Positional Warfare: World Of Tanks

Where's that sheep?
World Of Tanks seems to be making quite a following for itself. Half my old Eve corporation seem to be wrapped up in it, while RPS’ own tanketeers are to be found organising and discussing their exploits over in this thread on the forum. It’s quite literally a game of tanks. Small tanks with speed and agility, big tanks with guns like God’s own howitzer. They fight crime each other (although thinking about it, I quite fancy a game where petty criminals are hunted down by a division of Panzers. Oh God That Mugger Is Doomed, I would call it.) Most significant of all to your brainthinks should be that World Of Tanks free, and has some depth for you to explore in the endless possible loadouts and configurations that are possible across the ludicrous number of tanks on offer. You should probably give the ongoing beta a nose.

The most recent trailer, featuring the heaviest hitting tanks, appears below.


  1. Larington says:

    I’ve been playing this far too much lately. Tempted to jump back in right now.

    • Ezhar says:

      Same here :) It’s rather a lot of fun.

      Oh and you can’t mention EVE and WoT in the same article and NOT link to this video, so there.

    • mpk says:

      It’s been really amusing seeing instantly recognisable EVE names over the past few days of playing WoT – even more amusing seeing EVE terms thrown into chat. I wonder how long everyone will stay before the great space bitch tightens her claws into everyone again.

  2. pissant says:

    there really isn’t that much variety in terms of loadout. All components save for guns are straight upgrades, and the only variables in guns are picking the high damage but low penetrating gun, or the lesser damage but more penetrating one. This will boil down to a choice between literally two guns per tank as the player upgrades.

    There’s more choice in terms of equipment slots and consumables but these have a minor influence. In addition (though not a fair critique of the game in and of itself) a ‘soft wipe’ recently gave existing beta players a huge wad of gold and free xp to the effect that the metagame has been completely unhinged by the masses of high tier tanks roaming around, making things even tougher for beginners.

    Give it a go, but be prepared to suffer for your angry houses.

    • Kelron says:

      The same update made it easier for beginners with a better matchmaking system. Yes, there’s more high tier tanks around, but beginners spend the majority of their time facing similar tier tanks.

    • Nick says:

      Not really, previously tier 1 and 2 could go into recruit matches, now they just hit battle and sometimes end up with tier 3 tanks. Or worse, we had an MS-1 in a battle with IS-4s in it. I think a ferdi killed it =/

  3. pagad says:

    The epidemic of supertanks has levelled off recently, probably through a combination of huge running costs and a slightly tweaked balance system, so it’s not so bad for beginners anymore.

    • Nick says:

      I think they got their money back, still seeing large numbers of IS-7s

  4. Tei says:

    The game is weird in that…you live the arms race of the tanks of the WWII. From the first slow, weak and lame tanks, next stages with faster and deadly tanks, and finising with slow but monster tanks. You somehow feel what the designers of these tanks (the original german and russian tank engineers) tried to achieve, …some sort of unbalance, to make his side win.

  5. mrmud says:

    This game is enormously fun… sometimes.
    What isnt great is when you buy your 3rd tank (A lowly Pzkfw III Ausf A) and is faced against an eternal barrage of Tiger II , IS-2+ and JagdTigers, all of whom you have no chance of penetrating and all you can do is run around shooting high explosive rounds at their threads.

    This game is in serious need of some balancing and more separation of the tiers while playing.
    However when you do end up in a fair battle, it is a great deal of fun.

    • Lack_26 says:

      Most people skip the third tier tank by taking a tier two to elite status (all researched) and then turning experience into ‘free experience’ to get them to tier 4. Mind you, I’ve had a lot of fun in low tier battles, the tier two premium 38H 735(f) (aka the Hotchkiss) is great fun since you’re the heavy of the recruit world.

      The StuG III is probably my favourite tank, the VK3002DB is another one I love, but I think I preferred the old match-making system since you really felt a sense of progression that is lost in the new one.

    • Acidburns says:

      The faster lower tier tanks with good vision range and radios make great scouts. Problem is being a good scout takes a lot more experience than what most players have at that stage but are just as important as crawling around in a King Tiger. While equally important there needs to be a better and more transparent reward system for scouting. At the moment you get experience & cash only for being the first to spot a particular enemy tank. You get nothing for second spotting or for the duration of your observations.

