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The New Captain Skills - Some stray thoughts

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Beta Tester
3,446 posts
3,956 battles

From what I've gathered so far - mainly from some videos and a text by Flamu on the subject - I get the impression that the new commander skill system will have, as it is currently presented, roughly the following effects:

a) Significant buffs to the one class that absolutely needs no buffs, namely carriers.

b) General buffs to battleships, whether brawlers or snipers, with a special boost to the Russians and a resounding nerf to German secondary builds.

c) Possible nerfs to cruiser survivability across the board (this was news to me, and - if true - begs the question why).

d) Situational buffs to the survivability of destroyers, in the form of temporary accuracy penalties to incoming fire (it remains to be seen just how effective this will actually be).

e) Percentage bonuses instead of fixed bonuses to skills that boost certain ship characteristics (such as turret rotation speed). 

f) Changes to the unique commanders, as their enhanced skills are adjusted - we still don't know how - to the new skill system.

g) Improved usefulness of premium ships, since commanders will be able to be cross-trained for all ship classes and freely switched between premium ships.


First a few particular comments.


Having percentage bonuses instead of fixed bonuses for skills that boost such things as, for instance, turret rotation, has the effect of giving a bigger bonus to ships that are already strong in the given area (and thus less in need of a boost), and a lesser bonus to ships that are weak in said area (and thus in more need a a boost). Taking turret rotation as an example, this will provide a much bigger benefit to such ships as, say, the Kremlin, than to the Yamato. One wonders why this is thought to be a good idea.


Nerfing German secondary builds seems uncalled for, in my opinion. No one has accused secondary-specced German ships of being overpowered, or even very efficient from a purely tactical point of view - they are simply fun to play. To take away that fun would go well in line with the old tradition from World of Tanks, to never allow the Germans to be especially good at anything in particular, but I can see no other reason to implement such a change.


Commanders being able to be trained for all ship classes simultaneously seems to be a very good idea, since it will make both captain training and the purchase of premiums more worthwhile, with no disadvantage for anyone that I can see. The fact that you will not be able to switch commanders freely between normal tech tree ships is not something to grumble about in my opinion. Introducing such a change would effectively mean that you could get by with just two or three captains for each tech tree, which would be more trouble - in the form of constant captain-switching - than it would be worth.


Having separate skill trees for the various ship classes also has the potential for making the skill system a lot more flexible and functional over time. It would allow for much more efficient fine-tuning to deal with issues of game balance as new features are introduced. So if Wargaming gets this right, I think we might be looking at a much better skill system in the future, once we are past the inevitable initial hurdles.


On a more general note, I am very much aware of the fact that I do not, as yet, have anything like a full picture of the incoming changes. I have thus far mostly watched Flamu's videos on the subject, and although these are - as usual - very informative, I have found it advisable to not take anyone's opinions as gospel without double-checking the source. That said, he paints a rather bleak picture. A few years ago I wouldn't have let myself be bothered by any doomsday prophesies, but things have changed in the World of Warships. The last few years have seen the introduction of overly noob-friendly reworked carriers, real Russian bias (in the name of Smolensk, Kremlin, stealth radar and the unique(ly good) commander Kuznetsov), the Puerto Rico debacle, and - last but not least - the sale for money of a tier X premium Yamato together with the legendary upgrade. What further changes (I am tempted to say degradations) to the meta will follow when submarines are eventually shoe-horned into the game, is anyone's guess. I do not begrudge Wargaming making a good buck - quite the opposite, in fact, since I hope WoWs will continue to exist for a long time to come - but saying that they are currently prioritizing short-term gain at the cost of the long term health of the game, is merely stating the obvious as I see it. With this in mind, I am approaching the prospect of a new skill system with less enthusiasm than might have been the case two or three years ago. But I am willing - and hoping - to be convinced otherwise.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, fellow Captains!


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