Jump to content
You need to play a total of 50 battles to post in this section.
dasCKD

The Carrier Problem

51 comments in this topic

Recommended Posts

[WOTN]
Quality Poster
2,374 posts
17,545 battles

I am back and a bit miffed but back. Whilst using autocorrect on some of the words in this article, I noted that 'twerking' was now an officially recognized word and I found that incredibly depressing.

The_Carrier_Problem.jpg

World of Warships is a house of cards that is constantly built upon by line after line and gimmick after gimmick. The carrier situation in general is what happens when we try to balance by tacking on extra features instead of looking at the game balance as a whole and working from there.

Foreword

Spoiler

I have gotten back into ranked battle and after being kicked around in cruisers for a while, I got back to carriers. The results were expected. All but one of the enemies I faced didn't know what strafing was and my team managed to lose a battle where I managed to do over 120 k damage and earned my first King of the Skies award. There is much that is said about balancing carriers, all the way from balancing the nations to trying to make it so that they are more balanced, the introduction of new ammunition and torpedoes in order to make it so that different carriers fill different niches and therefore lowering the necessity of balancing different loadouts and carrier types against each other, and the tweaking of hangar spaces that were a legacy holdover from the old days of carriers when loadouts weren't split across 3 plane types and where tier 7 carriers could face tier 9 carriers in battle. All of this has the typical issue with many of Wargaming's changes however. They are attempting to trim a tree's branches into the shape they want whilst the root rots unnoticed. Before we could discuss even overhauling carriers, the issue at the heart of carriers needs to be addressed. Even with these problems, I still see these problems as a distraction. It is a problem that carriers are such excessive skill multiplies. It is a problem that the introduction of gimmicks will only make carriers more and more unfriendly to newbies and that the way carrier tier advancement works both facilitates and encourages seal clubbing. All of these problems are, in my opinion, all distractions from the fundamental issue that drives the carrier problem. I think the problem with carriers is more fundamental than that. We need to get rid of AA ships. We need to get rid of the very concept of AA ships.


The Problem
The carrier problem, in my mind, boils down to two problems:

  • AA varies depending on different factors
  • AA gets destroyed

Which really is why we should just get rid of AA ships.

Spoiler

Now you might think that this is an insane conclusion to draw from the given facts. Most of your probably know that for sure already, but that's hardly the point. Whilst getting rid of AA completely would likely improve carrier numbers, it won't balance carriers in any appreciable way. It would just result in everyone migrating to carriers or leaving the game. It makes sense that Wargaming is apprehensive in making any power improvements to carriers and why they want to overhaul the entire carrier class. Leave it to Wargaming, I suppose, to burn down their entire port because they can't properly fit in a single ship. An entirely new mechanical system would indeed even the playing field as veteran players scramble to relearn the new carrier mechanics and newer players would be granted access to the carrier class. The impact to the player base with this change will be relatively low considering that pure carrier players are extremely rare and most veteran carrier players would simply migrate to other classes rather than leave the game outright. The problem then is that this is, to use my previous metaphor, not the uprooting of a rotten tree but the trimming of the dead leaf seemingly unaware of the fact that a rotting tree will only keep producing more rotten fruit and dead leaf until something is done about the root of the problem. Pressing reset doesn't do much to solve the issue when the machine is itself broken, soon enough a new crop of veterans to the new carrier will arise and we will be back where we are. The mobility of carriers and the ability to fully invest without having to irreparably lose the ship will still make carriers strategically superior to players who know how to properly make use of the superior mobility and reaction that carriers provide. The change, no matter how drastic, will change the issue with carriers that keeps them from being balanced. Whilst a carrier overhaul will get rid of the carrier skill gap temporarily, this is nothing more than another delaying tactic no different from promises of a carrier overhaul in 'the year of the carrier' that we have seen prior.

 

I would like to propose a thought experiment. Let's say we take a perfectly random sample form a population that plays two ships, ship X and ship Y. They have identical win rates, identical average damages, and one ship is better balanced than the kilogram weight standard and the other is a Saipan's and Belfast's lovechild if she was mounted with autoloading railguns and a smoke screen. Carriers are incredibly hard to master. For people who master them, they are often the highest performing ship of their roster. For the rest of the carrier players, the practically mythological power that likely drew them to the class in the first place is practically an impossibility as they are routinely routed and crushed under superior mechanical skill, superior strategic planning and baiting, or both. Theory can be a bit hard to grasp however, so I'll give a simpler example.

 

Capture.png

Lexington VS Shokaku bomb drop approximation

Capture.png

Tier 8 carrier statistical numbers

The Shokaku and Lexington are incredibly different carriers, but their most obvious distinguishing feature is the function of their respective dive bomber squads. A single strike from a Lexington could eliminate almost anything up to and including tier X ships in her now defunct strike loadout whereas a ship like the Shokaku could only boast that capability against destroyers. I could distinctly remember routine examples of dive bomber strikes that have reduced tier X destroyers from full health to 0. I could also remember full strikes where the dive bomber grazes the ship for engine damage and nothing else. For this precise reason, many people favor the Shokaku over the Lexington. This might seem like a detraction from the topic of carrier balance in general, but the problem is the same. Whereas a Lexington is beholden to RNG, carriers as a class is beholden to the matchmaker. It does not matter if a carrier can clock in 200k damage in one game if for the next one she'll be floating her planes around, losing entire squads to ships that are spotted literally seconds before the squad resupply timer starts ticking.

 

The matchmaker issue is admittedly, to an extent, something which virtually every ship suffers from. A tier 8 ship might rip everything apart in a battle where they are top dog whereas they'll barely be able to hold their own in a tier X match. It is worse for carriers however thanks to how the AA system works. The comparison between the Shokaku and the Lexington is really only an example in this particular case. I have had games where the Lexington murdered everything, tier X battleships included, that she came across whilst also meeting matches where she barely claws back 30k damage. Carriers, in many ways, are just like this. If commanded by a competent captain(Not exemplary mind you, just competent), they could potentially massacre basically the entire game and win it for their allies, whereas even the best carrier players will run into games (quite often, mind you) where they are utterly useless. Everything about the way the AA system in World of Warships works is broken, sick, and wrong and whilst it is fun to rail against the latest blatantly overpowered AA suites like the Worcester or stupid changes like the removal of manual attacks at the learning tiers, we should not forget that the problem with carriers began near the genesis of the class.

