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Resurgence Of Armor (Part Dos)

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As I'm sure most of you have noticed, WG's map balancing department has gone crazy the past few patches, adding more and more brawling maps and even changing old ones to become CQC as well.

A growing trend I've noticed is you need to have some sort of armor to make it through the meta. Being fast and having high camo isn't enough anymore.

 

Where there used to be spots where you could abuse depression without a strong turret, or a good early position, or just some place where you could get a good light on the enemy team, WG wrote these down and effectively removed them so they can no longer be abused. That would be okay and all, were it not for the fact they're brutally revamping maps as a whole.

 

Tundra. Most people would argue that map was pretty brawl-y even before the revamp, but afterwards... yeah, one hill and one corridor.

Severogorsk. The map was two hills with a TD shelf just barely covering one side. Sure, a few stalemates were had, but heavies could still brawl while mediums and TDs could kind of do their own thing.

Afterwards, they start introducing more city maps, the latest ones being Kharkov, Ruinberg on Fire and Winter Himmelsdorf if you want to count those last two as new maps.

Revamping Redshire so there's barely any camo kiting and taking Sacred Valley out of the matchmaker, anyone?

I could keep making examples, but point is, they're changing the metagame by screwing up the map balance to favor armor.

 

Additionally we have gold ammo nerfs, one after another. Specific tanks get their gold pen lowered, or ammo types get a blanket nerf in the form of worse normalization or higher expense.

Add the recent and upcoming TD nerfs (both tank-specific and the class as a whole) and I think you can see what direction WG is taking the metagame. It seems to me like they're trying to reshape the meta from camo sniping with low exposure into high-armor alphalicious brawling.

 

Of course, fast tanks with camouflage are still viable... just far from what they used to be.

If WG doesn't stop redesigning maps eventually every map will just be a city map with different scenery. If you don't have enough armor to bounce same-tier shells, your whole existence will be suffering as you try to fight E 100s in your Leopard 1.

 

What does wotlabs think? Am I just going crazy from playing tiers with too high view range and ridiculous firepower, or is anyone else noticing where WG is going with these recent changes?

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I think you're right, but squishy meds still perform well. I am much more comfortable in my Batchat as of late than my IS-7. Maybe that's just a change in personal preference, though.

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Armor has always been useful in my opinion, people in general just got all hyped up about "Tds penning everything" while ignoring the fact that without turret or Vertical Stabilizer they are simply terrible at everything else.

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I'm definitely glad that I got my IS-7 right before they started with these changes, and now I have an easy time clubbing even good players in softer tanks suited to the old meta by simply closing the distance. For some reason, I'm guessing because I'm Peanut, some people disagreed with me when I said that the Leo 1 isn't necessarily such a good choice now because it's really out of place within the current meta, without alpha, an autoloader, or armor to back itself up in a brawl. I'm glad to see that someone else has taken notice.

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WG want more action for the playerbase complaining on the invisi-tank camp situations on most maps, hence the changes to favour CQC so less people will complain about getting owned by camoed tanks.

 

Brawling skills now come into good effect on how well you can trade damage, view range abusing tanks will now have to actually run around and relocate after they are lit to prevent getting their asses owned.

So far these changes are somewhat pleasant but I do agree in the sense that I don't play my Bat or Leo as much as before since half the maps don't really favour paper meds or lights anymore.

 

Not that this means a nerf to paper tanks or a buff to HTs in general, it's just that using the paper meds isn't that simple anymore along with TDs being more easily spotted even when firing from behind double bush.

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I don't think it is an armor thing as opposed to tanks who can trade properly. My 183 can't bounce shit but if I hit him for 1500 and he hits me for 400-700, I'm gonna take that trade. Armor definitely helps the ability to trade properly but it isn't the end all be all in the current meta.

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They can simply overhaul the tanks/balance, such as ridiculous alpha or Waffle/183 and not have to rework ever single map to be more CQC. Malinovka is one of the few maps that still favors, for the most part long range engagements. And when you need to push, not having armor really hurts. High armor brawling isn't necessarily bad, but not letting tanks that don't suit this role not be able to play a favorable part is. 

 

@Cod, you're never ever going to have tanks trade properly as long as there are different classes, autoloaders, etc. All comes down to using what you have to trade in your favor. 

