War Thunder's best year: 2023 in review - Part 1 (Introduction-March)

Part 1 - Introduction-March (current)
Part 2 - April-May
Part 3 - June
Part 4 - July-August
Part 5 - September
Part 6 - October
Part 7 - November-December
Part 8 - Hopes for 2024-Conclusion

Introduction

If anyone reads even 1/100 of this, I’ll be shocked.

Hello. Yes, you read this correctly, this is all of 2023 in War Thunder in review. I have gone through every single news post from January 1st to December 31st of 2023 and discussed every single one (excluding devblogs, with some exceptions, and videos, so The Shooting Range, Thunder Show, and any other one-off videos are not counted, except for the teasers which are discussed alongside the update they are for). This review is not simply a summary, it is my own views and takes on every single thing that happened in 2023. I know that people will most likely assume that this is so long that it must be ranting about this year and how bad it was for 89,243 words, but I promise you that that is not what this is. This is a legitimate look at the entire year examining what I thought worked and what didn’t, in my opinion. In addition to looking at all of 2023, this article will also contain my views on what needs to be changed moving forward, what should be brought back from the past, and my overall views on what I hope to see in 2024 and beyond.

I began writing this on September 13th, 2023, which means this post is the culmination of a grand total of 110 days of writing and researching, including making myself play vehicles I really did not want to for this article. This article was an unimaginable amount of work. On top of the numerous hours of purely sitting at a keyboard writing, there was also an ungodly amount of researching and forcing myself to play vehicles I really didn’t want to for the sake of this article. I ground the French naval tree to write this!

I actually tried doing a thread reviewing all of 2021 in War Thunder back in 2021, and the plan was to publish it on January 1st, 2022, but it got so long that the date kept getting pushed further and further and further back, and I gave up at the 8,855 word mark when covering update “Red Skies”. So, instead of deciding to do this and then doing it right at the end of the year and having to cram for time, this time around, I am beginning to write this on September 13th and I will just keep writing and updating it privately for the rest of the year until January 1st, 2024 when it will be posted. I assume it will be the longest post ever on the new forums, as of the time of posting it.

Everything will be discussed in the order they were announced in, as long as they were announced from January 1st of 2023 to December 31st of 2023. As such, events such as the 2022-23 New Years and Winter Quest events will not be covered, those are counted as 2022. Events that last multiple months such as the Battle Passes will be listed under the month they started. Because events start a few days after they are announced, in the case that the event is announced and another piece of news is announced after the event announcement but before the event starts, the event will be covered first as I am going in announcement order. The one exception to this will be the Pages of History events which will be lumped in at the start of the month they start even though they are usually announced at the end of the month before. Important changes that happened in between updates but are just in the standard changelogs and not in the news section will be covered in the order those changelogs were released, but as a general rule, the majority of changelogs will not be covered. All vehicle reviews for updates and events are based on their performance in realistic battles, except for naval vehicles in which case their reviews are based on their performance in arcade battles because while naval AB is very fun, naval RB and naval EC are very boring and I will die on that hill.

Also, please note that while this is 8 parts, I did not want to make it 8 parts. I wanted this to be all a single article, but the forums have a character limit of 96,000 characters and to avoid splitting sections across multiple parts, this had to be divided into 8 of them. Please don’t read all of this. Use the table of contents.

But, before we start, I would like to give special thanks to:

  • Azz Le Corsaire on the Shiryon Archive Discord server for helping with some of the Hungarian vehicles.
  • Mother Gentlespie on the MTG Discord server for helping with understanding a lot of the naming intricacies of vehicle naming as well as helping understand certain naval vehicles that I simply did not have the time and/or will to grind for.
  • Olivia on the MTG Discord server as well as her own server for being the only leaker that is consistently credible and correct, and while they’re not directly referenced in this article, they were reviewed in the course of the research.
  • JakDax on the MTG Discord server for helping me with the timeline of the Review Bombing Saga.
  • Oshida on Reddit and on the MTG Discord server for being the community’s resident dataminer whose datamines are not only a great service to the community, but which I also went through extensively in the course of writing this article. He also helped me by sending me the texture files for the 100th anniversary of the Italian Air Force camouflage for the C. 205 III so I could render it in the asset viewer.
  • Gszabi99 on the MTG Discord server for sending me the texture files for the Winged Hussars camouflage for the Mi-24V so I could render it in the asset viewer.
  • Theffo on the MTG Discord server for helping me with the French Navy so I didn’t completely lose my sanity writing this.

I would also like to thank the following people for issuing corrections after this article’s publication:

  • jon_man1199 on the WTCD Discord server for informing me of the real story of which fit of the HMS Gay Archer was its service fit and which was its privately owned one and for informing me of the bug report that led to its correction. I had incorrectly recounted the story before this corretion.
  • Disco_Shrimp on the WTCD Discord server for alerting me that the F-84Fs never ended up going to rank 6 and stayed at rank 5.
  • Forums user StormRyder13 for informing me that the Leopard C2 (MEXAS)'s correct name is C2 and not C2A1.
  • pazzo1972 on the MTG Discord server for informing me of the T1E1’s different transmission and for informing me that the C1 Ariete (AMV PT 1) is not based off the C1 Ariete (WAR) and does not have the WAR kit.

Without further adieu, let’s begin!