The House of Cards
I am sure we have all seen tier X carrier tryhard divisions. I am sure that we all know that a ship's AA performance could be significantly increased by tacking on captain skills and captain upgrades. Most of us would likely have issues actually visualizing how far this could be taken however. For the selection process, I picked ships known for having excellent AA capabilities to compare with ships with less than stellar AA firepower in order to demonstrate my point. I am doing this for a reason that will become clear later down the page, for now I'll introduce you to the 4 ships that are selected for this comparison.

  • The Amagi
  • The North Carolina
  • The Yamato
  • The Montana
Spoiler

The AA Tax
Now many of you probably have never heard of Cross Sectional Fire Power. It makes sense to an extent, seeing as how I have just came up with this term just a few moments ago. In fact if you know the term, message me in private later about the stock market as you are evidently here from the future. The concept behind it is very simple though. To drop a payload, a plane needs to fly through AA. The longer you need to spend in AA, the more chances you will have to get your planes shot down. Relatively simple. The value does assume that the plane makes a perfect line towards the ship which is unrealistic. Nevertheless, it can serve as an approximation.

 

For those who need a refresher, here are the more common AA skills and upgrades:

  • AA upgrade +20% to AA aura size
  • Advanced firing training +20% to AA aura size
  • Basic firing training +20% AA aura strength
  • Manual AA +100% AA aura strength for AA > 85 mm

This gives a summed range extension multiplier of 1.44 and a damage improvement multiplier of either 1.2 or 2.4 depending on the AA caliber. To get the AA CSFP value, I take the AA DPS and multiply it by the distance. For the Amagi for example, we get a rate of 80.80 for a distance of 5 km. (DPS)(Range) = CSFP so 80.80*5.00 = 404.00. Converted into a table, it looks like this.

 
default altered
DPS Range CSFP DPS Range CSFP
Amagi 127 mm/40 Type89 A1 80.80 5.00 404.00 193.92 7.20 1,396.22
  25 mm/60 Type96 mod. 1 75.60 3.10 234.36 90.72 4.46 404.97
  13 mm/76 Type93 Quad 58.80 1.20 70.56 70.56 1.73 121.93
N Car 127 mm/38 Mk32 151.00 5.00 755.00 362.40 7.20 2,609.28
  20 mm Oerlikon Mk4 166.00 2.00 332.00 199.20 2.88 573.70
  40 mm Bofors Mk2 159.00 3.50 556.50 190.80 5.04 961.63
Yamato 25 mm/60 Type96 Tri mod. 1 134.00 3.10 415.40 160.80 4.46 717.81
  25 mm/60 Type96 Tri mod. 2 146.00 3.10 452.60 175.20 4.46 782.09
  127 mm/40 Type89 A1 61.00 5.00 305.00 146.40 7.20 1,054.08
  127 mm/40 Type89 A1 mod. 3 61.00 5.00 305.00 146.40 7.20 1,054.08
Montana 20 mm Oerlikon Mk4 72.00 2.00 144.00 86.40 2.88 248.83
  40 mm Bofors Mk2 318.00 3.50 1,113.00 381.60 5.04 1,923.26
  20 mm Oerlikon Mk20 122.00 2.00 244.00 146.40 2.88 421.63
  127 mm/54 Mk41 157.00 5.20 816.40 376.80 7.49 2,821.48

The values are highlighted according to their power. We can do that now in 2018 with color automatic assignment. Edit: which they appear to have removed now that I posted. Bugger.

  standard CSFP altered CSFP ratio
Amagi 708.92 1,923.13 2.71
N Car 1,643.50 4,144.61 2.52
Yamato 1,478.00 3,608.06 2.44
Montana 2,317.40 5,415.21 2.34

By modifying ships that are, for all practical purposes, identical, we could see a rise of anywhere from 2.5 to close to 3 times increase in effective AA firepower. An Amagi, a tier VIII battleship with decidedly mediocre AA almost attains the AA cross sectional firepower value of the standard Montana, the tier X AA battleship, by falling short by around 400 CSFP just by adding the skills to the captain.  This causes many issues. Firstly, it means that even AA ships need to invest in anti air skills if they ever want to be truly effective, detracting from other skills that they would greatly benefit from. Ships that are designed to be AA support could end up less effective than ships whose weakness are meant to be their weakness to carriers who simply spec against aircraft. This massive disparity between the performance of a ship against carriers had led to many issues one of which is the utter lack of consensus on how strong the AA should be. The fact that just about any artillery ship could be turned into AA monsters at the whims of each separate player. This issue can't be fixed by simply nerfing or buffing the AA values unless done so to the extent to either make ship AA either entirely meaningless or completely impenetrable to any carrier and therefore both invalidating any point of raising the performance of AA guns through captain skills. If Wargaming ever wants to let ships remain anywhere in the center of being somewhat vulnerable and somewhat resistant to carriers, the very concept of speccing into AA captain skills and upgrades needs to be erased from the very fabric of the game.

 

The main argument often leveled by Wargaming whenever the topic is that as carriers are quite rare, full AA builds are likewise rare and that very few can afford to build fully into AA. Whilst none of what they have said is factually inaccurate, it still does nothing to answer the concerns of the players. The very fact that it is even theoretically possible to create such an AA field using any ship is the problem and Wargaming's excuses will do nothing to fix the fact that carriers DO run across ships with such a setup. It also doesn't address the fact that they are forcing players who might want to use said upgrade slots and captain skills for something else to invest those points into anti-carrier measures should they be expected to defend against carrier attacks.

