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[Basics] AA mechanics


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Sharana #1 Posted 20 May 2015 - 01:44 AM

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Greetings Captains,

 

we all know there are AA guns on our ships and they even shoot down planes sometimes, but how are they working? Sometimes we see lots of AA fire, but we can't shoot down any planes and we think that the AA is bugged or not really working. That's not the case of course and I hope you will understand how is the AA working ingame after reading this :)

 

First of all the AAA (Anti-Aircraft Artillery) is not working like the main or secondary guns on our ships! Simulating all individual machine guns on the ship will just overload the server without any significant gain for the gameplay. That's why the AAA is represented as "aura" around the ship which will affect the planes inside it. There are different AA guns on our ships and they are split into up to 3 categories considering their range (long-, mid- and closerange guns). That means our ships can have up to 3 auras around them and they are overlapping, so when the planes get closer to the ship more auras will affect them.

 

Let's take a look at the USN cruiser tier IX Baltimore in top configuration:

 

We can clearly see the 3 auras around the Baltimore:

  • long-range -> 0 - 5km with avg dps of 36. Note: The 127 dual purpose guns can fire at enemy ships, but they are still counted to the long range aura all the time.
  • mid-range -> 0 - 3.5km with avg dps of 216.
  • close-range -> 0 - 2.1km with avg dps of 115.

 

Now the same Baltimore with all 3 auras and the dps based on the distance as the auras overlap:

We know the range and the avarage damage per second, but if we want to become the enemy CV's nightmare we can enhance our AA aura even more.

There are two possibilities - range and dps. For both range and dps we have 1 captain's perk and one upgrade for the ship.

 

Range: (upgrades slot 2 and tier 4 captain's perk)          Dps: (upgrades slot 3 and tier 1 captain's perk)

             

 

They all multiply, so if the max firing range is 5km we will get 5*1.2*1.2=7.2km. Same goes for the avg dps values (*1.2*1.1). Now let's take a look again at the same Baltimore, but with all possible perks and upgrades:

As you can see the AA power can be vastly increased if the player is specialized in this direction. And that's only the ship's "base" AA power, it can be further increased during the battle if you:

 

1) Focus on specific squadron by holding "Ctrl" and left-cliking on the desired squadron. This will make all auras (if the squadrons is in range) shoot only at this selected squadron and the damage to that squadron will be increased 1.5 times!

Note: Each aura can attack only 1 squadron at a time and this will be the most dangerous one. Example: There are fighters, TBs flying towards the ship and TBs flying away from the ship - the AA auras will attack the TBs flying towards the ship unless another squadron is focused by the player.

 

2) Some cruisers with 2+ DP guns have active ability (AA barrage) which they activate with "Y". During the duration of this ability the long range aura will get it's avarage dps increased 6 times and the planes inside this long range aura will enter "panic mode" (even if they are not attacked), which will decrease their accuracy.

 

3) 1 and 2 can be combined so the avarage dps inside the long range aura will be increased 9 times.

 

This maximal AA power will look like this for the focused squadron and with activated AA barrage on the fully AA specialized Baltimore:

Note: It's also important to say that those auras can overlap with other ships too. They still act independently however, every ships fights "his own war" with the squadrons, the damage is not summed.

 

Now let's imagine the Baltimore is attacked from Essex's Douglas AD1 TBs. To make it worse for the Baltimore we will say that the captain got amnesia, the player can't afford AA upgrades, the AA barrage is on cooldown and the "Ctrl" key on the keyboard is broken. It will look like on the first picture:

This squadron is composed of 6 planes and every plane has 1960 hp. It is ~3km away from the ship and is taking avarage 252 damage per second. In theory it should take ~47 seconds to kill the entire squadron or 1 plane every ~8 seconds. That's not the case in reality, because:

- it's avarage damage per second. There is still RNG involved and the damage is fluctuating. Different guns have different cooldowns. The DP guns fire once every 5 seconds, so they deal the long range damage x5 (+/- RNG) and don't deal any damage for the next 5 seconds. The midrange guns deal damage every 0.5 sec (half of the dps showed +/- RNG) and the close range guns shoot every 0.1 seconds, so the damage get's more constant when entering the mid- and closerange auras.

- everything is constantly moving in the game, so the planes will switch between the areas.

 

It's also important to notice that the game is scaled and everything is faster. The planes fly ~ 5 times faster compared to the ingame distance. Those Essex's TBs fly with 132x5 = 660 knots considering the ingame scale. That's 1222.32 km/h or ~339.53 m/s. To make it easier let's say that this TB squadron will be covering 0,33 km/sec or 1 ingame km every 3 sec.

 

So knowing this the CV captains can plan their attacks and calculate the expected losses, while their targets can realise what kind of defenses they have against those nasty "clickers".

 

Now few words about what's NOT taken into account:

- The position of the AA guns and their firing arcs. It just doesn't matter from where is the plane comming, the avarage dps is constant inside the aura.

