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  • Among War Gaming fans and those of its main competitors like Gaijin, World of Warships in general is somewhat controversial for doubling down on an arcade style over a simulator style. World of Tanks was seen as a fair simulator for its day but War Thunder and other titles have since gotten even more accurate. The Warships team responded by greatly simplifying a lot of mechanics from 'Tanks,'' like the commander/ crew system. The approach seems to be mostly praised by Wows's own fandom, though there are its detractors.
  • Within the community there are those who like carriers, and those that hate them. The ones that hate them complain that carriers are like the SPGs from World of tanks, and as such, camp at the rear, and are, for the most part, unkillable. Many of these complaints died down as it soon became apparent that unlike SPGs, you can actually do something about a carriers attacks, which includes the following:
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    • When Torpedo Bombers are sighted, turning towards them, or away from them will allow you to present a smaller target, and increase your chances of not getting hit. At higher tiers however, where all types of aircraft are noticeably faster than their lower tier counterparts, this works if and only if the group of Torpedo Bombers have been shaken by either being engaged by fighters, or a cruiser's Defensive Fire ability when they make their drop. In higher tiers, the best defense against Torpedo Bombers, at least in battleships, is to stick with other battleships and combine the AA firepower, or at the very least have a cruiser or even a high-tier American destroyer that has the Defensive Fire ability escort you.
    • Constant maneuvering makes you a difficult target for Dive Bombers to hit, and even if they do hit, the damage can be minimized. However, in general, Dive Bombers don't do enough damage to care about them. This is especially true at lower tiers, when most carrier players don't even know how to use manually-aimed drops.
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    • Sticking close to a ship that's bristling with anti-air weapons will make you a much less inviting target. Carriers have a limited supply of planes, and a smart carrier player won't throw his planes away.
    • Investing in AA skills and modifications for ships with the capability to fire on aircraft. This will increase the range, accuracy, and even damage of those ships when attacking aircraft, and thus make you a less vulnerable target. And if your AA is sufficiently powerful (or in the case of higher-tier cruisers, if you have the Defensive AA Fire consumable active), the attacking aircraft will be disrupted, causing less accurate bomb drops and much wider, more easily avoidable torpedo spreads.
    • Actively destroying the aircraft yourselfnote . Even if the planes can make their attack run, the fewer of them that get their bombs or torpedoes off, the less damage you'll take.
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    • Set the carrier on fire. Doing this will prevent the carrier from launching or recovering the air wing. If you can get close to one, focus it down until either it sinks, or you sink.
  • Torpedoes have caused some debates over how strong they are, pitting those who primarily captain Battleships, versus those who use Destroyers and Carriers with Torpedo Bombers. Those asking for a Nerf typically point out the high base damage combined with the extremely high chance of even a single hit causing the Flooding Damage Over Time effect. Those who say torpedoes are fine, point out that torpedoes are supposed to be dangerous threats, and historically were to battleships. And that they're balanced by being able to dodge them should a ship maintain sufficient range from torpedo armed boats, as well as a bit of a clever tactical planning for them being inevitably launched at such a tempting target. Or by sticking together with decently AA armed ships to ward off squadrons of enemy torpedo-bombers. The argument has taken on new dimensions with the arrival of the Tirpitz, the first battleship to mount torpedoes in-game.
    • In an example of how history repeats, Real Life pre-World War I battleship advocates also didn't want to acknowledge the potential power of torpedoes, as it seemed dreadfully unfair that such formidable and expensive vessels could be so easily sunk by tiny torpedo-carrying destroyers. Unfortunately for both past and present-day battleship enthusiasts, sinking heavy units is exactly what torpedoes are for.
  • The Radar consumable. Anything caught within a ships radar radius when the consumable is going will be detected, no ifs, ands, or buts. Destroyers hate it, possibly more so than battleships hate torpedoes. Destroyers captains argue that it ruins their game as they are a stealth unit Battleship and cruiser captains argue that it an important counter against destroyers, which most of them considered overpowered before the introduction of radar. Like with torpedoes, these arguments took on a new life with the introduction of a destroyer that actually carries radar, the USS Black.
