One of the most prolific companies we met at Gamescom 2018 is Wargaming. We got to talk with the global brand manager, AI King, about their plans for World Of Warplanes in the coming year.

If you never heard of it before, World of Warplanes is an online multiplayer game that tries to deliver the experience of World War 2’s ariel dogfights, which counts as the “golden age” of military air combat. In the age before jet-planes, auto-pilot, and heat-seeking missiles,  pilots were nothing less than superheroes.

WoWP is not a flight simulator. Control over your plane is like in any other PC FPS game: mouse+keyboard with emphasis on the WASD buttons. Like its older brother World of Tanks, the primary goal is to have a fun, arcade game experience.

But since the game’s launch in November 2013, it had a few issues. The harsh critiques from fans sent the developers back to the drawing board, a move that resulted in a new-and-improved World of Warplanes.

World of Warplanes 2.0

The game was entirely rebuilt, and the experience had changed significantly since patch 2.0 came out in November last year.

A lot of the mechanics has changed, with one of them being the new respawn system that allows players to return to the same battle after they crashed. However, respawns aren’t unlimited, and your team will eventually run out of planes to send into the fight. Unless, of course, you take control over an airport on the frontlines. Now you are probably wondering how do you conquer an airport using only airplanes.

Thanks to the new game mode Conquest, it is possible. In Conquest, both sides fight over a few key locations, each one gives the conquering team a specific advantage. You can conquer areas in many different ways, including flying over them, destroying enemy crafts, etc.

World of Warplanes 2.0

Another change brought about by patch 2.0 is the way different planes handle, depending on their size, and to which “class” they belong. Why is that important? Because of a new type of aircraft – the bomber. Bombers are much heavier and clumsier than we’re used to, which means they fly very differently.

In general, the plane type you choose will impact the role you play in the match. For example, Bombers fly at high altitude, and you can’t climb to the same height with a Spitfire to try and take them down. You will have to switch to a different plane to do so.

Another feature of version 2.0 is the new AI-controlled planes, which add a PvE element to the game and make it feel like a real battlefield.

Here Comes the Bomber

But the most notable new content is still the bombers. This new addition to the game truly freshens it up: not only do they force you to change the way you fly, but they also present new threats and challenges. As I mentioned before, they are high-altitude airplanes, and most of them have AI tail gunners. Players can choose to take control over the guns if a particularly pesky opponent keeps chipping away at their bomber’s hull.

Only recently Wargaming added the Soviet Union bombers, and in September they are planning to launch a new game mode called Bomber Escort. In Bomber Escort one of the teams will have to protect a squadron of AI-controlled bombers while the other side tries to take them down. This mode combines even more PvP and PvE elements that should spice things up for longtime players.

World of Warplanes Bombers

Furthermore, come November we are expecting to see a new line of USA bombers, including the legendary Flying Fortress the B17. This plane is unique because it has three air gunners: one front gunner, one bottom gunner, and one tail gunner. World of Warplanes developers are still trying to decide how all these gunners will work – will the player have to switch between all four stations, or will you be able to play the B17 as a group of four people. Also, they still need to figure out how to prevent this flying behemoth from destroying the game’s delicate balance.

Collaborations: Iron Maiden and the Hurricane

As part of the promotion campaign of the game’s new version, Wargaming collaborated with the band Iron Maiden to attract new audiences to World of Warplanes. This collaboration was possible thanks to Iron Maiden’s frontman Bruce Dickinson. Dickinson is a licensed commercial pilot, history fan, writer, entrepreneur, and brewmaster, and was really excited to be apart of World of Warplanes.

As part of the collaboration, the band released a new clip for their classic song Aces High, which was produced entirely from in-engine footage from WoWP. The video was played at every show during Iron Maiden’s “Legacy of The Best” tour, with a lifesize replica of a Spitfire haning above the band as they performed the song.

World of Warplanes has also inserted Iron Maiden easter eggs into the game. Your hanger has decorated with Iron Maiden memorabilia, and if you finished the marathon on time you could unlock their mascot Eddie as the pilot of the same Spitfire replica the band had on tour.

If you missed the Iron Maiden event and didn’t unlock Eddie, don’t worry – there’s another event on the way. This time it’s the release of the new movie Hurricane.

The movie is about the 303 squadron – a fighter aircraft squadron manned by Russian and Polish pilots that helped the Royal Air Force during the battle over Britain. To mark the releae of the movie, a new themed hanger will make its way into the game, together with a new Hawker Hurricane MK la for the British forces.

War of Warplanes had some serious changes since it launched, so if you played the game before but decided to abandon it, now would be a good time to give it another chance.

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