World of Tanks is a freemium multiplayer online game where the main play mode involves two teams of 15vs15 players that fight it out until either the entire enemy team is destroyed or the enemy base is captured.
The core loop of the game has players fight to earn resources that are then spent on repairing, rearming, resupplying and upgrading their tanks. Soft currencies include credits, the games main resource and Free Experience. Credits is used to repair, resupply and acquire upgraded modules and tanks whilst Free Experience is earned with every battle which add’s to any tanks experience point pool. Hard currency for World of Tanks is gold which is bought at approximately 155 gold coins per dollar. Gold can be used to convert tank experience to free experience or converted into soft currency credits at a ration of 1 gold for 400 credits (1:400).
Monetization for World of Tanks includes gold, premium consumables, vanity items, premium tanks, premium account and in-game special events.
Gold – used to purchase premium vehicles, premium accounts, convert tank experience to free experience, convert to credits and can also be used to acquire premium consumables. Essentially gold is the main method used to bypass time investment to acquire higher tier tanks faster.
Premium Consumables – In-game resources that are used to bypass skill atoms during battle. Premium shells generally have with few exceptions higher penetrating values. Premium consumables activate automatically instead of manually during battle.
Premium Account – Provides 50% more credits and experience after each battle. Premium accounts become more important as players advance higher in tier due to reduced resource earnings. Designed to convert non-paying customers to paying customers as they are more invested in the game at this point.
Vanity Items – Includes exterior camouflage paint jobs for winter, desert and forest maps as well as various symbols located at numerous points on each tank. Camouflage paint provides stealth bonus to tanks in game.
Premium Tanks – Provides more credits and free crew training.
Special Events – Often includes limited edition tanks or reduced price premium tanks. Various in-game events like “On-Track” events which forces players to farm enough resources within a limited timeframe to attain.
World of Tanks end game content involves clan wars where opposing teams compete against eachother to acquire territories that will provide their respective clan with gold and various clan-wide abilities that effect general battles such as increased credit earnings or increased experience gains. Whilst clans provide a large part to the games social structure, platoons are the main method of social play. Platoons involve up to 3 individuals playing on the same team in a match often increasing strategies used and pushing dynamics further.
Retention in World of Tanks ultimately comes down to the dynamics of play. Each match includes new random opponents of varying skill levels in assorted tanks of different tier levels. This form of matchmaking opens every battle to new possible dynamics different from the previous battle even if the player remains in the same tank. On top of matchmaking, the game is regularly updated with new maps, tanks and iterations on existing elements forcing players to adapt and further their skill atoms.