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Big_Spud posted a topic in General Game DiscussionA comprehensive suggestion for rebalancing my Donut, and fixing her armor model errors. WARNING: THIS IS LONG AND TEXT/IMAGE HEAVY Buckle in boys, this is going to be a long one. So the tier VI premium light battleship (or battlecruiser) Dunkerque has recently garnered a bit of attention in regards to the presumptive reload buff she is receiving according to recent Dev Blog updates. The Buff is as described below: Now, as a long time player of Dunkerque (Donut, Dunkek, etc...) I have to say that the fact that she is finally receiving some attention is most appreciated. To my knowledge, Dunkerque has never seen any direct buffs or nerfs throughout her two and a half year tenure in this game. Naturally, much has changed in the way of meta since August of 2016, which was when she was originally introduced. Overmatch has become prevalent with the introduction of several new premiums and battleship lines. IFHE has become extremely prevalent ( if not necessary ) among destroyers and light cruisers. Newer ships are faster, or more accurate, have more guns, better HP, overmatch, armor, etc… Even the fabled CV rework is about to hit live, combined with news of a change to the flooding mechanics ( flooding being split into two sectors which deal less HP than one current flooding. 30% forward speed decrease, 60% reverse speed decrease ). Simply put, the game has changed a lot just in general. Throughout all of this, Dunkerque has remained largely the same, and it is my opinion that she is among the ships which have suffered the most from powercreep. I consider this to be quite unfortunate. I was for a time, one of the staunchest defenders of Dunkerque at her release, and for quite some time after her. Her speed used to be quite unique, as well as her bow-mounted main battery of extremely high velocity and penetration 330 mm /52 Mle 1932 rifles in two quadruple turrets. This layout resulted in occasional good groupings, and the speed of her shells made it relatively to hit enemy cruisers and battleships from near the maximum edge of her 18.2 km range ( 21.8 with a spotting plane ). Her flexibility and relatively quick reload allowed her to exert influence across a greater than usual area of the map, especially when compared to slower vessels like New Mexico. This helped make up for her relative lack of strength in other areas, and there are many areas in which Dunkerque was deficient, even back in 2016. We’ll get into those in a second. To add a bit of credence to my love for this ship ( and reinforce the fact that I’m not a random baBBie complaining because “Beeg ship no crush small ship!” ), here are my current standings in her. Not the best on the server, but I’ve certainly managed to do quite well. Being top 5 in Dunkerque is something I’m a little proud of. Unfortunately, I have stopped playing her in the past few months. To put it quite simply: she’s simply not fun in her current state, nor up to task for dealing with the current meta. Now, I said earlier that I would go into the various strengths and weaknesses of Dunkerque. Hopefully what I identify here will help my case for some of the buffs I will be proposing later. Pros: -Speed. Despite the amount of time that has passed, Dunkerque is still among the fastest of the battleships at her tier. At 29.5 knots without speedflags, she is tied with Normandie, and 1.5 knots faster than the Prinz Eitel Friedrich. Her advantage over the other premium and non premium battleships ranges from between 3 to 8.5 knots. This speed is valuable at a tier where most others are operating in the 23-25 knot range ( some as low as 21 ), no question about that. -Penetration and Velocity. Dunkerque's relative low caliber of 330 mm is deceiving. Her performance against vertical plate is among the best at her tier, being matched by New Mexico's 14”/50 and surpassed completely only with the introduction of West Virginia and her 16” AP Mark 5 shell. As we can see from the sweep, penetration and velocity are among the factors which do not trouble Dunkerque. She can penetrate the belt of most same tier battleships out to nearly her maximum range. The velocity still lets you snipe cruisers with ease, but in this aspect she suffers from Roma Syndrome: you will see a lot of overpenetrations. -Rate of Fire. Dunkerque has a 28 ( proposed 26 ) second reload. It’s not fantastic, but it’s better than most of the ships in tier VI. Some ships like New Mexico and Arizona truly suffer from some terribly ungodly long reloads, so I'm counting my blessings where I can find them. And… I’m going to be honest here, the list of objective strengths ends there. Her concealment is bad, although not worst in tier ( thanks Fuso ). Her maneuverability is bad, but not worst in tier. Her AA and secondaries are bad, but again, not worst in tier. What is objectively the worst in tier however, is her armor. Here we go into the- Cons: -Armor/Protection. Immediately, Dunkerque falls flat on her face. She is simply coated in 25 mm plating all over her hull. She has no distributed armor scheme, meaning that she is the most vulnerable of all ships at her tier to overmatch and IFHE. Dunkerque fundamentally lacks the ability to act as a good tank, or really a tank at all. Should she come upon the likes of a Queen Elizabeth, Warspite, Bayern, Mutsu, or West Virginia ( to say nothing of tier VII/VIII ), she is largely defenseless. Hits by those guns along her hull will always result in penetrations or overpenetrations for guaranteed damage. The same is true when being struck by 4-6” IFHE equipped light cruisers, or 7-8” armed heavy cruisers. Dunkerque's problems with protection don’t end here though. In addition to the poor