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Should I stop now?

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With the on track event for IS-7 up, I decided to dust off my KV-85 to grind some XP towards it.  Did decently in the KV-85 with the 100mm gun and finally earned enough XP to get the IS.  As soon as I got it, as per recommendations I have seen all over the place, I free XP'd the turret and mounted the 122 from the KV-85 ASAP.  Got a GLD, rammer, and moved my toolbox over from my KV-1 and hopped straight into combat.  Engine was still stock and everything so the only thing I had to go off was the gun.

Unfortunately, the 122 still felt like the same PoS that was mounted on the KV-85, only now it saw T9 tanks as well.  I've only had it for a couple days now but already I've lost count of the 0 damage games I've had due to the shells going nowhere near where I aimed and either bouncing or missing completely.  I somehow managed to completely miss a snap shot on the side of an IS-6 about 20m away when peeking around a corner.  I've also taken fully aimed shots at <100m and still managed to completely miss my intended target (flying straight into the tracks of a KV-1 caught in the open angled at around 30 degrees).  The only redeeming features about the tank I have found are its mobility, better gun depression over the KV-85, and workable armor against lower tier tanks.

In accordance to all three of its pros, I've found the 100mm gun to be a much better option to take advantage of these strengths and had XP'd it before I even researched my tracks.  Not even 10 games in, I had 2 games with 3000+ damage where I completely carried.  Once I got enough XP to research the top 122mm, I decided to give it another go and see if the increased DPM would make a marked difference.

It did not.  The top 122 was the same unreliable, 175 pen PoS that the old 122 before it was, only now it bounced/missed much more often per battle (thus making it far more expensive to run).  I've since rage quit for the day as I just can't deal with this stupid 122 at all.  I will be re-equipping the 100mm and running that until the IS-3 since I just don't understand how anyone can use the 122 on the IS and consistently do well.

What I want to know is whether it's worth it to continue down the IS line.  I've read that the IS-3, T-10, and IS-7 all have similar play styles, but I know for a fact that they have much better armor than the IS from my experience fighting them.  I also know their penetration values are much better for their tier by looking at the paper stats (with the possible exception of the IS-7).  175 simply does not cut it for me at T7 when the gun fires this slowly and this inaccurately.  If the remainder of the Russian heavies in this line are going to feel the exact same way, I don't think I want to finish this line.

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It will be a similar playstyle.

The armour doesn't get amazingly better until the IS-7 (IS-3 troll bounces aside), and any decent play can pen you easily in the IS-3 or T-10.

Whilst it is true the penetration on the guns increases, the ROF, aimtime and dispersion values remain shit throughout the line. What's more, the DPM is pretty bad at tier 8 and 10 too. The T-10 is an outlier, but that plays as a heavium anyway.

TL:DR - If you don't like the IS because of its gun, you won't like the rest of the line.

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To be fair, isn't playing the IS's a matter of getting used to the gun handling, then things start to fall into place from there?

I haven't played a lot of Russian heavies recently, but I did grind the Chinese IS-2 a short while back. At first I was fuming about the 122, but as I got to know the tank, things started to fall into place, and I began to hit a lot more shots. For me the alpha of the 100mm is just too inferior in the current meta.

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3 minutes ago, Birkovic said:

To be fair, isn't playing the IS's a matter of getting used to the gun handling, then things start to fall into place from there?

I haven't played a lot of Russian heavies recently, but I did grind the Chinese IS-2 a short while back. At first I was fuming about the 122, but as I got to know the tank, things started to fall into place, and I began to hit a lot more shots. For me the alpha of the 100mm is just too inferior in the current meta.

Yeah, I agree - if you're not using the 122's and the alpha, what's the point? You'd be better playing British or US heavies if you prefer a pew-pew gun style.

The IS is fine with the 122. It's annoying, but you get used to it. If you truly can't get used to it, then this line won't work.

