Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Real Cost of Upgrading your Plane in Version 5

Cost of a fully upgraded plane in version 4.2:
Total Cost = Cost of Plane + 13,900 credits + 162 coins
Lets assume that you earn the credits and buy all the coins:
Typical cost for a plane:  205 coins = $9.10
Cost to fully upgrade plane = 162 coins = $7.20
Total cost if you paid for it all in version 4.2= $16.30

Cost of a fully upgraded plane in version 5:
Total Cost = Cost of Plane + 13,900 credits + 2165 medals
Lets assume that you earn the credits and buy all the medals:
Typical cost for a plane:  205 coins = $9.10
Cost to fully upgrade plane = 2165 medals = ~500 coins = $22
Total cost if you paid for it all in version 5 = $31.10

Difference:  $14.80 increase = 91% increase

Talk about inflation

Yes, you can earn medals, just like you could earn coins, but any way that you look at this, its a fleecing.  My recommendation is to have one favorite fully upgraded plane in each class and just enjoy the game with those planes.  The concept of a "hangar" full of planes is great for Z2 but not so good for your wallet.  Lets hear your thoughts.

Monday, March 18, 2013

VS Match Appears to be Fixed

It appears that Z2 has finaly fixed the VS Auto-matches.  At least for me, I've been getting very quick matches this evening.  Finally!!  How is it working for you?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Upgrade Guide Updated for Medals

A common mistake that many beginners make is not upgrading their aircraft.  I remember when I finally saved up after weeks to buy my Thresher.  I was fired up and went and took my first flight, expecting to demolish my competition with my speed and agility.  Much to my surprise, I lost my first 3 matches with my Thresher, all to lower skilled opponents!  Unfortunately, the dirty little secret about these jets is that when you buy or save up credits to finally get a plane, you are really only half way there.  To really compete effectively and have a satisfying experience, you will want to eventually fully upgrade your plane.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  It is much more beneficial to fully upgrade a plane than to fly a "better" plane that is not upgraded.

For this reason, I recommend that a beginner stick with one or two planes and focus on upgrading them.  This will cost you credits and will also cost you coins  medals.  Keep in mind Tapjoys offers of free coins - they really are a great way to avoid shelling out cash.  Next mothers day, order some flowers thru FTD tapjoy and earn 251 coins!

One thing that many players are not aware of is that once you buy a plane, all upgrades for that class of plane are the same from there forward (although you do have to upgrade each plane separately unfortunately).  There are 3 upgrade trees, one for each class of plane.   Also, all upgrades cost the same, no matter what class of plane you have.  The map of upgrade costs are as follows (UPDATED FOR version 5.0 now showing the medals required instead of coins):

Upgrade Tree as of 3/16/13

As you can see in the cumulative totals on the right, if you want to get ALL of the upgrades it will cost you 13,900 credits and 162 coins NOW 2165 MEDALS as of the version 5.0 update.  That is over 500 coins (if you buy the medals).  You can earn them, but it will take a LONG time to earn 2165 medals

As for upgrade percentage boosts, they are identical for each class of plane.  The only difference in fully upgraded planes of the same class are the initial increases that are advertised when you buy the plane.  For example the only difference between a fully upgraded Thresher and a fully upgraded Annihilator is the advertised numbers as seen below:

Here is the table of upgrades for each class of plane that you can expect if you receive for a full upgrade of your plane:

Upgrade Table per Plane Class

You can see how the weapons class planes focuses on weapons related upgrades, agility class planes on speed, acceleration upgrades... and defense class on armor.   It took me awhile to learn how this works but.thanks goes out to WarWolf[Beta and Floris for some of the postings that I've found that help explain this!

Metalstorm 5.0 is Released

Z2 has launched Metalstorm Online 5.0 as of  this past friday.  At first glance, it looks like there are several fairly big changes.

1.  Multiplayer matchmaking is supposedly improved.  From the looks of Z2s facebook page, the matchmaking is off to a rough start with many players waiting ... and waiting...   Hopefully there really is some improvement here once they work out the initial issues that they're having. From what I've read in some of the forums, this should be a big improvement in removing most of the hackers in this game!  They have switched to a new server which may cause auto-match waiting delays until things settle.  This morning I had to try a few times but eventually got a vs match so maybe it is improving.