Defective Fire

Capture.png

Hood, with her infamous rocket AA

As if the whole issue with ships being able to arbitrarily increase their AA values was not sufficient for Wargaming, there is the issue with defensive fire. Now for those newer players, defensive fire does have precedent and a reason to exist. Carriers, back in the day, had the kind of power where the introduction of defensive fire was a reasonable addition to the game. That said, in the present game climate it is little more than a crapshoot and it was not any better when cruisers were the dominant class. When defensive AA is active, cruisers (with the exception of the Atago and maybe a few others) that have made an otherwise catastrophic error in deployment instead become virtually untouchable to carriers. Conversely, a ship that otherwise has excellent AA will fall prey to even moderately well executed carrier attacks if they had the misfortune of making the 'wrong' consumable choice based upon no prior knowledge except for errant speculation on whether or not the matchmaker is conspiring against them that day. Hindenburgs and Des Moines will die if caught without defensive fire without being able to do much, whereas ships like the Kutuzov would be able to repel a carrier with ease should they have defensive fire ready.

 

Now there was a time where the defensive fire was on essentially all cruisers and back when it had to be. In the bad old days, carriers wielded such power that nothing but a full complement of 12 ships in formation was able to make even so much as a dent in a full Hakuryuu rush. The ability for cruisers to significantly blunt the power of carriers made sense back then, considering how ineffectual AA was against carriers. Even as the power of carriers were reigned in with improvements to AA across the board however, defensive fire has not changed. This is another addition to the rolling the dice that all carriers need to do when plotting an attack. Even assuming an identical AA spec, something which is demonstrated above to cause an already ludicrous leap in AA performance with the application of captain skills and player choice, the result of a carrier attack can either end in a former cruiser now a reef or about 20 dead planes and about 2000 damage. This is further exacerbated by the fact that cruisers need to choose between hydroacoustic search and defensive fire. Whilst the choice between the two is not without application in organically controlling carrier and destroyer numbers, what the lack of defensive fire on certain ships with said consumable available results in Wargaming never having to ever balance carriers properly.

 

The simple fact is that if cruisers and destroyers with defensive fire is meant to be able to repel (in case of cruisers) or blunt (in case of destroyer) carrier attacks, then they should be able to always do so.  If carriers are meant to be able to do some damage to these same ships, they should always be able to do so as well. The use of a consumable that, when active, a carrier almost never could get past just results in Wargaming never having to balance carriers properly. When carrier numbers grows too high because no one uses defensive fire consumables, people just run more defensive fire which results in a dip in carrier numbers which just perpetuates the constant cycle. Whilst it would no doubt be a monumental task to balance carrier and AA performance such that it would be acceptable to all parties involved, it is not something that could be indefinitely postponed. Despite server population being more or less constant, Wargaming continues to bleed carrier players every day. The refusal to do anything would only exacerbate the issue. A change that would have been acceptable or potentially even lauded six months back will be accepted by essentially no one in the current climate and this is the bed that Wargaming has made for themselves.

Because Why Bother Balancing?
With the upcoming Warchester being the best AA ship EVARHHtm WG continues its trend of introducing ships with ridiculous AA. They took a look at the Des Moines, a ship with quite frankly excessive AA, and thought that it would be wise to make a ship with even better AA. This is far from the issue however as WG has managed to wriggle their way out of giving ships sensible AA values for nearly two years now thanks to the fact that, with the introduction of HE spamming battleships and the meta heavily favoring withering back line cruisers, AA doesn't last very long in extended engagements.

Spoiler

The Stupid Genius Idea
On the surface, the idea of AA deteriorating must sound incredibly clever. Carriers hold the single most precise damage vector in the entire game as part of their arsenal; a tool that could win or lose games depending on how it is employed. It therefore makes sense that a mechanic that would be able to protect the enemy ships, at least to some measure, from being struck out by carriers would exist to protect them so that they could last until a bit longer into the game. Like everything else however, this is just another statistic bloating tactic that Wargaming has been hiding behind for far too long. The fact that AA can be destroyed means that a ship that is meant to be an AA ship that then gets into an AA build could still be rendered an easy prey for carriers. As a balancing feature, this is far more problematic than most people seem to realize. For larger ships like cruisers and battleships who lack the maneuverability defense offered by destroyers, they will slowly become more and more vulnerable as their AA firepower inevitably slowly gets destroyed without any chance for recovery. As long as a carrier manages their planes well, they could keep their planes well into the twilight hours of the battle. Surface ships can't 'manage' their AA to the end of the battle if they plan to be taking hits for their team at all. If there was at least some mechanic to recover loss AA, then this might not be such a problem but then Wargaming can't coast along with endlessly releasing no fly zones that then gets bombed into AA insignificance. A ship rarely loses torpedo tubes and guns and when they do it's a big deal. AA or secondary losses though? Not even important enough to consider reporting to the player at the helm of the ship. The disregard shown to such a broken mechanic by Wargaming and, to an extent, the player base at large is perhaps why it went unaddressed for so long.

On 4/28/2018 at 6:52 PM, Crysantos said:

I understand the the AA power is a concern and we'll definitely keep an eye on that but also keep in mind that HE shells take down those AA mounts quite easily, I had exactly that experience with her in battle - also full AA builds aren't  going to be the common build in randoms. 

