Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
New WoW announced at E3 announced World of Warplanes (WoW) at E3. The description sounds a lot like World of Tanks, just with airplanes instead of tanks.

On the one side this is good news, and not totally unexpected. With World of Tanks opened up a new chapter in Free2Play games, and it was a big success. The game has outstanding quality and polish for a Free2Play game, and one of the best systems balancing the needs of people who play for free and the needs of the people who can afford to pay I've ever seen. Any game company that believes that they have a recipe for success are bound to try to repeat that success.

On the other side I'm a bit sceptical whether the strengths of the World of Tanks game will still work in the air. World of Tanks is all about terrain, your strategy and tactics depend on the randomly chosen map, and the replayabilty is much increased by adding new maps regularly. I'm not sure how they could even do different maps in World of Warplanes. Maybe with "bomb the flag" missions? But regardless of how those maps look, the terrain risks of playing no role at all, which would make each combat very much always the same. If you just have 15 planes vs. 15 planes in the air, the permutations of different tactics are limited without the influence of terrain.

Well, as long as it has the same business model as WoT, I'll certainly try the new WoW just to see whether I like it. But personally I would have thought World of Battleships to be a better idea.
You had me at 'new WoW'...
Avalon Hill's Richthofen's War wasn't bad. The invention of strategic bombing in WWII gives you more scenario options.

I remember a distant science fiction story where the ultimate sport on the planet was a simulated Jutland.

They seem to do WWII era games. Which really means that before you can do a naval game, you need to get air combat down.

If you want ship-to-ship you really are going to need to go back to Jutland time. Although Hornblower, Mautin et al made sailing famous back when books were on paper and people read them.

Hope it works for them and looking forward to your experiences. Although I must say I did not appreciate the extra nuances of the the third dimension, to my calculus or my games.

If you don't like it, "Vashj'ir with Machine Guns" seems like a catty review title.
+1 for World of Battleships. They could even keep a lot of the current spotting and radio concepts.
I don't think the terrain would play a significant role on the sea either. I think warships would offer more variability in "class" design though.
Terrain wouldn't play a role in historically accurate sea combat. Fortunately that isn't something is too worried about. So World of Battleships could have lots of map with interesting coastlines (fjords?) and island combinations.
World of Tanks style aerial or naval combat? YES PLEASE. I wonder how they would balance Iowa class battleships... >:)
World of Battleships...

I would play that!
Have to agree it's a bit of a strange choice. I'm not sure I'd want World of Battleships either. At this point I'd rather they focus on expanding WoT and provide more game modes, maps with different objectives, finish the US tech tree, at the French and British tech trees, etc.

Still, I suspect they'll use clouds, sun position, day/night, and weather for terrain in WoW. Lurking in heavy clouds would be similar to hiding in bushes, but with the caveat that it's harder for you to see enemies as well.

I guess we'll see.
They could add terrain by making the ceiling of the world not too high and have mountains, bridges, buildings and other obstacles on the map.
Try dog-fighting in a city full of skyscrapers at a low altitude for instance.
I (vaguely) remember a stategic wargame called Battle over Britain, which focused on air combat. I didnt play it extensively though. I probably will try the game, and also support your idea of a naval combat variation.
I'd play World of Wombats.
Having a mix of fighters, bombers and fighter-bombers, with an objective of "bomb the enemy base" would mix up the tactics. AI controlled anti-aircraft emplacements and barrage balloons would do the job of 'terrain' (i.e. adding tactical complications) very nicely.
Also, Battleships just plain works far better in a 'terrainless' environment.

Disregarding historical facts, it would be pretty cool to have a slow-paced BS combat game. I imagine sort of issuing commands and watching it play out, determining weapon vectors and whatever. Battlestar Galatactica the game - but without an airforce I suppose.

Then they *could* try and make a more widespread naval battle game - option of aircraft based on carriers, battleship, sub, destroyer....would be very tough to balance I assume.
After thinking about this some more, I can see sharp contrasts between the two games. As I see it, looking at Warplanes first, it would cater to exactly the kind of playstyle we see in WoT now (and I hate.)

Teamwork would be much less of an issue. You would want a wingman or small squadron (like the current 3 man platoons) but other than that, you don't care so much about the rest of the team. If sighting was pretty much in mutual time (meaning not getting shot at by invisible planes) then spotting would be more about being in the advantageous position relating to the sun and altitude. In other words, all the things I hate about players in WoT would make them good in WoW.

World of Battleships, on the other hand, would cater to what I wish WoT did. Working in task groups, in formations, spotting, concentrated fire, etc.

I have to wonder if this was one of their considerations in going for planes first -- that the playerbase would be much less, well, awkward in that situation.
Once they get WoB out, Is there any way to

I.e. a strategic MMO with production where the combat resolution is in fact Wo[TWB] battle(s)?
Can't wait for World of Lightly Armoured Jeeps, World of Bicycle Regiments, World of Galleys, and World of other random military vehicles.

