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  1. Edit: Leaving it as it is for today. Will heavily edit it tomorrow. Feel free to leave thoughts and feedback, I'll read and consider them all. Thank you. NOTE: unfinished Almost finished, have to complete, edit and check it after I get something to eat Greetings. This weekend, I am pleased to bring you some proposals I believe will be beneficial in advancing WoWs as a game. 1. Introduce the concept of a separate air-sphere of battle. The air-sphere now is a separate space from the sea-sphere, but the two spheres still overlap in influence. Air-sphere spotting mechanics are introduced. 2. Striking mechanics have been reworked and redesigned. Introduce "AA pressure". Altitude mechanics explained. 3. AA mechanics have been tweaked to be easier to understand and conceptualize, while still engaging and dynamic. 4. Potential for giving planes even more distinct options of differentiation and balance is considered. 5. Eventual evolution from Gen-1 to Gen-2 mechanics, and how these proposed mechanics fit in, as speculated. BCV is also considered. Overall, both CV gameplay and AA concepts will be more dynamic and humanistic. The optimization of mechanics will also allow introduction of BCV. Traditional CVs will still be balanced, and easy to grasp for all, yet fair and rewarding for skilled players. Section 1 The "air-sphere" of battle takes place above the sea-sphere of battle. The CV's view of the battlemap will not be the same view as current. By default, ships will not display their detailed 3D models. Instead, they will behave as if viewed from a strategic-map top-down, or resembling current digital displays of radar using air-traffic icons. The display still uses the 3D map, but only water, mountains and friendly ships will be fully rendered by default. Players will be able to see silhouettes of sea-spotted ships, the silhouette will be simply geometric lines, with the ship-type icon in the middle, and a directional pointer for the frontal of the ship. Thus players will be able to see ship class, ship direction, but not specific type, nor speed, or any detailed battle information. Under certain conditions, areas of the map can be viewed in full for the CV player, just like current, and with additional information related to the new mechanisms which will be covered in sections 2-5. The immediate area around a CV is fully spotted by the CV itself. Certain abilities, such as radar (from other ships), or yet-to-be introduced mechanics, may be capable of "sharing" vision from surface ships to the CV. The CV can also manually fly planes to scout and spot areas. Planes will have a "spotting radius", revealing an immediate area around them. However, planes will have an option to either fly at 'high altitude' or 'low altitude'. Basically, 'high altitude' gives smaller view radius, and even smaller "full reveal" radius, while 'lower altitude' gives much farther and detailed spotting info. The exact radius can vary by plane specs. Vice versa, planes at higher altitude and at far distances will not be able to be seen by surface ships in full reveal of info either, such as currently possible. At the furthest, they will only be able to see "planes" via icons, and nothing else. Closer, they will be able to see plane type, eg. fighter, or tb, or db, but not strength. Only when planes from high altitude pass almost directly overhead, or when planes change to low altitude, and are close enough, can their full detailed info be visible. The enemy CV's planes will function similarly. Planes will be able to spot other planes, with higher-altitude planes will almost always have a vision superiority compared to lower altitude. Because CV planes will no longer have the massive spotting range and spotted range as of now, some dynamic gameplay will be potentially possible. For instance, a CV sends a scout-plane in front of the main group. The scout plane runs into an enemy CV airgroup, sending his whole group in a bunch. Because the "bunched" CV planes have not spotted the main squad of the more discreet CV, they are surprised when a perfect formation of fighter-strafes suddenly appear from the clouds following the spotter plane and decimate his entire group before they have time to scatter, even though they took out the vanguard spotter plane. Here I would like to add firstly, that in this new version, fighter strafes will have at least double the range of current strafe length, while consuming the same ammo. In addition to some "ease of control" mechanisms introduced a bit further in, a "strafe wall" will now be quite possible even for the average player, due to A.I. assisted formation. Secondly, there will be certain "cloud-heavy" areas, similar to islands in the sea-sphere, except that planes can fly through clouds whilst ships cannot through islands. "Cloud-heavy" areas will reduce, but not eliminate, directional spotting efficiency working both ways. It will be possible to "hide" planes behind clouds, or even inside larger ones. Planes within spotting range, but unspotted due to cloud cover or other potential mechanics, will instead display as a small "!" icon to signify they are there. Scout planes