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Posted on Jul 30, 2010 in Electronic Games

World of Tanks MMO – Beta Preview

By Singleton Mosby

The World of Tanks Massive Multiplayer Online game features tanks from the 1930s to the 1950s.

World of Tanks. PC-based Massive Multiplayer Online game preview. Developer/Publisher: Wargaming.net. Available via digital download: Free, with option to purchase better equipment upgrades. Release: Fall 2010.

World Of Tanks is a free MMO PC-game currently in development and beta-phase by the Belorussian development team behind Wargaming.net and scheduled for release later this year. For those unaccustomed to online gaming, MMO is short for Massive Multiplayer Online. In the case of World Of Tanks (WoT) you will play with up to 30 players, 15 vs. 15, driving tanks on a single map.

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The steel monsters in WoT are superbly detailed models of tanks from the 1930s to the 1950s. Currently, only Soviet  and German vehicles are offered. American, British, French and Japanese will be added later, which is projected to bring to 150 the number of different models that will be available, including quick scout-tanks, medium battle tanks, and the slow, lumbering behemoths of the battlefield—Tigers, Josef Stalins and the like. You can also buy yourself a Hummel or Wespe for mobile artillery, wait till the scouts have discovered the enemy, and zero in to give your opponent some unexpected long-range carnage. In most of the games I played, I found the artillery positions are vulnerable and the enemy is bound to attack them at some point in the game, so it was very gratifying to hang back with my mobile guns and wait for the enemy to appear.

Every tank is different, handles and drives differently. Many parts can be damaged and repaired, such as the gun, tracks and engine. At the end of every battle your ammo needs to be replenished, damage to your tank repaired and possible upgrades purchased. Has it been damaged too severely? Sell the scrap and buy a new, more powerful one.

As in other MMOs, you earn points and experience with your actions and kills, with which you can buy new tanks and upgrades such as better equipment, guns and armor for your steel monster. WoT is a free game and there is a vast arsenal of tanks and upgrades at your disposal, but there is an option to set up a premium account that will add a 50% bonus for earned points and experience. This will require actual cash outlay (PayPal, credit card, etc.) through the ingame lobby.

In WoT the round is over once your tank is destroyed—killed is killed. This is an interesting concept that makes you think twice before performing any rush-tactics unless you are certain of surviving the outcome.

At the moment the only available type of game is the skirmish mode. Clan battles will be added soon, however, and in that mode the outcome of the battles fought count towards the development of the war on a big world map on which you conquer and defend your clan’s territory.

These clan-battles will be even bigger, and that is the best asset of WoT—bigger is something it does best. These massive clan-battles are expected to feature up to 100 players fighting it out at the same time, with 300 different tanks, thousands of upgrades and—best of all—20 different maps depicting every possible environment.

What I missed most in WoT was the lack of infantry and air power, and Wargaming.net has no plans to add them. Their absence means tactics are different than in most other games. Somehow the battlefield is not complete without infantry in the woods and street fighting in the built-up areas. I miss the wail of Stukas, Jabos and Sturmovicks when I drive through the open countryside.

Another aspect that may disappoint some players is that forces are not divided by nationality. Soviet tanks fight alongside German panzers, and you will find yourself killing a Tiger with your own Tiger.

The lack of infantry and air power and of national identity will turn some players off to the game, but others will just be in love with the size and intensity of the battles. The good thing is you can play and find out for yourself, as it is free. Don’t hesitate to sign up for the beta on the WoT site.

Editor’s note: As of July 30, 2010, Wargaming.net tells ACG that players worldwide can still sign up for the closed beta, which will last till September or October. Mac users will have to wait until next year to play.

About the Author:
"Singleton Mosby" is the pseudonym of Mark Spierenburg, author of The Art of Armchair Warfare blog. He is a gamer, writer, wine lover and classic car enthusiast but perhaps foremost an amateur historian. His main fields of interest are the American Civil War and the Napleonic era, as well as near-Eastern and Mughal history. At college he spent more time reading history books than paying attention in class and, thus, soon left school on an uncertain path. He now works at the office during the day and plays and writes about historical wargames at night. A glass of great wine, fireplace blazing and Napoleon looking down. Life is a bliss.

