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A personal venture - gold-ammo abstinence

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ExclamationMark #1 Posted 28 June 2019 - 11:08 PM

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Hello all,

 

This is going to be a long post - there is a TL;DR at the bottom.

 


 

I want to preface this with some backstory.

 

     A few months ago, before Christmas of 2018, I was yet again beginning to become bored and frustrated with playing World of Tanks. I had tried to quit this game countless times, each time coming back with a fresh mind and able to enjoy the game again. However, I wanted to try something different. As, realistically, I knew I'd return to this game again.

I reflected on how I played this game, habits I've developed, as well as certain tanks I don't play, etc.

     The only tanks I didn't really play much were arty. Aside from the US line, there were no lines I'd committed to. Problem is, I've played all of the higher tier arty on the CT, but never enjoyed playing any of them.

In regards to game habits, I thought about it, and there was really only one which I could change - gold spamming.

I had been a prolific gold spammer for a lonnggg time, ever since my stats entered blue territory (which is roughly three years ago).

 

So after thinking about it for some time, I decided I would commit to a "no gold yet full gold" marathon - meaning I would only play premium tanks, but not use any gold ammo. My goal was 150 million credits.

 


 

Timeline

 

Officially started @ 02/10/18 with 1.3m credits

 

Screenshot from ~ 04/02/18 (didn't take one at the exact beginning, sadly)

 

    credits @ 15/10/18

    15.7 million

 

    credits @ 19/10/18
    27.3 million

 

    credits @ 27/10/18
    43 million

 

    credits @ 03/11/18
    60.5 million

 

    credits @ 11/11/18
    74.9 million

 

    credits @ 18/11/18
    88.1 million

 

    (prolonged & unplanned break)

 

    credits @ 23/05/19
    91.1 million

 

    credits @ 08/06/19
    100 million

 

    credits @ 18/06/19
    110.6 million

 

Officially ended @ 28/06/19 with 140m credits

 

Screenshot taken today, at the finish

 


 

My thoughts and conclusions from playing without gold

 

I'm going to try and break this down into a few points, as there's a lot I want to go over.

Also, most of this I either knew beforehand, or have assumed without actually proving to myself.

 

1 - ARMOUR and WEAKSPOT KNOWLEDGE

 

     Playing without gold ammo (no, I'm not going to refer to it as "special ammo") has given me a newfound appreciation for how aggravating it can be to play against tanks which either have no weakspots, or are just too heavily armoured. Does weakspot knowledge actually help you, as a player? Yes, I believe it definitely does. For example, there have been many tanks that I've played against that I couldn't pen without going for weakspots. I think the most prominent example of this, in my experience, would be the infamous Defender / Obj. 252u, as it's unfortunately quite common to come across.

 

     It has stupidly good armour for a T8 tank, moreover a T8 tank with its level of mobility. Buuttt, it does have a weakspot. And, thankfully (as is not the case with all tanks), it's an actual weakspot. Even if I had came across it in a T6 tank (of which I played barely any), I could still pen its cupolas if I managed to hit them. With other tanks, such as the VK.100.01P, you're just better off to go somewhere else unless you're driving a tank with at least 230mm pen. The cupola on that tank, which is supposed to be a weakspot, is frontally 220mm effective without angling. This means the most common pen tanks at T8, 212mm or below, do not even have a 50% chance to pen it. Which, I get it, is basically the point... It's supposed to be a superheavy. It's just very frustrating to play against tanks that you have no hope against without gold.

     But hilariously, the tanks which I found the most annoying to deal with were the recently superbuffed tanks preceding the Obj. V4, namely the SU100M1 and SU101. These tanks are just dumb and an absolute nightmare to deal with frontally, if you're forced to. You need at least 200mm or more to go through them frontally, and they're damn fast TDs as well. Running from them is not always that easy.

 

     Anyway, I didn't want to go into detail about certain tanks, but I had to give some examples. The point is, weakspot knowledge is certainly still a thing, even though it's becoming less and less important due to the introduction of tanks either which either do not have weakspots, or weakspots that are not true weakspots (i.e. the VK.100.01P's cupola, SU101's LFP etc). Unfortunately, WoT is just going in the direction of a superheavy armour meta, or a meta where tanks are impervious to standard ammo.