In a way, it is diabolical. Thanks to this rarely discussed mechanic, Wargaming could feel to ramp up AA as much as they damn want and still use excuses such as "oh, but when I tested out the Worcester she had most of her AA knocked out" to excuse the addition of even more ridiculous AA suites on top of a game already heavily burdened with them. The fact that AA simply doesn't last long enough is the reason why Wargaming can sleep easy knowing that they can feel free to ramp up the AA as much as they like and screw balance as long as their numbers say that carriers are still doing good damage. The fact that carriers struggle to be decisive early on, barring an exceptional cream who are proficient at eliminating destroyers, means that the game will drag out and that carriers can pad their damage by bombing nearly helpless Kurfursts for two thirds their HP thanks to the fact that the battle lasted long enough. Wargaming gets their massive damage numbers without ever having to balance them. Maybe high tiered carrier strike power really does need a nerf, we'll never know for sure thanks to the fact that they'll be doing nothing but flying doughnuts for the first 5-10 minutes of the game if they haven't learned to bomb destroyers or got into a match with bottom tiered cruisers and battleships to pick on. Good for Wargaming I guess, but it is quite frankly awful for us. Whilst carriers might be fine to bean counters who have the luxury of sitting aloft the sum of a thousand games and looking down on it all, it certainly isn't for us players who have to play every minute and second both as and against carriers. Taking 6000-7000 damage from a Shokaku strike on average might kind of suck for the four destroyers it happens to, but it is far worse for the one in four destroyers who get one shotted by a Lexington. The destroyers who took an errant torpedo from a Shokaku might be a bit grumpy, but that one in four destroyer who gets one shotted by the Lexington will have an immeasurably poorer experience. This extends beyond the destroyer targeted by the Lexington being 4 times more miserable than the 4 destroyers targeted by the Shokaku. The 4 destroyers targeted by the Shokaku could go on to have a good game, but the game ends there for the Lexington's victim and when you play as many matches as most people do, just about everyone will be that victim eventually. This metaphor could be extended to just about every class. Being hit for a quarter to a half your HP by a cruiser might suck a bit, but people will vividly remember being one-shotted by a carrier or battleship even if it happens far less often. This is why I call carriers unbalanced. The house of cards might look stable from the outside, but its pieces are broken beyond function.

Capture.png

A point I'm making about something or another

There is a proverb from a language I don't speak, but that has always stuck with me. Covered garbage still stinks. Wargaming can try to clean up their trial all they want with promises, unbalanced mechanics with no in-game indication, and endless conga lines of ship lines with better and better AA, but unless they clean up this mess that they created we will never see balanced carriers in World of Warships. We still don't have a good baseline of what AA SHOULD behave like simply because everything that has been done to address carriers have been superficial patchwork. AA suites that just get more and more powerful are apparently 'fine' thanks to the fact that the entirely invisible AA strength mechanics could simply be lowered into utter irrelevance even on ships with the strongest AA. The gigantic differences in AA performance by the ships of different nations due to their historical performance, the captain skills and upgrades that allow for players to increase their AA for little cost, the destruction of AA that ends up rendering ships that are meant to have some measure of AA protection utterly defenseless against them with no option for recovery, all of these things will quite frankly have to go. I bought up the comparison between Shokaku and Lexington for a reason. The massive lottery that all carriers and all ships that meet them have to constantly play is utterly antithetical to a balanced game and we can only keep dancing on this poorly conceived house of cards for so long before the whole thing goes tumbling down. This can't go on. It couldn't go on from 2 years ago, and yet Wargaming has done nothing to address this. Their promises of an overhaul are long forgotten behind the releases of premium carriers and the procession or more and more AA ships. There should be no ships which are helpless against the carrier. There are no ships that should be no fly zones. Until this very concept is discarded, we can't expect a balanced carrier class.

A Few Last Words
Wargaming, if you're still reading I would like to address you for a moment. I took my time to write this out because it is quite frankly easy to scream out whatever buff and nerf that I want, but I want to try to explain my point of view and why I have it. Whatever you think you are doing with the carrier overhaul: stop for a moment and put down the designing markers and listen to me. None of the true problems with the carrier class will change even with the complete overhaul of the entire carrier control scheme. Even turning carrier play into World of Warplanes is nothing but superficial change when we compare it to the rotting cesspit that is the very way that the AA is designed to work with the ships. Making it so that AA is manually guided by players will not help with this. Making it so that carriers can only autodrop will not help with this. I think that one day carriers can be great for everyone instead of a select few who either have the patience to wrestle with the buggy UI and the endless crap that gets thrown their way and those that are too inept to realize that they are being a burden. So many things need to be changed, from somewhat balancing the excessive influence that carriers could have to balancing the tier progression with something more sane than doubling the torpedo strike force from Essex to Midway. Before we could get to any of that however, the root of the issues still need to be addressed. Until Wargaming takes off these balance training wheels, the problem with the carrier class as a whole will follow the game to its inevitable bitter end.

 

Oh, and thank you for reading. I realize that I never really said it, but I do appreciate it that people do take their time to read my ramblings. We might disagree with the problem and most likely with the solution, but I do appreciate that you at least took the time to hear me out. I appreciate you too Wargaming. I have spent more money on time in this game than any other. Hell, I wouldn't be putting more effort into these than I put into actual university essays if I didn't care about what you created here. That doesn't mean that I will pretend that there is no problem when there clearly is however. Please. Stop. Reflect. The problem is far closer to the root than I think that you realize. Best regards,
das

  • Cool 19
  • Funny 1
  • Bad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[SICK]
Weekend Tester
5,046 posts
10,743 battles

 

10 minutes ago, dasCKD said:

Now many of you probably have never heard of Cross Sectional Fire Power. It makes sense to an extent, seeing as how I have just came up with this term just a few moments ago. In fact if you know the term, message me in private later about the stock market as you are evidently here from the future.

 

6d3jObA.png

 

http://lmgtfy.com/?q="Cross+Sectional+Fire+Power"

=> 0 results

 

1478937228902

 

 

OT:

Yeah, this tango between ludicrous AA values that can be knocked out and never fixing CVs is just frustrating.

Min/max balancing is almost always dreadful. 

 

WG needs to completely rework the way AA values (and module health) works. No more -12 AA mounts when you're hit by a single HE salvo, and no more "lol my broken AA machinegun absorbed a 406mm HE shell", and certainly no more either pointless AA or AA bastion of doom.

  • Cool 2
  • Funny 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[WGP2W]
Players
750 posts
15,751 battles

I agree with you. Normal weapons do not usually degrade (turret destruction is possible but rare); and even, perversely, improve when your ship is shot to bits (thanks to the idiotic AR skill). AA power on the same ship routinely swings by an order of magnitude depending on circumstances.

 

A further gripe I have towards the CV class is that I have noticed sometimes that even with very good CV players facing off against very bad ones, they don't always get the damage numbers, but they always settle matches. If the side with a bad CV has a few AA ships, they can stay relatively safe inside the small bubble(s) provided, but this hampers maneuvers so much that the side with the freedom to move around at leasure (thanks to total air control) will catch their enemies in crossfires and invariably win. So, yes, that Minotaur or DM or (upcoming) Wuss will be able to provide "teamwork", but only in the sense that you work together to make your own motti.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[AKI]
Players
4,181 posts
7,662 battles

I think WG should buff AA & nerf CV.

