WoWS: 0.5.3 Commander Skills – Behind The Scenes

Source: WoWS EU Forums, karsun (WG Staff)
With Update 0.5.3 we’ve both introduced new Commander Skills, as well as extensively rebalanced almost all existing ones. One of the most notable changes here are the caliber limitations for Basic Firing Training, Advanced Firing Training and Expert Marksman – these will now only affect main caliber guns up to 139mm. On the other hand, BFT and AFT now affect all secondary artillery regardless of caliber.
This change affects many cruisers in the game, indirectly nerfing them. Now, there are a few reasons for doing this. While most of these ships were not statistically overpowered, the skills in their previous form allowed experienced players to greatly overachieve while playing them. They also made these ships incredibly easy to play in comparison to others’ in the same tier region and while we do understand that this generally made them quite fun, it also caused a high degree of overpopulation.  The skill-enforced caliber divide between lighter (up to 155mm) and heavier (over 155mm) cruiser armament was never intended by us and was clearly sending a wrong message that the former are clearly better ships within the gameplay structures of World of Warships. All of the above would not be good for the game in the long run, so we’ve taken the opportunity to change them along with many other skills in this rebalance.
In some cases AFT also caused abnormalities where it interfaced with the other mechanics of the game. For example, Aurora simply can’t use this perk to its full extent, because her guns cannot physically fire that far. On the other hand we have ships like Mogami, which could then fire much further with their lower caliber than with their higher caliber guns.
Most of the affected ships will not underperform without the aid of these skills in 0.5.3 – they will just lose a part of the error margin that made them so overly popular (mostly in the form of additional range from AFT). On the other hand, some few ships were almost exclusively reliant on those skills to function properly – meaning that we initially didn’t balance them too well (sorry!). Mikhail Kutuzov is one such ship and it will be buffed to compensate for the loss of these skills. We will naturally also be monitoring the situation of other ships affected and when/if necessary introduce changes based on statistical data we are collecting.
We also added some new perks which affect ships’ secondary armaments as well as torpedoes. We are aiming at increasing the skill-dependency of those systems by providing an active element of gameplay that is somewhat better than the passive one in the right hands. They will require you to adapt your play style to make efficient use of them, but if you do then they should provide your ship with better performance. We know that these perks will likely not be perfect in their initial form, but we believe they are good and interesting enough to give them to the community and see what happens. Your feedback and the gathered statistics will decide their fate, as they usually do.
Also, due to the extent of the changes to the system, all players will get a free skill points reset for their commanders. You will be able to redistribute them once, after you’ve had a chance to familiarize yourselves with all the changes.
Generally speaking, we are aiming at bringing more choices for players to tweak their gameplay with each ship and class and to create more viable builds and play styles. To that end we will continue releasing new commander skills and consumables, as well as constantly balancing existing ones to fit future game modes and mechanics.