Beer with the Chieftain

Last Wednesday I had a few beers with The Chieftain, a US community rep for Wargaming.Net, who was in New Zealand to present a cheque to the RSA for $30,000.  There was some media coverage of this:

There were about eight people at the Wellington meetup, Auckland had a larger turnout.  Most of the conversation was about’s various games.

World of Planes

This is going to require a joystick to play, and the gameplay is significantly harder than in World of Tanks.  Unlike WoT, commands are executed server side, not client side.  This means that NZ connections kill planes as lag causes you fly into hills.  People do need to remember that an Alpha is not a finished game, but the people at the meetup who had playtested it were skeptical that WoP would be as popular as WoT.

World of Battleships

Don’t expect anything before 2013.

World of Tanks

English tanks are perhaps two patches away.  We said it would be nice to have a Bren Gun Carrier option, and someone mentioned the Bren Gun Carrier at Tobruk that had an Italian fighter plane’s 20mm cannon attached to it.

There was quite a bit of discussion of Clan wars.  This is not something I do but I was struck by how much like WoW Raiding it is.  Its endgame content – i.e. must have Tier X tank to take part, must have VOIP, must pay for consumable gold ammo, must have minimum performance (500 xp/battle average), and must make time commitment.  ANZAC clans need unemployed people and students to compete effectively against other clans overseas.  It would be nice to have a bit more social interaction with the game, but I can’t really commit to a clan, not while I’m still raiding in WoW.

Other bits and pieces:

  • we got a bonus card for some gold and the Tier II T2 Light Tank (which hits 70 kph at top speed)
  • don’t expect the T-50-2 to stick around
  • hacks: don’t really happen, the system is pretty secure
  • screenshots/fraps, yes they really help when dealing with abusive behaviour (pity the poor person charged with looking up what the words mean)
  • Team Killer system, has to be automated.

A difference between WoT and most MMOs, is hardcore realism (to a point), e.g. critical hits, players don’t understand the physics of how module damage does not always lead to big HP losses.  But they whine because games like WoW have conditioned them to expect BIG numbers when they score a critical hit, rather than just equipment degradation.  As well as being a US Army Captain, the Chieftain comes from an old school gaming background full of charts and tables.

Hearing that the next Tank Destroyer up from the JgpzIV is fun to play was good, not so much that the Ferdinand is a long grind to get its good gun.

The training tip I learned: if you buy a premium tank, you can swap similar crew (i.e. heavy tank crew in a heavy premium) to take advantage of the accelerated experience gain for crew in premium tanks.  A related tip: don’t train perks first, as they require 100% skill.  Train something of immediate use, like Repair.  After mastering Repair to 100%, then drop and retrain the Perk.

Patch 7.4

I am really enjoying the new assault and encounter scenarios.  They liven up the old maps.  Assault is significantly harder than defence, but not impossible.

I am really enjoying the Renault UE 57 Tank Destroyer (pictured above).  Its tiny!  It can travel forward reasonably fast (30 kph) but it turns very slowly.  The small size is an advantage in some encounter maps, like El Halluf, where it can nestle under the big rock next to the flag, safe from most enemy fire while scoring flag capture points.  The exception is if a clever artillery goes all the way down the east/middle side for a flanking shot, or the enemy hold the western hill.  Fragile, but packs a big bang that reloads quickly.  Already had one player in a Tier IV tank call BS on my killing him…

I also treated myself this weekend by buying the IS-3.  I sold the IS and transferred the crew across, paying gold for immediate 100% skill proficiency.  Then I installed Gun Rammer (10% loading speed bonus), Vertical Stabiliser (faster aiming when moving) and Improved Ventilation (5% bonus to all crew skills).  Its a lot of fun, faster than the KV line, a nice low profile and sloped armour turret.  Like the IS, a good urban brawler.  Even without the upgraded 122mm BL-9 gun its doing a lot of damage.  Like all high tier tanks, a bad game sucks for repair bills.

4 thoughts on “Beer with the Chieftain

  1. Grassnibbler June 24, 2012 / 9:19 pm

    Why are they removing the T-50-2? It’s just a ton of fun to zip around in.

    I had a look at WoP and yeah, controls are very difficult for me at least. I was really looking foward to a simplified flight sim but it’s not really what I had imagined. Just trying to chase and shoot a bot aircraft in the tutorial was difficult.

    You’ll love the JgPanther once you’re there, it’s speedy with a very decent gun. Upgraded Ferdi is just gold. I’m just finishing my 2nd skill on the Ferdi before transferring the crew when I buy the Jagdtiger and I’ll start a fresh crew in the Ferdi which I’ll hold on to as my T8.

    I assume the tank you were given the card for was the Tetrarch. I so love that tank. T2 that if you hide well just destroys any enemy it meets.

    I still have tendency to use camo and binocs on all my tanks, most likely betraying my campy tendencies, usually with a rammer. Haven’t bought the IS3 yet though I have it researched and have the BL9 researched from the IS8. A mate of mine swears that it’s his favourite tank ever though.

  2. texarkana23 June 24, 2012 / 9:39 pm

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see the T-50-2 ‘balanced’, although I don’t mind it. When I see a lot of T-50-2s and if I’m in a Tank with a quick firing gun (e.g. Matilda or T-28/KV-1 with the 57mm) then I go and sit next to the arty and wait for my free kill.

    I got the Tetrach as part of the New Year’s special. The T2LT has paperthin armour and one of those 5-6 round magazine guns, but its sooooo fast.

    Most of my camper-panzers are lower tier, like the Hetzer and H35. The H35 is a pillbox once its parked on a route of advance, and will often kill a Tier I-II tank before its able to track a gun onto you. I just didn’t like either the Stug-III or JgpzIV enough to slash out on binoculars, just got them the cheap cam net.

  3. Grassnibbler June 24, 2012 / 11:28 pm

    I think I own 2 pairs of binoculars and 4 camo nets and just switch them as needed. It’s rare to have 2 tanks in game at the same time and if they are then I just play arty which doesn’t require the ‘nocs. I actually liked the JgPzIV though not many folks I know did. It was no JgPanther but I thought it was still more than decent for the tier.

    I find in the tetrarch that the H35, AMX 38 and Pz3875 (or whatever it is, the premium one) all consider themselves invulnerable and will tend to sit there and let you shoot them and suddenly realise they’re almost dead. Alternatively in the city you can shoot them, back round a corner and then drive round the block and be behind them just as they’re poking round the corner. Fast tanks are definitely great.

  4. Grassnibbler June 24, 2012 / 11:29 pm

    Oh, and I meant to say, that Renault is one freaky looking machine.

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