January 23, 2016

World of Warships: High Score

Due to gentle proddings from friend Ben over at Midnight Tease, the hooligans over at Bo Time! Gaming, and my innate interest in a naval combat game similar in style to War Thunder, I downloaded the free-to-play game World of Warships a couple of weeks ago.  I'm trying to catch up with Ben so we can squad up... that seems to be the best way to play in head-to-head... but the game has a fairly robust player vs bot play too.  The bots can and will kill you dead if you give them half a chance.  After nearly 100 matches against bots, I decided to try my hand at head-to-head earlier today.  The results surprised me:

click either image for larger
The short version was that most of my team went east, while myself, another cruiser and a destroyer went west.  I was lagging behind the other two (they were in Tier IV and V ships, while I was in a stock Tier III St Louis) when they rounded the islands at that end of the map... and discovered that almost all of the enemy team also went west.  Meanwhile, the rest of my team discovered to the east that the bad guys had left three battleships to bottle up that side of the map.  Effectively, as it turned out.  When I saw the approaching red horde on my side of the map, knowing that all I could do to help my two teammates was get myself killed, I reversed course... and headed for the center capture point.  The bad guys got the west point, we got the east... and a couple of minutes later, I captured the center.  I did, however, take an aerial torpedo in the bows, the result of a desultory air attack that I couldn't quite dodge, and a stock St Louis has an Anti-Aircraft rating of "zero."  As they flew away, I noticed that they were disappearing from view after descending about 10 km away... almost like they were landing.  As the only enemy in sight was both a long ways away and something I had no desire at all to engage, I decided to see if I couldn't cause a slowdown in enemy flight operations.  Sure enough, both enemy carriers were sailing together, less than a half-kilometer apart... and on the near side of a decent sized island.  I told my Chief Engineer to disable the engine room's safety features and give me all ahead full as I closed in on two helpless Langley-class flattops.

My brave St Louis-class armored cruiser.
Well, "helpless" is a relative term.  As I charged in, they both began flinging torpedo planes at me as fast as they could.  At one point, they even managed an absolutely textbook "hammer-and-anvil" attack on me that if I hadn't seen it coming would have killed me deader than disco.  As it was, I ate two torps that took my health down to below half... anything with guns could have taken me easily.  But Langleys, like most carriers, are armed with slingshots and spitballs.  Soon enough I was giving the lead carrier full broadsides.  It rolled over and sank in a couple of minutes.  The other carrier was frantically trying to reverse course back towards the Myoko, which would have had me for lunch even if I'd been at full health.  It never completed the turn: my first volley disabled both his engines and his steering.  The third set him afire.  I didn't need many more past that.

Meanwhile, my team's carriers, given control of the air, did bad things to the Red Team's fleet; they still had the western cap point, but they never even came close to getting anything else.  We won a resounding victory; I was second on the scoreboard but I rightfully feel like I won the game for us.

World of Warships isn't anywhere near perfect.  It's very arcadey, destroyers are incredibly overpowered (the guy above me on the scoresheet was in a DD that sank three enemy ships), and the next time someone calls it "realistic" will be the first time.  But it's pretty fun, and really, that's all I need. 

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:59 PM | Comments (32) | Add Comment
Post contains 699 words, total size 5 kb.

1 Hm, I'm in the mood for a new game. Wanna toss me an invite code? I'll install it tomorrow.

Posted by: Avatar at January 24, 2016 05:49 AM (v29Tn)

2 Sounds like an incredible match.  When it goes well, the vs. Play can be a lot of fun.  It took me a while to go back to it after trying it, initially, though.  You do run into the jerks spouting nonstop verbal abuse, and if the enemy team has a competent destroyer pilot or a division of guys that stick together and coordinate fire, you can go down in a hurry.  Three St. Louis's in a line all firing on one target can take any comparable cruiser or early BB out in just a few rounds of fire.

Posted by: Ben at January 24, 2016 07:24 AM (DRaH+)

3 I'll plug you in my contacts, and we can division up at some point. I think I still have my Phoenix.

The St. Louis is probably the best ship in tier three. It's a floating machine gun.

You'll like the Phoenix. Big jump in speed and range. The torps suck, but all US torps suck until the upper tiers. They're mostly for keeping big-nasties at a distance (or surprising the ones stupid enough to get that close).

Posted by: Will at January 24, 2016 08:42 AM (1EtXn)

4 I'm a little confused: were you part of a team of human players, one per ship, or were you playing alone against a single human opponent?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 24, 2016 10:48 AM (+rSRq)

5 Avatar, no need for an invite code, just go to the game's website, create an account, d/l the game, and voila, done!

Ben, it was the stuff dreams were made of, lemme tell ya.  When I realized I had not one but two aircraft carriers under my guns at short range, I knew I had fulfilled the fantasies of ship captains everywhere.  It'll never happen again, I'm sure, but for a moment there?  Oh, mama!

