During my first 3k battles in World of Tanks (WoT), there have been two questions that I wanted to answer:
- Is it possible for a non-paying customer to be reasonably competitive in WoT?
- Is it possible for a customer who does not use premium ammo to compete at a high level, e.g. top 5%
I’ll share my insights and tips on improving one’s performance later in this article, but let’s cover these two questions first.
My Stats Without Premium Ammo
As I wrote in an earlier article, the answer to the 1st question is yes. I started playing WoT with no prior knowledge about the game mechanics, and without paying I reached a 51% Win Rate (51WR) in my first 856 battles, which is above the average of 49WR for NA and in the top 20% of players according to wot-news.com.
After those initial 856 battles, I decided to buy gold to pay for a premium subscription to reduce the grind and to pay for other things.
In my experience, the answer to the 2nd question is also yes. I’ve reached a 56WR over my first 3k battles up through tier 9 tanks, without using premium ammo. I don’t use premium ammo for reasons documented later in this article.
Many players believe that you can’t compete meaningfully without using at least some premium ammo. My guildee Sinsun (his stats on Noobmeter) had played over 4000 battles before I started playing WoT, and he told me that without using premium ammo I would struggle to penetrate consistently and be at an unmanageable disadvantage relative to other players who’re using it.
I reached 54WR by 1300 battles through tier 5-6 without premium ammo in Patch 8.5, during a time when there were many tankers slinging premium HEAT ammo to 1-shot foes. Sinsun insisted that premium ammo would be needed in tier 10 battles, which is max level. Based on my understanding of WoT’s game mechanics through tier 5, my gut was that I’d be fine without premium ammo at max level, but I thought it wise to experience tier 10 battles firsthand before stating so publicly.
As a side note, I’ve run into this scenario across many MMORPGs, where I hold a viewpoint that something is viable or functional in PVP that goes contrary to popular opinion. Here’s how this typically unfolds:
- I start playing a class that I believe has viable spec(s) but that others with more playtime with that class regard as underpowered
- I enjoy early success in PVP, especially in lower-level bracketed PVP, and post narrated gameplay videos and guides as I’m leveling up
- Skeptics respond with “you may be doing good now but wait til you reach max level”
- I reach max level, and once I get a functional set of PVP gear, I proceed to kick ass just as I was doing while leveling
I don’t blog or write my guides to prove others wrong. I do those things because I love sharing knowledge and addressing inaccurate perceptions, it’s rewarding to me to hear from gamers that I’ve helped them raise their gameplay, and I learn from them in the process.
The most objective way to measure performance in WoT is by looking at player statistics. Players have stats that reflect their performance, especially when you have a sample size of thousands of battles for a given player. Good players tend to have WRs north of 50%, because they are the common denominator in all of their battles, and they influence outcomes accordingly. Of the various WoT ratings systems, I believe WN7 currently offers the best framework for measuring skillful play based on stats.
Like any new/noob player, my overall stats are bogged down by my early games when I was clueless and not contributing much.
Here are my overall stats per Noobmeter, and for my last 183 battles in parentheses:
- Win Rate: 55.50% (59.56%)
- WN7 Rating: 1366 (1681)
- Avg base capture: 2.73 (2.64)
- Avg base defense: 1.02 (1.21)
- Avg kills: 1.17 (1.33)
- Kills-to-deaths: 1.89 (2.39)
The graphs for WN7 Rating, average damage, and average experience have scaled linearly over time. My WR has increased but at an uneven rate. There have been several times when my WR climbs, then plateaus, then climbs again. This is easily explained: whenever I unlock new tiers and tanks, I have to ramp up on the capabilities and limitations of my new tanks and also those of opposing tanks, in particular their weak spots. During that learning period my WR drops, and then it picks up again.
Stats in isolation are hard to gauge, but wot-news.com has an awesome tool that shows relative performance against other players with their “Advanced players statistics” menu option for each server. Here’s how I stack up against the NA playerbase:
- Win Rate: top 2%
- Avg kills: top 6%
- Avg spotted: bottom 30%
- Avg base capture: top 4%
- Avg base defense: top 17%
My average tier (5.4) is right in the middle of the NA community’s average, and my average damage (772) ranks in the top 15%. Keep in mind that I play mostly heavy and medium tanks, and that influences my stats accordingly.
As with any WoT player, it’s a reasonable expectation that my stats will improve over time, as I master my tanks, learn about the other tanks for a given tier and how to penetrate them, level up my crews, etc.
I have a 3rd question that is related to my 2nd question: is it possible to consistently play at a Unicum level without premium ammo? Over the last week my WN7 Rating was 1681, which is close to the Unicum cutoff of 1700. I suspect once I acquire Tier 10 tanks and are therefore always the top tier in battles with them, my stats will increase.
My Tips for Improving One’s Gameplay
I’m still learning a lot in WoT, but I’ll share with you what I’ve gleaned thus far:
- Master the two mechanics that influence penetration: angling and weak spots. I’ve provided links to my narrated guides for those topics. Even if you play tanks where angling won’t help meaningfully, it’s important to understand how angling by your opponent affects your ability to penetrate and vice versa. These are the most fundamental mechanics of the game, and a lot of players don’t really understand or apply them consistently. Keep in mind premium ammo isn’t the silver bullet (no pun intended) solution here, because you still have to deal with incoming fire and your premium ammo doesn’t directly help
- Consistently take advantage of cover when moving and when stationary. Leverage physical cover (buildings, rocks, hills, etc) and camouflage cover (bushes, trees, etc). Tanks tend to get ripped apart when they have neither physical cover nor camouflage cover, e.g. the idiot tank exposed on top of a hill. Don’t be that guy. Common excuse is “I got tracked” but the point is you were in a bad spot in the first place
- Do not expose yourself to multiple lines of fire or enemy tanks. This one is terribly painful to experience or witness. Be wary of chasing that squishy light or wounded tank around a corner if it will put you at risk of eating shells from multiple enemy tanks. Try not to get caught in a position where you are taking fire from multiple angles. The hard thing is you only learn on some maps by trial-and-error whether or not you can reach a certain point before you’ll take incoming fire
- Understand your positioning relative to your allies. This is particularly important when running a peek-a-boo line – you should try to be parallel to friendlies but angled toward your opponent. Don’t block another player trying to back up, or better yet, anticipate the potential for blockage and proactively maneuver accordingly
- Keep an eye on the mini-map to read how the battle is going. Many battles are lost when players get tunnel vision and are unaware of other key things unfolding. Did a light tank make it past the front line and is now approaching our arty? Did we get flanked?
