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Edgecase

Conqueror Analysis

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Excellent analysis.

 

Glad to see there are some sensible people in the universe. Too many people blindly follow what content creators and CCs say as if it's gospel. 

 

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Edited by Kombat_W0MBAT
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Yup, been saying this since the crying first started, and it is great to have WG put out actual numbers that prove it.  It is an anti-BB BB, but does have trade offs to get there.  

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It’s nice to see someone actually using statistics over feelings to take a stand on the “nerf conqueror” vs “conquer is fine” argument. I personally didn’t believe these or any nerfs were needed yet but WG seems to disagree. Makes me wonder how many average ships (now at least) would’ve been unjustly nerfed if WG has decided to not wait for stats to balance out (ie more less than uniscums playing said ships) before applying nerfs simply because nerfs were being cried for.

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Very well done and thought out post Edgecase! You earned an upbote from me!

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For the most part, spot on.  

 

My only contention would be the whys of the thing.  Why is the Conq doing so much less to cruisers?  The simple answer is, most of them have HE loaded 100% of the time and firing HE at cruisers is nearly always less effective than firing AP.  The question then is, is that a weakness with the playstyle being used or the ship itself?  The answer to that pretty conclusively, is that it's a playstyle issue.  If a BB captain fires AP at cruisers he does as well as the Montana, while retaining the advantage vs BBs.

 

I dislike the plastyle the Conq encourages.  Standing off and blinking in and out of visibility with a 30 second reload and 20 second bloom.  This is pure bullship especially considering the same BB captains whined about "stealth fire" when it was DDs.  The same logic that applies to DD not having a 5 second bloom because it leads to ships blinking in and out should apply BBs, the Conq just happens to exploit that mechanic more than any other BB thanks to its very short detection range.  

 

The Conq also has a problem with a lack of counter play.  Against a BB normally you can angle and reduce the area they can pen with AP, if they switch to HE then they do significantly less damage so either way you have done something to lower your damage intake.  Against Conq, that isn't really the case.  The HE hits very very hard and of course has silly fire chances on top of that.  Angling does stop him from swapping to AP and getting citadels, but it does very little to reduce incoming damage.  The below water citadel means that it doesn't have to worry about citadels in return, from anything.    So you end up with a BB that flat wins 1v1 encounters with BBs, flat wins 1v1s with CA, and does as well or better against DD than any other T10 BB.  That is not a balanced ship.  Broken by design.  

 

I suspect that the increased cooldown on repair will only make them more irritating.  They will still have by far the largest health pool of any BB, they just have to play even more passive to make sure that they get to use it all.  That could be countered by upping the detection to something more like Yamato and increasing the bloom time for all BBs to a minimum of 30 seconds.  

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1 hour ago, Edgecase said:

 

Final thoughts: Does the Conqueror nerf make sense?

Well... yes and no. Analysis 3 above shows that if something is due for a nerfing on Conqueror, it should be its survivability. Definitely not the guns. And that's what we're getting, a nerf to the cooldown of the repair consumable and a token reduction in its ability to disappear between salvos at medium-short range. So, the nerf is targeted to the right area.

And yet, it's also hard to deny that fighting a Conqueror is a supremely irritating experience. It disappears whenever it wants. You're always on 2 fires. If you can't kill it inside 60 seconds, you're not going to for a very long time. The Conqueror may not be more impactful than other battleships, but the quality of life of fighting one just sucks. In that sense, the proposed nerfs make even more sense. The concealment nerf makes it less likely to ambush your cruiser or pull a ninja vanishing act in the middle of a fight. The heal nerf was specifically to the cooldown of the consumable, and not its amount or intensity of healing while active. That means that the Conqueror isn't any easier to burst down than it was before, but if you can keep it lit, you now have a much longer window of time in which to kill it before the next super heal happens.

While I agree with the conclusion you draw from the data, what I would say would be a more logical nerf would be to leave the consumables alone and increase the height of its citadel.

 

Really that was the only thing that made Conqueror such a pain: for a "lightly armored" battleship with a "cruiser playstyle," it was impossible to citadel.

