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Admiral_noodle

Smoke rework suggestion

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So, I've been thinking about smoke mechanics and how smoke works in the game right now and been wondering... Is there anything *I* would do to make it more "realistic" and perhaps more fun? I don't mind the current mechanics all that much like invisifiring, I just accept it and counter play it... BUT, its not really how smoke worked historically and worse, its really hard to flee behind a smokescreen because if you are spotted by someone else magically this makes the smoke become transparent somehow...

 

The following is an idea I've had based on what smoke really did and what it really looked like.

 

The idea is as follows:
 - Keep deployment and spotting mechanics involving smoke exactly as they are now

 - Make smoke *Opaque* at all zooms so you can't see through it!

 

So, what I mean by this is, while you can still know a ship is detected *behind* (not in) a smoekscreen if its detected by something (other ships, planes, hydro, radar whatever) then the icon will appear and the ship will appear on the minimap. But if you are looking at the ship through smoke, you won't see the ship, you will see white smoke... Kind of like how islands work but you can fire through smoke. The smoke would have to have a given height too.

 

If you are inside smoke, the world would appear white and foggy all around (kind of like... being in smoke? :D ) and you can have other ships detected for you, but what you will see is ship icons and no actual ship model.

 

Similarly if you radar that DD in smoke, the icon appears, but the ship doesn't (there is still a smoke cloud there!)

Of course, just like shooting over islands, you can shoot "roughly where the ship is in context with the icon" and hit it *fairly* reliably, just not as easily as with a visible ship model.

 

Positives:

 - invisifiring from smoke is now hard, and requires skill to judge where the ship is

 - Smokescreens can protect you when fleeing (just as in real life) from incoming fire (because they can't see you wiggling)

 - Hitting targets by use of minimap and icons would be a skill to learn.

 - scout planes could so over the smoke making them tactically useful

 - smoke screens in front of fleets actually provide cover, like they did historically (not just smoke screens on top of your ship)

 - Immersion benefits (it really annoys me that smoke disappears when you zoom in)

 

Negatives:

 - Clearly this would affect balance, so we'd need to see just what effect this had on gameplay

 - DD play would need to be reworked and rebalanced for a start.

 - Would it make the game *even more* negative at high tier? Hard to say. Harder to camp behind smoke and see through it though.

 - People would need to develop new tactis... maybe this should go in the positives...

 

Feedback welcomed! Clearly I like my idea so I want peoples' views, good and bad. However I don't want "would make XXX ship useless" because 1) it might not (see change tactics) and 2) I've already listed rebalance as a downside.

 

Edited by Admiral_noodle
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Negatives:

 - Clearly this would affect balance, so we'd need to see just what effect this had on gameplay

 - DD play would need to be reworked and rebalanced for a start.

Considering BB players won't let WG to undo all the nerfs to torps overal meta change would highly likely favour BBs.

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Overall, your idea is not that bad, but I have some points:

 

So how exactly do you counter DDs hidden in smoke then? You cant, besides maybe spamming shells and/or torps into them.

That means, at least for the ship who acutally uses radar the ship should be visible when aiming at it. Thats how radars and firing calculation worked back then, like night battles. I cant think of any other implementation besides that, since your game and aiming works with aiming circles and not distances and angles.

 

Making the smoke opaque would lead to some very hard changes in gameplay: firing from inside the smoke and from behind the smoke at targets outside /the other side would be impossible. This means all DD balancing need a large rework, plus any smoke would not only conceal your team, it would make them unable to engage targets of the other side. Rant incoming.

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There is one big problem with this.

How are you supposed to fire torpedoes if you can't see? You can't accurately judge speed or angle. With guns this is not that much of a problem but if you have over 2 minutes of reload on torpedoes this would disproportianally nerf DDs (especially IJN) into oblivion. I don't see a way to compensate for this unless they would give a major buff to torps.

USN DDs with moon arcs would have an extremely hard time to hit anything as well.

 

But mostly it would just not be fun if half a game in a DD all you can see is fog.

