Australian Warships in World of Warships Interview

August 8, 2018

Wargaming has been slowly and painstakingly buildings a fleet of warships, and with it every now and then we’re lucky enough to see Australian warships in World of Warships. There are currently three Commonwealth warships in the game, and Wargaming is happy to announce that the legendary HMAS Vampire II will be joining its ranks very soon.

Rocket Chainsaw has been covering Australian warships in World of Warships as they have been added to the game, and you can read about the HMAS Vampire here and the HMAS Perth here.

We had a chat with Sergey Gornostaev (Senior Museums and Militaria Relations Specialist) and Artur Plociennik (Global Publishing Producer) at Wargaming to get the facts on Australian warships in World of Warships, how they’re chosen and constructed, and what goes on behind the scenes when deciding on what Australian warships should be used. You can check out our interview after the drop.

Australian Warships in World of Warships Real

War heroes boarding the HMAS Vampire II ahead of one of its many voyages

Hi Sergey, please tell us a bit about yourselves, and what you do at Wargaming working on World of Warships.

I am Senior Museums and Militaria Relations Specialist. When it comes to bringing new ships into WoWS I am the person who seeks new plans and photos for developers. Our project established quite a good connection with leading maritime museums and archives all over the world which we use to bring more “spice” to our developers team. Also when certain ships of interest survived we intend to visit it. This is the best way and also the cheapest way to gain a lot of useful materials to build 3D models. Although photos taken from those expeditions, we use only with other materials. That helps us accurately portray historical appearance of the ship as after WWII most of them were heavily modified.

Do you get to speak to any war veterans when designing the ships, or have you spoken to WWII navy veterans in the past about ship design and functionality?

We always try to find veterans and use their knowledge of warships on which they served. A good example of this is history of USS Arizona, an ill-fated ship sunk during attack on Pearl-Harbor. There is a colour scheme according to which tops of the main guns should be painted. Almost nobody knew which colour was the right one. Even staff in US Navy Academy Museum were doubtful of this. We knew because the Head of Museum told me this story. So we found a veteran who served on the USS Arizona and asked him. He brought us the answer. Want to know? Check out Arizona in WoWS! By the way, the museum did cross check our answer with a Japanese pilot who bombed the harbor that day. We were right!

The Japanese pilot was obviously not attempting to land on the Arizona if he lived to tell that story then, like many other Japanese pilots did to Warships during WWII! So how exactly do you choose which Australian warships are included in World of Warships?

Generally speaking, when working with museums we don’t just get information for one ship, but rather we try to secure everything they have if we think it can be included in the game. That means when considering what ship to include in the game, we have a lot to choose from. We refine this by defining a set of traits that we are looking for in our next ship – like tier, class, nation and even what type of gameplay it will bring to World of Warships. Using this list, we see what references are available to us and which fit these traits and build to it – for Australian ships specifically we also look at whether there are any ships which distinguished themselves in combat or were uniquely different from their British sisters of the period. We must consider such variances between ships, as certain time periods bring variances to each ship, such as alternate armaments. For instance, the HMAS Warspite launched in 1913 before World War I. Serving until the end of the Second World War, Warspite went through a number of refits where new advancements of technology were made and implemented including aviation, surface warning and anti-aircraft systems. When considering each ship to include in the game, we tend to show these innovations.

Thanks for the info Sergey.

Artur, The HMAS Vampire II will join the HMAS Vampire I, HMCS Haida and HMAS Perth to be the fourth Commonwealth warship in the game. Why exactly is Wargaming so interested in Vampires?

The first Vampire was a product of the process described above, where we were looking for ships dear to our Australian audience. The second Vampire will exist in the game as its progenitor, HMS Daring, which will be introduced as the top ship for the British destroyer branch of ships. If the Daring proves to be a popular ship, and we are able to discern any unique differences between her and Vampire, we will definitely consider adding the latter as a standalone sister ship for the Commonwealth in-game nation.

Are there more plans for Australian warships to be added to the game?

Not for the immediate future, though we obviously have a long list of ships we could introduce over the long-term, provided all the requirements are met. There are many Australian ships on that list.

Australian Warships in World of Warships Museum

The HMAS Vampire II currently resides at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney

Lastly, I have a special bond to a tribal class destroyer from WWII called the HMAS Arunta which participated in many patrol and escort missions on the waters between Australia and Japan. Is there any chance the Arunta or Arunta II will be included as one of the Australian Warships in World of Warships in the future?

This is possible, though we already have the HMCS Haida and HMS Cossack representing two tribal class configurations. If we found enough differentiating factors to make Arunta different from them, she could conceivably be added.

Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions about Australian warships in World of Warships!

Australian Warships in World of Warships

The original HMAS Vampire I in World of Warships

The HMAS Vampire II is about to join the fleet of Australian warships in World of Warships, and Wargaming has shared with us ten facts on how World of Warships builds its ships:

  1. When planning ships to put into the game, historians and producers consider ships that were built and had served, as well as paper projects ordered but not finished in metal by each ship’s navy.

  2. The HMAS Vampire, the Kaga, Hsienyang and Chung Mu were all built due to a desire by each respective regions’ players.

  3. If the World of Warships historian and production team know that a particular warship, or its sister ship, has survived and is maintained at a museum, members of the art department go and see it. The team then takes special technical photos of the hull and ship’s superstructure to catch even the smallest of details, such as how the hull plates are bound or riveted, how the anchor system is organised and where the life rafts or fueling cables are located.

  4. To acquire historically accurate information on the HMAS Vampire, World of Warships historians launched a special expedition to work in the UK, as well as partnered with the National Archives of Australia, Royal Museums of Greenwich and Imperial War Museum to access archived documents such as blueprints on Commonwealth navies and historic images.

  5. Before designing the Chung Mu, the World of Warships team knew that it was actually formerly known as USS Erden, a Fletcher-class destroyer. So, they visited two ships of this class, USS Kidd and USS Sullivans, in order to get the most accurate understanding of what they look like and how they were equipped during WWII and after.

  6. In order to accurately build Kaga, World of Warships hired a specialist well versed in real shipbuilding and fluent in Japanese to ensure they captured every detail available. With her assistance, the team was able to translate many famous and comprehensive volumes of texts regarding Japanese warships from WWI and WWII, as well as blueprints obtained in Yamato museum (Kure) archives.

  7. To build the Kaga, specialists from the World of Warships Art QA Department determined the ships specific construction features. Three artists then worked on the 3D model of the ship and three specialists conducted QA tests to check accordance with the historical prototype and the quality of the model. Finally, a technical artist made the final superstructure before assembling and exporting the model into the game.

  8. Due to the thorough and broad research undertaken to construct and design these vessels accurately, World of Warships has now amassed one of the biggest digital libraries of warships’ blueprints in the world.

  9. It took the team working on the HMAS Vampire two years to complete the project. From researching the history and wartime significance of the vessel to designing it for the game, the project consisted of two artists, a technical artist, two QA specialist, a producer and historian.

  10. It took 4 months to digitally produce and launch the HMAS Vampire, the Hsienyang and Chung Mu into World of Warships. In contrast, it took 8 months to launch the historic Japanese warship Kaga into the game.

For more on Australian Warships in World of Warships, head to the official website here. If you want to learn more about the history of the HMAS Vampire II, you can check out the official Navy HMAS Vampire II website here.