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Regarding The New Meta: Optics Are Down

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Well, as some of you may be aware, I left the game about 8 (9?) months ago with the intent of never coming back.

As I'm here, we can already cast that aside. Just letting you know that I've not been up to date with if there's already a topic like this.

 

Just today I came to a realization that would probably be obvious to some: since the new metagame has took a favor to brawling and currently there are little to no open maps you can actually abuse view range and camouflage on, I think a lot of equipment guides are starting to become outdated.

Rammers are as important as ever, and Vert Stabs haven't really gone up or down, but Optics? I think they've overstayed their welcome.

Shortly before I quit, I remember vision being VERY important. You could control where multiple enemy tanks went while giving your team the advantage of shooting them should they be caught off guard.

Now with maps like Kharkov, Stalingrad, Tundra reworked, El Halluf reworked... you get it. A lot of ―if not all― maps have little to no breathing room. Camouflage spotting has nearly gone extinct, and the ONLY place I can think of where you can light the enemy team early on is south spawn Murovanka.

 

Outside of Murovanka, you'll be in it rough with everyone else. High alpha tank destroyers, thickly armored heavies, and heavy hitting arty if you don't go in said brawling locations.

Vision has lost its importance long ago. So long in fact I could have made this thread months ago if I were more attentive.

 

Now, to my point:

Is 10% more view range really worth other equipment pieces anymore? Sure, maybe on light tanks, but even then that's questionable. The only other exception would be (post-0.9.6 of course) to compensate for bad view range. But since mostly only TDs will have outstandingly poor view range at most tiers, and they already rely on their team for spotting, it seems like a moot point if you're not an aggressive player.

Most tanks could benefit from a GLD if they're not already using one. If not, why not throw on Vents simply because of the overall 2.5% buff if you already have a GLD?

 

Mediums were usually the tanks most people used Optics on so that they could spot heavies (or a certain autoloading TD) at maximum or near maximum spotting range, and some people went over the limit to even counteract TD or medium camouflage to have a slight edge or to get screwed over less.

But now since they're thrown into the fray along with everyone else, why would you need to spot anymore? You could always use some better reload time or aim time or whatever else you want.

Clear out those Optics and in with whatever you please, I say.

 

Of course, my opinion is far from absolute. Feedback is appreciated.

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I find them useful in some tanks simply for the "see them before they see me" factor.  This largely fades to insignificance at higher tiers, however.  I'm using vents in the third slot more and more.  With a good crew, I'll still have a 445+ view range, which is fine for spotting things that are active.

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I've found myself using vents over optics more often lately too, for exactly the same reasons you've just mentioned.  You just don't get the same mileage from them these days that you used to.

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While vision has definitely become of lesser importance, it isn't completely defunct.  There are still many maps where late game carry situations will arise where vision is critical.  Even on a map like Severgorosk the late game play can often end up in the more open north/south areas where there are opportunities to play vision games.  I find these situations still happen often enough that the bonus vision from Optics will help you win that extra game here or there....much more so than having a GLD or Vents will.

 

That said, I have changed how often I use optics.  I used to try and have my lights and most mediums with a view range of 460-470 meters which in most cases required Optics.  Now I've started running more and more of those tanks with Vents+Cola+lots of crew skills.  On a 400m view range tank with max crew skills you still get  ~455m view range.  Enough that you can carry in those late game vision situations but can still enjoy all the nice little boosts from vents.

 

So no, I don't think Optics are done for and I still recommend them on a lot of tanks, but I think there is more leeway to play with different setups.

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I would say with the TD view-range nerf they still have a place on light mediums and lights.  Even something like the Tiger, which should save brawling for only when it's necessary could benefit as high base VR for tier.

 

That said, the corridor and contained fighting spaces so prevalent on many maps now do steal some of the thunder.  I think it comes down to play style.  Would agree with you outright if they weren't dialing back to V-R spam with TD's, but I come down on "slightly less useful" with the prevalence of brawly maps.

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I would have to agree with this statement. The amount of corridor maps have increased to where spotting tanks occurs not from 400+ meters, but rather from a distance of like 100 meters to 200 meters at best. where both you and the enemy can spot each other just by having a 100% crew in your tank.

Plus now a days most of our tier 10s have at the very least 3 crew skills on them which offset the need for optics when you include vents.

Just now a days I'm finding that vents is becoming more and more of a better option than optics... Just not sure when to implement the vents on my meds yet...

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With the ratio of maps in the MM that favor corridors and brawling, optics simply aren't as useful as often. That isn't to say they can't be useful, but given the odds of pulling Kharkov/Stalingrad/Himmelsdorf/Etc, you get more bang for your buck with other equipment. 

 

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IDK, I still use them on a lot of tanks. They're very useful on a lot of the maps, still.

 

malinovka

murovanka

steppes

sand river

swamp

komarin

tundra (or northwest, whicever one has that ridge at the north edge)

highway

prok, and its clone

 

To a lesser degree,

 

ensk

kharkov (spotting the mid road at the start)

ruinberg, and its clone

 

They're still useful enough, IMO, to not justify their removal from most meds/td's.

