The Average Gamer

World Of Tanks – Open Beta Launched And First Impressions

WorldOfTanks_LogoWorld of Tanks started its open beta a few days ago, so now everyone can experience what tank warfare is like. If you like tank games then World of Tanks is going to be right up your street. It’s a team-based massively multiplayer online action game dedicated entirely to tanks. There are no infantry, aircarft or any other tools of warfare, just tanks. A lot of tanks! In total there are over 150 different vehicles, split into 3 main groups at the moment – Soviet, US and German. French tanks are in development and will be added to the game at some point.

To take part in the open beta:
  • Create an account at World of Tanks
  • Download and install the 1.7Gb client software
  • Get online!

You initially start off with a choice of 3 different low level tanks, which you develop using the experience and money that you gain from the 15-vs-15 PvP tank battles which lie at the heart of World of Tanks. These are team based battles, so you take on the enemy team backed by 14 other human players. When you first start the game you really need the help of your team mates as your weak armour, slow engine and puny turret gun make you a slow moving target. I did spend the most of my first battle running away from the enemy, especially the really big enemy tanks. It is quite awe inspiring to seeing all the tanks from your own team swarming around the war zone when the battle first starts. You really get that “I’m in a big battle” feeling from World of Tanks.

Don’t think that World of Tanks is complicated to play; it isn’t. In less than 5 minutes from first logging in I was happily trundling around in my first battle, trying to be useful. Then in only my second battle, I was blowing up enemy tanks. The tank controls are really simple to use (movement is using W,S,A,D keys and mouse to aim and fire your turret gun), so you don’t have to lean a myriad of new keyboard shortcuts. This makes the whole game very accessible and easy to play. Battles are time capped at 15 minutes and you can start another battle using one of your other tanks if you get killed which keeps the game ticking along you aren’t waiting ages for the game to end if you’ve been killed. If you have been killed clicking the right mouse button allows you to cycle through your team mates to see what they are up to.

World of Tanks is free to play, but does feature a micropayments system should you want to access some extra features:

  • Premium account – Get +50% to credits and experience per battle
  • Purchase premium tanks
  • Personal drawings, insignias, clan emblems or custom camos for your tanks who developed World of Tanks have spoken previously to Rock, Paper Shotgun about ensuring that the World of Tanks doesn’t descend into a war of wallets. They have said that the premium features will only save you time (i.e. less grind for XP) and the premium tanks won’t be overpowered.

Here is a video showing what World of Tanks is like to play once you’ve started a battle:

As World of Tanks is an MMO there is a whole upgrade and development aspect to consider. With the money and XP you’ve earned during your battles, you can develop fast and nimble light tanks, all-purpose medium tanks or giant tanks with considerable fire power. At the same time you’re developing your array of tanks, you can also train up your tank crews. The more skilled your crew is the better your tank will perform. For instance, if you have a skilled gunner, your turret gun will be more accurate. So it is worth developing the men as well as the machines.

There’s also a great video giving an overview of the World of the Tanks interface and gameplay, should you need any more help getting started:

Tutorial video:

If you want to add me as a friend on World of Tanks my username is CaptSkyRocket. I hope to see you all on the battlefield.

Update 1st Feb 2011: Added the ability to start another battle when you’ve been killed. Thanks to phantom_270 and Robert Driver for pointing this out.

Update 2nd Feb 2011: For those that have asked – custom tank skins and instructions.

World of Tanks is currently in open beta for PC. Sign-up for free at World of Tanks.