World of Tanks: Online war game appeals to history buffs with its surprising accuracy

In a quest to conquer boredom when not diligently working, I have tried many online games.  Some were extraordinarily fun and held my attention for weeks, if not months; others have been boring and only lasted several hours. One of the better games I have found is “World of Tanks” from wargaming.net. For a World War-obsessed history major (like me), nothing more could be asked of this game. 
In the game, the player controls a tank in third-person view. You have full control over the vehicle and can practically drive anywhere and into anything. The basic set-up of a match is 15 players per team, with a fairly balanced collection of all the different types of vehicles. Those types include: Light Tanks, Medium Tanks, Heavy Tanks, Tank Destroyers and Self-Propelled Guns. Each tank type gives the player a different game experience, creating the opportunity for fresh gameplay in each match. There are a wide number of maps with different terrains, obstacles and paths, ensuring that no single game is the same.  
As soon as you log in, you are provided with six different tanks in your garage. Each of these tanks represents a different country. Currently the game offers branches of American, British, German, French, Russian and Chinese tanks. Each of these branches are classified on a tier system ranking from Tier I through Tier X, and all are historically accurate. 
In order to level, the player must play in matches to earn experience and in-game credits. The more you play a tank, the higher you can upgrade its individual components, such as the gun or suspension. When fully upgraded, the next tier tank can be researched and the process may be started anew. The leveling system allows for quick leveling in lower tiers, giving the player an opportunity to test out all the different types of tanks without dedicating long spans of time to any particular branch.
The garage serves as the station for all of your tanks and several other features. It is where the individual tank crews are housed and where they can be trained or given skills that help the tank’s performance. A player can also choose to add equipment to any tank, such as a camouflage net or a toolbox. There are also consumables, such as first-aid kits and repair kits. These items can drastically change how well a tank performs. 
The gameplay itself is easy to master. Basic computer game controls are used: WASD for movement of the tank and the mouse moves the turret and gun. From there it is simply a matter of learning the tactics of the game. Stay behind cover, stay out of enemy sight and stay in a group.  These tactics may change based on whatever tank is being played, but the basic principles are always the same. 
A match has a maximum time limit of 15 minutes but rarely ever surpasses 5-8 minutes. Even so, while the match may last longer, a player only has one life per match. Once you die, you are done. There is no penalty for leaving the game after your death, which allows you to go back to the garage and start another match with a different tank. 
There is also the option to play with a friend for free. A platoon can be created before a game that allows any two players to play in the same match. Sadly, that is the highest number of platoon members one can have without having to pay. A premium system exists, which converts real-world currency into in-game coins, and it opens several more aspects of the game. Paying gold members can have platoons of 3, tank divisions of 15 players, special ammunition and access to Clan Wars. Clan Wars is the largest version of the game and is basically Risk. A real-time map of the world serves as the battlefield. Many different clans lay claim to certain areas and attempt to attack and claim others. 
Overall, the game is extremely entertaining. The player is given a huge selection of tanks from a wide variety of countries that are all historically accurate to boot. The game is easy to learn and to play, does not require a long-time dedication, is completely free to play and is guaranteed to provide new and exciting gameplay. With new updates routinely and soon to be accompanied with sister games “World of Warplanes” and “World of Warships,” “World of Tanks” offers a very entertaining way to spend a few minutes or a few hours.