Whoa there, before you all blast me, I'm not talking about WoW! Just to make myself clear (for the 1000th time), I am against buying WoW gold and I believe it trivializes the game anyway. Having gotten this out of the way...
The game I bought gold for is... you've probably guessed it... World of Tanks!
The way gold works in WoT is not that obvious from the beginning. In fact, considering that the game is free to play and it offers pretty much the entire tech tree and all the maps regardless of whether you pay or not, you can theoretically play through all the 10 tiers of tanks without spending a (real) dollar.
The catch is that it becomes harder and harder to gain XP and credits (the game's currency) as the tiers go by. By tier 6 it takes a very long time to gain all the necessary XP to upgrade a tank with the best equipment and even more so to move on to the next tier.
World of Tanks has an interesting XP system. Each tank gains XP individually but at the same time, 5% of that experience is saved separately in a "Free Experience" pool which means it can be used by any other tank. Experience is used to research upgrades. Credits are used to buy those upgrades after they are researched.
Once a tank researches all the possible upgrades, it continues to earn XP but that XP is now worthless for this particular tank. You can choose to turn off XP in return for accelerated crew training. But isn't the remaining XP now lost forever? Not quite. That's where the gold comes in.
World of Tanks has such an innovative F2P model that it got me (I'm a notorious tight-fist) to spend money to enjoy the game even more, after only 2 weeks of playing it. For $30 (2 months of WoW) I bought 6500 gold.
Here's what I used the gold for:
1) I converted the remaining XP for tanks which I had either sold (yes, you can still recover the XP from those tanks), or for tanks which had become elite (all upgrades researched) to Free XP. I used that Free XP to research some upgrades badly needed for one of my tier 5 tanks.
2) I trained the crew to 100% for one of my favorite tanks (a Marder II Tank Destroyer if you are curious) and also for my tier 5 tank (a Panzer IV Medium Tank).
3) I might buy an extra garage slot later.
4) I might purchase a 1-month premium account, which allows me to gain XP and credits at a 50% increased rate.
5) Finally, I might buy a premium tank which allows me to farm credits because it is cheap to repair and automatically makes 50% more credits from battles due to its premium status. Unfortunately this tank costs about $40 in real money so I'm a bit on the fence on that.
Was it worth it? Here's a short analysis of each of the above points.
1) Converting XP is relatively cheap. Since having a lot of XP sitting around on other elite tanks doing nothing is not going to help, I consider it a very good thing to be able to transfer that XP to tanks which need it desperately. As a result, I was able to more quickly research the upgrades my Panzer IV needed in order to not suck so badly in combat. Now, the tank is competitive and a blast to play.
2) Initially I was skeptical about training the crew. A new tank starts with a crew at 50% training, unless you are willing to pay a lot of credits to train them to 100%. Problem is, it becomes progressively harder to reach that 100% as you get closer to it.
The quick solution is to spend 200 gold to train each crew member. That's about $1. A tank with a crew of 5 will cost $5 to train to 100%.
First, I trained the crew of 3 for my Marder II Tank Destroyer. The vehicle already had all the upgrades and it was performing well. Let me just say this: the first battle after buying 100% training, I killed 7 enemies (out of a total of 15). My previous record had been 4.
On top of that, I also won a very wacky medal (it's just like a WoW achievement), for killing the last enemy with my last shell. Hah! Now that's something you don't see every day!
The other tank I trained crew to 100% is my Panzer IV, a Medium with high firepower (when upgraded to the max). Was it worth it in this case? Hell yeah! My tank performs to the top of it's abilities now and is an armored machine of death (at least until it gets spotted).
Why is 100% crew skill so important? Because at 100% crew training every stat on the tank is worth 100%. Crew also aims faster, more accurately, drives better, repairs damage in combat quicker, puts out fires quicker, spots enemies from a farther distance and so on. After 100% you have the option to further specialize each crew member in a number of skills such as camouflage, repair and firefighting. But you can only start specializing once you reach 100%. And if you don't pay for that 100%, it will take ages until you get there.
3) More garage slots are good if you like playing with several different tanks. I already have tier 2 and 4 tanks which I enjoy playing, in addition to the tier 5 and the Tank Destroyer. I would also like to try my hand at SPGs (Self Propelled Guns, or mobile artillery) at some point. Problem is, garage space is limited. The only way you can increase it is either by buying more slots or by selling some of your tanks. It's almost a given that I will fork some gold (300 per) for an extra slot or two.
4) A premium account allows you to earn 50% extra XP and credits from battles. This will simply allow me to progress 50% quicker. Otherwise it doesn't give me a tactical advantage. I'm not sure I'll try it for more than a month though.
5) A premium tank is good for farming credits because these tanks are already fully upgraded (no need to research/buy new equipment), repairs on them are very cheap and these tanks earn 50% more credits than a normal tank of that tier. The only problem is that the nicest such tank, a German Heavy named Löwe costs about $40 in real money. I'm not so sure I want to spend so much money on one tank at this point but it is certainly a possibility for later. First, I'll see how the premium account works, but only after I get back from a short vacation.
There are other ways in which to spend your gold. For example you can buy some premium consumables (such as first aid or repair kits) or premium ammo (only useful in tournaments, unless you're swimming in cash and don't mind shooting real dollars each time your gun fires) but these are of no interest to me.
In conclusion, is it worth buying at least a little bit of gold in World of Tanks? From my point of view, the answer is a resounding YES! Not only does it help make the game more enjoyable by cutting down on some of the grind, but it also helps support the developers who made such an enjoyable and involving game.
Patch 1.0.5 commentary
1 year ago