Friday, March 30, 2012

Tips on Avoiding BISNOS

Probably one of the single most difficult things to do in MSWM is avoiding an onslaught of Bisnovat R-40 missiles fired at you from long range.  Want to dedicate this posting to see who out there has the best tips to avoid getting killed by Bisnos.  I don't have a magic answer (hoping that maybe someone out there does!)

Below are my tips:
1.  You want to get close to you opponent FAST so you can engage in a circling match - you will do much better at close range against Bisnos than long range.
2.  Go full throttle to get closer to the player - I usually try flying not directly at them however but slightly off-angle, say 30 degrees from directly at them.  It seems that if you fly directly at them, the missile will track you all that much better.
3.  At the last second, I usually try a hard upwards or downwards maneuver or swipe/roll left/right to avoid getting hit.
4.  I've sometimes tried long sweeping or sporadic turns as the missile approaches, but it seems that those don't help that much.

Also - what about cutting against the grain of the missile flight??  What I mean is if the missile is curving towards you, make your roll the opposite direction?  I've added the following diagrams to try and describe this - curious as to your thoughts on this approach:

If anyone has any tips, please post.   I will also post a poll on the right of the page on banning Bisnos - please vote!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Interesting Artwork on Z2Lives "Official" MSWM site

New website hosted by Z2LIVE as the "Official" MSWM site.  As opposed to this site which is most definitely the UNOFFICIAL Site!     I guess this site is the evil twin.  :-)

Site is at the following address:

I am guessing that you will hear the more "official" company line and less objectivity, but it is worth a look. 

The site has a discussion forum (another place to vent and complain similar to the Z2Live MSO Facebook page I imagine).  The main thing of interest that I saw was the weapons section.  Some new artwork and new spec numbers - they've done away with the percentages and looks like they are finally showing the "real" specs as War Wolf Beta has been pointing out the inaccuracies for quite awhile now.  I don't believe that any of the weapons have actually changed but they are now just better characterizing them.

Take a look - if nothing else, the new artwork is nice.  Curious why they didn't insert this into the recent version release.

New artwork and numerical spec values for the missiles
A new look at our missiles with more detailed and more accurate spec values

New artwork and numerical spec values for the cannons:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Paladin is Re-Released

Z2Live has re-released the Paladin today with the same specs as the previous release.  See previous review by clicking here.  This is a great plane if you love to use cannon fire during dogfights. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

New Competition - Sky Gamblers Air Supremacy. How does it compare to MSWM?

As many of you know, a new dogfighting game has recently been released named Sky Gambler Air Supremacy.   I am without a doubt a MSWM fan as I've shown with this site, but I am also a big fan of dogfighting and flight sim games in general, and I believe that most of you readers are too.  As such, I felt obligated to take a look at this new challenger and see if it is as good as it has been advertised to be.  I was torn about doing this though - what if I give it a great review - than many might stop playing MSWM and stop visiting this site!  I thought about it and decided, screw it, the truth deserves to be told either way.  I will try to give an objective review here as to how it compares to MSWM. 

First of all, this is not Sky Gamblers first dogfighting game - a few months ago they released Sky Gambler Rise of Glory.  I bought this game for $2 or $3.  All-in-all, I was underwhelmed by the game.  It was more of a WWI biplane dogfighting game.  Gameplay and graphics were mediocre in my opinion.  Air Supremacy, however, looks like a much grander effort from this company (BANDAI NAMCO).

Cost:  Unlike MSWM, this is not a free game.  Cost for Sky Gambler Air Supremacy is $4.99 on the App Store, but on the other hand, I have not yet found any in-app purchase options, so in the long run it may be a better deal than the "fremium" approach of MSWM.

