Despite not reading anything, not knowing anything besides what Wilhelm blogs about, and barely figuring out how to move and fire, I had a blast!
After downloading the client and making an account, I logged in and clicked around the UI a bit. I found a research tree, a tech tree, various country tank trees, but decided against studying any of that stuff and just wanted to leap right into battle with my starter light tank. So I chose a random battle, and soon enough found myself on one side of a 10 on 10 fight.
The timer counted down, and I realized I didn’t know how to move or fire. So I started mashing WASD, right and left mouse buttons… nothing. Hm… oh well, my teammates will only hate me for a little bit, right? 😉
Right when the timer hit zero, I lurched forward and fired my tank, almost blowing up an ally who happened to be right in front of me. I guess the client masks keystrokes until the game is started – oops! Good thing I missed.
We were in a city map, so I navigated carefully along streets until I entered an opening and spotted an enemy tank. At this point, I just charged in shooting, but got killed pretty quick.
That was just a quick trial. I queued up again and this time played a little more carefully.
For the next battle, I started with a random group, on a countryside map. As the timer counted down, somebody said “take the middle hill”. I figured they might be familiar with the map, so this was probably good advice. However, I just wound up following the 3 other tanks I started near. It looked like 2 other light tanks, plus a medium or heavy one. As a group, we approached some farm buildings.
The radar showed an enemy tank on the other side, so we rolled through a small grove of trees and over some fences (that was fun in and of itself!) and started firing. I think that particular enemy tank was outnumbered 2 or 3 to 1, so he didn’t have much of a chance.
After patrolling our section of the map, as a group we moved toward the center hill. Unfortunately I started taking some incoming fire, lost the ability to move, and was destroyed.
When that happens, you get the option to leave the game and return to your garage (probably to spend points on research, or fit a new tank), or what was really cool, stay and switch to a camera view of remaining allies. So I clicked around and watched my teammates continue to fight, for a few minutes.
I had a fun time playing World of Tanks, and want to try out some more. I need to read up, a little bit, on research trees and also determine what exactly you need to pay for. I figure you can’t just get an infinite supply of tanks, surely they want you to buy something. Upgrades? Ammo? I’ve seen Wilhelm mention tank skins, so cosmetic stuff? Points that you can apply in a research tree?