The 1.0 update to Wargaming's World of Tanks is live, even though the scope of improvements barely warrants calling it an update - overhauled visuals, courtesy of the new engine, new Glacier map, new soundtrack and the list goes on.
Wargaming finally decided to dump the Bigworld engine in favour of Core, seeing as how World of Tanks was "visibly constrained" by the former's limitations. Naturally, it didn't stop the game from being immensely popular but its visuals left a lot to be desired.
Having witnessed it firsthand, we can confirm that the 1.0 update indeed looks gorgeous, with implementation of Havok Destruction Technology, improved lighting, responsive water and so on. In fact, we'd swear that the new backdrops alone look better than World of Tanks ever did.
The 1.0 update introduces vehicle wetting, drying and dusting effects and the procedurally generated foliage reacts to actual events. Of course, this doesn't mean your bush-camping days are over, seeing as how they're just client side animations. Nevertheless, it's most certainly a big plus to immersion.
Wargaming claim to have sifted through all the 29 World of Tanks maps, revisiting every issue ever raised and ironing out imbalances that were put forth by the WoT faithful. In fact, Fisherman's Bay, Erlenberg, Steppes, Ruinberg and Fjords have all received a tactical makeover.
The new map is called the Glacier, and Wargaming says its "beatufiul snow and ice has been in development for quite a while now". We're guessing eight years? Anyway, the devs are already giving free strategy tips for the Glacier, which means they've already put it through its paces.
World of Tanks has got a new music score as well to go with the new looks and the new soundtrack has more than 60 original compositions. Tunes now reflect the environment, atmosphere and mood and the general ambience has been overhauled to better reflect actual in-game locations.