War Thunder's best year: 2023 in review - Part 2 (April-May)

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

Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • Table of contents
  • Pages of History (January)
  • Swedish Armed Forces Day
  • Lunar New Year
  • Battle Pass Season 10 “Royal Guard”
  • Australia Day
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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”
  • 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
  • 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


Now my writing suffering actually begins.

Pages of History (April)

It’s just like any other Pages of History event, but I do think the profile picture is somewhat disappointing. It’s sort of bland and doesn’t really have much in the way of intrigue.

“George Roope" profile picture

Mobile Infantry

Mobile Infantry as an event was clearly just a test for fire and forget missiles like the Spike and QN502C. I liked this event, but with some catches. First of all, let’s go over the good things.

  • The prizes were really nice. The profile picture was really well made, the decals were cool, though admittedly, I was not a huge fan of their artstyle and overall design, and the decorations were amazing. The decorations really were the highlight of the prizes.

  • The event itself was fun to play. It’s an experience that can’t be garnered anywhere else in War Thunder and, due to some of its mechanics and the jetpacks on the soldiers, it can’t be gained in Enlisted either. It was pretty unique and the way it made you play I enjoyed.

“MI MBCT1” emblem

“ShMP 1st Assault” emblem

“Rocket Launcher” decoration

“Quadcopter” decoration

“8-mm machine gun” decoration

“Mobile Warrior” profile picture

There was also a loading screen, but I don’t have an image of that

However, there were problems. The most significant problem was that if you were grinding all the prizes, the event did get quite grating to play. The structure of the event was that there were stages that reset every 2 days with 40,000 score needed to complete each stage, exactly like the stars for the summer and winter marathon events. The thing that got grating about it was partially the amount of score for the stars, but I think the biggest reason that it got grating was that you could only play this 1 gamemode. With the summer and winter marathon events, you can play whatever BR and lineup you want, as long as they’re at least rank 3. With this, you could only play this 1 singular gamemode that only ever changed when Gaijin balanced it in patches. That is not a problem with this specific gamemode as much as it is with all the April Fools gamemodes, but it still affected this and soured my overall perception of it.

The second issue was not as much a specific issue that is unique to this gamemode, and it is more just my stylistic preference, but I’m getting super sick of modern stuff all the time. Having every event be more and more modern stuff, and having all the April Fools events now also being all themed around modern technology gets super, super boring after a while. Yes, having some modern stuff is cool, but when everything is modern, it stylistically all starts to meld together and become boring and repetitive.

The reason that TailSpin was the most fun April Fools gamemode isn’t just because of the furries, it’s mostly that it didn’t rely on anything modern. It was just propeller-driven cartoon planes with furries piloting them on a cartoon map with cartoon visual effects, and that’s what made it so fun. It had a unique art style to it, it was very well designed and fun to play, and it got nowhere near as grating even when having to play it for very long periods of time to get the prizes. While not a bad gamemode in its own right, Mobile Infantry entirely lacked everything that made TailSpin so great. TailSpin was so good they brought it back in 2022, that’s something Mobile Infantry will never see and that’s not because it was bad, but because it lacked that level of enjoyment that TailSpin gave. TailSpin wasn’t about modern vehicles, it was just having fun in propeller-driven cartoon planes. But every event feels the need to go more and more modern, and it becomes boring just seeing it be pushed further and further.

All in all, while a good event, it didn’t impart the level of enjoyment needed to make it truly great. The reason I’m comparing it to TailSpin is because TailSpin is the best April Fools gamemode of the last few years due to it not being focused on pushing the envelope, but instead just trying to be fun and that’s why it has so much replayability to it. Mobile Infantry simply didn’t have that, and I think its stylistic choices made it so no matter how well it was designed, it could never reach the heights of TailSpin.

“Edge of Shell” Pack

This was a pack were for the 1st purchase, you got the “Edge of Shell” title, for the second you got a decal called the “Major Shell Cage” decal, for the third you got some boosters, and for the 4th you got 120K SL, and 7 days of premium account and 1K GE were included in all purchases. It’s a pretty standard pack, but what I didn’t like was that you had to buy it 4 times to get the unique prizes, but they didn’t tell you what it was. That was listed as a secret. Players had to buy it to find out. The worst part is that they entirely didn’t tell us that there was a secret reward for a 5th purchase which gave the “Crawl. Buy. Repeat.” title.

Bosses of the Gym

Not gonna lie, this was pretty funny. Bosses of the Gym was a joke post where Gaijin said that soon, players would be able to play an event to get, “Special titles, decals, decorations and loading screens dedicated to sports, wrestling and a healthy lifestyle.” The way it would work is you send characters in the hangar to training and when they come back you will get unique prizes.

This was a pretty funny joke, but I also sort of wished and still do wish this was real, especially considering the fact that another one of Gaijin’s April Fools jokes this year turned out to be real a few months down the line. All in all, a pretty funny joke but I wish they made it real.

Also the art for it looks like Gaijin’s coming out post.