Table of contents

Introduction
  • Introduction
  • Table of contents
January
  • Pages of History (January)
  • Swedish Armed Forces Day
  • Lunar New Year
  • Battle Pass Season 10 “Royal Guard”
  • Australia Day
February
  • Pages of History (February)
  • Victory in Stalingrad Day
  • Answers from the developers
  • World War Mode news
  • Update for the War Thunder CDK
  • VR Flights in the PlayStation VR2
  • Japanese National Foundation Day
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Tigor Tshirt/New merch
  • First Flight of the BO 105
  • South African Armed Forces Day
  • Defender Tournament Series
March
  • Pages of History (March)
  • Finnish Air Force Day
  • Update 2.25 “Sky Guardians”
  • International Women’s Day
  • Fair Play: March 2023
  • Tank Football
  • CV 90105 (XC-8) Wiki Decal
  • St. Patrick’s Day
  • Guest Accounts
  • First Flight of the La-5
  • Lucky Piñata
  • Moments of Valour: The Turkish Armed Forces
  • 100th Anniversary of the Italian Air Force
  • Royal Air Force Day
April
  • Pages of History (April)
  • Mobile Infantry
  • “Edge of Shell” Pack
  • Bosses of the Gym
  • Atomic Thunder: Soviet Battle Robots Tree
  • Repair Factory
  • Exowarrior Twitch Drops
  • Day of Aviation and Cosmonautics
  • Vasily Matsievich’s birthday
  • Zimbabwean Independence Day
  • Battle Pass Season 11 “Her Majesty’s Hussar”
  • Italian Liberation Day
  • Israeli Independence Day
  • Air Superiority Tournament
  • Ingame May sale
  • Golden Week
May
  • Pages of History (May)
  • Polish Constitution Day
  • Legend of Victory: BM-31-12 “Andryusha”
  • Victory Day
  • May sale in the Gaijin Store
  • War Thunder Mobile
  • US Armed Forces Day
  • French National Sailor Day
  • The Review Bombing Saga Part I: The Fellowship of the Forums
  • Anniversary of the Israeli Defense Forces
  • Swedish Home Guard Day
  • Answers from the developers
  • The Review Bombing Saga Part II: The Two Responses
June
  • Pages of History (June)
  • Turkish Air Forces Day
  • Canadian Armed Forces Day
  • D-Day
  • 500th Anniversary of Swedish Independence
  • Rare D-Day vehicles returning for GE
  • Italian Navy Day
  • The Review Bombing Saga Part III: The Return of the Economy
  • Update 2.27 “La Royale”
  • German Navy Day
  • First Flight of the MiG-21
  • Following the Roadmap: Updated Economy
  • Rankings Challenge: 2023 Grand Finals and Twitch Drops
  • British Armed Forces Day
  • Following the Roadmap: maps for aircraft, flares and repair
  • Summer Sale in the Gaijin Store
  • Swedish Air Force Day
  • JSDF Day
  • Canada Day
  • Top teams for Grand Final Season I tournament
July
  • French Air Force Day
  • US Independence Day
  • 80th Anniversary of Operation Husky
  • Atomic Thunder
  • First Flight of the A-4E
  • Bastille Day
  • Atomic Heart Snail Decals
  • First flight of the Hawker Hunter
  • First flight of the T-2
  • Battle Pass Season 12 “Armour Breaking Ambusher”
  • Following the Roadmap: Compensation of Battle Expenses, Free Backups and More!
  • Following the Roadmap: Battle Pass available in Simulator Battles
  • Russian Navy Day
  • In Detail: Air event markers in Ground Arcade Battles
  • Bots in War Thunder: what they are and how we plan to get rid of them
August
  • Pages of History (August)
  • PLA Day
  • First flight of the BAC Lightning
  • Summer Extreme
  • Following the Roadmap: refining landscape
  • End of the French Navy CBT
  • Soviet Air Fleet Day
  • Polish Armed Forces Day
  • Following the Roadmap: research helicopters with ground vehicles, marking spawn campers and more
  • US National Airborne Day
  • A Sound of Thunder: the release of War Thunder Mobile
  • MiG-15 enters service
  • 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Kursk
  • Following the Roadmap: grouping vehicles, rank changes, and improvements to premium vehicles
  • Following the Roadmap: Reducing Research/Purchase Cost of Aircraft, map changes & more
September
  • Pages of History (September)
  • 78th Anniversary of the end of World War II
  • Soviet Tanker’s Day
  • First Flight of the P-38
  • 83rd Anniversary of the Battle of Britain
  • 76th birthday of the U.S. Air Force
  • Update 2.29 “Sons of Attila”
  • Following the Roadmap: Sons of Attila Roadmap implementations and some Postponements
  • First Flight of the Mi-24
  • First Flight of the Yak-38
  • Tokushu Heiki
  • National Day of the People’s Republic of China
October
  • Pages of History (October)
  • Moments of Valor: China
  • German Unity Day
  • 80th Anniversary of the Battle of the Caucasus
  • 248th birthday of the US Navy
  • First flight of the S.O.4050 Vautour II
  • Following the Roadmap: We’d like to hear your feedback on our proposed Aircraft Destruction Mechanics & Night Battles design
  • Trafalgar Day
  • First flight of the UH-1 Iroquois
  • Twitch drops for War Thunder’s 11th anniversary
  • Battle Pass Season 13 “Tropical Storm”
  • First flight of the J 35 Draken
  • 100th anniversary of the Republic of Türkiye
  • Halloween
  • Update 2.31 “Kings of Battle”
November
  • Pages of History (November)
  • 11th birthday of War Thunder
  • Dreams Come True: TOG II
  • Following the Roadmap: Skill Bonuses in RP & Selectable Night Battles!
  • Battle of the Atlantic
  • Italian National Unity and Armed Forces Day
  • 11th anniversary sale in the Gaijin Store
  • Polish National Independence Day
  • 74th birthday of the Chinese Air Force
  • 68th birthday of the Bundeswehr
  • Fair Play: November 2023
  • November research changes
  • Black Friday
  • Results of the Anniversary Tournaments dedicated to 11 Years of War Thunder, plus the “Esport II” Trophy!
  • Su-25K Wiki decal
  • St. Andrew’s Day
December
  • Pages of History (December): The Heroic Nurse
  • Winter Extreme
  • Following the Roadmap: WT Mobile Login Streak & Keeping you updated with our plans
  • Update 2.33 “Air Superiority”
  • Christmas and New Years
  • Ingame winter sale
  • Collecting ideas for the 2024 roadmap
  • Fair Play: December 2023
  • Gaijin says they “don’t believe” the M1 Abrams had upgraded armor
  • Gaijin says they don’t believe that MANPADS missiles can pull as hard as official documents say they can
  • Winter sale in the Gaijin Store
  • First flight of the MiG-15
Other stuff that happened in 2023
  • Secret document leaks
Hopes for 2024
  • A Lesser focus on top tier
  • No more high rank premiums
  • No more high rank event vehicles
  • A return to 6 vehicles for marathon events
  • Making it possible to get all 4 vehicles in crafting events without spending money
  • No more duplicate decals in marathon events
  • A return to 4 vehicles in the Battle Pass
  • A return to low tier prizes in marathon events and Battle Passes being coupons
  • Breaks between Battle Pass seasons
  • A system for returning old event vehicles
  • Better support for coloring text in lang mods
Conclusion
  • Conclusion

January

Pages of History (January)

Yes, this was announced before January 1st, 2023, but because it’s specifically the Pages of History event for January, I am making an exception for this one. It’s a cool-looking profile picture, but that’s sort of it. I don’t have much of an opinion. I like the Pages of History events, but I don’t have much to say about them.


“Dmitry Osatyuk” profile picture

Swedish Armed Forces Day

The decal was cool and it was nice to have the ability to purchase the Sav fm/48 again. I already owned it, but it’s nice to allow players who didn’t have it to get it, especially because it’s an absolutely insane vehicle. The thing I liked about the decal specifically is that, on top of being simply good looking, it’s historical. My preference for historical decals to ahistorical ones for events will become a running theme throughout this article, especially later on when they switched the armed forces days decals to all have that same style.


