Monday, February 27, 2012

FA-119 Reaper - WOW


What else to say but WOW - this plane looks like something special.  Plane of the week is a re-skinned Wraith (why a 1960's style F-4 Phantom frame Z2?  cmon - crank out a hot new airframe already!), but anyway - don't let the old, low level weapons class frame fool you- this thing is agility class extrordinaire.   Here is a breakdown of the stats:

Damage:  Best in class damage - greater than the Mako or Spectre.  Still half as much damage as a good weapons class plane, but for agility class, it doesn't get any better.

Agility:  Can you say BEST IN FLEET?  3% greater agility than a Thresher and 1% greater than the discontinued Spectre.  Not only best in fleet, but looks like the MOST AGILE PLANE THAT Z2 HAS EVER RELEASED.  WOW!  Get ready for sharp banks and quick turns - should be an outstanding dogfighter.

Speed:  As if agility wasn't enough, this plane is also BEST IN FLEET for speed!  3% faster than the Thresher and 1% faster than the discontinued Spectre.  This sucker is SMOKING FAST!  Like agility, this looks like the FASTEST PLANE THAT Z2 HAS EVER RELEASED.

Armor:  As if all the above wasn't enough, this sucker has +5% armor.  This is the only agility class plane in the fleet with armor.

Compared to a Thresher, the only down side of the Reaper is that it does not have the evasion or the energy that the Thresher has.  But the extra armor should help compensate for that.

See PLANE COMPARISON TABLES for detailed assessment of all the planes performance ratings including the Reaper which has been added!

What else can I say?  If you are willing to pay the 205 coins, you will have what  could be the best agility class dog fighter out there. Looking forward to hearing from any readers who buy this speedster - let us know your experience!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Z2Live has just released version 4.0.5.

3 items were listed (sorry didn't get a very good screenshot of the update description - forgot to hit the "More" button):

1.  Looks like the update makes an attempt to improve the versus mode auto-matchmaking so that you will play against players of similar skill ratings more often.    Does that mean I can't get anymore 9-0 wins over guys flying Tempests with skill ratings of 600?  My self esteem is going to take a beating!  :-)   Seriously, sounds like this will provide a better competitive environment - time will tell as more people get the upgrade.
Per comments on this post, it looks like everyone with a skill rating over 3000 all will get lumped in the same bucket - too bad, the groupings should go all the way up to at least 10,000 in my opinion.

2.  Two additional entry level planes added (see below).  A re-skinned Talon and a re-skinned Paladin.  It looks like Z2 wants to get beginners to start accumulating different planes in their hangers early in their "careers" so that they will hopefully get hooked on the game and play more.   

 The D-21 Falcon appears to be an incremental step up from the Annihilator, giving a little bit more Agility and throwing in some energy, all for the modest price of 1500 credits.

The D-21 Wartusk looks like a poor mans Paladin but as a twist, you get +10% overheat limit which as far as I can see, no other Weapons Class plane offers (none have any overheat limit improvements).  This will offer best-of-fleet overheat limit of +60% fully upgraded.  This is handy for campaigns and maybe survival mode but I don't see overheat limit as extremely valuable in versus mode (as always, chime in if you disagree!)

Both planes have been added to the Comparison Guide - check it out!

3.  The third change in 4.0.5 is simply listed as an umbrella statement that numerous bugs and fixes were made.  Assume that this will improve lag, but we can only hope!

Please comment away if you see specific changes/improvement/differences in 4.0.5 that are noteworthy and I will try to update this post as they become evident!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Achievement Board - Reference

Below is the achievement list for reference.

Most of these are self explanatory.  The one that I had trouble with was:
Buzz The Tower:  In a campaign, just fly close to your OWN aircraft carriers tower.  For some reason, I was thinking it meant buzz the enemies tower.  And yes, I still need to make it to level 20 in survivor mode.  I think that I've made it to level 18 but haven't really played it very much - should focus and nail that one sometimes soon!  Any tips for survivor mode success, let me know!  :-)

Monday, February 13, 2012


Just wanted to send a quick thank you to all of the readers.  I've really enjoyed creating this guide and hope that you are finding it useful and entertaining.  I was originally hoping to make a few dollars from the ads on these pages but that doesn't seem to be happening.  I shouldn't be too surprised though as I almost never click on ads either when I'm browsing!  I've heard that the best way to get ad revenue is to do a blog on woman's topics like relationships or dieting - don't think that is going to happen in this lifetime!!  Anyway, glad that you all are visiting and reading - I will endeavor to continue posting informative topics on the best fighter game out there!



Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mission 5 - Attack on Port Crescent

Welcome to the Markovian Main Event!

Congratulations!  You have made your way to the final and most difficult mission of the Markovian Campaign. You have finally arrived at Port Crescent with your armada and are ready to invade and take back this port from the rebel forces.   Z2Live has done a fine job on the design of this mission – it has multiple layers that you will have to work thru in a well designed port city complete with many detailed buildings, factories, bridges, sea walls, airport, tunnels and a town square that you will eventually have to take down if you are to succeed in this mission.

For this mission, it is a toss up as to which class of plane to use.  It is a long mission with many adversaries, so a defense class plane comes in handy to stay alive to the end.  The down side of using a defense class plane is that you may have trouble protecting your troops with less firepower.  The Hawken or similar weapons class plane will give you the best chances of making it thru the mission with all bonuses but an Arbiter will definitely be an easier ride.

Phase 1:   Sea Battle at the entrance of Port Crescent
You start this mission approaching the port with your fleet.  You and the Helios squadron will face 2 destroyers, 6 ground artillery (3 on each side of the port opening), and a few planes.  I usually focus on taking out the 6 ground units first.  This allows me to avoid getting hit by side fire when attacking the destroyers.  I usually don’t pay much attention to the enemy planes unless they happen to fall into my field of view then I will fire on them, but usually don’t pursue.  The key in this phase of the mission is to avoid taking too much damage.  If you get beat up here, you will have a hard time making it thru the next 5 phases!
I chose an Arbiter this time - helped keep me alive during all the screen shots!
Usually try to clear out the sea wall first

After the sea wall support is gone, I focus on the destroyers

Phase 2:  Deployment of the Assault team
After you complete phase 1, your carrier will dock and an assault team of 5 tanks will be deployed.  Your job is to protect this assault team as they advance thru the port to the town square.  Try to keep all 5 alive thru the mission as this will give you some Meteor missiles as a bonus at the end.

Also, at this point, you will hear for the first time from the “Matron Mother”.  This is an angry governess with a lot on her mind and is not happy with the legion!  (see from the banter below).  My only gripe here is that you cannot skip thru some of this dialog.  If you like to play this mission often to get the credits, you will be forced to listen to the Matron Mothers diatribe over and over – come on Z2Live, what are you doing to us????

If you play this a few times, you'll know this part by memory

As for the mission, your first priority will be the airport to your right.  Several planes will be taking off to fight against you.  If you are quick, you will be able to take out at least one before it is in the air.  You will then have to dogfight these planes.  NEWS FLASH:  Thanks to the commenters, if you blow up the airport BEFORE the carrier docks (phase 1), these planes will all be destroyed early and you will not have to fight them!   After that, keep an eye on the assault team as they will run into a small force of ground units before the low bridge.  Not too hard to deal with as long as long as you provide air support!

Hit the planes at the airport first

First resistance for tanks - if you have an angle like this, you'll wipe them out quickly

Phase 3:  Engagement at the first factory
After your assault team crosses the first low bridge, you will encounter the first factory and face another series of ground units including a few tanks.  With diligent air support, you should be able to take them out fairly easily. 

Resistance at 1st factory - not too bad if you don't stir up hornets nest by shooting at factory at this phase (do it later)
You will receive cannon ammo as a bonus if you blow up this factory along with the other one.  I recommend that you hold off firing upon the factory until your assault team has moved away from it, since firing on the factory will flush out a whole new bunch of tanks and ground units that will make your job of protecting your team that much more difficult.

After you take out the ground units, you will then proceed thru a dark tunnel up to the higher bridge.  I’ve never tried flying a plane into the tunnel and am curious if anyone else has?  I am guessing that you will blow up, but have never tried to find out!  NEWS FLASH:  Thanks to the commenters - if you fly in the tunnel, you will come out the others side!  As for the village itself, I have tried exploring the other sides of the mountains around the port to see if there are any other hidden items, but have never found any.  It seems that Z2 has not placed any surprises out there in these missions.  If any readers know of any, please let us all know!

Phase 4:  Crossing the high bridge
Once you move up to the top near the high bridge, the Matron Mother will again chime in and command a destroyer to take you on.  The destroyer will emerge from around the corner of the back harbor and is easy pickings.  A side note:  you will get an easy badge if you fly under both the low bridge and the high bridge.

