Thursday, January 12, 2012

WoT's Next?

You may vaguely recall me going on (at some length) last year about fun in games. I also looked at game mechanics, and specifically World of Tanks, and how some mechanics of the game were designed more for profit, than for actual gameplay. I tend to dwell on these things but I did come up with a plan after asking myself over, and over- are you having fun, and if not, how can you improve your fun? While the obvious answer to this may be simply 'stop obsessing' it just isn't me to let things lie, and besides, what would I have to blog about if I did things the easy way?

I did eventually come up with a plan. The problem, as I saw it, was that some of my gaming sessions in WoT weren't all that fun. I found I was unable to break away from the game during losing streaks and was getting cross where I should have been having fun. The game mechanics I discussed which are designed to keep us playing and paying, were beginning to grate on my nerves which may seem silly as it is, after all, only a game. Remember that I also talked about how games manipulate our obsessions in an effort to keep us p(l)aying.
I would log in and, like so many others, try to get my 'daily doubles' (the first battle each day in all tanks is worth twice the experience). It sounds simple enough, but if a particularly nasty losing streak should happened to befall you, it can be frustrating. My worst was 20 losses in a row with the Tiger II (which I sold shortly after and have NOT regretted it). I decided to implement a 'play till you lose' policy where whenever I lost a match I would switch tanks. I have over 15 of them after all- why torture myself? In the end that didn't matter because eventually I would be left with a single tank that 'needed' the daily double. I felt that I had to get it because I was 'grinding' my way up whatever tank tree it happened to be in.

All of that doesn't sound like much fun, does it? I thought about it (helped by my various posts and your comments there-in) and decided on an action plan. I would rid myself of the need to 'work the tech trees'. No more grind, no more carrots to chase. I would have everything I wanted and then.... well, then what? Theoretically I should be free to play whatever tank I felt like playing rather than ones I felt I had to play. In addition if I wasn't concerned about the 'grind' then I wouldn't need a premium account anymore.

Over the holidays I took advantage to the 5X experience event (a real event, not like the current offering) and spent the 11 million credits I had accumulated to do the following:

Look at all those 3L33T tanks!

  1. Purchased the Object 704 "endgame" Russian TD (finally).
  2. Unlocked, maxed out, and bought the IS-4 tier IX Russian Heavy.
  3. Unlocked, maxed out, and bought the E50 "endgame" German medium.
  4. Unlocked the Pershing tier VIII American medium and sold my poxy T-20 (good riddance).

As you can see from the picture I now have a lot of elite tanks. I have spent the last couple of weeks in this way and find that I am enjoying the game a lot more. I am no longer concerned about 'grinding a tank tech tree' and when I log in I play whatever tank I feel like playing. I have avoided the new French tanks and have even dusted off some old favorites like the Hetzer and the Ram II. While I will admit there are some other tanks I would like to try I have decided that I will do so on the test servers which come around at least every couple of months.
This new 'grind free' mode also means I don't have to purchase a premium account- and given the latest, money-grabbing efforts by I am happy to withhold my money in protest. Yes, credits are an issue, and perhaps playing the 'big boys' will be more difficult to sustain but as I said, I'm trying to free myself from that line of thinking and have more fun. Besides which I do have the T-59 premium which is loads of fun and 'makes good money' so I think I'm set for now.
I'm not abandoning hope for this game just yet. The recent debacle where offered supposedly 'exclusive, one time offer' tanks for sale a mere year after the so called 'excusive offer' shows they do have the ability to listen, and adapt to the community's requests/complaints. If you missed that one, it got pretty ugly with some players threatening to sue over issues of fraud and false advertising. The company responded by removing said tanks from the new gift shop.
While World of Tanks is not, despite what some players might like to think (Syncaine I'm looking at you), pay-to-win, it is increasingly becoming 'pay-to-play' which, in itself sounds alright. Nothing is truly free, right? I agree, it's just the manner in which they are doing it, and the costs involved that are becoming an issue. At this point I'd rather it was a boxed game we had to pay for (even subscribe to) with downloadable (pay-for)content for new tanks, maps, skins, and game modes. I don't mind paying, I just hate grinding for credits.
See you on the battlefield- and you can now catch me (occasionally) on the EU server as well, bombing around in my two premium low-tier tanks which I got for free!


  1. Great guide, I just started again (played in the beta) thanks to you I know about the first tank per day bonus....

    I hope you port more things about WOT in the future...

    Looking forward reading about it... I just booked marked your blog... keep up the good work and I hope that I don't see you around in a battle ;)

    1. Thanks very much, and welcome! You have nothing to fear from me- I've only been in the EU server a few times and then it's only with my Tier II and III tanks :)