“Emblem of the Life Regiment Hussars” decal


Sav fm/48

Lunar New Year

The decal is nice. Events like this, unlike the armed forces days events, I think are really good opportunities for decals that, while not historical, simply look cool. The ability to purchase the ZTZ69-IIA, T-69 II G, and T-62 (No. 545) as a bundle was nice too. Overall, this was nothing special, like most of these mini-events, but it was cool.


“Lucky Rabbit” decal

Battle Pass Season 10 “Royal Guard”

Okay, now we get into the actual meat of this article.

Season 10 of the Battle Pass was honestly quite disappointing, and this was for 2 reasons. The first reason is that it was simply not that interesting. To be clear, none of the prizes were bad vehicles, but some were bad prizes.

In order to understand why these are bad prizes, it needs to be made clear that what constitutes a good prize is entirely separate from what constitutes a good vehicle. Good prizes are not the same as good vehicles.

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.
  • 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:

  • Bonus points if it’s for a minor nation, but only if that nation’s tree didn’t need it.
  • Bonus points if it’s 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)

For example, the PT-76-57 is a monstrously good vehicle. There’s a reason it went from 7.3 to 8.0 and is still very very good. However, it’s a terrible prize because nothing that insane should be locked behind a paywall for a limited-time event. On the other hand, the Su-8 is not a very good vehicle, but it’s an amazing prize because it is unique, interesting, not needed in the tree, and doesn’t break the game. On the occasions that good prizes are also good vehicles such as the M64, M6A2E1, and A-1H, it’s a win-win, but being a good prize should always take precedence over being a good vehicle, and being a good vehicle should never sacrifice being a good prize.

With that being said, let’s take a look at the prizes for season 10:

  • Pr. 183 (BM-21) - USSR - Rank III - Motor gun boat - Event premium

    • The Pr. 183 (BM-21) is probably the most interesting prize in my opinion, both because it has a cool quirk to it and because it is the first and to date only vehicle of the Egyptian Navy in War Thunder. I also still very much dislike that the lowest tier prize in the Battle Pass is no longer a coupon, though that ship sailed long ago (pun intended).
  • Bf 109 F-4 - Italy - Rank III - Fighter - Event premium - Coupon

    • The Hungarian Bf 109 F-4 is just sort of there. It’s a Bf 109 F-4 for Italy. That’s it. It being Hungarian is somewhat cool and the unique camouflage it got is very nice, but those are only very superficial things. As a prize, it lacks anything that makes it interesting, unlike the other 2 main prizes in this season.
  • AMX 50 (TO 90/930) - France - Rank IV - Medium tank - Event premium - Coupon

    • The AMX 50 (TO 90/930) is cool, but not that interesting. It’s not necessarily a bad Battle Pass prize, but it’s not a great one either. It’s a good vehicle, and it’s unique camouflage is gorgeous, but as a prize, nothing sticks out about it. It’s an AMX 50 with the turret of the Char 25t and it’s 7.3 instead of 7.7. That’s sort of it.

The secondary prizes were cool. The decorations were nice, especially the “Royal Scepter” decoration, and the decals were cool too, especially the Emblem of the Royal Jordan Guard, and the profile picture is nice, but nothing is that special. I also still dislike that the number of vehicles has been reduced from 4 to 3 though, much like the lowest tier vehicle prize being a coupon, that ship sailed long ago.


“Emblem of the Coldstream Guards” decal


“Emblem of the Spanish Royal Guard” decal


“Emblem of the Jordan Royal Guard” decal


“Emblem of the Danish Royal Guard Company” decal


“Guard post” naval decoration


“Crown” decoration


“Royal sceptre” decoration


“Royal Guardsman” decal


“AMX-50 (TO90/930)” loading screen

However, the second reason I was disappointed with this season is simply because it’s the 10th season. Much like the 10th year of War Thunder back in 2022, the 10th Battle Pass season is a significant milestone, though obviously to a lesser extent than the game’s 10th anniversary, and despite this being a big milestone, nothing special was done for it. No interesting theme, no particularly interesting prizes, it was just sort of there. It was just a bog standard season.

Also, as a little aside, the name “Royal Guard” is a really weird choice for this season because usually the season is at least somewhat themed around the top prize, but this time it makes no sense because the AMX 50 (TO 90/930) has no connection whatsoever to the name of the season.

As for the warbonds for this season, they’re pretty decent. The decal is cool, having the Ar 196 A-5 in the shop is cool (even though ingame, it’s incorrectly modeled so it lacks nearly everything that would make it the A-5 variant instead of the A-3), the Geniere is nice, and the XP-50 is a crazy vehicle, as always. Overall, not stunning, but pretty damn good.

Overall, it’s a pretty mediocre season. Not bad, but nothing stands out about it, which is not only bad for the 10th season of the Battle Pass, but it’s bad in general regardless of what season it is.

Australia Day

The Boomerang Mk. II is cool and decal is awesome because… I mean… it’s a boxing kangaroo! That is awesome no matter what. It is one of my all time favorite decals in my collection.


“Ranger Kangaroo” decal

February

Pages of History (February)

Cool profile picture, but a bit too much freedom for my taste.


“Norman Schwarzkopf” profile picture

Victory in Stalingrad Day

This was a pretty cool mini-event. The decal of the T-60 was nice, but the highlight was the Ampulomet decoration which was incredibly cool and which I am very happy to have.


“Vehicles of Victory: T-60” decal


“Ampulomet” decoration

Answers from the developers

I don’t have the time or energy to go over all 20 questions, and none of you would read it anyway because you can just go read the Q&A, but suffice it to say that it was pretty decent. Nothing that special, but good enough.

World War Mode news

I’m not covering this one in detail purely because I do not have the time to care about World War Mode unless it actually has cool prizes, and I also don’t understand the gamemode that well. However, a lot of the balance changes seem to be nice, but please correct me if I am wrong. The rewards changes to the gamemode that greatly increased the rewards were nice though and I like that they happened, even though I never actually played this go-around of it.

Update for the War Thunder CDK

As a general rule, I am not covering individual devblogs, but I am making an exception for this one because CDK updates are always nice as they allow players to do much more and create a lot of unique things, both to play and to do stuff like make cinematics.

VR Flights in the PlayStation VR2

This was pretty cool just because it was a survery asking people if they wanted a spinoff compatible with the PlayStation VR2 VR headset since the main version of War Thunder is not compatible with it due to the graphical intensity of it. I just think it’s neat that they put out a survey to ask players if they wanted it.

Japanese National Foundation Day

The samurai decal is awesome. 'Nuff said.

Having 50% off the Japanese Starter Pack and the Japanese Pacific Campaign was nice, especially since the Japanese Pacific Campaign was one of the best packs in the store before they removed it. There was also a decal that I think looks fine. It’s cool, but something about it looks off to me.


“The Guardian of Japan” decal

Other than that, having the IJN Kiyoshimo, the J2M4 Kai, and the Type 74 (G/Kai) back was quite nice.

