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Posted on Jan 19, 2011 in Electronic Games

World of Tanks – MMO Game Preview

By Jim Zabek

World of Tanks. PC Game.  Wargaming.net. Free to play.

Armchair General gave a preview of the Beta of the free MMO World of Tanks back in July of last year. Since then, changes and tweaks have been made in the game and given its popularity (over a half-million players in the Beta), we thought we should update our readers on what’s happening the game now.

World of Tanks is the brainchild of Wargaming.net. It is a Massive Multiplayer Online game (MMO) based (at this point) exclusively around tank combat set approximately during the Second World War. There are some early prototype vehicles, as well as experimental models that never saw actual service. Some of the vehicles stretch into the 1950’s, but the general atmosphere of the game will give gamers a definite World War Two vibe.

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There are plans to add both air combat and infantry to the game, but those are longer-term goals. At the moment the game has been released commercially in Russia, but it remains in closed beta for the rest of the world. The open beta is planned once a European-based server has been created, and the game is slated for commercial release sometime in the first quarter of 2011.

World of Tanks has something else going for it – it’s free to play. Free games are a growing trend these days, and they are not gimmicks. Most of them are every bit as well developed as any $50 game on the shelf. The catch is that the developers dangle some tempting fruit in front of gamers: the ability to accelerate their experience and production by spending money.

The press account I have been given has taken the worry about upgrades out of the equation. With literally a billion gold points (and I have no idea how much money that would equate to in real life) I could rush through the tech tree in a few minutes and create any vehicle in the game. Presently, three nations are playable: the United States, Germany, and the Soviet Union, though more are planned. The developers have made great effort to try to simulate the characteristics of each tank produced by each nation.

Gamers should make World of Tanks a must-play

However, Wargaming.net has attempted to balance realism with fun. The result is not so much a tank simulation as it is is a solid mix of an action game for tank fans. Each tank behaves uniquely. At the top end of the scale, the US T30 heavy tank is fast, has a good gun, and great optics which allow the player to quickly zero in on a target. Its armor, however, is light, and it’s quite vulnerable compared to, say, the German Maus. The Maus, on the other hand, is s-l-o-w. It moves ponderously. Its turret swivels but oh-so-slowly. The gun is very powerful but takes an eternity to reload. I know I’m driving a Maus when I see Tiger tanks zipping past me like Porsches on the Autobahn.

Tanks have individual components which can be damaged, and these range from the engine to the ammo (which can catch fire) to the tracks. Tanks in the game can be immobilized, but treads are quickly repaired – somewhere around 20 seconds. This concession to reality means that players can get back in the hunt fairly quickly, but not overly fast – an immobilized tank caught in the open is a sitting duck, and if several enemy tanks take it under fire, it’s a goner.

Currently the only gameplay available in the closed beta are random battles. These take place on large maps. Many of the maps are historically accurate, and players will recognize them instantly. It’s actually really neat to game in these high-quality 3D maps with battles like Kursk actually coming to life. The players on each side are randomly chosen, with the result that German tanks fight happily alongside of American and Soviet tanks. This can make for some interesting battles, and it’s not uncommon to see two German tanks slugging it out.

In addition to tanks there is some self-propelled artillery in the game. Artillery adds an interesting aspect. None of the artillery are well-armored, and if taken under fire, they typically are destroyed with one shot, two at the most. Becoming proficient with artillery takes some time. Instead of direct fire, the player presses the Shift key and goes into artillery mode. The map then moves to an overhead view, and I was left with the unmistakable impression that this looked like the kind of image I would see from a satellite. In this mode the player can see the map on a real-time basis. If another player on his team has line-of-sight on an enemy tank, the player will be able to see it. If there is no line-of-sight, the player can still see any buildings crushed or trees overrun by tanks, which are good indicators of a target.

Spotting and targeting are two different things, however. Each time the player moves his mouse the aiming reticle is disturbed. This simulates the traverse of the gun – usually the entire vehicle – realigning on a new target. Realignment takes time; it can take several seconds for aim to be stabilized, so hitting a moving target is nearly impossible. Nearly – it can be done, but it involves both luck and skill. Conversely, any tank that sits still for long tempts fate. However, all is not lost. Indirect fire isn’t omnipotent. Building or geographic features can block fire, and a spotted tank hiding on the wrong side (or right side for them) of an obstacle will be frustratingly protected. The player is faced with the choice of waiting for the tank to emerge from shelter (keep in mind that the spotting tank may be destroyed while you wait) or zipping across the map to find easier pickings – again disturbing the aiming reticule and requiring several seconds to zero in on a new target…which might move, or lose the spotting vehicle. It can be rather frustrating to see a major battle heating up in a valley, but be unable to bring fire support to allies because the gun can’t get a good firing solution. Novice gamers will sometimes quip nasty remarks about the quality of their artillery in the game, but the fact is artillery is only as good as its spotters. Also common are lighter tanks trying to break through to the rear. If a flank – or worse frontline – is unguarded, it’s short work to take out a side’s artillery. Teamwork is the key, and players who work well together will shred a bunch of loners.

Typically battles are fought in elaborate games of Panther and Maus. The two sides rush to choke points on the map, then take shelter around rocks or buildings. Each tank will then nose out, pop a shot, and retreat behind cover. Gameplay is reminiscent of a first-person shooter, but there is more to World of Tanks than crazy run-and-gun tactics. Smart players will find good positions on the map, shoot and scoot, and generally try to emulate sound tank tactics.

