Air RB changes to SPOTTING and TICKETS

These days I pretty much play exclusively Air-RB, anywhere between Br 4.0 and 6.0 so this is not about top tier, fast jets and problems with missiles, but for a more civilized age of aerial warfare.

  • Spotting

The spotting distances in the game are often WAY to low.

At the start of the fight you can see most players relatively easily because you can see all the players spotted by your teammates but once the teams decrease in numbers or in situations where you are further away from any teammates it becomes really hard to put yourself in a good spot because you simply don’t know where the enemys are. And to an extend that is fine of course, I do not think you should be able to see players across the map but as it stands I get constantly jumped by planes I had no idea where even in the vicinity although I had a look around.

When you are diving on an enemy that was the highest enemy you could see and all of a sudden you get jumped by someone who was just a few kilometers away is aweful and makes it almost impossible to plan an engagement, especially in a clutch situation.

I feel like the problem lie both in the distance at which the name tags appear but also the general render distance of enemys.

On second I might see a plane or its contrail at altitude and the next it is gone. And that at very short ranges.

-The base distance here is 3.8 km, 6.84 km on expert and 7.6 km on ace -

Even with props there is not only little time to react but even more so than with afterburning jets, energy is everything and there is simply not enough time to start a climb and try to match your enemy.

But even if the aircraft is physically rendered, without nametags it can be really hard to spot enemys below you, especially against the ground forcing you lower and maybe into a group of enemys you couldn’t know where there.

Again I don’t want to have saurons all seeing eye but I feel some increase in the minimum render distances are in order either by changing the base stats or maybe by giving more spotting distance with increasing crew capabilities. (even against the ground and looking into the sun but mostly for players who are roughly your altitude)

I kind of want the old system (don’t know why that got changed) where you would see the little black dot of an enemy from many kilometers out but only see the name and aircraft at closer distances.

  • Tickets

The ticket bleed are also WAY to fast.

On some of the maps (e.g. Tunisia) the ticked bleed due to killing ai was already really high but now this seems to be the case across all the maps.

Players who ground strike should obviously be rewarded for killing these units but the fact that I often spend more time flying out to meet the enemy than actually engaging with them because (mostly the american) ground strikers have already won the match is just insane.

There is a 25 min time limit on any given match but it might as well be 10 because 95 % of all your matches are gonna be over by that point because you are left with very few tickets (which might just decrease automatically without any player actions).

Splitting the tickets in two might work here. One half dedicated to completing taskts (i.e. destroying ground targets or ai planes) and the other half is effected by how good your team is in contrast to the enemy. If one team absolutely dominates but maybe gets destroyed by the last guy in a clutch the game could still go the arguably better TEAM because WT is a team based game after all (Obviously somebody who is able to clutch should be rewarded with rp and lions as well).

  • Summary

All of the issues mentioned above really hurt Air-RB imo. And it did not use to be this way!

Now I assume Gaijin wants quicker matches and I also don’t want matches to last forever because one person is just flying around in space doing nothing but currently all you can really do is try to stop the horde of enemy ground attackers coming in to keep your team alive while not really beeing able to gauge the threat of some enemy players coming in to attack because of the spotting issue.

I know top tier is the hot shit all the time and there are certainly lots of problems there too. I don’t know how many people agree with this or even experience it like I do and if Gaijin would do anything about it but I might as well try because the way things are going Air-RB is kind of unplayable for somebody who likes to engage in pvp.

Thank you for reading through my ted talk, sorry for my english and have a nice day! (Gaijin pls fix)

2 Likes

You describe the phenomenon when skill actually matters:

Just a few players alive = when the actual game begins

Prop Air RB was always a matter of getting in a position when you can dictate a fight - usually with altitude (=potential energy) or speed (= kinetic energy) advantage. The decision “fight or flee” is often solely based on positioning - and not plane performance.

So the ability to assess all of the remaining enemies and your relative and absolute positioning vs them is a skill - watching the scoreboard (to identify unspotted enemies), watching current fights, the kill feed and the ability to predict certain player behaviours is what makes Air RB still worth to play even for long term players.

