A direct competitor to War Thunder, Wargaming.net’s World of Warplanes was released two months after its rival. After initially proving very popular, it seems to be on a downward spiral.
The game itself shares many similarities with War Thunder and, of course, features some Spitfires. Although it offers a relatively hard learning curve, as you fly more and more, you will rapidly see improvement in your gameplay, especially if you do not employ gung-ho tactics and rather pick out your battles.
Another advantage is that much like War Thunder; you can jump right in and get flying.
How it works
When starting out in World of Warplanes you will begin by flying various training missions. This helps you to get acquainted with how to utilise each particular type of aircraft, deflection shooting, using rockets and using bombs. It also introduces you to the various types of aircraft available. These are:
The primary aircraft type found in World of Warplanes. Each country has a number of fighters available to them. These are quick, agile planes that carry medium weapons. Most fighters have specific roles and can be utilised in a number of ways, either using boom and zoom tactics (attacking from a height advantage and speeding away) or turn fighting (taking on planes in a tight-turning dogfight). The Supermarine Spitfire in World of Warplanes is best suited for turn fighting although it is only available for the first time as a Tier V fighter in the British tech tree, so you will have to put a fair amount of time into the game to unlock it.
Carrier based fighters
These are only found in the American and Japanese tech tree. They have the ability to carry some ground attack armaments including rockets and bombs and are also superb at dogfighting. They have less armour than any other planes.
Available to all countries, multirole fighters are not as manoeuvrable as a regular fighter but again can perform many tasks including dogfighting and ground attack against lightly armed targets.
These can only be found in the German tech tree. They have heavier armament, can take more damage but are therefore slower and less maneuverable.
These can only be found in the Soviet tech tree. These aircraft are used to decimate ground units. They are slow and lumbering, but able to withstand plenty of damage and carry heavy armament including cannons, rockets and bombs.
There are also some premium aircraft that can be bought with your hard earned cash, but as with War Thunder it is possible to grind your way through the tech trees, this just takes time.
Each aircraft, no matter what type they are, has four specific stats to bear in mind. These are as follows:
- › Hit points: How much damage you can sustain.
- › Firepower: How much damage you can deal out.
- › Airspeed: How fast your aircraft can fly.
- › Manoeuvrability. How fast your aircraft turns and rolls.
Progression and Game Modes
To progress in World of Warplanes, you need to take part in air battles. As you become better and begin to earn some kills, you will start to open up the different tiers on the tech tree of the country you have chosen. As mentioned earlier your first Supermarine Spitfire is only available in Tier V. Luckily it does not take too long to get there.
There are four separate game modes to choose from. Some are strictly for training while others will help you to earn experience points that can be used to unlock aircraft and eventually the Supermarine Spitfire. Other game modes allow you to fly aircraft you have not yet unlocked.
These missions are played at the start of World of Warplanes. You do not return to them once completed, and they do not give you an experience points.
Team Training (with bots)
Here you can fly large team battles with bot opponents and teammates. .
Single (with bots)
Here you will fly air battles in 2 v 2 teams. Your wingman is a bot, and you are flying against two other bots. You do not receive experience for any kills, but you may fly aircraft you have not yet unlocked.
Standard battles (15 v 15)
These battles are the core gameplay of World of Warplanes. Matches takes please depending on which tier aircraft you have available and opponents will be within a level of either three tiers up or down.
Gaining experience points
After a battle ends, World of Warplanes assigns experience points based on how you performed. You will also receive credits and medals based on your performance. Most of the experience points gained will go towards the aircraft you were using during the battle. These can be used to modify it. Many upgrades can be made, from the engine, structural and armament to name a few. By upgrading your aircraft, it will perform better. For example, a better engine will mean a bigger top speed and a faster rate of climb.
A few experience points that you gain will go into the free experience pool. This can be used on any other aircraft that appears in your tech tree or for other upgrades.
If you manage to shoot down any enemy aircraft during a battle, you will receive credits. These are used to unlock aircraft further down the tech tree. They can also be used to purchase special upgrades for various aircraft.
Flying the Spitfire in World of Warplanes
The Supermarine Spitfire is a joy to fly in World of Warplanes. It is relatively quick and extremely agile. I have found the Spitfire able to handle turning dogfights against most adversaries except Russian fighters and Japanese Zero’s. Of course, the tactics you employ against any opponent is up to you, but a the speed advantage of a Spitfire can be used to gain altitude against such opponents, allowing you to attack from a height advantage using boom and zoom tactics. In other words, diving in on the aircraft, fire at will, climb away and repeat the process.
Although the Spitfire is fun to fly, I have found in general that World of Warplanes mouse and keyboard control is not as precise or quick to react to inputs as the setup in War Thunder and other flying simulation games. As with War Thunder, World of Warplanes employs a leading marker to help with deflection shooting. Due to the sluggishness of the control response, it can be very difficult to line the crosshair up with the leading marker. This makes accurate shooting difficult. In the game's defence, I suppose shooting down an aircraft in real life proved difficult as well.
This can make the game very frustrating at times, especially in a turning dogfight in which you will mostly find your Spitfire. As you do become a better pilot and progress, upgrade your Spitfire carefully. Structural upgrades are always welcome for more hit points, but I would begin by upgrading my engine to give the Spitfire more speed and rate of climb. This will not only help to give a height advantage in battle but the ability to fly away from any Russian fighter or Japanese Zero you might encounter. Weapon upgrades will provide more firepower that is always useful although later Spitfire’s in the tech tree will be armed with cannons as well.