After this article, I’ll likely be quitting Informer. I’ve had a great time writing for RSBandB and sharing my gaming knowledge and interests with the RSBandB and gaming communities. I hope you guys enjoyed my writing or, if you’re a first time reader, will consider going back and reading some of my past articles covering a wide range of subjects and games. I’m truly grateful to both Shane and King Kulla for giving me the opportunity to be a part of Informer for the past four years. They’ve provided me with great help and support. Most important of all, I’d like to thank all of you, the readers, for taking the time to read my articles and share your comments on the forums.
It’s no little known fact I play World of Tanks on a daily basis. What is less known is that I’ve been enjoying a new title by Wargaming during its closed and open beta phases. But now, as of a week ago, it’s officially live. That’s right. Say hello to World of Warships, a naval based game centered around warships of the 20th century. If you like military combat games like War Thunder or World of Tanks and naval warfare history, perhaps this is the game for you.
World of Warships (WoWs) is based on naval development and warfare during World War I, the interwar period, World War II, and the early stages of the Cold War. As expected, this means there are a wide variety of ships in the game beginning with early slow moving, lightly armored, and low caliber gunned ships progressing to agile, heavily armored, and large caliber warships. Although the game play is simple enough, the tactics involved as players progress through tiers becomes more calculated and complicated with those mastering their skills and tactics being able to dominate the seas.
There are four different classes of ships currently in the game: destroyers, cruisers, battleships, and carriers. Each class has its own strengths and weaknesses that make for unique and varied game play.
Destroyers are the light ships of the sea. They are small, fast, agile, hard to detect, and make up for small guns by carrying torpedoes that pack a punch. These ships excel at taking on targets bigger than themselves…that is as long as they can get close enough to launch their devastating torpedoes. Slow moving battleships and defenseless carriers are their specialty in addition to counter-destroyer play. Although they lack armor and health, their mobility and smoke screens should be able to keep them out of harm’s way or help them get in close for the kill.
Cruisers are versatile ships that balance firepower, mobility, armor, and anti-aircraft defense. Cruisers are comfortable facing off against any class of ship; however, they are most at home facing off against destroyers and other cruisers. Their fast rate of fire coupled with good sized armament mean they can lay down a lot of damage in a short amount of time. They also do well protecting large and important ships against enemy aircraft assaults with their anti-air capabilities. Although cruisers are balanced to be good at a bit of everything, this also means they are weak in a few areas, too.
Battleships are the big boys of the navy. They pack A LOT of firepower, heavy armor, lots of health, and lots of anti-aircraft batteries. Battleships are capable of holding their own against many opponents, but they excel best when firing from long range at other big ships such as battleships and carriers. Though slow firing and at times inaccurate, battleship salvos can obliterate enemy ship hit in the right places, even oneshotting some unlucky enemies. In turn, battleships are huge targets and by far the slowest ships in the game. This leaves them the most vulnerable to enemy gun fire and torpedo attacks from destroyers and carriers.
Carriers fill in the tactical support role. Although carriers sit back as they are vulnerable against enemy ships, their reach is unlimited and they must make many tactical decisions upon where to move and how to use their planes in real time. For this reason, it’s hard to say exactly what the carriers role is as it can vary depending on the situation. In many cases, carriers will send their plane on the offensive to sink major threats battleships and carriers pose. Against other carriers, their role involves providing air cover for other ships to help them avoid torpedo and dive bombers. When the team is numerical outnumbered, the carrier provides a force multiplier, providing an equalizing factor. Carriers should always be evaluating the landscape of the map, determining how best to use their planes to support their team while making sure to protect themselves.
As a small note, some of you may be wondering whether submarines will ever be a part of the game. So far, Wargaming has said it will not consider adding them to the game at this time as there are many balancing and game play factors to consider when facing off against submarines. Although it’s an interesting idea, it certainly isn’t needed or wanted by a large majority of players. As such, it will remain just an idea for the time being.
Currently, there are only two filled out national tech trees in the game: the Americans and the Japanese. Anyone familiar with World War II history knows that the naval battles fought between these two nations were some of the most memorable and important in the course of the pacific war. The might of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) faced off against the untested power and growth of the United States Navy (USN). From Pearl Harbor to Okinawa, the Pacific Theatre was packed with dangerous encounters and tactical maneuvers. These two nations are a great starting point and provide beginners with some variety to test their skills and what types of ships work best for them.
Already, there are German, British, and Russian premium ships in the game. In all likelihood, each of these nations will be getting their own national tech trees at some point down the road, though when is not exactly clear yet. Hopefully before the end of next year. It’s already been announced that next month (October), Wargaming will be releasing Russian destroyers and German cruisers. With each new addition, players will have new ships at their disposal for testing and improving their skills.
When it comes to game play, the action is dynamic, but much slower than similar games. Given the nature of naval combat, battles are often fought at long distances where it’s up to good aim and accuracy to determine the victor. Close encounters almost always results in death or severe damage. Because ships are so slow, it takes a lot of thought and consideration to figure out what the best course of action is for a particular battle.
However, despite the slower pace, tactics play a much bigger role in WoWs. Location, target selection, and teamwork are much more valuable in this game than other similar war games. Individual play still matters and really it’s the only thing you can control. Regardless, playing smarter and as a team has its rewards and will lead to better success than trying to go it completely alone.
The most enjoyable aspect of the game to me are the ship models. Wargaming, as with all their games, has done an excellent job producing true to life models of old warships. You’ll be able to recognize iconic ships like the Essex class carriers of the US fleet or the awe inspiring Yamato class battleship of the Japanese navy. These models are precise down to the smallest details including life rafts, wood decks, and wires running between conning towers.
In addition to ship modeling, the graphics artists have done a phenomenal job with the environmental and battle visuals. Water looks and feels authentic. Islands and fjords provide a dynamic component to game play that makes maps a little more challenging and rewarding to play on. Gun, torpedo, and plane sounds are all pleasing to the ear and sound realistic. Altogether, the detailed work of graphics artists and sound producers add to the quality of the game and make it even more enjoyable than your average MMO war game.
All in all, if you’ve never played a naval combat game before, World of Warships is a good place to start. With it’s simple game play, variety of ships, and excellent graphics, you won’t find it hard to enjoy. The game itself is more tactical than your regular military simulator and does rely on skill based aiming in order to beat your opponents. Since the game play is slow, you will have to put careful thought and consideration into where you want to position yourself that will help your team the most and what targets to shoot at on the way there as well as once you get there. But since it just released, now is the perfect time to start playing and begin developing your skills before more content is added to the game and the player base grows.
As an added bonus to those who don’t have a Wargaming account yet, I’ve come across a great invite code on Reddit if you want to create an account for WoWs. The Reddit promo code is WOWSREDDIT. This code gives you 500 Dubloons (premium currency for buying extra harbor slots or premium ships), 3 days of premium time (for earning bonus credits and experience), and 150,000 credits (to go towards buying modules or ships). This is a great starting boost for people who don’t already have a Wargaming account and want to check out World of Warships. However, this code is for North America only.