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SeaKnight_1990

Balancing USN CVs

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Since no one wants to play carriers anymore, and those that do want to play IJN carriers, it's time we look at how to make American aircraft carriers great again. I've come up with a few ideas, some of which make more sense, and some of which are more practical than others.

 

1: Rockets. I discussed this in a previous post; it would give American fighters (at least at the higher tiers) something to do in terms of damaging ships, so AS loadouts aren't all that useless. As an added bonus, this could be an option for torpedo planes and dive bombers as well. 

 

2: Dive bombers in air-to-air combat. Speaking of dive bombers, the Douglas SBD Dauntless was the only bomber type of any nation during the war to have a positive kill ratio against enemy fighters, specifically, 3:1. So mid-tier DBs should gain the ability to (sort of) dogfight, or at least be able to intercept enemy attack planes. 

 

3: Strafing and fighters. We all know how horribly broken the strafing mechanic is in the game. I thought, and so did some other people, how about reworking it so that instead of attacking planes, it attacks ships? It could have a small chance of setting a fire or two, or disabling AA. It'll need some reworking to make it balanced, but it can be done.

 

4: This is something that is important. In the game, IJN higher-tier carrier planes are amazing. In real life, they were also good, but when they were being sent into combat (the ones that could be,) Japan was nearly out of expert pilots. They started off the war with some of the best carrier aviators in the world, but by the end of 1942, most of them were gone and half their carrier fleet was, also. Something could be implemented in game to reflect this; such as, higher tier IJN carriers having less accurate drops or increased vulnerability to AA and fighters. As with strafing ships, it'll be hard to put that in, but it can be done.

 

Those are some ideas on how to balance out USN carriers in game. They were amazing, until WG hit them with the nerf hammer again and again. I hope this might be a step to bringing some balance back to things. Knowing WG, they won't do anything but making things worse for everyone. But anything that makes a difference will be welcomed. 

 

Any ideas of your own? Thanks, and good luck and have fun!

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USN aircraft being more anti fighter focus, while the more advanced aircraft of the IJN are basically better at everything but save for the accuracy of their attack planes. 

Depending on the margin to the nearest stat changes to the nearest number It could work but dont quote a non-CV player like me on it...

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In my mind something simple that gets us alot of the way there for balance is every CV has 1 fighter squad, and for TB/DB Japan will get one extra squadron while US has one extra plane in each squadron in stock. Flight control module allows the addition of 1 other squadron.

 

I'd like the ability to choose what squadron type you're sending up on the fly with the limiting factor being hangar capacity instead of module type, but that would take some more doing.

 

A UI element that drives me bonkers is that I can't tell which squad on the map is tied to which number key just by looking at it.

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The problem with USN CVs is that their loadouts suck. It's that simple, more groups of fewer planes is better. Torp bombers are far superior to other plane groups but the US gets fewer. The fix is pretty clear in my book, improve the balanced load out in the mid tiers and the number of torp bombers at high tiers (but not to a full 2x6.). At T7 and T8 the USN should get a choice of an 2/1/1 or 1/2/1. At T9/T10 the USN should get an option for either two torp bomber sets with 5 per group as opposed to 6, or one group of 7.

 

Also the Air Supremacy skill is deeply problematic as it gives a massive boost to IJN CVs that they really don't need.

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The problem with USN CVs is that their loadouts suck. It's that simple, more groups of fewer planes is better. Torp bombers are far superior to other plane groups but the US gets fewer. The fix is pretty clear in my book, improve the balanced load out in the mid tiers and the number of torp bombers at high tiers (but not to a full 2x6.). At T7 and T8 the USN should get a choice of an 2/1/1 or 1/2/1. At T9/T10 the USN should get an option for either two torp bomber sets with 5 per group as opposed to 6, or one group of 7.

 

Also the Air Supremacy skill is deeply problematic as it gives a massive boost to IJN CVs that they really don't need.

 

The problem with torpedo bombers is how do you make them effective without making them OP?

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I thought the "flavor" of USN CV's was fighters and dive bombers, not torpedo bombers. Could just reword the dive bombers to give them the reticle of the Saipan for tier 7-10. This way the current AS builds are still formidable and USN strike builds more so. 

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I've run the USN CV line from T4 to T7. I have enough to get the Lexington, though I haven't bothered yet. Different things bother me at different tiers.

