Wrote this thread for my clan on our enjin site. Although not a bug report, I thought you might want the feedback. Feel free to move this to another thread
No longer will you see 3 Attack Aircraft on one team and 3 Light Fighters on the other! They've finally figured out that balancing matches by plane type not only makes sense, but also doesn't impact queue time at all.
There are some really nice changes to the user interface. First, the section on the right gets revamped. The current data is still available, but the default view changes to a listing of pros & cons for the plane, as well as your dps (damage per second) at various ranges. This is a WONDERFUL change and will allow you to learn your effective weapon ranges.
As you can see, the Bf 109 G deals 278 dps up to 460m, 180 dps from 460-576m and has a maximum range of 720m. That is, you can keep shooting from 576 to 720m, but your damage will be negligible.
By comparison, the P-51 D deals more damage in close (300 dps up to 500m), but since it only has machine guns, it only has 1 range (short). Unfortunately, they still don't list "time to overheat", which is a significant stat on guns.
All of the equipment that was recently available from missions only can now be purchased, giving you more opportunity to customize your plane. You can get as many as 15% more hp, more maneuverability, +15% tail gunner range, etc. This is a really nice addition.
Likewise, the consumables that were recently available from missions only have also been added. High altitude heavies can purchase engine cooling. Multi-roles can get weapon cooling. Fighters can get temporary maneuverability boosts.
They have changed the sounds of almost all of the guns. It's disconcerting at first, but I think I'll probably like it once I get used to it.
They have made some nice changes to the UI during battle as well. If an enemy plane suffers critical damage, they receive an icon next to their hp bar, so you know what was damaged. This is a useful piece of information. For example, if you're in a Spitfire against a Zero with a damaged tail, you can out-turn them.
A big icon also appears to let you know you're on fire, making it that much more obvious.
Bots to Increase Battle Size / reduce Queue Times
In order to combat the increased queue times due to the dwindling population, they have decided to add bots to standard battles. This is a probably a good idea, except that it's horribly executed (see below).
The bots should only be added if flying in a tier with low numbers of players. So far I've seen a minimum of 7 on 7 (with 1 human player per side). When we had 3 humans per side, they still added 6 bots to make it 9 vs 9.
Of course, a better idea would have been to actually market the game to bring in more players. There are plenty of free/cheap ways to market this game to bring in more players. I've already shared several with one of the mods and received no response.
Can Set Bot Difficulty to 3 levels in Training
Bots now have 3 skill levels that can be set during training:
In addition to this, the bots have better AI. They climb, stay on target, avoid head-to-head if you have superior firepower, don't lawn-dart (although they do still fly into mountains and other obstacles). They also communicate using the F-keys, although I'm not sure if they respond to your use of F-keys. They certainly don't pay attention to marking the map (more on this later).
Increased Chance to Critical Hit & Start Fires
You will catch fire almost every battle, frequently more than once. That's going to increase your credit costs since you will be using a fire extinguisher constantly.
You will also suffer critical hits almost every battle, frequently more than once, so get used to flying a damaged plane.
This makes battles a little more random (which is good). If an enemy gets on your tail, you can no longer eat some damage so that you can finish off your target, because if your enemy gets a clean shot at you, you're going to get critically hit! However, the frequency is just too high. In the first burst, I had my left wing critically hit. The second burst critically hit my right wing.
If we're forced to use 3 consumables every single match, then that's another 9,000+ credits per battle, which is more than the best non-premium planes on non-premium accounts are capable of earning per battle! What's worse, this isn't the only massive cost increase you will see (more on this later).
Best Consumables Cost Gold
The best consumables are only available for gold. For most items, this isn't a big advantage. For example, an automatic Pneumatic Restarter will only save the time it takes for you to press the appropriate key - hardly a major advantage. However, an Improved Fire Extinguisher gets 2 uses, a HUGE advantage considering how often you will get lit on fire!
Best Ammo Costs Gold
Standard Ammo is free. Armor Piercing Ammo costs credits. The rest cost gold:
As you can see, the damage remains the same, but premium ammo has an increased chance to:
- score a critical hit
- light a plane on fire
Those are SIGNIFICANT increases which will give those buying gold a HUGE advantage, making this a pay-to-win game if 1.9 launches as is.
An Me 262 will cost 36g per battle in premium ammo. If you fly 23 battles a day in that plane and want the best ammo, then you'll be spending $100/month!
Armor Piercing Rounds Cost Twice as Much
Not only will the pilots buying ammo with gold have a huge advantage over you (due to having either a higher chance of scoring criticals or a higher chance of lighting you on fire), but if you use the Armor Piercing rounds, then you had better be paying for a premium account.
Over my last 145 battles in my Beaufighter, I have a 71% win rate, 48% survival rate, and average 557 base xp per battle. These are my average financials:
14,607 base credits earned per battle
2,108 average repair costs
5,922 average service cost (7,950 max)
6,667 average credits added to bank (no premium)
However, in 1.9 the cost of the Armor Piercing rounds (the only rounds you can buy with credits) almost triples from 4,800 to 12,600. That's an increase of 7,800 credits, which is 1,133 more credits than I make on average in that plane (an above average non-premium money making plane). Good luck tiering up your planes unless either you use Standard Ammo or buy a premium account. Considering that most Armor Piercing rounds give a 50% increased chance of fire and of scoring a critical hit, it's a HUGE upgrade over Standard Ammo. If you can't afford a premium account, then you can't compete. This change will single-handedly kill the game.
Even with a premium account, you'll only earn as many credits as players on a non-premium account earn currently! As a non-premium player, I can assure you that credits will now be your number one obstacle to tiering up. Expect to have a half dozen planes researched that you cannot afford to purchase.
Bot Difficulty seems Random
The bots that are added to each team to fill up the numbers seem to have randomly selected levels of difficulty. If the match is 9-on-9 with only 3 human players per team, your team's 6 bots could all be Beginners while the opposing team's bots could all be Veterans. There's no way to tell the bot's skill level. I don't know if this is true or not, but based on the incredibly one-sided bot battles I've seen, this seems the most likely reason. I've had many battles where my bots got no kills, while the best enemy bots are getting 3-4 kills and doing 800 - 1,300 dmg!
Veteran Bots are DEADLY
Bots are some of the best players in the match with 3-4 bots scoring 25-40-% accuracy every battle (and I'm not talking about the attack aircraft). I've gone head-to-head with a Spitfire in a Yak-9U and come out with 20% hp while he flies off with >50%!
They also react quicker than any human. There are certain techniques that I use to avoid taking damage in certain situations. However, against bots, not only do they track my movement perfectly, but they stay on target far longer as well.
Charge of the Bot Brigade!
Although they do gain altitude, bots charge directly towards the enemy. If given a 50/50 head-to-head match-up, they'll take it. They also don't group up, so there are pockets of small battles all across the middle of the map. By the time you arrive, the battle is almost over!
Keep in mind, I'm saying this as a player who likes to gain altitude while moving forward. This isn't a case of me hanging back, flying around my base until I get to 13,000 feet. I'm climbing while moving forward the entire time, and I'm still late to the fight every match!
WoWP will become pay to win game if 1.9 launches as is. That, combined with the ridiculously unbalanced bots will very likely kill the game within 2 weeks.