Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The World of Tanks

I have a weakness.  It seems to come out every couple of years in the middle of winter.  As the days grow short and the weather turns cold my mind becomes filled with thoughts of war, one-on-one battles, violence, blood, guts and gore!  Yes - I will admit it, I have a thing for first person shooter video games!

It has been a number of years since I have really played these games.  I got a Modern Warfare video game for a birthday present a couple of years ago and that was the last time I really got into them.  This winter I believe my interest in playing these games is occurring because my back injury is preventing me from being very active.  Whatever the reason, my interest in first person shooter video games is definitely on an upturn this year.

The game I have chosen to play this winter is called World of Tanks.  It is an online game in which you compete in teams.  Each team is made up of 15 people.  You are the commander of a tank from WWII.  Two teams compete against each other in a game of capture the flag.  The goal of the game is for your team to either destroy all the enemy tanks or occupy their HQ area (the flag) for 100 seconds without being driven off.

The game is very technically accurate as the tanks have all the attributes of the real tanks used in WWII.  As you gain more experience and win more battles you can upgrade the tank you command and even modify the different attributes (i.e. engine, gun, suspension, armor, etc.) of your tank.  When you join the game you start with a light tank that is essentially cannon fodder as you have very little armor and your main gun doesn't penetrate the armor of the medium and heavy tanks very well.  At that point your main defense is your speed.  As you survive battles and kill other tanks you gain experience.  With your increased experience you have the option to upgrade various components of your tank.  After you have gained enough experience you have the ability to upgrade from a light tank to a medium tank and so forth.

 (Screen shot from the game of the tank that I fight with. This is before the battle begins.  It is classified as a German Panzer PzKpfw B2.)

(This screen shot is my tank and one of my teammates rolling into battle.)

(Unfortunately sometimes I have a string of bad luck and I end up like this - destroyed and on fire.  Right before I got hit in this battle I did manage to take out one of the "enemy".) 

I started playing this game a week or two before Zack and I went to North Carolina for the holidays and I have gotten pretty good at it.  I now have a heavy tank with some significant armor.  I am still working to get enough experience to retro-fit the tank with armor piercing rounds of ammunition, but that may take a bit.  My problem with the game is that I will start playing after Zack has gone to bed and then stay up way too late destroying the enemy!

The game has a pretty massive audience.  From what I have read the company that developed the game has several different servers for each geographical area of the world - The US, Western Europe, Asia, Australia, etc.  The server I attached to for North America normally has almost 15,000 people attached and hundreds of battles taking place at one time. 

This whole subject sounds extremely geeky I do realize.  But as I finally get my back healed and the days get longer the playing of this game will become a distant memory.  In some ways I almost feel like an utter dork writing about this, but it is part of who I am right at this moment.  I rather not be spending time on stuff like this, but while I am waiting to my surgery and my back to heal it is good to have something mindless to do.  I suppose it is no worse than watching Jersey Shore.  (Oh wait...  I do that too!  Just joking as I gave up Jersey Shore about 2 episodes into the Italian season, as it no longer floated my boat.)  Anyway, for now it is just something to do to occupy the time that I would normal be going to the gym, going for a hike or just being out and about.

If anyone is interested in checking out the game you can find the website at http://www.tank.tm or http://www.worldoftanks.com  You need to download a software client to your computer and if you want to get some of the more significant features you do have to pay to subscribe.  But the subscription price is nominal.

It is now less than 48 hours until my appointment with the neurosurgeon.  This appointment can't come quickly enough.  Though I had the cortisone shot last Thursday it appears to have done nothing for me.  In fact the pain levels have increased and there is an increased amount of numbness through my entire lower leg and foot. It is kind of like the scene in the Adam Sandler movie "Mr. Deeds" when Deeds (Sandler) tells his butler that he can't feel anything in his foot and challenges him to hit his foot as hard as possible with a fireplace poker.  So if anyone wants to come and smash my foot with a fireplace poker to get out some aggression, feel free to do so as I ain't going to feel a bit of it!  The whole thing is actually kind of funny when you think about it - the top of my foot is totally numb!  Never had anything like this before in my life!

Coming out of the appointment on Thursday I hope to have my surgery scheduled.  Just getting that on the calendar and knowing when I might start feeling better is going to be a huge thing for me.

I haven't mentioned this before, but it is a little project that I am working on so I should get it out there..  With the new year I have implemented a new e-mail address.  For the last 17 years I have used my jkromer@ix.netcom.com e-mail for all of my personal e-mail.  The address is a bizarre address since it has been around for so long.  Netcom was the first ISP that I had when I signed up for Internet service back in 1994.  That company has long since been absorbed by other companies and is now part of Earthlink.  Due to the manner in which the account is supported by Earthlink I can't send e-mail from my iPhone.  Therefore I am starting a gradual switch to the usage of a new e-mail account.  That account is Jerry.Kromer@hotmail.com.  Hotmail was the only big e-mail provider that had Jerry.Kromer available.  I would have preferred to use GMail since I use Google for so much but they had nothing like Jerry.Kromer available, so I went with Hotmail.  All of the e-mail that is sent to jkromer@ix.netcom.com is being forwarded to Jerry.Kromer@hotmail.com so either account will work for now. Eventually once I have all my subscriptions changed and have informed the entire world, I will get rid of the netcom address, but that is probably going to take several months to reach that point.

That's about it for now!  Have a great evening!

Thanks and peace to all! ~J.

1 comment:

Chat said...

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