Sunday, April 17, 2011

Second Impressions - World of Tanks

I've given World of Tanks a few more hours now, and it's definitely growing on me.  I'm happy to say that some of my issues from my previous post have turned out to unfounded.  There are more maps, you just don't see them until you start driving higher tier tanks.  I got into a Tier 2 light tank and suddenly had access to several more maps.  Through a combination of improving skills and a more advanced vehicle I'm now averaging 1 kill per battle.  Sometimes I get 2, but those are balanced out by the 0s.

My concern about higher level vehicles getting to farm the heck out of the newbies also seems relatively unfounded.  Multiple times I had seen comments from my team about how we lost because we had no heavies, and assumed from that the enemy had heavies.  Except, they didn't either.  Heavies don't show up on the starter maps, they're almost all light tanks with the occasional medium.  When you move into the higher tiers you start seeing the heavier tanks, but if you're in an advanced light tank yourself you could have one battle on a higher tier map with heavies, and the next battle on a starter map.  So I'm assuming (woohoo, assumptions!) that the players complaining we lost because we had no heavies were used to the higher tier maps and didn't realize the starter maps don't have them for either side.

I think the strangest thing about the game is that "World of Tanks" is all about sniping.  Gun accuracy while moving is terrible, but sitting still in the open gets you blown up, so the game mostly consists of mad dashes between cover followed by hunkering down and sniping until you can't find any more enemies.  I suspect that's actually fairly realistic for tank battles though.  If there were infantry in the game the tanks could presumably run rampant, but there are only other tanks, tank destroyers, and self-propelled guns.  It's a dangerous world, but gratifying when you're successful.

I just wish there were more to the game than endless skirmishes.  How about a campaign mode where players are divided up by sides (Russian, German, US) instead of the current mish-mash, and have extended objectives that can move back and forth across multiple maps.  Heck, I'd even take a single-player campaign mode against AI enemies.  I might even pay for it.

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