- Know your tank. Read the WoT Wiki to understand your tank’s strengths and weaknesses. Does your tank function best when hull-down, when sidescraping, etc.
- Acquire the best affordable crew for any tank that you plan to play for a while. Gold crews (100% training) allow you to start training skills immediately. Crews under 100% training are worse at everything they do: spotting, aiming, re-loading, driving, and signaling. You can jumpstart a new tank by retraining a veteran crew from another tank to your new one. Note that WG incentivizes players to use gold here
- Get Sixth Sense for every Commander once your 1st skill reaches 100%. This is the most helpful skill/perk in the game, because it lets you know when they can see you, regardless whether you can see them
- Understand what the bare minimum upgrades needed for a tank to be viable, and plan accordingly. This is particularly true for guns, as some stock guns are completely ineffective at the tank’s tier. I have leveraged Free XP, or converted tank-specific XP to Free XP, to unlock the base minimum upgrades. This is another notable area where WG incentivizes players to spend gold
- Buy all 3 mechanically-relevant equipment options for any tank you plan to play for a while. E.g. for tier 8-10 tanks, I generally recommend the Gun Rammer and the Vertical Stabilizer
- Always carry all 3 consumables (repair kit, first aid kit, fire extinguisher). The 3k credits for each is well worth it for managing a bad situation
The Issues With Premium Ammo
Welvo posted an articulate take on Reddit on why premium ammo (aka gold ammo) is problematic.
I have lost faith in the players of this game and their ability to do critical thinking. Gold rounds are game breaking. End of story.
If you can’t pen a tank from the front, then so be it. Obviously by design not all tanks are made equal. They all have their advantages and disadvantages and a GOOD player will learn how to optimize them. The type of game you all want seems to be one where all tanks are equal in stats, they just all just look different.
Lets just be very clear, gold rounds are simply an “easy” mode for this game. The tanks have been balanced a very certain way (absent of gold rounds) and gold rounds trump that balancing. I don’t understand how the vast majority of players don’t understand something so basic.
I agree with Welvo.
Here are the reasons why I do not use premium ammo:
- I do not want to contribute to a mechanic that I believe detracts from the quality of gameplay, especially in public matches a.k.a. Random Battles where some players don’t use it
- It can become a crutch, instead of forcing the player to learn where to aim for specific tanks (i.e. weak spots), or put themselves in a position where they can hit those weak spots
- The game is much more rewarding when you kick ass without premium ammo. I witnessed a reader of this blog, FrankyMcShanky (his stats on Noobmeter), solo the last 5 tanks of my team with his M4 Sherman and finish with 11 kills. It was nuts and an incredible solo effort, but Franky commented that his 1st Kolobanov’s medal was tainted by premium ammo
- The game would probably not be challenging for me if I used premium ammo. I’d rather beat players who are “better geared” than faceroll opponents who are at a gear disadvantage
- It’s not reasonably affordable with credits for players who are still actively grinding new tanks and tiers, even with premium subscription
About that last point, some players defend premium ammo because it is now purchasable with credits, whereas it used to be only acquirable with gold. But here’s the rub. Premium shells are very expensive, e.g. 4800+ credits per shell for Tier 6 and up. A player who is still actively grinding up tank lines and tiers will continually be in a situation where they have unlocked upper-tier tanks but lack the credits to afford purchasing the tanks, upgrades, and equipment – let alone premium ammo. It’s not clear to me whether the high cost of premium ammo would be sufficiently offset by the higher WR gained by using it.
Many players who use this “premium ammo is affordable” argument already have a surplus of credits from many thousands of battles and/or they have premium tanks which they use for farming credits. If they are in the latter situation, they’re funding their premium ammo with their premium tank(s), which were purchased with gold, so they’re indirectly paying-to-win.
The only context where I think premium ammo is an acceptable mechanic is Clan Wars given that serious clans will field tanks with premium ammo, so it’s the norm there.
Screenshots for tier 6+ Ace Tanker mastery badges
A skeptic who is unfamiliar with my blog may wonder “how do we know Taugrim has never used (let alone purchased) premium ammo like he claims?”
I have two proof points to share.
- My narrated gameplay videos on YouTube
- Screenshots of my Ace Tanker mastery badges for my tier 6-9 tanks. With these screenshots you can easily determine that I was using normal ammo based on the costs of resupply (except for the KV-3 since it was only my 3rd game and I forgot to check the resupply option).
Tier 6 KV-1S Ace Tanker Screenshots
Tier 6 T-150 Ace Tanker Screenshots
Tier 6 VK36.01 (H) Ace Tanker Screenshots
Tier 7 KV-3 Ace Tanker Screenshots
Tier 9 ST-I Ace Tanker Screenshots
I want to end this article by saying I’m not here to judge others using premium ammo. It’s each player’s choice. I wrote this article to refute the widely-held perception that it’s a must-have to compete at a high level.
Certainly, playing without premium ammo can place one at a disadvantage, but the key thing I’ve experienced is that you can still rock without it.
Let me know your thoughts and feedback.
I believe that the main reason for implementation of premium ammo is some sort of enforcing equality on players.
Good player CAN penetrate reliably most tanks from the front through weakspot knowledge.
Bad player cannot. So premium ammo helps bad players to fight good players on more equal ground.
And most players are relatively bad. So WG must enforce some sort of the mechanic to help them and to make profit from them.
