I think I’m a fairly average player, at least compared with long-term players, for example:
Started playing: 06 January 2020.
Battles played: almost 15,000 (Thank-you to COVID-19 lockdowns..)
Weight gained: 78KG to 88KG…
WTR as of 26 March 2021: 6934.
WN8 average: 1458.
WN8 100 battles average: 1815.
Yes, I use WOT Premium account + premium vehicles.
StuG IV: 24 February 2020 (with honours)
T28 HTC: March-July 2020 (with honours)
T55A: 30 July 2020
Obj 260: 16 August 2020 (with 3 extra BM orders from February 2020, skipped HT/MT/TD)
Excalibur: 10 July 2020
Chimera: 21 January 2021
279(e): 26 March 2021
Won a Chieftain in bond auction (38,888 bonds, August 2020)- farmed a LOT of bonds from events and never spending them etc.
So- how did I, a lowly orange pleb, get the 279(e) despite being relatively new compared to most of the player base? What did it cost!? (Spoiler: It costs time, energy and health)
For the first couple of months playing the game, I barely realized that personal missions were a thing! I didn’t even know that I could do the second campaign missions in tandem with the first ones until maybe March 2020…
During my first 3 months, I was still learning the maps. I also had no idea what 90% of the tanks were (my friend/recruiter would tell me not to bother shooting at Russian tanks for example, and I’d just think.. how do I know which ones are Russian??), and that’s not to mention having no clue about weakspots, alpha damage values, viewrange, camo, bush mechanics etc.
I finished my first Refer-A-Friend contract on 6 March 2020, choosing the FV304 as the tech tree reward and the SU-122 as the premium reward tanks.
Eventually, after playing for about one and a half months, I realised that I could unlock more free tanks by playing campaigns! The StuG and T28 were easy enough, since they only required fairly low-tier tanks and weren’t locked to specific nations, only to specific classes.
I found the SPG missions to be the easiest since I used my refer-a-friend bonus tank to pick the tier 6 British arty, which gave me a nice leg-up to grinding down that line and having a fairly useful arty branch for missions, at least until I chased down the M53/55 later on.
I used https://www.saltyjedi.com/personalmissions initially for the majority of the campaigns, though it seems that the website is no longer being hosted! Maybe the way-back-machine can help out with that one?
For me, the hardest/longest campaign by far was for the Chimera, I can actually see my WN8 take a hit each time I came up against a stupidly designed mission for both Chimera and 279. (see: block missions.) In fact, I believe I tried to get both Bloc-9 and HT-12 done in tandem, switching between the Maus and the VK 100.01. My WN8 at the time was around 1408 and rising, but during that first run of blocking missions, it dipped down to 1398 over the course of 250 or so games, and saw similar effects whenever I got stuck on a particularly difficult/stupidly designed missions. (I later mitigated the effect somewhat by only trying to get the mission completed if I got top-tier matchmaking, and otherwise trying to play my best in non-ideal matches.)
The main problems with the Chimera campaign was researching and buying the right tanks for each nation- I didn’t want to commit any orders to anything other than the final 279(e) missions, so that wasn’t an option for me.
As for the 279 missions specifically, I got a lot of inspiration from this forum post by Rocketmandb, it was incredibly useful to help gauge how difficult each mission would be, as well as the ideal tanks and/or playstyle for each mission. I also found that some of the newer tanks (Italian tier 9 heavy with its 120mm HE shells and reasonable accuracy) are really excellent for some of the ‘critical hit to internal modules’ Coalition missions.
Personally I went with playing all of the way through Union and Coalition. Once the end goal was in sight, I committed my 7 orders (didn’t manage to get Union 15.2 with honours, despite many attempts) to Alliance 15, Bloc 15 and Union 13 (2 top guns in 12 matches). If I’d have gotten the 8th order from the previous 2 campaigns, I may have skipped Coalition 14 (top damage in battle 3/5 times) but in the end, it was more do-able to get that mission done than to get the Union final missions with honours- even managed to mark the barrels on the 277 and IS7 during my attempts- though I heard that the IS-4 is a reasonable choice for the Union 15.2 mission, but I don’t have the tank researched yet.
TLDR– Noob gits gud in 445 days and gets the most OP tank in the game by following guides, buying lots of tanks and otherwise being a no-life degenerate during lockdown.