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Tony's 100 games KV-5 experiment. Are preferential MM tanks dead after the power creep?

burger king arty is jizz KV-5 review 9.17.1 or whatever wall of text preferential matchmaking

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Tony_EU #1 Posted 25 March 2017 - 05:42 PM

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First off, a message to any mod who reads this: I would appreciate if it was moved to Gameplay and I was given the rights to keep posting in it. The new 250 posts limit is stupid and does not achieve anything positive. The 100% trolls will always find a way to post while the 250 battles primarily limits the number of constructive threads. Remove it. Thank you.

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Hello pretty girls,

 

I recently made a 100 games experiment with the (over)buffed Maus. Since I have been kind of low on silver and the SHs were unplayable until a few days ago(they are fixed now) I decided to play some tier 8 for a change. I initially chose normal matchmaking tanks because they make the most credits, and took a handful of games with various tanks. During these games a little bit of me died a painful, miserable death. Tier 8 normal matchmaking is pure agony to play. I just can't stand the +2/-2 matchmaking anymore. I always found the +2/-2 a retarded system and the recent changes have literally turned tier 8 normal matchmaking into a pile of steaming [edited]. You get screwed whenever you're bottom tier and unless you're playing Defender or Patriot you're not even a good top tier. Either you play OP stuff or you go home. Just no. I want something more fun and more consistent. I'd rather go to a dentist than play one more tier 10 battle with 200 penetration and 240 alpha and I must say that I really admire the people who can talk themselves into thinking that it's "variety" or "a challenge" to be a gold spamming little cockroach with no impact whatsoever on the outcome of the battle 25% of the time or so. Whenever I play bottom tier tanks, I just want to vomit. I'm the type of a guy who wants to play an active role and can't stand tanks that have to play passively as their primary playing style and even the best tier 8 tanks are forced into limpdick support tanks in tier X games and even many tier 9 games.

 

I wanted to spare myself from the "epic bottom tier challenge" or rather "how to be useless and think you are carrying" syndrome so I found myself playing the good ol' tier 8 preferential matchmaking. There were a couple of problems. First, in today's meta having some 167-175 penetration means you have to spam lots of premium rounds. If the goal is to make silver, this is pretty far off optimal. I did however come to the conclusion that I rather have fun and contribute almost every game while making fairly good profit, than suffer with a normal matchmaking tank just to earn more. Secondly, there are only a few tier 8 preferential matchmaking tanks and I have played the format arguably too much. Many of the tanks are similar and most share the same gun(the Russian/Chinese 122mm) that I have played too much with and am kind of tired of. FCM is different and used to be a great tank but now it's just another bland, power crept 240 alpha medium with meh armor. If there's something I feel like playing even less than normal matchmaking or the Russian 122mm, that's it. [edited] 240 alpha. And then there's KV-5. Throughout its history it's been an underappreciated tank despite constantly being one of the best performers of its tier. Although I have tried to convince people that it's an insane tank(and been kind of successful), the new premiums have left a bad taste to it and most people now seem to believe it's unplayable. It's always been one of my favorite tanks so I took it out for a few games, had fun and decided that because I feel like playing it and the game has changed drastically as of late(at least these tiers have) I am going to make a similar 100 games experiment that I made with Maus. Are this tank and its PMM brothers dead in the world of Defenders, Libertes and Patriots like people say? It's a common sight nowadays to see people say that IS-6 or SuperPershing is obsolete. KV-5 doesn't even get spoken of anymore. WG mentioned in the most recent Q&A that they'd have to completely rework KV-5 in order to buff it. Even the 112 is getting much less love than you'd expect. Let's take a look at how things worked out for me. I will start off with my tank set-up and then move on to the statistical performance and some walls of text. 

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Equipment, crew and ammo layout:

 

I use the holy trinity of "blind as bat heavy", meaning Vertical Stabilizer - Gun Rammer - Vents. Because I am using a super crew with at least 5 perks per member I have all the good stuff and the luxury of Jack of All Trades and a fair bit of Firefighting. This allows me to use food and although this may come as a surprise to many people, I also carry a Removed Speed Governor as a consumable. Yes, that thing that nobody even remembers to exist. Costs 3k, it's permanent and it gives you +10% engine power for as long as you keep it on. You can turn it ON/OFF as you please. You just have to resist on using it at times. It's good holding back practice for any tanker who intends to have a happy relationship with a woman at some point of their life. Because KV-5 has a top speed of 40km/h that it doesn't usually reach without downhills, you can safely equip the Governor and gain solid value from it. The high top speed makes it much better in KV-5 than something like IS-6 that has a top speed of 35km/h that fails to gain any true value from the Governor. Since KV-5 has a very powerful engine with lots of hitpoints you can literally keep your toy on for 80% of the game. During these 100 battles my engine took damage twice, once because I had to gamble(decapping is fun in super heavies when the faster tanks of your team have a "cap or lose" mentality when the enemy cap is at 40%) and once I believe someone had shot my engine and reduced its hit points because it didn't take long for it to get yellow. The funny part is that once your engine is yellow you can keep your Governor activated forever. One annoyance in KV-5 is that your most common casualty is the Radio Operator which gives a slightly diminished value to Jack of All Trades because it's the last crew member you really care about. Even then +10% engine power is a very valuable asset.

