In real life, I was a US Army Armor Officer for 11 years, and a M1A2SEPV2 Company Commander for two of those years. After getting frustrated with mundane FPS titles, I finally gave World of Tanks a try last month. I love tanks and video games, so why not? I am brand new to WoT. Currently, I have 541 games and a ~45% win rate. I am very obviously still learning and grinding.
That being said, there is a problem for new players on the North American server. Quite frankly, the players with years in the game don’t want new players. A great number of them feel the need to message you after a match and give their unsolicited After Action Review on your performance. They are gatekeepers, defending their sandbox with their code of unwritten rules.
I am currently grinding the IS, which bone-stock with an untrained crew is borderline useless in straight Tier VII matches, and frankly embarrassing in Tier IX, Tier VIII, Tier VII matches. So I grind. And I lose. A lot. The 85 mm cannon just doesn’t have the penetration to compete. After a particularly bad match, in which I did no damage, an experienced player named after an infamous Nazi general proceeded to lecture me that I didn’t put in the time to play in Tier VII. I let the other 14 members of the team down because their lives depended on my performance (which I couldn’t help but laugh at). I shouldn’t leave Tier V until I have thousands of battles completed, and players like myself are ruining the game.
I don’t mind constructive criticism or even coaching. But this game will die in North America if “veteran” players actively discourage new participation, or take it upon themselves to play gatekeeper on tiers. Since picking up this game, I’ve read this subreddit, articles and forums to learn the mechanics. I am actively trying to learn. Yet no amount of reading will turn a bone stock Tier VII Heavy into a Tier IX slaying god. At the end of the day, penetration, view range and concealment reign supreme, and that takes time and grind to equip. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.