World of Warships: Through the Eyes of an EU Alpha Tester

Author: Schultz, EU Alpha Tester

It was a calm and cheery morning. My ship was anchored near a wonderful island with a great view. I was up in the conning tower, enjoying a glass of sake and reading the Nowhere Newspaper.
All of a sudden, the radio officer came inside, huffing and puffing.

What’s the matter? Where’s the fire?

*Huffs and puffs*
     –  Calm down sailor. Take a deep breath and tell me what’s going on.
     –  Captain Schultz, you have a phone call from one of the enemy commanding officers.
     –  Forward it to this phone.
     –  Hello!?
     –  Hello Captain Schultz. This is Captain Jee Wee.
     –  Oh you again! What do you want Jee Wee?
     –  I have a message for you!
     –  What is it?
     –  Fiyah za lasers!

I am blasted off my chair as the entire ship starts shaking. In a split second, I got up and went to the intercom.

What in tarnation is going on?!

*Buzzing sound*
     – We’ve been hit, sir! We’re taking on water.
*Picks up phone*
     – Damn you Jee Wee! I’m not going down that fast!
*Ends call*
     – All crew to battle-stations! This is not a drill! Start the pumps. Ahead flank! Prepare to return fire!
     – All guns ready to fire, sir!
     – FIRE!
* Spotter reporting*
     – We’ve hit their magazine, sir! The ship is breaking in half!

I hope you enjoyed this little story I made up for you. Hi gentlemen, gentleladies and fellow sailors! The name’s Schultz (as you may have noticed) and I come from the European “branch” of the Wargaming forums. Some people call me “Schultz von Cannon” because in World of Warplanes, I used to fly the Me-410 with the 50 mm cannon.

My journey with Wargaming began with World of Tanks, where I tried to contribute as much as possible. I moved on to World of Warplanes, where I contributed even more for the European forum community and for the North American community too, believe it or not.

I have been keeping my eye on the start of the World of Warships Alpha Stage for some time, and a few months ago when the recruitment started I was one of the lucky people to be picked.

You can’t imagine the joy I had when I read the email confirming my Alpha Tester status. I was ready to help out with this project.

Picture 1 - Minekaze

Today I will share with you some bits and pieces about World of Warships, thanks to the opportunity given to me by the WG personal.

Maybe you have seen some of the in-game screenshots posted by the developers, and I’m sure you were wondering if the game looked like that or if you just saw some “purty” modified images. Well, I was one of those people that said “It’s too good to be true”.

After I finished installing the game, I typed my “credentials” and with a childish curiosity, I pressed the login button and there it unveiled before my eyes. It wasn’t a garage or a hangar, it was a port/dockyard! I took a little “tour” of each ship to check out their look and characteristics. They seemed so lively and imposing that you could almost touch them and feel that cold armour and those big guns!

Picture 2 - Pensacola

I was like a kid in a candy store. I wanted to try them all at the same time but I couldn’t, so I went into my first battle with the Yamato. Who doesn’t want to command this legendary battleship from World War II?

Like in World of Tanks or World of Warplanes, I zoomed in to inspect the small details of my ship and I must say that the graphic designers did a good job. The same goes for the surrounding ships, the map itself and other visual elements. This proves that the Big World engine in the right hands is capable of dishing out some really nice graphics.

In the game there are four classes: destroyers, cruisers, aircraft carriers and battleships.

Destroyers are lightly amoured and nimble ships with small caliber guns capable of harassing the enemies. They are good in a support role when it comes to covering other ships with a smoke screen and they can ambush other ships and pepper them with the torpedo launchers. They are mostly used for taking down battleships, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them on other ships as well.

Picture 3 - Fletcher

Cruisers can be compared to the medium tanks from World of Tanks. They have generally good armour, good firepower and good mobility. Some of them have different configurations, like torpedo launchers or extra secondary guns or more Anti-Aircraft (AA) batteries.

Mostly I use a cruiser in an AA role to cover the bigger ships from enemy planes, and with the main guns I try to “chew” bit by bit the other ships.

Picture 4 - Takao

Aircraft Carriers are like a spec ops team. They scout for you and deliver heavy blows to the enemy with torpedo planes and bombers. You can also use fighter planes to escort and protect your other aircraft so they can deliver their payload.

Keep in mind that your ship is only fitted with secondary guns, which are not enough against incoming enemy vessels. Don’t let them get too close!

Picture 5 - Zuikaku

Battleships are the “Crème de la crème”, the titans, the backbone of the navy! With their big guns, thick armour and generally decent speed, they are worthy adversaries. Unfortunately, they are not very nimble and you need to plan your manoeuvres in advance so that you don’t oversteer, understeer, stop too early, stop too late or hit a friendly ship. This goes for other ships too also when it comes to manoeuvring, but is most obvious with battleships! This type of ship needs time to stop because of the momentum. You need to treat them carefully and if do you’ll have great results. Even if you miss your target, the sight of those water “towers” is amazing!

Picture 6 - Nagato

When it comes to gameplay, the best comparison is the artillery from World of Tanks. You have an ‘arty view’, you spot your target with a recon plane that you have deployed or a friendly ship spots for you, you traverse your turrets (which takes time), you aim, you fire, and you damage the ship and some modules until it goes down to Davy Jones’ Locker. Simple as that.

This is a team-based game with manoeuvring involved and tactics. You can’t win by yourself. You have to work together to achieve total annihilation of the enemy team or capture the base.

In conclusion, I say that the producers of World of Warships are on the right track. The graphics look good, the ship classes feel and behave differently from tier to tier, it’s easy to play and understand, even for the people that didn’t play World of Tanks or artillery.

Have no fear, even though I sound very optimistic, as if pouring honey with milk, I have my feet on the ground and if the situation calls I am always realistic, pointing out the issues to the developers.

We have a great tester team behind World of Warships and I assure you that we are taking our tasks seriously, so that in the end you can enjoy a polished game.

Thank you for your attention and I hope I cleared some things up for you.

Time to get back in the conning tower. Schultz signing out! Action Stations!

World Of Warships Blog