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Hell I played the 110 for 10 games with the IS-2 122mm and still loved it.

122mm are broken ass guns at lower tiers because of the alpha and overmatch ability. The IS and IS-3 are all about hitting your shots, which means a slower, cautious playstyle that'll net you in the long run. The IS is very fast for a heavy once engine's maxed out so it also plays like a heavium IMO. 

I have the highest IS-2 Berlin DPG across all servers except for RU and I can tell you for sure that the 122mm isn't something anything'll sneeze at. Just go decently aggressive to allow your gun handling to manage, hit your shots even if aiming might cost you an extra shell, and suddenly you've done 2k+ damage in no time because of the alpha allowing you to both trade and peekaboo very well.

 

The thing with T9 games in the IS will be to play like a medium. T9 meds (short of E 50 and T-54) are all easy pens even without gold so fighting them shouldn't be an issue, I'd rather support my meds and have a somewhat poor game (because I can't keep up, DPM lacking or something like that) instead of wasting my time trying to pen an E 75 frontally between his reloads because you will first of all be more useful for your team, and your potential to have better games grow bigger. 

T7 in T9 is usually tricky unless you're a T20 because of the pen struggles but I generally go by the rule that you don't go anywhere you think you won't pen your targets.

 

Let's take Serene Coast as an example:

Your team is heavy but mobile. It's a T9 game and you're an IS. You spawn north.

The enemy team is VERY heavy. Barely any T9 meds and the few meds they've got are soft. What do you do?

I would skip the eastern flank entirely, heavies seem to like that for some reason (I still don't understand it tbh) because odds are that you'll have to face tanks you will struggle to pen while they tear you to shreds. So what options do that leave? It's either the 1 line or a passive middle approach (on the west side, right is suicide early on)

Your (let's say 3) T9 meds go to D1 and it's almost impossible that they'll lose the corner. You can't keep up in the IS. What do you do here? 

This is something that's pretty hard to just teach but I've given a pretty easy scenario here. You anticipate what'll happen and then you guess where to position yourself next. You'll lose out on the brawl corner so you need to go somewhere else to matter. I'd go down the middle and just accept that I lost out on that damage and meet up with the meds around the house area to begin pushing their base.

But they had two T9 heavies camping the small hill sides that didn't get lit until your team pushed over the D1 ridge and are now stuck. What do you do?

Now the situation solved itself. You're in a great position to flank and your gun matters enough to draw their attention. The one thing to keep an eye out for are the base campers that might have shots on you depending on how you proceed. Go over their tank line-up:

  •  Do they have anything not spotted yet? 
  • Are there TD's/arty that might be there?
  • Can you do this somewhat safely?

And then based on whatever intel you got you either 1) move in and get sideshots on these heavies to help your mediums out or 2) cross the railway and support the east from the mountainside of the enemy base. Most probable outcome here would be to do 1 and then 2 anyway. 

 

What so many people fail to realise and most people don't even consider is that you excel at this, and every other game by thinking. You should always be aware and constantly analyse all information given to you. Like every other task this becomes habit once you've done it for long enough and most of the top players probably consider this as an instinct by now.

 

What I mean here is that it might be worth making an effort to outplay your opponents rather than just playing a game if you find it annoying enough (which you probably are since you posted here) and learning from that will take you so much further than reading up on how a tank should work in theoryIf you watch a top player you'll see that he can take a shitty tank and still perform well in it. There are hardcap exceptions here but the tank you're playing matters less than the game you're playing inside your head.

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The gun does well if it penetrates, but that's a pretty damn big "if".  I gave it another go running 8/12/8 rather than 14/6/8 as I had originally loaded and just slung APCR at anything that was more heavily armored than a T32 and it worked much better than on any of my other 122 tanks aside from the SU-122-44.  I also finally got my ace tanker with it in a matchup where their most heavily armored tanks were a T-150, an FV201, and an SU-152.  I honestly think the issue lies with the subpar penetration as I've used high alpha derp guns in the past in the form of the E-100, E-75, Hetzer with 105, and M4 with 105 but none have been as frustrating to use as the 122 on the IS so far.  I've only played 3 games so far, but slinging gold at T8 heavies seems to have solved most of the gripes I've had with the gun as now, I can just aim at the lower plate of a T32 rather than praying for a miracle shot into its MG port.

