A Whole New World (Of Tanks): WoT’s Massive 8.0 Update

By Nathan Grayson on August 9th, 2012 at 10:00 am.

Stay off my lawn, you crazy kids!

Back in my day, you could rely on certain things – ravages of time aside – to stay largely the same. Sure, times may change and people may come and go, but one shining beacon of stability has always kept me feeling warm and cozy. I’m speaking, of course, of World-War-II-era tanks. But now – at least, in World of Tanks – they’re getting gargantuan sets of new guts and fresh coats of paint. I ask you: is nothing sacred anymore?

So that’s the graphical part of Update 8.0. In a nutshell, it’ll retool ten maps, entirely redoing lighting, shadows, and a whole host of tiny details – or “brushstrokes,” as what may very well be the best videogame trailer narrator ever calls them. Because there is something that’s simply perfect about unironically pairing language one might hear from an art museum tour guide with treaded metal death machines. Eventually, every map will receive the same treatment.

Most impressively, however, the revamped graphics will actually improve your framerate. From here on, World of Tanks will be rolling out a new renderer that’s able to do heavier lifting in a far more efficient fashion. So you get prettier things, but without the steamrolling typically associated with trying to wage precise, highly methodical war through a slideshow. Hooray!

And that’s just one aspect of Update 8.0. Also on the docket: “realistic” physics, a smattering of new Soviet tanks, a better tech tree interface, and tons of other tweaks. For now, a drop date’s all that’s missing from this picture, but since Update 7.5 only just hit its mark last week, we might be looking at a bit of a wait.

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56 Comments »

  1. Juxtapox says:

    Oh beautiful.

    The lack of lighting is one of the reasons I don’t find a 100% interest in this game, although I like it.

    Too bad it’ll be released when Guild Wars 2 is out.

    • innociv says:

      Oh?

      Personally, I’m more put off by the awful business model, and to a lesser extend but still an extend the grind.

      Better graphics won’t get me to play a game that rips you off like that again.

      • battles_atlas says:

        Where’s the rip off? Its £8.50 for a premium account, less if you buy in bulk. So pretty much standard for the MMO market I believe. For that you get a unique tactical shooter with regular updates. Or you can play for free effectively up to about tier 7 of the available 10. So again, where is the rip off?

        • Vander says:

          MMO market? World of tank is not a MMO.

          • Torgen says:

            Sure it is:

            -your “characters” (tank crew) gain skill and extra abilities from gaining xp;
            -you grind for in-game currency to buy better gear (for your tank);
            -instanced combat
            -guilds/clans
            -pvp end-game revolving around controlling territory

        • Commodore says:

          How about, you can only party with 1 friend without buying premium, and if you do spend all that money, you can only party with one additional friend?

          I have more than 2 friends!

        • DK says:

          Gold Ammo is the single most obvious pay-to-win mechanic you can have. That alone screws up WoT for most people that get into for long enough to notice it.

          • KirandTer says:

            I didn’t^^ and neither of my friends did^^. However I noticed many many times that ppl complaining about gold ammo just don’t know how to position their tanks so they can avoid easy penetration and as result they think that the opponent is using premium ammo. Every tank has weak spots on EACH side that you can penetrate without much difficulty. I personally have been accused of using gold ammo plenty of times although I have NEVER spent single gold shell on random battles. (And I never bought premium ammo at all – Clan should provide you with free ammo for province battles on Clan Wars). Why it always has to be “their” fault? Just learn how to use your tank properly and you won’t notice those very rare gold users anymore.

  2. Aggressor says:

    So, when are they going to fix those zero damage penetrations? Oh, yes, they did that … many times. :D

    • pog says:

      Keep in mind that “0 damage penetrations” almost always work as intended. Hitpoints only measure hull damage. Therefore 0 HP penetrations can and will happen if:

      1. An external module is penetrated that is not part of the hull. This includes headlamps, external gear stowage or similar items. This may not always be appearant to the player.
      The tracks are an external module by the way, so penetrating only the tracks does not produce hull damage, even though penetration is announced. Since the tracks take up a lot of space, this is probably responsible for most of the “0 HP penetrations”. Of course these are not really “0 HP hits”, since the subsystem itself loses some hitpoints. However without the Eagle Eye perk there is no way to see subsystem hitpoints while playing, so it is often overlooked.
      2. The outer layer of spaced armor is penetrated, but the inner layer is not.