 

  • The Langley being bad doesn't bother me. It has a 1/1/1 layout and it's a "trainer" CV for the player.
  • The Bogue gives you the first weird and bad plane loadout options. The base loadout (fighters + torpedo bombers) is sort of what you would historically expect based on typical loadout (it usually carried a mix of fighters and TBs), but the alternates (2/0/1 or 0/1/2) are both bad in gameplay terms and historically weird (so you can't really justify them by appealing to historical verisimilitude).
  • I (sort of) like the Independence in terms of its upgrade options. The two alternates let you specialize if you really want, but you're not losing a squadron by going with the balanced 1/1/1 loadout, and it is pretty nimble with decent concealment. 
  • The Ranger has weird and bad plane loadout options, and its competition have really good loadouts. You have the choice of either only 3 squadrons (!), or 4 squadrons with either no torpedo bombers (meaning almost no damage) or no fighters (meaning the other CV can either wipe you out with its TBs or wipe out your bombers with their fighters if they know what they're doing). Its concealment and maneuverability are terrible. Meanwhile, at T7 you have the premium Saipan with its super-powered T9 planes, and the Hiryu with the option of a 2/2/2 loadout once you upgrade.

 

So ... yeah, I feel like WG gave the shaft entirely unnecessarily to regular USN CVs in design decisions, even if they decided they didn't want to let USN CVs have pairs of TB squadrons (which really opens up the options for higher-skill players). The Bogue would be more appropriate (both in gameplay balance, historical "feel," and consistency in the tree between T4/T6) if its upgrades were 2/1/0 and 1/1/1. The Ranger would, I think, similarly be more appropriate with 1/1/2 and 2/1/1 upgrades. 

 

The Saipan benefits hugely from having a "weird" squadron organization compared to the "regular" USN line. 

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Us CVS summed up:

1) When against a jap carrier your fighters are tied up by the japs and the japs run a train on your fleet with 4 strike wings and you cant do anything,unless you're extremely good with strafing.

2) Your strike wings by some miracle got through the jap fighter bias, they dont hit anything because a catapult fighter from a cruiser or bb panics them and they cant hit the broadside of a barn door because your fighters couldnt address the single plane due to being busy trying to survive the jap airwing bias.

3) No catapult fighters insight, but here comes the radar controlled Surface to Air Missiled + Radar controlled 30mm tunguska batteries...or so it feels. Even at max range I've found most of my squadrons get shredded even when attacking ships on their own.

4) Debating using your carrier as a battering ram,since you know your 8 inch guns in company with your 5 inch guns miraculously cant fire beyond 5km, even though ships like the Bismark with 6 and 4 inch guns can fire at 10km. Oh and did i mention that your big fat lexy is able to be seen from 15km away?

5) Realizing an act of god is needed to make U.S Cvs even remotely effective as no strike mod is worth anything,because of the jap bias.

 

In short, you get to a point where you realize playing US Cvs isnt worth it due to the horrific disadvantage against both the jap carriers+AA.

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Just got to Midway, my goal from the first match I ever played. I do really well vs the T10 IJN CV, all about timing as they always group their strike planes and the balanced USN loadout at T10 is perfect for everything. I find USN CV play is all about DOTs with the DBs and catching the flanks with the TBs unlike the IJN CV which plays more directly in a nuke'm strategy. That mindset is what got me success in every tier of USN CV play: Focus on killing their fighters then burn their ships. Short matches and aggressive play are the enemy for USN CVs but a patient player will always win out against the other team. 

 

I like your suggestions, a more complex plane mechanic would be great. What I worry about is the natural dominace of CVs over surface ships makes anything close to reality "OP". It's always got to be about how much handycap do you give the rest of the players that arn't in a CV.

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Just got to Midway, my goal from the first match I ever played. I do really well vs the T10 IJN CV, all about timing as they always group their strike planes and the balanced USN loadout at T10 is perfect for everything. I find USN CV play is all about DOTs with the DBs and catching the flanks with the TBs unlike the IJN CV which plays more directly in a nuke'm strategy. That mindset is what got me success in every tier of USN CV play: Focus on killing their fighters then burn their ships. Short matches and aggressive play are the enemy for USN CVs but a patient player will always win out against the other team.

