There's a bunch of you here on ggFTW who already play World of Tanks, and there needs to be more. For those of you who don't know, let me tell you what this game is all about
Tanks. And tanks killing other tanks.
Also, the new physics engine has been implemented which means you can launch yourself off cliffs at high speed firing your tank gun in midair just like God intended. And there's another factor that this physics engine simulates pretty well....
The tanks range from immediate post-WWI tin can tracked peashooters all the way up to Cold War main battle tanks that your grandaddy saw in action in the Vietnam.
Currently the battles are instanced, where you're grouped with similar tiers. It's generally a fair system, and the only way your 1924 Renault Peashooter tank will be put into a battle along with a Maus is if you're platooning with your other friends. The wiki
available at the WoT site will show you which tank is grouped with what tiers.
You earn experience for killing other tanks and capturing their bases. Unlike other MMOs, especially the ones that are generally covered here at ggFTW, this game takes a little bit of skill to play but you don't have to be a predisposed poopsocker to get anywhere in this game.
But it's F2P, right? So we're just going to get steamrolled by pay-to-win tanks.
Fine by me! I want to get into a heavy tank right away!
Here's where WoT is different: The premium cash shop tanks are a joke.
I'm not even kidding. There's not one example of a cash shop tank that I can think of that stands above other standard tanks of its tier. Consider the Lowe
for instance. It's a cash shop tank that will set you back around $60 IIRC. It's a slow, unwieldy tank and to make matters worse its armor plating is a joke. It's basically a glass cannon, and a newbie hopping into one expecting to dominate the battlefield will be toast in minutes after the round starts. Cash shop tanks can't be upgraded with better modules, either.
Cash shop tanks are good at generating money, even if you lose. That's about the only thing they excel at.
So then there's premium modules, right?
There are, but they're minor performance modifiers that have regular game cash equivalents. They don't make that much of a difference in the game.
There's also no premium parts like guns or cannons.
Lookit all dem tanks! Which nation should I go with?
The Soviet line is generally considered the best for beginners, and the German line is a little more difficult. The American line is somewhere in the middle. The French, English, and Chinese lines I couldn't tell you about. It can't hurt to try it out.
So what's the difference between all the tank types?
These are what you start out with, and later down the tech tree they're built more for recon and sighting other tanks. Light tanks generally haul ass and can be hard to hit. They can also be fun to play, no matter what tier they are. Some get quite specialized the farther down the line you go. The German light tank line, for instance, has a bizarre sniper platform that employs a Panther chassis -- which is from a medium tank design that's a few pounds short of being classified as a heavy -- a with ridiculously accurate gun.
These are the main tanks that fought and won WWII. Here, you have your beloved Sherman, your feared Panther, and your derpy Cromwell. This is where the game typically bottlenecks and you're stuck playing a shitty medium for a long time before you can move on to a better tank. For American tank players, the M3 Lee is infamous for the slow painful grind because this tank dies faster than naked promiscuous teens in an 80's slasher flick and the experience it receives is laughably low. Higher up in these medium tech tree you get some real death-dealing tanks that make even heavies shit their pants when they pop up into sight.
What most players want to play. Tigers, Churchills, IS-3s, and the monstrous Maus exemplify this style of tank. They pack a lot of firepower and defense, but are slow as hell for it -- a heavy caught between a pack of even mediocre mediums and lights with no support will be toast within seconds.
These tanks usually enjoy the most powerful and accurate guns for their tier, but they generally lack a turret (except for American TDs) and many lack armor on their sides or entirely. Historically, they were designed for supporting as well as defensive fire and they provide the same service in WoT. They also require a completely different style of play depending on what terrain they're in. Sometimes it's best to sit back and snipe (like in Murovanka) but many times you need to follow behind mediums and heavies to act as support. If you're alone in a TD and you get flanked by enemy tanks, you're dead. Simple as that.
Artillery are very, very slow tanks that usually hide in the rear and wait for enemy tanks around the map to be identified. Their low-accuracy guns are slow to reload, but when they hit -- which is usually on the thinly-armored top of a tank -- the results are devastating. Being open-topped like many tank destroyers, they're an easy kill even for light tanks so artillery relies on a good defense by teammates. Artillery representation in any battle is crucial, and yours being knocked out by letting a speedy enemy light tank through usually spells doom for you.
Better engines, turrets, tracks, etc are always better, but one thing you need to stop and think about is the kind of gun you're mounting on your tank. A larger caliber does not always mean a better gun.
Let's take a look at the defining aspects of a gun:
I am convinced and want to play this game immediately! Is there anything else I need to know?
- Damage: best-case scenario damage is listed here, but this is highly dependent on the factors listed below.
- Rate of fire: How often you can fire each round. The larger the round, the lower the rate of fire. When you factor in DPM, a good many smaller cailber guns have the potential to cause more damage that larger ones.
- Penetration: A high damage number means nothing if the round can't penetrate its target. For example, the smaller 57mm cannon on the T-34 has a much higher penetration rate than either of the larger 75mm cannons available for it, and most players prefer the 57mm.
- Accuracy: For those of you who enjoy sniping, this (along with Penetration) is your most important consideration. Also, the lower the number, the higher the accuracy: a gun with a .34 accuracy rating is more accurate than one with a .46 rating.
Yes, you should first start by going through the wiki
available at the main site. Learn about crew experience and crew skills, and what sort of modules are recommending for your particular tank. There's also plenty of other sites dedicated to guides for specific tanks and theorycrafting, like World of Tanks Pro
Personally, I think we can do better than any of those sites but that's up to you guys.