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[spoiler] what the Chinese tech tree could look like

Chinese tech tree China tech tree Chinese Curtiss Vultee MiG Ilyushin Yakovlev Lavochkin

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J311yfish #21 Posted 26 April 2014 - 10:07 PM

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Update:

-- Tier 1 has been resolved with the Fu-hsing.  It is the only native biplane development that can be competitive with other fighters at Tier I.  Otherwise, Tier 1 is a close contest and an argument can be made for several others based on their historical significance.  See here for details.

-- The attack line has been verified.  The Vultee V-11 was studied by the Soviets and a licensed version was produced as the BSh-1 (Tier III in game), leading to the BSh-2 (Tier IV) and IL-2 (Tier V).  The V-12 was a continuation of the V-11 only to be found in China.  The Chinese communists later used the IL-2m3 (equal to Tier VI in game) and IL-10 (Tier VII).  There is so far no evidence to suggest that the Chinese ever used a single-seat variant of the IL-2, therefore Tier V would likely be the 2-seat version in-game.  Many years later they would use the IL-28 jet bomber (Tier X), but because it is a bomber it has been omitted (double the payload of the IL-40 in game, half the forward armament, double the rear turret).

-- there are a few more details to be added but the project is essentially done, and certainly close enough to consider the implications listed below.

 

Implications:

 

1) The Chinese tech tree would be highly assorted, and may be a great way to experience aircraft from multiple "trees" without actually starting from scratch

 

2) The Chinese tech tree would not simply be a copy/paste of existing aircraft

-- I-15 and I-16 are faster due to use of American engines (see here and here)

-- Hawk 75 and P-40 are faster with more engine variants (see here and here)

-- Northrop and Vultee attack aircraft are lighter/faster than their Soviet counterparts (see here and here)

 

3) The Chinese tech tree may be an avenue to fit these aircraft into the game if they are not included anywhere else:

-- Republic P-43

-- Vultee P-66

-- Republic P-47

-- Yak-17

-- MiG-9

-- MiG-15bis

 

4) The Chinese tech tree may be an opportunity to let pilots of other nationalities fly their respective aircraft:

-- Soviet Volunteer Group

-- American Volunteer Group

-- Japanese mercenary pilots after WWII

 

That's essentially it.  All of this is implied by the Hawk III premium gift plane (December 2013) and the recent premium leak (April 2014).

 

 


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Quesnel #22 Posted 27 April 2014 - 04:11 AM

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Wow, a lot of research and work put into this. Very nice. I can't wait to see what actually does make it into the game.


Demon93IT #23 Posted 27 April 2014 - 06:44 AM

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Good job indeed. In any case i guess we have to wait and see

J311yfish #24 Posted 29 April 2014 - 01:27 AM

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Thank you for your interest.  I expect to have more details in place this coming week.

 

I have been thinking about the possibility of censorship in China if the game is introduced there, and what that could ultimately mean for the tree if it is to be implemented.  I think that it would mean:

 

No back-and-forth progression

If the PRC censors do not officially acknowledge the existence of Taiwan as a separate entity, then they would probably not appreciate a tree that transitions from RoCAF to PLAAF, then back to RoCAF.  That would mean the exclusion of all aircraft used by Taiwan after October 1, 1949; therefore no F-86F or F-84G as alternates.

 

Roundels

There does not appear to be an issue with the display of RoCAF roundels on aircraft prior to the civil war.  The aircraft of that period are shown in the China Aviation Museum with their original (or restored) RoCAF markings, the only exception being the symbolic "Lenin" aircraft (below).  Captured aircraft are displayed in PLAAF markings.

 

Possible preference given to symbolic aircraft

Douglas O-2 -- 1st communist aircraft, named "Marx" after capture from Nationalists (though it did not actually fly).

Vought O-2U -- 2nd communist aircraft, named "Lenin" (red lettering on side) after capture from Nationalists.  It appears to be the first aircraft displayed in the China Aviation Museum (far right).