Atomic Thunder: Soviet Battle Robots Tree

This collaboration with Atomic Heart was another pretty amusing joke, though admittedly, Bosses of the Gym was a bit funnier, and in this they “revealed” the supposed Soviet battle robots tech tree coming to War Thunder. Originally, it didn’t seem like much, just a mildly amusing gag, but this did sort of end up becoming real late and I do find that kind of funny. That’s what we in the business call foreshadowing.

Repair Factory

I can’t stand these types of events. I absolutely hate them. The crafting events are the worst event type in War Thunder. This worked exactly like every other crafting event: you sell your soul to the snail and grind for way too long, and then you get materials, craft stuff, rinse and repeat. First, I’ll go over the vehicles.

  • AMD 35 (SA 35) - France - Rank I - Light tank - Event premium - Coupon

    • It’s fine. The wheeled AMD 35 chassis is nice because you can get around really quickly, and the 47 mm gun is definitely better than the 25 mm on the standard AMD 35, but it is hampered by the fact that it’s at 1.7 where the SA 35 L/32 gun is just fine, and the turret is really tall which makes it easier to see. All in all, it’s pretty fine. Nice to have, not great though. There is a better rank I, BR 1.7 AMD 35 which is that German one with the 50 mm from the Summer Extreme event, but that wasn’t a coupon, unlike this and I’ll talk about that one later.
  • Shcherbakov - USSR - Rank V - Heavy cruiser - Event vehicle - Coupon

    • This thing is pretty good, but also, it is effectively just a slightly worse Mikhail Kutuzov because it has a slower reload and less AAA armament, and can effectively be seen as the USSR’s event vehicle counterpart to the USS Newport News in that it’s a AAA ship that doesn’t have guns big enough to truly take on the competition, but they do have a nice autoloader on them. This thing only sits at a lower BR than the Newport News because while it does have more AAA and more 3 main guns, the Shcherbakov has 152 mm guns with an 11 second reload while the Newport News has 203 mm guns with a 7.8 second reload.
  • A-7K - USA - Rank VII - Strike fighter - Event vehicle - Coupon

    • The A-7K was an incredibly odd choice for an event plane. Next-to-no one was asking for it or wanted it, and honestly it’s just a very bizarre and random choice. To be clear, I’m not saying it’s a bad choice, it’s better than what they could have done, but considering that Gaijin has been following a trend of having the high tier event planes be strike fighters (though I do dislike this trend) in order to give CAS options for ground, you’d expect them to do an event A-10 or an event A-6 or an event AV-8 or an event F-4G Wild Weasel. To be clear, I think all of those are terrible ideas and the A-7K is a much better choice than all of them, but I am surprised we didn’t get one of those options, especially the event A-6 which seems like something Gaijin would do. As for the A-7K itself, it’s pretty good. It’s an A-7D but with AIM-9Ls and AGM-65Bs, with AIM-9Js coming stock, instead of AIM-9Js, AGM-65As, and AIM-9Es as the stock missile. I also think the camouflage on it is easily the nicest of the A-7s. I don’t know why, but in my view, the slightly darker tones of the camouflage on the A-7E are way nicer than the camouflage on the A-7D, and while the white color that is characteristic of planes of the US Navy does work really well on some vehicles such as the A-6, the F-8, and the F-4J, among others, the A-7E is not one of those.
  • QN506 - China - Rank VI - Light tank - Event vehicle - Coupon

    • Out of all the high tier event vehicles in this event, this is easily my favorite. To me, it embodies all the characteristics that should be in a high tier event vehicle. It’s unique, it’s interesting, and it’s not very good, and I’m okay with that third one. The reason that last one is important is because, when an event vehicle is unique and offers a playstyle that is not in the tree, having a vehicle that both does not have a counterpart in the tree and is very good is, in my view, bad because it means that players that either didn’t play the event or didn’t buy it on the market are now locked out of an experience that cannot be found in the tree at that tier. A perfect example of this is the Leopard 2 (PT 16/T 14). That vehicle is absurdly good and offers an experience not in the tree. An MBT at that tier with an autoloader like that simply does not exist for Germany, and now, that experience is locked behind a paywall. Thus, it is a bad event vehicle. The QN506 avoids this issue because, while it does offer an experience that cannot be found in the tree to an event greater extent than the Leopard 2 (PT 16/T 14), it’s also pretty bad, so despite it being a unique experience locked behind a limited-time event and subsequently a paywall, it’s not a good experience so it isn’t much of an issue. It being for China is also something I really like because I am a very big proponent of event vehicles for minor nations where they fit and don’t detract from what could have been in the tree (cough Kfir C.2 cough). China especially has been sorely lacking in event prizes, it only ever had 1 before this and that was the M64, so this is a very welcome addition and a great choice for an event vehicle.

    • Also if you want an idea of how bad this thing is, I spade nearly all my event vehicles, even if they’re bad and not fun to play (except the Leopard 2AV, I couldn’t be bothered to finish spading the third event Leopard), and I disliked playing this thing so much that I just gave up about a 1/3 of the way in.

