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CosMoe

[Diagram] Possible solutions for five-class balance.

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The WoWs game design and balancing department are introducing submarines as a fifth ship class. This opens the possibility to design, at least in theory, a perfectly balanced game which was not possible with just four classes because an odd number of elements is required for that. Since the new carriers and subs are still in the design phase a well-reasoned discussion might bring up some ideas that could help the game designers.

 

The general rule for perfect balance is: Each ship class counters two of the other four ship classes, while being countered by the remaining two ship classes. No ship class is "better" than the other.

This design also self-balances, i.e. should one ship class become to dominant, the two classes which counter it become more effective. Thus, no artificial limitations (like for CVs at the present) are needed anymore.

 

However, this requires adaptations to already existing class interactions and also requires some non-historical balancing. Some of these adaptations will make sense, but others are debatable.


The following picture shows the current balancing. Each arrow indicates how one ship class can counter another ship class, the arrow texts describe the most important defensive and offensive counter methods.

 

BaIKyBm.png

 

A lot of problems with the current game balancing arise from the non-symmetrical design with just four ship classes. But what could be possible soon?


The following picture shows one possible solution with the new fifth ship class, but it may not be the optimal solution.

 

UhncqFR.png

 

 


The main differences and additions to the old interactions are (clockwise, starting with subs):

  • Subs counter BBs and cruisers with stealthy torpedo attacks. Reasoning: Subs have to counter cruisers instead of carriers because slow subs countering/hunting CVs would result in bad gameplay (e.g., subs slowly creeping along the map edge to hunt CVs).
  • Cruisers lose ship spotting hydro but get spotting planes to enable long-range shots on carriers (more explanation below).
  • DDs counter subs by spotting them (proximity and sub spotting hydro) and dropping depth charges.
  • BBs now counter CVs because of their strong AA and can shoot at carriers that are far away. Reasoning: Since AA power declines with battle duration (destroyed AA mounts and AA ships) and since carriers will have unlimited planes, the carrier itself must become susceptible to damage. This probably requires that all islands outside of the center of the map to become low. There should probably also be some new game mechanic that spots carriers that are far away, e.g., periodic AI scouting planes flying along map edges near the spawning points.
  • Carrier squadrons counter DDs and subs by spotting and bombing them.

Other required changes:

  • High caliber AP can only deal overpenetration damage to DDs and surfaced subs.
  • Cruisers get spotting planes in a separate consumable spot.
  • Hydro consumable is split into torpedo/ship spotting hydro and submerged sub spotting hydro. Only DDs get submerged sub spotting hydro in a separate consumable spot.
  • Carrier squad composition can be chosen before each launch to have different plane types (e.g., a squad of 12 planes can consists of 6 HE bombers, 3 depth charge bombers, and 3 torpedo bombers). Carriers get a "Sonobuoy" consumable that can be dropped from the squadron to spot submerged subs (but not DDs in smoke!). Carriers also need to be able to quickly switch from squad-view to ship-view.
  • No ship class should be invincible to any ship class. This mostly means that diving subs should have an oxygen timer (already confirmed in Dev Blog) and carriers should not be hidden until the endgame.

 


This will probably be a highly controversial topic, so please stay calm and use arguments instead of name-calling and please understand that this kind of balancing is quite complicated.

The above solution is by no means perfect (e.g., cruisers not countering subs is hard to defend) and other solutions may be better. In case you want to show your own solution, the Libreoffice Draw file for the balance diagram can be downloaded here.

However, in my humble opinion and from a game design perspective the basic principle "counter two classes, get countered by the remaining two classes" should always prevail.

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[CR33D]
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According to first pic: right now CVs counter CAs with AP bombs more than they counter BBs. Which is a ridiculous situation.

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43 minutes ago, CosMoe said:

The WoWs game design and balancing department are introducing submarines as a fifth ship class.

you do know it's for the Halloween event...

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[POMF]
Weekend Tester
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I was looking at the first picture for a bit and I don't think this is how it works right now.

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[-TWA-]
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44 minutes ago, Salentine said:

you do know it's for the Halloween event...

Nope, the developers confirmed in a Q&A stream subs are to come to PvP.

