So after the recent release of the British battleship line in Wargaming’s World of Warships I have decided that there is no better time to have a look at the new ships and reevaluate my opinion on the game that I have spent far far too much money on for a free to play game.
The British Battleships
I have been waiting for a long damn time for the British to get some love in World of Warships. Since the closed beta test to be precise and while we were teased with a taste of them with the mighty Warspite (broken armor at launch aside), the Hood, and the remarkably average light cruiser line, Wargaming almost seemed to be ignoring the nation that once ruled the waves in favor of rushing out reskinned premium ships at ridiculous prices. Public demand was for the Royal Navy to finally bring their big guns to bear in-game and Wargaming finally relented. Thus on the turn of August in the year of our lord 2017 they were released and they were remarkably… ok?
Don’t get me wrong every line in World of Warships has their problems. The Americans lack late torpedoes, the Japanese forgot about their guns on some ships and put too much gun on others, the French are an eclectic mix of gotta go fast and dakka dakka dakka, the Germans forgot to add fire control, and the Russians are overpowered. The British battleship line starts off like most other lines do, Dreadnought era battlewagons with lots of guns and covered in thick armor. However the line from tier 3 to tier 6 has the unfortunate problem of being compared to the other ships in those tiers. Even the tier 6 Queen Elizabeth which is an identical ship to the Warspite doesn’t seem to be the same force projector that the Grand Old Lady is. These ships are limited by short fused armor-piercing shells, average speed, a limited self-defense anti-aircraft suite, and just atrocious turret turn times. Worth playing if you want to be a close range slugger but anything with speed can maneuver around you and your slow turrets just won’t be able to keep up
Tier 7 is interesting for the Royal Navy. They have three battleships to choose from. The premium Hood with her eight 15 inch guns is a good reliable ship but you have to play her like a big American cruiser, ducking in and out of range to get some shots off and then retreat before you attract too much return fire. The ship in the line King George V is a bit of an odd one with ten 14 inch guns which are either out classed or equally matched by the ships in the tier before her, brawly but with her low calibre shots you have to pick your fights. The King George V is a good ship but she just seems out-of-place in comparison to the other ships in the tier 7 line up. And then we have the free XP purchase Nelson. With nine 16 inch guns in three turrets mounted on the bow she is an excellent bow tanker. Angle your nose towards the enemy to bounce their shots and then with very little angling required you can bring all nine guns onto your target without revealing your broadside and taking an obscene amount of damage. This is the ship that really the King George V should have been in my opinion. Put her in the stock line and drop the King George V to a free XP tier 6 ship and all my complaints about the KGV will disappear.
Tier 8 to 10 I really can’t speak to as I have not yet had enough game time in them to give a real recommendation. Needless to say I recommend going onto YouTube and looking at some reviews of the line from some of the Wargaming contributors.
World of Warships in Review
And after all that I come to my opinion on World of Warships. I have been playing this game on and off for since closed beta and while the game is still fun to play now and then it has lost its luster to me as the game I use to be able to sit down and play for hours on end like I use to. Personally I think this comes down to two things. Firstly the matchmaking in Wargaming’s games has always been spotty. World of Tanks recently had their entire matchmaking system ripped out and rebuilt and it left the game feeling much better for it. World of Warships still has the issue where I will be the only tier 6 ship in a tier 8 game which is not a good feeling. Wargaming needs to replicate the changes they made in World of Tanks to set the game up as a more balanced experience for the players who like the lower tiers.
My second issue is a common problem with most “free to play” games and one that I am guilty of encouraging throughout my time with Wargaming’s products. The necessity of having premium game time and premium currency for any kind of speedy progression through the tiers to the ship that you want means that the casual player will play for a little while and then leave. The player base on the South East Asian server which I play on has been stagnating instead of growing between each new release. At this point Wargaming is extremely lucky that their game is really the only one in the market that isn’t some Chinese knock off *cough* Steel Ocean *cough*.
At the end of the day I will keep playing World of Warships but I hold no brand loyalty to it and if something better comes along you bet that I will be jumping ship onto that as soon as I can.