New maps, additional signal flags and functions in the port, technical novelties and improvements for new players, local and global balance fixes… all these and other features will become available for you to get your hands on in just a couple of days on the Public Test Server.
The Public Test is a chance for you to try out new and upcoming features in World of Warships before they are introduced to the general community. This iteration of Public Test will go up tomorrow 15 December at 17:30 CET and will last until 21 December at 11:00 CET. Please find more information on how to participate on this dedicated page.
New Maps: The Atlantic and Shatter
Update 0.5.2 continues the tradition of introducing new features for higher tier battles. Two new high-tier maps, The Atlantic and Shatter, will become available, and several existing maps will undergo some refinement.
The majority of existing maps have also undergone some changes. Our main efforts were directed toward the visual aspects of the game. So, when you’re not in the heat of combat, you may notice the new features: buildings, new types of vegetation, and so on.
Additionally, we have disabled the Encounter Battle mode, while the relatively new Zone mode has been left only on the Big Race map. We’ve taken this action because we need some time to understand the players’ reactions to these modes and to analyze how they fit into the overall game process.
As for the Ranked Battles mode, we are now working on a new set of scenarios for the next season.
In Update 0.5.2, we’ve introduced permanent camouflage; this is applied to a specific ship and does not require credits or doubloons to replenish it after the battle. We are planning to implement this mechanic on some popular ships in the very near future. However, you do not have to wait and may enjoy some bonuses now: all premium and gift ships will be provided with a free unique permanent camouflage.
Its properties vary depending on the ship but always include two components: a bonus to the experience per battle and one of the two battle bonuses that are provided by standard camouflage types. Thus, we circumvented the scenario in which a premium ship has camouflage without game properties.
Signal Flags: Not Just a Fashion Choice
Six new flags have been introduced, along with the “Top Gun” achievement, which is awarded to any player who destroys five or more enemy ships in a single battle. Finally, this great feat will get officially recognized.
These are the new Signal flags in the game…
Papa Papa (Achievement: Solo Warrior)
boosts earnings of free experience
November Foxtrot (Achievement: High Caliber)
reduces the recharging time for consumables
Zulu Hotel (Achievement: Confederate)
boosts Commander Skills (the previous signal flag Equal Speed Charlie London is now awarded for a different achievement)
November Echo Setteseven (Achievement: Clear Sky)
improves the performance of anti-aircraft guns and defensive weapons on attack aircraft
Victor Lima (Achievement: Witherer)
slightly increases the chances of flooding an enemy ship or setting it on fire
India X-Ray (Achievement: Arsonist)
increases the chances of setting an enemy ship on fire; enemy has a greater chance of detonating your magazine
Juliet Whiskey Unaone (Achievement: Liquidator)
increases the chances of flooding an enemy ship; enemy has a greater chance of detonating your magazine
As a result, the number of signal flags has significantly increased, and now their use meets both economic and battle requirements on ships of all types and tiers.
Beginner Tutorial: Easier to Learn, Still Hard to Master
The Introductory Mission has undergone some changes: now, newcomers are able to launch it from the port as a separate game mode, choosing the U.S.A. or Japan as their nation. We’ve also built a browser into the game client, so that players can watch the video tutorials while playing.
The game installer has been customised, so you can now play Tiers I and II without downloading the full version of the client. The size of this mini client is around 30% of the size of the full version.
Economy: Smoother Progression
After adding the rewards for capturing, defending, and blocking the capture of key areas in the Domination mode, we deeply analysed the in-game economy and made some changes. The credit award for key areas has been reduced by 20%, but, according to our plan, ship economy changes will lead to slight profitability growth. We also agree with many players’ suggestions and have increased the profitability of most Tier IX and X ships to make playing them more comfortable. We plan to share the exact numbers with you in the upcoming full release notes.
Port Interface: Solving the “Depot Problem”
In Update 0.5.2, several port versions will be available for players. Inspired by our growing mod scene, we’ve also included the simplest port (Ocean-themed), which loads quickly regardless of the user’s computer configuration.
The Commander management procedure has also been improved: now, if you dismiss your Commander by mistake, you may cancel your decision within five minutes.