Overall, the vehicles were relatively good choices, but that’s not the actual issue with this event. The 2 main issues with this event is that it is too grindy and that you can’t get all the prizes. For these crafting events, you always have to sell your soul to the snail and give up all your time to it for about 11 days if you want to actually get one of the top prizes. I find it absurd that after all that work, you only can get a maximum of 2 out of the 4 prize vehicles: the low tier prize and 1 of the high tier prizes. If you want more than just 2 prizes, you have to spend money. I think that is ridiculous. You pour all this time into an event for a week and a half, and after all that, you can only get half of the rewards without spending money? Are you kidding me? Call me crazy, but I think that is absolutely absurd!

As for the theming of this event, it’s about repairing the mobile infantry exoskeletons of the Mobile Infantry event, and due to that, it falls into the same stylistic trap as the Mobile Infantry event itself. That modern aesthetic that keeps getting pushed further and further every time gets really boring. Nothing will ever beat the absolutely awesome theme of the Wargame “Strategist” event, but they could at least have the decency to try.

Exowarrior Twitch Drops

I don’t really have much to say about this. The decals were cool, the decoration was cool, that’s sort of it. Sadly, I don’t have images of the decals to show you, just of the decorations.

“Tactical Helmet” Decoration

Day of Aviation and Cosmonautics

Gaijin does this event every year, and as usual the decal is nice. I am a particular fan of the artstyle on this one, but I do think the design is somewhat lacking. It’s not bad, it’s quite good, but it is missing something.

“Space exploration” decal

Vasily Matsievich’s Birthday

They do this every year. I don’t have an opinion on it. They brought back the Soviet lend-lease Spitfire Mk. IXc and obviously it’s very good, it’s a Spitfire Mk. IXc, but I don’t have any thoughts on the event itself one way or another.

Spitfire Mk. IXc (USSR)

Zimbabwean Independence Day

This was really cool to see celebrated, especially since nations like Zimbabwe don’t often get their holidays celebrated in War Thunder, and they brought back the Hunter F.G.A. Mk. 9 that Zimbabwe used back when it was called Rhodesia. I sort of wish they did a decal for this because I think it would be really nice to have a decal for Zimbabwe’s Independence Day, but either way, it was nice to see it celebrated

Battle Pass Season 11 “Her Majesty’s Hussar”

This season did not impress me very much. It says something about a Battle Pass season when the vehicle I’m most interested in is an S 100 with extra torpedos. I also think that, while the decorations for this season are exceptional, the decals and the profile picture both really leave something to be desired. I also do find it mildly amusing that when this season was announced, the profile picture for it, despite being called the “Hussar squadron officer,” was not actually of a hussar squadron officer because it was in the wrong colors and they had to change it. Anyway, let’s take a look at the vehicles.

  • S 701 - Germany - Rank III - Motor torpedo boat - Event premium

    • It says something that an S 100 with 4 extra torpedoes that launch backwards is the most interesting vehicle this update. This thing is pretty decent, though like all S 100s, it does have armor thinner than paper. The night camouflage for this with the shark’s mouth on it is also stunning and a great choice, but that camouflage is honestly the most interesting thing about it.
  • J 26 (F 16) - Sweden - Rank III - Fighter - Event premium - Coupon

    • Gaijin called this the J26 David for some unknown reason, but what this vehicle is is a J 26 of squadron F 16, also known as Upplands flygflottilj. The specific J 26 of squadron F 16 ingame is the first J 26 Sweden ever operated, nicknamed “White D,” and was one of 2 lend-lease P-51B-7s that Sweden got. All subsequent J 26s were P-51Ds. As a Battle Pass prize, this is phenomenally boring. Not only is it boring because it’s our second Battle Pass P-51 (second time in a Battle Pass is a theme this season), but also because it has nothing interesting to it. Like the S 701, the most interesting thing about it is the camouflage because its BP camouflage is of the plane “White D” which was Sweden’s first J 26.
  • Centurion Mk. II - Great Britain - Rank IV - Medium tank - Event premium - Coupon

    • I told you that appearing for the second time in a Battle Pass season was a theme this time around. Enter the Centurion Mk. II: our second Battle Pass Centurion! That’s right folks, we’ve gone from a Centurion being the top prize of one of the best seasons, to being the top prize of one of the worst. I guess 10 seasons is a big enough gap that this counts as okay now. The Centurion Mk. 5/1 (RAAC) was the first Battle Pass Centurion. It, to this day, is one of the best BP prizes ever, and in terms of good the vehicle is, it is, tier for tier, matched by the A-1H and only beaten by the PT-76-57 and, ironically, the Centurion Mk. II. The Centurion Mk. II is a really good vehicle. It’s a Centurion Mk. I with a 2-plane stabilizer at 6.7. It is very very good, but good god is it boring. It is such a mind-numbingly boring and uninspired prize that it actually impresses me, and that is actually a pretty good way to describe this season. None of the prizes are bad vehicles, but they are very bad prizes. The BP camouflage is also fine. It’s the camouflage of the Centurion in Korea that bore the name Hussar, which was actually a Centurion Mk. 3, but that doesn’t really matter.

As for the decorations and decals, some of them are nice, but others are just boring. Notably, the 2 text decals, despite being historical, are exceptionally boring.

