Screenshots: mid 2013
Compliments: D. Bissell
Updated Graphics: early 2016
|M-Class game in an AT-2||h.264 2000mbps 113MB
h.264 5000mbps 271MB
|M-Class game in a Churchill VII||h.264 3200mbps 161MB|
|Finally landed "Top Gun" in a victory.||h.264 3200mbps 123MB|
| Update April 20, 2016:I have played this game sporatically ever since I wrote the not-overly kind review below (original written in mid-2013). Curiously, most of what I said still stands, but it is often still fun to play a game or three. The developers have even mentioned that no one seems to play artillery anymore. No, really?
I have been playing this game on and off for over a year now. My opinions are all over the place. The game, the sound effects, the music, the maps, the development team, and the research group are all over the map.
So, the core game is quite fun. You get to drive all the tanks you've admired in the museums, shoot other tanks, and all in a system that at least pretends to be somewhat real. The sound effects have been updated even while I was playing and are better than ever. All vehicles are modeled well both visually and internally. Armor thickness and component locations are modeled so that shot placement matters.
The game is played with two teams of 15. Game modes are standard (capture the flag), Assault (one team captures the other team's flag), and encounter (one flag, both teams fight for it). Most games are a maximum of 10 minutes, with almost no games lasting that long. Games are won by capturing the flag or eliminating all enemy players.
There are five classes of vehicles. Light tanks are the first vehicles available. Later on they become the scout tanks. The often do not have a gun that can hurt their opponent and are often matched against insanely high level enemies.
Medium tanks focus most on mobility. While light tanks are faster, medium tanks have more armor, more hit points, and bigger guns. Medium tanks often have nearly as much firepower as the heavies, while being much more maneuverable.
Heavy tanks have the most hit points and normally the most armor. They also often have heavy guns to go with the mix. Balanced against this, they often must fight head on as they lack the speed to find more favorable angles on their opponents.
Tank destroyers have less hit points than medium or heavy tanks. As for armor, there is a wade variety from almost none, to the most in the game. Most have very large guns, but some do not. The TD's biggest weakness is that most lack a turret. If you are caught in the side, or have to fight two opponents, you will be at a large disadvantage.
Artillery used to be for forcing camping tanks out from their strong points. Artillery is now nearly worthless. There are a very few that are effective, but they are anomalies out of a swarm of over-nerfed vehicles.
The game as attracted a large research base both on the payroll and the player base. Information and photos have surfaced from people's attics and sheds that have never been seen before. The forums on the site are currently one of the best resources for information on obscure armor and equipment.
My biggest complaints are about the development philosophy. The developers will make massive, sweeping, random changes with no clear problem addressed. Sometimes they will even claim that these stat changes are for better historical accuracy, in clear defiance of the historical record. Most times the changes will nerf stats on vehicles that were already underpowered. Most recent was an across the board nerf of nearly all German gun elevations, depressions, and engine power. The German line is already considered the least effective in the game.
Or artillery. Artillery used to be fun. Now reload is so long, even on the small guns, that the player may only get to shoot 2-6 times per game. Aim time is so long that the player must sit and stare at a location for half a minute before they can fire. Initial accuracy is so bad that the end of the barrel is touching the target, but the shot still misses. The artillery may share the same engine, chassis, and weight as a scout tank, yet will have half the speed, half the acceleration, one third the turn rate, and one third the hit points.
Then, of course, there is the match maker. If you have ever studied the development of armor, you will know that there were periods of very rapid development during wars with very slow development during peacetime. The major problem comes from the jump from pre-WWII armor to the later stages. In the game this break is placed between tier IV and tier V. For instance, the Soviets went from the T-28 to the KV-1 without anything in between. In real life, they were developed simultaneously. Now, tier IV tanks are all more or less balanced with each other, but they are no match for tier Vs and certainly not tier VI tanks. Yet, the match maker will force tier IV and tier VI tanks into the same match. The developer is very stubborn about this. If you look at the player percentages, more than half the player base never gets past tier IV because of how unfair the matches are.
In all of this, the developer is too proud to admit having made a mistake.
Over all, World of Tanks is a good game that suffers from the attitude of the developer.