Boeing Model 218 -- there is a memorial for Robert Short, the first American to die in combat against the Japanese while defending China airspace.

 

 


Edited by J311yfish, 30 April 2014 - 01:21 PM.

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J311yfish #25 Posted 14 May 2014 - 02:41 AM

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Big update, skip to the Summary if you don't like details.

 

Updated:

Curtiss P-40 -- has been stretched to cover tiers V and VI with 5 engines as the USA tech tree does with the P-38 with 4 engines.

Polikarpov I-15 and I-16 -- could be stretched to tier IV if necessary based on the available engines but it would be a dead end in that you wouldn't have any progression once you got to Tier IV, so I am leaving them as is.

 

Moved to alternate list:

Republic P-43 -- would cannibalize a Republic line for USA, and does not offer much in the way of progression anyway due to limited modules on site.

Republic P-47 -- same as above

Lockheed P-38 -- used mostly in a reconnaissance role, and I have not been able to find any information on the armament they actually used.

De Havilland 98 -- 250 purchased from Canada, but I have not found any information on the armament they actually used, other than that several variants were used as trainers for the remaining 98's which were presumably used during the civil war as fighter-bombers.

 

Removed:

Northrop A-17 -- there is so far no evidence to suggest that the A-17 or A-17A were actually used in China.  There is a picture floating around on the internet of a supposed "Northrop A-17" in Chinese markings but it is actually a Tachikawa Ki-55 trainer captured from the Japanese (look at the tail, look at the wheels).

Northrop P-61 -- there is so far no evidence to suggest that the P-61 was actually used by the Chinese.  A P-61 with USAAF markings was somehow captured by the PLAAF, however, and remains on display in one of their museums.

 

Summary:

With those aircraft moved to the sidelines, what remains is the core from which there is very little room to deviate.  A Chinese tech tree would have to rely on the Soviet Volunteer Group, the American Volunteer Group (Flying Tigers), and imported technology in order to have playable progression from Tiers I to X.  If there is an insistence that a Chinese tree rely only on native developments, then it would stop at Tier III with the Yenchu XP-1 gull-winged prototype designed by Zakhartchenko that made 1 test fight before crashing, and it would still rely on American-designed engines.  I will be making one more update (soon) in which I discuss the possible incentives for playing a tree that many will likely regard as simply a "cut-and-paste" if they haven't bothered to look at the details.


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Raindrops #26 Posted 17 May 2014 - 05:51 PM

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Spotted Ki-43-Ic today - tier IV LF. Described by pilot as a "Chinese Zero."

Spoiler

I never said I was good.

USA needs GA too.


J311yfish #27 Posted 21 May 2014 - 12:06 AM

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Update 1.4 Public Test patch notes

 

New Premium planes:

 

Bell P-39Q-15 Airacobra - USSR, Tier VI fighter
Supermarine Spitfire V DB 605 - Germany, Tier VI fighter
North American Mustang Mk.I - Great Britain, Tier VI fighter
Kawasaki Ki-88 - Japan, Tier VI fighter
Grumman XP-50 - USA, Tier VI heavy fighter
Curtiss Hawk II - Tier II Chinese fighter (copy of F11C)
Breda Ba.27 Metallico - Tier III Chinese fighter
Nakajima Ki-43-Ic - Tier IV Chinese fighter
Curtiss Tomahawk IIb - Tier V Chinese fighter
New gift planes:

Curtiss XP-31 - USA, Tier II fighter
Fairey Fantome - Great Britain, Tier IV fighter
Blohm und Voss Ha.137 - Germany, Tier III ground attack plane

 

New Premium and gift planes for developers only:

 

De Havilland 98 Mosquito FB 26 - China Tier VI Premium heavy fighter
CKB I-7 - Soviet, Tier II gift fighter
Kawasaki Ki-5 - Japan, Tier II gift fighter
Hawker Hurricane IID - Great Britain, Tier V gift ground attack plane

 


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J311yfish #28 Posted 17 July 2014 - 12:01 AM

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I intend to revisit the Chinese tree based on lessons learned from other trees, based primarily on engine developments, the goal being to identify the "maximum model" like Finland.  There are complications, but I hope to work through those and have a better working model posted very soon.