 


 

2 - MOBILITY is KING

 

     What is the best counter to heavy armour? High penetration? Sure... But that almost always comes at a cost, whether it is literal cost (gold ammo), bad mobility (poor or no flanking), bad survivability (Grille 15 line for example), or a combination of these factors.

     Alright, so then what's the next best counter? Mobility. Even though WoT has, over the past many years, turned into a corridor-centric game, where maps provide little flanking opportunity, however on most maps there is one way or another to take advantage of mobility to find a better engagement.

 

Ensk - has an "open" side. Even though, looking at it objectively, there's not really any openness to it, tanks with poor armour tend to go there.

Himmelsdorf - tanks with poorer armour usually tend to go on the hill, or to the rails.

Minsk - badly or less armoured tanks generally go to the West town.

 

     The point here is, on almost every map in WoT, there is a location or area where tanks with poor armour tend to migrate towards. If you are not willing to use gold ammo, it is up to you to find said locations and go there. Okay, so what happens if you do go there, and eventually a heavily armoured tank shows up (or one is there already...)? Well, assuming you have mobility, you find somewhere else where there is an effective engagement waiting for you. And aside from that, mobility is just simply a nice thing to have. It can provide you not only with early game damage, but more importantly endgame damage and kills. The amount of damage and kills you can get endgame with good mobility means a hell of a lot. Not just if you care about tank DPGs, but about credits and experience as well.

 


 

3 - AMMO TYPES and GAME KNOWLEDGE

 

     Even though APCR and HEAT both have their advantages, AP is the best ammo type in the game. It has the best of both worlds. Good penetration and good shell velocity. Aside from those, AP also has access to overmatching mechanics (only other shell type to get this is APCR). Now, there are few situations where overmatching can come into play and benefit you, but they exist, and having knowledge of them could be the difference between being able to pen with standard ammo and not. Just to name a few examples; IS3 and Tiger II turret-roof armour, Swedish TDs, tanks with very bad side armour that attempt to sidescrape or bait out shots (Pz.58, Emil 1, AMX 50 100 etc).

 

However, I am not denying that, in general, premium ammo is a superior choice. It's obviously supposed to be. WG wants you to fire it, why would they make it bad? 

HEAT is better to counter heavily armoured tanks, and in the current meta is better for sniping (was not the case in the past).

APCR is more comfortable to use due to the increased shell velocity (the increased pen is just an added bonus), which makes leading targets far easier.

 


 

4 - PROFITABILITY

 

     Obviously the biggest bonus to using standard ammo is profitability, and in general, the only downsides to using gold ammo is increased shell cost. The difference between firing gold, and not, is actually pretty damn significant. Gold shells are bloody expensive. Usually upwards of 4k a pop, when a lot of standard rounds at T8 are sub 1k. Do the maths - the difference is clear in that alone.

I will use my three most played tanks from throughout this marathon as a very basic example. Target is 4k damage and lets say 25% of standard rounds are non-pens.

 

T26E5 Patriot

                                      21 x 255 = 5.5k credits

               (15 x 255) + (5 x 4400) = 26k credits

Added profit using only standard = 20.5k credits

 

Skorpion G

                                      10 x 1070 = 10.5k credits

                (4x 1070) + (5 x 4800) = 28k credits

Added profit using only standard = 17.5k credits

 

Type 59

                                      20 x 252 = 5k credits

               (14 x 252) + (5 x 4400) = 25.5k credits

Added profit using only standard = 20.5k credits

 

Keep in mind, this is only assuming 5 gold shells were fired. This is probably a bit optimistic for the majority of players, and certainly wouldn't have been the case for me previously.

 


 

5 - STATS; WINRATE, DPG & WN8

 

     Okay, this part was actually pretty surprising. I was expecting the difference in DPG (damage per game) to be bigger than the difference in winrate. However, it was the other way around. My average DPG in whichever tank I played did drop, but my winrates were noticeably worse - 6% in fact (yes, six percent). As the site I used to use (wotzilla) to look at stats is dead, I've combined the next best two (play4stats and noobmeter) and taken an average, as I do not trust either of them completely to display it correctly. Also, it's very hard to get an accurate picture here since I couldn't find any way to track from the exact beginning.

