Monday, 13 June 2011

A Week of WoT

I’ve been playing World of Tanks for a week now, more or less. It’s really good! It reminds me in some ways of the tank bits of Wargasm, only with a WW2 flavour rather than modern/sci-fi.

Not really knowing what I was doing, I went initially for a Soviet MS-1 tank, because, well, it was Russian. I then progressed on to the T-26, T-46 up to my current T-28, which is a stupid-looking tank. It looks like a cross between a boat and a tank, seriously. Also, I’m not sure what this monster is but it’s definitely not the same thing I’m talking about. It does look somewhat impractical.

Grind My Gears

Once I acquired my lovely T-28, I encountered the grind, whereupon progress through the tiers slows dramatically due to the much larger experience point requirements: going from Tier III to Tier IV means saving up around 3,500 XP; from Tier IV to Tier V it’s more like 13,000. Given that even if you do exceptionally well in a battle and have a premium account you can earn at best about 1,000 XP, and that more realistically you will lost around half your battles, thus earning something more in the region of 100 XP, you can see how long it can take to make that climb to the next tier. Even the radio in one of them costs 5,600 XP to research!

It was at this point that I discovered there is no penalty for leaving a battle once your tank has been destroyed. Thus enlightened, I strove to populate my garage with a variety of other vehicles to join the grind, resulting in an almost non-stop succession of tankshoots. Doing this in similar tanks would quite likely make the grind seem even more interminable than with just the one, akin to repeatedly being thrown into a meatgrinder, so to spice things up a little I have chosen a more diverse range:

  • SU-26 SPG (USSR): a lovely little artillery gun with an 360° rotating turret, making it easy to stay hidden. Apparently has 5 crew members, though I’m not sure where they’re all supposed to go.

  • Hetzer tank destroyer (German): possibly the most ridiculous distinctive-looking tank in the game. Godawful slow until you get the good engine for it.

  • M5 Stuart (USA): speedy little monster, although not terribly good on the acceleration front, and apparently not that good compared to the Soviet scout tanks like the A-20. Still, fun to drive. I fitted mine with the 75mm derp gun, to surprise and delight my foes.

Bar the M5, all of my tanks are interim until I can get enough XP to buy better ones. In the meantime, they all provide some fun battles, so while the grind is long, it is rarely dull.

The M5 is one I might actually consider replacing, thinking about it: sure it’s great zooming about at 56km/h but it takes so long to get there, and it’s hardly nimble. I look upon those little zippy German tanks (PzIII? Pz38NA? Some of the names for the German tanks are confusing to the outsider) and feel envy.

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