  6. Lack_26 says:

    I’ve ended up throwing myself into doing skins for the tanks in the game (I’ve done a fair bit with Zimmerit, but I’m experimenting with Camo-nets now), there are a lot of good skins in the creativity section of the forum that a far better than the current place-holders in the game.

    I’d recommend trying the Historical skins thread since I like that feel to the game but there’s a lot of silly ones out there, the hello-kitty loltracktors for example.

    It’s hard not to love a game entirely about tanks, it’s not just angry houses, it’s an angry suburb.

    • YogSo says:

      “…it’s not just angry houses, it’s an angry suburb.”

      That’s the perfect tagline for the game. It should be plastered in big red letters somewhere on their homepage.

  7. Snall says:

    ….signed up, will check it when I get home.

  8. Alexander Norris says:

    It’s fun-ish for now, even though the grind is still painful, even with the will-cost-real-money-out-of-beta Premium option that increases your XP and cash gains by 50%. It’s an exercise in frustration most of the time anyway because the matchmaking system is so damn awful, but then I believe they’re trying to make it not awful, so that’s perfectly fair.

    Really, I don’t see myself playing it anymore when they go retail – it’s too much of a chore to play without Premium, and the super-ammo you can buy for gold coins (the in-game currency that will cost real-world currency and so far looks like it’ll only be obtainable by paying for real) is ridiculously more powerful than the default stuff. Which is funny, because if they’d sold it as just a standalone game without micropayments or any kind of post-purchase money transfer and for about £20/25€, I probably would have bought it.

    • mrmud says:

      Yea, I am also very bothered by the fact that the ammo that costs real world money is so much better than everything else.

    • tigershuffle says:

      Im think that too…….would happily pay for fullgame if it gave what the premium has. if it meant a ‘level playingfield’ and no more payments ever!

      but maybe im missing the point (must read up on the forums)
      with micropayments id probably bankrupt myself and end up in the poorhouse

    • Ganders says:

      So it’s a game deceptively advertised as being “free” that is designed to have as much grind as possible so they can make you pay for the valuable commodity in life that is “xp in a videogame”, and for ammunition. You do this so you can gain an unfair advantage over other players who are slightly less willing to get scammed. Their hope is that you end up spending more money as you get addicted to your… investment.
      And in this case, comically, matchmaking removes the unfair advantage you paid for making all the grind and money you invested into playing this thing even more of a waste for you.

      It’s so openly manipulative, just like evony or most of the other experience grinding systems in multiplayer games. Why is there so much enthusiasm for things like this, that lower the standards at every iteration.

    • Nick says:

      the gold ammo isn’t that great. If you can’t penetrate with AP then use HE. Its also woefully expensive gold wise. There is no significant advantage in gold stuff, really. Aside from premium membership which you can get with the free gold one day on one day off if you so desire.

    • mrmud says:

      The gold amunition usually has over 50% higher armor penetration values, something that is frankly incredibly good in the lower tier tanks (in particular when trying to damage the heavies).

    • Torgen says:

      I’ve been playing a long time in the non-Russian beta, and have yet to see anyone that has wasted their gold on premium ammo for more than a couple of rounds. That’s the biggest waste of gold in the game.

      Also, although the balancing system still hiccups (and seems to rate SPGs as one tier higher than they acutally are) it is WORLDS better than it was in the beginning. I had pretty much given up a week or two before the soft wipe, and now I am finding the battles much more enjoyable.

  9. Alegis says:

    Enjoying WoT with my Panther and Pz3. The Pz3 is ridiculously fast zooming around the big tanks is hilarious.

    Game has a lot to offer, surprisingly – but I can’t see myself playing this retail when the microtransactions hit and features like platoon forming will require premium. Would have rather seen WoT as a fleshed-out retail game.

  10. The Pink Ninja says:

    Played it for quite a while but quit. The community seemed to be upgrading its tanks much faster than I am and mine became utterly redundant in the face of heavies and other advanced vehicles. Since I die so fast and can’t get any kills I can’t get the exp to upgrade my tanks to a level where I could actually fight.

    So yeah, the balance is awful, the only way around it is a monstrous grind and match after match of being utterly useless except as fodder.

  11. tigershuffle says:

    looks promising for a beta……and I can play more since the new patch without so many ctds.

