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GeorgePatton's 'State of the Game' 7.28.2013


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GeorgePatton #1 Posted 28 July 2013 - 06:54 PM

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Dear Community Members,

TL:DR at the bottom... but please, if possible read the whole thing. I really need community support on these issues.

As an avid fan of anything aviation related, I am very excited to see a free-to-play combat aviation themed game being produced by one of my favorite game studios! I have been waiting for World of Warplanes since I was about 12 years old. World of Warplanes isn't just another air combat game, World of Warplanes is redefining the entire air combat genre. This is why it is important that World of Warplanes be made as awesome as possible.

So, now that that's out of the way, I'll give a short introduction on myself...

I'm (obviously) an aviation nut. I've played everything from Red Ace Squadron to Aces High II. For those of you who don't follow the genre, that is everything from totally arcade to full-real simulator. I am currently working towards getting my Private Pilot's License and have approximately 36 hours of real-world flying experience. I have flown a Diamond DA-20, Piper Cherokee, Piper Archer II, Cessna 152, and a Cessna  172. I have also soloed in a Cessna 172.

I do not wish for this game to become a flight simulator. There are plenty of those out there already. If I wanted to play a flight simulator, I would go play Aces High II or something similar. I want World of Warplanes to become what it was advertised as, the ultimate hybrid of simulator and arcade.

As a tester who has invested a lot of time in World of Warplanes from the earliest stages of Alpha Testing until now; I would like to bring my opinions on the state of the game and the direction the Developers are taking it to both the community and the developers. Please bear in mind as you read this that this is MY OPINION. I am entitled to have my opinions, and everyone else is entitled to have theirs. If you agree or disagree, please state why/why not and make this discussion useful. My last topic like this got closed due to some closed minded people spamming about Warthunder being better. Let's please keep this one alive and helpful!

So, without further ado, we will get down to business!

World of Warplanes' main focus has until recently been on player skill. In many cases it was possible to destroy an aircraft of a higher tier in an aircraft of much lower tier. Not so any more. Some of you may say this is as it should be, however, when we take a deeper look of what makes it work the way it currently works (which I agree a lower tier plane should have a VERY hard time destroying a higher tier plane...) it will quickly become obvious what issues we are running into. In my opinion, there are four main issues we need to look at; Aircraft Tiers, Flight Physics, Control Issues, and Randomization. I will outline each below.

