Polikarpov I-17

On August 19th, for the first time since open beta started in early July, World of Warplanes got a major update, which quite significantly altered the game. In this article, we’re going to take a look at all the changes, both intentional ones (features, bug fixes) and unintentional ones (new bugs) and how they affect you

1. Welcome, Comrade Yakovlev

The most produced line of fighter aircraft in World War II was the Soviet Yakovlev line, with over 37.000 fighters produced. They were cheaply produced and highly effective, with excellent flight performance, and this all pretty much meant they were sorely missed in WoWp, till this patch. In this patch, we got a lot of Yak’s, a whole branch of them to be exact, that’s actually divided in 2 mini-branches, one of which is focused on agility, agility, and nothing but agility, while the other one is focused on agility and bringing the biggest guns around to the party.  You can see how the USSR tree looks right now for yourself on the following picture (click for full size)

World of Warplanes USSR tech tree

1.1. Tier IV – Polikarpov I-17

Before you can actually get to the Yak’s, at tier IV you get to play with another toy by Polikarpov, the I-17. This plane is highly maneuverable, though not the fastest. Compared to its direct competitor the I-16, it trades some firepower for some agility and durability, and it seems to be a fair trade. It won’t make your grind to Yak’s hard, which is quite a good news considering this is the plane from which you get to unlock both the yak minibranches.

1.2.1. Tier V – Yakovlev Yak-1

The start of the agility focused minibranch, Yak 1 is not armed that well, in fact it’s one of the weakest fighters of its tier when it comes to the sheer firepower, but it absolutely makes up for it with beyond awesome agility. It might take a while to bring down that enemy fighter, but it gets the job done, since it spends all of the time behind it. It’s not too durable though, so getting in a head on situation with just about anything will be a bad idea.

1.2.2. Tier V – Yakovlev Yak-7

The start of the firepower matters minibranch. Yak 7 brings a powerful 37mm cannon which is quite inaccurate, but when it hits, your target is pretty much turned into a burning wreckage. This comes at the price of losing both maneuverability and speed, but not so much, meaning this fighter is still agile enough to win most dogfights, and armed well enough to bring anything down. It’s also a bit more durable than Yak 1, but still not too durable so head ons are still not the best idea, though more viable in this case.

1.3.1. Tier VI – Yakovlev Yak-1M

A continuation of the agility minibranch, following the exact same logic as its predecessor. It’s barely improved in both firepower and durability over it, but amazingly it manages to be even more maneuverable, breaking the trend of higher tier planes usually being less maneuverable than their predecessors, and the engine upgrades make it insanely fast. In capable hands, this plane is always going to be on its opponent’s six, never in its crosshairs.

1.3.2. Tier VI – Yakovlev Yak-9

A continuation of the firepower minibranch, and probably the plane you’ll least wanna see on your six in the entire game. Why? Because if you thought that 37mm on the Yak-7 packed a punch, just wait till you see the 45mm on this one. It’s even more powerful, and anything it hits will be blown out of the skies , and remarkably, it seems to be a bit more accurate than the 37mm as well, so hits are likely to be even more often. Of course, to mount such powerful weapon, this plane has to suffer quite a drop in speed and maneuverability, but even so, it’s not really slow, and it’s still able to outturn enemy fighters, unless they’re Yak-1M.  Extremely dangerous plane, which players have already started calling massively overpowered. It also happens to be the most produced Yak in World War II, with over 16.000 produced

1.4.1. Tier VII – Yakovlev Yak-3

Further continuation of the agility minibranch. This time, with guns. Seriously though, this fighter, which was probably the best fighter Soviet Union possessed in WWII, is actually not armed that bad, as a matter of fact, it shouldn’t have much of a problem to bring another fighter down once it’s on its six, and it shouldn’t have much problems getting there either mostly due to its extreme maneuverability. Its speed is also good, but some other planes on its tier are better in that area. Still, this seems like an excellent choice on tier VII.

1.4.2. Tier VII – Yakovlev Yak-9U

Further continuation of the firepower minibranch, which actually takes a step backwards when it comes to caliber. The 45mm gun is dropped, and the highest caliber player can use on this Yak is the 37mm, but that doesn’t mean firepower of this plane is lacking compared to its predecessor or its peers. On the contrary, its firepower is extremely formidable due to powerful pair of 20mm auto-cannons, along with a boost to rate of fire of the 37mm. Its maneuverability is also excellent, beaten only by Yak-3, while its greatest weakness seems to be low speed. Getting into turn fights should be the key to victory in this plane, as long as you don’t face a Yak-3.