Heavy tanks, with their long reload times (and many lacking turrets) act more like snipers, edging out, unleashing a devastating shot, then easing back into cover. Medium tanks, however, can band together like a school of sharks and zip across the map. Their armor allows them to absorb a few shots, their fast reload times mean that they can bang out shots quickly, and if enough of them swarm a heavier tank, it will quickly be overwhelmed. Light tanks are best used for spotting. Their job is to ID enemy positions for the artillery and get out of the way of the bigger boys. The trick is to get with a group of guys who are thinking as a team. World of Tanks has obviously been designed as a cooperative, team-based game. I can easily see clans of highly competent gamers emerging who will wreak havoc on the unsuspecting or less skilled.

Currently communications in the game are limited to written messages, though plans are in the works to implement high quality voice chat. At present the server is filled with players from all over the world, and it’s almost as common to see players chatting in Russian or Portuguese as it is in English. I expect that as more servers come online US-based servers will become less populated with foreign languages as gamers will likely want servers with the lowest pings and will gravitate to ones closer geographically.

A Clan Wars module is scheduled for release soon, and this should provide an interesting development in gameplay. Players can form clans of up to 100 gamers. These clans will fight to dominate a global map set during the 1940’s. Clans will have a common treasury, so there will be an incentive to join a clan, who can then choose to power level players up the tech tree. Financial management will be a key skill to develop, as funds won’t be unlimited. The best clans will not only be filled with competent, team-based players, but also with financial managers who can keep an eye on the clan’s spending. The financial aspect of the game promises to be intriguing. Clans will be able to form alliances with other clans. Also, clans will need to fight for new territories – a newly formed clan must fight its way onto the map. Force disposition will not be visible to enemy clans, but Clan Wars will offer some features to scout/spy territory to determine how well fortified it is. Obviously, an attacking clan will want to try and take lightly guarded territories, all of which sounds like it’s going to make for some dynamic and enjoyable gameplay. Expect to see the Clan Wars module implemented soon.

World of Tanks is already a lot of fun to play, but the upcoming improvements hint at even better things to come. With the open beta, launch of a European server, and release of the Clan Wars module right around the corner, gamers should make World of Tanks a must-play. It’s free and fun. Lone wolf players won’t fare nearly as well as guys who work together, learn the maps, and master strategies to win.

About the Author

Jim Zabek is a part time games editor and full time zombie hunter.  When not writing, editing, or playing games he can be found stalking zombies, keeping them off the streets so the rest of you can commute to work without being eaten for breakfast.  By zombies.

61 Comments

  1. alt+enter for full screen / LOL

    dont play it in windowed mode!

  2. This is a good article but there are two GLARING errors—one of which could actually make some players turn away.

    1) You mentioned having an enormous amount of Gold, so much so that you could quickly get to the top tiers of tanks. This is incorrect. Unless you also have been given copious amounts of Experience (which is NOT purchasable for real money—you get it ONLY by playing, and is used to unlock tanks), no player is able to quickly get to the best tanks by paying cash money. Yes, Gold can help, but it does not give unfair advantages.

    2) You mention Heavy Tanks as often lacking turrets. While I see the point for a short review, potential players should know that, to my (substantial) knowledge, every Heavy Tank has a turret. Tank Destroyers, on the other hand, do not, and act as the aforementioned snipers.

    Number 2 isn’t too important, but if you read this please edit Number 1…I have read a decent amount of reviews, and people often get the false impression that paying money gives unfair advantages.

  3. It may be difficult to see, but if you go to the third image (images are on Page 3) you’ll find that was give approximately five million experience, too. That image was specifically published to indicate the massive amount of extras my account was given so that folks could understand that aspect of my experience was not typical.

    • Alright, thanks for clearing that up…I really like this game quite a bit and whenever I see non-players discussing it, the huge concern is that Gold gives unfair advantages. Thanks!

      • I’m involved in the closed beta as well.

        In game gold will probably bve about US$10 for 2500 gold.

        This 2500 will buy:

        A month of premium membership ( double XP, a spiffy garage, and the ability to form a platoon with two other players )

        One or two premium tanks; low tier unique heavy or medium tanks, like a Churchill or a Matilda, for example. Not game breaking, but they will allow you to get into something more than a beginner’s battle.

        The ability to convert XP from premium tanks into points that can be spent on any other tank. With gold, you can convert XP earned on a completely researched tank ( gold tanks mentioned above are good for this ) to points you can use on a family of tanks you want to accelerate research on.

        You can convert it into game credits to buy an already researched vehicle … at 400 to one. That 2500 gold will get you about half the cash cost of that new heavy tank you just researched, instead of grinding a few days to get the in-game cash together.

        And finally, you can buy premium ammo and expendables … like APCR ammo for that Sherman, or HEAT rounds for that KV-2 … at 5 to 20 gold a shell.

        Not game breaking … but it will allow the developers to pay for the free ice cream we are enjoying.

  4. Thanks for the review. Logan made a point with his #2, but his #1 is inaccurate, as you pointed out.
    I like the game, though, the need for varied game formats (not just capture the flag) are needed, as well as limiting the tiers of tanks in battle. It is no fun for a Tier 3 tank to go up against a Tier 9 tank, though, that is why we are Beta Testing it.