Even with gold, the 100mm still seems to perform more consistently though so I'll have to see how APCR affects the performance of the gun more before passing final judgment.

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When I first went down that line I had similar thoughts.  The accuracy and handling on the 100mm made it very appealing.  But in the long run, it's the wrong move.  This line isn't a sniping line (as others said, there are better lines for that).  It's about mobility, brawling, and alpha.  If that's not your style, this isn't your line.

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I think I carry like 2 HE and that's it.

175/217 pen sounds like crap at Tier 7, but it really isn't.  It's still better AP pen than all Tier 7 meds except the Panther, IIRC, and the IS is mobile enough to flank when necessary.  I have a replay somewhere of getting top damage and a high caliber shooting 100% AP...in BT9, on Himmelsdorf.  Pick your targets, be a support tank, and 175/217 is plenty, and 390 alpha means anything you hit feels it.

I love my IS-2b.  Great tank, very comfortable.

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IS-3, T-10 and IS-7 are all very good tanks. 

The IS-3 is a very good tank and has a much better gun and play style to it compared to the IS. Side scraping (for the most part) works well.

T-10 after the buff can at least somewhat-decently side scrape, so it's slightly more reminiscent to the IS-3. Brilliant gun. Fucking loved the thing.

IS-7 is the pinnacle of Russian engineering. I face hugged a JgPz. E-100 and absorbed its shell with my turret. Pure ecstasy was had. Pretty decent gun; nice damage. Definitely worth the grind.

Keep persevering. After tier 7, it gets a lot better, and I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

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5 hours ago, lolspin said:

The gun does well if it penetrates, but that's a pretty damn big "if".

Here's your problem. 

Either you're fighting the wrong tanks or your aim is sloppy. Fix it. There's literally not much else to it than that. Low pen tanks such as T-54 Mod 1 and IS-6 are still goddamn beasts and incredibly powerful when you stop trying to beat down an E 75 and farm off the softer targets instead.

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49 minutes ago, KoIni said:

Low pen tanks such as T-54 Mod 1 and IS-6 are still goddamn beasts and incredibly powerful when you stop trying to beat down an E 75 and farm off the softer targets instead.

But if no one shoots my E-75 with a low pen gun how can I finish HT 15.2? ;)

 

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On 1/18/2016 at 9:31 AM, KoIni said:

Here's your problem. 

Either you're fighting the wrong tanks or your aim is sloppy. Fix it. There's literally not much else to it than that. Low pen tanks such as T-54 Mod 1 and IS-6 are still goddamn beasts and incredibly powerful when you stop trying to beat down an E 75 and farm off the softer targets instead.

The T-54 mod 1 has the gun handling to take those snap shots and take advantage of its mobility.  The IS-6 is naturally slow with trollish frontal and side armor that makes bouncing or missing your shot much more forgiving against equal tier tanks.  The IS on the other hand gets penned by even T6 meds that it meets consistently so when you miss/bounce, it's much less forgiving when you're trying to trade shots.  I suppose the 122 itself isn't a horrible gun, it's just not a good gun for the IS platform imo.  The IS tank is a pretty mobile heavy with trollish armor angles.  It feels like it would do better as a scout/med counter than an actual brawler due to its mediocre armor and subpar penetration.  In this role, the increased dpm of the 100 mm just seems like the better choice.  You can use the increased rof to permatrack tanks, the improved accuracy allows you to snipe weak spots, the increased dpm allows you to bully equal tier mediums, and it allows you to play the role of a support tank much better as it punishes mis plays harder.  Yesterday, a friendly SU-100 was trying to sneak along the e2 area if El halluf to flank the blob at c1. He got spotted by a Tiger P and the Tiger P yolo rushed him.  The only support he had was me with the 122 and a Tiger running the short 88.  We managed to take the Tiger P out about 2 seconds after he killed our SU-100.  With the increased aim time and dpm of the 100mm, I can imagine we'd have been able to save that SU-100 with about half his hp remaining.  We ended up drawing that game via cap, and we may very well have won had the SU-100 gotten into a position where he could have made it to their cap circle in the final moments of the battle.