Aircraft tiers - that touchy subject which Wargaming.net really doesn't want us to talk about too much... The aircraft in World of Warplanes were placed in their initial tiers before they were even created. This means they were pretty much abstractly matched at specific tiers. What is the issue with this? The issue is four-fold.
  • Aircraft performance is being tweaked to fit the planes into the tiers they were originally set in. This means that some aircraft get a large buff from what they could realistically accomplish, and some are getting massive nerfs to make them stay where the developers want them without being OP. This obviously results in people being disappointed by the aircraft if they knew anything about the real aircraft. While this is secondary, it is a valid consideration and in no way affects my original point on this topic.
  • Weapon statistics are being changed to try to equalize aircraft which should not be facing each other. Again, this shouldn't be an issue if the planes are matched at the correct tiers.
  • It perpetuates the false idea that World of Warplanes is supposed to be a 'World War II Game'. The developers are trying to match planes that actually fought against each other in the same tiers for 'historical reasons'. This makes the continuity of gameplay an issue when you get to around tier 8. You begin to see aircraft that feel out of place as until then, the focus has been on World War II.
  • Military aircraft designs are based on getting a 'one-up' on your opponent. This means that one nation would create an 'OP plane' which would rule the skies until the next nation made an even more 'OP plane' that made the original 'OP plane' under-powered.
Flight Physics - The topic nobody seems to be able to agree on. If you don't agree with me here, that is perfectly fine. I have had disagreements with a lot of people about this topic. I still believe that there is a good balance we can achieve here and that is what I'd like to work towards in this section.
  • Altitude compression is really messing the game up. It creates a lot of 'traffic jams' in the combat zone that wouldn't be there if the altitude scaled correctly. It also ends up making vertical maneuvers drastically change your aircraft effectiveness due to the optimal altitude zones being so small which again is due to the whole altitude compression system. Also, if you think about it, we have vertical compression, but NOT horizontal compression. This means that for everything to feel realistic, our aircraft will make MUCH larger loops than they should since they loop, etc at the same scale as they turn... this means that we will go up a lot higher than we should during a loop, and also go down a lot more than we should. This results in a bad trade of energy for altitude as it is much harder to get up than down. Altitude compression really needs to go. (Yes, this means maps need to be larger so they don't look stupid.)
Spoiler
  • Roll response should be re-considered. This in my opinion is one of the most frustrating aspects of the current flight model. For some reason, Wargaming.net decided it would be a good idea to make the roll rates very slow. This results in the game not conveying the adrenaline rush of air combat properly in my opinion. Is it realistic? In some cases yes, but in others no. Is it fun? Most definitely not. If anyone has watched the trailers for World of Warplanes, they will quickly notice that the aircraft portrayed in the trailer really convey the adrenaline rush of air combat, and it is through the speed and maneuverability of the aircraft in the trailer that this is properly conveyed. Why would you create a trailer that shows fast-paced action and then make a game that feels like World of Flying Bricks? It doesn't add up. I have been talking to the developers about this for over a year and have only seen backward progress. This needs to change.
  • Stalls - I should really call them 'loss of momentum/falling out of the sky' because that's pretty much what they are. Stalls are not really effected by the aircraft's center of gravity, which makes them very un-predictable. Seriously, there is something wrong when it is easier to stall/recover a plane in real life than it is in a game which is supposedly taking  the hard parts out of flying. Stalls need to be simplified to a quick drop of the nose when the aircraft stalls. Not very realistic, but it gives the basic idea of a stall and is very easy to recover from. No spins, no snaps, just a simple quick nose drop which would automatically initiate a recovery. Get rid of the 'mush' and control slop just before the stall and just bring the stall on as quickly as possible. Right now it is more a combination of a tail slide and a stall and a hammer-head turn. Any one of these three things could be the main contributing factor in any situation, which makes it very un-predictable which = hard to understand which = not much fun.
  • Aircraft speed, plain and simple, our planes need to go faster. Nobody likes flying around at what feels like 50 mph. It just isn't fun. When close to the ground (50m and lower) we shouldn't really be able to see what the terrain looks like directly beside us. The terrain should be going by so quickly we wouldn't be able to focus on it very well. I'm not seeing anything like this in World of Warplanes. Wargaming didn't even attempt to make a motion-blur effect to give us the illusion of speed. This also should be changed. Preferably without the blur effect, but even that would be better than nothing. (Just saying that this will not benefit people with lower end computers if the motion-blur effect is used instead of actually speeding the planes up.) Also, increasing aircraft speed would make effective use of the terrain possible as at those speeds a pilot with the skill to fly close to the ground would in most cases be likely to shake his/her pursuer or cause him/her to crash.
Controls, the issue that has been fixed, broken, fixed, broken, and then 'fixed' again...
