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World of Tanks Review (PC)

I edge my tank into position, just at some foliage. This will give me enough camouflage so that I am not spotted by my enemies.

I wait with my engine idling; waiting for the enemy to crest the hill and become my latest victim. Suddenly my tanks rocks as I am hit by a shell, I reverse out of my now defunct hiding place and try to locate my attacker. As I move, I swivel my turret and get off one shot. Success! I knock my opponents armour down by 50%. My panicked backtracking to find my attacker has alerted other members of the enemy team; another shell hits my tank and knocks out my left tracks. I can’t move, my crew are now trying to repair the track but before the repairs are complete another shell hits my rear amour and it is goodbye tank.

I wait for the end of the battle, after the battle I go back to my garage, I spend some credits to repair my wrecked tank and resupply it with ammo. I hit the big red ‘Battle’ button and I am back into the fray, ready to destroy some tanks. I think I may like this game….

World of Tanks is a free Massive Multiplayer Online tank combat game where take control of a tank from the 1930s to 1950s from Germany, USA and USSR. You are then pitched into battle with a bunch of team mates against another team in a fight to the death. In this game the Sherman tank could be in the same team as a Panzer or a Soviet T-34 as World of Tanks attempts to give you an epic battle regardless of time period or historical accuracy.

When you first start the game you are given three light tanks. These are contained in your garage which is the hub for the rest of the game. The garage contains the menu items which allow you to research new upgrades and new tanks, barracks which allows you to train your tank crew which will increase your effectiveness in battle, the depot which allows you to view equipment and tanks that you can buy and statistics such as your performance in battles and the medals you have won. The tech tree meanwhile allows you to review the various tanks weapons and upgrades available in the game, but the most important part of the whole game is the big red battle button which (depending on the game mode) will drop you into battle with other tanks.

In the World of Tanks there are several game modes. The first is Standard Battle which randomly matches you to a game. Training Battles are the same as standard battle, but with no experience or credit increases. This mode allows you to practice the game without any of the penalties. You can play Tank Companies which allows you to invite three friends to play in the same battle tank and then Create Platoon which allows you to create a team and start battles with other teams.

There is also another game mode called Clan Wars. In this mode you can gather your clan and take part in a global campaign where the goal is to conquer and dominate the other clans taking part. This mode uses the web browser to view a map of Europe where your clan plan attacks, carry out espionage to uncover your enemies strength and carry our diplomacy to forge alliances. These actions are all carried out in a turn based manner where any action (such as moving) takes about a day in real life. All combat will be carried out in the main game using the Standard Battle rules. This mode reminds me a little of boardgames like Risk or Diplomacy and it seems to add a bit more grand strategy to the game. Unfortunately I could not test out this functionality of the game as I would need to join or setup a clan to take part in this mode. I would imagine that this mode would add some much needed extra depth to the game for experienced players.

The actual combat element of World of Tanks is fairly accessible, the tanks is controlled by the standard PC FPS controls we all know and love (W, A, S and D) and the turret is controlled by the mouse. The left mouse button fires and the right mouse button locks on target. Apart from a few other hot keys for communication with your team mates that’s pretty much it. This makes World of Tanks a very accessible title for pretty much everyone. You don’t need any specialist knowledge and you don’t need to read a 400 page manual, you can just jump in and you are pretty much good to go.

This might happen a lot!!!

While this simplicity of control might be off putting to strategy game vets, the game actually has a fair bit of strategy to it. Do I move in and support the attack? How do I use the buildings and terrain for cover to protect my tank? How do I use the strengths of my tank to support my team?

The game is all about using terrain and surprising your enemy. Your choice of tank determines what kind of role you are going to take. If you are a light tank you will be at the vanguard of the attack helping you team mates to locate targets because when you spot the enemy it will appear on all your team mates’ mini-map. If you pick a medium class tank you are a jack of all trades. You can support attack and defence and large tanks where your greater armour and greater fire power should be used in attack. A tank destroyer meanwhile should be lurking, waiting in cover to strike attackers or if you pick artillery (Self Propelled Gun) you will want to sit back and lob high explosive shells at the enemy.