and Spotter planes function as high-altitude planes. It is worth mentioning that "directional" here is only fully horizontal. All "directional" used in this proposal would thus be better understood as "semi-directional" area of direction, instead of "fully directional" with diagonal, spherical cones and height difference. Section 2 Current air strike mechanics are the same as when WoWs was still beta. While mechanics for other ships have progressed quite far, CV mechanics are still the same as when they were prototyped. Needless to say, they require rework. Firstly, planes will now display a standard strategy-game style "pathing" arrow when asked to fly to a certain location, instead of current UFO gliding. The arrow will be lighter in opaqueness at the tail, and deeper in color at the front of the arrow. Multiple arrows bunched together, such as in formation, will be dynamically "thinner". Planes will have a turning radius and cannot turn like gyros, so the arrows will have turning curves at turn points, such as in pathing. For a longer path or multiple waypoints, it will strictly follow the turn only when necessary, flying straight otherwise, similar to current. When sea-sphere ships are auto-piloted using one-click, they will also display this route arrow. The curves will be more noticeable for ships, since ships have a larger turning radius. The arrow will reflect the "A.I." controlled actual pathing the route will take. Players will be able to see their progress on the route much more clearly from the map, which will be useful for BCV. The path will automatically curve around islands and other ships, even dynamically. That means as you are sailing through a bunch of allied ships, you will actually be able to see your projected "route" wiggle and detour around the new obstacles in real-time, even without any input. Next, an introduction of the "heat" or "pressure" mechanism, relevant to both sea-sphere and air-sphere, with particularly direct consequences for air. This mechanic affects ships, planes, and AA mechanics, as whosn in the corresponding 3 examples below: (1) The sea sphere is mostly a heads up only. Imagine a BCV sailing along the edges of battle, not in first-person ship view, but in strategic map-view. He cannot easily know whether some ships are aiming and firing at him. However, with the new system, a small area around the ship, as part of the "route" color scheme, will change color dynamically to reflect "heat" of battle, or danger. Shells coming from the side of the ship will result in the side area of the colored oval lighting up, from cool turquoise (normal), to yellow, to orange, to a bright and alarming red, depending on the amount and caliber of shells incoming and already hit. Torpedoes with possible hit-chance will immediately change it to red. Closer enemies firing will also weight much heavier on the color bumping. Taking lots of damage will also bump up the alert level. etc. (2) Airplanes will be dynamically affected by AA pressure areas, and in certain situations react accordingly. For instance, planes forgotten by the CV but approached by danger, or encountering zones of enemy AA, or enemy planes' influence, will feel "pressure" of danger. Their directional zones will light up according to their "prediction of demise if encountered" with the danger. If the CV is still unresponsive, or busy elsewhere, they will automatically be "pressured" away from the danger. They will back away from enemy Ship AA towards friendly AA if left alone for about 5 seconds. Enemy fighters will provoke immediate retreat for planes without a set target or patrol pattern, regardless of whether they out-strength them. This will likely prevent forgotten planes hovering in place from taking a barrage, though they will probably not be able to run far and stay unscathed due to the barrage's speed and width (and boosted length). CVs forcing strikes in heavy AA will also be able to see the "relative" amount of damage the planes are receiving from particular directions easily via the color flooding. This scheme can be simply a small hoop, or colored border around the plane icon, instead of whole areas as with the BCV. This is relevant as the new AA barrage and panic mechanics are based both on overall AA damage as well as specific skills and modifications like barrage. (3) AA barrage, the consumable, and possibly certain captain skills, and even upgrade modules, will be reworked. No longer will any mechanics simply be defined as "raise number stat ..