your camera to an ally, ESC to exit the match. When I first started playing the game I didn't know about either option, and would grab a book or alt-tab after being destroyed. Silly.
It seemed like I got de-tracked slightly less than before. Maybe. It still happened a lot, and is still as irritating as ever.
Sadly Wargaming.net was unable to patch out my suckiness. In the middle tiers the competition is much fiercer than the lower levels, as generally speaking someone has to have played a fair bit in order to get there (premium tanks excepted of course). As a result, I count it a victory if I get a single kill in a match, a solid victory if I get a kill and don't die myself, and something worthy of cheers and jubilation if I manage to take down more than one foe before my own clanking jalopy goes up in a shower of flame and debris.