Monday, December 31, 2012

The New Chinese Light Tanks: Egg-Fu-Wow!

A first look at the upcoming Tier VII Chinese light tank, the WZ131. The video includes gameplay (three games) and commentary. Let my sultry, sexy voice (or so I think) tell you why this little tank is going to be something to fear. After a few more games, some good, and some bad, I stand by my official first thoughts: Holy Shit!  Unlike the new mediums and heavies which are just copies of tanks I already have these little lights may find themselves a space in my garage.

This tanks's stock gun, btw, is an auto-loader with a 5-round drum.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

(Super) Thoughts on the (Super) Pershing and the Chinese Invasion (World of Tanks 8.3 Test)

With some of my fellow tankers out for some Christmas deals the Super Pershing may be in your sights. Despite already buying my Christmas treat, the SU-122 Tier VII Tank Destroyer, I still have 8000+ gold I'm looking at spending. As if sensing my need to know the newest test server (8.3) has been released. I was sorely tempted, in real life, to buy the T34 US Heavy but (thankfully) I as able to play it on the test server and realize it wasn't for me. Whew. That's 10,000 gold saved....or at least not spent. (For those unaware gold is about 4 cents per so that tank is around $40...on sale).

The Super Pershing is on for a mere 6120 gold, or $27 so I have taken a good look at it. I've watched other reviews on You Tube, and put my top crew in (100% with two nearly full sets of perks and skills) and went to town. The result? It's everything people say it is. It can certainly take a good shot from tanks well above it's tier and it's gun does indeed suck. It's essentially the same gun that is on the Type 59 but you don't have the mobility to move around and hit targets from the weak sides or rear.

Let's get something straight. This tank is a heavy. It's slow and ..well, slow, and designed to hold choke points. All well and good, you say, and that sounds like fun, doesn't it? Yes, it does, and it can be BUT. The but here, which people may not even be considering, is that there is a new line of tank coming. And they are fast. Very fast, and very maneuverable and they carry massive cannons. Guess what happens to you, sitting there in your fancy Super Pershing holding the choke point? You guessed it- just like the Germans in France- they go around. And then kill you very, very fast.

Unlike a heavy tank, or say a slow Tank Destroyer which will face the same flanking problem, you don't have a gun scary enough to make people think twice. You have no alpha to back them off. They just roar in, shrug off the one shot you'll get, and then blast you to death as you try to turn to face them. It's really quite bad and it's put me off buying this tank. Now it doesn't happen all the time and the test server is much faster than the NA live server (the play-style is much different) and you can still make good money (as you'll see below in the screenshots) but ultimately I think I would end up frustrated with playing this tank. In my Type 59, and even in the new SU-122 you can traverse to face these new light suckers and have a chance.

As for the new lights, well, all I can say is Holy Shit. I'm going to be reviewing the Tier 7 and 8 ones on You Tube soon but they can really, really move. In my first battle I lost my engine and was still able to chase down fleeing enemies. I won't be looking at the higher tier tanks because I simply don't play the higher tiers enough to care about them. I also won't be looking at the lower tier heavies because I have already done that. They haven't been changed and I stand by my statement that they are copies of tanks I already have in my garage and so I won't be wasting my time to grind them.

In any case here are some screenshots from my Super Pershing Battles compared to my T34 battles in case you are wondering about it's earning potential- which is good. I'll try to get a few battles with it on the test server for you to see as well with TRY being the operative world. The last screenshot is from my first game with the new Tier VII Chinese light.

Ummm, can you say that's ridiculous for a first game in any tank?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Fortuitous Friday: The Thursday Edition

Scrooges of the world rejoice, it's all over!

Christmas is at an end and though I have been told under no certain circumstances that the tree must stay up until January 6th the season is at an end. I know this because my garbage was picked up this morning and unless Santa is moonlighting it suggests everyone is back at work. Suckers.

I'm still roaming about in my pajamas most days and scheduling my life around the nap time of New Mouth To Feed who is now actually eating stuff other than her mother. This rearing babies thing certainly has its ups and downs and plenty of unexpected consequences. For one, I no longer hate Christmas which comes as a big surprise to me. To be fair I knew I couldn't pull my Grinch routine anymore but the feelings I had toward the holiday season have changed. Those of you with dysfunctional, or annoying families, will likely relate: I used to dread Christmas. I once worked 8 Christmas' in a row just to avoid having to deal with it all. For many people the Holiday's aren't very happy.

Having a baby can, and did for me, change all that. Oh I'm not dancing around in a Santa outfit or anything, but it's nice now because this little group of three is my family. No drunken rows, no family fights- it's what we choose it to be: quiet, loving, and tasteful (mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ham). Next year we may do a Chicken instead of a Turkey because that's the kind of free-wheeling rebels we are.

