WORLD OF TANKS (#1)
Can the battle of the gods triumph against the granddaddy of military action games? Let's find out!
AESTHETICS: How good does the game look?
World of Tanks: 8
The creators of World of Tanks openly admit that they started their gaming careers as tabletop gamers and man, does it show. These guys are utter rivet-counters: not only does a given tank look like it's supposed to, but they change depending on the gear you equip them with. The same goes for the battlefields. if you know your way around tank battles in WWII you don't even need to see the name of the map before you can say "Yeah, that's France" or "Yeah, that's north africa'. by comparison, Smite's environments look kinda generic, and the character designs look like you handed a 90's era marvel comics artist a book on classical mythology: Most of the men are hulking brutes, and most of the women look like they're about to explode out of what little clothing they have on…
NEWBIE FRIENDLINESS: how easy is the game to pick up for beginning players or old farts (like me)?
World of Tanks: 3
If you've played World of Warcraft or any of the army of wannabe's that came in it's wake, you're not going to have a problem with SMITE's combat mechanics. The tutorials are very clear, and they have training matches against varying levels of AI bots to help you get your feet wet.
The tutorial for WORLD OF TANKS is simple enough, but the introductory AI bot matches actually do more harm than good. Why? Because shooting animals tied to the ground is harder than hitting WoT's AI bots. Once you get out of the bot matches and go up against actual players, the game swiftly becomes an exercise in keyboard-smashing frustration. It is possible to spend more time in the queue waiting for a match to start than actually playing in the match: I can't tell you the number of times I've left the starting area-drove around for twenty seconds, and then got one-punched. and unlike most other MOBA games, WoT has no respawns.
MONEYGRUBBING: how shamelessly does the game try to force you to part with your cash?
World of Tanks: 2
The one-punch example above leads to one of the most frustrating things about WoT: Progression through the game is absolutely glacial. To unlock higher rank vehicles you must research them first, and you do this by spending the experience points you earn every battle. Of course, to be able to unlock those vehicles you have to unlock the parts that lead to them in the tech three. And when those parts cost anywhere from 2-5,000 experience points each, and the next level tank can coast 30-40,000 experience points….and thanks to your drive-twenty-seconds-and-die-in-one-hit tendencies you earn anywhere from 50-75 experience points a game, you can see how long this would take. Unless of course you buy gold, WoT's Official Bullsh*t Exclusive Currency (OBEC), to purchase a premium account that grants you bonus experience. Oh, want to train up your crew to 100% so they can start building up those skills that grant amazing bennies in battle? be prepared to rack up almost 100,000 xp before they get there…unless of course you spend gold to buy their way up to 100%. Oh, and you want some super-whammy armor to shred your enemy? You can buy that at a couple of gold a round! This is 'pay-to-win' at some of it's worst. Smite is absolutely restrained by comparison: it has two forms of currency: Favor (which you earn from play) and Gems (their OBEC.) New playable gods can be unlocked using both favor and gems, but the prices of the characters in favor is surprisingly reasonable, roughly the equivalent of three or four won matches. There are items such as skins that are buyable only with gems, which means smite holds true to the modern western f2p formula, Charge cash for the PLAYER experience, not the PLAY experience….of course they do this two (Which loses them several points) by committing the sin of sins: Announcing an awesome new ingame event, and then hiding the event behind a OBEC paywall.
With two out of the three categories, Smite goes onto the next round, and WoT is the newest resident of the losers bracket. Stay tuned for more tournament action!