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Grathew

Long Range Scout Aircraft

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What would you guys think about giving cruisers a long range scout aircraft? 

This wouldn't be like the Catapult Fighter or the Spotting Aircraft that circles close to your ship. Closer to real life this aircraft once thrown from your deck would travel a set time out, say 60 seconds for now, do a search 'arc' for another 60 seconds  and then fly back to the cruiser slowing down if it saw something to help keep it spotted when not returning. However the total time that it would stay in the air would be set, so if it finds something and slows down it's not going to fly for longer over all. When you pushed it off of your ship it would travel in the bearing that the camera is pointing, so if you are looking north it flies north. The health of these spotters would vary by nation and tier but I would say keep them all healthy enough to survive a singular ship's AA but not so healthy they can't be shot down. As for speed I am thinking somewhere in the 120-145 knot range depending on tier and nation. Lastly I would have this replace hydro/defensive instead of the other catapult aircraft on most ships as the majority have a left and right catapult and there is utility that a spotting aircraft or catapult fighter can give that this wouldn't.

With point of this consumable being to give cruisers the ability to scout with out risking much as making any mistake in a cruiser is likely instant death. I think that making the choice be hydro, defensive fire or long range scout is fair. However I would also put it as an option for the tier 4/5 cruisers that have a catapult. Now this would also depend on number of charges and load time and if it's press and rearm or like the other aircraft push and wait the duration.

Here's a table of what I think the charge count and rearm would be, broken down by tier and nation for the free version: 

Tier Japan Charges Japan Rearm USA Charges USA Rearm USSR Charges USSR Rearm Germany Charges Germany Rearm UK Charges UK Rearm France Charges France Rearm
4 1 270 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 270
5 2

270

1 270 0 0 2 260 2 290 1 270
6 2 270 3 290 2 250 2 260 2 300 0 0
7 2 270 3 290 2 250 2 260 2 300 2 270
8 2 270 3 290 2 250 2 270 2 300 2 270
9 2 250 3 270 0 0 2 260 0 0 3 270
10 2 250 3 270 0 0 2 260 0 0 0 0


Now for the table of speed and duration by nation:

Tier Japan Speed Japan Duration USA Speed USA Duration USSR Speed USSR Duration Germany Speed Germany Duration UK Speed UK Duration France Speed France Duration
4 120 180 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 120 180
5 125 180 120 180 0 0 125 170 115 200 0 0
6 125 180 120 200 135 160 125 170 120 210 125 180
7 130 180 125 200 140 160 130 170 120 210 130 180
8 130 180 125 200 145 160 130 180 120 210 130 180
9 135 180 130 200 0 0 135 190 0 0 140 180
10 140 180 135 200 0 0 135 200 0 0 0 0

To start with the Russians, I'm giving them the highest speed but lowest duration so that they can get aircraft out to spot for their extended range with the spotting aircraft. However they wouldn't stay at that range super long to prevent long range solo sniping from becoming too common. The British would have the slowest aircraft with a closer but wider sweep so  50 seconds out 100 second sweep 50 seconds back, to help spot while in smoke or to work as a torpedo screening aircraft. With the slow speed they would also make for an easy AA target or easily avoided by destroyers. France I see as far but narrow, with a fast aircraft flying a narrow search with likely 80 seconds out and back with only 20 for the turn around giving a good range but poor area of detection good for checking a sector but not much else. Japan and America I see as having the same flight plans just with America taking a bit longer to complete, not sure if the math works out on it but that's what I'm going for. This flight plan would be about 30% out and 30% back with 40% for the sweep. Germany I would think would start with the most balanced flight plan with a third dedicated to each part (flying out ,searching and returning) with the better speed allowing for the German ship to spot more of its usable gun range. But like the Russians the duration be lower to prevent solo long range gunnery from becoming simple, with the higher tier aircraft flying a more Russian or French flight plan where it is narrower but longer. 

The base rearm would be 90s + flight time for everyone except the high tier ships. Where everyone gets about 20s knocked off of their rearm except for the Germans who would get more. The German ships would get a lesser rearm to balance it out with the amazing German hydro, also I am open to having this be an option instead of the catapult fighter or spotter aircraft on the Germans so that the hydro can stay uncontested, but I'm not so sure I like that idea. 

