Tobold's Blog
Saturday, June 15, 2019

Different people have different reactions to Pay2Win schemes in games. Some rage-quit, some just accept it as sign of the times. My usual reaction is wanting to try it out, to see how good/bad it really is. And then I have the excuse that I'll blog about it. :)

That brings us to World of Tanks, the new crew books, and the Chi-Ha tank. Or tanks, rather, as there are two of them which are pretty much identical, except that one is a Japanese medium tank and the other a Chinese light tank. Just shows how arbitrary the classification between medium and light tanks really is. The Chi-Ha is a tier III tank, and tier III is in my opinion the tier where the game actually begins. Tiers I and II are very random, and battles are over too quick. Tier III is good for testing purposes, as you never get to see tanks two tiers above you, and the frequent battles in which you are top tier are all on just two maps: Abbey and Himmelsdorf. That makes tier III relatively good for testing things out.

The other reason I'm testing out crew books at tier III is view range. At tier III the typical view range of most tanks in the battle is relatively low compared to the size of the battle map. The Chi-Ha tank not only has a good base view range, but more importantly for this particular test has a dedicated radio operator. So with crew books I can boost my view range via two crew members, the commander and the radio operator. The overall effect is that the boosted Chi-Ha can reach the maximum spotting view range in the game, 445 meters, using binoculars. And then some if you add premium consumables.

While there are other tier III tanks with even better view range, they are either slow to get into position, and/or have inaccurate guns that can't really fire that far reliably. The Chi-Ha not only can get into a good position early in the game and spot enemies at long distance, he can then also shoot them with reasonably good accuracy. And that long before the enemies can see the Chi-Ha. Which overall enables the Chi-Ha to act as the "invisible tank", shooting enemy tanks that can't shoot back because they don't see him. And that even without the help of bushes, like on the railway tracks in Himmelsdorf.

Of course that doesn't happen in every game, because you never know which way the enemies are advancing, and how aggressively they are about it. But on average I am doing extremely well in my Chi-Has. Yeah, I got and boosted both of them, so I can keep playing one when the other is stuck dead in a long battle. Compared with my usual performance I can say that this "paying to win" actually works, I am doing better in these tanks that I boosted with crew books than I am doing in other tanks. In the Chi-Ha the effect is very noticeable. While the crew books certainly also improve the performance of any other tank, the increase might well be less in other cases, and it is harder to notice a few percentage points of improvement. But crew books definitely improve your chances to win.


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