The Grind in the Skies: Thunderous War

War Thunder is a lobby-based air and ground-based vehicular combat free-to-play MMO that I wish I could love it – the game is great and, most of the time, it is quite fun. However, it has one of the longest grinds I have experienced in a game recently, perhaps short of Eve’s real-time skill training, which makes upgrading or getting a different vehicle (air or ground) take too much time.

The way it works is: if you get the premium currency, you can buy some premium planes, or perhaps speed up your research by spending currency and a set of research points that would otherwise sit unused. With research, you unlock new planes or tanks which you can then use with your crews.

The issue is that it takes too long. The higher in the tiers you go, the more research points they need, the longer it is going to take to research them. Long enough that I feel my interest waning, even considering that I was looking for a game to pick up and play for a long time as a “backup” game. Unlike Rally, in which the different stages and different conditions keep the driving interesting, the game modes in War Thunder, short of switching between Realistic and Arcade, aren’t that varied. In fact, most of the variety in role or feel would come from the different planes or tanks. And when unlocking a different kind of plane takes as long as it takes to around the 3rd tier, it is hard to obtain that variety while also progressing.

Perhaps I am one of the few players for whom this style of progression wasn’t made for: for players who would unlock only one branch, I’m certain that the progression wouldn’t feel as slow. The game does have bonuses for research as long as you use the right vehicles for what you want to unlock. I’m just scatterbrained and want to do everything.

So I will probably continue playing the game, even if only because I can fire it up and just play a round or two. That said, I am not particularly attached to it. Perhaps, it is for the best