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MeglaGnome

How to Fix CVs and AA in 0.8

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I've been reading and playing a lot, and I've found 5 key themes that are making this 0.8 CV patch miserable for many players. I've also got some suggestions to fix them. Have a read, see if you agree, and share, comment etc.

1. Planes spotting ships.

This just dominates the meta, and especially makes DD's feel both unplayable and obsolete. Someone else is doing the spotting in a 200 knot platform, so what are you for in a DD apart from and XP piñata for the red CV?

Solution: Planes see ships, but only "spot them" for targeting purposes for that CV. Other friendlies see the "seen" ship's outline on the minimap but cannot lock onto the "seen" ship. This reflects the real world fact that a single seat strike plane pilot is too busy flying and staying on mission to make detailed observations using specialist theodolite type instruments over several minutes. He keys his radio and communicates "I see a CL behind that island" , or "I have a pair of DD's about 7 miles off my port quarter," so his fleet have tactical intel, but he can't deliver reliable targeting data for fire control.

This way DD's don't die instantly, they just lose the element of surprise, and they still have a role in the team : spotting for gunnery targeting.

2. AA feast or famine

Take a look here at IChase Gaming explaining AA. 

 

"Flak is easily dodged once you get used to how it works"

Flak is also where, on paper, the bulk of your AA power lies in most ships, and where many of the buffs from modules, captain skills and Defensive Fire consumable contribute their biggest bonuses.

Solution: Flak should be a graduated area effect burst weapon, not all or nothing. Reduce the radius a bit for 100% flak damage in the flak cloud, but add other spheres of flak damage further out from the burst. Say 40% at R*2, 15% at R*3, 5% at R*4. This way flak is not all or nothing, but a chip, a little, a lot or a wrecking depending on how close your planes get.

3. Flak: Long range flak "one shots" most planes

Long range flack at T6-10 one shots almost all planes (apart from some full survivability T10 carrier builds). But many buffs to flak increase the _damage_ it does, not its accuracy / dodge-ability (which is sorely needs), rate of fire or range.
Check out the values in this excellent spreadsheet about AA (sorry, I lost the forum post that lead me here so I can't credit it). https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1yjhrvUUDRQuAb5td_S3Dyd5iIDaH9yHN_sNSyWaLYAY/edit#gid=730226830

Most Long range flak bursts do 1890 to 2250 damage. Un-buffed Hakaryu planes have 14400-1800 HP, and with a full meme HP buff build get 1939-2365 hp.

Apart from a few corner cases, any buff that buffs flak _damage_  has no real in game effect, its just adding to the overkill on the few occasions where the flak hits at all.
This includes

  • AA guns Mod 2 (+15% flak damage)
  • Advanced Firing Training 4 point captain skill (+15% to flak burst damage)
  • AA Sector Shifting (including the extra shift from Manual Fire control for AA: 4 point captain skill)
  • Defensive fire for AA consumable (+100% to flak damage)
  • November Echo Settseven signal flag (+5% damage to flak).

Medium range Flak does less damage, so does benefit from these buffs considerably, with only 2 big problems: 1: Its easy to dodge. 2: Planes only spend a short time of an attack run in your medium range AA bubble.

Solution: After implementing graduated area effect for Flak and reducing the burst radius for 100% damage, AA buffs should focus on flak rate of fire, accuracy, range or burst radius, not raw damage. This way planes sometime get 1 shotted, but mostly suffer smaller or larger amounts of damage due to being closer or further from flak bursts.

4. F key plane escapologists

I see too many plane squadrons take a moderate amount of damage on a pass, and simply hit "F" to teleport back to the carrier and launch a fresh squadron, safe in the knowledge that their old planes will disappear from the skies too fast for the enemy ships to capitalise on their damage and start scoring plane kills. If ships can't score plane kills, the CV attacks are just relentless and the CV can spam its favourite plane type endlessly. This needs nerfing.

Solution: F key should leave your planes in harms way, maneuvering gently back to the CV for a decent period of time (30 seconds plus?). This way the CV has to choose between a quicker launch of the next squad, or taking time to manually pilot the damaged squad out of danger and save more planes.

