The premium vehicle culture problem - Do people even play this game for fun anymore?

“Which premium vehicle should I buy to grind x tree?”

I see this question asked 10 times a day… What’s the mad rush to top tier all about anyways? Do the vehicles on the way to the top just mean nothing? Mind you, a lot of these vehicles were once the top of the food chain themselves. It makes me wonder if people play this game for fun, or just to collect top tier trinkets?

I personally think people are missing out by speed grinding to the top of a tree. I like to unlock all the vehicles on the way up. I set small goals like unlocking all vehicles of x rank for x tree, or spading all vehicles for x rank, etc. These small goals make the game so much more fulfilling in numerous ways. And you’ll be a much more versatile player for using the different roles that vehicles have to offer. I do have many premiums myself, but mostly for collecting and lineups, not for grinding. I don’t have time to grind with premium vehicles when I have so many tree vehicles to spade. 😎

I just feel like people who only chase the end game are missing the point. So now you have an entire tree that you unlocked using one or a couple premium vehicles. You have zero experience with any of the tree vehicles, and they’re all stock… What if you suck at playing top tier, or just simple don’t enjoy it? Then all that work was for nothing, and you’ll buy another premium just to start another frustrating power grind down another nations tree. And the cycle repeats.

Don’t fall for the end-game trap. You’ll never be satisfied. The mid tiers are actually a lot of fun. Having full complete lineups of spaded vehicles is also a lot of fun. Especially when it comes to completing event tasks.

Take your time and try all the modes. You’re never too good to revisit Arcade. You’re never to new to try SimEC. They all have something to offer whether it’s for fun, for tasks, or to try something different. Try to enjoy your time on the way to the top! /salute

And one more thing… Don’t forget to take breaks! We all get burnt out, and that’s when things get frustrating. I’ve been playing this game since Jan 2013. If I never took breaks, I wouldn’t be enjoying this game anymore.


Can they? We went from 5 nations with small tech trees air and ground to 10 nations with massive tech trees, tons of copy paste vehicles, massive RP requirements, coastal trees, bluewater trees, helicopter trees and did the RP gain increased even a fraction of that?

We barely earn more RP, we lost the 2x multiplier, we’re losing wagers and everything, updates casually add millions of RP, horrible compression that makes half the tree just not worth playing anyways, messing around with the order of vehicles to force you to grind more vehicles, stock gameplay is complete trash, rewards are trash, one death leaving just makes you the idiot for staying around and respawning when half your team is in a different match already.
Who in their right mind would willingly play anything at 7-8-9 at this point with the new compression, go play a Leopard at 8.0 and see.

Or you just buy a premium and you earn more RP, more SL, less repair, favorable BRs with under tiered premiums and faster progression.

Battlepasses and things also demanding you to have top tier vehicles now and also look at how the game is advertised, I doubt people are here for the WW2 content that’s not being advertised.



I have always only ever played for fun, its just that now there is only one mode in this game which I am able to have ‘fun’ (insofar as the snail allows it ofc). That is Naval EC. which isnt perfect of course but it is so much more enjoyable than regular naval, air, and/or ground.

Honestly, it still make 0 sense why they have not added Air RB EC as a permanent mode. Likewise a ground equivalent. Normal RB for Air and Ground is just so…stale and boring in comparison.

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Free to Play, Pay to Play less painfully.

This game is a business, it’s all about the $$$$ when all the BS is boiled away.

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You always have the most pleasant things to say. 🥰


I don’t play ground, so I can’t speak for that, but I do hear you loud and clear.

Yes, I did start when there were only 5 air trees. Back when progression was set at a realistic pace. As the game expanded, you would think that the Grind would be reduced to accommodate all these new additions. Rather, they only made grind criteria more demanding as they added more content. So I totally get the frustration of an back-asswards grind criteria. I don’t agree with the Grind, but I manage the best I can, until I eventually take an extended break from the game.

