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As the title says - a text wall follows so the crowd that leaves snooze emotes because TL;DR - leave now unless your WG staff. I downloaded and played 8.5 today, and as I said in the other thread with my preliminary thoughts on what I was seeing from patch notes, WG Staff, and player feedback if it wasn't good or at least not terrible I'd be writing a wall. Well, here comes the wall. As it was, the entire AA system was bad, and in need of work - you have made it even worse. A common statement, by your staffers, is that it is more punishing "for those that loiter in AA, and who aren't dodging". Your team has actively hindered the ability of planes to dodge in attack runs even if we don't care about dialing our aim in. The moment you release ordnance your group gets stuck flying straight to be shot at and the other group you have no control as AA shreds them trying to return to the carrier because of the escape altitude changes. And per again, a staffers statement "it wasn't fair to see a CV have all it's planes return as a surface ship" - It was equally unfair when as a CV we see no planes return even after dropping all our ordnance - because after we lost control of our planes they were obliterated. And it's even worse now with this new system. And what is actually worst about this system - it's not like it gave everything OP AA. No - the DD's are still easy as hell to pick on and other typically weak AA ships, same with under tier - but clearly Worcester decloaking as it's AA guns open fire wasn't OP enough, you had to make it even more lethal. It was mentioned it was like AA "was focusing on a target" - yeah, it feels like the same nonsense that manual AA was under RTS - pathetic on anything not already sporting good long range AA, but OP on anything with good or OP long range AA - OP or straight up brokenly OP. And I'm sorry if this seems to veer at times to "less or not constructive" - but I'm seeing the same mistakes and processes that made RTS a problem being repeated. I'm seeing the same mistakes and blunders. I'm seeing things, that we were told this rework was being shoved down our throats for if we wanted it or not was going to remove or lessen, added back in. That this would be easier to balance for your team - and yet here we are, 5 months in, going in to month 6, of the live release, let alone the other 3-4 from the Beta period, no closer to anything resembling FAIR balance and CV play on the decline AGAIN. Instead of seeing a bunch of planes drop and going "well I must have been hit by flak" - no I'm now seeing that it really was auto cannons ripping my planes apart as I watch the health bars vanish. It's not fair that surface vessels are either launching nerf darts or using freaking PHALANX point defense systems. At this point, the entire rework feels like nothing but half baked, half tested, half implemented ideas. I feel like there is no actual plan in regards to CV's other than churn more out as premiums that shouldn't be (Ark Royal) when the system is still incomplete and in need of massive work and balance but adding yet another x factor (again, Ark Royal) when there should be ZERO new carriers testing till the damned ones we have are balanced. There are a ton of factors to balancing CV's that need to be addressed so for any reading - I am specifically going to focus at the moment on AA and plane losses/replenishment much as damage and a ton of other crap needs work too that I've gone over in other places. The one thing that is not fully related, is that odd tiers need to return for CV's - because there needs to be a smoother progression and adaption for both CV and Non CV players through tiers. 1. AA and planes need a flat rate "average" - What this means, is that regardless of if it's an 'imaginary number' or actually applies to a plane (likely UK or Germany if not one of the other 3 potential national lines) there is a middle road of DPS and Plane HP, lets say 2000 and 10000 respectively, that is considered the 'average' and for "flavour", prefereably based on history, DPS and Plane HP are +/- to that by a maximum of lets say 10%. So IJN and USN being the two extremes the difference in DPS is 1800 vs 2200 and plane HP 9000 vs 11000. That said though, IJN planes would have better agility to dodge Flak, USN have the extra added HP because not as agile, and kinda need it. But this means your average ship, barring ones that actually have next to nothing on AA and are usually premiums, while having weaker or stronger AA, is not as wild and all over the place. 2. Scaling of HP and DPS - tying in to point one - these two things need to scale through tiers and why I have been saying for years now that tiers 4-7 at minimum need their late war outfits of AA, or have some created where none existed. At least to make the numbers make more sense on why it's AA is so close to the next tier up. Which with that said - The worst AA and plane HP of a tier should be no lower than the average of the previous tier, and the best of each should be no higher than the average of the next tier up. So as an example, Lexington vs lets say Amagi is worst AA. Lexintons planes, at most, have HP on par with a typical tier 9 carrier while at worst, Amagi has AA comparable to an average tier 7. Again, this is best and worst case. And even then the gap between tiers on both AA and plane HP should not be that great. Again, the example of tier 8 being 2000 and 10000, 9 and 10 should be lets say 2100/11000 and 2200/12000 while 7-4 is 1900/9000, 1800/8000, 1700/7000, 1600/6000. Those are pure example numbers, I have not mathed them out or the like. 3. Simplicity and Flak - I'm combining these two because they go a bit hand in hand. What do I mean by "Simplicity" - I mean that the system should be frakkin' easy to understand with no 'mystery' numbers. Case in point, the need of someone like LWM or others to explain 'Hit Probability' is actually some random modifier that adjust the tick rate of damage and having things like aircraft armor and all. Your new 'ring' system, while annoying in it's limiting nature, can at least be worked around. Let's take the 'average' USN ship armed with 40 mm bofors, 20 mm Oerlikons, and 5"/38's. The ring of 5/38's should likely have the lowest DPS as the typical RoF was about a shell every 4-5 seconds - and the AA should match this. When they hit the next ring, the 40 mm guns open up, on top of flak, so, whatever DPS is assigned to the 40 mm guns takes over, while flak remains the same (as 40 MM guns DON'T USE FLAK ROUNDS) so in essence 'both' sets are firing. In theory as long as you can seperate when flak bursts occur from constant damage, you could even add the constant DPS of the Flak guns in if they are even given any. The 40 mm bofors has a RoF of 120 RPM for the majority of guns in game - 2 rounds every second. So, every 1 second, damage should be inflicted - unless you want to add a legit chance that the plane 'resists' (avoids) the damage. IE the 'hit probability' if it stayed saying say 90% means there's a 10% chance the DPS doesn't happen, or that in theory if the DPS is 200 per second in that AA, and a plane is there for 10 seconds he only takes 1800 damage not 2000 most likely. Think of it as 'fire chance for planes' but I digress. 