      • Aggressor says:

        Oh I know all that very well and I still think it’s a bullshit excuse. Those modules should never have soaked up so much damage, because it’s completely ridiculous. For example, I’m starting to play JT now and in every second game I manage to hit a scout point blank, doing no damage at all, when in reality JT’s shell should rip that vehicle from the time-space continuum and throw it into the twelfth plane of torment. It’s situations like those that show how incredibly absurd and buggy the current damage model is. And btw, that’s why I haven’t paid a cent for the game since last November. It’s been going down the drain balance and performance-wise since then.

        I do admit the new MM for lower level vehicles was improved in 7.5, though.

        • Aqarius says:

          It’s not that modules soak up damage, it’s that the actual body of the tank is a lot smaller than just the tracks, or has an insane angle under them. Besides, it’s not like the tracks themselves were made of pudding.

          • Elmar Bijlsma says:

            Wait until you see a t50-2 shrug off a 9.2 inch AP shell without losing a single hitpoint or throwing a track. Then tell me everything is working just fine.
            You just cannot rationalize away a very dodgy mechanic.

          • Aggressor says:

            Er, that doesn’t make much sense. Body of the tank is most certainly NOT much smaller than tracks, or any sum of the outer parts. None of the parts should be able absorb that much damage, never. You wanna know, what sometimes happened, when an 88 hit the track of a sherman from the front in reality? It went through, bounced on the main wheel, hit the armor and pierced it, entered the tank and stopped in the motor compartment in the back of the tank.

          • RavenGlenn says:

            You…do know that it’s a game right? Not reality? Because I’m pretty sure a lot of games have stuff like that.

            Like…a little gnome getting stepped on by a dragon and losing a few hp. Or someone taking a full clip of ammunition from a gun before going down. Or slicing someone 50 times with a sword before they finally disappear into the ether.

            Yeah…it’s a game. It’d be sort of pointless if you could just take the most powerful tank and steamroll over all the others. Why would anyone play the other ones?

          • Aggressor says:

            WoT being a game doesn’t justify the ridiculousness of what we’re seeing in any way whatsoever, because it’s ridiculous in the game’s own terms as well. In about 4/5 of the shots the hits behave as they should and a 128mm shell will penetrate and almost kill a light tank. In about one fifth of the shots it will do stupid things because of a bad hit simulation. This is detrimental to the game mechanics, because it introduces an enormous random factor, that makes skill count for far less than it should and favors luck a lot more than is healthy. For example, I got lucky in my leopard too and brushed off I think two shots from IS3 and one other t8 tank. This enabled me to get to the enemy’s arty and after that, it was game over. So a bug like this has the power to single-handedly decide the outcome of a match. And that is beyond retarded.

          • DarkFenix says:

            Zero damage hits aren’t as random as everyone suffering from them would love to believe. There is a relationship between where you hit an enemy and zero damage hits, learning this the same way as learning where their armour is strongest is the way around them.

          • Aqarius says:

            Hitting a barrel won’t hurt the chasis, plain missing the body, but snagging the tracks is a fairly common occurrence (many tanks are pretty high riding), and if you’ll look at the new SuperPershing, you’ll notice that penetrating the mustache still leaves the turret to punch through. Also, many tanks have fairly high angles under the tracks: http://img808.imageshack.us/img808/9925/19481955.jpg

            There are bugs and some weird shots, but it’s not exactly common, and it’s practically always some odd angle.

          • Torgen says:

            You wanna know, what sometimes happened, when an 88 hit the track of a sherman from the front in reality? It went through, bounced on the main wheel, hit the armor and pierced it, entered the tank and stopped in the motor compartment in the back of the tank.

            @Aggressor, sounds like you want WWII Online. Reading the penetration logs in beta was jaw-dropping. The detail of their ballistics model as amazing, and was even more so 12 years ago when it was written.

            Example: I was in a Pzkw III, skirting along the edge of a village, trying to smoke out some infantry (along with the proverbial rifleman in the church steeple.) A French R35 snuck out of some buildings behind me and hit me in the rear at about 4 meters.

