Tuesday, 16 November 2010

General World of Tanks FAQ-type Guide

So I am doing this in rather the reverse to natural order but I felt I could do more good for the community by pushing out guides for the more established player base. Now it's the time for a newcomers guide and hopefully I will cover all of the basics required to find your way around World of Tanks.
As I start writing this guide World of Tanks is undergoing maintenance to add new hardware to their server and I realise that I need to be in-game to make some notes and take screenshots to compliment this guide... oh well!! :)

I thought about writing a detailed guide but Colddawg on the World of Tanks forums has done such an insanely good job with it, I could not come up with anything better than that. Colddawg's guide is found here.

What I aim to do here is address some of the most commonly asked questions and provide comprehensive answers to help the newcomers to adjust to life in World of Tanks.

What tank is the best?

The best at what? A-20 is the fastest, Leopard is a good mix of speed, armour and shell dodging, T-44 is the best dog fighter type, Maus is the most heavily armoured, Hummel is the best moneymaker, JagdTiger is the biggest Tank Destroyer.

There is no 'best tank' for everyone... otherwise the games would be rather boring with 15 Maus tanks or 15 T-44's on each side. The best tank is the one you enjoy the most and fits in with your play style. Personally I have a soft spot for the Tank Destroyer line and currently having an amazing time in my JagdPanther. 

What is free experience? How do I gain it and what makes it different from normal experience?

For every 20 experience you earn in a battle, you will earn 1 free experience (5%). Free experience is spent on research on any tank/upgrade you can currently research and it will be used after all of your 'normal experience' has been used on that tank.

Experience earned on tanks purchased with gold or earned on Elite tanks can be transferred into free experience for gold at the rate of 1 gold = 25 experience. This assumes that you do not have the 'Accelerate crew training' box ticked.

An Elite tank is one on which you have completed all of the available research to that tank.

When do I use Armour Piercing (AP) rounds and when do I use High Explosive (HE) rounds? Are 'Gold' rounds worth purchasing?

Armour piercing rounds should be used when you have a strong possibility of penetrating the enemy. This varies with each tank, each gun and your opposition. It is difficult to generalise and be correct in this area, especially given the multitude of circumstances that happen in combat. As as general rule of thumb, anything that is 1 tier above your tank and all below that, use AP and anything more than 1 tier above your tank, use HE. Another generalisation that might help as Short Barrel Gun = HE, Long Barrel Gun = AP.

For example: If I am in a Tier 5 tank, I would use AP on anything Tier 6 and below and HE on anything Tier 7 and above.

Remember these are extremely broad generalisations and will not work in all circumstances. Use these as a guide only until you understand how ammo types and penetration work then you can disregard it.

'Gold' ammo or Premium ammo are the shells which can be purchased with gold. It is my personal opinion that your gold should be spent on more useful perks such as Premium Account (30 days) or transferring free experience. These will be best used in Clan matches or competitive matches.

How did he see me? How am I dead? What killed me? How the **** did he hit me from there?

I've played over 1,500 matches and still ask myself this question but less and less often as I understand how certain mechanics work.

Playing as a Tank Destroyer has given me the appreciation of how they can perform long range sniping attacks without being seen. Playing as an SPG/Artillery gave me the perspective of sometimes you are just in the right place and the right time and can pull off a shot which seems to be impossible to the camping tank.

Blind killing also occurs sometimes. If you stand in a typically camped spot or have been camping and firing for too long, people can get lucky by aiming at that spot and return fire.

Of course, this is also a beta test. In certain instances, you will be killed by something less than 50m in front of you which you can't see but probably should  be able to see. Chalk these up to being a beta tester... annoying but essential part of bug exploration.

What do I upgrade first on my tank?

This depends on the type of tank you are in and more specifically the tank you are in. More details are available in my other guides but most people tend to favour the Suspension upgrade to increase acceleration and turning speed.

What does the Radio do?

The radio relays the position of any enemies you can see to all people in range. They then broadcast all of that contact information to tanks within their radio range. This interactivity means that a tank on one side of the current 1km x 1km maps can communicate enemy positions to a tank on the other side of the map if they have tanks between them to relay the signal via their radio.

Is it worth upgrading my crew to 75%/100% with credits/gold?

If you have the spare credits, it's worth it. Gold is usually better off spent elsewhere.

Generally speaking, by the time you reach your first Tier 5 tank, you should be able to afford to upgrade every team member up to 75%. When you start getting into Tier 6 and 7 tanks you should be starting to roll in the credits and can afford to always train up to 75% or retrain a previous tank crew.

Having 100% crew or as close as possible is extremely important. Your tank handles much better when your crew are 100% as opposed to 50% or 75%.

I was hiding behind a bush. How did he see me and kill me?

For detection issues, see 'How did he see me? How am I dead? What killed me? How the **** did he hit me from there?'

As for 'I was hiding behind a bush. How did he kill me?' the simple answer is... it's a bush! Kick a football as hard as you can at a bush and see how far it goes through. Now imagine a shell being fired from a tank cannon and now you will know why a tank could kill you when you were behind a bush.

There are two distinctions you should make. There is Cover and there is Camouflage.

Cover is something like a rock or a building which will stop a shell from hitting you and also give you a barrier to detection. The downside is that you won't be able to see them either and artillery can circumvent some cover.

Camouflage, for lack of a better word, would be things like bushes which will allow you to spot the enemy with less chance of detection and will also allow you to fire at the enemy. The biggest problem is that the enemy can fire back. A bush provides zero protection against an enemy tank shell.

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These are the most commonly asked questions I can think of off the top of my head. I have tried to go in-depth and answer them as fully as possible to improve your understanding of some of the issues and dilemmas you may face.

If you have a question you would like me to answer here, please leave a comment or contact me on elcomesoft@gmail.com.

Other World of Tanks Guides
Check out my other World of Tanks previews and guides