Posts Tagged World of Tanks

Stuck in the garage

With the ongoing shoddy service from Virgin Media, particularly the horrendous packet loss at peak times, I’ve been forced to take a break from World Of Tanks and my new clan.

It was just beyond frustrating not being able to play properly, control lag, game jitters, etc, and was only leading me to get frustrated and whine at my friends.

I’ll be back as soon as I have an alternative internet solution.

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Challenging the Infamous

IC-1I didn’t want to say anything until it was finalised, but I have joined a new World Of Tanks clan, the Infamous Challengers.

A CIRC4 deputy commander, InvincibleMrT, had been trying to get some backing to start a new CIRC clan with the goal of forming a training corps for those who actually want to improve and get up to competitive standard, but it didn’t seem to be going anywhere so he went it alone and invited me and a few of the core of CIRC4 along.

Should be interesting to see how this grows 🙂

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Losing the Beard, keeping my hair

Well, it was fun, but the shine has finally worn off of being in CIRC4.

I made friends with a great core group, but there is a large proportion of the full (100 members) clan that never seems to play, and a larger proportion who don’t want to join company, or team battles or even platoon with others.

Over the last couple of months we’ve tried to get an organised tank company together with some limited training but the turn out has been…poor, to say the least.

CIRC4 seems to be classified as a ‘fun’ clan, not expected to take things seriously, which is fine, but there are also those that think just being in a clan makes you a better player, yet don’t want to learn or communicate, making group play difficult and frustrating.

I have something else lined up, but not saying anything on that just yet.

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The clan of the Beard

CIRC4What with the dreadful state of Random Battles in World Of Tanks and some new mission requirements requiring you to be in a clan, I was lucky to be watching Circon’s Twitch stream and heard about the creation of a 5th clan for his followers, CIRC4. I applied and was accepted!

Hopefully, the benefits of being in a high profile clan with a common interest will mean more people to platoon with and a chance to get into Tank Companies in a big way.

The Beard? Well, the Beard is the true hero of Circon’s streams 🙂

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Return of the tanker

World of TanksI have to admit I’ve been playing the odd hour of World of Tanks again since early April, mostly because Wargaming finally added some more content to spice things up, and promised even more changes in the near future.

A friend told me about the addition of the new, fast American turreted tank destroyers, and they are just so much fun zipping from place to place and putting accurate shots on target.

Wargaming have also dramatically increased the crew skills allowing for a bit more of a tactical choice of skill sot support the role you want your tank to play. A free skill reset allowed us to re-allocate and try out the new skills, which was a nice touch.

And then…patch 0.7.3…Finally the Russian heavy changes!

Excuse me, my tanks are calling and the weekend is a-wasting 🙂

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Tanks for the memories

World of TanksI did say that I would post my thoughts on World of Tanks, now that I’ve had more time playing it.

After 7 months of playing and over 6,000 random battles, I now have 3 fully upgraded tier 8 tanks. Tier 10 is looking a long way off, and to be honest the fun has gone out of this game for me.

When I first joined WoT in June 2011 there were 3 patches that made fundamental changes to the matchmaker, and added new vehicles and new maps. Several statements were made about upcoming changes to the technology trees, so it was quite encouraging at first, but the pace of change in World of Tanks has become slow and erratic since then. Changes to the tech trees announced 6 months ago have still not happened, although a limited French tech tree has been added. A new tier 8 premium tank, the Chinese Type 59, was added but due to it’s matchmaker rankings was mostly facing tier 6 tanks where it was difficult to counter. The Type 59 caused a lot of bad feeling in the community that eventually led to a matchmaker adjustment, but I think the damage is already done on that one. New game modes have been proposed but still not implemented.

The grind at tier 7 and above is insane. After fully upgrading your vehicle it still costs 80-100k+ research to move to tier 8. For an average premium player this is probably 100+ random battles, for a non-premium player over 150, played in just one game mode, Random. The game really needs some new game modes, as random is too random. Since the retail release of WoT it seems more and more people play with little or no sense of teamwork, in what is after all a team vs. team game. Griefing also seems to be on the rise again with people purposefully blocking and shooting team mates.

I’ll keep the account for now and play the odd game during special events, but I’m not interested in grinding it any further.

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Tanking, in a big way

World of TanksA friend of mine introduced me to World of Tanks, a free-to-play (freemium), Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game.

The basic principle is that starting from low-tier light tanks you earn experience and credits during battles that you can use to research and upgrade new components (suspension, engines, radios, turrets, and guns) for your tank, purchase new tanks, and pay for repairs / reloads after battle.

The tanks are based upon the World War II era (actually from the 30s to the 50s including prototypes and experimental designs) and there are currently 3 nationalities; the Soviets, the Germans and the Americans. There are plans to introduce more nationalities, the French line being expected next, with English and possibly Italian later on.

Each nation has it’s own research tree comprising light, medium and heavy tanks, tank destroyers and self-propelled guns (field artillery). The research trees are being added to in each patch with an average of 70 tanks (including premium) expected for each nation in the final version.

Beyond your tank and its components you can also load two types of ammo; armour-piercing (AP) and high-explosive (HE), premium users have access to 2 more expensive types APCR and HEAT, and there are a wide selection of bolt-on equipment like cammo nets and consumables like first-aid kits. Your crew also gains experience and when they reach 100% they can learn secondary skills to aid you in battle.

Premium users can, rather than grinding experience to move up the research tree, buy specific premium tanks at various tiers, but these premium tanks cannot be upgraded and are usually slightly less powerful than fully upgraded tanks in their tier.

Battles are 15-aside played across a variety of maps using a capture-the-flag format…more on how battles work below.

Now on to my experiences of the actual gameplay.

World of Tanks is quite addictive at the lower tiers. Tearing around in a light tank, popping off rounds, and getting the kill-shot on an enemy tank get the adrenalin flowing and give you the hunger to experience the bigger, more powerful tanks.

It took me about 2 weeks of playing to get my first tier 5 tank, and now with over 1,500 battles under my belt after 4 weeks I have 2 tier 6 tanks. To get to a tier 10 will probably take a few months and 10s or even 100s of thousands of battles. As all that I’m doing is playing random battles this will be quite a grind!

The battle system currently is random battle; you select your tank, click ready, briefly sit in a queue until the matchmaker can select 30 tanks of roughly equal weight, then off you go for a 15 minute battle…rinse, repeat. The matchmaker system assigns a range of possible matchup ranks to each tier / type of tank and uses this plus tank weight to decide on who ends up in each battle. I believe that the matchmaker fills slots from the top-down so this often means that your lowly tier 4 medium ends up being at the bottom of the list, facing off against tier 7 heavies. You will occasionally get the match where you are top of the heap, but these seem much fewer and far between than being stomped by bigger, badder tanks.

This wouldn’t be such a problem, small tanks working in concert can take down a big tank quickly with few losses if they co-ordinate with each other ,but the random battle system provides no way of easily co-ordinating. Voice chat is reserved for premium users, as is platooning (teams of up to 3 players that join a game together), so free users can’t easily talk to team mates or even ensure that they can play with the same people over a series of battle to get some familiarity.

I’m still having fun but not as much as when I played in the lower tiers. I have even gone back and bought lower tier tanks that I didn’t try on my way up to tier 6 (you can have 5 tanks in your garage, or pay for more garage slots).

As they are still patching at roughly monthly intervals some of my gripes may be resolved, I’ll just have to wait and see.

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