5. AA range bubbles don't overlap, and they really should.

I get that big AA guns struggle to track small fast planes at close ranges, but the minimum range of long range and medium range guns should be a property of that gun, not defined by the presence of other smaller AA guns on the ship. As a poster child for this problem, I present the Benson. The Benson was never a great AA platform, but with DFAA up on the C hull it could do a passable job of self defence. The expectation was that the A hull was bad AA, the B hull was meh, and the C hull was only for people who hated CV's as you had to give up a main gun.

Lets look at the values now: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1yjhrvUUDRQuAb5td_S3Dyd5iIDaH9yHN_sNSyWaLYAY/edit#gid=508058350

Rows 31-33

Benson A:

Short range : 63 dps continuous damage 0.1km - 0.9km range
Mid range : none
Long Range: 43 dps 
continuous and 3 bursts of 2170 dmg flak, range 0.9km - 5.8km

The continuous damage is a joke, never going to kill anything unless its already at death's door. The power is in the flak (if it hits). It hammers away at the incoming planes from 5.8km all the way into 0.9km.

Benson B:

Short range : 87 dps continuous damage 0.1km - 1.5km range
Mid range : none
Long Range: 43 dps 
continuous and 3 bursts of 2170 dmg flak, range 1.5km - 5.8km

Yay, we got a buff to the short range. Still too little to do anything meaningful. They do open fire at a longer range of 1.5km, but it all adds up to not much.
Sadly the gunners on the big dual purpose flak guns (where your real AA power lies) have seen the shiny new short range guns as an excuse to go on a smoko break 600m earlier, and they stop shooting at 1.5m instead of 0.9km. So, the Benson B is a weaker AA platform than the stock Benson A in the real world.

Benson C :

Short range : 60 dps continuous damage 0.1km - 1.5km range
Mid range : 36 dps continous damage and 1 flak burst of 1330 flak, range 1.5km - 3.5km
Long Range: 43 dps 
continuous and 3 bursts of 2170 dmg flak, range 3.5km - 5.8km

Ok, so we gave up a main gun for this focus on AA power, just keep that in mind. The long range flak (3 bursts) now goes on holiday at 3.5km instead of 1.5km or 0.9km. It gets replaced by 1 burst flak that can only 1-shot about half of the plane types at T8 (unbuffed planes). The continuous damage is better, but it still adds up to zero plane kills unless you get a lot of help from another ship or your flak. The Benson C is the weakest of all 3 hulls at AA in the real world.

But wait, it gets access to the Defensive Fire for AA consumable, surely this redeems it?

Lets pop DFAA, and see what the numbers say. DFAA adds 100% to all AA damage (continuous and flak).

Benson C with DFAA up

Short range : 120 dps continuous damage 0.1km - 1.5km range
Mid range : 72 dps continuous damage and 1 flak burst of 2660 flak, range 1.5km - 3.5km
Long Range: 86 dps 
continuous and 3 bursts of 4340 dmg flak, range 3.5km - 5.8km

OK, so the continuous damage it almost useful, but will still result in 0 planes kills without a lot of help.

The flak now 1-shots planes in the mid range bubble with its 1 flak burst (that's useful, if 1 burst hits anything ever), but the long range flak simply overkills planes it would have killed anyway.

Note that the Benson A gets the 3 burst 1-shot kill flak all the way from 0.9km to 5.8 km, so it still vastly superior to the Benson C even with DFAA up.

Conclusion. The AA stats are a very poorly worked through set of values. The Benson A is the best AA platform, followed by the B, then the C. This is the opposite of "working as intended". The AA values are littered with many such nonsense outcomes. It's easy to find more with a modicum of gaming brain and 10 minutes with the spreadsheet. WG simply haven't done the work to get this patch to even beta levels of readiness. It's a rush job and it shows.