            The shell penetrated the back armor, the engine, trashed the transmission, took out the commander’s legs, went through the back of the driver’s headrest (and head!) and embedded into the back of the driver’s viewport. I found this out from the penetration logs (which logs kinetic energy lost as the projectile passes through material) after the fact. All I knew while it was happening is that there was a BANG, the engine quit, the commander and driver was dead, and the tank was free-wheeling down the slope and into the Meuse River. No brakes, because the driver’s dead. My gunner futilely shot at the church steeple, screaming in rage as the tank slowly gained speed on its way to bath time.

          • U-99 says:

            That is bullshit excuse from developers that brag a lot about their “complex”, even “sim-like” damage model, but every time my 152 mm armor-piercing round just pulls one track from light tank (and that’s it), I say: fuck you, you lazy bastards. The game is 2 years old and still you can do nothing about bloody inpenetratable tracks.

          • Aqarius says:

            That’s like saying “I hit him with a 20mm bullet, how come he’s only missing one arm?”.

            152mm shells only weigh about 40kg. The lightest tank in the game is still three times heavier than a large car.

          • Aggressor says:

            Zero damage hits aren’t as random as everyone suffering from them would love to believe. There is a relationship between where you hit an enemy and zero damage hits, learning this the same way as learning where their armour is strongest is the way around them.

            Sure, if you’re aiming into the tracks, you’re asking for trouble (unless you wish to detrack in the first place), but please don’t paint it like it’s the players’ fault. When I’m hitting a target from a short range, I bloody well see where the shell goes by the tracer and countless of times it hit in direction perpendicular to the plate that was a lot less thick that the gun’s penetration. Yes, it is random in a way that you can’t reliably predict.

            152mm shells only weigh about 40kg. The lightest tank in the game is still three times heavier than a large car.

            ?? What does that have to do with anything? Modern penetrators weigh around 7 kg and go through 600 mm of RHA steel at 2 km, which means they can penetrate glacis of a 60-ton tank at very short ranges. Please learn the basics of high-velocity projectiles first.

          • Aqarius says:

            Please learn the basics of LOS armour thickness. Slopes are very, very powerful. At a bad enough angle, you can bounce almost anything. Don’t expect to disintegrate a tank just because you have a large caliber.

          • Aggressor says:

            What does LOS have to do with anything regarding penetration?! Just to remind you – I’m a physicist and have studied armor penetration. I know pretty well what happens when fast-moving projectiles meet with a steel plate (and not just steel, but boron carbide and other ceramics as well). So choose your words carefully, it’s not easy to sell bogus stuff to me.
            EDIT: and one more thing: when you have a shell of large enough caliber compared to the armor thickness (say, 2,5×), slope doesn’t mean anything anymore. So yes, with a large enough caliber, you damn well can disintegrate a tank no matter where you hit.

          • Aqarius says:

            “Just to remind you – I’m a physicist ”
            Whatever you say, chief. I’m an engineer, personally.

            LOS is short for line-of-sight, as in the effective thickness of armour, as opposed to actual thickness of the plate. You will also note the word ‘almost’ and ‘bad enough’. I’m familiar with the concept of overmatch, but you must also realize that ‘AP shell’ is a fancy word for ‘hunk of metal’, and to to any damage to anything, it first needs to hit that exact thing. Now, if we’re talking HE, then I’d understand…

            Also, if we’re gonna nitpick about terms, I’d stay away from ‘disintegration’, Mr Physicist ;)

  3. andrewdoull says:

    Wot? No WIT WoT?

    • Stochastic says:

      You are WITty, but while a WIT WoT would be wonderful, it seems a tad premature; to WIT, the update was only just announced.

  4. Hunchback says:

    Nice, will give a new try, just for the heck of, when it’s out.
    I am more interested in the “new physics” part to be honest. Mayhaps the game won’t be the same piece of shit after the update?

  5. Dana says:

    I’m just curious, do you have wholesale deal with wargaming for their ads and up to date coverage ?

    • braincruser says:

      Its a magazine and latelly it was short on stories, or perhaps you didnt notice that.

  6. Hirmetrium says:

    I was under the impression the british tanks would be included as part of this update (8.0) as well. Can anybody confirm? That will definately pull me in on release if so.

  7. BooleanBob says:

    I must say it’s looking very nice. The story of World of Tanks should be quite an encouraging one, I would think, for developers and gamers alike. It launched in a pretty rudimentary state, but found a significant niche in the multiplayer market. Since then, it’s been able to support itself, and its developers, to the point where they’re now making substantial looking improvements, getting closer to what must have been their original vision of the game. And all while being – legitimate concerns about F2P vs P2W aside – free.