“Emblem of the 1st Hussars” decal

“April Son” text

“Humorist” text

“Emblem of the King’s Royal Hussars” decal

“Horseman statue” naval decoration

“Shako” decoration

“Lewis gun" decoration

“Hussar Squadron Officer” profile picture (not sure why this one has a black border around it)

The warbonds for this season were pretty good. The decal was quite nice, though I think the “Taurus” text on it brings it down quite a bit. The vehicles available were mostly fine, aside from 2 standout choices: the PT-556 “Thunderbolt” and the Pyörremyrsky. The PT-556 is my single favorite ship in the entire game, it is an absolute monster, and tier for tier, the Pyörremyrsky is the best Bf 109 in the game and I will die on that hill. Nothing else in the shop was particularly great. The M4A4 (1st PTG) is pretty good, but more in the sense of it being an M4A4 and those generally being good, not in the sense of anything about it being particularly noteworthy.

This was honestly a really disappointing season. Battle Passes always were going to depreciate in value as time went on, but this one was exceptionally uninspired, especially when the pass that came right after it had an actually good choice for a top prize.

I also haven’t been discussing the challenges because they barely change from season to season. They’re all but identical.

Italian Liberation Day

For this event celebrating Liberation day in Italy, which is the day that celebrates Italy’s liberation during WWII, they simply gave out a decal that was the text “L’Italia Libera” and that’s it. As far as the text decals go, I actually really like this one and I’m not sure why. There’s nothing special about it, and yet it really appeals to me.

“W L’Italia libera” decal

Israeli Independence Day

2023 marked Israel’s 75th year of independence, and for this year’s Independence Day event for Israel, which Israel calls Yom Ha’atzmaut, they added a very cool decal called the “Golden Menorah” decal which, for the first time that I’ve ever seen outside of Israel, actually correctly depicts a menorah because a menorah has 7 candles, not 9. 9 candles is a hanukkiah. I think the fact that Gaijin actually correctly depicted a menorah and made a really cool decal for the event makes me really happy.

“Golden menorah” decal

Air Superiority Tournament

I still don’t care for tournaments and so I will not cover the tournament itself, but I will cover the Twitch drops for it. The drops were 5 skins and a really well-designed decal that I really like. The skins were for the Tornado IDS (ASSTA 1), the MiG-21bis, the J-7E, the J 35D, and the Israeli F-4E. Easily the nicest of the skins is the MiG-21bis in second place, the Israeli F-4E comes in third, and the Tornado IDS (ASSTA 1) and J 35D are tied for 4th place. There was also a decal given out that looks fine, but I don’t have any opinions on it.

“Air Superiority” decal

Ingame May sale

Ah yes, a May sale in April. Well done Gaijin.

This sale functioned exactly the same as every other May sale before it, except that instead of dividing it up so 3 nations were discounted at any given time, they were all discounted together, which is a very welcome change.

This sale was 30% of all vehicles for GE and SL, excluding squadron vehicles, vehicles from the Repair Factory event (obviously, those can’t even be bought for GE or SL), and vehicles from the Sky Guardians and Apex Predators updates, as well as 30% off all talismans, modifications, and backups. There was also 50% off premium account time for 90 and 365 days in the hangar, and 180 days in the Gaijin store.

50% off 365 days of premium account means you can get a full year of premium account for $40 USD. It is easily the best deal in the game. I understand that not everyone can afford that, but if you can afford it, I would recommend it and if you’re looking to save for a certain premium vehicle, I would recommend saving for $40 premium for a year instead and waiting for one of the sales.

The ingame sale overall was pretty bog standard, not much to say overall, but the 50% off premium account time is totally worth it and if you miss the May sale, it comes around again for War Thunder’s anniversary and for Christmas.

Golden Week

Golden Week is a week that comprises several Japanese holidays. April 29th is the birthday of Emperor Hirohito and is known as Shōwa Day, May 3rd is Constitution Memorial Day, May 4th is Greenery Day, and May 5th is Children’s Day.

For this day, they gave out a decal of 2 Koi — a red one and a gray-white one — circling each other over a blue background designed to look like water. This has to be one of the single most stunning decals ever given out for any event ever. I am incredibly happy to have this and it is easily one of the top 10 best decals in the entire game. I’m not exactly sure why, but for some reason, the event decals for anything related to Japan always seem to be a notch above the rest in terms of quality, and this is possibly the best example of that.

“Koi” decal


Pages of History (May)

This has to be the single most boring profile picture of any of the Pages of History events. This one is supremely boring. It’s an army officer in front of a Soviet flag. That’s it. I don’t care how historically significant he is if they don’t do something interesting with the profile picture

“Meliton Kantaria” profile picture

Polish Constitution Day

For Polish Constitution Day, they introduced a decal made of little floral flourishes arranged in the shape of a heart and colored red, with the words “Love Poland” in the middle. I honestly think this decal is rather lacking and boring. It just isn’t my thing.

