The inevitable question with the current Russian plane games, is which one is better ?   I loaded both up, repatched WT which took an hour, and flew a mission in each.    In roughly order of importance.

War Thunder points :

  • Crew skills give you a reason to keep playing each plane while you grind credits.       If my plane keeps getting deadlier the more matches I use it, I’m going to have much more fun with it.
  • Garage battles, when it comes down to it, don’t make the game more fun.    I feel disconnected from the whole thing since I can just come back in another plane.    And keep going and going, until I’m out of planes.
  • No doubt this is a pretty game.    Crashes, gameplay, are all easier on the eyes.
  • The atmospheric music is great.    Sounds seem a little punchier too.    Now if they would somehow add English-language period-style vocals that would really kill me !
  • Why do I have to have only four crew slots per nation ?    At least, I think ?     After I bought my 5th American plane it seems to be “on reserve” waiting for another crew to be available for it.   Except I bought a crew immediately before buying it.     Sorry, I don’t get it.
  • I have so many different levels and I don’t see what they all have to do with one another.   I have nation levels – and these are partly used to unlock planes, in addition to XP.     So I need to have 1) Credits 2) Unlocked Xp 3) Levels before I can buy the planes (why do this?).    And, perhaps, the crew.    Add in a player level, which I don’t know what that means.
  • Reports are that War Thunder is pretty hackable, not being a server side game.     Could this be why I get blown away all the time ?     If someone has a game side hack on their PC, they get an advantage over me which really sucks.    I’m not going to keep playing if I’m frustrated to death.   But see the WoWP issue too.


World of Warplanes points :

  • No garage battles.    I guess I really hate these things; one plane per match simply works better.    Partly because it keeps the battles short.
  • No crew skills.    I have two German planes, the Tier 1 and the AO 192.     If I want to unlock the Tier 3 Focke Wulf 57, I need more credits.    I don’t want to fly planes for the sole purpose of gaining credits, and having a more skilled crew would give me a second reason.     The multiple goal pursuit always adds a lot of fun to a game.
  • Crew skills would be relatively easy to add to the game as a part of late beta, so I’m not too concerned about this missing feature.    If it gets added soon, that is.
  • Tech tree makes more sense to me.   I’ve been trained carefully in the Wargaming tradition after all.
  • Planes that are missing include almost EVERYTHING I would want to fly : P-38 Lightning.   B-17 Flying Fortress.    Stukas.    Zeros.     Spitfires.   The only one they have is the ME-262.    This isn’t too bad of a point, because if Wargaming is good at anything, it’s adding new vehicles to their game.
  • WOWP processes everything server side.     Planes are much more “twitchy” than tanks.    If I turn, and this has to go to a russian server, and travel back to my PC, this is the reason for the lag I’ve noted.     I feel pretty good about living with it, personally, but can totally understand anyone upset by the lack of control.    Now, will the game succeed if it’s “laggy” ?     Still, see the contra-issue with WT.
  • Probably for the reason above, I can often live through a WOWP battle.    Patience is one of my virtues (well, as self-reported.   Ask my wife for a dissenting opinion).
  • Every flaming battle is one of two maps.    Supposedly there are more.   I guess I just have to unlock them, and this is not unprecendented since that Tank game does the same.
  • Tuning numbers is clearly a strength for Wargaming – look at various economy changes and tank rebalancing in that Tank game.
  • World of Whatever seems to be that rare game that monitors the game currency and makes it meaningful.     I have never seen a game that takes better care of its “Credits”, and I do indeed mean NEVER.    This adds to the game immensely for my accountant side.    Maybe *this* is why I’m still playing after two years.

Now the real question being, how long until WOWP open beta ?    How long until “no more resets”, aka, go live – whatever else the Devs say about the game ?   Presumably soon.    I understand the real grognards are getting pissed off at Gaijin, the developers of War Thunder, because of odd changes to the game such as reducing XP and credits received.    But the longer until WOWP hits the masses, the more likelihood people will just get into War Thunder instead.

The end result really is, just play either one since both are free-to-play.    That will be the real test of longevity and acceptance, versus anyone else’s opinion.    Fun will win out.