Version 7.4 of World of Tanks is now live.   I spent some time waiting for the update to install, then dove right in.

The big change is the game modes – one is called Assault, where you either have to take the enemy’s base, or defend your base from the enemy.    It’s a shorter match too – only ten minutes.     The other mode is standard; but both of the new modes, have only a single base for either team to fight over.

The minimap now has smaller tank icons, and they are all reworked.  The Base for Sand River is in front of the town now, for new game modes.

This was a real smart thing for them to do.   What I was struck with immediately, was the tactics are now completely different.    No longer can I simply drive southwest on this map – that’s the base !    The enemy reacts differently given that fact.    All the maps are like this, the entire strategic/tactical process is thoroughly mucked up.

No longer do I simply drive out according to a formula worked out pretty well after 8,000 matches – I simply am not at all sure how to fight in the new game modes.    Some players mentioned they thought this was a good thing; me, I found out how bad I suck when I don’t have the maps memorized.   I lost 23 matches and won 13.

I did seem to get Karelia figured out after a short time.    The standard battle moves you to go left/right/center, and simply going left or right seems to work well; I try to move along the west side.    The rest of the maps – no good tactics were worked out.    Himmelsdorf has the base in the middle of the rail yard; Malinovka in front of the south side buildings.     Seems I am not that good of an “off the cuff” player.

I was also struck by what seems to be vision changes.    I can’t see a lot of things I would have expected to see before the update.   Maybe I haven’t got the right tactics yet, but it sure feels different and difficult.

The new maps are fun.   Wide Park is a city map and I had loads of fun on it.  Head straight for the tunnel and snipe through it.  Airport is a more difficult map because I totally was useless on it both times I played, getting killed in a 5-tank crossfire on one, and the last survivor while the base was captured in another.

And besides the tactics, the new game modes add some variety.     I have fallen into the habit of ignoring the pre-game screen and waiting for the “Let’s Go !” to be stated, before paying attention.    That was a bad idea last night, because I wasn’t sure what game mode we were playing.    The defend seems much easier than the offensive version of assault, but I bet that will even out as people develop tactics and share them.

Definitely time to blow up tanks, once again.

One progress item – I did manage to elite my T-150 and removed it from the rotation.    I am planning on blowing all my free XP on the upgrades for the VK45022 AusfA once that’s up to 45k or so, then buying the tank.   In the meantime, plenty to do with the large numbers of tanks I’m grinding up.