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Î agree completely and have trying to raise the same point on wotlabs and on TS (and wotlabs channel). While some tanks like the bat (autoloader), 62a/140 (crazy dpm+turret) are still very viable (although less), I really have problems actually playing vision games on a lot of maps, and am hardly playing my leo anymore. It isn't a bad tank for sure, but I just feel like the E50M is now plain better, because the gun depression can be worked around, and the armor (and health and fire control) is more than worth that bit of mobility (where you want to go? There are corridors with a front-line, and most flanking spots are covere by a waffle anyway) and camo+view range.

Hell, even El halluf has become....well, not brawly, but it's hardly possible to outspot the campers cause everywhere you can spot them from, they can spot you from too (exageration).

So yes, definitely agree, and I find it sad, but some form of armor (and be just that it forces the enemy to aim) really becomes worth a great deal-that and awesome reflexes to "out-ping" enemies.

 

That's why the best overall maps are those where everybody can do his thing-cliff for example (has some OP TD spots) or the Erlenberg (a bit to brawly IMO, but can work for all classes) or maybe even Komarin ( TD can snipe, but have to be carefull about getting spotted, heavies can kind of safely fight in the middle, or suport the 2-3 line, mediums are still viable thanks to the mixture of ridges, bushes and hard cover).

 

Of course, most maps have OP spots, imbalance (like mountain pass...how hard is it to take away that OP spotting spot for north side, or give south the same???) or other problems (Malinovka now has the early rush issue), but IMO maps should be built so that every class is viable, without alowing hard camp TD spots).

 

Edit: oneechan, go sleep or carry me :P

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I am bad at this meta.

 

Actually that's not quite true, but my garage and thought process is certainly still geared towards vision control, camo, exposure reduction, etc. This has been pretty painful for me.

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@Cod, you're never ever going to have tanks trade properly as long as there are different classes, autoloaders, etc. All comes down to using what you have to trade in your favor. 

Exactly. Mediums weren't meant to be trading with Heavies, Heavies weren't meant to be trading with TDs, and TDs can trade with anyone but aren't supposed to be able to beat a medium in a camo scenario (where WG really fucked up their balancing).

The general idea is that TDs>Heavies in a I shoot one and you shoot one at the same time until someone dies scenario.

Mediums>TDs in a I shoot you once, immediately get out of your crosshair, then relocate 20 meters and repeat the process

And Heavies come into the balance as tanks who can do a little bit of both. Where they are capable in the city if needed or can play that prairie dog style fight. (this obviously doesn't work in all scenarios but it is generally true.)

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The game balance was adjusted to make things more "fun" for reds. The vast majority of players are terrible at this game. And a lot of them are also not intelligent enough to manage their money. 43%ers with every tier 8 premium are more common than purples with every tier 8 premium.

 

What this means for people who can eat and breath on their own is only incidental to the balance team.

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this meta was made for pubs like me.... and my stats are still crap.

 

wut do

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IRL TD's were a tankers worst fear besides arty.  This is a game and not RL, but totally neutering TDs with multiple nerfs simultaeously is not the way to go and will render high tier TDs nigh on unplayable with a few exceptions like the T95 and the Tortoise for example.

 

They removed soft cover/bushes,  nerfed gun stats, reduced firing lanes by adding folds and defilades in the land to limit sniping ranges, AND reduced TD camo firing bonus. 

 

The majority of the turreted TDs are too squishy to brawl and the fixed gun TDs are either too slow or turn too poorly for close combat and have glaring weakspots.  Other than low tier TDs like 4/5/6 where you can still control vision and the upper tier simply will suck ass in this new meta.

 

The heavies because of premium ammo aren't invincible either if you know where to shoot them and the bouncy turreted hard hitting mediums will tear them up in close combat.  The Heavies do have a big HP pool to rely on but the armor isn't a fail-safe.

 

A lot of people do favor this meta, and I'm sure a lot of them are from the RU server base who like to brawl and go nose to nose.

From what I've read the EU server in general will not favor this and the NA server is a mixed bag probably 50/50. 

 

They should either leave 1/2 the maps to favor brawling and 1/2 to favor vision/sniping OR allow players to choose which maps they play.

I'm not sure how many maps there are exactly, but say there's 20 maps and each player must select 15 of the 20 as an option in the garage.

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This is 100% catering to the RU player base and their meta of all running up to the middle and punching each other in the face until one team is left standing.