Solution:  1. The entire AA values table needs a thorough going over by a gamer. 2. AA bubbles need to overlap. The minimum range of an AA gun should be determined by that gun. EG gun calibre * 20 = minimum range (155mm = 3.1km min range, 100mm = 2km min, range, 20 mm = 400m min range etc etc etc). Fast turning dual purpose main guns might get a better value (USN dd's?). We could even allow buffs to decrease the minimum range (better tracking of the gun) eg Expert Marksman reduces the minimum range of all AA guns by 20%.

In conclusion, the current 0.8 patch is a mess and is making for very boring and frustrating gameplay. It is fixable, but the devs need to get our of their data, into the real gaming experience and work with gamers to make this right. 

Edited by MeglaGnome
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756
[MRI]
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Great post.

Though I would like to suggest that non-flak AA damage be buffed too. Imo there is too much emphasis on flak AA.

But with your suggestions about flak clouds, then buffing the non-flak AA might not be needed.

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Beta Tester
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spotting are fine. or else hakuryu will just reign supreme. she godly concealment and fast speed there's no way non dd surface can catch up to hem. just slow down the launching of planes. give service time to all planes squadron, 80 second or more depending on what tier. this way CV has to be more careful instead of just spamming attacks.

Edited by yansuki

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also can we remove flooding from cv torp. its too much. buff damage but remove flooding.

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7 minutes ago, yansuki said:

also can we remove flooding from cv torp. its too much. buff damage but remove flooding.

DoT should be removed from CVs entirely...only raw dmg and even that needs to be nerfed in higher tiers

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2 minutes ago, _TAMAL_ said:

DoT should be removed from CVs entirely...only raw dmg and even that needs to be nerfed in higher tiers

*US CVs screaming from the edge of the map*

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Well written but TOO BAD, WG don't give a sheet dis time.

 

Back then our suggestion is very easy.... 1 CV per match and not allow CV for division ......

This patch is full of chaos because it allow 3 CV in the game with literaly infinite plane ...

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Akyamarukh said:

Well written but TOO BAD, WG don't give a sheet dis time.

 

Back then our suggestion is very easy.... 1 CV per match and not allow CV for division ......

This patch is full of chaos because it allow 3 CV in the game with literaly infinite plane ...

 

 

 

I agree, perhaps going back to the previous MM CV restrictions before patch 8.0 would help a great deal for all player's, ship types.

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Btw These are from latest Dev Blog for those who have missed... I guess WG is listening after all :v

Dear players,
It's been less than a week since update 0.8.0 release - a major, and probably the biggest change in the game yet, CV rework. We want to share the first list of fixes, changes and tweaks that are to be implemented to improve new CV and counter-CV gameplay. But first of all we sincerely thank you for your feedback and game activity, as well as apologize for any stress and inconvenience that you could experience due to massive game change.
Please note that all information in this post is preliminary.
1. Critical changes and fixes that we're working on right now (to be implemented within 0.8.0 in "hotfix" update ASAP).
Reduce the excessive efficiency of IJN tier X CV Hakuryu;
Reduce the excessive efficiency of IJN Torpedo Bombers (reduce flooding chance, introduce spread debuff when maneuvering);
Resolve the "F-spam" issue, when a CV can just recall its squadron at any time without considerable penalties (increase the vulnerability time for the squadron after recall so that players can shoot down some planes before it completely disengages);
Do overall AA balancing: shift a part of damage from flak bursts to constant DPS. Flak bursts proved to be an interesting aspect of AA. However, on the one hand, they deal disproportional amount of damage, and on the other hand, avoiding them often results in completely insufficient damage to the planes;
Do overall Attack Planes vs. Destroyers balancing. While this is an important thing to do, we would like to indicate that most players seem to underestimate the power of manual AA activation ([P] by default). Due to great DD concealment, if often makes sense to turn AA off until spotted. A DD spotted at minimal range is a lot harder to hit with the first attack run even with rockets. Although, this trick does not remove the need for further balancing;
Do additional Premium CV and UK CV (unreleased) balancing;
Remove the inconsistency between Des Moines and Salem in close/mid-range AA;
2. Changes and improvements that we work on now in the timeframe of next updates (0.8.1 and beyond).
Improve plane reserves UI (information should me better presented);
Improve AA sector UI (better usability);
Do additional balancing for individual ships, armament, skills and upgrades, as the statistical data is being accumulated;
Clear the minimap for non-CV ships (remove the unnecessary info about returning planes, etc);
Finish the development for CV bots (Cooperative Battles);
3. Open questions and concerns to be researched in more detail and addressed if needed (no specific update planned yet, but it may change).
The amount and quality of CV spotting in the new meta;
MM limits (our ideal limit is 1 CV per team, very few cases of 2 CV (and always 1 at tier X, but right now the limit is 3 across the board): we would like to change the limits where/when possible.
As indicated before, these are the first plans after several days of release. We will keep monitoring your feedback and update you about any further changes.
Thank you, good luck, and fair seas!

