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CV philosophy - a few thoughts thrown in the wind

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Fellow Gamers,

I am not a Unicum, we're part of a small community that doesn't have much of a voice compared to EU and NA, and I am pretty much preaching in the void, but anyway. Thanks in advance for reading, at any rate.

Sorry I didn't post that under the "buff CV" topic currently on top - I am not posting about buffing them, I am posting about, yet again, re-working them into something that doesn't frustrate anyone, be them CV players or preys. Sorry if some if not all these ideas have been pitched before (it must probably be the #748th topic about this anyway...) for I might not have come across them, but more generally it is more of a way for me to vent off steam than anything.

I write this with my own background in mind, being first and foremost a DD player. I like the adrenaline, the knife fighting, the ninja strikes... But I am also very attached personally (if not romantically ^^) to carriers IRL - so much that I am literally making a game about them right now. But that ain't the topic. The point is, I fancy myself believing that I am not too biased, and that I did my best in order to keep balance and fun alive in this humble commentary.

CV carriers in WoWs have always kinda surprised me. Whether it's pre or post-rework, there's something that immediately feels wrong about them - their target hierarchy and their means to deal with it.

I know WoWs doesn't aim at historicity beyond the global feel, but we all know that there are a few logical assumptions that still work well: 6 inchers CL are nimble, fire fast and sweep away DDs ; 8 inchers CA prey on 6 inchers but feel naked against a BB, BBs penetrate everybody but are pretty bad at avoiding anything, DDs are sneaky and will ruin your day with a good torpedo spread. Immediately, there's something that doesn't feel right about that: the CVs in their current state are not somewhere in this close loop, what I will call our meta food cycle. They prey on everybody and fear technically no-one, being only vulnerable when their own team collapses or the CV player suicides. They are not actually part of the food cycle: much like us humans in our own environment, they are above it. Gameplay-wise it is wrong, we all know that, but first and foremost, it has no historical and logical basis. We know why, because we also know who should be its natural predator and is awkwardly nowhere to be seen in game: the enemy CV.

See, IRL the target hierarchy of a CV would be something like CV first > then major combatants > DD
Because obviously the highest level of threat comes first, then the major and easier targets come next in order. Somehow, it is perfectly inverted in-game: the first natural target of a CV has become the DD, then major combatants, then the CV when there's nothing left. To me, it defies any sort of common logic and makes it all the less intuitive to any new player having a vague idea of what a carrier battle is or was. But, again, we're not playing a historical simulation so whatever. Problem is, this has repercussions in gameplay too.

It's tough enough for surface combatants to be left unable to get rid of the CV by themselves (which is understandable and follows historical logic) but what makes it worst is that they do not have any active way to get rid of what is thrown at them. The only actual defense (AAA) isn't even skill-based, which is in a way a big joke both to CV players and their targets. And don't tell me about maneuvering better: in order for the experience not to be too frustrating for the CV players, we ended up making surface combatants too easy to hit. Before Mikuma and Mogami got struck, anyone knows how many american bombs were dropped fruitlessly at surface IJN ships at Midway? Hell, Tanikaze got attacked by a grand total 61 SBDs that only managed a couple near misses. Directly attacking DDs should be the last thing a CV player who wants to conserve striking power would do. Doesn't mean DDs should be immune to the CV, but they should be dispatched by other means, that might include, erm, teamwork?

I am not asking anybody to actually nerf the CVs. It's not about buffing them either. I am asking to have them live a new sort of life that will be respectful of the time CV player invest in their skills, while not being totally unbalanced for other categories, especially DD players who pretty much live in the permanent fear of being rocketed to death - or worse, not protected by their own carrier when that happens.

I don't claim to have the solution to all problems, but obviously I think that carriers should have their own meta and XP system that encourages them to:
- go after the enemy carrier(s), including with some XP incentive if needed
- actively and passively support allied surface units through a number of new properties that would reflect IRL experience (scouting, directing CAP, hell even laying smoke!)
- only feel the need to actively attack lesser, smaller, faster surface units (CA, CL, DDs) when there's no CV or BB around to strike, and be rightfully hampered by a low chance of hitting them when trying so. Harassing them with shadowing planes should be encouraged, on the other hand.

A few examples :

- We all see the abuse of the fighter cover system right now: CV players found that it is more interesting to drop CAP over an enemy target to keep it spotted instead of dropping it over a friendly unit... Well, just give carriers what they needed from the start: a scout consumable. Let them drop a long-term, high altitude scout consumable attached to an enemy target that would end up not being reachable by in-game AAA. The scout would follow the target and keep her spotted. You wouldn't abuse the system too much by simply :
1 - limiting the total number of consumable uses
2 - limiting the number of active scouts instances at the same time (2 for instance)
3 - make it countered by dropping some fighter cover over your tagged friendlies in order to get rid of it. BBs and CAs with the proper consumable in particular would find a new and useful use to their seaplane fighters, and wouldn't be left defenseless. This would encourage the CV player to drop shadowing scouts over smaller fries. As a DD player, I am perfectly fine with the idea of being shadowed by an enemy plane and needing extra help or extra time to get rid of it. In game logic, this amounts to the same as radar (which is limited by a well-known range, which makes it somewhat predictable to a careful DD player): if you get rekt after that, that's your fault and you had your chance. And even then, if you end up far behind enemy lines and get shadowed with no hope of extra help, you still have a chance as long as you can escape the enemy gunboats - to the very least, you're not gonna get immediately rekt around the clock by rocket planes you can't do anything against. If he comes for you with DBs and TBs, well twist your butt like you used to in pre-rework era - planes should be able to slow a DD to a snail pace and make it vulnerable to other surface units, and such a crisis should require skill from both the CV player and DD player in order to be solved.
4 - make scouting/naval search sexy. Give it an extra XP reward for CV players only, make them understand that it's in their interest to keep the enemy fleet spotted with their new tools. Hell, give them a good reason to keep you from hammering F7, it's in the interest of everybody, including their own.

