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PhysixGER

CV's current state and population - an analysis

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This is meant as a try to fight the current toxicity in the CV discussion by analysing the current player base.

Sadly, towards the symptomatic state of CVs, there exists an excessive amount of cliché usage in the discussion. People (especially non-CV players) see it as common sense that "CV population is very low" or even "for the last 7 CV players on the planet...", and trying to make assumptions based on such purely blanket claims.

 

So, let's consider actual numbers - the graphic below shows the total number of games by tier for combined IJN+US CV vs certain "semi-representatively" chosen other classes, Q1 2018 EU server, such that it is a recent time frame.

CV_totalamountgames.thumb.png.d1260cc5e1159291ca2c39df9abc1190.png

Firstly, we can clearly see that the number of low-tier CV games is healthy, and stays about in line with the other classes up to and including tier 7 (!), while only dropping slightly along with the IJN BBs. At this tier, the data show that non-premium ships (Hiryu 164k, Ranger 266k) are the by far dominant contribution over premium (Saipan 67k, Kaga 55k). It is only at tier 8 that the very large meta shift begins to happen - CV games drop fairly, while USN CAs extremely. The trend for CVs continues up to tier 10 with the population dropping to about 17% of its maximum, while the considered CA line recovers and generally for all other classes except CVs the trend reverses towards tier 10 (there is a "tier 9 hole" in the game - one more thing WG needs to address, but this is not subject of this article).

 

So we can see that the main problem is exactly not a lack of CV players - the CV population in the low-to-mid tiers is acceptable and in the range of other comparable ships - but rather the steep loss of players towards tier 8-10.

This firstly shows that there is no problem with the acceptance of RTS CV mechanics as such - for example, getting a stock Hiryu costs about 225k XP, upgraded 272k XP, stock Ranger 205k, upgraded 225k. This is, for a free-to-play or casual player, a large time investment already, so these players have been likely playing and enjoying the CV gameplay up to that point.

 

The question therefore narrows down to reasons for the loss of players towards high-tier CVs. Let's again compare sample numbers (this time wows-numbers). Total Hakuryu winrate on EU is 48.08%, Yamato 49.12%. Top 5% players winrate Hakuryu 77.95%, Yamato 66.95%. Consider tier 7: Total WR Hiryu 50.99%, Nagato 49.72%, Top 5% WR Hiryu 73.77%, Nagato 68.15%.

For other combinations these numbers might fluctuate slightly, but overall winrates of CVs are quite consistent with or slightly higher than other classes (except certain high strike power ships like Kaga or GZ).

 

So the reason is at higher tiers not that the ships would be imbalanced.

 

Let us now look at the change that the respective player faces towards higher tiers.

- AA gets much stronger, there exists more diversity between ships.

- players of other classes are more skilled; actively avoid drops, blob up to overlap bubbles

- susceptibility for certain weapons diversifies (deck armor, torpedo protection)

- usually more skilled opponents - a slight edge in fighter skill can mean complete shutdown

- higher detection ranges

- more squadrons

 

This requires players to:

- learn ship characteristics and tactics to avoid the AA

- learn to predict exact ship movement (e.g. dropping DD with single squad)

- learn strafe meta, correct prediction of the squad inertia

- learn to pick good targets

- learn positioning

- increase APM and micro

 

All that while other classes usually carry on using their core mechanics continuously. Of course, other ship classes need positioning too, and also know their targets' armor. But they can reasonably get away with shooting anything that moves if they want to be "just average"; while this is not really possible in a high tier game in a CV where a (non-super-)potato would waste his squads in AA.

 

So, does the game teach any of the aforementioned core CV mechanics? No. WG did not spend the time to make a comprehensive strafing, exit strafing or dropping tutorial or practice mission (as would be possible; look at the equivalent practice missions in StarCraft II), also tells the new player nothing directly about AA. All other classes are to a degree self-explanatory, while the advanced CV tactics are not.

 

The conclusion from this must be that CVs in their current state have an extremely high skill ceiling, while having a low skill floor. Both of these aspects are represented in data.

 

An important outlook would be this: Does changing the CV squad gameplay to a certain type of action/per-squad third person camera thing anything about the skills a good CV player must have? From the opinion of a CV main (I've purposefully avoided this phrase for the rest of the article), no, it won't. You will still have to put in very high APM to manage your squadrons, positioning, target, fighter control and AA knowledge are still necessary, and because of not having the RTS-style interface, the overview over the situation will be even harder to achieve (assuming squad configs staying the same). For this reason, I'm going to go so far to say that WG risks increasing the CV skill cap even more, therefore dissuading casual people from playing CV more than today, while probably reducing the current high-skill population drastically.