- Squadrons don't have their own hp ingame - there is only squadron and ratio of alive/killed planes. If the squadron survived it's encounter with the AA and no planes got shot down the damage taken is not "remembered" - when under attack by AA again it's considered to be full health as the planes were not damaged in the old barrages.

- The AA fire animations have nothing to do with the effectiveness and hitting planes, they are simply visuals.

 

Note: All values in the pictures are for undamaged ships. During the battle those guns are taken out by shells and bombs, so the AA power can be severely decreased.

 

The 0.4.0 update added float fighters for tier 4+ cruisers and high tier battleships. They are not part of the ship's AA and won't attack the target you focus for the AA guns, it will choose for itself and will always attack the most dangerous strike squadron.

 

See you on the Battlefield :)

Sharana



DtXpwnz #2 Posted 20 May 2015 - 01:59 AM

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Nice one.

 

btw do you know the RNG spread? Is it also +-25%?



Sharana #3 Posted 20 May 2015 - 02:01 AM

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View PostDtXpwnz, on 20 May 2015 - 01:59 AM, said:

Nice one.

btw do you know the RNG spread? Is it also +-25%?

 

I doubt we will ever learn it, but it can be even more from what I experienced so far :)



MeanGreenUnseen #4 Posted 20 May 2015 - 02:15 AM

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Hmmm the only new thing I found seems to be the multiplier for focus fire (I thought it would only make full "aura" aka AA damage go to the selected squadron). Still, that's an important part. Thanks for sharing!

Sturmtiger_304 #5 Posted 20 May 2015 - 03:08 AM

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Interesting, explains a lot of my questions regarding AA fire on ships.

Userext #6 Posted 20 May 2015 - 05:18 AM

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there should be a hull upgrade to put miniguns for montana so it would reach 100 effective AA :trollface:
Jarhead

LilJumpa #7 Posted 20 May 2015 - 05:39 AM

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Nice one Sharana , have a +1, very well written and visualized.

 

 

 

 

[Ask that dev about details for the spotting mechanics (smoke screens, visual points, detectability of torps) that would be great]



Ishiro32 #8 Posted 20 May 2015 - 06:10 AM

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I actually suspected that's how it works, but it's nice to have a confirmation. 

xBamBamx #9 Posted 20 May 2015 - 06:18 AM

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Nice one Sharana, that's very well explained, Im keeping well away from Montana!!


"Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream"


 

 


69thBuLLeT #10 Posted 20 May 2015 - 06:30 AM

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Answers all the questions I could have had.

 

Thanks!



Madhax #11 Posted 20 May 2015 - 07:16 AM

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Very interesting read indeed! This was both educational and helpful for me.

Thank you very much & +1   :)



chaplainDMK #12 Posted 20 May 2015 - 07:47 AM

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At 132 knots, the TB squadron will need 31 seconds to cover 2,1 kilometers of long-range 5" anti-air fire; taking 2400 damage, one plane lost

Then they come into the second aura, where they are also engaged by the 40mm bofors (or does the Monty have 3" guns like the Des Moines?). They will need 29 seconds to cover the 2 kilometers, and at 744 damage per second (I think this is 5" + 40mm fire) will take 21.500 damage, which is enough to destroy the entire squadron. In fact, they will be able to fly only for 12 seconds in the second aura, which means they will get within roughly 4 kilometers of the ship before being destroyed. 

 

There is something wrong with the ranges lol. 

 

I do think the broken scale used in the game is a problem here. Planes don't need 1 minute and 40 seconds (7000 meters at 68 meters per second, or 132 knots) to close distance with a ship .

 

But still, the AA is stupidly strong. Focused, the TB's can last 15 seconds inside the secondary aura and only 10 seconds inside the third aura. If the DPS numbers that you put up aren't stacked, they last 14 seconds in the secondary aura, and only 6 seconds in the third aura. 


Edited by chaplainDMK, 20 May 2015 - 07:53 AM.


Sharana #13 Posted 20 May 2015 - 08:01 AM

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View PostLilJumpa, on 20 May 2015 - 05:39 AM, said:

[Ask that dev about details for the spotting mechanics (smoke screens, visual points, detectability of torps) that would be great]

I have info about it already and will make such post soon :)

 

View PostchaplainDMK, on 20 May 2015 - 07:47 AM, said:

There is something wrong with the ranges lol. 

The game is scaled, the BBs are acuatlly ~1km long. Because of that scale everything is much faster - ships,planes,torps.

 

View PostchaplainDMK, on 20 May 2015 - 07:47 AM, said:

But still, the AA is stupidly strong. Focused, the TB's can last 15 seconds inside the secondary aura and only 10 seconds inside the third aura. If the DPS numbers that you put up aren't stacked, they last 14 seconds in the secondary aura, and only 6 seconds in the third aura. 