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J311yfish #29 Posted 20 July 2014 - 10:43 PM

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Big update

 

The Chinese tree has been improved significantly based on lessons learned from tech trees.  Those lessons are:

 

 Japan -- it is not raw speeds that matter most, but rather horsepower as indicated by engine development

 Brazil -- it is not the date of acquisition that matters, but rather the date that it was designed

 Finland -- captured aircraft are acceptable if they are refurbished and used en masse

 Sweden -- imported aircraft are acceptable if they are essential to fill the tier

 

The engine development guideline is obvious, but the others are not:

  Without the Brazil guideline, Brazil doesn't get to Tier X (Douglas A-4 Skyhawk)

  Without the Finland guideline, Finland doesn't really get to utilize the Soviet technology that found its way into the Mörkö-Morane and VL Humu.

  Without the Sweden guideline, Sweden doesn't get through Tier III (Seversky-Republic EP-1) or Tier IV (Reggiane Re.2000).

 

So with these things in mind, and with a broader array of sources, I set out to improve the Chinese tree based on their large assortment of seemingly unrelated aircraft.  By including aircraft captured en masse from the Japanese and used by the Chinese during the Chinese Civil War it is possible to fill the problematic Tier V and VI and complete three fighter lines:

 

 

-- the main line (BLUE) begins with Robert Short engaging Japanese pilots in a Boeing P-12 prototype demonstrator, the first American to die defending China's airspace (1932).  Coincidentally, the P-12 was also flown by Chennault (future leader of the Flying Tigers) during his leadership of an aerobatic team in Alabama.  His performance on the team brought him to the attention of the Chinese government, who then hired him to organize their air force (1937), and ultimately led to the formation of the Flying Tigers (1941).  The Flying Tigers then become part of the China Air Task Force (1943), also led by Chennault, and eventually the American aircraft are turned over to the Republic of China (Nationalists) who are then forced to withdraw to Taiwan.  Despite a large investment in time and resources with Gloster, the planned CXP-1001 jet did not arrive in time.  American aid then comes in the form of North American F-86F, and Republic F-84G.

 

-- a secondary line (GREEN) begins with the Curtiss biplanes used during the Battle of Shanghai (1937), and continues with aircraft used by the Flying Tigers, including a captured and refurbished A6M2 (also known as the "Tiger Zero" or "Zero 3372").  It is significant because it was captured 6 months before the "Akutan Zero" and a mere 11 days before Pearl Harbor (also 12 months before Technical Air Intelligence Units formed).  The air-cooled radial engine trend continues all the way through the line with Lavochkin aircraft supplied by the Soviets to bolster the Communist cause.

 

-- a third line (RED) begins with the Soviet Volunteer Group aircraft used to combat the Japanese (1937) before they agree upon neutrality (1941).  The line continues with aircraft captured in Manchuria ("Operation August Storm" 1945) by the Soviets, given to the Chinese to assist the Communist cause.  The Kawasaki Ki-61's and Yak-9P's both used V-12 liquid cooled engines so their technology is analogous.  Soviet aid further seals the deal with Yak-17s and MiGs (1950).  The MiG-15bis is eventually built by China as the Shenyang J2 in Shenyang (located in formerly-occupied Manchuria).

 

-- an attack line (BROWN) begins with the Northrop Gamma assembled by CAMCO (1934) and continues with the Vultee V-11 and V-12, the design studied by Soviets and developed further to become the armored IL-2 and all that follows.

