Good grief is this game addicting. I'm not sure what it is, but a game where tank and artillery shells come whizzing past your turret or explode with enough volume to make your speakers crackle amidst a shower of shrapnel and flame is something that never really gets old. Or maybe I answered my question right there.
Anyway World of Tanks is perhaps the best tank game ever made. I'm actually glad that this MMO doesn't have a timer on it, because I can only imagine how many hours I've wasted playing it. I've focused the majority of my efforts on the German line, cuz the Germans really know how to build good guns. Early on in the game I became frustrated with not being able to penetrate enemies from the front, cuz some boast some excellent armor. I decided I wanted to go down the tech trees that had the best penetrating guns, and those are most often ze German gunz! Although if you hide low enough, you'll be safe from them, because these tanks don't have jack for gun depression.
Lately I've made some major headway in unlocking some REAL high tier warmachines such as the armored monster, the E-75 German heavy tank and the E-50 medium tank. The latter has all the attributes I love in a medium tank: Fast, maneuverable, decent armor, high penetrating gun and enough moxie to go head to head with quite a few other armored vehicles. Soon I'll have access to the deadly E-100 which is a solid block of angled steel that happens to house a gun and crew, and the E-50M, which has a laser-accurate gun that can penetrate mountains as well as outrun most other tanks.
The downside at playing at these high tiers is that you're facing other guys with high tier tanks. Some of those American heavies are just plain unfair to shoot at, especially when they will deflect even meteors if you hit them at the wrong angle, which is all of the time. Word of advice high-tier players: Look up weak points! Even with really high-penetrating guns you'll need to know where to hit them to make it actually hurt.
The Japanese heavies are actually pretty fun too. Well, the medium tier ones anyway. I'm extremely amused by them, since they look uncannily like tanks I drew fighting kaiju back in school when I was supposed to be paying attention to whatever the teachers were blathering on about at the time. No specialized angles or sloping here! Nope! Just slap on another five inches of flat steel plate and these things are good to go. They are basically houses disguised as vehicles. So if you like the idea of driving a mountain with a gun on it, then the Japanese heavy line is the one for you! Be careful about tier 4 tanks though. Tier 4 tends to be the dumping ground for piece of crap tanks. After that they get good, but it feels like the game is saying "Yeah, you can play the good tanks, but you've gotta earn it first."
I love playing artillery. Being a Finger of God can earn the ire of enemy players like nothing else. I think they're actually one of the hardest vehicle types to play just because you have to be so patient and you deal with the least accurate guns in the game. Even with the most accurate guns, German guns again of course, you can end up missing what look like sure shots. I always enjoy scoring a kill and having enemy guys swearing at me with religions I never heard of. I've actually never been mad at dying from artillery because every time I knew it was my fault for getting caught out in the open. But the loathing held for these things is pretty awe inspiring. Once I got killed by an American M37 and complimented the guy on making the difficult shot, telling him it was a tank that took skill to use. His own team mates began yelling at me for being a good sport!
I also wouldn't qualify this as a "Free to play, Pay to win" game. You can get almost any vehicle in this game as long as you have patience and time. But what you can pay for really makes a difference. See, I'm an extremely cheap gamer. I will wait years for the price on a game to go down. I can outlast them. I can use that extra ten dollars for something else now! So in free to play games I'll almost always suck it up and grind whatever I have to in order to avoid spending money. But after blowing perhaps a thousand hours on this game I realized something. This was so much fun, offered so much entertainment and was overall just so good, that these guys deserved my money. If you're spending more time on a game than you are with family and having even more fun because of it, then it's something worthy of your monetary investment.
I like how just because you pay money though it doesn't give you an unfair advantage. It doesn't mean you don't have to grind or are given overpowered equipment. You still have to play, play with skill and earn your way up to get the good tanks. This just happens to ease the burden.
Well, back to the old grindstone! As one of my favorite authors once said: Keeping your nose to the grindstone with either produce a very callused nose or a bloody grindstone. Words of inspiration to be sure.