- Pre-war fleet exercises actually made provisions for the use of air-laid smokescreens. Put it in the game! It is no less historical than all these planes everywhere flying with rockets. Make it a consumable for the CV, that might lay down a screen for a long distance in a straight line. Such a screen can be easily defeated by a scout plane that wouldn't be taken care of, but then again that's your CV player's job to make sure that he just does that. Even better: encourage CV players to do just that by rewarding them with XP not just everytime they spot somebody, but also when using that sort of consumables they hide somebody.

- There are many ways to encourage carrier players to go against other carriers. This include XP modifiers, but also new ways to make carrier hunting satisfying. Carrier should be much more nimble than they are. Let the players drive them like a normal ship already! And if you want to put a limitation to compensate for this, let's just add a "wind indicator" that will force them to go into the wind with a minimum speed to be able to launch planes at all. These are little touch that make driving CVs still skill-based, while they have something to care about on the long-term (that is, staying operational AND alive).

- Future inclusion of submarines could very well give the CV's missions a new meaning, and give it yet another way to shine (or to worry about itself), the same way it would deeply influence the DD meta.

TL;DR: If unable to fit in the main food cycle, CVs should have their own parallel meta-game happening at the same time as surface ships have their own. They shouldn't be part of the basic brawl but should be actively support it, and be rewarded creatively for that. Their main target should be the enemy CVs, and without being game-changing they should be able to influence it noticeably.

Sorry for the long post. It's good sometimes to put things on paper. Helps with the burden.
Don't get me wrong. I love the game. But I believe it could be a bit better for all of us, and entice more people to actually play carriers without generating some sort of full-scale [content removed] ...

Good steamin', everyone!


Inappropriate use of medical term. Post edited.


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6 minutes ago, Fishbed008 said:

TL;DR: If unable to fit in the main food cycle, CVs should have their own parallel meta-game happening at the same time as surface ships have their own. They shouldn't be part of the basic brawl but should be actively support it, and be rewarded creatively for that. Their main target should be the enemy CVs, and without being game-changing they should be able to influence it noticeably.


WG dosnt think so

back pre rework they gave CVs CFAA to protect from snipes 

now they gave auto fighters to deter CV snipeing 

the line of play that they seem to want use to play CVs on is as a precise damage dealer that can strike vital targets and whittle down HP of the enemy over a long period of time, as opposed to nukeing ships while maintaining cover and spotting like in the past



as a "cee vee unicum" i can responsibly tell you that as of now going for CV snips would work once in ten and not a chance of that happening if the enemy CV knows what you are up to. not to mention that even if you successfully sniped the enemy CV your own reserves will be so depleated that you wont be able to do anything later on in the game. even if there was a massive XP multiplier i would still PTFO and go after DDs and vital ships first. if you wanted to farm it's far easier to go bully BBs

Edited by drakon233
  • Cool 2

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Thank you for your reply.

No worries. Obviously I am not talking about a CV snipe in the current meta with the current tools - but in every way, it is very wrong for carriers not to have any point in going for the enemy carriers in the current meta. I mean, at least before, they used to be a direct threat to each other's planes because of the controllable fighter system. Not anymore, not even that...

Making carrier battles interesting would require a new combat logic and new balance mechanics. Better handling and full control of the CV by the player can only barely scratch the surface of what is needed to make that happen, naturally. But I think that it should be the global objective in terms of design and creative thinking. You should give the carrier players a good reason to shoot at each other, but beyond being realistic about how far my voice or our voice might go, I don't even claim to have the ultimate answer to that problem... 😌

Edited by Fishbed008

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My view is that WG made some fundamental decisions that are flawed and no amount of tweaking can fix it.

They essentially eliminated CV vs CV action.

I can only assume that this is to reduce the CV skill gap. However, an effective counter for every class is another ship in the same class. DD's hunting DD's, BB's tanking each other, CA/CL's looking to out maneuver each other. It also makes it that CV's seemingly no skin in the game, every other class can be quickly punished where a CV will more often than not, be the last survivor.

They made CV vs ship action to be skill vs RNG in a +/- 2 matchmaking game

If this is balanced for even tier encounters, than at +/-2, its no fun for at least one of the players. The even tier only CV's not making it any better. They should have added odd tier CVs and made CV's +/- 1 mm. In a game with 2 CV's per side, and they are split tier, the lower tier CV is relegated to scouting, which isn't fun for DDs.

They seem to have not put enough thought into what they want to do with concealment.

Its probably the most important mechanic in the game with a history of issues (stealth firing, BB's firing from smoke, proliferation of radar). CV's have a bigger impact on this mechanic than any before and tweaking detection from air felt like an afterthought. It does not give me confidence that sub's will have a smooth introduction.

I applaud the shift from an RTS style interface to a more action / FPV style. But in trying to fix other problems, I think they made it worse.

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WG secretly hate CVs :Smile_hiding:

They hate anything that aren't BBs, that's clear, but they haven't expressed publicly enough of their disdain for CVs.

Edited by Paladinum

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