Edited by _TAMAL_

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Nice post OP. You've clearly put more thought into this in a few days than wargaming did in 6+ months. 

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On 2/5/2019 at 3:08 AM, Thyaliad said:

Great post.

Though I would like to suggest that non-flak AA damage be buffed too. Imo there is too much emphasis on flak AA.

But with your suggestions about flak clouds, then buffing the non-flak AA might not be needed.

I was imagining that the low damage / large radius flak sphere (the 5% and 15% damage spheres) might regularly damage several planes each flak burst and provide a slightly variable "continuous damage" effect.

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NIce post @MeglaGnome. I like the spotting idea - good enough for tactical warning but not good enough for a firing solution.

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2 hours ago, Castiel_01 said:

Hoping that the hotfix comes quickly. The game is just misery at the moment.

I hope they do it this weekend... 

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Whole game has gone to shit cuz no DD dares to cap due to the amount of irritating flying shimakazes in the sky to pick you off.
Even my T6 Ryujou can make life a hell for a T6 BB every 30 secs.

Are these Russian devs born with some mental disability or without the ability to think ahead lol

Edited by Jehuty_v2

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So it looks like the dust is beginning to settle, and we are finally seeing what is actually wrong rather than having to guess.

and this

Do a pretty good job of laying it out.

In a shellnut, the system was balanced on the assumption that flak would act as a significant deterrent to precision attacks by aircraft. The problem is that 1) aircraft from high tier carriers like Haku don't need to make precision attacks to be effective (see video 1 above) and 2) the all or nothing damage system coupled with an "instant recall" button means CVs can yank their heavily damaged aircraft out of the combat zone before they actually are shot down (see video 2).

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is it just me, or CV torp warning is bugged. at first it only show the torpedo wake but no red marker. it appear very late even though torps are armed already.

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5 hours ago, yansuki said:

is it just me, or CV torp warning is bugged. at first it only show the torpedo wake but no red marker. it appear very late even though torps are armed already.

I have been wondering about this as well. I have taken damage from torps that hadn't armed yet - they had no red marker.

Edit:

I can confirm, the CV torp warning is indeed bugged. Twice in the same battle I got damaged by a torp that had no indicator.

Edited by Thyaliad

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Another for Skill Vs Skill element. While I strongly want to see direct skill vs skill interaction between plays and surfacer ships, I'm not really sure manual AA would help. Big problem is you cannot fight CVs the same way you fight every other ship, With your main guns. Yes, I know some ships have secondaries which can melt DDs, but no-one, if able, relies purely on their secondaries if the attacker is a serious threat. And yes, I know some ship's main guns are their AA guns, and maybe giving a 3rd shell type called flak would feel natural there, but on you big BBs? Would feel a little weird, to suddenly have to switch to a whole different interface and fight a different battle. Aircraft carriers are weird.

Edited by Grygus_Triss

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1 hour ago, Grygus_Triss said:

Aircraft carriers are weird.

Historically speaking, they were a new factor in naval warfare in the 20th Century, so it is understandable.


IChase's manual control for the large caliber AA guns is a good idea, however, I also like the idea of a commenter in that video: make it semi-automated. It can still attack automatically, however its damage is reduced(by how much depends), but manual control could make the damage increased in a small, but noticeable way. The damage of the Large AA guns could depend on ship tier, nation, and class. 

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