World of Warships: Wargaming’s promising newcomer World of Warships gets the largest cheer at a massively produced, expensive, and high-profile event centered around World of Tanks. The entire crowd waits impatiently as a swarm of torpedoes makes its way toward a rival destroyer, slowly but surely. It’s too late by the time they detect the incoming fire. There is a series of explosions that completely devastates the ship on the port side. This is one of the best examples of a “sitting duck,” and the audience erupts in applause as it is struck with a devastating blow.
In its debut eSports appearance at the 2016 Grand Finals in Warsaw, World of Warships showed a lot of promise. The World of Tanks commentators had difficulty with the new game mechanics, and the information graphics might have been made more understandable. Disorienting and erratic camera work also hampered the film’s ability to convey what was going on outside of the focus on the ship in question. Nobody knew who was in charge or what the most pressing issue was.
World of Warships had its fair share of difficulties when it launched, but that doesn’t diminish the game’s competitive potential. Even if World of Tanks’ eSport debut was a shambles, the Wargaming League’s viewership has steadily increased since its inception in 2013.
World of Warships and World of Tanks may seem similar at first glance, yet there are significant differences between the two games. The shell hits something immediately when you fire it in World of Tanks.” “Shooting in World of Warships takes forever,” admits Nicolas Passat, Wargaming’s European eSports chief. As the torpedo slowly makes its way toward its target, players are captivated by the suspense of not knowing if it will hit or if the enemy will outmaneuver the torpedo before it does. As a result, even if progress is glacial, momentum can still be generated.”
Secondly, says Passat, “the game is beautiful — it’s big, realistic, and it generates curiosity on its own. ” Another one of a kind that is not seen anywhere else. World of Warships certainly creates a spectacle of conflict when seen on two big screens. A sea of gunfire, jets, and artillery volleys obscure all insight as battleships the size of small islands slice their way through the landscape. World of Warships is a visual pleasure when compared to the sight of 14 tanks stumbling about dreary, bombed-out cities and deserts.
With the lack of people on the map in comparison to World of Warships, World of Tanks has some issues. There’s a lot of open space in World of Tanks eSports because of the 16-player deficit, and this results in a lot of tanks doing nothing. Despite a ten-player gap, World of Warships is the more fascinating of the two because of how it fills its space rather than the number of players. Aerial conflicts, torpedoed spreads, and other types of firefights are more common, yet the necessity for rapid reflexes and strategic thinking are as constant as they are fleeting in this setting.
At the very end of the event, the game’s appearance signaled a dramatic shift in tone. Show matches like the one between World of Warships and Wargaming’s Chuckle Brothers, who appeared periodically to shout at the crowd, and the array of ring girls who were continually ogled by the camera brought the crowd to its feet. As long as I had the option to pose with models alongside a tank and see the ridiculously overproduced film clips introducing each team as military units, World of Warships was an enjoyable diversion.
Nevertheless, World of Tanks was tainted by the manufactured evangelism that surrounded it: wristbands that light up when you clap, inflatable tubes that make a loud noise when knocked together (I’m told they’re called thunder-sticks, but frankly that’s ridiculous), Wargaming League scarves to proudly hold above one’s head. As a culmination of what eSports can do, the final match provided a memorable moment or a new potential MVP. Hellraisers tank being stuck on a rocky mountainside was the frosting on the cake for Na’Vi’s $150,000 prize money win. Nobody could have imagined this crazy finish.
Attendee reaction to the World of Warships showmatch and the final clash was nearly identical. Wargaming has spent plenty of time, money, and energy into ensuring that World of Tanks will evolve into a viable and leading eSport, and for the most part, they’ve achieved, but their testing of the battleship-filled waters teased at something far more promising.
World of Tanks also didn’t have an easy time making the jump to eSports. Wargaming’s marketing product manager Maxim Chuvalov believes that the 2014 Grand Finals were a disappointment. “The stakes were too high, and everyone was sitting like ducks in bushes to avoid making any blunders, so we had matches that lasted three hours and matches with 11 draws in a row. It was not so entertaining to watch. We didn’t have a lot of fun while playing.
Tier 10 tanks, a revised attack/defense system, and more health points all contributed to a more intense showdown in the 2015 Grand Finals. But still, the recipe was incorrect. “At that point, we realized that we didn’t have enough metagame… for each map and each tank, practically all matches were mirrored.”. This year’s Grand Finals featured a wide array of tanks and tactics, as well as frequent crashes.
Starting with plans to boost World of Tank’s esports player count to 30, Chuvalo reveals that the adjustments won’t stop there. ‘It has its disadvantages and risks, both technical and broadcasting-related.’ A fundamental problem with World of Tanks eSports right now is that there is a large gap – an enormous, enormous disparity between even clan [players] and professional players… As soon as they saw some Grand Final match, clan members said “no” and didn’t even try to go there because they were out of their level. Nonetheless, we want to make it a “clear, visible, and transparent experience for the gamers.”
It appears that these lessons were already learned for World of Warships, which straddled the gap perfectly between the conventional game and the eSport. It’s still unclear how Wargaming intends to turn their game into a fully-functional eSport beyond this show match. Fans and a little bit of history are still enough to keep World of Tanks going, no matter how many mechanical flaws it has, Even while World of Warships is a year younger than its tracks-and-turrets sibling, there is still time for it to break out of its sibling’s shadow and make a name for itself in this expanding sector of the gaming business.