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I’m not a big fan of war games. At least, not in the traditional sense. When you think “war game”, you probably think of Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, ARMA or a hundred other different games where you play as an army man in the midst of battle on some beach, city, jungle, or other random battlefield. I guess that mostly has to do with my lack of preference to the FPS genre. But regardless, that’s why it took me so long to finally play World of Tanks.
World of Tanks is a free-to-play MMO that is deceptively simple at its core: You get a tank, you fight with other tanks, and you either win or lose. The beauty of the game comes in the finer details and quick replayability. As a F2P game, World of Tanks has a built-in micro-transaction system where you can purchase in-game currency to use toward new tank slots, experience for upgrades, and also Premium account status. But the game does a fantastic job of appealing to the FREE part of free-to-play.
As you play, the better you or your team perform, the more experience and money you’ll earn. You earn experience on specific tanks which you can then use to upgrade the features of your tank – treads, gun, turret, engine, radio, and even to upgrade to additional tanks. The process of which is a bit hard to understand at first and maybe a bit unintuitive, but it works. As you earn XP, you enter your tank’s “Tech Tree” which then allows you Research the specific upgrades before you actually purchase and install them from the main screen. Why this isn’t available from one screen is a bit strange, but there’s a lot of customization available which would explain it.
The catch comes in that, while you can upgrade your tank to a point, you eventually need to transition into the different “tiers” of tanks, from 1 to 10. It’s pretty easy to fully upgrade a Tier 1 tank and subsequent battles on that tank will earn you XP that you can either allocate to researching new tanks, use toward experience of your tank’s crew, or (with the use of the premium currency) convert into “Free Experience” which can be applied to any tank or any purpose.
The beauty of the game is also the speed. It doesn’t take a major time investment to play World of Tanks. If you have anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes, you can hop into a match and earn some quick experience. Of course, if you have more time, that just means more matches. Matches are generally 15 vs. 15 bouts that place you on opposite ends of massive maps, often consisting of abandoned towns or cities, empty fields, hilly forest areas and more. Getting into a game is as simple as choosing your tank, making sure you’re properly repaired and restocked, and clicking the Random button or playing with friends in teams up to 3 people in size. It’s easy to play and a lot of fun to master.