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World of Tanks!


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#1 Pakman

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 01:46 PM

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So I discovered World of Tanks about 2 weekends ago, and have been playing it non-stop since then. It was in closed Beta testing since last summer, and just released in mid April 2011, so I joined in right after 2 weeks of it being "live" to the public. The game is made by Wargaming.net for those who may be familiar with that brand. It is a Russian developed game and there is a very large following of this in Russia (surprise) and EU, with the
American servers currently averaging about 10,000 - 12,000 players at a time.

Some links:
World of Tanks main site
World of Tanks - wiki site



It's a relatively small download, about 1.8 gigs, is free to play (yes absolutely free). However like most F2P games it DOES have a micro-transaction system where the player can purchase "gold" with real money (as low as $6 a transaction all the way to $100 I think) to use for extra powerful ammo (not really needed) and other equipment to help improve your performance, and also I believe its main advantage, to help advance through the "Tiers" of tanks and grind a little faster. I'll explain later.

Yes it is NOT an RPG, but more so a tank battle game (it is definitely NOT a 100% simulator which can be boring at times, it is more of an arcade feel with some realism for good measure). No you DON'T necessarily need real money to have an advantage in battles (though it can help a little bit, thankfully it is not rampant like many other games seem to be with $$$ = winning). It has great 3D graphics considering it's free. Nicely detailed tanks, shadows, and shader effects. Though it is not a premium tank simulator it sure does not feel like a cheesy "free" game either.

The game, while still waiting a few major patches (to add features, and fix some issues) promises to have exciting Clan Wars game play, where 15 people get together in a Clan and go battle against another, for control of territories on a world map (I believe it's historically based around Europe and North Africa). Aside from that there is also random battles each player can join in.

There are 3 nations so far implemented into the game USA, Germany and of course, Russia. Each has it's "Research Tree" with a line of Tanks, (Light, Medium and Heavy), Tank-Destroyers (TD), and Self-propelled Guns (SPG or Artillery on tracks basically). There are 1-9 Tiers if I recall in each of these nations, with each tier having a better tank/TD/SPG than the previous.

All the tanks, and other units are based either on production models from WW2 era (give or take 10 years) or were prototypes and never saw action. So really, there are no "fantasy" overpowered tanks in that sense (just real over powered tanks haha). Those familiar with WW2 era tanks will quickly find themselves recognizing the popular M3 and M5 Stuart, M4 Sherman, or the M4A3E8 "Easy 8", German Tiger II and Maus (can you say rolling fortress?), Russian KV and IS-4s, and everything in between.

I started playing, as any good American will ;) with the American tanks. I started with a tiny little T1-Cunningham. The Germans get a Leichtraktor (affectionately known as the LOLtractor by pretty much everyone!) and the Russians get a cutesy Chibi style little MS-1. These are basic tanks, with slow speeds (like you can run faster!) weak armor and guns. But you get to learn the basics of gameplay (or just run around like lemmings or camp and get blown to bits :D).

The normal "Standard battle" that most players will find themselves playing in, is a match up of 15 mostly random players in 1 team, going against another 15 player team, fighting to control the opposing base for 1 minute (or faster if more than one tank is present in the capture circle). The matchmaking system makes it so each player is grouped together and fights with tanks about 1-3 tier lower and higher overall. This sometimes leads to players in LOLtracktors being placed in fights with Tier 3 battles where they are lambs to the slaughter, or similarly low tier tanks being placed in hopeless matches. This is hopefully being worked on in the upcoming patch. Players can also team up with up to 2 other players to form a "PLATOON" and enter matches that way, along with the other random players, to increase their chance of a win. Though you'd think a game like this that relies on tactics and communication would have voice-chat implementation almost mandatory, only Premium users can use that feature. But if you have a teamspeak server (there are plenty of TS servers for this game by many guilds/clans already) and join up with a guild that's all you need to talk. It really helps to know what the heck your team is doing when you can communicate effectively!

As you play battles, you earn "credits" (in-game currency to buy upgrades, and other tanks) and also Experience points. Experience points are used to "research" the various upgrades for your tanks, as well as unlocking the next tier tank down the tree. Also, you have your crew of 2-6 men that also start out at a paltry 50% skill, and gain more skill as you gain experience in that tank. A tank with a higher skilled crew operates better - faster, more accurate, turns better, shoots faster, etc.