Lets start with the graphics and terrain detail.  I hate to say it, but Air Supremacy blows MSWM out of the water in this department.  Visual detail is stunning.  Maps seem almost endless with a variety of desert, city, arctic, jungle, ocean & harbor terrains (from what I could see there are about 5 overall maps available).  The rendering is a generation above MSWM.  There is also weather: haze, rain, flying through clouds.  The rain and clouds are especially amazing - very realistic flying thru clouds with rain drops hitting cockpit glass.  Opponents also start to smoke when damaged and explosions are more realistic with planes flying apart into pieces when blown up.  Flying thru the skyscrapers is also an adventure.  Enough of my talk though, take a look for yourself:

Graphics Verdict:  No contest - SGAC takes it

Fly among the skyscrapers is pretty cool

Amazing level of detail, many buildings, trees, lighthouses, ships...

You can see each branch of the palm trees as you buzz over them

Sky Gamblers water texture is unique - MSWM looks more realistic to me but SGAS is interesting

Game Types:
Sky Gamblers Air Supremacy (SGAS) definitely has more varieties of ways to play than MSWM. Game types are as follows:
Campaigns:  There are 10 campaigns (that I could see).   
Dogfight Missions:  You can choose from 100 (yes 100) "Missions" to dogfight in.  Most of the missions are locked for a beginner and assume that you work your way up thru them.
Survival Mode
Free For All
Team Deathmatch
Capture the Flag
Defend the Base

Not clear on the details on all these game modes yet, but needless to say, there is alot of variety here and features that I've been wishing MSWM would add for a long time. 

You also have the option to play against opponents online or against local opponents on your wifi network which is a nice feature.  There are game rooms, options for private matches, etc...   I have found that you may get a "waiting for players" message for some of the rooms (as expected with such a new game). 

Game Type Verdict:  Advantage SGAS.  Many more types of game play.

10 Campaigns to pick from
Alot of Game Types to Pick From

Flight Controls:
SGAS has more advanced and realistic flight controls than MSWM.  In "Simulation Mode" you have both yaw and roll control (tilt left/right for roll and there is a separate control stick on the bottom left of the screen that controls yaw and thrust (yaw left right on stick, thrust up/down).  Unlike MSWM, if you don't maintain thrust, you can stall, similar to a real plane.  Also, if you perform too sharp of a turn you can "black out" and the screen will actually become black for a short amount of time.   There are also more advanced swiping maneuvers.  Swipe screen left/right causes you to do a sharp left or right turn.  You can single swipe up/down or double swipe up/down for a variety of direction changes (maneuvers named cobra, herbst, 180...).  You also have the option to eject from the plane.  Didn't see any roll maneuvers like in MSWM.

You can also view the flight from multiple locations, from within cockpit or outside of cockpit (like MSWM).

Also, there are different control modes - you can set beginner or more advanced flight control as seen below:

The "Casual Accelerometer" mode is much more like MSWM and will seem more familiar and easier to use if you are a MSWM player.  I find this mode much easier and more enjoyable to use - the Simulator Mode tends to be more chaotic and harder to control as a beginner. 

Flight Controls Verdict:  It depends - if you like simpler flight controls then you'll like MSWM.  If you like more advanced flight controls, you'll like SGAS which has more variety and detailed control.

SGAC Control Settings

Plane Types and Specs:
SGAC has15 planes to pick from (including prop planes?!) and each plane is available in 3 versions (usually same name with a letter added such as RFJ20A).  These planes are all locked however and it appears that you have to earn your way up to get more planes, even the lettered version of the same plane (they appear to be unlocked as you play more and pass thru levels).    As far as performance specs for the planes, it looks like there are only 5 specs per plane (much less than the ~25 performance parameters for each MSWM plane).   The 5 plane performance stats are: Weapons, Armor, Aerodynamics, Detection & Reliability.   Assume that Aerodynamics has to do with speed and agility.  Reliability has to do with equipment failure - every now and then your radar or some other piece of equipment will fail on you.   Also of particular note, it looks like NONE of these planes are available for sale - they all need to be unlocked by advancing thru levels and missions.

I also do not see any upgrade trees on the game so it appears that the planes are as-is with no further upgrade paths except for the lettered versions of the plane that you also earn as you play (lettered version has better performance than original in some areas but seem to decrease in others sometimes).  It is also not possible to see any numerical values for the performance values - the most that you see is the small white bars for the 5 parameters as you see in the figures below with green bars added on for the lettered versions of the plane.

