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Aircraft carriers are a mess right now. They're unbalanced, US is underpowered, Japan is op, etc. I'm tired of it. I made this forum to discuss a solution to this problem. Here is my grand solution to fix the problem.
CVs are my favorite class of ship in the game. They are versatile and can have a real influence in the game. They are a bit unbalanced though. In my opinion, though it pains me to say it, Japanese CVs have the advantage. They focus on Torpedo bombers while American CVs are all about the fighters and gosh awful dive bombers. This needs be fixed.
I agree with what types of planes the lines follow but there should be some changes. I think is that dive bombers accuracy should be increased by 50% and that high altitude bombers should be added with the dive bombers old accuracy. The high altitude bombers would do twice as much damage though. AP bombs should also be available. They would do twice as much damage and could citadel ships. This would leave Japanese CV players feeling down. So low altitude bombers should be added. Low altitude bombers release their bombs in a way that makes them "hop" towards their target. The launch could be skill based and the bombs would come in like a salvo of shells. There could be two range settings changed by a tap of the squad number. Automatic drops would automatically be set on the longer setting. These bombs would do the same amount of damage as high altitude bombers. For the drop itself imagine a 2d box that is wider than it is tall. Next imagine a line coming out from the bottom of the box and another line crossing perpendicular at the end of the first line. The bombers would travel to the first line and release their bombs. The bombs would travel along the second line and land in the box.
This would leave a choice to CV players. Do I go for Torpedo bombers which are easier to dodge, or do I go for the less damaging low altitude bombers that are more accurate? The same question would be asked with dive bombers vs high altitude bombers. Also do I bring HE bombs to set fires, or do I bring AP bombs for the citadels? It would make CV playing more balanced and interesting.
Someone else had the idea of tactical bombers. The cooldown is bound to a key. When the key is pressed, the player gets a depiction of a line on their screen, sort of like Neith's Spirit Arrow line from Smite, but wider and from top-down view. Clicking sets an attack zone, and then you move the mouse to set the attack angle. Once this happens, a squadron of 3-4 tactical bombers spawns on the opposite side of the map from the strike zone, flying in-line with the strike direction, towards the strike zone. The strike zone can be moved, but the bombers cannot be directly controlled otherwise. Once the bombers reach the strike zone, they line-bomb the designated-area with HE bombs, dealing large AoE damage (but low single-target damage except against BBs and large CVs).
This cooldown operates on a 1:45 timer, only resetting when the bombers reach the map border after completing their strike run (and at the start of the game). Having all bombers shot-down increases the cooldown period to 2:15.
Tactical bombers cannot spot enemy ships, and cannot be spotted by enemy ships until 2km away (due to cloud cover), they can only spot planes, however, they spot planes at 8km and are spotted in-return at 6km (by aircraft only). They have large hit pools and cannot be engaged by surface AAA excepting long-range AAA, and this at 1/3rd DPS, with no bonus from Defensive Fire. Tactical bombers do not suffer panic from DF like normal strike aircraft. They are slow, having half the cruise speed of fighters, but almost double the HP. They cannot be strafed, however, fighters engage high-alt bombers with a 1.5 bonus to DPS, so it is important to escort yours while intercepting the enemy's. Bombers intelligently lead their targets, dropping their bombs in such a way that, unless the target deliberately turns to avoid them, they will take at least one hit.
Tactical bombers themselves cannot be upgraded (your stock one is your only one), but, their payloads can, and they can have different fits. For example, for a longer AoE line and increased cruise speed, one might go for a B-17G with a payload of 12x 500lb bombs, or, for more single-target damage (but with a reduced cruise speed and a shorter bombing line), the same B-17G with a payload of 4x 2000lb bombs.
The bombs themselves also have a small AoE that increases with bomb size: a decaying static damage and fire chance that decreases the farther the target is from the center of the blast, limited to 0.5km max (500 damage and an 8% fire chance at max distance) for 2000lb bombs.
NOTE: Bombers only drop 1 1000/2,000lb bomb OR 2x 500lb per bomber per ship, and can engage a maximum number of ships equal to their payload. Carriers can't abuse their bombers to nuke lone-wolfing ships.
Finally, have you ever been in a situation where you just have fighters and want to do some more damage. Well, fighters could be replaced with scout planes. Scout planes could engage enemy aircraft(less effectively) or they could use their bombs(smaller) to attack enemy ships. They wouldn't have the strafe ability or the Manuel drop. Just one more decision for CV players.