I think putting this in  or something like this would help cruisers provide spotting and "intelligence data" as the call out goes. Taking some of the pressure off of the destroyers or aircraft carrier (if there is one) or to let players do it them selves when the destroyers or aircraft carrier cant be bothered to do it themselves.  My only lingering question is what to do with direction center weather to have it cause a different flight pattern, say a longer narrow one for the British or a short wide one for the French, or to have the second aircraft turn the other direction one to the left and one to the right, or to have it split an angle to double the width of the search. Any ideas you guys have on that would be welcomed. 

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A good reason wny existing scout aircraft circle close to their mother ship, is to avoid being shot down. Other than that, long range scouting should be the job of Carriers, especially at start of a match, building a picture of enemy force layout and intentions, and in some cases, dds (those that like to "run deep",) which can fill the role of subs and "picket" scout strategic objectives and waypoints.

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I use a spotting aircraft on my Murmansk and it boost my main guns to just over 17k

 

I usually spot my arch nemesis BBs long before they see me and  just having an aircraft that will just spot at longer ranges without any offense capabilities is not going to go over well because to get this in a modual your going to have to give something up most likely something with offense capability, they did nerf Cruiser guns by removing 20% range increases with guns bigger than 139mm with AFT change

 

 

it would definitely give more options on Cruiser play having a long range spotter plane .. but at what cost?

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14 minutes ago, HMCS_Devilfish said:

I use a spotting aircraft on my Murmansk and it boost my main guns to just over 17k

 

I usually spot my arch nemesis BBs long before they see me and  just having an aircraft that will just spot at longer ranges without any offense capabilities is not going to go over well because to get this in a modual your going to have to give something up most likely something with offense capability, they did nerf Cruiser guns by removing 20% range increases with guns bigger than 139mm with AFT change

 

 

it would definitely give more options on Cruiser play having a long range spotter plane .. but at what cost?

Tier 5 ships would give up hydro for it, so your Murmansk could either get hydro but wouldn't get the new recon aircraft or forgo hydro for the new recon aircraft. Likely with similar stats to the American counterpart, or maybe give it more speed but less duration? Or maybe just leave the Murmansk alone? I'm not sure about premium ships and the balance implications of that.

 

Regardless, what offensive abilities would hydro or defensive fire give you that a scouting aircraft couldn't also give you other than the vision into smoke?

Now unless I miss-wrote my original post (which I might have done) I stated that you would give up either Hydro or Defensive fire not the Catapult fighter or Spotter Aircraft. Which I see as fair as you are trading an utility tool (hydro) or a defense tool (defensive fire) for an offensive tool (this new aircraft), or in the case of the British cruisers you could give up hydro for the scout plane. Now maybe I am wrong but Hydro on most ships other than the Germans has a rather limited range which means it's only really useful for rushing smoke or spotting torpedoes earlier so it is largely utility in nature. With aircraft carriers not always being in match or attacking near cruisers with strong AA, defensive fire can often go to waste as all you have to shoot down are other catapult fighters or spotter aircraft. Also it provides little to no offensive ability that I can think of other than protection from air attack. Where as giving cruisers the ability to scout instead of or along side carriers and destroyers would be a good offensive tool. Coupled with your standard spotter aircraft or catapult fighter you could gain some ability with out loosing much of anything by using this aircraft.

Now like I said the only line of cruisers I think where this hydro/defensive swap would be a bit iffy would be the Germans due to the high powered hydro being their flavor. Also most of their ships have only one catapult so it kinda makes logical sense to choose between the three types of aircraft. But then again I'm not sure if that is the best solution for them, as their AA is a bit weak on it's own and having no way to panic bombers can be hard on a cruiser. 

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A +1 for a well thought out proposal.  Unfortunately, like other posters, I believe that carriers are better suited for the long range scouting role if only because they can control where the aircraft go.

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4 minutes ago, ExploratorOne said:

A +1 for a well thought out proposal.  Unfortunately, like other posters, I believe that carriers are better suited for the long range scouting role if only because they can control where the aircraft go.

