World of Tanks: An Oh God What Is This Story

#1
So despite my better judgment (read all about it on HLP if you like) I've decided to revist this game in a new line. Specifically, the American. We'll start with with the starting tank.

It's called the T1 Cunningham.

What the f### is the T1 Cunningham? Even my copies of Steel Panthers World At War have never heard of this awful, insane creature. I know not what it is, save possibly an earthmover with a turret where you'd normally put the driver. This is going to suck immensely.

They still don't have a useful tutorial and the wiki article is still pretty s###. I've forgotten all the controls and they don't list them in either, only the game manual. Have to check that.

My first instinct is to seek cover. and join up with Panzer II in the hopes I'll look unthreatening compared to him. My instincts are rewarded as the Pz2 leads the way and kills the first guy we come across while it's trying to shoot him. Unfortunately, neither of us notice, because of the cover, the second guy in a Pz35blahblah. Second to die in the match, not a good start, but the P2 got away because I bravely fucked up.wOur team, however, executes a successful envelopment from cover and across an open field, lead by the Pz2, and destroys all enemy tanks. In fact, I'm only one of three casualties. Go sucking me!

So, my second battle. Yeah this didn't go so well either, though I scored hits on an enemy tank and bravely lead the way so someone else could kill the guy who spotted and murdered me. Being small and sh###y, that's frequently your job: go first, get shot, and thereby warn others. My team once again executes an envelopement, with one guy going one way, and the people I spotted for by dieing going the other. The guy who went alone kills three tanks to complete the envelopment.

I drop a crapload of XP on new bits for my T1 but can't quite afford the new gun. Oh well. Next time.

A mixed squad of loltraktors (the german tier one) and MS-1s (the soviet), joined by my Cunningham, role into a combat with a T2 and an loltracktor; a T1 shows up in support after the loltraktor is killed while trying to flank. I score numerous hits on the T2, at least four, and one or two on the loltraktor, but have to duck out of combat behind a convenient house to escape enemy fire. I later engage another T1 at point-blank, but he gets the better of it. Still no kills.

Still don't have enough for that new gun.

Another match on the field-and open. Two enemies and two friends try to take the long way, around the lake. An M2 and myself hug the near shore. The M2 commits to engaging enemies in the field from the flank. He scores a kill but return fire kills him. I stay below the line of sight and note enemy tanks on the far shore attempting to intercept the friendlies. Two hits on a T1 and the friendlies engage it, so I switch to the further target, miss twice, hit once, miss again, hit and kill. I'm still trying to work out lead. We ultimately lose as a Pz35 is waiting in the brush for the flanking movement and singlehandedly annihilates our brave tier1s.

Finally got that gun. It looks good, longbarreled, that makes me feel better compared to the short-barreled crap I've had.

Once more to the houses and river map. I note a gap in our advance and plug it, killing a T1 but being hit hard by an Loltracktor that I could not locate and trying to duck out of his line of fire only to be confronted with a T-26. I've never even seen a T-26 before. The result is predictable. A Pz2 avenges me via the spotting information I provided by dying and advances onto the island, clearing three enemy tanks and winning the game.

Bought a T2 Medium. Can't equip it for a few more battles.I hear the M3 Grant sucks but I've got a soft spot for it from a couple of wildly successful units in Steel Panthers that were made of them. Didn't get the tank. One more match.

Open field again. Decide to hang back a bit. My successes seem to come at long range. No kills but I successfully team with an loltraktor to cover one edge of our flanking movement, which is six or seven tier ones while most of the tier twos guard the base (and a Pz38 leads the charge). I survive the battle, a first.

Urban map, which is new. It's a wipe; I engage a T2 light but die fast. The enemy conducts a strong flanker and annihilates our guards. A few try to hold them back while our flankers tank their base. It looks like it might work but we fail. I note amusedly my wreck actually absorbs a number more shots after I've died. One friendly left on the field vs eight enemies, he tries manfully but cannot overcome the odds, fight home, and stop our base being captured.

More to come.
IAR
A Numbered Existence
In The Service
Monsters
SAMAS

Re: World of Tanks: An Oh God What Is This Story

#2
I palyed the closed beta, but I didn't really play much. I find SPGs (Self-Propelled Guns, basically motorized artillery) to be the easiest to kill and not be killed with as a lower-tier tank, if your team can figure out how to survive long enough for you to get a shot.

