World of Tanks Anniversary – Crazy Battles and Comic Guns

The World of Tanks second anniversary event is now in the past.  And what an event it was.

When offers 5x experience for first victories, people come out of the woodwork.  I thought I saw them tweet at one point that they set the concurrency record for the North American server, going beyond 40K simultaneous users.

And so the cast of regulars was joined by old vets and new blood all mixed together by the evil match maker into some battles of epic comedy.  I was in a lot of battles that ended with lopsided, 15 kills to 2 style results.  The only good thing was that I seemed to be on the winning side as often as the losing.

Not that they were all like that.  There were some epic, down to the wire, last two players standing finishes.  But overall, the theme seemed to be “bloodbaths.”

I took advantage of the 30% discount on tier VIII tanks to finally buy the KV-4 I have been primed to get for a while now.

Brand New KV-4

Brand New KV-4

A lot of the gear you train for on the KV-3 applies to the KV-4, so I was not driving it totally stock.  I had the radio fully upgraded and was able to mount the big gun from the KV-3.  However, the really big gun requires 44K of experience to unlock, more than I had sitting around.  So I had to head out of the barn with what I could train.

I also retrained my KV-2 crew and for the KV-4, having trained them up to ~95% towards their first skill/perk.

Equipment was on sale as well, marked down to half price, so I took the opportunity to purchase gun rammers and binocular periscopes and camo nets for a number of vehicles, including the KV-4, so I could avoid having to search and swap as much in the future.

My first outing with the KV-4 went pretty well.  A victory.  And I survived.  And I even got a mastery badge.

First Battle in the KV-4

First Battle in the KV-4

And, of course, the Steel Wall badge.  I expect I will see a bunch of those going forward.  When the KV-4 is at the top of the heap and I can position it right, it can bounce a lot of hits.

I found myself repeatedly tracked in one battle on the Airfield map, where I had take the route through the water between the two bases.  A Tiger and a Jagpanther were both under cover and pelting me.  However, I was angled just right, so aside from the track hits, they were doing almost no damage.  A dozen hits in and I was at 98% health.

That was another of those lopsided battles, and while I held the beach, stuck there in a sniping duel, the rest of the team went up the middle and eventually flanked my two opponents.  I was able to wander to within spitting distance of the cap before they hunted down the last guy.  Another Steel Wall badge.

By the end of the weekend I had finally accumulated enough experience to get the big gun upgrade on the KV-4, the 107mm ZiS-24.  The barrel for that gun may be my most comically over-sized yet.

Is that a ZiS-24 or are you fibbing again?

Is that a ZiS-24 or are you fibbing again?

Again, in the company I keep, it looks really long.

Want to compare barrel lengths? C'mon!

Want to compare barrel lengths? C’mon!

So far I am doing okay with my latest big tank.  It is a long grind to the next tank, my tier IX goal, and the ST-I.  I think I will finish upgrading the KV-4, getting the upgraded turret for the extra armor, though that will require the suspension upgrade as well.  And then the engine.  This thing needs a bigger engine.

It wasn’t all heavy tanks.  Saturday night saw the instance group reduced to just Potshot and I, so we went the tanks route for the evening.  That kept us at tier V and below for the most part.  We got out the BDR’s and ended up in a semi-comic slaughter at the beach resort on the South Coast map facing off against two more BDRs.  If that T-34 hadn’t shown up to help them, they would have been ours.

We also tried out the Luchs, newly upgraded to a tier IV light tank and now not in a dead-end branch of the German tree.  I tried out the new 3cm auto cannon that is available for it.

Luchs with the 3cm gun

Luchs with the 3cm gun

It is fun if you can circle around and get behind people, though you have to get in close as the accuracy is very bad.  I managed to circle around and take out one serious opponent before over extending and getting blown up.  That isn’t really my play style and I later opted for the new, top end 5cm gun.

Probably the most amusing match of the weekend saw my in a Cruiser Mk. IV, which represented the extent of my UK tank experimentation, and Potshot in his PzKpfw III Ausf. A on the Karelia map.  The match lineup included 8 of those Panzer I Ausf. C light tanks that featured in the video I posted on Sunday.  There were four on each side, and everybody headed for the hill… it is always a race to the hill… where a bloodbath ensued.  Watch the video.