1.5. Tier VIII – Yakovlev Yak-15

Although the minibranches end at tier VIII, this plane seems to follow the logic of agility based minibranch. It’s one of the only 2 jet powered planes at tier VIII, alongside the German heavy fighter Me-262. It’s quite underarmed compared to its peers, but it makes use of its high speed and maneuverability to keep on the enemy’s tail long enough to use those guns it does have. It lacks durability as well, so if it fails to stay on the enemy’s tail, it will lose its own tail rather fast.

1.6. Tier IX – Yakovlev Yak-19

Yakovlev branch focuses on speed with this Warplane, as its one of the fastest in its tier and it’s also quite maneuverable as well.  Its firepower and durability are nothing special, but are competitive, making this an overall well balanced fighter jet, perhaps even slightly better than the others due to its high speed.

1.7. Tier X – Yakovlev Yak-30

The crown of the Yakovlev warplane branch. It’s neither the best nor the worst in the top tier, it features very high speed, but not the highest, average maneuverability, weak firepower and low durability. Experienced pilots will use its speed to its advantage, and their results are likely to be good, but nothing dramatic, so overall a well balanced plane for the top tier of World of Warplanes.

2. The New Ammo

Up until this patch, you could load 3 types of ammo for each of your guns –  armor-piercing, which had no special qualities, but was cheapest. Incendiary, which was more expensive but had a chance to set an opponent on fire. The 3rd ammo type had a slightly higher damage output than the previous 2, with a slight chance to set an opponent on fire, and was the most expensive of all too.

Well if you like variety, now you get to load your guns with much more ammo types, depending on the caliber of your gun and nationality of your warplane. Also, now your shells lose damage over distance, depending on which shells you use.  So lets see what you can use:

– Standard ammo – Available on all guns in the game, it’s the most basic ammo type in the game. Can’t set opponents on fire. Cheapest

– Armor-Piercing – Available on all guns in the game. Its special quality is that it loses less damage on great distances. It can’t set opponents on fire. Cheap

– Incendiary – Available on all guns in the game. It has an average chance to set opponents on fire, but at the cost of losing more damage on great distances. Cheap

– Armor-Piercing-Incendiary – Available on all guns except for the 20+mm caliber German guns. It has a slight chance of setting opponents on fire, and it deals slightly higher than normal damage on great distances. Moderately expensive

– Solid Core Armor-Piercing – Available only on 20+mm caliber German guns. It deals great damage on high distances, but has no chance to set opponents on fire. Highly expensive

– High Explosive-Incendiary – Available only for 20+mm caliber USSR and Japanese guns. It deals less damage on short distances, high damage on long distances and has a slight chance to set opponent on fire. Highly expensive

– High Explosive – Available only for 20+mm caliber USA and German guns. It deals less damage on short distnaces, highest damage on long distances and has a high chance to set opponents on fire. Highly expensive

3. Economy Changes

Economy system received a major overhaul in this patch. Apparently, all the planes earn different amounts of credits to what they used to earn, but it hasn’t been disclosed in what way was this changed. Player’s impression seem to be that fighters tend to earn less credits now, while ground attack aircraft tend to earn more. This however was not confirmed.

The way experience is earned was changed as well.  Formulas for xp gains for victory, surviving the battle, damaging ground targets and assisting an ally in killing an air or ground target were all changed, undisclosed in what way. However it seems that ground targets now earn the player more xp than they previously did.

The only concretely explained changes were the addition of hangar slots for purchasing aircraft (WoT players will be familiar with it, 300 gold for a garage slot) and the prices of all bombs and rockets in the game were halved.

4. Physics and Gameplay Changes

These changes are amongst the most important changes in the game as they introduced value of optimum altitude stat. So far, every plane had its optimal altitude where it was supposed to perform the best, but the differences between optimal and non-optimal altitudes were insignificant. This has now changed, and planes are no longer going to be able to achieve their top flight characteristics outside of their optimum altitudes. They have also been reworked for every plane and seem to be mostly in between 0 and 2000 meters, effectively lowering the flight ceiling of the game, forcing planes to fight relatively close to the ground, if they want to perform at their best.

