Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, January 01, 2019
World of Tanks again

Happy New Year 2019, everybody!

In 2011 I played World of Tanks when it was a relatively new game. I even did some promotion for the game, by posting an interview about matchmaking with one of the developers. As a reward for that, my account was set to receive 250 gold every day when I logged on for some time. I never used all of that, I still have 54k gold left (which is just under 200€ worth of gold). I played over 5,600 battles, with a perfect 50:50 win:loss ratio. As battles can be just a few minutes short if you bail after having been killed, that probably represents less than 500 hours played. Then I moved on to something else. Now I spent Christmas with family, and it turns out that my brother, who is not the gamer in the family, has 24,000 battles played in World of Tanks, and my nephew is just starting to play. Time to revisit the game.

At first I used a secondary mail account to make another, fresh, World of Tanks account and get the new player experience. That was interesting, but turned out to be not necessary (I deleted that account). There is a "Return to Bootcamp" button, which allows you to play through the tutorial even on an old account. The bootcamp is nice, back in 2011 there basically was no tutorial at all. Now you can play a few battles against bots to get you started, or in my case relearn the controls and some basic game concepts.

Another addition to the game are missions and campaigns. Especially campaigns give you a guideline what to attempt beyond just racking up experience and silver. There are two campaigns now, one for tier IV+ tanks, and one for tier VI+. Every campaign has several chapters with increasing difficulty, and each chapter has 15 campaign missions for each of the 5 tank types, so there is a lot to do. I started with the easiest campaign for light tanks, and got until the 10th mission, "LT-10: The Best Result". The missions pushed me to improve my light tank gameplay, and that was good. Now I feel a bit stuck there, because the requirement for this mission is to be among the top 3 players in a battle, which obviously depends not only on myself. So I need to have a very good game (which is probably harder in a light tank than in other types of tanks) and I need everybody else to have a rather bad to mediocre game to finish this mission. I really preferred the mission types that depended mostly on my own actions.

World of Tanks is a Free2Play game which I feel is somewhat less exploitative than others. The best option to spend your money is a premium account (10 Euros buys you enough gold for 1 month, 100 Euros buys you over a year), which very much resembles an optional subscription, resulting in you getting more xp and silver per battle. You can also buy premium tanks with gold or money, but those are outside the normal tech tree advancement. There are now also lootboxes, which I can't buy, because they are specifically disabled for Belgian customers, Belgium having declared game lootboxes as a form of gambling. With a bit of luck you get more premium stuff out of lootboxes than you would have gotten if you bought the stuff directly, but you might end up with premium tanks that you wouldn't have chosen.

For me the big advantage of World of Tanks is that it can be played with relatively low commitment, in every sense. You choose yourself how much time and effort you want to put into the game, and get rewards in function of that. But if you absolutely wanted to play without bothering to improve your game, you could do that too. You don't need a clan, and your personal contribution to a battle of you with 14 other random guys against 15 random guys is low enough to make it possible to just try out some fun stuff with low enough impact on the team win chance. In fact many of the systems that push you to improve your game are based on player-made mods like XVM, and are not part of the standard game. I do want to improve my game, but I don't want either the game or my fellow players to constantly nag me about it.

I will play a bit more with my light tanks, and then maybe start the easiest medium tanks campaign. According to sites like Noobmeter or WoTStats or, I mainly played light tanks and suck at doing so (red WN8 rating), while I really excel (purple WN8 rating) at playing SPGs (artillery). But that is probably because I remember that in 2011 I had a lot of fun with suicide scouting and didn't know about passive scouting. Now the light tanks campaign has pushed me to watch some YouTube videos and improve my game. Let's see if I can get that WN8 up a bit more before switching to the next type of tank.

One thing about WN8 worth noting is that it mainly measures the damage you do. It doesn't adequately measure your scouting contribution in light tanks. None of the damage done as a result of your spotting counts directly to improving your WN8. However the number of enemies you spot (regardless of whether it was useful spotting) does make a minor contribution to WN8.
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