So the WZ-111 experience has given rise to some deeply philosophical considerations. Like “what is time worth”.
The WZ-111 came with nine equipment slots opened, that is one of the reasons it was so expensive. Wargaming say those nine slots are worth 5100 gold, it’s in the blurb. I say they are not; I say they are worth around two million credits.
So what is that worth? Well, I have two million already so they’re free, but using them would mean depleting my resources. Letting a tank grind its own equipment is of course an option, and it could be done in a matter of hours, but that would also mean driving a tank that isn’t all it can be during those hours.
In other words, I am not only paying for novelty, I am also paying for convenience. Not going to make a recommendation about that either way, I am merely noting that is what is going on here. You all know I think life is too short to drive boring tanks, but I also happen to think wasting money is unnecessary.
Increasingly, these are the types of questions I encounter when faced with the proposition of a new tank.
Will it want to form a meaningful long term relationship?
What is the true cost of it, all things considered?
And if it fell off a bridge on Canals, but wasn’t spotted at the time; would anyone hear it?
Basically, most of these rather more philosophical than utilitarian or functional considerations revolve around justification. Because philosophical justification is different from your standard teleological one. “Telos” means having to do with purpose, so that means the justification has to do with filling some form of need or function:
I buy a tier VIII Heavy tank because I want to grind credits.
Compared to this very concrete statement, philosophical justification may seem decidedly less substantial; irrational even:
I buy a tier VIII Heavy tank because I am a gold noob.
Even if people will accept this justification at face value on account of its inner logic (naturally gold noobs will buy premium tanks; that’s self evident), it’s going to be a hard sell, since it all depends on your being a gold noob or not in the first place. Sensible people will reject gold noob logic because it is self evident; it has no justification outside of itself. What that means is just that there is no actual reason behind being a gold noob.
Over time however, philosophical considerations tend to become more important. If you have hundreds of millions of credits, credit grinding loses its meaning. It no longer works as a justification. Collecting tanks or chasing stats are limited in the same fashion; they are both finite projects with concrete goals.
I allude to this all the time. Talking about my “project tanks” and “promises for the future”. They are important to me, and the reason is very, very simple:
If I didn’t have any projects, and the future held no promises; why would I continue to drive tanks in the first place?
It’s not an unreasonable question. I’m sure you’ve asked it yourself numerous times out of frustration. And finding reasons to quit are always easier than finding reasons to keep on going.
I think about that a lot. I could name any number of things that I think are wrong about contemporary pixel tank warfare, but they wouldn’t change the fact I basically still think Blitz is a really good game, and I have no intention of giving it up any time soon. I know that, because I’ve made a conscious decision about it. It’s not something I take for granted or don’t think about at all.
This decision requires the change of perspective from instant gratification to long term enjoyment, but it also makes that change possible. Your projects will go from climbing tiers, grinding tanks and polishing stats to learning specific tanks and playstyles, to gathering your perfect garage, to… well what, exactly? I usually just say “to git gud”, but since I don’t care about my stats, how would anyone, including myself, know?
There is no end point. Pixel tank war is eternal. There is no future; there is only now, seven minutes, and thirteen people out to ruin your day. (Yes, from that follows: unless you are driving tanks, you don’t fully exist. I am of course joking.)
Right now, I feel fully justified. I put like 100 games on my Chinese monster already, and I just want to drive it more. Also, I am super happy I never drove Russian Heavys, bought the IS-5, or grinded out the Glacial, because the more I had driven them, the more that would have detracted from this experience. Yea, people, pike nose Heavy tanks are still relatively new to me.
The armour works, it really does. In tier VIII games, you can pretty much bully anyone you come across into the ground unless there are too many of them at once. Some tier IX tanks as well. Flat sides are easy to angle, and once you learn to trust the curious mosaic pike nose armour, you will see how strong it is. The flat sides are easy to angle, and the turret front is massive. We are talking something like 550 mm effective, spaced armour.
I thought the thing was going to be much slower and much more sluggish, but it really has all the mobility it needs. If this thing did 50 and had 5 or 10 more degrees of hull traverse, it would be monstrously overpowered, even with the hours and hours of aimtime on the derpy old field gun it has.
Yes, it’s the famous D-25, TA model. This one isn’t the top of the line, because it’s not Russian but Chinese, but it is the second best after the Russian premiums. Numbers don’t matter, however; the weapon is obviously suited to close encounters, and you have both the armour and the mobility to back it up. It’s derpy, sure. Needs a steady hand, no problem. It’s a workhorse.
If this had been a few years ago, and some dam gold noob had plowed right into my elitist Medium tank in one of these things, I would have hated it immensely. The WZ-111 murders Light and Medium tanks. It’s fast enough to keep up with most Mediums, and once you’re out on the flank, not only will you face close encounters, you will also be facing tanks that absolutely don’t want to have to deal with you.
Unless, you know, there are two of them and they take turns breaking your tracks.
I feel like it’s strong, yeah. In some situations, it can be immensely strong. But I also still don’t feel like it has training wheels. I bounce a lot more shells off stupid noob proof IS clones than I get bounces from them. I get swarmed and taken down all the time. People hit my drive wheel or lower plate and go through. I turn the turret and get smacked in the back of it. It all happens.
But when it comes down to it, actual performance didn’t have a lot to do with my purchasing the WZ-111.
Which brings us back to the actual justification. What does it look like, in hindsight?
Well, I can hardly claim to be governed by any kind of telos. It’s all the other kind of justification.
The tank is gone from the store. You can’t get one. As far as I’m aware, it’s not on any of our press accounts. But I have it, and so I paid for exclusivity. It’s also new and unproven. No one really knows what it can do, or how it will fare in the current meta. So I paid for novelty.
Furthermore, Chinese tanks, although you wouldn’t think so, occupy their own little niche in the game, by virtue of not really being anything special. You have heard me argue this point before; it is actually a pretty rare thing in the game, a tank being just a tank and nothing else.
The WZ-111 certainly has no bells and whistles except for APCR standard (…which has the same shell speed as regular Soviet AP shells), so in a roundabout way, I paid for quirkiness.
I could go on like this. The WZ-111 used to have a bad reputation on PC before it got buffed, but you still don’t hear a lot about them, and there aren’t a lot of guides and things like that out there. The same is true for a lot of Chinese tanks.
So I am now a WZ-111 driver. A China tank connoisseur. I don’t drive any old IS clone premium, me; I drive the Chinese IS clone premium. The new Chinese clone premium. So this is where I start paying for identity; and you all know what kind of identity we are talking about here?
Yes, that’s right:
An elitist gold noob tank philosopher. Which, you know; I already was to begin with.
I am not sure how I got from “what is time worth” to the above conclusion, but there you go.
Time will tell of the WZ-111 is the right tank for me, or just the “right now” tank like I suspected it might be. Either way, Capitalism is still working as intended, it seems. I pay money to become what I am already.
See you out there. I’ll be the moron in the overpriced knock off tank: