Subverted; an obscure game by Tank Ace would have tried to compete with the game, but was canned in development because it was decided that it wouldn't have survived in its current form. To some extent, WoT attempts to compete with traditional MMOs such as World of Warcraft - whether or not it is winning is entirely up to debate, but a lot more people play WoT than one would expect, and it has lasted far longer then most other foes.
Also contributed to the development of this game. Originally, the devs planned to make yet another "Orcs vs. Elves" fantasy game, but believed they wouldn't be able to handle the competition and so decided to take the completely vacant "tank MMO" spot instead.
Within 24 hours of being released, the LTP, the tank that was gifted for free to all players as part of the celebration of Wargaming.net's 15th anniversary, had received the nickname, "Learn To Play". It's also sometimes referred to as the "Loltraktor Pro", essentially referring to it as simply a refurbished Leichttraktor.
The Loltraktor now has a big brother: the Tier 10 German tank destroyer Waffentrager auf E-100, a surprisingly agile 2,000-hp behemoth with a laser-accurate autoloading 12.8cm naval gun, rapidly became known as the "Waffletraktor"/"WTF E-100"/"Waifutrager/traktor"/"Wafflehouse", mostly poking at it's general size and devastating gun.
The SU-14-2 SPG is probably better known to most players as the "(school)bus" or the "Finger of God" than by its actual designation. It's also known as "The Fridge" ("Холодильник") among Russian players.
The S-51 shares the "Finger of God" nickname, since they both used to be the heaviest SPGs available. It is also called the "Basilisk", due to its striking resemblance. Also known as the Unicorn due its frontal gun mounting resembling one.
The KV-2's turrets and the premium PzIV Schmalturm gained the nickname "bobbleheads" for their disproportionate sizes. The former is also often called "The Portajohn" in China for same reason.
US heavy tanks from the T29 onwards got nicknamed "Cheburashkas" for the same reason, and for the "flaps" on the sides of their turrets (actually a coincidence rangefiner).
The VK4502 Ausf B. Heavy tank has been called the "Baby Maus", while Russian fans nicknamed it "Slipper" for its silhouette icon.
In a similar vein, the German Pz38H735(f) and French Hotchkiss H35 are often called the "Mini-Maus", as they have incredible armor for their tier, but are very slow-moving. The Pz38H735(f) has also been coined the 'Mobile Oppression Fortress' for its ability to take withering fire and keep enemy heads down.
The map Malinovka earned the derisive nickname "Campinovka" for its large no-man's land and the usual tactics for the map. Also sometimes applied to Redshire (becoming "Campshire") due to two hills that players loved to camp before the redesign.
El Halluf is called "Sniperistan" by some players for much the same reason.
The Russian 100mm D10T gun for the IS heavy tank is sometimes referred to as the "idiot gun" (spelled as 1D10T), as it's more geared for a medium tank-type play style compared to the heavier cannon that most IS tank users prefer: The 122 D-25T.
Some tanks can use howitzers; short barreled guns that primarily fire low velocity high-caliber HE shells. These are known as "derpguns". On tanks with multiple howitzers available, there may be the distinction of "miniderp" for the smaller variety.
The original Derpgun is an enormous 152mm howitzer that's an option on the Russian KV-2* Formerly, the tier 5 KV with an upgraded turret; they were split in a patch that introduced tighter matchmaking tank. It's slow-loading, not very accurate - and able to instantly kill many tanks below the KV-2's tier and deal significant damage to even Tier 10 tanks. Because of this, the KV-2 quickly gained the infamous nickname "King of Derp", so underestimating it is a very bad idea.
Another notorious 152mm gun is the BL-10 gun on the ISU-152, nicknamed the "Trollcannon" by The Mighty Jingles on Youtube. It's an extremely powerful but extraordinarily erratic weapon, with huge alpha damage, very high penetration, poor accuracy, slow load time and a slow aim time. It may cause colossal damage when it hits the target, but it might miss or even bounce off a very lightly armored target (when on paper it should get through a Maus from the front). Depending on what the gun decides to do, the player is left either delighted or furious after firing it. (Or to quote Jingles, "In Soviet Russia, sometimes the Trollcannon trolls you.")
The premium Type 59 medium tank has been nicknamed the "Walmart Tank." Because, you know, it's made in China. Others call them "pandas", and for a more racy nickname, there's always the lovable "chink tank". Owing to the tanks remarkable tendency to burst into flame with hits almost anywhere, "rice-cooker" is an often used name by those disdainful of its combat performance. The most readily understandable and commonly used nickname, however, seems to just be "Type" (since it was the only tank with that word in its name for a very long time)
The addition of the Type 62 has resulted in the division into "Type" for 59s and "MiniType" for 62s.
