Announcing Changes to Critical Damage

Our community has been asking us to bring back the lethal critical damage situations that we used to have prior to weapons re-balancing. We won’t deny, for us as players those rare moments when you manage to break a wing or a tail off the enemy’s plane with one precise shot were fun and rewarding. But from the battle balance point of view it caused trouble: most newcomers managed to deal critical damage only occasionally, while skilled players could use high caliber cannons to wreak havoc in battles.

This is why we decided to rework the critical damage system. With the new version it will be much easier to deal crits, they will not be as skill-dependent as before. As a result the aces will get back an opportunity to use their marksmanship to their advantage, but the less skilled players won’t be left behind either – one good shot will turn the tables in a dogfight to their favor.

I have to emphasize that this is a work in progress and you will have an opportunity to try this system out this autumn. For now let’s outline the basics:

  • The amount of crits will increase significantly, they will be much more common than today.
  • Different aircraft will have different susceptibility to critical damage.
  • It will be possible to deal critical damage with a single precise shot.
  • The basic principle stays the same: high caliber weapons will be much more capable of dealing crits than machine guns.
  • We’re not trying to bring “one-shots” back, our aim is to give the “yellow” crits more gameplay-related significance.
  • Sustaining critical damage will result in a rapid decrease in aircraft performance through multiple parameters. Another crit to the same part of the plane will almost guarantee either a trip to the hangar, or complete inability to continue battle (basically, “lethal crits” are coming back).
  • You will not be able to restore your plane to starting conditions after sustaining a crit. Yes, a pilot may manage to restart the engine, trim the ailerons to compensate for reduced lift on a damaged wing and so on, but you can’t compensate for riddled rudder plane and similar damage. So, even if you manage to fix the main problem, you will still have lasting negative effects that will make your warbird less capable of continuing a fight.
  • We are working on an effective visualization system for all related in-game events that will provide a player with all necessary information on the state of his aircraft without need to roam around the HUD in search for hints on what exactly happened. This is related to enemy aircraft as well – you will be able to visually discern enemies flying damaged aircraft.
  • Introduction of the new critical damage system will require major changes to other game systems so that the average aircraft lifetime in battle does not drop radically. On one hand we want to avoid situations where half of the players proceed to hangar after the very first contact, on the other – add more variables to battles you enter.

All these changes will lead to much more eventful battles – once again heavily armed aircraft will become formidable enemies, dogfights will become unpredictable and exciting. As for the terms – all the new systems are planned to be released with Update 1.9 which is scheduled for early autumn.