The IJN Kiyoshimo is a Yugumo-class destroyer, meaning it is really good. It has quite a low crew count, but it has some very nice guns on it and those absolutely fantastic torpedoes characteristic of nearly every Japanese destroyer.


IJN Kiyoshimo

The J2M4 Kai is a J2M4 with a different engine which puts it at 5.0 instead of 5.7 like the J2M5. All the J2Ms are very good, and this one is no exception. Admittedly, I have not played any of the J2Ms in quite a while, but I do know they’re quite good planes. They turn really nicely, like all Japanese planes, and they have nice engines on them as well as amazing cannons that shred most things they hit.


J2M4 Kai

The Type 74 (G)'s glory days are long gone, but it’s still a very capable tank. The Type 93 APFSDS round is enough to penetrate most things at that BR, and the thermal sight gives it a big advantage. When it was added, it was arguably the best premium tank in the game, and while those days are over, it is still a very good tank. However, while it is a good tank, the lineup around it is… um… less than stellar, to say the least. The Type 93 is the only vehicle you can run with it and the Type 93 is a flaming pile of garbage. On top of that, there’s not a lot of good close air support (CAS) for it. There’s the F-86F-30 and F-86F-40, but both of those are subpar CAS platforms. On the whole, while a good vehicle, it suffers from the lack of stuff to run it so it has to carry the lineup.


Type 74 (G)

Valentine’s Day

A pretty nice event. The decorations were the same as years past, but the decal was really cool. I know there are some mixed opinions on the Valentine’s Day decal for 2023 which was called the Cyber Cupid decal, as stylistically it is quite different than a lot of other decals ingame, but personally, I really like it. I entirely understand why some do not like it, it’s perfectly reasonable, but I do quite like it. Having the MK-IX “Valentine” on sale was also nice because that is a very good tank, though I am somewhat biased here as I have a personal soft spot for Valentine tanks.


MK-IX “Valentine”


“Cyber Cupid” decal

Tigor Tshirt/New merch

Yeah it was kinda funny. That’s it. Moving on.

First Flight of the BO 105

They brought back the BO 105 CB-2 for a limited time. That’s it. It’s not special per se, but it’s nice to have it back for a bit. They do this quite frequently though with the BO 105 CB-2 so it was not some hyper-rare event.


BO 105 CB-2

South African Armed Forces Day

This event is pretty bog standard, with a bundle for the Rooikat 105 and the Rooivalk. However, remember when I said earlier that this year they started to standardize the armed forces days decals and that I didn’t like it? Well this is the first of the armed forces day events this year to do that, though they did also do it for British Armed Forces Day in 2022.

This new decal format is a ring that says the name of the day with a circle inside of it that has the country’s flag and a distinct vehicle from that country. These decals lack character, nothing makes them interesting, and I quite dislike them because, while having them in my collection is nice, they are rather boring, and a pretty big step down from most of the decals before them.


“South African Armed Forces Day” decal

Defender Tournament Series

Truthfully, I don’t care about tournaments and so I won’t be covering the tournaments themselves, but there was some cool stuff alongside them that I do want to cover.

The first of those was a pretty cool decal of the helmet and shield of a hoplite called the “Protector of Sparta” decal. Not much to say about it, but it looked quite cool.

The second was some pretty neat shields they had. You could get the “Pelta Shield” decoration by completing tasks and the “Heraldic Shield” decoration if you collected all 5 of the shield decorations that were already ingame.


“Protector of Sparta” decal


“Pelta Shield” decoration


“Heraldic Shield” decoration

Third was a bunch of old Soviet premiums were back on sale, and here’s a quick review of each:

  • IL-2M “Avenger” - USSR - Rank III - Strike fighter - Hidden premium

    • The IL-2M “Avenger” is fine. It’s not crazy good, not crazy bad, it’s just fine. It’s identical to the IL-2M in the normal tree so if you don’t have it, you’re not missing much.
  • Pe-2-205 - USSR - Rank III - Bomber - Hidden premium

    • The Pe-2-205 is pretty bad. It performs badly, its bomb load isn’t great, and it overall does not have the capabilities needed to be an effective bomber at its BR. It’s not terrible or god awful by any means, there are vehicles much worse (cough Zachlam Tager cough), it’s just not very good.
  • T-34 (1st Gv.T.Br.) - USSR - Rank II - Medium tank - Hidden premium

    • The T-34 (1st Gv.T.Br.) is just a T-34 (1941) with a cool camouflage on it. Not that special, but pretty good.
  • KV-1E - USSR - Rank III - Heavy tank - Hidden premium

    • The KV-1E is the MVP of these vehicles. The KV-1E is a bona fide monster of a vehicle because its extra armor makes it impervious to nearly anything frontally including the German long 75 mm, and the extra armor on the sides makes it, while not impossible, even harder to penetrate the KV-1 from the side than it already was.

Overall, this was a pretty cool event, but, in my opinion, more for the extra stuff that came with it rather than the tournaments themselves.

March

Pages of History (March)

This one had a very nice profile picture which, coincidentally, has a counterpart in Enlisted that looks nearly exactly the same.


“Reginald Mitchell” profile picture

Finnish Air Force Day

Nice decal, but it is somewhat sad that they didn’t bring back the Pyörremyrsky for it even though it’s Finnish Air Force Day and the Pyörremyrsky was the plane in the art for the announcement.


"Emblem of the Karelia Air Command” decal

Update 2.25 “Sky Guardians”

Okay, now we get into the first major discussion in this article.

Sky Guardians was the first major update of 2023. Overall, it was a pretty good update. Nothing mind-blowing, but it is quite good, and it’s especially nice to finally get the first glimpses of the French Navy after so long waiting and 3 years since the last naval tree was added. First, let’s go over all of the vehicles that were added in Sky Guardians. Before we do though, I must preface that I have not played all of these vehicles and some will have more detailed descriptions and discussions than others based on my personal experience with them or fighting against them.

Aviation:

  • USA:

    • F-4S - Rank VII - Fighter - Pack premium

      • This is an absolutely crazy premium. Sure, it’s not an entirely broken vehicle, but as a premium, it’s crazy. Part of that is just that having a Phantom as a vehicle is absurd, part of it is that rank 7 premiums specifically are a bad idea, and part of it is that premiums above rank 5 are a bad idea. The amount of brand new players that I saw and still see playing the F-4S is both crazy and really sad because brand new players in top tier is bad for the health of the game. I’ll end that here though because later in this article there is a section covering rank 6+ premiums and their issues.
  • Germany:

    • Hunter Mk. 58A - Rank VI - Fighter - Squadron vehicle

      • This is a really cool vehicle, but not as good of an addition to Germany. To be clear, I think that it going to Germany makes the most sense. Switzerland is closest connected to Germany out of the nations ingame and thus Swiss vehicles should go to the German tech tree, and the Hunter Mk. 58A is no exception. However, the issue here is more the predicament of the Hunter Mk. 58A not having anywhere else better to go than Germany, but Germany also not needing it. All in all, I think that it going to Germany was the right call, it is more just somewhat disappointing that it can’t go to a nation that probably needs it more.

