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EE: War Thunder Interview

By NotoriousBSE15-10-2013
Bis18marck70 (editor)
Toast (editor)

Welcome to War Thunder.

Welcome to War Thunder.

Just you and your plane. It’s the most basic of setups yet also the one that truly tells you who you are. Above the ground, there is only one person you can truly trust and that is yourself. It is your skill, your determination and your choices that matter. Be an eagle, a bird of prey, graceful yet deadly, soaring high aloft in the skies, constantly observing, judging and then, with deadly precision, you strike.

Talking to Pavel Kulikov at Eurogamer Expo, Producer and the man behind Oculus Rift support for War Thunder, Pixel Judge delves deeper into the title; discuss the future of this upcoming title and the challenges on the way.

War Thunder builds upon the growing MMO scene. Currently in Open Beta and titled as a next generation MMO, the game focusses on military aviation from the Spanish Civil War right to the Korean War. It sounds simple but the challenge is immense. We are talking about decades here, full of planes of different types and shapes, blistering with guns, bombs and rockets. Modeling these accurately into a balanced and fun experience is a major undertaking, one that has yet to see a counterpart. Easily the most obvious question, we ask ourselves how all these planes can actually be put into a game without complications?

Be the bird of prey.

Be the bird of prey.

Well, Gaijin has a plan. Instead of changing the characteristics of each plane away from the historical accurate to one that would suit specific balance needs, Gaijin models the planes after the real life counterpart, using ‘official test data and flight manuals of the time’ and then balances the game around these and the data collected by game records. It’s a step away from the approach we continue to see in World of Tanks but also a bold one as it’s a colossal undertaking. Currently, with the game in Open Beta, several planes are currently with only placeholder models, some of which increase or decrease the planes potency to the dismay of the more hardcore flight-sim crowd. With roughly 300 planes already in the game, that all require accurate flight and damage models, you can see the scale of the game already and the amount of work that rests on the shoulders of the developers. Acknowledging this, Pavel confirms that roughly 600 planes will be in the game eventually, complimented with accurate flight models.

However, with that the story will not yet be done, as Pavel reminds us, for the above mentioned Ground Forces will be added to the game this very year and to top that off with a cherry, Gaijin plans to bring out Ships in 2014. Indeed, Gaijin has recently shown off the Ground forces release tree for the German and Russian Nation as well as actual gameplay footage of the Arcade gamemode at Igromir 2013 War Thunder Convention.

Silence before the storm.

Silence before the storm.

The biggest asset of War Thunder might very well be its diversity. It offers something for the casual and dedicated flight-sim crowd with its three different game modes: Arcade, Historical Battle and Full Real. Arcade, well, the name tells you all. Mouse and Keyboard is all you need to engage the enemy and get your share of fast-paced action with streamlined flight models. Historical Battle is a bit different. Allowing both Joystick and Mouse/Keyboard controls, this mode is more of a challenge as both the flight and damage models are geared towards realism. Positioning, tactical thinking and knowledge of fighter combat is essential to see success in this mode. Full real goes even further. Enforcing cockpits – which by the way, will all be completely modeled at launch - the player gets as close to the real thing as Gaijin and technology allows. No radar, no automatic spotting and you have only yourself and your plane to rely on to win the day. It is in Full Real too that the Oculus Rift truly comes into play. As Pavel puts it: ‘Virtual pilots always dream about having the ability to check what’s going all around him’, so Gaijin is committed on using this new technology in their new product.

Maybe most exciting is the fact that the developers are working on a special mode combining planes, tanks and ships. Players will fight over the same area with their preferred weapon of choice, giving them different options such as strafing tanks or, when on the ground, taking objectives. How it will play out eventually, we don’t know yet but if the footage shown at Igromir is of any indication, then this might be one hell of a game mode for us to enjoy.

Off-road excitement.

Off-road excitement.

The future is looking bright for the game, and speaking to the developers, we can see both their optimism and confidence. When asked whether he fears competition from Wargaming.net’s World of Warplanes that is set out to be released this year, Pavel only smiles and says: ’Back when they [Wargaming] released their E3 World of Warplanes trailer on YouTube, they had to disable the comments as it was flooded with people saying War Thunder was better.’

Comments (3)
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Posts: 596

@JcDent: Yeah I agree, War Thunder definitely felt easier to get into than World of Warplanes. What is interesting though is there seems to be a lot more depth at the same time (at least in game mechanics) to verse yourself into in War Thunder. So it starts out easy and simple but there is more room to expand. While World of Warplanes was harder to get into and has less depth after the initial learning curve.

So if their tank mode is the same, it could really be perfect. I am really excited about it. I still am excited about World of Warships though from Wargaming, but in the end I think War of Thunder will simply be better in all aspects.

Posts: 596

This game really shoots Wargaming straight out of the water. The main issue with Wargaming is their team is so technologically impared. To give you an example, their team quite honestly does not seem to know what multicore support is. Judging by their past updates and the developer comments on these and the lack of recognition to a common request for multicore support.

In one interview Wargaming laughed when asked about if later the three games would be combined into one. Wargaming said, I quote "this is simply impossible with current technology" "as it is our title supports 15vs15, this is already at the limit of what current technologies support"

Then comes along War Thunder and they proudly say: NOPE.jpg :P

But really, that's the one thing that always pissed me off most with Wargaming, their technological knowledge is just so awful and their game is a power hog. Heck, I've done many tests and found that the UI (of all the things!!!) uses the most FPS. When I disable it (the UI is all 2D simple images...) I gain 20 FPS lol! That's crazy!

World of Tanks and especially Warplanes just looks horrible in comparison to War Thunder and current (or even past-gen) games. Yet it runs far worse...

Wargaming is on a hot rise now, but War Thunder, if marketed right and if they also move into the competitive scene, they could easily blow Wargaming into oblivion, even bankruptcy! (Not that I want this for Wargaming, but Wargaming is just really lagging behind and I am simply stating that War Thunder is a big competitive threat to all of the World of... titles (tanks, warplanes, warships). Especiallyas War Thunder is immediately combining the three, and will have done so even before World of Warships has been released!

Posts: 228

Can't bloody wait for tanks. For me, WarThunder is for those who find World of X too hardcore. Sure, it has full realism, but only people who were plane pilots play that. Everybody is in Arcade battles.