Air RB Needs a total rework, badly

I am not here to ask for air rb EC, because EC itself also needs a bit of a rework and should come, what I am talking about is air rb itself

First vote on if you think we need an air rb rework

  • Yes
  • No
0 voters

So I will start with a bit of a WT history lesson for those that are newer to the game.

When the T-2 was added, we still had the old historical matchmaker which made specific nations face each other and make certain nations only see each other in “training” versions of maps that took place on maps that looked similar to others, but also based on real locations.
The Issue here was that the US would face Japan often, and on a chunk of pacific maps one side or both sides had air spawns (partially because some people were unable to takeoff from carriers), now what do you think happens when a few maps have the T-2s air spawn while F-100s try to take off.
Yeah it was not pretty and painfully one sided when that happened, the Sea Hawk FGA was also an issue but at lower BRs because of the 9Bs from what I recall, somehow despite them being laughably bad back then when compared to them now, they had 6G or 8G overload if I recall, the 6G might have just been the R-3S.

So gaijins solution was to make it allies v allies and axis v axis, which was kinda worse cause only japan and germany had top jets at the time and Italy was stuck with the G.91 (still took care of T-2s with the Nords tho), this also removed all pacific theater maps for a while.
Then after trying a few things that did not really work they decided to add mixed air rb (known as AB+ back then by part of the community), this was around 2019 and it was supposed to be a temporary “fix”, and here we are 5 years later with it still being here, oh and they also reworked carriers and then removed them from air rb (might be around in low br I mainly play higher BRs), and removed airfield bombing since 2 F-4s could force a game end with full bomb load, good times, this is how we got respawning bases (4 mintues and 30 seconds is the current respawn timer btw at least according to a bug report reply)

So that was your very short crash course on 5 years of the slow deterioration of air rb and it coming to what we have now, excluding how they thought adding EC maps to 25 min matches was a good idea when the objectives in that mode are structured vastly differently.

The issues with air rb that I know right now are as follows, and keep in mind I mostly play jets with a periodic Bf-109 F-4 and P-59A game or two. So please do mention issues you know and I will add them to the list.

  • Everything is basically a bomber after a certain point in all tech trees
  • Bombers are just useless since they are slower than everything else that carries bombs with limited exclusions
  • Jet bombers are just food for anything with a missile with very limited ways to avoid them or distract them
  • Matchmaker has been set to mixed for 5 years making any fun asymmetric near impossible when facing the same vehicle as you are in
  • At higher BRs most nations share planes and in some cases opposing force planes, thus making any chance of non mixed matchmaking look fleeting
  • Carriers are functionally gone, may remain on some maps but I have not seen them in RB for a long time
  • Match timers can at times be too short for a fun experience, note I said at times because sometimes 25 mins is way too short to have fun in a final struggle to try and turn it around
  • Night matches for air are gone, yes they used to exist partially why german planes have night ammo
  • The spotting system, inconsistent at best and blind at worst
  • Less of an issue and more of a lazy way to fix an issue, but excluding some lower br maps you cannot bomb airfields, doesn’t need to end match even removing rearming capabilities is good enough
  • High tension between players when bombing, caused by lack of bases/long respawn timer, partially because everything is a bomber at higher BRs
  • Horrible balancing and compression at BRs between 7.0 and 12.3
  • 16v16, to anyone that has played the old 12v12 and the magical 6v6 on the dev server for the december patch during the first hour it was up, can for the most part agree 16v16 was a mistake and makes
  • Ground RB model tanks used as ground targets could be an issue that lessens the chance someone would go for them if they were instead the ones made for air matches, this includes the naval pillboxes which outside of actually being on a coast should not be seen unless an aspect of said map is a naval invasion by one side
  • One aircraft type and objective can have a heavy handed effect on other aircraft types, making teamwork between differing aircraft types be more at odds
  • Compacted objectives forcing players into one area
  • Player markers show too much detail at times, thus lessening possible tactic choices (never really thought about this if I am honest)
  • Map sizes not matching capabilities of aircraft that participate them, especially at lower BRs
  • Short matches make some objectives be overlooked

This list is by no means complete, it is just what I see as an issue, you may see other things as an issue and this I welcome you to mention them. Air RB really needs a rework since the mode for the most part has only seen downgrades since it was added.

Hopefully this thread does not die out like most other thread mentioning air rb needing a rework or a reduction in player count. So I yet again ask you to mention any issue you feel the current mode has and why it is so, with Fox 3s confirmed for next patch we should at least try to get gaijins eyes on potentially reworking air rb from the ground up.

