2023 was a big year for War Thunder, marked by community upheaval and sweeping changes so let’s go through the changes made in the largest updates of 2023 in chronological order.
January: Coming off the heels off the December 2022 Christmas Event and update January was a quiet month containing only the devblogs for 3 vehicles the Amx-50 (TO90/30), the Bf-109 F-4 for Italy and the Soviet Project 183 M-21 patrol boat, these were the top vehicle prizes for the latest Battle Pass at the time “Royal Guard”
February: There was a large quality of life update for the CDK early in the month which came as a welcome surprise to mapmakers and modders alike, I don’t know the minutiae of the changes but the CDK had been long left unchanged so any attention given to updating it is a good thing.
February also brought us the first major update of the year; “Sky Guardians”. The “Sky Guardians” update was centered around improvements and changes to all missile types such as ATGMs, SAM and AAMs in an attempt to bring them further in line with reality and improve some gameplay aspects.
Many new vehicles were also added such as the F-16AJ, Pantsir, Yak-141 and USS Nevada.
March: Not much was added or changed in March except for changes to how radars and Fox 1 and 3 missiles were modelled, it was claimed these changes made it more realistic.
April: The major additions in April were changes to the damage models of the Su-25 and A-10 that had been previously added in previous updates and an event with the rewards being the QN506 Chinese infantry support vehicle, A7K Corsair 2, Scherbakov light cruiser and the French AMD 35 SA35.
April also brought us a new Battle Pass “Her Majesty’s Hussar”, this Battle Pass included the prizes of a British Centurion Mk.2,Swedish J-26 David and the German S-701 E-boat.
May: May is another major update month alongside a smaller Victory Day event giving us the Soviet BM-31-12 but the big news was in the addition of the F-14B Tomcat, High Drag bombs and the J-8F.
May however, was not without its major controversies which has left lasting and I think a positive impact on the game, this being the proposed economy rework that Gaijin suggested and the massive community ridicule it got which resulted in the game being review bombed to hell and back.
The review bombing forced Gaijin to change their approach to updates and community feedback and gave us a roadmap which we will look at later.
At the end of the month there were more changes to ATGMs to bring some more improvements to their gameplay and aiming.
June: June brought us the Roadmap which showed us Gaijin’s plans for the game up to November of 2023, these included major changes to matchmaking (most notably making night battles more optional), large improvements to FPE and parts, Changes to SL and RP gain and changes or optimisations to existing maps to make them better for gameplay.
June also contained the “La Royale” update which was relatively small but introduced the French navy to the game.
July: This was just a Battle Pass month with the release of “Armour Breaking Ambusher” in which its top prize was the German SPz 12-3 with the smaller prizes being the Japanese B7A2 and German MC 385 E-Boat.
August: August was mostly dev blogs for the next update in “Sons of Attila”
September: The release of “Sons of Attila” brought many high tier vehicles such as the Leclerc AZUR, Mig-29SMT, F-16C and the now infamous VIDAR.
As per the roadmap there was a lot of slimming down of the Tech Trees in this update with many vehicles being foldered and reduced in cost alongside increases in some premium vehicle’s rank and cost.
October: October’s update coincided with the release of a new Battle Pass containing the Italian Breda 90/53, British HMS Gay Archer and British Strikemaster Mk. 88.
Kings of Battle is the major update released in October, marked by the additions of many heavy artillery guns and SPGs to the mid and high ranks such as the M109 for many nations but also fan favourite aircraft like the F-111A Aardvark.
Smaller but still important changes were also added such as improving fire and forget ATGMs and HMDs for F-16C/D
November: November has just one addition, the Tog 2 which was added for a limited time during the “Dreams Come True” event marking War Thunder’s 11th birthday.
December: The final month contained a lot of fun for those of you who enjoy top/high tier battles with aircraft like the F-15A, Mirage 4000, JAS39 Gripen and Su-27 in the air with the Leopard 2A7V, M1A2SEP V2 TUSK II and T-90M to name a few.
There were a few controversies with the December update such as spawl liners being added but only to Russian vehicles despite western tanks having them far more prominently and for decades longer or the M1 Abrams tank having less armour than it should.
Many of the changes on the Roadmap that were implemented in 2023 were very positive for the game with additions such as improved RP and SL rewards for getting multiple kills in a game and having folded vehicles cost significantly less RP to get.
Controversies aside I personally think that 2023 was too focused on modern vehicles and not enough love shown to WW2 and cold war, however I think 2023 was a really good step forward regarding Gaijin’s community interactions and how the game can be shaped better by the players themselves.
Thank you for reading, be sure to leave comments and share with your friends.
Most images used come from Warthunder.com