World of Tanks Passing Tier 3 Guide by Eide
GETTING TO TIER 3
After leaving the recruits battles you?ll end up in a Tier 3 tank, feeling very much overwhelmed on a battlefield filled bigger, badder and plainly better tanks. That doesn?t mean you?re useless though, in fact, you can still be crucial for victory for your team.
You obviously have 3 directions you can choose from after hitting Tier 3. This post focusses on the Tank trees, and only glances on the Tank Destroyer and Self Propelled Artillery trees.
Before you go on, read merig00?s excellent post on [FAQ] What will get you experience and what will not. It gives a great overview of what gives you experience and should already give you several ideas.
Tier 3 tanks on the German side:
SPG: Wespe / Sturmpanzer II
TD: Marder II
Tank: Pz III Ausf A / Pz II Luchs* / Pz 38(t)*
* Luchs leads to a dead end in T4, Pz 38(t) branches into the TD tree
Tier 3 tanks on the Soviet side:
Tanks: T-46 / BT-7
HOW TO GAIN CREDITS
Of these 3 trees the tanks are the hardest to play at Tier 3. The reason is that you?ll be severely under gunned and under armoured. The tank trees are give you the most options though and leads to the highest tier tanks, so how can you bite through the sourness of being cannon fodder? In order to quickly progress you?ll need 2 things. Experience and credits. Both are earned based on your performance in the game. Experience you can only earn on the vehicle you?re using, credits however can be earned on any vehicle and used along your entire range of tanks.
After reaching Tier 3, get a SPG. Really. SPGs are great credit makers. Even the lowly tier 3 SPGs can easily clock 3 to 5 kills in any battle where your team protects the backfield from rushing light tanks. Initially the investment in an SPG will seem steep, but it?ll be worth it eventually, also because your tank will be destroyed rapidly in certain battles. Having an SPG gives you the option of jumping right back into a battle while the battle your destroyed tank is on continues. Less downtime, more credits. Finally it?s motivation, after getting pummelled into a pathetic mass of shrapnel for the 10th time, you can hop onto your SPG and kick some ass, and bring a smile to your face. It?s an investment that?s worth it.
If Arty isn?t your thing there the TD tree. I consider TDs the snipers of this game. You?ll get a relatively big gun which can take on those Tier 4s. Downside is of course having to turn your hull, however, with a good tactical eye you can use the terrain in your advantage and snipe incoming tanks from cover. Don?t forget to move after firing or your Tier 3 TD will be one-shotted by SPGs, even opposing Tier 3 SPG. TDs are excellent backfield defenders, and like SPGs are easier to make credits with than tanks and can work nicely as a motivator.
HOW DO I PLAY A TIER 3 TANK
Which leads to your chosen tank tree. You now have a credit/motivation machine and craptastic Tier 3 tank. The key word is scouting. You have 2 basic options of going about this.
Your team will also have big brutes. They need targets. That?s where your Tier 3 tank comes in. Remember, you get experience for ?lighting up? enemy tanks on the map and for ?lighting up? enemy tank while your allies damage it from beyond their range of vision. You don?t have to rush like a madman. Find out where the bigger tanks are taking up positions and move to maximum radio range. That?ll leave you under covering fire, and you?ll be close enough to fall back in the enemy approaches in forces. Do not fire at the enemy tanks. Yes, I realise that against the nature of most gamers, but you will get spotted, and one-shotted by nearly everything you?re likely to encounter. Hide, move when detected and sing out the battle for as long as you can. If you bigger friends (especially TD friends) are flanked by opposing fast tanks, fall back and cover their asses. Enemies will probably focus on the bigger tank and you?ll get a chance you gain more XP for damaging or even destroying the opposing tank.
The other option is to rush to the other half of the map. It?s a tactic that can work, but only if you understand how keep your speed up as high as possible. It?s tricky though. First off all, don?t rush right away. Make sure your SPGs are in position. Secondly, move and keep moving. You earn credits, again, by lighting up enemy tanks for friendlies to destroy, but chances are only SPGs will be in range. Also make sure you?re in radio range. Rushing out of radio range means you will not light up opposing tanks, and you?ll die, having been utterly worthless to your team and granting the opposing team free XP. The good side of this tactic is that your team may be able to pick off the more powerful enemies right at the start of the battle. It?s high risk, but potentially high pay-off too.
A last word on how to play. Pack HE rounds. Lots of them. Chances are that you can only hurt the T5s and higher with HE. More importantly, HE can cause module damage and will damage tracks more easily than AP. For that matter you should really drive around with HE loaded, and only switch to AP when you encounter a Tier 3 or unupgraded Tier 4. HE will recieve tweaks in 0.5.3.
WHAT UPGRADES DO I TAKE FIRST
The key is to earn XP. Stay alive. Dead tanks don?t earn XP. Even if you?ve felt useless all the battle, you?ll still earn XP for capturing the opposing flag and by being alive at the end of the battle, and yes, sometimes retreat is the better part of valour. For that matter you ought to invest in your engine first. Always. That engine will give you the speed to find a good position and makes aiming at you that much harder. It is the single most important feature on any Tier 3 tank. Second comes your radio, and after that tracks and guns. Again, this will feel alien to many players, but that gun will not earn you much XP or credits.
You?re not relegated to running away or hiding all the time though. You should feel free to engage other Tier 3 tanks. The balance is quite decent, and good players will always win, regardless of what tank they are in. Do pay attention though. Engaging an enemy will mean you get spotted, and spotted tanks draw fire. Learn to fire on the move. Even while engaging other T3 tanks you should stay on the move. Avoid anything higher than Tier 4 though, unless you?re in a pack of tanks. If you are alive long enough your T3 tank will also make an excellent SPG killer. Don?t drive in a straight line while approaching them and drive past them as close as you can, park your tank against the rear of SPG. Assuming nobody else is close the SPG will be a free kill. The same tactic can be used against TDs but they are much trickier as their weapon is better suited to close range combat and their traverse speed is quite high.
Outside of these you really need to wrap your mind around the fact that most if not all shots you fire or going to bounce on enemy armour. When you do get in combat with a Tier 5 or higher, make smart choices. Your rear armour will probably be a one-shot. Chances are your front armour will only help you for so long too. Aim for the tracks. You can even consider packing HE specifically for track busting. If you take the other recommendations into account chances are you?ll have friends in the area who will be thankful for the stationary target you just present. If possible get away again, using cover or terrain elevation.
Tier 3 isn?t a long phase. I opened up 3 different Tier 3 tanks before hopping to a Tier 4 tank. It took me all of 2 evenings of gameplay to get that far. Don?t get disheartened that you?re not death re-incarnated on the battlefield. You are valuable, you just need to play it right!
Good luck and have fun!