In defense of "bad" event vehicles

Before I even start my defense of many socalled “bad” event prizes, I do need to clarify that there are legitimately bad event prizes. The S-701, Type T-51a, and SMS Ostfriesland are legitimately bad prizes (I promise this is not an anti-naval thing).

But here, I am going to make the case that what constitutes a bad event prize is different from what constitutes a bad vehicle, and that bad vehicles can be good event prizes. In all likelyhood, you will disagree me. That is okay because contrary to what many may tell you, you are allowed to have opinions on the internet.

I made this case in my 2023 in review thread, but here I am going to go more into it.

Bad vehicles ≠ bad prizes

This is going to be easily the biggest hot take of this post.

In my view, a bad vehicle does not necessarily equate to a bad prize. With a few exceptions, I do agree with the sentiment that bad vehicles tend to make worse prizes, but I don’t think they inhernetly make bad ones. I see the purpose of events as being introducing vehicles that don’t have a place in the standard tree. Vehicles like the Strikemaster Mk. 88 and Ka-Chi have no place to fit in the tree. I also see the purpose of events as introducing weird/wacky vehicles that not only don’t have a place in the tree, but have something interesting to them. The Strikemaster Mk. 88 and Ka-Chi also satisfy those criteria. But I see those criteria as being independent of whether or not the vehicle is good. The LOSAT is a perfect example of that. The LOSAT is really bad. It’s irritating to play, it’s unusable on half of the maps ingame, and I would rarely willingly take it out in my lineup outside of the initial spade of it. Yet I see the LOSAT as a fantastic event prize because it’s super bizarre and has no place in the tech tree.

Vehicles that are good tend to have more of a place in the tech tree. That isn’t always true, but it is true more often than not. But a vehicle like the LOSAT would never have a place in the normal tree. In my eyes, events are the perfect way to introduce these sorts of vehicles—vehicles that otherwise would never have had a chance to be represented ingame.

Criteria for a good prize

A prize gains points for:

  • Not being something that should have been in the tree
  • Not offering an experience lacking in the tree or offers an experience so bad that it shouldn’t be in the tree.
  • Not being meta-defining.
  • Not being better than its tech tree counterpart (if it has one).
  • Having something interesting to it that makes it worth grinding and seperates it from its tech tree counterpart (if it has one).

A prize looses points for:

  • Being for one of the big 3 nations (USA, Germany, USSR) if it was in an event in which more than half of the prizes are for the big 3.
  • Being a high tier event vehicle.
  • Being meta-defining.
  • Needing to be in the tree instead of as an event prize.
  • Not having a tech tree counterpart.
  • Existing as an event vehicle before its main variant comes to the tree if it is needed in the tree
  • Being better than its tech tree counterpart (if it has one)
  • Not having something interesting to it.

A prize gets bonus points (not required) for:

  • Being for a minor nation, but only if that nation’s tree didn’t need it.
  • Being for a nation that doesn’t have it’s own tree (e.g. Indian vehicles going to the British tree or Finnish vehicles going to the Swedish tree)

The point about it losing points for being high tier is a very personal one, but I am very sick of high tier event prizes. I want to return to the days of the top end event prizes being rank 6 at max and premiums. Top tier event prizes are fundamentally bad for the health of the game by allowing people who have no experience in jets into top tier, poisoning the matchmaker, ruining winrates for whatever nation they’re from, and making the players playing them have a bad taste of top tier and causing them to abandon it for a while.

Of course these are not hard rules. There are some prizes that violate certain rules but end up being great prizes, but I do think they act as good general guidelines to stick to.

Bad event prizes

Bad event prizes are ones that hit most, if not all of the bullets that lose points and very few, if any of the ones that gain points. A perfect example of this is the Kfir C.2. The Kfir C.2 is a pretty good vehicle. It is fun to play, has great missiles, and performs quite nicely. The issue is that it was top tier when it came out, didn’t have much interesting to it aside from less missiles and more bombs than the Kfir C.7, and needed to be in the tree, both because of its historical significance as the only Kfir variant to ever score a kill and as a useful CAS option in the tree that doesn’t fly like a brick the way the F-4E does, especially considering how desperate Israel is for vehicles in its air tree. It also loses extra points for being the plane that started the trend of giving away high tier CAS planes as prizes. This same issue of needed to be in the tree also applies to the E.B.R. (1963).