But seriously now.

More "speedy" planes with less hp and bigger reserves should fix CV problem. And what happened to: USN has best AA of all countries? Because now every new line gets AA on US level/better. Please no more doom ships, dodging those is not fun!
Another issue is WG being WG. Why nobody listens to good players? Why does WG listen to BB nooblords camping at 25km in Yamato because "I have range", dying to CV (BBs should stand still right?) and then whining how OP that class is. Money? I dont think so. If somebody is a bad player (and doesnt want to improve) he doesn't care about mechanics, etc... He just wants to "shoot ships"

 

That's it from me Engrish is over (for now).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[UNICS]
Beta Tester
4,869 posts
9,434 battles
2 hours ago, dasCKD said:

Even as the power of carriers were reigned in with improvements to AA across the board however, defensive fire has not changed.

Except that they nerfed the Japanese 25mm which is the mainstay of their AA-power.

IJN ships was too powerful against CVs I guess. :Smile_smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[PARAZ]
Beta Tester
13,770 posts
19,454 battles
11 hours ago, Namolis said:

If the side with a bad CV has a few AA ships, they can stay relatively safe inside the small bubble(s) provided, but this hampers maneuvers so much that the side with the freedom to move around at leasure (thanks to total air control) will catch their enemies in crossfires and invariably win.

 

If you have your forces already concentrated you need to break a crossfire before it takes effect. That means counterpushing, something the average player is thoroughly incapable of as it would also mean scratching their paint.

In general if your CV is losing air control the best thing you can do is make a decisive push. The longer you sit around, the more power you hand over to the enemy CV, giving him more strikes to fly per game, time to set those up perfectly and more map control for his team to play with.

 

It's just too bad that the average player is not only utterly incapable of providing AA cover for each other, they're thoroughly complacent when it comes to pushing as well. Hardly a problem with CVs, the same stuff happens regardless of CV presence. DDs nearby? Gotta camp! HE spamming cruiser behind cover? Camp! Is that a smoke? Better run and camp! The average player will always find an excuse to justify their behavior. CVs are just perfectly made to punish them for it, in fact with that being the case one would think the presence of a CV largely prevents such a shoddy playstyle, but that'd also require the average player to be more intelligent than a pile of dirt.

 

I'm thoroughly agreeing with what dasCKD wrote her and have been preaching it for quite some time, but what you're describing is mostly a failure on a human level and has little to do with CVs.

  • Cool 1
  • Funny 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[FAME]
Beta Tester
803 posts
4,376 battles

My preferred direction for the CV rework is, after comparison with multiple alternatives, to make a character-skill based, time-sequence choreographed, and causality based system.

(OP pls forgive me for hitching on your post for a little.)

 

This is due to, as OP pointed out from almost every perspective possible, the inherent flaws of trying quantitative balance, especially with scaling. It is simply not possible. I have also pointed out before that I do not like bloom-based CV scheme which I see WG's direction as, though didn't explain it very clearly.

 

Thus with out further ado, examples and elaboration:

 

1.

Character skill-based is simply envisioned as each squad is lead by an ace. This ace has skills similar to captain skills, affecting their squad. The ace is always the last to die within the squad. A CV sortie will involve multiple aces, each having their skill tree which needs to be trained up similar to captain skills. The ace may have better "stats", similar to rpgs, than generic planes of that squad, but based off the stats of that plane type.

 

The skills are both passive and active, or stat-based. Passive skills can be for example, formational maneuvers, that when striking surface ships at a certain strike protocol (types of approach), all squad planes have their "agility" synced to that of the aces'. Active and "triggered" skills may be abilities such as fighter-strafe, but less obnoxious. Triggers skills may be "when squad has only ace left alive, ace gains bloodlust from rage of seeing squadmates downed" greatly increasing its combat efficiency. Stats skills are straightforward: they raise stats of either ace of squadron.

 

2. 

Concept of time-sequence choreographed can be imagined as time-locked, hybrid between real-time and turn-based, and 'choreographed' with minor corrections to make animations work out.

 

If WoWs was a turn-based game, we'd see ships be able to "release a Y times X attack ever T seconds", corresponding to Y as gun barrels, X as individual damage, T as reload + aim time, variable. That's the simple version.

If it was a hybrid between a turn-based and a real-time game, but not fully real-time as current, we'd see a "pulse" time meter to allow for action input and commands from players, every pulse cycle. We assume a pulse cycle is 30 seconds for this example.

This means each "turn" consists of 30 seconds real-time. Players give "orders" to be enacted the next turn, including where they want ships to move, who they want ships to attack, and other actions and commands similar to turn-based rpgs.

During the "action" time, DDs will release 4-5 whole "Y times X" attacks, while a BB may only release 1. But their target cannot change, as each given "order" persists for the full "turn" of 30 seconds. In short, players give commands, then watch the spectacle, possibly completely hands-free. Some actions may take or persist for multiple turns, while some may be queued for multiple actions per turn. Similar to action-point rpgs.

 

The most prominent implications of a this time-sequenced idea is the almost complete elimination of micro-ability unilaterally affecting gameplay. (Highly relevant for CVs.)

And the possibility of a hybrid system that allows it to work with the current surface sphere without an extensive rework of the whole game.

 

"Choreographed" means smooth synchronization of the "spectacle" between the turn-based mechanics tallying, and the real-time display of their effects. Or the "slight changes in fate" depending on mechanics need, in reverse.

For instance, the "ace" is always the last to fall, but what if it took fatal damage? To be fair the damage cannot simply "cancel", but is instead transferred to one of the squad members' planes. That plane goes down instead of the ace. The animations will have to be "choreographed" to reflect that.

