It’s a World… a World of Tanks

No, not WoW-type tanks.  Real tanks.  Armored fighting vehicles.

Well, virtual armored fighting vehicles.  Darren has the trailer posted over at his site.

I am talking about a free-to-play online game which is all about tanks called World of Tanks.

All tanks and nothing but tanks, or so it seems.

And WWII tanks no less. Everybody’s favorite!

From the site:

World of Tanks is a team-based massively multiplayer online action game dedicated to armored warfare. Throw yourself into the epic tank battles of World War II with other steel cowboys all over the world. Your arsenal includes more than 150 armored vehicles from America, Germany, and the Soviet Union, carefully detailed with historical accuracy.

A flexible system of authentic vehicle upgrade and development allows you to try any of the vehicles and weapons in the game. Whether you prefer to exhaust your foes with fast and maneuverable light tanks, make deep breaches in enemy lines with all-purpose medium tanks, use the force of giant tanks to eliminate opposing armored forces, or become a heavy sniper with long-range howitzers, each unit type has its own advantages and can be extremely effective when operated by a true tank ace.

Part of me really likes the sound of this.  There is a visceral element to a clash of tanks.

On the other hand, the wargaming purist in me finds that their information raises more questions than it answers.  The imbalance of the real world of armored warfare, especially the see-saw game of superiority that took place during WWII, at least on the Eastern Front, makes me wonder how balance issues are going to work out.

150 different tanks sounds great, but why would I go with anything besides a late 1944 Panther (the one with the mantlet that fixed the shot trap problem) if I had the choice?  Or maybe a Jagdpanther if I wanted to just lay back in kill stuff.

A game screen shot featuring a Panther

You’ll note that that screen shot actually shows the late 1944 mantlet upgrade.  It is that lip on the bottom of the rounded gun mounting.  The older, fully rounded mantlet had a habit of deflecting shots down into the thin upper armor of the Panther, which is bad for business.

But then there is that flexible system of upgrades, which I presume is there to make other AFVs competitive with the few late-war choices most knowing players would otherwise make.

Your armored steed isn’t just a tin can on tracks – it’s a living, evolving mechanism that should be treated accordingly. Research your available upgrades and modifications to enhance its performance on the battlefield.

That does seem to contradict the whole “carefully detailed with historical accuracy” part of the equation though.  I don’t recall a lot of living, evolving mechanisms in the annuls of WWII armored warfare.  Design changes, field modifications, and updated tactical doctrines, sure, but evolution?

If they’re talking upgrades that will keep, say, a Panzer 38(t) competitive in a late-war scenario, they better mean converting it into a Hetzer.  (A Hetzer might make my list as well.)

And then there is the whole “world” aspect of World of Tanks.

Intense battles with up to 60 combat vehicles unfold on enormous and detailed battlefields featuring a variety of terrain from open fields with hills and forests to deserts and industrial zones. The terrain offers a wide scope for tactical decisions from aggressive fast-paced thrusts to elaborate flanking operations and diversionary attacks.

That doesn’t sound like it is going to be a virtual world.  That sounds more akin to the Battlefield series of games rather than your typical MMORPG.

Still, nitpicking aside, it is tanks.  Tanks shooting at other tanks.  No messy infantry support or nasty panzerfaust wielding bad guys hiding where you least expect them.  Just tanks.  That should have something going for it.

The game will be free-to-play, so I’m sure I’ll give it a try.

I can go play Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin if I want historical accuracy and pazerfaust wielding grenadiers.  In fact, I think I will.

Of course, since this will be a free-to-play game, that implies there will be some sort of cash shop mechanism. I can hardly wait to see what they will offer.  You want APDS rounds for your main gun?  That will cost you.

More on World of Tanks as it develops.

15 thoughts on “It’s a World… a World of Tanks

  1. Zardoz

    Oh it’s going to be an arcade-y shoot ’em up, like Battlefield 1942… Fun, maybe, but expecting some Advanced Squad Leader level might be a tad optimistic. We rivet-counters should prepare to be disappointed.

