Free to Play Review: World of Tanks

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.

French tanks will be added in the future.

World of Tanks is an addictive MMO. It’s still in open beta and I’ve seen players with over 9000 battles. Battles typically last anywhere from minutes up to the maximum of fifteen minutes. They last probably an average of around eight minutes. Your team wins either by destroying all of the opposing teams tanks or by capturing the objective, which requires one or more tanks on your team to hold the objective for a period of time.

You progress by earning experience which you apply to component upgrades, new tanks and accelerated crew training. Once all upgrades are earned for a specific tank, you can apply experience towards a new tank in that line. Once experience is no longer useful for that tank, you’re able to apply any experience gained towards accelerating your tank crew’s training.

World of Tanks

The only real game killing issue is with “camouflage”. It actually functions exactly like a cloaking device, which I’ve found very irritating. Camouflage is determined by some weird and awkward algorithm only know to the developers. You have to let go of common sense that says that if it’s within line of sight and eye sight distance, you should be able to fire upon it. The developers didn’t factor in common sense when determining what you can see in front of you.

This “feature” is better referred to as a cloaking device that activates randomly. It will get you killed when it doesn’t work correctly.

Bushes and other objects are used to provide camouflage. When you sit still you gain camouflage. Moving the turret or the tank lowers camouflage. The problem is that it doesn’t work correctly. Tanks tend to disappear from sight or suddenly appear out of nowhere.

World of Tanks

If you’re in an artillery tank then you must find cover quickly at the rear and you’re extremely vulnerable to tanks that are rushing the field. These have lengthy firing times and are very slow to move, turn and aim. Light tanks are useful for moving across the field and spotting enemy tanks. They turn very quickly and can reach speeds around 50km/h.

Heavy tanks are very difficult to destroy and require lots of hits to take damage, even from artillery. I recommend staying away and letting artillery and other heavy tanks deal with them.

You can tell the difference between light, medium, heavy and artillery by the icon above a tank.

Each tank has a set thickness of armor on the front, sides and back. You should turn your front armor toward the enemy. Not only forcing them to fire on your thickest armor, but giving them a smaller target to fire at. Tanks can ram other tanks to damage or destroy them and certain components can be damaged or destroyed; along with crew. If a crewman is killed, other crew members have to take his place. This lowers efficiency. Components can also be destroyed. For example, if the track is destroyed you can’t move until it is repaired.

Auto aim can technically be turned off and at the same time, it can’t be. From what I can tell turning it off only works to “unsnap” the reticule if it is stuck snapped to a target (after auto aim is engaged) and you wish to aim manually. The reticule will always attempt to snap to a target though and this is apparently unpreventable and can result in it being impossible to aim accurately at times. I’ve been killed simply because I could not get off an accurate shot in some situations due to the reticule trying to snap to the target and overshooting, because the turret could not move a certain way.

About one week into playing World of Tanks, I was banned for 24 hours for simply linking to a Battlefield 3 video. There was no warning whatsoever. The ban was only for chat and I was still able to play the game.

For the most part the game is addictive and fun. It has one or two real issues that hopefully will be fixed in the near future. It’s also free. You can buy certain tanks, premium ammo, tank slots and larger crew barracks with real world money.

If you’re worried about low population – don’t. There are about 2500 people on at all times. Up to around 7000. Once you press the button to join a battle you’re in within seconds most of the time. At the worst hours of the night, it might take 30 seconds to get in a battle.

Client Download
List of Tanks

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