Saturday, January 25, 2014

World of Tanks Review

Note: this blog has been migrated to Medium, with the articles here available to preserve permalinks. Please see this post at https://medium.com/@ianrbuck/world-of-tanks-review-5ce1fb165ef2

During the computer science club's LAN party last semester I was introduced to World of Tanks. I have to admit that I don't play many multiplayer games, but this one had me hooked pretty quickly. I like the feeling of power and weight you get when driving a tank around and firing those gigantic cannons.

As with any game I started out as a pretty big noob, but thankfully I had an experienced player there to give me some pro tips. Those mostly consisted of "find a nice bush to hide in until an enemy is stupid enough to expose themselves; then shoot them." So yeah, it often ends up being a pretty campy game, especially on certain maps with gigantic no-man's lands in the middle.
Come out and play.
One of the reasons that I don't enjoy League of Legends as much is because the games typically last 30-50 minutes; I often don't have time for that, and even when I do I usually get bored with the game before it's halfway over. World of Tanks has a time cap at 15 minutes, and the games are usually much shorter than that. Plus, if your tank gets destroyed before the end of the game, the best thing to do is return to your garage and pick another tank to go into battle with. I appreciate this rapid turnover and overall respect for my time.
Because the game has been out for a few years, the tech trees are very fleshed out. They look pretty daunting at first, but it is nice to have a lot of options available. I am currently making my way through the American tank destroyers and the German SPGs. The game plays very differently depending on what kind of tank you are using. I've been enjoying the tank destroyers because they work best when I let someone else go just ahead of me, and then I shoot whoever shoots at them. The SPGs are artillery that essentially act as snipers. They get a top-down view of the map, but they can still only see enemies that their teammates relay back to them.
Even though I don't have any friends who play on a regular basis, I am having a good time with it. It doesn't hurt that it is a free-to-play game. I've heard that the model used to be pretty close to pay-to-win, but they have since cleaned that up. You can pay for paint jobs, more slots in your garage for tanks, and experience. But those things won't guarantee you win, since the game places you in games against people in the same tier as you. It also encourages players to come back every day by offering double experience on your first victory of the day. At the very least you should play it so I have people to play with. Pretty please?