Which Plane To Take

Welp, the official launch of World of Warplanes is a day or less away. We don’t know for sure because, as has been repeated ad nauseum on the forums for years now, Wargaming has an official “I’ve got a secret” complex where they hide (or, even scarier, don’t know) when the actual launch of their new title will be taking place.

I’ve farmed 94 days of premium, completed my 700 battles (and then some – 944 in total), gotten all the free stuff I can lay my hands on, and am ready for more. There is just one problem. And for me, its a doozie. I really don’t know what lines of planes I’m going to be playing after launch.

wowp test stats 1

I had fully intended first to do the Japanese line. Then I tried my hand with the Russians. And the last few days of Beta I’ve spent training the generally-considered-OP strategy of Boom and Zoom available in the US and German lines.

And I’m just not sure where to go. I figured I would pick two lines, probably one for fun and one for srs bizness – maybe a Japanese (speaking of which – how do we shorten that slang wise? “Jap” is considered somewhat offensive still, yes?) or Russian line complimented with a US or German line. In other words, one TnB (Turn and Burn – horizontal, low altitude fighter), and one BnZ (Boom and Zoom – vertical, high altitude fighter).

Not helping things is the fact that translations of the launch notes on the RU server (which already happened apparently) indicate that BnZ fighters have been nerfed and TnB fighters buffed. So there is some speculation about how this might play out once the game goes live. Its entirely possible hordes of testers will begin flying German heavies only to realize they are no longer the Easy Button of WoWp.

If you didn't get and easy button in Alpha, you can pick this little gem up for next to nothing.
If you didn’t get and easy button in Alpha, you can pick this little gem up for next to nothing.

About the only thing I am sure of is that I intend to steer clear of Ground Attack planes. Unlike in War Thunder, where bombs are king, in Warplanes, GA planes and role is purely secondary, and so your ability to influence a battle is minimal. That’s not to say it isn’t fun, but, amazingly enough, I for once and concerned a bit about my stats and would like to have a care with regards to them from the beginning. Plus the only ones available right now is the endless line of IL-2’s. Meh.

So for the time being, for me, I’m headed for what is both fun and efficient – allowing me a variety of planes without cast iron decisions. That probably means the Lavochkin line, which can open up both the La-15 and the Yak-30, and was one of my favorite lines in testing, for my TnB efforts. And for the BnZ category, the Messerschmidt 109 line, which eventually dumps out into the popular favorite 262’s as well as the under-appreciated P.1101.

But that’s not set in stone. Lately I have come to enjoy the US carrier line and the British heavies, both of which are fine planes even in to the high tiers. See? Even in PvP games I have alt-itis. In tanks I was able to set that aside long enough to turn out my first two tier 10’s – which was actually three with the line corrections they did (something I think they will avoid in WoWp). If I can do that here that will be great.

On the other hand – Warplanes is not like tanks. Lots of players are stopping progression at tier 6. That allows them to avoid all the post war planes and almost all the jets. And I admit, combat at that tier is fun. Once you get into the jet era, combat changes drastically. Movement is faster, timing and reflexes are more important, and the margin for error is thin. It will certainly appeal to some of the best and make for great PvP for the serious player. But for the rest of us…tier 10 may not be a goal this time around.

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Quote of the Day

 We’re working as hard as we can to get European testers into testing as fast as we can, but testing is a very complicated process that involves much more than just sending out invites.

~ Stephen Reid

Really?  Like…what exactly?  Your localization, client download, and servers are all available, or you wouldn’t already have EU testers in the game right now.  What does that leave that makes this a complicated process?

Statistics 101 for MMO Designers

First off, let me just say that I love when Georg Zoeller answers posts on the TOR forums.  He is not above using sarcasm and insults to get his point across.  I’ve argued here before that I’m all for that.  Its pretty much a given when dealing with people of the..uh..caliber…that you will find posting on official forums.

So when Georg responded to the criticism that they were dumbing down the game by removing the option to kill off companions, I liked his style.  And by further side note, let me say that my opinion on that is that – its a waste of time.  Bioware gave ample warning that they had no interest in building anything sandbox-y…err, sorry, “Uncle Owen’s Moisture Farm”-y.    So the fact that they removed a dynamic choice element from their game should not come as a shock to anyone.

But what I do have interest in is his math:

As for blaming those ‘testers you selected’ – they are a statistically representative sample of the SWTOR community.

Now,  here is a little primer on sample size and statistics for you.  But let me give you the tl;dr version:

To be that confident about the sampling,  the current set of Alpha testers in TOR to be statistically representative sample of the SWTOR community, they would have to number in excess of 10,000.

 

I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

And I’ll let you chew on the fact that Alpha testing generally incorporates only around one to two thousand people, based on what I’ve heard, read, and experienced first hand.

So what’s the bottom line here?  The bottom line is that either there are a lot more people currently testing this game than anyone thought was possible, or Bioware is overconfident.  I guess a third posibility is that they are outright lying, but I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt, if for no other reason than they have in past been pretty okay with telling people – “this is how we are going to do it, and we don’t give a flying flip what you think.”