This is not a thread asking for EC since that is a different mode entirely and should exist as its own thing, because forcing people to play a mode they may dislike due to match times and such is a bad idea. So Please list ideas and issues relating to air rb and hopefully we as a community can maybe, just maybe get this mode to start improving instead of being arcade with more realistic damage and flight, but with one respawn and higher per plane modifiers.


4 bombers
4 interceptors/ air dedence fighter
4 light fighters
4 strike aircraft

Per match, rewards made accordingly for the aircraft’s roll, more team work incentives, total tickets split into 4 between aircraft types so no 1 type can win a match on there own

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if we were to go with your idea I would make each type be able to contribute around 35% because if part of them are wiped out then regaining the lost capabilities by having the fewer players work harder would be best.
And I personally would class strike aircraft that are capable of destroying a base as bombers rather than attackers since that matches their capabilities more

All that concerns me is that everyone can have a piece of the pie, currently strike are bombing bases just to grind for GRB and leaving bombers with nothing etc

I get your view point but limiting players choice of how to play a vehicle is bad, and what about multirole aircraft or attackers that are just bad at their job, rather than limiting what players can do and punishing them for playing how they want to, bombing in a fighter or fighting in an attacker, the mode should be made to rather than limit players, but to rather encourage them, instead of cutting rewards for specific planes doing stuff not of their aircraft type, rather have increased rewards for the matching aircraft type.

And with high tier matches you get the issue of strike aircraft being used as bombers by their design, anything with a pod can be a good attacked, so it gets muddy there.

The further we get from WW2 doctrine the worse this specific style of mode would be, sure it would be ideal for WW2 stuff and early Cold War, but when it gets put at a BR where it does not fit issues would appear.

The WW2 doctrine of classifying aircraft still remains but most mid cold war planes could be used in more varied ways, your idea would be wonderful for props, but as it goes higher it would start to get a lot less robust, at least in my opinon.

Maybe I am trying to think too wide scale and maybe one air rb mode would not be enough, and maybe have a weird limbo zone between the modes top and bottom BRs where players can jump to the more Cold warish doctrine mode, so maybe a one size fits all solution for air rb would not work the best, I genuinely did not think of that in the past thanks for making me think from a new angle. 2 Air RB modes could honestly be quite fun since they could balance the overlapping vehicles differently so one that is bad in one mode may be better in the other as doctrine of aircraft changes.

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How is that going to work though, some nations don’t even have strike aircraft, or any worthwhile bomber, plus the WT designations are arbitrary.

Currently strike are bombing bases because it pays to do so, which leaves bombers out of pocket, that can be fixed, ground targets are more risky, so there should be risk = rewards, no risk no gain

As for multi-roll, give them multi-roll rewards, ie hit ground + air get multi-roll bonus


but that does not address that in a lot of historic cases strike aircraft were used in bombing roles, at least when it comes to jet aircraft, and even then attack aircraft is a broad term used when an aircraft is not a bomber by design nor a fighter/interceptor.

Your idea would be honestly wonderful for prop to early jet combat, if they were to ever split air rb in such a way.

I see the appeal of your idea, but I think one of the reasons people go for ground targets less is due to them switching them to the horrible naval pillbox designs that are harder to deal with and payout way less, one way they could fix this for air rb is to not use the naval ec pill boxes and to have simplified damage models for the ground vehicles used in air rb matches to make a wider range of aircraft capable of taking out the vehicles thus making people do so again, you can kill a simplified M4 sherman with 20mms and if I recall .50s as well, but not the ground rb ones.

There are more classes of aircrsft such as light bombers, so instead of calling it strike they could all be put under 1 class. There could be other structures added, such as dams, dam busters rings a bell, factory’s, railways stations any kind of utility building, docks, all sorts, use imagination i am sure players can think of simple things to add

Yeah that could work, I feel that if we went with your idea another thing attacker craft could be rewarded for is finishing off nearly destroyed bases in cases where bombers didn’t have all bombs hit leaving a nearly dead base.

tho a 4 4 4 4 ratio may not be the best, but maybe if the idea is more detailed it could be done in a way that we could have one mode that while not being EC has a wide selection of things to do on a decently sized map with a not too long and not too short match timer, sadly my thinking is a bit too narrow at times to really go into detail with full concepts.