For many, however, Christmas remains a stressful time of year when feelings of loneliness and depression are intensified by financial worries, alcohol, all the faux-cheer going on around them. It's both heart-warming and sad that this is the only time of year many of us bother to think of those less fortunate. I urge you to remember, in case you've forgotten like I almost did this year, your favorite charities because once a year is certainly better than not at all (we give to the Galway county SPCA in Ireland for those looking for a good animal charity). If I can buy world of tanks gold I can donate to a worthy cause and so can you.

I also want to take the time to say thank you to those who do work on Christmas day. Members of armed forces, police, hospitals, prisons, an other essential services world-wide spend this special day away from family and loved ones. Sometimes it's just for the money (over-time baby) but most times it's for the love of what they do and because, quite simply, it has to be done. I'm certainly glad I was able to hang out with New Mouth To Feed and She Who Will Be Named Later this year so if you were as lucky as I, spare a thought for those who were not.

Happy Holidays Everyone! Take care of yourselves and if this season is a source of stress, and not joy, know you are not alone and this too will pass.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

World of Tanks: Gift Shop Gouging

You may or may not have noticed that I'm back into World of Tanks. It is painfully obvious (see all the posts below and my new You Tube channel) and I am having a rather good time too. I am not, however, blind, and though there are some good deals to be had this holiday season (discounted tanks and the like) the gift shop is not the place to look for good value. It never has been and it amazes me that they still get away with this.

I usually buy my gold in 6500 batches for 29.95. That works out to roughly .46 cent per gold. I was looking at the holiday specials, and for some reason considering buying another premium tank (I may have an addiction.....) despite having plenty I hardly play already. Specifically I was looking at the SU-122 Tier VII Russian Tank destroyer. I've heard good things about it and I'm a sucker for punishment (I have a love hate relationship with Russian TD's).

The upcoming gift shop offer of this tank, 3000 gold, a garage slot, and some useless consumables is NOT good value for money at $43.59 (Canadian dollars). Not counting the consumables which are merely window dressing (I never use them so don't consider them in a package deal) it works out to .54 cent per gold (8025 total gold because the Su-122 is going to be discounted to 4725 gold during the sale and a garage slot is 300). Like all the other 'deals' in the gift shop it is overpriced and you get the best deal by buying gold and spending it in game.

Don't be fooled! These specials should be just that, special. I have no problem with them making money but I do have a problem when they try to trick people into thinking this is a better deal. Do the math..... oh god, my math teacher was right. I do need math after all.

The best deals to be had? Well, that's up to you but I personally think that the Super Pershing, which will be on for 6128 gold ($24) may be the best value for money. I've never played one but in all the forum posts and videos I've seen it seems to make the same money as the heavy Tier VIII tanks which cost a lot more. I am very, very tempted but in the end the Type 59 makes me good money and is a fun medium tank to drive. I'm not sure I want two mediums so I will probably go with the SU-122 which will work out to $18.90.

The Ram II will be half off and will work out to roughly $3.50. I've played over 380 battles in mine and I think it's a fun little tank. I'll be posting a You Tube video review with game-play (four games total) for anyone who may be thinking of buying it. It will be up in......400 minutes. Hmmmm...maybe go have a coffee and them come back. Or a pint. Or two. Meh, make it a session and it'll be up when you stumble in.

What are your favorite premiums to drive and were they worth the money?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's Not Me, It's You.

I've always wanted to be honest during one, or two, of my 'bad breakups' over the years and just say:

"You know what, I'm fine, but there's something seriously wrong with you. This is over."

That never happened, of course, but now, at least, I get to say that the recent video troubles are definitely not me. It's You Tube:

Videos are shortenedWe're aware of a problem where large AVI files are being shortened. For example, if you have a 30 minute video, it may be shortened to a 5 minute video. As we investigate, please try uploading your video in a different format.

Whew! I wish they had posted that last week. It would have saved me many hours of re-loading, editing, and fretting. My latest video is again cut short but I am getting the last 5 mins re-formatted and uploaded now. Once again I apologize for the split video but on the plus side I do think the curse of the Object 704 may have been all in my head- at least judging by how these two turn out. The last one is especially interesting as, for some reason, three tanks go right by me without bothering to shoot me once they get behind me. Sometimes you're helped out by a kindly dose of enemy stupidity. It's a great example of how 'rushing arty' is, in the long term, a failing tactic.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Object 704

For those who wanted it, this is the end of the battle that was cut off in my first Two Battle Tuesday. The new Two Battle Tuesday (with the Object 704 again) is now loading and it certainly is a couple of really good battles......... which is not something I get to say often about this tank but maybe that's the nature of the curse- because I made such a big deal of how bad I do with it, it decides to play amazingly for me :)

I'll have that one up in 300 minutes according to You Tube but for now, here is the quite dramatic conclusion to that last video. I felt a bit like Bond escaping from the laser of death table thingy.

