I am an NA CC because of my Reddit posts on game mechanics. I thought I’d branch out a little and post a mechanics-focused review for the new marathon tank, the WZ-114.
Let’s break down this wall of numbers by calling your attention to a few key stats:
2300 health, which is excellent for tier 9 530 alpha damage, which is strong 10 degrees of gun depression and very respectable frontal turret armor 1590 DPM, which is very low Poor gun handling (more on that later)
It may not be a 100-ton rectangle, but in some ways this is built like a superheavy – it wins fights by trading one-for-one and out-chonking the enemy.
The armor layout’s not perfect; the turret is strong head-on and one cupola’s very small, but even at a 15-degree angle the turret sides are easy to pen. The upper front plate is decent head-on but is no good for sidescraping.
The damage output is low and the gun is unreliable, which will frustrate often, but it hits hard and works fine in a slow-paced brawl.
Even if you poke an enemy that’s looking the other way, it takes a while to aim and misses are very punishing. Many times, I held my fire for too long and ate a shot I didn’t have to. Finding the right balance will be the main challenge when playing this tank.
Gun Handling Mechanics
This section is based on Overlord_Prime’s excellent writeup on gun mechanics.
This is bad, but not as bad as it looks.
For each of the three dispersion types (hull movement, hull traverse, and turret traverse), the penalty is equal to the dispersion factor times the movement speed (in deg/s or km/h). If your factor is twice as high but you move half as fast, the end result is exactly the same. This tank is slow, so its dispersion penalties are actually better than some medium tanks.
Everything is multiplied by the base accuracy (check the writeup for the exact formulas). This tank has a solid 0.33 accuracy, which helps.
However, the aimtime really sucks. It is truly awful, and there is no getting around that.
So how does it compare to other vehicles? Let’s calculate how long it takes to reach 0.5 dispersion (where I’d feel comfortable snap shotting). The formula here is very simple:
aimTime * (ln(starting dispersion) – ln(target dispersion))
Refer to Overlord_Prime’s document to see how to obtain the starting dispersion. Let’s consider two cases:
Turning your turret Poking a corner, where you turn your turret and drive forward at 20 km/h (any faster seems unreasonable) WZ-114 E 75 50TP ST-I Type 4 Heavy Mäuschen T30 Conway (big gun) Turning 5.38 1.19 3.69 3.72 2.44 0.72 3.45 2.02 Poking 6.92 3.02 4.77 5.2 4.17 2.95 4.44 4.59
Some tanks are much better at snap shotting than others, but this tank is especially bad.
There are three areas I’d consider improving: hitpoints, gun handling, and DPM. For this vehicle, I don’t think a Turbo is worth it.
You’re gonna get shot a lot, so extra hitpoints are nice to have, and with Hardening + full field mods you have a whopping 2640 hp. A Rammer makes a lot of sense too, to shave 2s off the reload time.
VStab is mandatory, but the gun handling is bad enough that you may want a second piece of equipment. Should you use an IRM or a GLD?
Let’s do the same calculations. Remember, this is the time to aim to 0.5 dispersion (to snap shot), not to fully aim.
IRM increases your traverse speed, which negates some of the bloom reduction but also means you can start aiming sooner. For this vehicle, the breakeven point where V+IRM beats V+GLD is if you have to turn more than ~75 degrees. The best choice depends on your playstyle, but both are good picks.
To summarize: always take VStab. From there, it’s your choice of Hardening, Rammer, IRM, or GLD. Vents are an option, but I think you’ll benefit more from a targeted buff.
Field Mods (my build)
All-Terrain Suspension — Always, always, always take the field mod that improves “maintaining speed”. Due to a bug, this actually buffs your traverse speed.
Aiming Gears Lapping — Usually I’m biased towards Parallax Adjustment (to reduce bad RNG), but in this case the aimtime buff is worth it. Here’s another table; aiming to 0.5 accuracy, and we’ll just consider turning the turret:
Periscope Electric Drive — +10% stun duration is at worst +3.5s, which isn’t a lot. I think the small view range buff is worth it.
Firepower Slot — Boost your VStab.
Padding Removal — The extra agility is useful. You won’t be shot at with HE very often, and at 70 tons you aren’t exactly susceptible to ramming damage.
Is it fun to play?
Generally yes, if you like the slow brawling playstyle. The armor works if you know how to use it, the gun has a satisfying smack to it, and it’s reasonably flexible for a brawler. If you play the E 75 or 50TP for fun, you might not like the WZ-114 because it’ll feel like a downgrade. If you play the Type 4 Heavy or Mäuschen for fun, then the WZ-114 will feel competitive, and also you should seek mental help.
Unlike the Strv K, this vehicle has some unique strengths which make it interesting to play (instead of just interesting to look at). Whether it’s worth the price is a very different question, but that’s up to you.