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VISION: New Carrier gameplay and Low-Tier Rebalance

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Fellow captains,

 

WG announced that 2016 would be a “good year” for carriers. While I acknowledge that plans can change – it really wasn’t much of a good year. And although I am at the very beginning with carriers I really try to like and get more into them - but the gameplay just feels so dull and boring and the balance (at least on low tiers) is questionable.

The announced Carrier Revamp for 2017 sparks some hope that everything will change for the better. And although we most likely won’t get a “perfect” solution I would still like to share my vision of an ideal revamp and discuss what you would like to see in an ideal world:

 


 

  1. Manual plane control: in the current CV gameplay you feel mostly detached from the action and the rest of your team. You mostly look at icons, arrows, etc. to direct your squadrons that look SOO artificial in movement and formation it hurts (the squadrons look like they are moving on invisible tracks in the sky). So how about taking control yourself? If you have played the Battlestations series you might have an idea what I am thinking. You would still be able to direct your planes on a top down or 3D map to coordinate squadrons’ movement and keep the overview. But as you can “jump” directly into the pilot seat where your attention is needed the most you would be MUCH closer to the game. There would still be some easy orders available to be given to the squadron like “return to carrier” so you won’t need to control the planes throughout the entire game/flight. Just be in the middle of the heat yourself. As Wargaming has a product that depicts air-combat (which I haven’t played) there could be even a technical way to recycle some elements out of that.
  2. Plane Capability Spread: The current CV progression mechanism is based on a truckload of different plane types and versions with the only remarkable distinction being different stats (as you are not very close to the action as described above). With the introduction of manual plane control a large capability spread is counterproductive as in the new version players would engage regularly in PVP dogfights, fighter vs. bomber, etc. PVP should be on relatively equal terms so a decreased spread in aircraft effectiveness would greatly benefit the above. Suggestion would be to focus on 2, maximum 3 “capability levels” for fighters, torpedo bombers and dive bombers. Carrier progression would be achieved by a higher number of available squadrons on a carrier and every two/three tiers the next better plane. That would mean: no biplanes, no jets anymore!
  3. Clean up Low-Tier Balance and introduce the “CARRIER ACADEMY”: While we are at it, why not clean up the low tier balance and tackle the T4 CV seal clubbing? WG had apparently only a vague concept how the carriers would work in low tiers. Truth is that the carriers and planes of that period were hugely ineffective and more of a “proof-of-concept / training” thingy. Likewise the ships they face were never intended to defend themselves against efficient planes and therefore tend to struggle at T4. Main issue is here that the AA class – cruisers – struggles even more than BBs which get pimped up fantasy AA – and which is totally contradictory to the “teamwork” principle. However there is an easy way out here: move HOSHO and LANGLEY into a separate training mode – the “CARRIER ACADEMY” – that teaches all new CV captains how to play CVs and planes in a single-player training mode / campaign. Completing the Academy unlocks the first Tree Carriers at T5: ZUIHO, BOGUE and at some point HERMES. Therefore the connection from the BB line to the CV line would get removed.
  4. #MakeTier4GreatAgain: Now that we made CV gameplay intriguing and action-packed and smoothened the CV power progression along with moving the experimental carriers into a separate training mode we can also clean up the messed up low Tier balance. Tier 4 at the moment consists of ships that were never intended to face modern carriers as they were built and operated in a time when carriers and their planes were not considered an overwhelming thread. The only exception might be the modernized Wyoming BB here. With above actions it would be possible to clean up Tier 4 in the following way:
    1. Remove WYOMING’s B-Hull and rebalance her in her 1919 configuration
    2. Replace MYOGI with a 1918 KIRISHIMA battlecruiser
    3. Remove the ugly fantasy KAISER and implement a proper historical 1918 version with the light pole mast upgrade the ships received 1918
    4. The cruiser will perfectly fit into the new T4 theme so there is no need to alter them. However the problem of missing AA on these ships would be a non-issue due to the clean-up.