%". Everything will be actually able to be visualized, able to be physically conceptualized and imagined. For details, please see section 3. AA is now semi-directional, and their effectiveness will vary according to "focus", requiring limited manual aiming. "Focused" AA will be high in pressure, and this "pressure" will force planes to "make mistakes", die quicker, maybe even reduce fighters' area of influence, etc. Planes completely surrounded or under cross-fire will be additionally panicked after moderation from their stats, but will more likely be critically destroyed as they are cornered and cannot maneuver, and even actual maneuverability might take a hit. So planes trying to escape through cross-fire ship or fighter AA won't be able to do so under full speed. Ships, by default, will have "heavier" AA pressure angles and "lower" AA pressure angles, according to their actual layout. When AA components are destroyed in real-time while in battle, players will be able to use a command (probably a button press) to "check" their AA pressures. This will display the AA cones similarly to torpedo-launch cones when one selects the torpedo armament on their ship. The cones and areas around the ship will also be differently hued, from white to dark red, reflecting the AA threat from those angles. Completely destroyed AA components will lessen the "hue" and thus be visually reflecting change of the total strength. AA attacking planes using high-pressure angles will cause more damage to them, and help to panic them faster. It is possible that AA will also decrease in gradient according to distance, if distance is taken into account to AA strength, or reflect a new "accuracy" moderation stat of AA. Will go into specific examples in part 3. Back to the strike mechanics. Strike mechanics have been overhauled. Fighters: Fighters are a two-button press to start their barrage run, instead of requiring a set-strike plan as of current. First press will display the estimated barrage path, similar to selecting your torpedoes after changing from guns. Second press will start the barrage, with a tiny wind-up time and distance. Before the second press, you can aim and spin the barrage path around a bit for aiming. Actual spin speed dependent on turning speed and coordination of planes. (note: pressure reduces coordination and efficiency). If multiple fighter-groups are selected, they will try to form a "barrage wall", syncing their barrages parallel to each other so nothing can escape. It will not be possible for planes overshooting the barrage start-point to u-turn and mess up the run, they will simply start barraging a bit too forwards in the run. Barrages are not even necessarily straight according to the aimed path. Fighters will try to horizontally maneuver, very slightly, such as old "bullet-hell" games where your controlled fighter shoots frontal bullets, to actually hit as many enemies as possible. Converging maneuvers will stop when barrage paths overlap, for instance alongside each other in a "barrage wall". Diverging paths will be 1/10ths of the barrage width, so there are only tiny adjustments, or "hitbox" adjustments. I am actually not too sure about this feature, as I liked to engage a enemy fighter squad with one squad, then do a "selective" strafe only hitting the outer enemy squad, and not my friendly squad, with a separate fighter squad (I play AS Hakuryu), and to make the A.I. of strafe-adjustment recognize such a situation is a bit difficult for now. So if you want to do cycling barrages, cross-barrages, or bait-barrages you will have to do so manually, as well as overlapping barrages. Fighters will not cancel the barrage even if friendlies are in the way, or if their eventual path will overlap and they have danger of hurting each other, so pre-aim setup of positions is still important. When creating barrage wall, the fighters will all aim at your cursor position, slightly converging into a horizontal lineup. For now, the "barrage wall" will probably work by having a button one can hold when selecting multiple fighters squadrons, such as shift, and they will start converging into position facing your cursor ready for a "barrage wall", otherwise will just two-button barrage using own path if executed before they have lined up. Fighter mechanics will differ slightly from current. Fighter squads will exert a small area of "influence" around them. Enemy planes entering this area will be slowed, and will start to take increased damage from the fighters if stayed for too long, with the fighter's ammunition starting to trickle. After a small wind-up period, the enemy squad will be locked in place by the fighters and both plane squads will start to dogfight, and the fighters will deal maximum damage according to their stats. Fighters can be specified to engage a target, and it will chase after and focus on this target more instead of others passing by. Some implications of this include how you cannot suddenly instant-lock a torpedo-bomber squad in place just inches away from it getting a drop on your battleship: the panic and lock requires a few seconds of wind-up. During this time, the tb squad can maneuver slightly away in attempt to escape, or complete its drop, or at least fight outside the AA of the ships. "Ladder-locking" and stuttering using many fighter squads to engage more squadron than themselves, (I play AS Hakuryu), a griefing method, will thus be eliminated. If unspecified a target, the fighters will automatically start focusing and locking on a squad within its immediate area, so it will not be possible to glide a fighter squad alongside some strike squads and not specify a target, and act as a perma-slow. Fighters focusing on fighters will wind-up much faster, engaging in dogfight only seconds after contact, and as priority, so will be similar to current. However, for multiple fighter squads doing a