  • Amongst the fans of Arpeggio of Blue Steel, and KanColle, is the distinct lack of a Heavy Cruiser Takao class outside of Atago being featured as a Tier VIII Premium. Calls have been made to replace the premium Tier VIII Atago with Maya, or to place Maya at Tier VIIExplanation 
    • Then for Christmas 2015, four actual Arpeggio of Blue Steel ships were included for a crossover event (in the form of purely cosmetic reskins, since things like Klein Fields and Super-Graviton Cannons would completely break the game), with their Mental Models as the commanding officers. Takao is not one of the four.note  When two more Arpeggio ships were added for September 2016, there was still more groaning about the lack of Takao. Until November 2016, when ARP Takao was added to the game.
  • "Paper Ships" (that is, designs that were never actually built in real life). Some players feel they add variety to the game, while others see them as taking up slots in the tech tree that could've been filled by real ships aren't in the game. The US Phoenix class light cruiser is one of the only paper ships in the US fleet, and could easily have been replaced by a real USN cruiser, especially as it's essentially a watered-down Omaha (the Phoenix project in real life was a developmental stage that led to the Omaha class cruiser). There's also some dispute over the practice of giving fictional names to Japanese designs that never got far enough to get a name in real lifenote , though at least they follow the actual IJN naming conventions.note  Likewise the paper and "semi-paper" (that is, fictional derivatives of real designs that were deemed too difficult to balance) for the German cruiser and battleship lines have names that would be very plausible for their eras.note 
    • Another argument against paper ships is that the developers sometimes use the "paper" statistics instead of what is realistically achievable in reality. The biggest example is Khabarovsk, which is based on an obscure design that was never implemented due to the impracticability of actually building it. She's larger and heavier than her Tier IX predecessor, Tashkent, yet somehow can can sail faster despite only having a marginally more powerful engine. Khabarovsk also has 50mm belt armor (the only DD in the game to have real armor rather than just hull plating) that makes large sections of her sides impervious to main battery HE shells from any ship that's not a battleshipnote , a German heavy cruisernote , or any of the four large cruisersnote  ; in reality this armor plating was precisely what make the Project 47 Destroyer Leader impossible to build.note 
    • British cruisers having no ability to switch ammo types, instead being permanently locked into AP, has been highly divisive. While many battleship drivers like the idea of ships that can never set them on fire, among people who plan to actually play the British cruisers this lack of flexibility has not been popular. It's also been pointed out that historically, British light cruisers never actually carried a true armor piercing shell, firing only HE for shore bombardment and CPBC (Common Pointed Ballistic Cap, essentially an HE shell with a pointed semi-armor-piercing nosecap) for anti-ship duties. Thus literally any other tech tree would've made more sense as an AP-only line. Other oddities about the British cruisers, like being able to lay smokescreens (albeit unusually small ones), getting the Repair Party consumable starting at Tier III (normally only Tier IX and above cruisers get this) and lack of the Defensive AA Fire consumable despite some of the ships being designed as dedicated AA escorts have been equally controversial.
  • The second Japanese destroyer tree and the reworking of the primary Japanese tree were met with mixed feelings to say the least. Some people liked the idea of more Japanese DDs but most people hated the idea. Most of the animosity was due to the fact that Japan was getting its DD line re-worked before two of the other major nations got any line of destroyers. It probably didn't help that the announcement was made while the anticipated British cruiser line was being indefinitely postponed. And when the line was rolled out, players of Japanese destroyers were unhappy that many of their existing favorites were being nerfed in the process, with the very popular (and admittedly slightly overpowered) Minekaze being a particularly hard-hit victim.
  • Within hours of reports coming out that the Tier VIII Alabama would be an exclusive reward to supertesters, Wargaming was facing an outright revolt on the forums over a one of the most-wanted premium ships being completely unavailable to ordinary players. Wargaming hastily reversed course, announcing that there would in fact be a separate version of Alabama for sale to the public at a later date. It later came out that Wargaming's original plan was to use Alabama as the supertester reward and her sister ship Massachusetts as the for-sale premium, but the outcry for Alabama led to that being set back...though in fall 2017 it was announced that Massachusetts would 'also be sold, meaning that 2 near-identical ships will be sold for over $50 US each.