“Love Poland” decal

Legend of Victory: BM-31-12 “Andryusha”

In 2022, Gaijin started an event series called Legend of Victory. For 2022, they gave out an event IS-2 obr. 1944g. called the IS-2 No. 321. This year, the vehicle was once again for the USSR and was the bigger brother of the BM-13N Katyusha: the BM-31-12 Andryusha. Yes, the Andryusha is just truck with donk rockets on it, it’s not actually good, but I think it is a very good prize for the event and I see it as much better than the IS-2 No. 321.

BM-31-12 “Andryusha”

This event worked much like the summer and winter marathon events, with 6 stages that had to be completed, thought it was 35,000 score per stage this time instead of 40,000, with the first stage giving a decal, the second a decoration, the third a decal, the forth a decoration, the fifth a decal, and the sixth gave the BM-31-12, though sadly not as a coupon. 2 of the decals were text, and the third was an absolutely gorgeous decal called the “For excellent artillery training” decal. The decorations, both of which were guns, were also gorgeous, especially the M1918A2.

“T-54-412 board number" decal

“Glory to the Stalin Guard!” decal

“For excellent artillery training” decal

“Patchett Machine Carbine" decoration

“M1918A2" decoration

This would have been pretty much a perfect event, if it was not the Demolition Crate and the associated Crowbar. The Demolition Crate is the name of the gambling crate for victory day. The last few events, they have brought back these crates, they just call them something different each time, and this time it is called the Demolition Crate and the key to open it is called the Crowbar. You can go read my extended rant on these in my section on the Repair Factory event, but suffice it to say that I despise these crates.

Demolition crate


This could have been a pretty much perfect event. Not too grindy and not that many stages, but they just had to add gambling crates. Sadly, I can’t see these going away any time soon, likely never, but one can dream.

Victory Day

For 2023’s Victory in Europe Day, in addition to the Legend of Victory event, Gaijin gave out a decal and 2 decorations. The decal is the “Poster with a soldier” decal that I am 99% sure was just ripped straight out of Enlisted because it looks like something out of Enlisted, and I am not particularly a fan of this decal. The decoration for ground vehicles is the Maxim-Tokarev machine gun that looks absolutely gorgeous. The naval decoration is the 120-PM-38 mortar and, as always, the naval decoration is the highlight of the event. It is an absolutely gorgeous decoration.

“Poster with a soldier” decal

“Maxim–Tokarev machine gun" decoration

“120-PM-38” naval decoration

In addition to this, there were 2 other decals available — one called “Victory Star” decal which is a white star set on a red and white background, and the other one is the “Allies” decal which is of the flags of the USA, UK, USSR, and France. However, these decals were for tournaments which I don’t care about.

“Allies" decal

“Victory star" decal

This was overall a pretty good victory day, but I still really hate the gambling crates from the Legend of Victory event.

May sale in the Gaijin Store

This was a pretty good sale in terms of the discounts, but I do have some gripes with it. The Wings of Victory, Tracks of Victory, and Weapons of Victory bundles with all the ace vehicles were back, and, as always, while crazy expensive, it’s a pretty good bundle. All of these vehicles could also be purchased separately as their own packs. Let’s review all the vehicles in it.


  • Wetmore’s P-51D-10 - USA - Rank IV - Fighter - Hidden premium

    • I’d argue that, while this is a good vehicle, it is not the best use of your money. It’s functionally exactly the same as the P-51D-5 in the tree, and while they can be very good, they are also very situational machines and often rely on the other players on the team working with them, which can be quite unreliable.
  • Bostwick’s P-47M-1-RE - USA - Rank IV - Fighter - Hidden premium

    • This is a fantastic vehicle. The P-47M is the best P-47 and while it is sad that the best P-47 is not in the tech tree, it is also a fantastic vehicle. The performance is great and it still has the same decent ordinance loadouts as the other P-47s.
  • Dolgushin’s La-7 - USSR - Rank III - Fighter - Hidden premium

    • This is a fine vehicle, but I don’t recommend it. Despite loving the La-9 to death, I quite dislike the La-7 and I think it’s not a great vehicle. It definitely can be made to work, but I don’t think it’s that good and I don’t recommend it.
  • Plagis’ Spitfire Mk. IXc - Great Britain - Rank IV - Fighter - Hidden premium

    • This is definitely a good vehicle, very good, in fact. However, since it is at the same BR as Prendergast’s Spitfire, I’d say that is definitely a better choice of a vehicle. Not much better, but better.
  • Prendergast’s Spitfire F.R. Mk. XIVe - Great Britain - Rank IV - Fighter - Hidden premium

    • The Spitfire F.R. Mk. XIVe is a fantastic vehicle. In fact, this is my personal pick for the best vehicle in the entire bundle. It is absolutely incredible. The Griffon Mk. 65 engine is fantastic, the guns work great, even if not the best, its performance is fantastic, and the clipped wings are worth it because, while they do sacrifice some turn rate, it gains a very good roll rate for it and its still a Spitfire so even with the clipped wings, it still outturns everything except other Spitfires and some Japanese planes.


