This ain't a snarky drama post or pic/vid of something screwed up with the game. It's just been great to finally see all the RB EC improvements published in patch notes over the last several months.
Lots of bugs fixed. More AF's with separate bomb-able sections that effect repair, reload, refuel and defensive times and capabilities. It would be good to see these individual sections more clearly marked on the ground though. They've really unleashed the Kraken this time with more objectives running at the same time. There's tons to do in addition to dogfighting including capping A, ground battles, enemy AI columns, AI scout planes, AI bomber groups, enemy bases re-spawning more often and 5 enemy AF's to bomb. There's maybe even a bit too much going on as it can get hectic with 3 ground wars plus other things going on all over the map at the same time. Join in progress is enabled for continuous full matches making it rich in encounters. Match times take less than an hour with the added players and objectives with clutch-winning stuff to do until the very end instead of just chasing some lone runner/camper for 15-30 minutes in RB Air. You can also invest a lot more into a match which can make the endings more exciting.
Much more strategy to consider than mindless poop-flinging monkey meta deathmatch play. Bombers and fighters are both important. Try to play RB EC like RB Air and you're just losing team tix in pointless fighter vs fighter dogfights without playing the objectives or intercepting player bombers/attackers that can run away with the match if left unchecked. It's immersive to try flying full sorties and great to be rewarded by thinking like an IRL pilot and not just a WT meta master. Objectives run high to low in alts and while it's important to have superior alt in an engagement… it's less about the pure climb-thunder meta and more about putting yourself at the right alt in the right place at the right time. There's also more space for slower climbers to get to a competitive alt without the pressure of getting jumped in a cage-match. This can happen with AF's nearer to the front which can get overrun by enemy fighters but you can just pick another safer farther AF to avoid that mess. AF AAA range can probably be extended a bit as well. It seems to not attack unless an enemy is right on top of your AF (and then sometimes not attack at all) which players like to exploit. The AF AI fighters had their aggressiveness ramped up but this mainly serves to make them less of an easy air kill than effective base defenders as some players were just flying from AF to AF to shoot them down in previous events.
Planes that don't fit the normal RB Air metas can shine in RB EC which is super fun. The Hurricane and Welly (among others) are stars for a change this time. I kind of wish heavy bombers had at least a 500m alt air start to help get these pigs on their way but then I saw squads adapt by forming bombing groups as a force multiplier vs time to climb to a safer alt of 3km+ with great results. Spotting is extended by friendlies to help deal with the larger map and encourages team play for nearer spotting. No more of that 'no marker' nonsense which just caused confusion and wasted player's time chasing friendlies around the map instead of just finding enemies to engage with a plan… or avoid… you have more time and space to choose your engagements more wisely. No more hordes of boring filler AI. Just AI fighters defending the AF's or acting as objective targets.
The players have been more chill and working together more rather than just grinding for themselves. RP gains are good as one match with some fair activity instantly spades stock planes for this lower tier map. I didn't think about SL gains while playing but looked back at my match results and they look pretty garbage which is worthy of community complaint. I suppose Gaijin is worried EC could be exploited for gains until they can understand and control the grind better.
Anyway, just awesome stuff and the most fun I've had with this game in years. This isn't to say I think RB EC should replace RB Air as they both have their merits. I'm just bored to tears of playing thousands of WT RB Air deathmatches on a loop and would like to see RB EC run regularly as an option for some gameplay that's more like other MMP sandbox air combat games I've enjoyed in the past. o7
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