Yes the AA is really strong on high tiers, but we don't have tier X CVs and only 1 tier IX. Also the avg dps on those pictures is stacked already, that's why it's just pointless to attack with 1-2 squadrons, because they will just die without inflicting any damage. When you attack with many squadrons some survive to attack, but are killed during the retreat.



Vulgarny #14 Posted 20 May 2015 - 08:01 AM

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I knew that AA mechanic were stupid, but thanks helping me realize how really stupid....

Ishiro32 #15 Posted 20 May 2015 - 08:02 AM

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Yeah, AA ranges with all the upgrades are a bit silly. And worst part is their panic button skill works in all zones. So when CA press "Y" button it means it will affect circle with more than 7 km radius. Sometimes CA help without being aware of what they are doing, just because how silly is this range.

I think the most annoying is that this whole thing works on zones and not ranges. So guns are as affective at the edge of the zone as they are near the ship. As a result you might lose a plane from ridiculous distances. I just hope RNG changes based on the distance, but from my experience it doesn't look like it does. It looks like this is just zones. Sharana are you able to clear this up for me?
Is the damage from the guns have the same effectivnes in the whole zone?

Edited by Ishiro32, 20 May 2015 - 08:04 AM.


Sharana #16 Posted 20 May 2015 - 08:12 AM

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View PostIshiro32, on 20 May 2015 - 08:02 AM, said:

Is the damage from the guns have the same effectivnes in the whole zone?

Yes - this avarage dps in constant in his aura and there is only RNG to decide it's effectiveness - if the shots are  good or bad and say when is the plane shot down.

 

View PostSturmtiger_304, on 20 May 2015 - 03:08 AM, said:

Interesting, explains a lot of my questions regarding AA fire on ships.

There are still questions left? Just ask in such case, so we can clear them :)



Ishiro32 #17 Posted 20 May 2015 - 08:19 AM

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View PostSharana, on 20 May 2015 - 08:12 AM, said:

Yes - this avarage dps in constand in his aura and there is only RNG to say good shots/bad shots and say when is the plane shot down.

 

Why can't just put linear or exponential growth or any simple function that make sense to calculate effectivnes? Why rigid zones and not gradient ones for each type of gun? It would still be auras, but they would make more sense and they shouldn't be very expensive to compute. Gun having the same dps on his max range and minimum range is just silly.
Oh well... 

No really this system is so bare bones it is not even funny. I understand that calculating each gun would kill computers so aura system make sense but zones must be a bit more complicated for it to really work well. This looks more like a placeholder resolution than final product.

Edited by Ishiro32, 20 May 2015 - 08:26 AM.


chaplainDMK #18 Posted 20 May 2015 - 08:26 AM

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View PostIshiro32, on 20 May 2015 - 08:02 AM, said:

Yeah, AA ranges with all the upgrades are a bit silly. And worst part is their panic button skill works in all zones. So when CA press "Y" button it means it will affect circle with more than 7 km radius. Sometimes CA help without being aware of what they are doing, just because how silly is this range.

I think the most annoying is that this whole thing works on zones and not ranges. So guns are as affective at the edge of the zone as they are near the ship. As a result you might lose a plane from ridiculous distances. I just hope RNG changes based on the distance, but from my experience it doesn't look like it does. It looks like this is just zones. Sharana are you able to clear this up for me?
Is the damage from the guns have the same effectivnes in the whole zone?

 

I think this should be implemented, effectiveness at ranges and situations. The big 4-5" guns should be most effective at long range, and less effective closer in. They should be useless defending against direct attack (e.g. DB's or TB's in their attack runs). The medium caliber guns should be far less effective at long range, and improve in effectivness closer in. The lightest AA guns should have by far the least range, but they should be extremely effective against planes in their attack run. Like they for example have a DPS that is lower than the medium guns at any range, but they get a huge modifier against planes that are in their attack run, as at that point the high rate of fire would make them ideal to deal damage in the short timespan of the attacks. 

Edited by chaplainDMK, 20 May 2015 - 08:28 AM.


Hummus #19 Posted 20 May 2015 - 08:47 AM

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Very nice post. 

Nice to learn that I don't have to angle my ship against the planes (Till now I always tried to point as many AA guns at the planes as possible, by turning my broadside or front towards it depending on the ship)

And it's nice to know what the skill actually do (the wording in the tooltip is a bit confusing)

 



TheDraconicLord #20 Posted 20 May 2015 - 08:49 AM

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Great explanation for something I was wondering about just yesterday! Just like Hummus, I would try to angle my ship in an attempt to maximize my "PEW PEW" effectiveness, glad to know I don't need to do it.

 

I have just one more question that's more of a curiosity: Because the planes have hidden HP, is it possible for them to be damage by the main turrets or secondary (not AA) turrets? Yesterday a very interesting image showed up in reddit, a Kawachi with 1 airplane kill. 

 

Spoiler

 


Edited by TheDraconicLord, 20 May 2015 - 08:51 AM.





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