I took the time this weekend to play a good four or five games of COH with 2.501 in full effect. Now, first off, I still don’t have Tales of Valor, nor did I run into anyone using the new units. Still, I thought I’d jot down a few thoughts.
The new interface changes are stupid/unnecessary. I’m talking about the veterancy indicator changes and the infantry weapon icon change. Certainly this is open to debate, but I personally liked the American rank stripes and Wehrmacht dots. I also don’t see why Relic placed the weapon icons beneath the unit identification bar, though I’m more agnostic on this one. The real problem is with the veterancy change. It’s harder to notice the little white bar indicating veterancy, particularly when you’ve got multiple units running around.
The interface changes also introduce some minor glitches. Two things I noticed in my brief play period were the manpower indicator and the sound effects for the American Medic Tent. As you can see in the shot to the right, the current manpower rate isn’t properly spaced anymore, as it runs into the +XXX figures for whatever reason. The Medic Tents make the same noise that Observation Posts do when you click on them. Random buggery, Relic-style.
It felt pretty good to me. I know the issue that’s all the rage on GR.org is how effective the “new” units are, but as I said I can’t comment on that yet. Overall balance felt good to me, particularly in the U.S./Panzer Elite matchup. I didn’t really fight any strong players, so this impression remains tentative.
New/tweaked sound effects
On this front there’s good and bad, though more good in my opinion. The new Strafing Run sounds are a massive improvement, while the dull, punchy new Ostwind firing effect is much less intimidating than before. I haven’t really messed with the tanks yet, so no comment on that.
Look for more thoughts and a full review of Tales of Valor late next week. I should be getting the game on Tuesday or Wednesday.