    I quite like the matching system introduced…….but I think they should also try to do a balance historically as it still seems wrong that you have a 1930s tractoralikes with a peashooter having to play with a tank built 10 years later.
    Also wish it would introduce just Sovs vs Germans teams only
    maybe its just cos im a history/realism whore……..and maybe it will be modded or introduced in servers once beta is over

    still trundling along and getting pwned at every opportunity in my PZII :)

    • sasayan says:

      I think they mentioned adding historic battles limited to tanks fielded at that time and divided by country later on. They seem to be focused on perfecting the system first and adding content later.

  12. schurem says:

    I dont mind the pay-for-premium model at all. I will most likely stop progression at tier V or VI on most trees as those are the most fun to drive anyways. Vehicles like the T34, SU8 and VK3601 also are quite capable of sustaining themselves financially without premium.

  13. Kommissar Nicko says:

    Speaking of gunning down muggers…

    I remember SimCopter, where you could cheat in an Apache helicopter, which I then used to hunt down criminals in the streets of the city, often causing hilarious amounts of collateral damage with my machineguns and missiles.

    That’s my shitgame childhood nostalgia for the day, thanks.

  14. Sergey Galyonkin says:

    This game is unbelievably great, I’m playing since Russian launch and so far I’m more than pleased. It is a basically tank-based team deathmatch – something like Battlefield or MW2 but purely on tanks.

    Also, micropayments are (yet) not mandatory. I’ve payed to premium account and for premium tank so I could gather XP and money faster, but premium tank (Matilda) is actually worse than tanks I’ve bought with in-game cash (T-34-85).

    • Mr Bismarck says:

      premium tank (Matilda) is actually worse than tanks I’ve bought with in-game cash (T-34-85).

      All of the gold tanks have their weaknesses, which is as it should be, but I think the Matilda is my least favourite. The Churchill is interesting – moves at glacial pace, but the only consistent way to dent it is to hit it with an asteroid from space, (IS-7s, SU-152s etc excepted).

      My favourite premium tank is the PzKpfw.38H 735(f) largely because it can be used in what were recruit battles. The armour is excellent and the popgun will eventually make a mess of light tanks.

  15. pissant says:

    Premium tanks are all unequivocally worthless compared to other tanks of their tier. Premium ammo is a waste – if you’re in a situation where you can’t penetrate without it, you’re in a fight you shouldn’t be (and it only increases penetration, not damage). The windfall in gold is best used only on a month’s premium and full training for their crews.

    That aside, I think whether WoT succeeds or fails is going to hinge entirely on how well they implement the territorial metagame, as I don’t think the deathmatch-style instant battles and upgrade addiction give the game enough staying power as-is.

  16. Dave says:

    Weeeeee tanks. Tier V here i come.

  17. mpk says:

    I wonder if the EVE Bittervet generation will tag on to WoT longer than most other distractions given that this is how small-scale EVE combat should be. No way out, no choice other than to commit, but plenty of scope for communication and teamplay. (I’m hoping that squads eventually expand upwards from 3). That said, there is no Fear. What you’ve earned, once ‘sploded, stays with you, so it’s essentially just as shallow as any other game of the type. I think I’d fall in love with WoT* if there were more repercussions for losing.

    *as it is I feel only intense lust which I’ll probably regret in the morning.

    • pagad says:

      Oh hell no, what you think is a bad thing is something I view as a huge advantage for WoT. If what you suggest was implemented, SPG shots from the other side of the map, already annoying, would turn into massive Fuck Yous. Besides, it’s costly enough running a high-end tank as it is.

  18. pissant says:

    points of comparison between Eve and WoT

    – both have players (people who play bideogame)
    – players can shoot each other

  19. derfalconer says:

    I gave this game a go and it is incredibly addictive for me. I love that there is so much room for strategery and individual skill. My gripe is that the way the tech-trees work to access tanks and their upgrades kind of locks you in to a specific path of tank-ery. If you want to research a different tree of tanks you’d had to go back to an earlier tank, play battles, earn experience, and unlock that tree. At some point though it seems like ‘well shit I’m in so far into Tank Destroyers that going back to first/second tier tanks seems like a waste, I WANT TO BLOW BIG TANKS UP STILL!’

    Also artillery/self propelled guns can be quite a bunch of dicks. *just take up position to get a good line on a tank or two and then hellfire rains down from across the map, you’re dead*