    • I hope this doesn’t sound too confrontational—that is not how I mean it.

      My first statement was entirely true. I assume (please correct me if I am wrong) that you are referencing my comment about him not being able to zoom right to the top with Gold, when the author later said that he also was given an extraordinary amount of Experience. If you look at my comment, you will see that I said,

      “Unless you also have been given copious amounts of Experience (which is NOT purchasable for real money—you get it ONLY by playing, and is used to unlock tanks), no player is able to quickly get to the best tanks by paying cash money. Yes, Gold can help, but it does not give unfair advantages.”

      Note the first line—I mentioned the possibility of him having gotten a large amount of EXP.

      Is this why you said I was incorrect?

    • Hi everybody

      My name is Jeremy and I work as PR Officer at Wargaming.net, World of Tanks Team. I must agree with WoTBetaTester that the game lacks the diversity of modes at the moment. The thing is that the standard mode we currently have is in the best way suitable for testing purposes. But we understand that the game needs more of interesting modes and we will definitely add them. The Assault and Domination are being tested now and you’ll these two new modes in the release version.

  5. Its a shame you didn’t get to review how painful it is to grind experience in lackluster tanks to get to something that is fun to play. If they had given you a regular account you would not have been able to write about the maus and the T30 at the same time for at least a few months. You have to play many many games in smaller, less fun tanks, while often being outgunned, in order to get to the better tanks.

    In response to Logan, having gold in this game will give an unfair advantage in that it is the only currency you can buy premium shells with. Premium shells are like normal shells except that they do much more damage and/or penetration and you will pay real money for each shot.

    • Yes (and for what it’s worth, I used to buy lots of it when we were getting 500 Gold), but I classify that as a “fair advantage”, as opposed to, say, being able to buy a IS-7. While the premium ammo is good and useful, it isn’t like players without it can’t compete with those who do.

      Semantics, semantics. :)

    • Perhaps this is just my POV, but the smaller tanks, for me anyway, are more fun. That grinding out is my game play.

  6. Jim, before writing the next preview, why don’t you try a normal account for a week or two and see how that plays? “Fun” and “must buy” is easy enough to say when you’ve got lots of free XP and credits on the account. When you have to grind for it, on the other hand, it’s a very different experience…

  7. Probably because it’s a preview and not a review. Protocol in previews is to cover only the positive aspects – negative ones are likely known to the devs and may be subject to revision. There’s no way to predict that changes won’t be made since the code is, by definition, still in a state of flux.

    That said, this is also a free game, and while the grind might be painful, the cost of finding out is pretty light.

    As for a full review – we might consider it, but again, because it’s a free game, I’m more likely to get our writers to focus on for-pay games since that’s where folks will want to more in-depth coverage. If we get enough reader feedback in our forums I reserve the right to change my mind, but it is a free game we’re talking about :)

    • Fair enough. I can understand why the developers don’t want any negative feedback in previews.

      Unfortunately, by saying that the game is “fun” and “must buy” you’re coming dangerously close to lying to your readers. The game is neither “fun”, nor is it a “must buy” (how can it even be that when it’s supposedly free). Take a look at the forums and read through some of the long threads by people explaining why this game is very much unfun and nothing but one long horrible grind for the tier 8+ tanks.

      Also, keep in mind that this game, while it claims to be free-to-play, is very much a pay-to-play game in that it’s designed to make the non-premium-user grind so horrible that the player will either have to pay a monthly fee of least $15, perhaps even $20 or $25 depending on how much XP needs to be converted and how many crewmembers must be trained, or leave, making this a very expensive MMO to play.

      Finally, as for change… I firmly believe that what you’ve been playing is very close to the final version – if not THE final version. The game is already live in Russia and the developers have so far refused to make any changes to the core game play mechanics.
      I hope that I’m wrong – I really do. And I’m looking forward to the new game play modes that the developers have been promising us ever since I joined the beta five months ago. But I’m not holding my breath…

      • Sorry if you disagree. And for the record, I believe I said “must play” not “must buy” :) For a free game, I think gamers owe it to themselves to check it out and decide for themselves.

        Also, keep in mind – *this game isn’t finished yet*

        There is at least one new module coming (Clan Wars) that is likely to significantly alter gameplay.

        Guys, World of Tanks isn’t finished. Which is exactly why Previews don’t go hard-core negative on them. Until the full-game is out we simply don’t know the full scope of the game. Bashing it now is unfair.

        I understand your frustration. But let’s see how it plays when it’s done. Do I expect the grind to go away? No. But what happens when you join a clan and they power level you to, say, an Elite Lee rather than a crappy starting level? That might have a big impact on your assessment, no?

      • Ups… Terribly sorry ’bout that buy/play mistake. It’s getting late and my cold is getting the better of me…

        As for the completeness of the game: I stand by what I said. The game is almost certainly the full game – engine, game play mechanics, and all. Clan War might change a few things, but I doubt it. Already the indications are that the clans will simply use the biggest baddest tanks (IS-4, IS-7, T-54) they can use for any given battle and that’s it.
        Also, it won’t change anything for those of us who have no clan and prefer to simply play a few random battles every now and again.

