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Update of commander skills: questions and answers

Commanders!

We would like to address several important questions and concerns you've raised about the upcoming update to the skills system.

 

Why didn't you conduct a separate test for the new commander skills?

We decided to have a closed test and also to share any planned changes with you in advance. This allowed us to get valuable feedback and understand any further necessary steps.

Everyone will get a chance to try out the updated commander skills system in the Public Test for Update 0.10.0, which is starting soon. We'll take advantage of this occasion to test the system's technical stability.

A dedicated balance test hosted on a separate server, even if it were week-long, would not yield decisive results due to the following reasons:

  • A temporary test is too short a time period to try out the majority of ships and all the different possible builds for them;
  • Test servers rarely generate enough motivation for serious battles, to occur: there's no risk of damaging individual stats, and winning does not influence account progress. Both of these are the most important motivators on the main server;
  • Only a rather small number of players would be ready to stop activity on the main server in favor of battles on the test server, so the sample wouldn't be fully representative.

Regardless, for more precise and deep adjustments, we'll need data from the main server. After the release of 0.10.0, we'll watch player statistics and your feedback, and balance both skills and specific ships, if needed.

Why are you making such a big change, when the current system works just fine?

There are several main reasons for this change:

  • Right now, the majority of ships often have only one effective build. By adding new skills and changing old ones, we want to give players a choice between different and effective builds for different playstyles. 
  • Some skills are ineffective for certain ships, and others have a greater effect on some classes more than others. Splitting skill trees into classes will fix this situation and will also give more room for future improvements and opportunities for more specialized skills.
  • The old interface was not very comfortable to use, so we're updating it. Additionally, we're adding quality of life improvements such as a recommendation system that will make it easier to choose skills for specific ships, and an option to dismiss unneeded commanders in exchange for Elite XP.

Why have you removed the option to retrain commanders using credits?

The option to retrain commanders using credits was removed from the interface, but now it is "built-in" to the game and does not require credits spending. the amount of XP needed for retraining was halved.

How much XP is needed to level up a commander from 19 to 21 skill points?

It will require 1,200,000 XP. Yes, it is a new stage of growth for commanders in our game: they get more simultaneous active skills, but it requires effort to unlock them all. This is the basis of our game - progression.

At the same time, it should be considered that commanders with 19 skill points are still strong in battle and do not lose their efficiency with the new system.

An additional 5% of Elite XP which will be earned by all commanders with less than the maximum amount of skill points will help in the process of leveling up.

Atlanta, Flint, Smolensk, and Colbert need additional firing range to be effective, but skills for this are not present in the new system. Why?

Yes, these ships won't be able to increase their firing range with skills. We've planned to check their efficiency after the skills system update, and then make a decision about changes directly to premium and special ships. 

However, also thanks to your comments, we've decided to increase Atlanta's basic firing range by 20%, from 11.1 to 13.3 km with the release of 0.10.0, thereby "welding" the skill into the ship. We're planning to improve Colbert's acceleration and deceleration dynamics. Flint and Smolensk don't require such a preemptive change, but we will keep a close eye on their combat statistics and implement changes if needed.

Survivability skills won't be available for cruisers, and thus you're lowering the survivability of big cruisers.

Big cruisers are distinguished from standard ones by thicker armor and bigger caliber guns, and they have a weak spot - long fires. This weakness could be bypassed by skills. We want to split big and standard cruisers in the new skills system. Big ones will have their strength in armor and shells, but fires will be their weakness, and this is how standard cruisers will be able to counter them.

Secondaries-based builds will now be weaker because you've lowered the accuracy bonus.

We don't plan to lower the efficiency of secondary-focused ships, but we understand that they'll have a shift in gameplay: if previously you could focus fire on one target with increased accuracy, now you'll be able to fight several enemies at once — on either side of your ship — by sacrificing some accuracy. In addition to this change, we're also increasing secondaries' range, so their efficiency will be improved. Besides, skills for secondary guns now require fewer skill points.

New secondary gun firing ranges (in km)

 
Base range
Range with full build
Tier German/French Others
German/French
Others
III 4 3.2 5 4
IV 4.8 4 6 5
V 4.95 4.3 7.5 6.5
VI 5.6 4.95 8.5 7.5
VII 6.3 5.6 9.5 8.5
VIII 7.6 6.6 11.5 10
IX 7.95 6.95 12 10.5
X 8.3 7.6 12.5 11

 

If a ship's base secondary firing range was higher than specified, it won't be lowered. Also, ship detection range is a limiting factor for secondary battery range: the maximum possible secondary firing range cannot exceed the minimum possible detection range of a ship.

We will watch how the updated skills for secondaries will work, and, if they won't be effective enough, we'll take measures.

It will be impossible to build a secondaries-focused cruiser.

Yes, it is so. Right now there are just a couple of cruisers in the game that can focus on secondaries. However, for almost the whole class,  secondary-related skills won't be effective. If more cruisers like this were to be added, we would consider changes. 

You're encouraging long-range gameplay by adding the "Marksman" skill.

We understand that not all playstyles will be liked by all players, but many players prefer this type of gameplay. There are suitable ships for it and we want to support it with commander skills, as it is already done with upgrades increasing firing range and accuracy. There is a choice between different playstyles in the game: careful at long range, agressive at close range, and balanced at medium range. We don't believe that this hurts the game: choosing a playstyle does not depend on one skill, but on a player's preferences and a ship's basic parameters. Besides, we're also adding new options for aggressive builds.

Will there be a free skills reset? It takes time to try out different builds...

In order to let you comfortably try out different builds during Update 0.10.0:

  • Skills reset will be free;
  • Demounting upgrades will also be free;
  • The cost of commander retraining will be lowered by 90% — from 500 to 50 doubloons.

Besides, to let you further experiment with commander retraining:

  • Players with 8 Access Level of Service Record and higher will get 500 doubloons on the first login to the game during 0.10.0:
  • There will be 6 special combat missions in 0.10.0, one for each nation with more than one full tech tree branch. The reward for completing each mission is 100 doubloons.

In total 1,100 doubloons may be obtained. This amount will be sufficient to retrain 22 commanders in 0.10.0.