 

Now, I recognize that this goes against precedent, and it is not my judgement that matters but rather that of the developers, but seeing that this is possible, and that the playable progression tells an interesting story, perhaps this is a direction they might go to make China more compelling, and the tree more extensive for that enormous market that might boost the game to new heights.

 

I am still working on a few details but I was kind of excited to get this worked out because it has been nagging me for a long while.  I intend to account for the captured Japanese aircraft as variables (it isn't essential to rely on Zero 3372 ... Ki-44-I is also a good choice), and gather remaining details to the extent possible.

 

 


Edited by J311yfish, 21 July 2014 - 12:32 AM.

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J311yfish #30 Posted 28 September 2014 - 09:19 AM

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bump to avoid auto-archive (RIP Brazil)

Edited by J311yfish, 28 September 2014 - 10:16 AM.

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J311yfish #31 Posted 14 October 2014 - 05:17 PM

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China and update 1.6 (source):

-- Hawk III premium gift plane is now a multirole fighter, less diminished in speed when bombs are equipped (before / after)

-- P-51K officially announced as a Tier VII premium

-- further implications of the "multirole fighter" designation below:

 

Multirole fighters -- Soviet:

 

Multirole fighters -- American:

 


Edited by J311yfish, 16 October 2014 - 07:46 PM.

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J311yfish #32 Posted 04 December 2014 - 09:44 PM

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thread bump to keep out of archive

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J311yfish #33 Posted 03 May 2015 - 09:30 PM

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A new book coming out this month may shed more light on the aircraft used in China.  It is the authors first work in English.

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hwang_fighter #34 Posted 04 May 2015 - 02:47 AM

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I know the new shenyang is coming out but should also look into Chinese projects on aircrafts



J311yfish #35 Posted 06 May 2015 - 08:36 PM

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First Public Test of Update 1.8

 Premium and Gift Aircraft Available for Developers and Supertesters for Testing Purposes Only:

  • Lockheed XP-58 Chain Lightning — U.S. Tier VIII Heavy Fighter;
  • Supermarine Seafang F.32 — British Tier VIII Multirole Fighter;
  • SNCAC NC 1070 — French Tier VIII Attack Aircraft;
  • Ilyushin IL-10M — Chinese Tier VIII Attack Aircraft.

 

 


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hwang_fighter #36 Posted 07 May 2015 - 04:00 AM

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How does the shenyang fly?

J311yfish #37 Posted 21 June 2015 - 07:04 PM

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From Developer Blog, Balance Q&A Part 2 ... possible implications for China:

 

7. How does the balancing of new planes and tech trees look like before you open them up for use on the live servers?

Creating an entirely new tech tree (or branch) takes a lot of time. We begin with an idea: Where do we see the new planes fit into the already existing machines? How will they differ in terms of gameplay? What ‘character’ will these warplanes have? Pure copies of already existing planes with merely an updated visual are being dismissed immediately.

Once we have an idea all figured out, our historical consultants provide us with a list of viable candidates that fit the criteria that we’re looking for. Whatever they suggest must match with other planes from neighbouring tech trees in terms of level and capabilities. We also factor in that a tech tree extension must follow one clear chronological evolution of the period of time that we’re targeting. Lastly, all newcomers need to be interesting and add meaningful diversity into the existing eco-system of the game. The final setup of any branch or tech tree is subject to a lot of discussion and modifications with a lot of swapping in and out of certain planes.

Once we have the final look of a tech tree, we proceed to create the upgrade tree for each plane. When doing this, we aim at creating a sense of progression so that the player feels a development from the most basic stock model to the most expensive top configuration when the plane unveils its full potential.

When this is done, we send the plane into production: Our artists then begin to create the models of the aircraft, its modules, paint its textures and prepare its animations. After this, there’s the assembly stage when all of a plane’s components are being brought together: 3D-models, textures, effects, sound, etc. 

After the assembly follows the arming of the plane by attaching its armament and upgrades in the progression line.