I agree, but with the carrier population being rather small you cannot say that there will be a carrier in every game which is why I think this could work to fulfill that role. Even with carriers in a game they cannot be everywhere at all times. Which is what lead me to this idea. Sure carriers will be the queens of recon, they always will be I'm not saying cruisers should take over that role. But when carriers aren't there either due to low player count or saving the fleet form air attack or deleting that hostile ship with their aircraft I think there should be a secondary way of getting that same recon. 

Also just about every poster has pointed out that Carriers or Destroyers can scout better or should be the ones doing it. My question is then: What if all of your destroyers are gone and there is no carrier? The opposing team still has destroyers but your team does not. That is where I think this Recon aircraft could save the game, or if nothing else get the most use. However even with carriers or destroyers there are often large portions of the map that are unspotted either due to smoke or aircraft rearm/repair. Which could be plugged by smart use of the recon aircraft. The longest scout aircraft flight is 200 seconds or 3 min 20 seconds, which gives enough time for a carrier to pull aircraft back, rearm them and put them back out to spot regardless of how long the repair cycle is. It's not supposed to be a replacement to the carrier but rather a supplement to the carrier.

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2 minutes ago, Grathew said:

I agree, but with the carrier population being rather small you cannot say that there will be a carrier in every game which is why I think this could work to fulfill that role. Even with carriers in a game they cannot be everywhere at all times. Which is what lead me to this idea. Sure carriers will be the queens of recon, they always will be I'm not saying cruisers should take over that role. But when carriers aren't there either due to low player count or saving the fleet form air attack or deleting that hostile ship with their aircraft I think there should be a secondary way of getting that same recon. 

Also just about every poster has pointed out that Carriers or Destroyers can scout better or should be the ones doing it. My question is then: What if all of your destroyers are gone and there is no carrier? The opposing team still has destroyers but your team does not. That is where I think this Recon aircraft could save the game, or if nothing else get the most use. However even with carriers or destroyers there are often large portions of the map that are unspotted either due to smoke or aircraft rearm/repair. Which could be plugged by smart use of the recon aircraft. The longest scout aircraft flight is 200 seconds or 3 min 20 seconds, which gives enough time for a carrier to pull aircraft back, rearm them and put them back out to spot regardless of how long the repair cycle is. It's not supposed to be a replacement to the carrier but rather a supplement to the carrier.

 

The low CV population does pose certain problems.  I never understand why there are players adverse to CVs when airpower was the biggest game changer in WWII and eyes in the sky are somewhat essential.  While not having CVs in a battle does mean that I can be less attentive to the skies, it also means that I will have significantly more issues finding and tracking enemy positions.  That is why I consider the catapult fighter so essential right now, the 6 minute duration is also very good and allows me to launch shortly after leaving spawn. Similar to what you espouse, this currently does supplement carrier operations and my immediate launch is to provide coverage before the CV launches its first sortie or when the aircraft are on a distant mission.

 

One issue I see is that the current arrangement gives me coverage around my immediate area.  A long range scout sortie would leave me somewhat blind while it is at the outer limits of its patrol area.  A smart opponent watching the minimap could exploit that.  As it is now, an opponent either gets spotted, shoots down my spotter, or chooses a more approachable target when my fighter(s) are airborne; less attentive players get caught in the open when my fighter circles back over them.  How would air cover be provided while the CA/CL/BB-launched aircraft is at range in your proposal?

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15 minutes ago, ExploratorOne said:

 

The low CV population does pose certain problems.  I never understand why there are players adverse to CVs when airpower was the biggest game changer in WWII and eyes in the sky are somewhat essential.  While not having CVs in a battle does mean that I can be less attentive to the skies, it also means that I will have significantly more issues finding and tracking enemy positions.  That is why I consider the catapult fighter so essential right now, the 6 minute duration is also very good and allows me to launch shortly after leaving spawn. Similar to what you espouse, this currently does supplement carrier operations and my immediate launch is to provide coverage before the CV launches its first sortie or when the aircraft are on a distant mission.

 

One issue I see is that the current arrangement gives me coverage around my immediate area.  A long range scout sortie would leave me somewhat blind while it is at the outer limits of its patrol area.  A smart opponent watching the minimap could exploit that.  As it is now, an opponent either gets spotted, shoots down my spotter, or chooses a more approachable target when my fighter(s) are airborne; less attentive players get caught in the open when my fighter circles back over them.  How would air cover be provided while the CA/CL/BB-launched aircraft is at range in your proposal?

