This week Gaijin Entertainment announced a new closed beta, called Knights of the Sea, in which they introduce naval combat to their hit game War Thunder.

War Thunder is a free-to-play war simulation, in which the players can pilot either a tank or a plane, and take on other players on a WWII battlefield. Naval combat is a totally new aspect to the game. Although Gaijin also claimed that the beta will not include capital ships of any kind, it will include smaller gunboats and submarine chasers.

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The high level of realism is one of the key design features of War Thunder. Vehicles are as close to their real life counterparts as possible. Classic large ship battles during the war were contests of patience and planning, where engagements could last from several hours to several days. In War Thunder, where all kinds of vehicles fight in one battle and players can control aircraft, tanks and ships, it is not possible to change the size of the ships or make time run faster, as everything needs to remain consistent. Our internal testing showed that battles with large battleships would be too long and boring, or required design changes that made ships entirely unrealistic. For this reason, we are focusing on fast attack-based craft, which are rarely reproduced in games. Ships, that are more suitable for the formula of our game. These fast, agile and dangerous “Knights of the Sea” are worthy contenders for aircraft and tanks on the ground” – Creative Director of Gaijin Entertainment Kirill Yudintsev

Gaijin Entertainment later clarified the choice of leaving capital ships out of the game on their forums.

According to Gaijin, every nation in the game will have their own unique ships, being as historically accurate as the player base expects. The closed beta starts later this year, and the first to take part in the beta will be the people visiting Gaijin Entertainment’s booth in  Gamescom 2016 next week.