WOT is the only free to play game I have invested real money into, and I have played or played a good amount of them. I figure it as I didn't pay $40-$50 retail for the game and there is no monthly fees so $6.95 or what ever the minumum amount for gold is was not bad every other month or so to me. It let me convert free experience which was helpful in grinding through some real turds. Do I get stuck in the top 5, hardly ever, usually the bottom or mid low but I still have fun. My T50-2 is usually always the dead bottom of the pack with very high tiers above but I still love playing it. Is the matchmaker flawed or is the game full of whiners that don't understand teamwork or flanking and knowing when not to go head to head with tanks that outclass you, yes on both accounts. Do you have to pay to be competitive in WOT? I don't thinks so and if it is they are not forcing you to play. Just look at it as a fun time killer that doen't cost you a dime unlike Gauntlet which sucked a small fortune out of me and my friends long ago.