So this is a journey that begins last week, 6 days before the launch of World of Tanks, which was accomplished yesterday without much fanfare overall I suppose. (Which may actually be a good thing for an MMO these days!)
So the game has been in Beta for a *long* time, but for good reason as they worked out kinks. And, in fact, I’m holding my review until the 6.4 patch drops (which was supposed to be the launch patch before some snags were hit when they deployed it on the Russian server). What? We do reviews before a game launches, why not after?
So of course when they announced the launch date, they reminded everyone this would mean a “hard wipe” of account data. All your stats, all your tanks, all your accolades, gone. This is normal. But it was still hard to swallow for people who had been playing the game for a long time. So WoT did something pretty unprecedented – they agreed to give their beta testers a gift, in this case, a free premium tank, for their hard work. I’ve been in mad betas, and never gotten a gift, so I thought that was pretty generous. Even when they clarified that it would only be for closed beta testers. Open beta had been going for basically ten weeks or so, which is long, but those poor hardcore CB’ers had been running for six months. Big difference. And again, you usually get nothing. And, you know, I was a CB’er, so. Woot.
Then they say – there will be some restrictions. This to0 makes sense. Why? Because some people registered but never played. Some played and never gave feedback. And these premium tanks have a nice XP and credit multiplier, so too many of them floating around messes with your microtransaction system. And then finally, about a week before launch, they float in the forums, rather quietly, that the limitation will be a minimum of 1000 battles played. Again, a nice touch, because now the unofficial limitation is that this person must also be active in the game’s community – either in forums or a clan or by general chat word of mouth. I like that.
So I pop open my stats window, feeling pretty good about my odds. I had 691 battles. Yikes. I would need to play 309 battles in 6 days to get my gift tank. And it was a Sherman. Which I love. And so HZero, the Explorer/Socializer/Killer/Achiever overnight became a straight Achiever. That’s right, you heard me. 53 battles a day I would need. And I had been running 10-15 a day when active and playing. And I had soccer games and kid’s birthday parties and dinner invites and…yes, my wife insisted that I clean out the garage and have a garage sale as well.
But I was going to be THAT GUY. The one with the gift Sherman. My badge of honor. Because I am not THE OTHER GUY, the one who slacked on testing. It was an identity crisis really.
So the first day I woke up early. Read that again. I woke up early: I played games. On my lunch break: I played games. I set up DVD’s for my kids to watch and made them get their own snacks while: I played games. I stayed up late at night. Later than normal: I played games. And at the end of the first day I had played a grand total of…wait for it…44 battles.
Which is insane! If you haven’t played WoT trust me, that’s a lot of battles. But it wasn’t enough. I busted my butt on the garage on my off day and played a bunch more. And when the dust settled on day two, I had squeezed in 65 games. So I was back on track…but…when was the server coming down Monday? What if I didn’t have Monday night to finish off the last games?
Long story short, I have done nothing but play WoT this past week. And when the dust cleared:
It was all worth it.