        As you can probably tell from my posts… Yes, I’m frustrated. VERY frustrated. If only the developers would actually communicate with the players. Give us an indication that our concerns are heard and being looked into. But no…
        That’s why I have so little hope for this game. There’s a great premise in it, but the execution is extremely poor. And there’s no indication that the developers are doing anything to solve the major issues that the game have. Match-making. (In)visible tanks. Shells that disappear in mid-flight. A terrible grind. Clan War will do nothing to solve these issues…

      • No worries.

        I can understand the frustration. It’s easy to see where the grind could be.

        The proof will be in the pudding. They’ve had over a million registrations in the “closed” beta. But when I was online the server indicated there were no more than about 14,000 online, and often in the evenings, closer to 5000. Commercial success will be the ultimate evidence of whether it’s striking the right balance.

      • F2k,

        I am sorry you feel that the game is not all that great. What you do not understand is that a writer or blogger can say what he thinks about anything they want, even buy or playing a game. Just because he said a “must play” does not mean people have too. I think you should jump off a bridge, but you doing so is at your own accord.

        What I am getting at is simple, people do not have to do anything they do not want to do.

        The game is not finished and most of the thread on the beta forums are created by trolls to get a heated re ponce. 90% of the posts started are not even replied by the original poster after the first page. To claim may people hate is false if they still play it.

        Do not make excuses for this hatred of the game with people clearly still playing it. Even the trolls still play the game even if they hate it so much.

        If I have learned anything from betas is this, never trust the players who are there to report bug issues. Most testers hardly do the job they are tasked with. The last thing I have learned is that all game forums are just trolling grounds. nothing more or less.

    • You sound like a noob in the game. I have been playing since it went into beta stage, and this game is fun to play as long as your willing to work. And Grinding credits for tanks is not bad at all. As you earn the experience needed for the upgrades you get close to the cost it takes to buy next tank. You just have to put in the time to get proficient at the game, and you will advance quickly.

      Recap this is a great game and i endorse it completely.
      See you in battle.

      • I completely agree. This game is great, and the way I see it is that if you want the better tanks, and you have to battle to get there, wouldn’t that make you want to play the game even more. I know that’s how I am. I start playing, and even though I have to, I never want to stop, just so I can get that tank I always wanted. About the only thing I could request though is to lower the exp costs for research on the German side. It takes longer to get to the good tanks.

  8. To be fair to the game:

    It is typically played with a wide range of tanks in the field, where a few are outguned and outclassed by the higher “tier” tanks. A high tier medium tank can easily win one-on-one with a low tier heavy tank, even if player skills is most important and the occasional lucky or unlucky shot sometimes is decisive.

    Don’t expect to get into the huge behemots any time soon unless you dedicate every waking hour for a week.

    The grind does serve a purpose though, apart from keeping you in game. While climbing the steeper and steeper hill that is tank upgrades, you will learn how to play different style tanks.

    • I know it’s hard for me to stay unbiased here being a part of World of Tank Team, but I will totally agree with armored nutcase. World of Tanks is not about getting a high-tier tank for a win. The game is all about tactics, team cooperation and knowing the enemy’s weak points.

      Playing in a platoon or a team changes the gameplay completely. Experienced players know that a wolf-pack of T-44’s is a real threat to any single enemy. Even a 4-tier light tank is dangerous for a Maus if it plays in cooperation with artillery. The result of any battle in World of Tanks completely depends on how well all the teammates play together.

    • As someone who’s also testing the game, I’m completely enjoying it, and I’m only up to tier 7, you don’t have to be in a behemoth tank to have fun, the tier 1-2 class can be a blast to play too, zipping around in a little Leichtraktor or M1 has its merits too.

    • I’m sorry if folks don’t like the game; I ADORE it. The developers have definitely been gamer-friendly to those of us in the closed beta, the game is fun, whether you’re playing Tier 2 tanks or Tier 9 tanks. Moving up to the Tier 9 tank – competing with friends who are trying to move up to their Tier 9 tank – is part of the fun of the game, and shouldn’t be dismissed as “grinding.”

      Are there more features that could be added? Sure. Do they have to be added for you to have fun with the game, as is? NOT AT ALL.

      The real question about the time you spend on the game is much the same as ANY pursuit: Do you enjoy it? If so, you’ll be like me, and can’t wait to see the next things that come out. If not, then you may very well be tough to please.

      I’m a bit worried that there may be a memory leak causing graphic issues in the last closed-beta release, but I have no doubt that it will be found, and fixed.

      The developers have given us a WONDERFUL game.

  9. I’m kind of in the middle. I do believe this is a game with a lot of potential and that grinding is just part of playing a MMO. I however believe saying that this game will be “FREE” to play is about as far a stretch of the imagination as you can get, I fully intend to play the live release, and I am also fully aware that it will cost me more real money than any another MMO I have played. I realize it may be unfair to judge your preview because you were not given the same BETA game we all have played, which to us meant, for an example, playing a out gunned Lee for 500 matches with a 2% kill rate lol. It is because of these dead spots of horribly stagnate grinding in the game people that cause people to become bitter with some of your comments. Given all its faults I still believe it to be a great game with a terrific concept.
    F1ReFly

  10. I’m just wondering why russian tanks are over german tanks in power. After all, as we all know the history, german tanks, especially Tiger was most powerfull tank in WW II. During game I had feelings that developers simply made russian tanks over german tanks. Even though that germans lost the war, it doesn’t mean that game should be based on that :| In my opinion german tanks are simple underpowered.
    Someone mentioned that player starting game with low Tier tank is getting outgunned every game. I agree with that, ballance system is just terrible. I understand tactic “mediums = faster = scouters” but one single shoot and our scout is down. So where is the fun ?
    I drive Maus now and still, I feel that my armour (200mm) is just joke (200mm of paper) and also 180 tons with 128mm gun ? Hard to belive that Maus had so little gun.
    I hope that Wargaming.net will change some things at official release version.
    Regards.