  • M5A1 (5th Can.Arm.Div) - USA - Rank II - Light tank - Hidden premium

    • Alongside the M18, this is the first out of my 2 picks for the best ground vehicle in this pack. Even after they were all moved to 2.7, the M5A1s are still fantastic. They’ve certainly lost a decent amount of their uptier effectiveness now that they see 3.7s, but they’re still very good. The beauty of this vehicle is that if you have this, you can have 2/3 vehicles in your 2.7 lineup be M5A1s, and if you have the twitch drop M5A1 “Carol”, you can have a full M5A1 lineup! This one is also especially worth it because it’s easily the cheapest of the vehicles.
  • M18 GMC “Black Cat” - USA - Rank III - Light tank - Hidden premium

    • It’s an M18 GMC without the muzzle break and canvas cover for the gun mantle. That being said, it is very good. The M18 is an absolutely fantastic machine and while this is functionally no different, it is still an incredible vehicle, just one that isn’t worth it if you’re simply looking for an M18 experience, in which case you can play the American, Chinese, and/or Italian trees. This is the other of my picks for the best ground vehicle in the pack.
  • T-34-85E - USSR - Rank IV - Medium tank - Hidden premium

    • It’s a T-34-85 with chicken wire to protect against HEAT shells, but it does nothing. It’s an interesting-looking vehicle, but entirely not worth it.
  • IS-2 (1944) “Revenge” - USSR - Rank IV - Heavy tank - Hidden premium

    • It’s an IS-2 (1944) with a unique camouflage and premium bonuses, that’s it. Entirely not worth it.
  • Achilles (65 Rg.) - Great Britain - Rank III - Tank destroyer - Hidden premium

    • This is a pretty good vehicle. I am generally not a fan of the M10 because its turret traverse is god awful, but I recognize that it is not necessarily a bad vehicle, I just personally don’t like it. The Achilles is an M10 with a better gun. Because of that it is just a slightly better vehicle than the American, French, and Chinese M10s. However, as a premium, this is not a great purchase because it is also functionally identical.
  • Black Prince - Great Britain - Rank IV - Heavy tank - Hidden premium

    • This is a pretty bad vehicle. It’s gun is too weak to be effective at BR 6.0, it’s very slow so it takes way too long to get to strategic positions, and by the time it does, one side has pushed far enough that the position is no longer useful, and while its armor can be decent in a downtier, in an uptier it gets absolutely bodied.

Aside from the special vehicles they brought back, they also put all of the high tier packs on sale for 50% off, except the rank 7 ones. This was a very good sale for the high tier packs, but it’s a very big shame they didn’t put any of the lower tier ones on sale, even for just 30% off. The other very sad thing is that they removed a bunch of rank 6 air packs at the end of the sale. This is obviously because they want people buying the rank 7 packs instead of rank 6 packs, but I really dislike this. In fact, I hate it. They removed the following packs:

  • Su-7BMK - USSR - Rank VI - Strike fighter
  • MiG-21SPSK - Germany - Rank VI - Fighter
  • T-2 (early) - Japan - Rank VI - Fighter
  • Milan S 01 - France - Rank VI - Fighter
  • J 35A-1 - Sweden - Rank VI - Fighter
  • A-4E (AFC 482) - Israel - Rank VI - Strike fighter

The only reason they didn’t remove the A-10A (early), F-5C, Su-25K, and A5C is because those were selling far too well, and the F-5C later went up to rank 7. Obviously this was done to create artificial rarity so they could bring them back later for special days, which is exactly what they did, but I absolutely hate this choice to just remove packs.

This overall was generally a good sale, but it ended with a lot of packs being removed that I really dislike being removed.

Also, and this is an irrelevant sidenote, but I find it mildly amusing that when writing this, Google Docs said all the other vehicles are spelled correctly, but it said that “MiG-21SPSK” is incorrect and should be “MiG-21 SPSK.” My little goblin brain finds that funny.

War Thunder Mobile

Early May saw the initial release of War Thunder Mobile in Android, which saw an even earlier release in Türkiye, where it was briefly called War Thunder Edge. I have played War Thunder Mobile and I do find it quite enjoyable, even if it is not my personal style of game as I am not as much of a mobile gaming person. However, I did not play it during this initial closed test because I don’t own an Android and this was exclusively launched on Android which, while I find that somewhat disappointing, is also not a big issue as its not like there were any exclusive rewards missed out on during this period. My thoughts on the actual gameplay will be delved further into during later sections that cover other events involving the game.

US Armed Forces Day


In all seriousness, It’s an American flag decal with the silhouette of a soldier. It’s very American, but I think the decal looks pretty bad. Good on a technical level, but I quite dislike the design.

“National Armed Forces Day” decal

French National Sailor Day

For this day, Gaijin gave out a historical decal: the Emblem of the Marine Nationale France. It’s a pretty nice looking decal and, at least in my book, it gets extra points in my book for being historical. In addition to that, they also brought back the bundle of the Aigle and Duguay-Trouin, discounted by 25% at $56.24 USD. It’s a decent bundle, though I think that price might be slightly too high to be worth it. If you want to see my review of the vehicles themselves, I have covered them in my coverage of all the vehicles added in Sky Guardians.

