Greetings, commanders! Today we would like to shed some light on the Naval battles development process and to tell you about the problems we have faced and how we have solved them. We would also like to share our plans for the future in Naval development.
From the very beginning of War Thunder naval battles development we understood that it wouldn’t be easy since our game format is maximum realism on the one hand, and a dynamic game experience with short game sessions on the other. We also took into consideration that implementing different vehicle types in one battle is complicated when we are talking about naval battles, that is why the mosquito fleet was a logical decision. Battles involving these vessels were both dynamic and interesting.
The playtests we ran with your participation helped us a lot to identify the downsides of the gameplay as well as identifying a variety of bugs and errors, so we had to correct our plans. After analyzing your feedback we decided to focus on improvement in the gameplay and temporarily not to introduce new craft in the playtests until we had completed much of the improvements and tweaking. As a result of the tests, we decided to implement specific improvements, tweak some mechanics or even sometimes completely rework the following.
Gun stabilization to compensate for sea motion
We took the decision to model the rocking effects on naval forces, as without them, the vessels would become “tanks on blue grass”. Additionally, in real combat craft there were various and multiple systems to compensate for any rocking during firing, including three-dimensional compensation. We did our best to model and simulate manual and automatic gun stabilization for War Thunder naval forces, in order to make them effective at striking any enemy affected by sea swell and rocking.
We improved the damage system for War Thunder naval forces: even small patrol boats can contain multiple systems, for example, up to 10-20 firing points. This variety and complexity makes targeting the exact component on enemy vessel almost impossible due to the small comparative size of these items. This is why we organized components into groups, that could be targeted and damaged, and would be visible in the hit camera. Also, we decided to distance our naval forces from the logic we use in the ground force battles, that is a craft is counted as destroyed when you have lost your last crew member. In larger and even huge naval crews there are numerous issues that were pointed out by our players, when you had to find and knock out the very last sailor of the enemy vessel. In our new damage model when you disable one of the enemy compartments, you also disable part of the total crew, specifically the crew assigned to this compartment.
Controlling fire from guns of different calibres and purpose
The multiple types of fire units using different calibres complicates reasonable aiming and fire correction, it also forces a player to focus all his fire on a single target. This is why we plan to divide different purpose weaponry to different groups, and a player will be able to choose which ones he will control himself and which ones will be controlled automatically, taking players commands into account.
New vessel survivability mechanics
Repairs, fire extinguishing and reducing or stopping flooding: we plan to add more gameplay to these important actions rather than use the existing fully automatic process.
Smaller vessels usually do not have serious armour protection that is why smoke screens play a vital role in increasing a craft’s survivability and more diverse gameplay. We already demonstrated the smokescreen mechanics during the April Fool’s event this year and we are working to integrate them into naval gameplay.
We also plan to change the torpedo aim logic and add lead indication.
As for the visuals we have added procedural destruction of the vessels - it is in the final testing stage at the moment. We also continuously improve the visuals of the craft, water and the environment.
Besides general gameplay improvement all these changes will let us add larger ships to the game.
And now some numbers - what has already been done and what you will be able to see in the nearest future.
At the moment we have the following things either ready or in development:
- Over 70 vessels of various classes from different nations are completely ready and around 20 more craft are currently in development.
- 10 locations (both the one we have already shown and ones in development).
- Gun stabilization systems.
- Traversing torpedo tubes.
- Procedural destruction of vessels.
- New Damage Model mechanics.
- Torpedo gyro correction.