It can certainly be a frustrating game, but I've certainly played far worse. Wait until you get a fast light that moves 70km/h or so and have fun BBQing SPGs or swarming unprepared mediums. Generally the game seems to do a pretty good job of keeping you in your class once you get out of the starter tanks.

Re: World of Tanks: An Oh God What Is This Story

#4
I have an M2 Light and a T2 Medium.

Let me tell you about my odyssey of gun changes. The M2 light initially comes with with a 50cal. Mind you, this is the only machine gun in the game and you're not allowed to lay down continuous fire for 250 rounds so it's immensely disappointing. And the stats aren't good either.

Fortunately, you can upgrade to a 20mm Hispano-Suiza cannon with three-round burst. Which is when you get right down to it, still pretty crappy, though not as crappy as the Hispano was in reality. This one doesn't jam up. I had a good run with the M2 using this, but eventually the inability to penetrate side armor on the Pz35s gets to you. There's also another, more insidous problem: in the first-person view, which is by far the easiest way to acquire targets and aim gunfire, the rapid-fire cannons will recoil in such a way as to cause most of the shots to go wild. They do not do so in third-person, so careful use of the mousewheel and RMB auto-track is important.

So, upgraded to the 37mm M-5, which is a pretty good gun in the tier, though I note opponents still sometimes bouncing my shots at range. The T2 you start there, but it lacks the lulzy speed factor. I think I'm starting to get why people complain about the Lee/Grant line.

On the other hand, the M2 light is a joy, as you can dictate places of engagement and pull out when threatened. By personal preference, and also because I like seeing enemy shots bounce, I usually fight at range. Unless I'm chasing a hostile Tier2 artillery piece halfway across the map and my gunner was injured. Then you have close to spitting range to just hit him.
IAR
A Numbered Existence
In The Service
Monsters
SAMAS

The M2 Medium Tank, or "This is my DERPGUN"

#6
A bit of history: during the Beta, the KV with KV-2 turret could mount its historical armament: a 152mm howitzer. This is known in player circles as the Derpgun, for the fact it trains slowly, fires slowly, isn't accurate, and will pretty much blow the f### out of any tank of similar or lesser tier.

The M2 Medium Tank is an interwar-period tank. It also sucks. In other news, water is wet and sticking your hand into a live flame is a bad idea. Despite sucking, it is classed as a Medium Tank, as is its predecessor the T2. (This is despite the fact that it's a full tier before anyone else classed that way.) It will struggle mightily to overcome the German vehicles of a similar tier like the Pz III Ausf. A or even the Pz 2 Luchs, and the prospects are only better for Russian vehicles because the T-46 and BT-7 have toilet paper for armor; both will still likely outgun you and the BT-7 also probably run rings around to boot.

The M2's saving grace, however, is its ability to steal a turret from the historical M8 GMC, and with the turret, a 75mm snub-nosed howitzer that can only fire High Explosive rounds. And then proceed to go on a mad spree of oneshotting lower-tier tanks or thinly armored SPGs and TDs, blowing off people's tracks and other critical hits, and generally being a giant pain in the ass until somebody shoots you and you die in a fire. It is, in short, the perfect weapon for derping.

A typical M2 Match that doesn't start in immediate DIAF goes as follows:

Karelia, a map that is both marshy in the center and otherwise a rockgarden. Go up the middle, find a rock, park. Note a Panzer III Ausf A at long range, duck out, fire, do minor damage. Note an enemy in the open advancing up one side, duck out, fire, miss. Note an enemy SPG who has advanced too far for his own good, duck out, fire, blow his ass up. Note another damaged enemy advancing in the open, blow him up too.

Enemy flanking movement advancing on base, go right, flank them, shoot at few (two misses, two hits, not bad for on the move) before you come up on the tail-end charlie in a T-46 and blow the crap out of him with two rounds to the rear armor.

Both sides are running out of vehicles now. Advance cautiously up the backtrail of the flanking movement, watch dots on the other side of the map converge and wink out. From 15 and 15 to 4 and 4 now. 2 M2 Lights, the M2 medium I'm driving, and a T57 self-propelled gun verses an AT-1, two PzJ 1s, and a badly damaged T-26 trying to flee from the failed flank attack.