Now as for the "gold" economy, you can choose to completely play free, or you can spend a few bucks WISELY, and enjoy the game just that much more. I won't go into too much boring detail, but with GOLD you can speed up the grinding process of going from tank to tank as you progress through the tiers. Also you can purchase "premium" ammo which has a bit more penetration or damage, which helps take out tougher higher level opponents than you perhaps. Also you can purchase "Premium status" for certain amount of time (as low as 24 hrs, upto 1 month) which allows you to earn 50% more credits (so you can buy stuff faster!).

One more thing to note, that is currently hotly debated, is that 1 person needs to be a "premium" status in order to party up wtih 2 more friends in a "Platoon." So yeah that means in order to play WITH 2 of your friends and form a 3 man group, at least 1 of you has to pay...

As for the actual gameplay, you start out matched up with your other team members, and after a 30 second countdown, the match begins. You play the game in 3rd person view, and occasionally change to the gun cam (or sniper view if you're a Tank or TD, or Overhead view if you are an SPG) and shoot your targets. You can choose to rush toward and scout out the enemy tanks (which earns you exp with certain caveats). Or you can hide in a bush and remain undetected by the enemy, spotting for your SPG artillery who can strike them from ways back in a safe area, giving you a small percentage of the earnings as well! And of course, once you're better at it, duke it out with other tanks one on one or one on five (if only for a short precious seconds!) trading tank shells and watching the tanks circle around each other as they try to gain a tactical advantage and get that shot in the weak rearward armor. Or you can hide your tank hull behind some terrain/rocks (defilade) and stick just above the top with your turret and take pot shots at unsuspecting targets! Depending on which guns your tank has, you can enjoy some full on deep bass from the fire power, lots of explosions, tank engine sounds, armor getting scraped as you ram another tank (yes you can ram into another tank and take it out!) or just hear the whiz of tank shells flying past your ears.

All in all, it is a fun game with lots of potential, if a little repetitive. I know a few of you members hear watched me play WOT in our recent LAN event. If you guys decide to give this game a try, you can let me know and I'll try to find you in-game and help teach you some of the ropes. :) Definitely a different kind of game, that takes a slower approach, not necessarily the twitch based actions found in Battlefield, Quake type games.
Pew Pew make you Que Que.
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World of Tanks - Star Craft II - C&C: Zero Hour - Sup Com:Forged Alliance - World of Warcraft - Battlefield: Bad Company 2 PC

#2 Ranga14

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 03:36 PM

How's the glord of tanks going?
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#3 Pakman

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 05:20 PM

Wow, almost 3 years later....

Well I made a few mistakes unknown to me at the time about the game: It's made by a company in Belarus, not Russia, although it IS still wildly popular in Russia  at almost half a million(?) active players vs. about 30-50k (vs. 12k in 2011) on a busy weekend here in the States.

 

It's got several new nations (armored fighting vehicles) and various upgrades added over the last 3 years. The game has definitely progressed in many ways with new rendering engine, a proper physics engine implementation (a major new addition to the physics will be coming in the form of the Havok engine!) and a handful of new game modes. However the core of the gameplay remains the same -- capture the flag or destroy all the enemy team's tanks.

 

The game's battle tiers ('level' of tanks composition of the 2 teams) has been tightened down to +/- 2 tiers as opposed to +/- 3 tiers upon release, which most players were asking for and was well received. The wider tier spread in a match was a large source of complaints as it caused many new players to face off against tougher higher tier opponents with no knowledge or firepower to deal with them, resulting in frustration. It's better now but the inherent tier spread is still somewhat misunderstood or complained about to this day (some folks are never happy!).

 

One great 'balancing' act they did to WoT with regard to its F2P model is allowing non-paying users to actually purchase 'premium' ammo with in-game credits -- they cost the 'Silver' equivalent of what it would cost in 'gold' if you were to exchange Gold into Silver currency. For the longest time premium or "gold" ammo was considered by some to be a pay-to-win advantage, although detractors of this argument always pointed out that due to the in-game armor vs. ammunition mechanics, it never did guarantee an 'insta' win option.