 

The ammo layout I use is 26-26-8 as in AP-APCR-HE. The ammo capacity is very deep and if you are not carrying a healthy pile of APCR and HE you're just wasting good potential. My AP shells alone have a damage potential of 7800, same as my APCR. You'll never run out of ammo. For this reason I am packing 8 HE shells. They have been growing increasingly relevant as of late with tanks like RHM Skorpion becoming a common sight, as well as the new retardproof heavies that you sometimes can't even APCR penetrate. You know the situation when you're facing a bad Defender who is probably not going to shoot you but who is locking you down and you can't penetrate him even with APCR. Just go and snap a HE into his face, hit him for a little bit of damage and hopefully break something or kill a crew member. A common play I make in these situations is shooting the gun of an enemy with HE. There are few things as annoying as having a yellow gun and no repair kit. If you can achieve this in a situation where you were supposed to have no play available at all, that's a pretty good outcome. This play is most useful when facing like a hulldown Emil I but should be considered whenever you're in a situation where you don't have much to do but relocating isn't on the cards. So carry that HE, there's no reason not to. I rather have a little bit of something to do than nothing at all.

 

Although these ammo capacity things won't revolutionize your gameplay, any leaks in this department are very easy to fix so I thought this was worth covering. If you have other tanks with a deep ammo capacity and at least a moderately big gun(like 112, Maus or E100) you should check them out as well. 

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Statistics:

 

Statistics are the boring part that most players like to skip because there are too many facts and if the statistics are too obvious, the "flank it" or "aim for the weak spots" arguments just don't work anymore. There are so many overpowered tanks in this game that a lot of players think are perfectly balanced, such as the Swedish Emils. I'll spare you from the rant this one time, but KV-5 has typically been an extremely strong performer in statistics despite all the "needs buff" complaints and this experiment fully backs that up. Here they are:

 

Battles:          100

Win Rate:       68.00%
Damage:        2271 per battle
Kills:              1.66 per battle
Blocked:       1475 per battle
Assisted:       712 per battle
Arty Fire:       314 per battle

Profit:            23k per battle

 

87% of the battles are solo and 13% platooned. I wanted to mostly play solo for an analysis like this. These are very good statistics for my standards and do not show any decline whatsoever in KV-5's performance. I will delve deeper into this and explain what makes a good tank but before that I will take a lifetime moment to discuss the profitability of tier 8 premiums in 2017.

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Random jibberjabber about credit farming, retardproof armor and tier 8 normal matchmaking making your testicles shrink:

 

Your first thought here might be why on Earth are three so separate topics stitched together into one. They are actually linked very closely. You make most of your credits by damaging enemy tanks. If you're occasionally facing IS-7s and Mauses or even hulldown Object 140's with a 200 penetration tank you are going to have a tough time printing money. It's not uncommon that one such tank coming to the same flank as you can ruin your game. The simple truth is that the difference between a tier 8 tank(no matter how good) and a tier 10 tank is enormous. The armor also matters - if you meet tanks you can't properly penetrate it's going to cut your profits a lot because you either deal no damage or do it through spamming gold.

 

After all the expenses subtracted(including consumables that most players fail to include) I recorded a profit of 23k per battle. It was one of my conditions during this experiment that although I would first and foremost try to make my tank perform well, I want to make at least 10k of profit per game. After all it's a premium tank and if you're losing silver or breaking even, what's the point? I would describe my 23k/game profit as "steady" since it consistently adds a fair amount of credits to my account but if I had been playing something like Skorpion G instead, I'd have made much more.

 

The sad truth is that the credit farming potential of older premium tanks(older meaning like, older than a year) has steadily decreased. Bots whined that armor doesn't work because it either required angling or situational awareness, and Wargaming saw no choice but to "fix" this alarming issue. Their ways of fixing have been "interesting" to say the least. There were exactly two things that made armor inconsistent - artillery and to a lesser extent premium rounds. Artillery uses high caliber HE and such shells largely ignore any armor. Premium ammo was the other "armor killer", and although it has always been overstated, there are some cases where it's outright broken(see T-54). Anyway, pretty much all the complaints about armor not working were about gold ammo with a few arty threads. I don't think there was anyone whining about standard rounds being too efficient. Still, that's the one and only thing that Wargaming decided to address. Ivan from the Wargaming balancing department was like, "Armor needs to work better against standard rounds while still being easily penetrable with premium rounds." His friend Sergei was like "Yes Ivan, good idea! That fixes everything!" and that's what we're going through now. We get tier 8 "light heavy" tanks with medium mobility and almost 200mm frontal armor(Patriot) with no weak spots or heavy tanks that can be angled to have the minimum frontal protection of 240mm(Defender) or tier 8 versions of Maus that lower tiers can't even penetrate on the sides unless it's completely flat. Wargaming's epic solution was to overbuff armor to the point where standard shells are obsolete even against many same tier tanks. Basically they made the game pay-to-win again by making premium ammo mandatory in so large numbers that even free-to-play unicums can't play for free without a loss in performance. Just try to play a typical tier 8 medium and you'll get the picture. They are worthless bottom tiers and they can't even fight offer a half-decent fight to the same tier heavies anymore. Still most players are convinced that STA-2 or CDC with their 212 penetration have great penetration, primarily because they are comparing them to similar tanks with absolutely useless 190 penetration that won't even properly pen the "light heavy" Patriot frontally. While the "fix" Wargaming applied theoretically makes tanks bounce more, they never really touched the problems that needed to be addressed - gold ammo wasn't nerfed(actually it's more needed than ever...) and any and all armor is still outright worthless against artillery. This is some really impressive logic here by Wargaming. Who could have seen this not being a great change? (Belo)Russian engineering at its finest. 