On the Chinese server, there's the "Thin 59", "Lite 59," "Short 59", "Beefed 59", "Panther 59" and "Shit Camo 59", the last one referring to the locally infamous Type 59 Gold.
The KV-1S "Sport"; it has lighter armor than the KV-1 despite being a tier higher, but has higher speed and agility. It's essentially a stripped-down KV that performs more like a medium tank than a heavy. Some have also named it the "Crutch Tank" for its forgiving matchmaking, insanely powerful gun for its tier, and good power/weight ratio.
Some people refer to it as the "KV-IS" since it uses a nearly identical turret (they're impossible to tell apart from behind) and has a very similar hull to the IS.
The KV-4 is sometimes called the KV-4tress due to having thick all-around armor, making it tough to penetrate when properly angled.
The KV-5 premium heavy tank has earned the title of "Battleship" by some; it is exceptionally well armored (even on the sides) and has two additional mini-turrets in front of the main turret, giving it a warship-like appearance. The mini-turrets themselves have been nicknamed "R2-D2" and "The Breast".
The T82 is a Tier-3 American tank destroyer which is basically a M3 Stuart chassis with an open-topped turret and a more powerful selection of guns to choose from, including a 105mm howitzer. Being based on the Stuart's chassis means it can move more quickly than almost any other TD, but has paper thin armor as a drawback. It's no big surprise it's been nicknamed the "Jeep with a TOW missile".
The German GW Panther Tier-6 artillery has distinctively up-turned sides (where the crew would normally stand on while operating the gun) earning it the nickname "Dracula" for the popped-collar look.
The Sturmpanzer II SPG and the French S35 CA Tank Destroyer gets called "Bathtub", with their silhouettes and large open-topped fighting compartments.
The highly sloped armor of the Russian Object 704 Tier 9 tank destroyer makes it look like the most recent incarnation of the "Batmobile".
The French AMX 40 light tank is already starting to be referred to as the "Rubber Duckie" because it looks like a rubber duck.
As of 2013, there's official merchandise with AMX 40/duck jokes.
The tier X French medium tank Batignolles-Châtillon 25T often has its name shortened to "BatChat" or "Bat". Some players have started to affectionately call it the "BatShit" out of respect for its capabilities.
The German-influenced design of the AMX M4(1945) has lead to some players dubbing it "the Green Tiger" or "the French Tiger" for its strong resemblance to the German Tiger II. "Tigre" is another play on the same concept, for a more French-feeling pronunciation.
The British tier X medium, the FV4202, gets quite a bit of flak due to its relatively low top speed, but its high P/W ratio, fast turning speed, and low terrain resistance gives it good handling and has led some players to dub it "The Hovercraft".
The M3 Lee gets quite a bit of flak from the playerbase, due to its lack of turret, thin armour and rather inaccurate guns, to the point where - thanks to its high-profile design - people have begun calling it the "Garbage Truck". While it was still named Grant, some players referred to it as the "Galantz", a popular microwave oven brand in Europe and China.
The French Renault UE 57 tank destroyer has rapidly acquired nicknames based on its diminutive size, which is smaller than the turrets on many high-tier vehicles. Some of the most popular are "The Angry Flea" or "The Lawnmower".
The French SAu 40 tank destroyer has terrible armor and speed while being fairly large, and having the only saving grace of being almost a Hetzer with its guns. The players have nicknamed it "the Tumor"note definitely a reference to the machinegun turret on top with its very thin armor, probably also reference to being a product of the Somua company within days of its release. The "Tumor" nickname has since become a general term for any massive cupolas acting as a weakpoint on an otherwise heavily-armored tank.
The BDR G1 B (and to a lesser extent the ARL V39) is sometimes known as the "Steel Potato" due to the shape of the hull when viewed from the side.
Speaking of the French Tanks, the stock turret of the Tier-6 ARL 44 Heavy Tank has been called "The Barn" due to its shape.
The Germans get a tier 7 premium medium tank, the Panther-M10, which is disguised as an American M10 Wolverine tank destroyer. It's widely known as the "Warcrime Panther", because Dressing as the Enemy like that is, yes, a war crime.
A rather controversial nickname, usually used to rile up German-line fans deemed worryingly enthusiastic (and occasionally used unironically by very worryingly enthusiastic German-line fans), belongs to the premium 8.8cm version of the Jagdtiger tank destroyer. It's commonly referred to as the "Double Hitler", a reference to the significance of the number eight in white-supremacist numerology.