    Could any of this have happened on the consoles of the current generation? It’s doubtful. It’s unquestionably a very ‘PC’ sort of a game.

  8. ReV_VAdAUL says:

    This looks really nice but I have a question about the narration.

    It sounds like exactly the same narration from Men of War and it just sounds a bit odd. It is perfectly serviceable mind you and I understand it must be difficult for a Russian Belarusian company to translate their work into English but it sounds a little… off. Do Eastern European companies rely on the same not perfect English voice actor who can read Cyrillic languages? Is it a computer program? Poor translation? Or is it someone from Eastern Europe doing a near perfect impression of an English person?

    If it is the latter I take back any criticism.

    • Lenderz says:

      I think the narrator was awesome, I want him to read me bed time stories. About tanks.

  9. exenter says:

    WoT has been ruined with the tier 10 meds.

    • Koozer says:

      Heavy driver? /snarky internet remark

    • Elmar Bijlsma says:

      New additions to the techtree is starting to ruin it for me too but not in the way I suspect you mean it.
      WoT started with obscure prototypes filling gaps in the tech tree of the various nations. But now, while we still wait on the Brits, it’s one new drawing board monster after another. It’s losing it’s flavour as a WW2(ish) tank game. Even some of the actual ww2 tanks like the Panzer IV, Panther and Chaffee sport turrets that completely change their appearance.
      They might as well include AT-ATs at this point.

  10. Sarissofoi says:

    I have most my fun with 1st and 2nd tier tanks.
    Nothing better than rushing with BT-2 or steamrolling with that french tanks.
    It would be great see battles divided by nations or/and tiers.
    Or with diffrent objective for defence/attack.

  11. NightShift says:

    Meh… I don’t really want to replay WoT again because of how hellish the tier 7-10 soviet heavy grind is for free players. You can’t waste ammo, because its expensive. But you must waste ammo, to get more money. But you can’t get more money, because the of the repair and ammo costs. But you need to get hit and hit people so you get money. It’s like an endless cycle of people laughing in your face no matter what you do. It ranks in my opinion as the #1 worst grind ever in a game.

    Edit: And even then, if you have another money making tank, you have to keep going back to your higher tank to get more xp for it. But you can’t because you keep losing money.

    • Walsh says:

      It’s time to pay 2 win, my friend.

    • Adekan says:

      In logical reality, the game is only free to play until about tier 7. After that, it would literally take weeks of grinding on a tank that can’t kill any other tanks, due to how incredibly weak the non upgraded tanks are compared to even the fully upgraded tanks two tiers below them.

      Note that I am not saying this is a problem. It’s actually quite a good business direction, but be aware of what you are getting into if you are expecting a free to play game.

    • pog says:

      Just stop grinding? I never understood why people are so eager to play in the high tiers. The only reason I see is tournaments and clan wars, but if someone wants to turn the game into serious business that’s their choice I guess.
      I’m perfectly fine playing on tier IV-VI, where the tanks are fun and the money is plenty. Grinding to a higher tier gives you the same result, except with more grind. Unless you grind all the way to tier X to ensure you’re always top tier, but I find that rather boring anyways.

      • Eightball says:

        I would love to play in tiers 4-6 but the matchmaker will fuck you guaranteed unless you you’re tier 9-10.

        • pog says:

          “Fuck you” how? The matchmaker as it currently stands will never group you with anything more than two tiers above you, with some exceptions (mostly high-tier light tanks and SPGs, handy infographic here).

          I can live with being low-tier occasionally by adjusting my gameplay style, and I can still be very useful. Thanks to tier IV-VI printing money I have no reason to worry even if I get oneshotted by a KV-1S two minutes in, I’ll just grab another tank and have a go at it again. And if I get to be top tier I can use that and murder a lot of tanks. However if a player expects to always be top tier and steamroll everyone, they better get ready to grind. Luckily, I and many other mid-tier players don’t care about being THE BEST as long as there’s good fights and fun to be had.

          Edit: I only recently came back to the game after not playing for ages, so I don’t know how bad it was in between. I might also be biased towards fighting against the odds from EVE et. al.

