You log in. Select your tank. Hit “start battle” and after about a minute can be happily shooting away at other tanks in a bit of mindless and fun electronic violence. World of Tanks is, on one level, wonderfully casual.
For those that do not know, the standard World of Tanks battles dump into a 15v15 match. Players may group into platoons of up to 3, but generally most of the team has no knowledge of anyone else on the team. Given that this is a team game I am sure you can begin to see where problems might arise. Fifteen people, of whom many will likely not properly understand each others’ languages, that in theory should be co-operating.
Actually, given the hurdles to co-operation in the standard game, it is quite surprising how often players will co-operate, albeit sometimes in fairly rudimentary ways given the communication difficulties. However, sometimes they do not.
So tonight I played a few games on my Hetzer, a German Tier IV tank destroyer. It’s not a bad little vehicle at all. Not my absolute favourite, but one of those I am playing fairly frequently as generally I have a good time. A game starts, it’s the Lakeville map. Like most maps there are several different ways from getting from your base to your opponents, and as the game starts things appear to be going in our favour. One two of the avenues my team defeats the enemy tanks. However, I then notice that on the left-flank it appears all our team’s tanks have been destroyed, leaving our base open. I head back to defend … and am joined by no one. Sure enough three or four enemy tanks take position. I manage to kill one, have almost killed a second, when I am destroyed by the third. By the time the rest of my team reaches the enemy base our own base is just about fully captured.
For me it is actually a very good game – 4 tank kills, and damage to a further 3 tanks, with 16 out of 17 shots finding their target. All of which is good for the Sniper Battle Honour. And yet … I would rather have won the match, and my team probably would have it just one of the other five tanks still alive at the end of the battle had turned around and helped me defend the base.
And then you have to remember that Patience is a virtue, and that there are bound to have been times when you yourself have done equally silly things. Probably not deliberately, but just not being aware of one important fact.
Time to press that “Start Battle” button again and see what happens next time 🙂