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Friday, May 27, 2016

Fleet Friday: Patch 0.5.6 Maps

Patch 0.5.6 for World of Warships has landed and it's brought a bevy of enhancements and new maps. The first and by far most notable enhancement is to the mini map. The developers have added configurable range circles for ship detection and weapons systems. You access the settings for them once in the match using the ubiquitous gears icon at the top right corner of the mini map.
Now that picture isn't very helpful with the details, but it shows you precisely where the gears icon is located. What you are seeing there is a pop-up and only shows what you currently do and do not have selected. In order to make changes you have to click once. Then you'll get the edit dialog. Here it is all blown up for easy reading.
In the first column, the check boxes are self explanatory. The next column shows your various ranges. It is also your legend. The colors of the text and the type of line shown underneath them match what you'll see on the mini map. With all five selected, the mini map can become quite cluttered.

One thing I have not tested, because frankly I just thought of it, is if the numbers on the range circles are there because I am using the alternate battle interface. They don't really bother me, but other's have complained that they can hide ship icons and deprive you of valuable information as to what type of ship it is. That does happen. I've notice it. It wasn't that big a deal at the time, but I can see where it might be at a critical juncture. Time will tell. For now I'm inclined to leave them as they are useful for more than just gauging range to the enemy. I use them as part of my overall situation awareness of the two fleets. It's a very fast way of determining how far away various ships are, both yours and theirs, at a glance. I use that information to plan attacks and avoid radar, which cruiser captains are becoming very adapt at using.

I personally do not find the last known ship positions all that useful. They make a busy map even more busy, and without a time stamp you have no idea how old that information is. A destroyer spotted early in the game can be on the opposite corner by mid match. Thinking they may still be in the original position actually does you a disservice by giving a false sense of security. I prefer to hone my situation awareness, and like a chess game, keep all the possible moves and counter moves continually playing in my head. YMMV.

Moving on from the settings, I want to talk about the map itself. This map is the new Okinawa map. I really like it. This is the only match I've played so far, and I ended up playing hide and seek in and around capture point A. I was able to make a real nuisance of myself, and though I was eventually sank because radar, I managed to land 6 torpedo hits including a devastating strike first blood on the enemy Tashkent. That game may be coming your way as a Sunday highlight eventually. If I had to name an existing map the Okinawa map felt like, I'd have to say Land of Fire.
The other map I have played of the three new maps introduced in patch 0.5.6 is Neighbors. This entire map seems to be a hide and sneak smorgasbord for destroyers. I thoroughly enjoyed the game I played on it, which will also likely become a highlight. The island in B is basically a torpedo block. It's low enough that any ship can shoot over it. The islands at A and C are tall and hard to shoot over. And in C, a single enemy Benson was able to hold the cap for five minutes while being detected by putting the central island between his ship and our cruisers. Then a Colorado moved in to try and hold it. My advice is don't ever do that. *grin* Other than those observations, I can't say much more about the map yet. It didn't appear to lend itself to circular map edge tactics where the BBs for to the edge and stay there. The edges weren't all that safe, as other ships could use islands for cover as the snug into range. For that alone I like this map. If I had to pick an existing map it most felt like, I'd have to say Fault Line.

Lastly, I'd like to know if it was my Nvidia driver update yesterday or the new patch that resulted in this SNAFU.
I had just switched from torpedoes to HE, and the interface just went completely blank. Various keys still worked, and occasionally they would cause the interface to flicker back onto the screen briefly, for like a frame or two, but then it'd go mostly blank again. I eventually got the alternate battle interface info on ships to show again, like name, health and range, but not permanently or helpfully. This was after 12 patch 0.5.6 games without issue, and 8 of those were after I installed the latest Nvidia driver. Opinions? Comments? Mehs?

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