Wargaming.net, the developer of World of Tanks, keeps players engaged with frequent content updates. Most of the time, these updates contain small tweaks. Other times, they reinvent the game from the ground up.
The recently released patch 8.0 falls into the latter category, so I hopped into World of Tanks to see what changes Wargaming.net hath wrought.
First, a quick primer on the primary modifications:
- Graphics received a major overhaul, with a new rendering system and lighting effects.
- Many maps were retouched to look better based on the new graphics calculations.
- Audio got a big upgrade, with new sounds for driving on different terrain and all-new gun noises.
- The physics system was completely reworked; tanks can now drive off cliffs, into lakes, and pretty much wherever else they please.
Second, World of Tanks now has a system for calculating exactly what sort of water exposure a tank's crew can handle. In my first test, my tank immediately exploded due to the height of my fall. But when I tried driving straight into a lake (once again, for science), I received a new pop-up indicating that if I didn't get my armored butt out of there quick, my crew was going to drown. I, of course, ignored it.
My second goal in checking out 8.0 was catching a glimpse of the new graphics system. I've always thought World of Tanks was a utilitarian game: It was designed not to be pretty but to give players tanks/guns and let them handle the rest. The new rendering system, however, has dragged World of Tanks from a land of stifled colors and generic appearances into a beautiful world packed with sunsets, reflective water, and gorgeous shadows. My tank exploded multiple times during my playtests due to my wanting to investigate some trees a bit more or catch a closer look at some rippling waves rather than look out for enemies on the horizon.
Also worth a mention? The impressive new sound effects. I had previously read that Wargaming.net was looking to change up the World of Tanks sound system, but I never really saw the point until I heard that first artillery cannon fire off in one of my post-8.0 matches. The new firing sounds are perfectly executed and add an incredible weight to the combat featured in the game, one that I didn't even realize was missing until I heard the new versions in place.
There are other changes as well, some of which may not necessarily matter to the uninitiated. New tanks (eight of them), new gear, new emblems, and new achievements have all accompanied 8.0 to launch. Fans of World of Tanks, once they pop their eyeballs back into their heads and realize they're still playing the same game as before, will likely be as happy to explore these new additions as I was to go careening off a mountainside. It really is a patch for everyone.
Not too shabby for a game some publishers allegedly referred to as "cheap, Asian stuff."
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