To be frank, I’ve NEVER had a top tier vehicle in my 10 years on this game. I’ve been close, but never unlocked all top tier before eventually leaving to take a break. I guess it doesn’t help that I do play all the nations airforces, but I like variety. I can’t just focus on one nation.

That’s why I occupy myself with different goals. I don’t focus on end-game, I focus on current-game. I’m currently spading mostly tier V/VI vehicles for example. That’s my goal while I make this latest run to finally unlock an entire nation tree.

The point is, I play for more than only top tier. I enjoy flying the different planes that the game has to offer. I enjoy revisiting old planes that I worked to spade. I don’t get caught up chasing the carrot on the end of the stick. In this latest run for me, I do have a goal of reaching top tier US. There will be some grind involved, but I’m not gonna let it dominate me in a way that fun is no longer achieved.


I still buy premium time. I refuse to play without it. I just don’t use premium vehicles to skip through the trees.

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Yeah, but not playing for top tier is either by choice or by force, some people do just only want to play lower BR, but other people just want to play top tier and find out they just can’t get there.
I don’t care whatever you play, but there are so many people that defend Gaijin because they got what they want so there is no problem… like yeah if you just play low BR with low RP requirements, less compression, generous economy and fleshed out tech trees I get that things are fine, but then they tell people who want to play top tier that the economy is fine.

For me at this point it seems completely beyond reason to grind a tree free to play, even with premium it’s a nightmare, using a premium vehicle with a premium account still is way too steep of a ground and barely manageable, I wanted to grind China, traded some old event vehicles and got premium vehicles, but I just can’t do it, there is so much garbage to grind through, and they they add more garbage in the middle of the grind like the ZTZ88s.

Then they mess with the BRs and uptier the entire 8.3 lineup to 8.7, but leave one vehicle behind and nerf the reload speed to ‘keep it at 8.3’ even though it’s forced to play at 8.7 for the lineup but with the reload nerf so double nerf, then they switch around the order of vehicles, and now this lineup is like 9.3 or whatever.

It’s outright miserable to try and get through a tree as Gaijin keeps messing with everything for the sake of it without actually improving things, like shuffling some papers around to make it seem as if you’re working when the boss walks by, but someone is actually trying to use those papers.

I can’t imagine trying to get through a tree like this without premium vehicles, constantly having your lineup compromised, forced to waste millions of SL on rebuilding your lineups, forced to waste more millions on purchasing vehicles you do not want but you’re forced to purchase, grinding RP at top tier, then forced to switch to low BR to grind SL to finance top tier.

I’m pretty sure there are over 20 viable vehicles at 8.7ish China when you count in air and ground, 20 vehicles you have to grind, you have to purchase and you can’t possibly use, even when you shell out 30 bucks for the crew slots.

So yeah, you either buy premium and force yourself through the grind, or you find different goals and give up on the progression.

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I’ve always played for fun, ever since I first played war thunder on my old account 7 years ago, ASB has been a major escape for me, since I can play the game where premium players don’t have the edge, as with a bit of skill I can easily outwit them. Granted, I have used a few premium aircraft but they aren’t “easier” to play.

I don’t have top tier, but I am close. Whenever I switch over to ARB, I find myself getting dominated by premium aircraft, which usually have the edge in ARB. Since everybody is playing them because they want the cool F-14 or MiG-29, I don’t really have a chance, especially since my main tree (Britain) seems to be neglected, I mean the F-4M could carry AIM-9L, but we are stuck with AIM-9G, why? And god knows what happened to the Skyflash.

Pure anecdote, but I’m a somewhat new-ish player to the game - I started playing in February 2022. And I only play for fun, or more specifically, to get good at the game. I came for the WW2 German stuff (interest that predates War Thunder) and stayed there. I play every German ground BR between 1.0 and 7.7 in RB, sometimes in SB. I want to ace crew every vehicle, including the premiums I have, but most of all I want to get very good at each of them. And only once I’m satisfied with that, will I move on.

I must say, I feel lucky I don’t care about grinding, because it looks like a sanity drain in this game.


