In game gold can be received from various specials that happen over the course of time for free, by winning contests and such, or simply by puchasing from Wargaming.    Gold costs anywhere from 178 gold/dollar, to 250 gold/dollar, depending on how much you buy.   I buy it at 240/dollar (The $49.95 package).

The list of things you can buy with gold is below.   I have ranked them in my not-so-humble-opinion’s from best to worst :

  • Premium Account.    For 2500 gold (ie, $10.40), you can get a month-long premium account for a good value, or for less you can get a shorter length account.    Premium gives you 50% bonus to XP and credits; and a spiffy garage.   Considered indispensable by most players at the higher game levels.   Compare this cost with any standard MMO’s monthly fee ($15 and up).
  • Demount equipment.    For a measly 10 gold ($.04, four cents), you can de-mount any equipment from one tank, for later use with another.    You need gold for this purpose at a minimum if you play this game.    It will take you a while to earn 500,000 credits which many pieces of equipment cost.   Why not demount the ones you don’t want to keep ?
  • Experience conversion.     One gold = 25 XP.     You select a tank(s) that you wish to convert, and all of that tank’s stored XP changes into free experience.   At a minimum, great for when you finally elite a tank and have some “leftover” XP.    Can be used to “buy your way through the game” by earning XP on high XP tanks and converting to free XP.
  • Garage slots.    Need more room for another tank ?     Instead of selling an existing one you can buy garage slots for 300 gold ($1.25) each.
  • Premium tanks.    These range from 750 gold ($3.13) for a T2 American light tank, to a staggering 12,000 gold ($50) for a German Lowe heavy.   I feel the need to state I bought my Lowe for 7,500 gold ($31.25) before they increased the price.   The increase seemed to be one of those “We can do it, so we will” kind of things.
  • Ammunition.    You can use your gold to buy high penetration rounds for your favorite tank, and stop being frustrated by bounces.
  • Crew Training.    For 200 gold each ($.83), you can turn your miserable 50% crew into 100% powerhouses.    Or switch a crew from using one type of tank, to another.   In other words, once you elite your Panzer II, you can retrain the crew to the Panzer III.
  • Consumables.     Instead of getting marginal consumable benefits with credits, you can get larger benefits by spending about 50 gold each ($.21).
  • Enlarge barracks.     Have more crew members, than 16 ?   If they are assigned to tanks they take no room, but if you’re saving some for later, you need to have room in the barracks.    Each upgrade costs 300 gold ($1.25).
  • Rename your crew.    For 50 gold ($.21) each, you can change the name of your tank crewman.    You may only select from a list of Wargaming.net approved names however.
  • Buy Credits.     One gold= 400 credits.    This is a lousy idea as credits can be reliably earned simply by playing the game.

Personally I think they’ve done a good job of keeping these payments from affecting “core” gameplay – considered a staple of MMO design.    You can’t just let people buy their way through the game; in-game payments should be more cosmetic, easing gameplay instead.    The only questionable one is the XP conversion to free XP, but even with that, you have to earn the XP on some tank, and then you are permitted to buy anything you want with it.    So it’s still earned.

And apparently, it’s paying off big time for them.