big battle, they won't be little points of engagement, instead as an area, as defined by their engagement range (which will vary accordingly, see section 4). Overlapping engagement ranges will split the damage amongst all enemy squads inside, and vice versa. So in a big battle, fighter squads with smaller engagement areas will have better focused damage, but less split damage or damage reach. Fighter squads with big engagement areas will deal damage evenly to all enemies engaged, but will find it difficult to eliminate specific squads. Random strike squads flying through the battle areas will also take damage and help split some pressure off friendly fighters, slightly slowed while flying through, but won't be focused. It will also not be possible much more difficult to do "selective strafes" grazing just the enemy squad, and not your own squad, both locked in battle. It will also not be as easy to strategically "spend" a squad, such as sending a crippled squad, or a squad low on ammo, to do a particularly hard lock so it'll get spent, while preserving a full strength and ammo squad nearby. This also has profound implications for the balancing and differentiation of planes of different nations. It may even be possible to give planes "AA range" areas of focus, such as ships have, with different influence ranges and different intensity for these ranges. This will also partly make strafing in general more difficult to focus, and less singularly decimating, as squads are spread out evenly in a big cluster battle, because the positions are not insta-locked, but "slided" into place due to the wind-up mechanism and possibility to maneuver while still winding up. Torpedo Bombers: For torpedo bomber strikes, the current alt and click-to-rotate system is pretty much unusable, everyone just manually flies their tb to the right angle then drops straight in without every using the adjustment. I propose two major changes: torpedo aim is no longer a "path", specifying the route as of current. Instead, there will be two modes of manual drop: one is free-drop, other is locked-on drop. (1) In free-drop, the torpedo estimated entry-point to the water is displayed in little torpedo-shaped highlights a bit forward from the planes (due to inertia). This highlight will appear and stay on whenever torpedo planes are low-altitude and ready to drop (we'll get into altitude-change mechanics later). Players will have to infer the exact pathing of the torpedoes on their own. Thus experienced players will have to make use of their "feel", instead of some "laserdot" aiming, and long-range torp-drops will be more difficult. Because with the current pathed aim, I can literally put the path into perfect position so the torpedos will arm split second before they hit, or only hit at their max range, at max convergence. The new system will still allow players to distance and angle the torpedoes, just not as exact. For control scheme, scrolling middle mouse either increases the spacing (to a certain limit) between each torpedo, so a wider wall but wider spaces for ships to escape, or decrease space (to a certain limit) for a narrower concentrated torpedo spear. Clicking middle mouse resets to default spacing. Thus every drop will potentially be unique, and there will be no "set" formula to dodge torpedoes. Dropping can also be a one-button press like fighter barrage (which button, can customize). So a free-drop might go like this: player fly tb to a set angle (taking into account AA, hit chance, etc.), then guides the planes towards the ship, watching the highlight move closer and closer towards the ship. At the right distance, the player twitches the trigger-button, and torpedoes drop, hitting the water at the highlighted points, which stopped moving the split second trigger was pressed, and torpedoes dropped (there will actually be animations of little torpedoes dropping from the planes). Pressing the trigger too late would result in not enough time to arm. Pressing too early would just drop them too far from point, so either split second reflexes, or experienced "flow" of timing will be important to drop tb. However, one could simply not drop and keep maneuvering the planes over and around for another attempt, though AA might take its toll. It is also possible to design so it is not a quick-time one-button drop, but two-button: first button activates highlight and "arms", player can aim during this and preset a drop-point instead of quick-time drop, similar to current, then press drop button to execute (or just auto-execute once set, as current). (2) In locked-drop, the player first selects the ship, then the alt-circle appears around it, but locked on and following the ship, with the at the center. The camera will also be locked on and following the ship. Players can "assign" multiple squads of planes to strike the ship. Their attack angles will be shown at the circle, and their flight-route arrows will trace from their current position to the edge of the circle leading to their attack run. Players can use wasd keys to move the centre of the circle accordingly, for instance a bit forwards from the ship for a fast-moving ship, and a bit port-side for a port-turning