Thursday, April 28, 2011

I’m Like a Kryptonite Coated Superman

I never liked Superman. It always seemed a bit ridiculous to me that here was this guy- invincible by our standards- who could only be hurt by a rare material from his home planet, which seemed to be in abundance here on earth. I found it infinitely annoying, and besides, I was a Marvel fanboy all the way. Silver Surfer, Hulk, X-men, Spiderman, and my absolute favourite: Daredevil. 

I always thought that Superman was his own worst enemy and that might just be the common ground between us. Maybe that’s why I never liked him- no one likes to look at their own faults do they? Lately I have been my own worst enemy in the WoT gaming world and I am beginning to feel like a Kryptonite Coated Superman. Self-sabotaging and stressing over what should be a fun time, having a laugh, and blowing up tanks.

When I left the World of Tank beta I was riding high on a decent win-loss record. I had managed to overcome a poor start which didn’t bother me in the least. Everyone has to learn and there is no shame having a losing record off the start. I played around with different tanks, learned some tactics, and had some fun. When the game went live I decided I had to take it more seriously which is, if you’ll recall some of my earlier posts, something that I was afraid might go a bit Pete Tong.

Beta Totals

In beta I had settled into playing the American medium Ram II tank, and German Tank Destroyers. I tried a few others but always kept coming back to them and boasted a pretty good record with them. When the game went live and I turned to the forums for information (something I had avoided in beta) I decided that Russian TD’s would be my focus in the game. Never mind the fact that during beta I did much better with the more mobile and heavily armoured German line. Why should that matter? Everyone on the forums was saying the Russian line was better, especially at ‘end-game’. 

Current Ram Totals

The ‘end-game’ in WoT isn’t really an end game as MMO players would think of it. For the TD line the end game is currently Tier IX. That’s the highest you can go, and everyone agrees that the Russian Object 704 is a steel monster that spreads fear and death wherever it goes (and who wouldn’t want that)? If you haven’t played WoT don’t think you have to ‘grind’ up the tiers to play the game. Though some seem intent on doing that there is plenty of game to play at all tiers. One of the best tanks in the game, and a hidden gem if you ask me, is a ‘light’ tier II tank (I will be posting on this tank specifically later). It’s practically invincible and I expect, if more people start using it, it will be nerfed or pushed into a higher tier. Play it while you can!

The problem with using what everyone says is the best tank line is that I just can’t seem to play the Russian line very well. Instead of choosing tanks based on my play style (which is a bit aggressive and suits the medium tank line who excel in a wolf-pack, or a more mobile tank destroyer) I am trying to adapt my play style to suit a particular tank. The wolf-pack, incidentally, refers to a group of tanks who work together to harass their opponents to death. We ran a 3-pack of Ram’s one night and absolutely devastated the battle field. 

My record with the SU-100 (Tier VI Russian TD) has slid to an abysmal 38%.  It’s shameful. Part of the problem is I have spent most of my time in random battles without a platoon of clan mates. In my best night out I teamed up with a couple SU-150 (Russian TD’s one tier above me) drivers in my clan and had an absolute blast. Three TD’s working together, ambushing from hiding can bring down anything- fast. We were hidden down by a river when a Tiger crested the hill and ran into our focus fire. I’ve never seen a heavy tank die so quickly. He practically disintegrated as we all hit him simultaneously.

SU-100 Totals

This highlights the second major problem and that is I am not grouping with my clan as often as I should. It still mystifies me why some of us in the clan (me very much included), log in and chat to each other about how horrible the random battles are.....while we play them! I know how it is- sometimes when I come home I don’t feel like leading a group. I just want to chill out and shoot some tanks. If someone asks I will join, but often there is just a group of us too tired, too lazy, or not inclined to lead, just hanging out.

The truth of it is, however, that I am not having much fun and am becoming frustrated so I guess the decision not to lead because I want to relax is quite counterproductive. That and I need to stop selecting tanks that I think are going to be ‘the best’ and play what I like. My record with the Ram speaks for itself both in beta and now. The tank destroyer in which I excelled with in beta (German Hetzer, tier IV) I haven’t even bought even though I have it available. That just seems a bit daft on my part.

Current Totals

Insisting (to myself) that I should keep playing the SU100 until I start to win is, if we want to be completely honest, both counterproductive and somewhat compulsive. It’s reminiscent of a gambling addict isn’t it? Just one more! This one will be the winner! Hit me. Hit me. Hit me. Doh! It reminds me of the time I was at the dog track watching dishevelled, stressed out men throwing, literally throwing, hand fulls of 50 Euro notes into a sack. It was a sad sight to see. I remember my mate, glassy-eyed and giddy, telling me I had to bet on number six because he just saw someone throw 500 Euro on him. My response:

"If some degenerate gambler has put 500 Euro on that dog we should bet against it. It’s sure to lose."

This is a rare post for me. I started it out of sheer frustration, and out of a need to make myself feel better and it’s worked (thanks for listening). It’s one of those times where you put into words what the problem is (or what you think it is) and when you look it over you think: "Really? Is that your biggest problem at the moment? You can’t win with one of the many tanks available in the game while playing in a pug?"

If that’s my biggest problem then life is pretty good. The key to surviving yourself, I find, is understanding your weakness. Superman had Kryptonite and I have obsessive compulsive tendencies coupled with a desire to make everything as difficult as possible. It’s something I discovered long ago and live with quite comfortably, thank you very much. Maybe Superman should have blogged though I suspect he would have done a lot better if he’d only kept his mouth shut about his only weakness. Luckily for me my weaknesses are many and varied so no single one can bring me down. That could be my superhero alter-ego: Weakness Man! No need to act, just wait, he’ll defeat himself.

For now I shall put away the kryptonite laden SU-100, platoon with clan mates, and use the tanks that I enjoy and win with. I only have two more gaming days left until I leave. She Who Will Be Named Later is having a Royal Wedding Party on Saturday (in which I will be overrun by a gaggle of ladies tittering and such over dresses and princes and fairytale dreams) in which the computer is needed (BBC I-Player ftw) so time is short. In fact, WoT is loaded now, teamspeak is live, and Or should I say" My ping's great, and I’m going gaming!

True Fact:

Greyhound racing is terribly cruel and rightfully banned in most civilized countries. Don't support it in any way- I only went once and when I found out the truth, never went back.

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