World of Tanks

First, let me apologize for not getting this up earlier. I have been a bit…busy. And then came the teeth pulling. I’ll have to save that story for another time though, because today I want to talk about…WORLD OF TANKS!

World of Tanks, or just WoT, is a free-to-play game where you get to drive around a WWII era tank and shoot at other people as they drive their WW II era tanks. While the concept sounds simple, I’ve actually found the game to be both a lot of fun and very addictive!  And, despite it being free to play, you can spend money for certain upgrades and “premium” tanks. As a result, I’ve probably spent a little more on this game than the average video game I’ve actually bought.

So what makes WoT so engaging? First, the game uses an “MMO” paradigm, where the player accrues experience and in-game credits that can be spent to unlock and then purchase increasingly more powerful tanks. This creates a strong compulsion to keep playing to continue to unlock the next most powerful tank.

Second, the game has 3 distinct classes of tank; your usual tanks, Self-Propelled Guns (SPGs) and tank destroyers. SPGs are mobile artillery, and their hook is that they give a player a top-down “god view” of the entire battlefield, allowing them to hit any enemy that is spotted by their team mates. Tank destroyers are like snipers, in that they tend to have a large, accurate, and powerful gun but can’t stand up to other tanks directly. Within these three broad classes, there is a myriad of game play styles and sub types, lending the game quite a bit of variety. Which stands to reason, after all; and M4 Sherman had to fight very differently than a German Tiger tank did, and this is reflected in the game.

Which is not to say that this is a historical simulation; WoT remains a very arcade experience, as tanks may be slower or faster and more or less maneuverable than they were in real life. Also, other factors of performance, such as turret rotation speed, gun reload time, and the like may not necessarily reflect “real world” performance. I would guess that whenever historical accuracy conflicts with game balance, the designers picked game balance. Finally, in order to keep maps to a reasonable size and games to a reasonable length, ranges have been reduced across the board, which is a common factor of just about all shooter games I’ve played.

So, overall, WoT has proven to be a fun experience, and I’m continuing to enjoy playing it. I have no idea how much longer it will hold my interest, but I’m certainly having fun while it does!

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