One of the interesting things about World of Tanks is that the developers have made the game free to play and revenue is generated via micro transactions with the players buying Gold. This Gold can then be converted to credits which can then be spent in game. You can still earn credits in battle, but the addition of gold can allow upgrade your tank that bit quicker or allow you to buy that new tank with the big shiny gun you have always wanted.

World of Tanks is a game with hidden depths. While the subject matter may only appeal to ‘tread heads’, the accessibility of the controls will hook you in and the tactical depth  of using the strengths of your tank will keep you hooked. With the game being free to play there is no reason not to give it a try. If you do then watch out for me lurking on the battlefield!

7 smoking wrecks out of 10

MOAR FROM CALMDOWNTOM!

30 Comments

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  14. John says
    11/12/2011, 9:46 PM

    DO NOT PLAY THIS GAME

    It is not a tank sim, it is an arcade shooter using tanks

    The forum is moderated more strongly thank Nazi Germany’s newspapers were. Say anything against the company line, or against any of the mod’s friends… expect a 30 day ban to be handed down. Appeal it, it’s just a waste of time and bandwidth, the admin always agrees with his nazi mods. Ask to have it escalated, he tells you there is no one over him to suck it up or play a different game.

    Camo and visual detection system is borked. 90 ton tanks and their 150mm muzzle flashes are hidden by 6′ tall bushes.

    Match making system is a frickin joke. You get put against tanks you cannot hurt with your gun… unless you pay $40+ for a tier 8 premium tank…. then they feed your premium tank tier 5 tanks all day long.

  15. blossom says
    07/05/2011, 9:33 PM

    If anyone reads this dont waste any money on this game, play as a free game, becasue the MATCHMAKING is the worst in any game anyone has ever played!

    It would be like a lvl 85 BG put they stick level 1s in. Yep as bad as that, enjoy getting out tiered in 1 in 8 matches and getting one shotted.

  16. Sparta1 says
    06/04/2011, 11:46 PM

    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.

  17. jo says
    06/03/2011, 6:30 PM

    i find it is rather easy to get several thousand xp in a day even if you play only a couple hours, the double xp for the first win def helps for ppl who don’t have much time

  18. Krog says
    05/21/2011, 5:43 PM

    Game is not to bad but what sucks is if you wanna play with friends on the same server it will cost you to go with a premium account! Thats right no pay no friends!

  19. Manny says
    05/06/2011, 5:34 AM

    Good game, mediocre graphics, imbalanced tanks and seriously crap customer service.

  20. Mike says
    05/05/2011, 6:03 AM

    Unless you turn real money into Premium Ammo, you are going to suck at this game. And good luck getting up the tech tree without a premium account. I played through free untill i couldnt take it anymore, then went premium. Got myself up to Tiger 2, then figured out the game isnt balanced and then went USSR. I got to #10 on the leaderboards before i decided to give this game up. Make the game free to get the players, then make them spend money on virtual ammo so thier gun doesnt Derp, miss, bounce.
    All i can see is fail with this business model, sure it was a nice pipe dream. People will pay us money for virtual ammo to kill people.
    Even with the best tanks, you still fail without premium ammo.
    Luckily, im only out 15 bucks.

  21. Texting010 says
    05/02/2011, 1:00 AM

    @ Soul ether you have no idea how to play or more likely your really new, I have played since beginning of close beta, and i was playing multiple tier 8 tanks, Panther, King Tiger, IS3 without running premium, you just have to put some time into the game and learn the skills involved, if you don’t get kills you get no xp. WoT has a learning curve I got my King Tiger much faster then my Panther because I understood the game. For any of you looking into playing the game, i suggest the German line it is solid the entire way. the Russian line is great at the top but the lower tier Heavy tanks are not as good, due to reload time and armor, the American Heavy tanks have great turret armor and gun but the comparable German and Russian heavy tanks can penetrate the American tanks frontal armor while the American tanks have a harder time penetrating them. All in all i never moved past the King Tiger not because of Xp or credits but because the Asuf B sucks!!!!

