The 0.5.1 update to World of Warplanes is now live on the North American and European servers. Let’s take a look at some of the key features of this update.
By far the most prominent feature of this update is the addition of a brand new Russian tech tree, based on aircraft made by the Yakolev Design Bureau. The tree begins at Tier IV with the I-17 and then splits into two different branches. One branch has the Yak-1 (pictured below), Yak-1M, and Yak-3. This branch boasts superior low-altitude maneuverability and high speed with relatively average weaponry. On the other branch are the Yak-7, Yak-9 (pictured above), and the Yak-9U. These fighters are armed with heavier weapons, including 37 mm and 45 mm centerline cannons, at the expense of speed and maneuverability. At Tier VIII, the branches rejoin with the Yak-15, the first Tier VIII light jet fighter in the game. At Tier IX and X, the Yak-19 and the Yak-30 complete the tree, displaying great low-altitude capability in contrast to the high-altitude performance of most other comparable jet fighters.
Any Kind of Ammo You Want
Wargaming has revamped the ammunition system in order to encourage better use of different ammo types. Previously, there were only three types of ammunition (Standard, Incendiary, and AP-Incendiary). These differed only in the amount of damage done, chance of starting a fire, and cost. Because AP-I ammunition did the most damage, most players used it exclusively even with its high cost.
Now, however, there are advantages and disadvantages to using each kind of ammo. New armor-piercing types grant higher long-range damage while being weaker than other types. Incendiary ammunition now has a shorter fall-off range but is extremely likely to set the enemy on fire. Finally, High Explosive belts have been added. These belts maintain constant damage at nearly all ranges and have a high chance of starting fires. Unlike in World of Tanks, it may actually be a good idea to use HE.
In addition to the new ammo types, there are new equipment and consumables. The equipment is mostly damage-reduction gear, such as neutralizing gas, which stops fires more quickly, or reinforced glass, which reduces the chance of critical hits to the crew. The new consumables are the equivalent of gold consumables in World of Tanks—an automatic fire extinguisher and a full-crew medkit. Perhaps the most important consumable here is the Pneumatic Restarter, a one-time consumable that allows the engine to be restarted after damage. This will likely be a staple carried by all planes, since losing an engine is considered to be a critical blow in World of Warplanes.
Changes in Altitude, Changes in Attitude
Wargaming has significantly reworked the flight model so that optimal speeds and altitudes are much more important. Prior to this update, there was little change in performance between all combat altitudes. Now, however, the penalties to airspeed and maneuverability for operating outside of a plane’s optimal altitude will be more severe. This change should allow high-altitude fighters a chance to win against high-maneuverability fighters by escaping upwards, where they can outmaneuver their once-nimble opponents. In addition to these changes, the flight model has been reworked to allow better energy retention in sharp dives, along with the removal of some bugs causing “stuttering” during flight. Many planes have also been rebalanced to allow them to take advantage of these mechanics changes.
The patch notes also mention graphical reworks to several maps. Bay and Pacific Ocean should be a lot more lively now, as they now have a surface battle raging between the opposing fleets. Asian Border has received a graphical overhaul. All around, there have been improvements to reduce the amount of visual memory used and increase performance.
As a final change, Tier II crew skills have been introduced. These new crew skills can be trained after training one skill, and allow pilots to shoot more accurately, control their plane better when damaged, and reduce the time it takes to put out a fire. The tailgunner and navigator have received new unique skills as well, increasing the accuracy of the tailgun, bombs, and rockets.
Still to be seen is whether or not there have been any background control improvements, an area which has been a sore point for many players.
This article originally appeared on TheMittani.com, written by Triggerhappypilot.