PAX East: Wargaming – Xbox, Card Game, and Warships

When World of Tanks launched in 2010 and 2011 it practically made Wargaming a household name. The game was a roaring success across multiple counties and allowed the studio to really reach out and expand. Since then they have released a multitude of games including World of Warplanes, World of Tanks: Xbox 360 edition along with companions apps such as, World of Tank Assistant and World of Tanks Blitz. Their expansion hasn’t subsided yet, the tank is still full and they don’t plan on stopping.

Wargaming had a presence on the show floor at Pax East showcasing their latest games. Included were World of Tanks for the Xbox One, World of Tanks was released on the Xbox 360 last year and moving forward they want to bring the game to the next generation of consoles with improved graphics, crossplay and new maps. Another game shown was World of Tanks: Generals, Wargaming’s attempt into the collectible card game genre. Lastly, behind closed doors, they showed off their latest title World of Warships the next major instalment in the World of series, which as you may have guessed deal with warships.

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World of Tanks for the Xbox One is adding a few new things on top of the existing game currently it’s predecessor. First being improved graphics and effects. In a brief demo I was shown improved smoke textures from tanks as they are hit, and a higher level of detail of the damage caused by tanks albeit a rundown town or damaged earth. Also small details such as, foliage parting and being mowed down when tanks traversed over them.  Even with the improvements to the graphics, the developers stressed the fact the game with operate the same from a technical standpoint on both platforms so the playing field is even across the board. An important fact to point out as they developed the ability for cross-platform play. Xbox 360 owners and Xbox One owners will be able to play each other in competitive matches. Players will also be able to carry over their progress to the new console as long as they use the same Xbox Live account. Regardless of what system you play on all progress is stored on one account.

World of Tanks: General is something of a new branch for Wargaming. It’s their first dip into the collectable card genre. The big play here is this game is meant to be played anywhere at any time. This free-to-play game is being developed for PC web browser, smartphones, and tablets. Everything is linked to one account so it doesn’t matter what device you use. Like traditional card games you have to build a deck and in Wargaming fashion it involved numerous tanks, planes, artillery, infantry, and various number of support cards.

Matches consist of one versus one combat with a layout of five by three grid. The overall goal is to destroy the headquarters of your opponent but there will be other ways to win the game as well. The game itself is very much a work in progress but the one thing I noticed was that within their cash shop they will allow players to rent cards with in-game currency or real world money which I thought was a pretty nifty idea of to have players be able to try before they commit to a card. Generals is currently in closed beta.

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Lastly, I had the opportunity to watch of demo of World of Warships. The game itself will be very familiar with players who are already affiliated with the World of serieses of games. The main characters this time will be ships as opposed to planes or tanks. There will be four different class of ships to choose from. The Destroyer, a close range ship that primarily uses torpedos, Battleships, the bruisers of the sea. They are designed to take a lot of punishment and dish it out in equal measure. The Cruiser which was described as a jack of all trades ship and lastly the Carrier which operates very differently than the rest of the ships as this ship deploys a various number of aircraft to do its buisness.

Along with the roles each Ship carries, they will also have special abilities. For instance if your are playing a battleship and you have taken a moderate amount of damage, you can heal your haul while you duck behind an island or teammates and in a few moments you can hop back into the fray bigger and badder than ever. Cruisers will have an ability that allows them to extend their attack range providing them with a bit more flexibility for a short time.

In the playable demo I saw a variety of ships in action as well as some of the game’s systems. From a visual standpoint the water was incredible and the ships are extremely detailed. Even as they took us through the upgrade path for some of the guns on the battleship, the aesthetics would change on those particular guns. The main focus of the demo was the Carrier class ship since they play a lot differently than the other ships. Unlike manning and using the armaments as you would on other ships, Carriers deploy aircraft and they do the fighting for you. To help with this you can pull up an overlay of the map a plot out your ship’s course so you can focus on other aspects of the game. To note this can be done on any of the ships and it’s not carrier exclusive.

World of Warships PAX East

As you deploy planes, you have to option to control them to a certain extent. You can’t manually fly the planes but you can set markers to set the location they deploy to. You can also manually fire with certain planes. For instance if you are piloting your torpedo planes, you can manually fire the torpedoes or set a general direction and angle in which the AI deploys them. Once you have deployed your planes, it’s feel verymuch like a RTS as you are micromanaging your group to deploy, do their business and return. Be mindful however is that you will have a limited amount of aircraft to deploy. You can run out and once you do, you are nothing more than a glorified anti-aircraft ship as a Carrier has no other weapons outside of it’s aircraft. Overall the gameplay was visually stunning and I could see how complicated strategies could be depending on the map you played on as well as your team composition.

This wouldn’t be a proper World of game if you couldn’t upgrade your ship in some manner. Each ship will have it’s own tech tree that provides upgrades to your ship. Some of the upgrades may offer trade offs. You can choice between have a longer reload time on your guns in exchange for faster aiming. Players themselves will have their own commander tree that will apply to all the ships you use. There will also be plenty of variety when it comes to ships. Each class of ship will have a variety of ships to choose from. Currently they only have ships from the American forces and Japan forces from WWI, WWII and beyond. They do plan to continue adding more ships as time goes on. The game is currently in beta and is looking to release later on this year.

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