  • Mouse 0.4.1 - I don't really know what is going on with this one, I cannot even begin to imagine how to use it. I have tried it several times and every time gave up in utter frustration. I simply cannot follow what is going on with my mouse while I try to fight other aircraft and evade most of the enemy team which somehow always manages to find out where I like to be.
  • 'Mouse' - what used to be called 'World of Tanks Mouse'... I really enjoy this mouse mode when flying my ground attack aircraft. It is much more precise than the keyboard or joystick when trying to aim at a motionless target. It is absolutely terrible for air-to-air combat, but is awesome for air-to-ground operations. The automated processes in the controls file do not properly recognize roll/loop inputs and will often combine them in a very un-expected way. This is a very minor issue in the ground attack role (which I'm pretty sure it was designed for) but can cause major issues in air-to-air combat.
  • Keyboard - the keyboard controls are decent, pretty much what you would expect from a flying game. Unfortunately there isn't really much that can be done to improve the keyboard controls unless somebody designs a vacuum-tube keyboard that could have more than a simple I/O operating method.
  • Joysticks - joysticks are absolutely horrible. They were improved drastically with the inclusion of custom curves, but the response is still very much sub-par. Anyone who has played any flying game using a joystick will agree that there is no other game out there that does not let you aim properly with a joystick. I think the Developers should get a copy of Microsoft Flight Simulator X, or any other version of Flight Simulator post 1998 and see how the joystick controls the plane with the flight model set as un-realistically as possible. (Because I don't want y'all to think I'm trying to turn this game into a sim...) THAT is how joystick response should feel. Anything else is un-acceptable.
  • Sadly I have absolutely no experience with a game controller so I will have to leave that out of my topic.
Randomization - probably the single most hated 'feature' of World of Warplanes. Random gun dispersion, random chance to blow a wing/tail/engine off, etc.
What is wrong with randomization? It removes player skill from the game. If I wanted to play a game that had nothing to do with skill, I would go play the lottery. So, I will address my main concerns with randomization.
  • Gun Dispersion is a randomization technique Wargaming is using to attempt to either compensate for lag, or to 'even the playing field'. This is extremely frustrating for decent to good pilots as it absolutely ruins a good attack and can even cost your aircraft in some situations. It voids the skill of being able to hold a perfect lead on a target as your bullets do not even go where you are aiming them all the time. This in my opinion is un-acceptable. I believe that the dispersion from your guns should come from the convergence distance of your guns. This should be player-modifiable within a specific range. See the diagram below for details.
Spoiler
What would this accomplish? Implementing a gun-convergence distance that is player-modifiable would create the 'gun dispersion' that Wargaming is looking to implement in a consistent, predictable way that would not affect player skill. It would allow for the customization of play-style to almost anything a player could ask for as it would be completely customizable to the player's style. If a player likes to get in extremely close before shooting at an opponent, they would set their convergence distance to something like 150-200m. If they like to shoot from far out, they would set it to something like 700m. Anything outside of about a 100m buffer zone (50 meters ahead of, and 50 meters behind the convergence point) would have too much gun dispersion to be effective. Players could still achieve hits and deal damage, but the main weight of fire would not be focused on the opponent's aircraft. (Which is what gun dispersion currently effects in-game.) This would create approximately a 50m 'sweet spot' where almost all of your fire hits your target if you aim correctly. This is consistent with real air combat and makes the game more fun.
  • Random chance for critical damage is also very frustrating. Just like in tanks, you cannot aim at a module and deliberately destroy it. You have to get lucky with the random number generator to get a critical hit that actually is a critical hit. The odds of getting a critical hit in World of Warplanes is obviously a little better than in tanks, but it is still frustrating nonetheless. Please note, the chances of being able to deliberately aim at a module in World of Warplanes is MUCH lower than in World of Tanks due to the speed of the aircraft relative to each other as well, so there should be less 'random' about this than in Tanks simply because of that fact. The random is already there because of the nature of air combat.
TL:DR?
So, if the world was perfect, and Wargaming.net would create the game exactly how I would envision it, what would be the result? (sarcasm turned on there about the world being perfect...) World of Warplanes would represent almost all aspects of aviation in an easy to understand package that would give the average gamer a fun game to play that is easy to learn, but hard to master, and it would give the mainly sim guys a fun game to play when they get tired of flying straight-up sims and want some quick action. This would be accomplished by removing the 'slush' from stalls, speeding up all aircraft, re-tiering the aircraft by their capabilities, fixing the control issues, getting rid of altitude compression, increasing roll rates in almost all aircraft (un-realistic, but more fun), and making everything feel more fluid.
If you support any of these ideas, please let the developers know! I have been asking for these changes to be made for about a year now, and I am always being told that we need more support from the community to have stuff like this implemented. I know a lot of you may be comfortable with the way things are now, but the game is not really drawing many people at this point, and there is probably a good explanation for that. Please show some support and post in this thread or +1 this post to show that there is support for this idea!


