Anyone like me, who grew up on navy warfare books and movies, will want to check out Wargaming’s title, World of Warships.
I have been gifted a code to join in the closed beta, and I must say, the quality of this game is outstanding.
It’s a very pretty game. The graphics are truly impressive, the sounds the same, and the feel of the ships is well executed.
There are similarities to World of Tanks, with the style of game in the same vein, the maps are similar in size, but that’s in scale to the size and speed of a warship as opposed to a tank.
Once again, we see different classes of ships to be trained up, but how these ships are played does not make the stretch from WoT.
Destroyers are small, weak armor, fast and agile. Their guns are fairly weak, but, they also fire torpedoes, which are used in a hit and run manner and can take out battleships and carriers solo. Their other defense mechanic is to make smoke, which combines with their concealment to make them elusive.
Cruisers are the mainstay of fleets. Like a medium tank, they have good DPS, fair armor and a reasonable speed. Some of the higher tiers can fire torpedoes, too. The cruisers other advantage is anti-aircraft weapons, which leads in nicely to the next class.
Carriers, the supreme platform for fire distribution. The ships themselves are slow, and have to hang back to avoid destroyers, which are the bane of their life. They are a multi-taskers delight, with squadrons of planes that spot, drop torpedoes and shoot down other aircraft.
Battleships are what anyone would sensibly expect. Big, lumbering brutes with heavy armor, slow speed and huge guns that shoot at things on the other side of the map. They launch spotter planes that aid their long-range main batteries. Those main batteries are even more awe-inspiring up close. If you get in too close to one with a cruiser, you will come second very quickly.
The main aim of any game like this is to provide fun fights, as rapidly as practical. Does this game deliver in that regard? I have to say that it does, very well, but with a caveat.
The pace of this game is set to the speed of a naval engagement, with all that implies. Games will run 15 to 20 minutes in general. A player needs to plan in advance where they want to be, and remember they are piloting a ship, not a tank. Accelerating has a long lead time, as does turning and stopping. Running aground is a death sentence, but the provision of a white line showing your vessel’s current heading on the mini-map is a lifesaver.
All in all, this title holds a lot of promise for the future. Balancing the various ships will be a long process, but Wargaming have a ton of experience with WoT in this regard, and I don’t doubt they will ensure it continues to be playable for all ship classes. Torpedoes are something that will need careful regulation, and I believe they could be balanced easily by the introduction of an RNG possibility of failure.
Right through WW2, torpedoes were hampered by reliability. Introducing this as a game mechanic would be an easy and lore faithful way to nerf torpedoes, if needed.
Accuracy of anti-air fire, too, provides an easy to apply balance mechanic. Naturally the guns of ships are already balanced by an RNG.
I find the gunnery an enjoyable challenge; leading a target correctly and seeing a nice bracketing salvo land is very satisfying.
All in all, I congratulate Wargaming on this title, and look forward to many an evening of naval stoushes to while away the time.
I would encourage readers to give it a go. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.