Hi, I am perfectly aware that it is a subject that was probably argued over countless of times, that suggestions has been given left and right and that people started to give each other hate speech comments for whatever reason, be it because they like the current system, or that they hate it cause they are on the receiving end of it.
I know. I get it. But I'm here today to offer my own point of view while trying to be neutral about it and offer some kind of changes that won't necessarily favor one or another, but mostly a way to make AA more reasonable while still effective in its role. Considering the fact that I have been the one sending flaks or the one receiving it, and that for quite some time now, I feel I can at least offer some constructive criticism about the current system.
First, yes, unfortunately, CV rework has been rushed way too quickly, and it is a good thing that wargaming are at least learning from their mistakes while doing the submarines. But as time went on, a lot of changes has been made, for the better or for the worse, I can say it been quite the rollercoaster ride.
I can fully admit that I quitted playing aircraft carrier when the change about all damage over time be applied to only one plane, making the planes to die a whole quicker, and in succession... To be quite infuriating. Hence the rage quitting. It had in fact, made me stop playing the game entirely for a while too.
At least Wargaming is trying. Kind of. But I feel the current AA system could still be improved. Or rather, modified to be more respectable that wouldn't incite keyboard or screen breaking out of rage. Poor things don't deserve such.
As it currently stands, and if I understand currently, all AA zone now overlaps each other to apply each damage over time in a stacking way, while flak salvo only really appears at long range, or perhaps medium ranges too. I haven't quite noticed properly if they were. Nevertheless, at least over 3.5km most of the time, there is flak salvo burst going on.
I can agree that it makes some sense as the closer you get, the more AA gets to be firing. That one is true, each weapon system, after all, had their optimal range and effective range. But when looking at various ships' AA stats, some of the things don't add up quite well.
The main culprit being the hit probability.
I have noticed that in most cases, and especially in high tiers, the hit probability for all ranges is quite high. In the range of 85% up to 100%, and unfortunately, the latter being more likely most of the time. I know this game is mostly arcade-like, but it never hurts to have some sense of realism here and there, and still keep the game to be quite enjoyable nonetheless in the long run. To say bluntly, wouldn't it make sense that the further the range, the less probable AA should be hitting their damage over time? If at all in long ranges?
After all, with some history in mind, AA in world war 2 always been far from being called accurate. The hit ratio always been low, despite hours and hours of training in team coordination for the larger turret mounts that required more than 1 sailor to fire. Such as the Bofors 40mm autocannons. Even the single user guns such as the 20mm Oerlikon AA guns still didn't have such a high hit ratio.
It is why that late warships just went with sheer volume to increase the chance of shooting down incoming enemy planes. Such an example can easily be seen from the Yamato, the Iowa/Montana and the midway, namely. All were blistered with AA guns just to have the hope to shoot down enough planes so you don't sink yourself. Sadly, the Yamato simply been outmatched by an equally mighty example of sheer volume, but out of plane numbers.
But enough with my current rambling, here what I'd propose of a change but only for the damage over time. The flak burst salvo is fine as it is. Yes, it is extremely high damage, but an experienced CV player still can see flak tracers and try to dodge the incoming flak. And that is perfectly fine the way it is.
The damage over time AA model, to me, is heavily flawed and as I mentioned, it's its hit impossibly high hit probability. to which I'd suggest to lower it with some considerations.
First, I'd set a hard cap of how high hit probability can be depending on range.
Long-range: 40% ( if not 0% for any damage over time ). Since long-range is often 3.5km or 4km up to 6.9km on some cases are considered extreme ranges for any kind of AA that aren't large caliber AA. For an autocannon/machine gun bullet to travel further than 3.5km takes a lot of time, and the shell/bullet has plenty of time to divert from its intended trajectory. It takes a lot of skills to even hope to land multiple shots in a row on a very far fast-moving target. Hence that if long-range is allowed still a damage overtime model, its hit probability should not exceed 40% It'd still hit from time to time! But even so, it's far too away to really make a big difference usually. Otherwise, I'd only see flak burst in that range and no damage over time.
Mid-range: 70%. Mid-range is where most large caliber autocannons could be considered effective. Such as 30mm or 40mm Bofors. Flak salvo still should happen since 3.5km is still "technically" far from the ship, and thus flaks are still effective at that range. Fuse can be set properly. Mid-range would technically be the "most effective AA range" damage being the highest ( as it is in fact in most cases in the game ) but again, more often than not, the current hit probability is 90% if not higher. Shooting anything over 1km still takes time to reach a target after all! But still, 70% is still a high hit probability and planes would still be shot down with time if they hang around far too long in that range.
Short-range: 95%, not a perfect 100%, since nothing is ever perfect, but at 95% hits are going to happen. Small caliber machineguns are now firing with abandon to all air threats in the area. This is where it should be a bullet hell for any planes, and subsequently why it should be the highest hard cap for hit probability. Since it is the closest to the ship, it's easier to hit.
But here, I only spoke of the hard cap. It doesn't mean all ships should have these exact numbers. No, but rather, now the number of guns for each AA zone should affect how well their hit probability would be. Such as the midway, with how many guns it has, it'd make sense on it to have every range zone to be capped. IT shoots so much into the air. The same thing for yamato, its short-range would definitely be at 95% from all the triple AA guns that adorn its deck. But many other ships, shouldn't have that high of a hit probability for they didn't have that many guns compared to those I named. And thus, the number of AA guns should have a direct impact on the hit probability. Including those that are being knocked out in-game. Not only damage should be affected but hit probability as well.
The current damage per second is fine as it is as well, as it represents well the effectiveness of the guns in dealing said damage. But it is the hit probability that certainly could use a rework. Perhaps not as I proposed, but at least something similar. The AA would still be effective, planes still will be shot down if they hang around far too long. But it wouldn't be such frustration for those receiving it as well.
However, with all that said, I'm also aware that balancing something that is all about RNG is nearly impossible, but I'm pretty sure a sweet spot could be found one day.
And in a completely off note, why the hell a plane that is high in the sky can't see a big hunk of metal floating on the sea, but a ship can see a speck of a plane in the sky before the plane can even see the ship? That one still baffles me immensely. Making me think that being air detected should be bigger than surface detected. ANd that planes should be a lot harder to see ( so more stealthy ) but just by making ships be visible from further their surface detection would be more than enough for that purpose.
And if you have reached this last line after reading the whole wall of text, thank you for the time you took for reading, and I am hopeful some constructive replies can be given.