I think fundamentally WG could shit in a box, call it 10.0, and their player base would drop all of 25% tops. Nothing WG does to the game will really kill their cash cow because 75% of their players just want to mash buttons with their face anyway, so by that perspective their changes are fine. It's possible it could even expand their player base in the long run, as the game becomes easier in general. If they did this stuff to tier 1-4 they might even have players occasionally stick with the game for more than all of 100 games. But from the perspective of what made WoT a unique game for people who aren't entertained by a jingling ring of keys, they're mostly going the wrong way, effectively dumbing down streamlining the gameplay.
I've been thinking for a long time now since the barrage of TD fuckery that WG has it ass backwards when it comes to a major aspect of their balance perspective, and everything about sandbox has mostly verified it. In general vehicles should be less specialized, while WG tends to make vehicles more specialized.
Why were TDs a problem? Because on many maps they were OP balls when they could sit and kick from a bush and keep engagements to long range. And yet they still sucked on the heavy-centric maps. So WG nerfed them repeatedly, both directly and indirectly to the point they are no longer competitive. Yet what was the end result? The goofy contradiction that good players now tend to not play TDs anymore because of their complete lack of versatility, yet many players still hate them for being able to wreck at extreme distances. Statistically TDs were not overpowered other than some low-mid tier seal clubber machines, but people hated them because they were situationally OP, and individual games are what really matter to players.
When you make a vehicle that is OP ballz in situation A and shit in situation B, it's one of those super frustrating, "fuck this game uninstall" aspects of the game. You see some 46% retard in a Pz I C in a tier 5 game and couldn't care less, but in a tier 3 game he may slaughter half your team with just rrr and RC LC. Playing tanks like that isn't a lot of fun either, because you spend most of your games knowing from the beginning you can't do shit. We already have 3 tier MM spread crapping this situation in our lap, the last thing we need is to finally get top tier in our paper TD and get fucking Stalingrad.
Many of the changes to TDs were alright, but something should have been exchanged, like more HPs. It really makes more sense to tone down the god mode of massive view range and camo + huge firepower and exchange it for HPs so you have less OP ballness on open maps, but also more viability on close range maps. Reduce extreme advantage, but mitigate disadvantages somewhat so you always feel useful playing a vehicles but are also never monstrously OP just because of a map.
The current sandbox light tank situation is the prototypical WG balance fuck up in action. You have a tank that is useless trash about half the time you play it, decent another 25%, and potentially god mode auto win the last 25%. They actually nerfed the fucking guns on lights, I shit you not. So no one wants to play this shit, yet it's OP balls on Prok, Camp, etc., and statistically likely comes out to "balanced". This is the worst sort of "balance" you can dish out, and it's a WG specialty: statistically balanced, yet miserable to play and situationally infuriating to play against.
The current changes are pushing vehicles into more specialization. Be it sniping, front lining, flanking, any role your tank isn't designed for will now be harder to perform. A single goddamn medium tank left alive can literally circle a lone heavy to death, a single light tank can fuck up an entire team with spotting while no one can counter it, a single good heavy player can steamroll half a team of non-heavies on cqb maps. That sinking feeling of, "well, I'm useless here" is just going to become more common overall.
Take this to its extreme conclusion of tanks circa 2020 where every tank is either a paper, rock, or scissor. I'm a rock, I meet a scissor, yay, I win! Another rock, oh, this could be tricky. We duke it out, but another rock comes around and helps me out. I move forward, but get ambushed by a paper and die. Wow! I got 2 kills, what a rush of a round! The mouth breathers love this shit for the same reasons they don't understand getting zomg 2 kills with a top tier heavy wasn't "doing my part".
Then add to that some old problems which they are apparently adamantly against solving: gold ammo, artillery, policing their player base. Gold ammo never had a place in the game, it never will, but their MBAs won't let it go. I thought artillery might be fixable, test has made me think it can't be. Nothing you do other than a flat removal of artillery will keep it from being a plague, the only other choice is to nerf it to the point of being a weak gimmick mode which they would never even consider. They don't give two shits about player problems even though those are among the biggest issues.
The bottom line is they're probably just trying to expand the appeal of the game by making it more like their vision of how a game should be: simple, accessible, giving every one a chance to be a winner. The primary motive really feels like marketing crap. Look at WoWS if you want to see the ideal, this was likely the original tanks 2.0 concept. When the dust settles the good players who still have the patience for this game will still find the loopholes to exploit, because it only takes one OP tank or game dynamic to fuck it all up and WG never has been able to iron out the outliers. If these changes went live right now purples would be rolling monster heavy platoons and just battering down enemies' heavy tank front lines with brute force as the ascendant strategy. Rinse, repeat, 70%+ WR. Personally if they actually ran these changes down all the tiers I would consider the game flat out unplayable. As it stands all they're doing is killing tier 9-10 which is already miserable as far as I'm concerned, YMMV.