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World of Tanks

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World of Tanks
World of Tanks.jpg
Developer(s) Wargaming Minsk
Day 1 Studios (consoles)
Publisher(s) Wargaming
Composer(s) Sergey Khmelevsky
Engine Bigworld[1]
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Xbox 360
Xbox One
PlayStation 4
Release date(s) World of Tanks
  • RU: 12 August 2010
  • CHN: 15 March 2011
  • EU: 12 April 2011
  • NA: 12 April 2011
  • SGP: 8 March 2012
  • VN: 16 March 2012
  • JP: 5 September 2013
Console edition
Xbox 360
  • WW: 12 February 2014
Xbox One
  • WW: 28 July 2015
PlayStation 4
  • NA: 19 January 2016
Genre(s) Action, MMO
Mode(s) Multiplayer

World of Tanks is a massively multiplayer online game developed by Belarusian-Cypriot[5] company Wargaming, featuring early to mid-20th century era fighting vehicles.[6] It is built upon a freemium business model where the game is free-to-play, but participants also have the option of paying a fee for use of "premium" features. The focus is on player vs. player gameplay with each player controlling an armored vehicle, which may be a light, medium or heavy tank, tank destroyer, or self-propelled gun. World of Tanks debuted as an eSports game at the World Cyber Games 2012.[7]

On 10 June 2013 it was announced that World of Tanks was coming to Xbox Live Arcade on 12 February 2014 as World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition.[8][9][10] Xbox 360 players use separate servers to those playing the Windows version, and players of each version have separate accounts.[11] The Xbox 360 version was developed by Wargaming West studio.[12] An Xbox One version has been announced, and was released on 28 July 2015.[13][14] A PlayStation 4 version released in 2016.[15] World of Tanks has also recently expanded to mobile platforms under the name World of Tanks Blitz, in addition to a board game titled World of Tanks Rush and a collectable card game titled World of Tanks: Generals.

Gameplay

The player takes control of a single armored vehicle of their choice, and is placed into a battle on a random map. The player has control over the vehicle's movement, firing, and can communicate with other players through typed or voice chat, and several preset actions that give tactical instructions visible to their team only. A match is won either by destroying all vehicles on the opposing team or capturing a base present in some game modes. World of Tanks contains multiple game mechanics such as camouflage, shell ricochets, and module damage.

Game modes

The players in World of Tanks can choose six primary types of battles: random battles, team-training battles, tank-company battles, team battles, stronghold battles and special battles. "Historical Battle" and "Rampage" are former options but have since been taken down for improvement upon its poor reception following its release. Within Random Battles, players can also participate in platoons, groups of two to three players who are put into the same match. There are also missions to be completed in Random Battles, upon completion of which the player receives some type of reward: credits, higher crew experience coefficients, and new vehicles.

Vehicle types

The game currently models the effects of both armor and cover and includes 390 armored vehicles from the Soviet Union, Germany, Britain, France, China, Japan, United States, and Czechoslovakia.

The vehicles have been modeled in 3D very carefully, with attention paid towards visual accuracy,[16][17] but as this is not a simulator, certain parameters have been simplified or modified (for example, main gun power and range are reduced, and penetration physics is altered), and in-game controls are very user-friendly, all in the interest of better gameplay.[18]

World of Tanks has five different types of vehicles. These are: light tanks (LTs or lights), medium tanks (MTs or mediums), heavy tanks (HTs or heavies), tank destroyers (TDs, tank hunters, jäger or anti tank guns/cannons), and self-propelled guns (SPGs, artillery, artillery gun/cannon or "arty", short for artillery).

Most tanks have a 360-degree traversing turret, regardless of the facing direction of the hull. Most of the TDs and SPGs and several unusual tank models (e.g. M3 Lee[19]) have limited fields of fire. In order for these vehicles to aim a different direction, the vehicle's hull must traverse to face the direction of fire, ruining aim and concealment.

All vehicles are restricted to a single main gun, even if their models feature additional weapon mounts. This is done in different ways for different vehicles. For example, the hull-mounted howitzer of the Churchill Mk I is unused in favour of the turret-mounted cannon. For the M3 Lee, the reverse is true.