The M6A2E1, a premium variant of the American M6 heavy tank, is nicknamed the 'Mutant 6' or the 'Clownshoe' because of its massive, weirdly-shaped turret. Also called the "Breadloaf King" in China.
The TOG II* is given the name "Landship", "Banana", "Whale", and other such terms due to it's size (It's the longest tank in the game). Despite being a difficult tank to play, their owners are often very enthusiastic about them and will give them affectionate nicknames that always start with "HMS". Another one is "train", because that is exactly what "tog" means in Danish.
A common term for a platoon of three TOGs is the "Royal Navy", which the platoon itself will declare at times. Also, in maps with small-sized pathways, a common tactic known as "TOG-blocking" is used by parking the said tank sideways, thus denying enemies access.
The Aufklärungspanzer Panther light tank added in Patch 8.5 is called the "Awful Panther". It has a tiny turret on a large and easy to hit Panther chassis with a horrible stock gun (fit for Tier 2/3) that can see Tier 10 tanks. Another one is "AFK Panther", because they're so dreadful you'd rather have an AFK player!
In the SEA server, the M4 Sherman and its many variations are often called mantou due to the similar shape. Bonus points if they're using white camo.
On the Chinese server, the VK 16.02 Leopard is referred to as the "Loli Panther" as it sounds quite similar in Mandarin and looks like a scaled-down version.
The Soviet tier IX heavy tank the ST-I is sometimes known as the "Swollen Tick" for the extremely bulbous appearance of its turret.
Introduced in Update 8.9, the Panzer-Selbstfahrlafette IVc is affectionately known as "The Flak Bus" due to its box-like armor scheme. Other nicknames include "The Battle Toaster", "Flak Box", and "Fighting Breadbox".
The vehicles with the "Pz. Sfl." abbreviation as the start of their name became "Panzer Sniffle" (or, as a result of their ridiculously powerful guns and poor performance in all other areas, the less polite Panzer Syphilis) after the total was brought to three of them with 8.9. "Panzer Soufflé" is a less popular nickname.
The SU-100Y is known as "Boxtank" thanks to QuickyBabyTV.
The Jagdpanzer E-100 "Kaiju Jaegeru" and FV215b(183) "Death Star" tank destroyers have earned their nicknames by their ability to instantly wreck any tank that is foolish enough to face them head-on.
The T95 is occasionally called the "Cleanup Crew" due to its tendency to not get to the fight until it's already over.
It's other moniker, the "Doom Turtle", also references its slow speed... and impenetrable frontal armor combined with a 155mm cannon (the same caliber as the BL-10).
A battle between two opposing T95s is also sometimes described as akin to a turtle mating ritual, as both T95s try to get to each other's side and rear.
The T110E3, thanks to its high armor, is occasionally referred to as the T-800e3.
Because of its incredibly small size and unique shape, the French ELC AMX has earned the name 'Pancake Tank'.
The Russian Object 416 medium has also inherited the moniker due to having a similar shape.
The lumbering, ninety-tonne Lowe superheavy tank is known as the 'Slowe', for obvious reasons.
Due to its credit-earning ability as a premium tank, both fans and critics have also nicknamed it "The Bank of Lowe".
The special Tier-10 VK 72.01 German Premium heavy tank, which was given out as a reward for being one of the top 3 Clans in a contest has been given the loving moniker 'Failowe' for the fact that it shares a turret with the Lowe, as well as 'Lowetraktor' for its resemblance to the Leichtstraktor.
The Indien-Panzer, a German prototype design for the Indian market, is known as the "Vindalowe", since it resembles a scaled-down version of the Lowe heavy tank.
Erlenberg is known as Derpenberg since the top left corner of the map has an uncanny quality of bringing out hilarious tendencies of humiliating stupidity in players. Case in Point: This replay compilation.
The German VK 30.02 (M) medium tank is usually referred to as the MANther, due to being the MAN company's initial design for the Panther and to help differentiate it from the VK 30.02 (D) in the same tier.
Nicknames aren't limited to the tanks, but the players types who make up the player population as well:
Pubs/pubbies: An often derisive term referring to the run-of-the-mill player populating public matches, who never participate in tank companies or clan wars. Ranges from having shockingly-bad (below 45%) to average (48%-50%) to decent and beyond (52%+) with regards to win rate. They are called Alexes on the Russian servers, because most players of this type on the Russian servers have nicknames with some form of "Alex" in them, for some reason.
