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ValkyrWarframe

Random Thought: AP Shell Fuze As a Chooseable Setting

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Was playing a bit of War Thunder (you can set contact or delays of various timings for your ordnance there) and thought about whether multiple shell fuze settings could be a thing in this game too.  Obviously, not for HE since it's a contact fuze, but what about AP?  Say, four different settings: contact, short, standard, and long.

 

Contact fuze would, as the term implies, detonate the shell on impact.  This would guarantee full penetration damage on anything that can be overmatched by your guns, however your chances of hitting a citadel are almost nonexistent as the shell detonates before it pierces any armor (the only way you could is if the citadel can be overmatched, ex. the Emerald's deck).  In addition, module damage will be difficult to inflict on anything besides destroyers since almost all key modules of a ship are armored.  Most importantly, penetrations below the waterline are impossible as the shell detonates on contact with the ocean.  I could see this being a thing at low-tier, where basically everyone overmatches each other (not to mention AP really isn't that good compared to HE there for just about any class), and possibly at T7 for BBs.

 

Short fuze AP is akin to what the British BBs have currently (IIRC, that's around ~0.015 seconds, or half of the normal fuze arm time).  UK CLs could keep their variation of short-fuze AP for their version of the setting.  Current in-game performance of this type of AP fuze basically reflects it ups and downs: you retain the ability to penetrate decent amounts of armor and have less chance of overpenning, however you are far less likely to citadel heavily-armored warships or anything with spaced armor (like French CAs, although even the more weakly-armored BBs have multiple layers of armor).  In addition, you can still overpen lightly-armored targets, especially if they present a small cross-section for your shells to pass through, and underwater penetrations are far less likely to happen as your shells will arm on the ocean surface and likely detonate before penetrating the underwater armor of a ship or even striking the hull.  I could see this being most useful for cruisers, as the shorter fuze setting would allow for more reliable penetration damage versus the "soft" sections of battleships.  In particular, the German and USN CA lines could benefit immensely as their HE is pretty mediocre.

 

Standard fuze is the current standard fuze arm time duration (I think it's 0.033 seconds, correct me if I'm wrong).  This provides a good balance of your shells' maximizing armor penetration capabilities and avoiding chronic overpenetrations on targets with lighter armor, and is, as the name implies, just the current standard WoWS performance setting for AP shells.

 

Long fuze AP would add an approximate 50% arming delay to AP shells over the current standard setting (so, around ~0.045s if my memory of the default value serves me correctly).  This setting is all about maximizing the armor-penetrating performance of your guns, and as such is designed primarily for use against heavily-armored targets, e.g. battleships.  Spaced/layered armor suffers in the face of this fuze setting, as such armor schemes rely on outer layers arming the shell so it detonates before reaching the vitals of the ship.  More importantly, however, underwater penetrations are a far more viable tactic with this type of shell due to its longer fuze, as the longer arm time gives the shell more time to bore through a ship's armor plate (which is generally thinner underwater anyways).  On the other hand, underwater penetrations are an absolute necessity to avoid overpenetrating anything that doesn't have substantial armor, especially if you use this fuze setting on battleship guns, and this makes AP essentially incapable of normal-penning small ships.  I could see this being most useful in battleship vs. battleship combat, in particular for IJN BBs (as their shells were designed for precisely the tactic that suits this setting).  Something often overlooked is that many battleships have the firepower to citadel each other out to max range and beyond; however, this rarely happens in practice, even if you hit the belt, because raw penetration figures indicate how much armor the shell penetrates before coming to a complete stop, not how much it penetrates in a certain amount of time (i.e. the amount of time before it detonates).  This would also provide a powerful antidote to the turtlebacks and submerged citadels many battleships now have, as underwater penetrations could circumvent virtually all the armor German and UK BBs have.  The USN did invest considerably in underwater armor protection for their battleships, but regardless it's nowhere near enough to stop incoming shells at the ranges we see in-game.

 

Thanks to @TenguBlade for helping me with interpretations of what the different fuze times would mean in terms of shell performance.

