Tuesday 10 September 2013

War Thunder Indian Summer event

As the British weather turns distinctly autumnal there’s an Indian Summer event going on in War Thunder, the objective being to shoot down massive piles of enemy planes. Not quite sure what the thematic link is, but hey, they’re giving out premium aircraft rewards. Don’t look a gift Typhoon in the radiator chin scoop, as the old saying goes.

The event is on until September 23rd, and there are six levels of reward available for each nation in each realism mode. The first five levels award silver lions (10,000 per level), the sixth level awards 100,000 lions plus a premium aircraft. The planes up for grabs are:

USSR: P-39N-0, Rank 8

Requires 1100 Arcade air kills, 360 Historical Battle air kills or 300 Full Real Battle air kills (while flying Soviet aircraft). The Soviet version of the P-39N is two ranks higher than both the US P-39N and the other Soviet premium Airacobra (P-39K); it’s probably slightly over-ranked, especially compared to the Yak-9, but it was only available in the store during one weekend event previously, hence the high kill requirements. If you like big guns (and you cannot lie) then you could stick it in an arcade line-up with the Yak-9T, Yak-9K, P-39K and P-63A for a whole lot of 37/45mm action, otherwise it’s a bit superfluous.

USA: A-26C-45 Invader, Rank 16

Requires 1100 Arcade air kills, 360 Historical Battle air kills or 300 Full Real Battle air kills (while flying US aircraft). Speaking of over-ranked, the A-26 does have a larger payload than the Rank 5 A-20 and (theoretically) better performance (there seems some debate over whether it’s modelled correctly), but that’s not really enough to justify the dizzying heights of Rank 16. It’s rare, though, previously only available via promotions on Facebook, in magazines etc., so has the joint-highest kill requirements. Unless you’re a dedicated plane collector and must have absolutely everything, I wouldn’t go crazy trying to earn one.

Germany: Fw 190D-13, Rank 14

Requires 900 Arcade air kills, 300 Historical Battle air kills or 250 Full Real Battle air kills (while flying German/Italian aircraft). Available in a decent value gift pack, once upon a time swarms of Doras plagued Historical Battles, swooping down from great height upon Allied aircraft and causing much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Over various patches the Focke-Wulf’s flight model was tweaked with some extra weight, and other aircraft received performance boosts such as the 150 octane fuel upgrade for the Spitfire Mk IX, and lo, was there much Allied rejoicing. Axis opinion is split between the Fw 190D-13 now being an utterly worthless pile of junk, and being a decent but tricky to master boom-and-zoom fighter, I suspect it’s more the latter but don’t have one myself.

UK: Typhoon Mk Ib, Rank 10

Requires 540 Arcade air kills, 200 Historical Battle air kills or 180 Full Real Battle air kills (while flying UK/Australian/French aircraft). A good choice for British pilots, the Typhoon Ib has decent performance and great firepower from the 4x20mm cannon. It’s not as nimble as a Spitfire, better suited to boom-and-zoom tactics than dogfighting, and is ideal for Historical Battles, or can slot into a nice Arcade lineup with the Spitfire Mks IX and XVI and Mosquito. The Typhoon is part of the Steam Ace Advanced Pack (also includes a Pe-2, 10000 Gold Eagles and two months of premium account time), an excellent value bundle (especially if on sale), so if you’re thinking of shelling out some real money then that’s a good option, but if you can’t or won’t buy a Steam pack then this event is a fine opportunity to pick up a free Typhoon.

Japan: A6M5 Ko, Rank 12

Requires 540 Arcade air kills, 200 Historical Battle air kills or 180 Full Real Battle air kills (while flying Japanese aircraft). Highly manoeuvrable but fragile, a bit slow compared to most opponents of similar rank; I don’t play Japan very much myself, but if you do then the comparative paucity of the Japanese tree probably makes any addition useful. The A6M5 Ko is also in the War Thunder Steam Pack or Pacific Advanced Pack from the web store, presumably why it requires comparatively few kills.

If you really want to earn one of those planes, you’ll need to get flying. You should’ve probably got flying a few days ago when the event started, but barring the invention of a time machine that’s not very useful advice, and if you have a time machine I’m sure there are better things to be doing than playing War Thunder. Unless you’re an ace of such incredible skill that you never die and shoot down innumerable opponents every sortie, the easiest way to rack up kills is “seal clubbing”, flying low level aircraft against less experienced players. The game has some safeguards to protect completely new players, once you’ve passed a certain pilot rank I don’t think you can be matched up against rank 0/1 opponents even if you only equip rank 0 reserves yourself, so assembling a rank 3 lineup is the way to go with as many fighters as you can pack in. Playing at lower levels also means lower repair costs, if you’re constantly playing higher level aircraft somewhat recklessly then the monetary reward from the event might not even cover the repair bills. I do feel a bit guilty about going back to lower levels, but all is fair in love and war, as the LaGG-3 pilot said after tearing apart a poor biplane with 20mm cannon shells. I try not to be a total bastard, there usually seem to be at least a couple of seal clubbers on each team and I’ll go for the higher scoring opponents if I can, but the event does exacerbate the every-man-for-himself nature of Arcade battles. If you’re a brand new player, perhaps consider not buying a Rank 2 aircraft until September 24th.

If you only really enjoy one particular realism mode then you might as well stick to that, but if getting the premium aircraft is the main goal then you may want to record the duration and results of a few matches and use a bit of maths; if, on average, you can get 10 kills per 10 minute Arcade battle then you’ll need to be playing for 18.3 hours over the next couple of weeks for a P-39 or A-26. If in a Historical Battle you average 2 kills and the matches last around 15 minutes then that same plane will take about 45 hours to earn in that mode, bit of a tall order.

Don’t drive yourself mad with grinding, though, the planes are a fine bonus if you’re playing anyway, but you’re not missing out if you haven’t got the time to rack up the requisite kills; enjoy War Thunder responsibly!

No comments: