An equal balance between teams in battle is one of the main pre-requisites for everybody having the same fair shot at victory. That means not only a balance between the planes themselves, but also between the players piloting them.
Most players have noticed that a well-coordinated flight has a greater chance at being successful (judged by the winning percentage) than pilots who prefer to fly solo. World of Warplanes is not unlike many other games out there in this regard: In almost all other online games pre-arranged parties fare better than lonesome players on their own. However, in our game, these flights can on occasion have a negative impact on the gameplay experience of other players. Some of you will have been at one point in battles, where a group of flight-connected guys from the opposing team simply wiped out the competition in seemingly effortless fashion. The increased dominance of flights is a proven fact – and also one that increasingly angers the community.
Let’s back this up by looking at some numbers.
Solo-playing pilots have an average win ratio of 49%. Note that this is only the average for the whole player population. Well-trained veterans can reach significantly higher numbers, while newbies, in general, fare worse.
The average win ratio for people who play in a 2-player flight, however, is already higher: namely 50%. For the most part, players who connect in flights do so simply to socialize and not with the pre-meditated goal to go “crush random battles”. Consequently, they see their efficiency go up due to the improved communication, however, not to the point, where all solo players simply don’t stand a chance against them, of course.
With that being said, the numbers for 3-player-flights speak an even clearer language. They have an average win ratio of 58%.
Let’s take a look at what happens in the worst case scenario – that’s when there’s a well-trained flight in one team and none on the other.
When the sole flight in a battle consists of only two people, their team wins in 55% of the battles. of all battles. Indeed flights boost their team’s winning chances significantly, however not indiscriminately. Now, when there’s a three-people-flight in one team, and none in the other, then the flight-filled team wins in 66%. This creates a great inequality and angers at least 15 of the 30 total players in battle, if not 27 of them because having such a dominating crew usually also leaves less “prey” for other players on the same side. Team mates of flight members score fewer kills and earn less XP and credits.
The players have been discussing this issue quite extensively on the forums, asked us to “nerf” the flights. We’ve been tracking and analyzing the situation for a long time, looking for ways to fix it with slight changes. Unfortunately, that does not seem possible and so we’ve decided to turn to radical measures. When the Update 1.8 comes online the flights will be limited to two players only instead of three. Two-player-flights don’t have such a major influence on the win ratio of the team they get placed in and leave a greater chance to solo-flying players on opposing teams. We also want to encourage you to keep using the Automatic Search for Flight Members function, which allows solo players to team up with a willing flight mate. The more flights are in a queue, the fewer unbalanced battles the matchmaker will assemble, where teams have unequal winning possibilities. That will help both sides and increase the satisfaction of opposing solo pilots and potentially frustrated team members significantly.