 

Smoke was given to these ships to compensate for their lack of survivability. If you can't do anything effectively while making use of smoke it would kill the entire point of smoke.

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I think that idea of smoking is not good right now.

 

Smoke should give you a chance to run away from dangerous places "ok, I screwed, puffff" - defensive mechanism.

Not give you chance to make a invisi fire like now - ofensive mechanism.

 

In defensive mechanism every shot makes you visible for 5 sec (normaly it is 20sec).

 

I'm not a whining against DDs or Kutuzovs in smoke. I just don't like matches when many ships stands still and nothing happens.

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So in terms of dds in smoke.

- they would be harder to counter because you wouldn't see the ship. Bear in mind they would still be detected and you'd see the icon and be able to "lock on" to them. Only the ship itself wouldn't be rendered.

- being in smoke would be much harder to use but again you'd still see the icons and be able to lock on to targets. But like firing over islands you'd have to judge where they are.

The point about "this makes smoke harder to use as an offensive weapon". Yes. Yes it does. That was the point. Making smoke more historic as "cover" for retreats and less about mechanics which only exist in the game itself.

As for "it would completely upset the balance". Yes. Yes it would. I don't deny that but this is how I world *prefer* smokescreens to work in general. As an escape mechanism.

 

But the idea itself is very easy I think. It wouldn't be hard to do technically because it doesn't change the underlying game mechanics. But I feel it would change the gameplay. For the better? Don't know. But smoke would feel more real to me. 

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So in terms of dds in smoke.

 

- they would be harder to counter because you wouldn't see the ship. Bear in mind they would still be detected and you'd see the icon and be able to "lock on" to them. Only the ship itself wouldn't be rendered.

 

- being in smoke would be much harder to use but again you'd still see the icons and be able to lock on to targets. But like firing over islands you'd have to judge where they are.

 

The point about "this makes smoke harder to use as an offensive weapon". Yes. Yes it does. That was the point. Making smoke more historic as "cover" for retreats and less about mechanics which only exist in the game itself.

 

As for "it would completely upset the balance". Yes. Yes it would. I don't deny that but this is how I world *prefer* smokescreens to work in general. As an escape mechanism.

 

But the idea itself is very easy I think. It wouldn't be hard to do technically because it doesn't change the underlying game mechanics. But I feel it would change the gameplay. For the better? Don't know. But smoke would feel more real to me. 

 

Ship could be visible, sufficiently thick smoke could help, so one would see vague ship shape. Mods altering smoke or brightly colored textures can be an issue there.

Radar/hydro could make ship clearly visible, either by "thinning out" smoke or giving locked ship outline, like in WoT.

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In general I like the idea, however as said above there are a few changes I would do to that.

 

I think radar even though weird should retain the ability of spot ships in or just behind the smoke. And I agree with Verdius with how do DDs manage to launch torpedos without being able to judge speed and angle. I think the torpedo lead indicator should be left even if you only see a ship icon, but I think even that wouldn't be enough, because just launching torps where the white line says just doesn't work against any decent player, so we should think something about that.

 

For example I thought about the idea of being able to see the ship, but only if you are IN the smoke, not through it. But that maybe would give so kind of bonus to DDs or ships with torps, because you could try to "use" the torps to see the enemy ship, see they're angle and speed and then shoot again. So I think that maybe that idea should work only if all your torpedos are reloaded, so either you do that, aim your torps, use them to momentarily see the ship (model included) if you are in the smoke and then you start shooting again (only being able to see the ship icon while shooting again) so you just use your guns and you have to stop from time to time to look at how the enemy changes speed or course, so it woudn't even be the usual DD spam from inside the smoke or you can use your torps as usual being able to see the ship and make your own predictions on how he'll try to avoid and such. But if you use your torps you won't be able to see from inside the smoke though. You either use your guns or your torps (again, all this idea is from IN the smoke cloud only).

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...or have shadowy outlines. So if your in smoke or looking into a smokescreen where someone has been detected see a shadowy ship.


I don't mind that. As long as it keeps the smoke generally opaque and you can't "see" ships that are detected through it.

