So, World of Tanks has been eating the lion’s share of my time, both playing the game and making videos on my YouTube channel that I work on with my friend Matt, with occasional contributions from Tracy. The design of this game invites many different measures of progress. The big five are: Unlocking new tank lines, Improving your WN8, and Marks of Excellence / Mastery Badges, and personal missions. What isn’t mentioned is getting better. More on this in a minute.
The first one is the most obvious and it’s the driving force for nearly every new player. What’s more it’s one that everyone is working on to some extent. Currently the lines I’m pushing are the T-54, the T110E5, and the AMX 50B. There’s others I’m working on; however they aren’t as significant as those three at the moment. This also requires a LOT of money as you get to higher tiers, with tier 8 tanks costing in excess of 2 million, tier 9s 4 million + credits and tier 10s a whopping 6 million plus. This can be a rewarding grind but it can also be a DULL grind. For example in my Object 416, to get to the T-54 I need another 140k exp. At about 600-1000 per battle that’s… a lot of battles. To get either of the top guns for the T-54 I need about 100k, with another 60k to get the other choice. Add in another 60k for the tracks and top engine. THEN there’s the Obj 140 and the T-62A. EACH of those monsters are 200k (206 for the 140 actually). The only lucky break I catch is that the Object 140 that I want first is gated behind the top gun I want first. Small victories I guess.
Next there’s Improving your WN8. WN8 is the most obvious stat when it comes to measuring a player’s ability to do damage. While it is related to a player’s skill, it isn’t necessarily related to a player’s ability to win games. You can “farm” WN8 by damaging enemies while not doing anything to directly win games. For example damaging easy to destroy lower tier tanks, while ignoring higher tier tanks that would be tougher to penetrate but could be more important targets. Currently I’m working on my WN8, trying to get it to 1000 by my birthday. We shall see how that goes.
Next there’s Marks of Excellence / Mastery Badges. I’ve rolled these two together as they are closely related. These two consist of dedicating yourself to mastering a single tank, either doing more damage than the vast majority of players using that tank or getting more experience in one game than the vast majority. In particular the Ace Tanker badge requires you to get more EXP in one battle than 99% of players in the last week. Getting these in some of the better high tier tanks is an immensely rewarding experience.
The last measurement of progress is personal missions. Personal missions are one of the weirder things in World of Tanks. Half of them can be accomplished in normal gameplay, the other half require some real stretches either in skill – the 15s are a reach for most players. or in luck – MT-12 requires you to set fires. There’s a reason I keep so many high ROF mediums.
None of these really measure skill directly, WN8 comes very close, but it misses the mark, partly due to technical limitations (not being able to see spotting damage for example) partly due to the semantics of measuring skill. I am excited about the changes coming up with WN9, in particular the ability to show “recent only” in game. With over 8000 games played I have to play far above the level I want to show on my overall score to average out the 4000 or so games I played as an absolute idiot and the 2000 or so I played as more or less of an idiot.