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...sailors from my beautiful Albany always wonder what are those futuristic-looking ships they are meeting... EDIT:no longer true since some patch which number i dont remember - tier 1 no longer meets anything else but tier 1 I think the ship tiers should progress more or less according to date they were designed. There are some jumps already for balance purposes but nothing such dramatical as tier 1 patrol boats from 1930's. And i really don't see a reason for this. You can pick from 1890's unprotected cruisers, avisos or first protected cruisers and they would behave pretty much exactly as current patrol boats. The only difference is that they won't have turrets, but when you realize that you will stick with side-mounted guns on the following tiers anyway, I think thats only beneficial for the newcomers to get used to ther right away. Many people probably don't mind becouse "it's just tier 1", but i still think that there should be some continuity...
Their cruiser counterparts occupy tier II and some even tier III (Bogatyr, St. Louis) but we have only one pre-dreadnought battleship in the game - the infamous and misconcepted Mikasa which caused a lot of hate among players. Still these ships are in my opinion very interesting and beautiful and would be a shame if WoWs just skipped them. but there is a major issue what to do with pre-dreadnoughts if we shall ever see another. mikasa right now really struggles and that's just because her role in the game was not really thought out. these are my suggestions for mikasa and every other pre-dreadnought eventually: IDENTITY: DEDICATED BRAWLER item 1: strong secondaries ✓ done (almost) mikasa's secondaries were always considered strong except their range. no wonder - those 152mm were in fact not secondaries but primaries on pre-dreadnought battleships since they were still built around 19th century principle of "the more guns the better" which resulted in designs with even 3 different calibers for main armament. it is worth note that in reality those 152mm had same effective firing range as 305mm. however i think we should not argue about that these should be player-controlled because it would be hard to balance them (better armored st. louis with extra health and 4x305mm says hello) and we should reconcile with that these would be just secondaries. for the brawling purpose they are ok anyway. the only issue is their range. i personally think that their range should be increased to at least 5km base. another suggestion, which is worth to be mentioned, is different ranges for different calibers: give 152mm lets say 5km and 76mm 3km range. although both 152mm and 76mm had pretty much same effective firing range, nevertheless separate ranges for different sencodary calibers would be definitelly needed for semi-dreadnoughts (see below). item 2: torpedos ✖ missing there were already debates about submerged torpedo tubes for battleships and my stand to this issue is that pre-dreadnoughts should be the only ships which should have them. to balance this weapon we can stick with their historical performance, since torpedos at the beginning of 20th century were rather slow and short range, so pre-dreadnought's torpedos in the game would be something like 30-40 knots and 3km range. that would make them reasonably balanced since they would be useful practically only for brawling against battleships. fast and manouverable ships should not have much troubles to evade them. another issue is their aiming. placement of these tubes was usually 1 bow, 1 stern and 1 or 2 on each side (mikasa is exception with just 4 tubes - 2 on each side). there is frequently stated myth on the forum that these have to be aimed with whole ship, but in fact they were equipped with gyro-angle mechanism (like on submarines) so their firing arc was pretty much unlimited, however i'm not sure if they should have this ability in the game since it would make a precedent for other ships. maybe they could work even with very limited arc since the placement of those tubes is very convenient (...also, do you remember bathtub boats?) item 3: ram! ✖ missing another feature typical for pre-dreadnought battleships is bow strenghten for ramming with significant beak (exception are french pre-dreadnoughts which frequently lacked this feature). indeed in those times naval tactitians and designers believed that ramming the enemy is still viable tactic. that however never happend in combat since 1866 (but unfortunately several times unintentionally) but we have different situation in the game with lot of close fights, especially at low tiers. i think that pre-dreadnought should have permanent bonus for ramming - like permanent hotel yankee (die hard) signal. just look at mikasa's ram! i know early dreadnoughts still had something like a ram, but usually these were just fake shapes which were not from solid steel like on pre-dreadnouts and were there just for stability purpose or because of stereotype - however i'm not completely sure about that, so please correct me. with all these features pre-dreadnoughts would have identity as dedicated brawlers and would have an edge over dreadnoughts in close fight which would make them viable - hugging islands and guarding straits would be optimal use for them, while at long range dreadnoughts would have their edge over pre-dreads as they should have... WHERE TO PLACE THEM: clearly pre-dreadnoughts should cease in 1910 (app. T3) as it was superseded design, however i believe semi-dreadnoughts like lord nelson-class, satsuma-class, mississippi-class, danton-class, radetzky-class etc. would be still viable brawlers at tier 3 so what do you think?
