World of Tanks or Free 2 Play Done Right

What a re the chances a F2P game about tanks tanks? Pardon the pun.

Finally, World of Tanks has arrived on the 360! And finally, there is a F2P game where you don’t HAVE to pay money to win but you can do so if you WANT!

Yes, there are many shortcuts to get awesome tanks quickly, but you still have to earn XP to progress further in World of Tanks, and you cannot simply buy XP (you cannot convert tank XP to general XP though). Yes, there is still some grinding involved but it can actually be fun to earn money on lower levels and XP for your tank. There is also Premium which gives you 50% more XP and money for a set period of time. But in the tank, it’s up to you. If you have no clue what to do, you’re dead within seconds.

World of Tanks can be great fun – if you find a decent team. Problem is, there seem to be many brainless COD or Battlefield players who only mindlessly rush through the field and get killed within seconds. One kill, you’re out. The first time this happens  you think the game is broken but it is actually a good thing: Get killed, start another match, lose start another match, and you’ll still get money from all matches (although you get virtually nothing if you didn’t contribute anything so suicide runs are pointless). But if you happen to find a team that works together, the battles can be amazing. 90% of the time, one team will wipe out the other within mere minutes, but sometimes it boils down to 2:2 or even 1:1 situations. If you survive those, it feels great!

The different classes of World of Tanks are also well done: Light, medium and heavy tanks will do the close quarter battles (and light tanks especially will act as scouts), tank destroyers act as snipers (although they are limited in turret movement), and artillery can shell enemy tanks across huge distances, provided your scouts do a good job. All classes feel balanced and it actually takes some time to get used to playing them.

Of course, there are some problems: The random matchmaking of World of Tanks sucks. You cannot play with more than 2 friends in a platoon, you cannot choose maps or anything else … so if you end up with annoying brats, you know within a minute you’re doomed. Also, the controls are not always perfect and the servers are not always working 100%, but the game has just been released yet so let’s give it some time. Oh, and Rabidgames wants one thing: Being able to level damn houses!

But at the end of the day, the fun in World of Tanks outweighs the annoyances. The F2P aspect also works: You can spend tons of money, you can spend no money at all, or you can follow Rabidgames’ approach: From time to time, it cannot hurt to spend some quid to support the devs a bit, maybe buying 1 day premium, some permanent customisation for the favourite tank or converting tank XP to general XP … If we support F2P, we should make sure to support the games and the people that got it right!

Rabidgames wonders: For now, the game is tons of fun! However, it might be short-term fun … The random matchmaking can put you in a losing streak if you play with rushing COD fan idiots or end up in the wrong kind of map for your tank, and the handful of maps might make it a repetitive experience rather sooner than later. But … maybe this the game to show F2P can be worth it … Time will tell.


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