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  1. Ok so I've been having a look at the new skills system on the PTS... There are SOME good ideas and I do think the skill system does need a rework but there are some issues too. But before I get started; here are my higher-level thoughts that I've written about before: All concealment buffs in the game should just be applied to all ships. If you take concealment out of the equation you can actually have build diversity. Direct damage buff skills should not be a thing (HE buff skills, AP buff skills). These skills make balancing harder and will buff ships that don't need buffs. Doesn't matter if there's a negative or not, get rid of them. Skills that encourage longer range gameplay should disappear. You don't need to encourage this type of gameplay more, it's already the default. Yama and Slava don't need another 10% better accuracy. Right - to the stuff I've been playing with... ... Not all Unique Commanders are equal... First off, there's an obvious issue with unique commanders. Let me use Jack Dunkirk and Reinhard von Jutland as an example. These are both unique commanders with a couple of buffed skills in the current system. On the new system: Dunkirk has a buffed Grease the Gears (Expert Marksman) and Gear Specialist+Enhancements (improved cooldown, improved duration for hydro-type consumables) all of which work on Cruisers, Battleships and Destroyers. Jutland has improved Vigilance and Gear Specialist (but not Enhancements). Specialist works on Cruisers, Battleships and Destroyers but Vigilance only works on Battleships. So I realise that Jutland is less effective than Dunkirk as far as utility across a range of classes in the current system, but the bonkers thing is even on the 'shared' buffed skills, Jutland has been robbed. The only way I could see this as being 'fair' is that Jutland got enhanced EM as well, then the trade is no Gear Enhancements but you get Vigilance on BBs... But even then it's still a bonkers comparison. So WG haven't even bothered to do some unique commander comparisons on paper, let alone in-game as I noticed this almost straight away when I went to my tier 10 CL/As... Not all Classes are equal... Destroyers were going to be one of the winners from the skill rework from the outset; they have a lot of use for a LOT of skills under the current system but never enough points to quite 'finish' a build... This is now even worse. Now Destroyers could use 30 points and still have skills worth getting... Now this is actually a good thing in theory as it means there will be build diversity BUT this doesn't apply to other classes and it isn't quite that simple. Quick overview: Destroyers. As mentioned, amazing variety of skills that all benefit almost all DDs with a few more 'niche' picks to favour pure 'torpedo' play. Unfortunately there aren't enough points to take the torpedo skills after taking core skills that are needed to remain competitive in the push-pull of DD play. Basically if a commander took all the torpedo skills, they aren't going to want to do anything other than long-range torping thanks to having no ability to contest other DDs. Cruisers. Feels like a brain-fart in comparison to DDs. A string of 'Torpedo' skills that will only be worth taking for ultra-niche ships that aren't in the game yet. Then there's HE/AP damage buff skills, niche or 'secondary' picks that have caveats to their picks. All in all about 1/2 of the skills in the Cruiser tree are niche picks and only worth taking for specific ships. Basically there's very little choice here for most CL/As; your build writes itself. Battleships. A lot of choices to make that aren't choices. BB tree is full of skills that once numbers have been crunched will become a 'standard' build with the others forgotten. The promise that secondaries could be viable is a nope, there are too many skills that buff tankiness that a full 'tank' would likely beat a full 'secondary' in a brawl. Aircraft Carriers. A mess of two ideas, buffing specific squadrons and trying to buff fighters. Mostly it's just a matter of knowing which squadron type is your primary weapon and buffing that type, pretty easy picks with some minor speed ones leftover. The fighter consumable buffs/changes idea seems interesting at first glance but after digesting it - useless. The skills are taken with the view that you use fighters in an anti-plane role. They aren't, they are for spotting and a deterrence at best. So DDs have the most choice, CL/As it's 'pick your ships niche', BBs will be 'cookie cutter' and CVs will be 'pick your damage dealing plane'... Conclusion This new skill system does not achieve what it sets out to (being offering build diversity for your ship), has massive issues as far as balance is concerned (with accuracy and damage buff skills) and has a mess of skills that are pointless (CV fighters, torpedo skills on CAs, etc). Honestly WG, go back to the drawing board on about 50% of the system. One of the biggest things in Game Design is making sure that everything that's in a system or mechanic has a purpose and that purpose is relevant. When the skill is only viable on a small % of ships it's effectively removing a slot with an option for the majority, this system does this so much and in so many areas, it's silly. The perfect example of how silly the new CL/A skill tree is can be seen with Minotaur... If you take away the torpedo skills, because they are not your primary weapon system and the 'Top Grade Gunner' down the bottom left, as it's a close-quarters skill; 11, almost half the skills available are pointless or do nothing for Minotaur... ... 11 out of a possible 24 skills. On the current system it's 12/32... And I'd say that's too much to start with. My final thought for you WG... Iterate this captain skills rework as much as you have been iterating Submarines... It's arguably going to have more impact on the game than Submarines will... (The angle I'm coming from is that Submarines will basically just be slower, stealthier DDs from a meta perspective... Meaning that the way the game plays won't actually change that much, whereas Captain Skills will impact every game for every player every time...) And on that bombshell...
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