So bad player must pay to WG or learn the game. This is the win/win situation for WG.
P.S. Sorry for my poor english again.
My guess is premium ammo was implemented as a revenue generator. People love winning, and lots of adults with disposable income will pay to win.
I think the only reason WG made the change to allow premium ammo purchasable via credits is because it has always been a sore subject in the community.
Most players are relatively average, by definition :)
And a good player with premium ammo will still wreck the bad player with premium ammo.
Premium ammo does help a bad player penetrate.
The game would be better if there were different ammo types available, each with pros/cons.
Part of my issue with premium ammo is that it creates no incentive for players who use it heavily to actually work on improving their gameplay. It’s ezmode.
[quote]Most players are relatively average, by definition :)[/quote]
They are bad if you compare them to good players. This is what i mean.
[quote] I think the only reason WG made the change to allow premium ammo purchasable via credits is because it has always been a sore subject in the community.[/quote]
No, They make more money that way. I can presume that premium tank sells and even gold-to-credits conversion levels skyrocketed after this change.
[quote]And a good player with premium ammo will still wreck the bad player with premium ammo.
Premium ammo does help a bad player penetrate.[/quote]
Yes, of course, But this is a achievment for a bad player nonetheless A tangible result. He don’t simply die, but he damaged his enemy and probably watched how his teammates finished him.
If bad player don’t have such tangible results from his play he will be frustrated and stop playing after some time.
Part of my issue with premium ammo is that it creates no incentive for players who use it heavily to actually work on improving their gameplay. It’s ezmode.[/quote]
And some people just don’t want to learn. And because of direction of WoT development (and my russian server expirienceI I think that such players are majority.
One more point: there is a some sort of power creep in the game. At one point WG started to introduce newer tanks with very powerful guns with higher DPM and/or penetraton levels than older ones. You can see that if you compare oldest T10 heavies (Maus and IS-7) with newer ones (T110E5, IS-4, AMX50B, FV215b and so on).
This is also because this effect of enforcing positive gameplay expirience for new and bad players. Bad or inexpirienced player don’t have skills to use armor angling. He don’t know what positions are good or bad. He cannot use mobility of his tank effectively. But even bad player can shoot. And WG helps them with premium ammo and better guns.
Either way, the presence of premium ammo is generating revenue for WG. I just wish they’re remove it from the game. They have plenty of other mechanisms to get players to pay money happily.
The thing I’ve learned across many games (and from the corporate world) is that most people believe they’re above average, even if they are below average. If things aren’t going well, some will blame other people – team mates, opponents who are “cheating”, the game developer, etc – instead of assessing what they can do better.
I only started playing in 8.5 and haven’t gotten to witness this yet.
Power creep in any game is bad for the long-term health of the game, as I’ve said many times on my blog.
I’m trying to help here!
I’ve published guides intended for new players to explain the concepts of angling and weak spots, which are related to penetration. They’re ranked on Google so hopefully people will discover them.
I agree that you can be efficient without premium ammo. The only scenario I have run into is at Tier V, unless I am using a heavy tank, I can’t for the life of me penetrate a KV-1 or AT-2. Their armor is insane from all sides, and I usually have to resort to premium rounds against those.
Against KV-1, aim for the “collarbone” aka the flat plate below the turret. It’s not really sloped. KV-1 does have really good all-around armor.
The AT tank destroyer line is easy to penetrate – just aim for their cupola (hatch on top of turret). It’s a very sizable weak spot. You hit that, it’s almost a guaranteed penetration.
Thanks for the tips. I’ve had my fair share of frustrations with a Hetzer trying to get through the KV-1’s armor. I will definitely try that this week.
Also keep in mind on that collarbone plate that there is a MGP (Machine Gun Port) and a view port. Both areas are particularly soft weak spots.
Any commander’s hatch on any tank is a weak spot ofc higher elevation means better spotting to pen. Machine gun knows on frontal plates as well as drivers hatches are weak spots. Then you also have, for very close fights, where the turret meets the hull, the turret is often a soft pen zone too. Then the area right the first sprocket on the treads in front of the first road wheel is a soft pen zone and can do cries to ammo and driver.
I agree 100% with what you wrote except for one thing:
This is true for most of the game *but* not for some of the Tier 9s and 10s.
E.g. T110E3 and T110E5 have very sturdy cupolas that are difficult to penetrate.
Yes. I can see where a tier 8 could go up against a tier 9-10 and have issues, but top gun on a t-9 and a t-10 should still find pen 60%-ish of the time. accuracy and elevation play a huge role in that.
Are you using the 105mm howitzer or the 75mm?
I’m using the 75mm gun since according to the stats, while it does less damage it has much higher penetration. I might have to switch and see if I am more successful.
Yeah you want to use the 105 howitzer, It takes a little getting used to but 1shot kill power can’t be over looked. If you upgrade to the StuGIII you can unlock the 75mm L70 with 150mm of penetration. It makes for a true sniper vehicle.
Will definitely try, thanks. I just unlocked the Stug III. I’ll be working on sinking my teeth into it this weekend.
One more question to you all. Do you use gold to unlock the crew training at 100% or do you retrain old crews and grind them back up to 100%?
A 100% crew is usually a good investment. But if you can wait, for training to be on sale, that will save you gold.
Also you can be selective about which members to train 100%. A brawling type tank can do really well with just a 100% loader and 100% driver. Artillery for example is about the gun, only really needs a 100% gunner and 100% loader. Similarly a TD is mostly about the gun.
After you unlock elite status on your vehicle, it’s pretty easy to catch the rest of your crew up on training.
Thanks for the info. I’ve been wanting to get some gold to show my support of the game since I’ve been playing it for free for a month or two and was trying to decide which area would be best to spend the gold on and crew training seems like a good choice along with premium status for the additional exp and credits.
That’s the same reason that I converted to a paying customer. WG does a very good job with their F2P model – they incent the player to spend money on things that provide value.