Oh, I left one little thing out.. WoT is now out for the XBOX crowd! While it's still much in its infancy on that platform I believe that's a great way for Wargaming to increase its market share and hopefully bring in new players and interest into the game which will result in further progress. While the PC and XBox versions are not yet slated to be 'cross platform' for obvious (or perhaps not so obvious reasons) you can bet being a free to play game, it'll get lots of buzz going over the coming months, assuming they market this game just right and if there is a large enough niche customer who enjoys this type of 'realistic arcade' game (definitely not a sim). I believe the XBOX version gets a few tweaked visual fx and has its own dev team, both should remain similar in terms of updates/content with the PC version possibly being a step ahead.

So what's my tally for this game after nearly 3 years?

~ Almost 10,000 battles (compared to almost 20-30,000 for many active players).

~About 40 or more different tanks unlocked or accessed (some were anniversary/holiday/tech tree realignment freebies-- the best kind!)

~$150 spent on 'gold' in-game purchases -- All strictly used for convenience (upgrades/unlocking next tank) which I bought from 2011 to 2012.

~51% win rate (meaning of the battles I fought in, my random player teams and I won 51% of the time). I'm about as average as they get!

I would like to point out that I took most of 2013 off from WoT and gaming in general due to the birth of my now year old son! Although I did experience a bit of a burnout from WoT after 2 strong years, I would have probably surpassed 15k battles by now and maybe dropped no more than $10 in gold purchases (realizing I can just be 'patient' and get what I want).

 

I only recently started to get back into playing WoT but that's mostly reserved to a handful of matches a week thanks to a busy work schedule and, of course, family life!

 

If you haven't checked World of Tanks out yet, now is as great a time to get into this great multiplayer game as any, either on the XBOX or PC platforms!


Pew Pew make you Que Que.
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World of Tanks - Star Craft II - C&C: Zero Hour - Sup Com:Forged Alliance - World of Warcraft - Battlefield: Bad Company 2 PC

#4 Coatedpolecat

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 09:56 PM

I tried getting into the game. For whatever reason it just didn't click with me. The controls were fine, the shooting worked great, the semi-destructive environment are nice. I found it all quite underwhelming. I felt like the game does a good job of letting you figure things out for yourself. I sometimes get frustrated with such "hand-holding" tutorials. I can see the appeal of the game, it's just not my cup of tea.

 

Thanks for coming back, 3 years later, but back none-the-less.

 

High Five!



#5 Ranga14

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 10:11 PM

Maybe you should try World of Warplanes. ;)
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#6 Pakman

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 04:45 PM

I tried getting into the game. For whatever reason it just didn't click with me. The controls were fine, the shooting worked great, the semi-destructive environment are nice. I found it all quite underwhelming. I felt like the game does a good job of letting you figure things out for yourself. I sometimes get frustrated with such "hand-holding" tutorials. I can see the appeal of the game, it's just not my cup of tea.

 

Thanks for coming back, 3 years later, but back none-the-less.

 

High Five!

 

Funny you mention the tutorials -- they weren't added until I believe sometime in 2013 in the state they're in now (they were tested in some form before and removed as I understand). Since I never had the 'luxury' of tutorials to get started back in '11, I spent most of my time with trials and errors and supplementing it with their wiki site and of course, forums (wealth of info and discussion aside from the typical trolls).

 

The game will always be on my PC's and I find myself enjoying a handful of games every week (when I get the chance). As it is definitely a niche game I can see that it might not have struck any chords for you, however I have to say, the game does get a lot more 'interesting/frustrating' once you get up into the higher tiers WITH time spent playing and understanding the mechanics (which granted probably 80% of the players have no proper grasp of).

 

I think once you understand how and what affects your actions have in terms of fundamentals, you can then concentrate on the bigger picture -- that of trying to formulate a play style with each tank that will help the team toward victory (something I'm terrible at on higher tiers and with certain tanks, despite my average win/loss rate). At the lower levels when most new players start, you're hampered by 2 things -- crap tanks + crap crew skills, and newbiness. Once you get both yourself personally informed and practice the game, and your crews start to level up in better tanks (well, better as in you find one that you like -- I still keep my tier 2-3 tanks) things start to become more fun.

 

As for WoWP, I prefer Gaijin's WarThunder airplane game -- better graphics, too, and arcade + realistic battle choices, PLUS they actually have their tank (Ground Forces-- offering more realism than WoT) version of the game in beta now which will eventually also feature air/ground combined arms matches!

 

See you around!


Pew Pew make you Que Que.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
World of Tanks - Star Craft II - C&C: Zero Hour - Sup Com:Forged Alliance - World of Warcraft - Battlefield: Bad Company 2 PC




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