World of Tanks – My long journey to Tier X has finally endedJune 5, 2012
Warning: Very long Non-OELVN Blog Post
Finally! After nearly 2 years… I have reached the very pinnacle of what every player of World of Tanks always wanted to be… and that is to be a Tier X player. But before anything else what is this World of Tanks I’m talking about and why in the world did I spend considerable amount of time (and real life money) into it…
Now that I think of it it’s kinda romantic in a way… the first tank I saw, the first tank that blasted the hell out of me was the MAUS piloted by AfrikaKorpsSoldat (via Team Kill) and in a really odd twist of fate I am once again paired up with AfrikaKorpsSoldat in a platoon the time I finally unlocked the E-100 (a German Tier X tank)… ehem
Anyway… World of Tanks is a Free-to-Play Massive Online Game where you drive tanks from World War I, World War II and Cold War era. The rules are pretty much straightforward and that is… Blast the hell out of the opposing team until they’re no more or you could take the not so glamorous path and capture their base. There are many Online Games out there similar to World of Tanks that had better Graphics and Better Gameplay so why did I chose to stay and play this Russian game… simple… because it’s FUN to play World of Tanks.
Don’t let the initial simplicity of World of Tanks fool you. For this is one of those really REALLY rare games that managed to achieve the sweet spot of game play balance. It’s SIMPLE enough for casuals and beginners to pick up this game and play their way through it and at the same time COMPLEX enough to for serious enough players who wanted to pursue the World of Tanks really steep progression ladder.
Another thing about World of Tanks is it’s Free-to-Play so anyone can simply jump in and join the fight though once you reached beyond Tier IV and beyond, it’s a grindfest… You see… nearly all of Free-to-Play games will require you to grind at varying degrees to progress in-game and World of Tanks is no exception. If I’m gonna put an analogy on how to best describe the grinding process in World of Tanks it will be like “Grinding your precious and delicate danglers in dry old asphalt on a very hot noon” that’s how bad it is especially if your mindset locked into actively pursuing to get to the highest tier tank that is the Tier X rank.
After so many plays… I have discovered that the proper mindset to have in order to enjoy World of Tanks is not to actively pursue the highest tier tank but rather find a tank that suits your fighting style and be the best in your chosen class of tank… in my case, it’s the German Tier III Luchs (Lynx)…
Specification-Wise, Luchs is not really a spectacular tank. It’s not the fastest, It’s not the toughest nor does it have the best gun in its class and since the Luchs is like a Box with very little angled surface to deflect incoming shells, when you get hit you really get hit and there’s nothing you can do about it but brace and hope that it doesn’t kill you. But it has several very distinct but not really that apparent advantages which can make a whole lot of difference when in actual combat. For starters the turning radius of the Luchs at slow speeds is ridiculously unfair for this tier… it’s so nimble that I can actually troll and harass bigger tanks, shoot and run around them in circles until I kill them or a team-mate kills my spotted victim. Contrary to the common held belief that the Luchs is a scout… in reality, it is actually an assault tank. It has the characteristics of a brawler and the way the current Match Making system in World of Tanks usually pits the Luchs with tanks that are roughly less superior to it… But what separates my Luchs from the rest of the players in this tier is that I have actually invested huge amounts of time in training a set of crew that is 100% fully trained with all three skills unlocked paired with modules and equipment that is usually used on higher tier battles… something you don’t usually encounter in this tier which gives me a really huge advantage over most players in this tier who are probably equipped with bare necessities.
One thing a player needs to learn in World of Tanks early is the skill to lead the target. Unlike Counter Strike or some other first person shooter… anything you fire in this game takes time to get to your intended target meaning if you shoot dead straight at a moving target, by the time the shell reaches him he’ll be gone so most of the time unless you’re shooting from point blank you will have to predict where a particular tank will go aim there and shoot him and pray that your intended victim will be on that spot when the shell finally reaches him.
Although it’s a Free-to-Play game… there is an option to buy special credits called Gold that enables you to access some of the games special features and enhance your gaming experience and make life somewhat convenient like Adding an additional slot to your garage in case you’re the type that wants to collect tanks or carefully demount expensive complex modules so you can mount them to another tank or sell them for cash or buy premium time where you earn 50% more cash and XP every battle within premium time or even better, buy a premium tank that is really cheap to maintain and repair increasing profitability… perfect for farming credits…
And now time to reflect back…. I first played World of Tanks in Closed Beta after hearing a few of the /jp/ regulars like BOOF and AfrikaKorpsSoldat and others are playing it. At that time Cosmic Break was the /jp/ flavor of the month. The first time I played it I was like whoa… I’m in this tiny LeichTraktor (AKA Loltraktor) and besides me is AfrikaKorpsSoldat driving a MAUS which is the baddest tank during Close Beta… all I can think of is… I wanted that tank so badly. And thus begin my long journey into World of Tanks… Closed Beta becomes Open Beta and I was sporting a TigerII already when the game went live wiping out all of our progress which… is kinda painful considering the only compensation we got is a lousy Tier V American Tank and the Valentine Lend Lease Tank (which also sucked big time) and yet we stayed. During closed beta I first met Bakal which later established the clan PVP (Philippine Vanguard of Peace) it was initially a gathering of likeminded Filipino tankers until Clan Wars was introduced.
At first PVP was not doing so good but over time it become a dominant force in the Clan Map and stepped on one too many toes leaving behind a trail of destruction and lot’s of butthurt players with bruised egos… it was fun. During my time with PVP I joined various competitions to raise awareness and promote PVP and earn some bragging rights myself when I won some of them with flying colors like the time I hoarded First Place in two separate categories for Tank Skinning Contest and that Comic Contest that got me a T Shirt besides the gold. PVP and Clanwars was fun… too bad the timeslot for World of Tank Clan Wars was around 10AM local time so not all of us can join regularly which kinda sucked and unfair for players in South East Asia and there is no way… not a chance in hell I’m going to play in that crappy South East Asian World of Tank Server… it took me nearly two years and several thousand pesos in cash to grind and reach Tier X and you expect me to start from scratch HELL NO!
Not to mention what’s with the crazy trace route that go all over the place before heading back to the Philipines? Why Malaysia of all places… can’t you put them in a more decent spot like Korea where the internet is decent? Why can’t you do it like in NA Server where there is virtually a straight line to and from the Philippines?.. Also, why can’t we transfer our NA progress to the crappy SEA server (Nah… who wanted to play there anyway?)
Of course I Uncle Mugen had sporadic trolling tendencies. My favorite is posting uh… various messages designed to keep the opposing team slightly uncomfortable… which most of the time backfires and gets my team distracted instead and in some cases… they shoot me… Lol! Copy Pasta is so convenient… I got so famous that some clans gave me various nicknames such as “That Naked Guy” and “Homosexual Tanker” or “Gaylord from PVP”
Now back to being a Tier X… let’s just say it’s slightly disappointing. While E-75 was the unstoppable yet expensive to maintain killing machine… the E-100 on the other hand is best used as a… moving bunker… it’s too slow, it’s penetration is pathetic though the damage it can cause is really scary not to mention the insane amount of hitpoints… it’s just not meant for brawling… and since it’s ridiculously expensive to use and maintain
Oh well, I talk too much… in case you wanted to platoon me or message me in game I’m on World of Tanks NA server and my name is “mugenjohncel”… I’m more than eager to play with you guys…