EDIT: this thread ceased to be topical since removal most of the battleship stock hulls, however still stands my points about timeline progress and the following debate Battleship hull configurations and their placement in the game this problem is primarily related to first dreadnought battleships which were laid down before world war 1 but survived the war because of the treaties and after war were heavily refitted - some were practically turned into different ship, yet still these radically different configurations share the same tier which is tearing them out of the natural progress through the naval development. this was not so obvious with japanese and american battleships for various reasons, but will heavily affect both germans and british battleships. There are lot of fans of first dreadnoughts which would like to use the ships in their original configuration, but because the orginial and refitted hull versions share the same tiers, players have to accept the fact, that they will be handicapped because they are forced to face 20 years younger ships and even aircraft carriers for which these ships were not designed. EDIT: some of most affected stock hulls were already removed the related problem to this is uneven time distribution through tiers. this game is suppose to cover timespan approx 1900 - 1945 but still is heavily focused on ww2 : because first aircraft carriers, treaty ships and bb refits starts at tier 4 it means that the space for ships from 1900 - 1920 era is limited to tiers 2 and 3 (tier 1 is out because of obvious reasons) yet for the years 1920 - 1945 there are tiers 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 - evident disproportion. this means that ships in low tiers are put into unnatural enviroment which causes some problems, because there are meeting ships which separates more than 30 years of technological and tactical development. this is result of wg copying tiering system from their other games but both tanks and planes cover timespan from approx 1925 - 1950 which is about 20 years shorter than the ship's timespan EDIT: issue of low tier ships in unnatural enviroment was pretty much fixed with MM limits for tiers 2-4 So I think that there should be done something what helps these configurations to be competitive in this game and the best way to balance all warships is obviously to put them in proper place in the timeline, because balance is what is naval engineering all about and every warship were designed balanced compare to their potential enemies. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ I can think of these 3 options: 1.) The difference of performance of some battleships between stock and fully upgraded configuration is such drastical, that maybe they should be splitted into more tiers. Maybe it is a way to avoid some unnecessary paper designs and just replace them with older hull of following ship. 2.) Split ships into two cathegories according to their current configuration: pre1920 and post1920 and matchmaker would try to put ships of each cathegory against each other. Preferable rule – certainly not 100%, because of divisions etc. This rule is more focused to the fact that stock bbs have to face carriers, but it would also help to bring ww1 configurations in same matches rather than against their younger counterparts. 3.) Or introduce more complex matchmaking rules - that the specific configurations of ships would have a rating number according to their upgrade status and matchmaker would try to put the ships with closest rating against each other (sounds a bit familiar, right?) These are my 2 cents to this issue. Feel free to comment... EDIT: in reaction to 1MajorKoenig's proposal i am including 2 more radical suggestions, which would more drastically affect the game, but still worth consideration: either: - focus on even time distribution/progression through tiers as 1MajorKoenig proposed - end of ww1 was important milestone in warfare evolution, so if this game wants to include ships before 1920 it is necesarry to put them in proper enviroment. i would even recommend to add 2 more tiers down to make more space so: 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 tiers for 1900 - 1920 era ships 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10 + 11 + 12 for 1920 - 1945 ships - this would mean of course no 1930 refits for tier 2 - 5 battleships and no pre-1920 hulls after tier 5 and preferably no hull configurations exceeding 20 years sharing the same tier (splitting one ship into more tiers would probably also apply to this) & carrier start at tier 6, etc... or: - focus completely on ww2 and remove every ship configuration before 1920 EDIT: i really didnt mean this seriously. i know its not possible (premium ships cant be removed, and i doubt this would be very popular not to mention how huge change it would be) but certainly its option