 

Also makes pushing into smoke a good counter/tactic as you'd be able to see the outlines of the ships beyond. 

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I'm not a whining against DDs or Kutuzovs in smoke. I just don't like matches when many ships stands still and nothing happens.

Isnt that the case with a lot of ships right now? Even without smoke. These ships are called Battleships.

I agree, with incoming RN CLs gameplay gets more static.

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...or have shadowy outlines. So if your in smoke or looking into a smokescreen where someone has been detected see a shadowy ship.

 

I don't mind that. As long as it keeps the smoke generally opaque and you can't "see" ships that are detected through it.

 

Also makes pushing into smoke a good counter/tactic as you'd be able to see the outlines of the ships beyond. 

 

Mmm...:hmm: Actually that could be better, you don't see the ship itself, but at least have a silhouette if you are in the smoke so you can at least guess how the ship is moving, that could work better indeed. But I like the idea of not being able to see through the smoke if you are not enough behind it to see above the height it has, so again I only would like that if the ship is in the smoke. Nice idea. :great:

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You see an icon, with help of the minimap you can see the direction he is facing and if your ship has torps (since you can lock on) you can estimate the speed. [ships without torps have a disadvantage here.]

After that, everything works the same with the only difference that your aiming becomes even more luck than it is now.

 

Maybe I didn't understand everything right but after players adjusted to not seeing the model but an icon of whatever kind, what would actually change? (other than visual effects)

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Maybe I didn't understand everything right but after players adjusted to not seeing the model but an icon of whatever kind, what would actually change? (other than visual effects)

 

The viability of use the smoke as a way to retreat more safely of a bad position, as smoke works now (I like it's mechanics other that this point) if you have a ship with smoke you can pop it to cover yourself but most of the times you can't use it to retreat and flee from the enemy because the moment you leave the smoke most of the time you are spotted by someone again, so you can't actually use it as a defensive way to retreat, just to be in the smoke.

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So, I've been thinking about smoke mechanics and how smoke works in the game right now and been wondering... Is there anything *I* would do to make it more "realistic" and perhaps more fun? I don't mind the current mechanics all that much like invisifiring, I just accept it and counter play it... BUT, its not really how smoke worked historically and worse, its really hard to flee behind a smokescreen because if you are spotted by someone else magically this makes the smoke become transparent somehow...

 

The following is an idea I've had based on what smoke really did and what it really looked like.

 

The idea is as follows:
 - Keep deployment and spotting mechanics involving smoke exactly as they are now
 - Make smoke *Opaque* at all zooms so you can't see through it!

 

So, what I mean by this is, while you can still know a ship is detected *behind* (not in) a smoekscreen if its detected by something (other ships, planes, hydro, radar whatever) then the icon will appear and the ship will appear on the minimap. But if you are looking at the ship through smoke, you won't see the ship, you will see white smoke... Kind of like how islands work but you can fire through smoke. The smoke would have to have a given height too.

 

If you are inside smoke, the world would appear white and foggy all around (kind of like... being in smoke? :D ) and you can have other ships detected for you, but what you will see is ship icons and no actual ship model.

 

Similarly if you radar that DD in smoke, the icon appears, but the ship doesn't (there is still a smoke cloud there!)

Of course, just like shooting over islands, you can shoot "roughly where the ship is in context with the icon" and hit it *fairly* reliably, just not as easily as with a visible ship model.

 

Positives:
 - invisifiring from smoke is now hard, and requires skill to judge where the ship is
 - Smokescreens can protect you when fleeing (just as in real life) from incoming fire (because they can't see you wiggling)
 - Hitting targets by use of minimap and icons would be a skill to learn.
 - scout planes could so over the smoke making them tactically useful
 - smoke screens in front of fleets actually provide cover, like they did historically (not just smoke screens on top of your ship)
 - Immersion benefits (it really annoys me that smoke disappears when you zoom in)

 

Negatives:
 - Clearly this would affect balance, so we'd need to see just what effect this had on gameplay

 - DD play would need to be reworked and rebalanced for a start.

