American battleships with remodelled armour, built-in voice chat for Divisions, improvements to the visibility system and much more in Update 0.5.9.
Armour for US Battleships (and Warspite) Revised
As part of improving the game, we are continually revising all the armour models within World of Warships. Our goal is to bring the models created at different stages of development up to the same standard of detail.
As part of Update 0.5.9, the in-game models of both the US Battleships and the British Premium warship HMS Warspite were refined. In some cases, this led to a redistribution of the inner part of the ship’s durability points (within a 5% limit).
We have improved the detailing of the bevels and lines of the model, creating additional conditions for AP shells to ricochet in some situations, especially when they hit the bow or stern of the ship. Armour interaction with HE fragmentation shells and bombs was not affected.
The following ships from the US tech-tree have been remodelled: South Carolina, Arkansas Beta, New York, Colorado, North Carolina, Wyoming, Montana, Iowa, New Mexico, Arizona.
Visibility System Improved
The visibility system, spotting ranges, and how exactly smoke screens conceal your movement were difficult for players to to fully understand. For this reason, we have made a couple of major changes to the visibility system, with the overall objective of making it clearer and more logical for players.
The smokescreen is now displayed on the surface of the water, if the player is within a 2.5 km radius of it. This should help players see its edge and better plan their actions during the heat of battle.
A popular skill, Situation Awareness, which activates when your ship has been spotted by enemy ships, is being given to everyone by default and removed from the commander-skills tree.
This is intended to make the gameplay more enjoyable, as both beginners and more experienced players that would habitually pick the Situation Awareness skill for all their ships can now focus on other skills instead. The rules for compensation are as follows:
- If Situation Awareness is the only researched level 1 skill of the commander, it will be replaced with the Basics of Survivability skill
- If the commander has other level 1 skills besides Situation Awareness, they will be reimbursed the price of the Situation Awareness skill (1 point)
The “Basics of survivability” skill has been chosen based on analysis of the most popular skills among all players. Our research has shown that after “Situational Awareness”, 60 to 80% of players (depending on the ship and total amount of skill points) choose “Basics of survivability” at Tier I.
Smoke screen mechanics have been made more stable and predictable:
- The smoke screen starts setting two seconds after the consumable is activated.
The purpose of this is to make destroyers unable to “vanish at the press of a button”, right after they are spotted and so give their opponents a chance to notice the threat or even cause damage to such destroyers.
If the smoke screen is being set while the ship is in motion, and the enemies are straight ahead or on the side, then the ship will always be spotted in accordance with the following rules:
- If the speed of the ship is up to and including 12.5 knots: smoke covers the ship when it is in motion
- If the speed of the ship is more than 12.5 knots: smoke does not cover the ship when it is in motion
Aircraft visibility rules are now similar to those for ships. Now aircraft outside of the visibility range of a ship won’t be seen, but will still be displayed on the minimap.
Players will now be able to see shells and torpedoes spotted both personally and by allies.
As you may have noticed, the in-game visibility mechanics have significantly evolved and your continued feedback on these changes is highly appreciated.
Voice Chat In Divisions
To help you overcome great challenges, both in PvP and PvE, we have added built-in voice chat for easier communication when in a Division.
To enable voice chat, switch it on in the Sound options menu. There you can also adjust the volume, microphone sensitivity, and the activation method (always on or push to talk).
Other Ship-related Changes
Warspite: its draft was revised to make it more historically accurate. The ship now sits 0.65 m deeper in the water, which will positively affect its survivability.
Atlanta: we added an extra consumable slot for the Surveillance Radar. This change will improve the ship’s battle performance and highlight its combat role as a destroyer hunter.
Surveillance Radar parameters:
- Range: 8.5 km
- Active for: 25 seconds
- Reload Time (Surveillance Radar I): 360 seconds
- Reload Time (Surveillance Radar II): 240 seconds
- Number of Charges: 2 (Surveillance Radar I)/3 (Surveillance Radar II)
Tirpitz: we revised the layout of the armour towards its forward and aft ends. Now the armour runs from one side of the ship to the other, while previously it protected only the citadel. Now it will be impossible to hit its citadel with a shell that bypasses the slopes of the deck and the transverse armour protection of the citadel. HE shells armor penetration for 360-mmSpr.Gr. L/4.6 has been increased from 64 to 95mm. Armor penetration for 150-mm Spr.Gr. L/4.5 HE shells (secondary guns) has been increased from 25 to 37 mm.
