This game is not rewarding, has a long learning curve, it’s not fair, you will not like it many times, you will quit it now and then and you will come back. It’s like a drug, it’s evil for your body but makes you come back at any time. Leave now if you can, and be happy.
If you still here after reading the first lines, it means you are determined to play. Good! I hope the following text may become helpful for all of you. Although I’m not a ‘Unicum’, or maybe I am, but not as ‘Mastadans’, who knows, I really expect that you may take seriously next tips, advises and thoughts I’ve been thinking through these last years playing WoWs.
This is not a complete guide, I’m not pretending to teach you the game mechanics, or very specific things like aiming/penetration degrees/overmatch, or whatever. It’s just some thoughts maybe out of the box that I doubt it may be written in many guides. Although many points below may be arguable, it’s just my opinion and it doesn’t mean to be the ultimate truth.
The first time you log-in, the most important thing you need to know is yourself. The way you’ve been gaming across the years. Maybe you’re a cunning player, or a brute one, smart, slow thinking, a coward maybe too, and so on. All your personality traits may have a good and a bad side in this game, even cowardice.
Thou there are many personal skills that apply to every ship type, which are basically four nowadays, Destroyer (DD), Cruiser (CA), Battleship (BB) and Aircraft Carrier (CV), there are some of such skills that you really will apply most in a specific cla*s/type.
For instance, fore sighting. It’s very important to foresee what will happen during a match, but to avoid trouble and maximize damage, a destroyer will take more advantage of that skill than a CV, for instance.
On the other hand, valor, bravery, maybe be applied better to a battleship. You’ll be amazed to watch yourself pushing after some minutes camping behind a rock, and realizing you could have done that long ago and killed those two pesky cruisers behind an island.
I guess you’ve already got the point, let’s proceed.
I strongly advise you to play all types of ships during your first thousand games, so you get to know yourself and which type you’d like to deepen in its gameplay/knowledge. There are no good or bad types of ships, all four are fine. But at this point, depending on your personal skills, you’ll perform better with one cla*s than another, or maybe along the years, you’ll become top notch with all four (or five, submarines, who knows?).
Let’s continue with next advice.
You will learn around there, that there’re many mods in-game, usually packed in Aslain’s mod- pack, which besides the obvious benefit of getting them all together and installing what you’d prefer, you may be comfortable knowing that they are all legal. It’s up to you to use mods since the start, or perhaps wait a bit and when you feel fine using the vanilla version, then install them.
Ok, now that you got the game set up, more or less you know yourself and some mods are already installed, mmm, Ok! We are good to go. Let’s proceed with the golden rules.
The golden rules
– Don’t take your ship to a place where your mind hasn’t gone some minutes ago.
– Don’t trust your teammates, even casual platoons.
– Don’t narrow your situational awareness when stressed.
– Check constantly the mini-map.
– Know the ships’ weaknesses and strengths.
– Help your teammates as much as possible.
– Target a certain enemy depending on the situation.
– This game is an arcade, not a simulator. Random Number Generator, RNG, or ‘Rage’, is always cheating. Bend it to your will.
– It’s not always a good idea to open fire.
– Don’t listen to fools.
– Always position your ship to minimize incoming damage and maximize the outgoing one.
– Keep calm, it’s a really stressing game, which is hard to believe as ships move quite slow compared to tanks or planes, but believe me, it happens. You’ll fail a lot of salvoes just because someone took out the worst of you.
– Slow, broadside and detected are three words that combined mean death.
– Seconds before shooting, check if there’s a more suitable target.
The “off-topic” golden rules:
– WarGaming is a profit company. Do not expect fair rules or democracy.
– This game is not fair at all. You can find many OP ships, or unfair situations like, e.g. some ships hidden in smoke and shooting non-stop at you with few chances to fire back, so it may become really frustrating. If you cannot withstand this kind of situations, do not begin to play for your own mental health.
– Although being a multiplayer game, very few players teamplay in random/ranked battles, which means it’s a camping game at least during half the duration of a match.
The golden rules explanation
– Don’t take your ship to a place where your mind hasn’t gone some minutes ago: Well, this is a saying in my ex-professional world and it’s in Spanish, so is a translation from: “Nunca lleves el avión donde tu mente no haya ido cinco minutos antes”. It’s very useful to avoid incoming trouble, to force your mind to think what may happen if you travel to a place, what enemies you may find, what cover you should take or have as a plan B. This game is not really forgiving, some types as battleships may look like forgiving, but as a matter of fact, they are slow so it will take you a long time to flee from an area compared to a destroyer. So, you can tank a lot more damage, but you won’t be able to flee actually. Be careful where you sail with your ship.
– Don’t trust teammates. As in real-life. Do not trust anyone at first glance. Even the slowest ship on Earth can flee and leave you alone in the blink of an eye.
– The more stressed you are, the less you perceive from your surroundings. So, keep your situational awareness as high as possible.
– Target a certain enemy depending on the situation: Broadside shots better than anything else, the lighter the armor the better, the slower also the better. E.g. in other words, when firing AP shells, always first target a broadside cruiser, going slow, than a bow-on battleship.
– Bend RNG to your will. If your ship looks like a spray gun when shooting, do not complain, get closer to the enemy. If even going closer it still looks like a spray gun, spray it, and maybe use HE, or take any method you consider good enough to overcome RNG.