 

 

So what would be the result? Intriguing and action-packed carrier gameplay and a cleaned up low-tier balance. It could be so easy J

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Just about to finish work so quickly:

 

1) Its already micro managing hardness for alot of players.  You bring the battlestations kinda thing into the mix and it will blow their minds! Seconds can count in a CV and you need that ability to quickly jump from one situation to another.  How you gonna do that by strapping the player in a cockpit of an avenger.  Half way through a torp run and you notice that your fighters are getting eaten alive and you cant react quick enough. If you do then you screw up the bombing run? Something that could be done (Manuel aim) in a few seconds instead.

 

Don't get me wrong it like it, but i don't thinks its practicable.  Its too fast paced at the moment to be implemented.

 

Ran out of time, will comment more after my pie and chips for tea...Yumm

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Used to love battlestations. Played both on the xbox. Was expecting the same implementation here, especially from a company who has a plane game already. And no you take over your bombers to do the bomb run then send them home on ''auto'' while you protect them with the fighters. It worked on that game fine. And it was the exact same concept more or less.

 

I just think wg wants cvs to just be a not much played, niche, hard to play well class. Basically, "we have to have them in game because it's WW2 but don't want too many people liking/playing them".

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Used to love battlestations. Played both on the xbox. Was expecting the same implementation here, especially from a company who has a plane game already. And no you take over your bombers to do the bomb run then send them home on ''auto'' while you protect them with the fighters. It worked on that game fine. And it was the exact same concept more or less.

 

I just think wg wants cvs to just be a not much played, niche, hard to play well class. Basically, "we have to have them in game because it's WW2 but don't want too many people liking/playing them".

 

Correct I was going off the Battlestations experience. I find carrier gameplay extremely fun in that game and like the challenge to "jump" to the flashpoint of the battle and leave less important areas up to the AI. 

 

And yes it can mean that you have to decide to either finish the perfect torpedo run or jump to your fighters and engage the enemy in the air and let the AI I the torpedo attack.

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i battlestations also, u had to do your AA job yourself, cos the cpu was worse taking down the enemy airplanes.

But also, this would be impossible in this game, where the planes and ships move x5 speed.

 

Probably is what you say, wg said that their expectation was to have like 20% (dont remember the %) players playing CV. In battlestations carriers were the most fun ship to play and all people wanted to be the carrier, so WG wouldnt get the 20% making carriers like battlestations.

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Sure, everything can be improved. But do you CV players feel like having timeouts during the battle, to afford leaving the operational screen and jump to drive planes in a who-know-how-long combat ? Beside, combats involve, logically, squadrons instead of single planes. How will you command squadrons in a 1st person flight simulator ?

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Sure, everything can be improved. But do you CV players feel like having timeouts during the battle, to afford leaving the operational screen and jump to drive planes in a who-know-how-long combat ? Beside, combats involve, logically, squadrons instead of single planes. How will you command squadrons in a 1st person flight simulator ?

 

It does not have to be a simulator. More an arcady shooting game. In ''Battlestations'' your planes would easily get shot down, so you would jump to the next one in the squadron. You could ask them to attack automatically of course, where you had no control what they do, from which side/angle/etc or go in yourself and do the attack. And if you were not shot down by enemy planes/or AA most times you would get a perfect run. Seriously, If you can endure the outdated graphics and the cheesy dialogues, check this video out to see what the game is about.

 

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I stress the lack of time, not the 1st person shooter possibility.

During your highly skilled 1st person battle any other initiative stop or has to be on Auto mode (which require time to set on/off), your other squadrons deployment or reaction is not supervised, your carrier position not supervised. You don't know when you will end your 1st person dogfight or bomb ship run. When will you manage spotting, air support for your team mates, your own air defense, air attacks with other squadrons, keeping your carrier hidden ...

Lack of time would disorganize everything. Jumping to next plane in the squadron doesn't address what you’re doing with the others squadron planes while you drive one of them, it works when there is plenty of time and dedicated game situation, less in the overall command task you have to assume in WoWS.

The WoWS carrier game mode is not oversimplified for nothing. Any vision of evolution has to asset the whole gameplay.

I even find particularly genial the actual carrier implementation. That’s why I am optimist about the future submarines implementation.

 

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Control of the carrier and other squadrons in general like today on a mini map. Difference is that you can get into the action for short intervals to make a difference at the flashpoint. AI squadrons follow their orders such as patrols, waypoint, etc. Honestly: how many squadrons do you have active in the air? 4-6? And the carrier follows the waypoints. That is probably not the issue.