To save credits, when you sell an old tank to fund a child tank of higher tier, you can pay gold to demount existing equipment (10 gold per) from your old tank so you can immediately use it on your new one. It’s really worth the money, because some equipment costs 500+k credits each.
I have also used gold on new tanks to convert other tank XP to Free XP, to get to the minimum viable gun for that tier. Some tanks have stock guns which are incredibly craptastic.
Another thing to notice is that once you have trained your crew up to 100% you technically could start training a secondary skill – and in most cases you should.
If you have researched the next tank in line and want to progress without keeping the previous tank, you can transfer your crew into the new tank. You will have to retrain them of course which, if you dont use gold, makes them lose some of the experience they’ve got. You can also drop all secondary skills while again losing a portion of the exp.
Now, if you are close to upgrading your tank and your crew hits 100%, which is quite common at around tier 6, you can wait and not pick a secondary skill but instead just accumulate exp for your crew. After you reach a certain threshold – about 55 to 65% – you then can retrain your crew using silver credits and end up with a 100% crew in your new tank right from the start.
The game UI will tell otherwise often but in reality what happens is that your crew has an exp pool which determines the training level of the crew member and his skill. When you drop your secondaries the exp accumulated for them is going back to the pool. If your pooled exp exceeds the amount needed for 100% after the reset, the crew stays at 100%.
If you can afford it, I think 100% crews are worth the investment from tier 5 and on.
If you can’t afford a full 100% crew but can afford some 100% crew members, I always recommend getting a 100% Commander first, since he gives 10% of his skill level as a bonus to the other crew members.
After that, it depends on the tank you are operating. For most damage-oriented tanks, before 8.6 I thought the Gunner was the next 100% crew member you should buy. It probably still is, but not by as much as it used to be.
That’s what I did for my KV-1, I bought the Commander and Gunner with gold as soon as I got the tank.
There is a downside to having partial 100% crews to start – you won’t have a crew all at the same skill % once they’ve all reach 100% training. So some skills/perks such as Brothers in Arms aren’t attainable at the same time.
With elite status you unlock accelerated training. Accelerated Training doubles the xp earned in that match for the crew member with the least training. By the time you unlocked your first perk with a 200% crew you would definitely have all your crew members caught up to the same level.
OK that’s great to know.
Nice article! I have played wot for 2 years of and on, more some 8.6 came out.
Gold rounds was my crutch at first playing this game. I had money to spend to make up for losing streaks and bought a few premium tanks to get used to high tier battles and more maps.
It worked against me. Not knowing how to pen a tank, weak spots, crew skills bonuses and sweet spots on maps was all too much at one time to learn. Spending money did not help win, just get a lucky pen here and there.
Last August I came back after several months break and used the forums and Google to find topics on roles medium, heavy tanks, map spots for snipe and control and weak spots on tanks. Studying this and playing a tier 5 tank got me on an easy learning track. I even used the hit box mod to memorize where to aim for X result, since many tanks in each nation share very similar spots. After a month of hit boxing I went plain… No gold rounds no mod but reticle mod. I learned and adapted quickly and found success!
The points you show: aiming, angling tank, position on map, position of firing zones, ally positions are very vital to winning.
Plus, dieing as a tier 8 means about 35k in silver to fix add in 48k for 10 gold rounds is -83k and you may have made 30k for good damage, leaving you broke in the end. This is the conundrum spending money to try and win all the while losing money forcing you to spend more.
It’s refreshingly honest to hear you say this.
This game has a low barrier to learn to play, but there are so many things to understand and apply to master it. Even after thousands of games I feel I have much room for improvement.
Kudos to you for taking the steps to raise your gameplay.
FrankyMcShanky, a reader of this blog, came back after a break and like you made the intentional effort to improve as a player.
He shared his thoughts on a nice post on the official WoT forums:
Hey Ed, I recently started playing WoT, and I must say I am thoroughly enjoying this game, so thank you for hooking me. With having 3000 battles under your belt, I would like to ask you a couple of questions. Being completely new to this game, I want to learn as much as I can as fast as I can, so what resources helped you learn the most? (I’ve skimmed a couple of sites, but I would like to have your input) What tanks should I invest into? What should I spec into on those tanks? What tanks would fit my playstyle? (From past mmo experience I prefer tanking the most, yet dealing decent damage at the same time as to where I could 1 v 1 or even 1 v 2 comfortably). Most importantly, what tanks would help me learn more as a player? I’ve already watched your angling and tank weak spots videos, but I would like to ask if you had anymore tips/advice as far objectives, map control, teamwork, and finding a group to play with were concerned. Lastly, could I add you in game (@Xaedon) if I had any more questions? Lots of love and appreciation :D
As I’ve said before, I think WoT is one of the highest skill cap games I’ve played, because of the incredibly tactical gameplay and importance of teamwork.
I’m a big learn-by-doing person, so I generally try games before reading too much ahead of time.
Part of the reason is that if the mechanics are unusual for me (e.g. GW2, WoT) compared to what I’ve played previously, I can only read/watch so much without actually playing before it starts to go over my head and not sticking. Once I get the basic mechanics down, I start to read as much as I can without getting overwhelmed.
WoT is a very high learning curve game – easiest to learn the basics but takes a long time to master. So it’s important IMO to take in the information gradually, and when it’s relevant.
You’ve already read my two guides on angling and weak spots, which I would recommend to any new player. Aside from those, here are my recommended resources:
1. WoT Wiki: understanding the equipment upgrades, armor, speed, etc are invaluable. Take the pros and cons with a grain of salt though, you really need to try the tank yourself to see
2. It’s helpful to have per-tank statistics, which you can track with the following site, which analyzes your local stats file (“dossier”). Note the stats are not public unless you choose to share it
3. I also recommend signing up for Noobmeter so you can track your progress on a daily basis, it’s the best site for this IMO
With WoT, it’s best to try a lot of shoes, see what fits.
I generally don’t recommend classes to people I don’t know well, based on prior experience.