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I'm with platoon mates a lot of the time, so what I will do is put optics on tanks that I find myself solopubbing a lot more in, and simply removing it on mainly support tanks such as the 50B. 

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I've been experimenting with vents on some tanks I used to run with optics lately now that most of my crews have BIA and the view range skills. My 62A and E50 are now running Rammer/Vstab/Vents, and I'm thinking of doing this on most of my other high tier tanks in the long run...The all-around boost from vents is really nice to have, and I have yet to find myself in a situation where I felt more view range would have been decisive. While it's true that more is always better, I'm starting to think ~445 is enough. The shift in the meta does change my evaluation of the opportunity cost of more view range, and losing out on that extra bit of reload and handling seems like a bigger deal than it used to.

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I started enjoying tanks like the conq and the 7/1 much more when I put optics on them rather than vents. There are a lot of maps where optics are till relevant and a lot of late game times when optics are nice.

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I think it's become less important, and you could get away with it on certain higher tier tanks, depending on your set up. IE: If you have the view skills, vents, BIA and food, you're good.

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There's enough LTs taking my usual bush shots that its kind of pointless to have optics on my meds now. Furthermore, I'm usually in positions where I'm spamming shots now since people don't snipe at 400m+ every game, so reduced aim time is a godsend even if RNG fucks me over so often I feel like I'm playing Wesnoth.

 

And how does it feel to be here forever, OCD? (Come to NA bb.)

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I use Optics because, among other reasons, all other equipment is shit.

Rammer, Vertical Stab., and Optics are the holy trinity of equipment. I don't have those three only on tanks which can't mount VS, or on tanks which have gun handling so shitty to make me either want to sell them or buy a GLD+VS.

 

Vents are irrelevant imo. I'd rather massively boost one useful stat (view range) and (ab)use it, than make an irrelevant improvement on everything and be... oh why am I even bothering, 2% boost on stats is fluking irrelevant on 99% of vehicles.

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Optics are still very useful early game and late game. Its true that there have been more "brawling" maps but there are still many maps that optics can reign on.

 

I lately have been running optics over vert stab on many tanks, mostly mediums. Its been working out pretty well.

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Just ask yourself. What would be a good alternative?

I think that we can all agree that rammer and vstab are already on slot one and two.

All the suspension thingies are only useful when you grinding a stock tank without having freexp to unlock the tracks.

Binos can be left out. If you don't want optics why even bother with Binos?

Camonet can be useful in TDs, but also quite useless if you have to fight in a moshpit and can't exploit view range.

Only good alternatives are GLD and vents. A tank which profits from GLD did it already in the old meta. Things haven't changed here. And vents are just not special enough. Vent is only rly useful if it is used on a jack of all trades tanks.

Through method of elimination, optics still wins on many tanks.

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As you probably could guess from my E50 post, I've been doing this for a long time. I'm of the opinion that assuming your crew has enough skills to keep view range at 460+, rammer, vstab, and the trinity of BIA vents, and food is the ideal setup. I run this on almost every tank, except for those that burn or lose crew too frequently to risk food. Without food, the setup falls apart pretty quickly, and I'd recommend staying with optics. I would switch back to optics if I were to tryhard for MOE's, since tanks like the IS-7 with 490 VR can farm some absurd spotting damage, but normal play means vents.

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I haven't been running optics on many of my tanks at all. Vents has largely replaced them as the module of choice.

 

I've also stuck with brawly communist tanks for solopubbing these days because they're very good for winning. The 112 and WZ-111 model 1-4, in particular. I need to pick up an IS-7 in order to bring a tier 10 in the same vein.

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This is a really hard thing to debate because of how vents works. It's really hard to say how much a 2.5/2.7% bonus to all stats actually stacks up compared to a 10% aimtime reduction or a 10% view range bonus.

 

I completely agree so far as optics being less powerful than before, but where no one can disagree is that when optics are useful, they completely mop the floor with vents. I think the best way to look at it is to look at the maps where optics actually do something. Optics are often important (to any tank) on: Erlenburg, Malinovka, Murovanka, Prokh, Redshire, Sand River, Steppes, Swamp, and Cliff. Optics may be important (usually only in a med/light) on Fisherman's Bay, Airfield, Highway, El Halluf, Karelia, Serene Coast, Arctic Region, Fjords, Lakeville, Ruinburg, Siegfried, and Sacred Valley. The rest of the maps require a fairly rare situation.

 

This list of maps is definitely shorter than it was in the past, but it's still pretty sizable. I still think optics edges out vents because of that. While this is pretty subjective, I really feel the impact of running around with ghetto vision on the aforementioned maps, but almost never feel the impact of running without vents. I really like knowing exactly what impact my gear is having.

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Pretty much what a lot of people already said. Yes, meta has changed in favor of brawling instead of camo/vision games, but despite all of it, opdicks master race.

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