I wish there was a community that just like the vehicle suggestion groups could work together to propose well thought out mechanics and modes.

The reason why i sugest 4 way split is because you dont want fighter mains complaining about bombers winning the match, or any 1 class winning the match before anyone gets a look in, dont follow my idea to the letter, im sure there are other ways

Rework on AIR RB would be extremely welcome, but they will say that the data they have says otherwise and there is not enough documentation and so they can’t do anything.

I practically hate playing 7.3 to 10.0, extremely unfair for most planes (sabres, mig 17 vs aim9l)


Yeah gaijins excuse of “but our data” is just a lazy way to not do anything and keep a rotten horse corpse of a game mode


I’m at the point where I truly believe that Gaijin KNOWS that ARB feels like a chore and is frustrating to play. And this frustration pushes people to try and skip over the weaker plane/ jet into something stronger which leads to them spending $$$$$$$$$$$$$.

If the game were fun to play, there’d be less frustration and less spending.
They WANT people to chase that 1 in 10 magical game high where it comes down to just a few people on either side. That’s where the game shines and it’s enough to keep you hooked so that you don’t just quit.

So why would Gaijin invest in new game modes or a rework of ARB which would lead them to losing money if they could instead spend that dev time on making more vehicles for you to grind towards and spend more $$$$$$$$$$ on.

I used to have so much fucking fun back in top tier 12v12s. Every 1 in 3 or 4 games ended in some sick dogfights and well thought out positioning from both sides.
Now 9 in 10 16v16 fights end in total snowball effects where one side comes out of the furball with practically their entire team left alive all hunting 1 bombing premium who’s now booking it back to his airfield. It’s trash…


A good reason is simple, marketing, if you left WT cause of air rb being bad, or new players that would come because it is something new.

If you had left WT because of air rb being so stale, would you not come back to at least try it if they did a total overhaul? If we went with the idea that was already proposed it would allow for a gamemode where planes other than bombers and iconic attackers would make for viable premiums, or more niche mods for existing aircraft that would draw more players in with less work on gaijins part if the base model exists in game.

Let alone the fact they could advertise it as a totally new mode made from the ground up, they could market it very aggressively and create hype that gets players to buy premiums and for most case they will be high tier ones, if gaijin could get away with selling more F-4 premiums don’t you think they would be doing that? If they did a huge overhaul of a mode they could also add a lot of new premiums with considerably less push back by justifying that it is to cover the cost of the mode and to provide players with the ability to acquire a vehicle that lets them grind how they want.

Yes they can make money by doing nothing but they could also vastly expand their appeal by going with the claims of a totally new gamemode with unique features where nearly any playstyle matters, or at least they can market it that way and hype up an update a lot.

Stagnation can trickle in a decent bit of players, but a multiple month campaign advertising a rework, they could prob announce it at the start of a year and release it at the end constantly advertising it that it is coming during a specific date, thus making an influx of players come every time they do sneak peaks, they could even sell packs that give close beta access to said mode before it comes out and less people would complain about the price of packs, they can have a high price during this period and when it comes out they can lower it and justify that the increased cost was the CBT access and to cover the cost of making the mode.

This is a very absurd route they could take, they don’t have to do something this grand, but this is an extreme route they could take.

You could even announce an idea submission thing for a new upcoming mode that would replace or coexist with the current one based on player numbers in each mode, then start showing sneak peaks of concepts and possible gameplays loops, then you announce that a closed alpha test (with an NDA of course) is coming for this mode where you have to apply first to get a chance to access it. After a few rounds of testing let select CCs show off the new mode, before announcing a limited CBT with limited amount of packs for multiple nations for people that want a new vehicle for a nation and access to this mysterious new mode, since it is a limited amount of packs they can have a higher price and could be very unique vehicles that Gaijin would be unlikely to sell again, thus yet again increasing profits and hype, along with giving players a limited quantity item, but only do this at a stage where the mode is actually good and fun, or at least more fun than the current mode, after those tests are done, announce a second wave and do the same thing, while offering the existing testers to buy these vehicles at a discount while not affecting the amount, after the second wave is done then do the final non limited batch of CBT packs, and then after they are sure they can announce the mode a few updates ahead and add more packs.

I will note this is an extreme example of what they could do, I am not marketing student, however games that have done similar things have made me feel hyped and I have spent around 3k on the game while being partially negative towards it over the years, HOWEVER there would be a risk of this mode not being good, which is why the alpha stage would be critical, because by that mount a lot of resources would have been invested already, so they would have to listen to player feedback especially if the hype for a new mode is high.

