World of Tanks: my own team is hell

, | Game diaries

My new IS, a Tier 7 Soviet heavy tank, just got deployed to the southwest side of the Murovanka battle map. Murovanka is one of several maps ideally suited for defense. The northeastern deployment zone is dominated by a dense forest that provides fantastic camouflage for stationary tanks, while the southwestern zone boasts a somewhat covered ridge with a commanding view of the battlefield. Both areas also have several indestructible buildings that can shelter tanks from incoming fire.

While the countdown timer is ticking away, I advise my team not to attack the forest until the enemy herd has been somewhat thinned. Long and painful experience has conclusively demonstrated that an early attack into the teeth of their defense is certain to fail. Patience, however, is a winning strategy. Many players can’t stand to sit still for more than a few seconds, no matter how good their cover is or how much sense a defensive strategy makes. Perhaps it’s their FPS background, where “camping is for noobs” seems to be the eternal mantra, or maybe they’re just ritalin-popping adrenaline junkies. On Murovanka, the team with the largest number of impatient players is in serious trouble.

After the jump, my teammates get me killed

Sadly, this time it’s my side. After a predictable chorus of “camping is for noobs!”, four of my teammates head east and a little north at top speed. The moment the concealed woods defenders spot them, the intrepid attackers evaporate in flaming clouds of failure. Oh well, at least they proved to everyone that they weren’t noobs. Four more, somewhat smarter, leave our base to the north, hidden behind the ridgeline for most of their journey. Then, seeing no defenders, they rush the enemy base. Seconds later, their pretty green dots on the minimap wink out. With half my team destroyed within the first three minutes of the match, the painful outcome is never in doubt.

Poor tactics aren’t the only way your teammates can effectively join the enemy’s ranks. Friendly fire is just as lethal in World of Tanks as that of foe, and, on the whole, this feature adds a great deal of suspense and tactical planning to the game. Lines of fire that can hit the enemy but not your teammates are of enormous value, and timing your shots so that you don’t destroy nearby speedy allies adds significant challenge.

That is, it adds significant challenge if you care at all or are paying attention. Sometimes, your teammates do neither. The moment the match begins, many players exuberantly fire their guns a few times. I’m not sure why–ammo costs credits, and the only nearby tanks are allies. Once, on the Pagorki map, my SU 100’s left track was completely destroyed by such fire from a Sherman. Uncaring, he drove blithely away while I repaired the damage as best I could and then limped around for the rest of the battle.

More common are shots meant to hit an enemy but that plow into me instead. During a recent battle on the Prohorovka map, I was circle strafing a German Tiger tank in my IS. It was going well, too–my nimbler, faster vehicle definitely had the edge in this knife fight, and I anticipated his destruction in at most two more shots. Instead, it was my tank that went up in flames when an over-eager ISU 152 blasted my weak rear armor with a high explosive round. Had the Tiger and I both been stationary, he would have hit the Tiger, but he must not have noticed (or cared) that we were in frantic motion.

Sometimes they ignore my advice. Sometimes they destroy me. My own team is hell.

Next time: the world is hell
Click here for the previous World of Tanks entry.

Dave Markell’s probably been playing games longer than you’ve been alive. While his preferred genres are turn-based strategy and RPG’s, he’ll gladly demonstrate his incompetence at anything.