Imho the spotting distances are fine as they are.

The sole annoyance of non-working spotting is the weather:

  1. Either solid cloud formations or several (often quite very thin) cloud layers which allows people to sneak up to enemies well within the usual spotting range, but without triggering a marker.
  2. Or dusk / dawn weather (or nuclear sun) which renders usual markers borderline useless as you might be killed by stealth ammo whilst the enemy sits 300 meters below or above you without triggering a marker.

In other words: The weather conditions are forcing you to adapt your play style. So rather slow planes which solely excel when they have a superior initial position suffer way more than very fast planes as the weather kills your situational awareness.

If this happens - you lost situational awareness long before you get jumped. Air RB markers are just there to accelerate engagements - dots, contrails and especially engine sounds are similar important.

The chances that you meet battle hardened long term players which were trained by these extremely annoying solid and extremely thick cloud layers some years ago (including night battles) are very rare, but they are still there.

Turning your engine off to avoid contrails and engine sound whilst diving are essential to perform really surprise attacks from the dead spot direct above.

I am not a friend of bundling 2 topics together in one thread, therefore a short answer:

  1. There are a lot of rather recently opened threads dealing with tickets.
  2. It boils down that we see a combination of wrong decision making by players (= ignoring ai planes and their ticket impact) and very poor map design by gaijin regarding the balancing of ai interactions and way too fast ticket drops even without player interactions.

Tunisia is often used as prime example - but in very rare circumstances (=all ai planes on both sides were killed early game) you can have very long (= more than 10-12 minutes) matches instead of the usual 4-8 minute nonsense…

There is another problem of being in christal clear weather and the enemy simply doesnt get rendered or spotted whatsoever. I´ve had instances where I was constantly looking around but seeing nothing but hearing a engine in the vicinity only for it to get rendered 1.2km behind me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TmmrlCDNHw This is a prime example of the spotting system refusing to work. When I can hear the enemy before seeing him something is not right. Sure those are Jets, yet the same spotting system doesnt work on props either. Not to mention the rendering and derendering of enemies that can also happen.

1 Like

I do agree (to a certain degree) - but imho we have often a kind of mist layer above certain maps - which results in the exact same situations like seen in the video.

If you have played a lot of pacific maps in the last 12-15 months you might have seen often a combination of mist, thin cloud layers and the much higher contrail alt (~6.400 meters) which allowed you to spot enemies from below the cloud layer (if he was above contrail alt) without getting spotted by him.

You can see this mainly by watching a replay as the replay (in case cloud layers and mist is present) shows the actual visible markers.

I still remember a match on Saipan in which i stalked an XP-50 - i stayed slightly below the mist / contrail layer and got a marker up to around 6 km - and he got nothing. So even when i used his perspective i needed zoom to find my own plane - despite i knew where i was :-)

Agree, idk how often enemy engine sounds saved my life…

I totally agree with that (sort of tried to get that across in my initial post).

Again I agree and this is part of what can make a good player. Knowing what enemy killed your teammates. The amount of ground units killed or ordnance dropped onto bases, the list goes on.

Let’s say you find yourself at some altitude having fought some enemies. If then you can barely see any enemy planes what can you really do? Sure you can maybe know there are certain planes left on the enemy team, how many kills they got (thus how good they might be + their stat card). But you can’t know if maybe 10 km away they are climbing to intercept.

The way to not get jumped is to keep up your altitude and stay fast enough so that in case you do get attacked you can react, sure.

But that is where the second point I made comes in. You don’t have the time for that, you cannot just sit at altitude waiting for someone to show up. If I have to kill the groundpounders I know that in doing so I put myself in a disadvantageous position but actually knowing where an enemy fighter is helps me to plan my attack.

Also agree 100 % with the points you made. These conditions just make these problems even worse imo.

But what @Karatekakerlake said is true here:

This is mostly a problem of the nametag not showing up till it is too late because lets be honest if you are in a fight with somebody you cannot just constantly look for tiny black dots heading towards you although that is, as you said, a skill. But even if you see someone coming in, there is little more you can do but to run away because a 1 v 2 in a disadvantageous position is almost certainly a loss here.

