We are happy to share some details of Update 0.4.0, which will soon be available in the Beta Test. The new version will become a new milestone in World of Warships development. The update will unveil some prototype camouflage technologies, allow activation of some new capabilities (now called consumables), and streamline the system of Commander Skills. Let’s have a look at the most important new features in the update.
NOTE: Because the new version is under development, the information in this bulletin is conditional and reflects the state of the prototype at the time of publication. Some changes and innovations may be absent or implemented in other fashions by the time the game goes live. Screenshots, specifications, and details for in-game mechanics may not be accurate by the time the version is released. We have intentionally omitted all minor changes and updates of various game aspects from the bulletin. They will appear in the version release notes (patch notes).
During the testing period, ships’ consumables have proven to be an important part of the gameplay. By timely utilization of all the capabilities of a ship, such as Damage Control Party or Defensive AA Fire, a player can get the upper hand against an enemy vessel and even influence the outcome of the whole battle. Consumables largely determine the tactics of every ship type—it is hard to imagine destroyers without the Smoke Screen capability or battleships unable to repair themselves on the move.
In Update 0.4.0, consumables will be arranged in a way similar to the Upgrades menu: every ship will have up to four slots, and the player will be able to choose what consumables to install in them. So far, only cruisers can boast a vast range of consumables, but we will definitely keep developing the feature. But even after making their choice, players will still have something to consider.
Update 0.4.0 introduces one more, upgraded version of each type of consumable. Unlike the standard ones, upgraded consumables won’t be free and will require resupply before every battle. The advantage is that all upgraded consumables enjoy a shorter cooldown time, allowing experienced users to play to the maximum of their potential, or giving a beginner the chance to avoid paying dearly for their mistakes.
We have received plenty of players’ feedback about the role of catapult-launched Reconnaissance Aircraft in the game. Some testers did not find them especially useful and launched the aircraft without particular reason. Update 0.4.0 brings a crucial change here. Reconnaissance Aircraft will be divided into two types: Spotting Aircraft and Fighters. Spotting Aircraft and Fighters – both will be available for battleships, the former now extending the effective firing range of main batteries; while most cruisers will only be able to launch the latter, which will be playing a reconnaissance role as well as fighting off pesky bombers.
While patrolling an area around the ship, a catapult-launched Fighter will also attack approaching enemy aircraft. Of course, on its own the plane will be unable to cause serious damage to a squadron of Bombers or Torpedo Bombers, but it does have a good chance of making the air strike less accurate and helping the ship survive the attack with fewer consequences.
As for battleships, with the new Spotting Aircraft they will be able to fully utilize their type’s key advantage—an impressive Main Battery. Besides extending the effective firing range, the aircraft will enable players to take a better look at remote targets, much to the liking of those who prefer long-range fire.
In addition to the changes mentioned above, Update 0.4.0 will introduce two brand new types of consumables for destroyers and cruisers, which will bring diversity to the gameplay and scale up those ships’ role in a team battle. Destroyers, a ship type that has won the hearts of many players for top-notch speed and mobility, will get Engine Boost. For a certain period of time, this consumable grants an increase in maximum speed, as well as acceleration or breaking. It is up to you to decide whether to use Engine Boost to rush to the enemy base or to a torpedo launch position, or save it in case you need to make a hasty retreat.
Hydroacoustic Search will be available to cruisers, a versatile ship type that is particularly effective as part of a coordinated team. This consumable temporarily raises the maximum detection range of enemy torpedoes and ships. This enables early response to a threat; it even allows the cruiser to see through a Smoke Screen (players often call it “X-ray vision”). With increased warning of incoming torpedoes, allies will be able to avoid them, and the enemies that were detected despite their smoke will have to change their devious plans and flee.