  • The announcement that the next nation to get a second line of a ship type wouldn't be the long-anticipated potential splitting of American cruiser or battleship lines, but a second line of Russian destroyers. With an emphasis on early Cold War ships. Many immediately feared that these would be overpowered because of having better (or at least more) torpedoes and even flatter shell trajectory than the current Russian destroyers. Others were less worried about whether the ships will be balanced than annoyed that yet another set of Russian ships are being added before British battleships and destroyers. On the other side of the argument are people who actually like Russian DDs and those who simply think more ships are always a good thing. Those not bothered by the new Russian DDs also point out that at least none of them are paper. But those opposed to the new line ask why these these ships that actually got built (some of them in quite large numbers) weren't just used in the original Russian DD line instead of paper ships like Udaloi and Khabarovsk.note 
    • For carrier players the announcement that the top ships of the new line would have better AA than the Americans and would gain access to the defensive fire consumable. The top cruiser in the line has more AA than a Cleveland and is much faster and harder to detect. Strong AA ships with smoke screens are in general a pretty big berserk button among carriers, as you don't know if a smoke screen is hiding a Kagero or a Minotaur (while Minotaur cannot use the Defensive AA Fire consumable, its AA armament is so powerful it shreds planes anyway).
    • When the ships were released a lot of players felt that the whole hype about new ships was just an excuse to buff the Russians. Two of the three ships in the second line are rather non-competitive but the ships in the main line are now perceived as overpowered. The most questionable decision being the decision to boost the damage of all Russian DD guns by 200 points. Wargamming's logic was that Russian D Ds are suppose to be dedicated gun boats so it stands to reason that they should have high damage guns. However they never mentioned how the guns are far more accurate than their contemporaries due having superior velocity and shell arcs, which Wargamming had itself had earlier claimed made the most lethal guns mounted on destroyers.
  • The Radio Position Finding captain skill (formerly "Keen Intuition" in an early leak) for the impending 2017 rework of the skill tree caused an immediate firestorm, especially among players who specialize in destroyers. The skill is widely seen as gutting all stealth and ambush tactics (what destroyers and especially Japanese ones rely heavily on) because it gives an indicator pointing in the direction of the nearest enemy ship even if it's not spotted. While some players argue that it's not actually a Game-Breaker because it's an expensive skill that requires giving up other valuable skills, others have decried it as a legal version of hacking the game. When the skill came up on the public test server and could be actually tried out in action, opinions if anything became even more polarized with many declaring it to be as bad or worse than feared. Prominent Youtuber and super-unicum player Flamu is on the record as feeling like he's cheating while testing the skill. Ultimately RPF turned out to have relatively limited impact, with ironically Japanese destroyers being the ships that use it the most (albeit defensively to avoid getting into gunfights that they can't win). Flamu has attributed this to most players not understanding how to use it offensively to hunt down enemy D Ds or even to accurately aim torpedoes at unspotted enemies under certain situations.
    • On top of the RPF skill, the new captain skills and changes to old ones as a whole are widely perceived as providing buffs to battleships and nerfs to everything else. As some examples, Basic Firing Training (a must-have for "gunboat" destroyers) went from being 1 point to 3 points. Fire Prevention (a previously worthless skill) now makes a ship only capable of being set on fire in 3 places instead of 4, and more critically combines the 2 superstructure fire zones (the easiest places to light a battleship on fire) into a single fire zone. A vocal subset of the community has declared that the new skills mean "baBBies win." (baBBy being a derogatory term for unskilled and whiny battleship drivers, who are widely perceived as being catered to with many of the changes made to the game in 2016 and into 2017.
    • Battleship and heavy cruiser captains actually weren't all that pleased either. One of the new skills added to game was the "Inertia Fuse for HE" skill, which gives he shells 30% more penetration at the cost of a three percent reduction to fire chance. This means that HE shells with a caliber of six inches can now penetrate the deck and extremity armor of the every battleship and cruiser in the game. This skill allows light cruisers using it to melt through battleships and other cruisers. This skill also essentially negated the one advantage heavy cruisers had over light cruisers, that it was easier for heavy cruisers to penetrate light cruisers rather than the other way around. The power of this skill was initially overlooked because it came at the cost of a significant reduction in fire chance, which light cruisers had always relied on to do damage to battleships. But the skill was reworked to so that fire chance reduction wasn't as large, and most light cruisers will still set a decent number of fires due to their fast-firing guns and usually a large number of guns for their tier, meaning it's almost a no-brainer for them.