If I know there are some other people close by I know I have to wrap a fight up quickly or that I don’t engage in a fight but rather extend away after a pass on the enemy.

But my main point is really that I want to know if there is someone who can attack me in the first place. Every match I see people popping in at around 6 km next to me [not the nametags, the physical models and maybe their contrails(that is where you really notice it)]

I should have to look for the enemy, I should have to try and figure out what I am seeing is maybe an AI plane flying around or an actual player and I should also not just dive on the first thing I see if I expect to do well in a match.

Unfortunately I often don’t get the chance to spot someone because they are simply invisible.

If you look back some years ago (maybe not even that long) you could easily spot bombers and other planes sitting at altitude some 20 to 30 km away (their physical model/black dot). I don’t think that is necessary but I sure as hell want more thatn 6 km, in some situations even less than that.

The way things are currently I don’t think there is a way to actually have good situational awareness once the match gets going and I hope that Gaijin might give us some of that back.

Thanks for the response, this turned into another small book but hey.
(Gaijin pls fix 👀😅)

2 Likes

Agreed with most of your post, but imho you might consider that gaijin is actually doing their best to make actual skill less important. The sole purpose of 16 vs 16 was to create steamrolls - your skill doesn’t matter if you play 8 vs 2 or 2 vs 8 after a few minutes.

Imho your description of suddenly appearing dots and markers is also related to the weather and thin cloud layers. I spaded this week the 4.3 Ki-67 bomber - with a mix of very late spawns and reverse climbing after spawn (up to 9km). Depending on the weather you could still see dots 20-25 km away - but mainly if you had tracked earlier fights and the respecting markers. Without zooming in the right direction it is very easy to miss those dots.

It gets almost criminal on on co-alt if these thin cloud layers are involved. So you see a dot closing in (or an actual marker from a friendly way below) in 14-17 km distance directly flying towards you. And the dot disappears only to be replaced by an actual marker 6-7 km away some time later.

It almost looks like that these “vanishing” dots in those cloud layers are a result of the cloud bug some time ago (last year or 2022) when you were kind of highlighted (looked like an aura) whilst flying through clouds - so with fixing this issue they might have created another one :-)

Have a good one!

Most important question here: whats the quota of white doves you sacrificed to get pacific maps a lot? I got them maybe 3-4 times in the last 12-15 months even when I played Japan for a longer session.

Jokes aside the problem is that often times you dont see the same things in the actual match than what you see in the replay. E.g. A few days ago I had the task to kill bombers in RB, so took out the Wyvern approached two contrails, one was a B-25 and the other T-18B. No other contrail/dot/nametag in the vicinityfor the next 10km. Shot the B-25 down, went for the T-18B got that as well only to be suddenly set ablaze. First thought was the gunner, turns out somehow a Pyörremsky materialized 800m behind me.

In short the problem with the spotting mechanic is far too unreliable, it doesnt help when I can hear the engine before the game decides to render the enemy in. I think it maybe could be the same BS they pull in GRB to prevent cheating. Alternatively it could be glitching out graphics. The latter I noticed happened at a certain distance in GRB, where you could see the enemy bomber in your AA but somewhere between 2-6km it glitches out. So basically often times you´d look around as an AA hearing the engine sounds but the plane wont render making it “invisible” to the background.

What could also help and what the game desperately needs is a Ping counter in the statistics tabs in the match. Far too often you take lead on an enemy for him to simply fly through your shots only to see in the replay he was somewhere far else e.g. jumping planes.

As long as the SA server checkbox was available i played 30-40% of my matches (early morning in Europe) on Saipan, Iwo Jima, Gualdalcanal or New Guinea. And i have a lot of matches in both B7A2s on those maps :-)

Totally agree - this happened a lot on those SA server matches - 2-400 meters behind a Typhoon and i managed to miss 200 20mm rounds from dead behind - it takes ages to get 200 rounds out of Type 99 Mod 2 :-)