      • Also, sidenote, but when the Sky Guardians teaser came out, I said the vehicle the Pantsir was firing at looked exactly like a Hunter. People told me I was wrong. Look who’s laughing now.

    • MiG-29 (9-12A) - Rank VIII - Fighter - Tech tree

      • Not much to say here. I’m happy it came to Germany so they had something on par with the Soviet MiG-29 (9-13), but it is somewhat sad that it came in Sky Guardians and not Apex Predators. This is a very irritating trend we see a lot where Germany always gets stuff at least 1 patch after the US or USSR gets the same vehicle (e.g. the F-4F, MiG-29 (9-12A), MiG-29G, MiG-23MLA, etc.). Still, better late than never.
  • USSR:

    • Krasnolutsky’s I-15bis - Rank I - Fighter - GE premium

      • It’s a premium I-15bis because the premium I-153 went to too high of a BR. That’s it. Not much else to say.
    • Yak-141 - Rank VIII - Fighter - Tech tree

      • My opinions on this vehicle are somewhat complicated. On one hand, it’s a cool and unique vehicle that is very good, with great missiles and crazy thrust. But on the other hand, the version of the vehicle we have ingame never existed. The Yak-141 did have missiles mounted to it, but most of the sensors present ingame, including the radar and IRST, as well as the countermeasures were never fitted to the actual aircraft prototype. On one hand, all the components were tested on their own and were planned to be fitted to the Yak-141, but on the other hand, the Yak-141 never existed in this configuration. Gaijin did address this in a Q&A titled Dev team replies to community feedback on the Sky Guardians update, in which they stated that they understand the argument that this makes the Yak-141 a paper vehicle, but they see it as acceptable. That Q&A will be discussed more later in the discussion of Sky Guardians. Whether you agree with the philosophy of putting vehicles in the game in configurations they did not exist in as long as they were planned to be fitted and the components were real and tested is up to personal taste, but personally, I disagree with that philosophy. I believe vehicles should not be added, except in cases where they are absolutely necessary. The latter part of that I’ll talk about more in my discussion of the F-16AJ.
  • Great Britain:

    • Tornado F. Mk. 3 - Rank VIII - Fighter - Tech tree

      • This is a nice addition. Britain receiving another fighter at high tier is nice as they are somewhat lacking in air-to-air specialization at top tier. The Skyflash SuperTEMP is also a nice addition, even if it’s functionally next to identical to the Skyflash. However, it is still not a great plane, with an 11.7 BR when the max is 12.3. It’s not terrible and it’s nice to have, it’s just not great.
  • Japan:

    • F-16AJ - Rank VIII - Fighter - Tech tree

      • I know I said that I do not support additions like the Yak-141, and the F-16AJ is more fake than the Yak-141 is. However, I am actually okay with it. The first reason why I’m fine with it is that it is plausible because the F-16AJ that was advertised to Japan was basically just an F-16A-10 with missile rails on the landing gear doors. The second reason I am okay with this addition is because unlike the Yak-141 for the USSR, Japan desperately needed the F-16AJ. Without the F-16AJ, Japan would have had no CAS plane basically forever, until the F-35. Because Gaijin said both in the devblog for the F-16AJ and in the Q&A for Sky Guardians that will be covered later that it is not the start of a trend of fake brochure and sketch vehicles, but rather a one-off because Japan so desperately needed it, I am actually okay with it’s addition, though I do wish I had the missiles on the landing gear doors ingame.
  • China:

    • F-84G-31-RE - Rank V - Strike fighter - GE premium

      • It’s a premium F-84G. That’s it. It is functionally identical to the F-84G-21-RE in the tree.
  • Italy:

    • Ro.44 - Rank I - FIghter - Tech tree

      • It’s a floatplane. There isn’t much to it as a vehicle, but the 12.7 mm machine guns at 1.0 are amazing. Also, I just generally support seeing more floatplanes in the tree, since the game is lacking in them and many of the ones that have been added have been premiums or event vehicles. For that reason, I am happy to see this in the tree. This like of floatplanes is something that will be somewhat of a theme throughout this article, for instance later on when I discuss the He 115 and T 2.
    • P-47D-30-RA - Rank III - Fighter - Tech tree

      • It’s a P-47D-30. It’s basically the same as the one in the Chinese tree. However, it is still really nice to see because while it is copy-paste, it also fills a niche that Italy needed filled because this is a 5.0 and Italy did not have a good CAS option around 5.0 before this. This also now makes it the best rank 3 CAS plane because the P.108s are simply too big and unwieldy to be truly effective CAS options.
  • Israel:

    • Kurnass 2000 - Rank VIII - Fighter - Tech tree

      • This was an amazing addition. While yes, it is another Phantom and it’s only 0.3 higher than the standard F-4E, it is also a sorely needed addition because of its AIM-9Ls. In addition, it’s also just a relatively significant vehicle in the history of the Israeli Air Force and thus should be represented ingame as it poses no problems through its addition.

Ground:

  • USA:

    • T1E1 - Rank III - Heavy tank - Tech tree

      • It’s nothing too special, it’s just a nice addition. It appears to only have been added because the M6A1 was moved up to 5.0 and didn’t have anything to make a lineup with, because this is nearly identical to the M6A1 and sits at the same BR. The one notable thing about it is that it has a different transmission developed by the British that gives it better acceleration and allows its reverse speed to be the same as its forward speed.

      • Note: this section has been updated to include the mention of the T1E1 having a different transmission. Thank you to pazzo1972 on the MTG Discord server for informing me of this.