 

The time compression would need to be looked at. Impact to be determined. In general the map would just feel "smaller" to the planes.

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Let's compare the timings then. For this, your play in Battlestations is needed.

A good torpedo run against a Battleship, how many hits ? Sometime less, sometime more, let's average at 3 hits. Some amount of time and concentration will be required, some planes will be downed, who cares, focus on the result - the 3 torpedo hits.

Let's measure how long it takes to have three torpedoes on target in today's game and in Battlestations.

We start in both situations at 5 km from target.

In WoWS we all know how it works, you adjust your squadron on target, make the pass and that’s it. Even with some delay for fine tuning the attack, we generally know how much time we need for that.

Now, please would you be so kind to play in Battlestations the same scenario, in a torpedo bomber, until you get three torpedo hits. And to tell us how long it took ?

 

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Here's my idea for manual control mode for aircraft squads:

a4eb2633654e412f9fceb5f08144cba0.png

You would have an on/off toggle button for the manual mode. Clicking a location with mouse control could turn the manual mode off automatically.

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Let's compare the timings then. For this, your play in Battlestations is needed.

A good torpedo run against a Battleship, how many hits ? Sometime less, sometime more, let's average at 3 hits. Some amount of time and concentration will be required, some planes will be downed, who cares, focus on the result - the 3 torpedo hits.

Let's measure how long it takes to have three torpedoes on target in today's game and in Battlestations.

We start in both situations at 5 km from target.

In WoWS we all know how it works, you adjust your squadron on target, make the pass and that’s it. Even with some delay for fine tuning the attack, we generally know how much time we need for that.

Now, please would you be so kind to play in Battlestations the same scenario, in a torpedo bomber, until you get three torpedo hits. And to tell us how long it took ?

 

Makes sense! I will take the time for an attack run (Torpedo) from 5km away :-)

 

While I fear there are far bigger obstacles it is a fun exercise to do !

 

Could you post the time needed in WOWS? Feels rather short but I couldn't come up with a good guess here either?

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Well the carriers are getting some "love" based on the changes posted in the "Some interesting info from RU":

 

 Removal of alt-attacks on 4-5 level CVs, because sealcubbing is too common

 

That's a "great and exciting change that will positively influence CV gameplay". Expect future T6+ carrier drivers to play like potatoes.
 

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Well the carriers are getting some "love" based on the changes posted in the "Some interesting info from RU":

 

 

That's a "great and exciting change that will positively influence CV gameplay". Expect future T6+ carrier drivers to play like potatoes.

 

 

They should just remove the T4 carriers. These ships are out of place.

 

So the above is the big carrier revamp 2017?

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i dunno about manual control but I do like the idea of keeping CVs out of T3 and 4 games.  Nothings worse than running around in a defenseless cruiser chasing BBs to get AA protection. We arent supposed to leave the front lines and go back to the BBs.  Its counterintuitive to how you're supposed to play.  I do miss Midway and Pacific. Great games.  I also liked how you had to capture bases in order to get more powerful ships.  The subs were also nice.  I kind of laugh when WG says they can't do it bla bla bla yet an Xbox game could run it flawlessly.  

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We arent supposed to leave the front lines and go back to the BBs.  Its counterintuitive to how you're supposed to play.

 

I don't get what's wrong about it tbh. Cruisers should always be among BBs (or a bit further back) to support them (and have BBs draw shots in return). You should basically never be on the front lines.

 

@OP:

 

1. Being able to manually control planes is not only counter-intuitive, it'd be an utter waste of time and no one would do it unless you force it in some way (which would be far worse than just leaving CVs as they are now). Why? Because it completely eliminates your ability to micromanage multiple squadrons and set up multi-pronged attacks, which are key aspects of CV gameplay and absolutely necessary skills to have starting T7 latest.

2. Gets eliminated with #1.

3. Make T4/5 planes a bit more flimsy and everything should be fine. Tutorials in general should get introduced for every class to teach them how to play. Seal clubbing with T4/5 CVs is mostly effective not because they're too powerful (although plane survivability is a bit too high), but because people have no idea how to dodge torps. WG has done basically nothing to improve the average player skill, instead letting them find out things on their own by trial and error.