 

Sadly, it seems some singular devs at WG have their eyes zealously set on "reworking" CVs that way, and will be hardly dissuaded from their goals and the work they probably have put in by now; this is in itself not despicable. What, however, is, that they are trying to throw a working game mechanic out of the window, instead of trying to introduce ease-of-life improvements that tell newer players what to do, or reduce lag, or whatever. Another type of CV mechanic might probably be functional, totally. But if it doesn't offer an improvement, there is no real point to it. WoWS is becoming an "old" game by gaming industry standards. The change would be like changing real-life football to RTS style after decades.

 

With my current prediction I have to make the following two proposals:

1. WG, if you insist in putting out an "action" CV mechanic in the game, make it so that players can choose between RTS style and "action" style elements, effectively keeping both in the game.

2. Start already to make actual core improvements to CV UI and tactics teaching.

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Well if theis is true

 

There wont be much CVs left.......at least not the ones that played them for what they are now.....not that Notser is really a source of info since he takes much of his "personal reality" in his statements that has little to do with whast real.......

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You should probably look at the unique players statistic instead of total games played when talking about population. A small amount of players may still account for a huge number of games played if they're dedicated enough.

 

Total WR for CVs is worthless as a measure because CVs are mirrored. A Haku vs Haku game e.g. always results in a WR of 50% because one Haku wins while the other Haku loses. Thus the only match up that influences the overall WR of T10 CVs is Haku vs Midway.

 

I agree that the video Notser made is full of :etc_swear:, though. Laughed for 5 minutes straight when he said WG has truly tried everything to make the RTS concept work.

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30 minutes ago, El2aZeR said:

I agree that the video Notser made is full of :etc_swear:, though. Laughed for 5 minutes straight when he said WG has truly tried everything to make the RTS concept work.

 

Video footage of WG CV balance team:

tried.gif?resize=480,360&ssl=1

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33 minutes ago, Yogibjoern said:

Maybe Notser knows more than he is talking about. Don't forget St.Petersburg and nda... Just saying

If so he breaks NDA just by saying they ditching RTS interface......why do you think CV players that went there to only said they tested the new CV gameplay? Anyway he live in his own small world that is a bit removed from reality discarding any but his own view on a topic so i dont expect his source to be corect especally since CV rework is highly work in progress.

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I may be unusual, in that I'm a rubbish player that frequents the forums, but the reason I generally don't play CVs in randoms above the point where manual attacks start to apply is that I'm significantly worse than my average in CVs, and that's the point where being incompetent *really* harms your team.

 

When using the point-and-click moron tiers, I'm just about okay, but not above that point.

 

I quite like messing about with manual CVs, but only in coop, as it doesn't matter there if I suck.

 

I don't have a personal problem with the concept of the RTS interface; it effectively means you almost get two games for one. The problem for me is that it takes so long to get even slightly proficient at using it, and during that time, you're a liability to your team (unless you luck out, and the enemy CV driver is just as clueless), which isn't fun, unless you're a cat-shaving sociopath...

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Let's see what the rework brings... Any comment on what the future CV gameplay is going to be, is just pure speculation.

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3 minutes ago, Yogibjoern said:

Let's see what the rework brings... Any comment on what the future CV gameplay is going to be, is just pure speculation.

well the waterline vid says no direct controll over planes and more opertunitys to kill planes that dont sounds like a buff but another nerf .While that would get rid of the skill diverence between CVs it just makes them useless to play

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20 minutes ago, Spellfire40 said:

well the waterline vid says no direct controll over planes and more opertunitys to kill planes that dont sounds like a buff but another nerf .While that would get rid of the skill diverence between CVs it just makes them useless to play

Hard to say... But there is no doubt that the rework is going to be really something different than the current CV. They already announced they will offering compensation for those not happy. So something radical is going to happen. Even Jingles said he would consider playing CV if what they tried in St.Petersburg come through.

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Your graph is terribly misleading. You can't compare things like that. Redo the graph with Total CV, Total BB, Total DD, and Total CAs, and discuss accordingly. Then, we'd see a graphich that triples/quadruples itself except the CV part.

