We’ve had a lot of questions from players following our preview of the changes coming to armament and ammunition systems. In particular there has been a concern that the specialized ammo belts available for gold will always be better than the enhanced Armor-Piercing belts available for credits. We’d like to take the opportunity to lay these fears to rest.
First of all, overall efficiency of the armament — which includes efficiency of its bonuses (fire or crit chance) — is directly affected by the main parameters of the gun. The better a machinegun’s firing rate and the more precisely you shoot, the higher the chance that your target will be ignited. Likewise, the more cannon shells that hit a module (which is directly affected by accuracy and firing rate), the higher the chance you will score a crit. This is why, in some situations, a certain cannon armed with free standard belts might subjectively feel as though it has a higher crit chance than a different one with an Armor-Piercing or even a Fragmentation belt, simply because it’s easier to score numerous, accurate hits in those couple of seconds of fire contact with the first gun.
Let’s return to the belts. Armor-Piercing belts increase both fire and crit chance for absolutely every type of armament. Generally speaking they are increased by two “steps”, and even the secondary feature (crit chance for machineguns and fire chance for cannons) becomes notably more effective.
Three types of belts available strictly for gold (by the way, with significantly reduced price) are aimed at specializing your weapons, not making them more powerful in all situations. This means that they emphasize one parameter, but the other bonus will be lower than the credits-only AP belt provides. Armor-Piercing Incendiary belts ignite targets significantly more often, but your guns will cause fewer crits than if you’d had the usual AP belts armed. Fragmentation belts increase crit chances by a large margin, but it has notably lower fire chance (roughly similar to the level of the free belt).
Armor-Piercing High Explosive belts will be a special case – they are specialized for destroying armored ground objects. As such they don’t have any advantage over standard free belts when attacking aircraft or unarmored ground targets. They are tailored for attack aircraft to make them more effective after they have dropped all of their bombs and rockets. These belts will be especially effective for some machines whose main source of damage are high caliber cannons, like the Ju 87G Stuka, Ju 88P or Il-20. But arming APHE belts will mean that you sacrifice crit chance (not important for attack aircraft but crucial for heavy and multirole fighters) and fire chance. As you know, once ignited, a yellow unarmored part of a ground object always burns out completely, which can make a strafing run much more effective – you just switch to another part once the fire occurs. As a result the APHE belts will be more effective only when shooting armored objects, and in will be generally less effective when attacking normal targets.
Overall all the belts are tuned in such a way that for every armament type “silver” Armor-Piercing belts will be more effective on average. Specialized belts will change gameplay, but will not give any distinct advantage.
The consumables are tuned in a similar way. The enhanced types are split into two categories.
The first type of consumables is aimed at reducing negative effects from critical damage. Among them you can find the Automatic Engine Restarter and Fire Extinguisher, Control Surface Autotrim and First Aid Kit. As their name suggests, their main advantage is automatic activation when your aircraft sustains critical damage or catches fire. The only exclusion is the First Aid Kit — it's manual, but provides 15 seconds of immunity to the crew which can be really handy in critical situations when you find yourself under continuous attack. Number of available uses in battle is the same for both credits-only normal and gold-only enhanced consumables.
The second type improves aircraft parameters when activated. These consumables include Engine and Weapon Cooling, as well as Heavy Duty Control Surfaces. They differ from normal types (Engine and Weapon Ventilation, Reinforced Control Surfaces) in number of uses per consumable — three instead of two. But their effects are absolutely identical. Moreover, these consumables have long cooldowns so the additional activation will not provide any drastic advantage to its user. You will not be able to use Engine Cooling constantly to boost all the time, Heavy Duty Control Surfaces will only be activated once per dogfight. Weapon Cooling, which is especially useful for attack aircraft, even has a longer cooldown time than the credits-only Weapon Ventilation.
New design prototype for belts panel.
As for the interface, currently we still use the old version of the hangar design – you will see all the crit and fire chance modifiers on the Public Test. The3 second iteration of the Public Test will include the new version of the Service tab that will display belt features in a clearer way. We hope to prove our ideas with your help and possibly improve them – after all, that’s what the Public Test is for, to get your opinion on new features. See you in battle!