WoWS Developer Bulletin: Update 0.5.3

The first major update of 2016 is bringing a brand new and highly expected Team Battles game mode, new commander skills, achievements and camouflage patterns. This and much more in the upcoming Update 0.5.3, which is coming to World of Warships in the near future.

The information in this bulletin is provided for reference, reflecting the current state of the prototype at the time of its publication. Screenshots, certain specification figures, and in-game mechanics will not necessarily be relevant after this version’s release.

Team Battles: Let’s Battle Together!

Even battle-hardened sea dogs sometimes have a difficult time turning the tide of battle if their allies don’t play for the team. Update 0.5.3 will become a turning point for all captains inclined towards team play and close cooperation with allies. The new experimental game mode, Team Battles, which unlocks at account level 12, will allow you to assemble a dream team and lead it to glory, assuming responsibility for both defeats and victories.

Our Team Battles will have an important feature: they are open to solo players as well. A player can toggle their status in the Port to “Enlist me in a Team Battle”; in turn, commanders can invite interested players, or “mercenaries” as we call them, to join a Team. The matchmaker tries to bring Teams with a similar efficiency together. A victory over a stronger opponent will give your Team more points than a victory over an equally skilled adversary.
We hope that the new mode will bring you many unforgettable battles with friends and comrades-in-arms. We will closely watch the statistics and your feedback to further tweak this brand new game mode.

New Commander Skills: Battle Smarts

The Commander’s skill system will be receiving some long-awaited development by adding four commander skills, each of which is useful in its own way. Let’s take a look at them, shall we?

  • Manual Fire Control for Secondary Armament (talent level 5) forces you to manually designate targets for your secondary armament, which leads to a significant increase in firing accuracy.
  • Manual Fire Control for AA Armament (talent level 4) affects anti-aircraft guns in a similar fashion to the previous skill.
  • Survivability Expert (talent level 4) increases the number of hit points of your ship by a fixed value, multiplied by the Tier of the ship.
  • Torpedo Acceleration (talent level 4) increases the speed of all torpedoes, both for aircraft and ships, but reduces their range. Commanders of Japanese destroyers rejoice…
  • Last Stand (talent level 2) moves down from talent level 4 to become more accessible.

New Consumables: Way of the Ninja

For fans of Japanese destroyers, which are famous for their long-range torpedo attacks, a new Consumable — Torpedo Reload Booster — will appear in Update 0.5.3. It will be available for the Hatsuharu and Kagero destroyers. Players will receive a one-time torpedo reload acceleration, which will allow an additional torpedo salvo to be launched sooner. However, you will have to abandon the Smoke Screen to equip this Consumable.

New Achievements: Welcome the Young, Honor the Old

New achievements in 0.5.3 are divided into two groups. The first group is aimed at beginner players only: the introductory individual achievements are aimed at encouraging players to take their first steps in the game. A base captured for the first time, an enemy ship destroyed by flooding they caused — these and other successful actions will finally be marked in your profile with corresponding rewards!
The second group includes introductory and individual stage rewards. They will be given for certain milestones as a player progresses. The rule “the more the better” applies here. Players will receive them for researched ships, earned credits, battle hero medals, and other similar merits.

New Map: Tears of the Desert

A new high-tier map featuring a group of small islands near the coast of North Africa. Its setting consists of the sea, an arid desert and barren rocks.

New Camouflage Patterns: P for Permanent

In Update 0.5.3, players will be able to spend their Doubloons on permanent, historical camouflages for Fubuki, Mogami, Izumo, Shokaku, Fletcher, New Orleans, Iowa, Lexington, Admiral Hipper, and Tashkent.

Newbie-friendly Matchmaking: No More Seal Clubbing!

The introduction of a “sandbox” matchmaker will be an important improvement for new players. It is a separate matchmaker that is only for inexperienced players, who use Tier I–III ships and have lower levels in their Service Record.
In addition, following your feedback, we have implemented the nation algorithm in the matchmaker. It will seek to place ships of one nation evenly throughout the teams, unless this impairs the balance. For example, if there are two Japanese Hatsuharu destroyers and two Soviet Kiev destroyers, the algorithm will seek to place one ship of each nation in every team.

Balancing: Burning Skies

Every major update contains some balance fixes. They are inevitable in such a sophisticated ecosystem with multiple ships, each having unique features. In Update 0.5.3, we introduce some global changes to AA guns and aircraft.
Anti-aircraft guns were thoroughly revised, taking into account such factors as gun ballistics and the way a projectile impacts the target. In terms of balance, our key task was to increase the damage caused by long-range weapons, which have the largest engagement envelope around the ship. To maintain proper balance, we slightly reduced the firepower of heavy machine guns. We also reduced the gain in damage achieved by manual target designation by 12% and that of Defensive AA Fire by 33%.

The air groups of most aircraft carriers have been revised. We sought to make the difference between aircraft at different tiers smoother and more logical, so that the role of a player’s skill in a carrier-on-carrier battle would slightly increase and that of research would slightly decrease. As a result, both outdated and excessively advanced aircraft were removed from the game. Now their “historical progress” is more modest, and there are no more jets flying 1.5 times faster than the older multi-wing aircraft.
The desired results, which you will soon be able to check out in the Public Test, are the increased role of the formation when ships sail together to protect each other from aerial attacks, more capabilities for cruisers and destroyers with strong AA defenses, and slightly more vulnerable aircraft at high tiers.

Is that all?

Not at all! There are many other minor, but important changes, tweaks and improvements, which will no doubt improve your way of life on the high seas. The division interface has been improved by no longer allowing the battle to start if all members are not ready, sounds have also been further developed, the economy of some ships has changed (either up or down), and client security has been improved. All this and much more will be listed in the upcoming release notes before the update is deployed.