We all know how fond SerB is of the “competition”, and how fond he can be of belittling the “other” tank game.
So curiosity got the better of me and I re-installed War Thunder today. The plane game is still superbly better than World of Warplanes will ever be (really, it is… you don’t fuck around with guys that have been doing flight sims for a long time). The ground forces on the other hand, admittedly is a mixed bag.
The Good

  • Same damage model as planes, that means that damage is accurately modeled (most of the time, see later on) and leads to a bit more immersion above WoT’s rather limited modeling. Damaged tracks for example leads to a direct loss of maneuverability and traction.
  • The graphics set to a little below medium detail level are stunning, and on my laptop (GT740M) runs at about 40fps. WoT can’t go past 25.
  • Mixed plane/tank battles. Need I say more?

The Bad

  • Most of the time you feel like you’re caught in Too Fast, Too Furious, Too Much Tokyo Drift – you can actually powerslide a tank…. I know, in real life you can do this too, but it happens way, way too easy.
  • Some of the damage models definitely need work, so does the terrain collision engine. I’ve broken my track, hurt my driver, killed my commander and generally left myself a broken heap on invisible bits of terrain way too often.
  • The progression between tiers/levels is a bit off. At the lowest tiers you’ll find trusty favorites like the T-28, BT-7, and T-50(!) – the next tier up you enter the range of the T-34, PzIV, and KV-1. The balance here is… odd, if you’re used to WG’s way of balancing. It could do with a bit more work, though.

The Ugly

  • It seems as if a single tree between you and your target causes the lead indicator (or rather the ‘real’ crosshair) to completely lose track of what it’s doing, and will insist you try to shoot down the moon.
  • It is too easy to rack up stupendous amounts of kills, due to what appears to be a lot of WoT players who treat the game like it’s WoT. Protip: having your ass hanging out behind a rock isn’t going to cause you lost HP here. If you’re lucky, it’ll cost you an engine. If you’re unlucky, it’ll cost you an engine plus an engine fire and the loss of your tank.

But wait, Uncle Scrambled! It sounds like you like WT better than WoT?!
Well, in a way I do. I find it to be more fun due to the realistic (ish…) damage modeling. If a T-34 takes a shot at my T-26 and hits me in the side of the turret, I expect copious amounts of injury, or flat out crew death. In a similar fashion if I stick a 45mm shell into a T-34′s engine bay, the least I’d expect is for it to stop moving. WT doesn’t disappoint in this regard.
Where WoT has the advantage over WT is a more varied vehicle selection, a lower barrier to entry (really, the number of people who fail to realise you want to move your tank forward a little bit before attempting turns…) and it’s game master/forum mod staff. Gaijin pretty much seems to have grabbed all WG mod rejects, and it shows on the forums and in-game. One wrong word and your ass is chatbanned.
So, my verdict?
World of Tanks: Fun for casual play, the occasional herpy derpy match, or just a relaxing game of internet tanks
War Thunder: Not so casual, you do need to be on the ball, all the time, every time to do well. Ragingly entertaining when you pull off a T-34 kill in a T-26. Not so entertaining when you get gangbanged by enemy air….
So I’ll just keep both of them around. Between WoT, WT, and EVE Onlne I pretty much satisfy all my gaming needs.