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Review: World of Tanks

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  • Review: World of Tanks


    Ever dreamed of driving a 50 ton hunk of metal and slinging explosive rounds at your enemies? Ever had the desire to watch other gamers cringe as you charge at them, knocking down trees and any other obstacles in your path?Do you love vehicle warfare? Then World of Tanks is for YOU!

    World of Tanks is an immersive multiplayer tank simulator made by WarGaming that takes a stab at an often overlooked aspect of World War II: the tank battles. All of the tanks and maps in the game are era-specific to the 1940s and early 1950s. Currently there are tanks from three of the major players in the conflict: Germany, Russia and the United States. Plans to add in tanks from both France and Japan have been slated for future patches. Put simply: the game has everything you’d want out of a free-to-play title. More than 15 maps, over 50 different tanks, and the ability to play in either first or third person modes give the game an incredible diversity.

    That diversity is also constantly increasing. World of Tanks has an incredibly dedicated development team who, with the latest patch to version 0.6.4, have made lots of changes to game mechanics, balance, and new maps have been added, as well as introducing Clan Wars. Plans are in the works for 30+ new tanks in the existing three nation’s tech trees over the next few months as well!





    General Information:
    As stated earlier, World of Tanks is a free-to-play game, open to anyone and everyone who wants the experience of turning their friends and enemies into heaps of twisted metal. There are also “premium” features available, such as increased experience and credit gains, to those who would like to spend real-world money to speed up their progress in the game.

    HOWEVER, paying to get a boost is in no way required or even needed! Unlike many games where paying “premium” players have a ridiculous advantage over other players, non-paying players in World of Tanks are on an absolute equal footing. Another thing to note is that unlike many MMORPGs that require you to play hours upon hours every day just to keep up, the incredible range of tank options in the game (as well as the game mechanics themselves) makes it very easy for casual gamers to play without worry of being left behind.

    The basic mechanics of the game are relatively simple. The first time you load up, you are equipped with three free Tier 1 tanks, one from each of the three nations. Each of the tanks has a tech tree for upgrading the various systems in the tank, such as your radio, gun, turret and engine. Above that, each nation has a tech tree with tanks ranging from Tier 1 to Tier 10 in a linear fashion. From your initial starter tank, you can choose to play light, heavy or medium tanks, as well as tank destroyers and self-propelled guns (artillery).


    A Tiger On The Prowl

    As you begin your gameplay, you are immediately thrust into battle with 29 other live players (teams are 15 vs 15 and there is none of that pesky AI you find in other games), whose tank capabilities rival your own. Destroy all the enemy tanks within the 15 minute time limit and your team wins. Destruction isn't the only way to win though. Each side also has a base which can be captured. Get a few tanks into the capture circle and a counter starts ticking off how much of their “base” you have captured. Take damage, and the counter goes down. The more tanks in the circle, the faster the counter goes.

    With each shot you take and each battle you play through you earn credits and experience points. You use the experience you gain to unlock new upgrades to your tank’s systems and unlock new tanks. You use the credits you earn to buy new upgrades and tanks you’ve unlocked, as well as bonus modules, and ammunition.

    As you progress through the tiers, you’ll notice that you’re no longer just fighting tier 1 tanks anymore. You’re starting to see tier 2’s, 3’s and 4’s. But not to worry, the game balances the teams very well. In medium tanks, heavy tanks and tank destroyers, you’ll never see more than a four tier difference in your opponents. In light tanks and artillery, you can see a much higher range due to the light tanks (which end at tier 4) widespread use as scout vehicles and the incredible damage artillery is able to inflict (its not uncommon to see a tier 6 artillery player take down a tier 10 heavy tank).

    The game gets addicting very quickly, soon drawing you in to play “just one more battle” so you can get that critical amount of experience to unlock your next gun or just a few more credits so you can buy your next tier tank.

    Tanks and Tactics:
    The tanks themselves are modeled on their real-world counterparts. Radio masts, commander hatches, and machine guns are a few of the things you can see on your tank. These parts are more than just decoration though. Each has an effect on a subsystem to your tank. Hit the radio mast, he won't be able to give your position to artillery. Hit the engine compartment and he isn't moving very fast, if at all. If a system is destroyed, it takes a few seconds for it to be repaired, and at that point it only functions at 50% of its normal operating capacity.


    Gotcha!

    This plays into the tactics of the battles. Do you try to make the tougher shot and hit a subsystem, or just try to damage the hull and remove health points. The decision is made more difficult by factoring in armor thickness and slope, all of which play into whether or not your shot will hit the mark or ricochet off. But the pendulum swings both ways: once you take damage, it is there to stay. Take enough, and your tank is destroyed.

    Once you get destroyed, there is no coming back, and you get to sit out the rest of the battle, similar to the way Counter-Strike plays out. Even if you are the strongest tank in the battle, you will go down quickly as a lone-wolf. Running off and trying to take on the enemy alone will just guarantee a heavy repair bill at the end of the fight. To prevent these lone wolf rushes, the tanks are pretty well balanced, and each unit has some noticeable weaknesses. Some tanks can take more of a beating, some can dish out more damage than others, but every advantage or weakness is counterbalanced.

    Teamwork:
    TG’s brand of teamwork comes in very heavily at this point. World of Tanks has an integrated clan system and friends list, complete with a text chat interface that allows you to see and talk to anyone you know that is playing. Also included is the ability to form a Platoon to play alongside up to two of your friends (which also allows you to use in-game VOIP).


    This is what happens when TG is on the scene.

    Due to the small team size limitations, WarGaming has said that they do not plan to expand platoon size to anything larger than three, but your crafty friends at TG have figured out some tricks that increase the odds of landing on the same team as other platoons of TG members. Combining the features that the game already employs with the benefits of being a TG member and it becomes a spectacle to behold when 6 or 8 of us on the same team dominate another team without losing a man.

    Clan Wars

    The Clan Wars web interface is used for setting up matches. All battles take place in-game.

    Last, but certainly not least, is the new introduction of Clan Wars. Clan Wars is a persistent campaign environment in which clans attempt to build empires in Europe. Battles happen at specific times every day and clans can choose to attack new territory if they have no active challenges or defend territory they have already claimed from neighboring states owned by other clans. Through holding territories and crushing your opponents in Clan Wars, clans earn gold (which is only normally acquired by purchasing it with real-world money) and credits which can be distributed to clan members for whatever use they want. The more territory you hold, the more gold and credits your clan earns! Clan wars battles also give each of the players involved experience gains just as normal battles would.

    At current, TG has a clan with 50+ members in it, all active in the community, but we feel that no number is ever high enough. Whether you’re only a weekend gamer or a hardcore devotee that spends 15 hours a day at your desktop, we invite you to come join us! If you have any questions about the game, drop by the World of Tanks subforum in the Simulation section of the TG forums or catch up with us in the World of Tanks teamspeak channels!

    • Sparta1
      #14
      Sparta1 commented
      Editing a comment
      Re: Article: Review: World of Tanks

      The beta was very fun and game play enjoyable. In the live environment customer support is poor. Buying gold was easy (taking your money) but getting it into my account was difficult. Trying to get support from their financial support department was a nightmare.Not a recommended experience for a micro transaction dependent company.Play free if you like but I do not suggest buying gold.

    • TMan
      #15
      TMan commented
      Editing a comment
      With limited ping while travelling, WOT has been a great game for my laptop.

    • AdmiralKird
      #16
      AdmiralKird commented
      Editing a comment
      Re: Article: Review: World of Tanks

      Downloaded this today; its been really fun.
    Posting comments is disabled.

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