  22. Drachenfire says
    04/30/2011, 12:06 AM

    The ~2500 xp I mentioned was definitely an exception! A “good” match is usually no more than 600 – 800 or so. In a “bad” match I’ve gotten as low as about 25. For an average match I’d say I get about 200 – 300. When you’re trying to research the next tank that require 30,000+, it takes a long time…

  23. Kathelexidon says
    04/29/2011, 5:38 AM

    I’ve been playing for about 5 days now. The grind really isn’t that bad. Experiencewise it’s really easy to level up. Mainly the money is slowing me down. Also my experience has never gone over 1000 so i don’t know what Drachenfire’s doing, unless killing 10 tanks every game.

  24. Drachenfire says
    04/29/2011, 2:37 AM

    Getting 2000+ xp is rare. I’ve been playing since closed Beta and my best match was 8 kills plus damaging some other tanks, etc. I think I got somewhere around 2500 xp for that match. I’ve been playing my tier 3 tank for about a week, and I have 4500 xp. The cheapest next tank I can research requires 13000+ xp. The next tank destroyer I can research in that tree requires over 30,000 xp. I can’t play 3-4 hours a day so it’ll take weeks…..

  25. Drachenfire says
    04/29/2011, 2:02 AM

    I agree pretty much w/ Soul, although even w/ premium, gaining enough XP and credits is painfully slow unless you can play numerous hours a day. I have a Tier 3 tank and I am routinely up against Tier 5 and 6 tanks – against which I have virtually no chance. I can barely damage most of them. The balancing in the matches is erratic at best. Also, the presence of artillery is a royal pain. Although a lot of them are easy to kill, you have to get near them first. I’ve had matches where I haven’t yet seen an enemy or fired a shot, and then have been destroyed by one shot from artillery. Unless by chance my team wins, I get almost no XP and it costs more to repair the tank than I receive. You have to play a lot and spend $$ to get anywhere fast.

  26. instaurdead says
    04/29/2011, 12:31 AM

    Soul clearly you are not good enough at the game to be commenting saying u get 200-400 xp if u win(when its more like five or six hundred to upwards of two-thousand) and 0-200 xp if u lose (which is more like 200-400). I play 2-4 hours a day and i have thre medium tier tanks; The Jagdpz tier 6 TD(recommend it), the T1 tier 5 heavy, and the M41 tier 5 SPG. The only way to get the xp rates you quoted was if you never got a kill ; otherwise you rank relatively quickly.

  27. 04/28/2011, 11:02 PM

    If u really want to do good use American tanks as they are beast!! their td are coming out too. and in the Summer FRENCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  28. Geobaldi says
    04/28/2011, 10:21 PM

    @Soul – Yes XP gains at the beginning are really low but then again it doesn’t take much XP to unlock a lot of the early tanks. Higher tier tanks grant higher XP and money rewards so it doesn’t take as long as you say it does. I’ve only been playing it for almost 2 weeks and I’m just about to get my first tier 5 tank. And that’s with 2-3 hours of gameplay a day on average.

  29. Ehrgeiz says
    04/28/2011, 7:50 PM

    premium users earn 50%+ exp n credits per battle… that means, for every 2 matches a premium member wins, a normal member need to win 3 to equal that amount of exp n credits… but THATS IT…
    maybe u’ll need to play some more, but its a free game for gods sake, its not like ur getting an evident advantage ON the battlefield, cause of ur higher TIER, u’ll be matched with Higher Tiers as well…

    at least its not like other games where u can buy all kind of upgrades n stuff with “gold”, that really gives u an advantage on battlefields…

    i would say that everyone should give this game a try, is fun and user-friendly.
    and whenever u have some spare minutes, u could fight some battles (max 15 min. lenght)

  30. Soul says
    04/28/2011, 6:41 PM

    You forgot to mention that free players earn credits and experience painfully slow as opposed to premium players (these who pay money to play this game). For example, tier 5 tank (out of 10 tiers available) with upgrades will cost roughly 80k experience. Free players get around 200-400 experience points per battle WHEN their team wins and 0-200 if their team loses. The game is designed to be paid for or you will pull your hair out during the leveling process. Free players will probably never see the 8+ tier tanks due to the fact that any normal player who puts in 2-3 hours a day will net a meager experience flow.

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