That said, based on what you wrote, heavy tanks are probably a good choice, since they tend to have good guns, good armor, and have turrets. Some TDs are also pretty tanky but many don’t have turrets so are at risk of getting flanked when outnumbered.
The German heavies aren’t available until tier 7, so I’d recommend looking at either the Soviet or American heavies, which are available started at tier 5. The Soviet tanks tend to have more well-rounded armor, whereas the American tanks tend to work well hull-down (esp the T29 at tier 7).
After you die, stay and watch the match, especially players who seem to be doing well.
I would say the 3 places where premium ammo is necessary is high tier scouting, all tier 7 mediums, and certain tier 10 tanks like the E-100 using the 15cm cannon.
Somewhere in between there are tanks that benefit substantially from using premium while other tanks really don’t need it. Were that there was some sort of historic reason that the guns received the stats they are given, I could forgive WG. But the reality is that the penetration numbers and damage numbers are complete works of fiction.
I don’t understand why they just don’t balance the game better.
This is an oft-cited example.
IMO, the best value a light tank provides is the scouting, given their excellent view mechanics, mobility, and always-on camo. Once tanks have started to engage, lights are also excellent at flanking to hit tanks from the side or rear when they’re vulnerable.
Lights are also terrific at baiting opponents into chasing them into focus fire.
I do think that it’s a problem that light tanks get sucked into much higher-tier battles compared to everyone else. What I think WG should consider is segmenting light tank tiering just as they did with arties in 8.6, where arties are MM’d like med/heavy/TD tanks.
They can balance tanks of the same class and tier better.
That said, I’m in the same camp as Welvo:
Of course the question many players had 2 patches ago when the tier 4 scout leopard was armed with that terrible 5cm was, “why even give it a gun.” Reducing the weight by removing it would have been better than having that gun.
A similar question for high tier matches is “why even have regular ammo” weak spots still have armor values and at high tier side, rear and weak spot armor can exceed the penetration of several light tanks with normal rounds.
Unfortunately this idea relies on the assumption that a given tank has at least one quality to leverage against it’s opponent. However to often they don’t, and for me, it is in match ups where only a miracle can change the outcome that I am most critical of WG.
I’m not talking about them reworking the engine, or graphics. We are talking the most basic of changes to stats,pisses me off… Well unless I am in the OP tank. Then I feel bad up until I collect my credits.
I think this would be solved for if the MM was changed such that light tanks had a normal 3-tier span like other tanks.
That way lights would have the ability to deal damage.
What tanks have you played that don’t have any good qualities?
I’ve played tanks that others complain about but are IMO quite capable.
Good example is the T-28, the tier 4 Soviet medium that leads to KV-1. The NA Win Rate for T-28 is 49.08% and I think it’s partly because the tank doesn’t have a clear role. It’s too big to snipe in camo, and the armor is paper thin. But the gun is excellent, and it’s a reasonably mobile tank. It’s still my highest WR tank at ~62%.
On the flip side, I’ve played tanks that eventually drove me nuts. Good example is the Churchill. It’s slow, which I could deal with if the gun depression wasn’t also very poor.
The AMX 40 is by far the winner of the contest. It is the tank best designed for converted experience.
Tier 7 mediums as I said are in bad shape. I’ve played the
VK30.02D doesn’t have a gun and can no longer brawl after the recent nerf.
The PzV Panther gets the needle gun for it’s top unlock. Besides making you look ridiculous just doesn’t have the damage even with decent pen.
While I haven’t played them, my brother has and he summarized the churchill – black princess series as an exercise in futility.
…if I keep going I am going to endlessly rant.
I will say that if you take the VK30.02D and run premium ammo on it, that it feels how a medium tank at tier 7 should. Mobile and deadly when flanking.
It does look underwhelming. It’s ranked 11th (last place) on Noobmeter’s Tank Stats.
I’m trying to decided whether to work up to the tier 8 Tiger II German heavy tank next or work up a medium tank line for a change of pace.
Been thinking about the British mediums, which are fast and have good guns but paper thin armor.
VK30.02D isn’t really built to brawl, it’s built to flank. But there are situations where you can’t flank, in which case the crappy penetration is an issue.
I found the Churchill to be a frustrating tank due to the poor gun depression and sluggishness. I could deal with the obvious weak spots by angling, but the other two things are what they are. The Hickers HV is a nice gun though.
Go for M48 Ed, you will love the crazy DPM and depression, it is a tank tell the difference from boys to men
The only downside according to the WoT Wiki is that it has poor camo rating.
Aside from that though, according to Noobmeter it’s the 2nd best performing tier 10 medium tank.
Both the British mediums and M48 have relatively low top-end speed (40 and 45 respectively). Still not sure which medium line I’d want to grind out.
I haven’t bothered to go up the murican or Brit medium lines, but I have done German. The E50m and Leopard, imo, are 2 of my favorite tanks I have to play. T57, 110e4, WZ-121, E75 & M-103 being the others. Do the Brit medium offer anything more then gun depression vs the 2 German med’s?
Aside from superior gun depression, the British FV4202 offers better camouflage and turret armor but much lower top-end speed (40 km/h).
Relative to the tanks I typically play, 40 km/h would be adequate for me.
The FV4202 seems like it would offer solid sniping and situational hull-down capability. I’d probably equip Coated Optics to push the view range out to the max spotting distance of 445m.
Still haven’t decided yet, and the E-50M seems tempting, but I think I want to experience another country’s tank line and a medium line, since I’m already working up the German heavies and have a tier 10 Soviet heavy.
If you have the VK3601H then you already have the jewel of the German medium tree. I plan on going back and getting my VK3001D as it looks like a solid tier 6 medium that plays like a true medium.
The Germans have solid Tier 10 mediums and the Indien Panzer at tier 8 which might be the first non-premium tier 8 tank that is better than the type 59. I would not suggest going beyond tier 6 unless you are committed to getting one of those tanks. The tier 7 grind is pretty terrible.