ship (wasd sensitivity can customize). Middle-mouse rotates the circle, and all attack angles on it, clock-wise and counter-clockwise, a click will reset the angle (note: not wasd). Also possibility for a key to increase circle distance, or the distance from the ship the final route turn before setting into the attack procedure. Dragging attack angles around the edge of the circle will micro-tweak attack angles. There is no one-button drop: planes will start flying along the projected route and start dropping as soon as the lock-on is initiated. Players will have to manually sync plane positions for synchronized drops. No width adjustment or distance of drop is customizeable in this mode, spacing will be default, the distance will be similar to current auto-drop. When a ship is locked on, and planes have approached the end of the routing and are turning in for the drop, an air-siren will start to sound for the ship being striked. Planes already locked into the drop angle, and just a bit past the point of no-return, (just as torpedoes are gliding through the air) will have their attack angle displayed to the striked ship via a small arrowhead, synced to appear one second before dramatic appearance of torpedo icons in the water. So the ship still has a chance to maneuver. It is also possible to design so that the quick-time press-to-drop is instead used here, so planes will hover at the edge point of no-return and will not drop into angle unless final execute button is pressed. It may be possible for players to customize which style they choose, however there is the danger of cheating "auto-execute" mods being used. We'll see. Dive-bombers: For db drops, there will be two modes, listed to correspondence to tb drops (1 is "manual", 2 is "auto"). Players will probably have to have a button to switch between these modes, whenever a bomber squad is selected. (1) Dive-bomb. Planes will now, accordingly to history, potentially have more than 1 bomb per plane, or have different types of bombs. Unlike tb, there won't be little highlights of bombs on the water to estimate contact point. Instead, there will be a manual drop aiming circle highlight functioning similarly to the current tb highlights. Aiming will function similar to current, but by scrolling the middle mouse, players can slightly change the size of the area covered by the precision drop. However, a smaller, more precise area will incur a slightly longer attack run, so point of no return will be farther away from the ship. If you want only slightly more accuracy than the auto-drop, only a small pre-run will be required, so the bombers can almost turn in and dive-bomb sideways. Players will have to weigh their preference for a more precise drop, or a better angled drop along the length of the ship. A important mechanic here is that the bombers in dive-bomb mode will slightly adjust their bombings (similar to the slight auto-aim of new fighter barrage) to better hit the ship, but very slight, adjusting around 1/8 of the area covered, so it won't be a perfect oval as current, but instead an indented oval, lightly enveloping the ship, so less bombs will hit the water less in slight misses. The one-button release vs two-button scheme is open to change here as well. It could be possible for a quick-time drop have a "sweet point" mechanic which has to be executed neither too long nor too early during a drop for the most "enveloping" bonus (to almost 1/4 area difference). Dive bombers in this mode incur the normal AA pressure panicking. Dive-bombing a target takes a few seconds for all the planes to complete their run, about 2 seconds. For 2 seconds, your squad will be moving very slowly over a ship, almost locked in place, such as when fighters lock each other. They will still have to escape under AA pressure after their drops. (2) Fly-over drop. Not very accurate, comparable accuracy to current auto-drop. Tiny diamond-shaped highlights will appear at the centre of ships, with a small number underneath representing the amount of bombers targeting that ship, so players might get an idea of the amount. However, bombers performing this drop will not slow down for the drop, and will not be slowed at all by AA pressure (but can still be slightly panicked according to their settings, and enemy long-range AA strength and mods/skills, but considerably less than dive bomb). So players will have to weigh around the options of reduced accuracy by AA, or reduced accuracy in general. A circle about the size of the whole alt-circle will appear under the cursor (potentially can resize with middle-mouse, with press for default size). Players will put this circle over the ships a fly-over bombing is to happen, with a centre "priority" ship. The circle will be locked onto this ship as its centre, and most bombs will target this ship. However, Some bombers will also target other ships in the circle. For a small circle or only 1 ship, or too many bomber squads, bombers may have to "take turns" bombing the ship in sequence, so they will stay in the AA area for slightly longer, and with a bit reduced accuracy. For bombers with multiple bombs, a slew of many many small bombs (maybe even cluster bombs, or