 

The point I am making here is that with less than 225 penetration you just need to shoot lots of APCR nowadays and it's going to cut your profits. Whether you have 167 or 190 penetration isn't all that relevant anymore although in theory the gap is huge. There's still a difference but sadly the concept for both is the same - you can pen lower tiers and weakly armored tanks but having 190 penetration against a Defender, IS-3, IS-6 or even a Patriot puts you in an ugly spot where they will pen you all the time while you only pen some shots, if any at all. This kind of stuff noticeably hurts the profitability of the preferential matchmaking tanks because they usually have low penetration guns which inevitably results in more premium ammo being fired because it's the only option. The AP shells simply won't work against armored tanks. On the other hand tier 8 mediums have suffered even more because they also need to spam lots of gold(no, 190-212 penetration with normal matchmaking isn't any good in 2017) and they also fail to win games because they are weak support tanks that suck at everything. Something like a Revalorise with 390 alpha and high velocity can still be a nice farmer despite low penetration but the only tanks that haven't suffered noticeably in profitability are either high pen normal matchmaking heavies or RHM Skorpion. The point is, tier 8 with normal matchmaking is now among the worst formats of the game with a few gems and a bunch of utterly useless tanks. I'd probably have to go down to like tier 4 to find worse gameplay. Even the OP tanks are pretty irrelevant bottom tiers so if you want to consistently contribute, tier 8 normal matchmaking isn't the way to go. It seems simply impossible to consistently have fun with normal matchmaking tier 8 tanks. You get one great game, then you get a miserable one right after that. And trust me, the future isn't looking any brighter.

 

The profitability of the PMM tanks and tanks with less than 225 penetration has suffered a great deal and they should no longer be played primarily as credit farmers but more as fun tanks that make some credits. Now that we've gotten that out of the system we can go back to KV-5.

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More about statistics and a KV-5 review in 9.17.1 or whatever the current version is: 

 

If we look a the statistics, I won 68% of the games although I played mostly solo. If I was a little bit unlucky with teams with my Maus and felt I was below the "expected win rate" after 100 games, this one kind of evens that out. I got the better team more often than not and as result my win rate is higher than I deserve to have. From over 1.2k games with KV-5 my win rate is 66.53%. I have platooned with it plenty and I feel a more realistic solo win rate number would be around 64% overall and 65-66% recent. So win rate-wise I feel I was somewhat lucky but these are still pretty formidable numbers for a tank that's widely considered outdated. 100 games isn't a huge sample size in terms of win rate but combined with other stats we get a pretty accurate picture.

 

2271 damage per game is the highest among my tier 8 tanks. There is a certain bias because this number is very recent and I am comparing it to the overalls of other tanks. Still, I feel the only tanks I could best this with are Skorpion and 112. With Skorpion I'd probably be far below in win rate because it's a sniper tank and bad at winning area. I do not own a Defender but I could probably match the DPG with it. 

 

1475 damage blocked per game. That's much more than I block with an IS-3(1000) or IS-6(1100) so the "bad armor" argument that lots of players keep bringing up about KV-5 because it has weak spots simply has no substance. This is especially true when you consider that on top of all this damage blocked KV-5 also has the deepest health pool(1780) of its tier. The survivability is fantastic whatever anyone says. I also got plenty of assist damage(721) per game. So the tank deals damage, soaks damage and gets a good amount of assist damage? Doesn't look all too obsolete to me.

 

So what exactly makes KV-5 so powerful and why many players whine that it needs a buff(which WG want to do...)? If you look at it on the paper, it's a slow tier 8 super heavy with weak turret and a gun shared by a decent tier 6 heavy. Let's break down the tank and correct some false beliefs:

 

Mobility:

First off, KV-5 is not all that slow. It has 12 hp/ton ratio and although its terrain resistances are bad, its top speed is 40km/h. In many practical situations such as initial positioning on maps with hard ground or downhills KV-5 can be faster than an IS-3 with some smart use of terrain. With a good crew and possibly the Removed Speed Governor you can further plug this leak. The combat mobility is worse than that of IS-6 or IS-3 because the traverse is the only thing that stinks about KV-5's mobility. But if you know how to use terrain and know how each map plays out you get into the position in time. That's the most important. Once you're around the right zone and haven't been artied to death(which is what often happens with tanks like KV-4 if you try to do aggressive positioning), you can start fighting for the map control. The bottom line is that KV-5 is fast enough to be played as a slow medium in almost all situations. That's all that matters. Ignore what the conventional wisdom says about mobility being super important. In random battles it works in thresholds, either your tank is fast enough for duty X or too slow duty Y. KV-5 is fast enough to be played as a slow medium which broadens the number of options it has greatly. It is too slow for making hill rushes in Mines or Tundra but nobody really cares. The mobility isn't great but it's much more than a tank with so much armor, firepower and health should have. Only the traverse stinks.

