So my A/C is struggling and I couldn't sleep. I know, I'll turn this lemon into lemonade! So I started up the PC and jumped onto the 9.10 PTR to try out the new Japanese heavy line.
The first thing I was hoping for was to try out the Japanese Tiger. For folks that didn't see it WG actually had a surprisingly decent video detailing the Japanese Tiger (also note the shameless WoWs plug at the start). In short, the Japanese Tiger will be moved to tier 6 with the short 88. IOW, it's going to be fucking amazing. Sadly, the Japanese Tiger isn't available. Boo!
So... I jumped to the heavy line.
Full disclosure. I've barely followed or played WoT over the last few months. I've hardly heard or read anything about this line so this is effectively my first impression and the biggest impression is... well... they're frickin' BIG!
Here's my E 100.
Here's the Japanese tier 6!
The tier 7!
And finally, the tier 10. Note the tier 10 is probably the most compact of all the heavies (I only looked at the line from tier 5 up because... well... tier 4 and below doesn't exist to me).
Even though the armor listed on the side seems half decent for some there's two issues. First, we all know those listed values are meaningless. That's just the highest level of protection on that side of the tank and could be little more than a single strip while the rest of the armor is paper. Second, even if all the armor had that value the NA server is one where folks are not afraid to throw gold ammo around. These things are going to be (barely) moving target practice for the enemy team.
Another thing which was rather disappointing was that there's little variety. The tier 5 and 6 are basically the same tank. Same with the tier 9 and 10. Only 7 and 8 are a bit different. With all the cool tree ideas still available for smaller nations from Europe this tree, with paper tanks and copies was the best they could give us right now? Seems like a waste of time and resources.
My next thought was, "well, given they're so big and such easy targets they'll at least have a ton of hps to compensate... right?"
Nope! Take the tier 7. Once again here it is...
Now compare it to the Tiger, another paper armor tank at tier 7...
The Japanese tank could eat the Tiger and still have room for seconds. The point, though, is check out the hps. The Japanese tank, despite being massive has just 50 more hps... That's nothing. Across the other tiers a similarly small, and effectively meaningless, difference is present. Yes, the Japanese tanks have more but it won't help you any.
I'm actually half tempted to come back and jump in some mediums just to pick on anyone foolish enough to drive one of these. On NA at least, I don't see how they'll even be remotely enjoyable to play. I'll be shocked if most of these end up outside of the bottom 1/3 of heavies in their tier in w/r on sites like vbaddict (after you account for initial release boosts which are usually the case of good players trying stuff out and spending loads of free XP to move up lines quickly).