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World Of Warships

Platform(s): Android, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iOS
Genre: Online Multiplayer
Developer: Wargaming.net
Release Date: Sept. 17, 2015

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Editorial - 'World of Warships: A Look Back on the Past Three Years'

by Liam Craig on July 20, 2018 @ 3:00 a.m. PDT

World Of Warships is a free-to-play naval action MMO based on sea battles of the 20th century that complete the "World of" war trilogy.

If developer and publisher Wargaming is known for one thing, it's the dedication to their fans and products. With the recent launch of World of Tanks: Mercenaries on consoles, the team made it clear that it is still full steam ahead for all things Wargaming. Now, the team's naval combat game, World of Warships, is seeing some major updates, including a recently announced console version coming in 2019. While we wait for 2019 to arrive, let's take a look back at where the series started and where it stands now.

It's a busy task to keep players happy, but knowing your audience is key to getting it right

Anyone who has played Wargaming's "World of…" games is used to frequent content updates — so much so in fact, that the World of Warships team was releasing updates every three weeks to bring balance and interface improvements to the game. Most importantly, they were continually adding new content. In May, the team switched things up a bit and moved to a four-week development cycle to be certain the updates were perfect by giving themselves more time with each update.

If you're a fan, you know that Wargaming is famous for its attention to detail and historical accuracy. There are actual historians who work for the company and specialize in making sure the ships look and sound like the real thing. Along with that, the team works to add new gameplay features. For example, in just the past year, PvE operations, clan battles, new ship branches and more have been added to the game.


A whole lot of new ships

World of Warships features four ship types, each with its own "branch" of upgrades - Aircraft Carriers, Battleships, Cruisers and Destroyers. Each type is represented by a separate branch in a nation's tech tree. The ships also differ by tier, the highest being Tier X. The dev team is steadfast in its belief that each branch should have its own characteristics. That could be an unexpected combination of equipment or a new, never-before-seen mechanic; at the end of the day, each ship has to be implemented in a way that doesn't throw off the game balance.

World of Warships uses the "rock, paper, scissors" principle to balance gameplay. This means Cruisers beat Destroyers, but Battleships can beat Cruisers, Battleships fear Destroyers, and so on. In the current build, to adapt and improve upon the balance model, players might see Battleships equipped with torpedoes or Destroyers with Cruiser-like guns. This makes it so that players, rather than having to play an unfamiliar class, such as Destroyer, might be able to modify their Cruiser to take on some of the abilities of a Destroyer, thus making it more flexible, and letting them stick to something they already know. As the fleet rapidly expanded over the past few years since launch, more and more of these hybrid and "Franken-ships" ships have appeared. However, they are always limited in some way to ensure gameplay balance doesn't end up "off the deep end."

Also, any branch features ships from different eras. For example, the lower tiers include ships dating back to early 20th century, while Tier VI and higher feature ships from the 1930s and 1940s. Of course, the newer ships offer significant differences in gameplay, customizations and equipment. Yes, Tier X is the highly sought-after place to be, but it is no easy task to get there. World of Warships takes a certain amount of skill, strategic planning and patience in order to climb the ranks.


Clans: How do they work?

The long-awaited and highly requested high-tier content came at the beginning of 2017, when the ability to unite into clans hit the servers. The clans had already developed their own naval bases by September, and by October, the "Clan Battles" type was added to the game. Now, clan battles consist of well-coordinated teams using only Tier X ships in combat — and no aircraft carriers are allowed.

Along with clan support, another common request was for some more meaningful and well-developed PvE content. In response, the Wargaming team added operations: tasks that a team could carry out on a specifically configured map. These might include defending a base, escorting a convoy, saving an aircraft carrier, and more. Some operations are even inspired by real-life naval battles.

The pinnacle of the team's love for historical accuracy, though, are the Collections and Campaigns. Collections are collectibles that may be military orders, ship emblems, wartime photographs and other rarities. Each item features informative historical notes for players to learn while they play. Who needs school?

The Campaigns are single-player missions that reward players upon completion. There is the occasional holiday-themed event or special commanders added to the game for a short time, but for those who don't want to break the immersion, there is a "Do Not Display" option to hide seasonal features. Apart from the Campaigns, the game offers daily combat missions so players can earn credits, consumables, experience and more.


Standing the test of time on the high seas

A plethora of content has come to World of Warships, and this year, the Wargaming team has introduced a way to organize the new content: themed Arcs. Instead of a massive update with items of different themes, the Arcs bring two to three consecutive updates, all united by a common theme. The first Arc was dedicated to the French fleet and brought a "Vive la France!" collection, a new campaign, a new branch of French battleships, and more. The most recent update has introduced the first part of the American Arc, which brings with it a new campaign, collection, the first-ever night operation and begins the new Clans season. The American Arc's main event is the separation of the American Cruiser tech tree, one of the first that World of Warships has seen.

American and Japanese ships paved the way for World of Warships to be what it is today, and they were the proverbial backbone of the fleet at the time of the release nearly three years ago. Today, there are 10 available nations and 21 branches. Although World of Warships boasts an impressive amount of new content, it's not Wargaming's goal to throw out content left and right. The team wants to be sure that balance and meaningful gameplay remain at the core of World of Warships. The developers are well aware of which features in the game have stood the test of time and continue to nurture what their fans love most.

The fleet in World of Warships does not stand still, and players who haven't hit the high seas in some time will have to stop and take a look around to make sense of the new features. If one thing is certain, it's that World of Warships is a game to keep a very close eye on. With the game's third anniversary right around the corner and a console version hitting in 2019, there is no telling what the team at Lesta Studio has up its sleeve, but we know that the team has no problem pulling out all the stops.



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