 

It's also worth remembering that KV-5 weighs over 100t. If you manage to get some speed you can ram. Don't seek to do this too often, it just results in you throwing your tank away or losing lots of health. Just do it when the right situation arises but try to create opportunities to do it no matter how comical it can be.

 

Firepower:

Most players are convinced that KV-5 has a terrible gun. It's commonly called the "T-150 gun" because the tier 6 Russian heavy uses the same gun. This is not a very flattering statement. It's like a girl asking you "Do you think I am fat?" and you replying "There's more to love!". You're probably not getting any that night unless you're particularly good at faking sincerity. So KV-5 shares a gun with a tier 6 heavy? Most players fail to consider that KV-5 has much higher DPM, much better natural gun handling and it can carry a Vertical Stabilizer. The only really poor thing about the gun is the 167 penetration. You even get -7 gun depression which is decent. Think for a second that you shoot only APCR with your KV-5. Then you suddenly have 219 APCR penetration, the highest DPM of the class and the ability to permatrack enemies with 300 alpha. That's like the super medium gun, which is why I like it. It works in any duty you might want to play in this tank. Sniping from 400m isn't one of them. The base accuracy is lacking but the stabilization is good so in close or even mid range the gun hits the intended area pretty reliably, even with snap shots. It doesn't see tier 10 either. How exactly is this a bad gun? Yes, there are a few ugly tanks like E75 or Type 4 Heavy that you can't even damage with APCR but if you insist on fighting these very slow tanks and somewhat easily avoidable tanks in corridors you either rolled Abbey or Mountain Pass or much more likely you're just misplaying the tank. More about this soon. Obviously if you want to make profit you're not spamming 100% APCR but in every battle there are plenty of targets you can penetrate with 167 AP and by learning when to use different shells, you should be fine.

 

I have over 1k battles with both KV-5 and IS-6. I am firmly convinced that the gun of KV-5 is not only much more fun to play with but it's a lot better once you get a grip of it. It's a good compromise of alpha(300), DPM(2.2k) and good soft stats. You can trade 1-for-1 against mediums, you can permatrack enemies and in many cases you can force a 2-for-1 trade against an enemy heavy while still having a nice window of escaping before he's reloaded. The fast reload is also something that most players fail to take in account when fighting a Russian heavy. This often results in a permatrack situation against a greedy IS-3 and one of the bloodiest and one-sided situations in the game is when you're permatracked against a tank with tons of DPM and hitpoints. Accuracy and aiming time are quite insignificant for a tank that relies on snap shots and wants to get close and personal. Penetration is the one thing you can fix by pressing 2.

 

Armor:

And here we go. The armor. I blocked almost 1500 damage per game with my KV-5 over this experiment which is on par with my overall damage blocked with it. Still most players keep insisting that the KV-5 is poorly armored. It's up to everyone whether they rather trust numbers or are blinded by the existence of weak spots. Feel free to go and see how much damage your IS-6 soaks compared to my KV-5. My IS-6 blocks around 400 less damage per game even though I have purple stats and 3 marks with it which indicates that I have a decent idea of how to play that tank as well. The KV-5 is simply better armored. Who cares if a tier 6 tank will once in a while penetrate you if needs to stop to aim for several seconds to achieve that? You just slam 300 damage into him, permatrack him and enjoy the farm. If being occasionally penetrated by a tier 6-7 tank ruins a tank for you, you are no doubt going to be better off with a Defender. But hey, for the same people the cupolas of Defender get penned all the time right...?

 

An understated concept of armor with any armored tank is that you shouldn't only learn how your armor works, but also when it works. And most importantly, when it doesn't. You can angle your tank perfectly against a tier 9 heavy but if you are fighting against a tank that will probably penetrate you anyway, what's the point? You can either blame the tank for having bad armor after the smart enemy E75 keeps shooting your turret when you're sidescraping, or you can be smart yourself and realize that sidescraping against an E75 in the banana alley of Himmelsdorf was never one of your greatest moments. Naturally, most players choose the former, blame the tank and keep making such bad plays because "im heavy i must go heavy lane".

 

KV-5 has its fair share of weak spots but because it hits snap shots well you can generally keep moving and wiggling which either forces your enemy to take bad shots that miss a large percentage of the time or he is just making bad trades. Because you have a fast reload, you always get the initiative when the enemy takes a bad shot. This is another important concept that often goes ignored. When the enemy takes a half-arsed shot he will be reloading and you can take the good position and set up good opportunities for yourself in the future.

 

A critical thing to know with KV-5 is that you can overangle the armor ridiculously. This is something you can't do with IS-6. With IS-6 your armor just is there and although you can angle it you generally need very good RNG to bounce 225 pen guns and there's nothing you can do about it. With KV-5 you can manipulate your enemies into taking hopeless shots at your tracks with their 245 AP pen guns while having between 0-20% chance to actually damage you. Go to tanks.gg, choose "live" model and compare KV-5 to a tank with like 212 penetration and see how much you can angle the side without being penetrated and you'll quickly understand why your enemies can't resist these hopeless shots. The armor layout also works in situations where you're facing fire from multiple directions and you can often outright ignore some enemy tanks because they can't even penetrate your sides.

