With Update 2.0.5, Wargaming is starting the global extension of one of the key components of World of Warplanes gameplay — the progression system. This encompasses progression from Tier I to Tier X aircraft, as well as its stages, including module upgrades. For the sake of simplicity, we will call this system Progression 2.0. This one will be a long one, so be sure to stick around.
Player progression now becomes ‘three dimensional’. Previously, XP earnt in battles could be used to advance upward to higher tiers of aircraft, or sidewards to other branches within each national tech tree. Now you will be able to advance an aircraft ‘inward’. What does it mean?
The Specialist Configuration
Aircraft development will not end with the Elite status. It will instead be followed by a new stage, called the “Specialist” configuration. This configuration will be distinguished by two aspects:
- A set of modules (engine, weapons, etc.) will be fixed and unchangeable, similarly to Premium aircraft. This will be a set of top-tier upgrades available for a specific aircraft in its module tree.
- The Specialist configuration allows you to mount much more equipment and consumables than the Stock configuration allows.
Players will be able to play around with the Specialist configuration so that an aircraft corresponds to the playstyle that they prefer. By combining more equipment, you can better emphasise the individual specifications of an aircraft and change the way you pilot it and conduct combat.
Additionally, the features of the Specialist configuration will be extended later: legendary aircraft will have an alternative set of modules which will allow you to change their characteristics and make them more specialised for different purposes.
The procedure to acquire Elite status on a plane has also been changed. Previously, you had to research all modules and the next aircraft in the tech tree (sometimes even two if a branch forked!), but now an aircraft will become Elite once you have researched all of the available modules. Please note that this status allows you to choose whether you accelerate crew training or earn Free XP on this aircraft.
In summary, let’s take a look at how the new progression system will look in practice:
- Receive an aircraft of the Stock configuration, whether this is through receiving one of the Tier I aircraft available at the start of the game, or purchasing one that was researched.
- Participate in battles! Earn experience and credits, research improved aircraft modules, and finally research the module that leads to the next aircraft in the branch.
- Save up enough XP and credits to research and purchase the next aircraft in the branch.
- Research all aircraft modules to acquire Elite status.
- Complete a mission, which will be available upon reaching Elite status, to receive the Specialist configuration.
As well as expanding the aircraft tech tree, we’ve also updated the equipment system. Equipment will no longer just be pieces of metal you purchase using credits in the shop and mounting on an aircraft. Now, you will be able to adjust and enhance new equipment and have a greater effect on aircraft specifications.
First of all, with the added depth comes added realism. Equipment can now have both a positive and negative effect. For instance, Lightweight Skin improves an aircraft’s manoeuvrability but reduces its HP a little.
Secondly, you will be able to mount equipment only in the slots allocated to the corresponding modules: gunsights will go in the cockpit slot, boost systems in the engine slot, etc.
You will be able to combine several modifications of equipment which have an effect on one and the same aircraft module and specification. For example, enhancing aircraft durability using increased HP and resistance to critical damage. You can do this only on the aircraft that have the required number of slots in the Specialist configuration.
The major changes to equipment are the possibility of changing characteristics and enhancing them.
By enhancing equipment, you can add additional characteristics to the basic ones. For example, you can add the chance to cause critical damage to improved firing accuracy.
Stock equipment doesn’t have such characteristics, and the subsequent levels add one characteristic when improving the quality. These characteristics are randomly selected from the list of available characteristics for the given type of equipment and the next quality level.
You can use equipment of all quality levels on any aircraft configuration but the additional characteristics acquired when improving it to the level of Advanced or Ultimate quality will be available only in the Specialist configuration. The equipment’s basic characteristics at the Stock level will also be limited by the Improved equipment’s top range.
You may change the equipment’s additional characteristics using the Reassemble option. Basic characteristics will remain the same while the additional characters are replaced with other ones. You can select which of the available characteristics should be saved.
By calibrating equipment, you can enhance its basic characteristics. Basic characteristics range from initial to maximum on each equipment quality level. By calibrating it, you can fully enhance these characteristics.
These ranges intersect on different quality levels. So, for example, if Stock quality equipment is not calibrated, its basic characteristics will increase to the beginning of the next range when enhancing it to the next level. If it is highly calibrated and its characteristics are in the beginning of the next range, they will remain the same when enhanced.
When calibrating, the values of both basic (positive) and additional (negative) equipment characteristics can be changed. It is possible that either both characteristics will significantly increase, or the positive effect will be improved a little and the negative one will reduce, or just one of the parameters will be changed significantly.
The values of additional characteristics will always remain fixed.
So how do you enhance and calibrate your equipment? When you win a battle, you will receive special Materials that are required to enhance and calibrate. The quantity and type of these Materials will depend on the aircraft tier and the targets you attacked and destroyed. For example, heavy aircraft with high survivability will more often drop airframe and cockpit parts. Ground targets also provide Materials. Assisted by gunners, attack aircraft and bomber pilots can receive several types of materials that can be received only by destroying aerial targets.
Sets of equipment
When switching between the Elite and Specialist configurations, the game will automatically switch between the sets of equipment installed in these configurations. If you want to use the same equipment in both, you will need to replace it manually. You can replace equipment between the modifications of one aircraft for free, but you will have to use credits or a small amount of Gold to do the same between different aircraft, as well as to demount and send it to the depot.
You can try each piece of equipment you have in the depot or that is mounted on your aircraft in a test flight. You can mount any available equipment on any aircraft of an applicable historic period (tier) that has the proper equipment slots. You will not pay for the demounting or replacement until you apply the final changes in the configurations of the aircraft you are testing out.
This allows you to assess the changes in characteristics with new equipment and to try it in battle. A test flight is standard battle that comes with some restrictions. You cannot switch between aircraft if your team controls the airbase sector, as a particular aircraft must be tested in a particular configuration.
Income and experience received for battles in which you are testing will be ten times less. All equipment used in the battle will be resupplied at the usual prices.