With what has been happening to WoTB since a year or so, I had been looking at other games to play as well. But generally what makes the game so much fun for me isn’t just the game, but more so the community. So I never quite got to the point of moving on to another game.
I came closest with Battle Bay, which is just completely silly and funny, looks utterly cartoonish, and has skill-based matchmaking, so can be quite challenging even though I didn’t take it seriously at all. It helped that several of my clan mates were playing it with me, which just made it a lot of fun. But it wasn’t quite Blitz, which I think was also because I just couldn’t take it seriously enough.
Rumours about World of Warships coming to mobile have been coming and going for a long time already, but it wasn’t until earlier this year that it was officially announced and confirmed. Considering I’ve had clanmates leave WoTB and picking up WoWS instead, the fact that WoTB was being so frustrating and the WoWS looking really quite fun, I was happy with the announcement.
So when trailers started flying about, along with little bits of information and news through the Contributor’s discord server, and it really just looking quite awesome, I got a little hyper. This dwindled a bit upon learning that the game would get its soft launch in Asia, which meant no EU server, which meant that I’d either had to get an Asian apple account to play the game, or would have to wait agggggges until I could play it on EU. But, one of the staff members helped me get the game without having to change app-store, which I’m incredibly grateful for.
Of course, last Friday, we got an “EU” server. It’s still in Asia, but is more or less a test server, so my account was loaded with some credits, gold and free XP to have my way with so it’d function as a form of press account so I could properly test the game. But, I had played the game already before that.
On a Wednesday afternoon, I sat down to try and play it. I started up the game – which took a long time to load because it downloaded an update straight away – and I expected to get a lengthy tutorial on the how’s and what’s of the game to give me a clue what to do. It started by picking a name, and choosing one of four figures to represent you. There’s actually two males and two females in there, so I went for someone named Hill, but I’ve called her Barbie because of the way she looks (the blonde next to my name).
Having chosen Barbie, I continued, but I didn’t get an amazing long tutorial, nor a crappy tutorial. I got a lovely small tutorial, showing me just a few basics of the game. And that is something I’ve learned to appreciate a lot about this game. The tutorials are detailed, but short. You get them when the knowledge in them applies to you – such as when you get different kinds of boats, or shells, or torpedoes and whatnot in the game. And that is something WoTB can definitely learn something.
At the end of the small sections of tutorial, you’re invited to go into battle and to try your new knowledge out. First against bots, then against other players. This makes for a good and easy transition into the game, and because you apply what you learned shortly after, it actually sticks.
Aside from that, hitting the battle button leads to the screen above and that actually looks exciting, because it already promises things that will be coming to the game – even if eventually. It looks dynamic, and when you choose what form of battle you want to play, it will be a really conscious choice, another thing where WoTB and WoWSB differ, imo.
And that’s just the start of it. The graphics of the game are utterly amazing. It’s so highly detailed. The water looks like water, the movements of the water when you move or turn your boat, up until your slipstream, it’s all there and it looks incredible. Then there’s the sky, with clouds and sunlight and everything. Depending on what map you’re on, there’s entirely different weather, and it really changes the perception of the battle. Now, I’m a big fan of skies and clouds, but your port changes throughout the day, and right now, there’s actually a setting sun in my port, which I think is just lovely.
The way the game itself works is pretty straight forwards. You don’t have a joystick to aid you in your movements as such. Instead, you press buttons to go forwards at two designated speeds, or backwards at one speed. You turn by pressing and holding left or right until you feel you’ve turned enough. The speed, however, will stick until you change it, making it very easy to float into things if you’re not careful. Of course, if you have your sound on, sirens will warn you about it. Driving into islands – or each other – doesn’t actually damage you, but it does make your boat move funny.
You always start in a large green circle surrounded by buoys, which counts as your ‘home base’ and from there on you generally head towards the enemy base to try and spot some people. Now, what I really like is the fact that the minimap shows how far you can see – and how far you can shoot. And I’ve found shooting in this game to not be all that easy.
With the amount of different weaponry your boats have, targetting someone becomes a bit complicated in my opinion. Depending on how your ship is angled, you can shoot all your guns, or some of them, or fire torpedoes, or not. Torpedoes you get a little help with predicting how an enemy will go, but if they change position, it can be quite useless and you’ll miss by miles. Luckily, for your normal guns, the game has something I’m known to adore – snipermode. Only in this case it should probably be called scopemode. And ‘lo and behold – I prefer to be in that.
This brings the enemies closer, making it easier to aim properly and shoot them. Of course, with ~600 ping, it’s still quite unclear if you’ll hit them, but generally it goes alright. You can’t be in scopemode when you’re firing torpedoes though, and I find that I have some difficulty switching back and forth between the two modes so much. I can’t wait to see what’ll happen when we get a proper EU server though, where my ping will be very low.
All in all, the game is quite slow paced. Everything takes longer, especially when you’re used to tanks, because boats take longer to turn and move and just aren’t as nimble. It’s easier to see quite early in the game whether your team will most probably win or lose, and once you’re getting shot at, it’s not easy to get to a point where you can’t get shot at anymore.
Playing peekaboom, one of my favourite things to do in WoTB, isn’t something you can easily do in WoWSB. WoWSB is slower, but in a way, that also makes it more relaxed. And this game knows no draw. You work with points on both sides. The team with the most points, wins.
Of course, there’s a lot more to tell about this game, and a lot more detail to go into, but this is just a first impression, and I’m certain I’ll be writing about this game more as we go along. I’ll need time to get used to playing it, and I’ll likely hang out a bit at the low tiers as I get used to the controls and as I learn what kind of thinking is required to be successful when it comes to the battles.
The game is still very much in development. There’s bugs (such as a battle lasting only 30 seconds, meaning you’ll not have spotted any enemy before the battle is over), and there’s things that can use improvement (currently there’s 3 slots for equipment on my ships, but only one piece I can actually buy and equip on some of my ships, for one). But overall, it looks very promising. I just love the way the game looks, the way the graphics are, the ‘weather’ inside the game. It literally -looks- very promising.