    • The announcement that Patch 0.6.3 would completely remove open-water stealth firing from the game by changing the detection bloom mechanic. Instead of each ship getting a detection bloom stat based on their gun caliber (plus additional penalties on Russian and German destroyer guns), a ship that opens fire will simply be detected out to their maximum firing range. Some players are celebrating the death of stealth fire because it's frustrating to be on the receiving end of. Others are outraged that a mechanic they've made good use of is being removed and ships that relied on it are not getting buffed in any other way to compensate, especially since premium ships (bought for real money and in some cases specifically advertised by Wargaming as being able to stealth fire) are not immune to the change. But the biggest controversy is over how stealth fire is being removed, and the impact that the new detection bloom mechanic will have beyond just removing stealth fire (which Wargaming seemingly didn't put enough thought into to notice). The new system is a major concealment buff to battleships, which almost universally had detection blooms far beyond their firing range under the old system (some of them even having blooms exceeding the map size). And for the many low-tier BBs that had detection range exceeding their maximum firing range? Wargaming simply buffed their firing range without nerfing anything else. It also impacts destroyers that fight at very close range, since if they fire their guns to kill a ship they can remain spotted for up to 20 seconds by another still-living enemy ship even if it's very far away from them. Thus, it's yet again perceived as a case of "baBBies win."
  • The reveal of the Tier VII premium aircraft carrier Kaga was met was some amount of controversy, as Wargaming previously stated that they would not release another premium CV until the issue of carrier balance was solved.note  And then they added they revealed they were adding the Enterprise as a Tier VIII. To top it off when Kaga was released, players complained that Kaga exemplified everything bad about carriers.note 
  • The release of the Tier VIII premium German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin generated even more controversy. While Kaga is controversial for being somewhat overpowered, Graf Zeppelin was released to scathing reviews from prominent Community Contributors for being released not just underpowered but seemingly unfinished.note  Farazelleth, a unicum possibly the top aircraft carrier player in the world, while recommending that nobody buy the ship while declaring "I bought this so you don't have to!" It's generally believed that the ship was rushed into the premium shop despite still being a work in progress and supertesters thinking it was not ready to go live because Wargaming wanted it out in time for the 2017 edition of Gamescom, a convention that Wargaming likes to hype up new ships at.
    • Wargaming did not take kindly to iChaseGaming's scathing but honest review of the Graf Zeppelin and, as a consequence, have suddenly terminated his status as a Community Contributor in response to it. People are now condemning this decision as another example of Wargaming being unable to take the harsh criticism that results from their poor decisions (notably the Kaga and the SirFoch Controversy over the Chrysler GF). The damage has also been done; WG NA Community Contributor LittleWhiteMouse absolutely hates the ship. This controvesy died down somewhat when Wargaming admitted their mistake, apologized, and pulled back the Graf Zeppelin for rebalancing.
  • Update 6.14 overhauled the notoriously under-powered high tier American aircraft carriers; removing the much hated specialized load outs and swapping them for a single balanced loud out. Where the controversy starts is that they also gave high tier American CVs AP bombs much like the Enterprise. Some people thought this is a great idea since American ships in general are often criticized for being unrealistically too vanilla, others hated the change. The latter argue that this has made CVS as a whole too powerful and hate how the change has increased the frequency of carriers in games. Carrier (and cruiser) captains counter that carriers were intended to be powerful and argue that the complainers are merely salty that they can no longer consider AA a Dump Stat.
  • Asashio is notable in that it caused a huge controversy before ever being released. After beginning testing as essentially an improved stock Kagero, it was buffed to have 20km 20k damage deep water torps that can only hit battleships and aircraft carriers. Some people thought it was a good trade-off but others thought it would make battleships (especially aggressive ones) obsolete. It also pinched a nerve in the rather substantial Hatedom for Japanese destroyers as it was perceived as exaggerating what makes those ships loathed (good at surprising unaware ships and not capping and spotting). The controversy was so bad that most community contributors who usually avoid talking about a ships beta stats, such as Little White Mouse, had to speak their mind one way or the other on the issue.