 

Stats throughout marathon duration

 

Winrate: 60.65% (65.69%)

     DPG: 2037 (2460)

     WN8: 4270 (4342)

      Tier: 7.48 (7.94)

 

I estimate that I've played ~900 randoms since starting (02/10/18). The numbers in brackets are my current overall averages.

Also, not sure how to get my DPG adjusted. But at a guess;

 

DPG (at tier 8without using gold: ~2250

   DPG (at tier 8when using gold: ~2500

 

These are estimates! But by the looks of it, not firing gold caused me to do an average of one less damaging shot per game.

Also, please note, these would not be representative of my stats if I never used gold ammo, but they are representative of my stats in premium tanks when not using gold. I'm not quite sure I want to do another no gold experiment, one which would show my averages across the board not using gold, not just in premium tanks. Perhaps in the future...

 


 

6 - OVERALL CONCLUSION(s)

 

Before jumping straight into my final thoughts, just need to remind everyone that these are my opinions, whether or not this marathon experience changed my mind.

Also, again, please note I was limited to only playing premium tanks. This means tier 8 and below, so I rarely had to deal with tier 10 tanks... Fortunately.

 

Does using gold ammo make you a better player?

Hell no.

Pressing 2-2 does not compensate for lack of game knowledge, skill, experience, etc.

Does using gold ammo give you an advantage, however small it may be, in certain or many situations?

Undeniably.

If you think otherwise, sorry, but you are being delusional.

Do you need to use gold ammo to remain competitive?

Yes.

I thought about this, and tried my best to find a way to say no, but I just can't. If you want to remain competitive, you have no choice but to use gold ammo. Doing otherwise is intentionally handicapping yourself - whatever your justification or reasoning for doing so may be.

Was it frustrating?

At times.

Playing against tanks which you simply can't pen, no matter how hard you try, given the situation, it can be incredibly annoying. But situations like this are, in my experience, not very common.

Was it enjoyable?
Yes!

Very. No, that's not sarcasm. I legitimately enjoyed this whole experience a hell of a lot. It gave WoT an air of freshness for me. 

Why did your winrate change so dramatically?

Honestly, I'm not really sure.

This is another thing which I thought about for quite some time, and I believe it could be the case.

Being in the end-game with a carry on your hands is obviously a tense situation to be in, and being able to pen 100% of your shots is important, but I don't think that those cases were often enough to be the cause. Rather, I think it's early to mid-game, where perhaps I let a tank get away which ended up having a big influence on the outcome - one which could have been prevented if I'd had better pen or better shell velocity.

But in the end, it's going to be due to a multitude of factors, whether caused directly or indirectly by choosing not to use gold ammo.

Has your opinion on gold ammo changed?

I don't think so.

Gold ammo is a luxury and something to help you perform better, and by that I mean it helps to limit RNG. Though there are undoubtedly cases where gold ammo is flat out superior to your standard ammo.

What's your plan now? Back to gold spamming?
Well...

No, not really. There are certain tanks, my favorite tanks, which I will use gold liberally in to maximise my enjoyment. But aside from those select few tanks, I don't see myself spamming gold. Using gold? Yes, I think so. But only outside of premium tanks. When I play my premium tanks, I want to be as profitable as possible - not using gold in my premium tanks is a habit I'm going to stick to.

 

TL;DR - went gold-sober, enjoyed the experience, think I'll stay semi-sober...

 

So, if you ever meet me on the battlefield and are wondering why I'm not doing any damage to a heavily armoured tank, that'll be why. :teethhappy:

 


Edited by ExclamationMark, 30 June 2019 - 02:04 PM.


fwhaatpiraat #2 Posted 28 June 2019 - 11:20 PM

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Good post, without exaggerating or weird claims. Doesn't surprise me at all you made credits so easily (just like playing with vs without prem account). 6% difference seems quite high to me, but still not weird to see a change: it's not weird to think that in (let's say) 2 or 3 battles out of a 100 a few more or earlier penetrating hits could have turned a loss into a win. Also, great point about the VK100p, really dumb armor layout.

