Update 18.104.22.168 included several balance changes to the heavy fighters class. Some players might inevitably consider them a nerf, so let us explain our reasoning behind these changes.
Aircraft balance across the vehicle tiers and globally across all class parameters should be tuned in such a way that every aircraft has advantages and weak spots. By utilizing these advantages to their full extent, and knowing and skillfully masking the disadvantages, a player can be effective in battles. For example, fighters have low durability and are susceptible to critical damage, but can counteract this with high maneuverability. Heavy fighters have large airframes that are easy to aim at and hit, but in return they have a high HP count and resistance to critical damage, while low maneuverability is compensated with high speed and altitude performance, as well as powerful armament.
Unfortunately, prior to the current changes to heavy fighter parameters this class was way too powerful. High survivability was provided not only by the high HP count, but also by the lower chance of fire and critical damage. Moreover, powerful engines allowed them to escape engagements using long boosts, especially when using the “Engine cooling” consumable or its analogues. And since most heavies have twin engines, even critical damage didn’t make them equal to other classes because they didn’t lose thrust completely and could still try to evade engagements.
And finally, heavy fighters have a whole set of equipment at their disposal that can make them even more durable and protected against critical damage.
All those factors led to the class being significantly overpowered. For example, statistics showed that heavy fighters sustained critical damage much less often than any other class. They could withstand a lot of damage, evade fire easily and deal a lot of damage coming back into a dogfight. Exceptional survivability allowed heavies to be much more effective in battles than any other class — which is an obvious imbalance.
This is why we decided to make changes to the class settings so that heavy fighters no longer have that much of an advantage in terms of survivability.
The heavies are still a formidable class with powerful armament, exceptional boost and a large HP count. But now they will start catching fire and sustaining critical damage just as much as their counterparts from other classes.
The changes are as follows:
- Chance of critical damage to modules and chance of fire have been slightly raised and are now close to the settings of the multirole fighter class.
- “Reinforced Airframe” equipment now adds more bonus HP, but provides less protection from critical damage. This will also better differentiate this equipment from “Improved Covering”.
- “Engine Ventilation”, “Engine Cooling” and “Emergency Engine Cooling” consumables are now one-use only, and the decrease in engine heat they provide has been nerfed. This is actually the biggest change in the balance. Now this class-oriented consumable will better correlate with its intended use — to provide a chance to evade fire in a critical situation.
How will it affect gameplay for this class? Attacking aircraft or enemy objects will stay absolutely the same, but players will need to be more careful. Heavy fighters will not be as forgiving and have fewer chances of disengaging from a fight without consequences, they can catch fire or sustain critical damage. The “savior” consumables will let you mitigate a mistake only once. Overall the class-specific advantages and drawbacks will stay the same, but playing recklessly will not go unpunished anymore.