 

What i read in your current graph is that, the number of games played for ALL CVs are even less than the number of games that a single nation's DD has played.

 

Lets give an example (for T5, which you call fine): For one IJN DD game, there is less than one carrier game(USN+IJN CVs combined). The number of games is around 105k for ONLY IJN DDs, and around 75k for USN+IJN CVs combined. What about US DDs? RU DDs? KM DDs? They aren't even included in the analysis. If you had included them, (take this part with a pinch of salt) that'd mean that for one game for 1 destroyer, there are 0,17857 CV games. So, the probability of encountering a CV will be almost the same as encountering 5-6DDs (the numbers are added for each consecutive battle. They dont have to be in the same game. But you need to count only your team's DDs). You need to count DD players in your team: Every 5-6 DDs you see, you should get a CV game.

 

And for T10, it's even worse. For every game with 3 Des Moines, you encounter a carrier. Try counting until you reach 3 Des Moines players in your team and 3 Des Moines players in the enemy team. That's the possibility of encountering a CV game at T10. This is what i read from your graph. If you get 1 Des Moines on both teams per game, that'd mean encountering a CV every 3rd game, with an encountering probability of 33%.

 

Also, looking at top 5% players with the highest XP won't give you much of an idea. Because, there are a number of Hakuryu+2T10 AA build ship divisions. They will mess these statistics up, especially when there arent many other players balancing the statistics.

 

Please try to make more accurate analysis next time. However, i agree with your opinions you mention at the later parts.

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20 minutes ago, Fubucky said:

What i read in your current graph is that, the number of games played for ALL CVs are even less than the number of games that a single nation's DD has played.

 

Well, to be fair it takes far fewer CV players to saturate MM than any other class as there are at most 4 per game. In that context low tier CV numbers could be fine despite a low number of battles played comparatively speaking.

 

Remember that CVs were never meant to be a popular class and designed with that in mind.

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2 hours ago, Yogibjoern said:

Hard to say... But there is no doubt that the rework is going to be really something different than the current CV. They already announced they will offering compensation for those not happy. So something radical is going to happen. Even Jingles said he would consider playing CV if what they tried in St.Petersburg come through.

When you probably need a los to your target. And "shoot" a wave of planes that straitline to a target every 2 to 3 mins that would be fun and engaging right? positoning would be much more important.... igoring that CVs that dont hide behind a rock get 2 salvoed by BB AP..... I hope they do offer a refiund for any prem CV when they do such a radical change....look at WOT Arty yea you stun but alpha? nope but once any med gets to you they still roflstomp you.....sure a buff to arty.

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46 minutes ago, Fubucky said:

Every 5-6 DDs you see, you should get a CV game.

 

So about 60% of games with CVs in them. From my observation ( grinding two DD lines right now at low tiers) this is about true for CVs of tier 4, 5, and 6.

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22 minutes ago, Spellfire40 said:

When you probably need a los to your target. And "shoot" a wave of planes that straitline to a target every 2 to 3 mins that would be fun and engaging right? positoning would be much more important.... igoring that CVs that dont hide behind a rock get 2 salvoed by BB AP..... I hope they do offer a refiund for any prem CV when they do such a radical change....look at WOT Arty yea you stun but alpha? nope but once any med gets to you they still roflstomp you.....sure a buff to arty.

I have absolutely no idea at all on how and what. Just know on my other account I have all CV's except Taiho, Hakuryu and Graf Zeppelin sitting as port queens. Hoping some day I get to play them. Never going to happen at the current CV gameplay though, Simply sucks at playing CV. Zero random battles in Lexington, Essex, Midway, Enterprise and Kaga. So I'm very excited to see the rework.

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4 hours ago, PhysixGER said:

...they are trying to throw a working game mechanic out of the window...

See there is the problem, it isn't working.  CV game play has always been flawed and regardless of what minor/major changes WG tried, it stayed broken.  Is the current WG plan the right move, I have no idea... but status quo wasn't the way to go.

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38 minutes ago, Culiacan_Mexico said:

See there is the problem, it isn't working.

 

It depends on what you define as "working", really.

From a pure gameplay and balance perspective the inherent design of CVs is fine, being a class that is the primary teamplay forcing aspect of this team game and has tremendous support potential at the cost of requiring little skill to counter and is completely incapable of performing other vital roles. The UI design too for the most part follows established and working design principles, only let down by a lack of responsiveness and a huge amount of bugs.

