Personally, MMO’s are my favourite game genre. They excite me, keep me entertained for much longer than FPSs and allow me to share great experiences with friends. It’s really the community element of an MMO which makes it so great for me. Whether you have the best game in the world or not, without strong players, guilds and groups your game will ultimately fail.
A few months ago I came across World Of Tanks. Considering my past MMO review’s have been fantasy based games such as Aion, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Guild Wars, World Of Tanks struck me as something different. As an entirely PVP based system I didn’t think this game would appeal to me that much. Don’t get me wrong though, I love PVP, but a bit of solo mission can be a nice release. Let’s find out whether my assumption was right or not.
What Actually Is World Of Tanks?
As the name suggests, World Of Tanks is a game based around the ultimate warfare machine; the tank. A destroyer of nations, buildings and people, tanks have been an iron beast on the forefront of wars for years. In this free MMO, you enter battle with your tank, accompanied by a team of 15 to annihilate your opponents.
Throughout your gaming experience you will be challenged by tanks of higher and lower tiers. As you advance through you will be able to unlock the higher tiers. However, these will take much longer, and a lot of grinding, due to the amount of experience and credits required.
As you can see above, this is the layout display for your “garage.” A simple scroll bar at the bottom allows you to view and select your tanks; giving you easy access and quick navigation. It’s really a simple design which allows for less confusion and more time to actually fight!
Gameplay in World Of Tanks is structured around a quite unique style. After selecting your chosen tank and entering a battle, the game will almost instantly enter you into a 15v15 match on a random map. I love the ease and quickness of starting a match : whether I have 15 minutes or two hours to play, I can start up and be fighting within a minute. Compared to games like Star Wars TOR where I need to wait at least five minutes to load the initial screen, this is absolutely great.
As I have previously said, you are entered into a 15 vs 15 match on a range of maps. All of these maps are massive, with vantage points and poor spots you will easily become accustomed to the best places to hide and shoot. Until recently, you only had one single game mode, standard battle, basically a ‘search and destroy’ kind of concept. To be victorious, you needed to either eliminate the opposing team or capture the base before the time ran out.
However, new games have been added through an update: Assault and Encounter. Assault is a mode where one team owns a base and the other needs to capture it. Encounter is where neither team has a base, and they need to capture a base in the middle. These two modes come up 20% of the time each, with the standard battle happening 60% of the time. Constant updates are something really appealing about World Of Tanks.
Above is an annotated picture of your display during a battle. As you can see the interface is basic, with some add-ons around the side. Below is a list of what everything is!
- 1:Technical view of your tank. When parts of your tank are destroyed/damaged they will appear in red or orange on the mini-tank. This also shows your health
- 2:Shows how much ammo you have left and gives you the ability to change to different types of ammo. Also, consumables are here, bought items which can enhance your chances of survival.
- 3:Chat window. You can talk to either your team or enemies here.
- 4: Your Allies. Showing who is still alive, there type of tank and how many kills they have.
- 5:Opposing teams status.
- 6: Mini-Map. Showing where you are, and where the enemies are lurking.
- 7: Battle Bar. Showing how many of each team are dead and who is winning.
- 8: Time Bar. You have 15 minutes in a standard battle and this will countdown throughout.
As you can see on the left, I am destroyed – wasn’t a particularly good match for me or my team. After the match is over, the screen on the right will show up. This shows how much experience and credits you have gained, as well as showing how much repair costs will be.
A feature I really love about World Of Tanks is that even though the matches are 15 minutes, as soon as you die you can leave the battle. and go back to the start screen again. From there, you will be able to enter another battle with one of your other tanks. Hopefully, by the time that match has finished your other tank will be done and ready to into the battle again. This is great as it means you never have to sit around waiting. It also means you can advance several tanks at one time instead of focusing on a specific one.
There are four different tech trees in World Of Tanks: French, German, Russian and American – providing a good variety of countries. Within each of these trees are separate lines, these are divided into certain tank types. The tank types include: light tanks, medium tanks, heavy tanks, tank destroyers and artillery. Each possesses different fortes and are suited towards a certain style of play.
One thing which really excited me was the realistic appeal of the tanks. All of them are based on actual tanks from around the WW2 era. Expertly designed and so detailed, these are definitely the best virtual replicas on the internet. Playing your favourite machines from the past is a great feeling!
You will start with a basic tier one tank. From then on you can choose which way you want to follow. But really you can follow multiple lines as your garage can hold many tanks. Advancing up these lines at the start can be an easy task. However, when you reach around tier 5 the grind begins taking weeks and weeks to actually make enough experience. This game really isn’t one you can be brilliant at over night.
A Perfect Example Of A Freemium Game!
As we’ve all seen in the past, games such as WoW have required a monthly subscription fee which, in recent years, has encouraged a lot of developers to go towards the structure which runs for free. But, where do games make money then? This is where the popular freemium game system has come into play.
World of Tanks is free to download, easily accessible on their main page for instant download. You can play endlessly for hours on end without paying a single dollar. Which is brilliant as it means you can have access to nearly the full game for absolutely nothing. This is where the Freemium gameplay system works: being a paid users nets you additional advantages.
In World Of Tanks the paid-for currency is called gold. This isn’t the most expensive resource in the world, but, I know how some people feel about paying extra for something which is meant to be free. And ultimately the game never forces you to buy gold. Within my first five months I didn’t touch the stuff. Even after that, I never bought in huge sums – it was always a small payment.
So, what can gold do? Well, with the bought gold you can either become a premium member, giving you +50% extra exp/credits per match, buy special ammo which will do extra damage, upgrade your crew faster, convert into credits or buy special tanks.
I’ll highlight the special tanks here. As you can see on the picture above to the left, there is a tank called the Lowe. This costs 12,500 gold, setting you back around $40+. However, these tanks will give you far more money than the average tank, and allow you to gain valuable credits much easier.
Clans And Companies
If the random battle isn’t creating enough community spirit for you. There are thousands of different clans from a range of different nationalities and game styles to choose from – there will definitely be one for you! Some of the best clans have frequent clan battles between others, winning these can mean greater rewards and fame among the tank community.
A feature I use nearly every day is the ability to view all of your account stats online. This can show your kill numbers, accuracy percentages and many other helpful scores.
Tank companies are an ability which also allows you to group up with one or two friends (two if you have a premium account) and fight in a random battle. Frequently, I group up with my friends to spend a night of enjoyment and chatter (through the voice system) – a great way to meet up!
Overall, I love World Of Tanks. It’s a great MMO which cuts out all the boring stuff and gets you straight into a game. It’s this simplicity which makes the gaming experience so unique and addicting – encouraging millions to join the brigade!
I highly recommend World Of Tank, it’s a brilliant game which will definitely entertain a wide variety of people. It’s no surprise the amount of attention and awards the developers have actually picked up!
On an added note from the same company, we look forward to: World Of Warplanes and World Of Battleships. Two games which I can’t wait for their release. The future looks bright for Wargaming.net.
Let us know what you think of World Of Tanks – we would love to know!