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Helpful Ideas & Advice for Both New and Experienced Flyers

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Prenzlau #1 Posted 02 March 2018 - 12:22 AM

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Introduction

This collection of possibly helpful advice and ideas is meant to assist new flyers and more experienced ones who might be looking for fresh angles. It is by no means a complete work, nor will it have all the answers that one might be looking for. If any of this content helps another flyer improve their game or their statistics, then that is my meager contribution to this community. Before I receive any negative feedback about why I should not be writing this or whether I am worthy, I just want to remind the readers that I am writing this and you’re not, it is as simple as that. If I have repeated ideas already posted in previous times, it would be a simple re-observation of facts and nothing more than plain coincidence.

Wolves’ In the Fold

A lot of new players rush through the first two tiers without realizing that they are skipping through an area where they could gain valuable experience and start their statistical careers off with a high win percentage and a high kills per sortie. I realize that things get a little more exciting when you reach the WWII era planes, but looking back, I should have spent much more time mastering the planes and battles in the first two tiers. The good news is that you can always go back, and the first two tiers are an absolutely boon for boosting your win rate and kills per sortie. It is a killing ground for more experienced and skilled flyers, who I aptly have named “Wolves’ In the Fold”.

“Fight on and fly on to the last drop of blood and the last drop of fuel, to the last beat of the heart.”

— Baron Manfred von Richthofen

Some people might apply the term, “Stat Padding”, and while this maybe be very true at first glance, we should reserve any negative verdicts. There are flyers who genuinely love flying the lower tier planes, and while a statistical boost is the byproduct, their intention is to have fun and enjoy the older planes. It is also not uncommon to encounter more than one experienced flyer on the other side at the lower tiers, best you identify them first and get after them before they get after you. For inexperienced new flyers at the lower tiers, take the time to learn good flying traits and skills, learn from the flyers that do well and prepare yourselves for the grind that comes at the mid-level tiers.

Ace In the Hole

Find that one or two special planes that you just seem to have a knack for success flying and fly them again and again. These plane choices are usually at the top of the experienced and skilled flyer’s statistical resume. The “go too” planes that they fly more than others, sometimes much more than any other plane they have. High volume flights in one particular plane will lead to an advantage for the in game pilot’s skills and the mastery of the plane by the human player could be extraordinary. This will help with a higher win rate and kills per sortie ratio.

“Anybody who doesn't have fear is an idiot. It's just that you must make the fear work for you. Hell when somebody shot at me, it made me madder than hell, and all I wanted to do was shoot back.”

— Brigadier General Robin Olds, USAF

 

It is ok of course to enjoy flying a wide variety of planes in your air fleet. But for those who want an advantage, you have to put in the work and the grind. Hone your skills as a flyer and become battle hardened with your favorite plane.

You Are My Best Friend in the Whole World

Having a flight mate makes a big difference. Some experienced and skilled flyers will team with their other clan members or friends, (sometimes even enemies), the majority of their flights. Having a flight mate usually leads to a boost in wins and more kills per sortie. Two experienced and skilled flyers can and often do change the outcome of a battle. Even lesser experienced and skilled flyers will also reap increased benefits of cooperation and team work. For example, let’s say there is a good flyer on the other side that is a threat and you have identified them. Now it is two on one, when both you and your flight mate engage them. (and yes that happens to me all the time) For those readers that are used to flying solo, I strongly suggest you start making some friends, or teaming with clan buddies. Battles are more fun and more statistically profitable. You win with the team you are on and you lose with the team you are on, teams that have flight mates simply are more successful.

“The wingman is absolutely indispensable. I look after the wingman. The wingman looks after me. It's another set of eyes protecting you. That the defensive part. Offensively, it gives you a lot more firepower. We work together. We fight together. The wingman knows what his responsibilities are, and knows what mine are. Wars are not won by individuals. They're won by teams.”

— Lt. Col. Francis S. "Gabby" Gabreski, USAF, 28 victories in WWII and 6.5 MiGs over Korea.

 

Mob Rules

You cannot control what the bots do, and sometimes human flyers either don’t listen, don’t care or they are already engaged in battle. Solo flyers of different skill sets and aptitudes somehow loosely cooperating with bot team mates to have coordination and win a team tactical battle? Say that again? All too often one side or the other will plant themselves in a mob like swarm on a cap. Planes from the other side trickle in piece meal and get killed as fast as they arrive. I think some of us have been in that type of feeding frenzy. I noticed that some experienced and skilled flyers who understand how to win and generate huge kill totals often will travel with a mob, embed themselves within a mob and feast when their side outnumbers the other. A mob of your own team’s planes will give you protection and generate distraction and chaos for the other side. This creates lower risk, higher reward opportunities for you.