 

Reverse sidescraping is also a thing with KV-5 because of the ridiculous side/rear armor. You reduce your exposure and often hide the R2D2 by doing this. You can still be penned at your turret but you just have to live with this. Use this play wisely, but only against tanks you can realistically penetrate and disengage if it doesn't work. 

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Conclusions, hints and why players whine about KV-5:

 

The statistics show that KV-5 and the good preferential matchmaking tanks are still the titans of tier 8 in random battles. Because they combine mobility, firepower and armor and they never spawn as bottom tier so they always have a meaningful role in every battle and and they have the mobility and potential to effectively fight for the key areas of each map almost all the time. Surely there are going to be those triple arty Malinovkas when you just want to kill yourself but such hopeless battles are much less common with a KV-5 than a normal matchmaking tank. At least you'll never roll a bottom tier Mountain Pass. If you want to win games, you want a tank that deals its damage during the early phases of the game in the important areas. On the other hand "playing support" with a heavy tank or "aiming for weak spots" as a bottom tier tank does not win games. Regrettably the profitability of the PMM tanks isn't what it once was but these tanks are more fun and consistent than the normal matchmaking tanks. You can take your Patriot or Defender, get more easy top tier facerolls and then get facerolled in tier 10 games while serving the role of a weak support tank. They are better top tiers but they also get much worse matchmaking much more often. On the defence of the Patriots and Defenders, they do make more profit. But once again they see those "get aids" tier 10 games. KV-5 does not.

 

KV-5 should be played more as a slow medium than a heavy tank. The armor works the best when you are playing dynamic areas and avoiding stalemates, and you also get artied much less if you do this. The armor is going to rapidly stop working if you go the the heavy flank, find a nice corner and start sidescraping in a static position where your enemies get to aim their shots. Sadly this is what most players do. Don't be one of them. Using armor doesn't mean sitting in the banana road of Himmelsdorf in a correct angle and trading shots with a hulldown Jagdtiger. That's called "being an idiot". Find the medium flank and help your team win the area. Your view range sucks but if you play these areas you usually have a teammate who can fix that. You can eat alive most enemy mediums or force them to concede the good positions, and tank damage for your team and offer ever-valuable presence. Afterwards you can flank the armored enemy tanks. This is a great way to win games.

 

Most players fail with KV-5 because they play it like a Maus. They insist on going to the "heavy flank" and trading shots with a sidescraping E75 and then they whine how the armor doesn't work and the gun is bad. Fear not, Wargaming is going to buff the tank, the power of stupidity should never be underestimated. KV-5 should be played as a slow medium that avoids stalemates. It's much more effective when it's playing a dynamic game, farming mediums and winning the important areas. If you still find the urge to go to the Himmelsdorf banana alley or the 1-2 lines of Steppes to trade shots with a hulldown IS-3 and get artied, just go play your Defender and tell us how your tank is balanced because it isn't immune to arty damage. It's not rocket science to check the tank set ups and read the minimap and make sure you're not alone - just put yourself into situations where you have friends and you are the least likely to find tanks like E75 and if you are to face them, at least make sure you're not doing it in a brainless corridor without any options available.

 

With most tanks you need to be afraid of IS-3. KV-5 isn't one of them. As long as you don't fight one when it's hulldown you should have a nice buffet in front of you. You simply load APCR and farm it. The armor layout of IS-3 is extremely rigid and whenever you see his hull you should not have problems penetrating it. If he peeks, shoot his front wheel to track him while dealing damage. You also often damage his ammo rack and if the IS-3 driver repairs his ammo rack he's permatracked and dead. Otherwise he uses his repair kit and is forced into playing risk-free gameplay. It's also common that the IS-3 doesn't want to waste his repair kit on the first tracking because he does expect that KV-5 has the reload to permatrack him which gives you more free damage. If he doesn't give you an angle to kick his tracks off, just damage him and pull back. He's usually not able to shoot you if he peeks in this kind of angle and if he wants to chase you and force a shot, you are usually almost reloaded when he gets his shot out and can usually trade 2-for-1, often leaving him not only damaged but also tracked. I have yet to play a tier 8 tank that kills IS-3s so effortlessly.

 

KV-5 isn't a good hulldown tank but it's still usually correct to play the medium area(think of the Serene Coast hill). You still have -7 gun depression, 300 alpha and lots of health and some troll armor so you can still set up good trades. You can often lead a push and encourage your teammates to join you. This often turns many indecisive, poor players into something much more useful. Just don't do this too recklessly and use your situational awareness. Blindly yoloing into the firing lines of the camping enemy TD bots isn't the way to go.

