Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to play a lot; I mean two – to – three hours a day, every day, since the end of March inside the tank simulation of World of Tanks (WoT). Over 2,500 battles– 1234 wins, 1234 losses, and 39 draws to be exact. Over the course game play, I’ve managed to learn a few lessons that will no doubt help me in my presidency of CodeWeavers. It is in that spirit of sharing that I present my Top 10 Lessons from Inside a Tank (and to provide billable hours to the CEO for all the time I’ve spent in battling during work hours):
1. Idiots Die Quickly – Within seconds of the battle starting. , there are early tank casualties. Usually, the casualties are the direct result of running headfirst into harm’s way in the shortest amount of time possible. My takeaway – Making rash decisions can have dire consequences for you and for the people counting on you to be a productive member of their team. It is often better to be initially cautious taking time to learn the ‘terrain’ so as to avoid making unnecessary mistakes.
2. You Can’t Hit a Tank You Can’t See – In battle, your radar goes off identifying an opposing tank. You can either avoid danger by squeezing your eyes shut or quickly plan a course of action to aggressively eliminate the threat. My takeaway – You can hope to avoid danger or you can take steps to avoid danger but rarely can you accomplish both – so choose wisely.
3. Great Teams Typically Beat Great Tanks – Teams are randomly created based on their purpose. Teams of tanks work together to locate and destroy opponents. A team of highly effective tanks can quickly identify, locate, and disarm almost any opposing tank. My takeaway – If you want to win, you need to build and maintain effective teams with unique but complementary skill sets.
4. A Smart Tanker in a Bad Tank is Better than a Dumb Tanker in a Great Tank – In battle, it’s easy to make obvious mistakes. Smart tankers win more battles because they deliberately avoid choosing the options with little upside. My takeaway – Managing risk and being aware of your current situation is critical in creating positive outcomes.
5. Have a Plan – It’s essential to know where you are going and what you want to accomplish to avoid distraction. Distracted tankers often become target practice. My takeaway – You need a plan, and you need to work your plan each time you get ready for ‘battle’. Don’t let distractions deter you from your goals.
6. Failure is an Option, Just Not a Goal – In battle, you learn from your mistakes and incorporate the experience for the future. While no tanker wants to lose, all tankers lose from time to time. Smart tankers learn from their mistakes. My takeaway – Failure isn’t about making a mistake. Failure is about making the same mistake all the time.
7. Know Your Circumstances, Use Them to Your Advantage – Your circumstances can change in a second’s notice. Your team is ahead; then, your opponents counter-attack and your team is behind. Your tank gets damaged, and your mobility is reduced. Smart tankers are adaptable and adjust their plans accordingly. My takeaway – You cannot plan for every situation to come, but you can be mostly aware of the situation you are in and adjust your plan to make sound decisions.
8. No Tank is Perfect – In battle, the bigger tanks have the bigger guns and the better armor, but bigger tanks are also slower tanks and cannot turn or rotate as fast as their smaller and lighter counterparts. Smart tankers know these strengths and weaknesses and adjust their plans accordingly. My takeaway – Being successful sometimes depends on choosing the path best suited to your current tool set and not necessarily the path best suited to your skill set.
9. Understand Your Competition – In WoT, you have the opportunity to repeatedly play a battlefield as an attacker or a defender; from the north or the south; and from the east or the west. As such, you see how other tankers play. And you see where other tanks go and where other tanks attack and how other tanks defend. Smart tankers work to understand their competitors so as to predict and mitigate their opponents’ plans. My takeaway – The best defense is a good offense.
10. Have Fun – I enjoy WoT because I like the competition; I like the interaction with other players; and I like the concept of challenging myself to improve from battle to battle. Sitting in a tank (for some odd reason) helps me unwind from a long day at the office. My takeaway – When you find something you enjoy, take the time to do it. For the fans and customers of CodeWeavers, look for us to continue development in CrossOver to better support World of Tanks on the Mac and Linux platforms. And good luck to my fellow tankers. I’ll be looking for you out on the many battlefields (most likely through the cannon scope of my tank). BANG!
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