We go in-depth into one of the most visceral, brutal MMO experiences ever: World of Tanks! This game makes your MMO cry.
World of Tanks! Doesn't that sound like a world you'd love to live in? We sat down with Mike Zhivets, technical director for World of Tanks, and one of the godsends responsible for bringing 500 real world tanks to you in intense PvP multiplayer combat. Take over a Risk-like map with your guild in Clan Wars mode and build a garage full of Sherman tanks that would make General Patton misty eyed. Lock and Load!
ZAM: Why did you decide to keep World of Tanks so strictly historically accurate? No Laser beam tanks in the future? Was it hard to balance historical accuracy and compelling gameplay?
Mike Zhivets: World of Tanks covers the era of the 30's - 50's which represents the most exciting stage in tank-building history. Fighting vehicles of these ages have their unique characteristics and styles that still delight millions of military history buffs from all corners of the world. Unlike modern tanks, WWII panzers are not equipped with hi-tech systems of targeting and control, meaning that success in battles depends on actions of crew and group cooperation. And team cooperation is what makes the World of Tanks battles so thrilling and exiting to play. So, no way we will add laser-beam tanks :)
Wargaming.net staff members have the right to call themselves WWII tank specialists as we developed the Order of War title kept in WWII setting and published by Square Enix. Therefore, we know everything about panzers of the twentieth century's first half.
We tried to reach the perfect balance between realism and gameplay, because once either of the parameters is just a bit too much, the game would lose its X-factor. Thus, World of Tanks won't be a hardcore simulator where you'd have to spend minutes learning how to get those huge panzers at least moving and aiming. The game's difficulty should depend on applying your tactical skills and coordinating moves with your teammates but not struggling with overwhelmingly complicated controls. That's how we wanted to reach the win-win situation both for tank simulator lovers and more casual action fans.
ZAM: Teamwork seems to be the key to success. What's a good mix of tank types for winning? Why would you choose to play a light tank?
Zhivets: We think that an ideally balanced team should consist of a reasonable mix of all types of panzers available in World of Tanks. For instance, the team of 15 players may include 2-3 lights tanks, 3 SPGs (self propelled guns), 2 tank destroyers, 4 heavy tanks and 3 middle tanks. However, each team or clan is free to choose their own way of forming their panzer brigades. Everything depends on a team/clan's playing style and the fighting tactics they prefer.
Driving a light tank is both extremely helpful for a team and hilarious. Light tanks perform recon functions on the battlefield as they are fast and maneuverable enough to avoid enemy shells and spot enemy units or as we call it "backlight" to artillery. Breaking through the enemy's rear, spotting the enemy vehicles' locations, destroying a couple of clumsy SPGs and then escaping alive from the shells exploding around you - that's what we call a thrill and real contribution to the team's victory while playing for a light tank.