 

At the moment they seem to prefer that subs are countered by hydro, that means DDs and cruisers. Which of course makes sense from a historical point of view.

However, this is the problem that I want to highlight in my original post: If cruisers counter CVs, DDs, and subs (3 counters instead of 2) the balance is off.

And I just can not imagine that subs will be a suitable counter vs. carriers as it simply takes too much time for a slow ship that is bad at scouting to check all the carrier positions in the far back. If the developers force this counter then they have to expect that CV hunting subs will be:

  • out of combat for 6+ minutes,
  • then suddenly dev-strike a carrier who had no possibility of counterplay (no hydro),
  • then being out of combat again for a few minutes until they reach the other ships again.

Simply bad gameplay imho.

 

21 minutes ago, Geralt_z_Rivii365 said:

I was looking at the first picture for a bit and I don't think this is how it works right now.

Would you agree (when excluding the same class) that in general

  • carriers are best against DDs and BBs,
  • cruisers are best against DDs and carriers,
  • BBs are best against cruisers, and
  • DDs are best against BBs?

 

This is what the first picture means.

 

I did not include AP bombers countering AA cruisers because not all carriers have access to AP bombs. It is, however, a good example of what happens if add a game mechanic that violates the balance principle mentioned in the Rock-Paper-Scissors Wiki article.

If you really, really wanted to add an additional counter for one ship class, then you also have to add an additional counter versus this ship.

 

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29 minutes ago, Salentine said:

you do know it's for the Halloween event...

The moment they used the term "proof of concept" in the stream today it stopped being a Halloween event.

This is going to be an alpha test of subs in the game, just like the previous two Halloween events were tests for Operations and new consumables respectively.

Submarines are coming, from the silhouettes German and US ones first. And there's no way back, the video has shown too many new mechanics which represent a lot of work, to be just a fun small one time event.

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13 minutes ago, Geralt_z_Rivii365 said:

I was looking at the first picture for a bit and I don't think this is how it works right now.

It isn't. When I load up AP bombers on the Lexington my primary target is cruisers and a select few BB's.

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[YARRR]
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Here's what the situation actually looks like:

BBs

- counter DDs with lol AP shells, WASD and cruiser consumables

- counter CVs with lol AA powercreep, troll AA build or *gasp* teamplay

- counter cruisers with lol AP shells and RNG

- counter broadsiding potatoes

 

DDs

- counter themselves

- some counter CVs with lol DFAA

- some can counter CVs with troll AA build

- some counter cruisers and to a lesser extend BBs with DW torps or straight up dakka

- counter straight lining potatoes

 

CAs/CLs

- counter themselves

- counter DDs with consumables and WASD

- counter CVs with DFAA, troll AA build or teamplay (inb4 "OMG TEAMPLAY DOESN'T EXIST")

- kinda counter BBs if you can call 5 minutes of HE spam a counter

- counter potato DCP/heal usage

 

CVs

- counter themselves

- counter lone BBs that don't have AA

- counter ships that have been thoroughly HE spammed or hit by RN thermonuclear HE shells

- counter cruisers without DFAA that are not T9/10 RN cruisers

- counter some BBs with meme bombs

- counter most cruisers with meme bombs

- counter DDs without DFAA

- counter some ships that don't have troll AA build

 

Basically:

Quote

We think the balance should be in a form such that any ship should be universal. Any ship should be able to fight any other ship. The key to victory should be teamwork. As long as you know your weaknesses, and you know that there might be submarines going after you, you need to cooperate and play as a team with your teammates. They need to protect you from the classes that counter you.

 

We think that if this concept is implemented well, it should be fun for all players. They’ll find a way to work together and protect each other from submarines.

 

Source:

https://venturebeat.com/2018/09/18/why-wargaming-is-disrupting-world-of-warships-with-submarines-and-revamped-aircraft-carriers/

 

So every ship should be able to fight every ship, but you're gonna need help against counters because you can't fight them.

Makes perfect sense comrade! xaxaxaxaxaxa

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I know we still talking about 4 classes. But let's be fair there are 6 classes in the game now:

- BB

- CA

- CL

- gun DD

- torp DD

- CV

 

And maybe soon even BC battle cruisers

 

So it's more complex now.

