There I was, minding my own business over a lobster roll and pint of one of those "New England style" IPA's that are all the rage these days and BAM, pressed into the Navy.
Okay, maybe it wasn't that dramatic, and really speaks to my desire to see a decent game developed that captures the majesty of the days of sail- you know, multiple days running down an enemy, scurvy, all that? Right.
World of Warships: Blitz is in the midst of a soft launch, available to the Phillipines only (or something equally narrow). That totally explains all of the Russian and German that I've seen in the global chat. I downloaded the Android APK from a website (not the store) and installed on my trusty tablet that gathers dust ('cause, ya know, non-sanctioned download). Thought that I'd share a few screencaps and ramble a bit about how WoWSB differs from WoTB (aside from the obvious).
Before we get to that- word on the street is that WoWSB was developed by a software company in HK, and may be a re-skin of a game which was a rip-off of WoWS. Good stuff, but nothing more than amusing to me, except: WoWSB has some of the same feel of WoTB, but in a nicer interface, to me. While certain elements are very generic mobile game (ex. if you tap on a player name after a battle, it doesn't pull up their stats...it prompts you to add them as a friend. Yeah...), it still has a good amount of detail behind the basic screens.
Ahoy there matey...
Yup, WoWSB has a touch of the obnoxious "Commander, HQ has sent us supplies" type messages, along with avatar messages. This seems to slow down once you complete the tutorials and get underway.
Big Ol' Guns
At it's core, WoWSB will feel a lot like WoTB in the "port" screen- there is a familiar feel to the Tech Tree, and you can get both simplified and more detailed views of stats for the ship that you're looking at. XP grinds are the same, but feel quite a bit slower, and silver credits buy new ships once they are researched.
Destroyers, Cruisers, Battleships, and Carriers all exist in WoWSB, and the US and Japan lines are currently complete. I suspect that German and UK lines will fill in after the soft launch.
Meanwhile, back at the port...
Here's the port screen that I mentioned- looks familiar, right? The Armory (left of Battle) unlocks at Level 3, which doesn't take much effort to reach. This enables you to research enhancements to your ship- similar to modules in WoTB, but requiring blueprints (more on those in a bit) and credits to unlock. So, to outfit and hone your ship, you have:
Consumables- Repair and protect against fires, explosions, other unpleasantries.
Supplies- Increase "soft skills"- decrease detection, increase speed, improve AA range, assist aircraft, etc.
Equipment- self-explanatory, but fewer options (thus far) than we see in WoTB.
Upgrades (in Armory) - Elite ships (ground to next Tier) also get an Elite Ship Attribute, which you can choose for free and change later for Gold.
Camouflage- expensive, but a Buy Once and Use Everywhere tool. But, different camo patterns have different "boosts"- ex. Torpedo Squad adds range and speed to your torpedoes, increases turn speed, and decreases detection...for only 540 Gold. Needless to say, Camo isn't quite as prevelant as in WoTB.
Your mission, if you choose to blow it off
WoWSB has both Login rewards and missions. Missions have both Daily and Career types, and seem to be the best way to earn blueprints for upgrades.
Forward to (watery) Death!
Training Rooms do not seem to exist (bummer for the guy trying to get a feel for a new ship), but you can fight Bots, which is an OK trade for me. You earn less than fighting in Random (PvP) battles, but should have a slightly easier time of it.
Co-Op battles can be won by true victory (send all of the bots to Davy Jones' Locker), or by capping. More to come on capping when I figure it out...I'm a bit too aggressive, which is a subject for a different paragraph.
The orange symbols above are Carrier, Battleship, Cruiser, Destroyer, respectively.
Here we go! There are two different control types, I stuck with the one that lets you set forward/backward speed and forget it. At this point, I had sunk one enemy (upper right), was at full health, and steaming toward(ish) the last bot. This particular ship only has one armament, otherwise you'd see the others (torpedoes, different gun sets, etc.) nested on the right, below the icon for my ship. Below that is the fire button- one tap fires one gun, double tap fires all guns in the battery. Bino's are self explanatory, and mighty handy for distance shots.
Trying to engage but he's right on the edge of my range.
A modest (OK, actually rather poor) amount of damage dealt.
Battle stats screen.
Team results, at least I wasn't in the bottom, right?
Back to port
I mentioned player levels briefly- these are based on XP, and climbing the ranks hasn't been hard thus far.
The usual compliment of player stats is recorded, although Battle Stats seem to be based on Random (PvP) battles only, which is nice.
Medals do consider bot battles, apparently (my Kraken for 5 kills was in a bot battle).
What's a Tanker to do...
Overall, I'm enjoying WoWSB. I'm not sure how fanatical I will become over it, but it's fun and interesting subject matter. It's nice to play on maps that are big enough to get out of someone's range, even if that comes with the risk of running aground on the limited cover that exists. I need to quit YOLOing towards the enemy, but have had a few glimmer of nautical genius. If you're into warships of the WWII era, check it out. If you're not, then hold tight for WoTB 4.0, which will bring Ranked Battles (at least for tier 9 and 10), reworked Fort Despair, removal of HESH from several UK tanks, and other sundry fun.