After months, if not years, of complaining about WWM and how terrible it is/was, I guess you could say I've come to see the light. Here's my two cents:
World War Mode is actually decent, and a nice change from the rest of the game.
Gaijin is experimenting with numerous things we've asked for and I'm happy to see it seems to be moving the right direction. Of course, there are numerous caveats to this.
To give context, yesterday I played several hours of the Sinai 1973 scenario, a handful of rounds playing without squadron and a number more playing a squadron vs squadron operation on behalf of Reddit Lone Wolves Club (RLWC). I actually enjoyed it quite a bit, flying out my F-4E, driving out the loaned M48A1 Patton (I now wish I had grinded that line out as the M60 is far better) as well as my own unlocked M551 and M163. RLWC won both operations I joined, rather easily.
To speak to the pros:
- Realistic historic lineups in a realistic battles mode, by itself, is already awesome. I've been complaining for years that the more historically based modes of the game have been watered down by newly introduced vehicles and factions, to the point that even Sim Battles include lend-lease vehicles fighting identical vehicles on other factions with no rhyme or reason. To see Pattons and AMX's facing T-54/T-55/T-62 is awesome.
- You can play whatever mode you want if you filter and check beforehand – most of the games I played had zero air vehicles. Tank vs. Tank combat, with no CAS! This is exactly what players have been asking for for years. Of course, this can get rudely disrupted when an operation commander moves an air asset to the battle, but that's just how life is. It's also great fun to do convoy bombing, heli rushes, air vs. air, etc. – just check the lineups before a battle to avoid surprises.
- The operations overview feels pretty logical now and less disjointed than I recall from last years. If you stay in an operation after your battles, rather than shifting from operation to operation just for specific battles, the map flow is natural and does give the impression of a larger scale effort.
- Squadron play is rightly encouraged, at last giving the average player a reason to be in a squadron. Shoutout to RLWC here but I can now see that this encourages active squadrons working together. It's perfectly playable without, but if you're in a squadron you do get first choice on vehicles in the operations your squadron is running.
- There's some experimenting being done with new maps – I saw quite a few missions on parts of the larger Sinai map that are never normally in the scenarios used for Realistic Battles. This did provide pretty nice variety.
- Full matches actually feel pretty populated – In contrast to normal Realistic Battles (where players leave once they lose one or two of their best vehicles, meaning half the roster is usually gone after 5 minutes), full rosters are fighting full rosters for most of the battles and keep spawning in, hoping to push their goal.
- The goals are rather fun, if often a little too difficult for one side. Capture a point before the timer runs out, destroy a convoy before it moves too far, whittle down the enemy's valuable medium tanks, planes or helis, there is far more variety than in typical RB.
- You are loaned pretty decent vehicles which gives everyone a chance to compete and even try vehicles you've never used before. New player getting to try MiG-17s? Sure! Russian main getting to try AMXs and Pattons, why not?
- It pays a decent reward in SL. – I think I made a couple 100K last night, which wasn't bad at all.
As to the cons:
- It's still mostly the same small maps. Sure, there is a bit more variety, but we're essentially playing the same maps as we do normally. I really wish Gaijin would make more large realistic maps to fit these scenarios, because there is still a measure of lost immersion from always playing Sands of Sinai's small maps.
- Battles can feel very one-sided for players who don't know what they are doing – if you don't check the lineup and join a battle vs. Israeli air power with just tanks, you're going to have a BAD time. What players won't realize is that every plane that IS shot down is a big loss in the strategic level of the operation, but the individual player won't notice and will only feel bullied by rolling thunder. Perhaps an incentive should be given to the losers of battles that were hard fought, so that they understand the impact of their loss?
- The learning curve is rather rough for new players, especially non-squadron players. I'm not a UX/Gameplay designer, but it feels like most people bashing WWM tried a match where they were pummeled to dust by top tier air power, and are rightfully angry. This could be avoided if people knew how to find the right matches, and/or are incentivized to play tougher matches (SL/XP modifiers).
Anyhow, that's my two cents on it. Happy to hear what you guys think of it even if it's "this abortion of a mode needs to die".
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© Post "In defense of World War Mode – it’s not that bad, and just needs further improvement." for game War Thunder.
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