If you have kept up with any of the leaks or even official info…there are a lot of changes coming for .8.6 and some of the ramifications of them are a little difficult to unwind. I’m going to see if I can break them down a bit for you. There are essentially three major changes: Arty Nerf, Accuracy Buff, Stopgap Camo Revision. There are also rumors of a major change in the game economy, and a confirmation of the removal of a previously unknown XP penalty to SPG’s and TD’s (in other words, SPG’s and TD’s were gaining experience slower than regular tanks – this is something WG had previously denied but are now confirming….) Anyway, in order:
Basically, along with the rebalancing and addition of new SPG’s to bring every tier into the normal 2-10 parameter, there will be some nerfing going on. All SPG’s, across the board, have essentially had their Rate of Fire and Accuracy coefficient nerfed by and average of %40. In other words, if you were getting 1 shot off every 20 seconds before, now it will take you 28 seconds. If the accuracy was .5, now it will be .7 and so on. Please note: this is in general, and the specifics vary from vehicles to vehicle.
And yes, I know what you are thinking. This makes arty virtually unplayable. And it would, if not for the XP buff, which is really removing the XP penalty. SPG’s will now earn 50% more XP per battle. There are hints that there is still something more to compensate, but mum is the word now. Early whispers are some kind of accuracy buff for shots within a particular area - much like zeroing in is done in real life. No idea if that’s true or not.
Right now, when you pull the trigger, your shot will be somewhere in that circle, right? Well it turns out there where within that circle is indeed based on skill, but it follows a standard distribution curve. But it turns out, instead of the normal 3-sigma on a typical bell curve, the outside of the circle is a 1.3.
Yeah. So to help visualize, here is the normal curve:
Basically, anything from 1.3 onward on this table, in the game right now, is the “edge of the cirle.” Something like 19% of your shots are landing there. With a fully trained crew.
In the new update, the “edge of the cirle” will be where the 2 is now. The end result – many more of your shots will land much closer to the center of the circle, and very few (less than 1% if I remember correctly) will land on the edge. This is a tremendous buff to accuracy. There are some changes coming to penetration to compensate – basically high end tanks are having their penetration numbers nerfed, and HEAT shells are being reworked to be less powerful and penetrate less. Some tanks will be receiving an HP buff as well from what I understand.
As I understand it: this change will not apply to arty. Read on to know why.
Stopgap Camo Revision
Developer Q&A’s have confirmed that the .9.0 patch will bring a complete overhaul of how camoflage works, but for now two rather significant changes are being made. The first is hard to pinpoint the result of – every tank in the game is having its camo coefficient redone. There is a hidden fudge factor for how easy it is to hide a vehicle in the game. In other words, even if you have a full on camo trained crew and a net, its still tough to hide a JagdTiger…its just too darn big. Likewise, its much easier to hide small tanks like the T71.
That is being combined with a change to how camo nets and the camo skill work. Basically anything that was multiplied into the equation is now added or subtracted before. Camo nets used to raise this base value by 25%. Now they just offer a flat .25 bonus. The long and short of that is that vehicles that didn’t hide very well got a buff, and vehicles that hid too well get a nerf. Also the ability to gain a bonus from bushes has been nerfed.
The end result: engagement ranges should increase across the board by 15-20%. And there was much rejoicing. Incidentally, this is one of the reasons for the severity of the arty nerf – its now easier to see and tougher to hide and tanks will be detected earlier. This would only make arty more powerful, and the hope is that the nerf along with not granting them the changes to accuracy will result in an overall nerf.
Those are the major things, and if you have questions, I’ll try to answer as best I can. And if you are in the know and I missed something, feel free to correct me.
TLD;DR: Arty will be harder to play, Tanks will be easier to spot and hit. Skill makes more of an impact.