Ship camouflage used to be widely applied by many navies worldwide. History enthusiasts will be familiar with the distinct “spotted” and “striped” camouflage patterns of their favorite ships, as well as the curious “dazzle” patterns, which can baffle a stranger to this topic. The role of camouflage is not only to reduce a ship’s detectability, but also to complicate the enemy’s ability to observe your ship and determine her size, course, and speed—in other words, make her a hard-to-hit target. It is these principles that became a cornerstone for designing in-game camouflage. In Update 0.4.0, we are ready to share our first prototypes. Camouflage takes the form of removable single-use consumables, which can be bought and installed on any ship. In Update 0.4.0, only one type of spotted camouflage will be available to CBT participants. Featuring common overall characteristics, it will have a different look on ships of different nations. A camouflaged ship will get a bonus to her concealment properties in a battle, and the enemies firing at her will have slightly reduced accuracy. After testing the feature in Update 0.4.0, we will further develop it—there are plans to introduce many types of camouflage (including the “dazzle” patterns), as well as different ways of obtaining them.
Commander Skills were introduced quite a while ago and, judging by the feedback from players, are extremely popular. However, the system still needs to be tuned and adjusted. Revisions in Update 0.4.0 will make the skill system even more logical, diverse, and meaningful. A number of irrelevant skills will be removed, and new ones will be added to fill the gaps in the Skill Tree. The unpopular Aerial Reconnaissance skill will become history: since detectability holds priority over viewing range, the demand for the feature wasn’t high enough. We will also remove skills whose scope of application is too limited. Smoke Screen, Defensive Fire, and Repair Work will be replaced by Superintendant, a Level 3 skill that allows additional activations of all consumables. The highly popular Situation Awareness skill will be moved from the third to the first level, while Fire Prevention will go to Level 2. Dogfight will also become a level “cheaper,” while High Alert, on the other hand, will rise to Level 3. Of course, we will go further than simple readjustments: besides Superintendant, seven new skills will be added to increase the diversity of the Skill Tree. Let’s take a closer look at them:
A new map, named Two Brothers, will also be added to the game. The map contains a group of islands, resembling the northwestern coastal waters of the UK. The location’s central element is its two islands, divided by a strait. Users will play this map at Tiers VI–X in two modes: Standard Battle and Domination. Several Premium ships will be added to the game client for limited testing. The most renowned is battleship Mikasa, which took part in the legendary Battle of Tsushima. In World of Warships, Mikasa will become the first battleship available at Tier II. Her key advantages are relatively powerful Main Battery HE shells, thick armor, high accuracy of the Main Battery, and favorable matchmaking. For many low-tiered ships, meeting a battleship with a Repair Party may lead to fatal consequences. Mikasa can also boast impressive secondary armament: fourteen 6-inch (152 mm) guns and twenty 3-inch (76 mm) guns would frighten away any destroyer that dares to approach for a torpedo attack. On the other hand, the ship’s venerable age does reveal itself in the form of poor mobility, weak AP shells, and low effective firing range, so the commander will need a certain amount of skill to compensate.
Some pleasant changes will appear in the game’s interface: the update will bring the first version of the highly anticipated Notifications Center, which will store reports for the battles and operations of an account within the current session. In a battle, when you hover over the icons of shells, torpedoes, and consumables, tooltips with brief descriptions will pop up.
The growing number of CBT participants has brought about the need to create special tools to control relations between players. In the previous version, to protect players from friendly fire, we introduced a system to penalize “teamkilling.” Update 0.4.0 introduces another long-awaited feature: Compliments and Reports. Right in the middle of the battle, you will be able to thank another user for good play or timely help, as well as report swearing or unsportsmanlike conduct in case of a conflict. A limited number of reports and compliments will be available, but their database will be expanded every day. The feature will be further customized and might turn into a like/dislike system, similar to the one used on the World of Warships forum.
Besides general improvements in interface and gunfire sounds, players will get fully revised motion sounds of ships and planes. Work on the game’s audio environment is underway. Besides the changes mentioned above, many more minor adjustments and customizations are expected in the update. Among other things, the sound engine will be optimized to enhance the game’s general performance. That is all for now, it was a #longread! We hope you enjoyed it.