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To go back to camo/draw > exposure > armor > first strike > hp hierarchy, this makes sense. If you look at engagements in general as a distribution curve they have just been moving the engagements to a more negatively skewed engagement distribution:

skewneg.gif

        ^                                           ^                    ^

Camo/Draw ------------------ Exposure---Armor-FS-HP--------

 

From a WG standpoint, running a tanking game for mass appeal I see the business sense in this. As for solutions, my initial instinct to solve this was to reduce the vision spam at high tiers, so that maintaining the few, key vision areas on a given map becomes important and gives a specific role to high-vision, lightly armored vehicles. One of the key complaints I and many here have had for a long time is that heavies might be out-spotting certain light tanks/vision control meds, which is ridiculous. (eg my awfulpanther has 20m lower vision than a FV215b- the same friggin heavy I am supposed to be aggressively spotting- dont even get me started on the you-know-what.)

 

The problem with this solution is it would increase combat at draw in a few key lanes on any map and dumb pubbies don't like being shot at because they were outspotted ("FMIRL UFGTS!").

 

That said, I believe that in more cluttered maps anything with speed will always be relevant. The bumpy terrain works both ways, meaning more channels to approach/powerflex unspotted;  fewer channels means a savvy platoon of mediums that waits for its opportunity (even though it can ostensibly pigeonhole a leo1 into obscurity) can do work. Good players find a way to make their shots. Hell, one of my old favorite Rexxie replays is the Leo PTA crushing it in the brawl on friggin Himmelsdorf. Crab and Sela used to talk about the "offensive-defensive" / "defensive-offensive" and that's what top players work at least in platoons where they can use the support they need and do work. 

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I for one like the changes. I play on the EU server. I like to brawl and love heavies. I hated playing top tier battles,partly because I wasn't good enough but also because I found them incredibly boring.

Almost every battle turned into a camp fest. People like Garbad blame arty,but the TD people need to take some of the blame. As soon as you entry a battle with say 4-5 TD on each side,that's it camp-fest. Everyone sits around doing fuck all,then a big rush and it's over in 3 mins.

I find no enjoyment in that type of game,weather I'm on the winning side or not. I think the maps should suit all class's to some degree,but as it's WG the will make a Bollocks of it for sure.

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Almost every battle turned into a camp fest. People like Garbad blame arty,but the TD people need to take some of the blame. As soon as you entry a battle with say 4-5 TD on each side,that's it camp-fest. Everyone sits around doing fuck all,then a big rush and it's over in 3 mins.

I find no enjoyment in that type of game,weather I'm on the winning side or not. I think the maps should suit all class's to some degree,but as it's WG the will make a Bollocks of it for sure.

The majority of all tier 10 teams were made up of tds and once your scout died if you even had one, everyone camped real hard and made it a very long and boring battle. I don't think a camo nerf was the way to go, instead something like view range so they rely on their team for spotting. I hate getting out spotted when i play my scouts/mediums 

 

Though I do like the map changes cause I'm not a big td player even though my sig says, I prefer to play some Russian meds and heavys which are really benefiting from these map changes 

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As I'm sure most of you have noticed, WG's map balancing department has gone crazy the past few patches, adding more and more brawling maps and even changing old ones to become CQC as well.

 

A growing trend I've noticed is you need to have some sort of armor to make it through the meta. Being fast and having high camo isn't enough anymore.

 

The reason you need a little armor is because of land arty, and the recent resurgence of sky cancer.  Both are serious blunders by WG.  Both have also been in the game for a long time.

 

Likewise, about the maps...remember development takes time -- a lot of time.  WG didn't see the TD meta and decide to make some brawler maps, they started this well before the TD meta.  Instead, the brawling maps are probably a reaction to arty, and specifically the fact that open maps + arty = camp.  WG is too stupid to figure out how to prevent that, so they decided to map more maps where arty is bad as a "nerf" to arty instead.

 

TBH, the main reason why TDs are slightly less prevalent atm is purely perception:

- unica / padders don't play TDs because wn8 padding

- greens don't play TDs as much because unica stopped playing them, plus they got nerfed (and greens can't really tell if a nerf matters)

- Yellows only have two tier 10s anyhow, so the meta doesn't matter to them

 

So basically, the reason why we don't have even more waffles shitting up our games is because of wn8's out of whack expected values.  That's one huge plus of the metric, I suppose.  But its not as if TDs still don't rape for the same reasons.