Ubisoft, in their game For Honor, has experimented with hybrids between developer hand-drawn "key" frames of animation, and A.I. generated real-time "transition" animations to make movements lifelike, natural, and smooth. It is impossible to make presets for every possible stance in the human body transitioning from a block to a strike, especially if they were thrown to the ground and was getting up, or ran into a wall and is staggering, or taking hit from the sides while attempting to perform this action, thus making them move in unexpected directions. (Other games are experimenting with neural A.I. for their RTS bots but that's another topic) The most prominent effect of this in Ubisoft's game is no more "hard start" or "teleport jerk" to start-sequence of obvious animation cycles. It is hard to tell when an animation starts and ends due to the smooth transitions.

Implications of this application in WoWs can mean better impressiveness and lifelike, "authentic" displays of ship and plane animations, without transgressing on visual clarity and mechanics performance. Some corners can be cut, others added. Variety (no repeated, 100% similar animations), and "organic" impromptu performances by the "actors" of planes and ships, and individual parts of those planes and ships (even individual turrets) can make the battlefield more interesting and fun. 

 

3.

Causality-based system means the emphasis on final variables determining the calculation of an outcome is qualitative, rather than quantitative. This is a compromise between "bad" RNG-heavy systems which is "unfair", and deterministic "numbers only" balance which is stale. Paired with "choreography" A.I., the RNG can be both "reasonable" yet "organic and wild" enough.

 

It also means actual numbers and their systems will also be designed with qualitative scenarios in mind. i.e. during my extensive writing of the notes, much focus was made to categorize different lead-in settings of air-to-air engagements, from angle of attack, plane types, tactics and protocols, altitude difference, weapon types, weapon calibration and ranging, hell even pilot psychology and plane maintenance (affects performance when capabilities stressed). Two fighter squads going head on and starting to shoot from long-range out will induce a different scenario than if they tried to maneuver a bit, or used cloud cover and light glare or terrain obstacles (not very relevant for sea-battles but maybe smoke?), if they split up or stayed in formation, if they tried to dog-fight instead of scattered strafing, all are qualitative triggers which highly varied quantitative calculation trains and start from. The qualitative simulation of a plane's sustained ability to constantly maneuver out of the pursuer's sights, and make sudden, over-capability dodges when coming under imminent fire, versus the sustained capability of a plane to pursue a target and prevent it from out-turning self or pulling some fancy maneuver. 

In short, a much more serious version of WG's "chance to down a plane squad with surface AA has a slight increase over time, with the increased chance reset after a kill". And no more "this is its AA rating/damage dps, and it will stay a constant pretty much reflecting its AA damage dealing potential". No, damage-dealing is much more integrated, cohesive, and correlated between many variables than a flat "attack power" rating as in RPG stats. Damage-dealing will vary a lot depending on if you shoot your machine guns barrage at long range versus dogfighting with them at short-range, or shooting your rocket salvo at long-range versus strafing from vantage angles with aerodynamic maneuvering boost.

 

Thus planes engaging will take into account altitude checks, will take into account if they were recently engaging with another squad or has other threats in proximity (no more instant target switching, takes wind-up time to position and start sequence), will take into account plane type, weapon loadout, engagement protocols and training, will take into account what the opponent is doing, similar to Hearts of Iron 4's "tactics on engagement". In short, every effort made to simulate actual human decisions made by the pilots supposedly inhabiting the planes.

 

This also means some of the "ace" skills are causality-based instead of number-checks, or a mix of both instead of biased towards the numbers-side. This can make them more "organic", think with the "unearthly bloodlust" example earlier, it can mean the faster and more sudden it lost its squadmates, the greater the boost and longer duration of "guaranteed immunity" time where it dodges everything, unrealistic cinema style, due to reflexes pushed over the limit. But, harder the falloff later when the effect "expires" and it consigns to its fate.

 

__________________

 

So that's quite a bit already and more than enough interesting concepts to consider, and discuss, if you will. TY for reading if you did, and keep in mind that the examples given are most potent if only taken as "design philosophies", i.e. best considered as examples to lead into general directions of critical thinking, rather than concrete, game-ready examples of working systems. Because I'm sure if the professional developers of WoWs gave it some thought they'd be able to generate better solutions than the ad-hoc, wildspread ideas I put out randomly.

 

Edit: Addition, to visualize these philosophies applied to "AA" in this game, you may perhaps envision that the surface-based AA (yes it's a totally different section in the notes compared to aerial sphere) can be customized to take into account qualitative engagement scenarios as well, such as which altitude to lay out your flak barrage, what kind of barrage you command the gunners to enact (whether in expectation of a low-altitude level bomb run, or high-altitude diving strikes), or even to just fire-at-will to cover as much space as possible. Or even to hold certain types of fire, to prevent friendly fire. Yes, ever wondered how unrealistic it was friendly planes can bait enemy planes into friendly AA and have 0 chance of taking friendly fire?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[IRN]
Players
309 posts
11,727 battles

i've just meet a buffalo it's one of the new ship that had to come?  it deleted 1 full Lexington fighters squad  at max range in  less than 2 seconds . now i can pass on it  next time if i see a buffalo in a team i will wait for someone to spot him before doing something  but i know the reason the average player who loss his planes  like that will be surely pissed off and most probably will not even understand  what the hell has happened  . this to say you are right the aa desing at the actual state  is  unfriendly and  unfunny  for cv  and an handicap for Others solo players that have to carry it even in non cv battles , while is an huge buff to cv division that are sure to meet other cv's think  for a moment at one with the skill of El2aZeR  in division with 2 worecaster  how funny could be the game for the one who meet them  cv or not ? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[WOTN]
Quality Poster
2,374 posts
17,545 battles
20 hours ago, Namolis said:

A further gripe I have towards the CV class is that I have noticed sometimes that even with very good CV players facing off against very bad ones, they don't always get the damage numbers, but they always settle matches. If the side with a bad CV has a few AA ships, they can stay relatively safe inside the small bubble(s) provided, but this hampers maneuvers so much that the side with the freedom to move around at leasure (thanks to total air control) will catch their enemies in crossfires and invariably win. So, yes, that Minotaur or DM or (upcoming) Wuss will be able to provide "teamwork", but only in the sense that you work together to make your own motti.