These are the frustrating moments that make me hate this gun.  When you need it to perform, it simply doesn't.  Whether it's the accuracy, penetration, dpm, or some combination of the three, there's always something that ends up fucking me over whenever I need it to perform in a clutch situation.  There had never been a time yet where I thought to myself "damn it's a lucky thing I had that extra alpha damage" but there have been many times where I had thought to myself while using the 100mm "damn it's a lucky thing I had that better aim time/dpm". 

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It's like you're not even reading what I wrote. 

If you find the gun bad you're using it wrong. While you may have gun standards a la Tranderas the 122mm is widely considered a great gun, and the 122mm BL-9's a staple in all T8 ranked play and has been for ages. 122mm's needs to be used a certain way and it seems more like you're not willing to adapt and instead try to blame your inability to use it on the gun itself. I've been playing this game for ages and so have a lot of others here, the 122mm is the way to go because alpha is king. The IS shouldn't need good gun handling nor DPM. It's an intro to the IS-3 which also plays differently. The IS is closer to the T-34-3 than anything else in the game IMO. You go around blapping people for a shitload of damage when they aren't looking and then you just chill out between reloads. 

On something that actually has to take hits once in a while you will need the alpha as well. You want to trade as well as possible if you absolutely have to. The T32 is literally the only exception to it because the turret allows it to stay constantly firing for longer periods of time (I played it with the 320 gun though). Like, the 122mm is the whole point of the line. You have a big ass gun and with decent mobility to make the absolute most of it. The 100mm is an inferior gun. Would you put the 110's 100mm on the WZ-111-14 because it applies to all your "points" above? No of course not. The gun makes the entire goddamn tank and if you'd try to work the tank instead of it working you, you might find yourself seeing it in some new light. :) 

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Perhaps so.  I'll be grinding it until the IS-3 anyway since I got this far down the line.  I'll try the BL-9 on the IS-3 and if I still don't get it, I'll likely just drop it and finish up the Soviet medium line instead.  I'm really just hoping to get a relatively mobile T9/T10 tank that's fun to play and the T-10 looked like a good candidate alongside the T-54.

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Just got the IS-3 and so far, I feel it is a much better gun platform for the D-25T than the IS.  The stock grind is rough and 175mm of pen is quite painful against T9 and T10 tanks, but when I'm top tier, I've been able to carry many more games in my stock IS-3 than I have in my stock IS.  First game with the BL-9 and I get my first class medal (ruined by capping baddies) with 5.5k+ damage.  I'm willing to stand behind my claim that the IS is simply not a great platform for a gun like the 122.

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I just got my IS-3, and after a bit of frustration with the D-25T (workable pen, just played like a better armored IS-6), I have started to truly love this tank. I ended up free xp-ing the BL-09, and that's what makes the tank. My IS-3 is now my favorite tank, and it's the tank that let me finally complete HT-15 for the Stug IV missions. Any grind frustrations from the IS just totally melted away in the face of an IS-3 with top modules.

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20 hours ago, lolspin said:

Just got the IS-3 and so far, I feel it is a much better gun platform for the D-25T than the IS.  The stock grind is rough and 175mm of pen is quite painful against T9 and T10 tanks, but when I'm top tier, I've been able to carry many more games in my stock IS-3 than I have in my stock IS.  First game with the BL-9 and I get my first class medal (ruined by capping baddies) with 5.5k+ damage.  I'm willing to stand behind my claim that the IS is simply not a great platform for a gun like the 122.

