Thursday, March 15, 2012

World of Tanks 7.2. Spotting Gets An Overhaul

Despite my criticisms of the incoming credit nerfs, the 7.2 update is not all bad. I didn't get a chance to play a lot, and didn't test the new US heavies (which is what everyone is very excited about) but I did explore the new spotting system and I think it's absolutely great.

One of the tanks I've wanted to try out is the Chaffee, a tier V US light tank which is, for the most part, a scout. Each of the designated scout tanks has a slightly different role and ability and up to this point I've only driven the Russian T-50 series. They are fast and maneuverable. The Chaffee is a different type of tank and has a unique look. You'll either love it or hate it... but I digress.

The reason I don't have a Chaffee yet is that I absolutely hated the tank that came before it, the M5 Stuart. I managed to max it out and accumulate 15k in experience toward the Chaffee (you need 55K to unlock) before I gave up. I have 100k free experience to use, but wasn't sure I would like the Chaffee. Reading forum posts about the tank doesn't really let you know what it will be like. That's the great thing about the test server- you can try before you buy!

I do like the Chaffee, but that's not what this post is about. The new spotting system isn't so much a new system as just a new interface associated with it. In 7.2 when you spot someone the game lets you know (voice and text). Similarly when an enemy you have spotted is damaged or killed you are also informed. What a simple thing, yet it has a massive impact on your game-play. For starters it's just more fun. When you are 'bush scouting' (which is simply sitting very still in a bush spotting the enemy) there isn't a lot of fun to be had. You're not shooting as your invisibility is what makes you valuable in this role. If you find a good spot you may be sitting there, absolutly still, for the entire match. Sound boring? Well, yes, it was. You always knew you were helping, but now you know exactly how.

It's so much fun now, to sit quietly invisible in a bush with the enemy mere meters away, and see that you are indeed lighting them up for artillery (or back-line snipers). It gives you an idea of how well you are doing and how much experience and credits you might get from the match. I enjoyed it so much that I'm going to re-buy the M5 and finish unlocking the Chaffee. I played the M5 again on the test server and I can say that the increase in credit income is very noticeable (they are boosting tier 1-4 income remember). This, combined with the new spotting interface, makes playing these tanks more enjoyable. I mean, imagine if you were never told, in game, when you hit an enemy and had to wait until it was over to see if you actually did anything worthwhile. That's what scouting has been like up until now. I'm happy its about to change.

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