Monday, December 17, 2012

World of Tanks: The Pay To Win Experiment. Episode II

Episode II has been up since Friday but I haven't been promoting it much. Firstly I was out of town but due to crazy family, I have returned earlier than expected. Secondly in this video I promote my new series, Two Battle Tuesday but due to some You Tube technical difficulties (it really is their fault, honest) I had to take it down which messed up my plans to get people interested in the new series.

So in the 'that's too bad' column, my mother is still crazy, but in the 'that's good news column' I can re-do the Object 704 battles tonight and get them up for tomorrow. Unless the curse of the Object 704 strikes again or some kindly doctor commits my mother and I get have to drive her to the asylum.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

All These Tanks That I Now Own

My newest World of Tanks You Tube series is Two Battle Tuesdays. Viewers will select one tank from my garage and I will play two battles without editing or shopping for the 'most epic battle' to upload. I think this will be a more entertaining format that me simply selecting whatever tanks I like, or just uploading my best battles. Epic 10-kill games get more hits but I'd rather have more regular viewers who are engaged in what I'm doing.

As I am new to You Tube I will see how this goes and make changes as necessary. I will also be branching out from WoT very soon as I do play other games (believe it or not). WoT is familiar and fun, so it has been my entry to the world of video recording and editing.

Here are the tanks currently in my garage. Post your requests in the latest Two Battle Tuesday video comments. I will take the first, only, or most requested tank in the comment section. Since I have few viewers at the moment I will randomly select tanks if none are requested. See, ignoring me won't stop me so you may as well subscribe!

Gank's Garage: Updated March 01, 2013

Light Tanks

MKVIII Tetrarch (II Premium)
PZPKPFW 38H735 (F) 'Mini Maus' (II Premium)
M22 Locust (III Premium)
T127 (III Premium)
M24 Chaffee (V)
T71 (VII)

Heavy Tanks

PZKPFW B2 740 (F) (Premium)
KV-1 (V)
Tiger P (VII)
T29 (VII)
IS-8 (IX)
IS-4  (X)

Tank Destroyers                               

FCM36PaK40 (Tier III Premium)
Hetzer (IV)
M8A1 (IV)
Hellcat (VI)
Dicker Max (VI Premium)
SU-122-44 (VII Premium)
Jagdtiger 8.8 (VIII Premium)
Object 704 (IX)

Medium Tanks

T-25 (Tier V Premium)
M7 (V)
Ram II (V Premium)
M4 (V)
M4A3E8 'Easy 8' (VI)
VK3601 (H) (VI)
VK3002DB (VII)
Panther II (VIII)
M26 Pershing (VIII)
T-44 (VIII)
Type 59 (Premium VIII)   


SU-26 (III)
AMX 105AM (IV)
GW Panther (VI)
SU-14 (VI)

Why You No Play Something Else WoT-Boy?

Tank-centric is the theme here currently and I do apologize to my regular readers who may not give a whit about tanks- or You Tube for that matter. WoT has been a fairly easy You Tube transition for me so I've run with it over the last couple weeks. Rest assured I am going to be branching out to  other games (X-Com is next) but I likely will still be focusing on the video for the time being. As you can see,  however, that isn't stopping me from blogging now, nor in the future. Remember I'm returning to work soon so I'll have to blog....otherwise I'll have to work! That's not entirely true as I do work quite hard, but being the solitary (unsociable) guy I am I do have my lunch break to while my office....with no one to talk to...sniff.....

Ha! Here you were feeling sorry for me but in fact, that's the way I like it. Jokes on you, suckas, but please ignore the fact I just called you 'suckas' and do keep reading my blog. And for God sake, subscribe to my YouTube channel. I'll even take token subscriptions from people who will never watch my videos all in the name of inflating my ego. I plan on having a 100-subscriber special where I give a prize to myself for getting 100 subscribers. The 1,000 subscriber special will blow you away (not really, just more stuff for me). Heck, think of what it might be! I did, after all, after getting 10 subscribers order a GTX 660 video card so by that token I should be buying myself a new car when I hit 1,000.