Another example of this is the Su-25BM. The Su-25BM is everything wrong with an event vehicle in one package. It’s quite bad in air RB, though it is pretty decent in ground RB, it’s for the USSR which is one of the big three nations, it has nothing unique to it, and it’s near-top tier. It’s also generally just phenomenally boring as a prize.

To me though, the most egregious example of this is the PT-76-57. It is an absolutely fantastic vehicle, but it completely broke the entire game at its BR. It was one of the most meta-defining things in the game and was an absolutely atrocious prize because of it.

Good event prizes

This section is reserved for prizes I see as being pretty decent. They’re not phenomenal, but pretty good.

An example of this would be the Beaufighter Mk. I (40-mm). Yes, I know a lot of you find this to be a bad prize, but I think it satisfied the weird condition well enough to be decent. Of course there were way better options. We could have seen planes like the Defiant. However, I do think that despite being a bad plane, it’s worth it because it would not have been represented ingame otherwise.

Another example of this is the Su-8. It is for one of the big three nations, but it’s mid tier, it’s unique and bizarre, and would not have found its way into the game in any form other than an event vehicle. I also especially commend this vehicle because for the first top Battle Pass plane, it was a really daring choice, but in my view, it paid off. I think the theming of the season around it was terrible, but the vehicle itself is really nice as a prize, even if it is not that good. The Su-8 is a perfect example of a vehicle that deserves to be represented in War Thunder, to have a second lease on life, that would not have gotten that lease any other way.

Then there’s the M64. It was not needed in the tree. It’s a slightly slower M18 with the same turret and the M18 is already in the Chinese tree. But not only is it for a minor nation, but it was also China’s first event vehicle which makes it absolutely amazing!

Great event prizes

These are the crème de la crème of event vehicles. These are the ones that not only check all the boxes for being good prizes, but are also great vehicles, and no vehicle sever given out exemplify this better than the Ka-Chi, Lorriane 155 Mle. 50, and A-1H.

The reason for the Ka-Chi and Lorraine 155 Mle. 50 are the same: they’re weird, they’re low-mid tier, they had no need in the tree, they’re for minor nations, and they’re good. They’re everything you could ever want in an event vehicle. They check every box. This is what I wish every event vehicle was like.

Then there’s the A-1H. It does go to the biggest of the big three, the USA, but this is one of those rare vehicles that doesn’t lose points for that because of just how good of a prize it is. It’s an absolutely phenomenal vehicle in an excellently themed season that has unique weaponry options including a literal toilet, it’s mid tier, it’s premium, and it’s everything you could ever want in an event plane. In my view, this is the best event prize ever.


Yes I will probably make a lot of people mad. I know not everyone agrees with this and that’s okay. Wanting a good vehicle from your events is entirely understandable and that’s why vehicles like the Ka-Chi, Lorraine 155 Mle. 50, and A-1H are the best type of event vehicle. But in my view, when it comes to events, weird takes precedent over good, at least to a large extent. Events are how strange vehicles that the tree would never see get represented, and if Gaijin forgoes that in favor of just giving out good vehicles even if they’re boring, then events lose what makes them interesting and what, in my view, makes them worth grinding.

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How is this a good thing for prize?

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Good and meta-defining are 2 different things. The problem with it being meta-defining is that you end up with a best-in-class vehicle locked behind a limitied time event. The USS Mississippi from Winter Extreme is a good example of that.

Maybe they add tt equivalent next patch. It is still a cool ship nonetheless even if it is kinda broken

It definitely will get a tech tree counterpart, but it still has this problem for at least until the next update,

Hot take, perhaps. But 100% accurate one. 🎯

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