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Friday, January 20, 2012

Tool Hammers WoT Tips

Today I am posting a piece from a good friend of mine who just so happens to also be a big fan of World of Tanks. During his time playing the game he has learned and developed several techniques and recently he sat down to create a series of posts in the hope of sharing some with the rest of WoT's gamers. In this first installment he will talk about the very basics a new player will need to understand the game, but I am sure even veteran players will find something new in here they may use. Stay tuned for future installments from Tool Hammer where he will explore all things tanks.

Tool hammer’s tips, tricks and techniques

Welcome to Toohammer9000’s tips tricks and techniques, in this series of articles I will discuss different ways to improve your overall game play in World of Tanks.

I would like to start by introducing myself and my history playing WoT. Although I do not consider myself an expert in any way, I do believe that I have spent enough time in game to have acquired a certain level of knowledge, which you may find helpful.  The information in this article series is a result of my 6200 plus battles in the various vehicles covering all tiers and types that World of Tanks has to offer. My win percentage is a modest 52 percent with a 31 percent survival rating; this is nothing exceptional however almost all of my battles have been in random matches or “pub” matches as they are sometimes called.

There are many other players within the WoT world who have higher percentages but their stats can sometimes be skewed by matches played in Clan Wars or in platoons. While the vehicle does not make the man I have been successful enough to obtain an IS-7, E-100, Patton, T50-2 and a Ferdinand. Playing through these trees has given me valuable insight into the game that I would like to pass along to the newer player or the player trying to grasp the subtle nuances of the game.

The first installment in my series will be geared toward the newer player just looking to start out in World of Tanks.

Starting out in World of Tanks

When starting off in World of Tanks, you have four different tanks to choose from. Tier one tanks are The Russian MS-1, German Liechtraktor, the American T1 Cunningham and the French Renault ft17. All of these starter tanks are enough to make you want to throw your keyboard in anger, but take a deep breath and put the keyboard down, it gets better, trust me. As you progress and get better components for your tank or higher tier tanks altogether, you will start to enjoy the game more and more.

            The game format is based upon a randomly selected map and includes 2 separate teams of 15 players. The teams consist of a mix of heavy tanks, light or scout tanks, medium tanks, tanks destroyers and self propelled guns or artillery. Each team starts at or near one of two home bases and the objective of the game is to either destroy all enemy vehicles or capture the enemy base by occupying it with one or more tanks until a status bar is full. Capping of the enemy base can be interrupted by damaging the occupying tanks.

            I would like to introduce the newer players to some of the lesser known controls in the game. As in many other computer games the w a s d keys control the movement of the tank hull and the mouse controls the turret traverse, firing of the main gun, auto aim locking system and zoom.

Zoom - there are two choices when zooming in, pressing the shift key will put you into an automatic “sniper mode” which is less the the full effect. For more control you can roll your mouse wheel for zooming in intervals between full third person and completely magnified.

Auto Aim – while a target is lit and your cursor is over the enemy vehicle you can click the right mouse button and obtain an auto lock on said target. Beware while this option is sufficient at lower levels or while you are using a scout tank at high speed, most of the time you will want to manually aim at certain components of the enemy maximizing the damage inflicted.

Additional Reticule – after the match has begun you can choose to use an additional blue sniper style reticule, this can be achieved by pressing the alt and 0 keys simultaneously. This can be useful when trying to be even more precise.

Artillery aiming – to properly aim a self propelled gun or “arty” as they are affectionately known you must first get into a cozy bush and then press the shift key. This will enter you into an overhead view of the battlefield where you can then use the circular shape aiming reticule to air mail little packages of love down upon your enemy.

Shell types – there are 3 shell types offered on most vehicles, Armor Piercing, ACPR and High Explosive. These 3 shell types can be loaded while in battle using keys 1 2 and 3. If you want to change ammunition type during battle you can press the corresponding key once to load that ammo the next round or you can double tap the corresponding key to completely reload that ammunition type.  Armor piercing rounds or AP are general purpose rounds that are designed to cause maximum damage if penetration can be achieved. When AP rounds will not go through enemy armor using HE or high explosive rounds can some times be an effective option. HE rounds are usually able to break components or injure crew members even if they do not penetrate. ACPR rounds are available for purchase for real money, they are generally used for Clan Wars or any other time you need the utmost performance from your ammunition.

Consumables - as you progress in the game you start to make use of all the little gadgets available to you in your garage including consumables. These are the three slots on the lower portion of your garage service screen. In these slots you can equip things like repair kit, fire extinguisher, first aid kit and many other items that will come in handy in the heat of battle. Once in combat you will find these items on the bottom center part of your screen and they can  be accessed by using keys 4 5 6. My personal setup is repair kit #4 fire extinguisher #5 and first aid kit #6, I have chosen these three simply because I use them the most and find them the most beneficial.

It quickly becomes apparent around the tier 3-5 range that the current pace of leveling up 6 or 7 tanks at one time is not sustainable unless you plan on being stuck in this tier for months. The best advice I can offer in regards to leveling tanks is to do some research, talk to other players and look at what is effective in battle. Pick a goal vehicle in each category, familiarize yourself with the respective tech tree and determine the best route to gain that tank. A manageable garage should have 2 to 3 tanks, an artillery piece and a tank destroyer. This allows for a variety of play styles and also focuses your leveling enough to actually move up in the tiers. Doing research prior to selecting your path will prevent you from regretting your decision once you start grinding a tree and determine there are better options.

There will be a harsh realization that even though that next tier tank you have been working so hard to get may appear to be the answer to your struggle, it will not be. This is due to the crap tastic gear that comes with each brand new tank. Your new tank will be slow, it will be outgunned, and it will have crummy view range and a novice crew making it the most fun vehicle you will ever drive – not!

Cry not my fellow tankers, it gets better as you progress through the tank and learn how to derive the best from the tank, upgrade equipment and crew. Some tanks will still be terrible even with the best gear and crew, such is World of Tanks.

Let’s discuss some generalizations or “tree characteristics” that appear within the 3 major tech trees (French are excluded because at the time of this article they are brand new and I have no experience with them).

-       German tanks are equipped with guns that have superior accuracy and are generally underpowered. Armor is usually middle of the road. This tree is the stout workhorse style of tank.

-       Russian tanks are generally speaking the most powerful in this game. Critics sometimes speculate that because the game is of Russian origin that this is a bias the developers have, nonetheless pound for pound and tier for tier these tanks are the toughest in the game. The Russian tanks however lack accuracy but make up for this deficiency through speed and agility and high penetrating main guns.

-       American tanks have the heaviest armored turrets and massively powerful guns (tier respective) but weaker hull armoring

Obviously these are some generalizations and if you are an experienced player right now I know you citing exceptions to everything on the list. Again these are just some of my observations of the tech trees as a whole and the strengths and weaknesses designed by the developers.

I look forward to sharing more tips and tricks with all of you through the Keyboard Required blog.

Stay tuned for more installments.

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