20 mm L70's average 4-5 RPS, so damage per gun at the shortest range there should be the equivalent of (4x 20 mm rounds + 2x 40 mm rounds)*number of barrels = DPS per one second tick. or a fixed number subtracting average from Flak's constant. To which getting in to Flak as I say above it should be based around the actual fire rate of the only guns that use them - which is guns of 3" or greater. And there are 2 models that can be used 1 or the other, or both used and depend on the ship - Either Flak bursts all fire at the same time every x seconds, or, Flak bursts are staggered for a more constant bursting. With no random modifires to it - if a ships has a broadside of 8x 5 inch barrels - 8 flak bursts. Operating on a 5 second reload that means 8 every 5 seconds, 4 every 2.5 seconds, or 2 every 1.25 seconds. Something like Atlanta is a bit insane at 14 every 4-5 seconds, a good case of "should be halved" that while it may not make technical sense (unless Wargaming can pair as a rotation of 6 and 8 guns) to 7 every 2-2.5 seconds. And whatever flak bursts the ships have for long range guns - they have the same number at mid range. And Flak should be relatively low damage that is in addition to whatever the base line of the constant DPS is - it should be there to cause players to dodge, obscure view, and punish those that let 13 bursts hit them. But they should not be these insane walls that were seeing that can obliterate planes as they do. To summarize 'simplicity' on the player end - Flak does damage when it hits, either DPS is constant, and you know that you will deal x damage every z seconds the plane is in that AA bubble, or that 'hit probability' if it remains' is not some modifier that isn't what it says, but is in fact just that, a 90% chance the planes are hit by 40 mm rounds, or 40 and 20 mm rounds, or whatever. And that if a ship has G number of guns it fires F number of Flak rounds, at any range. 4. Consistency of modules - Look, with a staggered system, if we assign base numbers and divvy out the damage, a bit harder to keep 20 mm damage consistent, not impossible, but harder. But even if the DPS isn't 100% the same - the damned ranges need to be. It doesn't matter what ship it's a secondary on/AA gun on - if the range of a 5"/38 is 5 km then every BB, cruiser, and CV 5"/38 should have a range of 5 km - and likely a RoF of 12-15 RPM. Ones that are improved closer to 20 RPM likely are a different mod or designation, they all have that near 20 RPM RoF and whatever range those guns get. Were we to lower DPS of AA enough, and not possibly have DD's throwing a fit, I'd argue that the 5"38 guns AA and secondary attack range should be equal to that of any DD with the same gun and further extend the AA ranges (longer in AA range, but less damage per hit). No magic range increases from tier alone or just because. 5. AFT and BFT - BFT needs to be changed that it reduces the time between the flak bursts the same way it reduces secondary firing times. While having no effect on the smaller non DP AA guns. AFT on the other hand, needs to return to a range boost to secondaries and AA both, even the small ones - even if that means the minimum range increases too (tradeoffs). Not adding random flak bursts and what not. 6. 'Secondary', 'AA', and 'Auxiliary' Armament mods - These should not be 3 separate things, never should have been divided up in Beta. I'd personally change it to something along the lines of "Point Defense" or the like as this is more or less what it's improving, but Mod 1 should be as is beyond maybe name change, Mod 2 should return to a single item that buffs Secondary gun range, AA range, and Secodary accuracy, and Mod 3 should be a decrease in reload time of secondary batteries and another reduction to time between flak bursts from these same guns. Destroyers should have a special new module unique to the type, or at least any that has DP main batteries, that while it may not increase accuracy and all increases main battery and AA range (as opposed to Mod 2 as few have secondaries) and the mod 3 slot being RoF and Flak bursts just for primaries, not secondaries. 7. Plane counts or 'on deck' planes - There is no damned reason Lexington should have only 48 planes available. Same with the pathetic numbers on most every other tech tree CV, save maybe the lowest tiers that actually had so few planes. Every carrier should be following the 'Kaga' model - their plane count/reserves match historical numbers. I also believe the planes per flight/squadron should change too, but that's a separate story. "But that takes away Kaga's thing" - shouldn't have been it's 'thing' in the first place. I can think of half a dozen other things to make it different. What it should have, to compensate for weaker planes, is that they replenish faster then it's counterparts that have maybe similar numbers, but better planes. On the reverse end, while it may have 'better' planes, using that term very loosely, Saipan with it's limited maxium plane count, affording far fewer full squadrons should catastrophic losses be incurred, should have a regen timer so that it replenishes planes faster than now, and possibly than normal, so while it can't spam say 3 waves of TB's, it's not waiting as long on any losses to replenish. Which, if we finally get AA balanced right, yes, they aren't taking as many losses to -2 ships, but are still taking losses, and while not slaughtered like now by high tier ships, still heavier losses vs +2 ships, but not enough to become overly problematic unless you really, REALLY screw up and need to learn to play CV better, then these changes to plane counts and regen should be a non-issue. Still leaves CV alpha damage, CV accuracy especially after all the nerfs, return of odd tiers, aircraft speed, skills, control of CV's, historical accuracy in way too many areas, flavour and differentiating ships and lines, plane mobility, spotting, and likely a couple other things I'm forgetting to fix just when it comes to CV's but hey, it'd be a start.