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Not to be a smart ass but this all boils down to REMOVE ARTY FROM THIS GAME (has this been discussed before!?!)... arty force hardcover options and this leads to funneling...if they just flat out removed arty the game then maps would/could improve.   

 

When I'm in a game without arty I find many more options for aggressive medium play and flanking-the same map with 2-3 powerful arty on each team completely changes the usable area of the maps-they essentially become tiny maps until late in the game...it's just dumb game design.

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Oh, Oneechan, really good point. I haven't thought of this before, but when you say it, it's very obvious.

 

That being said though, I still think these changes are for the better. You can make something out of a medium tank on every map, while that wasn't always the case for heavy tanks, and might not be now either, although, I haven't played many heavy tanks, so it's tough to for me to make that call. Playing a heavy tank in which you know you don't have sufficient view range to spot the enemy medium and you know he will spot you 80-100 meters before you can spot him and he can outrun you sort of leaves you down to the inability of the faster enemy tanks rather to your own superior skill wether you will defeat him or not. The combination of superior camo/viewrange and mobility makes the mediums (in which case they live up to those things) far superior to any other tank (in theory that is). Clearly, a heavy tank with enough armor to not be penetrated by a medium tank will be superior to the medium tank, for obvious reasons.

 

I have to admit though, on any map, even hard core city maps, I will fear an enemy team with a bunch of high tier medium tanks way more than I will fear an enemy team with a bunch of high tier heavy tanks. The heavy tanks generally has way less chance of damaging me when I give them the opportunity to land shells and they will only get that opportunity when I give it to them. In a faster tank, I will decide when they can fight me and when they can not. Playing light and medium tanks on Himmelsdorf is brilliant, you can fall into cover almost at will and trap the enemy through out manouvering them. No matter how good a player the heavy tank player is, he should never be able to catch and damage an enemy medium player that knows what he is doing. Clearly, different rules will apply early game when there are 15 enemy tanks spread out on the map, seriously limiting your options in terms of how to find damage opportunities, however, once again, in general, the medium tanks has more accurate guns that needs less time aiming. putting shots in which the enemy can not return should be very doable unless you are suffering from very high ping, in which case this will clearly be very difficult.

 

Some maps however, has very few opportunities of finding targets that you don't end up in a front to front slugfest, in which case a heavy tank has many advantages on medium tanks. That being said though, maybe that is for the better, as there are so many times where heavy tanks will be limited to riding around slowly in the like blind ducks eating high tier medium APCR from far away without being able to do shit.... except for never  going out there, which is the same thing the medium tank can do when facing face to face slug fest situations.

 

 

Cheers,

EJ

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most maps they rework are trash anyway, its impossible to break something as bad as sacred valley or el halluf

 

also all open shit maps need to go, look at new Campinovka, you call that balance?

 

1 side rushes field, and its auto-win, side with houses always looses, since rework i havent see house side win once (all my games on that side where defeat, even as top tier in a platoon...)

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WG never has figured out that the solution to map design is bigger maps.  Every good defensive point needs to be flankable.  Every map needs a variety of terrain and cover to make all tanks and styles have a place to work.  Every map needs to consider firing lanes.  Sitting 100m from cap behind a bush and waiting needs to be a retarded strategy.

 

But its not, thanks to horrible design.

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WG never has figured out that the solution to map design is bigger maps.  Every good defensive point needs to be flankable.  Every map needs a variety of terrain and cover to make all tanks and styles have a place to work.  Every map needs to consider firing lanes.  Sitting 100m from cap behind a bush and waiting needs to be a retarded strategy.

 

But its not, thanks to horrible design.

 

Those 2 things are imo exactly the problem, beiing a camping potato gets rewarded way too much....

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I won a game from south spawn Malinovka. It had no arty, so I went down low corner in a T110E4 and blasted their mediums apart. I had a platoon mate in a T57 with me, so anyone trying to flank me died.

 

I want to see a fundamental change to spotting mechanics along with bigger maps. Make it so that every tank is drawn on your client unless there is a visual obstruction in the way. Tanks show up on the minimap and get highlighted when they are "spotted". If you have sharp enough eyes to pick out a tank 800m away and are skilled enough to hit it, then you should be able to. This would require some modifications to prevent mods from abusing this (foliage removers, etc) but if it is possible then I would support it.

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