Today we bring you the conclusion of a 3-part series by an alpha tester, Ariecho.
You can find the first part here: Through the Eyes of an NA Alpha Tester, Pt. 1
And the second part here: Through the Eyes of an NA Alpha Tester, Pt. 2
I set my mind on an Essex-class aircraft carrier. The mission and feeling were again different. I stayed in the back of the map, and as soon as I felt that my ship was moving (slowly) in the right direction, I set up a scout aircraft in the air to spot the enemy formation. Aircraft carriers are not the only ships to have scout airplanes. Some other large types of ships also have a few.
Through TeamSpeak, I communicated my intentions to my team, and one of my teammates copied my moves with his Des Moines-class cruiser, who we consider THE aircraft killer in the game. After a moment, the icon of an enemy battleship appeared, and it was time to try out offensive aircraft. I selected a torpedo bomber squadron, a dive bomber squadron, and sent them towards the enemy battleship. Again, the interface was easy enough that it was very easy to give the game my orders.
Because it was the first time, I’ll admit that I switched view to see my aircraft take off. Beautiful! Of course, I won’t do that in a “real” game, but I had to do it once. Aircraft carriers are not your World of Tanks’ artillery. They are more than that! Because it was my first battle, I forgot to send some fighter aircraft with my bombers, which didn’t end very well (a lesson well learned since then), but instead formed a cover air patrol on top of our battleships. That was equally important, but since then, I have learned to do both. Rome was not built in one day, right?
I’ll finish with the cruisers, who amazed me. I will admit that I didn’t know how they would perform in the game. You won’t go after a battleship with them, so what to do? This is where the game shines. The selection of cruisers, whether you pick a Des Moines or any other type (whose names I am afraid to reveal and breach any NDA) will provide a different type of game. Some have torpedoes, some don’t, some have pretty decent primary weapons, and others are all about anti-aircraft duties. They all differ, and Wargaming was able to reenact these differences, as well as the different concepts, whether the ships are Japanese or Americans, the only two nations that we test right now.
To conclude, all the questions that I had before the game were answered after one or two sessions:
Are the graphics phenomenal? YES!
Do ships “feel” different? YES!
Do ships of a same category feel different? YES again!
Do cruisers have a role to play in the game? YES!
Is the game’s immersion fast? YES!
Do you feel the difference between tiers? YES!
Is the game ready? … No, but I can assure you that (without breaking any NDA rule), the game is very polished. We are still in the starting part of testing bugs, but it is in better shape than games that I tested in a beta phase.
Despite being very positive about the game, I am not what you can call a “fan boy”, and I let the team know of what I don’t like, whether it is in the forums or in the game. However, I’d like to tell you that Wargaming has put around the testers a team of people who know what they are doing, are not afraid to communicate despite sometimes the language barriers, and even to come at what is an ungodly hour where they live, to help us test in the North American sessions. To those, I’d like to say thank you. The way things are going, and the way testers are serious about hunting bugs … yes … there are some … I’m confident that we’ll have a great game whenever the team decides to release it. I look forward to welcoming you all either in alpha, beta, or when the game is going gold.
Oh, and if you see a guy named JeeWeeJ in your game session, please kill him first…
Ari out! Thank you for your attention.