The official launch of World of Warplanes is just over two weeks away. If you want to be ready to hop in the cockpit and start kicking ass right out of the gate, then you'd better get ready to do some training. It's not just you that needs training though. Your aircrew needs to be trained up to get the very best out of them and the craft they're flying. There are three types of crewmen you can have – pilot, gunner, and navigator. Most aircraft only have a pilot, so for the course of this guide, that's the term I'll use when referring to any of them.
Like many of the skills and systems in World of Warplanes, getting your pilot trained takes some work and a lot of time, depending on the skill level of you and the various teams you find yourself on. The better you are, and the more victories you rack up, the quicker you'll earn both tokens and experience. The experience you gain is more useful in terms of what it can be utilized for, but don't discount the advantage of having a lot of tokens either.
The way World of Warplanes handles experience can be a little confusing, but stick with me and you'll have it figured out in no time. Every match that you participate in will earn you experience, whether you win, lose, destroy an enemy, or just pancake into the side of a mountain ridge. The better you do, the more you'll earn though, so I'd advise trying to get better with every sortie you fly or it's going to be a very, very long climb to the top.
There are three types of experience points – pilot, aircraft, and free experience. Pilot and aircraft experience are just what they sound like and are granted in equal amounts. They go to the individual pilot or aircraft that flew that particular mission. That means if you use Pilot A for one flight, then use a different pilot for another, they do *not* share the same experience pool (the same goes for individual aircraft). Any experience earned by the aircraft can be used to research upgrades for it or converted into free experience (by using tokens) so it may be used for research upgrades by any other aircraft. Simple enough right? Well, it breaks down even further.
When you're first starting out with any aircraft, the experience works exactly as I described above. After you've researched all the available upgrades for any given aircraft, the pilot of that particular craft will have an option listed under them called, “Accelerate crew training”. If this box is checked, then instead of splitting a mission's experience award equally between the pilot and the aircraft, all of the mission experience will go to the crewman with the least amount of experience instead.
If you choose to have all of the experience you earn go to the crew you will no longer be earning any experience to progress through the tech tree and won't be climbing your way to the higher tier aircraft. As a result, the decision on when and how much to train your crew can be a tough one.
Personally, I recommend holding off training a pilot until the third tier of aircraft or higher. It's not going to take too long to get to tier three and you'll still have plenty of other available players to queue up with so you won't be waiting long in between matches. I've heard some players talk about waiting even longer, and if they want to, that's fine. Be aware though that the higher tiers have some very long wait times for matches. Tiers I through IV can be grouped together in matches so you might even want to wait until you reach Tier IV, but I wouldn't wait any longer than that.
Whenever you do decide to start training your pilot, there are a couple of ways you can go about doing the initial training. All pilots start out with their basic training at 50%. This means they're fresh out of flight school and will perform decently. The next stage of training is 75%. You can do it the old fashioned way by earning the experience or paying 40,000 credits to instantly get it. The training will improve the way your plane responds when you're flying, but if you've taken my advice so far and held off on training a pilot, then I advise you skip the 75% stage.
By the time you unlock your Tier III (or IV) plane, you should have earned 200 tokens or be very close to doing so. Tokens can be earned each day by winning missions and destroying enemy aircraft. If you have the tokens, simply purchase the 100% training level. Everything in World of Warplanes is a tradeoff and this is no different. Do you save them now and improve the way your planes handles, or do you save them in hopes of getting by and having tokens later? Since they can be earned each day and get easier to earn as your personal piloting skills improve, I vote to use them now.
Once you get a pilot to 100% in their basic training, they are then promoted and given access to a secondary skill. After choosing that skill, pilots will need to earn an additional 200,000 experience points in order to be able to choose a mastery skill. While it sounds tempting, unless you're going to stick with your current plane for an extremely long time, I'd ignore the mastery level skills and just stick with one of the initial skill choices.
Skill Set One
So far, I have yet to see a real use for the Stamina skill (unless perhaps it would be beneficial for a Navigator or Gunner). The Increased View Range though is handy. The difference between being the hunter and being prey is often the result of who sees who first. Seeing your opponent before they can see you allows you to choose the optimal vector of approach to intercept and take them down.
To get to that point though, you need to train your pilot so take all of the notes I've given you here and get cracking! And if you see Dalmarus on the U.S. server, feel free to say hello if you're on my team or try to take me down if you're not. Either way, I'll see you in the skies!