It was late in June when Wargaming announced their plans to bring their PC-based naval MMO World of Warships to consoles. Two months later, we sat down with Daniil Volkov (Development Director for the game) and Victor Kislyi (Wargaming’s CEO), to talk about the game in more detail. Here’s our report of that talk, where we saw the console version in action and also briefly addressed a few of Wargaming’s other IPs – including Master of Orion and Total Annihilation.
Entitled World of Warships Legends, the game isn’t a carbon copy of the existing PC version, and has been subtlely adapted for a console audience. This includes a brand new engine for the game, which also features optimizations for both the Playstation 4 Pro and the Xbox One X. We saw it in action, and can confirm it looks excellent, quite possible better than the current PC version does (although that will also continue to be updated).
Obviously, the shift to consoles also comes with a redesign of the user interface, which has been redone with gamepad controllers in mind rather than the mouse pointer-focused version of the original game. And as is often the case with mouse to gamepad conversions, World of Warships Legends will come with some form of aim assist to help console gamers. And no, this won’t result in an unfair advantage – Legends is its own game, and not cross-platform compatible with the existing World of Warships title on PC.
One of the main focal points for the console version of Warships has been to increase accessibility, as Kislyi and Volkov pointed out. This doesn’t end at aim assist, but also means that game maps will be smaller than those in the PC version, and they will play out with “9 vs 9” scenarios rather than the “12 vs 12” ones people might be used to. The progression system has also been revamped, using more visual progress bars rather than an abundance of on-screen stats.
And the “Legends” part, rather than just using the original title like they did with World of Tanks on console (even though that version differs as well)? That has everything to do with a much larger focus on legendary commanders and battleships in the console version. The existing commander system is being redesigned, and a lot of real life commanders and ships will be included. Or they might turn out to be commanders and ships “inspired by” their real life counterparts, to avoid too much historically-fueled controversy.
So with all this attention for World of Warships Legends, the upcoming 2.0 update for World of Tanks on PC and the recent addition of Mercenaries for Tanks on console, where does that leave Wargaming’s other IPs? Kislyi confirmed that, compared to two years ago, there is now less focus on projects outside of the core “world of” franchises, and we shouldn’t expect news from other fronts any time soon. With Master of Orion, he wanted to give an old classic back to the community rather than chase a commercial opportunity – which has me asking if we might expect the same for Total Annihilation, another IP that Wargaming acquired. Alas, Kislyi had to confirm that there nothing’s happening in that area at the moment.
Luckily, that doesn’t mean Wargaming is sitting still. At Gamescom they were also demonstrating the AR Spectate mode for World of Tanks (imagine watching a live battle unfold as a tabletop version through augmented reality) and showing hands-on demos for World of Tanks in VR. In addition to the updates mentioned before, that means there’s plenty to look forward to. World of Warships Legends is currently in a closed alpha stage, and we’re looking forward to going hands on with it in the (hopefully) not too distant future.