This ofc requires that most players actually see this as a team game and that there are plenty of counters available in the overall RPS scheme the game is built upon. Here's where things start to fall apart, primarily due to WG making a hilarious number of incredibly stupid design choices over the years.

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4 minutes ago, El2aZeR said:

 

It depends on what you define as "working", really.

When I first started play this game 2 vs 1 or even 1 vs 0 carrier games were allowed by MM, so I would suppose that WG thought that was fine for some reason, but not many would think that now. 

 

Cleveland was everyone friends, and at the start of the match coordination was important, but that didn't last long.  CVs were buffed against sniping and some BBs got major AA increases, which lead to aircraft squadrons seeing no fly zones. Against some targets, CVs are very strong, yet against others they seem to get slaughtered, so how do you balance CVs in this environment?  Some CV players seemed to have adopted the tactic of 'divisioning' with strong AA platforms to work the system, so that AA can in fact become beneficial to them.

 

The high skill floor and the 1 vs 1 environment has created a large disparity in the CV player base skill; on a ship that can be called the most influential.

 

All of this is not a receipt for success; and something... somethings need to change.

 

 Is WG plans, whatever they are, going to work?  I don't know, but for me... confidences is not high.  I would have thought a closer look at AA mechanics would have been a good place to start, but I don't make those calls.

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Problem starts when a Shokaku player with 74% win rate in randoms at this ship ( one from our clan) Can't keep the CV player from our training partner clan at bay. Result 3 lost training matches in a row, without CV's we play even.

Just an example of a massive skill gap which exist even among good players.

 

So how do you expect any average player starting at CV's will fare?

5 hours ago, El2aZeR said:

You should probably look at the unique players statistic instead of total games played when talking about population. A small amount of players may still account for a huge number of games played if they're dedicated enough.

 

 

Like you say it is  all the few good players playing a huge chunk of CV games.

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1 hour ago, Culiacan_Mexico said:

so how do you balance CVs in this environment?

 

Make them punish anything that doesn't want to teamplay and is not a no fly zone.

Which they do.

From a pure design and balancing standpoint that's fine. Whether the community will see it as such is another story.

 

1 hour ago, Yogibjoern said:

Problem starts when a Shokaku player with 74% win rate in randoms at this ship ( one from our clan) Can't keep the CV player from our training partner clan at bay. Result 3 lost training matches in a row, without CV's we play even.

Just an example of a massive skill gap which exist even among good players.

 

Let me get this straight.

You perform even when there are no CVs involved, but you'll lose when the enemy gets the advantage in skill while your guy has essentially failed to grasp the basics of CV play? Or alternatively because your clan is incapable of playing against CVs? Because there is literally no way you cannot prevent the enemy CV from striking or fail to scout in organized play unless you or your team :etc_swear: up tremendously.

One would think this'd be the natural outcome. Get a potato to play one of your DDs next time and challenge the other team with their usual lineup. I highly doubt the results will be all too different.

 

I'm not disputing that CVs are the most influential class in the game but your example does nothing to prove it. A high random WR does not mean you're a skilled CV player. It means you have at least grasped the very mechanical basics, nothing more, nothing less. It's not even the entirety of the basic fundamentals, only the mechanics. Just knowing how to strafe and manual drop catapults you into unicum territory easily because almost everyone else is abysmally bad at the game, CV or otherwise.

 

Just take another look at Notser. He did well in the game which he displayed when talking about why CVs need to change, right? WRONG. How he performed in that game was tremendously bad. Really, really bad. And yet he still pulls a 56% solo WR in CVs.

Or perhaps even worse, iChase. Watching iChase play CVs is physically painful. It literally makes me want to smash my head in with my desk. Yet he can pull a 66% solo WR. All because he can strafe, manual drop and knows kinda which targets don't have enough AA to stop his strikes.

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One point to skew the data a bit.

 

Double CV matches are very frequent in T4 to T6 and never happen T7+, so the population data is a bit inflated artificially by WG in that bracket by forcing low tier CV spam down our throats. Because being a spectator in an RTS match played by 4 players is fun...

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8 minutes ago, EgyptOverseer said:

One point to skew the data a bit.

 

Double CV matches are very frequent in T4 to T6 and never happen T7+, so the population data is a bit inflated artificially by WG in that bracket by forcing low tier CV spam down our throats. Because being a spectator in an RTS match played by 4 players is fun...