extremity/hull plating, her belt and bulkheads are quite simply put, the worst in tier. Her belt is 225 mm with a 40 mm sloped deck and a 40-50 mm flat citadel bulkhead. This is incapable of protecting her citadel from battleship caliber shells at most ranges, and makes her particularly vulnerable at closer ranges. The forward citadel bulkhead is a flat 228 mm. Simply put, this cannot stop any shell which overmatches the 25 mm bow, at any range. We have already identified the ships just in tier VI which can and do accomplish this task. In addition to this fact, her turrets are vulnerable. Far from being poorly armored, the problem with Dunkerque's turrets are that they are stacked atop one another, and very wide. By the nature of her playstyle, these turrets take a lot of shells, and one or both are often destroyed. Each lost turret represents a net -50% decrease in firepower. Dunkerque has no special heal or any other advantage to make up for these extreme and pronounced vulnerabilities. My first con section is already three times the length of the entirety of the pros. -Torpedo Defense. To put it frankly, Dunkerque's torpedo damage reduction value is an insult. Coming in at a little over 7 meters in depth, the little battleship had what was universally considered to be one of the best torpedo defense systems ever put on a ship. The Richelieu had a narrower version of this design, and ingame receives a respectable ( albeit still rather low ) 35%. Dunkerque gets [edited] 25%. Why. With her armament and armor peculiarities heavily influencing her playstyle, she is incredibly vulnerable to torpedo attack. This low of a value is simply inexcusable from both a historical and gameplay perspective, and hurts her massively. -Main Battery/Offensive Power. On paper, Dunkerque's guns seem quite good. I’ve already detailed the great strength of her belt penetration and the advantages afforded by her high velocity. These strengths are more than ruined by their weaknesses. First and foremost, Dunkerque has 1.7 sigma. This in itself isn’t a death knell, but then the rest of the picture comes in. She has only eight guns. She can’t overmatch same tier battleship hulls. Her reload, although short, does not make up for the loss of four barrels when compared to the infinitely stronger Fuso, which shares the same rate of fire. Then comes her horrific vertical dispersion, and then the fact that she overpenetrates anything that’s not a battleship belt or unfortunately angled cruiser ( Roma Syndrome ). To say that Dunkerque's main battery performance is frustrating, would be a massive understatement. No part of it compliments the other enough to overcome the weaknesses inherent to the caliber and dispersion characteristics at this tier. Her 130 mm /45 secondary battery is also poor, although not quite terrible. The shells have a high individual fire chance and good damage, however they fall short on penetration with 21 mm base. The mounts are also positioned awkwardly, making them hard to use reliably. Although the quadruple turrets are well armored, the twins mounted forward are not. It is not worth speccing into these by any means. -Anti-Aircraft. Dunkerque's anti-aircraft firepower has been poor since release. Although the 3 x 4 and 2 x 2 130 mm mountings have decent range, they fall flat with their low damage numbers ( no information as of yet on how they perform with the CV rework ), throwing up a measly 54 DPS at 5.0 km. Mid range is essentially non-existent, five twin 37 mm guns yield 12 DPS at 3.0 km. Short range is very short, with 8 x 4 13.2 mm mountings yielding a combined 40 DPS at 1.4 km. Simply put, Dunkerque can add being incapable of defending herself effectively from aircraft to her long list of downsides, even with a full AA spec. -Detection. Although by no means the worst in tier, 16.4 with camo ( 14.1 with CE + camo ) is not great for a ship of her particular playstyle and vulnerability. She gets spotted early, and targeted by everyone for easy damage, with no real recourse to prevent such a thing from occurring. I could go even more in depth, but I think this identified most of the key issues which plague Dunkerque, and why I personally believe that she requires more help than just a 2 second reload buff. Recommended Improvements (not necessarily all at once, just general suggestions): -add 27 mm plating amidships over the side and weather deck. Already being plagued with the worst horizontal armor protection in her tier bracket, Dunkerque absolutely requires an improvement to her tanking capability. Increasing the protection amidships versus 381 mm guns essentially achieves the same results as the identical change made to some tier VIII cruisers. It allows her to mitigate some of the otherwise unavoidable damage from overmatch. Leaving the bow and stern sections 25 mm allows for damage to still be dealt, but requires a bit more thinking than simply “point and click for 10,000 damage”. -improve torpedo damage reduction to 35%. By her nature, Dunkerque spends a large part of any given battle with her bow towards the enemy, moving back and forth with the battle. This is largely a necessity forced by her poor armor, in addition to her armament layout precluding effective stern-kiting. This makes her extremely vulnerable to flanking attacks by destroyers, from which she has no real escape. Increasing torpedo damage reduction not only more correctly represents the strength of the real system, but also helps decrease her extreme vulnerability to all forms of damage. -increase sigma value from 1.7 to 1.9. To help offset her low barrel count and lack of overmatch ( combined with a propensity for overpenetrations and her huge vertical dispersion ), better hitting ability would help compliment her high velocity gunnery, allowing