The Reward Prophet and the 700 Club Blues

So I posted a while back speculating on what the WoWp reward planes were that I was desperately trying to get to 700 battles to ensure that I got them.

Well, Wargaming finally took the wraps off and revealed what those planes were. Oh, and they, incidentally, also revealed that you didn’t need 700 battles to receive them if you were an Alpha tester. Because your original battles count was not included (as I suspected) and because we had been so long in the testing process. Thanks for the head’s up WG! Seriously though, I can’t really complain. I’ve enjoyed the 800+ battles I’m at now immensely and that has accumulated XP for my starting pilots for launch, as well as helping me learn the game, so I’m fine with it.

And the planes? Well I was hit and miss.

Open Beta Reward Plane

First up was the ground attack plane. I picked the Pegas, thinking it would be the Open Beta reward since it was so low tier and that there is no way they would sell a tier 1 premium. And I was right, the Pegas it is!

WG has made some changes though. They added ordinance and beefed the planes HP a bit, and moved it to tier 2. Its a pretty versatile plane if you put rockets on it, and a nice fun change of pace in the lower tiers. Fun, different, not OP. Thumbs up Wargaming!

Closed Beta Reward Plane

Next up would be either a US or German plane. Turns out I was way off base here. The P-11C is being given as a code for live events in Russia. And Wargaming introduced a slew of US premium planes in their last update – the prototypes for the Wildcat, The Corsair, and two from the Hawk line. But the reward plane was none of those. Its the quirky and fun tier 5 XP-77. I never thought a tier 5 would pop for this, but in retrospect it makes sense – the reward tank for WoT was a tier 5 US. And the XP is a great fit – it was a prototype plane that was scrapped, and with premiums for the usual lines in place, its the odd duck out. I have played a couple of battles with it on the test server and its an interesting plane to dink around with. If anything its a little underpowered at the tier. But it looks funky and can hold its own at altitude since it does pack a bigger punch than the usual machinegun armed US planes (the XP has a hub mounted 20 on it which packs a nice accurate punch). Again, thumbs up for a nice plane for the CB testers.

Alpha Reward Plane

And then we got to the mothership announcement. I had expected the tier two carrier plane, but again, its a code for live events – this time for those in Germany like Gamescom. Last time I threw out the heavy fighter, thinking they would need a premium there for training and the line’s popularity. And they did. I just didn’t know they had two premiums lined up. In the next patch, the tier 4 Bf-110C6 dropped – the 110 classic, but with a giant 37mm cannon underslung on the fuselage. When it release I thought that might be one of the rewards – since it is a heavy, but unlike the rest of the line, can’t carry ordinance because of the gun. But I was wrong, Wargaming saved the best for last.

The Me 210. That beast of a heavy fighter with excellent rear guns, the ability to carry bombs, and serious forward firepower. Seriously, I love it. Particularly as someone who enjoyed the heavies but had no intention of climbing the line at launch, its a great change of pace. And again, not OP and quirky – the regular production 410 is a tier 6 heavy, so nobody can feel jilted – if it was an aircraft they wanted, there is an avenue to get an even better version through regular play.

And ultimately, that’s what reward planes are about – fun and quirky pieces you can show off a year or two from now and have people go “kewl” and ohh and ahh over.

And Wargaming, though prone to fails, also has some nice touches. The reward planes are one, but the second one was even better – if you didn’t make the 700 club, but had at least 100 battles played over the course of testing, then you got a special camouflage for your aircraft. So even those players who put a little bit of time in got something nice and unique as a result.

As for me – I will begin the game with a whopping six premium aircraft, the reward planes plus my preorder (XFL-1), the 15th anniversary byplany (I-15bis DM), and the earned with tokens F-2A1 Buffalo, ranging from tiers 2, 3, and 5. And my greedy nature is already trying to decide what tier 4 premium I want to use some gold on at lunch. What? I have to fill in the gap, right?

One week til launch. See you in the air!