Destroyer comin' round the bend folks

Floating units are easy pickins (if its a bug free run)

After blowing up the destroyer, the assault team will begin to cross the high bridge.  At this point a series of floating rafts appear with artillery on it.  You should be able to quickly take them out, although I have run across a bug occasionally where these units don’t seem to want to die despite more than enough attacks against them.  Curious if anyone else has run into this issue?

Phase 5:  Engagement at the second factory
After the high bridge, you will approach the second factory.  Just like the first factory, you will be met with a series of resistance.  My recommendation is to take them out and avoid firing on the factory until your troops have passed by.  You will have ample time to blow up the factories when your assault team is going thru the tunnels and up to the higher level (this strategy applies to both the first and second factory).   Another side note – you can blow up the airport too if you’d like, but it doesn’t seem to give you any benefit.  I have not found anything else in the port that can be blown up – have any of you?  I’ve even tried to blow up the Legion carrier, but it appears to ignore friendly fire.

Second factory (this time, destroyed it early while tanks were crossing low bridge to first factory)
Taking a few shots at the Legion carrier - that will really chap Durants hide

Phase 6:  Final Engagement at the central square.
After the long slog, you are almost done with this marathon mission.  As you approach the square, you will face a few ground units and also 2 tanks that pop up on each side of the square as you get closer.  Finish them all off as fast as possible as it sucks to lose a tank at this point in the mission after you’ve come this far!  Once you take this last resistance out, congratulations, you have completed the last of the Markovian Campaign missions!   There is some final chit chat between Durant and the Matron Mother and then it’s a wrap.

Final phase - taking out resistance at the town square

Matron Mother chimes in one last time
Durants final remarks

Never quite clear what this means - is that Copperhead sighing because he is not going to get a promotion?


Overall, the Markovian Campaign was a great first campaign.  My recommendation would be to have the next campaign be more difficult and offer a variety of scenes.  Perhaps have a mission in a dense city full of high rise buildings, or have a mission in a tall forest where you can fly below tree level.   The canyon in mission 4 was interesting – that would be a great place to have versus matches.   It is unclear when/if Z2 is going to have more campaigns but I sure hope so!

Honest, I do get the tanks there safely usually when I'm not doing screen shots :-)

Friday, February 10, 2012


Nothing beats a cool new plane with cutting edge performance ratings.  I've compiled a wish list of new planes for you to vote on (place your vote on the right).  Maybe Z2Live will take note.  (feel free to write in your own idea as a comment).  Enjoy!

Final Tally in Poll:

1.  F-117 Nighthawk - aka, the Woblin Goblin:   How about a TRUE stealth plane with like 90% stealth rating and 2 bisno missiles (better make them count)?
2.  SR-71 Blackbird - yeah it was a reconnaissance jet, but it was just so friggin fast!  You could make it agility with like 100% speed increase and no other advantages.
3.  The classic F-104 Starfighter from the 60's - ahead of its time - would be a good agility addition
4.  First plane to break the sound barrier - the X-1.  Relive Chuck Yeagers thrill ride, complete with instability and turbulence!
5.  X-15:  Mach 6.7 to the edge of outer space - this X plane rocked!  You could make it 1000% speed and 0% armor :-)
6.  B-2 Bomber - if batman had a plane, it would be this.  Weapons class all the way with high stealth and high missile damage
7.  The Wright Brothers Flyer - started it all (ok, maybe make it a low end defense class or throw it into a campaign mission as a joke)

8.  Unmanned Stealth Drones - work these into the game somehow - maybe in new campaigns

9.  Star Wars X-Wing Fighter - they really do exist as proof in this super secret, never released photo!  Laser fire beats cannons any day.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


I just scored a spanking new Arbiter for only 15,000 credits!  Whats up with that??  Not sure if this is a permanent discount or a temporary sale, but Z2Live has lowered the cost of the Hawken, Thresher & Arbiter by >50% discount.  Any other discounts out there??  (its hard to tell if you already own the plane).

Thanks Z2!

My guess is that Z2 is not doing this out of the goodness of their heart but are hoping that players will spend less time accumulating credits and more time buying coins for upgrades.

WAS 60K NOW 20K!

WAS 54K NOW 22.5K!

WAS 50K NOW 15K!