All vehicles are fully tracked, and cover the eras from late World War I (i.e. the Renault FT) through to the early 1960s. The majority are based on historical designs, though many, such as the German Maus and British TOG II, only existed as prototypes, and others, like the FV215b 183, only as design studies. The game also features conjectural vehicle designs such as the Jagdpanther II, which never existed.[20]

Clan Wars

Clan Wars in World of Tanks has two main components: Strongholds and the Global Map. Clan Wars can be participated in with vehicles of tiers 6, 8, or 10. Tier 6 has a maximum of 7 players per team, Tier 8 has 10, and Tier 10 has 15.

Strongholds

Each clan can have their own stronghold, if the clan's commander wishes to construct one. Each stronghold begins with one zone and can grow up to four zones as the clan's membership increases. However if the clan's membership decreases the zones can also be closed. Zones are where structures can be built.

Many different types of Structures exist, however only one of each can be built. Some structures generate (by consuming industrial resource) special missions or reserves that can be used to temporarily boost clan members experience or credits, or enable artillery or airstrikes during a battle for stronghold. In order to build structures industrial resource is required, which can be won by attacking another stronghold or through skirmishes.

Global Map

The Global Map is a collection of fronts on a map based off the real-world map. There are three fronts for tier 6, 8, and 10. Each front has provinces which generate gold for whichever clan that currently owns it. A clan may enter the global map by entering a tournament for a specific province, facing other clans and ultimately the current land owner.

Customization

All vehicles can be customized to a certain degree, either visually or in terms of performance, with the majority of parts (such as tracks, guns, turrets, and engines) being modular parts purchased from the game's extensive Tech tree.

Various two-tone and three-tone camouflage schemes are available for all tanks as well, including both historically accurate patterns and game-specific, custom variants. Camouflage is available for temporary use (7 days or 30 days) by paying with freely earned in-game credits, or for permanent use by paying with gold purchased in the World of Tanks store or won in an in-game event.[21] Players can apply national flags, pre-designed slogans, and camouflage (that will increase the chance of remaining undetected).

All vehicles can mount three pieces of additional equipment, which varies from vehicle to vehicle, and offers various advantages. Some equipment allow the gun to fire faster, some increase the durability of certain parts of the vehicle, and some help keep the vehicle hidden while stationary.

Each vehicle can carry three consumables (single use items that must be re-purchased each time they are used). Examples of these include repair kits, medical kits, and extra rations that boost the tank's crew for the duration of a single battle.

Development

The developers thought of the concept of World of Tanks in December 2008.[22] The game was officially announced by Wargaming on 24 April 2009. Developers claim that the game budget was the largest ever in the game industry of CIS,[23] but there has been no independent proof of this claim.

Alpha testing of the Russian version of the game began September 2009, with only six different vehicles (Su-85, BT-7, T-34, Pz IV, Hummel, Tiger) and a single map available. By the beginning of the closed beta test, which started on 30 January 2010, several dozen vehicles and three maps were completed.[24] In three months, the number of beta tester requests approached 40,000, and over 400,000 tank battles took place.[25] Open beta test of the Russian version started 24 June 2010; at that point, there were seven maps available, along with over 60 Russian and German vehicles.[26] Closed beta test of English version of the game began on 8 July 2010.[27] The Russian version of the game was officially released on 12 August 2010;[28] however, due to technical difficulties, the game servers went offline on 13 August.

According to a Wargaming official press release, the number of World of Tanks users worldwide reached 700,000, including 500,000 users on Russian servers (350,000 active players), and 200,000 on Western servers (150,000 active players). The number of peak concurrent users exceeded 43,000 on Russian servers and 10,000 on Western servers. The average active gamer spent 3 hours 20 minutes playing the game every day; over 10,000,000 battles have been fought since September 2010.[29] By 4 January 2011 World of Tanks had recorded more than one million registrations worldwide (Europe, Russia and the United States). This milestone was reached in less than a year since the launch of the closed beta in Russia.[30][31]

On 5 January 2011 there were 74,536 players simultaneously online on the Russian World of Tanks server, which, according to Wargaming, had become a world record amongst MMO games.[32][33] The "Most players online simultaneously on one MMO server" world record was officially registered by Guinness World Records on 23 January 2011 and constituted 91,311 players.[34] According to the game's official site, the Russian server hit the one million registration mark on 18 January 2011.[35]

