World of Warships Carriers are The Most Interesting Gameplay I've Seen in A While

World of Warships Carriers are The Most Interesting Gameplay I've Seen in A While

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Playing a real-time strategy game as the others around you take aim and fire is a hectic experience.

With World of Warships entering closed beta recently, developer Wargaming recently took a moment to show off the near-finished product, and it sure looked good. Completing the trifecta of land-sea-air free to play arena simulator battles that Wargaming has been working on for years, Warships also shows off one of the most interesting mechanics among any of those games - a true class-based system of ship, uh, classes. Most notable to me during my hands on demo and preview at PAX East were the game's carriers.

See, Carriers were the absolute pride of any 20th Century naval operation, capable of disrupting enemy formations and wrecking fantastically expensive battleships by deploying relatively inexpensive dive bomber and torpedo bomber aircraft. For a Naval geek like me, taking on the breadth of real and imagined fights was exciting. What I didn't expect are some of the superb mechanics Wargaming uses to make you feel like you're really in command of a huge machine with hundreds of sailors on board. Of all of these, the design of the carrier really stands out: When you're in control of your plane wings, your view expands outwards into a facsimile of a real-time strategy map, allowing you to direct their actions from on-high as though you were really telling your pilots what to do. Many games have attempted the RTS-FPS split in the past, but something about World of Warships' go at it just works.

It feels wholly natural to the genre: From the bridge of a carrier you're the scout and sniper for your team, striking over islands or icebergs with deadly force against unexpecting foes - and woe to the battleship that chooses its course poorly when your planes are in the air. On the other hand, your ship is a floating bonfire waiting to happen, and a single volley of battleship fire or enemy planes slipping past your fighter defenses can ruin your whole day. Adding to the skill required, each attack run of your planes still has to be placed on the map like any other. Your planes' only limitation is ammunition - they have to rearm after every attack run. While no fuel limitation may not be the most realistic, the devs said, it turned out to be unnecessary for players to deal with given Warships relatively small map' scale. While I only had a short time to develop my carrier tactics, I was bowled over by the attention to detail and lovely scale of the game - watching individual shells impact a ship and leave flaming craters was a treat!

What makes the ships a pleasure to play is the ease with which the camera, weapons, and movement control. Like a real world captain, you can check your map and plot a course for your helmsman to automatically follow, letting you focus on directing your gunfire or figuring out the emerging tactical situation. As you pan your camera around the ship, whichever gun batteries can point that direction automatically traverse to follow your aim. Torpedoes, the most misrepresented weapon in naval games, are shown to be the deadly weapons they are through precise skillshots. You line them up using a simulated arc that rotates around the ship. You can broaden the arc for a wide spread of shots or tighten it for a straight line barrage of rippling death. The map type that Wargaming showed off was based on a pretty standard shooter control point game mode.

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Other ships in the game are cruisers, battleships, and destroyers. Hulking battleships live up to their name, taking a shocking amount of punishment before going down and bringing tens of small batteries and AA guns to bear. Destroyers occupy a middle niche, fast enough to do the job of plugging the line but with enough firepower to be a threat to every other ship on the field. Cruisers, meanwhile, act as torpedo-hauling scouts, attempting to strafe other ships and release their deadly payload and then skirt away - with some cruisers carrying a seaplane as a scouting buddy and auxiliary torpedo launch vector.

Warships still has no release date, but will be free to play when it releases. The game will include 75 Japanese and American ships at launch, with plans to include soviet, british, and russian boats in the future. Players will begin with a small stable of ships and unlock more by either playing the game or putting in real money for instant unlocks. Unlike World of Tanks, a few ships will be from eras earlier and later than World War 2.

Between World of Warships and giant space battleships in Dreadnought, I think I'm set on Naval combat games for the next year.

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No plans for submarines? I can't reenact Run Silent, Run Deep?

JonB:

Destroyers occupy a middle niche, fast enough to do the job of plugging the line but with enough firepower to be a threat to every other ship on the field. Cruisers, meanwhile, act as torpedo-hauling scouts, attempting to strafe other ships and release their deadly payload and then skirt away - with some cruisers carrying a seaplane as a scouting buddy and auxiliary torpedo launch vector.

Oppps a typo, you have swapped over destroyers and cruisers

Eh, so 3 games to play what War Thunder does in 1. Color me unimpressed with Wargaming. Admittedly it seems they have beat Gaijin, time-wise, for sea combat...but I can wait. Tried both WoT and WoP, and they feel clunky in comparison. Plus when I get tired of my P-51, and feel like rolling over to tanks, I need to boot up a different game to do so.

Nope, War Thunder ftw.

Good Escapist...

The biggest F2P games in the world, RIGHT after League of Legends... and one of the biggest gaming companies in the world.
And rarely get the spotlight... lol... at least here on the Escapist that is. Dont know why.