 

In 2-3 arty games you should seek the closed areas(Windstorm city and cross right away if the enemy doesn't have a big heavy advantage) or the areas where you have some cover and aren't spotted all the time(Redshire middle) and let the action dictate your plays. I received 314 artillery damage per game. This is obviously the average damage and in 0-1 arty games I received far less damage than I did in the borderline unplayable triple arty games. Even then while KV-5 is a popular target for the arties to shoot at, it has thick all-around armor and it's surprisingly mobile which makes it at least somewhat resistant to artillery fire. The versatility also usually allows it to fight wherever it wants and even in triple arty games you can often find a close quarters brawl that happens to be arty safe. Artillery is still a headache but much less so than in tanks that have a more rigid playing style.

 

That's what makes a good tank. KV-5 is great at winning area and it's able to deal its damage early and in the important sectors. Early damage and map control wins games. Period. The ability to soak damage from multiple targets and duel anything you can penetrate and provide presence in the important areas takes you a long way. It also boasts the versatility to play different areas whenever things don't work out and a plan B is necessary. Because KV-5's reputation is that of a "bad super heavy" it's easy to forget how incredibly versatile it is. It's not the tank's fault that the players don't take advantage of this.

 

The tier 8 preferential matchmaking tanks are not obsolete. They still reign supreme, they are just trickier to play than before and their profitability has been damaged pretty badly. KV-5 is still an outstanding tank and I find it the most fun tier 8 to play. A word of warning though, it's a very unique tank and many players will struggle to get into it. You also need to use APCR aggressively because Wargaming has "made armor more relevant" by effectively nerfing the [edited] out of standard shells. This thread should offer you a general guide on how to play your KV-5 and preferential matchmaking tanks in general. You need to be proactive but not reckless, you should play the important sectors of the map and you should not seek to duel higher tier heavies and you have to understand that the value of mobility is based on thresholds and the only things that really matter are what your tank can do and what it can't do. Some of this you can learn from this thread and other sources of information while other things you need to learn through trial and error. KV-5 is a monster tank when played correctly, but most players are so stuck into bad beliefs that they fail to utilize it and keep demanding a buff to it.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

TL;DR KV-5 guide:

 

How you should NOT play KV-5:

 

How you SHOULD play your KV-5:

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

If a Wargaming employee happens to read this thread(maybe in the next life): Leave my KV-5 alone. Forget the rework, this tank does not need it. It's perfectly competitive as it is and it's far too unique to be demolished with a rework. Nothing good can come out of such a decision. If you want to fix the KV-5 a little bit, give it some 192 AP penetration. This isn't really a buff, it just means I'll be forced to shoot less 219 APCR with it so it's probably closer to a nerf in practice while making the tank more profitable to play. Even though KV-5 is obviously too strong, unlike some of the other premiums it isn't broken in any way. It has upsides as well as downsides. It doesn't have retardproof "gold only" armor, it doesn't have tier 9 alpha and it can actually be penetrated by lower tier tanks. It has no autoloader or -15 gun depression and so forth. It's a tank that encourages interactive gameplay. That's what the game needs more of instead of these new tanks of absolutes that are either designed for mongoloid base camping strategies or that have armor that's immune against any lower tier tanks and half of the same tier. If a complete rework is indeed needed for you to touch the KV-5, just leave it alone.

 

I'll do my best to answer the questions but it may prove tricky if the mods don't give me the rights to post in this thread after moving it to Gameplay where it belongs. In case someone doesn't know, the system was recently changed and if you haven't played 250 battles you can't post in the Gameplay section.


If these experiments prove popular I might make more of them, preferably targeting either tanks that have recently been buffed/nerfed or are just unpopular, or possibly new tanks. Feel free to give suggestions of what tanks you'd like to see opened up.

 

Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed it,

Tony


Edited by Tony_EU, 25 March 2017 - 10:31 PM.


1ncompetenc3 #2 Posted 25 March 2017 - 06:26 PM

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At some point I lost track of whether I was reading about the nature of powercreep or a love letter to KV-5, but you make good points. I always laugh when people whine about KV-5, it seems to hold up much better than most of the old premiums and although my stats in it are quite sh't due to it being my first tier VIII premium bought in my nab days it has pretty much always been my preferred way to grind credits. It's one of those tanks that has weaknesses that work in its favour: it has a reputation for being crap so people ignore or at least underestimate it, and even people who can just roflpen your turret will often try aiming at R2D2 while you're wiggling like no tomorrow and bouncing their failed shots while your DPM eats them alive.

TANKOPPRESSION #3 Posted 25 March 2017 - 06:31 PM

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That don't half go on , anybody going to read that .

leggasiini #4 Posted 25 March 2017 - 06:37 PM

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This is very accurate, KV-5 is super powerful if one knows how to actually play it. It just needs fair amount of APCR like you said so at pure credit making it isnt that good as some tier 8 prems but it still can make money.

 

Its actually my favorite premium (and i own Löwe, Liberte and 252!), it is joy to play and it is amazing at winning games. Typically mobile tanks lacks armor while armored tanks lacks mobility, but KV-5 has em both. Thats why its so good at winning.

 

Got my 3 marks recently with it btw :P 



UrQuan #5 Posted 25 March 2017 - 07:19 PM

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This is indeed a very good review of the KV-5. I own one & got teached into it's ways by the OP. To support OP's claim, my KV-5 has a naughty WR of 69% and the amount of damage dealt & blocked is on par with my T9 armored heavies. it is indeed a tank that needs active areas to dominate in. Static shootouts like Himmelsdorf banana road & various valley map shootouts are not it's thing as OP points out. Rather send your KV-5 to to the places meds go & have fun!