ExclamationMark #3 Posted 28 June 2019 - 11:21 PM

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View Postfwhaatpiraat, on 28 June 2019 - 11:20 PM, said:

Good post, without exaggerating or weird claims. Doesn't surprise me at all you made credits so easily (just like playing with vs without prem account). 6% difference seems quite high to me, but still not weird to see a change: it's not weird to think that in (let's say) 2 or 3 battles out of a 100 a few more or earlier penetrating hits could have turned a loss into a win. Also, great point about the VK100p, really dumb armor layout.

 

Thanks! 

Also, you reminded me about something I forgot to add (it'll be under point #6).



4nt #4 Posted 28 June 2019 - 11:28 PM

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Finally someone does good post about premium ammo. I second fwhaatpiraat's thoughts.

Personally, I have carried few to some premium since defender appeared. TBF, I still use it more rarely than maybe one match in fifty, and most of the time it is because I've run out of AP and HE. Why I haven't got hundreds of millions on my credit? That's easy, I'm subpar player :) And also I grind like 6-8 lines simultaneously.

Edited by 4nt, 28 June 2019 - 11:29 PM.


ExclamationMark #5 Posted 28 June 2019 - 11:40 PM

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View Post4nt, on 28 June 2019 - 11:28 PM, said:

Personally, I have carried few to some premium since defender appeared. TBF, I still use it more rarely than maybe one match in fifty, and most of the time it is because I've run out of AP and HE. Why I haven't got hundreds of millions on my credit? That's easy, I'm subpar player :) And also I grind like 6-8 lines simultaneously.

 

Well, yeah, of course, doing better will net you more credits. That's not what I was getting at. :P

But that is one thing I didn't mention - throughout this marathon I bought no tanks. Aside from a few prems I may have sold out of rage... :hiding:

 

Though, I as of today I am 100m poorer than yesterday... There's a reason I decided to stop today short of my goal - tank discounts. Just added over 60 to my collection. :D


Edited by ExclamationMark, 28 June 2019 - 11:43 PM.


BravelyRanAway #6 Posted 29 June 2019 - 12:00 AM

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View PostExclamationMark, on 28 June 2019 - 10:08 PM, said:

 I want to be as profitable as possible - not using gold in my premium tanks is a habit I'm going to stick to.

 

First off...great post.

It's interesting to read what a difference Gold ammo makes to a good player...6% is quite a difference.

I'm quite average and tend to use Gold ammo rarely as I try to make profit from each game, Gold ammo does send that bill very high. Personally, I have found that being average and using Gold ammo doesn't make me win more, as when I do use it, I tend to aim at the same places I think are weak spots on tanks...so, it doesn't make much difference apart from a bigger bill, for me. All my tanks are loaded with standard as first.

My own problem is over extending myself if my allies are timid, that feeling that I have to do something rather than sit waiting for others.....I'm impatient(unless I'm in a TD).

I never blame my team for loses, I always say to myself, "Why did I do that! what was I thinking?"....and vow not to do that again....until the next time....I do.:facepalm:



r00barb #7 Posted 29 June 2019 - 12:15 AM

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Excellent post and congrats on achieving your goal! :honoring:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I apologise for lowering the tone but ... well, it's me ...

 

View PostExclamationMark, on 28 June 2019 - 10:08 PM, said:

My goal was 150 million credits.

 

 

It's the italics, man, you gave me no choice! :hiding:



Paul_Kouadio #8 Posted 29 June 2019 - 01:49 AM

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Thanks OP for such an awesome post! I myself don't fire gold at all (thanks to Taugrim mostly, and SirFoch in part), and I know for a fact that it is the main thing allowing me to purchase tanks, equipment and generally grind up the tech trees (along with campaign missions and other specials). Firing silver ammo only quickly forced me to look for side shots, perma-track heavily armoured tanks to either get 'round them or prep them for arty fire, aim in for weakspots and generally led me to choose my targets more wisely. Gameplay improvements all round.

Your post re-affirms to me that if I stick to this playstyle, I can make some dough with the few prem tanks I have and increase my winrate. An interesting point is that your winrate dropped by 6% (!)... That is very significant indeed.



cro001 #9 Posted 29 June 2019 - 05:25 AM

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Yeah, I'm not surprised about WR drop, I've been playing 4funTM in ranked a bit without premium consumables/gold shells and let me tell you that NOT doing damage when you should have is game changer - your WR just starts to sink.