 

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4 hours ago, CosMoe said:

The following picture shows the current balancing. Each arrow indicates how one ship class can counter another ship class, the arrow texts describe the most important defensive and offensive counter methods.

 

BaIKyBm.png

 

My Ýamato gives no f***s about AP bombs, that Des Moines next to it though...

 

Also, what about my German BB hydro?

 

And can you tell those cruisers that they are supposed to counter my DD? They seem to not have gotten the message. Just today again an Ibuki somehow melted before my Harekaze.

 

Also, my Atago must be defective, it doesn't shoot down planes.

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I don't like the concept of hard counters in a game, it's basically "I win" and grief other player without much playability.

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11 hours ago, CosMoe said:

At the moment they seem to prefer that subs are countered by hydro, that means DDs and cruisers. Which of course makes sense from a historical point of view.

However, this is the problem that I want to highlight in my original post: If cruisers counter CVs, DDs, and subs (3 counters instead of 2) the balance is off.

And I just can not imagine that subs will be a suitable counter vs. carriers as it simply takes too much time for a slow ship that is bad at scouting to check all the carrier positions in the far back.

I have always thought Subs would be a perfect counter against BB campers and those CV's which have not yet discovered that they actually DO have an engine. Might be a nice way to inst-punish those pesky AFK players too... :cap_hmm::Smile_Default:

 

Also, it would be possible to spawn Subs into or close to the enemy spawn area right from the beginning, just to make sure that they do have the chance to catch up. They do travel faster on the surface as well. There are many possibilities here... :cap_haloween:

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11 hours ago, CosMoe said:

Carrier squadrons counter DDs and subs by spotting and bombing them.

After seeing 1st public cv rework concept, i dont see it happening.

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[QUCA]
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Don't be ridiculous, since when does defAA counter CV?

It has too little range for it, it's a self defense tool.

 

CV basically counters everything as you can drop any cruiser in game even through defAA if you so much want it, and there's nothing they can do about it. HE bombs are next to useless against DDs unlike cross dropped torpedoes.

Meanwhile BB AP pens heavily counter DDs and torpedoes are unreliable.

 

Game is about roles, DDs, CVs are good at spotting and objective play, cruisers are good at DPM and detection, and BBs, well, I guess humping borders and whining.

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12 minutes ago, Lord_WC said:

Don't be ridiculous, since when does defAA counter CV?

It has too little range for it, it's a self defense tool.

 

CV basically counters everything as you can drop any cruiser in game even through defAA if you so much want it, and there's nothing they can do about it. HE bombs are next to useless against DDs unlike cross dropped torpedoes.

Meanwhile BB AP pens heavily counter DDs and torpedoes are unreliable.

 

Game is about roles, DDs, CVs are good at spotting and objective play, cruisers are good at DPM and detection, and BBs, well, I guess humping borders and whining.

 

Dropping a Crusier in the first 10 minutes of the game is pretty much the stupidest thing you can do in a CV... I would call a 10 Minutes immunity shield against Air Cancer a hard counter.

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I looked at the first diagram ... tried to reconcile it with the actual game and got to the conclusion that the OP has no clue what he/she's talking about ... Then I got to the 2nd diagram and just laughed ...

 

Seriously, your CV idea does not reflect the current nor reworked CV role (if we can talk about CVs after the rework at all).

 

At the moment, DDs are basically performing the submarine role except the underwater part, but the gameplay is the same. If you substitute DD for SUBs in the first diagram, you have about what it would look like. We don't really need 2 redundant stealth/torpedo based classes in the game.

 

We don't have BCs in the game for that same reason ...

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9 hours ago, El2aZeR said:

counter ships that have been thoroughly HE spammed or hit by RN thermonuclear HE shells

Rn nuclear shellsXD I like this:DDD

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[B0TS]
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Well.. new consumable time when they get added to the main game in about 2021...SONAR/ASDIC, available to all ships (almost all ships in WW2 ended up with this - based on RN vessels, but extrapolated. If the ship currently has hydro, then no need for sonar perhaps.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonar#ASDIC

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1 hour ago, Mandalorianer said:

Dropping a Crusier in the first 10 minutes of the game is pretty much the stupidest thing you can do in a CV... I would call a 10 Minutes immunity shield against Air Cancer a hard counter.