Additionally, the effect of wing mounted weapons on plane’s maneuverability has been increased, making the option of removing wing mounted weapons more beneficial.

Another change players should be aware of is that they can now use boost, even with damaged engines. However, the boost can be used for a shorter amount of time, and its cooldown is significantly higher. Still, better than nothing that we had so far.

One of the most important changes though relates to the shell dispersion. Apparently, guns in the game are now about 15% less accurate, do the fact shell dispersion has been increased, meaning shells now fly all over the place. Furthermore, if the plane is firing upwards, shell dispersion is further increased, making the planes very inaccurate when firing on targets above them.

5. Crew Changes

There have been 2 new important additions to the crew system in this patch.

First of all, barracks were introduced, allowing players to move pilots from their airplanes to their barracks, effectively making it possible to use a single pilot in more than 1 plane. In order to do so effectively, the pilot needs to be retrained for the plane that it moves to, or it will suffer penalties to its abilities (if you played WoT, it’s pretty much exactly the same, except that it seems that premium planes get the penalty as well, unlike the premium tanks in WoT. Whether this is intentional or a bug is unknown at this point) .

Secondly, 6 new skills were added for crew members, which means you will now have a decent selection of skills to choose from. The new skills are:

– Fire Fighting – Helps extinguish fire faster. Can be learned by all crew members

– Veteran – Improves control of damaged aircraft. Can be learned by the pilot

– Crack Shot – Improves accuracy of the guns. Can be learned by the pilot

– Sharpshooter – Improves accuracy of the gunner. Can be learned by the gunner

– Tutor – Increases experience gained of all crew members in the plane. Can be learned by the navigator

– Bombardier – Increases accuracy when using rockets or bombs. Can be learned by the navigator (and ironically, the only plane that actually has a navigator at the moment can not carry rockets)

All of these skills can only be chosen after the pilot/gunner/navigator has reached 100% in his major qualification and 100% in at least 1 skill.

6. New Consumables & Equipment

The game so far lacked in available consumables & equipment, with only 3 of each available, and no place to store them, as the depot page was under construction. Fortunately, this has now changed, with depot page being ready and players being able to stockpile consumables and pieces of equipment. Also, 4 new pieces of equipment and 3 new consumables, 2 of them premium, were added to the game.

The new equipment are:

– Reinforced Glass – 50% more durable crew, available from tier IV onwards on fighters and CB fighters

– Reinforced Metal Plates – 50% more durable crew, engine and fuel tank, available from tier II onwards on heavy fighters and GAA’s

– Neutralising Gas – 30% quicker fire extinguishing, available for all planes from tier IV to tier VII

– Fire Extinguishing System – 50% quicker fire extinguishing, available for all planes from tier VIII to tier X

The new consumables are:

– Medkit (also known as Blood Stopper) – 25% more durable crew, heals all crew members when used – premium consumable

– Automatic Fire Extinguisher – Extinguishes fire automatically, reduces chance of fire by 15% – premium consumable

– Pneumatic Restarter – Repairs damaged engine

7. Aircraft Characteristics Rebalance

Quite a few planes had their characteristics altered in this patch, some were buffed, some nerfed, and some both buffed and nerfed at the same time. Lets take a look at what planes perform differently now

7.1. German Aircraft

The following planes have been buffed:

– Fw 56

– Me-209

– Fw 57

– Bf 109 G

The following planes were nerfed:

– Ar 80

– Bf 109 B

– Bf 109 Z

7.2. American Aircraft

The following planes have been buffed:

– F11C

– P-23

– P-51A

– P-51H

– F2G

The following planes have been nerfed:

– F5U

– F6U

– F7U

– F4F

The following plane got buffed and nerfed:

– P-12

7.3. Soviet Aircraft

The following planes have been buffed:

– TSh-1

– TSh-3

The following planes have been nerfed:

– P-40 M-105

– La-5

– La-7

– La-9

– La-15

The following planes have received both buffs and nerfs:

– I-5

– LaGG-3

Additionally, all attack aircraft received significant changes:

– Buffed durability

– Buffed low altitude agility

– Buffed low speed performance

– Buffed air brake

– Nerfed accuracy

– Nerfed maneuverability (concretely, speed loss when turning)

7.4. Japanese Aircraft

Interestingly, Japanese Aircraft mostly received buffs in this patch, with only tier I type 91 receiving both buffs and nerfs.

