I never thought I would see myself getting into an online PvP game but here I am, talking about World of Tanks. If you've been reading my blog for a while you are probably aware that I hate PvP in World of Warcraft. It's just not my thing. Games like Counterstrike? Bring it on!
I'd heard about World of Tanks vaguely but what attracted me was the fact that the game is Free To Play (F2P) and it has tanks. I kind of enjoy the World War II setting so I thought that since it's free, I might as well give it a try.
World of Tanks is a simple game taken at face value. Essentially there's only one game mode: capture the enemy base. You can also win the game by destroying all enemy tanks or by attrition after the 15 minute timer expires. Under the skin, however, lies a very complex combat simulator which revolves heavily around physics, line of sight, camouflage, terrain configuration and so on.
The best way to play World of Tanks is with friends, because you can get everyone to implement a common strategy. For lack of friends (as in my case), the game creates battles between evenly matched groups of 15 players. This mode pits together tanks which are roughly in the same class, so you won't ever get tier 1 light tanks with tier 8 heavy tanks.
I have only played World of Tanks for three days but I'm already hooked. I've only gotten so far as a level 2 light tank but I want to persevere until I can upgrade to something nicer.
There are two resources in the game: credits and XP. Both are gained in battle but you can lose a game and still win plenty of them. XP is gained in lots of cool ways, for example based on the damage you do to enemies but also on the number of enemies spotted and many other ways that I haven't yet discovered.
Strategy plays a large part in World of Tanks and I have a lot of learning to do. I have already had some glorious battles, including one where I helped capture the enemy base with only 2 "health points" left (out of 90). Scouting plays an important part in the game, as well as protecting slower tanks, spotting enemy tanks for the heavy artillery and also sniping.
Playing the game is fun but if you want to advance, you either need to play a crapload of games (because XP and credits come slow), or buy gold. Gold is a resource that can only be bought with real cash and it can be used in various ways. You can use it to buy XP or credits, or in exchange for various other benefits such as an extra slot in the garage.
Here's where I'm starting to really appreciate that this is a F2P game. I can enjoy it without paying, or, if I want to progress quicker, I can go ahead and spend some cash. I'm very tempted to do that in fact, except that I find it harder to explain to my wife that I need to buy "gold" for some game than to pay a monthly subscription (as with WoW). To be fair, World of Tanks does have a monthly subscription but I'm not yet clear as to what benefits that brings.
The graphics are very good and the game runs well on my machine which is about 2-3 years old. The sounds are also good but I'm starting to wonder whether all the guns sound the same. The game client itself is lightweight for this day and age, at only 1.8GB.
I'm afraid I haven't been entirely coherent with this review but give me a break, ok? :) I'm a little bit stoked after discovering such a cool new game. And you know what? The game hasn't even reached version 1.0. Talk about innovative.
Patch 1.0.5 commentary
6 months ago