Oh please. The T34 is already VERY efficient.
no it isnt... the panzer 4 is objectively more efficient... see prior test results as evidence
It comes early and is effective against infantry and lighter vehicles.
incorrect... it takes more fuel to rush the T-34 than it takes to rush the panzer 4
T2 + T3 + T4 + T-34
15 + 85 + 90 + 90 = 280
BP1 + BP2 + Panzer 4
40 + 105 + 125 = 270
with side techs and OST T2 taken into consideration
T2 + molly + AT nade + T3/(may consider 7 man since T-70 is skipped) + T4 + T-34
15 + + 10 + 10 + 85 + 90 + 90 = 300 (320 fuel with 7 man)
BP1 + T2 (for AT gun) + BP2 + Panzer 4
40 + 20 + 105 + 125 = 290
with normal meta considerations
T2 + molly + AT nade + T3 + T-70 + T4 + T-34
15 + + 10 + 10 + 85 + 70 + 90 + 90 = 370
BP1 + T2 + 222 or FHT + BP2 + Panzer 4
40 + 20 + 30 + 105 + 125 = 320
as you can see the "T34 coming earlier" is a fallacy... in fact hypothetically it takes more fuel to build your first T-34 than it takes to build a panzer 4... and realistically it takes even more fuel than it does hypothetically...
I would hesistate to say the Panzer IV has better anti-infantry than the T34; I don't know the exact stats but they seem similar enough.
you can see the T-34 has inferior rate of fire and greater mid distance scatter...
What is true is that it is mediocre in the late game because T34's AT sucks. Unfortunately, you are misinterpreting the role of the tank. The T34 is not a generalist like the Cromwell and the Panzer IV.
soo the soviets are the only faction without a nondoc generalist? unlike literally every other faction?
The T34 is not meant to duel mediums. It's meant to bully infantry and light tanks. All in all, the T34 is a great tank.
it is great if it were an intermediate tank like the valentine or the AEC or the T-70... but it most certainly isnt great when considering the fact that its the best supposedly generalist tank in the soviet lineup... the soviets HAVE no alternatives to the T-34...
But it might not be the tank that the Soviet faction needs, and that isn't a problem with the T34 but rather the Soviet faction as a whole.
the balance team will throw a hissy fit before they make the T-34-85 nondoc... although i would honestly love this idea... hence id rather see the T-34-76 reworked into a proper (but flavored) medium tank on par with the P4 or the sherman than have the soviets left with some halfbaked stopgap unit as their core medium...
Simply buffing the T34 can't fix that because you'd be given it a new role as a generalist medium tank, which is not something the Soviet faction currently has non-doctrinally and could have many unforeseen consequences. Maybe you are correct that the T34 needs a role change, but it goes far beyond the unit itself and meddles with the whole design of the faction.
maybe... but i sincerely doubt this since the T-34-85 is really good yet not considered overpowered... making it nondoc or giving the soviets a nondoc analogue wouldnt exactly break the game
Also, fun fact: while the T34 had on paper had 90mm of armor, since it was only 45 mm thick, shells fired by bigger guns like the 7.5 cm gun on the Panzer IV easily overmatched the armor plate, lowering the effective thickness of the tank's armor. Because the Panzer IV's armor plate was 80mm thick, it was more sturdy than the thin 45mm plate in T34s, which was much less sturdy and only produced the predicted 90mm effective armor against smaller caliber guns. Against a larger 7.5 cm shell the 45 mm of armor simply can't absorb the energy of the kinetic impact and folds in on itself. This usually results in MASSIVE holes much larger than the usual hole produced from a penetrating shot.
this isnt true for the pak 40 and other 75mm guns... the caliber of the pak 40 is simply too small for the overmatch phenomenon to overtake the normalization phenomenon probability to warrant a decrease in effective armor... and thats not even taking into account the ricochet phenomenon..
now you are correct when saying that the soviet`s high hardness steel armor is detrimental to the overall armor protection... at least for sloped plates... since high hardness steel is more likely to spall upon initial impact and thus lose effectiveness... but this does not overtake the inherent advantages offered by the T-34s sloped armor
here give this a look... its a pretty accurate calculator for the normalization and overmatch phenomenon and takes into account varying brinelle thickness
late model T-34-85s in fact have 47mm of armor in some models and had lower brinelle than initial model T-34s while having superior welding thanks to submerged welding... you would expect their sloped armor performance to be closer to cast armor as opposed to high hardness steel... granted its not nearly as good as the medium brinelle of the panzer 4... but note that starting 1944 german vehicles were made with high brinelle steel as opposed to medium brinelle steel... this means armor such as the panther G or the Panzer 4 H would have equivalent armor quality to contemporary soviet vehicles at the time...