And they kinda have to start thinking about this kind of stuff, we are reaching a point where newer and newer vehicles are kind of a risk to gaijin, because of the playerbase leaking what they shouldn’t, even if you ignore that they will hit a wall where new top tier content would be near impossible to add because of it either being classified or still in planning phases, we might have 2-3 years of new content left for top tier air and that is if they stretch it.

As a company they need not only existing players to spend more but to also get an influx of new players and to me in all honesty, announcing a large rework could bring in a flood of new players and excitement on players that feel jaded and disconnected with a game they used to love, look how positive the reception of the roadmap was. Look back a few years and you can look at the excitement that the community had for the world war mode, if they announced a rework of a 11 year old gamemode, there would be excitement even if they did not do the frankly absurd route I mentioned and went for something more mild, marketing of that could bring in profits as players anticipate it.

Anyway it is late and I should sleep, hopefully my absurd rambling about how gaijin could milk the playerbase dry with a marketing campaign for a rework, at least inspire someone to try and make a suggestion or make them think less in the way that gaijin has no reason to make a new mode, because there is profit to gain from such a thing, sure there will be cost in R&D, but I think it could be worth it. Ya’ll have a good night and hopefully this place stays civil while I sleep.

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What about keeping bombers and Strike apart

elaborate, cause I don’t understand what you mean

Probably shouid of posted it in the bomber topic, but not have strike and bombers in same match so they dont complete with each other for bases, or have bombers on 1 team and strike on the other

race for bases is due to the fact that destroying ground targets is almost useless, you need to destroy more than 30 ground targets to compare to a base.

To solve this, just increase the gain for destroying ground targets.


What I’m about to add to this post only really applies to low and mid tier, as I pretty much only play props significantly.

-16v16 was a mistake, yes, but enlarging the maps was too: a lot of players complain about time to climb and get some action, which I somewhat agree with (Arcade Air is literally right there).
My proposed solution would be to cut matches down to 8v8 or thereabouts, AND reducing the map size. You get a lot more space to work with (and this helps EVERYWHERE, from playing for energy or speed, getting an uninterrupted dogfight, and even being able to bomb and attack ground targets unimpeded), time to climb is lower, even slow bombers will be able to get bombs off before getting shot down, planes with poor climb rates (say, P-47s and J7W) can be given interceptor air spawns without hurting balance, and individual player skill becomes more relevant as facing half the enemy team in a 1v4 is a lot more doable than in a 1v8, though still probably a defeat.
Air RB shines the most when both teams are down to a few players and tension is high - this would facilitate that by making each player’s lives much more valuable and significant.

As a benefit, the all-important queue times go down. I would also like mirrored team compositions - if one team has 5 fighters, 2 bombers, and an attacker for example, so should the other.

-More themed maps. Everytime I get one of the rare Pacific ARB matches, they’re pretty nice. It’s not the same mission you can get in literally any other nation, there’s some exclusivity in only 3 nations being able to get it. The change of scenery to a vast ocean is also pleasant.

-Longer match timers. This might change if my above recommendation to reduce map and team sizes was implemented, but at the moment, 25 minutes is often not enough to bring a match to its conclusion.

-Spread out objectives. There’s a lot of empty space that most maps don’t use, ground targets can be spread around instead of just right in between both teams’ airfields.

-Losing on tickets before the match timer expires is just annoying and a bad mechanic. You may be having the fight of the day and about to enact air superiority, but suddenly the match ends when there’s still many players alive on both teams. It’s just not fun to have so much effort thrown away because someone was just mowing the lawn and clicking on NPCs.

-Plane markers make some engagements worse because everyone knows exactly what aircraft is approaching them. I’d like a week-long trial (or maybe a separate mode for that trial) where each player is only shown with their username and aircraft type. From there, players have to identify the enemy aircraft by themselves and decide on tactics afterwards. This might prove to be a terrible idea, but I’m willing to try it if it means its more like air superiority fights in Ground RB where you never know what to expect since there’s no markers.

-Despite all this and very much enjoying Air RB, I really want Air RB EC too - I know it’s not in the scope of this post, but it’s sorely needed.
Attackers and bombers are infinitely more valuable there due to how the mode plays out, giving them a purpose that isn’t being food for fighters. The ability to join and quit a match in progress (as is the case in Sim EC) means that you don’t have to spend 3 hours in a match, just however long you want or have.