Tobold's Blog
Saturday, June 01, 2019
Playing in the right league

I own 85 tanks on my main account in World of Tanks, and that is just a fraction of the around 500 tanks that are in the game. So one of the most fundamental questions in the game is "which tank should I play next?". And the answer to that is complicated, as it very much depends on what you want to get out of the game.

One simple answer is provided by the tech trees. Today is the first of June, and a new "Top of the Tree" event is starting. If you are interested in Russian tank destroyers, and I must say they aren't a bad choice anyway, it would be a very reasonable choice to play whatever tank you have that is highest in that tech tree. That way you get some added bonuses and advance faster towards the Object 268, the tier 10 of that line. So, as I already have the tier 9, the Object 704, I will surely play that one several times a day for the next month, until I reach the 268. (And yeah, I know, the Object 268 Version 4 might be a better choice, but that line doesn't get the added bonuses).

I just had what is a "good game" in my Object 704. I placed top in damage with 2,773 points of damage caused, 2nd in xp at 797 xp base (6,291 xp with various bonus multipliers). However that performance just got me a Mastery Badge "Class 3", which is the lowest mastery badge. There are a lot of players that are far better than me in tier 9 and 10. I seem to be okay at hiding in bushes, but when I play tier 9 or 10 medium or heavy tanks, I usually get massacred. The XVM mod suggests that the average WN8 rate in these games is about twice of what mine is, so I always feel as if I am playing in the wrong league.

Now no tier is immune against having to face players that are way better than you. Some excellent players play low tier tanks, a practice called "seal clubbing", because really new players don't stand a chance against a good player with a good crew and fully equipped tank at low tiers. But the average of player skill is lower at lower tiers. So the art is to find the right league. So unless there is a special event that pushes me to playing a specific tank, I usually choose to play between tier 3 and 7. While the average WN8 in these matches is impossible to predict, usually it is around my own, so the games are challenging without being hopeless. It also appears to be the best choice for improving my skills: While when I started World of Tanks again my WN8 was dropping, it has now stabilized and is going up again.

One of my favourite tanks I discovered while playing through last months "Top of the Tree" event. I never got to the top of that tree, I gave up at tier 8 because I didn't like those British medium tanks all that much. But I had enormous fun at tier 3 with the Cruiser IV, which ticked all the right boxes with me: It is fast enough, and has good burst damage with the Bofors cannon, so I can play the tank aggressively. But as a light tank it also has good camo rating and spotting, so where necessary I can hide in a bush and ambush the enemy. I like to drive forward quickly at the start of a battle and hide behind a bush or corner, laying in wait there for some enemy who doesn't expect an opponent that far forward. Then I empty my magazine quickly into him, and get the hell out of Dodge. Great fun!

And that leads me to the other possible way of choosing which tank to play: Ignoring the events and tech trees. It is perfectly feasible to find your favourite tank, and just play that one. Well, ideally you find two favourite tanks, because then you have something to play if you die early in a battle and need to wait for the battle to finish before getting your tank back. And the big advantage of this method is that there is no reason to spend money if you just want to play those one or two tanks and already have them. World of Tanks can really be Free2Play, if you want.


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