“In every squadron there were, perhaps, four or five pilots who exuded confidence. They knew that they were going out to shoot. The rest knew sub-consciously, that they would make up the numbers, mill about, and get shot at.”

— Lynn Garrison, quoted in Fighter Command Air Combat Claims, 1939–45 (2003) by John Foreman.

Conversely, and I know most of the readers will admit (maybe) that they have charged into a red swarm in a vain attempt to win the air space over a cap. Being outnumbered matters and control of caps usually boils down to numbers and attrition. Keep track of your position on the map, don’t get caught up in or charge the red swarm. Attack other caps and targets on the map where the odds are better balanced or in your favor. Take command if you have to and urge other flyers to do the same, you have more to gain than to lose in that situation.

Bombs Away

Learn to play bombers! They are fun and offer a nice break from the stress of dogfighting. An experienced and skilled bomber can single handedly take caps and greatly influence the outcome of battles. Bombers at tier III and IV often have a free hand to move about at higher altitudes with little or no real threats especially early in battles. Incorporate a generous amount of bomber sortes mixed with your other flights and get some much needed wins.

“There are a lot of people who say that bombing cannot win the war. My reply to that is that it has never been tried.... and we shall see.”

-- Sir Arthur Harris

Float Like A Butterfly… Sting Like a Bee

The common mind set of flyers of all skills sets and levels is to be as offensive as possible. Shoot first, shoot second, shoot third, and keep shooting. A lot of mental energy goes into racking up the kills but not as much contemplation goes into truly defensive fighting and evasion. I had this bad habit for months of never turning down a head on charge, always thinking I could come out the better off even against fighters and heavy fighters with more firepower than my own plane. Occasionally I would get rammed or it would be accidental ramming, and then fume as I would blame the other player or bot. These head on confrontations are usually expensive unless you have the big cannons, but you still can receive a lot of damage. You also give your opponent the opportunity to ram, and they might have more health than you. It occured to me that I was lacking the ability to be evasive with my flying. So I started working on my “juke moves”. Rolls and turns, like 70’s disco, oh you’ll figure it out. I found that with good timing I could avoid the costly head on confrontations with a few well placed evasive moves, often ending up behind my opponent. My survivability increased, my kills per sorte increased. It takes practice and timing, but if you can master some cool juke moves, you might have just upped your game.

"Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even." - Muhammad Ali

Conclusion (Editorial)

If anything I have written helps anyone or gives them an idea, or helps inspire more experienced and skilled pilots submit their own thoughts and experiences, then I have contributed. New players need to figure things out, learn what works for them, keep an open mind, and a humble ego. We are all in the process of learning and progressing. Yes, there are always exceptions, and disruptive players, but from what I have observed there are far more good ones than bad. We have to remind ourselves that in American society and maybe others too, that we often make “something” out of “nothing” and “nothing” out of “something”. Meaning we often don’t see things for what they are and we care too much and often not enough. We are preoccupied with ego driven posturing, often creating extra conflict and drama. If a flyer has a 70% win percentage and a stellar kill per sorte ratio, they are what they are. They are not any better nor any worse than their record, and they deserve the respect for what that they have earned in battle. (I can’t believe I just said that) That said, somewhere beyond the statistics there is a human, complete with flaws and virtue, compassion and hatred, all the things that make being human so special. Always realize that you represent yourself, even in online games.

 
 

Edited by Prenzlau, 06 March 2018 - 04:58 PM.


The_Wild_Weasel #2 Posted 02 March 2018 - 12:31 AM

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Very nice, GJ ....... I needed this a few months ago :0

LMG #3 Posted 02 March 2018 - 12:40 AM

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While it's not possible to directly control the bots, it is possible to somewhat indirectly control them, mostly by helping them out. That said, their new behavior so far has been hard to crack, as they seem to have certain limitations as to where they want to go, but it's not clear what limits them. This is especially rough on the bot ground pounders, as they need to travel in a flock to be of any use, yet now they tend to split up and only converge on Mining Facilities, which breaks quite a few asymetrical maps with only one Mining Facility and makes the bots try to go across the map to shoot at it :facepalm:

 

Aside of that, fighters seem to limit themselves to "two per target". Sadly, they also seem to have forgotten how to dive, as I've been stalked by quite a few fighters that just sit on top of me while I'm flying down low :sceptic:


This is my IL-2 (t). There are many like it, but this one is mine. :child:

Cyberdog52 #4 Posted 02 March 2018 - 01:45 AM

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Great Job Prenzlau!  

Edited by Cyberdog52, 02 March 2018 - 01:46 AM.


Wombatmetal #5 Posted 02 March 2018 - 02:32 AM

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Good job. The advice I give anyone for planes (or tanks or ships) is if you want a better win rate, then flight up and/or play as few planes as possible. The more you play a plane the better feel you get for it.