9 Comments

  1. Have you played the beta, or just copied the press release?

    “In the case of World Of Tanks (WoT) you will play with up to 60 players, 30 vs. 30, driving tanks on a single map.”
    To be more precise, up to 30 players, 15 vs. 15.
    (About future plans you write different numbers later)

    “Currently, only Soviet, American and German vehicles are offered; British, French and Japanese will be added later.”
    Where have you seen American vehicles? They aren’t offered yet…

    “But there are already 150 different models from the first three nations”
    As said, two nations. And I wonder, how you count if those 62 availiable tank models make 150 for you…

    “(…)but there is an option to set up a premium account that will have even more of everything, plus a 50% bonus for earned points and experience.”
    Oddly, premium account just means the 50% bonus. No clue, where you found “even more of everything.

    The quality of this review is very bad. Author seems to be willing to copy press statements without critic for a beta key (which he used most likely not more than five minutes).

  2. I agree with Sublimer .. this is very poor journalism!

    You cannot write a review on something that you have not tried .. DAMMIT !

    Go play it for some hours minimum, and then review your review, dear journalist!

  3. Well, looks like the review had to come out a bit later, but came out earlier than expected))). And looks like the author is not keen on playing games. So what do you want from him? He is used to writing historical news and articles. If you want a review by a real professional gamer, go to Gamespot, and not here.

  4. “He is a gamer, writer, wine lover and classic car enthusiast but perhaps foremost an amateur historian. ”

    So he is a gamer, and writes a game review on a site that does that from time to time.

    I don’t think it’s wrong for us readers to expect him to have spent enough time playing the beta instead of writing a poor review that gives wrong info.

    They are planning to implement nation vs nation battles (as it will be in clan battles), a mercenary system for if you are short of members in a clan battle and there are also rumours of implementing AI-controlled infantry after release!

    at the moment in beta, battles are mixed nations 15vs15 (not 30vs30) and the tech trees aren’t complete and as such available nr of tanks is less than will be during release.
    Right now you can play soviet & german tanks, but again, the american side will come available after release (or we could hope during last stages of beta? :p)

    Anyway, to make a long post short, I wholly agree with Sublimer and think our criticism is justified *looks at Kim*

  5. KIM, then he should , IMHO, clearly state he did not play it? Making people aware of the game is one thing, reviewing something he never tried is another. He could gently have encouraged people to go to another review site for a genuine review then?

  6. Message from Gerald D. Swick, Senior Web Editor, ArmchairGeneral.com:

    To Sublimer, Knuspar, Dreamy, Kim and any other readers who noticed errors in this preview, I’ve confirmed with the author that he expected the American vehicles would be added and larger games (30  v. 30 instead of 15 v. 15) would have been instituted before this article ran. Such is not the case, and it would have been much better to have said that these were coming instead of indicating they were already part of the game in the beta version.

    The author apologizes, and hopes you understand the errors resulted from a poor choice of words rather than a lack of playtesting on his part. I’ve edited the article to reflect the corrections.

    Thank you for taking time to comment and draw these discrepancies to our attention. We strive for accuracy in all articles on ACG and regret these unfortunate errors slipped in.

    Wargaming.net tells me there are no plans to add infantry.

  7. Umm….LOL! Need to do your research before you post a review is says on the freaking faq, that they plan to add infantry…LOL.

    • Jesse, the FAQ does indeed mention that infantry is planned for the future; however, when I asked WoT’s PR Manager Mike Bolton about infantry, this is the response he sent me on July 30:

      “The game completely embraces just the tanks (different nations will appear in it) – “nothing but the tanks” – so it will not feature infantry in future.”

      I guess we’ll have to stay tuned to see which is correct.

  8. This seems to be common here, unfortunately. Check the reviewer on Black Ops – idiot wrote a paragraph that was straight out of complaints about a game two years old!

    Anyway, there is absolutely NO QC on this site, and it’s a shame. I have been playing the WoT beta for months now, and everything that yahoo posted was straight out of its press package.

    What a loser.

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