her to more reliably punish enemies who make mistakes, especially battleships. Sigma values are largely overrated, but they still do have an impact. -improve anti-air defense with the addition of the originally designed light AA complement of five 37 mm ACAD automatic mounts. Because of Dunkerque's more static reverse-advance playstyle, she makes an extremely enticing target to aircraft. Often she is simply unable to maneuver in time to avoid torpedoes, or attempt to evade dive bombers. This problem will only worsen with the carrier rework. This buff also has a degree of historical relevance. Dunkerque was originally supposed to be equipped not with the twin semi-automatic 37 mm Mle 1933 mountings, but with five of the twin automatic 37 mm Mle 1936 ACAD mountings. This little guy. Image taken from John Jordan & Robert Dumas’ “French Battleships: 1922-1956”. These mounts are already present ingame, four of them being mounted upon the heavy cruisers Algerie, Charles Martel, and the battleship Gascogne. The mounting has a base range of 3.5 km, and generates 12 DPS. Dunkerque was to be equipped with five such mountings, yielding 60 DPS ingame. This is quite literally a five fold increase over the current 12 DPS at 3.0 km. Given that the close and long range values are still quite low in damage or range, this won’t make her a floating AA castle. What it will do however, is provide her with some increase measure of self-defense. An AA spec might be viable with such a buff. -decrease base detection to 15 kilometers. This is self explanatory. As a light battleship meant to be flexing back and forth with the cruisers, a large base detection range makes her extremely vulnerable to being spotted early, and farmed for damage. A decrease of ~1 kilometer should help this slightly, and give her just a little bit more tactical flexibility. And thus ends my section on balance. Eleven god-damn pages of stuff that I shouldn’t have had to write, but did anyways out of love for Dunkerque. I want to see her be viable, fun, and rewarding of skill. WG’s proposed buff of -2s off the reload does not solve any of the fundamental issues present on her, so these are my suggestions. Please recall that I do not advocate for all of them being applied simultaneously, but I do feel that most of them could be without pushing the ship into being overpowered. Simply put: no matter what buffs I recommend, she will always be vulnerable to overmatch and IFHE spam. She will always have lackluster secondaries, and poor maneuverability. Her turrets will always be at risk of simply being destroyed, and she will always lack the ability to overmatch same tier battleships. Now, onto the more interesting part. ARMOR MODEL INACCURACIES, WOOHOO Ironically enough, while WG has seen fit to make Dunkerque suffering to play, they have actually overmodeled some sections of armor thickness. The errors are as follows: Armor deck is too thick. WG has modeled it as a uniform surface of 130 mm thickness. According to all known sources, Dunkerque has a main armor deck ( Pont Principal ) with two varying thicknesses over the machinery and magazines: 115 mm and 125 mm respectively. Machinery: Magazines: Images taken from John Jordan & Robert Dumas’ “French Battleships: 1922-1956”. Here’s how it looks ingame: Here’s how it should look: Fore and Aft Transverse Bulkheads are too thick. Paradoxically, WG decided to use the armor thicknesses from Dunkerque's uparmored sister ship, Strasbourg, when modeling her forward and aft transverse armored bulkheads. Ingame these are modeled as 228 mm and 198 mm respectively. Sources indicate that the fore bulkhead should instead be 210 mm, the aft bulkhead 180 mm. Fore: Aft: Images taken from John Jordan & Robert Dumas’ “French Battleships: 1922-1956”. Here’s how they look ingame: Ingame Fore: Ingame Aft: Here’s how they should look: Actual Fore: Actual Aft: Yes, I am in fact arguing for historical armor nerfs in the very same post where I call for buffs. Deal with it. Aaaaaaaaaaaand that’s all folks. As if it wasn’t long enough already. Stares at 21 page length in Word. I appreciate those of you who read through this and take the time to comment. Please for the love of god, DON’T QUOTE THE ENTIRE THING. I’ll be hovering over the comments area like an overly enthusiastic grade school soccer coach does his team, so feel free to ask any questions, discuss, whatever. Hopefully someone important will at least read this. Edit: No, I don't know why the Forum decided to center literally the entire thing. I can't undo it either. Edit 2: Whatever, it sort of fixed itself.
Phoenix_jz posted a topic in General Game DiscussionHello all, Just a short post for this topic. I honestly hadn't ever stopped to look, which is kinda embarrassing given I had a whole long thread about Roma's inaccuracies when Roma came out, but I guess I never thought to look. In-game, Roma's aft transverse bulkhead is 210mm (8.27"). Armor Viewer in-game: Armor Viewer via GM3D.com: So, why does this matter? Well, this is 70mm too thin; as the aft transverse bulkhead of the Littorio-class, including Roma, was actually 280mm thick (11.0"). In-game, against a gun like Scharnhorst's 11.1" guns, for example, that extends the range of penetration by almost 10 km! So, it's not exactly a minor difference. Of course, nothing I say in regards to this matters without proof, so here's some from the most definitive book on the class: From: The Littorio Class: Italy's Last and Largest Battleships, Erminio Bagnasco. Page 58. I believe this is also in agreement with Conway's, as well as Garzke & Duilin, although I don't have access to them myself, so if anyone would like to confirm that from those books it would be welcome. The text from the page itself: @Pigeon_of_War @Radar_X @Sub_Octavian