Cheers!
Glenn

Jinxed_Katajainen #2 Posted 28 July 2013 - 07:15 PM

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Really couldn't have said it any better.
These are a lot of the points that I have made in the past that felt like it fell on deaf ears many times.

One thing I'd like to add to the vertical game discussion here is that all planes no matter what their behavior in real life were, they will start and end loops at the same altitude, with the only difference being the peak height of the loop.  The bigger your turn radius, the higher it will be.

There was an article I read about a test pilot that flew a myriad of US, Japanese, and German planes, testing them against each other and the one line that really stood out was (paraphrasing here) 'The A6M Zero would make a loop and without any kind of throttle or stick pressure adjustment, it would end its loop higher than it started.  On the other hand you could fly the F4F Wildcat perfectly with fine throttle and stick control to get the most out of the plane, but the weight of the plane would naturally pull it down, ending the loop lower than you started every time.  You also needed a lot more speed to start the loop and come out of it safely in the Wildcat, something around 180 knots compared to the Zero where you could loop safely at 120 knots.'

Differences in planes like this that are missing from the game start making it very one dimensional at times when flying...

Proof of Ace:TSh-3 (2G), BSh-1 (2G), LBSh (A/2G), IL-2 (2G), IL-2(t) (3G), IL-8 (3G), IL-10 (2G), I-15, I-16 early, I-16 late (2A), P-40 M-105, La-5, Ar 197, Bf.109B, Bf.109C, Bf.109E/F, He.100, Bf109Z, Ao.192 (G), Bf.110B, Me.210, Me.410, P-23, Hawk 75M (2A), P-36 (2A), P-40, P-39, P-51A, F3F, F2A, F4F, 2PA-L, XFL-1, F4U, A6M1, A6M2, A6M5, A7M

OpenEmUp #3 Posted 28 July 2013 - 07:49 PM

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I agree with almost everything and I don't say that much to anyone...... I like your drawing of convergence points that really puts things into simplicity, I realize they do not want to much of a simulator, BUT this has to do with flying, I want to actually EXPERIENCE what it feels like to fly a high speed PROP plane or blazing through the skies in a LA-15, and not have the ground look like i'm moving in a fast jog.
As with the aircraft tiers, i will argue all day with the Jets with Prop planes, i realize in the Korean war that allot of corsairs came into contact with Migs but just for the fact that a prop plane doing about 300 kmh slower can be matched up with a beefier and more Firepower plane that cant just fly away in a matter of 2 seconds is absurd.
I stick to low tiers as i see many people do, but whats the point is this game not about progression? They stunned progression because higher tiers are simply not fun
EDIT: ADDED BATTER CONVERGENCE GRAPH FOR YOU GEORGE

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Schultz #4 Posted 28 July 2013 - 08:42 PM

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Very good read. I support this!

Jiri_Starrider #5 Posted 28 July 2013 - 08:42 PM

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Agreed, and better worded than I could do. And with Posts 2 and 3.
Edit - the fitting of planes into a predefined slot of characteristics really robs planes of their qualities. For example, the XF5U, even though it was a poorly designed vehicle and never actually flew, based on its discplane form it should be one of the most maneuverable planes in game, instead it's pigeonholed into the tier requirements, less maneuverable than the tier before, but faster and better armed.

Edited by Jiri_Starrider, 28 July 2013 - 08:50 PM.

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Misfire42 #6 Posted 28 July 2013 - 08:44 PM

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Excellent post. I agree with pretty much all of it. I don't see the tiers as being as big a deal as you, until Tier 8 where there seems to be a huge gap and a change to how battles play out (with low tier ones being more fun for me). Altitude compression and the flight model give the game a sort of slow, bland feel that I think needs to go away, and the controls still aren't fixed like they should be. I would also add that the low end of PCs that can run the game still seems to be fairly high. As I've thought for months now, there's definitely a fun game here somewhere, but there's stuff holding it back (FM, controls) that needs to be fixed for it to succeed.

Edited by Misfire42, 28 July 2013 - 08:44 PM.


hathore #7 Posted 28 July 2013 - 08:50 PM

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Very well-written Glenn, thanks for posting this!
Must say we agree on many points here.
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Captain_F22ACE #8 Posted 28 July 2013 - 08:50 PM

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Nice! I'm learning to fly in a Stinson 108, if you know what that is! Good'ol tail dragger. :teethhappy:

WiscOrangy #9 Posted 28 July 2013 - 09:50 PM

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Absolutely agree, with two in specific,
Joystick controls and gun dispersion.
+1 issued.

My stats are bad because the IL-2 Is bad.

