Saturday, June 15, 2013

World of Tanks: Where to shoot

Now this is pretty standard but a lot of people tend to have issues with damaging tanks. Now a lot of times if you're using a low pen gun or firing against a higher tier vehicle there isn't too much you can do even with gold rounds. However there are the general locations to shoot. For constancy sake I refer to angles based on if the protractor below was laid against the hull of a tank so a 90 degree angle would be a straight on hit.

Generally you'll want to shoot at things that have a green penetration notice (center of cross-hair changes colors). If you are loading HE you might be able to still deal damage even if it is red, however the amount of damage you'll do will really drop if you hit a red patch compared to a green patch at the same angle.
  1. Top/Bottom of the chassis
  2. Rear of the chassis
  3. Sides of the chassis
  4. Lower Glacis (the bottom part of a tanks front)
  5. Commander Hatches (Those things on the tops of turrets where a tank crew can poke their heads out of) 
  6. Driver port / machine gun port in the chassis
Now you'll notice a lot of times you'll hit something that shows green (penetrable) however you'll bounce or fail to penetrate the armor. This is because armor becomes more effective when it is angled. Armor at a 60 degree angle has about double the effectiveness so 100mm becomes around 200mm. There is also spaced armor that will cut down your rounds penetration effectiveness by a lot because of how shells work in the dead space.

Now for this area I'll go into a few different tanks on specific spots and the kind of gun needed to deal damage. This is based on shooting the tanks front which is generally what direction they'll be pointing towards you.
  • Super Pershing (the hatch under the two barrels on the top of the turret)(top half of the hull with gold IS-3) 
  • KV-5 (the R2D2 which is the larger cylinder that is poking out of the chassis)
  • Maus / E-100 (Gold rounds to the turret's from when they are looking directly at you with an IS-3+)(Lower glacies, the maus is harder because it is very small between the track's space armor)
  • T-95 (Pretty dangerous, only those hatches at the top are reliable since the tracks can cover up a lot of that lower plate)
  • IS-6 (For anything as weak as an IS-6's pen, shoot the top of the turret, the chance of bouncing on the chassis is too high)
  • IS-3 (The very top of the turret there is a bolted on plate between the hatches and the gun which is extremely weak)
  • T28 Prot (Gold rounds in the IS-6 can penetrate the center of the chassis where the clan tag is

And finally some spots to not shoot or be careful of shooting
  • The T69 has a very bouncy turret if you use a low pen gun
  • Anything sitting on the sides of tanks like gas tanks or the two things poking out of a T29's turret has no damage boxes so you'll be just shooting dead air.

Friday, June 14, 2013

World of Tanks: Getting started on World of Tanks

Welcome tankers to the wonderful world of tanks! Most of you are probably new to the game, while some of you are extremely new. Through my experiences in battle I've learned a lot of things about tanks and tanking that a lot of newer players should know.

Go for a KV-1 with the 85-mm
My first advice is to go for the KV-1, it is only around 20,000 exp to get from tier 1 and with an average of about 500 experience a battle you'll get it researched in around 40 games. The reason why is that it is arguably one of the very best tanks at tier 5 and you'll be able to learn a lot of key things in this tank. The first being how to angle your armor to minimize damage taken along with how to brawl. You'll see where the heavies normally go every time in maps, join them and play along with the others, and if you aren't in the top tier then hang back behind them and wait / move around to get damaging shots.

Also this is a good time to talk about equipment and consumables on your tanks. Get yourself Ventilation (+5% to crew effectiveness), Rammer (+10% to reload), Toolbox (+25% repair). This is so your can shoot faster and when you get tracked you can repair it faster and get back into the battle. For consumables ALWAYS First aid kit (4,4 to heal driver), repair kit (5,5 to repair tracks), fire extinguisher (reassign to the space bar or an unused mouse button). 3,000 credits might look like a lot but the amount of experience and credits you could get that match can pay for it so many times over.
Your crews are very important, never run a tank above tier 3 with a crew below 75%. That 20,000 credits per crew member means so much I can't describe how useful that 25% training is, that 23,000 experience needed to get from 50% to 75% means your crew could have been 86%. That little bit faster reload rate, turn speed, acceleration, accuracy, etc means the difference from having an average game to a good or great game. Imagine all of the scenarios where if that one shot hit or you reloaded half a second faster and killed that guy capping / killing you.

