Thursday, December 29, 2011

Official Tanking post

I got lured to tanking again. This time with full plate, tower shield and a huge weapon spewing death and destruction beyond sight.

My sons got me into World of Tanks.

Luckily I was able to take some advantage of the Holiday bonus, so I kind of skipped the training sessions in the starter fights by gaining enough experience to research tier III tank in a blitz (pun intended), even though I went for the Soviet tanks with the famous T-34 in my mind. It's iconic tank in Finland, in a way The Tank for everyone who has ever gotten into WWII over here.

My initial notes about the game are covered with sugar crust, which is slowly starting to crack. It is very easy to get in, you just download the game, create an account and join a random battle with any of the three tier I tanks you are given. You will gain experience and money out of every battle, experience to research better modules for your tanks and opening new, improved tanks and money to pay for the repairs and ammunition.

Simple, eh? I dare you to try it, for WoT has cleverly induced an addictive element not too far from the kind you get from old coin-ops, Tetris or Bejeweled: I can do better in the next match. I. Can. Do. Better. Next time. Just can be done. I will.

The only gripes so far I have with the sudden increase in the price of the modules and module research. All is fine in the first three tiers, the research costs reasonably for the amount of experience you get from a battle, but then - as you try to go from tier III to tier IV - you hit this incredible increase which rises the cost from 1250 points to 5600 for one single module. And it gets worse in the IV to V, where the highest module research goes above 20k.

The module in question is the final of the research before you get to the next tier tank, which makes it extremely frustrating: you are not getting more experience from a battle, you just have to grind more. On the other hand, you will learn to use that particular tank better, but in most cases so far this has proven to be in vain as the next tier tank usually performs completely differently from the previous one, even though they might have similar function on the battlefield.

Now I'm progressing in two branches of the tech tree for the Soviet tanks: one to go for a fast and agile scout (T-50 at tier IV), another for the forementioned T-34 (nickname Sotka) for some fighting action. But as I'm sitting at tier III on both sides, it's frustrating as hell to have that one experience hurdle in front of me while I get about 250-300 exp for a fight. And experience is not transferable from one tank to another...

Anyhow, were I a bit better with my scouting and shooting, I might make more. Then again, the game is so addicting and so much fun when played with my sons in platoons that I may even forget that. Note on platoons: in free to play you can pair with your friend (form a platoon), but only with one. You have to purchase a premium account to be able to form bigger platoons, and the cheapster in me is not willing to do that. We will just switch our platoons as fit and have helluva time on the battlefield.

World of Tanks is fun, suitable for quick battle every now and then, but can you really restrict to that one or two randoms at a time?

I can't.