In the first of what I hope will be many posts focusing on Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) in video games, is a post on World of Tanks (WoT). Originally published in 2008 by the Belarusian company Wargaming.net in Russia, WoT is an massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) focusing primarily on AFVs; currently this includes over 200 vehicles categorized as tanks, self-propelled guns (SPGs), and tank destroyers (TD, self-propelled anti tank units) from the early 20th century to the mid-20th century. WoT utilizes a freemium business model in which the core game is available for free with additional features available for a physical cost. WoT is currently only a PC game; however it is available the world over. Vehicles in the game currently represent AFVs from the United States, Soviet Union, France, Germany, China, and the United Kingdom. WoT is updated incrementally with changes in each release potentially including any of the following: new vehicles, new maps, game mechanic changes, patches, and graphical enhancements. Wargaming.net employs numerous AFV enthusiasts and the game reflects this; with an emphasis on historically accurate vehicle representations. At the moment general battles in game are divided between two 15-player teams with a goal of either destroying the enemy team or capturing the enemy base. As players play the game they earn vehicle specific experience and credits. With the vehicle specific experience allowing for access to vehicle specific upgrades such as suspension, radio, engine, turret, and main gun changes as well as research upgrades allowing accessing to new vehicles; these upgrades in turn can be purchased using the credits acquired through battle. The game has an arcade style of game play which is to say it is easy and straight forward to start playing; in game views include first and third person along with a map view for SPGs. In game vehicles include not only production AFVs but also vehicles that never made it to production.
- Over 200 vehicles and counting; this includes production models as well as those that never left the prototype or drawing board stage.
- Easy to play
- Free to play
- Players start out with access to vehicles circa the First World War; this can be off-putting to someone looking to jump right into their favorite which may not be available until farther into the game.
- ‘Wallet Warriors’: World of Tanks offers premium vehicles for cash which earn more credits in game and cost less to maintain; some players are offended by the existence of ‘Wallet Warriors’ who have an advantage during the grind (ranking up for a vehicle).
- Difficult to Play – a contradiction to the above pro, some people find the game has a steep learning curve; in the past this was an issue when in game tutorials were lacking in quality and quantity.