W1Z22 #10 Posted 28 July 2013 - 10:05 PM

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nice post OP


Stieger #11 Posted 28 July 2013 - 10:41 PM

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As I see it the spread between 6 and 8 are pretty wide atm but that my opinion

GeorgePatton #12 Posted 28 July 2013 - 11:19 PM

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View Posthathore, on 28 July 2013 - 08:50 PM, said:

Very well-written Glenn, thanks for posting this!
Must say we agree on many points here.
~Hathore

Excellent! I don't suppose you'll let me know which points y'all agree with?


Cheers!
Glenn

petersleepy #13 Posted 29 July 2013 - 01:40 AM

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I agree with most of your points, but the stalls and joystick controls part. I think the stalls are quite easy to recover from (easier than WT, where there are actual spins and such). This might suit some people, but turn others off this game. I also believe joystick is fine as it is, but I may be biased since I've been using it since mid-alpha period and haven't played any other flight sims. After all, you can't get worse than WT joystick controls, which are absolutely horrid in third person view.

Edited by petersleepy, 29 July 2013 - 01:40 AM.

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FryaDuck #14 Posted 29 July 2013 - 01:43 AM

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View PostGeorgePatton, on 28 July 2013 - 11:19 PM, said:

Excellent! I don't suppose you'll let me know which points y'all agree with?


Cheers!
Glenn

You should know that by the Supertesters criteria they selected, non pilot FPS players who have no idea.
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GeorgePatton #15 Posted 29 July 2013 - 02:03 AM

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Hey Frya,

I'm not following your point. I'm asking hathore if the developers from the NA region will tell me which points they agree with in my OP. This has nothing to do with the Supertest selection criteria.


Cheers!
Glenn

LordAlexander #16 Posted 29 July 2013 - 02:26 AM

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I have agreed with all these points for many many months now.  Thanks for bringing them back to lights.

QJW #17 Posted 29 July 2013 - 04:38 AM

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I would have to agree on many aspects as well. The point you maid on the 4.1 mouse is how I felt when I first used it. It was clumsy, strange to use, and weird. It had a very strange auto-correct system which I was not used to at all. I have also been advocating that WG put all the mouse controls we have currently and in the past for us to test to see what we like from them and what needs to be changed. I personally thought the 3.5 mouse was amazing compared to the 4.1 mouse. It was much easier to get to grips on and master. Maybe posting this idea here will also help get all the different kinds of controls we have had implemented in one patch for us to test. Good post Glenn. +1, hopefully this gets well around with WG.

Edited by QJW, 29 July 2013 - 04:40 AM.


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Zwajo #18 Posted 29 July 2013 - 06:02 AM

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great post and I agree with almost every post but one really... as an older gent I kinda like the slower pace of this game.. to many games I have tried recently (WT,MWO, ect)  are so twitch based and fast paced that I feel I need a triple shot of expresso just to run the tutorials.
other than that I would add one thing to your list... Ground Attack aircraft and the abysmal exp/credit gain compared to their fighter counterparts.
plus 1 all the same

Edited by Zwajo, 29 July 2013 - 06:03 AM.



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FryaDuck #19 Posted 29 July 2013 - 07:47 AM

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View PostGeorgePatton, on 29 July 2013 - 02:03 AM, said:

Hey Frya,

I'm not following your point. I'm asking hathore if the developers from the NA region will tell me which points they agree with in my OP. This has nothing to do with the Supertest selection criteria.


Cheers!
Glenn

Do you follow that the compression and neutering of the flight model is an atrocity. Does it follow that the selection criteria perpetuates that atrocity?
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Colonel_Kraken #20 Posted 29 July 2013 - 01:44 PM

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Well written, well argued, well done!  +1 reps.

I will just say, that being relatively new to this game, I do think the game is fun . . . but a lot times it just does not "feel" right.  A lot of minor things feel out of wack.  I believe you have been able to put into words what those reasons are.

Certainly, a lot of times, my plane feels VERY sluggish to me, but it mostly may be that I have no "feeling" of the speed at which things are happening.  The only time I get this sensation is when I fly right past an aircraft on a head to head.   Otherwise, I have to look at my airspeed to actually see how fast I'm going, since I cannot tell the difference between 200 kph and 600 kph.   Also, the mouse controls seem very sluggish, and I cannot get out of sticky situations I know I would be able to in "real life" (of course, this may be solved by moving to joystick controls).




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