Finally, we’ve found a solution that will help solve the problem of extra modules piling up in the depot with no way for the player to sell them. In Update 0.5.2, when selling a ship, all installed modules (but not more than one piece of each module type) will be automatically sold at half price. We realise this new mechanic may not be ideal for all players’ preferences (e.g., it may impose extra expenses on those players who focus on collecting all ships or who repurchase lower-tier ships). However, it will definitely benefit players (the vast majority, according to our statistics) who immediately sell researched ships to purchase higher-tier ships.
After the release of Update 0.5.2, the first launch of the game will automatically result in the sale of all modules stocked in the depot in accordance with these new rules. This will result in a significant credit compensation for many players.
Karma And Friendly Torpedoes
To reduce toxicity and to encourage healthy cooperation among players, we’ve introduced in-game karma, which is displayed in the player profile. A player’s karma is the difference between compliments and complaints received during battles. We will monitor your feedback on this option and perhaps find an additional application for it in the future. We do have plans to introduce automatically granted in-game rewards as well as enhanced opportunities for complaints or compliments to players with a high karma level.
As for damage accidentally caused to allies, our data shows that, as expected, the most common reason for this problem is torpedo misuse. In Update 0.5.2, in addition to other measures, we’ve decided to decrease the damage caused by allied torpedoes by 50%.
Balancing the Game
Players have been complaining about the low effectiveness of the Target Acquisition System 1. And they are absolutely right – the price of 2,000,000 credits for a +20% bonus to target acquisition range is not justified. To right the ship, we’ve added some essential and logically proven bonuses: +50% to the unconditional target detection range, which players often call an x-ray, and +20% to the torpedo detection range.
In Update 0.5.2, Japanese torpedo-carrying planes will be able to launch torpedoes with a narrower torpedo spread in the manual attack mode. This modification won’t have much effect on the effectiveness of short-range torpedo launches but the narrower spread should make torpedoes more effective at longer range. It’s worth noting that automatic torpedo launching has also been slightly refined on Japanese bombers: now, torpedoes can be launched closer to the target, and the spread at the expected target-torpedo crossing point is a bit wider.
Additionally, U.S. and Japanese attack aircraft will be able to fly at a higher speed after dropping bombs and torpedoes, which will allow them to return more quickly to their aircraft carrier. However, this modification has a downside: if the whole squadron is lost, it will take more time to ready new aircraft for takeoff.
There are also some changes to the fighter aircraft manual attack mode—it will be more effective and quicker.
Those who prefer torpedo attacks, especially when using higher-tier ships, will appreciate changes in the balance—the torpedo spotting distance is decreasing by several hundred meters depending on the torpedo type and ship tier. Moreover, ships having a displacement of higher than 35 thousand tons will require more time to turn, which will make it harder for them to dodge torpedo attacks.
Cruisers equipped with the Repair Party consumable (currently, this includes all Tier IX–X researchable cruisers and the Premium Atago) are about to receive a benefit. In 0.5.2, using this type of consumable will allow the cruiser to repair up to 33% of citadel damage, compared to the previous 10%. We hope that this will increase the survivability of the top-tier cruisers. Also, the modified version of this type of consumable will receive an additional charge. On the one hand, this makes the new version more attractive for players. On the other hand, the popular Superintendant skill becomes less needed in certain situations.
Some local changes have been made to the Erie, Chester, and Nicholas, which had problems with survivability. Erie and Chester have now a better-protected casemate, which can now no longer be damaged with low-calibre high-explosive shells. Nicholas has an improved combat capability point distribution by parts of ship.
The anti-aircraft performance calculation algorithm has been significantly improved. However, we’ve taken this step not to specifically improve ship balance, but just to set things straight. The resulting antiaircraft performance in Update 0.5.2 depends directly on the type of guns. When the characteristics of a gun type are changed, the changes are automatically implemented on each ship that carries that gun. As a result, this new mechanic allows us to automatically correct the calculation errors that cropped up on many ships under the previous system. The details concerning each affected ship will be provided in the final text of the patch notes.
There is even more to this update! The long-awaited division chat channel is finally in the game, as well as the option to block parts of the chat window. And as always, more improvements to the technical side of the client, sound design and other, minor interface changes. Keep an eye out on more details in the upcoming patch notes.