I don’t think I ever broke 3k damage in a match with my panther and only achieved top gun because I lit 3 consecutive heavy tanks on fire that match. The RNG was strong with me that game.
Yea the VK3601H is a superb tank, arguably the best overall of any that I have played.
Well, given enough time my goal for any tank line I’m grinding is to reach tier 9.
The Panther’s penetration is pretty lousy for tier 7, so I see your point.
Gold rounds for Credits was the most clever trick that WG did….
Think about it, only people was buying them before the change, was the top clans who was farming the Clan Wars and weren’t paying any cent to get the gold ammo….
Sunday, all the battles that I was in, everybody was shooting gold, E-100 shoots me without aiming (he peek and boo, shot directly no reticule closing noting, a T57 shooting only gold, Centurion penetrating my gun mantlet with E-75, 1750 damage from Tier 10 British TD)…..now if you have to be competitive in WoT you have to shot gold and to finance that you have to buy Premium Account…
Nice job WG, nice thinking….
Previously gold ammo was not bringing any income to WG, Ammo, now everybody has to have premium account…..
Only pitiful part, skill part of the WoT is gone, no weak spot aiming, no angling,
Did you load gold ammo – check
Do you have an auto-loader – check
E-100 is a good example of a tank that when shooting gold becomes OP, due to the 750 alpha coupled with 334 pen. It’s nuts.
Well, you don’t have to shoot gold to be competitive. I’ve been Unicum over my last 248 battles (58 WR, 1809 WN7)
That said, I see your point about having to buy Premium account to offset the high cost of the the gold ammo.
You might be right about your theory.
Ed I think you misunderstood what I was saying but good write up. When you are stuck at tier 8 going against tier 10’s is what I was getting at. 10 vs 10 I get. But at tier 8 going against 9’s and 10’s it alot of bouncing and negiable damage. I have notices I have better win rates on west coast server over east coast. Ultimatle platooning increases chances of winning.
Curious how many of those matches were pugs by yourself and how many platooned. I have found solo is less likely to make a difference than platooning.
It can be rough as a tier 8 in tier 10 battles.
75% or more solo PUG is my estimate.
I am stuck because I was advance training my crews on all elite tanks. Didnt want to spend a ton of money converting experience. May do that to get the german E50
Have you played War Thunder? It has more depth and a much higher skill cap than WoT. Gaijin is the producer and they are making a tanks and ships version (just like War Gaming). I played WoT for a month and loved it until I tried War Thunder, now I can’t go back to WoT.
I enjoy your posts!
I’ve been REALLY enjoying WoT, which provides the most tactical and highest skill cap PVP of any MMO I’ve played.
I heard the air combat in WT is superior to WoWP.
At some point I’ll probably give WT a go. Do you know when it’s supposed to launch?
No launch date yet. Open beta at the moment, but launch is probably very soon.
The air combat is vastly superior, depending upon the mode you play WT. It has Arcade Mode, Historical Mode, and Full Real Battle. At each mode the plane handles differently. So, Arcade Mode is just that, similar to WoT. With Historical Mode, the plane handles more realistically and you must land to refuel, rearm, etc, but you can still use a mouse. In Full Real Battle, you are basically playing a flight sim with PVP! No mouse, you need a joystick.
Now imagine if Gaijin makes their tank game as good as the aircraft?!
Should I buy the KV-2 for fun and some gold farming?
KV-2 is the king of derping in WoT, especially if you use premium ammo.
Not my style, but a lot of people find it entertaining.
Hey Taugrim, I’m horrified to see you doing so well. Not even 4k battles and you’ve caught up to my win rate. Thanks for crushing my ego and snuffing out my hopes and dreams. Jerk.
It was good seeing you in game last night. My platoon was complaining about you on Skype “Aaarggh! That Tiger II’s going to take all the damage!”
How are you enjoying your big grey fascist box tanks? I kinda of like the look of the Tier 8-10 German heavies, but I fear to commit any time to grinding them when there are so many other things I want.
I noticed you unlocked the Comet. It’s a great little tank! My favorite tier 7 medium. It’s a very brutal teacher on how to execute proper flanking maneuvers, aiming for weak points, abusing dpm, and generally not get your ass shot off by every other tank that’s bigger and tougher than you.
Have you played any other mediums? How do you like them compared to your heavies and TD’s?
I’m sorry I couldn’t accept your platoon invite. I just came back from a month long hiatus and was already platooned with some friends. Maybe some other time?
You have given a lot of great advice, which has slowly sunk into my noggin.
You guys did the right thing in swinging back north to help protect that flank. I was left on my lonesome south and managed to get some damage in on the few remaining tanks.
Well, two weeks ago I would have said that I love heavy tanks.
That was before I decided to grind a medium tank line to tier 10, and a big part of that decision was your earlier posts about mediums. More on that later…
The German Tiger tank is really flawed in WoT. I managed a 58 WR over 97 battles, but that tank is incredibly brittle and can’t brawl when the situation dictates it, as the hull and turret armor are weak and the tank takes module and crew damage easily. The Tiger II has been a vast improvement over the Tiger in terms of the upper front glacis and turret armor, but the side armor and lower glacis are still thin. It’s a solid tank but understandably ranked low in Noobmeter’s Tank Stats. I’m working towards the E-75 which looks like an excellent tank.
The Soviet ST-I is a great tank – good armor, good gun, and functional mobility. I like the IS-4 but tier 10 battles as Mark_Chopper_Read has pointed out to me are very violent, and TDs in tiers 9-10 have very high alpha (700+). The KV-4 had a horribly big weak spot with the 2nd mini-turret on the turret and was too sluggish.
I find the German heavies tend to accelerate a bit better than the Soviet heavies, even though the speed stats are close on paper.
The catch with the Comet is that the penetration on the top gun at 148 is abysmal for a tier 7. Since I don’t use any premium ammo, that’s a major factor.
