What makes it different from dime a dozen FPS-es is that your travel time is long and your change of momentum is slow. You can’t spin around instantly, turning back a battleship can take half minute and even for a fast destroyer it’s around 10 seconds. Same with aiming your guns. If you notice an enemy in PUBG on your left, you can shoot him as fast as you can turn your mouse. Aimbot cheaters do it instantly. If a warship appears at the left of your battleship, entering your view distance while you were shooting forward with your front guns, you can shoot this ship in about 12 seconds with your front guns. Depending on your luck (which side they were turned as forward as possible), the rest of your guns will fire at it in 10 or 40 seconds. Oh and probably the ship is a destroyer and your guns are loaded with AP. Unless the destroyer captain is a noob or a friendly saves you, you are dead but it’ll take about a minute before you get the death screen.
What can you do between the 30 seconds gun reloads? You can plan where you want to be 5 minutes from now and predict where the enemy will be. This game play appeal to an audience. Not as big as Overwatch or PUBG, but it’s clearly there. Probably World of Warships playerbase have bigger overlap with Civilizations than with Team Fortress.
World of Tanks has artillery, World of Warships has aircraft carriers. The main purpose is to prevent camping or stacking. These units can hit from afar, from a direction where your cover doesn’t defend you. The bigger you are, the easier. Without them a battleship/heavy tank blob with a pair of cruisers (medium tanks) to counters destroyers (light tanks) would be undefeatable.
Gameplay-wise both of them has a top-down view where you see the whole map and can select targets. Probably most premade WoT team leaders play arty to have a clear view and not much to mind their own tanks. Same should be for World of Warships carriers.
But some less then genius dev figured out it would be great to have a high-APM action RTS included into a game especially designed to cater to players loving slow and strategic. To make it worse, it doesn’t even appear until Tier 6. Before that, you just send your squadrons to a location, then click on an enemy and they attack on their own. Your time is spent analyzing the strategic situation and placing your 3-4 squads.
In higher tiers, you have up to 7 squads and they have manual firing mode. Bombers drop in a much smaller circle and torpedo planes in a much smaller spread if you manually drop, but you have to predict exactly where the enemy ship will be when the bombs/torpedoes land. Which would be fine if you had one squad instead of 7. But the most annoying is fighter strafing. Historically you strafe ships to kill crew. In the game you strafe air and kill everything in the path, but of course you have to manually target, not slow ships, but fast enemy planes. To make it worse, the fighters are designed to commit a dogfight, once they engage, they can’t disengage, no matter what command you give them. Except strafe. It’s probably a bug, because it doesn’t work if the fighter was intercepted, you first have to give it the order to attack the plane that it’s already fighting with and then strafe out of combat. Oh, and when there are T5 and T6 carriers in the game, the T5 cannot strafe at all and completely lost to the enemy T6.
This creates a broken situation: a carrier player who has higher APM can absolutely dominate the enemy carrier player and then single-handedly win the game. In this sense, carriers are overpowered, yet most players don’t switch to carriers, because they hate that gameplay. If they’d like it, they’d play Starcraft instead! Ergo, the few players who ended up in World of Warships and good at high APM can single-handedly win games, aggregating the whole playerbase. There isn’t one issue that makes the Warships players as angry as the broken carriers.
The developers promise complete redesign, realizing that a nerf wouldn’t help. Unless they nerf the carriers into total uselessness, the battle will still be mostly decided not on sea but above it. If one battleship player is 10% better than the opposite, he’ll sail away from a duel with 10% HP. If one carrier player is 10% better, he’ll destroy all the enemy planes in 5 minutes, then he is free to massacre ships.
Of course redesigning the feature is easier to say than done, that’s why it’s still broken years after implementation. However I can fix it over 5 minutes: remove the damn manual targeting! That’s it. Bombers should only drop using click-auto-drop and fighters should just click-attack and stay locked in fight until one squad dies, like it is in Tier 4 and 5. Then the better carrier player will have more planes, more hits on ships but not all-or-nothing and no more oneshotting battleships from 100% HP. Carrier would matter, but wouldn’t be all-deciding.
I won’t stop playing carriers, I’m working on a strategy how to defeat enemy carrier players who have higher APM than me (it’s obviously not “increase your APM”). It will probably be a great guide, but it’s not fun to play. I hate action RTS games, it’s the genre I haven’t touched since high school playing Command and Conquer. But challenge awaits.
As for interesting, fun play, I’ve found my new love:
After I realized how much I like this gameplay, I read up on them and found that the Japanese destroyers fit the least to my playstyle. So I said goodbye to my Mutsuki (commander will be retrained to carrier, because I prefer Japanese carriers) and…