Clickers/Scumbags: A derisive term for artillery players, given the impression that it takes no skill to play artillery units except pointing on a target and clicking a mouse button. Most players who've actually tried playing artillery would argue otherwise. 'Scumbag' became a popular nickname for artillery players coined by one Bohemian Eagle(Jingles) of YouTube, though the name mostly refers to artillery players who drown themselves at the end of a match in which they're on the receiving end of a 1v6.
Seal Clubbers: Veteran players who use a highly-trained crew (usually at 100% and more than three skills or perks per crewmember), put them in a lower-tiered tank (tiers 5 and below), and use said tank and crew combinations to wreak havoc on the unskilled players that usually populate those starter tiers (the seals in question), padding their total stats in the process due to somewhat easier wins.
Bads/Baddies: Aforementioned shockingly-bad players found in random public matches. Generally have no grasp of tactics, and most of the time rush out and get themselves eliminated early on in a match. Usually reacts poorly to advice given by other players. A good lot are suspected to be bot-run accounts as well. Seeing these types of players at higher levels usually leaves many decent players wondering how they'd manage to get to the end-tier content in the first place. When using the XVM stat program, their bad stats (displayed as red, with the slightly better baddies shown in orange and the really bad baddies in black), per tank or total on the account, are usually below the 47% mark, with low numbers of matches to boot. Common nicknames include tomato (owing to being displayed in red in XVM), window-licker, and potato; the last one becoming popular enough to become a verb that essentially means "going full retard". On the Russian servers, these are called Rak ("crayfish") or Oleni ("deers") because of a complex bilingual pun: as they have essentially no skill whatsoever, they are prone to the ridiculously stupid actions like Zerg Rushing through the central field in Malinovka, which are dubbed ololo-rushes — thus the "oleni" nickname.
Average: Exactly What It Says on the Tin, your average player of the game, who don't outright suck like baddies, but otherwise can't carry a game on their own. Their win rates usually range in the 49% to 51% range or so, and when their stats are displayed with the XVM mod installed, they show usually colored yellow or green.
Decent: Players who've somehow managed to cross that grey area from average to not-quite unicum. These players have done their homework on tank traits, weaknesses, and map tactics, but still lack the preternatural situational awareness of many of the so-called unicum (see below). Their total win rate on accounts usually fall in the 54% to 59% range. When using the XVM stat program, their total win rates are usually displayed as bluish-green or blue.
Unicum: Really, really good players, most of the time not only having a huge number of matches under their belt (10k and up), but ungodly total win rates to boot, usually ranging from 61% and up. Multiple players of this type on a team can often tip the battle in its favor, but they're not invincible, and a really bad team (multiple reds) will drag down even the best unicum. Personality-wise can range from helpful to being arrogant and stuck-up jerkasses. The jerkass variant have been given the spicy moniker of Unicunt or the more measured uniscum. When using the XVM stat program, these players will have stats displayed in purple.
For the greens to pull out a win even in this situation is often described as a "Carry", as in "Carrying the team". A variant is a "hard carry" - when a team particularly sucks.
Also introduced was the term Lemming Train, describing a team whose majority of members choose to take one path instead of splitting up to cover their side of the map.
Platooning Tier I tanks with Tier X tanks - or some other such unbalanced lineup (most tier I tanks cannot reliably damage anything over tier 3 without gold ammo - and even then it's hard) is known as a Fail Platoon. This is generally seen as unsportsmanlike play (since it disadvantage your own team for your amusement), and can get people reported. Another common fail platoon setup is having three tanks of the same tier... with one being a scout, which effectively gets the next higher tier of matchmaking and thus can drag the other two tanks up.
Schedule Slip: Wargaming publicly released a "Two Year Plan" for the game, detailing features that it wanted to have implemented by at least 2012. Come 2013 (and patch 8.6) , and it has implemented barely a quarter of the promised features.
See the Japanese line of tanks? That was promised by the last quarter of 2012. It took a one year delay (December 2013) for Wargaming to finally put Japan in the game (patch 8.10).
The German secondary TD line (the "Glass Cannon" or Waffenträger line) added in patch 8.9 had been promised since before said Two Year Plan.
The French still lack their alternate tank lines, which are supposed to have the S35, S40, and R35 cavalry tanks, all the way up to the Cold War AMX 30. They're also missing several of their monster tanks, such as the Char 2C and the FCM F2.
The English wiki was down from November 2013 to July 2014. What changed? The GUI, and not much else. Details of the debacle can be found here.