There's no immunity shield. Best case scenario the DefAA gives you a break, but the CV will return if he wants to kill you after about a minute and a half.

And even then, lots of CV players start with dropping the one AA cruiser at the start, because it's easier for them if it doesn't sit on objectives.

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14 hours ago, El2aZeR said:

Here's what the situation actually looks like:

BBs

- counter DDs with lol AP shells, WASD and cruiser consumables

- counter CVs with lol AA powercreep, troll AA build or *gasp* teamplay

- counter cruisers with lol AP shells and RNG

- counter broadsiding potatoes

 

DDs

- counter themselves

- some counter CVs with lol DFAA

- some can counter CVs with troll AA build

- some counter cruisers and to a lesser extend BBs with DW torps or straight up dakka

- counter straight lining potatoes

 

CAs/CLs

- counter themselves

- counter DDs with consumables and WASD

- counter CVs with DFAA, troll AA build or teamplay (inb4 "OMG TEAMPLAY DOESN'T EXIST")

- kinda counter BBs if you can call 5 minutes of HE spam a counter

- counter potato DCP/heal usage

 

CVs

- counter themselves

- counter lone BBs that don't have AA

- counter ships that have been thoroughly HE spammed or hit by RN thermonuclear HE shells

- counter cruisers without DFAA that are not T9/10 RN cruisers

- counter some BBs with meme bombs

- counter most cruisers with meme bombs

- counter DDs without DFAA

- counter some ships that don't have troll AA build

 

Basically:

 

Source:

https://venturebeat.com/2018/09/18/why-wargaming-is-disrupting-world-of-warships-with-submarines-and-revamped-aircraft-carriers/

 

So every ship should be able to fight every ship, but you're gonna need help against counters because you can't fight them.

Makes perfect sense comrade! xaxaxaxaxaxa

It was clearly said (although The Company immediately tried to soften that):

 

We have 170 ships researchable for free [with more British destroyers coming this week], and we have more than 100 premium ships. At this point we decided that if we don’t introduce submarines, if we don’t come up with a creative solution to the problem of fun and diverse gameplay, we’ll just run out of content. New content, new ship lines, are driving a lot of the engagement and new battles. So we decided we wanted to go down this road.

 

WG doesn't care about balance. WG doesn't care about playability of existing ships, because those ships... were already paid for. WG cares about grinders (and freexpers) of new lines and buyers of premium stuff. Cares about money which come from people who have to refit their ships because of balance CHANGES. The main worry is that they RUN OUT OF NEW SHIPS TO SELL, not that existing ships are not fun to play and will be even less fun to play. 

The full statistical data are kept secret, because then it would become obvious and easy to show what the motives are and how the game (un)balance is guided, and we could verify cryptic statements about "statistics" sparsely coming from WG staff. 

 

WG as a company already has very high money return value (one premium boat or even a re-skin can cost more than full content of another game), yet still focuses on maximizing the short-period income instead of improving game play quality for existing customers. 

Actually even worse - play quality plummets because WG urges inexperienced players to climb to highest tiers faster than they can learn, introduces more RNG & reduces skill influence on the game, power creeps existing ships by introducing unbalanced (but expensive) gimmick-loaded fantasies. 

 

Sure, keeping growing the rich content is a huge advantage over possible competition from other gaming companies - but at the core still much more important is the game balance. Leading game products are not popular because they have the largest variety of units or characters or items - but because they are balanced so plays are fun & fair.

 

But WG goes for submarines "because they ran out of surface ships" :fish_palm:

 

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1 hour ago, EdiJo said:

....WG doesn't care about balance. WG doesn't care about playability of existing ships, because those ships... were already paid for. WG cares about grinders (and freexpers) of new lines and buyers of premium stuff. Cares about money which come from people who have to refit their ships because of balance CHANGES. The main worry is that they RUN OUT OF NEW SHIPS TO SELL, not that existing ships are not fun to play and will be even less fun to play. .....

 

Once people have ground the lines.. no need for premium account.. no premium accounts, no cash flow for WG other than selling premium ships and baubles. Premium time will be their largest single earner :)

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