even guided bombs, or rockets, will discuss further down in section 4) will rain down on the ships, with animated dropping of the bombs flying through the air. Again, when bombers approach the point-of-no-return, an air-siren will sound, but not just for the centre targeted ship, instead by the centre ship. So with a 3D sound system, players will be able to hear the direction the siren is coming from, and sail away from it accordingly to dodge the bombs (or lessen the amount of bombs targeting them) (as in real life). Players will be able to define the angle of attack he wants to bombers to attack from, according to AA pressure, wind direction (maybe) (section 5), etc. Spread of bombs will be primarily vertical instead of horizontal, so attacking along the length of a ship will be ideal. This will be especially noticeable for planes with a large number of bombs, such as land-based bombers (section 5), which can carry at least half a dozen bombs each. AA panic effect on planes will not work as current. For tb, because of the possibility of adjusting width, and the removal of a set aiming-cone, torpedoes may end up getting dropped in even more erratic patterns, or not at the same time; some enter the water later than others. It may also be possible for a certain type or pressure amount of AA to stop synchronized torpedo drop altogether: under specific conditions, torpedos can't be dropped in waves, but instead is randomly dropped from totally scattered single torpedo planes, aimed at your cursor, which you will have to hold in the position you want the torpedoes to be launched at. So for instance, you hold down the drop button (or something like trigger left mouse key), and planes scattered in the immediate area will start an angle of attack to launch torpedoes converging on you cursor location, over a small duration of time (each single plane will have to path). You will have to keep your cursor moving and leading the ship you want to torp all during this time. This may actually be another drop mode altogether, and potentially even end up more efficient and satisfying, and really deadly, seeing torpedoes converge on an aimed location in a sequential manner, without clear gaps for escape. Bombs can be affected in more ways than just wider dispersion from panic, such as time it takes for the drop to be completed, accuracy of different drops, or the bonus of the enveloping effect, etc. If quick-time execution is considered, than slight changes to the time it takes for the db to reach "sweet point" could also have major impacts on the drop via impacting the player directly. If torpedo depth was also simulated, then it may be possible for the torpedo planes to mis-set the depth and torpedoes will pass too shallow, hitting the torpedo-protection for much reduced damage, or even pass underneath altogether. Section 3 How current AA works is clear to all. In the new system though, AA mechanics will not be arranged via perfect circles around the ship. Instead, depending on the actual layout of AA armaments on the ship, there will be certain angles of the ship at which AA should be realistically strongest. For instance, the sides should be much deadlier than the immediate front and back of a ship. Thus the sides could be hues of orange and red, or even dark-red/ reddish black (total panic), while the back would just be yellow, or even white (no AA). Actual color scheme can be customized by player preference, including opaqueness. A button can be pressed to show overlay of a system-rated strength of AA. Targeting allies will show allied AA circles, while targeting enemies will show info if close enough. For CV, this can be toggled to be permanently on as long as scouting is close enough for "full reveal", similar to the current "show advanced interface", except that's permanent no matter the range. I will present speculation for hiding player health-bars, but not in today's post. If AA is gradually affected by range, including accuracy (affecting focused efficiency), and efficiency (affecting flat output), then the AA strength display overlay will involve gradients of color and opaqueness. For instance close range AA with more combined flat damage and accuracy will be rated more deadly, while far AA less so. It is possible to have this overlay change dynamically according to overlapping AA range and strength from nearby allies. Due to the introduction of altitude mechanics, only long range AA cannons can hit high-altitude planes, or fly-over bomb drop runs. The way AA pressure works is similar to fighter area of influence: enemy planes flying through at low altitude will get slowed. If dodge mechanics are introduced, then planes may even be commanded to "dodge", affecting the relative accuracy of AA efficiency. This allows for unique balance options: Some ships with strong long-range AA will have their influence felt in more spheres than one, greatly increasing the depth of the game. "AA" radar, or even "AA DDs" will actually be a real concept. Flat AA strength will not be the only determining factor of a ship's AA capability, due to "accuracy" settings modifying flat damage. The width of AA kill-zones via the layout of its AA will have implications