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Monthly Archives: December 2013

Obviously I have done rather less gaming this week, as I spent several days firstly getting ready for Christmas – and being very tired – and then time also enjoying Christmas. The festive season continues and will continue to have an impact on gaming time – there are things more important that electronic fun and games.

World of Tanks

My main focus in World of Tanks has been grinding out Tier VIs to get some premium days. I have continued to flirt with the idea of going for the IS-6, but every time I do I quickly re-assess. As to my progress, the x5 first victory bonus yesterday has made a real impact. I have now 2/3 done with the Soviets and 1/3 to 1/2 done with the USA and Germany. With France I am only about 1/5 done. I have had some really poor games in the ARL V39. I could just claim it was because the tank was poor, but in reality I played some extremely poor games with it.

I also now have my full stable of Tier VI tanks. The ARL V39 for France; the VK3601H, VK3002M and VK3001D for Germany; the M4A3E8, M4A3E2 and M6 for the USA; and the SU-100, KV-1S, KV-2, T-150, T-35-85, and A-43 for the USSR.

Otherwise I have finally gotten enough experience for the top engine of the Ferdinand. The decision is now whether to unlock it, or to continue the grind to the top gun, which would be another 30k experience. I was just going to unlock the engine, but with a number of experience bonuses around this next little while it is tempting to go for the gun.

Ultimately however my main concern at the moments are credits, or a lack of them. Given equipment is now at a 50% discount I want to make the most of that by acquiring as much equipment as I can before the 8th January when this portion of the offer ends. However after buying the last few tanks I needed I am basically broke.

The final spot to mention is that thanks to a kindly Santa Claus I am now the proud owner of a KV-220. I haven’t taken it out yet – no equipment – but I am looking forward to trying it out.

Skyrim

The Battle of Whiterun has been fought and the Empire has proved victorious. Now it is time to take the fight to the Stormcloaks and re-unite Skyrim for the Empire – or some such nonsense. In reality my character has a far more prosaic view of things. I am still currently in Whiterun after the battle. I want to do a bit of work on my Alchemy and also take a good hard look at my inventory – in particular my potions – to try and rationalise what I need.

Kerbal Space Program

I have had a successful low orbital mission now to both the Mun and to Minmus. This did create a certain hilarity as it meant I had my Kerbonaut on EVA at various times trying to get the reports above various different biomes. It was successful though, as both missions netted me a rich store of science points to unlock more technologies. My next task is to actually land somewhere. I now have the parts whereby this could be achievable, but I am going to have to think out the design somewhat. I could also now think about sending a probe out of Kerbin orbit, but I may wait until I have unlocked a few more technologies.

So, Christmas is almost with us. My gaming this week has been interrupted somewhat by being ill – though partially in what I have been playing as well as in amount played.

World of Tanks

The tank I have played the most this last week is the Panzer III/IV, as I have been trying to unlock the VK3001D. I am most of the way there now – I may well finish off the rest with free experience today. I have struggled somewhat in it, despite having had a handful of good games. In particular I played a lot of games yesterday. Some of the poor performance can be attributed to an unusually large number of Tier VII matches, but plenty of it can be laid at my door as well in over-eagerness. It is not a bad tank, but I must admit I have had too intense a burst in it and I will be happy to sell it on.

Last night I also finished elited the B1, unlocking the BDR G1B. Much as I have moaned about the B1 on Teamspeak, actually it has not proven to be as bad as all that. No doubt a relatively weak tank, so long as one is happy to load up reasonable amounts of premium ammo for when faces the tougher Tier IVs and Tier V tanks, it can be quite effective.

The ST-I now has over 100k experience done towards the IS-4, but I have not progressed much in my other grinds. I have started work on the French, German, American, and Russian missions associated with the IS-6 event. I am confident I will do the Russian mission with relatively ease – I have so many Russian Tier VI tanks. Helping me along I have also played my first games in the A-43T-34-85, and SU-100. The rest I will be concentrating on in more detail following Christmas, though I have made a start in all of them.

The only other tank I have played much in has been the KV-5 to try and amass some credits for my ideal expenditures. I am expecting to get the VK3001D and VK3601H later today. I will make a judgement call about re-acquiring the Jagdpanther, but at the moment I am thinking I will put this off until a later time. Then when the USA discount hits I am going to get the M4A3E8 and the M7. All of which means I will have three Tier VI tanks for both the US and Germany for the 100k xp mission, which should make that run a lot smoother.

