Money Makers and Money Takers – The economics of World of Tanks
Economics in World of Tanks. Strategy Guide. Publisher: Wargaming.net. Developer: Wargaming.net. Free-to-Play
For a free-to-play game, World of Tanks does a good job of tempting gamers to shell out cash. Its highly addictive gameplay means that gamers who start playing are likely to stick around. The ability to purchase gold allows players to accelerate their progress through the game. Some gamers frown upon so called “wallet warriors” but those purists seem to forget that without the paying customers, the free game wouldn’t be free.
That said, economics these days mean many gamers have tight budgets. Sometimes the cash is there, sometimes it is not. This article will examine various strategies for maximizing income in the game (credits) while minimizing cash paid out (the purchase of gold).
…players should not overlook the mid-tier SPGs to turn some quick money.
During the Beta gamers were given a bonus of 250 gold each day. Since the commercial launch, that bonanza has ended. There is only one way to get gold in the game and that is to pay for it. The exchange rate for gold can vary from as little as $6.95 for 1250 gold to $99.95 for 25000 gold. The full schedule of exchange can be found here. Rounding the numbers, gamers will find that the best rate they can get is to plunk down about $100, where they’ll get about 250 gold for every US dollar spent. Gamers who buy in smaller amounts will find the worst exchange rate is about 175 gold/ $1.00. Clearly the more convenient approximation is 250 gold = $1.00 but that’s a false number if you’re not spending $100. Awkward as it is, gamers are probably better off using the 175:1 ratio. Or we could try to meet somewhere in the middle and say 200 gold = $1.00, which sort of splits the difference.
Approximations are just that, approximations. With the exchange rate varying so widely, each gamer will have to keep his own number in mind as if he plans on budgeting any kind of money into the game.
The decision itself to pay even a single dollar in the game can be controversial. Some gamers are purists and I have heard of clans that will snub any gamers suspected of purchasing their advancement in the game. Others are more forgiving, but there is a clear divide in the World of Tanks gaming community.
World of Tanks can be enjoyably played without paying for anything, though the grind can be long at times. Buying gold can accelerate advancement, but that is not the only reason to purchase it. Premium items can only be purchased in gold – and credits cannot be reversed back into gold. That means if you want a premium item you have to pay real money for it. These premium items range from ammunition that deals out more damage to tanks that are both fairly high-level, robust, and perhaps most importantly, generate lots and lots of credits for every battle fought.
The most recognizable premium tank is the Löwe, though the KV-5 is a rough equivalent and is available to gamers who prefer Soviet equipment to German. There are some differences between the tanks in terms of armor, speed, and reload times, but they both do the same job – provide instant access to Level VIII tanks and they crank out the credits. Paying for these tanks returns the favor.
How much money can you make with a Löwe or KV-5 and how much can other tanks cost? For the last couple of weeks I’ve been recording the results of battles for tanks across a variety of levels, nations, and types. Veteran World of Tanks players know that the high level tanks can soak up money. My Level X IS-7 is a monster. Played well, I can come out ahead. Have a bad day, and it’s easy to be in the hole. The IS-7 can take over 25,000 credits to repair. In one game with one kill and three damages I earned 22,465 credits and was fortunate enough to only suffer about 500 in damage. However, those days aren’t guaranteed. In another game my Level 10 T-30 American heavy tank was taken out early. Costing some 28,000 credits to repair it only earned 9800 in that game. Deficits like can take time to dig out of. But there is hope.
To support the credit munching high level tanks players can, as noted above, buy gold to then purchase a premium tank. Löwes and KV-5’s can quickly pay for themselves even on bad days. Good days can be huge. A recent battle in my Löwe where our team was outplayed, I had one kill and one damaged to my credit. The repair bill for a fully destroyed Löwe was 8,473 credits, but my income was 20,509! Not bad for a sloppy day’s work. A good day can see income nearly double that. Another game saw my Löwe only damage one tank. But our team won the game and the bill was just shy of 8000 credits to repair it and 31,000 earned. Good games can see returns of that more than doubled. With three tanks destroyed and four damaged with me helping to cap and surviving, I managed to score the Sniper award and scooped up a whopping 77,000 credits! In chatting with someone about the wins of a Löwe he claimed he had earned a staggering 150,000 credits in one game. I guess on a lucky day, it’s possible, though I would have liked to have seen proof.
But there are other ways to earn credits than simply buying a Löwe or KV-5 and raking in the money. One of my favorite ways is through the mid-level SPGs. My favorite is the American M41. These SPGs are cheap to repair, usually somewhere in the range of 1500 credits, and they can easily pull in 5,000 – 6,000 credits on a bad day, and 20,000 on a good one. Granted, this isn’t a celestial 70,000 credits the Löwe produces, but it’s very respectable and can be accomplished without forking over any money for gold. I’ve had great luck using any of the mid-level SPGs, but would suggest levels IV and V. The Priest, the M41, and the Hummel all successfully reload fairly quickly, can reach large sections or the entire map, and deal out enough damage to sometimes one-shot a tank. The official Wiki states “Credits are awarded for participating in battle and battle performance (mostly for damage inflicted in HP).” Clearly it’s great to destroy a tank, but players should never shy away from simply damaging them. All SPGs have to do is lend a hand to the fight. Even if they fail to kill a single tank, a handful of damaged ones can be very successful rewarding.
For players interested in generating credits quickly, the best method, of course, is the most costly – buy gold. The second best method is to buy a premium tank like the Löwe or KV-5. But it can be done on the cheap, and players should not overlook the mid-tier SPGs to turn some quick money.