on gameplay and choice of ships. Experienced carrier players, having memorized AA layouts of ships, will be adequately rewarded. For instance, "suppressed" ships, unable to change angle direction under risk showing broadside to allied ships, will reward skilled drops from angles of approach with less AA. If AA accuracy was not flat scaling depending on range, but had more accuracy in their "optimal range", than "AA huddle" will be more strategic then simply "bunching ships together as closely as possible". AA panic, or barrage, will also work differently. As of current, a single press of the button will increase long-range AA to "black" level indiscriminant of angle. With the new design, AA "barrage" will work more akin to a barrage. The comparison will be like using an auto-firing machine-gun under normal mode, compared to an aimed semi-auto shotgun, under barrage mode. Specific angles of AA will be enhanced to either very high accuracy, but lower cone width, maybe for high-tech guns, or very high damage (to simulate high alert firing), but with normal cone width and accuracy for standard AA armaments. Probably both. The small cone width can be controlled and "aimed", to a certain extent, by the player. Managing to capture a squad of enemy planes within this cone then barrage it heavily. There will actually be an animated spout of bullets flying in that direction, with appropriate flak clouds in the air, and bits of machine-gun fire walking icicles on the water surface. This barrage may actually fire in barrages, so the player will have to time a barrage with the movement and aim to stay on target, dealing a tick of very high damage every few seconds of reload, and that's only if you hit. Leaving the barrage to auto-engage will likely lower its efficiency by default. The cone may also deepen in color while reloading, so the player will visually see the process of each reload. Because most of the long-range AA guns are secondary armaments with distinguishable reload times anyways. It may even be possible for barrages to be based on number of shots instead of a set time period. The barrage will automatically hit all planes within its angle of affect, splitting damage between them. There will be no need to vertically differ or horizontally aim the barrage. To panic planes, they will have to be under pressure of "black" AA for a consistent amount of time. To achieve that, either a real-time logging of damage on that squad, or something based on incoming damage versus plane stats, is in effect. Fully focused fighter fire will result in panic, but not during the wind-up period. A single barrage, even if it takes out 1-2 planes right away, will not fully panic the remaining planes unless a second barrage hits, or the combined amount of AA the planes receives from all auto-AA in the area first exceeded its maximum "slow", a kind of "soft cap". Higher amounts of AA will naturally reach this cap faster. So if the barrage is of sufficient "strength", it may outright panic the lower-tier planes as well. Compounding influence, from multiple types of AA, from cross-fire directions, will independently weigh more on this "damage cap", so mixed AA will be much more deadly. Higher tier planes, or specific plane designs from specific nations will vary on their susceptibility to these influences, partly based on historical considerations or actual specs. Thus in a high-tier game, with enough squadrons attacking even a Des Moines, it will not be able to barrage all of them, or panic all of them by itself, partly due to high-tier planes being more "resilient", as well the sheer number of squads splitting the damage soft cap. With certain captain skills, modules, or even premium ship designs, it may be possible to have more than 1 barrage cone, for many single-barrage targets, for it to auto-engage all squads, or increase its efficiency and width, but reduce number of cones/ auto-engage targets, etc. The best defence is still to be inside sufficient combined AA to be more than capable of pushing to the "soft damage cap" for each squadron, so they can then be easily panicked within a single scout fighter's area of influence (oh did I forget to mention that?), or even chance to be auto-panicked per barrage activated, because combined AA already excessively exceeded the soft-cap. So ships can either choose to focus on "soft overall power", "manual barrage power", or "tactical situational AA", to name a few possibilities.The key point is to still introduce many more options for diversification, unique characteristics and settings, and dynamic gameplay. Section 4 While the above points have already introduced many options for stat tweaks on planes, actual change of weapons and attack styles are still unconsidered. I will also first explain the altitude mechanic. Altitude: Altitude mechanic: Spotting mechanics have already been explained in former sections. How to change altitude not yet. Surface ships AA do not differ between altitude except via hard limits: only long-range AA, or even some medium range AA can hit high-altitude targets, and perhaps some planes with excessively low "high altitude" settings and stats. Fighters will still be needed to