Update 0.2.4 brings some long-planned ships into the fleet: four superb Premium cruisers, each with its own advantages. This update will also reshuffle destroyer tech trees a little.
- Aurora (Tier III, cruiser, USSR)
- The Symbol of St. Petersburg, this legendary ship is well-known beyond the borders of her country of origin. The Aurora successfully survived many wars and regularly made headlines for more than one hundred years, sparking interest even today. A well-balanced, multi-purpose ship that is easy to control, the Aurora is able to fight off any threat in her tier.
- USS Albany (Tier II, cruiser, US)
- The USS Albany is one of the protected cruisers of the New Orleans-class that were laid down at English shipyards by an order from Brazil, but were later outbid by the US Navy. The New Orleans class were considered the best cruisers of their time, surpassing the later Chester class cruisers in many combat characteristics. Albany does not have the highest speed nor maneuverability, but she makes up for it with good protection: her armor deck is roughly at the waterline, making it hard to disable vital components.
- Yubari (Tier IV, cruiser, Japan)
- Designed by Vice Admiral Baron Yuzuru Hiraga, the Yubari was an experimental cruiser that embodied the principle, "small does not mean defenseless," and the approach to her construction would later be applied to heavy cruisers. The modest dimensions of the vessel reduced the chance of being hit, and its innovative compact arrangement of ammunition elevators allowed for an increased artillery fire compared to 5,500-ton "middle model" cruisers. Yubari is the only cruiser at Tier IV to have 610 mm torpedoes, but the traversing angles of her torpedo tubes are not very wide.
- Iwaki (Tier IV, cruiser, Japan)
- Iwaki is a light cruiser project based on the Tatsuta; engineers took Tatsuta into consideration and fixed a number of her shortcomings in the Iwaki, increasing hull durability and the total displacement, which allowed for the installation of an additional primary armament gun. The developed design solutions were applied during the construction of the Kuma class light cruisers.
In this update, we decided to make changes to the destroyer class. Unfortunately, we had to remove two Tier II destroyers from the game: Smith and Tachibana. Former Tier III destroyers Sampson and Umikaze will take their places. This decision was dictated by the fact that the removed ships were the first destroyers in the tech trees and had quite controversial characteristics. Their combat effectiveness was seriously impaired, which created problems for players. To fill the gap in the tech trees, we added the U.S. destroyer Wickes and the Japanese destroyer Wakatake. We also made some other changes:
- Switched destroyers Kagero and Fubuki. Fubuki is now Tier VIII and Kagero is Tier IX.
- Renamed battleship Haku to Myogi.
- Replaced the visual models of a number of warships: Benson (1938), Chester (1915), St. Louis (1906), St. Louis (1916), Cleveland (1942), Langley (1939), Lexington (1942), and Essex (1943).
Interface: Beautiful Login, Easy Chat
Update 0.2.4 includes a considerable number of interface improvements, especially of the non-combat sort:
- Implemented a new version of the in-Port chat. Players are now able to add other players to their contact list, create chat channels, participate in official chats, and to add other players to their blacklist.
- Improved chat functionality: •Fixed chat scrolling.
- Increased the lifetime of chat messages.
- Implemented the possibility to change the size of the in-Port chat.
- Fixed the animation of messages display.
- Port chat moderator’s nickname is now highlighted red.
- Clicking any message in the Port chat will now copy the name of its sender to the clipboard.
- Reworked the battle loading screen: players are now able to see the team disposition on the map during loading, and we added a new "Tactics" tab to the loading screen.
- Players automatically enter the battle several seconds before it begins; they can click the 'Start Battle' button on the loading screen to enter the battle earlier.
- Reworked the scoreboard accessed by the Tab key.
- The scoreboard now displays ship tiers.
- Added three new Ribbons:
- Base Capture. Awarded to a player who single-handedly captured a base or a control point.
- Base Capture Assistance. Awarded to all players participating in a base or a control point capture.
- Base Defense. Awarded for decapturing an enemy capture.
- Improved the login screen:
- Added background video to login screen. (It's awesome!)
- Removed the black screen between the client loading and the login window.
- Placed the input cursor either in the login field or in the password field, depending on previously entered data.
Gameplay and Balance
A good plan is the key to victory, especially in World of Warships! Until the timer runs out during the battle countdown, players will be able to perform certain actions:
- Players can select the desired shell type.
- Players can select the desired speed and rudder position.
- Players are able to predetermine waypoints for aircraft carrier squadrons.
- Players can select the spread of torpedo launch cone.
We made a great number of changes and fixes to aviation in order to make the aircraft carrier gameplay more interesting and user-friendly:
- When an attack vector is specified, squadrons now approach the bombing run point at a more optimal angle, taking squadrons’ position relative to their target into consideration.
- The attack vector remains the same after manual release of bombs or torpedoes.
- The bombing run circle of a squadron is now displayed after manual release of bombs or torpedoes over land.
- After a bombing run is completed, the bombing run circle is no longer displayed.
- The angle of approach is locked at the moment of specifying a waypoint. If another waypoint is set before the attack point, the angle is locked relative to it.
- The attack vector does not change after dragging a waypoint for a manual release of bombs or torpedoes.
- The automatic attack mode was improved. Squadrons will now launch torpedoes only if they can hit water and if most of them can reach the target area.
- The indicator of a squadron’s movement direction now shows the correct direction.
