WG solved their clubber problem with traditional WG approach: they just made tier 2 so utterly unenjoyable that not even many clubbers can stand it any more. I generally played 2s for on track doubles but even I couldn't take it after a while the tier is so brokenly shit. You get a bunch of pointless 7v7 games (The player numbers are dropping about 10% per year, so it's harder to even get a game at lower tiers and WG made the problem worse by screwing with the MM at tier 1-3), everything is spamming auto cannon APCR completely fucking the entire balance between armor and penetration, and you get the trash map one game out of 4 or 5. The bulk of the pedotankers still left run around with the M2 Light shooting pure APCR and losing 20k+ credits per game, so unless you want to piss away mountains of credits alongside them you're always at the disadvantage because that tank is OP balls with that config and APCR spam.
I wager a lot moved to tier 5 or something and/or just stopped playing.
My approach to the game now is much like it was when I first started playing: find a consistent method that works, and do it over and over again. North side of Malinovka proved the easiest place to find a consistent plan that worked, and over time, I was able to find other consistently successful methods of play. These plans were great when they worked because they handled the largest part of the playerbase really well. The only problem was the other good players. When I would have to test these methods against good players, they would find ways to punish me for my success. In order to remain successful, I had to look for other ways to play that could stand up to being tested against good players, and I would have to tweak how I play to account for new ways of being shut down. Eventually, not only could I handle situations against the bulk of the playerbase rather well, but I could understand how other good players were going to play and handle them too. Through this process, my winrate and player ratings continued to rise - the consequence of skillful play - but something eventually started to irk me: why do other clubbers, who supposedly have better ratings and performance than a large part of the playerbase, suck?
I started noticing this once I got to the point of dispatching greens with no trouble. At that point, even other unica I saw in-game would make very questionable plays. It's not even like they were approaches I hadn't considered that had value beyond what I could understand. The way these other players approached the game made me feel like they never expected to be challenged by another serious player, and it showed. They would dive against hardened positions. They would sit inside bushes in open areas with no hard cover. They would poke out too long from known positions. It blew my mind to see highly rated players make these kinds of mistakes, and I would run into these players over and over and see them exercise the same poor judgment game after game. Do these players never improve? Do they not try to meet the challenge I bring them? Is this really the extent of the abilities of other people who are called clubbers?
My conclusion was to forever relegate these players to a phase that was like my early development. I had good, consistent strategies that could fail if challenged even a little bit, and so did these other clubbers. But they never seemed to get better than that. They could camp bushes, they could spot large areas of the map, and they could snipe down tomatoes, but if that somehow didn't work, their backup plans were garbage. To put it briefly, they were all one-trick ponies. Sniping reds was their entire game, and if they were challenged in doing that, they'd flop over and die. If they ran in platoons, they might meet more success just by having sheer numbers, but this was used more as a crutch for success rather than a platform for improvement. Individually, they remained weak.
Cue 9.10. Quickly, these "clubbers" fade away to the point today where they hardly exist. They are revealed for their weakness, not being able to rely on the long distance game they became good at, and crumble or quit. This didn't happen to me. Sure, I haven't played the game as much as I did before 9.10, but the time I spent playing dropped significantly even before 9.10, reason being a new perspective of the game that I reached by reading this book. When I've returned to playing the game, my performance is actually not so bad. The two tanks I've played entirely within the new meta have been the I-Go and the Kolohousenka, and I top the performance charts in both of these. Practically nobody else recognizes the strength of the I-Go, even though it is easily the top tank of the tier, but this is because it doesn't play anything like what they're used to. Most players tryharding in tier 2 these days are playing the M2 LT because a zippy autocannon tank is something that they're used to (which is another way of saying that they played this kind of tank when it was completely dominated in the last meta, because they're stupid), but they don't have the ability to make the I-Go work well enough to enjoy its full potential.
So to just recap, we have a lot of old "clubbers" who quit the game because they couldn't hack it once the tune changed, and we have a lot of new "clubbers" who can only succeed by platooning with old tech that, while effective, is not the best on the market. As far as I'm concerned, these players are all fakes. I don't really like using the term "clubber" to refer to any of these kinds of people, because there's a much easier term that everyone understands: bad. Perhaps the term is apt though as the only success these players see is when they get to dump on tomatoes and aren't facing players of genuine ability (i.e. me). I have my doubts that the old crew played because they really liked the game mode more than the cheap thrills they could get for abusing it, and the same thing holds for all of the M2 rerolls and platoons you see running around today. I agree that today's map pool is far worse than that of the past, but I also maintain that the low tiers still have better gameplay than anywhere else in the game because everything here still holds true and everything here minus the playerbase comment still holds true (though the playerbase has been dropping in all aspects of the game, so that's not a huge detractor in just low tiers). But that isn't an excuse. There are disgusting levels of untapped improvement remaining in all of the highly rated players I see now in low tiers and have seen in the past, and whenever I should choose to return to playing, I will be relentless in demonstrating the difference.