Omaha and Marblehead: for these ships, the thickness of the casemate armour was increased from 6 to 10 mm for the casemate closest to the forward end of the ship.
Phoenix: casemate armour plating thickness was increased from 10 mm to 13 mm.
Pensacola and Baltimore: we fixed an error in their armour models, where the barbettes of the first main-turret were not extended to the magazine deck. Now the armour layout for these in-game models is more historically accurate.
Mogami: small inconsistencies in the armour of its barbettes were corrected and the middle of its hull was modelled with more detail.
Krasny Krym: Its torpedo range has been increased from 3.7 to 5 km, as the previous characteristics were not in line with the ship’s competitors at Tier VI.
Battle Tiers and Matchmaking Tweaks
After having analysed the statistical data and feedback from the community, we have decreased the battle Tiers of some ships by one.
The battle Tier of a ship determines the highest Tier of the other ships that a player can encounter in battle while playing with this ship, provided that the player is not playing in a Division. Consequently, the highest Tier of the ships that players can encounter in battle while playing on the affected ships will now be one Tier less than before.
These are the system changes and here’s how they look:
- Tier I-IV ships: will get into battles with opponents only one Tier higher
- Tier V+ ships: will get into battles with opponents up to two Tiers higher (or lower)
- Only one aircraft carrier will be available per team, for battles where the maximum Tier ship is one of the following: Tier VIII, IX or X.
In line with the matchmaker development plan, we restored the ship sorting rule:
Now the matchmaker will try to uniformly distribute ships of different nations between the teams. For example, if two Soviet Gnevny destroyers and two Japanese Minekaze destroyers are present, the matchmaker will attempt to put one destroyer of each nation on each team. This rule will positively affect the quality of team balancing and make battles more even.
Account Levelling Reworked
To make the experience more friendly for novice players, we have reworked the Service Record levels system and the way Account Levelling is communicated through the game interface.
The overall rate of progress through levels and the rewards for achieving levels were revised in favour of faster levelling up.
The Service Record tab has received a new look. We also updated the animations for the corresponding user interface items.
For each successive Service Record level, videos were added to visualise new game features that are unlocked at this level.
When the player achieves a Service Record level, they will now be shown information about the next level (features to be unlocked and corresponding rewards).
New rewards will be granted to players only for levels achieved after the update was released. To view the rewards, go to your Profile in the Port and select the Service Record tab.
Added an option to display smoke-screen boundaries on the water’s surface. This will help players see the current area of effect of a smoke screen, if the smoke screen is within a 2.5 km radius of their ship, and will help players to plan their actions better while in battle.
The Minimap has been enhanced based on feedback received from players:
- Minimap settings will now be saved individually for each ship
- The display of numerical values in the circles shown on the Minimap can now be toggled on or off in the Minimap settings
- Players will now be able to set the transparency for circles shown in the Minimap
The auto-resupply options for consumables and camouflage are now separated into automatic resupply (if the items are already available) and automatic purchase (if items are unavailable and need to be purchased). The option for purchasing and resupplying items for in-game currency can be set individually for each ship.
Additional Commander Training
To make the process of Commander retraining more comfortable, we have introduced a limit on the maximum amount of XP required to complete the retraining without using Doubloons:
- To retrain for free (Basic Training): 100,000 XP
- To retrain using credits (Naval Academy): 50,000 XP
The introduction of this limit will help avoid situations where an excessively large amount of XP is required to complete the retraining of Commanders with a lot of mastered skills.
Map and Game Mode Changes
We have made some gameplay tweaks to shorten the period before combat breaks out.
- Two Brothers and Estuary (in Domination mode with four key areas): the key areas closest to the spawn positions of the teams now “belong” to them from the beginning of the battle. The rate of scoring points was also adjusted
- Solomon Islands, Trap, Land of Fire, Tears of the Desert, Ocean, and New Dawn: the distance between spawn positions was slightly reduced
- The Atlantic, Shatter, Mountain Range, Tears of the Desert, and Land of Fire (in Standard Battles): base radii were slightly increased (by 7.7%)
- The Atlantic, Mountain Range, and Land of Fire (in Standard Battles): the distance between bases was reduced
Battle Tiers and certain game modes have been changed.
