Update 1.9.6 will introduce a new branch of Japanese fighters, as well as a new and exciting way of receiving these aircraft earlier than other players without having to research them. The new aircraft are highly manoeuvrability and possess accurate weapons, making them excellent air duellists. In one-on-one engagements, these warbirds are capable of destroying any enemy aircraft without even getting into an enemy crosshair.
The update will also bring the start of an event – "Japanese Threat". Every day, there will be confrontations on the server. To participate in the confrontations, players should choose a side—Axis or Allies—and bring the chosen force to victory. Players that participate in the confrontations will earn loot crates, inside of which they will find different prizes including the opportunity to get the aircraft from the new Japanese branch without having to research and purchase them.
Also, for Update 1.9.6 we worked on the game's balance, changed the price of some crew skills, adjusted the logic of the bots, and optimised the matchmaker.
As part of improving the visualisation of the rear gunner's firing, the burst duration for the rear guns mounted on the IL-2 (mod.), LBSh, and NC 1070 were increased.
A new branch of Japanese fighters has been added:
The new Japanese fighters are highly manoeuvrable aircraft designed for a turning battle at close range. Their excellent turning performance, good dynamics, and high weapon accuracy make them favourites when it comes to air duels. Compared to the Zeros branch, the new fighters have lower firepower but higher accuracy, while retaining the low durability and susceptibility to critical damage and fires that is typical of Japanese fighters. This makes them classic "glass cannons", i.e. aircraft that are capable of quickly destroying an individual target but which are not designed for multiple-aircraft engagements.
The new branch of the Japanese fighters will initially be available only for those players that complete the special missions during the event "Japanese Threat". Players will be able to research the aircraft of this branch in the normal way only after the event is over.
The update will bring the start of an event called "Japanese Threat" that will be available until 13 October.
The event will consist of daily confrontations between Axis and Allied forces who are fighting for domination of the Pacific Ocean Theatre. The Axis faction includes German and Japanese aircraft, while the Allied faction includes Soviet, American, British, Chinese, and French aircraft. Only aircraft of Tier IV and higher can participate in the event.
Once per day, for a period of several hours players will be able to bring their faction closer to victory by flying in Standard battles with the aircraft available for their chosen faction. Players will be able choose or change faction two hours before the start of a confrontation. Players who do not choose a faction by themselves will be automatically added to one of the factions depending on balancing needs at the time.
If one of the factions is at a significant numerical disadvantage, a multiplier will be applied to the battle performance of these players which will equalise their chances of winning.
Active players who contribute to their faction's future victory during a confrontation will be rewarded with loot crates, with players on the winning side receiving twice the number of crates. Loot crates will contain valuable, rare, and unique prizes, including days of Premium Account, gold, experienced pilots and more. The main prize in a loot crate will be a special mission with an aircraft from the new branch of the Japanese Army fighters (Tier II–VIII). A player who completes this mission outside the period of a confrontation will receive an aircraft without having to research and purchase it as well as the preceding models.
For the Japanese Threat event, the Hangar "Tropical Island" was created. This Hangar will have two states—peacetime and wartime—alternating with each other depending on the phase of the event. The wartime Hangar will show specific animations such as air strikes and attempts to repel attacks.
All animations for the new Hangar come with unique sound effects, and each Hangar state will also have its own music.
Furthermore, special music tracks reflecting the current situation for a faction—whether a faction is close to victory or defeat—were recorded.
Development and testing of animated rear gunners and their guns still continues. It is currently visible when a rear gunner tracks a selected target and fires at it, and an animation when firing with the rear gun was also added. As part of update 1.9.6, moving rear guns will be added to the following aircraft:
Also, moving rear guns were implemented for the following aircraft in testing:
Missing paint schemes available for Closed Beta testers were added for a number of aircraft.
Bonus paint schemes were added for the following aircraft:
A set of bonus paint schemes will be added for several other aircraft in the following update.
The price of several pilot skills have been reduced:
Reduced price for some rear gunner skills:
All pilots and rear gunners who mastered these skills before will receive free skill points as compensation for the change in price.
Rear gunners with the skill "Weakest Link" will now take into account not the relative but the absolute value of the remaining hit points when selecting a target.
Changed how bots are added to teams: Now opposing teams will be completed with bots of the same aircraft models. This will make teams more balanced.
Changed the settings responsible for how bots choose which aircraft to use. Bots will now choose researchable aircraft more often and will select Premium and bonus aircraft less frequently.
Added some exclusive aircraft models (Do 17 Z-7, Fi 98, and Pegasus) to the sets of aircraft available for bots in order to increase the diversity at Tiers II and III.
Now bots will track the flight path of their allies flying next to them and stop using forward-firing weapons if there is the possibility of hitting an allied aircraft with friendly fire.
In battles with a high number of bots on the teams, the bots will start to search for the enemy sooner after the start of the battle.
Bots will now try to fly at the optimum altitude for their aircraft and will boost less frequently outside of engagements.
Modified the flight-system algorithms for ultra low altitude flying to make carrying out an assault easier. It will now be easier to keep aircraft close to the ground.
Reduced the audibility of sound events on ground objects and explosions for aircraft at high altitude.
Added two new battle-loading screens.
Added a new element to the design of the Hangar that is enabled when one of the aircraft celebrates its anniversary.