I think that, if you count WoT as an MMO (and there are good arguments both for and against doing just that), this is the longest I have stuck with (and actively, regularly played) a game of the genre. At this point, counting beta testing, test server runs, and my regular account, I have close to 5,000 battles under my belt. Now that is not a grand number in the scheme of things (its not unusual to see veteran players with 8-10k battles played), but its still significant.
So let me just say as a regular player that 7.2 (or technically, .72) is probably the best patch to date. The performance of the game got a noticeable boost, the UI overhaul is excellent, and the new vehicles are fun to roll with. First on performance, I’m not sure what to say other than the matches load in half the time they used to, and that I have been able to *increase* my graphics detail settings across the board, the first and only time I’ve been able to do that in an MMO (though I have a feeling TOR will be headed in that direction, at least, if they want to stay afloat). To have an update that makes the game both look better and play smoother is a rare feat in the gaming world, especially the online one. Part of that is the new UI, which allows more playability and information to the player. The ability to see exact HP rather than percentages, and to customize the display interface down to names and tiers is a welcome move.
And the new tanks are great. I spent great time and energy grinding my way up the heavy line and then grinding the 6+ million credits to hold onto both my T34 and T30, and I am not disappointed with the investment. The M103 is a nice upgrade to the T34, doing all that the US heavy line should, but without the glaring weaknesses of the T34. But the line really shines in the T110E5.
At first I had no idea what to do with the tank. I did the usual heavy tank thing, which got me killed a good bit. The armor is good, but not up to the usual heavy tank levels. The gun has a high penetration value and solid rate of fire, but doesn’t do an abundance of damage. The speed and manueverability are, if anything, better than the US heavy line has been to this point. But that doesn’t help you when squaring off against E-100’s and IS-7’s. And so in one match on the Cliffs, in frustration, I decided to have fun and race with one of our teams Pershings to the center of the map. This is usually the dueling ground of the new French tanks and the traditional mediums – get there quick and hold it to help jam up the map and flank the other team.
As it turns out the T110 can keep up just fine with the Pershing, and the enemy T-54, Pershing, and T-44 that opposed us clearly were not sure how to handle the sudden appearance of a tier 10 heavy in their usual playground. And then I got it. You see, the E-100 and Maus are mobile forts, absorbing huge hits and taking up lanes, as well as drawing the attention of artillary. The IS-7 is a mobile assault unit, the vanguard of your attacks. The AMX 50B is a DPS machine. And the T110 – the T110 is a foil for medium tanks. Its the perfect counter to the T-54 and the Type-59, with the penetration to handle their sloped armor and the hit points to outlast them, all bundled with the mobility needed to keep base with them and the armor that’s just tough enough to make their tango with you a dicey proposition.
And, as it turns out, this makes it the perfect heavy tank for me. I’m not really all that good with heavies, I’m a natural born medium driver. And that means that the T110 could become and exceedingly dangerous weapon in my hands. I’m looking forward to exploring just how much so in the coming weeks.