The complete aircraft then goes into balancing. This is where the plane is brought to life by way of obtaining a character and a unique behavior in battle. After a few balancing iterations, we are able to prepare a series of planes, of which everyone fits its class and tier, acts like the balancing designers want it to act, and also earns the accordingly set amount of XP and credits. In these early stages of balancing that means a lot of flying for the game designers on our internal testing servers. Later, we include sorties on the Super Test and lastly the Public Test server.

When starting completely from scratch, this entire process takes up multiple months of work. For Premium planes it’s even more complicated than that because of their increased value to the players. These planes need to be perfectly balanced from the moment we make them available first time and can not be rebalanced later. For these, we test new planes directly in current live server conditions. That’s why maybe sometimes you meet a supertester or developer flying a machine on the live server that’s not available yet to the public.

Only when all of this has happened, thousands of hours of testing flight hours have been logged and masses of feedback and stats have been gone through, we give the green light for release of the branch in the next update.


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J311yfish #38 Posted 03 October 2015 - 04:26 PM

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Changes to Chinese planes on test server for update 1.9:

-- for simplicity sake, only changes are noted

-- for simplicity sake, only maximum configurations are noted

-- major changes good / bad


 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

Hawk III

Hitpoints +5

Weight +12kg

Firepower -2

Airspeed -1

(numbers with bombs equipped)

 

Ba-27M

Hitpoints +5

Weight +33kg

Firepower -13

 

Ki-43-Ic

Hitpoints +7

Weight +33kg

Firepower +1


 Tomahawk IIb

(not known)
 

Mosquito 26

Weight -240kg

Firepower -67

Airspeed +1

Maneuverability -1

- Average Time to Turn 350 deg, s -0.1

(numbers with bombs and rockets equipped)


 

Conclusions

-- Weight changes may be related to ammo or equipment upgrade changes

-- Firepower changes may be the result of recalculation associated with optimal distances.


Edited by J311yfish, 03 October 2015 - 04:27 PM.

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J311yfish #39 Posted 21 November 2015 - 02:10 PM

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Minor update based on information in the developer blog (Supertest Digest #3):

 

Block Quote

 

Il-10M — China, Tier VIII attack aircraft

“It’s a fun machine for players who prefer attack aircraft, like the Il-10 and can play it with maximum effort”.

“Best maneuverability for its class is the unique feature of this attack aircraft. It lets you deny the enemy their strategic advantage from ground targets and destroy their attack aircraft even without dropping outboard armament first”.

“Even though this attack aircraft has a low number of bombs and rockets, it’s more than balanced by great maneuverability and good defensive capabilities”.

 

Shenyang JL-1A-37 — China, Tier VIII fighter

“A nice aircraft. Even though it’s formally a fighter, the most effective tactics resemble those of a heavy — namely strafing runs. It’s not great at dogfights with maneuverable machines but excels at catching heavies and forcing fighters to stall and making them regret it”.

“I liked this aircraft. A very nice altitude fighter. It’s very similar to I-250: you climb high and then shoot down others who do it. Extremely powerful armament is a great advantage — its firepower is among the highest for fighters. But it’s quite specific — somewhat in between the long range and close range high caliber cannons. You’ll need to aim precisely and preferably fly straight at that moment. But that’s exactly what you need to do to be effective with it anyway”.

“A flying dagger! It’s able to get close and personal with an enemy very quickly, and at close range it can easily “stab” for 70-100% HP… It’s also good at forcing the same tier heavies to bleed all the momentum by locking them in unfavorable altitude, and then delivering a killing blow. I liked it a lot!”

 


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J311yfish #40 Posted 07 December 2015 - 06:37 AM

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Updated to indicate Tier VII and Tier VIII premiums.

 

A related discussion on the potential for a Chinese tech tree is here.


Edited by J311yfish, 07 December 2015 - 06:40 AM.

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