    • I agree – it feels like the Russians are favored.

      The T-54 is probably the uber-tank of all. But the Russians did produce some good tanks.

      Most importantly…this is a game. It’s not a sim.

      Had the Germans been able to mass produce Ferdinands they may very well have steamrolled the Eastern Front. Given that fact,the devs may have backed off of the German accuracy to make for a more balanced game. Hey, I’m speculating here. Haven’t spoke to the devs about it. Just coming up with a theory based on long experience looking at wargames of many flavors.

      Again, until we see the final product, it will be difficult to say with any certainty that the Russians have the best armor. That *could* change. Given the fact that the devs are from Ukraine, they may have a bias toward Soviet equipment. Or maybe not. Maybe their research is modeled on some kind of historical fact. I dunno. I’ll see if I can find out, though.

      • Battlefields in the game are about 1 km wide, so extreme shooting accuracy cannot be modelled. Also, view range is limited by type of turret and is at best only a half kilometre, way less than in reality.

        You are not supposed to slug it out with a weaker tank against a stronger enemy but to catch a shot or two and run. Maneuver, get a flank shot!

        If artillery hits a tank which location was transmitted by your radio, you get a share of the reward. So you can find tanks, hide and let artillery shoot them to pieces. Heavy tanks are very vulnerable to artillery, a single hit can take more than half of hitpoints out of a heavy tank and even a Maus can lose 15 per cent of its strength from one hit.

        It is a surprisingly deep game, with myriad of tactical options, most of which I have not seen applied even once. For example, you get reward points for hitting an enemy inside your own base area. So, it could be entirely possible to stage an ambush, let enemy take your base and then attack them from all sides.

      • The reason for the underpowering of the Tiger’s is probably the fact that its not a sim.
        If WoT was a sim, then the Tiger I and Tiger II would be the best tanks in the game, no one would ever play anything else, and the game would be very very boring.

        Because WoT is using HP, not one pentration equals Death, the shortcomings of the Tiger I & II are more obvious, and its much more difficult to do as well in them than in the Russian tanks. That doesnt mean that you cant do well in them, its just easier to play Russian tanks (although they have their own problems).
        I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve lost against Tiger IIs at long range, or even in a knife-fight, where my IS3 (supposedly) has the advantage. I will admit that I dont play German heavys, but I do play with and against them, and those are my observations on it. Maybe they’re right, maybe their not.

        I’m not going to comment on the whole ‘If only Germany had done this, they could have won’ thing, as its usually not the case (IE; ‘If Germany had taken Britain, they would have won the War’ is something that gets bandied around a lot, and its false. Germany could have taken all of western europe and Africa, and they still would have been destroyed by Stalin.)

        Also, in your review, you stated that Many Heavy tanks lack Turrets (near the bottom of Page 2). Which game are you playing? All heavy tanks in the Game have turrets. its only the TD/SPG branch (and the godawful Lee) that dont have turrets.

    • As a followup…I have a couple of books on tank specs, but the Maus isn’t listed. Apparently it only covers mass-produced stuff.

      Wikipedia lists the Maus as having a 128mm gun http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzer_VIII_Maus

      That’s something I can understand. Remember that for most of the war, the 88 was more than sufficient at taking out everything on the battlefield. It was only late in the war that Russian armor got thick enough to start bouncing 88 rounds.

      As for the “light” armor – the Germans had been heavily bombed by the time the first (and only) prototype rolled off the assembly. The Germans suffered from a lack of robust engines and equipment. Heck they were using a Panther’s powerplant to try and move a King Tiger. *If* they had had the proper ability to make a good engine, then maybe we would have seen better armor.

      • The game has several German heavy tanks of which Maus is the uber example. There are several Tiger variants which are very powerful. All of them seem quite slow, though, but neither are Soviet Josif Stalin variants very fast. High-tier medium tanks are as strong as many heavies but much more maneuverable.

        Guns differ in penetration ability, explosive power, accuracy, loading times, radius of shell explosion, even amount of ammo carried with the tank.

    • We are accumulating tons of statistics that helps us adjust every single unit. And according to this statistics Russian tanks are not overpowered in any way comparing to the German units. We are experienced game developers and we just had no right to make one nation better than the other one. In World of Tanks, nations are not “better” or “worse”, they are different. Each nation has its own peculiarities that determine the playing style, and knowing these peculiarities is what helps you be a good player.

      And by the way, Russian players used to complain about the German tanks (!) all the time saying that they are completely overpowered. One more interesting thing, the first Championship in Russia was won the team consisting of German tanks only while the Tournament in the Western beta was won by the Polish team playing Russian tanks.