So, ya, this update is to say I haven't abandoned other games. I still have Chivalry: Medieval Warfare to learn properly (I'm going to go archery only at first for the lolz of shooting people in the face), and I haven't touched Hitman Absolution since it was released (it mocks me from my Steam library like so many others). From what I've seen and heard so far I think I may be massively disappointed. I do want to get a Gnomoria tutorial out as well as my initial post remains one of my most visited posts. It's something that will lend well to the 'ole Tube. I do want to get some Torchlight II play time in as well but with time being so limited I don't know if I'll make it back.

Remember then that I'm not only about World of Tanks (which I technically quit a few months ago but never mind that) and do your best to ignore the next post (later today) which will be about....World of Tanks. Huzzah! Unless you like World of Tanks and then don't ignore it as your life may depend on what I have to say........ or maybe it won't but it'll for sure feature me and gameplay with my cursed Object 704.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

How To Blow Yourself Up. A World of Tanks Story.

I forgot this was even possible and didn't realize I had done it until I saw the end-game stats and noted that I killed an allied vehicle. That ally? Player name: Gank. Lol? It happens at the end of the first battle in the video.

Game-play and commentary featuring the Tier VII German medium VK3002DB, the US Tier VI Easy 8, and the US Tier VIII medium Pershing.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

World of Tanks: The Pay 2 Win Experiment. Two tanks, loads of cash. Can I buy myself some wins?

For some time I've been wavering in my enjoyment of World of Tanks. At times, despite my inner protestations, I find I need a focus in my gaming. This blog certainly helps, and more recently I've been dipping my toe into the choppy You-Tube waters. I had an idea, some time ago, to use up my remaining World of Tanks gold on premium ammo to see it it really made a difference. When I totalled my small hoard  however, I realized I could only afford to do that for a few games which wouldn't really provide anything statistically interesting.

And then came update 8.1. Gold ammo was offered for in-game silver and of that I had a hoard that would make a fair-sized dragon happy. With 10 million credits saved up and no real desire to spend it on anything I decided to go ahead with my idea. There hasn't been a lot of serious talk about the Pay To Win aspect of World of Tanks. Syncaine offered up his opinion in the comment section of Tobold's blog once, or maybe had a post of his own (I can't remember), and there are a few threads on the official forum but not much comes up with the 'ole Google search "World of Tanks Pay to Win".

What I am trying to answer, simply, is can you pay to win buy using premium ammo? Winning is defined by actual wins of course, but as a stat-monkey I will also look at overall performance including kills, damage, and the oft-controversial efficiency rating which is available from the WoT Dossier Tool (not an official World of Tanks tool). I have selected two tanks for this:

1. The Type 59 Chinese Medium.

This Tier VII premium tank is a good earner. It is not overpowered and quite frankly I'm sick of that topic but regardless of that I am experienced with it. With 515 battles my stats with this tank are pretty set. I have a 50% win rate and 508 kills which, I think, makes me a bit above average with it, but nothing spectacular. Most importantly is the long track record of battles which will make a great base-line for my performance without premium ammo.

As a premium tank the Type 59 will also help offset the cost of the ammo (4000 per shell) for this little en devour.

2. The Tiger P German Tier VII Heavy

I think this is a good support tank and my stats show I'm an average player. I have at least 100 battles which is a pretty decent track record and I can say I am, at least, comfortable with it's play-style. Will premium ammo help me get more wins?

For the record I've never believed, over all, that a single player can make that much of a difference in your average random battle. If you get a sucky team you're pretty much done for. I don't think the use of premium ammo will actually translate to wins and I don't think World of Tanks is Pay To Win. It has a very good pay model which encourages you to Pay For Convenience (with premium accounts and premium tanks) but none of those things are power items. Premium ammo is a power item (as are the premium consumables) but in the end I'm not sure how much of a difference it will make. We will certainly see soon enough, however! Now I don't think my little experiment will be the end all of this debate., of course, know the answer as they have all the stats but they aren't likely going to let us know are they? Well, actually they will in a way. If they can the option to buy premium ammo for silver we know it likely is causing an imbalance.

If you're watching the video's thanks for tuning in, and do check back here for my updates on how things are going. If there is enough interest eventually I may expand the experiment to other tanks chosen by you guys n gals- so long as the 'gold' rounds continue to sold for silver and I can continue to afford them :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

The AT-15A. Britian's New Ugly Duckling

Well someone had to say it. This tank is uuuuuuuuuuugly, but at 8,000 gold, or 32 real-life dollars, is it worth it? I discuss the pros and cons of this armored beast over two battles and ultimately decide that no, it isn't worth the price. That may have more to do with my play-style than the tank itself but you can at least use this guide to help decide if you want to fork over your (probable) hard earned cash to own it.

Sunday, December 2, 2012