Will, excellent!  I'm Wonderduck over there, of course.  Drop me a line in-game.

Posted by: Wonderduck at January 24, 2016 10:53 AM (KiM/Y)

6 Welcome aboard, mate! WoWS has been steadily improving, and the graphics with a good card are amazing.

BTW, the same Wargaming account can be used with World of Tanks too, and their other game (World of Warplanes, IIRC, but the gameplay is WAY too cartoony from what I've seen.)

I'm Dr_Mauser there.

Posted by: Mauser at January 24, 2016 11:28 AM (5Ktpu)

7 I'm, as usual, Midnitetease in WoWs.  Currently working on leveling Tier 4 and obtaining my first CV.

Posted by: Ben at January 24, 2016 12:54 PM (BdQxf)


My.  That's rather addictive.  Not played a computer game in years.

Still learning, but it's certainly engaging.  I'm using the handle of "MachineCivilization."

Posted by: Clayton Barnett at January 24, 2016 03:13 PM (lU4ZJ)

9 Steven, I'm sorry, I didn't see your question!  The game that I wrote about was actually player v player... my very first PvP game in WoWS.  Prior to that, my experience had all been a team of humans vs a team of bots.

In either format, it's one player, one ship.  I guess aircraft carriers are slightly different (one player, one ship + squadrons of airplanes), but I'm still some way away from that experience.

Posted by: Wonderduck at January 24, 2016 04:23 PM (KiM/Y)


I just watched a couple of those videos from the game that you linked to.

How the hell many torpedoes do destroyers carry in this game? I think I saw that thing fire more than 20, and they didn't carry that many in reality.

For another thing, they have a ridiculously wide angle of fire in the game. In reality they fired broadside and that was all.

(At least if this is supposed to be first-half-20th-century.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 24, 2016 08:21 PM (+rSRq)

11 Specifically, I saw Minekaze fire 24 torpedoes in one battle, and in reality it only carried 6. No wonder you say that destroyers are overpowered!

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 24, 2016 08:45 PM (+rSRq)

12 It's an arcade game, and yeah, there's not even a -concept- of ammunition. Ships can fire until they sink. The cycle rate of torpedoes isn't that long and so it's a perfectly valid tactic to fire off spreads at -nothing- if you think there's a likelihood that the enemy will steam into them. So they're still tin cans, but they're tin cans with sledgehammers.

"Avatar_exADV". See y'all in port.

Posted by: Avatar at January 24, 2016 09:40 PM (v29Tn)

13 I downloaded the game this afternoon.  It is quite addictive.  My first co-op battle, running around in the Erie, I got sunk one ship and disabled two more, assisted in a capture, and as I'm cruising past the the last surviving enemy laying fire into him: "Torpedoes in the water!" from the lookout.  Men, it was an honor serving with you.  I'll have to start learning which ships carry what kind of armament so I don't do that again.
"TheSquirrelPatrol".  Good luck and clear sailing.

Posted by: David at January 24, 2016 09:49 PM (+TPAa)

14 Yeah, if ships ran out of ammo, most battles would end in a draw. It only came off of closed beta this summer, so it's still a WIP. (Even World of Tanks has a 0.9 version number, and it's 5 years old).

OTOH, torpedoes have limited range, especially US ones (~5 km early on) and no IFF. (Japanese run about 8 km). And given the lead time they take, even if you DO use the aiming guides properly (and many players don't seem to) one change in speed or direction is a miss. The biggest problem was teamkills from fools in destroyers firing from the back of the pack and blowing up their teammates. They recently nerfed that to half damage because it was such a problem.

Posted by: Mauser at January 24, 2016 11:19 PM (5Ktpu)


In one of the videos the Duck linked to, the ship we were following ate four torpedoes fired by a friendly. I had the sound off, so I don't know what he said when it happened, but I bet it featured a lot of four-letter words. (Maybe I'll go watch that again just to see.)

Interestingly that didn't sink him. So add yet another layer of unreality.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 24, 2016 11:34 PM (+rSRq)

16 Just played a few rounds with David, quite fun, quite fun.

Was playing earlier and low on health, and a destroyer had managed a perfect spread on me - no way I was going to be able to avoid any of the fish. Was quite impressed, despite myself... right up until they ran out of range maybe 100 yards from my ship. Unfortunately for the DD, by this point he was without engines and on fire and my blood was up. Did not end well for the poor tin can.

I'd just finished a reread of Shattered Sword and am definitely in the mood for naval gaming. Not that fond of the pop-in, pop-out spotting, though.

Posted by: Avatar at January 24, 2016 11:47 PM (v29Tn)

17 Yes, thanks to David for three fun matches as a teammate! 

Steven, some torps are relatively small... and battleships have a LOT of hit points.

