The World of Tanks second anniversary event is now in the past. And what an event it was.
When Wargaming.net 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.
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.
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.
Again, in the company I keep, it looks really long.
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.
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.
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.