Also, KV-5 wolfpacks are awesome & deadly. It's a tank that amplifies it's own strength in numbers & nullifies it's own weaknesses when grouped together.

 

KV-5 is so bouncy

 

Wolfpack KV-5 in action

 


Edited by UrQuan, 25 March 2017 - 07:21 PM.


Tony_EU #6 Posted 26 March 2017 - 05:07 PM

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I am going to add a few details about the maps and most notably game modes over the next couple of days. Maybe a mod will have moved the thread before that but I hope I'll still be able to post or at least edit. If not, put it short assault isn't worth it at all for KV-5 and encounter is optional but I disabled it because it adds Malinovka, Prokhorovka, Redshire and Mines to the rotation. These are some of the worst maps if you like interactive gameplay which is replaced with "the team that camps more wins" philosophy, no arty cover and overall cancer gameplay. The problem is that your team has 14 other players so even if you want to slowly crack the enemy camp and find some means to do so(KV-5 isn't really the tank for this) your teammates will probably have thrown their lives away long before you have achieved anything and there's nothing you can do about it. Alternatively they might be camping out of the render range because it's easier than reading the minimap. I never really understood why people like these maps. Even with mediums I am never happy to see any of them because too many things have to go right for them to be fun.

 

I have had some really epic Prokhorovka games but people just have a selective memory and they remember the rare epic game over all the far more numerous cancerous campfests or the countless 2-5 arty games where the battle was doomed from the beginning. Maps that rely on team work also just fail at random battles because it's a rare currency in such environment. It's much more common to have Encounter Prokhorovka from the "bad" south spawn, play the middle and not be able to do anything because your team has 6 tanks camping the hill and doing nothing. You can ping the map all you want, the top tier Defender platoon isn't going to push it even if they seem to have an overmatch. If you like 10min long mass camps, encounter is worth having on but I rather have a proper brawl than a campfest.


Edited by Tony_EU, 26 March 2017 - 05:17 PM.


TANKOPPRESSION #7 Posted 26 March 2017 - 07:33 PM

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A slightly technical approach that would make sense , if the game and game play did not have certain serious fundamental flaws .
I do however  feel you should try much harder to make the post longer .

 



Tony_EU #8 Posted 26 March 2017 - 09:20 PM

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View PostTANKOPPRESSION, on 26 March 2017 - 08:33 PM, said:

A slightly technical approach that would make sense , if the game and game play did not have certain serious fundamental flaws .
I do however  feel you should try much harder to make the post longer .

 

Thanks for the bump!

Statpadderer #9 Posted 27 March 2017 - 07:57 AM

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This is a more iconic picture of the KV 5:

 



Telham #10 Posted 27 March 2017 - 08:12 AM

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View PostStatpadderer, on 27 March 2017 - 07:57 AM, said:

This is a more iconic picture of the KV 5:

 

 

"inserts picture of the top of the xmas tree purple helmet decoration from the last Christmas event"

leggasiini #11 Posted 27 March 2017 - 08:28 AM

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View PostStatpadderer, on 27 March 2017 - 08:57 AM, said:

This is a more iconic picture of the KV 5:

 

 

Atleast R2D2 isnt AS weak anymore. I remember when Jap heavies got introduced and KV-5 still didnt have HD model how i blasted the R2D2 for 700 pretty reliably with my O-Ho's HEAT.

UrQuan #12 Posted 27 March 2017 - 10:15 AM

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To counter above picture: Don't give m time to put that many shots in you. Just blaze through the enemy lines with your speed & DPM. Normally DPM is a paper stat & doesn't count for much in WoT combat situations, but the KV-5 has the armor & speed to make that DPM very real. Put them in a platoon, put on 'Let the Bodies hit the Floor!' & it's murder on the lane.

Can't stop the KV-5 rush

 

Also, yes, that pic linked above by StatPadder is indeed iconic. But it's also a piece of archived history. The miniturrets got an armor upgrade, causing a great many bounces when not hit dead-on. Note, they're still a weakspot, but if you stay on the move (even simple back & forth) they're hard to pen. 


Edited by UrQuan, 27 March 2017 - 10:40 AM.


Somnorila #13 Posted 27 March 2017 - 10:49 AM

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View PostTony_EU, on 25 March 2017 - 05:42 PM, said:

 

 Removed Speed Governor as a consumable. Yes, that thing that nobody even remembers to exist. 

 

 

I have it on my 261 and use it pretty often to relocate in distant spots or run from advancing enemies.



Shnuks #14 Posted 27 March 2017 - 11:46 AM

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Tony_EU #15 Posted 27 March 2017 - 01:06 PM

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View PostShnuks, on 27 March 2017 - 12:46 PM, said:

 

You are such a demotivational presence. I am going to report this to Folau.



krazypenguin #16 Posted 27 March 2017 - 01:59 PM

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Excellent post OP, well done.