Posted by: Wonderduck at January 25, 2016 01:07 AM (KiM/Y)

18 Duck, it was a destroyer, not a battleship! 4 torps hitting a destroyer and going off (and not carrying magnetic exploders) should obliterate a destroyer.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 25, 2016 02:08 AM (+rSRq)

19 Also, it did sink; slowly, gently, quietly. It should have disintegrated just as the torps hit...

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 25, 2016 02:35 AM (+rSRq)

20 I'm up at 2am, and it's all your fault!  I had fun playing rounds with Avatar and Wonderduck, and then I played like 3 more hours unlocking various ships.  I still haven't managed to live to the end of a player vs player match though.

Posted by: David at January 25, 2016 04:04 AM (+TPAa)

21 Dammit, I missed all the fun.  Had meetings all day yesterday and went to sleep as soon as I got home.

Something that hasn't been mentioned is that the major offset to unlimited ammo is scale.  The world is compressed to something like 1/4 or 1/8 actual relative size, and consequently the ships all move much, much faster at much closer distances than in real life.  It creates a somewhat languid version of twitch gaming that simulates what a naval battle looks like in a movie.  Or at least that's the way I look at it.  It's not realistic, and destroyers are STILL overpowered despite being, apparently, severely nerfed months ago, but it's "painted" as if it's realistic.  If that makes sense.

Posted by: Ben at January 25, 2016 08:09 AM (DRaH+)

22 Will, I'm sorry, I had to remove your comment due to the raw URL you posted.  Please use the link button in the future... I don't wanna do that anymore.

Posted by: Wonderduck at January 25, 2016 06:29 PM (KiM/Y)

23 That's odd. I did use the tool, but commenting from a mobile might have had something to do with it.

Posted by: Will at January 25, 2016 08:13 PM (1EtXn)

24 Things I learned today: being up against the zone boundary doesn't mean nothing can attack you from your back side, it just means you won't see the torpedo bombers coming.  Oooh, look at the pretty sharks....

Posted by: David at January 25, 2016 09:26 PM (+TPAa)

25 Avatar and I again had fun battling on the high seas tonight.  Or feeding the pretty sharks, depending on your point of view.

Posted by: David at January 26, 2016 03:10 AM (+TPAa)

26 I got a carrier kill tonight. In a T1 cruiser. Oy!

Posted by: Avatar at January 27, 2016 05:11 AM (v29Tn)

27 David, how are you taking screenshots?

Av, I played three games last night.  In one, my St Louis stumbled upon a Fleet of Fog Kongo.  That match didn't last long.

In the second game, my DD rounded an island... just in time to intercept every torpedo ever made by the Japanese.  That match didn't last long, either.

In the third game, my DD had three battleship kills (torpedoes away!) and severe damage dealt to two cruisers.  Unfortunately, the two cruisers were on MY team (torpedoes away... oh criminy!).

I gave up for the night after that.

Posted by: Wonderduck at January 27, 2016 08:46 AM (KiM/Y)

28 Wonderduck, taking screenshots is easy.  The printscreen key copies the image into your clipboard, and also saves a jpg in a "screenshots" folder in your game installation directory.  If you want a pretty shot without the game interface, you first turn off the interface using ctrl-g.
I've played way too much of this game since you pimped it here, it's kept me up to 2am three nights in a row and I haven't gotten any of my chores around the house done....
My best battle so far was the first mission in my Tenryu, where I blew a defending DD and CA (both tier II) out of my way to get into the back field, where I then took down two opposing carriers.  I had a good spread of torpedoes about to add a battleship to my tally, but a flight of torpedo bombers got to it first, and that battle was all over except for cleanup that happened on the other side of the map.

Posted by: David at January 27, 2016 11:54 AM (V4nC5)

29 "Fleet of Fog"? ORLY?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 27, 2016 01:16 PM (+rSRq)


You just inspired me to go back and watch Arpeggio of Blue Steel again. And if St. Louis (a pre-dreadnaught ship) is "Tier III" then I was wondering how Takao is rated?

The Takao class is generally considered the best cruiser the IJN built, even though there were later designs (like Mogami). With 10 8-inch guns and 16 long lance torpedoes, it should seriously kick ass in these kinds of battles.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 27, 2016 02:49 PM (+rSRq)

31 Also, do "Fleet of Fog" ships get to use the Super-Gravity Cannon? or Corrosive Torpedoes?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 27, 2016 02:50 PM (+rSRq)

32 WoWs skips the Takao class, probably because they're keeping the Japanese cruisers small, light and fast.  If the Takao was offered as a premium ship in the future, I would guess it would be offered as a Tier 7.

Posted by: Ben at January 27, 2016 03:56 PM (JYung)

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