      JT, WoT Team

    • Revised.
      The Maus only had a 128mm and the thing was so heavy and created such strain on the components that it was known to break down regularly. If they wanted to be more true to life, they could’ve made your tank randomly break down in the middle of battle. Also, according to tests done with a captured Tiger II at Kubinka, 85mm Soviet projectiles (as found in the T-34/85 and SU-85) fully penetrated all but the front glacis plate of the tank. I believe those same projectiles could penetrate the glacis plate of Tiger I tanks. Even when projectiles did not penetrate the armor of the Tiger II, the poor quality of the metal used resulted in extensive spalling on the interior, likely wounding crewmembers or damaging other equipment – also discovered in tests at Kubinka. The Soviet tests finally concluded that “The excessive size and weight of the tank do not correspond to the tank’s armor protection and firepower.” Maybe that applies to Maus as well…

      See http://www.battlefield.ru/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=282&Itemid=123&lang=en

  11. There already is a voice chat in the game. It works in Platoons and Tank Companies.

    • Good to know. Thanks!

  12. NIce review.

    I have been playing now for 8 weeks in the closed beta, and I would like to add that it has been a long time since I played a game where I actually have the feeling that by practicing, experiencing with different tactics and driving different tanks, I become more skilled. I am 47 and playing games since they exist; this game brings back the thrill of out-smarting your opponents, with the online fist person shooters my sons have been playing for ages, it is all about speed and knowing your way on the maps. With WoT, you have time to think and react.
    It is also worth mentioning that having the biggest gun, or the fastest tank does not necessarily increase the fun-factor. Opponents are placed in balanced games, having a higher tier tank, does not change the game experience, you exchange top speed for punch, depends on what you like!

    Best game since ages.

  13. umm it not half million players

    world of tanks already said it over 1 million beta testers
    which is alot 0.o

    • Let’s be honest, World of Tanks doesn’t have one million players. We have nearly one million registrations in Russia and a bit less than 300 thousand registrations in Europe and America. But, naturally, one registration is not equal to one active player. Still, we are looking forward to reaching one million active players in some period of time.
      JT, WoT Team

  14. just a thought i dont tend to read much on fourms so correct me if im wrong but if the game is focused on team play then why must i pay gold to get premium so i can creat a platoon and go tanking with some freinds instead of doing a company battle against 15 is7s with my t1 heavy or a training battle where i get nothing from it i know they need to make cash out of gold but thats was to get an edge in the gaming area rather then to make the game more enjoyable

    • The game is free!!! ok they have to make money on it somehow. Platoons in one way, deal with it

  15. Greetings from front line. Day started nicely, heavy music pounching my ears and morning coffee cup in hand. Basic realoding and making sure that the repair kit + medic kit installed, check. Everything looks ok. and off we go… 1st map seems city map, whit is favour to my T30. Sharp corners and alot things to hide while reloading long. There comes 1st pray, T-54 ,whit seems stock gun… Bang! straight true frontal and 55% left in his health. Behind him tryes to get true Maus , whit his arty friend. They blocked them self in narrow road so ill go whit the arty 1st… Boom, i am dead, GW Tiger made lucky shot and killed me, think hit in ammo rack. Oh well, back to garage and take another tank and of we go….

    This is the gaming most of the ppl. They go game and have fun. This game works just nicely atm, there are some bugs, but nothing that could kill totaly the experience of playing, and having fun :)

    I dont know is this the best game there is, mayby next month they launch some other game that is even better, but atm WoT will get 9+ (0-10 ).

    Justify the 9+? Well… I have played over 6 thousand games, whit company games 600+ (everyone forgot to say something about it) so far, i only have 1x Tier 10 (T30) and example i played 820 battles, just whit Tiger 1, cause i liked the tank, and 1000 battles whit T34 (US heavy tier 9) cause it is fun tank. I feel kinda sad that players thise days play games whit magnitude class, there aint the super mario-type joy in theyr games, its just hardcore stats and whining every simple details.

    As a game, i find it awesome, have made alot new friends in past 4 months. There are actual player communitys whit Ventrilos and TS3s, we are mature, over 25 year mainly, some 60 some 16, but main idea is the fun of game, talking about hows the day in office and whats your kinds doing atm (loud noise from mic behind) etc.. This game will become in time way better, i mean massive. And it will have solid, steady customers that log in to it after hard work day and just kill tanks.

    And honestly, if you were high educated developer, whit massive program job in hand ( WoT) , would you stay in game zone and “chat” whit players? no, you would like to make game better, so you get more players so company makes more cash in future and you might get rase. They make it for theyr work(nice job atm :) ).

    Sry for my bad english, well its not bad but .. have to do.. Hopely we see in games and have fun :)

    Higlander

  16. I love this game – it rocks. The balance engine has been improved since the early days and even if it looks like your on the inferior side it very rarely turns out that simple.

    I have done the grind, which isn’t that bad, and provides a sense of statisfaction when you get to the top. I have three tanks over level 8 but I still drop into my A20 light tank for a run around.

    If you want to make this game even better, try 3D – I have the NVidia 3D vision and although the game doesnt mention support for it it makes the game absolutely stunning.

    Nothing in life worth having is free, so get to the grind and have some fun!

    Cheers

    • I chatted with the manufacturer of a 3D screen and they indicated that many games, while not openly declaring it, actually are 3D.

      Glad to know this one works, too :)

  17. In chatting with the devs, they are working now on an infantry module. It’s not the top priority and I don’t have any kind of ETA, but it is something they’re working on. We may also see airplanes in the game at some point, too. But those definitely won’t be implemented in the initial retail release. Likely some kind of expansion in the future.

