Update 1.9 will bring global changes to main game mechanics – shooting and weapon systems, the aircraft damage model as well as supplementary systems such as equipment, consumables and ammunition. Today we are going to talk about weapons.
Every type of forward-facing armament has been re-tuned to give each one very different characteristics. Every caliber will differ in how it shoots and deals damage, and will complement different playstyles from the players. In turn, this means that aircraft armed with different guns will differ from one another in terms of gameplay – some will excel in fast engagements, while others will shine in dogfighting, and others still will work best in the role of long-range “snipers”.
Armaments will be split into three categories:
- Machine guns will remain the easiest type to master and use. Low range and a low damage per hit mean that aircraft with these kind of guns as main weapons are best suited for close-quarter engagements. A fast firing rate and heavy density of fire will make hitting a target and keeping your aim on it quite easy. 7mm machineguns will remain the main caliber for low tier aircraft, while further along the research trees, players will encounter higher caliber weaponry with improved firepower and range that will allow you to engage at greater distances. The main feature of this type of armament is its ability to ignite a target which deals substantial additional damage.
- The main armament type for the majority of aircraft of medium and upper tiers will be the 20-23 mm cannons. Their gameplay will differ quite substantially from machine-gunners. Cannons allow shooting with higher accuracy at medium and long range, so players will need to pick their targets more carefully and have decent marksmanship skills. Cannons have an average shooting rate but deal substantially more damage per hit than machineguns. At the same time you will have quite a bit of time before they overheat which lets the player correct their aim while already shooting. The main advantage of this type of weaponry is its ability to inflict critical damage to modules. This can turn the tables in absolutely any engagement, even against the most formidable enemy. At high tiers, cannon batteries will be a deadly threat to any target: great accuracy coupled with good damage per hit can obliterate an unwary enemy in seconds.
- The third category comprises high caliber cannons. What differentiates these from other types of weapons is that they shoot single shells instead of salvos. As such they require precise aiming and tactical thinking. Every hit deals massive damage and as a rule inflicts critical damage to modules. Their weakness is a much higher skill requirement, players will need the ability to shoot accurately and pick the right moment to pull the trigger, because these cannons’ shooting rate is much lower. With these weapons, every shot matters. Skilled pilots will love this kind of weaponry because it will allow their knowledge and understanding of the game to shine.
High caliber cannons will come in two very different kinds, suited for long and close range fighting respectively.
- The highly specialized medium tier Yak machines, the Ta-152 and some other warplanes will feature long range cannons that will turn them into “sharpshooters”. They are the hardest ones to master and use effectively because of their very low shooting rate. What makes them unique is incredible damage per hit, great accuracy and very long range. Every accurate shot brings great satisfaction – quite often the target simply disappears.
- The second type will be represented by very powerful high caliber cannons with low range and low shooting rate, but massive damage per hit. Coming under fire from such weapon at its optimum range will result in a great deal of damage and crits. These cannons will be the main armament type for higher tier aircraft of most types, maneuver and altitude fighters, heavies, etc. Using them effectively will require an ability to pick a target, approach it and let out a volley at the right moment. Unlike long-range cannons, this type will allow you to make several shots before overheating. The typical kind of aircraft to wield these weapons include the Bf 109Z and Me 262.
Along with armament, changes will come to ammunition belts. They will allow you to further specialize and emphasize weapon traits to give your warbird an advantage. You will be able to outfit your machine to complement your game style and preferences, enabling it to either become more deadly in prolonged fire contacts, or make it crit everything it hits, or maybe set fire to anything in your sights.
The standard ammo belts will become free. In fact the stats that you will see in the hangar will correspond to the parameters of the specific gun installed on your aircraft.
The enhanced types of ammo will augment one of the characteristic features of the weapon and allow you to choose which you prefer most – chance to crit or chance to ignite.
Armor-Piercing belts will be available for purchase for credits. They increase both crit and fire chance. The main traits of all weapon types are also improved. These are universal ammo belts that will improve overall shooting efficiency for any caliber.
There will be three kinds of specialized belts available only for gold. They are:
- Armor-Piercing Incendiary – significantly increase fire chance. They are most suitable for weapons that have a high firing rate. Their ability to stay on target for prolonged periods of time will often cause fires which deal additional damage and can cause critical damage to modules.
- Fragmentation belts will greatly improve your guns’ ability to deal crits. These belts are positioned for effective anti-aircraft fighting and are best suited for high caliber weapons, emphasizing the hard punch they pack. Fragmentation belts cannot be installed on attack aircraft.
- Armor-Piercing High Explosive ammo is specialized for destroying armored ground targets. They will not differ from normal Armor-Piercing belts when shooting at aircraft, but armored ships, bunkers, tanks and other ground targets will take a lot more damage. These belts cannot be used by fighters.
These changes will result in far more variety for the players in two ways. First of all, everyone will be able to pick the warbird that fights to their liking, because every armament setup makes them very different to play. Secondly, this will bring diversity to every battle and every engagement – in any clash each aircraft will have its strong and weak points, and taking advantage of them will be the difference between victory and defeat.