World of Warplanes

Had a good evening with my friend, which ended up with me getting my first Tier III aircraft – The Bristol 133. I am, at some point, going to have to re-install War Thunder so I can compare the two. However, so far I am very much enjoying WoWP as being a casual game I jump into now and then.

Kerbal Space Program

The 0.23 update was rolled out last week, and so I started up a new career game and started blasting Kerbals into orbit. Well, to begin with it was various suborbital flights, then an orbit, and now a flyby each of Mun and Minmus. I am so far enjoying the new update. Science does feel a little more polished now, and the Science Archives tab in R&D is most welcome.

I am not sure how far I will continue to progress in this game currently, but I my next step is for orbital flights of both Mun and Minmus. After that and associate experiments hopefully I will have enough science to research docking modules, which will allow me to do actual landings. We shall see.

Skyrim

I also finally fired up Skyrim on night this week, and finished off the Thieves’ Guild storyline. Overall another solid storyline. I then took my character back to his home in Hjaalmarch, finally remembering to kill that orcish bard in Morthal along the way. I have a whole bunch of “stuff” I need to unload into my home, and maybe a do a little crafting, before I will head back to Whiterun for the show-down that has been brewing pretty much the entire game.

Sales

With both GoG.com and Steam having their Christmas sales I am hoping to pick up a few bits and bobs along the way. Indeed I have already done so having taken a trip down memory lane with Total Annhilation and Sim City 2000. There are a few other things I have my eyes open for, along with some premium tanks, but that will mostly have to wait until the big day itself.

The New Year specials are now into their third day. I haven’t done a post on them as yet, mostly because my daughter – and subsequently myself – came down with diarrhoea. If we must get bugs good to get them out of the system before Christmas I suppose.

There are three main parts to the specials. Firstly there is the “March of Nations” – a rolling discount on all Tier I-VII tanks (get the joke?) going through the nations of World of Tanks – including the Japanese who are due to be introduced next week – with all Tier VIII-X tanks being on a 15% discount all month. Then there are the main festivities, which include a number of discounts that are month-long, and some that are concentrated in the traditional twelve days of Christmas (25th December to 6th January). There is also a Tier II UK light premium tank to be given on the day itself; and a variety of experience and crew experience bonuses running across the month. Finally there is a series of missions grinding 100k xp in regular Tier VI tanks of each nation (for a total of 700k xp, including the Japanese) which, if done, results in an IS-6.

Taking the last first, I have decided not to grind out the IS-6. There is no doubt I could manage this if I choose. I have the tanks already for Germany, France, the USA, and the USSR; and I have plenty of experience to get a Tier VI tank for the UK, China, and for Japan after they have released. Given the various experience offers I don’t anticipate this will proof all that difficult to do – though it will require some grinding obviously. However, I don’t want to use the free experience in that way. Basically I don’t want to rush my way through the lines. Then there is the fact although I am sure I could get the experience done, I would be doing little else for much of the next month. Frankly, it is not worth my bother. I will not be totally ignoring the special however, since each nation’s grind comes with a reward of 3 days premium, so I will try and do this for the four nations I already have Tier VI tanks for.

As for the rest, there are a number of tanks I wish to acquire at a discount as they become available. I have already gotten the A-43. If I manage to get it researched in time I will be getting the VK3001D as well, and perhaps the Pz Sfl IVc. I would also like to get an M4A3E8 and M7 from the US tree and the BDR G1B from the French tree. Finally – if I have the credits – I may try to get the Tiger II towards the end of the offer. I also hope to acquire some equipment for what that is on discount, and also plenty of garage slots. I am also hoping to be able to get some more premium tanks to help my crew training, but am undecided yet on specifically which ones I will get. Time to think about it.

With various matters offline inhibiting my ability to play mid-week, I did rather less gaming. In particular I had hoped to finally get around to isolating one day in the mid-week to devote to something other than World of Tanks, but it was overtaken by events. Of course with Christmas coming up there is always the potential for further disruption too 🙂 . As it is, however, that means the only game I was in this week was World of Tanks

World of Tanks

Due to the aforementioned offline matters I did not get in as many games this week as I have done recently. My main achievements, progression-wise, have been getting the top gun for the GW Panther, getting the B1 fully upgraded, and also eliting the Marder 38T.