 

Actually I had a game 2 days ago with 2x T7 CV's a side, never seen it before, but having checked, it's normal, just very uncommon (thankfully).

I do find a lot of CV games very unsatisfying with being perma spotted and torps being effectively useless (change for that happening soon it seems) or with 1 side dominating the other by plane which makes for no fun fight except to the dominant CV driver.

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4 hours ago, El2aZeR said:

 

Make them punish anything that doesn't want to teamplay and is not a no fly zone.

Which they do.

From a pure design and balancing standpoint that's fine. Whether the community will see it as such is another story.

 

 

Let me get this straight.

You perform even when there are no CVs involved, but you'll lose when the enemy gets the advantage in skill while your guy has essentially failed to grasp the basics of CV play? Or alternatively because your clan is incapable of playing against CVs? Because there is literally no way you cannot prevent the enemy CV from striking or fail to scout in organized play unless you or your team :etc_swear: up tremendously.

One would think this'd be the natural outcome. Get a potato to play one of your DDs next time and challenge the other team with their usual lineup. I highly doubt the results will be all too different.

 

I'm not disputing that CVs are the most influential class in the game but your example does nothing to prove it. A high random WR does not mean you're a skilled CV player. It means you have at least grasped the very mechanical basics, nothing more, nothing less. It's not even the entirety of the basic fundamentals, only the mechanics. Just knowing how to strafe and manual drop catapults you into unicum territory easily because almost everyone else is abysmally bad at the game, CV or otherwise.

 

Just take another look at Notser. He did well in the game which he displayed when talking about why CVs need to change, right? WRONG. How he performed in that game was tremendously bad. Really, really bad. And yet he still pulls a 56% solo WR in CVs.

Or perhaps even worse, iChase. Watching iChase play CVs is physically painful. It literally makes me want to smash my head in with my desk. Yet he can pull a 66% solo WR. All because he can strafe, manual drop and knows kinda which targets don't have enough AA to stop his strikes.

Its exactly this attitude among the few good players that's ruining CV play for everybody else. Git gut is your only answer to everything. No wonder WG is reworking this pile of ....

All classes of ships should be playable on a equal skill floor to be fun. But it isn't at the moment.

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38 minutes ago, Yogibjoern said:

All classes of ships should be playable on a equal skill floor to be fun. But it isn't at the moment.

 

So you should be able to beat an olympic level athlete with :etc_swear: all effort invested?

Because that's essentially what you're demanding.

Let me reiterate, you are complaining about that when you introduce a factor in which your opponent is better than you, you lose. Isn't that perfectly fine? Don't they deserve to win because they're better than you? Isn't that only FAIR?

 

WoWs is a PvP game. By its very nature it's a competition and not all rainbow and sunshine. And if you don't possess the spirit to play in a competitive fashion nor want to invest the time and effort to be able to do so, then you have no right to complain when getting stomped by someone who does. Likewise you deserve to lose if you have invested less time and effort than your opponent. Anything else would be unfair to him.

If anything if "git gud" is your only problem with a mechanic, then it means that mechanic is perfectly fine. Get torped? Git gud and WASD hax. Take massive damage from AP shells? Git gud and angle. Miss by miles? Git gud and learn to aim. Get burned down? Git gud and manage DCP and repair better. Etc. etc. etc.

 

Yet for some reason in most CV discussions "git gud" isn't a reasonable argument. And to be fair there are plenty of problems with CVs beyond simply "git gud". Really, if "git gud" were the only problem with CVs then there'd be no reason to rework them.

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7 hours ago, Yogibjoern said:

I have absolutely no idea at all on how and what. Just know on my other account I have all CV's except Taiho, Hakuryu and Graf Zeppelin sitting as port queens. Hoping some day I get to play them. Never going to happen at the current CV gameplay though, Simply sucks at playing CV. Zero random battles in Lexington, Essex, Midway, Enterprise and Kaga. So I'm very excited to see the rework.

That highly depends what tehy do the rework for. if they do it for teh generall playerbase it will suck. They basically doing the big middle finger for those that still played despite nerf after nerf.

 

If tehy do some truely inovative mechanic were playerskill still plays a role fine. But how to do that with planes not directly controllable?  I suspect they do an select taret any your planes do an autoatack in a strait line from your CV removing all imput on your side making it total RNG and impsible to srike or protect anything if an enemy AA vessle is in a way....i cant seeanything but an non automatic target solution gameplay if you do not have controll over your planes.

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