We sat down with Wargaming.net during PAX Australia to get a look at World of Warships. We were not allowed to film any of the gameplay but we did get to ask a lot of questions.
Two years in a row now, Wargaming.net has held a massive booth in the middle of the exhibition hall for PAX Australia with fans crowding around to get a look at what’s on offer.
There was plenty of World of Tanks, World of Tanks Blitz and even a real life tank on display. Our focus was an interview with Max Chuvalov and Sergey Vorobyev to find out the latest information on World of Warships which is currently in development.
Upstairs and behind closed doors the sound of the excited crowds were still audible as we got a look at the Naval Warfare MMO.
Max Chuvalov is the Product Marketing Manager for Wargaming.net in the Asia Pacific region. He explained that World of Warships will use ships spanning from the early 20th century and heading through to the early 1950s. The combat vessels on offer will be split into tiers and with early World War 1 ships potentially in the first tier.
The game will feature 4 main classes of ships which are completely different. The three main classes form a Rock, Paper Scissors gameplay.
Destroyers are your fast and agile ships. They are harder to spot until they get close, they can fire torpedos to strike at the less armoured areas of Battleships. Destroyers will also have a smokescreen ability to mask their movement and avoid fire.
Being fast, they are able to dodge the slow targeting cannons of a Battleship, yet are vulnerable to being targeted by Cruisers.
These are the high powered, heavily armoured ships considered heavy hitters of naval warfare. Big range and heavy armour make a Battleship a great artillery style piece to pick off Cruisers and Aircraft Carriers.
The Battleship Class’ weakness being generally slow moving and slow to aim, if left undefended it could become prey to Destroyers and Bombers.
Cruisers are a middle class between the Battleship and Destroyer. They are faster, reload faster and work well at hunting down the nimble Destroyers.
The Cruisers come with anti-aircraft guns and can act as a shield to stop Aircraft and Destroyers.
The fourth ship class, Aircraft Carriers will have multiple roles in a battle. The gameplay for an Aircraft Carrier is significantly different being more tactical like a real time strategy (RTS). With four kinds of aircraft: Dive Bombers, Torpedo Bombers, Scout and Fighter Planes a skilled player would need to manage their abilities to provide support to a team.
Carriers can set way-points for their aircraft squadrons, setting up bombing runs, scouting enemy ships and intercepting enemy fighters. From what we saw in the hands-off Alpha of the Aircraft Carrier, the player will also need to choose the approach angle bombers come in at to maximise damage. (Torpedo bombers have a wider target by attacking side on, Dive Bombers have a larger target flying above the length of a ship).
We were shown 6 different US ships that are currently ready. Max advised that the Wargaming.net team are paying attention to historical ships based on real blueprints. To get the accuracy they desire, they have been working with private collectors and military organisations.
Each ship takes approximately 2-6 months to create. To give some perspective to the level of detail, one tank from World of Tanks contains the same number of polygons as 1 Battleship Gun.
There are 75 Warships planned for release between the first two playable nations, Japan and US.
Interview With Max Chuvalov
Non-Fiction Gaming: You mentioned to possibility of more classes of ship, are submarines an option in the future.
Max Chuvalov: Frankly speaking, that’s the most frequently asked question about World of Warships. To tell the truth, Submarines were not participating in actual battles with warships. they were hunters, they were to hunt down convoys with supply ships etc.
But lots of players are asking us about it and sure we have some ideas. For now we can not see the actual gameplay for submarines. We will release the game and then we will try to think about it.
We never say no. For the release it’s not planned.
NFG: In the Alpha so far, have you noticed any particular strategy [Meta] or team composition come up that is quite effective?
MC: PvP will be limited to 12 players each side, Up to 20 minutes. Each battle now lasts around 10-12 min. We are looking for a friendly environment for new players to come.
So they will start with not so complex ships that have lots of different weapons: Main caliber, secondary caliber, torpedos, anti-aircraft systems.
They will start with a first tier ship with one or two cannons which is very easy to navigate and upgrade their systems. And they will start playing some PvE missions with bots in their team and bots as enemies.
Then they will progress to the next tier, get unlocked other classes of ships and be able to team up with other players against AI (Bots).
So they will be introduced to the economic system, progression system step by step. And after that, when they’ve passed through everything, the basics, they will be able to join PVP.
NFG: What will the maps be like? Will there be different weather or some kind of cover, shallower channels.
MC: Gameplay wise we of course try and avoid open sea because it’s boring and same old. Right now we have 7 maps already and we will introduce more and more.
They are different settings for example: Pacific or Nordic Seas. With different landscapes that affect gameplay. So you can hide behind land, there will be shallow parts which are crossable only for small ships. To mix up the gameplay.
We are currently experimenting on weather. We already have some weather conditions on some of the maps like thunderstorms.
We’re planning to have this feature pre-determined befor the start, so in the same map, different battles you can have different weather conditions. And the next step for us will be to make this dynamic. For example: moving storms through the battle. We are now experimenting and playing with prototypes. the most important thing here is not the technical side but gameplay. How does it affect teams and gameplay.
NFG: Visibility is a big issue in World of Tanks and I imagine Ship to Ship combat as well. How will sight range be used in World of Warships.
MC: Different ships will have different visibility. So take the destroyers (small agile ships) They will be visible only when they get much closer distance compared to a big battleship. So that’s why the destroyers will be able to come undetected from stealth. Some ships will have recon planes which will increase their visibility range.
There will be a cooldown feature which they can use. For example: If you team has an aircraft carrier, you can use your fighter squadron as scouts. You can choose via waypoints where to fly the planes, where to scout and then to unload all of your air force,
NFG: Will there be any crossover between World of Warships and the other titles, World of Tanks, and World of Warplanes.
MC: We will definatley not see any combined gameplay on the same battlefield, especially with the different distances and everything. We have a unified account for all our (Wargaming) Products.
We are looking at combining integration on the clan ladder on a ‘Global Map’ level. Where World of Warships clans will be able to assist World of tanks clans to control some territories.
Maybe it will be realised with some commander consumables, for example: maybe an artillery strike from your Warship clan on the map and you will be able to use it as a tank commander to strike an area. So we’re thinking on that right now.
And maybe we will have some cross promotion in the games like, win some battles in this game and you get some points in the other. It’s not ‘for sure’ right now. At this stage we will wait to see what the community asks for.
Going back to the Warships currently available. You mentioned expanding those and possibly creating more than just the two nations currently. How will you choose which ships to create next?
MC: For now we are aiming at single nation introduction without full scale classes and tech trees like we have for Japan and the US. We will introduce some lines and some tech trees then add more.
For now we are considering other nations: German, British and the USSR. We’re not confident which will come first but we’re already working on the warships of these nations. We’ve extended our development team with about 200 people right now. So we’re working hard to push the release and then work directly without any stops or relax time.