I have only played one game on the GW Panther since upgrading the gun – a fairly mediocre game at that – so I haven’t really had a chance to evaluate it yet. As for the B1, the grind to the BDR G1B begins. The B1 is not the completely horrible tank I generally hear about, but neither is it a great tank. Tier V battles requires use of premium ammo and some fairly clever driving which, alas, I am not always able to do. I have managed to get my Ace Tanker badge, however, on a Tier IV match. As for the Marder 38T it is a good, fun tank to play. I will not keep it – tempting though the prospect is – but I will keep at it until the two new members of the crew are better trained.

The long grinds with the ST-IIS, and Panther continue. I have 113k to go for the IS-4, 50k to go for the IS-3, and 80k for the Panther II. The crew I will slot into the IS-4 (currently training on the KV-1 and Churchill III) is at 79% on its first crew skill, so it coming along nicely. My other crew training project – on the Stug III – has only just started and they are just 80% on the main qualification. It also has lower priority so I am expecting matters to go more slowly.

Going forward I basically hope to keep on going as I am. The ST-I is going to get quite heavily played as I am going to try and earn a day’s premium tonight by getting 50k damage, and my best damage-dealer is my sole Tier IX. Otherwise those tanks that I am researching which I did not get to play much this past week – the ARL V39, M4A3E2 Sherman Jumbo, and Ferdinand – I am hoping to get out of the garage a bit. Finally I do want to get some use out of the KV-2 this weekend, taking advantage of the Interactive Special.

Of course, next week the Christmas period offers are due to hit, so that might impact the direction of my gameplay and what I acquire. I am certainly open to getting a Tier VIII at a good price, or perhaps tanks of other tiers.

While I have been quite the public test for the 8.10 update has gone live, and is now on its second iteration. Presumably the patch itself will hit just before Christmas. This update has, as its main feature, the introduction of Japanese tanks. I know some people have looked in askance at the introduction of this branch when some more Russian/German/British/European branches appear to be in higher demand. Myself I see this partly as a commercial decision by Wargaming, partner of the introduction of Chinese tanks in growing World of Tanks’ global appeal, and not something to get annoyed about. After all, those folks who do not want to play the Japanese get a free garage slot out of  the exercise :D.

Onto the tanks themselves. Well, I will not be trialling them on the live server, but there are essentially two lines. A medium tank line that goes Tiers II-X, and a light tank line that goes Tiers I-IV before folding back into the medium line. Without having any experience of any of the tanks my intention is to progress up both lines, but we shall see how things go. One thing I will note is how small this introduction is. There are even fewer tanks than in the Chinese tree. One comes to the conclusion that Wargaming is finding it harder to create new lines from new nations now that the “biggies” of the time period are fairly well developed.

Both Quickybaby and Jingles have done overviews of the Japanese tanks. The basic verdict seems to be that in the early days the lights appear superior to the mediums, that the mid-tier mediums are almost like poorly armoured heavies, and that the line really starts to step up around Tier VIII. The other overall impression is very good gun depression, generally (though not always) reasonable to very good firepower, but also generally poor armour – the Tier X being a partial exception.

These are not the only tanks being introduced however. There are two high-tier Russian mediums completing that second line.

There is the intention to introduce a new map entitled “Hidden Village” – though the wording of the patch notes very much gives Wargaming leeway to postpone the map. There are also reworks of Karelia, Mines, El Halluf, Airfield, and Steppes. I haven’t had the chance to really find out much about those changes due to the reasons I haven’t done much tanking for most of the week, but I do know the El Halluf rework is actually quite extensive in an attempt to reform it from its campy ways.

There is however one rather significant gameplay change, which I think will have far-reaching consequences, albeit with a time delay as folks adjust. Basically it will be possible to shoot through some smaller objects such as fence-posts and the like using AP and APCR ammunition. The penetration value of the shot will be deceased for each object it hits on the way to the target, making it more likely to bounce, but it does mean a bit of fencepost or a car is no longer a one-shot shield. My initial feeling is that this would be of most benefit to heavies and tank destroyers getting rid of the cover which smaller tanks might hide behind, but the more I think about it I am not entire sure that is the case. It may make certain forms of scouting harder, but on the whole I am now thinking this will make the job of defence slightly harder – partly in the tactical sense like protecting one’s lower plate, and partly in the larger sense as it an attacking team will have an easier time of disrupting a defensive setup.