panic or slow planes at high altitude. It is possible that some multi-role fighters or heavy strike planes will be capable of exerting a small area of AA influence while still being able to carry out strikes against ships, but they will probably not have the same "focus" ability (similar to "accuracy" stat modification) used by pure fighters to maximize damage and lock squadrons. Their maneuverability, turning radius will also vary. It is possible for planes to have different speeds at high and low altitude, as well as varying spotting and concealment values. I envision that a single key-press, or even better, via auto, will be used to change the altitude of planes over a course of a few seconds, during which they maneuver vertically and less horizontally, moving slightly slower if increasing altitude, and faster if diving. Areas of influence will be difficult to balance if it was calculated separately by altitude, so influence should automatically concern both high and low altitude, but actual damage potential, and damage receiving potential will still vary dependent on the targets' altitude settings. If high altitude planes are ordered to carry out a strike, they will not change from their current altitude until within certain strike distance of target. While the altitude change is completed within few seconds for gameplay purposes, their altitude-dependent stats will not fully "activate" until a few more seconds. So no altitude juggling. Different plane types will also potentially have different altitude change parameters. Strike planes capable of striking from different altitudes may also have different altitude-specific effectiveness, depending on their historical specs. On special weapons for planes, Rockets: mix between the targeting method of bombs, and attack procedure of torpedoes. Many more individual projectiles than bombs capable from the same plane. Projectile speed much faster than bombs, so more responsive. Actual damage parameters I leave to WG to investigate and design. Angle of attack may or may not have heavy influence on the outcome. First-person camera mode may or may not be involved for aiming rockets. Horizontal range will probably be longer than other strike methods. Guided bombs: Can attack from high altitude, far range, retaining accuracy. Mechanics and control may be pretty troll depending on which bombs, from which technological stage, are used. Guided missiles: Only heavy strike land-based aircraft can carry these (except maybe some freak of a premium T10 carrier carrying only 30 planes). Sounds pretty strong. Bet it is. In response, the ships also have prototype anti-air missiles (works like AA magnetic torpedoes), or "proximity rounds" upgrade for use. Potentially even Type 3 for some BBs. Flying boats: I have advocated for flying boats to be used in a rescue mechanic for sailors from sunk ships. If there was any most important tradition in the navy, it's probably that they will rescue their people. This method could also be used to a better image than a random "loot crate" mechanic for reducing repair costs. Hopefully, you won't be able to fire on these flying boats on rescue missions. They can either land to fully pick up sailors for the biggest reward, or airdrop lifesaving equipment as a temporary measure because of whatever reasons prohibiting a full landing. Combat-use flying boats, from the nations which used them, or heavy bombers with area AA capability can be considered, AEWC aircraft and blimps: Not very useful in 1st generation theatres of battle, with current spotting mechanics, but can potentially be linked with the usage of prototype weaponry. Airships: Possible to carry out limited resupply and repair, or act as limited aerial control. Definitely not gen 1 mechanics. CV-based scout-planes: This can be done. They will probably have low detection but limited fuel. On combined strikes: Due to introduction of A.I. route pathing, with diversification of weapons, it may be possible to carry out "combined" strikes against ships, for instance the one I hear the most involves suppressing deck-AA fire. If you select an appropriate combination of squads, then it may be possible to engage in a coordinated strike, to counter the new AA mechanics of ships. Even more diverse weapons may allow for additional tactical and even strategic effects than just pure damage. This leads us to the BCV part of this discussion. I had envisioned it possible because of the advances in u.i. design, such as the route pathing and threat-sense displays. However, ideally, a BCV should be able to strike a ship without leaving first-person mode of the ship, while also use main armament in strategic display. The first requires limited optimization of aiming [break time.]
  2. In my last game I was driving very close (should have been around or less than 500m) to an island with a steep hill, when a squadron of bombers appeared over the island, did a little dive and torpedoed me. I didn't see any drop animation whatsoever but it felt like they must've dropped their torpedos directly after their dive, while still being above the island. Well, either that or the player in that CV was very skilled in "gaming" the current system.