An M2 light kills the T-26 as it tries to pull back and moves up to support me, but runs into the AT-1 and is oneshotted. I run back to kill the AT-1, but can't get an angle from the high ground and am not advancing straight into his gun, so I park behind a rock outcropping and let the artillery do it. Then back towards the enemy base while the remaining M2 light shepards the artillery forward. Arrive without incident at the opposing base, spot the PzJ 1s approaching. Duck out of cover and fire a shot that kills one, but the other breaks my left tread, trapping me in the open, and he gets his next round off faster than I do. Boom, I'm dead.

M2 light runs in, is fired on and missed by the PzJ 1, but instead of maneuvering to extend his lifespan stops and gets drilled by the next round...at the same time the artillery drops a round on the PzJ, killing it too. Game set and match with only the T57 left standing.
IAR
A Numbered Existence
In The Service
Monsters
SAMAS

Re: World of Tanks: An Oh God What Is This Story

#7
On the technical side of things, this game could use some serious optimization for those of us not running core i7 Extreme. I have a Phenom II X4 965 BE and 4GB of G.SKill DDR3-1600 RAM and I am still always one of the last to load. The game is single threaded and loads my 3.4GHz processor to max on a single core. It runs smoothly enough anyway, but I'm not sure it would if it wasn't 3.4GHz.

Maybe it has something to do with me having all the settings maxed... Even then, it shouldn't be single-threaded...

The M3 Lee Is A Lie

#8
I have all the settings maxed, my graphics card is about two years old, it runs fine. Stop downloading porn or whatever it is you're doing in the background. :P

The M3 Lee, as the title says, is a lie. Because, you see, it's not a Medium Tank. It claims it's a medium tank. It's marked as a medium tank by the ingame icon.

It's not a Medium Tank, because it operates as a tank destroyer with a forward-facing limited-traverse gun. That said, it's actually a pretty good tank destroyer, and I've gotten more kills out of it than I have out of my Marder II. I am however very annoyed I can't use both guns the M3 mounts, since it historically had the 75mm and a 37mm in a proper turret.
IAR
A Numbered Existence
In The Service
Monsters
SAMAS

Re: World of Tanks: An Oh God What Is This Story

#11
I finally got out the E8 and into a T20. It's...not very different, at first, because it's got the same M1A2 76mm gun. High rate of fire, not much else, most things bounce your shots. It is maneuverable, and quick, but...

Maneuverability is not very helpful at higher tiers; too many things hit hard enough to kill before you close, and too many players have learned to work in groups so they can protect each other. Quickness, on the other hand, is helpful, as is the great increase in HP, allowing you to escape from fights that are not in your weight class.

On the other hand, I have also gotten a KV. For being the terror of your existence at Tier 5, they're surprisingly unwelcome to fight in, partially because they require significant upgrades to fight as well as you've probably grown used to, partially because they're incredibly slow and slow to turn their turret.
IAR
A Numbered Existence
In The Service
Monsters
SAMAS

Re: World of Tanks: An Oh God What Is This Story

#12
So I got my first Steel Wall medal. Getting the medal basically means taking the most hits and most potential damage on the team, and surviving. This turned out to actually be fairly simple, unfortunately.

...because I got it by a huge margin due to an Liechttraktor following me around the whole match. The poor guy, he was Tier 1, firing 20mm rounds in three-round bursts, into the armor (the front armor mostly, no less) of a Tier 5 heavy. At the end of the match I had recorded 161 hits on my tank. I think three of them weren't from the loltraktor.

I mean, I could have killed him painfully easy. One shot from the 122mm howitzer my tank uses currently would have done it. Twice in the game I rotated my turret, dropped the crosshairs on him. He didn't even try to dodge, though he probably could have; the KV-2 turret is painfully slow to train. But in the end, he wasn't actually hurting me, and I sorta admired his courage for picking the biggest hostile tank he could find and driving right up to it shooting like that.

That and I think I would have felt pretty bad about blowing all hell out of something four tiers below me.
IAR
A Numbered Existence
In The Service
Monsters
SAMAS

Re: World of Tanks: An Oh God What Is This Story

#13
I find SPGs (Self-Propelled Guns, basically motorized artillery)
I got a chance to see one of these at Camp Ripley in Minnesota this past weekend. In terms of a tank battle, they doesn't seem to be built for it, but I have to say that whoever thought of putting a motor and tracks on an artillery piece was brilliant.
Heck, my ship sometimes shakes like a Hawaiian dashboard dancer in an old bug on gravel at 100mph...
"If toast always lands butter-side down, and cats always land on their feet, what happens if you strap toast on the back of a cat and drop it?"
-Steven Wright
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