I played 4 games and averaged 1180 damage, but I found the tank to be frustrating due to the craptastic penetration. Even with aiming at weak spots I was bouncing a lot of shots. In a Pearl River battle, Mark_Chopper_Read and I almost managed to carry the team, but what sealed the loss is my bouncing multiple shots on a KV-3 and IS on their side armor late in the battle.
The mediums I’ve played over 50 games are the T-28, Matilda, VK36.01H, and Cromwell, and the Matilda and Cromwell are really pocket heavies.
I prefer the Cromwell over the VK36.01H, which is a terrific tank. I always thought that I’d gravitate towards tankier tanks, but the Cromwell (and T-28) have shown me the value of mobility. With the Cromwell, I have been simply blown away by as you posted earlier the concept of “mobile firepower” – I can cover a lot of ground and help turn the tide. The tank is squishy as heck and I’m still learning to control the tank without spazzing due to the high speed (60+ kph). But being able to put my gun where it’s needed and flank is really refreshing and quite the rush.
Popular sentiment is that the T-62A is the best tier 10 medium, but it looks OP on paper and I already have the Soviet heavies which are strong, so I decided to try another nation’s mediums. I’m targeting the British medium line as the FV4202 looks like a good fit for me.
I’m going to skip to the Centurion Mk I via Free XP, which I expect I’ll love as it looks like a higher-tier Cromwell on paper. I’m hoping the 40 kph speed limit on the FV4202 will be OK given that the tank is very agile.
Regarding TDs, as you’ve posted previously the spotting and camo mechanics are really strong. What I’ve noticed is that the tier 9-10 TDs hit stupidly hard – the alpha is 700+. I think TDs became the strongest upper-tier class of tanks with Patch 8.6, especially with fewer arties in battles to discourage camping.
I added you to Friends last night.
Glad you posted. With my very positive experience on the Cromwell I’ve been meaning to reply to one of your earlier posts and tell you that you were right about the rush of playing mediums!
I have the FV4202 unlocked but haven’t purchased it yet. My buddy http://www.noobmeter.com/player/na/jacg123/1000385447/ just got his and loves it. The FV and the Centurions are very agile, if not fast. They accelerate well and have excellent handling. The guns are amazingly accurate with some of the best depression in the game.
I wouldn’t call the T-62A OP. In general Tier 10 is very well balanced. It is definitely a very good tank and a clan wars staple but like all mediums requires finesse to excel with.
Thats a pity. I love the Comet. All tear 7 mediums suffer from painfully piss poor penetration (Hehehe, that was alliteration.)
Overlord Prime wrote reviews of all the tier 7 mediums because so many people have trouble with them. This is his Comet review which I think is spot on http://forum.worldoftanks.com/index.php?/topic/227348-the-comet-the-spider-review-thoughts/
I enjoyed the Centurions very much. Excellent gun and great soft stats. The gun mantlet is a black hole of trollish might that sucks up in coming rounds like Homer Simpson in a twinky factory. They also reverse VERY quickly which is a bigger deal than most think. The only things that I disliked about the Centurians were the massive size and low camo value.
I vehemently disagree. TD’s do hit very hard put they tend to have long aim times combined with fixed turrets which makes them fairly difficult to play.
Also, it’s easier to predict TD hiding places than Arty hiding places and avoid the kill zones that that create.
Typically TD’s are highly vulnerable to flanks and tracking. One on one (Yes I know 1v1’s are bad comparisons used by baddies) A smart medium or even heavy can cripple and circle a TD.
That being said, the strength of a vehicle is largely map dependent. For example, in a light tank a can dominate Malinovka every single time and struggle to accomplish anything on Himmelsdorf using the very same tank.
At the same time, I do kind of agree with you. My biggest criticism of the game is probably excessive alpha.
Just curious, do you typically play on the West coast server? If so why?
Great to hear. Sounds like a good fit for what I’m looking for.
The FV4202 has good camo from what I understand, so that’s something to look forward to at tier 10.
Will have to see how things fare with the Centurions. I move around quite a bit on my Cromwell and only situationally camp/spot. So I think it will be OK.
Thanks, I’ll check that out.
The fixed turrets can be an issue when brawling since you have to expose your side when you come around a corner.
I find tier 9-10 TDs to be the most dangerous tanks on the field. Some examples:
– The Foch 155 has an autoloader and very strong frontal armor
– The T110E3 has trollishly good armor and a great gun
– The FV 215b 183 can 1-shot tanks
This game revolves around alpha damage, and I’d trade the guns on my ST-I and IS-4 for TD high alpha / long reload guns in a heartbeat.
A medium can flank a tier 9-10 TD, but a heavy typically doesn’t have the mobility to do so, unless they’re already brawling in a close distance.
That said, if you want to “game” the MM:
– NA West seems to be better for playing tier 8-10 tanks, because you end up as top tier quite a bit, due to the lower pop of players
– NA East seems to be better for playing tier 7 and below, because you don’t get pulled into higher-tier battles as much due to the high number of similar tier tanks
I find auto-loaders far more punishing of a tankers mistakes than a TD… most of the time.
The only TD that causes me to soil myself with dread when I run across them unexpectedly is the Foch. Sure the others can cut a hefty chunk off my health pool but only if I screwed up to begin with.
Now that arty is nearly gone from the game Tier 10 is far and away my favorite to play, I find it tremendously fun and engaging. Sure TD’s are deadly, but they’re far from unmanageable or un-enjoyable to play against.
Autoloaders are OP. They’re so common in tier 9-10 battles because people know how good the BatChat, T57, Foch 155, etc are.
While autoloaders have to deal with very long reload times, being able to deliver 1.5-2k burst in 10 seconds is incredibly powerful.
SerB said recently though that WG has no intention of nerfing autoloaders.
The tough thing about facing the Foch is even when you hit the antenna thingy on top of the tank, it’s not guaranteed to cause HP damage. That’s the only notable frontal weakspot.
I played in Patch 8.5 with my ST-I, so I got to see firsthand the painful experience of 3-4 arties per side in tier 10 battles and getting absolutely wrecked.