    • Hmm… not really sure if I would want infantry in the game. They should use caution in any changes not involving the tanks. Many people already believe that SPG’s shouldn’t be in the game. I myself don’t mind the occasional lucky shot from Arty, or if I am just sitting still and firing away in one spot to long yes they’ll zero in on me and yes that would be my fault. However the use of things like infantry and bombing runs by planes could really take away from a great game if done incorrectly.

      F1ReFly

    • Yes, Jim, we are looking forward to adding infantry and air support in some time. But this is a matter of the far future. Now we are totally focused on the release, Clan Wars, new modes and French tanks.

      Many thanks for the thoughtful preview, by the way.

      JT, WoT Team

      • You’re welcome. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and answer some questions!

      • Just goes to show the Devs pay absolutely no attention to their beta testers. Good luck running a Live MMO with total disregard for your players. I don’t have a crystal ball but with that mentality the world of tanks future looks bleak.

  18. Hello all, im new player, i start to play 4 days ago and i joined at best time. And first impression? Yes this game is fun. But too arcade for me. And it was fun to gain xp quickly. Of course i want to play this game to can reach high tiers for couple of day. Not for mounths. Now xp system returns to normal and game start to be boring… Why i needs to play thousands of battle to gain a little better tank? I want to test them all… why not? I need to go to work too and gain some money. I simply dont have time to play 8 hours every day. So i will not pay for some gold in game. Time=money, so i will pay real money to save game time. No other option for me. For example min 5EUR/montly for 2500gold + optionaly 5EUR for 5times xp + more 5EUR for 10times xp. May be some payment option for shorter time (1EUR for 3 days 10times xp). Thats will cost 5-15EUR / monthly to member. And there will be option for weekend warriors :) Thats could be the game i will pay for. Of course more realistic too. I prefere cockpit only view, no limited visibility, better balistics… and more… but thats are my preferences. So if will be true the game will be paid for some gold… i will not continue playing (and paying).

  19. Hello.
    I missing separate chat for ppl in platoon.
    In EU server play many unity ppl and many use mother tongue for comunication.

  20. World of Tanks is not an MMO. 30 players does not make an MMO. Perdiod.

    Either then that, its a cool game. Im playing it as we speak.

  21. Well over 3000 battles here.

    Love the game. Whithout the free 150 gold a day I could see the grind being horrendous if not impossible.

    My average battle in any of my three tanks I have, on average, has me break even on the credits or net a slight loss. Only one of my tanks, the IS, can consistantly net me a profit but it’s tiny. On average two to five thousand credits. If you want that IS-3 for 2,500,000cr. but only net about 5000cr. a game, you do the math.

    I will continue playing after release and, like the previewer, call this game “fun” and a “must play”.

    • Over 3000 battles here, as well. As for gold, I’m sorry, but I don’t see how it’s all that important *EXCEPT* for the following things:

      1) You need it for the premium account – which everyone should want. (2500.)
      2) You need it if you want to keep more than just a few tanks. (I’ve kept every one of the German tanks I’ve played – up to the last in each tree, and I play randomly in various tiers depending on what I feel like doing and which friends I’m playing with.) Haven’t really started with the Americans or Russians yet. (150 per tank).
      3) If you DON’T keep tanks, but keep crew, you’ll need gold. (300 per 16 crewmen.)
      4) If you want fully upgraded crew, you’ll need gold (between 400 and 1200).
      5) If you want to change the names of the crew, you need gold. (50 gold)
      6) You need it for premium shells, if you want those. (It varies.)

      That’s it. Other than those things, you don’t need gold AT ALL.

  22. Ok. just to make sure some ppl understand this… MMO = MassiveMultiplayer Online.. ok, and WoT is MMO, why? cause there are 2k to 29k diffrend ppl, that might get against me in random CTF or in company games… MMO comes cause i cant predict who from 20k player i go against.. secondly, IF i take WoW, go sit on the Badlands, in the south corner, put everyone in mute and grind solo there 1 year, that makes WoW non MMO? be cause its just me and NPC then? MMO is when there is change , yes change, to play against , dunno over 1k players. So trolls can chew the MMO as much they like, but they cant find any reason why WoT aint MMO, ty

    and Ps. Company battles, there is allways leader, theyr not randomly(random action heros are kicked fast out) and voice makes it RTS. Situations change and if teams dont apply or leader dont order, its loose, i can say its RTS… And same adjust the RPG. Cause there are roles, like in many other games, some are support SPG, some assault tanks, some defence other scouts + general/company voice / platoons make it RPG…

    So , WoT is MMORTSRPG, you can try to call it what ever you like, but at the end, most ppl understand this :)

    Higlander 6300 battles /rank 297

  23. You have no idea what MMO means. By your definition, every multiplayer game is a mmo. Heck, Counter Strike must be MMO as well !

    MMO is where LARGE amount of players play in a persistent world and can interact with each other at once.

    Lets say, WoT has persistent world ? No, not at all. Its just a series of arenas. There will be persistent campaign, but its still wont make it an MMO.

    Many players ? No, sorry, again, theres 30 players per match. It doest matter how many players play the game overall sorry. If you cannot grasp that basic idea, then its your problem.

    Now your “argument” of WoW is flawed as hell. You can be only player in the world playing on server X, but it still be an MMO. Why ? Because mechanics of this game will allow 5000 players to join you any time.

