Review: World of Tanks (PC) – Part II

In part two of our World of Tanks review, we’ll be exploring the customisation of your tanks, and how WoT stands up in the eyes of the discerning Southeast Asian MMO player!

As mentioned in the first part of our WoT review, tanks in the game are highly customisable. Anything from the turret on your tank to the amount of chocolate you want to stock to boost your crew’s morale can be managed in your garage. It is this aspect that edges the RPG into World of Tanks’ MMORPG. You aren’t a tank – you’re the commander of the tank; and this is something that appeals to many players who probably have never had the privilege of being in such a high ranking military position before.

Unfortunately the customisation of each tank isn’t as detailed as we’d like. World of Tanks can be far too realistic and straight-laced for its own good sometimes. For instance, though I could change my engine (for better horsepower) and caterpillar treads (for quicker movement), I couldn’t spray my tank pink. And it’s kind of a damper when you’re trying to expand into a region where your players are arguably more gamers than tank enthusiasts! The tanks also have several optimal builds, meaning you can’t expect to just add in random upgrades and still be able to perform against other, better built tanks.

World of Tanks also has a cash item shop, with the game’s virtual currency being known simply as Gold. Don’t worry about balance issues, though. Unlike most MMOs, where cash items give their users a considerable boost, WoT is actually very well balanced. Most of the time, a battle is more about your positioning and technique than your items. The elite tanks that can be bought from the cash shop are usually paired against players of their own item caliber, so you don’t have to worry about being caught in a round of suicidal odds, either.

Overall, we felt that World of Tanks’ customisation options does suit the (Asian) market it’s currently aiming for, but may not, we feel, be as big a draw beyond its niche market. The cash items are a nice addition though, both for the developers and the players.

So now that we’ve reviewed the game thoroughly, how do you think World of Tanks stands up to other freemium MMOs on the market?

To begin with, the freemium MMO market available to our region has always been dominated by Asian-developed games. These games, spanning platforming MMORPGs like Maple Story and Dragon Nest SEA to MOBAR games like League of Legends, and even FPS games like Blackshot, are well loved by the community mostly for their gentle learning curve, addictive gameplay and convenient pre-paid cards.

In its cash payment aspect, World of Tanks is a little lacking. It offers users a myriad of ways to pay for in-game currency, but nearly all of these options – save for PayPal – are unfamiliar, catering more to the European market. There are no prepaid cards in sight, or perhaps, just not yet, given that the SEA version of World of Tanks server has only been live for barely a week.

Getting into the game is also difficult for casual players, given that it takes time to learn about the different customisation options and how to best handle your tank in combat. It’s definitely not casual-player-friendly, and the steep learning curve is going to put off fickle Southeast Asian MMO players, who jump from (free) game to game in the hope of finding one that holds their attentions longest.  When a game’s hard to get into, it’s not going to be anywhere near addictive.

However, World of Tanks’ developer Wargaming.net is a company that prefers quality over quantity, and you can definitely see that a lot of care and thought has gone into the game. They’re still new to the Southeast Asian region, so they’ve still got time to learn and impress us the way they impressed the rest of the world.

With a local office and team all ready to build a World of Tanks community, and the determined vision of having one Asian million players just a year later, we’re pretty sure they might!

 

SCORESHEET (out of 10) OVERALL
7.5
Good
Graphics 8.0
Pretty well rendered especially for a free-to-play game. Tanks are awesome, and mowing down the environment is fun! Only peeve we have is with the water – it looks more like quicksilver than water.
Sound 7.0
You get more concerned with the explosions and your crew member yelling ‘penetration’ when you hit a tank, than anything else.
Gameplay 7.0
Tough to learn, but rewarding if you stick with it. The one-click ‘join’ button is a boon for players who don’t like waiting.
Lasting Appeal 9.0
As a freemium MMORPG, this has lots of potential. There are tons of ways to customise a tank, and many, many battles to be won. Game on!
How the RGB Scoresheet works

 

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