 

Raising the citadel to Yamato levels would do two things: It would increase the Conqueror's susceptibility to Alpha, which is supposed to be Conqs weakness, and it would itself balance-out the Superheal, since only 10% of Citadel damage can be healed. It would also help certain cruisers which have a lot of difficulty fighting Conqueror, namely, Des Moines, simply because the way to fight Battleships in Des Moines is either to light 'em up from range with your HE or to citadel them at close range with your super-heavy AP, and neither of those are really feasible against Conqueror.

 

1 hour ago, Edgecase said:

The wowdevblog post is interesting because it provided access to data that the public normally doesn't get to see. Rather than providing player-base-wide statistics like Warships.today or wows-numbers, they pulled the numbers for only those players who own Conqueror.

This allows us to compare the numbers for Conqueror Players (wowsdevblog) vs. the playerbase as a whole (warships.today 2wk):

  Damage:
CQ Players
Damage:
General Playerbase
Winrate:
CQ Players
Winrate:
General Playerbase
Conqueror 108,254 107,483 52% 51.06
Montana 97,142 84,040 54% 49.67
Yamato 95,917 91,340 52% 50.29
GK 91,981 84,383 53% 50.68

There's one very consistent takeaway from this comparison, which is that Conqueror ownership is skewed toward above-average battleship players. In all four ships, Conqueror owners have higher damage and winrate than the general population. I didn't list them, but the same is also true of survival rate and kills/death.

Conclusion: Conqueror is still owned primarily by above-average players.

I'm not entirely sure that I can draw the same conclusion from the data presented. Is it that Conqueror is primarily owned by "Above-average players," or is it that Conqueror is itself easier to play "above-average" in? 

  A better source of data would be to show the median Overall WR of players who play those ships primarily and comparing that, instead of showing a mean WR value for each ship of players that own Conqueror.

 

7 minutes ago, Grizley said:

The Conq also has a problem with a lack of counter play.  Against a BB normally you can angle and reduce the area they can pen with AP, if they switch to HE then they do significantly less damage so either way you have done something to lower your damage intake.  Against Conq, that isn't really the case.  The HE hits very very hard and of course has silly fire chances on top of that.  Angling does stop him from swapping to AP and getting citadels, but it does very little to reduce incoming damage.  The below water citadel means that it doesn't have to worry about citadels in return, from anything.    So you end up with a BB that flat wins 1v1 encounters with BBs, flat wins 1v1s with CA, and does as well or better against DD than any other T10 BB.  That is not a balanced ship.  Broken by design.  

I agree. And most of that is the below-water citadel. Nothing to do with the Superheal itself, it was the foolish decision to lower the citadel that broke this ship.

Edited by Carrier_Lexington
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The root problem is that WG has yet to address the HE in-balance in the game. So to building an entire line that uses HE as a BB line was doomed to fail from the start. While the ship may need adjustments, once again WG goes about it the wrong way. Reduce the amount healed, not the time between heals. We are talking about a ship that has no real torp early warning (no hydro, no plane) and has very soft armor. Extending the time between being able to heal will cause this (and the tier 9 Lion) to become one of the worse high tier BBs. 

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1 hour ago, Edgecase said:

The concealment nerf makes it less likely to ambush your cruiser or pull a ninja vanishing act in the middle of a fight.

Funny, the design notes states it was designed for that.

 

1 hour ago, Edgecase said:

In terms of balance decisions, this is informative. It means that Conqueror's HE-heavy style of play is being applied primarily against other battleships, and has actually lessened the threat against cruisers, at least the way people are playing her today.

Interestingly enough, I go for cruisers using AP and HE if BB's are angled. I seem to get a higher win rate than in the server at the cost of 30k less avg damage.

 

1 hour ago, Edgecase said:

The Conqueror may not be more impactful than other battleships, but the quality of life of fighting one just sucks.

Until you fight it at 10 km and it dies just as fast as the other 3 T10 BB's. it does not do well in CQB fights. I'll take a Yamato or a Kurfurst.if I planning for that sort of contest.

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1 minute ago, Bill_Halsey said:

Until you fight it at 10 km and it dies just as fast as the other 3 T10 BB's. it does not do well in CQB fights. I'll take a Yamato or a Kurfurst.if I planning for that sort of contest.

