World of Tanks is an absolutely addictive MMOG, and it’s completely FREE.    Well, another freemium game that is.    But you get to jump in immediately and drive around a WWII era tank.   How can that not be cool as all get out ?

Their original art is nicely done

Thanksgiving special banner. Their original art is nicely done

You start off with three tanks and a few empty slots in your garage.   Each tank has some upgrades which improve the performance of the vehicle; you have to earn enough XP to be permitted to buy them.

The MS-1 Tank research tree

I had to research each one of these items by earning XP.

Then you jump in and start shooting.   The controls are very intuitive to begin with.   Drive forward, back, shoot.    Moving while shooting and good sniping require a bit of practice but you’ll have plenty of time for that if you stick with this game.

Good scouting got all these tanks destroyed, and I got one in the process

I have been playing for about six months and am closing in on my 5,000th match.    You play so many matches because the developers have mastered the concept of working your way up a tree, starting with light tanks, on up to medium tanks, to the heaviest tanks with the biggest guns.   No, you do NOT start in a Tiger tank, you start in the tiny scout tanks.

The progression is intelligent.   You play matches in the little tanks and start to learn by experience what to do, and what not to do.   The game rewards camping in certain instances, and also the mad rush for the enemy.    You are part of a team of fifteen, so teamwork is essential; whatever you do, do it all together.

This is the German Tech Tree. I'm progressing through it pretty well.

So it works out roughly, the better you get, the better of a tank you get to drive.   It is totally possible to play this game without paying a single cent and get all the way to the monster big tanks.   If the game is around long enough for you to grind your way through that.

Now, the grinds available to you are multiple :

  • You can grind your way up a particular branch of the tree to reach the Tier 10 tank.
  • You can grind your favorite tank to improve your crew.   They start out at 50%.    You can get them to 100% in general training, then continue to grind them through three additional levels of special skills (Camouflage, Repair, Firefighting)
  • You can grind to achieve elite status – IE, every item possible to research has been researched for a particular tank.

I am getting the most enjoyment out of attempting to elite all the tanks in the game; I am sure I’ll never pull it off but it’s fun to work towards.

How do the developers at Wargaming make their money ?    You buy gold and spend it in game.   The most popular thing to buy seems to be premium accounts which increase your silver (the non-premium currency, aka credits) and XP income by 50%.   At first I refused to pay this because I was simply enjoying the game and didn’t get why I should try to rush it.    Clearly, I will never reach the end of their trees and without premium will miss out on a lot of content.     You can also purchase special tanks with gold, train your crew to 100%, buy additional garage slots, and a few other things.    For a game this ASTOUNDINGLY GOOD, I didn’t hesitate.   I’ve dropped $50 on it two different times and I still have a bunch of gold in-game to spend.

No real PC game would be complete without some ability to customize.   Each tank has skins in the game which can completely change the look.   I’ve gone and customized the look for every tank.   No more boring Olive Drab for me.   I have a mix of realistic camo looks, and Warhammer-inspired paintjobs.

If you’ve never tried this game – you must download it.    Yes, you must.    And if you see me in game give out a shout to MrrX.