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World of Tanks Start-Up Guide
World of Tanks presents an interesting mix between tactical squad shooter and vehicle combat simulator. Along with its free-to-play format and wide array of playable vehicles, it is one of the most unique multiplayer experiences available on the Xbox 360. This game is quite unlike anything else you have probably played as a console gamer. While brutal and unforgiving at times with its uncommon mechanics, its an addictive game that any Xbox Live subscriber should give a chance. Here now are just a few quick tips to get you rolling down the path to tank superiority.
1. Finding the tank of your dreams
As you may have guessed, World of Tanks has its fair share of tanks in it. There are 5 classes of tanks in the game and each of them play a very different role on the battlefield. Should you not like your tank to end up on the scrap heap, consider carefully what your tank is capable of and what your enemy is packing.
Light Tanks – Speedy and quick on its….treads, the light tank plays the role of the scout on the battlefield. Its thin armor and puny guns make the light tank ill-suited for head-to-head clashes with the enemy. This tank is most effective spotting enemies for the beefier boys in the back to blast and sneaking behind enemy lines to catch unwitting artillery operators peering down their scopes. You do best by making the other tanks on your team better, especially the tank destroyers and artillery units. Keeping on the move and being difficult to hit is key. You’re doing a great service to your team by spotting enemies and drawing their fire, but one good shot to the treads can cripple your mobility and make you an easy target. A really good game in a light tank just may finish with you not having fired a shot at all.
Medium Tanks – Specializing in mediocrity, the medium tank does a little bit of everything. Its burlier guns and armor make it more capable in a fight than the light tank, but not quite the offensive powerhouse that the heavy tank is. The medium tank can fill any role on the team whether it be front-line scouting, taking the offensive, or holding the line defensively with a nice bit of camping. Medium tanks play very well with others. Teaming with light tanks often provides an open shot to the side or flank of the opposition, and pairing with another medium allows for flanking movements against the big boys. Running with the heavies or destroyers will let you rack up the spotting bonuses while your allies blow holes in your adversaries.
Heavy Tanks – As the name suggests, the heavy tank has a big-ass gun and thick armor. Strategy for the heavy is fairly simple: shoot things. Heavies can quite often affect the battle just with their presence. Once spotted, lighter enemy units will often scatter. A nice bit of flexing by the heavy can send the opposition in the opposite direction, which is great for setting up ambushes. Despite the amount of damage this tank can both take and absorb, capable wingmen are still a necessity. A lone heavy in the wild is easily surrounded and overwhelmed by groups of speedier enemies. It takes players quite a while to access these beasts. They aren’t available until about half way through tier progression, so be prepared to put in work before hopping into one.
Tank Destroyers – Another cleverly named vehicle in World of Tanks, the tank destroyer serves as the sniper class on the battlefield. Although it carries a ridiculously high-powered gun, the tank destroyer has paper-thin armor and no turret. This makes the tank destroyer best placed well behind the front lines hidden in the shrubs or at elevation. The high speed of this vehicle should allow for plenty of set-up time before the firing begins. While some tank destroyers offer heavily-armored fronts capable of deflecting some good shots to the face, the bane of this tanks existence is the sneaky scout squirting behind enemy lines. Avoid assaults to your rear end by keeping your wits about you.
Artillery – The artillery class specializes in raining death from above. The superb power of the artillery shell and the nearly non-existent armor on the top of most tanks means that one well-placed shot can take out even the brawniest of tanks. Getting that shot to land, though, requires loads of patience, great positioning, and a fine bit of scouting from your teammates. Artillery operators don’t often have to move far from the starting point to find a good firing position, but have to know the map well in order to ensure high-traffic areas are not blocked by boulders or buildings, thus rendering their powerful gun useless. Consider shelling out some of your hard-earned silver for ammo with a wider area of damage to splash that bastard you know is hiding behind that house.
2. Spotting is the key
Spotting plays an important role in World of Tanks. If you can’t see your enemy, you can’t destroy your enemy. Whether camoflauged inside a bush or doing donuts in the middle of an open field, an enemy tank that has yet to be spotted will be invisible to you and your teammates. This is why the light tank and other tanks with high sight ratings are so important to the team despite their own lack of power. Effective scouting clues your team in on enemy movements and locations via the mini-map and extends the range of the more lethal attacks of the heavy tank, artillery and tank destroyer. The spotter is also rewarded in experience and silver whenever a teammate does damage to a spotted tank. If you’ve found yourself in a good spotting position near a group of unsuspecting enemies, resist the urge to fire. Chances are, you’re not going to do much damage to the enemy, especially compared to the artillery guy parked back at your base locking in on your spotted enemy, and you’re going to give your position away making yourself an easy kill.
Now that you know the importance of spotting, it should be quite obvious that staying off the enemy’s radar is paramount to your survival in World of Tanks. The most effective way to do this is of course by hiding. Whether it’s by hiding behind rocks, trees, buildings, walls, brushes, or the shell of your dead friend’s tank, knowing the lay of the land on each map will come in handy when it comes time to duck and cover. Pick the right time to expose yourself in order to avoid potential one-hit-kills from the heavy hitters. Also, as mentioned before, don’t be so hasty to fire your gun. You’ll be able to move freely and rack up the assist points if you stay quiet. Scouts should only fire when they have to. If you have been spotted by the enemy, your first priority is to get un-spotted. Keep on the move and break your enemy’s line of sight. When you do, try to keep something large between you and the enemy’s base. Chances are, enemy artillery has set up shop close to it’s own base and is scanning your area now that you have popped up on the map. Beware!
3. Aim for maximum penetration
Tanks have armor. Lots of it. As someone whose objective it is to bring about the destruction of tanks, you must consider how and where to attack your opponent in order to punch through the tank’s armor to do the maximum amount of damage. The penetration mechanic in World of Tanks is a unique system that is often difficult for new players to wrap their heads around. Firing at and hitting your target does not automatically equate to your enemy’s tank taking damage. Once your shell has actually hit the other player, the game considers several bits of information to first judge whether the shell has penetrated the enemy’s armor or not. These bits include: where the tank was hit, the angle of shell impact, armor thickness at the point of impact, and the penetration rating of your shell. If your shell gets through, then and only then, will your shot tally any damage.
The targeting reticle on the screen, while sometimes unreliable, gives you a general idea of what to expect from your shot. A white or yellow reticle means don’t waste your time or ammo. An orange one means you have a decent chance to do damage. Red means fire away. There are whole websites dedicated to this explaining this mechanic in depth that I urge you to go check out. (Try here and here)
4. Patience is a virtue
Positioning is everything in World of Tanks. Head-to-head battles often end in stalemates and are often won by the player with the more supportive team. This game is as much about strategic positioning as it is about great aim and maneuvers. Don’t be afraid to camp and wait for the enemy to come to you. Learn the maps, and find the best chokepoints and covered firing lanes to be the most effective tank commander you can be.