- The AA barrage fire is now correctly displayed as the torpedo cone spread or the bombs fall ellipse.
- The spread of bombs and torpedoes may differ depending on automatic or manual attack mode.
- The logic of the takeoff/landing triggered by pressing the F key was improved. If a squadron has a route specified, pressing Shift+F will no longer cancel it; instead, the order to land will be added to the waypoints list.
- When several squadrons are selected, clicking the right mouse button on one of them will no longer discard the selection. The camera will focus on the clicked squadron instead.
- Added an overview camera for aircraft carriers during the start countdown.
- The priority of takeoffs and landings was changed. Squadrons that are taking off have priority now.
- Squadrons cannot take off nor land when the carrier is on fire.
Game balance changes relate mostly to destroyers and torpedoes. We tried to make the national characteristic differences between US and Japanese ships more profound: Japanese destroyers rely on the longer ranges of their torpedoes and on low visibility. They must carefully observe the distance to the enemy. As for US destroyers, they excel in quick, close encounters due to their traditional short range torpedoes and more powerful artillery armament. Apart from balancing the nations, we set in order the torpedo research system. We made sure that players will no longer find themselves in a situation where they have to put up with a considerably shorter range of torpedoes on a new stock ship than on the previous fully-upgraded one. Finally, we made changes to the function of the anti-torpedo defense (ATD), fire mechanics, and reconnaissance planes:
- Changed the torpedo research system: torpedo range will now grow regularly with the increase of a ship’s Tier.
- Intensified “the national peculiarities” of destroyers’ camouflage and visibility: the range of U.S. destroyers’ torpedoes is less than their base visibility. The situation is reversed for Japanese destroyers. (Except for first Tiers)
- Adjusted the rotation speed of primary armament turrets on Japanese destroyers to match the historical data.
- Fixed the number of torpedo tubes within one ship.
- Changed the angles of torpedo spread on a number of ships to wider ones.
- Improved the function of the anti-torpedo defense (ATD): the ATD armor now influences ship’s protection more, while the ATD compartment depth has less importance.
- Improved the game mechanics of reconnaissance aircraft. Aircraft launched by battleships now fly long-range runs, while those launched by cruisers fly short-range runs.
- Flight time of reconnaissance aircraft launched by cruiser was increased twofold.
- The speed of Mitsubishi F1M was increased.
- Improved fire mechanics: fire duration was decreased by half. The maximum damage of fire was also reduced by 10% to 20%, depending on ship type.
- Increased the probability of fire after a HE bomb hit.
- Increased torpedo detection range from 10% to 40%.
- Torpedo visibility from aircraft increased twofold.
- Primary armament shots are now two times more visible.
- The charging time of airborne torpedoes was increased from 18% to 40% depending on model.
- The efficiency of the “Air Supremacy” perk was decreased. It adds only one fighter and one bomber now.
- The mechanics of the “Pyromaniac” perk was changed. The value of the perk is now added to the base value, but not multiplied.
- The citadel area of battleship Nagato was reduced. The space between the first and the second armored decks is now a part of the hull. The citadel begins under the main armored deck protecting the engine room.
- All players’ progress will be reset during the Update 0.2.4 deployment. The most active players will be awarded credits and free experience.
- All the prices and earnings in credits and experience were changed. They are now closer to the release values.
- Bots are now able to use all of the abilities available to their ship class. (Laying a smoke screen, sending emergency crew, etc.)
- Bots will now fire when ready without waiting for all guns to aim.
- Bots will choose the torpedo launch lead better.
- Bots will change the type of shells and the torpedo launch spread.
- "Islands of Ice"
- Added a fourth base for the Domination game mode.
- Updated navigation between islands and icebergs throughout the entire map.
- Reworked the system of start points. More cruisers and destroyers may now appear in the battleships group, while a battleship may be placed in the cruisers and destroyers group.
- Improved the map’s graphics: changed islands, the sky, and the lighting.
- Adjusted the shape of some islands to improve navigation.
- Added a valley between mountain ridges of the central island allowing for shooting through the island.
- Improved the map’s graphics and changed islands.
- The map is now available from the Training Room. It is an experimental, open-water map.
- "Big Race"
- Added some fixes and improvements to start points.
- Added land structures, cities, and villages.
- "Fault Line"
- Added a spacious bay on the right side of the map, which improves navigation on the right flank.
- Improved the map’s graphics and changed islands.
- Added land structures, cities, and villages.
- "New Dawn"
- This map is temporarily removed from the game.
Graphics and Visual Effects
- When a ship is sunk at a shallow depth, it will now smoothly sink to the bottom.
- Ships now rock on waves during countdown.
- AA guns will now partially track their targets.
- Motion of shells is now smoother and more realistic.
- HDR calculation was improved and optimized.
- New decals were added to landscape.
- Reflections rendering was improved.
- Pseudo-3D holes now appear on ships.
Sound Effects and Music
- Players with Premium Accounts will now hear an interactive premium track in the Port (at the first login and after a draw).
- In-game sound effects were updated and improved; battle sounds are more dimensional now.
- The issue of playing voice messages in slow mode after contusion was fixed.
- Player achievements in PvP and PvE battles will be stored separately. All the achievements collected before the separation will be transferred to PvP. They will be completely separate after the statistics reset.
- On the Summary tab players can see only their PvP achievements.