There are several graphical updates too – including a motion blur affect that looks really nifty on a nice computer. I am not sure if that is something I would like or not, but depending how it impacts my FPS it may be irrelevant anyway. There is the usual batch of very minor adjustments and fixes, none of which particularly sparks my enthusiasm.

Overall this is clearly a smaller patch, but I think it will be a good one. With the exception of Italy – which I believe is going to be rolled up in the European tree – this will mean all the major participants of World War 2 are now represented in game. While not “complete” it does make it feel like that is a good place now to conduct some of the further modelling upgrades that are being talked about for 2014, giving the game a facelift. Roll on.

First off, sorry for the lack of posting the last few days. My Mum has just retired and moved, causing all the ordinary chaos and disruption such events can do.

However, rather than dwelling on that, time to look ahead to what would appear to be the last regular special offer of the year, before the start of the New Year (*cough* Christmas *cough*) extravaganza. For that reason this offer runs Friday to Sunday.

The chief feature of the offer are the Tier VII heavy tanks – the T29, Panzer VI Tiger, Tiger P, Black Prince, AMX M4 45, IS-2, IS, and KV-3. These worthies are available at a 30% discount and will have a 20% earnings bonus for the duration of the special. The Tier V American premium T14 is also available at a 50% discount.

The tricky decision when considering these is whether or not there will be a better discount on these tanks during the New Year offers. It is quite possible that there will be, but also quite possible there will not be. Personally I have been itching to get the T29, and will almost certainly do so this weekend (though I am unlikely to play it just yet). If one does opt to buy a tank now, and finds in the next few weeks there was a better deal, one just has to shrug the shoulders and be happy with the discount one did actually get.

There is also an associated mission with the offer – do 5k damage in a heavy tank (premium included apparently) and earn an extra 50k credits. Finally there is a 50% discount on crew training and re-training, and the first victory of the day for each vehicle will give a triple experience bonus.

So on the all this is a good offer with a clear, well-defined theme.

Wizard 101

My current spell in Wizard 101 has come to an end. I was part-way through the second Grizzleheim sequence when my time came to an end. All in all it was good fun to play in the Spiral for a bit, and I may very well return on and off.

World of Warplanes

Very sporadic playing, on the whole. I did manage to achieve my second Ace, which made me smile. I have also gotten a few games in on my second Tier II aircraft, the Demon. I have to say I prefer the Bulldog. I am now undecided whether to get the British Tier III fighter or a different Tier II, but I am leaning towards getting the Tier III.

World of Tanks

As ever at the moment, this is where the majority of my gaming time took place. The chief highlight of the week was getting my first Pool’s medal, swiftly following by my first Crucial Contribution medal. There have been other good games too though, and it would be wrong to over-focus on any one particular tank.

One particular task I have had this week is playing on the GW Panther, taking advantage of the Interactive Special. So far the crew on the GW Panther is now at 95%, and I hope to be able to boost them a bit more before the end of the weekend. I am enjoying it very much, even with the stock gun. I am also enjoying the Tier IV German artillery I picked up, the Pz Sfl IVb. That has a insanely large gun arc for a SPG, much wider than many TDs. Very much enjoying it, and thinking I may stick with it for a time too to train up another SPG crew if I choose to keep the GW Panther (which I am already thinking about doing). I am now about two-thirds of the way to the top gun.

As to my other projects, I am just over a quarter done with both the grind to the IS-4 and the IS-3, and I have now unlocked the T29. I am really looking forward to the T29, and am hoping it is on discount soon. I am also slowly grinding towards the Panther II, but I still have almost all of that ahead of me. On the Ferdinand I am two-thirds of the way to unlocking the top engine, or one-third to unlocking the top gun. At the moment I am very much intending to do the engine first, however.

On the lower tiers I moved on from the T40. I am sorry to see it go, but I just don’t have the space at the moment. I have also now played my first game in the B1. I can easily see that is going to be an experience in managed frustration.

This weekend I want to make an effort to try and earn a day or two of premium time, and then looking forward there are two Interactive specials running at the same time, on the new German TD line and the Russian arty line. Interestingly the KV-2 is included in the Russian arty line, so I will probably use that as an excuse to get a few more games in with the boom-tank. Also going to take advantage of the bonus in skilling up the crew in the Marder 38T. I hope to get the two 75% crew either up to 100% before I move onto Pz Sfl IVc. Finally I hope to start training up a crew on the Stug III, which I will aim to either put into the Jagdpanther II or Jagdtiger at some point in time.