World of Warplanes CBT Is Taking Off

Less than 48 hours remains before the testing population of World of Warplanes gets a significant boost as it shifts gears from Alpha to Beta.   The news release notes that Alpha applicants will have priority over Beta applicants, so those who have been waiting awhile might get some good news this week.

Sadly, I can not give you good news or bad news either one, because as it turns out, Wargaming had need of my services…

For those keeping score, this has been my third Alpha overall, but only my first for Wargaming.  One thing I can say in general is that as a tester now for both this company’s games, Wargaming is a really good developer in terms of listening to player feedback and striving to constantly make a better product.  Other companies would do well to take some notes from them.

Also, I can tell you that I have great sadness that the tech trees as currently published do not include my favorite planes.

German Armor Decisions

So Rift is on hiatus for a bit, since my brother is actually physically around here with me, and the nights we have free we prefer to spend playing awesome boardgames, like Mansions of Madness.  But there are still nights where I have meetings and things and we don’t really have time to play (we aren’t quite the night owls we used to be, as we get older).   And in those nights I’ve been grabbing a match or three of World of Tanks.

And I’m kinda hitting some decision points that have given me pause.  Most recently in the German tank tree.  Now I will say upfront, I’m a huge German Armor-o-phile in real life.   So in Beta testing, that is what I did – I climbed the German tree with a passion, heading for my personal favorite, the Tiger I.  When the wipe happened and launch came, I had decided to try my hand at other things.  Most particularly,  I wanted to experience medium tanks, which I had not actively pursued in Beta, and when it came to heavies, I wanted to put the American line through the paces.   Well I’ve done both, with the T34 treading water until the M103 hits, and with the Russian medium line capped out.   So I have been fooling around with the other two medium lines.  And I have just about finished with the respective tier 6’s – the Sherman “Easy 8” and the VK 3001 (H).  The American line is easy – proceed to the T20, ???, profit.

But the German line has left me with a little indecision.  I can either, at this point, unlock the VK 3002 (DB) or the PzKpfw V Panther.  Observe:



Green is tanks I’ve unlocked/used.  Red I have not.  Yellow is the current decision making process.   Now, I would like to uncover all the German line eventually, being the avowed lover, as noted above.   And I am particularly keen to have some of these tanks unlocked for the Historical Matches which will be coming to the game soon (where only real production tanks and not experimental ones can be used, and teams are grouped by nation).   So with that in mind, I can proceed to the Panther, and have a solid historical tank available, while trekking on down the medium line to the superb E-50.  And normally I would do just that.

But the 3002 has me intrigued.  Originally it was much maligned as a tier 7 medium, in part because it stood in the way of reaching the Panther, a tank many people wanted, but that was underwhelming as a tier 8.   In reality, its probably on par with the Panther (and they were, after all, competing designs at one point).  However, it trades some of the Panther’s (potential) firepower and armor for additional speed.

In addition, it has the added benefit of being able to be used to unlock both the Tiger and the Panther – the two tanks I want for historical matches, and do both of those things relatively easily (about 25k xp each).    The downside is spending a lot more time in tier 7, rather than making the straight climb for the top.

I could move over to the 3601, which is what normally unlocks the Tiger, but I drove it in Beta and was unimpressed with it for the most part, and I wouldn’t mind skipping over it.  But it does have all the same components as the Tiger and Panther line, allowing you do get equipment unlocked and paid for at a lower tier – always a bonus.

And then there is the cash crunch.  Until the T34 goes premium, I’m going to have trouble raising the money for all these end-game tanks I want.  I have some half a million credits now, and we are talking about tanks that will run 1.5 million credits and more.  I can earn an average of 20k with my best premium right now, but that is slow going (50 matches per million credits!).   So if I do go the DB, it may be some time until I can afford a Panther or Tiger either one.

I hate making decisions.  But I guess in the long run I can’t really go wrong, right?  Either way I will get where I am going, and this way, hopefully, I get to satisfy a curiosity while doing it.

I Finally Capped Level! or…$30 for a virtual tank?

Well, sort of.  I have reached the end of the line in World of Tanks…


T-54, aka The Beast, aka Sally.


Now I still have upgrades to purchase on the tank, obviously, but I kinda equate that to the alternative advancement in other games.  I have reached the top tier of medium tanks in my chosen faction.  This is the end of the line!  And yeah, WoT is not exactly the traditional MMO, but I haven’t reached this level of excellence in an online game since Star Wars:Battlefront 2 (where I was in the top 1% of players in the XBox Live standings).  So its a little exciting for me.

The T-54 has been every bit of what was advertised.  It is devilishly maneuverable, a tough nut to crack, and creates tactical advantages for other players.  The only downside has been one of the things I grudgingly admire about WoT – they have a perfectly balanced money sink.   If you look a little closer in the top right of the image, you can see what I had left in my wallet after buying this bad boy.  And it took me another 100k or so built up from runs in my two mid-tier premium tanks (Panzer V-IV and Sherman M2A4, aka the Beta Sherman) before I could train the crew and be sure I could afford repairs in case my first couple of matches were busts!

Now I will admit, I have never ended a night with less money than I started – but since Tier 7, unless I have played those premy tanks, I have not come out that much further ahead of where I was to begin with.  And that’s with a premium account running too.  So the balance factor is there, but it can be frustrating, especially with the cost of end game tanks (the T-54 runs just shy of 3 million credits).  Hence the popularity of the Tier 8 line of premium tanks (Lowe, KV-5, Type 59, M6-preorder version).  If you intend to play and run end game tanks, or at least if you plan to use more than one of them, you are going to need a top-shelf credit generator like that to hang with the big boys.   And I of course, am not willing to shell out $30 for a virtual tank.

Enter the changes to the lines of advancement in the game.  In the next 2 months, the T34, my heavy of choice, will be replaced with the M103.  To make up for the generally underpowered nature of the T-series heavy tanks in the US line, and because of the time investment required, and the general love the T-model anyway, the T34 (Tier 9) will stay in the game as a premium tank, and anyone who has one in their garage at the time of the switch will receive the M103 to continue the line, and that new premium version – for free.  Free is good.  One match in a Tier 8 premium can generate as much as 100k cash, vs. my current mid-tier premiums, which generally draw me 15k-20k per match.

So until that change happens, I’m afraid my time in both the T34 and the T-54 will be limited by the number of matches I sacrifice from them to play in those premium tanks.  Fortunately, WoT does the game well, and I have fun in those smaller premiums as well.

And above all, its good to be at the top of the heap with a max level (max tier) character (vehicle)!