The open beta of the English version of the game was launched on 27 January 2011;[36] the official release was scheduled for 12 April 2011.[37]

The World of Tanks pre-orders were scheduled to be available for the American and European clusters before the game release.[38] World of Tanks was released on 12 April 2011 in Europe and North America.[39]

On 24 May 2011 total number of registrations for all three game servers reached 3,000,000 players (2,000,000 on Russian server and 1,000,000 on Europe and North America).[40] On 18 November 2011 the public test of awaited version 0.7.0 was started. Two new maps are released based on the fjords of Norway and the swamps of Eastern Europe. New texture for tanks also introduced.[41]

In June 2013, Wargaming stated that they now have 60 million registered users for World of Tanks.[42]

The game was localised into the Japanese language within the Asia server on 5 September 2013. The Japanese version has collaboration events related to the tank-battle anime series Girls und Panzer. Additionally, six voice packs featuring the characters from the anime as well as an expansion pack changing the tanks look were released.[43] In addition, the Vietnamese server was shut down and merged into the Asia server during 2014.

In April 2016, Wargaming announced that a comic book based on the World of Tanks universe is in development. Titled World of Tanks: Roll Out, the five-issue series is being written by Garth Ennis and Carlos Ezquerra, and is set to be published by Dark Horse Comics.[44]

Versions

World of Tanks Blitz

In May 2013, Wargaming announced World of Tanks Blitz, a mobile version of World of Tanks for tablets and smartphones using Android and iOS.[45][46] The game allows 7v7 battles, as compared to the 15v15 battles on PC. The Closed Beta Test (CBT) started on 19 March, and ended 3 April. World of Tanks Blitz was released (in the iOS version only) on May 2014 in European countries like Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland, with all other countries currently awaiting launch.[47] It was released on 27 June 2014 in North America, (again, in the iOS version only).[48] Beta testing and/or release of the Android version has been released on the Russian server. World of Tanks Blitz was released on Android on 4 December 2014.[49] As of February 2015, the Android version had 1.1 million downloads. The game was released in the Windows Store on 28 December 2015[50] making it available for PC users running Windows 10.

Console versions

Xbox 360 and Xbox One

World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition was developed with Wargaming West,[51] formerly Day 1 Studios until purchased early in 2013.[52] Day 1 was looking for a publisher for their console mech game when Wargaming asked the studio about porting World of Tanks.[52] Day 1 prototyped the game on the Xbox 360 "in mere days".[52] They were given unrestricted access to Wargaming's servers and art.[52] The game's client side runs on Wargaming's Despair engine.[52] The company aimed to give each tank class 100 hours of unlockable content, or 400 to 500 hours overall.[52]

The version is free-to-play for Xbox Live Gold subscribers, and includes a 7-day trial for Xbox Live Silver subscribers.[51] Playing the game earns experience for tanks and accessories, and silver for buying tanks and equipment.[52] Players can use gold, an in-game currency, to buy premium World of Tanks accounts, which in turn give players more experience and credits faster.[51] Players can buy gold with real money in the later patches.[51] Gold for premium accounts and tanks is the fastest method for progressing through the game.[52] The Xbox 360 Edition is not linked with the PC game.[52] World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition received positive reviews from critics. Aggregating review website Metacritic gave the version 78/100[53] score and GameRankings - 76.86%.[54]

A closed beta test began in early 2013, and E3 2013 attendees were invited to the beta after the game's announcement.[52] The game was working on retail Xbox 360s by mid-May 2013.[52] In late May 2013, Wargaming announced that they would be showing its first console game at E3 2013.[55] The game was officially announced during Microsoft's E3 2013 press event.[51] An open beta with 40 American and German tanks was scheduled to begin the weekend after E3 2013.[52][56] The beta was for stress testing the servers and multiplayer matchmaking.[56] Players could not buy gold in the open beta, but Wargaming provided free in-game gold to test the store, though this reset with the official release.[51] British tanks were also available with in the beta.[52] About 60 total tanks were expected to be included in the full version.[56] The open beta was released on 7 August 2013.[57] The beta closed on 28 January 2014. All stats on all of the players who participated were reset. The people who participated in the beta got the game first when the full version came out on 12 February 2014.