Many arty players are unhappy with the arty nerf, but I find arty to still be powerful, just not as OP as they seemed previously. SerB said the arty nerf has had the intended effect in terms of reducing the number of arties per match. I would guesstimate that I see on average close to 1 arty per side per battle.
Check out the stats by tank for tier 8-10 tanks. TDs make up 8 of the top 10 for damage dealt and for WN7:
In both cases TDs hold the top 5 spots and 9 of the top 10.
Well, I can’t say this is more or less related to the topic of discussion but do you play with any of your subscribers or only with a small clique of people?
I play with guildees in Maven and other folks that I’ve met through blogging and social media.
To answer the original poster, no you cannot be competitive in the top 20% let alone 5% without shooting premium ammo. I am in a top 20 Clan (Relic), and routinely at war with a top 5 clan (Havok). You can bet all the money you have they are shooting gold at me, and im shooting it right back at them. However, i do not recommend ANY player shoot premium ammo, or buy premium tier 8 tanks until he has learned the game (6k-10k battles). The reason for this are two fold. If you bring a teir 8 tank into a game and have a 500 efficiency score, youve just screwed your team, since your a higher tier and have 0 skills. Likewise, shooting gold before you learn the game prevents you from actually taking the time to learn ALL tanks weak spots, where you can pen without shooting gold. From there on out your a beast with gold, penning 80%+ of the time.
Regarding the poster that said most of the players in the game are below average. This is an understatement. The average WN7 score on the NA server is around 450. I consider myself an “average player” with a WN7 of 1510-1580. Now this is the 60 day score, not global cause we all had to learn. If your 60 day win rate is under 52%, your still a baddy, if your 60 day WN7 is under 1300 your still a baddy, if you want to start tracking your WN7 and Efficiency, which i highly recommend since you can start to see where your making mistakes by tracking it, please go here and install the tracker http://www.wotstatistics.net/index.html it will track your battles for you, show you your win rate per session, show you your WN7 per tank, per match, globally, etc. Now if you want to see how you stack up against the people your in a game with install XVM, its an in game display, and you can get it here https://code.google.com/p/wot-xvm/downloads/list you will need to install xvm and xvm-stat for in game statistics display.
Hope this helps.
What would you consider top 20% or top 5%, in terms of WN7 (or another stat)?
I’m over 1700 WN7 for my last 1000 battles and last 60 days with an average tier of 7.58 without using gold ammo in public battles. If I were to use gold ammo, it would trivialize the game, because penetration is everything.
Unicum (1700 WN7) is at least top 20% from everything I’ve heard.
My overall WN7 at just under 4.4k total battles is 1524, and like everyone else, my overall WN7 is saddled by games where I was still learning the game and new tiers and tanks.
If you are talking about Clan Wars, then that’s the expectation – everyone slings gold ammo heavily.
I don’t know about those numbers per se, but I agree that players should try not to become dependent on gold ammo to the point where they do not understand penetration and weak spots.
That is why I made videos like this one of my IS-4 earning the “Ace Tanker” mastery, where I talk about angling and weak spots:
Thanks for sharing your perspective!
I am on the EU server.
You may know my game names, they are DrEsqueleto and Generalleutnant_Mengede.
I (almost) never play with premium ammo, I only use it in CW’s and when out of other shells. < On some tanks I carry 2-3 premium shells for certain Oh oops that's a 2 tier higher heavily armored tank situation.
My stats are mainly from solo play, when I want my stats to start sky-rocket, I play with my friends in platoons.
My idea of Premium ammo in Public random battles seems to be the same as Taugrim.
For me it almost totally ruined gameplay and removes the fun of it.
I also have noticed that since it came available for credits people like to spam it And there has been a great loss in teamplay. It now mostly looks like single battle mode, one Rambo style against 15 tanks. (Preferable bottom tier tank.) And they expect to win it to. /sadly enough
I know WG won't remove premium ammo. But I still hope they change it and also limit the amount one can use per battle.
Like in the upcoming patch 9. Historical battles, I have noticed They indeed can limit the amount to 2-3 per tank/battle. So why not implement that limitation also in Random Public Battles.
Also about the statement that "bad" players need to be able to win from good / very good players or unicums. For a part i agree, but… Look at sports… Have you ever seen a bad player or a starting player win from very good players, people that play a long time already or professionals? I haven't.!
What I have seen is that people with the same level of knowledge or experience are being placed together. Also like what happens when you do sports. Rookies aren't put against professionals or champions.
So why doesn't WG Implement something like that in the game for 15 vs 15 in public random battles.
Just something like the 7 vs 7, but with a wider spread. (Personal rating or WN7/8 rating)
IMHO That way people will play against similar experienced players, they actually will start to learn the game. Because they aren't wiped out within a few seconds.! They will stay playing this game longer, because they actually have a chance and can get better.
"Better skilled" people can get a lower skill at first, because they now have to play against people with the same skills. after a (short) while they will learn and grow again. At least the ones that are indeed good/better.
It will level out eventually.
Older or former players will also come back again. So for WG and their customers (us) it's a win/win situation.
At least that is what I expect.
ps. little hectic. But I am sleepy as hell after 48+ hours without sleep.
Part of the issue right now is that premium ammo isn’t really a choice or a tradeoff – if you have the silver credits, it’s clearly superior to normal ammo.
I like the suggestion that some players have made where premium ammo is changed such that relative to normal ammo, it provides higher penetration, but at the cost of lower alpha.
Then it becomes a real tradeoff decision.
I also think premium ammo makes players encourages skill-less aiming.
I think in that context, premium ammo has a limit in terms of how much you can load out for a battle, in which case, no one has more premium ammo than anyone else, and the game is “fair” again.
I agree with you too.
Premium ammo makes armor / hull angling / hull down much less relevant, which is why I think it’s a lame mechanic. It heavily favors medium tanks too, because if armor is largely irrelevant, there’s no point in playing a true heavy tank.