    And if you’re following the Allods Online debacle, you’ll see that it may pay to beware of Russians bearing gifts… I’m sure I read somewhere in the Programme of the RSDLP(B) about free MMOs come the revolution! But of course that’s so twentieth century…

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  2. pitrelli

    I think this could have the potential to be interesting, the RMT does kind of scare me off so I’ll await the dreaded cash shop – to be honest however this is the kind of game that it could work well for as i’d imagine it isnt too involving and as such not a game people will play non stop, rather pop in and play a few games.

    Still lets just hope they dont pull a ‘Allods’

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  3. Jay Gischer

    @We Fly Spitfires. Oh, c’mon, who doesn’t want to drive a tank. I just hope they let you drive it through a couple houses or smash an old pickups with them. Bonus points for hiding in a haystack.

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  4. HarbingerZero

    If I was reading the forum posts correctly, the devs have noted things like that late war mantlet upgrade are the kinds of things that will be used as “upgrades” for your tank.

    And since its MMO based, I imagine one would start on the 38t and work one’s way up to the Panther.

    Personally, I’m disappointed about there not being any interior graphics. )-:

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  5. MM

    Meh. Everyone would go for the biggest, meanest tanks, when in reality, that’s not what mattered. The Tiger was WAAAY tougher than Shermans, but we won because the Sherman was far easier to maintain and mass-produce.

    Sure, the Tiger would kill 4+ Shermans for every one Tiger taken out, but for every Sherman destroyed, there were 3 to take it’s place.

    That being said, I’d take a T-35-23 just for the wow factor. Talk about a land-battleship. Sheesh.

    http://www.battlefield.ru/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=91&Itemid=50&lang=en

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  6. hellkitchen

    This is not about how the experience ingame was. This is more about how does the service desk / moderators of there forums operate.

    To be honest I have no words for it and no it is absolutely not because they are so awesome good. It’s the opposite of that…

    When ever there is maintenance there are users crying etc etc. So I type a famous sentence from an Australian comic called Chopper Reid. I will not type this sentence in here because I do not know if it’s allowed on this forum. Instead of the F-word I mix the characters a bit and use that instead of the F-word. I receive a so called convo (email on and with forum support) that I am using swear words. I never typed the F-word as how it’s spelled.

    I think to myself this is over reacted. So I reply to the “super moderator” and say that his actions make him nothing but a forum troll. Pats – BOEM – OINK I go from 3 days read-only access to 14 days of read-only access. A new reply from me explaining what I did and that the F-word mixed characters was used deliberately instead of the right notation of the F-word. That was not true was there opinion. It was swearing they said…

    As you already understand I did not accept that.

    The “super moderator” writes:”…you obey / follow our rules or your not the person we want in this game…”

    I dare him to ban me. He/she/it invites somebody to the ‘convo’ after asking several times he/she/it finally admits he/she/it invited a superior admin (according to them head of customer service of WoT. I check out the person and it seems they are personal friends in the game. So there is reason enough to argument that his/her/it opinion is heavy biassed. They start to put the pressure on me that I will loose my account and won’t be able to play it. I should stop now or they have no choice to ban me.

    Suddenly I see a big ray of golden light shine on my head and I receive a divine idea…

    I start begging them for terminating my account / suspending it as they call it. The idea behind it is short and logical. I do not want to associate with WoT in any way nor for any reason.

    WoT does not stand for World of Tanks; WoT means in my book Well over the Top.

    Conclusion:

    – WoT is very proud to be seen as a global game. It isn’t.
    – WoT thinks that they can dictate everybody out there.
    – WoT say they have a high and independent end-user desk that is end-user friendly. Believe me they are not.

    I could go on and on about it but I reckon you all get my drift. For the ones that do not believe me I have the whole conversation / mail exchange. I can proof what I wrote.

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