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Closed Beta Test Diaries
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Many of us will remember the 4th of December as the first day of the proper Closed Beta Test for the beginning of the War Thunder Ground Forces. During the past three weeks testers have been crewing the steel beasts on the closed server. Now we will explore how the first wave of CBT is currently progressing and share some player’s impressions with you. ======================= First invitations
From the very first day of CBT we began to send out invites and instructions to some players who had completed the Ground Forces HQ tasks.  These lucky members got early access to the Ground Forces CBT and to the hidden CBT sub-forum.  In order to concentrate our testers’ attention on any possible bugs and errors and to get proper feedback we decided to run CBT server daily at specific times. At the end of the daily time slot we invited our players to share their impressions. Here are some of them: “My impressions?  Tanks look amazing.…” “First of all, I want to say, I was blown away by the overall impressions - - the extremely realistic looking tanks - the detailed landscape around you - the dirt - the sounds - the driving behaviour of your tank - its movements when you drive over rough terrain - again the sounds of explosions and gun fire - the tracers from your and enemy shells flying away and towards you - the mind-blowing fire fights between tanks “ “Without ever driven a tank by my own and moreover without having participated in a real tank battle for god’s sake, nevertheless that’s how I imagine real life tank battles in the past must have looked and felt like !!!” “...Overall impression: Amazing. Simply amazing” “I love the "feeling" of the tanks, their sounds and absolutely stunning models.” “Tanks 'feel' like tanks - you get a sense of controlling this big, heavy piece of machinery in a way few others games (if any) have yet captured for me” “Atmosphere - its great - explosions going off everywhere, walls of flame, aircraft flying overhead - you feel like you are in a battle, and less like an arcade game” “I'M DRIVING A TANK! My reaction to the bumpiness, sliding about, and general difficulty in controlling the vehicles. Feels like a mass of steal and explosives.” “First impression, mind blown.” “I saw images you guys putting on forum and website but it is something different when you actually is in game. I like sounds, tank details, grass, trees, dirt... I think it is beautiful build, and tank control is really something new, something that has not been seen so far (at least seen by me).”

A team speak meeting before the server opens for the day has become a daily tradition. This is a good opportunity to discuss the goals and tasks for the next session. Map and Mission During this stage players are invited to take part in a Karelia Battle - it is a front line sector of considerable size, featuring lots of difficult terrain, which allows players to hold ground properly.

Spawn points placed on the edge of the map provide for unexpected attacks from different directions. While key capture areas situated near home spawn points are easy to capture - the capture point in the middle of the map is a hard nut to crack.  Vehicles that occupy this zone have good positioning to strike the upcoming forces hard, any tanker who chooses to go off road will face severe difficulties: he may get wrecked while trying to traverse the hollows or get jammed by the many rocks and boulders scattered across the map. Another problem is the dense forest over much of the map – tracks can be seriously damaged by the broken wood whilst moving through.

You might ask “what is the tankers’ mission?”  First of all it is to hold the key positions - the more positions your team hold the more points the enemy team lose. Destroyed enemy tanks and planes also contribute to your victory. “What is the aircrafts role on this map?” Besides the fact that pilots gain air superiority they can significantly affect the outcome of the battle. Destroying a moving tank is very difficult, bombing key positions may still prove to be a viable and deadly tactic, however, player-controlled AA guns contribute to make things complicated

What’s next? New invites are being sent out on a daily basis - hundreds of them.  During the weekend we sent over 2000 new invitations and we are not going to stop. We still have a very important stage of the testing ahead - The Second Wave, this will grant access to those who have purchased the tank packs. And we will definitely carry on and send invites to those who have completed the Ground Forces HQ tasks.
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