That's really what really needs to change quite frankly. Even in tier with the same ships, the fact that carriers swing between being entirely unable to do ANY damage due to the whims and good positioning of two ships or strike in the middle of a massed fleet with little consequence breaks any balance that any prospective change could hope to fix. I disagree that it comes down to just the better carrier though, there are battles that swing seemingly irrelevant of the skill of the captains involved thanks to RNG and lucky positioning by AA ships.

20 hours ago, FM6a said:

More "speedy" planes with less hp and bigger reserves should fix CV problem. And what happened to: USN has best AA of all countries? Because now every new line gets AA on US level/better. Please no more doom ships, dodging those is not fun!

It's not just that though. Until Wargaming gets rid of this stupid AA escalation and the idiotic way that AA scales with captain skills, changing plane parameters will not really do anything to address the core problem. I think carriers would be better if they had faster cycle times and less strike alpha so it doesn't necessitate players to get their strikes perfect and allows for newer players to experiment, but if AA swings stupidly like it does now then it really doesn't fix anything.

20 hours ago, FM6a said:

Another issue is WG being WG. Why nobody listens to good players? Why does WG listen to BB nooblords camping at 25km in Yamato because "I have range", dying to CV (BBs should stand still right?) and then whining how OP that class is. Money? I dont think so. If somebody is a bad player (and doesnt want to improve) he doesn't care about mechanics, etc... He just wants to "shoot ships"

This is just conjecture on my part, but I think that inept players like said Yamatos make it so that the statistics seem balanced whilst the actual in-game performance of said shops are anything but.

19 hours ago, Nechrom said:

Except that they nerfed the Japanese 25mm which is the mainstay of their AA-power.

IJN ships was too powerful against CVs I guess. :Smile_smile:

Well, it's the way AA works in general. Making AA values per mount universal might be logical, but it makes it so that the ship progression and in game ships in general are utterly unbalanced. In my opinion Wargaming either needs to give up AA being tied to mount type or give up the historical AA setups of ships.

 

  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[WOTN]
Quality Poster
2,374 posts
17,545 battles
16 hours ago, El2aZeR said:

In general if your CV is losing air control the best thing you can do is make a decisive push. The longer you sit around, the more power you hand over to the enemy CV, giving him more strikes to fly per game, time to set those up perfectly and more map control for his team to play with.

In general, I dislike this method of balancing as well though. The fact that the effects of AA are additive just means that it just makes it difficult as ships would need to be balanced upon certain levels of teamplay. It's just like AA and captain skills. With the current system, Wargaming needs to balance their AA around an 'average' level of teamwork. This again means that teamplay, even incidental teamplay, will make it so that carrier effectiveness swing wildly. It also doesn't stop carriers being overpowered in certain matches and close to useless in others, though it does somewhat alleviate the problem. It comes down to inconsistency again. Wargaming attempts to balance around averages which just leads to the same problem cropping up everywhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Players
124 posts
593 battles

Simple answer AA defensive fire needs to be reworked or removed, my opinion it shouldn't increase the existing DPS but keep the panic feature since it's already a good mechanic to discourage carriers to drop their load.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[WOTN]
Quality Poster
2,374 posts
17,545 battles
14 minutes ago, Carrier_Graf_Zeppelin said:

Simple answer AA defensive fire needs to be reworked or removed, my opinion it shouldn't increase the existing DPS but keep the panic feature since it's already a good mechanic to discourage carriers to drop their load.

It'll be a good start, maybe add a slowing mechanic as well to improve the performance of the AA bubble somewhat. That said, I still think that it'll be best if all ships with defensive AA are made to carry defensive AA. If that makes defensive AA overpowered, then we should have no defensive AA at all. This half arsed balancing where defensive AA use changes depending on carrier numbers isn't balance, it's just obscuring the problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[SCRUB]
Beta Tester
176 posts
15,897 battles

@dasCKD

Holy crap DAS what a great piece, worth of a university Essay. (might wanne read it again from some "spelling/traslation" issues, they are hard to understand, before giving it to your professor. ).

But i give it a 8+ (only shows i read it well)

Spoiler

 

23 hours ago, dasCKD said:

There should be no ships which are helpless against the carrier. There are should be no ships that should be are no fly zones. Until this very concept is discarded, we can't expect a balanced carrier class.

 

 

IT reminds me of when i took the time and effort to write these essays for WG about CV gameplay (link to my old & semi-outdated 0.3.x CBT essay's).

Now a days i found that "spamming" is actualy what WG cares for more, than a well tought out and effort Esays. the masses/shouters are there targeted audiances.

Personaly i sometimes still try to give some CV balancing advice by shouting too.

 

Capain Skills & Ship Upgrades.

You really hit the nail on the head wiht this part. Loved your new " Cross Sectional Fire Power". I know where these numbers come from (AA*timeR), but might wanne eddit the formula in.

 

Defective fire

In my opinion you missed an opportunity here to show the increas of CSFP whit DFAA since DFAA: Scatters, SLOWS (all squads) & uses the "adjusted" 3xmultiplier. Let alone the power of the DD 4x multiplier.

 

Becouse why bother?

Your part about "psychologies" , what do people remember, is really hard to understand.

Personally (my opinion) I think you could have explaned that: “I had a game ONCE" is NOT the same as OVERALL & MANY, strengthening your argument about psychologies, and about “balancing by the occasional”

 

Tom's View

In addition what you allready posted in original post (the major issue are UI + Capt Skill & upgrades).

I feel that invisable(/late detectead) AA is a major secundaire issue. With a minor, the info a CV has,

Explained in THIS "essay" patch 0.6.x (i think).

 

Best Regards

TomBombardil

 

PS, hope @Crysantosreads this and relays it back to WG, but i think even if it reaches WG (and wanne lissen to CV players). thery''re allready to far in to the CV rework rabbit hole.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[POI--]
Players
483 posts
7,502 battles

Easy solution to AA absurd power might be reworking it, so it works like secondaries: with limited angles of fire.

  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[WOTN]
Quality Poster
2,374 posts
17,545 battles
1 hour ago, TomBombardil said:

Holy crap DAS what a great piece, worth of a university Essay. (might wanne read it again from some "spelling/traslation" issues, they are hard to understand, before giving it to your professor. ).