As have been stated above: 390 alpha at tier 7 on a decently mobile platform with some armor is a powerfull combination - espcially in the current meta. If they were to buff the current vehicle they would risk it becoming blatantly OP in the hands of good players like Kolni, which run it with a decent crew, correct equipment and premium load out. 

Considering the IS3 is generally accepted as over buffed it makes perfect sense, that you were able to carry more in even a semi-stock IS3 due to that tank having been overbuff and having an armor layout which is very forgiving. Regarding the IS3 with the D-25T, when you go up a tier and reuse the tier 7 gun the platform is always an improvement.

I'm not saying that you are bad. I'm merely trying to explain that the IS in it's current state is a quiet balanced vehicle.

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7 hours ago, Birkovic said:

As have been stated above: 390 alpha at tier 7 on a decently mobile platform with some armor is a powerfull combination - espcially in the current meta. If they were to buff the current vehicle they would risk it becoming blatantly OP in the hands of good players like Kolni, which run it with a decent crew, correct equipment and premium load out. 

Considering the IS3 is generally accepted as over buffed it makes perfect sense, that you were able to carry more in even a semi-stock IS3 due to that tank having been overbuff and having an armor layout which is very forgiving. Regarding the IS3 with the D-25T, when you go up a tier and reuse the tier 7 gun the platform is always an improvement.

I'm not saying that you are bad. I'm merely trying to explain that the IS in it's current state is a quiet balanced vehicle.

And I'm not saying the IS is a bad vehicle, simply that it seems to benefit more from the 100mm than the 122 due to the strengths of the vehicle.  As a mobile platform, it is able to isolate its targets much more easily and in a close quarters 1v1 situation, the 100 excels due to its better dpm.  At the support tank role, the 100 has better aim time and accuracy to support heavier tanks from a distance.  The biggest advantage the 122 has over the 100 I'd that it can really hammer enemy tanks who are already under pressure from your team mates and can put a lot of pressure on the enemy as well due to its high alpha.  Maybe it would function a lot better in a platoon where you have an ally to cover you during reload and take advantage of the pressure you exert while your gun is loaded, but in solo pubs, I feel the 100mm is a more viable option for the IS.  With the IS-3, the problems with the D-25T are solved with the BL-9 with a massive penetration buff along with an accuracy buff as icing on the cake.  You can also take snap shots much more safely and reliably from a peek a boom or side scrape position due to its massively improved side armor and lower speed.  Couple that with vert stabs and you just have a much better platform for the gun than the IS ever was.  Maybe some people can make the 122 work wonders but it has been very hit and miss for me.  Some games I'll have every shot fly true and get some amazing games while others I'll end up with 0 damage at the end of the game due to the sheer unreliability of the gun.  

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Let me put this differently: It's not the tank, but your lack of experience, which is the issue here. The reliability of the 122 is mainly down to experience and game knowledge. You are just not there yet (I'm sure that you will get there though :)).

If the 100mm was the better choice, every decent player in this thread wouldn't be recommending the 122 (Kolni is a unicum). It's not a matter of what they feel. It's down to experience and results (check our tank stats if you don't trust me).

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On 1/18/2016 at 6:42 AM, KolNo said:

122mm are broken ass guns at lower tiers . . . 

-snip-

If the OP had put IS in his title, I never would have made my IS post.  Kolni basically just gave the best 'how to play the IS' post evah.

 

I will edit this to add that I actually carry and often use some HE in mine (4-5 total).  There are so many CDC/Scorp/Borsigs/paper lights/etc out there that the 550 HE alpha can be pretty useful.  Plus, when all else fails shoot the E-75 in the gun w/HE and make him waste a repair kit.

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