Note from the CEO

2.  Boosts have been removed.    I didn't see the problem with boosts - added a little variation to the game, but alot of players didn't like them.  They are no more!

3.  New Currency.  "Medals" have been added.   Oh great, now we get to keep track of credits, coins and medals. 

Now I'm sure that the use of "medals" will enhance the playing experience of the game right??   Doubtful.  At first glance, it appears that all upgrades are now credit and medal driven which could be good since you can earn medals quicker than coins.  But the amount of medals needed for the upper level upgrades look very excessive.  See the following info from one reader (thanks for the post!):

From my calculation, it now takes 1865 medals + credit coins to fully upgrade a plane. (correct me if wrong)  It use to take 160-170 blue coins to fully upgrade a plane and now they're like asking 450 blue coins for the 1800+ medals...? Like wtf?

On the good side, all you have to worry now is to save blue coins just to buy new planes (and/or buy coin missiles meh).

Places to find medals:
Campaign - 10 medals per stage (only tested the first two. I received no medals when I didn't complete the three missions for the stage)

Versus - none, or 1-15 medals; 5 medals/game on average(?). This is based on winning all my matches and I usually received them every 3-4 matches with different opponents.

Survival - the best place to collect medals, esp. if you can reach wave 20.
When I reach wave 20, I usually gain 35 medals on average at 80% chance (sometimes it doesn't reward you). So far, I've experimented and received 15-20 medals (similarly around 80% chance) when I gave up sometime in between 13-19 waves.

Thanks again - great post!

4.  Additional bug fixes, crash fixes, stability and graphics improvements ...   I hate when developers add this line (which is pervasive).  It is just lazy.  Give a few examples as to what your talking about here.   At least list one example of what bug you fixed, what crash situation you fixed, what stability issue that you fixed, what graphic improvement that you made.  Else don't mention it at all.

Overall, version 5.0 does not get me very excited.  I find it a bit discouraging that Z2 again is looking at new ways to fleece its players.  Getting rid of hackers is great and long overdue, don't get me wrong, but where are the cool new capabilities?  New campaigns?

Lets hear from you guys - Are you seeing less hackers in vs matches?  Are there bright spots to version 5.0 that I'm missing?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Upcoming Plane Release Schedule

Thanks to Liu Howard for posting.  Below is the upcoming plane release schedule.  These are all re-releases.  Links have been made to the plane reviews on this site to allow quick access.  Start saving those coins for your favorite:

03/11~03/17 R-19  Cost: 205 coins
03/18~03/24 WM-10 Cost: 180 coins
03/25~03/31 TK-44 Cost: 205 coins
04/01~04/07 FireFly Cost: 205 coins
04/08~04/14 NV-7 Cost: 205 coins
04/15~04/21 LM-22 Cost: 205 coins
04/22~04/28 E-41 Cost: 160 coins
04/29~05/05 F-301 Cost: 205 coins
05/06~05/12 M-53 Cost: 205 coins

Monday, March 4, 2013

Make Way for the Helix

P-33 Helix - Red White and Blue
The Helix has been re-released .  

As we look at the Helix, we see that we have a plane that is tied for BEST-IN-FLEET in Missile tracking - tied with the Liberty.  Damage will be same as the Hawken (thats a good thing).  Outstanding Lock Range (not quite as good as the Eagle but close) and lock speed that is the same as the Hawken.  Overall, a formidable Weapons Class plane.  Missile tracking especially is a potent stat - more kills and less misses.

At 180 coins, it is a decent plane but honestly, I am at the point where I really don't see the point in buying plane after plane.  My advice is to perfect your skills with the planes that you have and then fully UPGRADE a select few planes.  Buying the plane of the week is really not going to improve your skills.

As you can see, of course, we have another re-skinned Hawken here.  The skies have blackened with all of the re-skinned hawkens flying over the metalstorm landscape like swarms of locust.