 

I like your suggestions, a more complex plane mechanic would be great. What I worry about is the natural dominace of CVs over surface ships makes anything close to reality "OP". It's always got to be about how much handycap do you give the rest of the players that arn't in a CV.

 

Would love to revisit this after you have had at least 50 battles in the Midway

 

 

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1. REMOVE STRAFING FROM ALL CARRIERS. The purpose of fighters should be to engage when you have more squadrons or are near your allies.

2. Limit 1 carrier per team, or if 2 carriers, they should be the SAME TIER. 

3. Allow fighters to "suppress" ships and do a bit of damage to them with rockets and such. This will make the ship's AA less accurate and prevent cruisers from being able to activate defensive fire consumable. While the ship is being "suppressed" it cannot prioritize any particular planes without the skill. This will make the strike planes more accurate, since they are taking less AA fire.

4. Add a consumable that allows for more accurate bombing runs at the expense of fire chance or something along those lines. 

5. Remove 1 fighter from each american squadron, from tier 6 up, each carrier should have AT LEAST ONE fighter squadron. 

6. Allow all ships to be able to "regen" extra planes, but make the time like 44 seconds or something, and there is a max to how many planes can be replenished. 

 

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Just got to Midway, my goal from the first match I ever played. I do really well vs the T10 IJN CV, all about timing as they always group their strike planes and the balanced USN loadout at T10 is perfect for everything. I find USN CV play is all about DOTs with the DBs and catching the flanks with the TBs unlike the IJN CV which plays more directly in a nuke'm strategy. That mindset is what got me success in every tier of USN CV play: Focus on killing their fighters then burn their ships. Short matches and aggressive play are the enemy for USN CVs but a patient player will always win out against the other team.

 

I like your suggestions, a more complex plane mechanic would be great. What I worry about is the natural dominace of CVs over surface ships makes anything close to reality "OP". It's always got to be about how much handycap do you give the rest of the players that arn't in a CV.

 

Quoted for truth.

 

 

 

Conservative game play is how to play USN CVs.  Also the IJN players (myself included) most of the time have their bomber squadrons grouped by type.  Meaning that a 2-2-2 Hiryu is really a 1-1-1 with 8 plane squadrons and cross droppable TBs, with the exception of fighters with better players where it becomes a 2-1-1.  The problem though is the numbers of USN CV players that play AS before Lexington.  Where they not only group their DBs but their fighters as well.  Making even Ranger a 1-0-1 with a huge fighter blob.  Their fighter coverage is so limited that just striking different areas and some baiting will have them chasing their tail all game.

 

 

That being said if you really want to balance the lines decrease USN detection ranges and lower service times.  I can't count how many times I beat if not sunk the red CV just to have someone spot me and end up getting gunned down because of it.  With the IJN I can play in a much more aggressive position, which allows for faster sortie times, which combined with the much faster service times means even more sorties.

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Quoted for truth.

 

 

 

Conservative game play is how to play USN CVs.  Also the IJN players (myself included) most of the time have their bomber squadrons grouped by type.  Meaning that a 2-2-2 Hiryu is really a 1-1-1 with 8 plane squadrons and cross droppable TBs, with the exception of fighters with better players where it becomes a 2-1-1.  The problem though is the numbers of USN CV players that play AS before Lexington.  Where they not only group their DBs but their fighters as well.  Making even Ranger a 1-0-1 with a huge fighter blob.  Their fighter coverage is so limited that just striking different areas and some baiting will have them chasing their tail all game.

 

 

That being said if you really want to balance the lines decrease USN detection ranges and lower service times.  I can't count how many times I beat if not sunk the red CV just to have someone spot me and end up getting gunned down because of it.  With the IJN I can play in a much more aggressive position, which allows for faster sortie times, which combined with the much faster service times means even more sorties.

 

yeah more squadrons and lower service times for USN carriers will help tip the balance
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I have to agree with The Horned King on the the feelings of the loadouts, like the Independence really was the highlight of the line. (I havent gotten the Lex yet, but I have heard and seen that the Essex and Midway hold their own against the IJN CVs). Honestly, when you check the servers stats, the Ranger does SIGNIFICANTLY LESS DMG AND HAS A LOW WIN RATIO compared to the Hiryu. With WG's introduction of even more OP cvs like the Saipan and Kaga, perhaps the entire line doesnt need a balance, but we would love to see a Ranger rework. Perhaps more bombers per squadron, or rocket fighters, as some have already suggested, would be nice.

