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Additional impressions of the game :

  • I miss the crew members.   I am guessing that this is a feature to be added later, after critical game balancing.    If they don’t add them that will significantly affect the game.
  • It is really hard to stop yourself long enough to take screenshots !    You have to dodge and jink all the time.     And of course replays are not available in the beta, presumably added later.
  • The most significant hazards to my plane are collisions.    With the ground (Oops!   Too low altitude) or with friendly planes.    I haven’t managed to collide with an enemy yet, but I keep clipping the friendlies.     Or they hit me.    It’s hard to tell.    And concentrating on not running into the friendlies doesn’t seem to help.
  • It’s a bit difficult to shoot down an enemy plane.   Seems I can put a few bullets into them but getting a good burst onto one of them is very tough.    I have no kills yet, but have destroyed ground targets.
  • I’m not sure how the ground targets work.   There’s an “advantage bar” at the top of the screen that starts to fill when you blow up a ground target.   Or it empties the enemies bar, if they have it filled.    So presumably part of the strategy is to have planes blowing up ground targets and tying up the enemy in dogfights to sneak in a win – it’s happened to my team.
  • The minimap is too small.    There’s not a way to increase the size.   So I have difficulty telling where I should be putting my plane.

I solidly ground my AR 65, which is the German Tier 1 plane.    I’ve played a couple of matches with other aircraft.    It doesn’t feel like there’s any difference, probably because at this point I’m a baby seal pilot, ready to be clubbed.

And before the NDA lifted I managed to win enough matches to get the A0 192 Kurier.    I like to think I’m contributing to the team by tying up a bunch of enemy planes, which other players then shoot down.   Seems most of my dogfighting is simply dodging, jinking and turning while getting in a couple bullets at most.

Employing my son to take screenshots, though, solved the problem :

Here I am in the process of being shot down !

Here I am in the process of being shot down !

After a strafing run.    The Warehouse is almost destroyed - see the bottom left.

After a strafing run. The Warehouse is almost destroyed – see the bottom left.

Not just me being shot down, but someone else as well.

Not just me being shot down, but someone else as well.

The battle screen should be familiar to Tankers.    There is a player list in the top right and left.    Team score in the center, along with the battlefield control gauge (aka, the capping gauge).    Minimap bottom right, and your auto-selected target bottom left.

You have a radar in the top center right.     I found myself flying a lot with just this gauge, trying to get planes into its arc, slinging my aircraft around as hard as possible.    And of course, you can overshoot – you don’t stop the turn when the enemy is right in front of you, or you will overshoot.   You have to stop the turn at the right point to end up pointed at your enemy.

I logged a ticket to report an issue, and it was dealt with satisfactorily.    If I’m in a beta, even at this late stage, you really have to report things that are wrong, but only finding one is a good sign.

The game is fun, even though I easily prefer tanks.     I think this is OK – it’s supposed to pull in players who did not like tanks in North America, mostly.    I expect to be playing matches here on a more casual basis, and it works really well for that with the short battles and grind for higher tier planes.

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