Plane Type Verdict:   MSWM appears to have more planes and much richer performance differences between planes than SGAS, but its nice to not have to BUY your planes but earn them instead in SGAS.

Weapons Types and Specs:
From what I've seen so far, there are only 3 weapons on SGAS.  There is one type of cannon, one type of single target missiles and a multi-target missile.  Multi-target missiles are used when you have several targets locked at the same time - you can shoot a missile at all of them at once.    It does not look like there are more advanced missiles or cannons like in MSWM unless they are hidden and show up later as you advance.  There are also flare countermeasures that you can launch when a missile is approaching you.

There is also a radar in the top right corner that shows where all planes are located along with missiles tracked on the radar as they approach you which is a nice feature although when playing any greater than 1-on-1 it quickly becomes data overload.

The graphics of the missiles firing and cannon fire is not as good as MSWM in my opinion.  The screen is very busy at times and it is not always easy to tell if you have shot a missile or not.  When you hit your opponent with cannon fire, it is hard to tell besides a pinging sound that you hear and hard to see your cannon fire as you shoot.  You definitely don't light your opponent up with cannon fire as in MSWM.  Missile reload speed seems to be hard to figure out too - sometimes seems like you can shoot again quickly, other times the missile fire buttons seem unresponsive on SGAS.

Weapons Verdict:  I am split on this one.  Not having Bisnos and the other advanced weapons is pleasure on SGAS but MSWM still seems to have a better feel for battle and shooting, especially with cannon fire.

Dogfighting and Overall Game Play:
SGAC is more of what I would imagine a real engagement would be like (aka, a complex, difficult affair).  There are various icons, names and health levels over friendly (blue) and unfriendly forces (red).  There are indications of missile locked onto you, beeping as it approaches, radar to track, friendly forces to track vs unfriendly forces, red triangles vs orange triangles vs gray triangles for missile lock on your opponent.  All-in-all the screen is very busy and sometimes it is initially hard to figure out what is going on.  (update:  I've played for a few days now and it is much easier to understand once you get the swing of it).  I have also found myself getting more "airsick" flying in SGAS - turns and maneuvers appear sharper than MSWM and sometimes it gets disorienting when in "Simulator" mode.  I found that if I fly in "Casual Accerometer" flight control mode, it alleviates these issues.

At the end of each game, SGAS will present your with a list of stats of the battle which is nice, including accuracy rating, kill count...

There are also achievements, leaderboards and levels to advance in SGAS similar to MSWM. In SGAS you advance from a basic airman 3rd class (or something like that) up thru ranks of Ace and the ultimate level is "Sky Gambler".

Perhaps game play will become easier if I play more often, but for now the SGAS interface during battle is a little over the top.  MSWM is a simpler more direct engagement which is a good thing in my opinion.

I have also found it initially confusing to know if I am playing against a computer opponent or a real person online. The default "Play" options is actually against computer opponents although you'd never really know the difference in most cases.  To play online, you need to go to the Mutliplayer/Online option.

Also, dogfights tend to be more long distance in SGAS vs MSWM.  You tend not to have the close in engagements and circling matches - everything seems to be a bit more chaotic.  This may have to do with me being at beginner skill level, but not so sure.  The game seems to love many-to-many engagements more than one-on-one engagements - wasn't able to even find a one-on-one option in the online mode gamerooms available.

Rain & cloud effects

Orange triangle indicates single missile lock - red is multi-missile lock

Flying up thru raincloud

Explosions include bits of the plane flying apart as seen in upper right

Game Play verdict:  This depends on your preference.  If you like a pure and more simple dogfighting, then MSWM is better, especially for one-on-one flying against online opponents.  If you prefer a more complicated engagement with many enemies and more sensory input, then SGAS would be more to your liking.  Personally, I like to play as a mental break and MSWM is still more "fun" in my opinion.  Update:  I've played SGAS for a few days now and its "fun" factor has increased as I've learned to use it - I'd have to give it a tie as to fun factor and game play.