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There are captain skills that enhance the torpedo bombers, speed (level 2) and rearm (level 3). There aren't any analogous captain skills to enhance the dive bombers.

 

Maybe replace "expert rear-gunner" with "Dive Bomber accuracy." This would make the dispersion area of an auto-drop smaller, not as small as a manual drop area, but smaller than currently. It'd make manual drop area smaller too. But man-o-man.. if it's too small, and the manual drop misses.? 

 

Then at level 3, make the Torpedo Armament Expertise be Strike Armament Expertise, so it applies to both torpedo and dive bombers.

 

I'm grinding my way through the Independence at the moment, and I too would like to see a 2/1/0 load-out option in addition to the current 2/0/1 option. 

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On 7/6/2017 at 4:57 PM, Radical_20 said:

I'm grinding my way through the Independence at the moment, and I too would like to see a 2/1/0 load-out option in addition to the current 2/0/1 option. 

I had a look at the stats of the Independence-class CVs on Wikipedia. In real life, they carried 24 Hellcats and nine Avengers, so a 2-1-0 loadout is pretty close to reality as it gets.

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It is very simple.  MORE Air Groups for USN Carriers.  It is just so unrealistic and silly that IJN even come close to beating USN carriers. Never happened after Midway.

Midway needs:

5 fighter groups of 4-5 planes

4 bomber groups of 4-5 planes

2 torpedo groups of 4-5 planes

 

... that would end IJN as a preference, and be true to reality of WW2.   Remember, the F6F had about a 10:1 shootdown ratio of planes, even the F4F was like 3:1, let along the F4U Corsair.

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American cv just need some slight loadout changes tbh.

 

The 0/x/x meme needs to end on lower tiers and the x/0/x needs to go. Midway AS has 3/0/2. For reference, hakuryu AS gets 4/2/2. That's abominable. Dispel the myth of usn specialization because it doesn't exist, usn AS & strike is worse than ijn AS & strike. Seeing a strike ranger or lex is like Christmas as ijn because you can keep fighters around the ship and either farm planes or snipe them without any trouble.

 

Just giving all usn loadouts at least 1 fighter & 1 tb squad would go a long way and they'd still be inferior to ijn.

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2 hours ago, soundman_yeagerfly said:

It is very simple.  MORE Air Groups for USN Carriers.  It is just so unrealistic and silly that IJN even come close to beating USN carriers. Never happened after Midway.

Midway needs:

5 fighter groups of 4-5 planes

4 bomber groups of 4-5 planes

2 torpedo groups of 4-5 planes

 

... that would end IJN as a preference, and be true to reality of WW2.   Remember, the F6F had about a 10:1 shootdown ratio of planes, even the F4F was like 3:1, let along the F4U Corsair.

 

Do you mean with a 2-2-2 set up? So that many reserves, because I don't think I have that many buttons free on my keyboard XP. I do agree though that a specialized carrier is silly, even a division with a strike carrier and a air Superiority carrier, against two balanced (2-2-2) CVs, will be outgunned in fighters and outmatched in strike capability...

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No sir.  I meant 11 air groups.

1. Task the Fighters to tie up enemy fighters.   4-5 fighter groups. 1 more for enemy bomb or torps

2. Then strike with bomb and torpedo groups

So:  Midway vs Hakuryu would line up in one configuration like this:    Midway should be superior. Let the Japs prove history different.. :)

 

Plane Type:   Midway now         Midway improved      Hakuryu now

Fighters               3                               5                             4

Bombers              2                               4                             2

Torps                   0                               2                              2

TOTAL groups      5                              11                           8


There are variations as in different modules of course to be configured naturally.  The point is simple:   USN needs to at minimum match the total air groups of IJN and also match the number of fighter groups.  

Edited by soundman_yeagerfly
completion/formatting

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On 7/6/2017 at 4:57 PM, Radical_20 said:

There are captain skills that enhance the torpedo bombers, speed (level 2) and rearm (level 3). There aren't any analogous captain skills to enhance the dive bombers.

 

Maybe replace "expert rear-gunner" with "Dive Bomber accuracy." This would make the dispersion area of an auto-drop smaller, not as small as a manual drop area, but smaller than currently. It'd make manual drop area smaller too. But man-o-man.. if it's too small, and the manual drop misses.? 