Also when you get 100% on a crew go for Brothers in Arms on every single crew member (it only works if all crew members has Brothers in Arms trained to 100%) or go for all camouflage (scouts / tank destroyers). For your second skill if you don't have Brothers in arms already I suggest all repair. The number of times I've had to waste a repair kit on my tracks so I wouldn't be instantly killed by half the enemy team and the number of times I've lost a brawl because I couldn't turn my turret fast enough when tracked is too numerous to count in those 9,000+ battles. Also don't sell any crew that is above 75%, just move them to the next tank or keep them in the barracks for another tank.

Now it doesn't matter so much in lower tiers but once you get to around tier 4 where armor values start to matter your general ammo layout should be 50~90% AP, 10~50% Gold, 0~0.5% HE rounds. Tanks with HE rounds as their primary (artillery and derps) are special cases and can be covered later, just remember that.
  • AP rounds are your bread and butter, aim for weak spots sides, ass, lower plate on chassis, driver and machine gun ports, and hatches on the top of the turret. Also if you get a good shot at the roof of the tank chassis that is generally has a very low armor value.
  • Gold (HEAT / APCR) always buy for credits and live within your means, these are just for those tanks you can't damage with regular AP in your current situation or for those tanks that need to die and you can't risk non-damaging shots.
  • HE reserve it for those shots where you need to reset the cap by shooting someone where it can splash their tracks.

 Those invisible tanks
So because of the spotting and camouflage mechanics you'll encounter situations where you can't see the tanks that shoot you. This is either because their really camo'ed up or so far away you can't spot them. If you can't spot them and they are shooting you, just pull back behind some cover and reposition. And remember that you have to be behind bushes for them to really take effect, not inside. Also all bushes in 15 meters (when they go from see through to not see through) will stop providing you camo bonus when you fire.

Join a Clan
One of the best things you can do is join a clan, that way you'll have people to platoon with and learn with like -JLA-. World of tanks is a team game, so get some friends and platoon or tank company with them. So many of the people who has joined my clan has told me how much better their win rate and efficiency (a generic metric that says about how well a player is) because of the tips they've learned by playing with and learning from each other.

Always Strive for Better
Besides setting goals like get X tank you should set more interesting goals for yourself that don't require just sitting at spawn in every battle without firing a shot. Generally I shoot for damage and experience. Currently my average damage per battle in tier 8 is around 2,000 so my goal is about 3,000 for me to call it a great game. Another good metric to go by is average experience (my current is around 700 but I've been shooting for about 1,000+ every game).

Generally try to do your health worth in damage every game, so if you have 1,500 health and you do about 300 damage a shot try to get a minimum of 5 damaging shots in every battle (not including kill shots where the tank only had 50ish health). If you do that, you'll find yourself in the top half of your teams score almost every game.

Going down the lines
So after you've played enough battles in your KV-1 to get some experience under your belt and you've read guides, wiki, forum, and stuff to learn about spotting, camo, angling, etc where should you go from here unless you want to only play a KV-1 for the rest of your tanking career. My advice is to play different tank lines like a tank destroyer, artillery, medium, and light and see what kind of play style you like most. I do say focus on only three separate lines of tanks at a time. Generally I'd say something like two heavies and one medium line (IS-3, T110E5, T-62A or M48 Patton) but it really depends on you after you get a grip of how the game plays. Just don't try to grind 5+ tank lines at once, you'll always be strapped for credits due to all the tanks you'll be buying

Using Gold
So lets say you get your hands on some gold from maybe a promotion, an event, or you just bought a few dollars worth of it. If it is your first gold I suggest getting about 2~10 tank slots (so you can have more tanks to play with and you don't have to give up tanks you love to continue grinding). I also suggest getting some premium days whenever they go on sale or a premium tank like an IS-6 or T-127. It really depends on you but never use gold for anything but tank slots, convertible exp, or premium days.