  • Germany:

    • Sd.Kfz. 222 - Rank I - SPAA - Tech tree

      • This was a pretty nice addition as it had been promised for some time. I do understand why it’s classified as an SPAA, but I still think it’s kind of dumb because it doesn’t really fit that role ingame, nor did it in real life. It wasn’t necessary for Germany, but it was a nice addition. Because it also got added to China, this vehicle will get a more detailed discussion in the section on Chinese ground vehicles.
    • T-72M1 - Rank VI - Medium tank - Tech tree

      • It’s a T-72A but for Germany. Nice to have because the Soviet MBTs do have a slightly different playstyle to many NATO MBTs so it is nice to have a somewhat different playstyle to work with. It’s also a vehicle that people have been asking for for quite a long time, so that’s another point in its favor.
  • USSR:

    • PLDvK vz. 53/59 - Rank IV - SPAA - Tech tree

      • This was a very strange addition. When I saw it in the Sky Guardians teaser, I was very surprised because it was all modern vehicles, and then randomly a 6.3 SPAA. That being said, this was a very very good addition. The most common type of BR hole in the game is SPAA holes, e.g. France which has an SPAA hole from the 5.0 TPK 6.41 VPC to the 8.3 AMX 30 DCA, and before the BTR-ZD, the USSR had an even worse 3.7 to 8.0 SPAA gap. The BTR-ZD reduced that to a 5.3 to 8.0 gap, and now the vz. 53/59 has reduced that to a 6.3-8.0 which is pretty acceptable, considering the fact that SPAAs generally have a much smaller pool of options for them and nearly every other type of vehicle. All in all, this was a very good and much needed addition. It’s also nice to have a Czech vehicle in the tree.
    • 2V76 Pantsir-S1 - Rank VII - SPAA - Tech tree

      • I have some mixed views on this vehicle. As a Vehicle on its own, it’s fine, I guess. It has incredible tracking capability, but the missile itself just can’t maneuver. Anyone that’s trying to climb up high is dead, and it’s really good for taking out helicopters which don’t move and maneuver the way planes do, but because the missile can’t turn, anything that is close to you and/or can maneuver fast you both can’t hit and will probably die to. In and of itself, it’s not great. If you know your way around any form of guided bomb or guided AGM, it will die. However, what scares me is that it is a sign of what’s to come. Pantsir-level tracking with actually good missiles scare me.
  • Great Britain:

    • Churchill Mk. IV N.A.75 - Rank III - Heavy tank - Tech tree

      • It’s a Churchill Mk. IV with the 75 mm gun of the early M4 Shermans. It’s cool. It’s nice because it’s a really cool and interesting vehicle from a historical perspective, but in terms of gameplay, it’s not that special, and it gets the M61 shell which is just worse than the Shot Mk. 8 shell that a lot of British tanks get at this tier.
    • Challenger 2E - Rank VII - Medium tank - Tech tree

      • It’s a Challenger 2 with a better engine. It’s nice because the Challenger 2s have pretty terrible engines, but it’s not that special and I don’t have much to say about it.
  • Japan:

    • Type 16 MCV (15th RDR) - Rank VI - Light tank - Pack premium

      • It’s a Type 16 MCV of the 15th Rapid Deployment Regiment with a worse shell so they can put it at 8.7 instead of 9.0. That’s it. Nothing special, but not a bad choice for a premium considering that Japan doesn’t have many options.
  • China:

    • Sd.Kfz. 222 - Rank I - SPAA - Tech tree

      • It is honestly quite surprising it took this long to get added, considering it was in the initial Chinese release tree and marked as “Soon,” and that was in 2019. That being said, while Germany did not need it, China did. China’s tree is small enough that it did need it. China lacked a wheeled vehicle at those lower tiers, and the Sd.Kfz. 222 fills that niche.
    • ZTS63 (1980) - Rank V - Light tank - Tech tree

      • Considering the textures for this were datamined over a year before it was added, this wasn’t a surprise to anyone who had been keeping up with the datamines. This is a fine addition, but not very good. The APFSDS shell, while not great, is decent, but that’s about the only decent thing about this vehicle. The mobility is usable, but not that great, and it suffers from being on a PT-76-based chassis with a mid-mounted turret which means the entire front hull has to be exposed before the gun can be if you are peeking corners. Overall, while nice to see, it’s not that good as a vehicle.
  • Italy:

    • C1 Ariete (AMV PT 1) - Rank VII - Medium tank - Tech tree

      • It’s a C1 Ariete but with CL3143 as its tier 1 APFSDS instead of DM33 and a slightly better engine. It’s nice to have, but it’s not special, and the Arietes are still bad top tier MBTs.

      • Note: this section has been updated to remove the mention of the C1 Ariete (AMV PT 1) being based off the C1 Ariete (WAR). It is not based off the C1 Ariete (WAR) and does not have the WAR kit. Thank you to pazzo1972 on the MTG Discord server for informing me of this.

  • France:

    • FCM 2C - Rank II - Heavy tank - Tech tree

      • This was a pretty cool addition. We already had the FCM 2C bis as a rank 1 premium, so having a version in the tech tree is quite cool. Plus, getting neat little low tier additions like this is always cool. I don’t have much to say about it, it’s pretty decent, and it’s cool to have. Amusingly, the FCM 2C was actually accidentally shown in the update video for Apex Predators instead of the FCM 2C bis which was the variant added in that update so we knew this was coming about 3 months before it actually arrived.
  • Sweden:

    • ItPsv m/90 - Rank VI - SPAA - Tech tree

      • It’s not needed, the VEAK 40 is already there and better, but I don’t really have an opinion either way. This was also entirely unnecessary as the VEAK 40 is absurdly good, but also, I don’t really have an opinion on it coming. It’s fine.
  • Israel:

    • Merkava Mk. 4 LIC - Rank VII - Medium tank - Tech tree

      • Functionally, it’s nearly identical to the Merkava Mk. 4B, but hey, at least it’s not another Magach! When this came out, it actually had crazy turret armor which is more similar to what the Merkava Mk. 4s should all have, but since then, they’ve nerfed it so it now has the same crappy turret armor as the others.

Helicopters:

  • USA:

    • AH-6M - Rank VI - Attack helicopter - Tech tree

      • It’s pretty good. It’s not crazy or anything, it doesn’t break the game, but it’s pretty good. I generally dislike helicopters being ingame altogether, I think they’re fundamentally gamebreaking and bad, but this is one of the helicopter additions that I’m more happy with.

Naval:

  • USA:

    • USS Des Moines - Rank IV - Heavy cruiser - Pack premium

      • I really dislike this thing being added. It’s just a USS Newport News with a tiny bit more armor, but to a negligible degree. I dislike this because it’s effectively the AAA monsters are the USS Baltimore and USS Pittsburgh, but with a really fast autoloader for the guns. In and of itself, it’s a pretty crazy vehicle, but it wouldn’t be too bad if it or one of its counterparts was in the tree. But currently, there are only 2 Des Moines-class cruisers in the game: the USS Newport News which is an event vehicle, and the USS Des Moines which is a premium. That means that a cruiser of this caliber has no tech tree counterpart. The saddest part is that it could. A third Des Moines-class cruiser was completed: the USS Salem. However, I find it highly unlikely that Gaijin will add the USS Salem and thus, it seems that, at least for now and likely forever, this entire class of cruiser will remain locked behind a paywall.
    • USS Nevada - Rank VI - Battleship - Tech tree

      • Full disclosure, I don’t play battleships or most big ships for that matter. I find their gameplay to be slow, boring, repetitive, and overall mind-numbing, and that’s on top of the fact that I think that everything in the bluewater fleet past destroyers are not good and should never have been added. As such, I don’t understand the top tier naval meta and, while my assessment of the USS Nevada is “big boat with big guns,” I know that is not an accurate representation of its place in the top tier naval meta. However, I have no knowledge on what that meta is.
  • Germany:

    • Pfeil - Rank V - Motor torpedo boat - Tech tree

      • I truthfully know nothing about the Pfeil. My assessment of it based on other coastal fleet ships similar to it at a similar BR is that it appears to be pretty good, but more in a bog standard good type of way than something that will truly blow your mind.
  • USSR:

    • MPK Pr. 204 - Rank IV - Sub-chaser - Tech tree

      • It’s pretty good. I haven’t played it before, but it has been pretty irritating to face up against. The rocket launchers in particular are a menace to any coastal fleet vessel. You will die to them. All in all, it’s pretty good, and even though it won’t blow you away, it should be quite fun and the rocket launchers will get you a lot of kills against coastal vessels as long as you stay far enough away that you can depress the launchers far enough to hit them.
  • Great Britain:

    • HMS Whitby - Rank IV - Frigate - GE premium

      • It’s another HMS Blackpool. It’s decent, but I honestly don’t know enough about it to make a fair judgment. Seems to be decent, but not amazing though.
    • HMCS Terra Nova - Rank V - Frigate - Tech tree

      • It too seems to be decent, but once again, I do not know enough about it to make a fair judgment. It is cool that it’s a Canadian vehicle actually in the tree and not a premium or event vehicle because those are pretty rare.
  • Japan:

    • IJN Nenohi - Rank II - Destroyer - Tech tree

      • This is also on the higher end of decent, but this time I actually know that for sure. The Hatsuharu-class is pretty decent as a whole. Not phenomenal, but decent. The thing that hurts a lot of destroyers around the tier, but especially the Japanese ones, is the turret traverse. The Japanese destroyers especially have really bad turret traverse.
  • Italy:

    • RN Duilio - Rank VI - Battleship - Tech tree

      • I still don’t understand nor do I care for the battleship and overall top tier naval meta, so I don’t know how good the Duilio is, but it is very nice to see Italy get another battleship that is closer to the actual top tier of naval, just because it helps bring Italy a little closer to parity and gives it something more to compete using.
  • France:

    • Aigle - Rank II - Destroyer - Pack premium

      • It’s a pretty bog standard, but rather middling destroyer. Its speed is fine, firepower is fine, armor is fine, everything about it is fine. It’s not remarkable, it’s not terrible, it’s just sort of there. More importantly though, this was the first ever vehicle announced for the French Navy, and that announcement made me really happy.
    • Duguay-Trouin - Rank III - Light cruiser - Pack premium

      • I don’t have much to say on this vehicle, it’s a relatively standard 4.7 light cruiser, but I do find it weird the way it was announced. Instead of announcing 2 pre-order packs at once which is what Gaijin has done the last few times they’ve released a new tree and/or nation (excluding helicopter trees which only ever have 1 pack announced when they are released), but instead the Agile was announced and then this was added on as another pre-order a week and a half or so later.

That is all of the 34 vehicles added in Sky Guardians. And yes, I will do this for the other 4 major updates this year.

Moving on, let’s take a look at the teaser.

The teaser for Sky Guardians was good. All the teasers are. It’s by no means a bad teaser. However, compared to nearly every other teaser, it is a pretty lackluster one. It’s a little lackluster in that it doesn’t show that many new vehicles, but the bigger issue is it just lacks energy. The music is too quiet, the energy doesn’t build high enough, and it makes for a teaser that is somewhat disappointing. There’s also this weird frame rate stutter right when the vz. 53/59 appears. The French Navy teaser at the end was cool through.

Another really cool mechanic added was ejection seats. The thing I like about these sorts of changes is that they add no extra functionality to the game, they don’t necessarily make you play the game any differently, but they add that extra level of realism and immersion to the game, and I really like that. The vehicles that got ejection seat animations in this update are:

  • A-10A (all variants)
  • F-4S
  • F-4EJ Kai
  • F-16 (all variants)
  • MiG-29 (all variants)
  • MiG-23MLA
  • MiG-23MLD
  • MiG-27K
  • Hunter Mk. 58A
  • Tornado F. Mk. 3
  • Kurnass 2000

In addition to that, the American and Italian F-16A ADFs got an updated model so their visual model now actually matches the ADF variant which is nice because the incorrect visual model made it feel like the F-16A ADF was probably not supposed to come in Apex Predators and was scheduled for later, and then they decided to squeeze it into Apex Predators at the last minute.

As for maps added in this update, Ardennes, Maginot Line, and Seversk-13 all got winter versions added for them, which is nice, but I wish that the winter versions of these maps counted as variants of the normal one and thus could be banned in the map filter alongside the normal one, rather than be counted as their own maps that have to be banned separately because now you have to choose if you want to ban, for example, Maginot Line or Winter Maginot Line. No matter which one you choose, you’re still stuck with some variant of Maginot Line that you cannot ban. Other than that, there was the new air location Pyrenees. Pyrenees is there, it’s fine. Not bad, nothing special about it, it’s just like any other air map. It does follow a layout that is, in a way, similar to a flipped version of the Korea map, but on a larger scale, especially in the southeast of the map.


Ardennes (winter)


Maginot Line (winter)


Seversk-13 (winter)


Pyrenees

When it comes to graphical improvements, there were a decent number of new effects, but the stars of the show are the new burn effects that show up on the fuselage wherever a fire is, the new condensation trails that come from the wingtips of planes, and the new visual for the Prandtl-Glauert effect which looks incredible.

Gaijin also did a Q&A for Sky Guardians that I’ve mentioned before when talking about the Yak-141 and F-16AJ. It’s a fine Q&A. There’s nothing that makes it particularly special. Gaijin addresses concerns about the Pantsir and the Yak-141 and F-16AJ’s armament, and those answers can basically all be summed up with, “We know you’re concerned, but we think we’re right and here’s why.” In all fairness, what they said about the Pantsir in the Q&A ended up being more than right because it’s not very good, and I’ve gone over their reasoning related to the Yak-141 and F-16AJ already. They also address questions related to the possibility of anti-radiation missiles to counter high tier SPAAs and the possibility of a spawn point cost increase for high tier SPAAs, and their answer to both of these is “We’re considering it” which is code for “The idea will probably happen and we’re saying this to satiate you.”

The camouflage trophy for this update is decent. It’s a mix of okay, nice, and a few really good skins for certain vehicles. Not much else to say.

That’s it for Sky Guardians. It was a pretty good update, even if not crazy, but sometimes, that’s all you need. Not a single thing added in Sky Guardians pushed the envelope further than what we already had, aside from the Pantsir-S1, but that didn’t as much push the envelope itself as it did push the envelope of what is to come, and that’s what I like about this update. Gaijin really loves to keep power creeping and adding new, more powerful machines at the top echelons of the game, but Sky Guardians is a departure from that. Apex Predators, which came right before it, introduced rank 7 premiums, rank 8 planes, the F-16, the MiG-29, and a whole bunch of other crazy stuff, and to have right after that an update that is just sort of chill is really nice. That trend of not power creeping absolutely does stop with Sky Guardians, but it was nice while it lasted.