 

Which you pretty much cover



wscarter007 #6 Posted 02 March 2018 - 03:56 AM

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Well written wish I could have had this when I started

Prenzlau #7 Posted 02 March 2018 - 04:33 AM

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Keep in mind that the hardest advice to follow is your own..:unsure:

Krautjaeger #8 Posted 02 March 2018 - 01:21 PM

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Well said my friend, I know you've been working on this for a while and happy to see the end result. Keep the spirit alive! :great:

CruzANDBruz #9 Posted 02 March 2018 - 05:18 PM

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Great advice. Thanks for taking the time to write it. 

 

I haven't flown below 3 in a while simply because I find it too slow for my liking after playing tiers 3 through 6, but I will if the mood strikes me (or I need to do some farming). I recall seeing lots of upper tier and 60-70 percentile players in tiers 1 and 2 when I ground through those tiers and never thought anything was wrong with that. To me it's no different than a tier 8 through 10 player with tons of experience and pilot skills galore mopping the floor with me when I play tier 5 or 6. Heck, I welcome those kinds of matches and try to learn from them. If you find that a couple of experience players have teamed up and are dominating a tier 1, you can always wait a couple minutes before clicking the battle button again and so that you'll gwet out of sync with them.

 

Some people like to fly missions and farm., some like the battle and play solely for the win, some want to be in the top ten percent of the pilot hall of fame. It takes all kinds and it's all good if you ask me. The only ones pilots bother me are the crap talkers.  



Prenzlau #10 Posted 02 March 2018 - 07:46 PM

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Thanks Cruz, and thanks to everyone who have replied.

 

My intention was not to pass any type of judgement or to come to any kind of negative conclusion. I noticed that you cannot earn some of the medals below tier 4, like the ACE badge. So there is an awareness that total kills with skilled flyers at those levels are routinely very high. That said, every flyers total kill per sortie ratio is based on their entire resume of battles, no matter what tiers they have flown. To be fair about it, they could separate wins and kill per sortie into tiers I to III, IV to VII and VIII to X. They could still also have over all stats and career numbers. 

Anyone can play at those lower tiers, there is nothing illegal or unethical about it. I was not being overly dramatic about "Wolves' In the Fold". Tier I and II battles have some new flyers, as you mentioned, it is slower. Most if not all experienced flyers will find it (generally) easier to get wins and higher kill totals than the middle and higher tiers. I'm not intending to question a flyers motives because I play tier II planes myself and I go to those battles because they are fun and yes, statistically rewarding. I would also say that I have had some really good memories of epic encounters with other really excellent flyers, and in those battles you often have the room and space to have some pure long lasting dogfights. 

I value everyone's opinions. It is good to talk about the game, as long as we don't ignore things that are obvious. From seeing all the topics and posts in this forum, there appear to be a great many obvious things that need attention. 

Thanks you so much.


Edited by Prenzlau, 02 March 2018 - 07:47 PM.


trikke #11 Posted 02 March 2018 - 08:24 PM

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excellent posts from an excellent pilot

 

so interesting to read the wingman comments, from pilots who survived by teaming up

 

i would love to see a mode where everyone is forced to fly with another human pilot, and the game auto-sets-up the teammates' voice comm backend details 

 

who knows...  some people might actually learn something new during their time together 


Spittoon says #smarterpilotswinmore

F_RapThor #12 Posted 04 March 2018 - 04:39 AM

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What an interesting post to ponder. 

You got a friend here. 

 

Thanks Prenzlau 

 



Azanthriel #13 Posted 05 March 2018 - 03:23 PM

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Well done. Thanks Prenzlau.

 

Alpha Tester World of Tanks Generals & Beta Tester For Total War Arena


Perrigrino #14 Posted 06 March 2018 - 07:48 AM

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Prenzlau, you obviously spent a bit of time pondering the stats. Yes, many ways to digest the numbers. And so what if some of the advice is repeated. It's worth repeating. Good job.

Prenzlau #15 Posted 06 March 2018 - 04:56 PM

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Thanks, again. I'm actually working on version 2 with more ideas and suggestions that I'm gathering. If anyone has any feedback, ideas, tactics, opinions, feel free to send me a message or share openly. 

 

And just a quick question for anyone to contemplate. Does the community drive the quality of the game, or does the quality of the game drive the community?

How much responsibility are we each willing to take to make this community truly great, or is that too much of an idealistic reach to ask that question?

 

Prenzlau


Edited by Prenzlau, 06 March 2018 - 05:27 PM.


trikke #16 Posted 13 March 2018 - 12:20 PM

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View PostPrenzlau, on 01 March 2018 - 11:33 PM, said:

Keep in mind that the hardest advice to follow is your own..:unsure:

 

when i give advice, i always advise people to get a second opinion
Spittoon says #smarterpilotswinmore





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