– It’s not always a good idea to open fire: You need to weigh the benefits you can obtain from shooting and the downside of being detected for a while. How much damage will I cause and how much will I receive? I’m tired to see some battleships sending interstellar rounds along +20kms towards a cruiser, that 99% of the time has turned away avoiding all the shells. However, that battleship will remain detected for some time allowing enemies to shoot her, especially with fire which ““approximately’’” disregards distance/spread/penetration, and also allowing the enemy to adapt their mid-term strategy in-match, basically by positioning.
– Always position your ship to minimize incoming damage and maximize the outgoing one. That should be a long topic as it depends on the ship you’re sailing with. As a common rule, broadside ships are not good positioned (except German battleships for instance which are very hard to citadel and need large angles to fire with all guns). Some cruisers, or many, need to kite, so their position is variable at any moment depending on the salvoes you see coming to you 😊 You will learn that actually, but will take you some time, but remember, it’s ugly to see a ship fighting in open seas showing broadside to the enemy. It’s quite a noob style.
Tips and opinions
– Wows is like a house, usually:
o Battleships are like foundations or beams. You need them to build an attack or a defense. They should be tankers, but do not expect much endurance due to fire meta. First mistake as a newbie is thinking a battleship is like a god. And Wargaming first mistake was to create battleships. And it’s been years now that they try to find zillions of ways to destroy them and make their life miserable. 😊
o Cruisers are like walls. They fill the blanks between what should be the first line of formation, which are destroyers, and battleships. They’ve got multiple functions like real walls, however unfortunately nowadays they’re mainly used as battleship hunters with BBQ fire, and common players don’t help much in hunting DDs down.
o Destroyers are the roof. They keep enemy DDs away, like roof repels rain, and they put under cover the walls and beams from underwater danger as they easily spot torpedoes. Even if there’s a CV in-match, they hold a great responsibility: To spot. Destroyers under smoke are not good at game start, they are useless and do not fulfil their role of spotting.
o CVs are military satellites far away from home. They can shoot anywhere and watch out anything. However planes are quite weak after the nerf and cannot hold much against a hub or some AA def spec’d ships. They uncover intentions and may provide quick help to friendlies in trouble. They are, in my opinion, the most powerful cla*s, not because damage but because they provide huge spotting info which if used properly will almost always bring victory.
– Do not despair with stats. In my opinion it’s way better a greenish player whom you can trust to help you while a push, than a purple player that when the **** hits the fan flees in a second.
Oh well. This is a long topic, but I’ll make it short.
There are lots of video tutorials about that, some of quite useful, but actually they were quite useless for me.
Max speed of Kremlin, every knot beyond that default speed is so many more in the crosshair, now it’s not a Kremlin, it’s a GK, oh well, was it 30? 29? 32? I can’t remember, oh, GK is gone and I haven’t shot yet. Oh look! a destroyer, is going fast, was it 38kt a Shima? Can’t remember, oh look, a whole bunch of torps incoming, etc. Useless method for me.
My only advise about aiming is use a straight line as crosshair, without numbers, dots, or whatever. A simple straight line, white if possible, since your very first game. Always learn your opponent behavior, salvo after salvo refine your aim. And always remember this creed by Mr. Stephen King:
“I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
I aim with my eye.
I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
I shoot with my mind.
I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.
I kill with my heart.”
If you follow this astonishing creed, there is no trick the enemy can throw at you. It doesn’t matter the speed is going, or braking, or accelerating, or turning, or all at once, you don’t care about her default max speed, you just shoot where your eye and mind tells you it’s going to be within some seconds.
In my opinion, crosshairs with numbers and using all that thing about speeds and so on, it’s ‘short-term gain, long-term pain’.
I’ve clicked ‘Battle’! Now what?
First of all, check all ships, friends and foes. It would be a good moment to determine if Match Making (or devil in disguise 😊 ) just put in your team a better sort/combination of ships than in the enemy team. It’s not an easy thing to learn but eventually you’ll figure it out more or less. Then you should determine, depending on the map also, what would be the best tactics to help reaching the victory for you and your team. And it’s very important to check your nearby teammates. And I’ll drop a couple examples here to explain that, as in my opinion is very important:
So, you are sailing with a destroyer, and you intend to cap. At your side, spawned at the match start, there is a Zao (Japanese IJN cruiser). Do not expect that Zao to follow you around the flag. It’s a long-range line of cruisers, therefore Zao will not provide close help, as it’s quite a suicide for her. Keep that in mind before taking any decision.
And now, you are the Zao, and you expect Shimakaze (destroyer) to cap right away from the match start. What you haven’t realized, besides the enemy has some radar-ships, is that the enemy destroyer is for instance a Harugumo or a Smaland. In other words, if Shima is spotted while capping is quite a dead ship laying at sea bottom unless a couple of lucky torps hit that enemy dd, and even then.
Therefore, expect that Shima to go wide (not entering the cap circle but to keep some distance while spotting and torping), and act consequently to help that Shima in her purpose.
So, you have decided where to go, whom to help, and a brief mental image about how to reach victory. Now remember Mr. Eisenhower quote: “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything”. In other words, a battle is changing constantly and you need to adapt in real time to it, however: “Prior planning prevents poor performance”.
And basically, that’s all the basics you need to know, I’ve probably forgotten many, so I’ll keep adding and correcting along time. I’d be glad to know that even just one single point of this guide has been helpful for you.
Fair winds and following seas and thanks for reading!
‘All else is dark to me; yet it may be that our three paths lead back to Doriath, and we may meet before the end.’
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