    RPG. There are definitely some RPG elements in WoT, but those are separate from the MMO aspect of ANY game.

    WoT is NOT an MMO. You can call it whatever you like, but at the end it doesn’t matter what most people think. Facts matter.

    Regards, Fight for Truth. 2400 battles played.

    • yet another site calling it a “MMO” LMAO. tacticalgamer.com “For those of you who’ve not been initiated, World of Tanks is an upcoming free to play (F2P) MMO currently in beta. Game play centers around armored fighting vehicles ranging from the WWI era on past WWII. You’ll fight your way across a multitude of battlefields blasting enemy tanks, dodging fire from ambushing tank destroyers, always fearful of the ever present rain of death from artillery. Game play is quick and lethal, but with good tactics and a couple of platoon mates, no one will stand in your way”
      Even WOT refers to itself as a MMO.

  24. Because its a good marketing, thats why.

    I really don’t get why what I wrote above is so hard to understand.

    Let me quote again guy named Highlander two posts above.

    “cause there are 2k to 29k diffrend ppl, that might get against me in random”

    There are 76,300 players playing Counter Strike at this very moment. As you can see this number is much higher then one mentioned by Highlander. Now my question is, do you consider Counter Strike a MMO, and why.

    Thank you.

  25. Good game with terrific potential. Some bugs still to be worked out and it would be nice to see integration of infantry and air power, two critical components of the war in the ETO. It should be interesting to see where the developers take the game in the future. For more coverage, check out Military Minute on YouTube.

  26. I’ve had some time to sit down with this game and give it a run through. Jim and I have talked about it offline and he convinced me to give it a look – and I have to say I really have enjoyed my time once I made a few realizations.

    1. You can be king of the hill, even with the tiniest tank. I used my puny Panzerjaeger I, with all the upgrades and a decent crew, to kill 6 enemy tanks on one map. It was the most fun I’ve had in gaming in a long time. The servers place you on maps with similar tank sizes, so that you aren’t taking your Panzer I against Tiger IIs. This makes each game enjoyable, though sometimes you find yourself at the bottom of a server (meaning more tanks are bigger than you) and sometimes you find yourself at the top (meaning you are the top dog of that map). Mostly I was at the bottom or lower middle.

    2. You have to play to the strength of your unit type. I prefer the Tank Destroyer unit type, which means I usually sit in the bushes and look to snipe enemy units that are engaging our front line tanks out in the clear.

    3. There is as much going on off the map as on it. As you go up the tech tree it is important to maximize your equipment and also to keep a trained crew. I spent some of my precious gold to make sure my tank crew was trained to 100% so that I could work on the camouflage skill which I felt was mandatory for an anti-tank unit. I always go for the upgraded gun before upgrading engine, radio, or tracks.

    Some other observations;

    The game needs a more sophisticated method of communicating with other members of the game. Once the match ends, you lose contact with everyone who was in that local game – and there is no way of sharing the glory or commiserating in defeat. Once you are back at your garage, you are alone again. It makes it hard to have continuity through multiple maps or during a night-long session. Maybe the clan wars aspect will change this.

    There is a serious grind to reach the middle and upper tier tanks, and originally this did bother me somewhat. However, after reaching elite status with my little Pj 1 and really having fun with it, I can see that each unit as you go up the tech tree can be just as enjoyable. However, if your goal in life is to fight in the Tiger I, you will have your work cut out for you and you will either have to put some serious money and/or serious time into working your way up the tech tree. I find it kind of fun to toil in the lower levels, and I’ve surprised myself that my short term goal of this game is to reach the Hetzer (level 4) simply because it is not an open topped AT gun on wheels.

    Matches are generally short and fun, even if you get killed at the outset. You can watch from other live units on your team after you die. This isn’t quite as fun as actually playing, but it passes the time quickly and you can also see the tactics that other players are using. A match is usually over in less than 10 minutes, which means you can sneak a match in at odd times and not feel like you have to dedicate hours a night to it.

    I’ve played 57 battles over the last week. I’m just starting on level 3. I’m using the free account.

    You don’t have to manually aim in the traditional sense. I’ve found that if I zoom well out so that I see my tank in 3rd person view, it is easier to find targets and once you see the target outline as your crosshair goes over it, your crew seems to handle the aiming for you when you shoot. You can also sit behind or in bushes and you can still see targets that are seen by other units. You should be more concerned with target acquisition, relocation, and concealment. This after all is what any good tank commander would do!

    All in all, I agree with Jim that this game is worth a look, especially at the bargain price of free. I’ve not had any glitches, crashes, etc.

    Brian King
    http://www.armchairgeneral.com/brian-king.htm

  27. Glad to know you’re enjoying it. Excellent observations, too.

  28. Hi, just to say

    i played more than 4000 matches in this game, got a lot of tanks but in the end i think the game is bad, HIGLY unbalanced, a lot of bugs unpatched since a long time, and next update still adding useless things like horns for your tanks … while there is only ONE game mod since more than a year

    this not a free to play game, but more of a pay to win, you can’t have tanks of high tier without paying a lot of money or playing a reeeaaaly long time to even drive with them since you’ll lose a lot of ingame credits playing with them. And i saw that the community is NEVER listened, and the game team can’t take any critics or you’ll win a ban, or they’ll ban you for little crap if you speak too much.

    so make better use of your time or try another game but i highly discourage you of going in world of tank

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