Only in a BB fight.

Against a CA, Conqueror will just dominate, because her citadel doesn't exist.

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6 minutes ago, Carrier_Lexington said:

Only in a BB fight.

Against a CA, Conqueror will just dominate, because her citadel doesn't exist.

Only if the CA carries torps and in ambush would a CA accept a CQB fight. That or being able to loft shells over an island. Or inside smoke like a Mino.

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Just now, Bill_Halsey said:

Only if the CA carries torps and in ambush would a CA accept a CQB fight. That or being able to loft shells over an island. Or inside smoke like a Mino.

Not true. I've seen lots of CAs get into CQ fights and deal large amounts of damage to broadside battleships with AP. Des Moines and Zao are notable examples.

 

And Conqueror, with its inaccessible citadel, is just another slap in the face for cruiser players. They can't burn it down, they can't deal raw HE damage to it, they can't pen it at range, and the only way to deal with it is to get close... but only if you have torpedoes. And there's only one cruiser at Tier 10 that doesn't have Torpedoes and relies on Citadel Damage to punish BBs...

 

You disregard my first point, however: if you were to raise the citadel of Conqueror, you wouldn't need to play with the consumables or change the concealment. The citadel would balance her, as a citadel is supposed to do.

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19 minutes ago, Bill_Halsey said:

Interestingly enough, I go for cruisers using AP and HE if BB's are angled. I seem to get a higher win rate than in the server at the cost of 30k less avg damage.

 

That's the obvious choice for ANY battleship if given the choice. However, with a 30s reload, battleships don't have the luxury of switching ammo frequently. This results in players sticking with the ammo which is most effective for that ship. HE for Conqueror, AP for everything else. 

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38 minutes ago, Carrier_Lexington said:

While I agree with the conclusion you draw from the data, what I would say would be a more logical nerf would be to leave the consumables alone and increase the height of its citadel.

The raised citadel solution only affects Conqueror's balance against other battleships (plus a few CAs in specific circumstances). If the Conqueror's problem were that BBs couldn't hurt it (but CAs were fine), the raised citadel would be a good option. Since the data did not include anything on incoming sources of damage, it's difficult to say whether that's the case.

The solution they did propose -- increasing the heal cooldown -- affects Conqueror's medium term survivability against all ship types by widening the window during which the ship can be killed by concentrated fire if it does not disengage. This leads me to believe that WG viewed the problem as Conqueror being too hard for anyone to kill, not just one specific class.

The heal cooldown increase also makes things "more comfortable" (as WG likes to say) for other players. If Conqueror does disengage under heavy fire, it will eventually come back and resume burnination (as it does today), but the longer CD means everyone else on the battlefield gets a 40 second breather as well, and that takes some of the edge off the "feels bad to fight" aspect.

 

19 minutes ago, Carrier_Lexington said:

And Conqueror, with its inaccessible citadel, is just another slap in the face for cruiser players. They can't burn it down, they can't deal raw HE damage to it, they can't pen it at range, and the only way to deal with it is to get close

I'm not sure how you've reached that conclusion. Conqueror's entire bow, aft, superstructure, and amidship deck are 32mm or less, allowing 203mm HE pens over basically the whole thing minus the lower belt and turret faces.

Edited by Edgecase
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3 minutes ago, Edgecase said:

but the longer CD means everyone else on the battlefield gets a 40 second breather as well

you can still get the heal to a 102 second cool down post nerf though, it just takes a flag and a 2 point skill on jack Dunkirk 

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1 minute ago, Herodotus4 said:

you can still get the heal to a 102 second cool down post nerf though, it just takes a flag and a 2 point skill on jack Dunkirk 

Still 50% longer than the current version with the same perks. :Smile_teethhappy:

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Nice work OP. One of the things or hidden things the Conqueror does or at least I think it does is that it takes away from teammates ability to do damage. Many ships rely on HE/fire spam as a main source of damage. With Conqueror easily obtaining 10-15 or more fires per game...other ships that used to get damage that way don't anymore or as much as its more difficult to get a second fire than a first.