TK MadCat:
Eh, so 3 games to play what War Thunder does in 1. Color me unimpressed with Wargaming. Admittedly it seems they have beat Gaijin, time-wise, for sea combat...but I can wait. Tried both WoT and WoP, and they feel clunky in comparison. Plus when I get tired of my P-51, and feel like rolling over to tanks, I need to boot up a different game to do so.

Nope, War Thunder ftw.

Considering that aerial combat is boring to me, so far it is a tie.
World of Tanks offers quite different gameplay to ground forces. One is arcade and great, the other is somewhat realistic and great at what it is.

wetfart:
No plans for submarines? I can't reenact Run Silent, Run Deep?

Subs would be very difficult to counter within the established mechanics of World of Warships.

OT: I've been watching this with interest ever since the Alpha. I had a love/hate relationship with World of Tanks, but given my love of WW2 warships and the intriguing gameplay, there's a strong chance I'll be giving World of Warships a go on release.

Submarines also didn't usually engage in fleet actions, instead going after merchant convoys and the like.

They don't really fit in game the way the other ships do. They'd be a barely mobile, glass tube that can launch a few torpedoes every now and then. Great against shipping, but in a pitched battle?

Well, Base Campers would like them, but I can't really see it otherwise.

FINALLY a videogame that makes justice to this.

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*I know similar older games exists, but when was the last time you've seen a new, dedicated game to warships?

I'll admit that this has interested me. In spite of the fact that some people like to draw comparisons to artillery in World of Tanks, I think the carriers are quite a bit more interesting to play than the clicker machines. Way more to manage at once.

It also helps that you can play them specifically to ruin the day of enemy carriers. You can carry larger compliments of fighters to murder their bombers, send your smaller detachments of bombers to wreck their shit while their fighters try to keep their bombers safe. If all else fails, fighters make effective scouts and allow your battleships to use all of their 10 mile range.

I also see the fun in running escort duty for a battleship as a cruiser with great AA batteries.

EDIT: Oh, just a heads up you got the roles for cruisers and destroyers mixed up. Cruisers are escorts, destroyers are fast torpedo machines.

SupahGamuh:
*I know similar older games exists, but when was the last time you've seen a new, dedicated game to warships?

I'm currently playing one on Early Access called From The Depths though that isn't necessarily about real life ships, it uses a Banjo-Kazooie style block based vehicle construction with very large vehicles being possible. Unlike land or space based vehicle builders you have to mind the buoyancy or aerodynamics (when building a plane) so there's more to design than just gluing guns everywhere.

Did NOBODY play Battlestations Midway or Pacific?

They did all this and much, much more. They are the ultimate gaming version of this...

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I really hope gets their hands on this. World of Tanks has its own following there and I personally find it amusing how they teamed up with the Girls und Panzer anime to boost popularity. So if this gets big in Japan I can already imagine it teaming up with Kantai Collection.

So do the carriers basically fill the same kind of role SPGs do in WoT?

Personally prefer War Thunder as I don't have to switch clients to play ground forces, my controls feel much more responsive and the different modes (Arcade, Simulation and Realistic) all have merits. There's some balance issues, but overall I feel much more on equal ground with the other players in 90% of the matches I play in WT whereas in WoT or WoWP I just feel it doesn't feel right.
The higher tier planes in War Thunder are a bit of a bitch to get once you're past T2 unless you want to put some $$ into the game, but as a F2P game, it doesn't feel like its Pay-to-win at all, just pay to speed up progress. Or you can grind your planes/tanks like I do because its generally fun as hell to play no matter what tier I'm in.
So once Gaijin adds in Warships (and I'm hoping they will) I'll be all over that as well because I absolutely love the shit out of naval combat despite being a ground-pounding grunt at heart (M1A2 Abrams crewman, proud of it love the hell out of that machine).

Am I alone in having played NavyField? Or doesn't anyone else feel like WoWs is just everything NF2 should have been. The gameplay feels very similar to the original NF in my experience; it looks and feels just like I expected a 3D NF to look! Carrier combat in particular is extremely similar; the gameplay certainly is interesting, but not as original as some may think.

They really nailed it with WoWs though, it's a great game. I was lucky enough to get access to the closed BETA, and it really is as good as the hype wants you to believe. Seems like Wargaming really REALLY didn't want to repeat the disaster that was WoP!

TK MadCat:
Eh, so 3 games to play what War Thunder does in 1. Color me unimpressed with Wargaming. Admittedly it seems they have beat Gaijin, time-wise, for sea combat...but I can wait. Tried both WoT and WoP, and they feel clunky in comparison. Plus when I get tired of my P-51, and feel like rolling over to tanks, I need to boot up a different game to do so.

Nope, War Thunder ftw.

Warthunder beats WoP easily, there is no comparison. The way their tanks work are very diferent though; the concept is the same but the gameplay doesn't compare. I perfer WT myself too, but Gaijin is just so bad at certain very important things... Vehicle balancing and map design for example... They are uselss at that.