 

Which is why I think giving cruisers a recon aircraft would help to fix a good number of problems that low population causes. Also people don't like carriers because of the strike potential and the fact that you can't kill it while it can kill you. 

 

Anyway, the catapult fighter gives way less vision than what I am purposing. This aircraft would fly out a good distance maybe five to ten or twelve kilometers before turning and searching for a bit then returning. The catapult fighter also is useless for half of it's orbit most of the time as it is farther away from the hostiles than your ship. Direction center would mitigate this if the catapult fighters flew in the same direction. Also both the recon plane and catapult fighter would be able to be equipped at the same time. I'm not sure if I can stress that enough, so you could have your current Catapult fighter, the 6 minute duration that shoots at aircraft that orbits a few kilometers from your CA/CL or your Spotter plane that boosts your range by 20% that also stays close by and put up this recon plane to go do a scouting run. You however would not be able to put Hydro or Defensive fire up while using the recon aircraft. If the aircraft gets shot down before it sees something, then you know either that there is a powerful AA ship over there like a Minotaur or Neptune which can reliably shoot down aircraft with out being spotted or that smoke screen has something with good AA in it. All other cases they would get spotted before your aircraft goes down. Now if a player avoids the aircraft then they are clever and likely won't show up on your close in catapult fighter either. 

 

As for giving this to battleships, I don't think that would be a good fit. Maybe the American battleships as they seem to be the most support biased / jack of all master none but then I would take their other aircraft from them. As the vision would be a bit too powerful with the extra range they could get. 

 

Sorry if the formatting comes off as condescending but I think I've said it a half dozen times by now. 

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Ah, equipping them both would be a nice addition.  Was just thinking about how good the air coverage would be with both short and long range CAP patrols over your team.  However, that would also means the enemy team would also have that ability.  Not sure if I like the idea of giving up my stealth.  Right now, there are windows of opportunity, especially in a CV=less battle.  With long range scouts, I would potentially be giving up my ability to move around undetected in order to prevent the enemy from moving around undetected.  Seems like this would be promoting passive play or, at the very least, require ships to travel in packs to provide mutual protection.  No need to comment on passive play, but encourage the enemy to travel in packs would make them a more difficult target.

 

Just some thoughts...

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3 hours ago, Grathew said:

Tier 5 ships would give up hydro for it, so your Murmansk could either get hydro but wouldn't get the new recon aircraft or forgo hydro for the new recon aircraft. Likely with similar stats to the American counterpart, or maybe give it more speed but less duration? Or maybe just leave the Murmansk alone? I'm not sure about premium ships and the balance implications of that.

 

Regardless, what offensive abilities would hydro or defensive fire give you that a scouting aircraft couldn't also give you other than the vision into smoke?

Now unless I miss-wrote my original post (which I might have done) I stated that you would give up either Hydro or Defensive fire not the Catapult fighter or Spotter Aircraft. Which I see as fair as you are trading an utility tool (hydro) or a defense tool (defensive fire) for an offensive tool (this new aircraft), or in the case of the British cruisers you could give up hydro for the scout plane. Now maybe I am wrong but Hydro on most ships other than the Germans has a rather limited range which means it's only really useful for rushing smoke or spotting torpedoes earlier so it is largely utility in nature. With aircraft carriers not always being in match or attacking near cruisers with strong AA, defensive fire can often go to waste as all you have to shoot down are other catapult fighters or spotter aircraft. Also it provides little to no offensive ability that I can think of other than protection from air attack. Where as giving cruisers the ability to scout instead of or along side carriers and destroyers would be a good offensive tool. Coupled with your standard spotter aircraft or catapult fighter you could gain some ability with out loosing much of anything by using this aircraft.

Now like I said the only line of cruisers I think where this hydro/defensive swap would be a bit iffy would be the Germans due to the high powered hydro being their flavor. Also most of their ships have only one catapult so it kinda makes logical sense to choose between the three types of aircraft. But then again I'm not sure if that is the best solution for them, as their AA is a bit weak on it's own and having no way to panic bombers can be hard on a cruiser. 

