Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Warship Wednesday: Sea Maps

Last week I promised to talk about all the maps in World of Warships so since I have not got a new ship yet (unlocked the Shokaku but still a few battles from the Amagi) I guess I'll do what I said I would do.

Only seen in tier 1 to 3 matches, this map is small but very interesting with three domination points running down the middle from north to south. For the early battleships, this map is nice as it provides lots of cover to advance (slowly) behind and then open up on the overconfident cruisers.

Some people hate this map because of its lack of terrain but I personally love it. Its all about positioning and reacting properly to enemy movements, as opposed to utilizing terrain to your advantage. I wouldn't want to play it all the time but its a nice change.

Destroyers and cruisers tend to have the hardest time on this map where aircraft can see for miles and battleship range comes into play. Try not to get too far from friendlies or you will simply get pounded into dust.

Big Race
Only seen in lower tiers, I really don't like this map. A quarter of the map is the large island in the south west which makes it only playable by aircraft carrier planes. The alley right beside that island is death for anyone but destroyers and lucky cruisers, and even if a battleship wanted to go that way, it effectively removes him from the rest of the battle due to tight sight lines. So a lot of fighting of big ships happens up in the north east corner. Occasionally the middle sees action but unless a majority of your team goes with you, its a deathtrap. Most of the time the battle boils down to who wins the north east as the dessies in the south west usually cancel each other out. Just yuck.

New Dawn
A nice big map for lower-mid level tiers, I like this map a lot. Lots of options for all the ship classes to try out, battles can play out very differently, long sight lines for battleships to reach out and participate but still lots of islands for destroyers and cruisers to duck behind. Always fun. Could use an encounter mode to go with domination and standard modes.

Fault Line
You're going to see this map a lot. Used in low mid and high mid tier games, typically in 3-point domination or standard-domination (where the standard flags are replaced by domination points) this is a nice map overall with lots of variation, but long range battleship fire is tough to pull off and destroyers love all the little islands with tight straits to fill with torpedoes. Beware the C point on the east side, it can be a death trap to the unwary. I usually avoid it.

I like to think of this map as Fault Line's big brother as they share a similar DNA. Typically uses 4-point domination mode, but IIRC sometimes standard-domination mode, its a map where once you commit to either extreme you have given up on influencing the other extreme and leave it to your teammates to handle. Battleships typcially like going to A point in the west because its wide open and harder for destroyers to be evil, while in turn dessies love B and C for their ambush points on both sides. D is other spot that in some games no one goes for at all because committing to it means you will never see A or B and its hard to support C without going through an extremely dangerous strait.

Bees to Honey, AKA Hotspot
The wiki claims its called Bees to Honey but I never have see it called anything put Hotspot. In closed Beta this map was the devil because it splits the teams up, half in one corner and half in the other corner, and spread 5 domination points around (or one encounter flag in the middle). Since going live, it still does the evil split but does a 3-point or 5 point domination which seems to encourage less ganging up on a single enemy flank. Not sure why. For carriers, this map sucks because there is no place to hide or run away too. Battleships have some lines of sight but there is also a lot of islands for smaller ships to take cover. Not my favourite map but I don't hate it either.

Islands of Ice
Only seen in the highest tier matches, this massive map is a lot of fun and a lot of frustration. Either played in four point domination (with point A in the north west and down to point D in the south east in a diagonal line) or encounter with flag in middle, this map has two large open areas for the biggest of the big ships to duel it out, yet still plenty of icebergs and islands to sneak about. Can be tough on lower tier ships pulled into these matches, especially low tier carriers with slower planes that can have large distances to travel. One of my favourite maps in a battleship though.

Two Brothers
I love this map because its so different. Instead of having a sparse middle like all the other maps, this one has two huge islands in the middle with a small pass between them (which someone almost always tries to run for the surprise factor to the point where someone always sits and waits for the fool to appear). The end result is both teams usually splitting into two forces and each trying to win, although sometimes you will get one team giving up a flank and going all in on the other side. Both approaches have pros and cons and I like the chances either way.