Glad you like it. But yes, autocorrect doesn't highlight everything everything I need to correct unfortunately. I did make corrections to my point about player psychology and added a formula. The defensive fire thing though will require more thorough research, so I'll probably put it off until later tonight or maybe my next (inevitable) complaint about the actual carrier 'rework'.

1 hour ago, Infiriel said:

Easy solution to AA absurd power might be reworking it, so it works like secondaries: with limited angles of fire.

Well, that's very much an issue that could be considered later down the line not least of which is because Wargaming has introduced no clear indicator for AA function. The problem with that though is that it still doesn't address the massive AA gap that arises from entirely arbitrary and player elective variables.

 

Quick note by the way, I posted this same thing on NA as my opening post. The reception there has been lukewarm to say the least, which is why I think I should crank up the weebism even higher for my upcoming post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[SCRUB]
Beta Tester
176 posts
15,897 battles
10 minutes ago, dasCKD said:

Quick note by the way, I posted this same thing on NA as my opening post. The reception there has been lukewarm to say the least, which is why I think I should crank up the weebism even higher for my upcoming post.

well you see my well researched piece about; "invis AA" has 0 replies, but when i make a Shouting post. It gets noticed, this is what i partialy mean with "shouters",

And that Everyone (including WG) should try to avoid a "shouting" match to deictate there polecie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[PARAZ]
Players
2,591 posts
12,809 battles
2 minutes ago, dasCKD said:

Quick note by the way, I posted this same thing on NA as my opening post. T

You mean, besides asking that poor NA plebs for the best t8 premium? :Smile_coin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[WOTN]
Quality Poster
2,374 posts
17,545 battles
1 hour ago, PzychoPanzer said:

You mean, besides asking that poor NA plebs for the best t8 premium? :Smile_coin:

WHO TOLD YOU ABOUT THAT? :fish_nerv:

 

1 hour ago, TomBombardil said:

well you see my well researched piece about; "invis AA" has 0 replies, but when i make a Shouting post. It gets noticed, this is what i partialy mean with "shouters",

Well yes, unfortunately people are an easily distracted lot. We like bright colors and moving things and dislike numbers. It's why I put images on my posts to attract attention.

  • Funny 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[IRN]
Players
309 posts
11,727 battles

Invisible aa fire is so funny a ship can detect and fire  with an absurd efficency to aircraft at 10+ km and the plane can't see a ship bigger x times than he

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[WOTN]
Quality Poster
2,374 posts
17,545 battles
3 hours ago, Torped1ne said:

Invisible aa fire is so funny a ship can detect and fire  with an absurd efficency to aircraft at 10+ km and the plane can't see a ship bigger x times than he

Well, no ship has quite that AA range (yet) but the invisibility of AA in general is a problem. It's almost impossible to know which ships are shooting at your planes which introduces more skills that a CV player needs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Players
131 posts
8,934 battles

Great topic, Das. As a player that enjoys CVs from time to time, I definitely found out about most of the things that you describe.

 

As has been noted, one gripe that I have is that all AA mounts are added to the AA power calculation, regardless of their angle of fire. That, and the fact that ships with dual-purpose main battery can use it as AA and still keep shooting at other surface ships.

 

Maybe one thing to try would be that, when locked on a squad of planes, all AA mounts (including dual-purpose main battery guns) with a direct line of fire to the target would start spamming shells like there was no tomorrow. Make this a very clear visual indication, a veritable flak cloud like the ones you see in historical pics (which also look incredibly cool).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[PARAZ]
Beta Tester
13,770 posts
19,454 battles
9 hours ago, dasCKD said:

In general, I dislike this method of balancing as well though. The fact that the effects of AA are additive just means that it just makes it difficult as ships would need to be balanced upon certain levels of teamplay.

 

Which is why AA mounts can be destroyed.

Now, the current level at which AA mounts can be wiped out is way excessive and the system needs a lot of reworking. That just 2-3 shells from a Conqueror can strip any ship of their entire mid & short range AA suite is beyond ridiculous.

However the very idea that AA mounts can be destroyed is what makes CVs capable of striking giant blobs. It's also one of the factors that makes CVs just as team dependent as any other class. It follows the counter-based balancing scheme this game is based upon. Every action has an appropriate reaction and since WoWs is a game with several fundamentally different classes, it means that playing one class simply makes you incapable of doing some of the things others can do.

If a CV cannot strike blobs but DDs can disperse them via a torp salvo or others can either focus down high AA ships or diminish AA as a whole, that's not inconsistency. That's teamplay. And it's a wonderful thing.

 

Besides, how else would you balance CVs? By averaging out AA performance across the board, reworking DFAA to be less powerful or completely removing it and giving AA mounts more survivability, perhaps even making them invulnerable to some degree, in return (which is still a great idea I fully support) you're making every surface ship even more dependent on their teammates to defeat air strikes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Beta Tester
4,763 posts
19,843 battles

There is no "Carrier Problem".

Every little... disharmonic... will be solved in 2017 2018, the Year Of The CV (YOTCV)!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[POI--]
Players
483 posts
7,502 battles
8 godzin temu, dasCKD napisał:

Well, that's very much an issue that could be considered later down the line not least of which is because Wargaming has introduced no clear indicator for AA function. The problem with that though is that it still doesn't address the massive AA gap that arises from entirely arbitrary and player elective variables.

Game engine can tell which AA mounts are destroyed for sure, so it`s just enough to mark (i.e.) left side AA mounts, so they can add to AA aura only against planes in (i.e.) 200-340 deg. from ship`s current course, unless they are marked as destroyed.

Again i think this is a great option, since it`d likely create certain zones for each ship, where their AA is significantly weaker, therefore giving an advantage to a skilled CV player.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Players
124 posts
593 battles

It's cool and nice that AA mounts can be destroyed, but it's rather hard to know how many or what AA modules are destroyed so you still generally will still avoid ships with good AA for the sake not losing your precious reserves on a hunch or a gamble..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×