- Ocean: this map will no longer be available for Tier III-VI ships, because its size is unsuitable for ships of these Tiers. In the future, a smaller version of this map may be introduced that will be suitable for middle-Tier vessels
- Islands and Polar: Domination mode will no longer be available for Tier I-II ships. Our research has indicated that this mode is too complicated for novice players. Because of this, we decided to move the introduction of this mode to higher Tiers, so as not to distract inexperienced players from learning the basic game mechanics
- Big Race and Solomon Islands: these maps will no longer be available for Tier I-II ships. Because of the size of these maps, it took players too long to reach their destinations, which resulted in a dull gameplay experience at the beginning of battles
- Trident: this map will no longer be available for Tier III ships for the same reason as above
- All game modes except for Bastion have been turned off for the Atlantic map. Probability of getting on the map itself hasn’t changed
Certain maps have been visually improved.
- Sea of Fortune, Mountain Range, Warrior’s Path, and Estuary: decorative landscape objects were added
- Shatter and Polar: decorative landscape objects were optimised
The Bastion game mode has been tweaked based on data analysis from Update 0.5.8. In general, forts are now more dangerous and play a bigger role
- The reload time of all main-calibre guns in forts has been increased to 7 seconds (from 3-5 seconds)
- The dispersion radius of shells fired from forts has been decreased to 11 (from 12)
- Maximum HE shell damage has been increased to 11,760 (from 7,200)
- The chance of fire caused by HE shells has been increased to 15% (from 14%)
- Maximum AP shell damage has been increased to 16,380 (from 7,800)
- Fixed the spelling error in the notification about a ban of the player’s account
- Fixed the error where system messages about the removal of in-game items were displayed incorrectly
- Fixed the error where an outdated message, saying that the player had already been removed from the server, would display after the battle
- Fixed the visualisation of traces from projectiles fired at close range from the AA armament of the player’s ship, as well as those of shells that ricochet off the player’s ship
- Fixed a bug that could lead to the automatic setting of maximum quality reflections in the Graphics tab of the Settings screen, when the game client was launched for the first time
- Fixed a matchmaking bug, where it would take too long for the battleship Mikasa to find a game
- Fixed an error where several completed missions would be displayed as the hint for the reward granted for completion of a single mission
- Fixed a bug where the current-rank icon was misplaced in the Ranked-Battle loading screen
- Fixed the icon for the additional XP granted for the completion of missions. Now this icon includes the corresponding percentage
- Fixed a bug where the camera would stop tracking the locked target when firing the main guns of the player’s ship, if it was moving at high speed
- Fixed a bug where an air group whose ammunition was already spent would start flying at a lower speed than it should
- Fixed a bug where the game client would unexpectedly terminate when there were a large number of chat messages in the Port chat
- Fixed the hint display for the Superintendent skill, when viewing a Reserve Commander
- Fixed the error where the change in the look of the “stopwatch” (displayed in the crosshair when the alternative battle interface mode is enabled) could be used in order to estimate the target lead when firing main guns
- Implemented the possibility to select a user-made Port with the help of the Port-selection interface. This change will allow mod makers to add new Ports to the game without replacing the existing ones
- The rendering of smoke, fire, and explosion effects were improved. We have used particle-sorting technology to remove graphical artefacts (flickering) that occurred when a large number of effects were present
- The period of time after which players are switched off the server due to being inactive has been increased from 1 hour to 3. This change is possible due to server software optimisation, and it will make the game more user friendly for players who take long breaks when playing
- Fixed a bug where the “Hit the citadel” ribbon was in some cases duplicated by the “Penetrated” ribbon
- Fixed an error with “Airgroup mod. 1”. It now gives the correct bonus (10%) to the defensive armament of torpedo and dive bombers
The following ships are now available in the game client for testing by developers and supertesters:
- Nassau, Kaiser, König Albert, Bayern, Gneisenau, Bismarck, Friedrich der Große, Großer Kurfürst, and Dunkerque. These ships are not available for purchase and research, but players may encounter them in battle.