International Women’s Day

The decal has some really nice art and, as always, it’s nice to see the game celebrating International Women’s Day.


“Bomber Belle” decal

Fair Play: March 2023

The cool thing about this is that it’s a look inside the banning system and how many players actually got banned for violating the EULA and ToS. Often, people say things along the lines of “Gaijin doesn’t ban players who break the rules!” Well, here’s proof they do and a list of the exact player names. Yes, it’s obviously not perfect, not everyone who cheated or broke the rules was caught and punished, but it is nice to see that they are actually enforcing the EULA and ToS, and that they are banning those who break the rules.

Tank Football

Tank Football is a really fun event. It always has been. The gamemode is very unique, and it offers quite a different experience from even what you can get in custom battles. For this time around, the rewards were really good. A loading screen, 4 decals, 4 decorations, and a profile picture. That’s really good, and it was really fun.

However, I do find it a bit sad that you can only get 1 of the banner decals, 2 out of the 4 decorations, and 1 out of the 2 camouflages. I am a proponent of making all event rewards available to everyone, so the ability to only get part of the rewards without spending obscene amounts of money on the market is saddening. Still, I think this was very fun and I’m happy it came back.


“Foootball-graffiti” and “Soccer ball of campions” decals


“Dragons” Team banner and “Tigers” Team banner


“Glove", “Ball”, and “Boot” decorations


“Best striker 2023” decoration


“Tiger” and “Dragon” camouflages for M551


“Team Tigers driver" profile picture


“Tank Football - Inspiration” loading screen

CV 90105 (XC-8) Wiki Decal

It’s a pretty nice wiki decal. That’s it.


“Wiki approved: CV 90105” decal

St. Patrick’s Day

This one was honestly sort of disappointing. The decal is very well designed on a technical level, but I don’t like its design. It’s a woman in a green St. Patrick’s Day-themed outfit with a 4-leaf clover background. It’s not very inspired or interesting, which is sad because while 2022 didn’t have a Saint Patick’s Day event because of the stay on news at that time due to the invasion of Ukraine, 2021’s decal was really cool and this is a pretty big downgrade from that.


“Lucky pin-up” decal

Guest Accounts

I think this was a really neat addition. No one was necessarily asking for it, but it’s really cool nonetheless. The ability to jump in and play right away like this is nice for new players who just want to test out the game and see what it’s like. Sure, an email confirmation is not much extra to do, but just little features like the guest account make it all the easier for new players to try and get a quick feel of the game.

First Flight of the La-5

They brought back the German premium La-5FN in honor of the La-5’s first flight. This is honestly not surprising because no one actually thought that after they removed the German La-5FN as a premium, they weren’t going to bring it back. It was just to create artificial rarity, and this was them then caching in on that.


La-5FN (Germany)

Moments of Valour: The Turkish Armed Forces

This was a really interesting and weird event. Our first hint of it was when the Turkish F-5C camouflage was accidentally added to the Sky Guardians dev server as its own model in the files titled f_5c_turkey. Then, when it was announced, they released this really cool cinematic that I highly encourage you go watch because it’s very cool and well done, and alongside it, a bundle for the F-5C, Leopard 2 A4 (PzBtl 123), and the T129 ATAK. With the F-5C and Leopard 2 A4 came unique skins of the Turkish Armed Forces, with a demonstration camouflage for the F-5C and some desert camouflage for the Leopard 2 A4. I think this was a really cool and unique event. They said that more events in the “Moments of Valour” series will happen, and I am looking forward to them.


F-5C


Leopard 2 A4 (PzBtl 123)


T129 ATAK

100th Anniversary of the Italian Air Force

The decal of a G.91 with smoke in the colors of the Italian flag was really well done and one of the nicer decals they have released. However, the actual star of this event is this super cool anniversary camouflage for the C. 205 III that looks absolutely stunning and I am so glad to have. All in all, this was really cool because they did more than just a decal like normal, but did an interesting unique anniversary camouflage.


“100th Anniversary of the Italian Air Force” decal

Note: The following image of the C. 205 III in the 100th anniversary of the Italian Air Force camouflage does not fit the format of the other images because it is not a stat card image and I had to create and render it myself.


C. 205 III in “100th anniversary of the Italian Air Force” camouflage

Lucky Piñata

It’s gambling. That’s all it is. It’s gambling. It’s terrible, I hate it, and I wish they never did it. Gambling is bad and just sucks your money, regardless of if it’s real money or fake video game money. Gambling is inherently bad and is an incredibly predatory practice that I hate Gaijin taking part in in any form, full stop.

Royal Air Force Day

It’s a relatively bog standard event. They brought the premium Typhoon F.B. Mk. Ib back, which is relatively common to see in these types of events that relate to Britain and usually happens about once or twice a year, and there was a really cool decal for the Harrier G.R. Mk. 7. I don’t know why, the decal is not that special or interesting, but I really like how the decal for this event looked. It is one of my personal favorites. Maybe that’s just because I have a personal love for the Harrier, but I digress.


“Royal Air Force Day" decal

Part 1 - Introduction-March (current)
Part 2 - April-May
Part 3 - June
Part 4 - July-August
Part 5 - September
Part 6 - October
Part 7 - November-December
Part 8 - Hopes for 2024-Conclusion

10 Likes

Got all year, it might happen!
Thankyou for your time.

2 Likes

Thank you.

Decided to pin this for a few weeks, Great work on all of the Extremely Detailed Threads! o7

6 Likes

Oh my god! Thank you so much for pinning this! And thank you for the compliment on all the work!

1 Like
  1. It took a player revolt to address years-long issues.
  2. Map changes have nearly ruined the game. Sweeping changes that alter the experience for all vehicles and all players in ground, resulting in almost universal negative feedback are apparently worth zero engagement with the playerbase.

That’s all that comes to mind for me for 2023.

Does this mean I should do a 2024 in review and just make this a yearly thing?

4 Likes

As long as you have fun doing it
sure

The summary of yours is awesome imo
Just keep your own limits in mind
a summary of that size would have propably driven me to insanity

2 Likes

^ This, as long as you enjoy doing it, that is the most important thing of all ^^

It can be very informative and useful for Players to read up on whats been happening during the year, and maybe even what kind of things to expect next year, and its just is always great to get a players detailed version or players side of the Events / Articles / Dev Blogs during the year

Because it can also be used as Feedback for Admins / CMs and passed on to the Developers

So, really the Players win and the Developers win from the detailed account of events during the year! o7

2 Likes