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Sounds very interesting. It offers different tactical options without removing the specialty of other ship lines.

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I like the idea, but I worry that four different timings would be just another mechanic for new players to stumble over. Perhaps just two (short, normal) for cruisers and two (normal, long) for battleships might make it easier. 

 

Also, it would mean that cruisers will die faster - fewer overspend means you'll take more damage. Is that a good thing for the game?

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It would be weird for some cruisers. e.g. Kutuzov, if you want to punish DDs, shoot HE. Having a shorter fuse time wouldn't work on some ships. I think it will be more useful on lower-tiered ships since AP shells tend to over-penetrate often even when ships are showing broadside. It would be a nice addition to the game, but RN CLs and BBs would lose their "unique gimmick" with the shorter fuse, something any other nation doesn't have.

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45 minutes ago, awildpervert said:

dont worry we will soon have premium ammo

like premium torps as well

I hope not I like the economy of this game you have to try to lose silver in this game atm.

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12 minutes ago, Krupp_Sabot said:

I hope not I like the economy of this game you have to try to lose silver in this game atm.

yeah compared to games like War thunder it doesnt take 5 yrs to get whatever you want and rank up. It is good in that aspect. The only issue is i have no money from using all my silver to buy ships all at the same time.

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3 hours ago, Prkl8r said:

Would be cool.

No no no no no. 

 

Did I say, "No"? 

 

It's enough for me to flip between HE and AP while aiming AA and managing Defensive Fire. 

 

No.

 

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4 hours ago, UltimateNewbie said:

Also, it would mean that cruisers will die faster - fewer overspend means you'll take more damage. Is that a good thing for the game?

Long-fuze AP would basically overpen anything that's not a battleship or aircraft carrier.  Broadsiding in a CA would actually become viable counterplay against BBs with long-fuze AP, whereas angling would screw you over.  So long as there was appropriate visual cues to differentiate between the various fuze settings, I think this could be okay.

 

But yes, short-fuze AP and especially contact-fuze AP would be bad news for CAs.  I was banking on the tradeoff of losing damage output versus battleships to help BB players decide that screwing cruisers over wasn't in their best interests.  It's worth noting that contact-fuze AP's guaranteed normal-pen damage as long as overmatch is in play could be offset by moving more of a CA's HP pool from the extremity sections to either the citadel or middle section of the ship.

Edited by ValkyrWarframe

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On 9/6/2017 at 6:17 PM, FayFay731 said:

It would be weird for some cruisers. e.g. Kutuzov, if you want to punish DDs, shoot HE. Having a shorter fuse time wouldn't work on some ships. I think it will be more useful on lower-tiered ships since AP shells tend to over-penetrate often even when ships are showing broadside. It would be a nice addition to the game, but RN CLs and BBs would lose their "unique gimmick" with the shorter fuse, something any other nation doesn't have.

The RN BB short fuze is nothing more than a way to nerf their AP so their HE is more useful.  Their shells tend to have low-ish energy, which is why they take more time to penetrate armor and thus need the longer fuze to net citadels against other BBs (they are perfectly capable of it, they don't by nature of the fuze timing more than "weak" penetration).  I also mentioned that UK CLs have a lower fuze arm time than half of the standard - I believe theirs was set to 0.01 seconds or some other unique number.  In the section about short-fuze AP, I said that UK CLs could keep that special short-fuze setting and that it would still be unique to them.

 

Furthermore, the settings could have their timings tweaked so each setting remains balanced against the others.  I was just providing an outline of what I was thinking with sample values.  Heck, even deleting the short-fuze setting isn't out of the question, seeing as it just craps on cruisers without doing much to amplify any other class' vulnerability to AP.  Such a course of action would keep the short-fuze AP gimmick intact without infringing on the fuze setting choice, although I'm not sure if UK CLs/BBs would then choose between contact, short-fuze, and long-fuze AP; or short-fuze, standard-fuze, and long-fuze AP.

Edited by ValkyrWarframe

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