(direct link to video)

It is available in larger sizes and quality up to 720p, and you can certainly pick out more detail viewing it in a larger format at highest quality than my blog can provide.

You get a sense of the comic amount of shells those little guys can spit out as they tear up the ground and each other.  You can also see that arty was having a go at us, as the sides both had three SPGs each.  Somehow I managed to survive that melee and was able to move on until I got a surprise of my own.

It was after that battle I decided I needed to turn my graphics settings down a notch or two.  I had everything cranked up to high, but I was starting to lag and get low FPS with that many tanks firing around me.  It became especially noticeable when I was getting hit.  It might be time to look into an upgrade for the GTS 450.

In the end I did not play as much as I thought I might.  Sunday saw me with a craving for something more slow paced, and I ended up playing more Civilization V than tanks. (I still haven’t found my Civ II disk.)  But all in all, it was good fun and I managed to stock up on equipment at lower prices.  Like Mrrx, I got almost every tank out of the barn and onto the field for at least one 5x win.

Now I have about 7 months left to make it to my end of year goal, driving a tier IX tank.

7 thoughts on “World of Tanks Anniversary – Crazy Battles and Comic Guns

  1. Spidubic

    I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend as a noob in WoT. Tried out all the tanks available. So far the Russan, German, and American light tanks are the ones I seem to play the most. I am slowly learning the ins and outs of what to do and not to do. It was quite the mixed bag of dying in seconds to lasting whole battles. Actually dying early did allow me to watch the matches and learn a thing or two. Only issue I had was one battle where a tank on my side mirrored my every move and would not allow me to do anything to help my team. THen we both got blown up. His only response was to ask me if I wanted to be on youtube.


  2. Pingback: Recapping the Weekend of Tanks | Harbinger Zero

  3. mrrx

    Glad you’re enjoying the KV-4 – right out of the gate even ! My experience was frustration until that 107 mm got unlocked at last. I think you’re doing it right – getting all the XP right up front for equipment.


  4. Solf

    Something between a request and opinion — for me, WoT without interface is… well… not much fun to look at — I want to know who is taking damage and such :)

    Please consider if you might want to make movies with interface.

    And another thing about YouTube movies — to get really high quality, you *need* to upload in full HD resolution. I find it looks much nicier even if you have to leave e.g. blank space around, my own example:
    (in case you’re wondering, I’ve done editing with VideoPad — although I’m not sure if it is actually free to use for personal purposes indefinitely or it’ll expire — I guess I’ll find out in a while)


  5. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Solf – I would say, in my defense, that I do try to pick actions where it is pretty obvious who is taking hits, even with the UI off, or, like this one, where the point isn’t necessarily about who is taking hits as opposed to just the crazy melee that went on. I am trying for comedy, not instruction or to show how good (or very bad) I am.

    I want the video to look like a real, if insane, tank action and the interface is a giant distraction that, even at highest quality, you can barely read in any case. Plus the reticule seems to get a bit wonky when I go into free camera mode.

    I have punted on a number of potential videos as the action was not clear without the UI. I had a battle where I snuck into the backfield with my Type 59 and offed three SPGs, but I did the first two at such range that it was just a boom in the distance.

    The project I want to do next is to go through my replays and film all of the really bad driving and collisions when matches start. I have a couple where I just get T-boned by somebody not looking or shoved out of the way.

    I will look into the 1080p upload. Since I only record in 1600×1200, I had not thought to upload in anything besides 720p. They still look pretty good on my TV when I hook the iPad up to it and play them.


  6. Solf

    I don’t think you need to “defend” yourself :) It’s your movies and your choice :)

    I’m merely saying that *for me* it would’ve been more fun with the UI on. But, of course, YMMV, etc. etc. :)

    As for recording & youtube — if you’re recording in 1600×1200 (which is more than 1080p), I’d suggest simply trying to upload it “as is” at full resolution — and see what happens. Might just work. If it doesn’t (I had some issues with aspect ratio myself when I tried to upload something like 1680×1080), you can try remastering it at Full-HD.

    In my opinion there’s a world of difference in quality between 720p and 1080p on youtube when watching on PC — and that’s even though I don’t have Full-HD monitor myself :) Of course it also depends on the quality of the source movie (whether it has enough bitrate).


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