World of Tanks versus Need For Speed World
World of Tanks and Need for Speed World, two games that I have played for more than 1,000 hours each. Read this blog post and find out what I have learned about gameplay, social aspects and how to evolve as a player.
This is not a guide to either game, merely a post I have thinking of writing for a long time now, especially after recently being sucked into WoW for a couple of days and being forced to leave in a hurry (by my wife that did not approve).
World of Tanks
Advertised as being a game with 50,000,000 players World of Tanks can be a bit of a dull at first glance. There are never 50 million players online in the same game world. If you was looking for a ”single” server and tons of players everywhere, like with EVE Online, then World of Tanks will disappoint you. The game is very thin in that sense and you never engage with more than 30ish other players at any given moment.
In World of Tanks you fight with your team. It is not a solo game unlike World of Warcraft where you can roam around mostly by yourself and evolve in character as well as a player of the game. World of Tanks is all about rounds, or matches, where you team face another team and fight to reach the goal of the map objective (capture the flag or kill all the opponents).
In a sense, World of Tanks is very much like CounterStrike. You have limited options when you are low on ingame cash and you will have to earn more cash to be able to buy better gear, a tank in this game, the expensive AWP in CounterStrike. Unlike CounterStrike and unlike any other game of the CS era, WoT requires real money at some point in order to progress even further.
You can have a great deal of fun with WoT up to a midsize tank, even on a free account (if you enjoy or have the time for the days of grinding, like I had last year). However, when you reach the tier 5 of tanks you must play very smart in order to earn enough money each round to fill the ever growing hole in your ingame wallet.
I have not done any research on the topic but from my experience the game is programmed to force you into paying real money at some point. If you are unlucky and always end up in the loosing team your ingame wallet will shrink to a peanut in no time. You can slow that by winning and even increase if you win a lot, and survive (no need to repair the whole tank). But if you want to move on and buy tier 6, 7, 8 or even 9 and tier 10, you must pay real money or be very skilled (and have tons of hours to spend on playing this game).
At the end of each round you are also told how much the payout would have been if you would have had a so called premium account. Thus, making you very aware of what you just missed in terms of ingame cash plus experience. Even if they are not forcing your hand, that information is probably all it takes for some to spend real money on digital gaming features in World of Tanks.
When you play World of Tanks for free you will most likely end up in hundreds or even thousands of random games. From my experience, with 4500+ rounds played, about 30% of the rounds can be considered well-played. Most of time it is pure luck if you win or lose. A lot of the players are from Eastern Europe and it is sometimes hard to communicate in English and have the others play exactly how you want. There is no chain of command in public games and some players have a real problem with authority, something you surely will experience when you ask for a strategy or tell the others how you should play as a team to win.
That takes us to the social aspects. There are none. If there are any it mostly consists of rude comments. Some rounds do play out well in the chat, where we as a team communicate to reach the goal of beating the opposing team. But that is very rare from my experience. That is one of the downsides with a freemium game and something that is also present in Need for Speed World. You would expect that in NFSW since it is a purely solo gaming experience. WoT on the other hand force you to play together, not alongside, the rest of your team.
World of Tanks´ resemblence with CounterStrike also involves how to play smart and the importance of really learning the game in order to be successful. In order to combat this the game is somewhat unpredictable. In CS someone can get a random headshot and in WoT the ammo storage in your tank just got hit by a seemingly random shell? That kind of mechanisms is a must I think. Without them the game would be mastered by a selected few that would rule overr the rest. The game has to balance things out.
As with CounterStrike, WoT gives you a pletoria of diffrent setups to be used. The number of tank models is very large and that adds to the equation on what team will be the most successful on the battlefield.
You have a setup of similar weapons (tanks in this case) and to be really good at the game you must master not only the maps but also watch and learn how the game is played. If you rush you are so going to die, no matter how big your tank is. You must rely on your team to win, even if the rest of your team is dead silence in chat. And you must master your tanks. Learn when to steam forward with your ultra-fast light tank and when to wait (for the spread/split of the enemy team, so you can drive in between the two flanks and hunt down the deadly artillery).
In most cases (rounds) almost every participant in your team knows the drill. But even if you communicate well, play like you should (no suicide rush, scout only when needed etc) and get a couple of lucky first kills, that does not mean that you are going to win. The other team might play a more defensive game and you roll on happy only to end up in an ambush or face a couple of tank destroyers.
Need for Speed World
The second game that I have been playing a lot recent years is Need for Speed World (Online). You join for free and can spend real money to buy faster cars, rare cars etc, tinted windows, bigger wheels and such. But you definitely do not need to spend real money to have a bit of fun. The free cars and the performance enhancements that are given to you is more than sufficient.
Need For Speed World is a game that is very, how should I put it, unreal. You drive insanely fast on city streets and you can fly like a bird, hit the ground and drive on without any damage. The game is very fast in its nature, both in terms of lenght of each round and the speed of your car. There is also a farily long waiting time before each round (30-45 seconds) and that become a bit boring after a while. The loading time of each round is the biggest downside of Need for Speed World.
On a social level NFSW is worse than World of Tanks. I have not seen that many rude comments like I have in WoT, and that is a good thing. But I hardly see any comments other than the usual ”lets race, nice car, haha I win you suck”. I hope there are team chats where the communications extend way beyond the public and group chat.
To be good or better in Need for Speed World you must master your car, just as you must understand how your tank behave when you play WoT. There are three key figures in NFSW for each car: Acceleration, top speed and handling. You equip your car with different parts to increase or decrease these three things.
On small city streets acceleration and handling are more important than top speed. When you drive long straights on the highway top speed can be very useful when you plan to leave the other behind. But watch out for that wall, bot car or tree? If you ram a tree from top speed the others catch up and you probably lose. If you manage to avoid all the obstacles you are in for a treat (perhaps a better performance part for your car).
Conclusion: I have played these two games for several years now and both of them are ok. It easy to get hooked (just one more round) and if have the patience to retry over and over again you soon be a very good player. Both games is enjoyable even with the gfx levels set to none or very low (to increase fps) and if you have a more than decent computer and can play with better grapics I think WoT is the winner. NFSW still feels a bit unreal and not something worth paying money for to play. You will be better off buying a console and play Need for Speed on that instead of the PC online version.