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  1. People are up in arms about the (let's be honest) nerfs coming to CVs. Again. Frankly, it's getting tough to be a player because they keep cutting back it's effectiveness each patch, which is why most people quit and leave it up to the most skilled and dedicated who, in turn, cause more damage which calls for more nerfs which further cuts the playerbase, ect. Of course, I'm not here to dwell on that. I'm here to explain what a change to the engine boost will entail, as many non-CV players (and maybe even WG itself) do not realize how important it is to proper play. So I will go over what aspects are effected by a nerf to the effectiveness of the boost. Let's go over what the engine boost does first, each plane has a cruising, minimum and a top speed, usually they're rather far from each other, and the engine boost is the ticket to each one of these speeds by using W and S to boost and brake. Attack planes get a big boost/brake while bombers of any description tend to have a much longer boost that can be used for cruising at top speed for longer, or for making rather long runs. In addition, the brake is also used to slow the squad down to a lower speed where their turning circle becomes tighter, and can affect the trajectory of attack runs. The 0.8.4 patch (as of writing) will proceed to give a nerf to most mid/high tier CVs by cutting their squads engine boost AND engine break to a standard that puts top and minimum speed at a lower spread than what they used to be. In something like a plane, speed is everything, and changing the control of speed that we have affects nearly every aspect of CV play: Scouting This claims to be the primary reason that WG is nerfing the engine boost, namely its top speed. It's to be expected that planes would be used as scouts, even with gimped spotting range, they're a lot faster than ships, not beholden to islands and can see past obstructions. The boost nerf will lower top speed and thus, naturally, any ability to spot ships from a position, but positioning is only half the battle. The range when spotting stops and AA fire begins can be a pretty small margin when dealing with certain stealth cruisers (I'm looking at you Minotaur) and DDs can only be spotted when they're right under you, assuming that they don't have their AA on. The ships are also moving, and when they're in a moderately sized cluster, spotting can be inconsistent compared to the eyes of a DD, and a CV's time is usually better spent punishing stragglers. Ironically, this will be the least effected part of CV play, as even with the nerfs to top speed and the launch delay at the start of the round, planes can and will, still position themselves in such a way to spot large convoys of enemy BBs and still have advantages of spotting over islands that surface ships will simply not have, and frankly that's alright as a DD scout and a plane scout have advantages and disadvantages each. Maneuverability In addition to the boost, the plane has a brake, which is of equal importance. A slower plane is more maneuverable, has a tighter turning circle and can thus change directions quicker. Considering that planes are bound to a mostly 2D plane, this is important for evasion, be it flak dodging or quick turning out of a practically nasty AA bubble. It's also important for maneuvers during attack runs as well. I will touch on all of these later. Reaction Time With a hit to the top speed, the reaction timing of a CV to the changing tides of battle is going to be slower, which means that the CV is going to spend more time just getting to a fight and switching engagements then they are going to do damage. This is especially troublesome, as the CV's job is to apply damage where a team is most vulnerable, namely on stragglers and openings in the battle line. Nerfs to top speed make reaction times plummet, and the CV becomes more inflexible in what roles it need to fulfill. Accuracy/Offense Because of how attack runs work, both windup time and stabilization are affected by time, rather than distance. Slowing a plane down to hit a ship within this windup or counter enemy maneuvers without throwing off your aim is critical to attacking. Ever since the rocket windup and stabilization nerf, the ability to trade time in an AA bubble for more leeway to maneuver is an important part of attacking faster or smaller ships, especially DDs as you normally have a very, very small window to anticipate their movement and hit them while you're right on top of them. This also affects the bombers greatly as well. While a good torp run requires anticipation, it's also partially required that one adjusts to the enemy maneuvers, as they'd usually bow in or out, or sometimes even play with the throttle, and the engine brake is a critical part of this while maintaining accuracy. This is also used for bomb drops as well, as the boost and brake are used to adjust how quickly the plane levels out at the bottom of a run, and thus get more or less distance out of a run. And of course, a nerf to top speed will result in a hampered ability to thrust into enemy AA fire to finish off any damaged ship, as a ship with 40 HP will hit just as hard as one with 40000 HP in most situations. Any nerf to the boost is a nerf to how efficiently a squad can attack a target, which in turn makes it much harder to efficiently do damage. Defense Any hit to the top speed is going to affect how the CV can (in its now more limited capacity) defend a team. Fighter drops are an important deterrence and are best placed before the start of an enemy run, and a certain amount of speed is required to react to enemy thrusts or calls for support. It also affects how a CV can respond to breaks in the line, and point contentions. A CV resetting a cap, or distracting a flanking BB can be an absolute godsend in a tense fight. Self defense will also take a turn for the worse, as it becomes even harder to scan and react to DDs entering your detection radius, and given your position on the back line, means that you are the only support you have. Gimped speed will result in a CV that's less effective for the team. Survivability This is a big one, two aspects are critical to a CV's survival, the DoT effects of AA and the flack bursts that pop in front of you. Both require the use of the boost to effectively minimize the threat of each to a squad. Flak damage is avoidable through careful maneuvering, usually done with the brake and use of the attack windup, while DoT effects can really only be sped through with all the speed you can muster, slingshoting notwithstanding. Of both of these, the DoT effects are the most dangerous to a squad, requiring the use of the engine boost to minimize the damage spent in the effects, mostly by boosting into and/or out of the attack. While flak is less of an issue, the cut in maneuverability makes dodging them much more of an issue, especially since now we're spending more time in DoT effects. In addition, less boost means it's tougher to react to AA ambushes by DDs kitted for picket and CL flakbarges. Any change to the overall top speed will require the squad to take more damage during an attack, and with how AA is normally stacked, this will require taking even more losses than normal in any situation. This is all the changes a change to the boost will provide. Keep in mind, this will likely work both ways, as a buff to the engine boost will make a CV more efficient as well. I just wanted to point out how critical the boost is to the squad, but what do you think? Did I miss anything? What are your thoughts on the potential boost changes?
  2. Florendo19

    Is AA worth it?

    So I had played several games with defensive AA equipped on my Gearing when I decided to switch to engine boost because I was not seeing any CVs and I wanted to be able to run away from radar and catch other ships if I needed to. The first game I get a two CV game where I get perma spotted and swarmed by planes. In the end I was Auto drop torped in smoke after trying to dodge all the enemy dive bombers and torps, getting my engine killed twice, and not to mention the ever present hail of enemy shells from 6 reds. If one were to look at my stats, they would see that the most planes I have shot down in my Gearing is 7. That was this game. I would like to say I lasted longer than I should have but I still didn't last very long. My question is, should I equip defensive AA knowing that I normally run DDs with AA off and that it is only useful when facing planes or should I equip engine boost so I can improve my positioning while being more vulnerable to airstrikes?