        • Torgen says:

          as pog says, the new MM in 7.5 allows just a two-tier spread for meds and heavies. Scouts and arty get ranked differently, for obvious reasons, but it still isn’t as bad as it was in 7.4.

          • Eightball says:

            TDs get fucked, except maybe Soviets.

          • Torgen says:

            TDs aren’t having any worse a time of it, and in fact have better chances to make an impact, being able to penetrate anything on the field since the highest can only be two tiers above you and TDs can get guns one tier above themselves.

    • battles_atlas says:

      You sound like you’re entitled to play for free. F2P is a business model to get players invested to the point where they start paying. Its a pretty easy concept to grasp. Its high tiers are not free to play, if they were the game would have no income and hence would not exist. If you dont like it either play medium tiers as above, pay up, or move on. Its nothing to gripe about.

      As for the P2W comment, did you play the game or just read about it on a forum somewhere? A premium account which would address the OP gives no in game advantage.

    • DarkFenix says:

      OP: Try a Korean-style MMO for a while then come back to WoT, trust me it’ll give you fresh perspective on how fast the grind is. After playing Lineage 2 official years ago I can never consider another grind long again.

      Adekan: Weeks of grinding? To upgrade a tank? Sounds like you’re doing something seriously wrong, a tier 8-10 tank should only be taking at most a day to upgrade to acceptable levels, then maybe two more days to fully upgrade. If it’s taking you that long, you probably rushed to that tank too fast and weren’t ready for it, stick around in the low tiers a bit more, high tier tanks do not automatically equal fun (in fact the high tiers are frequently boring).

      • Wallllrod says:

        It’s a good idea to keep some free XP saved for things like upgrades on new tanks, just grind a little more XP out before you reasearch the next vehicle.

        The grind can be very frustrating if you’re not willing to pay for premium, though. If you can only spare an hour or two a day or even per week then the tech tree goes by painfully slow, and buying premium will feel like a waste. There’s also something to be said about tanks which cost 20-30USD, but i don’t run the business so i don’t know how the numbers work out.

        • KirandTer says:

          You could have got one of those premium tanks for free. (worth 5 premium months) thats how i get mine. I never even considered buying it because you can make enough money with regular tanks (my opinion). They earns same exp but much much more money. I don’t think its possible to lose credits with premium can (even if you just sit in the base you get cash and they are very cheap to repair. Decent battle gives you over 100k, great one over 150k. And on the top of that you can train crew from other tanks on them without any penalties. (you don’t have to retrain)

      • Adekan says:

        Weeks may be slightly exaggerated, but I don’t play the game 24/7. An average day of playing WoT is maybe an hour and a half tops when I do play. In which time I can usually do 4-5 games on one tank depending on a number of factors.

        You get about 150-200 exp per loss and a maximum of about 800 on a win where you do exceptionally well ( You will not be doing exceptionally well in any stock tank regardless of personal skill ). Guns for tier 7-8 tanks can cost between 18500 and 68000 exp depending on the tank, with Tank Destroyers being on the 68000 end of the spectrum. Most tanks will not be able to mount said gun until you’ve upgraded the suspension which costs between 7500 and 15000. I don’t think that would be far off of a week playing 2 hours a day maximum.

        • KirandTer says:

          Don’t take it to personally, but if you are getting 150exp for battle – even for a lose – you are simply bad (or maybe just unexpirienced) player. Nothing wrong with that – ie: i’m really shitty at games like BF (which doesn’t prevent me from having occasional fun) Also 800 points (1200 with premium account) its not “exceptionally well”. It’s average and it’s no problem whatsoever to do that with stock tank. I know players who consider 1200exp (800) a bad run. So it’s just a matter of perspective.
          Also mentioned in other posts P2W makes me giggle. I’m assuming this is about gold ammo – very rarely used on randoms – because ofc its pointless to use it there. It belongs to Clan Wars. Still it happens sometimes and you know what? In 9/10 times ppl using it has virtually no skills at all and just compensating their lack of abilities by using gold ammo so it makes little difference anyway. I would rather stand against typical Gold player in Tier 8 tank than skilled “free” player in Tier 7 or even Tier 6 tank.
          If you don’t mind me saying – maybe you should revise your tactics? Or even get one of those fancy efficiency mods, stick to the players with very high rating and just observe what they are doing.