    • Whether or not Asashio is any good remains a point of contention. She is essentially Crippling Overspecialization incarnate, being able to murder battleships or the odd CV out of position with impunity but being rather under-powered against anything but lower tier IJN destroyers. Since her torpedoes can't hit cruisers she is even more vulnerable to them than the average DD and her poor guns make her vulnerable to other DDs in a fight, more so than the Pan-Asian DDs. Her poor AA and the fact that her torpedoes can also kill carriers, this in practice means she tends to be focused and killed by carriers rather than being a counter to them. She does have incredible stealth but this but unfortunately also has rather low speed limiting her role as a scout. Some people argue that its simply to focused at one thing to be any good while other people argue Asashio simply adds more flavor to the game.
  • The announcement that season 10 or ranked battles was planned to use the same format as season 9, where fro the first half its t8 but moves to t10 became a point of contention. Specifically much of the debate has centered around the Conqueror, and to a lesser extent, other He spamming ships. The Conqueror is already controversial but became almost exponentially more so as season 9 progressed. Some players noticed that passive Conquerors would hang back and get early points by snipping with HE and only engage the enemy directly when the rest of their team died. However they would still get a lot of damage doing this despite being pretty ineffective most of the game and get top score, thus saving them from losing a star despite being part of the reason their team failed.
    • There's also the factor of Tier X fatigue, since Clan Wars are always Tier X and so have the last two seasons of Ranked. While the reason for this is obvious: to encourage more people to grind out their Tier X ships and to provide "endgame" content for long-time players who already have all the ships. But players who don't have a Tier X yet don't appreciate being locked out of achieving Rank 1, and players who find mid-tier gameplay more enjoyable don't like having everything concentrated at the top. On the other hand some players like the increased emphasis on Tier X, considering to be overall the most balanced tier and because it contains the most powerful ships.
  • When the nature of the long-promised aircraft carrier rework was announced at the end of summer 2018, players were immediately split between those who are optimistic about it and those who immediately hated the idea...with most current CV players falling into the latter camp. The reason is that the rework is going to completely discard the existing Real-Time Strategy mechanics in favor of giving the player direct control over a single bomber squadron. Those optimistic about the new system generally hated the RTS style gameplay of CVs and saw it as part of the reason why they have excessive influence over the battlefield. Current CV players, on the other hand, largely played them because they like the RTS mechanic and are disappointed that the skills they've honed already will be rendered obsolete. Many (including those who were never CV players to begin with) also worry that the new version of CV gameplay will be boring and repetitive.
    • Then more things were revealed about the CV rework, like the fact that CVs would now get unlimited reserves of aircraft (meaning there's no need to take any care in approaching targets, because even if they shoot down your whole squadron there's always a replacement ready), which outraged everybody who primarily plays non-CV classes. On top of that, AA guns are considerably less effective on the CV rework test server, giving ships less ability to shoot down planes in the first place. Conversely, the player cannot exercise any direct control of the CV itself if he's got a squadron in the air (WASD is used to control the planes now, with the CV controlled only by setting waypoints on the map). To make matters worse when CV players pointed out that this means they can't activate damage control if their CV is set on fire or floods from a torpedo hit, Wargaming responded not by allowing players to switch back to the CV and put the squadron in a holding pattern until the player switches back to it (what virtually all CV testers were demanding; as it stands to switch back to the CV makes the squadron in the air teleport back into the hangar), they implemented automated consumables for the CV. So rather than being the player's ship, the CV is simply a bot that their planes fly off of. Opinions about the rework are getting increasingly negative, but still heavily split: many CV players find it insultingly dumbed down, while many non-CV players find the new CVs to be just as annoying to play against as the old ones (or more). And this is all exacerbated by the fact that the CV rework is being introduced on the live server for update 0.8.0 (in January 2019), even though everybody agrees it's nowhere near ready and still only in the early Beta stage. The idea of the entire game effectively returning to Open Beta Test (three years after if officially left that status) doesn't sit well with a lot of players.
