Saturday, March 5, 2011

Return of the Ram

With a hoard of free beta-gold burning a hole in my virtual pocket I decided to re-buy the Ram-II, an American medium tank, which I had previously sold. In retrospect, of course, I should have held on to it but trust me, after so many years of living with myself, none of these impulsive moves surprise me anymore. You’ll get used it. 

The result, I’d like to say, is that on my first time out I scored numerous kills and made my enemies quake with fear. I’d like to say that, but since I was, in fact, the first on my team to die, I can’t. I was alone in thinking the left flank might, just perhaps, might need someone to defend it, so when a KV (the granddady of heavies I am told) and his heavy sidekick came rolling up I was dangling dangerously out of the left wing with no back up.

As I sat there trading shots with the KV his sidekick made his presence known and blew off my tracks. Thus immobilized (and revealed) I began to take a pounding from enemy artillery and I couldn’t help but think:

“Holy shit this tank can take a beating.”

Looking at the tank’s stats (which is something I often fail to do up until now) I realize that this tank has a hell of a lot of amour and is, actually, quite a capable little unit. It’s firing rate is very impressive and the damage it puts out makes it a nice little dps machine. I am still stubbornly refusing to look through the forum’s at the play guides and posts about which tank is best for what so a lot of this is really trial by error.

Go On My Son!

A American Heavy (Not Oprah) Tank For Comparison

Following the battle, which my brave comrades won despite my absence and a glaring hole in their left flank, I noted that I received my highest yet experience and credits. So although I was blown up I think I can still say winner: me! Huzzah!

Yes, I know this is me as a burning wreck but I did get a lot of XP and Credits for this.

I sold off my only artillery unit to make room for the Ram, and find myself using the tank destroyers as my main tank class. I am currently using both a German Tier IV, and a Russian Tier III. They each play slightly different with the Russian seeming to be a bit more mobile. I have no idea what the consensus is on the matchmaking system, or if they have been tweaking it, but I have recently had a fair few matches where I have been on top with my IV. Predicably when you are on top (literally as the highest tier tanks are listed from top to bottom on your team list) you tend to do better because you have more....well, more of everything really: armour, firepower, stealth, radio, crew experience, etc.

When you are the top dog everyone else must submit! One of my best outings ever.

I like the mechanic of the tank destroyers: hide and kill. As far as I can tell it’s basically the role of sniper which is one I always love to play in my (limited) FPS gaming experience. What? Crawl through some brush for an hour, get eaten by rats, defecate in a bag so as not to leave a trace, and then get to take a single shot? Sounds like fun! Almost as much fun as that 6-hour History Channel Special on Snipers I watched years ago, or that time I climbed up the water tower at the university and....oh, right, never mind that.

When the game goes live I think I will stick to the tank destroyers. I like the speed of the light tank but I just can’t seem to get the hang of my role. I realize I am there to scout but I find that rushing up toward the enemy is a great way to get killed, fast. I guess it’s the mechanics of the role that I am having trouble with (which is to say I suck). I also like the versatility of the medium tank which can be quite good at protecting the vulnerable rear artillery (awww, I’m such a Knight in Shining Armour).

I am planning on starting the game off by buying an elite tank as my "money-maker", which is to say you can use the experience gained in elite vehicles as ‘free experience’ for the other tanks you are leveling up. Since, as an elite, you are maxed out (there is nothing to research) you can choose to use all your experience to accelerate the crew’s training, or convert it to free experience for the other tanks to use. I do believe there will be price plans for gold in the cash shop which include free premium vehicles. I'm not 100% on this but I think the price will be$10 for 2500 gold. Pricing plans are going to be announced.

I will likely play both the Russian and German tank destroyers in the beginning and then pick one to continue with into the higher tiers. As the various medium and heavy tanks are earned through progression starting with the light tanks (though you can buy elite heavies as well as medium’s and light’s- but not artillery or td’s) I will probably follow that ‘tree’ as well for some variance. A respectable stable of 4 tanks to start with then although an altoholic like myself will not be constrained and I predict more to come!

Have I mentioned that it's: All Tanks, All the Time!

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