“Emblem of the Marine Nationale France” decal



The Review Bombing Saga Part I: The Fellowship of the Forums

Welcome to the start of the single most monumentally stupid saga in the game’s entire history! This saga is a collection of events related to economy changes, one of which involves review bombing, but which I am collectively calling the Review Bombing Saga. This is a saga that involves horrible economy changes, legitimate as well as mindless complaining on the forums, review bombing, Gaijin asking players to not review bomb because it hurts the game (yes, really), and so much more! No one is good in the story, no one is smart in this story. Everything and everyone is dumb and bad and stupid. I mentioned this in the acknowledgements section at the top, but once again, thank you to JakDax on the MTG discord server for helping assemble the timeline of events that occurred. First, let’s go over that timeline.

This article is ordered based on the order of when stuff was posted, and this saga is here because I am counting it under the 3 articles published on May 19th. However, this section does chronicle events that occurred before that. May 19th is when the first chapter of this saga concludes to the point it can be covered comprehensively, rather than unintelligibly in sections delivered piecemeal from May 4th to May 19th.

However, before we start, please note that I absolutely do not condone the harassment of any Gaijin staff involved in this situation. The forum moderators do not have power over the game and are simply communicating decisions made by the people actually responsible who are those in the game’s marketing, creative, and PR teams. DO NOT harass any of the Gaijin staff involved, including the teams actually responsible!

  1. May 4th: New rank-based economy changes are announced on the old forums. These included some good and some bad changes. One of the biggest thing people were mad about, myself included, was that many vehicles, including premiums, were having their reward modifiers reduced. Some did have theirs increased, but others had theirs decreased. People hated this, including me, especially because they said that this was designed to make sure that premiums always had a research and earning bonus over tech tree vehicles. I’m not sure why everyone was so mad about this, we always knew that was the intention, but I guess people got mad when they said the quiet part loud.

  2. May 12th: The article Responding to your questions and comments ( Economy changes) is posted on the forums. This article effectively just reiterates everything from the previous article but in a little more detail on how everything works. This didn’t really do anything good and if anything, it worsened the storm.

  3. May 16th: @Stona_WT posts the changelog for 16/05/2023 that contains the economy changes. However, the changelog is updated soon after saying that these changes will not go into effect on May 16th.

  4. May 18th, 13:30 UTC: The economy changes are implemented.

  5. May 18th, 14:30 UTC (?): I’m unsure of the exact time, but a little under an hour later, the changes were reverted. Considering that releasing an update takes multiple hours to prepare and schedule before deployment, it is likely that the decision to revert it was made somewhere around 11:00 or 11:30 UTC, very possibly even earlier, and that is on top of the fact that they would have been debating reverting it for at least the entire day before. The same forum post that announced the reversion also included a link to a feedback form.

  6. May 18th: A few hours later, the review bombing on steam starts. War thunder generally sees roughly 7,000-8,000 reviews per month. Some are negative, most are positive. In May, because of the review bombing, War Thunder received 116,286 reviews, the overwhelming majority negative. It was an absurd amount of reviews, clearly enough to cause damage, as will be evident in a few paragraphs, and because that is an absurd amount of reviews, especially considering that, as Gaijin has said, Steam is less than 15% of their playerbase and the amount of people who leave reviews on Steam is a very small fraction of the Steam playerbase. The catch is that a very large proportion of these reviews are likely people who got the game on Steam specifically to review bomb it. In fact, Steam flagged it as review bombing. Part of this was a boycott by the War Thunder Player Union (WTPU). The WTPU was a group of players who thought that their supposed player union could actually materially affect the game. They were wrong, they did practically nothing, and I’m only mentioning this because it’s very funny. It is also important to note that, while the review bombing is not the reason the changes were reverted, they certainly are one of the factors behind the scope of the changes Gaijin made in response to this entire situation, changes which will be covered later.

Review bombing statistics as of May, 2023

Review bombing statistics as of September 20, 2023

  1. May 19th: Gaijin publishes on their official website an article titled Revising the economy. This is a relatively boilerplate about the economy, but it is quite poorly worded. The worst part is the line, “We regret that our actions to balance the economy are often poorly explained and not transparent to you. In the future, we will try our best to talk about the changes we plan to do earlier, in more detail and more clearly, as well as listen to the feedback that you offer more carefully.” All of the complaints were not because they didn’t explain it clearly, it’s because people didn’t like them. Saying that they didn’t explain it clearly enough is effectively treating the players like babies and while, in some ways, this is a pretty boilerplate response, it also is not how you do PR (don’t worry, the PR will get way worse). The article however does state that they were now planning for a major economy revision for mid to late summer. This article also contained the survey where players can leave their feedback that was linked on the forums the day before.