Incidentally did you see the demo/ trailer for battlefield 3 with the tanks?
There's a pretty decent multiplayer flying game on STEAM called Dogfighter. They have a bunch of levels and manage to keep the terrain interesting and relevant with a few tricks. Firstly they have lots of tunnels and walls and scaffolding and stuff that you can fly through and hide in. Secondly they litter the ground with power ups and thirdly there is a "stall mechanism" that cuts in if you try to fly too high. The net result is that good players usually hug the terrain while taking potshots at those who fly high enough to be exposed.

A more serious impediment though is the fact that you can never stop an air-plane. While that makes for non stop action it does limit your strategic options a lot.
I feel double-trolled. After a split second of "omg New WoW!" I realised that you were probably trolling. I came here expecting to be trolled and instead found there is a new game and it can quite reasonably be abbreviated as WoW. Double-trolled!

I can see I'll have to get up early in the morning to outwit you!
World of Battleships?

What like Navyfield?
if they do /reasonably/ accurate flight modeling, they'll get my cash. I won't tell you what i used to spend on Kesmai's Airwarrior back in the day...
I really wish we get a full fledged war game where players can choose to be Pilots, Tank Commanders or Soldiers. The whole game will adapt the WoT turn-base map war (one move per day) where the army vs army combat happens in real time.

Players start as Soldiers first then they can specialize in Sniping, Assault, Commandoes, Anti-Tank..etc or go to the Tank-Commander route where they can unlock specialized tanks like in WoT but tanks require a lot of "gold" and "repairs" so being a tank commander is tough for the individual player but possible. Or they can go the Pilot Route which require the player to buy an airplane which is extremely expensive (and requires a guild contribution to buy an airplane and maintain it). Rockets cost a lot of money, gas, repairs.

Imagine that.. you a lonely sniper in a tower watching other players in airplanes, tanks, and soldiers.

Matches should balance the number of soldiers, tanks and airplanes. For instance you can't have 20 soldiers fighting 20 airplanes. Both teams must include the same type of that specific category.
If you ever played Crimson Skies, you can really see how Terrain can be made to matter in aerial combat. The ceiling was pretty low, and there was all sorts of neat stuff to fly through and around. You even got bonuses (in the form of photos for your album) for flying through certain "Danger zones", like, for example, through a train tunnel, which was awesome. It was a very arcadey game, so I am sure true flight sim fans would be dissappointed if they went that way, but I personally wouldn't mind.

Short answer = no.


Your comment confused me, as the primary point Tobold made was how terrain/teamwork/etc are all so important in WoT. Hence the gameplay would be radically different.

I haven't played WoT tbh, but anyways ONE of you must be wrong. ;)

Moving on, I'm also not sure what you mean for WoBS. Honestly I sort of see it being completely the opposite as you do. Every player would be an utterly independent unit. Spotting for example is non-existent in WoBS, thats for sure.

I suppose it would depend a lot on whether it truly was just Battleships (hence not WW2 era) or WW2 era (meaning battleships are a non-factor). And if 'just Battleships' really includes all kinds of other ships.

Problem with that is anything other than a BS or possibly sub would be boring as hell to play. I think a less realistic Battleship combat sim type game would be good, ie battleships alone.

@MMO Tomb

You need to try Battlefield. Or timewarp back to when Planetside was around if you really need the MMO progression :P

But ya if you think about it, thats like trying to organize a 40 man raid complete with requiring certain classes/specs/equipment...not exactly WoT. AND you want a map-based strategic game on top :P Would be cool, but almost assuredly never going to happen.


Crimson Skies is probably my fav dogfighting game. It really depends if you prefer an arcade or sim feel. I sort of get the impression WoW will lean a lot closer to sim than CS, although not necessary simlike at all. (CS is epitome of arcadey)

And if you go arcadey like that it all but rules out merging the warplane gameplay with anything else.
You do misunderstand my point. Terrain absolutely matters in wot. Because it matters, one of the main things that makes bad players bad is that they ignore the lanes created by the terrain and leave some lanes undefended and others overmanned, congested, and put all of their options on one advance that can be stalled by a small number of defenders (leaving many attackers loose to rush through those under/undefended lanes.

Taking terrain out of the equation makes the terribads much less bad. To be clear, I have no problem saying that a tank with Top Gun (6+ kills out of 15 opponents) is still bad if he did it in the middle of a stupid strategy that loses the match. You can be fantastic at killing tanks and still be near useless to the team.
You would have "terrain" through weather. You could take cover in cloud formations, have the sun affect visibility, letting you approach closer before getting detected, that kind of thing. If they make it an arcade style shoot em up, you might have a point. If they take the mechanics of air combat semi-seriously then you can have all kinds of tactical and strategic complexity. So I wouldn't worry about that.

I just want the crossover, where I can divebomb a Lowe!
In a 3d environment of air, the whole map is terrain.

Dogfighting is just as intense as a tank battle, if not more.

I wouldn't count out a flight game just because there are 3 dimensions to fight in, rather than 2.
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