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CSSBT posted a topic in General Game DiscussionHello everyone, recently I produced a YouTube video featuring replays of the USS Montana at tier 10. If you are bored and can use a distraction today, feel free to check it out. But rather than a typical ship review video, I've kind of noticed that the footage in the video showcases various issues and things that can be improved with game play at tier 10. Among the things I noticed (and suggestions for improvement): #1 Most maps features a Littoral environment with close by shorelines, islands, shallow water, and straits. I think although ships did fight in environments that fall into this category in history, it did not happen nearly as frequently as it has in game. Arguably it's probably not a good idea to sail capital ships in such confined waters in real life due to various asymmetrical threats that they cannot sufficiently defend against. Mines, attacks from much smaller units like torpedo boats that thrive in the environment, shore batteries, air attacks, arguably even sabotage largely renders heavy ships vulnerable in a littoral environment. For example, in the Battle of Surigao strait, the IJN Fuso and Yamashiro fought a futile suicidal action in such confined and unsuitable environment. Meanwhile, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the British raid on Taranto, and the Italian raid of Alexandria were extreme examples of what happened to capital ships when they can't maneuver while attacked. Obviously the game cannot be completely realistic or faithful to history, but maybe it wouldn't be a bad thing to look into this and come up with maps that features different types of environment. #2 The roles caps play in game aren't always good nor are they always conducive of good game play action. I think winning a fight in terms of damages, kills, and spots while losing because the enemy has more points is not an ideal situation. When there are more than two caps (i.e. WOT style set up) in game, the presence of the caps alone often promotes passive game play. It takes away the focus of the fight from engaging and annihilating the enemy. Rather camo, capping, spotting, and area denial become important. I think it is rare to have a situation in the history of modern naval warfare where it was key to control or contain a small patch of the ocean like a cap on WOWS. Sure if there's an amphibious or combined arms operation at play, it could happen. But then that's not a factor in WOWS. When a team's stealthier ships are not up to par or incidentally get taken out early, the team will watch victory slipping away due to having a major disadvantage to contest the caps. At this point, the team with the points lead often farm damage and/or hide and milk the caps, while the losing team becomes either passive or reckless: either way it often ends badly. What if we try to set up games that has no caps at all? Not even 2? This will bring the focus of the fight back onto engaging the enemy. The points count could be determined by the number and types of surviving ships, like the way historians look at the tonnage sunk and human casualty after the Battle of Jutland? What if as an alternative to having caps, the game offer an option for damaged ships to withdraw by offering them a chance to limp away to a designated part of the map's edge? I think this is also a game play mechanic faithful to history as the withdrawing of damaged ships often have strategic implications. For example, the USS Enterprise was seriously damaged in the Pacific multiple times but its survival proven crucial. Meanwhile the survival and withdraw of the German High Sea's fleet's capital ships after the Battle of Jutland was key to the strategic situation then. I think it would be good to make people fight eagerly and then withdraw. It's a better situation than the passiveness or recklessness found in game now. #3 Some maps by design forces a team to split up into multiple sub fleets to contest different areas of the map. This seems like a forced gamble, and it often was in history. Sometimes a smaller or weaker subfleet's demise in the hands of a stronger opponent often snowballs quickly and makes the team's success elsewhere irrelevant. Some maps also kind of isolate the subfleets by the design of their geography so that once the team has been split, it's hard to once again combined forces for cooperative play: distance is too far for effective engagement or timely relocation and line of sight is blocked... This often means doing your part isn't enough for a win just cause the team kind of went the wrong way or ran into the wrong enemies. #4 Ships, battleships in particular tend to not move much but rather try to function as bow tanking artillery barges. I would say that usually the Yamatos are probably the worse offenders of this. In a sense I don't blame them cause they have the guns that can go through bow plating, their citadels are exposed on the side, they aren't particularly fast, nor do their turrets turn quickly enough for shooting while turning. But ultimately this situation is kind of odd and not fun. It penalizes ships that don't have most of its firepower concentrated in the front and devolves games into a strange naval version of trench warfare where ships try to hide while bow on behind islands and mountains and take pot shots at each other like soldiers in neighboring trenches tossing grenades over the top. Although nobody likes to eat citadels, I still think this situation is not good for the game. #5 Destroyers' playerbase seems to have the highest skill floor and ceiling in game at tier 10. As a BB player, it seems that sometimes the cap situation is already a done deal due to the DDs even before I get to engage anyone. A good DD player can take out a not so good DD player extremely quickly. How good your DD is often puts a hard limit on how the rest of your team will fare. If the friendly DDs die early or are less skilled, the BBs often suffer tremendously due to not being able to anticipate enemy intention or have sufficient situational awareness. #6 I in particular dislike having torpedo boat style Japanese DDs (Shimakaze line) on either teams. As enemies they often come in divisions and can torp spam and/or snipe in ways that's almost impossible to counter in a BB. Ever been targeted by 45 torps at once? I have. It was not pretty. As allies, the Japanese DDs often do not counter enemy DDs. They might spot and cap. But when they run into the enemy DDs they will often run away while dumping their torps which aren't always good for attacking DDs. I've noticed that many of them almost never fire their guns. An enemy's on 500hp at 6km? They fire torps but their guns stay silent. They are also often so obsessed and tunnel-visioned that they will try to saturate an area where friendly BBs are engaged in a brawl with the enemy with torps. I've lost count how many times I've been torpedoed by friendly DDs while brawling. (my video shows this happening 3 times...) #7 Ironically, at tier 10 cruisers seem to play very differently versus at mid tiers, especially from a BB player's perspective. Maybe due to their vulnerabilities to big guns, they'll often play 2nd line at most. This often means they aren't close enough to the action to counter DDs or close enough to the BBs to provide AA. So much so that DDs and BBs often fight their own fight without help. The cruiser at tier 10 seem to focus on farming damage and opportunistic moves, on a good day they usually chime in and engage enemies that are already being engaged, distracted, or has overextended. But them as a defensive screen and support against enemies BBs can't see or maneuver against, often don't exist... Just some of my observations thus far. I'm obviously a fan of the game and I want it to improve and fulfill its potential. Feel free to discuss share your thoughts on the points I brought up and how things could be improved.
Well, after hearing @Lert and others talk about the Bogatyr, I went back and bought her tonight...I think I free XPed her the first time...dumb rookie move. Anyway, the first game in her was very strange...look at the map: Yep, no caps...I tried, told the team what I was doing and got over run. Both teams NEVER caped. Not a one. I don't think I've ever seen that.. at least at the lower tiers. P.S. Bogie is a monster...