First off I would like to stress the fact that they are simply in the supertest phase and are not likely to make any changes for months if they do at all.
—Why "Gold" rounds?—
The forums can be filled with posts of people complaining that they were hit with premium round after premium round and that's why they… died, lost, etc. or complain that it makes armor entirely irrelevant. WG has heard the complaints of the community and is attempting to implement changes to try and alleviate the concerns of the community.
However it really fails to address the biggest problem people have with premium ammo….the fact that it can be had by spending credits…lots of credits. Premium ammo was once "balanced" in use by being locked by needing gold to buy (complete P2W concept) so it was rarely seen on the pubbie battlefield. By making it available for credits (removing the direct paywall) it is more widely available and of course now more widely seen on the battlefield. Certainly it's a lot easier to let the rounds fly when they can be replaced cheaply with credits, the round is balanced solely by its cost, why wouldn't you use them like crazy?
—War isn't fair—
People who are trying for the best stats, who don't want to worry about weakpoints, or don't want to consider optimal positioning, can load full gold and (at least try to) shoot their way into and out of a situation. The old "press 2 for skill" stigma exists for a reason. While not P2W anymore, it still has a Pay 4 Advantage element to it. The people who can realistically spam it consistently are people with premium accounts and/or premium tanks. I feel that a part of peoples salt over the use of them comes from this fact.
—Dressing for the occasion—
People feel that this spam has made armor irrelevant, or at least less meaningful than it used to be. Why weigh yourself down by putting on 200mm thick armor when it's as useful as 20mm armor? Armor needs to have value, but premium ammo also has a place and we need to strike a balance. With +2/-2 matchmaking, premium ammo has a place in the game since standard rounds may not be enough to work reliably against the enemies armor when you don't have weakpoints to hit or sometimes even the weakspots are too tough for standard rounds.
—The New Deal—
Firstly the cost needs to be reduced, it should either be the same or at the MOST 2x as much as standard AP (APCR sounds expensive to make, want to keep up the realism). Now if we compare our standard shells to HE as the pen goes down the alpha goes up, a similar concept of the inverse doesn't sound crazy. The idea of 25-30% is ridiculous to most, something like a ~15% change could be reasonable without creating a major imbalance between the tiers or a major buff to super heavies. For example looking at some tier 8 guns, many mediums (90mm) with 240 alpha could be dropped to 205 premium alpha, 100mm guns go from 320 alpha to 280 premium alpha, 122mm guns with 390 alpha could drop to 330 premium alpha. In this example it would make tier 8 tanks vs themselves or all the way up to tier ten super heavies need one to two more rounds to kill the enemy when using premium shells versus standard. If you NEED premium rounds to defeat tough armor, you are still effective, armor is buffed to some "relevance" by benefiting your survivability even when it can be penned, and if people are spamming it irrelevantly then they just increase the survivability of the enemy tanks.
Premium rounds are needed, but they need to be balanced in another way than credits. A 25-30% alpha drop is extreme, but a 15% alpha change may be a reasonable balance.
© Post "Armor, Gold Spam, and Fair Fights – Striking a balance." for game World of Tanks.
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