Monday, January 16, 2017

Buffs that should be given to these two premiums

[UPDATE] WG listened, and are buffing both of these tanks in 9.17.1!

Looks like they're taking the path of buffing the T-34-85M's gun to match the T-34-85's. Not my first choice for a buff, but whatever. As long as WG keeps the current stats of the the tank being slower and having worse gun handling than the T-34-85, I'm fine with it; heck, I might actually get it now.

Good news for Pz IV S owners, the buffs are very similar to the ones that I proposed in my post. Check out the link for full details. Cheers, WG!

Sup guys,

The_Ghghp here with my opinion on how the T-34-85M and Pz. IV Schmalturm should be buffed to become competitive with the current tier 6 premium mediums that are offered in-game.

The Pz IV S. was phased out of the shop, and the T-34-85M only offered for a limited time.

However, with the new missions that WG NA is offering for the rest of January and February, you have the option to be rewarded with one of the following for earning 45 points or more:
  • T-34-85M
  • Strv m/42-57 
  • Škoda T40
  • Standard supply crate

Right now, the T-34-85M and Pz IV S are tanks with almost nothing going for them. Meanwhile, other premium mediums like the Škoda T40 and Strv m/42-57 are both designed so that they have some outstanding and novel characteristic, such as the 4 round autoloader on the Strv. 

So why not apply the method of making premium tanks unique to buff the T-34-85M and Pz IV S?

T-34-85M Buffs

Current Stats

Currently, the T-34-85M is highly reminiscent of a stock T-34-85 with the first 85mm gun, which has 160 damage but only 126 penetration. To make matters worse, its accuracy and aim time are both mediocre at 0.42 and 2.5 seconds respectively. The DPM is okay due to a decent rate of fire, but is worse than the Type 58.

In terms of mobility, the tank is pretty sluggish due to a sub-par hp/t ratio of 15.63 and poor terrain resistance values.

The only noticeable asset of the T-34-85M is its armor, with a decently rounded turret and 75mm frontal hull armor, sloped at ~56 degrees which gives it an effectiveness of 120mm when unangled. But that isn't nearly enough to protect it against the vast majority of tier 6 mediums. Furthermore, its turret armor is slightly worse than the T-34-85 due to fatter and flatter cheeks. So why not make this tank like a T-54 Mod 1 and at least give it some solid hull armor?

Proposed buffs:
  • Frontal hull armor increased from 75mm → 90mm, (140mm effective)
  • (Maybe?) Side hull armor increased from 45mm → 60mm

It sounds like a huge buff, but remember that T-34-85M will still have to deal with sub-par mobility and firepower. Premium rounds also will still be able to penetrate the buffed armor, but at least the tank has some armor to play with and take advantage of tanks with low penetration. At the same time, it won't have to play exactly like a heavy tank. Anyway, the armor won't be better than the Jumbo Sherman.

Think of the buffed T-34-85M as the Russian counterpart of the Jumbo Sherman - a tank that can take a decent beating but also has the option to flank if necessary. The main difference is that the T-34-85M has slightly more speed in exchange for arguably worse armor (if the Jumbo uses the stock turret) and a different gun.

Pz IV S Buffs

Current Stats

The Pz IV S can be a hard tank to like, because it is extremely slow for a medium tank due to its weak engine, giving it a measly 10.04 hp/t ratio. Also, it has an obsolete tier 5 medium tank hull which provides little protection and is prone to frontal engine damage.

So, with poor hull armor and poor mobility, the Pz IV S's intended role is clearly a sniper. It does have some characteristics that help with that, including 370m view range, the long-barreled 75mm L/70 gun, and solid turret armor that can be used with its -8 gun depression.

However, the gun does not feel particularly powerful since the same gun can be found on the VK 30.01 D, a much faster tank that also has a faster rate of fire. The Pz IV S deserves to get some extra firepower and gun handling to feel competitive with other tier 6 medium tanks, especially the Strv 74.

Proposed buffs:
  • Rate of fire increased from 13.04 → 15
  • DPM increased from 1760 → 2025
  • Accuracy increased from 0.35 → 0.32
  • Aim time decreased from 2.3 → 1.9

These changes will give the Pz IV S some much needed long-range performance so it does not feel completely outclassed by the Strv 74. It won't make the tank OP, since the Pz IV S will still be a slow tank with poor survivability in a brawl. The Strv 74 retains its better gun handling, gun depression, and mobility. However, the Pz IV S will finally feel like a true sniper, with the high accuracy and good DPM you'd expect from one.

Realistically, will these tanks be buffed? Hopefully, but I have my doubts. They are both premium tanks that are not available for gold or in the premium shop, for NA. Even with the Tank Rewards missions where someone could potentially earn a T-34-85M, the buffs won't affect a large amount of players. WG might not see these tanks necessary to be buffed since they aren't on sale.

However, WG has buffed some unavailable tanks in the past, including the PzKpfw V/IV, which used to be a tier 6 but was moved to tier 5 and rebalanced. Better late than never, right? I have my fingers crossed.

Thanks for reading guys, and good luck on the battlefield.

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