Wednesday, May 04, 2011
World of Tanks
You probably think that I don't like PvP. But absolute statements are rarely true, and the more nuanced truth is that I don't like how PvP is done in most MMORPGs: Twitch-based, and often asymmetrical and unbalanced. Give me a somewhat slower, more tactical, and well balanced PvP game, and I'll be having fun. Case in point: World of Tanks. A friend persuaded me to try it, and I found that game to be excellent entertainment. Maybe not something I'll play for months and months, but fun enough for some time.
Of course World of Tanks, in spite of the "World of" part of the name, is not a MMORPG at all. There actually isn't any world at all in the game. There are only PvP maps, 15 vs. 15 players, with various landscapes from WWII towns to North African desert. Other than that there is only your garage, storing tanks from various nations. There you click on "Start Battle", which usually gets you into a new battle within a minute or two, and the real game begins. You control a WWII tank in a group with 14 other players, against 15 opponent players. Forget historical realism, both sides use tanks from all nationalities. A battle can't last more than 15 minutes, and the side which either eliminates the other in that time, or holds the enemy flag point for 100 seconds wins. Win or lose, everybody leaves the battle with some experience points and credits. Experience can be used to "research" better equipment or other tanks, and then the credits can be used to buy those.
Unlike other multi-player shooters, there are no respawns in a World of Tank battle. If you're dead, you can only watch the rest of the battle (pressing the right mouse-button moves the camera to the next of your still active team mates).
About the cost of all that I have two good news, and one bad one: The good news is that you can play for free, and that the game doesn't shove the payment options down your throat every two minutes. The bad news is that everything you can buy gives you serious advantages in game. You buy "gold", and can exchange that gold for tanks, better crew, the in-game currency, or even better ammo. You can also buy a subscription and get 50% more xp and credits from every fight. If you play for free you at least advance significantly slower, and some items like the better ammo you can't obtain at all without real money.
I'll keep playing this for a while, occasionally, but at the moment I'm not planning to spend money on the game. The battles are fun as they are even with my lowest level artillery tank, so I'm not tempted to spend money to "get faster to the fun part". Maybe the devs did a too good job balancing the game. ;)