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World of Tanks: On Tilt and The Stopper

So I have gone back to more WoT and less WoWS.  WoT is a pretty mature game.  There’s a lot of tuning going on, but the game system is more or less complete.  There’s a lot of fun to be had and I enjoy it immensely.

But I’m not very good.  My ratings are below average, although improving, and I’m trying very hard not to care with most of my tanks.  Some of them I do care about, for example I firmly believe that if you aren’t over 50% in a fully upgraded T29 you probably shouldn’t be playing heavy tanks.  It’s just that good.

One of the things I guard against very well is going “On Tilt” which is a phrase for getting reckless or overly aggressive.  Basically you lose a game, as a result you start playing worse, which makes you lose more… you get the idea.  I am very good at avoiding this IN GENERAL.  But we all have our moments and we all mess up.  Tonight I struggled mightily in the M4A3E2 Jumbo.  Which is a VERY good tank and a VERY hard one to go on tilt in.  It’s well armored, fast enough to get out of trouble, slow enough not to get you IN trouble, and has a very good gun that rewards patience.

Somehow I lost several games in a row; one of which I scored 4 kills in and had more EXP than anyone on the winning team.  Le sigh.  I ended up finally getting a win but it was a VERY rough night and I forgot the best way to stop going on tilt.  Bring out The Stopper.

In baseball a “Stopper” is an older pitcher who may or may not be a teams Ace but is always the guy they count on to stop a skid.  For example in 2004 Pedro may have been the Ace but Schilling was The Stopper.  For all of Pedro’s emotional antics, Schill was out there to win at all costs.  For me The Stopper has become the T29.  It is VERY hard to have a bad game in this tank and it can carry games even at Tier 8 with some luck.  It’s also a relaxing tank to play, it has a very smooth roll and you can very easily make shots on the move.  In fact I’ve built mine up to make shots on the move and I love imagining the look on people’s faces when I reliably hit them on the move while moving, turning my turret and still hitting weak spots.

Going on tilt is bad.  It’s bad in EvE, it’s bad in FFXIV, it is AWFUL in League of Legends and it’s very bad in WoT.  The key is having that stopper.  Whether it’s an Alt in EvE.  A good raid leader, a good friend to pull you back, or that unstoppable tank that lets you recover your balance, find a stopper, and don’t go on tilt.

World of Tanks: Finding What I Like

So I have gone back to WoT because it’s a fun game and it lends itself to short sessions or binges, depending on my stress level and how much of my own incompetence i can put up with.  I like this game, it’s fun, there’s as much depth as you want to put into it.

I’ve bounced around a bit.  The German TD line has long been a favorite, the artistry of their long guns, and the occasional silliness of the Derp gun on the Hetzer leans into my sweet spot of mixing art and brutality.  I repurchased my Hetzer because… it’s a good, fun experience with the ability to utterly dominate if you play smart.  I’m not talking brilliant, I’m talking smart.  Currently I’m up to the Jadgpanther II which is a very nice vehicle but… just lacks something so far.  Like the top tier gun…  Still working on it.  I loved the Marder II.  It’s murder.  The Hetzer is great fun, and might be the best Tier IV vehicle.  the Stug is also good but without the dominance of the Hetzer.  The JgPz IV is an awful, awful grind.  The Jagdpanther on the other hand is a joy.  There’s so many options with that vehicle and it can play the sniper role then turn it around and go crazy with good rate of fire, damage, and pen.

The Russian heavy line is crazy fun.  I got the glory day of the KV-1 Derp Gun.  You could go crazy and alpha half the enemy team with near misses.  The KV2 is now a higher tier vehicle that gets worse matchmaking and has a terrible turret.  I have the KV-85 which is a hoot, and leads into the IS line which has a lot of agile, powerful tanks that play like heavy-mediums from what I’ve seen.

I’m working into the French Heavy Line.  So far I’m stuck on the B1.  This tank just doesn’t like me.  It’s a plodder and I want to get into the more graceful tanks the french get later on.

The Americans have a really good heavy line with the superlative T29, and to get into it you can go the route of the M4A3E2 which is just a silly, silly vehicle.  It’s on the slow side for a medium, but still plays like a medium.  It has the firepower of a medium, but on the good side of it, and it has the armor of a good heavy.  I bounce shots off this thing with even the Jagdpanther II without good aiming.  It also has the solid M4 Sherman and the utterly dreadful M3 Lee.  Seriously this tank is so bad it should be thrown out.

The American Light line features speed and size.  VERY tall tanks with blazing speed and minuscule guns even by light standards.  I like playing them but it takes patience.  You can’t just race in you have to move intelligently.  Not my best line but a fun line.

The American TD line is a bit silly.  A lot of them are built on light or fast medium hulls.  This, combined with their light armor gives them blazing speed.  They also feature turrets and some crazy guns for their tiers.  They also tend to blow up on a sneeze and with open turrets they get eaten alive by artillery.

Right now the order I tend to play in on any given day is T29, T67, KV-85, Hetzer (gotta Hetz) B1 (ugh).

Ain’t no Drama Like Trailer Park Drama

So one of the truths of life is that people fight harder over the littlest shit.  My mother was a family practice attorney for a long time and divorces involving well off or rich people were usually bloodless and passionless.  When you saw an address listing a trailer or lot number though…  Woah baby.  Shit is about to go down.  She told me about a couple that was going claws out crazy over a $5 pot from Wal-Mart.  Keeping two lawyers (being paid 3 figures by the hour) and at times a mediator who cost even more.

But what does this have to do with EvE?  Well… Lowsec is the trailer park of EvE.  There’s nothing great in it, the people might be great people but none of them are changing the world.  And when these guys get their sandcastles rustled… Shit goes down.  Tempest in a teapot doesn’t begin to describe it.  Hurricane in a shotglass.  Cat 5 time.

The biggest dramastorm I have ever had to endure involved a lowsec alliance torn apart over some bullshit.  We had a nice high rarity moon that we basically held on sufferance of some local heavy hitters with R&K being the final arbiter of injustice.  None of us were getting much money, and Aridia is famous mostly for being a desolate hinterland in a game where 90% of lowsec could be used as a dictionary definition of “Desolate Hinterland”.  One corp decided they wanted a direct cut rather than just some vague promise of help in the future from money being thrown into the warchest.  So they did what politicians have done since time immemorial, they promised this money to everyone over and over and lied about the guy in power.  It tore everyone up.  Our corp had no doubt about who we backed, but watching the process play out was agony.  Over nothing.  This wasn’t a system with 20 tech moons.  It was one moon.  It was some lines over who got credit for what.  It was egos and preening and garbage and e-honor.  It was a $5 dollar vase that tore up thousands in time and tears.

At its worst lowsec is a screaming redneck family tearing each other apart over stuff you wouldn’t pay a buck for at a yard sale. But it’s not all drama, and it’s not all bad.  More on that later.  Fly dangerous, score kills.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can