The following planes have been buffed:

– A5M

– A6M1

– A6M5

– A7M

– J7W2

8. Other Changes

– The sounds of engines and guns have been reworked. According to developers, they have been improved, according to most of the players, they have been downgraded (engines sounding like lawnmowers,  cannons sounding like guns, guns sounding like baby guns)

– Color of messages in battle was changed

– Radar was reworked, icons in it look larger now, but it is itself very small.

– Several minor changes to in-game chat channels

– Sniper view camera angle has been made wider. Also plane’s reactivity to mouse input while in sniper view has been increased.

9. It can’t all be good – bugs and issues

Unfortunately, this patch has introduced several new bugs and problems for players. All the players are reporting FPS drops, increased number of game crashes, and inability to even launch the game through the game’s launcher. Also, the game server itself has started crashing which was not recorded prior to patch for a long time.

As for the bugs, amongst the several that were noticed since the introduction of the patch, 2 have been especially bad

– Time Travel bug – When in middle of a battle, plane suddenly returns back to hangar like the battle ended, except that it didn’t. The game behaves like the battle never existed in the first place

– Collision Avoidance System – It appears that due to rising numbers of collisions in game, developers have decided to try out ways to stop them. Unfortunately, in doing so, they created probably one of the worst gamebreaking bugs in the history of WoWp. Apparently, once your plane gets near another plane, it suddenly starts acting crazy, ranging from total loss of control, to having UFO like characteristics of 300% faster roll rate, turn rate, and everything else you can think of that affects how the plane handles. Basically, you suffer a complete loss of control when getting near others, and so do they, making collisions and crashes much more likely.

Additionally, many joystick users are complaining about the new way joystick controls handle, apparently making it much harder to control the planes.

Overall, the stability of the game has rapidly decreased with this patch, and the amount of bugs has rapidly increased, which is a major negative point for it.

10. Conclusion

This is a really major patch, which brings a ton of new content, most of which good and well needed, giving more variety to the game and much more functionality. The game mechanics changes were a good idea, though maybe not done too well, still, they’re a move in a positive direction, while economy changes are yet to be tested before we can see if they impacted the game positively or not. However, the stability issues and bugs this patch caused almost completely ruined the game experience and all the good work done on it, and unless they’re urgently addressed in the next and likely final patch before the game gets released on 26th September, the game is likely to be a major failure, as no matter how good a game is, if it’s unstable with gamebreaking bugs, rarely anyone will actually want to play it, and even less pay money for it.  Hopefully, this will not be the case and developers will manage to fix the major issues in the following weeks.

Have anything to ask or add? Leave a comment bellow 🙂


  1. It looks like, as usual, Wargaming has done a great job of building out a number of vehicles — like they did with World of Tanks — and wow, it’s almost overwhelming looking at these things.

    Have you discovered that you slowly come to like a particular tier of aircraft or tank and then find the next one up to be bothersome because it lacks some quirk of the previous tier?

    Kyt Dotson did not rate this post.
  2. They’re just getting started with the number of vehicles, they claim that number of planes in game will be higher than number of tanks in WoT eventually 🙂 and since we’re at about 30% of current WoT number, there’s plenty more to go 🙂

    As for higher tier being less than impressive compared to the lower tier, well nothing extreme, in fact it was pretty much the vice versa mostly, higher tiers really make you want to play them more than the lower ones. But there is a case where I could say that lower tier was more fun than higher – German Heavy fighters of tier 4 and 5, BF110B and BF110E. Now essentially, E is in every way an upgrade to the B, faster, better armed, turns the same, more HP, but its problem is the competition. At tier 4, 110B is pretty much the fastest and the most heavily armed airplane, making it incredibly strong in the right hands. 110E on the other hand is neither the fastest nor the most heavily armed plane of its own tier, so even though it’s actually an upgrade to the previous tier, it really feels as a downgrade.

    Another case I can think of is transition from bi-planes to single wing planes which pretty much occurs in between tier 2 and 3. All those tier 3 planes might be faster and better armed, but the maneuverability of a bi-plane is unmatched, they turn on the spot and that make them pretty fun in my book 🙂 but it kinda feels wrong to play them in random games cause most of them are flown by newbies, and it’s a bit unfair to them for someone with lots of experience to come and bash them while they’re still learning the ropes of the game.

    FoxWMB did not rate this post.