Well, it didn't take long to figure out what was going on! And that's a good thing as the whole ethos of the 'World of...' games is the ease with which players can grasp how to play.
My take on the game's victory conditions are this - remember the ticket system in Battlefield 2, where achieving goals within the game ticked down the enemies 'tickets'? Well, WoWP is just like that, each target destroyed - whether it be an air or ground target - has an effect on the enemy's 'life' score, which ticks down.
Likewise your team's score ticks down if the enemy makes progress - so it's a see-saw effect of back and forth progress. Each aircraft downed or ground target destroyed has an effect of the score until 100% of the enemy's (or you team's) score is depleted. Simples.
As with World of Tanks there are some beautiful maps to fight upon (or do I mean over). Your map 'radar' gives you an overview of the playing field, but beware - the 3-dimensional aspect of air combat can fool you as the map gives no indication of enemy's altitude. You have to stay alert for 'the hun in the sun'!
Obviously, your team is green and the enemy is red, but also be aware that arrows are planes and circles are ground targets.
As you can see play (combat) soon gets spread out and I had time to reflect that WoWP is just like that comment by a WW1 pilot that at one moment the sky is full of planes and then the next you find yourself on your own! And this highlights the very different spacial difference between WoT and WoWP.
Likewise all the real basic rules of early aerial combat are true:
> You have the advantage if you spot the enemy first (as you can pick position)
> Altitude is key, as you can swoop down from above which gives you an advantage in...
> Speed. These early planes are underpowered, so gaining air speed through diving gives you an edge...
And, as ever, the most important thing is (and always will be)...
> ALWAYS CHECK 'YOUR SIX'.
|My first shared kill. I can't take responsibility for all this, a team mate|
performed the Coup de grâce - but I played my role.
Ground attack...An art in itself
Now obviously air to air combat is the bread and butter of this game, it's the glamorous pursuit that will occupy most would be pilots imaginations. But do remember that the victory conditions are effected by ground attack as well and just as in WoT there were those who liked the attacking brawl of tanks and those that liked the more methodical ambush tactics of tank destroyers you will have to decide what style of air combat you prefer.
Now, obviously, in the initial game you can mix both as only as you progress in the tech tree do you acquire specialist aircraft that perform either role more efficiently. But do be warned: Ground attack is NOT the easy option - those ground instillations are defended and AA fire can be blistering!
Add to this the propensity to get too close to the ground on occasion and, well, let's just say that my first attempt at ground attack ended with a large smoking hole in the desert!
Colour me happy!
The final aspect to the game I would like to note is the ability to change your planes colour scheme to something a little more personalised. Again, this is a feature that was available in World of Tanks, but there the camouflage schemes actually had a real effect on your combat proficiency. The schemes in World of Warplanes are - as far as I can see - purely cosmetic...
Still, if you really want to play the part as a Knight of the Sky and express your individuality then there are some very nice schemes to be had. Players are sure to enjoy this aspect of the game mechanics, though - unlike WoT - I can't seem to find personalised emblems to accompany the colour schemes.