Xbox Live regulations bar Wargaming from offering premium accounts as recurring subscriptions.[51] Expansion released on 3 June 2014 includes Russian tanks.[52] Wargaming West said that if the Xbox 360 version gets a "meaningful user base" then they will focus on the Xbox One edition.[58]

On 18 February 2015, Wargaming announced that they were developing a Xbox One version of the game. The game was released on 28 July 2015. It supports cross-platform play between Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Players' status and progress can be transferred from the Xbox 360 version to the Xbox One version.[59]

Playstation 4

On September 17, 2015 Wargaming CEO Victor Kislyi announced at the Tokyo Game Show that World of Tanks would be coming to the PlayStation 4. Developed by Wargaming West, the same developer as the Xbox One and Xbox 360 versions.[60]

This version of World of Tanks is also free to play for all PlayStation Network account holders. As with the PC, Xbox One, and Xbox 360 versions, the major features of the game, such as the UI, game mechanics, and gameplay are synced across all of the platforms, however there is no cross-platform play.

Competitive Play

The only official World of Tanks E-sports tournament is the Wargaming.net League, which takes place on four different regions: CIS, APAC, EU, which have 12 teams each, and NA, which only has 10. The prize pool for the 2016 WGL Grand Finals was $300,000 USD.

There will be two phases in the season. The first phase is a round robin tournament within each region, and the top 8 teams from each region will remain in the tournament. Phase 2 is another round robin tournament for the remaining teams. The top two teams ranked on points will automatically progress to the regional season finals, and the teams ranked third to sixth will participate in the regional season quarter finals to fight for a spot in the finals. The regional quarterfinals and finals are both a single elimination format.

Once the champions of each region are crowned, the top two teams from the NA, EU, AND APAC regions as well as two wild card teams will participate in a single elimination tournament called the challengers' rumble. The top two teams from the challengers' rumble will move onto the champions' rumble, where they will fight against the current Grand Finals winner and another team from the CIS region. The winner of the champions' rumble will automatically qualify for the 2017 Grand Finals.

In season two (2017-18) there will be one format change, as there will only be 8 teams to begin with. The seventh place, instead of being eliminated from the tournament, will play in a qualifier tournament to retain their position in league. [61]

Reception

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 82.32%[62]
Metacritic 80/100[63]
Review scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer 8/10[66]
GameSpot 8.0/10[64]
IGN 7.5/10[65]
PC Gamer (UK) 85/100[67]
Browsergamez 75/100[68]
Awards
Publication Award
Golden Joysticks Award 2013 "Best Online Game"[69]
Golden Joysticks Award 2012 "Best MMO"
MMOSITE's Reader's Choice Awards 2010 "Most Anticipated MMO in 2010"
KRI 2010 "Best Online Client Game"[70][71]
E3 2010 "Best New Concept"[72]

World of Tanks has received favorable reviews, and currently holds a Metacritic score of 80 out of 100.

World of Tanks holds a Guinness World Record in the category of Most Players Online Simultaneously on one MOG Server. The record was registered on 23 January 2011 when the number of players on the game's Russian server totaled 91,311.[73] This record was beaten by the European server on 13 April 2012 during the anniversary special weekend, where all players could enter a code to be Premium account holders for a day. Numbers of over 305,000 were recorded during this period.

As of December 2013, there were 75,000,000 registered players worldwide and a 1.1 million peak concurrent players.[74] This is an increase of 15 million over the 60 million in June 2013[75] and 30 million over the 45 million in December 2012.[76] Within two weeks of the launch of the South Korean server, the number of concurrent users in Korea reached 10,000.[77]

In 2012, Wargaming's revenue was declared to be 217.9 million Euro, with net profit of 6.1 million Euro, as declared in an annual report for the Cyprus Stock Exchange. The money gained by Wargaming almost exclusively came from World of Tanks.[78]

In 2013, the microtransaction revenue of World of Tanks surpassed that of World of Warcraft, earning $372 million and ranking fourth highest amongst online game revenues.[79][80]

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  1. ^ Games powered by BigWorld Technology, Bigworldtech.com 
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External links