It seems to me that "feedback" and "critique" has turned to little more than 'hate-mail' these days. Even less helpful, in my opinion, is the "I like it," or "I don't like it." So, I'll attempt, herein, to give an actual critique based on my own play during closed beta thus far. I hope you and any readers find it useful - and please note: this is only MY take and what I HAVE to say.
First, I will agree that I have waited, literally, years for something like this: a sort of hybrid of WoWS with a dash of WoWP. Having said that (and, I am sorry WG.net), I have never like the dynamics of WoWP. LOVE Ships. LOVE Tanks. But, when it comes to aircraft...well, I go elsewhere. But, the ability to actually control a squadron is fantastic! And, to see from a 3rd-person/"cockpit" (sort of) view, makes targeting much easier, adds an element of gameplay that introduces new challenges (both aerial and ship), and immerses you in the combat and tactics more than a top-down view. And the ability of ships to control their face of fire - to amp it up or down - adds a new level of strategy for captains.
Previously, or currently, I should say, a weakness, in my opinion, of CVs was that planes were, in a way, disposable: "fire and forget." Now, I say that knowing that they were always finite - when you ran out of planes, you became a floating liability and/or a 90-ton wrecking ball...if you could reach your target before being sunk. In this mode, worrying about losing planes is not an issue, and your CV doesn't become useless. Moreover, those NOT playing CVs are not constantly swamped by aircraft, and expensive "hiding mods" like smoke, camouflage, and "indetectibility" are not rendered entirely useless.
Conversely, the new system's strengths also poses some of its weaknesses. To begin with, this is a TACTICAL game, and I do feel I need to be able to change my strategies at will. So far during beta testing, if you have even, say, one torpedo bomber alive, you can, indeed, call in CAP, but you are resupplied in actual combat with the same type of planes you have been using - in this example, more torpedo bombers. Well, what if a better strategy - or, more importantly, a more significant target - arises, and I want or need to switch to bombers? I have to wait until all my torpedo bombers are destroyed. Well, what if they aren't? I'm stuck using the same planes for the same (or lesser) gains. I feel there should be a way to recall the squadron to launch another type - perhaps, using some of the extant gameplay, to call in the next group, and switch to them instantly. Or, perhaps even better, to be able to swap between two or more types - AI taking over the group I'm not currently controlling, and back again at need.
Finally, there is the CV itself. There is almost an element that removes the ship from the game. I DEFINITELY feel I need to be able to switch back and forth between squadrons and ship to maneuver, plot tactical and safe routes, and keep my ship from being set ablaze (and therefore disallowing planes to take off and land) or destroyed. Also, there have been MANY times - especially during capture modes - wherein my CV becomes the "heavy" that can sit in a captured zone, generating capture points, while still providing air cover and usefulness beyond to my teammates. Elsewise, you may as well have the planes take off from some landing strip on one of the islands, and remove the CV from the game, which I know is NOT the direction you want to go.
So, to sum up what I'd like to see:
1) Keep going this direction, BUT:
2) Allow us to recall/change squadrons at will, regardless of how many planes are left, for tactical purposes,
3) Allow us to ALWAYS be able to return to the ship AT WILL so we can maneuver, defend, deploy planes from different areas so enemy players don't detect a pattern and "come hunting" (a favorite tactic in every battle is "Go after the CV!"), etc.
Thanks for all you do, and for listening to my input!
Matt Dawson (a.k.a. Draxxiss)