Thats all I ever do and have ever done is just grind. You have to play premium vehicles to actually get anywhere.
They made it “slightly” better but they still are dragging their feet about giving bonuses for people who finished a tree, lower RP of vehicles and such etc. Instead of following the roadmap they have been just jumping around randomly.

There’s really only 3 vehicles I play for fun in ARB - The Jaguar GR.1A, E and A.

For ground I didn’t have a favorite vehicle or anything, it was just pure grinding because ground is even worse. Well that changed when I got the Cent AVRE. Like I can get 2 kills in a game and it just makes me laugh when I launch a giant 165mm hesh 900 meters into someone. I got it on the sale and its just a plus that its a premium.

I pretty much only play ASB these days and what i fly is more often than not dictated by what i want to play not what i need to play. But that was not always the case.

Before the recent SB economy changes. It was pretty much required to run a premium every few matches to restock on SLs and even now if i need to spend a large sum of SLs i hit a premium for a few matches for the SLs. Especially if i have a large booster from daily logins.

Though the ability to play whatever is not a luxuary all have. I can very much imagine many needing to run premiums to turn any meaningful profit to be able to buy new vehicles.

I’m playing event thunder, so I’m not playing for fun.


The advantage I have right now is, I still have an abundance of aircraft to spade. What this allows for, is for me to unlock vehicles with RP, and then wait for the 50% off sale to make the SL purchases. As a general rule, I wait for 50% off sale for vehicles tier IV and up. I have over 6mil of vehicle purchases (and counting) waiting for the sale.

The new batch of purchased vehicles will keep me busy until the next sale arrives. Then the cycle continues. My years of playtime, and excess of vehicles allow me to do this without going stagnant in progression.

So I do still penny pinch in some ways. It’s the easiest way for me to keep a positive SL balance. The fact that I still have to penny pinch (as a perpetual premium account holder) is a sure sign that the economy changes still need a lot of work.

I only hope Gaijin continues to listen to us, and one day will deliver us a realistic economy.


Sometimes I wonder why I do them, but the collector in me is a true sucker. 😎

Yeah, ive got a premium account, but i dont have to worry about that anymore. I dont bother with multiple nations. So ive got all britain aircraft researched and all the ones id actually play purchased and spaded. But it took over 1500 hours to get to that point where i dont even think about SLs anymore. Just past the 2 mil SLs farming this event and i uave nothing im going to buy currently.

A lot of people dont care about WWII vehicles. Without premium vehicles it take years to get to top tier (except maybe the no lifers)…

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i mostly play midtiers for fun, thats why it takes longer to level up for me sometimes.

but i gave up on the mindless event grinds and just go to work and then buy myself up whenever i feel like it.

I spent the first 7 years just using the Tech stuff with no premium vehicles. Now I got no problem grabbing a few premium vehicles to grind out new additions or tech trees. Certainly got my moneys worth out of it in entertainment.

I dont use the premium to skip past the tech tree freebies. I use it to unlock a full Line up for *insert BR before I go in and spade them all as a lineup (and I spade everything). AS oppoosed to only having one of a BR lineup and the rest lower.

In my book 1 to 7.3 is where the best of the game is. Afterwards it can still be fun, but a different game that almost doesnt fit the maps. (thats just an opinion) Players dont keep spawning in like they do at lower tiers. Game is less interesting (tech does the work for you, radar/thermal replaces eyes, auto range replaces judgement, shell drop is minimal, missiles replace dogfighting, stablilzers replace timing) and more likely to blowout faster.


I would love to take more breaks from this game but Gaijin doesnt make that easy. Before, I could take breaks mostly whenever but now the battle pass requires me to play almost everyday to do tasks. This still wouldnt be an issue if Gaijin didnt make all event vehicles exclusives.
Due to the vehicles being exclusives, I ‘have’ to complete the events and battle pass. Sure I could just not do them but that means that there are like what, 12+ vehicles per year that I would miss out on and the only other way to get them is through spending $100s in the market.
Makes me feel sorry for anyone who starts playing because I know there are probably well over 70 vehicles they will never get the chance to have.