 

Then at level 3, make the Torpedo Armament Expertise be Strike Armament Expertise, so it applies to both torpedo and dive bombers.

 

I'm grinding my way through the Independence at the moment, and I too would like to see a 2/1/0 load-out option in addition to the current 2/0/1 option. 

All of these changes would be great, but TAE is never going to be SAE, because TAE also applies to ship-launched torpedoes as well. So WG'd have to remove the torpedo bomber benefit of TAE and put the torpedo bomber benefit together with a Dive Bomber benefit in an entirely new skill, SAE.

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The ships dont match up, ever at any level after 6.  Im in my Essex now, if I go strike i get 1 fighter to match up to Taiho 2, i get 1 torpedo to match up to 3, i get 3 dive bombers to match up to 2.   Somebody please explain the math coefficients to me, because this topic was debated in our math as part of my project and the algorithm doesnt work out.  Taking into consideration Speed, Hitpoints,  Damage, especially with rear gunner award, which leans in favor of IJN, believe it or not.  2 things we came up with, shorten the strafe run for USN fighters to allow them to recover faster,  and let them release from Air Combat on command with a speed burst, or get rid of pre made flights and let the captain determine how many planes go into each squad and how they will be outfitted, with a minimum of 5 per squad max of 7.   

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On 7/25/2017 at 4:59 AM, DQCraze said:

The ships dont match up, ever at any level after 6.  Im in my Essex now, if I go strike i get 1 fighter to match up to Taiho 2, i get 1 torpedo to match up to 3, i get 3 dive bombers to match up to 2.   Somebody please explain the math coefficients to me, because this topic was debated in our math as part of my project and the algorithm doesnt work out.  Taking into consideration Speed, Hitpoints,  Damage, especially with rear gunner award, which leans in favor of IJN, believe it or not.  2 things we came up with, shorten the strafe run for USN fighters to allow them to recover faster,  and let them release from Air Combat on command with a speed burst, or get rid of pre made flights and let the captain determine how many planes go into each squad and how they will be outfitted, with a minimum of 5 per squad max of 7.   

 

There is a GENIUS IDEA here DQ Craze !!!

 

                         I would say the Captain should decide ANY number of squadrons and planes per squadron.   That is captain's call !!   So if Midway wants to launch 10 air groups at 5 each... so be it !    

 

                         Second idea:  pre-assign escort fighters to bomber or torp squads at Capt discretion..

Quote

  let the captain determine how many planes go into each squad and how they will be outfitted, with a minimum of 5 per squad max of 7.

 

..... 

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They need to rework how loadouts function entirely. No more fixed squadron limits.

1. normalize all squadrons to 4+1AS planes

2. Flight control modules now only determine how many planes you bring into the fight.

Examples Ranger and Hiryu

  Fighter Torpedo Bomber
Ranger Mod1 25 24 24
Mod 2 13 30 30
Mod 3 37 18 18
Hiryu Mod 1 24 24 24
Mod 2 12 30 30
Mod 3 36 18 18

3. Once in the match you can launch however many squadrons you have the planes for, up to a limit set by your tier.

Let's say for the above T7 carriers it's 6 max squadrons and 3 2 3 max of each type in the air.

Example: A Mod 2 Hiryu

Hiryu launches 3 squadrons of fighters (2 squadrons of 5, 1 squadron of 2), 2 torps, 1 bomber

He engages and his fighters are wiped out. Normally, Hiryu with no fighters would now simply be limited to 4 squadrons. Under this system he can still launch 2 torps and 3 bombers so that he can maintain 5 squadrons until his reserves are depleted.

Maintain national flavor with the type of aircraft.

USN: slower, sturdier, more damaging. Takes longer to get there and back for fewer sorties, but fewer planes die and their hits count for more.

IJN: faster, fragile, less damaging. Get there and back quickly, lose more planes and each impact is less significant.

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Balancing the CV lines is about like balancing nations in an RTS otherwise known as really hard :Smile_ohmy: Both sides have to be able to deal with each other, deal with every situation about the same way, and be noticeable different from each other. Problem is we only really have the last bit of this list and some of the first. Both sides are still skewed to one role and somewhat good at the others like AS for US CV or Strike for IJN CV and it's going to get worse when they add more lines.

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