World of Tanks was recently recommended me by a friend. I had recently also been reading about it (on one of Mitch Williamson's sites, can't remember which), after hearing of it for a couple months (in a Renaissance tavern!). So, as I occasionally do when the gods of synchronicity roll a double, I went to have a look at this free-to-play online MMO. Not much luck.
The download of the client onto my machine required 1.8 Gb so it took a couple hours to get ready. Installation took awhile also. Right at the end of the process (just before it asked if I want a desktop icon) a windows message flashed up on screen telling me that the program's needs exceeded my system's capability and that the installation was thus aborted.
I'm not used to seeing messages like that, so went to the FAQ on the forums. System Requirements: 2 Gb RAM. Check my system specs: 1GB RAM. No dice. How sad. I haven't been so disappointed since I found out that Conan Online wanted my credit card number after downloading the 4Gb client ('play for free' promotion (for which I'd bought a magazine I normally wouldn't, all because I dig R.E.Howard))*.
At one level, WoT appears to be a pretty standard shootemup, (excepting the premise that you are a (upgradeable) tank amongst other tanks rather than a psychotic killer amongst other psychos). It operates the way a lot of games do these days, with a free player able to grind their way forward just at a slower rate to payers. You can join a platoon, even a clan. There are clan wars.
This is where it gets interesting, as there is another 'level' of game set on a provincialised map of europe, with warring clans struggling for world conquest by taking over one province at a time via a formalised 'tournament style' scheduling of battles. This in turn creates a long term persistent 'story arc', and opens up a whole 'Risk' style of strategic meaning to interclan battles, with a bunch of live players rather than lifeless drones as one's opponents in tactics as well as strategy. And that, to me, was and is interesting.
Alas, I'll just have to read/hear about it as I'm not planning to upgrade my RAM anytime soon.
* Over at the Blog that Time Forgot, Big Al is in Howard Country. He's made the trip to the grave. Reading that, I had to work in a Howard allusion somehow for the link! Also ... if I find the link for Mitch's article on WoT, I'll let you know.
8 hours ago