Updated Tue, Mar 22, 2011 by Stow
Those of us that are familiar with MMOs are no stranger to staring at items and comparing them to what we’ve already got. In World of Tanks, you don’t have to deal with a million drops for weapons, but a few of them. But to be honest, choosing between these weapons may be harder than any epics you’ve compared in years! The statistics don’t always tell the whole story when you look at a tank though, so before you research, you need to know what you’re getting into before you sink your hard earned R&D XP. Not every tank is as strong (or weak!) as it seems.
Okay, perhaps this is the only statistic that is pretty cut and dry. Hit Points determines the overall defensive strength of your tank when it comes to penetrating rounds and splash damage from explosive rounds and artillery. In a game where it’s possible to strike without being seen or shot back, Hit Points should not be a factor when choosing to purchase or not purchase a tank—unless it’s a Maus, which has an extra 1000 HP over the other Tier 10 tanks.
This stat has little to do with the combat itself, but it determines what you bring into combat. Often times, a tank will require you to upgrade various parts of it in order to use the bigger guns, and that will require an upgrade to your load capacity probably.
Just remember the upgraded tracks may turn slower, which is critical against some speed demons or playing as some Tank Destroyers or Heavy Tanks that have a poor ability to change the angle of their shot as is.
Your horsepower is determined by your engine, but it does NOT affect your top speed. Rather, it affects the acceleration to that top speed, and your ability to navigate hills and unfriendly terrain. It’s critical to have the best engine you can afford in each tank, because battles are won and lost with mobility in the lower tiers, and being able to navigate treacherous terrain faster in a high tier Heavy or Medium is important to getting the map control advantage at the start of a round.
Traverse Speed and Turret Traverse Speed
One of the most overlooked traits is Traverse Speed. This refers to your ability to turn the tracks of your vehicle. This affects your ability to attack flankers in a battle, to drive full tilt through narrow cities, and to keep the front of your tank facing your opponent as they try to circle you. Once again, this is determined by your tracks, and you shouldn’t expect it to vary too much with new tracks. What you see on the summary screen is about how you’ll end up.
Turret Traverse Speed is exactly the same thing but for your gun, and a critical stat for mobile battles. Remember that you can combine your tank rotation with your Turret rotation in order to get a shot off on someone that you can’t catch normally. This might not be possible in rough terrain or in cover though, so keep an eye on your surroundings and don’t get outmaneuvered!
Hull and Turret Armor
Listed as Front/Sides/Rear, this is an important ratio that will always end up in the front being the strongest, but the weakness of the sides and rear can vary greatly. Take for instance, most high tier USA Heavies. They have the hull armor of a medium tank, but outstanding turret armor. German Tanks have fantastic frontal armor, but lackluster sides and rear and are vulnerable to flanking. Russian Tanks have more balance, but are slightly weaker on the whole and more vulnerable to a slugfest. Of course, these are generalizations and there are exceptions out there. It’s more important to know these values for your enemy than yourself though. Sometimes you don’t want to shoot for the turret or tracks!
Standard Shell Damage, Penetration, and Rate of Fire
Perhaps the most foolish mistake of all is to assume the listed damage potential of a new tank is all its capable of. The reality is that those numbers are of the gun it comes preloaded with, and does not take into account the other guns that may be available for purchase. A lot of the medium tanks have options for rapid fire, mobile warfare, or long-barreled high-damage death cannons for slow sniping combat. Take a look at the tech tree for each tank before you make your purchase. It may not have a gun for your play style, or may actually have much more potential for damage than you realize!
Sight and Signal Range
One of these is obvious, and the other much less so. Sight Range is determined by your Turret, and is a basic metric for your ability to spot enemies in the field with your eyes. You’d think that light tanks would excel at this, but It generally only increases with each tier, and there are a plethora of accessories for increasing it should you need more.
Signal Range is a much more cryptic stat, and is up for argument as to what it actually does. Technically it affects your communication to allies, and your ability to daisy chain information from the front lines to the rear artillery and destroyers. So it’s no use charging forward if no one is in range for you to call out enemy positions to!
They say that knowledge is power, and that saying definitely holds true here. You don’t want to end up with a tank that underperforms for its tier for your style of play. At the same time, multiple tanks start off with lackluster basic equipment but can devastate opponents with a few upgrades that aren’t listed when you look at the basic tank. Knowing this, we hope that you make less mistakes than we did purchasing vehicles early on in World of Tanks!