WoT: Focus T-50: Armored Sprint Car

While I mentioned the T-50 in my article about the Auto Aim feature, both it and the ELC AMX will be handled in their own features focusing on their individual play styles. Attempts to treat them the same will result in ending up as the ubiquitous flaming wreckage I keep writing about.

Everyone has had their life touched by a T-50

The T-50 is a slightly different vehicle from the T-50-2 in several respects including matchmaking, weapon selection, and durability. The T-50-2 is a logical conclusion to the T-50’s evolution, but we’ll be focusing on the T-50 here. Recent patches have made a number of new and exciting scout tanks available in World of Tanks, but the T-50 still captures a special place of dread in our hearts, due to its uncanny ability to evade fire, spot, and kill artillery and tank destroyers.

While many people favor the mass murder factor in their tank selection, the T-50 fits its role as a scout tank by helping others do the murdering, and is fairly tame versus other tanks on its own. That being said, you can top the XP charts even with Tier 9 tanks around if you do your spotting well, and you should always make money.

Speed and Agility

The T-50 has a speed limit of 60 km/h and like most tanks can exceed this slightly on downhills. Compared to most opponents this is maddeningly fast, and while some tanks can match its speed, with the upgraded engine other tanks will have to pull out all the stops to match its acceleration and agility. Prior to the physics patch the T-50 operated a lot like a slotcar and stuck to the ground. It was notable for having cornering that defied Newtonian physics, and in the hands of a canny driver it was nearly impossible to hit at any range. With the addition of physics simulation the tank becomes much more reasonable, sliding about like a sprint car on tight turns. It is now much easier to hit due to the predictability of these slides, and it forces drivers to plan their routes very carefully by performing drifts only where shielded from fire. Due to this sliding action, the tank doesn’t oversteer and slam into walls as much as it used to, taking a far wider path around corners, though it is easier to slide off a ridge in a turn if the ground resistance on the edge is lower than expected.

The T-50 has a very low ground resistance and seems to drift more than it drives, but thankfully the suspension isn’t dealt any damage unless you actually impact something. You can slide sideways under full power at every opportunity that presents itself and nothing bad will happen unless you slide into a rock or off a bump. Driving at full speed does require a great deal of concentration to avoid launching the tank into low orbit. Even small airborne maneuvers can destroy the tank's suspension if it lands at an odd angle, so when you're about to go airborne, always turn the tank to face the direction you're travelling before you leave the ground. If you don't do this quickly enough, you're likely to land at a very bad angle and break the torsion bars. Landing flat, straight, and with forward momentum will minimize track damage. Remember that tracks aren't boots, and tanks don't slide downhill sideways as elegantly as people. The suspension on the T-50 is unusually high slung and bouncy and is intended for offroad driving. Whereas the Pz1C has serious issues getting over even the tiniest rubble pile, the T-50 will smash and slide through most obstacles with minimal loss of speed, though you may catch more air than intended.

The ability of this machine to thread through a warzone is slightly diminished by the physics patch, but in some ways it is improved, and anyone who has played driving games featuring driftable cars will feel right at home. Be wary of high speed corners in cities though, as roads offer very little friction and feel like driving on black ice most of the time. With the initial engine, the tank is sluggish as expected, but the first upgraded engine with a removed speed governor and 100 Octane gasoline consumables feels exactly like driving with the fully upgraded engine.

The most important element of playing the T-50 is driving and scouting, and these are difficult elements to put into text in a way people will understand. Only sweeping generalizations can be communicated without watching replays, so four have been included on the last page. The few driving tips I can articulate here are:

  • Never drive straight toward or away from your target. You're not intimidating anyone in a T-50.
  • Turning back and forth quickly isn't as effective as it used to be before the physics patch. With all the sliding you'll do, you're going to end up going more or less in a straight line.
  • Never drive in a straight line for more than two seconds or so.
  • Watch the WoT scouting guide.
  • Never carousel a target unless you have to. The WoT guides love to tell you to carousel your target but the fact is WoT is not a simulation, it's an arcade game and has some ludicrously fast turret traverses, especially on heavy tanks. When combined with crew skills and other gear, there are only a handful of tanks you can drive around forever without being caught, and this is assuming you're not driving over rough terrain or up and down hills which worsen your situation. To silence any arguments on this prematurely, according to the wiki entry for the Tiger I a full turret traverse took about a minute. 360' in 60 seconds is 6' per second. WoT Tiger I? 23' per second before bonuses. That's not a turret, it's an 11 ton armored dreidel with a cannon. Go up against this and you will likely die, painfully.
  • Avoid cliffs.
  • Seriously, Wargaming has a love affair with angling ridgelines down and coating them in butter, avoid cliffs.
  • Don't hit anything or anyone intentionally unless you're feeling suicidal. About the only thing you're going to win a ramming match with is an ELC AMX, and god help you if it's head on and they have a shell loaded.
  • Feel free to hang back a bit at the beginning to watch the team deployments and see where your scouting is most needed. Also, feel free to place yourself to intercept enemy scouts heading for your artillery, but once you start moving anywhere you might be seen, do not stop for any reason. Speed is your armor.
  • In most cases you want to maintain maximum speed, but practice letting off the accelerator just a little when cresting hills or preparing to drive down cliffs. While jumps look fantastic, they make you an easy target since you can't change direction in mid-air, and the greater the impact the more mangled your suspension will be upon landing.

Where am I? What Plane/Mech/Tank/Ship am I in?