WoWs is a very good game though, even now in the closed BETA.

I'm also sort of disapointed at Armored Warfare, the Obsidian game. WoT and WT are so distinct, I imagined maybe we'd get a third take on tank combat with AW, but it's just a mod for WoT as far as look and gameplay goes... Maybe I'm being a bit harsh, especially considering its not done yet, but I am a bit disapointed.

Meestor Pickle:
So do the carriers basically fill the same kind of role SPGs do in WoT?

In a way, but imagine if you had a counter for the SPGs shell... Fighter-cover is hugely important in WoWs, just like it was in NF, and a good fighter-focused carrier can keep the skies completely free of 'artillery'. Of course many ships have AA guns of their own, but they aren't too effective by my experience...

NoX 9:
Am I alone in having played NavyField? Or doesn't anyone else feel like WoWs is just everything NF2 should have been. The gameplay feels very similar to the original NF in my experience; it looks and feels just like I expected a 3D NF to look! Carrier combat in particular is extremely similar; the gameplay certainly is interesting, but not as original as some may think.

They really nailed it with WoWs though, it's a great game. I was lucky enough to get access to the closed BETA, and it really is as good as the hype wants you to believe. Seems like Wargaming really REALLY didn't want to repeat the disaster that was WoP!

No your not alone in having played NavyField (we don't talk of the 2nd one btw) and as a CAT/CBT for WoWs and WoWps i 2nd the disaster of WoWps and i see how in any way WoWs can get that bad.

Nice article, but you said that World of Tanks didn't have pre or post war tanks.

It did, some of the low Tier tanks were 1920s, or even left over WWI era tanks, some of which did serve in 1939. There's also some of the higher Tier ones, especially mediums which are from the 50s and early 60s. Variants of a couple are even still in service in some other countries. (who've bought them used, or as export models)

I just need a beta key. :c

wetfart:
No plans for submarines? I can't reenact Run Silent, Run Deep?

Nope; Wargaming has said that submarines would be ripped to shreds on the surface by everything else, and too slow while submerged to make a difference.

Anyways, OT, I got into the CBT on day one and I've been enjoying myself. Combat is fun, and the ships actually feel like ships, moving appropriately, and the graphics are fairly good. The spectacle is fun to watch, too, seeing strike planes making attack runs, and AA firing away at incoming planes.

An Ceannaire:

wetfart:
No plans for submarines? I can't reenact Run Silent, Run Deep?

Subs would be very difficult to counter within the established mechanics of World of Warships.

OT: I've been watching this with interest ever since the Alpha. I had a love/hate relationship with World of Tanks, but given my love of WW2 warships and the intriguing gameplay, there's a strong chance I'll be giving World of Warships a go on release.

Exactly my thought. I am not much for F2P computer games, but I want to throw 3,000 pound shells at people because the hunt for the Bismark is my favorite story from all of world war 2. I want to feel the terror as dive bombers come screaming in and pray that my next salvo takes out their carrier so I can finish the fight while they struggle to stay afloat.

good, im hoping to see the warships succeed.

TK MadCat:
Eh, so 3 games to play what War Thunder does in 1. Color me unimpressed with Wargaming. Admittedly it seems they have beat Gaijin, time-wise, for sea combat...but I can wait. Tried both WoT and WoP, and they feel clunky in comparison. Plus when I get tired of my P-51, and feel like rolling over to tanks, I need to boot up a different game to do so.

Nope, War Thunder ftw.

You mean what War Thunder fails to do. War thunder is better with its aircraft but thats about it. Its tanks are aboslute ass unless you want simulator ranther than a fun game.

NoX 9:
Am I alone in having played NavyField? Or doesn't anyone else feel like WoWs is just everything NF2 should have been. The gameplay feels very similar to the original NF in my experience; it looks and feels just like I expected a 3D NF to look! Carrier combat in particular is extremely similar; the gameplay certainly is interesting, but not as original as some may think.

They really nailed it with WoWs though, it's a great game. I was lucky enough to get access to the closed BETA, and it really is as good as the hype wants you to believe. Seems like Wargaming really REALLY didn't want to repeat the disaster that was WoP!

[quote="TK MadCat" post="7.872640.21894973"] but Gaijin is just so bad at certain very important things... Vehicle balancing and map design for example... They are uselss at that.

Hah, they are not useless, they dont see the problem. Gaijim wants its tanks to be with historical specifics - this leaves them extremely unbalanced. They also want realistic maps - which means boring gameplay.

I wonder if the gameplay community is going to be as toxic and elitist as the WoT community is. I stopped playing WoT because of the unnecessarily toxic environment of filled with people treating the game like it's in some way real life. I want to play this game but I have a feeling I am going to hate playing it with others.

I prefer War Thunder over Wargaming's stuff, but World of Warships looks decent. I will certainly play quite a bit of it, at least until Gaijin has added naval combat to War Thunder. Zipping around in a Japanese DD or CA holds great appeal for me.

 

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