Newest maps not on wiki:

Solomon Islands
I'm still forming an opinion on this map. See it a lot on low to mid tiers, runs standard or three point domination modes, the large open areas are good for cruisers and battleships, not so friendly to destroyers. The C point in the north east seems to be pivotal, more so than the A point in the south west.

The Strait
I hate hate HATE this map. Like Hotspot, it splits the fleet so that one side has a part of the fleet in the north west corner and part in the south west corner, and the enemy has their fleet split into the east corners. Except the fleet is divided unevenly and your smaller split is facing against the enemy larger split. Gah. So it boils down to who's stronger force can win against the weaker force faster for the most part. Not much fun, not much variation, and not interesting. I wish they would rework this map to be very different, perhaps have the dominaiton points running diagonally and have the fleets start in opposite corners.


  1. On Big Race

    Couldn't disagree more as a Battleship Captain. The 'death pool', as it was christened, is great for the northern team. Head straight for the pool, then tack towards the centre. Smack the enemy destroyers that get zoomed in, and then cruise north east towards the enemy team. You'll pick up/pick off a bunch of wounded cruisers that flee from your northern flank, and come together to crush their BBs that are out of position.

    You sit at 10km and obliterate the enemy DDs that play hide and seek. Easy 1000 XP in my opinion.

    Maps that suck: The Strait.

    Those two channels between your split teams. They're awful. Mayhaps the map was designed as N/S split, but E/W kills the competition. It is good if you're a fast American Cruiser (the acronym is CC, right?) or DD, but otherwise, just awful.

    The map is only good when you have a really solid team who know what to do. One side rushes the straight and concentrates fire on the outnumbered enemy. This should really be the Northern side running South, but it tends to be vice versa.

    Sometimes, you end up with a team who are truly rubbish. Our Southern team rushed North to help, but our Northern team (All T6 except for a T4 CV who ran down south through the straight) died by the time we got there. We ended up split apart and pole-axed by DDs, because the CV decided to stop moving halfwayand our two cruisers tried to save him from 2 destroyers.

    Really, we should've killed him ourselves, because idiocy like that shouldn't be rewarded.

    Similarly, Soloman Islands.

    The S team cannot contest the straits. They just can't. Any attempt to move through the strait leaves you with more holes than a Swiss cheese in a rifle range. The best move is to have two DDs play 'Smoke Launchers are cool, right?' for the whole match.

    The SW corner also sucks. It needs an island to provide cover for the S team. You move as a BB or CV and it is likely that the N team have a, got there already, and b, torps heading straight for you. Is it any wonder that people head north in droves?

    Have you never encountered a sneak attack up the middle in Two Brothers? It seems to be one of the few places that sneak attacks are actually possible and successful.

    1. Re: two brothers sneak attack: I've seen it tried plenty times, but only succeeded once. Just too easy to be spotted and killed as there is no room for manuevuring in the pass.

  2. Your little series convinced me to download the game and try it out last night. So far, so good. One thing I've had trouble finding out is whether or not it's always worth it to upgrade to the next available ship as soon as you're able to?

    1. That's actually a very complex question to answer.

      Since match making uses ship tiers and types to find battles, and most of the time the bracket is over 2-3 tiers, moving up a ship tier as you go along does not mean you are suddenly more powerful in relation to the ships you are facing off against.

      Additionally, due to maps available and ship capabilities, to say nothing of captain and ship upgrades, the battles are quite a lot different at say tier VIII than they are at tier IV.

      I've found that have ships in low tiers and high tiers gives the greatest variety in play and maximizes enjoyment.

      In other words, yes, get the next ship but don't completely abandon all low level tiers.

    2. I'd say, if you have enough ship slots, then always leave the old ship until you're familiar with the new one and like it. Sometimes there are big jumps in capabilities between ships in the same class (and several times it's not for the best). It's always a good idea to leave a ship you loved playing with.