I don't have any data supporting that but it stands to reason that if one ship is generating so much more damage from a constant damage/health pool, it is simply taking damage away from other ships hence the WR% still in line with other ships. Now, when there are multiple RNBB's in a game the health pool numbers can be skewed higher with the crazy high heals. But even with the added healthpools other ships damage numbers haven't jumped. 

Would love to see the average damage output of all other ships with or without a Conqueror in the game.

 

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1 hour ago, Grizley said:

My only contention would be the whys of the thing.  Why is the Conq doing so much less to cruisers?  The simple answer is, most of them have HE loaded 100% of the time and firing HE at cruisers is nearly always less effective than firing AP.  The question then is, is that a weakness with the playstyle being used or the ship itself?  The answer to that pretty conclusively, is that it's a playstyle issue.  If a BB captain fires AP at cruisers he does as well as the Montana, while retaining the advantage vs BBs.

I actually agree with this. Anecdotally, very high-level players in Conqueror have suggested they use far more AP than the typical current player does. However, I'm completely okay with this. If the ship gets a "typical player" to act as a BB-suppressing ship that doesn't maul cruisers very often, then that's good for Random matches. If high-end players see a different potential and sail it in some other way, then that's not necessarily a bad thing either. A ship should ideally be designed to benefit the game at all player levels, and fit the character of the game at those different levels.

That said, the data we have today is from the playstyles people have today. If any ship's playstyle shifts dramatically over time, WG will of course need to manage its effects at that time.

 

55 minutes ago, Carrier_Lexington said:

I'm not entirely sure that I can draw the same conclusion from the data presented. Is it that Conqueror is primarily owned by "Above-average players," or is it that Conqueror is itself easier to play "above-average" in? 

  A better source of data would be to show the median Overall WR of players who play those ships primarily and comparing that, instead of showing a mean WR value for each ship of players that own Conqueror.

I actually prefer the data that WG provided. The comparison isn't between the ships, it's between the CQ Players and the General Playerbase for any given ship. CQ players are higher on damage, winrate, K/D, and survival than the general playerbase on all three of the comparison ships. From that, we can pretty reasonably conclude that they are, as a group, better-than-average at playing T10 battleships.

Edited by Edgecase

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I'm really glad WG released that damage breakdown as percentages of a ship's hitpoints, because that really is far more important than raw numbers.  Most players already know that doing 30k damage to enemy DD's is far, far more valuable than doing 30k damage to enemy BB's, but we've never had access to data that showed it before.

Seeing that Conqueror is dealing its very high average damage mostly to enemy BB's, and actually hurting CA's less than other tier 10 BB's, makes it a look a lot more balanced.  I wish we had data like this available for other ships.

Edited by Vaidency

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Excellent analysis OP, putting numbers and facts to some niggling thoughts I had (especially the fact that Conq drivers do 2% better WR wise in Montana than Conq...).

 

The more subjective 'not fun to play against' or 'no skill' is to an extent just that. There are easier and harder ships to get into. WG has (sensibly) in my opinion taken steps to deal with this before, as with killing off Shima torp span to a great extent. Some people think that's a good move, some think it's a shame.

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Interesting take on the data.  As a primarily cruiser player, I opted to acquire the Conq for ... reasons.  When I first got her, I was rocking a 70+% win rate and knocked out a couple of 250K+ battles.  These were the happy times.

(for reference, the best BB game I'd had previously was about 212K with my GK.)

Of late, MM and changing player awareness have knocked that down a peg or two.  I did get a 220K+ game last night, but that was on a loss where a GK and I were the last two standing on our team.  Meanwhile, my Conqueror WR has dropped below my GK and (new) Montana.  Go fig.

I'm just a slightly better than average potato, and I've had a good time with her so far, despite (and sometimes because of) other player's saltiness, and my own occasional ineptitude.

While she's a bit of a riot to play, with time, I expect her to drop to the bottom of the leaderboards for the Tier X battleships, because in the end, she's really just a support ship, and as others have noted elsewhere, doesn't have the oomph to push objectives.  The incoming nerfs will only serve to cement that status.  Time will tell.

My 2 coppers...

 

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