And today is the long-anticipated go live for World of Warplanes.     This being a game that’s been hotly and vitriolically hated by many, bored several, and made a very large turnaround in the process to come out and (to me, at least) be something fun to play.

I fired up the patcher before leaving for work – it didn’t quite finish before I left the house, unfortunately.

Last night, being both in the mood for plane battles, and fresh off reading TAGN’s enthusiastic posting, I reloaded War Thunder and took it for a spin.     And I had quite the fun time with it!

The battles remain overly long.   I don’t like the “Garage battle” format and can’t quite find a setting to let me fly one plane only.     But the skill level of my opponents seems to have gone down.    Queue times were reasonable at 25 – 40 seconds.    And instead of finding my reserve planes getting jumped by veterans flying jets, instead I fought and died, and figured out strafing.

I had one battle in the “African Canyons” where none of the enemy molested me while I shot their entire column of armored cars to pieces, using a level one reserve plane.    It was great practice – I managed to go from barely able to strafe, to taking out target after target as I passed overhead and they scattered and drove for their lives.

Now I discover that the battle isn’t only the virtual one between players (H/T Hzero again).     It’s also a hot war between developers.    Gaijin is throwing down the gauntlet with an offer to help them test their version of tanks – and you get into the closed beta by playing their game.    Tonight only.    Warplanes release date.

What a nasty, dirty….. and effective trick.    I sure would love the chance to get early access to another tanks game, and I really honestly enjoy the bug finding and reporting process.      It appears I’m going to be pretty busy tonight, beginning the rocket up a tree process in Warplanes, and blowing up ground targets in War Thunder.

Gaijin the company is not something I am fond of – I think their general ethical level is pretty low, while Wargaming comes across to me as a professional and interested group.    I know, they both exist to make money, but they get mine by treating me well.    So far, and by all expectations, Gaijin gets none of mine.

But I just might be playing their games in addition.