Overall Verdict:  As mentioned above, your preference will depend on your taste.  If you like basic one-on-one matchups without much fuss, than MSWM is best.  MSWM boils down the dogfight to its essence without needing to worry about too many controls and options.  If you want to get deeper into many campaigns, game modes, beautiful terrains, advanced controls & work your way thru unlocking items, than SGAS will be for you.  Overall, SGAS is an excellent game.  As mentioned, the graphics alone are amazing.  If I was Z2Live, I would be plenty worried.  Hopefully they can maintain the "fun" level of MSWM but also step up to this challenge and improve MSWM in the graphics and options department in order to compete.

Note:  Check back periodically - I will update this review as I play Sky Gambler Air Supremacy more.

Monday, March 12, 2012

New Heavyweight Arrives - The Sentinel

The official Sentinel has arrived (a reskinned Hawken with hot pink trim).  As for damage, Z2 didn't throttle back at all and are still posting this sucker at +17%,  all I have to say is HOLY SHIT!  At +17% this is BEST-IN-FLEET and BEST EVER RELEASED for damage.  A full 2% greater than the black eagle.  They did knock down Lock Range a little from the leaked version - it is now slightly lower than the black eagle but STILL, this is a hell of a weapons class plane.  Agility also downgraded some, now slightly lower than Hawken and Red Widow on Agility.   Armor is also lowered from leaked version, but this is still the only weapons class plane besides Paladin to bump up its armor.

Z2 has listened to some of the protests since the leaked version - the Sentinel is not TOO dominant, but don't be mistaken, this plane IS STILL VERY DOMINANT.  But, you'll have to ask yourself if you are willing to pay 205 coins plus all the upgrade costs - need to pick your favorites carefully if you have limited  cash.

The sentinel looks to pack the most punch of any weapons class plane in the fleet.   Hawken and others still will be better in the important missile reload speed category and have an edge with agility.  There are also other weapons class planes out there that have better lock accuracy.  But, as far as damage firepower, this is the new heavyweight in town, and as such, will have to be respected when met in the skies.


Released Version of Sentinel

Leaked Early Version of Sentinel
Hawken shown for comparison
Eagle shown for comparison

Not sure if I'm a big fan of the color scheme on this plane

Real life shot of an F-15 with the hot pink trim - I'm amazed that there really is a version with this paint scheme

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Do Better Planes make a Better Game??

My plane is better than yours, ha ha!

Now that we've seen the upcoming  new planes, there has been some lively discussion as to the fairness of offering planes with ever increasing performance values.  The strategy from Z2Live seems pretty clear to me - a slowly escalating arms race will constantly push players to feel the need to buy the latest and greatest planes or at least buy some expensive missiles in order to deal with the latest and greatest planes. 

Bisnos Anyone?
In a fair world, MSWM would have options to allow you to play versus matches on "standard" identical planes with "standard" identical weapons so that you can truly see who is the best player.  This would be a great option that many would like to see.  The problem with this approach is that Z2Live would not make any money from it.  If you remember, you didn't pay anything for MSWM in the first place, so they kinda need to make money somehow to pay their employees, the servers running the game, and all that kinda stuff.  Perhaps they could have a pay-to-play option where you get 10 "standard" matches for a dollar, or some such thing.  What do you think Z2?

My guess is that it wouldn't be that popular of an option except for the select top few.  The upgrade to 4.0.5, in some ways, I think, is less fun.  Don't get me wrong, it is great to play against players of similar skill, but every now and then it is a stress release to unload on some poor SOB.  That was actually part of the fun and no longer exists in the game.  Having a random mix of playing good AND bad players gave a little more variety.  Now almost ever match is hard work to squeak out a win!   I am sure that many will disagree, especially if it is important to you to increase your skill rating.

