So, I just feel like this needs to go on record, and to actually say something about it. Now... I like WarThunder. It's probably one of the best online, WWII multiplayer flight-sims out there. American, Russian, British, German, and Japanese aircraft all make an appearance, so you can fly anything from the P-51 Mustang, to a Bf-109, and feel like you're actually in the cockpit. Heck, they've even recently added in tank combat, and are even going to be adding in naval warfare in the near future! That said, this game has gone completely down the toilets within the past several months.
Lemme explain a bit of the history of the game. Awhile ago, there were ten tiers, and you used to have a level with all of the different factions (American, Russian, British, etcetera), that determined what aircraft you could buy, due to their tier. Lets say you managed to get up to tier 4 in American aircraft, right? Well, that means you could buy any aircraft that's from tier one, to tier four, but if you're only tier 2 in Germany, you can only buy up to tier 2 German aircraft. Get the idea? Right, good. Recently, they completely revamped their level up and tier system, making it so there are only five tiers (which condenses it by quite a bit), but instead of unlocking the next tier of aircraft, you could only unlock one aircraft at a time. This isn't really a bad idea... but the problem is, this also nearly quadrupled the amount of time it will take to unlock every aircraft of a certain faction. What's worse, is they lowered (by a *lot*) the amount of experience you earn per assist or kill, forcing you to slow down your leveling even further, and enhancing the amount of free exp you get per match, which just entices you to buy their premium currency so you can use said free experience. It has turned this game into a slog of a grind that makes progression rediculously slow and boring.
The method of experience is by far one of my biggest gripes, I'll admit. It's a sickeningly underhanded method of encouraging players to spend money on the game, to buy the premium currency so you can spend your free experience. I don't usually mind "pay to progress" games, they're usually not too terrible, but this one is rediculous. It makes World of Tanks' progression seem like a breeze.
On to the next hit against this game: balancing. With the aforementioned condensing of the tier system into only five tiers, Gaijin thought it would be clever to introduce a Battle Rating system, to compensate, and to avoid having biplanes going up against end-of-war aircraft. This isn't really so bad, and it probably could have even been a good idea, had they implemented it correctly. You'd expect the Battle Rating system to be based off of the aircraft (or tank's) stats, and understanding that something like say... a P-40 Kittyhawk, or an F6F Hellcat would be a fair match against an A6M3 Zero, as they fought against one another in the actual war. Right? Well... that's a nice thought, but it's not how it works. See, their battle rating system is based entirely on the performance of the aircraft in player hands. The better someone does with an aircraft, the higher its battle rating within its own tier. This is inherently flawed; while someone might do well in an aircraft, that does not necessarily mean that it is able to go against something better than it, and still win. An A6M3 Zero can see fights against aircraft that were built several *years* after their initial development, because their battle ratings are similar. This is horribly wrong, and does not do anything to make a game fun, or balanced.
And, on to the last topic of my complaints. This is actually a rather common one amongst most of the player base, and - while I'm normally not one to base something on unfounded theories and accusations, you'd think that since the majority of WarThunder's player base seems to agree on this fact, it must be true to some degree.
Russian aircraft, and tanks, are given unfair advantages, and handicaps. Bet you thought I was going to say overpowered, huh? Well... I won't, because most of their aircraft did function to the specs given in WarThunder. However. This does not mean that their questionable damage models, unrealistic flight models and characteristics, and their absolutely rediculously favoritism'd battle ratings, are fair. To elaborate: Russian aircraft have damage models that seem to soak up a lot of damage without the plane actually registering said hits (players coin this term as the aircraft being made of "Stalinium"). Russian aircraft also have very... generous climb and turn rates, and this weird ability to dive faster, accelerate faster, and keep their momentum longer, than almost every aircraft, even those that were historically faster and better in a dive, a turn, or a climb (An Ishak monoplane from 1934 diving faster than an F4U Corsair, for example). And lastly, they seem to have this... preferential treatment when it comes to their battle rating (LA-5Fn having a battle rating of 4.0 even though it's a 1944 aircraft, whereas the P-51D-30 Mustang has a battle rating of 4.7, with worse stats, armament, and durability).
Despite all these bad things I said, WarThunder is still fun every now and then. Personally, I think it would be even better if they fixed all of the balancing issues and horribly slooooow progression they have going. It's gone from an interesting and exciting game, to a boring, slogfest of a grind that just isn't fun anymore. But who knows, maybe it's just me? Give it a try for yourself. Its worth the download. Just don't be surprised if it takes you several *weeks* to get out of the starting planes and/or tanks.