World of Tanks 8.5 Preview

Whats on the menu?

8.5 is an interesting content update. It doesn't bring any new countries or entire tech trees, but instead fleshes out existing content while adding a number of tanks to existing trees. German fans should be extremely pleased with this, as it further develops the existing Henschel, Porsche, and Daimler Benz tank trees by adding in some important prototypes and designs from late 40s all the way through to the 1960s.

Also coming soon are bug fixes, map revisions, a new map, two new Premium Tanks, new Soviet light Tanks, a notable buff, and something that could cause people with Premium accounts to get extremely upset!!

Changes to Premium Accounts

From the patch notes themselves:

  • Premium consumables (med kits, repair kits, etc.) are now available for credits (matching the gold/credits exchange rate similar to that of premium shells)
  • The creation of platoons for three players is now available for non-premium accounts
  • The creation of tank companies is now available for non-premium accounts

This is bound to raise the question about the value of a Premium account. Maybe Wargaming will see fit to lower the cost or give Premium account holders additional perks.

New German Tanks and Tech Tree changes

With the addition of new tanks comes changes to the Tech tree. With the VK2801 scout moved to Tier VI in 8.4, the line will now lead to the Aufklärungspanzer Panther at Tier VII, the Indien Panzer at Tier VIII, ,the Leopard Prototype at Tier IX, and the Leopard 1 at Tier X. Parallel to this and uniting at the Tier VIII Indien Panzer are the Daimler Benz tanks, which includes the VK3001DB at Tier VI and the VK3002DB at Tier VII. Slotted in at Tier IV next to the PzIII is the VK2001D, which can be research from the PzIIG and leads to the Pz III/IV hybrid.

While there are still plenty more production tanks that could be added, like the Stug IV, these additions bring some closure to the existing Medium and Heavy tank trees from a German development perspective. The new Tech tree looks like this:

VK 2001D - Tier IV Medium

This Daimler Benz project existed between 1939 and 1941 and was DB's attempt at building a standard Medium tank for the Heer. The prototype was tested under combat conditions in the USSR, but was found to be wanting, as it contained serious faults and obsolete design elements. The project was cancelled as a result. The VK2001D is accessed through the PzIIG and leads to the PzIII/IV.

VK 3001D -Tier VI Medium

This tank was an answer to the requirement for a new 30-ton tank to be ready by 1942. The VK3001D is more or less a copy of the T34/76, but using German interlocking armoured plate and a 75mm KwK L/70 gun. The project was cancelled, but lived on when redesigned to meet the VK3002 requirement. This later project was cancelled as well when put in competition with the MAN designed VK3002, more famously known as is final designation: Sd. Kfz. 171 Panzerkampfwagen V Panther. This tank may be a good Medium Tank Company contender, as it packs a powerful gun and sloped armour. The VK3001D is accessed from the PzIII/IV and leads to the VK3002D.

Aufklärungspanzer Panther - Tier VII Light

Essentially a Panther with a turret from a Leopard scout, this fast, heavy Recon vehicle was designed to be easily produced and highly mobile. However, it was never more than a concept. Stats wise, it's nothing special: A fast Panther, with the same hull armour and armed with the KwK 41 L/58. While it's technically a Light tank, which has certain benefits under the camouflage mechanics, the Panther's hull is so large it may not count for very much.

This tank is available from the VK2801 and leads to the Indien Panzer.

Indien Panzer - Tier VIII Medium

This tank dates from the 1950s and was a product of Daimler Benz, and Zahnradfabrik AG, and Porsche at the request of the Indian Government. Although the project was cancelled, its history makes for interesting reading. India - as a newly independent nation with a revolutionary China and aggressive Pakistan on its borders - needed to bolster its armed forces, so it put out a tender for a simple 40-ton tank design it could produce locally.

India didn't want to join the Warsaw pact, which ruled out use of Soviet designed tanks (although later on it would purchase Soviet produced equipment), so had to rely on western designs. The Germans put forward the Indien Panzer, and the British showcased the Vickers Mk1 MBT. The Indien Panzer didn't win the contract; it was deemed to complicated to be produced by locally by Tata. The MBT MK1 won, which raises an interesting and obvious question: Will we see the MBT MK1 in the future?

As this is a Tier VIII, it is eligible for Champion company battles. Let's look at the stats:

  • Hitpoints: 1300
  • Maximum Weight 40 Tons
  • Engine Power: 630
  • Maximum Speed 50kph
  • Track Traverse: 34 degrees per second
  • Hull armour 90/90/45
  • Turret Armour
  • 90/90/45
  • View Range 380

9cm KWK 54:

  • Reload 8-10 seconds
  • Penetration 212/259/45
  • Damage 240/240/45
  • Accuracy 0.32-0.34
  • Aim time 2.3-2.9

From this we can see that, at least from these stats from the test server, it fits in well with the Tier VIII Mediums. However, what the stats don't tell you is the angle of the armour, which looks like it will deflect incoming shots effectively.

QA manager by day, avid World of Tanks and EVE Online player by night. Having worked on AAA MMO titles in the past, I bring the perspective of both the gamer and former games industry professional.