World of Tanks open beta kicks off next week
World of Tanks developers Wargaming.net have announced that an open beta for the game is set to begin on January 27th. The tank vs. tank MMO was released in Russia early last year, and has amassed a huge following. A closed beta has been running in the US and Europe since summer 2010, but it looks like that's about to change. Read on for details.
Wargaming.net made the announcement on the World of Tanks blog. The game is an MMO with a heavy focus on player vs. player battling. Each player gets a tank when they start. As you level up you get to customise your vehicle, adding new turrets, armour plates, engines, main guns, and even tailoring the type of ammunition you want to use. It's possible to create a huge range of tanks, from nimble scout vehicles to monstrous heavy armour that can literally roll over their opposition. Every tank has its own crew who can level up independently, gaining access to new abilities that can improve your tank's performance in battle.
Each player must join either the Soviet, German or American factions. You can then do battle in random battles, team deathmatch scenarios or clan battles. Scraps can feature as many as 30 tanks a side. World of Tanks is set to run on a microtransaction system that will let you buy upgrades for your tank using purchasable gold, or purchase premium time, during which your characters gain extra experience from fights. In future Wargaming.net plan to add a clan warfare system that will let players fight for territory on a map of the globe.
World of tanks has been doing extremely well so far. Wargaming.net recently announced that between the number of players logged into the game in Russia, and the number of closed beta participants in the rest of the world, they've had one million people sign up for the game. They haven't yet announced how to get onto the open beta, but you'll find the sign-up page for the closed beta on the official World of Tanks site. Here's a trailer showing some heavy armour in action.