4. Gets eliminated with #3.

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Let's compare the timings then. For this, your play in Battlestations is needed.

A good torpedo run against a Battleship, how many hits ? Sometime less, sometime more, let's average at 3 hits. Some amount of time and concentration will be required, some planes will be downed, who cares, focus on the result - the 3 torpedo hits.

Let's measure how long it takes to have three torpedoes on target in today's game and in Battlestations.

We start in both situations at 5 km from target.

In WoWS we all know how it works, you adjust your squadron on target, make the pass and that’s it. Even with some delay for fine tuning the attack, we generally know how much time we need for that.

Now, please would you be so kind to play in Battlestations the same scenario, in a torpedo bomber, until you get three torpedo hits. And to tell us how long it took ?

 

You forget all the times when you achieved zero/1 hits with a torpedo run out of maybe 2 or more squadrons. Yes to do the drops Battlestations style would take longer, but you would have more ''guaranteed'' hits and fun. I bet you that afterwards they will all want to have manual AA too.

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There are torpedo runs with zero hits (as you say) and torpedo runs with 5-6 hits, that's why I proposed an average exemple.

Also in Battlestations you should count the time of missed hits and destroyed by dca, until achieving the three hits.

In WoWS you need ~10 seconds for an average torpedo run with a squadron. Please play Battlestations and tell us how long it took until three torpedoes hits.

 

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I have to agree with Redcap, PseudoMi and El2aZeR on the concerns they raised.

 

On top of those the game is nowhere near ready for such changes: AA defense, individual aircraft positioning, fighter combat ... are nothing but fancy effects. Right now theres nothing but auras, stats and figures doing their thing. For what you imagine we'll need hit boxes for the planes, calculate trajectories for every bit of AA fire, fighters weaponry as well as reargunners, torpedos and bombs dropped from aircraft, flight physics like stall speeds, manouverability and other potentially lethal limitations including stuff like accidentally crashing your precious planes by colliding with islands, ships, screwing up your landings, bombing runs or even hitting allied/enemy planes. That leads to the possibility of kamikaze related stuff WG isn't particularly interested in and so on and so forth ...

 

Thats lots of stuff to develop! And I don't really see the point. The constant micromanaging going on when pushing your CVs performance to the limit doesn't allow any distraction even for a few seconds. Especially not if you do not even gain any advantage by managing your planes yourself. I mean have you ever looked at what fighter combat at 5× speed looks like in wows? Good luck outmanouvering those guys :P

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The best thing would be to drop the carriers from the game altogether and preferrably make a separate carrier warfare game. 

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The best thing would be to drop the carriers from the game altogether and preferrably make a separate carrier warfare game. 

 

Nope, learn to deal with them.

 

 

Was waiting for this. I'm disappointed it took so long tho.

 

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Nope, learn to deal with them.

 

 

Was waiting for this. I'm disappointed it took so long tho.

 

 

That is not fun. Carriers just created camping and lemming trains. I simply prefer more active movement by the ships and focus on getting into good positions to engage enemy ships, not to focus to much on keeping close to the ships with the most AA. 

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I think they do the exact opposite. CVs punish (bow on) camping and are a great incentive to keep people sticking together in effective groups aka playing as a team

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I think they do the exact opposite. CVs punish (bow on) camping and are a great incentive to keep people sticking together in effective groups aka playing as a team

 

This is a myth. Bow on camping is more effectively punished by HE spamming and stealth torping. Since planes spot such DDs carriers can rather make bow camping battleships safer. It also makes it easier for the cruiser to stay near tha battleships since the battleships are more or less static. What you call sticking together as a team I call "lemming train". It also can be toxic to gameplay because if a couple of ships with strong AA decides to camp, the rest of the team will also camp. 

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While going for DDs is my top priority I rarely find myself spotting their torps for camping BBs. Since they usually stay at the back of the fleet they aren't that prone to be surprised by torpedos at all.

 

My playstyle revolves around securing a flank by killing the DDs on that side. This allows my division (and whoever wants to push with them) to take that side easily. Advancing together they are at allmost no risk to be overwhelmed by the enemy CV. Not sure if that's what you call a lemming train, but I do not consider such play toxic.

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