  2. May 19th: Gaijin publishes an article titled How progression and economy is built in F2P games and War Thunder in particular. This article is some of the worst PR Gaijin has ever done. This article is trying to explain how free to play (F2P) games work. This is such a terrible PR decision that it’s actually baffling. This takes the idea of treating players like babies to the extreme. They literally try to explain how you’re supposed to progress and unlock things gradually and cite an xkcd comic! Yes, really! No, I am not joking! I couldn’t make this up if I tried! “One of the largest games publishers in Europe linked to an xkcd comic in an article to explain to their players in toddler language how free to play games work” is a sentence which I am convinced would never have been said in the history of the universe, were it not for this situation. And, to make all this worse, Gaijin then addressed the review bombing. In that portion of the article, they admitted that the review bombing hurts the game and asked players to use “other, less destructive ways” to leave their feedback such as on the forums! How did they not understand that admitting it has the desired effect would egg people on?! I can’t comprehend how poorly Gaijin handled this. To be clear, I did not support the economy changes overall, and I think that them being reverted is a good thing, but from the perspective of what is purely best for Gaijin, Gaijin handled this in the worst way possible. Do you see what I mean when I say that everyone in this situation on all sides was dumb and stupid and bad at everything?

Anniversary of the Israeli Defense Forces

For the anniversary of the IDF, Gaijin gave out a decal called the “Israel Defense Forces” decal. This is another one of those standardized decals that I don’t like the design of. Out of all of the standardized decals, this one is probably tied with the Polish Armed Forces decal for my favorite, but I generally dislike the design language and style of these decals. There was also a discounted bundle for Weizman’s Spitfire L.F. Mk. IXe and M-51 (W). The M-51 is pretty good, and Weizman’s spitfire is fantastic, but I’d say it wasn’t worth it for $49 USD.

“Israel Defense Forces” decal

Weizman’s Spitfire L.F. Mk. IXe

M-51 (W)

Swedish Home Guard Day

For this day, Gaijin gave out what thankfully was not one of those decals, but was instead the “Emblem of the National Home Guard Combat School” decal, which is quite a nice decal and once again, bonus points for being historical, but among the Swedish historical decals, it’s one of the worse ones. They also brought back the Sav fm/48 which is nice because that vehicle is absurdly good.

“Emblem of the National Home Guard Combat School” decal

Sav fm/48

Answers from the developers

This was quite a good Q&A, definitely better than the last one. A lot of suggestions were legitimately taken under consideration, including some that were put into the later roadmap that will be discussed when I get to that. I honestly don’t have much to say about the specific details of this Q&A, nor the will to go through all the questions 1 by 1, but it was a pretty good Q&A that legitimately answered a lot of questions and took things under advisement.

The Review Bombing Saga Part II: The Two Responses

The next arc in this anime saw Gaijin publish 2 more articles, and since there isn’t a really complex and stupid situation around these (well, there is, but not as stupid as the first part), there is no point in compiling a timeline so I’m just going to cover them one after the other.

The first article was published on their official site on May 23 and was titled Economy revision. This wasn’t long, it basically just said that they are sorry, they screwed up, and that while many of the changes people want are urgent, they need more time to compile an entire roadmap which they should have out by June 14th. It is quite refreshing to just see them actually just say they’re sorry and not dance around it, and spoiler alert, but they do actually follow through on this. All in all, a pretty good statement. However, it does sort of have a sense of begging for players’ forgiveness after screwing up so badly.

The second article was published on May 29th, also on their official site, and was titled Analysing 15 thousand entries of your feedback from the Economy Survey. This was a much longer article than the previous one and covered what people most complained about and, to all of them, basically just said that they would be addressed in the roadmap. The article stated that complaints related to economy and progression, which was roughly 90% of all responses, will absolutely be addressed, with 4% of players also leaving feedback about module costs, repair times, and rebalancing premium vehicles. 10% of players also complained about gameplay issues related to certain locations, and the issues with night battles. They also addressed that there was also a large pool of responses related to PvE and they were working to fully understand the scope of the issues and work to work those into the roadmap. All in all, another quite good article and details roughly what will be covered in the roadmap.

By this point, many players I talked to at the time were more than just cautiously optimistic, but had actual hope the changes would be good. Their hope turned out to be right, but you’ll see how when I get to part 3.

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


Now, I have a very simple, yet possibly work intense request: Could you provide your excerpt of this year as a pdf? Everything in one document? I’m so down to read all of this magnificent work and would enjoy having it handy as one document.

If not, I’ll work something out, but I wished to go ahead and at least ask :)

1 Like

I have the entire thing in a Google Doc, but the images won’t display that way because the images are in the format designed to display on the forums.

Gaijin biggest european publisher???

Nothing against gaijin in that lart but you clearly forget that europe has way more publishers with more importance on the market

Just one example, the publisher from dead space is french

Are the images contained at all? That would be enough for me :)

Still, I wish to complement you on the presentation in the forums. It is well done and the navigation tabs above are a great case of useability. Well done!

CD Project Red too.

And there is also Paradox Interactive, and arguably Ubisoft.

The document has the images in it, but they’re all as links because there’s a specific link format that the forums editor uses to display images, so they’re technically there, but they won’t display.

I see. I’d still be quite interested anyway.

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Thank you. I’d recommend that you read it in this current format purely because if you read it in the Google Doc without the images, it becomes 200 pages of visually uninteresting text.