  • The announcement that West Virginia was going to be added into the game as the old Colorado A hull a tier 6. Some people were fine with it, but others were furious. This is mostly because after West Virginia was raised after being sunk at Pearl Harbor, she received a unique rebuild giving her secondaries and a a superstructure more in line with later US fast battleships. The later camp was made that this unique hull wouldn't be in the game, and if they wanted a tier 6 Colorado they could have used USS Maryland instead.
    • The resolution of the problem rubbed some people the wrong way, while others thought it was fine. Wargaming announced that there would be two premium versions of the West Virginia in different configurations (West Virginia 1941 and West Virginia 1944). The problem some people brought up was that this naming scheme could make identifying ships difficult and could open the flood gates to allowing better versions of existing premiums, and also allowing new ships that share the name of existing ships.note 
    • And finally when West Virginia 1941 was released, there was some controversy over whether or not she was any good. To summarize she has excellent guns but rather substandard everything else, even lacking the standard bonuses US battleships got to their handling and healing.
    • And to add more fuel into the fire, a refitted version of West Virginia was later found out to be available exclusively to the mobile version of the game.
  • When Black versions of Asashio, Atago, Tirpitz and Massachusetts were announced, to say players were split between opinions was an understatement. The contra- camp cited their less-than-stellar reception in World of Tanks to a similar scheme of black versions of premium tanks, and saying that the original owners of the premium ships in question should be given an option of buying only the black camo for their ships instead of needing to buy an entirely separate premium ship just for the camo. The pro- camp said "don't like it, don't buy it", pointing out that these black-colored premium ships are identical in every respect to the original premiums save for the black color, and that any incentive to buy them falls squarely to the player.
  • When the Russian battleship line was announced, opinions were split over if it was a good idea. The pro camp considered it an inevitability given the games Russian origin and were just happy to have new ships. The anti camp pointed out that it breaks a new record for paper ships in a line, with only one of the new battleships being actually completed.note  An almost all of the designs that are in the game are incredibly obscure, and only one was really serious. By comparison the previous record holder, France, has three completed battleships and all but one of the paper ships at least have a wikipedia page.
  • The gun damage rework that capped the maximum damage an AP shell of 280mm or greater could deal to a destroyer to 10% of base shell damage (essentially making all AP hits on destroyers only overpenetrations) was met with huge controversy. The original issue was that Wargaming's damage model was intended to have high caliber AP shells only overpenetrate destroyers due to their extremely thin armor, with a chance for full penetrations to occur on oblique angle impacts that don't outright bounce off. However, a bug in the damage modeling system meant that an AP shell could register more than one instance of damage per hit. For example, the AP shell could "double-dip" for both an overpen and full penetration. This meant that the high base damage of a single battleship AP shell could result in a full salvo instantly or nearly kill a full HP destroyer. The numerous complaints about this bug eventually led to the damage rework. Destroyer players were ecstatic at the change, since it meant they would no longer be killed by random pseudo-detonations caused by battleship AP shells, while battleship players were furious since it weakened their ability to deal with destroyers, while the rest of the player base were angry simply because Wargaming failed to address the root cause of the "double-dipping", which was the source of the complaints destroyer players had against high caliber AP rounds in the first place, as the problem still exists post-patch.
  • When the CV rework dropped not only was its nature controversial but so was the nature of the next two hotfixes, 8.01 and 8.02. While everyone agreed that the 8.00 Hakuryu was completely broken on release, some people thought every other CV was fine. However some people hated the new system entirely, in no small part of the massive counter play CVs potentially had against DDs. Then 8.01 dropped and massively increased AA and removed a couple of exploits. note , but basically made any attack run a suicide mission at tier 8 at above because AA worked too well. However this didn't stop high tier CV game-play as intrepid carriers found they could "cold drop" ordnance before attacking so that they put less aircraft in danger. Some people argued this immediately defeated the purpose of the rework as it put a relatively high skill curve to enter CV play. Then war-gaming announced the AA scaling at tier 8 and above was higher than intended and released 8.02 which put AA in the middle of 8.01 and 8.00 at higher tiers. Some people argued this was just right, others said it was much closer than the previous two but needed fine tuning, others still thought it was too strong, some thought 8.01 AA should have been retained, still others thought 8.01 AA was still too weak, and a last group just hated the whole new concept promised to be angry no matter what level AA was at. Its without a doubt the most fractured and factionalized the fandom has ever been due to a change.
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