Players with high skill levels naturally are not thrilled by the new high performing planes that are emerging.  They have worked hard to hone their dogfighting skills and now some noob clown is going to take them out just because daddy bought them the latest plane and some Bisnos?  Unfortunately, I have a feeling that Z2Live is going to take the side of the noob clown.  Why?  Because the noob clown is the one spending the money and the Ace with 30,000 SR doesn't need to spend money - he can get buy just fine with stock weapons and basic planes. 

So where am I going with this posting?  Not sure.  Just opening up the points for discussion.  My prediction is a continuous stream of better planes to encourage spending.  Maybe, just maybe, Z2 will also focus on gaining new players by making the game BETTER.  We can only hope.  My list of better would include:

1.  More and harder campaigns
2.  Group play: 2 vs 2 versus matches, 5 vs 5... whole squadrons engage against each other!
3.  Survival death matches:  Start with 10 players, go to last man standing
4.  Automated online tournaments
5.  Standard plane/weapon matches as mentioned in this article
6.  Variety of environments for versus matches with more interesting obstacles and terrain to fight in

Any more ideas?  Lets hear em!  :-)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Juggernaut Arrives - but with a twist

I know guys, I know - its hard to get too excited about the Juggernaut

Well, Maverick and Goose are not going to be singing Great Balls of Fire tonight.  It looks like the stats on the Juggernaut has been tweaked from the leaked version (aka, watered down).  See picts below

Released Juggernaut

LEAKED Juggernaut

 The "New" Juggernaut ( still a reskinned Bobcat modeled after the F-14 Tomcat of Top Gun lore) is no longer the crowned official "STEALTH" plane - it now shares this title with the Arbiter at +12%.  A step in the direction of boring, in my opinion, with 2 of the performance levels downgraded.  Not sure why Z2 doesn't want to provide a true stealth plane, but the released Juggernaut dropped 2% from the leaked version.  Still, being tied for most stealthy, they should have chosen an F-22 or F-35 skin or crank out a F-117 skin and really make it interesting.

The Juggernaut still has the best agility of any defense class plane, but only slightly better than the Dragon (although still not very agile compared to agility class, but closer to weapons class levels).

Juggernaut maintains BEST IN FLEET and BEST EVER RELEASED for Armor - but with no extra regeneration, that isn't too much of a thrill.   Lock speed has been bumped up a bit from the leaked version.  It was hard for me to get too excited about the leaked version of this plane.  It is even HARDER for me to get excited about this watered down version.  Maybe the armor would be worth while if there is a new, incredibly hard campaign (doubtful).   As said before, my preference would be to jack the stealth up even higher and make a REAL stealth plane.  Overall Juggernaut is decent, but not ground breaking and definitely not worth 205 coins.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Switched back to all free site due to popular demand

Ok, it sounds like the readers have spoken and it's pretty clear that y'all are none too happy about the new change to the blog. I've done alot of reflection and thought and have decided to switch back to an all free format. Those of you who have already subscribed, send me an email and I will provide a refund. This blog has been a learning experience and I was interested to see if I could setup the site correctly as partial paid content. Everyone will once again be able to see all the content including tables and new leaked planes... except for the commenters that were nasty and hurt my feelings - you will be filtered.     Just kidding dudes, you will have access too, but lighten up a little!

Hope that you enjoy the site, especially the new leaked upcoming planes!

Friday, March 2, 2012


Major PROPS to SOUSOUCELL for the following scoop:  In the first hour after the release of version 4.0.5 last friday, Z2live accidentally screwed up and released the following 5 planes at once besides the Reaper. They quickly retracted, but SOUSOUCELL took some snapshots - great job!!! Those lucky few who bought them during that hour can still use them, while others will have to wait for their publishing date, which is within the next 8 weeks. So, without further delay, here are the LEAKED UPCOMING PLANES:


P-33 Helix
See dedicated Helix review now that it is released

FA-230 Sentinel
See separate Sentinel review - deleted review here since stats are now different.

J-35 Dynasty
 See separate Dynasty Review

FA-92 Odyssey
See separate Odyssey review

FA-144 Juggernaut - Leaked Version (which is different than released version)
See separate Juggernaut review - deleted review here since stats are now different.