The distinctive gold-and-black Relic logo has so very often accompanied sweeping COH game balance and bug fix patches on GR.org that I’ve sort of been conditioned to gasp when I see it. The appearance of this logo means that Relic is alive, cares about COH, and — to employ a Bob Dylan lyric — the times will shortly be a-changin’.
The new beta test seems promising, as we can expect a series of very fast patches in which Relic tests a number of ideas. It’ll be interesting to see how closely they follow the forums, which have been ablaze with complaints (Pershing sucks, PE vs. USA totally jacked up, St. Mere sucks et. al).
Here’s the initial list of changes in beta patch 2.400, plus my thoughts:
– Host Proxy added.
This will hopefully resolve random connection errors. I don’t notice them much in 1v1s, but in 2v2s there are occasionally games where my partner or I get disconnected, even though we didn’t lose our Internet connection at all. Note my knowledge of network connections is quite meager, so my fellow Romans should feel free to correct me on this point.
– Panzer Elite Marder III now has its Site Main Gun shortcut key re-enabled.
– British Lieutenant has his shortcut key fixed for Heroic Charge
Good, now only if they nerfed Heroic Charge…
– Clicking repeatedly on the Supply Yard will no longer select American M10s.
Wow, I guess this is the kind of bug discovered only during replays, when one might have occasion to click repeatedly on Supply Yards.
– Wehrmacht Stuka halftrack rocket ability increased from 60 seconds to 90 seconds.
Everyone agrees artillery is too omnipresent right now, however I am not so sure Wehrmacht’s artillery needed nerfing. But Relic clearly heard the people as far as too much artillery in the game.
– Wehrmacht Stuka Halftrack rocket ability decreases by 10s for every level of veterancy.
Great change, this makes vet on Stukas useful.
– Panzer Elite Hummel artillery barrage ability increased from 60 seconds to 90 seconds.
Good but about Priests?…
– Panzer Elite Hummel artillery barrage ability decreases by 10s for every level of veterancy.
Again, great useful change to vet.
– US P-47 Thunderbolt strafing run uses one less machine gun.
Personally, I think this was unnecessary. Strafing Runs have become far less effective in 2.301, rarely do I kill more than 3-4 members out of several squads. Everyone else just gets pinned/suppressed.
– US Calliope barrage increased by 10 seconds to 90 seconds.
See above comments on global artillery changes.
– US Calliope barrage ability recharge decreases by 10s for every level of veterancy.
This actually means Calliopes will be able to fire every 60 seconds when fully vetted. This means much more rockets than ever before, since Calliopes could only fire every 80 seconds regardless of vet. Definitely a buff to Armor Company, because Calliope rockets are incredibly destructive.
– Fixed a bug where Panzer Elite Henschel attacks were auto-firing both weapons instead of auto-firing one and auto-targeting the other.
Thank God, Henschels weren’t working at all. They literally hit NOTHING in 2.301.
– Fixed a bug to remove some unintended resource modifiers on British command trucks.
This addresses British resource sharing during 2v2 team games, I believe. Again, a clear Relic acknowledgement and response to an oft-screamed complaint.
– Changed some modifiers on the Royal Artillery Command Tree from multipliers to addition. The more command tree items that are researched, the faster the barrage abilities recharge on 25-pounders.
This is a little upsetting, because as far as I know, British artillery (25-pounders and Priests) were NOT nerfed like Stukas and Hummels. A bizarre decision by Relic, seeing as how British is the main culprit where artillery spam is concerned. Hopefully British arty will be nerfed swiftly in the next few beta test builds.
– The Stug IV has its front armour improved by approx 20% vs 76mm Shermans, 75mm Shermans, 37mm Greyhounds, 75mm Cromwells, 6-pounder Churchills.
Much-needed buff to the Stug, which is pretty worthless at the moment. Might make Wehrmacht tier 3 viable again, particularly with Blitz (get tank veterancy for Stugs, Stuh 42 and Tiger).
– Panzerfaust does increased damage vs Bren Carriers. Will destroy standard Bren carriers with two shots.
Not sure what a non-standard Bren Carrier is (one upgraded with the MMG?) but this sounds good. Wehrmacht is weak vs. British and this should make the matchup a little more balanced.
– Panzer Elite Wirblewind does increased suppression.
Sounds reasonable. I will test it out later.
– Panzer Elite Wirblewind does more increased penetration vs US Halftracks and M8 Greyhounds.
I doubt this was necessary. But it does make the Wirblewind’s cannons consistent with the Flakvierlings that guard PE bases
– Panzer Elite Wirblewind does more deflection damage against armoured targets.
I know Wirblewinds sucked before, but I hope they aren’t ridiculous against Motorpool units now.
I will have to play the beta some more, but it seems fairly obvious that there remain problems. The Pershing remains overpriced and underpowered. The U.S. and PE matchup is untouched, specifically PE’s fast tech speed. Interface errors from the beginning of Opposing Fronts remain (Terror Doctrine still referring to Tiger Ace and showing picture of Tiger Ace).