So today, I’m not gonna talk about anything programming related, but rant for a bit about my favourite game, War Thunder.
Table of Contents
What is War Thunder?
So first of all, a bit of background information (from our good friend Wikipedia):
War Thunder is based around combined arms battles on air, land, and sea. According to the game’s creative director Kirill Yudintsev, it is the only game that encompasses all three of these experiences in one gameplay session. Vehicles range from pre-World War I naval vessels, from the interwar period and the Spanish Civil War for tanks and aircraft, to the Iraq War and beyond, with an emphasis on World War II as well as an emphasis on the Vietnam War and the Cold War. Players can control aircraft, ground vehicles, and warships from the United States, Germany, Russia, Britain, France, and Japan, as well as nations with smaller militaries or less prominence in conflicts, such as Italy, China, Sweden and Israel. The game also incorporates smaller nations like Finland, South Africa, and Portugal.
Vehicles are divided into three main categories: Aviation, Ground, and Fleet, while game modes are divided between Arcade, Realistic, and Simulator. Aviation is divided between fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, and Fleet is divided between “Bluewater” and “Coastal”, where Bluewater represents ships from the size of destroyers to battleships and battlecruisers, while Coastal focuses on smaller ships such as motor torpedo boats, motor gunboats, subchasers, and frigates. A single player mode is also available that focuses on historical battles, and also a cooperative mode for battling AI ground vehicles and aircraft.
Why do I like it?
So before anyone starts asking me “If you hate the game so much, why not just find another game to play?”, allow me to explain why I just can’t find another one that I like as much as War Thunder, which I’m going to be referring to as WT from now on.
As you saw from the introduction (which I hope you read), WT is a combined arms game unlike the series by Wargaming, which are split into World of Warplanes, World of Warships and World of Tanks. I like the combined arms aspect of the game, as it allows me to play all three types of vehicles, and maybe commit CAS (close air support) in ground battles.
Tanks in War Thunder (excluding Russian ones) also have realistic damage models, unlike WoT (or as we like to call it, The Other Tank Game), which uses health bars. This also means that in WT, you are going to get one-shotted if your opponent is good, but the same also goes for you. If you manage to flank the enemy and manage to put a shell through their side/back armour, you’re also going to kill them in one, or at most three shots.
And now, for the parts I dislike…
My Problems with War Thunder
First off, a little explanation about how the economy in WT works. To buy a vehicle, you have to spend research points on it, which is obtained by playing the game. The vehicles are also given a battle rating, and split into different tiers in a tech tree. The higher the battle rating, the more research points it costs. This means that at first, to research a new vehicle, you might just need to play a few matches, but as you progress up the tech tree, a vehicle at BR 5.0/Rank III is going to cost you a whopping 26k RP to research. That might not seem like much, but each kill only grants you ~200 RP! And as if that isn’t enough, after researching, you still have to purchase the vehicle with Silver Lions, and a tank at 5.0 is easily going to take 100k SL out of your pocket. You still have a train a crew to use that tank, which is going to cost another 10k-20k SL. Take into context that a kill at that rank is only going to give you ~1k RP, and that you have to pay SL for repairing your tank if an enemy destroyed it.
So unless you have a premium vehicle and premium time on your account, advancing up the tech tree is going to be absolute pain. There is no doubt that Gaijin is trying to make money off of this by getting you to buy stuff, but I think they went a bit too far. A premium vehicle can easily cost you $60 USD. It’s like Gaijin has truly mastered the art of legal scamming! They’re also heavily biased to a certain country, which brings me to my next point:
Russian tanks in-game also ridiculously outperform their counterparts in real life. Two examples would be the T-72 (TURMS-T) and the T-80 BVM. They have absolutely broken spall modifiers, and ERA. You can shoot at their side armour with a 120mm APFSDS and not penetrate them at all thanks to the ERA, although you should have been able to. Even if you manage to penetrate the tank, your shell has a pretty high chance to not spall, dealing no significant damage to the tank. Russian ammunition also has a reputation for not cooking off at all despite being hit. Their fuel tanks are also infamous for stopping shells and absorbing all spalling.
The two modes that mostly suffer from this are Naval and Ground. Naval maps are usually just a bunch of islands, and you can literally see the enemy spawn from yours. Imagine spawning in, and seeing enemy shells flying straight towards you. Certain ground maps are also arguably trash, with people being able to snipe each other from their spawns, or having extremely good spots and cover for spawn camping the enemy.
Picture this: You choose your favourite tank and spawn, and moments later, you get blown up without even seeing the enemy, taking a good chunk of SL out of your pocket.
BR Compression, Uptiers and Downtiers
This is also quite a significant issue, as it sometimes results in unbalanced matches. I know this might be to keep matchmaking times short, but it’s not going to be fun at all if you spawn in your 1.0 Tank and meet a BR 3.3 Sherman 105 head-on. You aren’t able to even dent his front-armour, while he just lolpens you with his .50 Cal M2 Browning. How is that even remotely fair? I know you can flank them from the sides, but how are new players supposed to know this?
We don’t call WT Bug Thunder for no reason. It has a tons of bugs, but it’s still okay if they’re fixed relatively quickly. The thing with Gayjin is that they just refuse to fix their bugs sometimes. You can report a bug, and just be totally ignored my the moderators/developers. A few examples are ghost shells, track rendering glitches (which they fortunately fixed some time back), and the heads of your crews just rolling around on their necks. The last one isn’t that significant, but the first one can surely result in your demise and a good chunk of SL being used to repair your tank.
End of Rant
That’s about my problems with War Thunder for now, and overall it’s still a pretty decent game with good graphics and mechanics.