Play to win
I love World of Tanks. Few games have gotten me hooked in my lifetime, and Word of Tanks deserves a spot in that sacred list.
It started with MLB ‘06 The Show on the Playstation 2. But console games do not count.
It started with strategy. Civilization IV started my love of games, as I simply fell for the addictive turn-based action that required both thought and care to get right. I was shit at the game, but I was in love with it.
In retrospect, Civ IV has many issues and was indeed one of the easiest games ever, but that does not stop it from being one of my all-time favorite games and a damn good game in general.
I then went on to the Total War games. Realtime strategy was a genre that appealed to me, a more action packed version of Civ with realistic models, intense battles with incredible numbers of troops on the virtual battlefield appealed to my younger self in ways no other game could. Rome Total War hooked me unlike many other previous games– despite this however, Civ IV remained the only game I came back to time and time again.
Then Civ V came out. I played the demo over and over again in the months after its release, and once the game went on sale, I grabbed a copy (on disc) at Target. This game, to this day, remains my favorite “realistic” graphics (ie Non-voxel) game. Civilization V is a brilliant mix of causal and hardcore gaming in one beautiful cohesive package. I sunk hundreds of hours into that game.
Then came Minecraft. I fell in love with that game, and it is by far my favorite game ever, despite the Civ series resonating with me on a personal level. I easily doubled the number of hours I played on Civ with Minecraft, to the major dismay of my parents mostly through increasing my “screen time”. Minecraft hooked me like no other game, and indeed I did play no other game for over two years after I got it. Minecraft prompted me to get a graphics card, a new computer, get into programming, get involved in modding, pixel art, and many more things. Minecraft was a platform from which I launched into other platforms and communities. I became a hardcore PC user, consumer of Youtube video, and everything else related.
This led me to my interest in programming and design.
Then came World of Tanks. The game had been something under my radar for years. I knew it was one of those massive multiplayer games, a free-to-play game with a large community. Then I watched a youtube video.
The Mighty Jingles led me to the World of Tanks (hehe) in a profound way. When school and rowing were ramping up, there was much appeal to a game, with beautiful graphics (for a game that I initially believed to look like dogshit from random hearings and sightings), fun and easy mechanics, a thriving (assholic) community and….
Here it gets interesting.
I got into World of Tanks because it was both free and had short matches. Short matches appealed to me, as I could do a page of homework, a battle, rinse and repeat. This was awesome and led me on a nearly 8 month hiatus from Minecraft and Civ– something that no other game could do.
But it is the fact that it was free that really got me into it. Being underage means that paying for things online is difficult and requires parents, so any game with zero barrier to entry appealed to me greatly. Being free got me to play it.
Being fun got me to continue.
You see, at its core, F2P games work when they are good games. If they aren’t good, they fail. Because they are free, people can change games like they change clothing- painlessly. This means that only the best survive.
World of Tanks may be flawed, but by no means is it a bad game. It is accessible.