NUKLEAR_SLUG #10 Posted 29 June 2019 - 06:27 AM

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Interesting experiment. Something I may try at some point.

 

6% tho does seem a lot more than I would personally expect the shift to be, but then as you say there are those situations that you would normally be able to deal with the tank in front where instead you are forced to leave them alive and you're dependent on someone else ponying up the credits to deal with it or outmaneuvering them, all of which takes time and can result in otherwise unnecessary damage to your team.



Blubba #11 Posted 29 June 2019 - 09:54 AM

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Nicely done. It's good to see something with a little thought behind it rather than a feeling. 

I'd buy you a beer but it would be warm by the time you got here....



seXikanac #12 Posted 29 June 2019 - 10:09 AM

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View PostExclamationMark, on 28 June 2019 - 11:08 PM, said:

5 - STATS; WINRATE, DPG & WN8

 

     Okay, this part was actually pretty surprising. I was expecting the difference in DPG (damage per game) to be bigger than the difference in winrate. However, it was the other way around. My average DPG in whichever tank I played did drop, but my winrates were noticeably worse - 6% in fact (yes, six percent). As the site I used to use (wotzilla) to look at stats is dead, I've combined the next best two (play4stats and noobmeter) and taken an average, as I do not trust either of them completely to display it correctly. Also, it's very hard to get an accurate picture here since I couldn't find any way to track from the exact beginning.

 

Stats throughout marathon duration

 

Winrate: 60.65% (65.69%)

     DPG: 2037 (2460)

     WN8: 4270 (4342)

      Tier: 7.48 (7.94)

 

I estimate that I've played ~900 randoms since starting (02/10/18). The numbers in brackets are my current overall averages.

Also, not sure how to get my DPG adjusted. But at a guess;

 

DPG (at tier 8without using gold: ~2250

   DPG (at tier 8when using gold: ~2500

 

These are estimates! But by the looks of it, not firing gold caused me to do an average of one less damaging shot per game.

Also, please note, these would not be representative of my stats if I never used gold ammo, but they are representative of my stats in premium tanks when not using gold. I'm not quite sure I want to do another no gold experiment, one which would show my averages across the board not using gold, not just in premium tanks. Perhaps in the future...

 


 

I never use gold, does that mean I'm above average player?

mtnm #13 Posted 29 June 2019 - 11:31 AM

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Nice endeavour. I myself indulge in using gold rounds but I'm welcoming their nerf.
Enjoy your well deserved purchases.

gunslingerXXX #14 Posted 29 June 2019 - 11:53 AM

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Might be just my ocd, but why set a goal of 150 not 100? Why stop at 140, not 150? 

 

 



Dragos_CS #15 Posted 29 June 2019 - 11:59 AM

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The conclusion is pretty clear. Armor is king at winning games, no matter how much people whine about gold ammo. The ability to be proactive trump most other aspects of a tank.

 

Without liberal ammo use you will often be at the whims of bots in overarmored heavies such as the Defender or the VK100 at tier 8, and about half of the heavies at tier 10. Too many tanks had their weakspots removed or their armor buffed in the last couple of years.

 

While you only dropped around 10% DPG in your tanks, i suspect the average tier/importance of what you shot at is much lower than before.



vixu #16 Posted 29 June 2019 - 12:17 PM

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Great post. 

One thing about the win rate. For some tanks ( such as type59 ) gold is more valuable then for others. So you could compare by tank. 

mpf1959 #17 Posted 29 June 2019 - 12:30 PM

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Very good food for thought. I dont often shoot gold rounds, and have been at around 50 million credits (give or take 5m) for quite a while now, even as a below average player, and I also run a prem account and have prem tanks, though I dont use them all the time. I will admit a lot of the time in the heat of battle it just dont occur to me to select it. I use it if needed, like for example if I fail to pen on 3 shots, but even then, sometimes it dont work, heat I cannot use, it seems so unreliable.

demon_tank #18 Posted 29 June 2019 - 02:06 PM

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Well the credit making difference is something pretty obvious and no testing needed to know.

 

At first and for a long time i was a SirFoch kind of guy using the smallest amount of gold shells possible mostly because i was cheap.