Its actually a good idea, I wouldn't necessarily  get it on my Murmansk with the way I play it being aggresive and relying on its great rudder shift to avoid shots but I could see this working on a more passive stealth play style were you spot for the team like DDs now do

it would definitely give Cruisers a better chance of surviving BBs who can shoot you long range but also if the other team has this, your spotted to

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@ExploratorOne I think that the passive play comes from people not wanting to risk their ship to win the game. Instead relying upon other people to assure them that it's safe. With this it would be easier to know what's around and where you can go without getting into too much trouble. Also launching it wouldn't tell them where you are or where you are going just where you were looking. Sure on the return it will draw an arrow to you but if you are still unspotted I doubt anyone could figure out the range just the bearing like RDF. Also if people started to use this then your close in catapult fighter would have more of a reason to exist as it would help shoot down the incoming recon aircraft. Lastly people should always travel in pairs or threes, it makes you so much more combat effective. 

@HMCS_Devilfish But if you played Murmansk like a second line sniper it could help keep cruisers and destroyers spotted for both your and everyone else's guns. 

Also just because it's airborne doesn't mean it will spot you, it would still have to fly into your detection range. Which means if it gets spotted by a screening destroyer or another recon aircraft you could move to avoid it. Also Carriers would probably enjoy shooting them down when they were in match. 

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3 hours ago, Grathew said:

@ExploratorOne I think that the passive play comes from people not wanting to risk their ship to win the game. Instead relying upon other people to assure them that it's safe. With this it would be easier to know what's around and where you can go without getting into too much trouble. Also launching it wouldn't tell them where you are or where you are going just where you were looking. Sure on the return it will draw an arrow to you but if you are still unspotted I doubt anyone could figure out the range just the bearing like RDF. Also if people started to use this then your close in catapult fighter would have more of a reason to exist as it would help shoot down the incoming recon aircraft. Lastly people should always travel in pairs or threes, it makes you so much more combat effective. 

@HMCS_Devilfish But if you played Murmansk like a second line sniper it could help keep cruisers and destroyers spotted for both your and everyone else's guns. 

Also just because it's airborne doesn't mean it will spot you, it would still have to fly into your detection range. Which means if it gets spotted by a screening destroyer or another recon aircraft you could move to avoid it. Also Carriers would probably enjoy shooting them down when they were in match. 

You may very well be right about playing Murmansk, sometimes its not exactly obvious what or what does not work, Ive been playing the Murmansk a long time and my gameplay has changed a lot mostly because of MM and much more powerful ships you face

every once in a while someone has a good idea .. this may be one of em

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My comment about giving up stealth referred to giving the other team the ability to use their long range scout planes against my team.  Unlike a real life arms race, in WOWS any benefit our team gains through game options is also conferred on the opposing team. If I can see them at long range, they will be able to see me. It all would depend on their equipment choices.

(Nice conversation and thread, by the way.)

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@ExploratorOne That makes more sense now. I thought that you believed when you launched the recon aircraft a flare or something would shoot out saying "GUYS I'M OVER HERE SHOOT ME!!!!" which wasn't my intention and I wanted to be clear. I tend to over explain things, not the worst habit to have yet it can get me into trouble. 

Either way I do think this could solve a good number of problems the game is facing currently, from timid pushes to minimal team work. And while not perfect, I think the problems it will make are less than the ones it will fix.  

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Long range scout aircraft - in one word.... NO!

 

As others have stated this is the role of the CV, but more than that, it would destroy the primary role of the DD (stealth). It is already difficult for DDs to move about the map without being hydro, radar, spotted by planes (cv launched, CA/BB launched fighters, BB launched spotters), spotted by ships, now you want to add long range spotting aircraft to several other ships?


NO

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47 minutes ago, FleetAdmiral_Assassin said:

As others have stated this is the role of the CV, but more than that, it would destroy the primary role of the DD (stealth). It is already difficult for DDs to move about the map without being hydro, radar, spotted by planes (cv launched, CA/BB launched fighters, BB launched spotters), spotted by ships, now you want to add long range spotting aircraft to several other ships?

 

Definitely make a DDs life hell. One more way to be spotted when you are safely beyond your concealment range. If pretty much every cruiser could have one of these, it leaves very few places to hide. With CVs in the match, it could be very crowded skies. With their longer air spotting distances, cruisers could be even more effected.  Interesting idea however.

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