 


 



ullandon #17 Posted 27 March 2017 - 02:03 PM

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Per strikes again. Since I don't own a KV-5 I'll use this info to fight them and know what to expect. :)

 

Would be fun to see a Defender experiment but I won't force You to buy one.



Homer_J #18 Posted 27 March 2017 - 02:37 PM

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I think they should drop the KV-5 to tier 7 where it was originally planned for.  It has a tier 7 heavy price already so no need to change that.  It will benefit from the slightly better matchmaking.

Tony_EU #19 Posted 27 March 2017 - 03:15 PM

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View PostHomer_J, on 27 March 2017 - 03:37 PM, said:

I think they should drop the KV-5 to tier 7 where it was originally planned for.  It has a tier 7 heavy price already so no need to change that.  It will benefit from the slightly better matchmaking.

 

Half a tier difference is a huge difference. If KV-5 had normal tier 8 matchmaking it would be one of the worst premiums of the tier(hard compare it to KV-4 and you'll get the picture) but with preferential matchmaking it's extremely powerful and much better than that KV-4 that has much better armor and gun on paper. The only advantage KV-5 has is mobility, and of course the preferential matchmaking which completely changes everything. On the other hand dropping it another half a tier, it would be severely unbalanced as tier 7 and it's hard to reason that it should see tier 5s that it pretty much 2-shots but that would have to not only shoot, but also penetrate it a million times to bring it down. My reload time is around 6.7 seconds. Since the first shot has no reload that 6.7 seconds includes 2 shots(600 damage) which is exactly how long it would take to dispatch a typical tier 5 tank. Obviously Vertical Stabilizer would be a loss but all things considered a very cheap one. A change like this would just break the mid tiers even further.

 

I already wish I didn't meet tier 6s with my PMM tanks. Having tier 6 tanks in tier 8 battles is creating unbalance I would love if tier 8 preferential matchmaking tanks only saw tanks between 7-9(and tier 6 scouts until the LT change I guess). The main reason to play these tanks is to play a tank that's underwhelming on paper but that dodges tanks that are two tiers higher, but for now it's not possible to avoid facing tanks that are two tiers lower. I will never truly understand why it's good for the game that there are a few low health XP/credit boosters in each battle that can't fight for the area and don't have any valuable role other than being borderline useless harassers. I would prefer longer fights with bigger health pools and tanks that can interact with each other which is mostly not happening in +2/-2 because some tanks are so much stronger than the others which results into more camping and tanks being unable to use their strengths.

 

I would be perfectly happy if KV-5 was just left as it is. I don't have much faith on Wargaming changing things and the fact they want to buff a tank that's performing well over the expectations just shows they don't understand their own game and they rather listen to the average whiners who think all heavies that have weak spots are unplayable because they can't be played like IS-3.


Edited by Tony_EU, 27 March 2017 - 03:18 PM.


Tony_EU #20 Posted 27 March 2017 - 03:35 PM

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View PostStatpadderer, on 27 March 2017 - 08:57 AM, said:

This is a more iconic picture of the KV 5:

 

 

It's very iconic indeed and in a cynical way it perfectly describes what's wrong with the tank - the player base. When the average WoT player plays a Russian heavy, weak spots are a killer. That's why these players like their IS-3. It doesn't require any angling or advanced concepts but it just retardbounces lots of stuff, hits stuff without the driver understanding the aiming mechanics and generally penetrates its targets.

 

When I saw all the shot marks on his R2D2 shot from front it didn't take a rocket scientist to see that this guy hasn't once even tried to angle his tank or hide his weak spots in this battle but out of curiosity I checked that guy's stats and it's a 45.2% bot who manages 43.8% win rate after 1k+ battles with his KV-5. On the other hand even driving it like that he manages to do better with it than with his other tier 8 tanks like ISU-152(36.8%) and Tiger II(36.25%). Doesn't that just support the theory that it's OP? This screenshot is probably the closest that you'll find of him carrying games with tier 8 tanks. :B

 

In today's WoT the player base is very hostile towards anything that requires or rewards skill. It's always the tank's fault. Because the armor of KV-5 doesn't hold up against a VK B and because the gun doesn't work against it. It's a way too advanced concept for most players to spend 20 seconds analyzing the armor model of an VK B and make the pretty obvious conclusion that maybe it's not a great idea to engage such tanks in the valley of Lakeville. In World of Tanks it's never the player's fault that they are engaging such tanks with 167 penetration and 200-220 EA. It's the tank's fault that it can't take down higher tier heavies and bounce all their shells.

 

Weak spots are being removed, armor is being overbuffed, the difference between tiers is growing to make the top tiers even more powerful than before and WG have pretty much given up on trying to encourage TDs to leave the base. They have moved back into the good ol' meta where TDs are designed for [edited]who don't want to leave the base. All that's needed is just a platform or a few bushes in the base where they can uselessly sit and shoot things without having to read the minimap, learn the maps or interact with the enemy. It's the team's fault that they get their first shot out at 3-9 score. World of Tanks is the one game in which being a complete ret*rd who is a massive liability to every team and not even trying to learn the basics gets you sympathy while learning the basics and weak spots makes you a selfish stat padder and a cheater.


Edited by Tony_EU, 27 March 2017 - 03:42 PM.





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