 - Would it make the game *even more* negative at high tier? Hard to say. Harder to camp behind smoke and see through it though.
 - People would need to develop new tactis... maybe this should go in the positives... 

 

Feedback welcomed! Clearly I like my idea so I want peoples' views, good and bad. However I don't want "would make XXX ship useless" because 1) it might not (see change tactics) and 2) I've already listed rebalance as a downside.

 

I like parts of that idea, but you should see a shadow-ish outline of the ship without any details, otherwise it would make the offensive use of smoke for DDs useless.

I'd go even a step further and make the smoke clouds a bit bigger and the outer edge of each smokecloud is semi transparent and lets you "see" the shadow of the ship when it gets too close to the border.

Also, friendly should also be invisible except for the icon and - when you enter the cloud - as shadow until you get to point blank range.

 

And while i like the idea in general, i doubt that folks would be willing to adapt - not that they would have a choice in that scenario tho.^^

Still +1.

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All this made me remember that yesterday I was behind a smoke (not in, but just behind, the side of my ship almost touching the smoke limit line and I was able to invisifire from there, so that remembered me that you can actually be covered by smoke without being in it, but you have to be really close to it for that, so maybell the changes needed is to increase the height of the smoke cloud to be able to do that from a bit more far allowing ships to flee from the area undetected with a smoke behind them between them and the enemy.

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The viability of use the smoke as a way to retreat more safely of a bad position, as smoke works now (I like it's mechanics other that this point) if you have a ship with smoke you can pop it to cover yourself but most of the times you can't use it to retreat and flee from the enemy because the moment you leave the smoke most of the time you are spotted by someone again, so you can't actually use it as a defensive way to retreat, just to be in the smoke.

 

:amazed:

Smoke kind of works like an island which is 450m high atm. So you can retreat if you lay the smoke to block the direct line of sight to an enemy ship. You don't have to be in it, but if you are not, you can be seen from the sides and from planes. That's why I don't understand your answer and don't see what would change in admirals suggestion.

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Instead of smoke making the DD magically disappear, how about making them appear opaque, remove any GUI (health and name) and lock-on ability.

Edited by UnknownError

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:amazed:

Smoke kind of works like an island which is 450m high atm. So you can retreat if you lay the smoke to block the direct line of sight to an enemy ship. You don't have to be in it, but if you are not, you can be seen from the sides and from planes. That's why I don't understand your answer and don't see what would change in admirals suggestion.

 

Because the smoke isn't actually opaque. It's see through when you zoom in. Which always bugs me. Why should a plane telling  me where to look make the smoke that's in the way suddenly become completely see through. 

 

@unknownerror. Yes that's been floated before. But the idea to make smoke opaque which I'm suggesting doesn't require any change to the actual game mechanics. Quite like that idea too though. Anything which lessens the "binary" nature of spotting. 

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Be worth checking out on a test server at least. This is actually how I would like plane spotting mechanics to work. The CV see's the spotted ship as usual but the rest of the team only sees the information on the minimap.

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@unknownerror. Yes that's been floated before. But the idea to make smoke opaque which I'm suggesting doesn't require any change to the actual game mechanics. Quite like that idea too though. Anything which lessens the "binary" nature of spotting. 

Didn't suggest making the smoke opaque but the ships themselves inside the smoke opaque, the very models of the ships itself and not the smoke. There must be some shaders that can do that. Better than the current harry houdini.

Edited by UnknownError

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I can see why Admiral Noodle is concerned.  Smoke in this game is very "gamey" and not very realistic at all. The ability to see a ship you wouldn't ordinarily be able to see because someone else can see it is however a fundamental part of the game and is derived directly from WoT. 

 

That being said I wouldn't want it to be changed. I'm comfortable with the way it works right now, especialy for Belfast.

 

  Asking for the graphical effects of being in smoke is a non starter because of the load it would put on your PC and many Russians are using DX2 66Mhz machines still (my first PC 1994 :teethhappy:).

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I like the fact that smokes can be used offensively and think it should stay this way. But this would pretty much kill any ship that relies on offensive smoke as a means of doing damage, so my opinion on this is a clear "nope".

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