My usual ammo loadout was like 80% regular , 10% gold , 10% he.

 

Then after noticing everyone was using as much gold as their could i started to use more gold shells myself.

Now my typical loadout is like 50% regular , 40% gold , 10% he.

 

Im still making credits though cause i try depleting both my regular and HE ammo & only use gold shells when absolutely neccessary.



ExclamationMark #19 Posted 29 June 2019 - 04:11 PM

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View PostBravelyRanAway, on 29 June 2019 - 12:00 AM, said:

It's interesting to read what a difference Gold ammo makes to a good player...6% is quite a difference.

 

Yeah, I agree.

But there are a multitude of factors at play here. For example, a lot of the "regular" tanks I tend to play are generally strong tanks. Not saying overpowered (though some of them have been) - but I don't enjoy playing bad tanks. I guess it's just a competitive mindset, that I don't enjoy intentionally putting myself at a disadvantage just by playing a tank which is bad.

Am I saying that the premiums I played were bad? No, but in comparison to what my tank selection would have previously been, overall, it is worse.

 

View PostBravelyRanAway, on 29 June 2019 - 12:00 AM, said:

My own problem is over extending myself if my allies are timid, that feeling that I have to do something rather than sit waiting for others.....I'm impatient(unless I'm in a TD).

I never blame my team for loses, I always say to myself, "Why did I do that! what was I thinking?"....and vow not to do that again....until the next time....I do.:facepalm:

 

I would say practically every player is guilty of doing that, whether it is often or not. I certainly do it, but when I do it almost always tends to be end-game when the outcome is already decided.

It's trying to force yourself out of that habit of doing it early that can make a huge difference. 

 

View PostBlubba, on 29 June 2019 - 09:54 AM, said:

Nicely done. It's good to see something with a little thought behind it rather than a feeling. 

I'd buy you a beer but it would be warm by the time you got here....

 

Wouldn't mind one right about now... Summer heat is starting to rear its ugly head. :mellow:

 

View PostgunslingerXXX, on 29 June 2019 - 11:53 AM, said:

Might be just my ocd, but why set a goal of 150 not 100? Why stop at 140, not 150? 

 

100 just seemed too easy at the time, and something that I could achieve very quickly. I'm not saying 100 isn't a lot - it is, and far more than I had ever reached previously - it just didn't seem like an ambitious goal... Or something.

Like I mentioned in another reply, there's a good reason I decided to stop yesterday - tank discounts. :P

I'm back down to 33 mil, after buying over 60 tanks and equipping some T10s in preparation for the upcoming campaign.

After the campaign, I think I'm going to go back to credit grinding. Haven't got bored of it just yet, shockingly. Will either set a new goal of 50 or 100 million - probably the latter.

 

View PostDragos_CS, on 29 June 2019 - 11:59 AM, said:

The conclusion is pretty clear. Armor is king at winning games, no matter how much people whine about gold ammo. 

 

Yup. Though I don't really want to turn this into another topic to argue about gold ammo and armour, there's already plenty of those every day... 

 

View Postvixu, on 29 June 2019 - 12:17 PM, said:

One thing about the win rate. For some tanks ( such as type59 ) gold is more valuable then for others. So you could compare by tank. 

 

Yeah. Sadly, I couldn't find a way to do this. I believe wotzilla used to be able to do that, before it was taken down (i.e. it could display tanks played during a certain period). I couldn't find another website or application that could do that, aside from wotnumbers, but that seemed bugged. Like it was taking Frontline battles into consideration, or something. Either way, the calculations were off.


Edited by ExclamationMark, 29 June 2019 - 04:12 PM.


Gruff_ #20 Posted 29 June 2019 - 09:10 PM

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Excellent post, thanks for sharing your thoughts.  One of the reasons I've always liked Taugrims youtube vids is that he has great success exclusively firing standard ammo and it's something to aspire to.

 

I'm an average free to play account player so can't afford credit wise to be running a the higher% gold load outs like others (looks at fellow 100% Dingers!) though of course I do carry it because I need the advantage it gives some times, trying to hit the Defenders strip of cupola and missing in the IS3 far easier to load premium and go for lower plate as an example where getting round the side/rear isn't an option at that time.






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