I’ve spent so many hours playing World of Tanks since it was released on Xbox Live, which I find very surprising since I just stopped caring about online gaming some time ago, mostly because every game these days tries to lure me to keep playing its awesome new multiplayer options in the little time I have for gaming these days.
I knew this day was coming; I never stopped liking competitive gaming. It was just a matter of getting my hands on the right game to bring me back into multiplayer. Now that I’m pretty much hooked to World of Tanks, I want to sit down and talk about the reasons why I like this game so much.
When I think about it, I realize that this game not only offers some good reasons that keep me playing it, but actually does everything right in order to catch my attention. If you’re also heavily into World of Tanks, maybe the following statements will sound familiar:
1. It’s the easiest online “pick-up and play” game I’ve ever tried!
Sometimes I get home tired from work, and before I start doing something else, I’m thinking about a way I can relax myself; playing a quick game is always a good option, and World of Tanks provides that much.
Back when I was into online multiplayer, playing a “quick game” in order to relax myself after a hard day at work or school was actually met with more frustration than I was able to tolerate. For example, a game like Halo 3 took a few minutes to find a match, and when it finally did, the experience was easily spoiled by server issues or the kind of online idiots you get to play with. So, that “quick game” turned into a couple of hours just trying to have at least one or two decent matches and call it a day.
On the other hand, World of Tanks usually takes mere seconds to find a match, server issues are rare, and I have so much fun after every battle I no longer need to keep looking for good matches. Now the hard part is simply stop playing, because I’m always tempted to play “just one more game”.
What makes this game so enjoyable? Well…
2. It’s a game about tanks!
While this isn’t the main reason I love World of Tanks, it is the most obvious one. I simply love tanks: in real life, they’re a milestone in mechanical engineering, and their introduction pretty much shaped how battles would be fought in the 20th century. I love tanks’ ability to receive a lot of punishment, and deal quite a punch to anyone unlucky enough to stand on their way.
So it’s no surprise that I love handling tanks in video games. My favorite parts in many video games are any the missions where I can take control of a tank (the Scorpion tank in Halo is the first thing that comes to mind). So I’m pretty much sold to a game that it’s all about tanks.
Of course that gameplay also plays a big role in this, and simplicity is key in World of Tanks. In this game you drive a tank, shoot other tanks, and that’s it!
Of course there’s much more than that, as a matter of fact World of Tanks developer Wargaming.net included real physics and tactics you can use to deal more damage to enemy units, as well as ways to avoid getting damage. Speaking of tactics:
In every match you get only one life, and if you lose it, that’s it! You’re done! Out of the game!
Death isn’t taken very seriously in video games, even less in multiplayer. In most shooting games, you’ll see people happily launching themselves into the fray and getting killed, and they obviously don’t learn anything since they keep doing the same thing over and over again. The big “strategy” in most shooting games is simply getting more kills.
Permadeath in World Tanks, however, forces you to play more strategically; you have only one life, so you’d better make it count! Actually, not getting killed is actually a good strategy. You’ll learn the value of attacking in groups, scouting, and using terrain tactics to your squadron’s advantage. As a matter of fact, team communication plays a big role in this game.
If you make a mistake and get yourself into tank heaven, you can either stay to watch how the rest of the battle is unfolded, or you can go back to the garage and join another battle. Any way you want it, being taken out of the game will make you think about what went wrong back there and you’ll try to do better next time.
4. It is (sort of) free!
I’ve been playing on video game consoles most of my lifetime, so I’m basically new to the concept of free-to-play. The idea of being able to play first, and decide if I want to spend money on a game later seems like a model I can get behind, especially in a multiplayer game I don’t know if I’ll care enough to keep playing.
In World of Tanks, you can take the long road and advance through the game without paying anything. Of course you’ll taste a lot of beatings along the road, but getting your hands on newer and more powerful tanks is an experience that never gets old, and damn if it doesn’t feel good to destroy (or contribute to destroying) a tougher higher-level tank with that peashooting tin can of yours.
On the other hand, you can spend some money on the game and get a boost on the experience you get, better tanks, perks, and ammo, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to win! The invitation to get a premium membership, or buy some gold (the in-game currency) is always there, but you’re not forced to pay anything.
Actually, it is estimated that 75% of the players don’t pay anything to play the game, and Wargaming.net is totally fine with it. Funny enough (according to a report made by SuperData) World of Tanks posses the highest average revenue per user; that’s big considering that its amount of users is way lower than other popular and well established free MMO games like League of Legends or Team Fortress 2.
Of course games like these are meant to make money, but the developer decided not to be greedy and found the right balance between what it offers for free, and what can you get for a few bucks. From a sales perspective, the game does a great job at letting you know the benefit of spending some money on the game, but it never forces to pay for anything or restrict you away from a vital part of the game.
Actually, that’s exactly where I’m sitting right now, I don’t feel the need of paying anything because I’m getting everything I need for free, but I know it won’t be long before I start paying a bit to get some extra content like more hangar space, and camouflage for my tanks.
Another good reason why I’m willing to spend some money on a game like World of Tanks is simply to give something back to the game developer. These many hours of joy just won’t go unappreciated.