I keep reading people’s ravings about World of Tanks, so naturally I had to give the game a go. Twice to be precise. In my first attempt I made the mistake of entering a training mission in order to learn how to play (since there is no tutorial), which resulted in me promptly getting battered by tanks. A natural occurrence considering the fact that I wasn’t actually battling in a tank. You see, the thing I was driving around was as far from being a tank as I am from being the next Pope of the Catholic Church. I should have known how a vehicle named “Leichttraktor” (Light Tractor) is going to fare in battle. At least this experience has taught me that farming tractors aren’t proper weapons and that I shouldn’t be galloping on one into battle when a war erupts near me.
Needless to say that my first experience had left me with a rather bad taste in my mouth, even after realising the mistake I made. Despite that I went and fired up the client again today, since I was bored and the LoL queue was over 9000 as usual. You can predict the outcome just from knowing which vehicle I was steering into combat.
This time I entered a standard battle, which seemed to pit me against other tractors and some tanks (presumably of the same power range, although if that’s true then the guy who compared both categories and decided they fit in the same bracket is a moron). The match went well until the point where we actually started moving. Ignoring the fact that the maximum velocity of my vehicle seemed to be equal to that of an asthmatic badger with a prosthetic leg, I did my best to get into cover and start taking pot-shots at other tanks.
The problem was that none of my shots seemed to damage anything, even when the guy shouted “Direct hit!”. I tried getting closer but met a swift demise at the hands of sniper tanks (where do they mount a scope in a tractor?). Once. Twice. Thrice.
At this point I was trying to come up with another way of battling the enemy. Obviously shot damage, durability or speed weren’t the tractor’s strong points. So I tried doing what I saw many others do, sitting in a bush/rubble and waiting for targets to come wandering by. It didn’t go so well.
I’m sure you realise that camping isn’t the most thrilling form of combat, add to that an enemy tank sitting round a corner a few meters away from my hiding place, seemingly hell-bent on outcamping me, and you can anticipate what happened next. Bored and tired of mind games I gave up on camping and moved in position to flank the hostile, but upon rounding the corner came gun to tractor cabin with two enemy tanks, one of which was probably in stealth (they dampen engine sounds by padding the tank with baby seals I heard), since it wasn’t showing up on the map.
Up until this point I was leaving any battle where my vehicle got destroyed (before the end of the first minute I might add) and entered a new battle with another one of my tractors. After the last thrilling battle however, I ran out of tanks. Cue me leaving.
Having played a few battles I haven’t seen anything that would grip me and make me want to see more of the game, even if I weren’t dying all the time. I can’t imagine this form of PvP being exciting when all a player has to do is aim and click repeatedly. Sure there are a few factors that determine the outcome of a tank battle, such as differences between the tanks, ammunition, where the shot lands and player accuracy. But even so in my eyes WoT gameplay is quite superficial from what I’ve seen.
Granted, I’ve only played three maps in five or so battles total, but the fact that I can’t muster any enthusiasm for the game doesn’t bode well. Perhaps I am missing something or perhaps I wasn’t in the right mood when I tried playing the game. With that said though, doubtless I’ll be trying WoT again in the future (peer pressure). I’ll be sure to report back any tractor related excitement.
PS: I’m convinced that I would have more success in the game playing a soldier sitting in the back of a Kübelwagen, shooting tanks with Panzerfaust or tossing around sticky bombs. Probably because the jeep is about twice as fast as any of the tanks and because of a suspicious lack of any infantry in the World of Tractors. Though seeing the capabilities of the vehicles I can conclude that in WoT the roles seemed to be reversed compared to reality. Tanks are supposed to support infantry which is the heavy-hitter that needs to be protected and not the other way around. Maybe the expansion title for the game will be World of Tanks AND Infantry. As a sort of step-up, you know.