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DeliciousFart

Thought experiment: lower alpha, decrease dispersion

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This was a thought I had about the state of the skill floor and skill ceiling of this game. RNG is a strange beast, but ultimately I feel that to some extent, it removes the amount of player control over the outcome in favor of random chance, and sometimes to an excessive degree. For example, against a broadside cruiser with a BB salvo at 13 km, the cruiser can sometimes expect outright deletion, or several overpenetrations, even with perfect aim on the BB's part.

 

So what if we reduce the alpha of BB guns by 40% or so, while cutting down the dispersion by the same amount? Something perhaps akin to the old Giulio Cesare dispersion that was tested but abandoned. That ship was likely found to be too strong due to the accuracy, but what if instead of nerfing accuracy, nerf the alpha? I think doing so would raise the skill ceiling while simultaneously making the game more enjoyable as it shifts the outcome more in the player's control rather than chance.

 

As a consequence of high accuracy, I think cruisers should also receive smaller citadel volumes (to the extent possible from the magazines and machinery spaces). After all, if it's possible to precisely target a citadel, then the citadel volume should be correspondingly more difficult to hit to raise the skill ceiling.

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The dispersion decrease does sound nice, but you can't lower BB alpha too much, or else the BBs would lose their purpose of existing in this game: destroying ships in single, huge knock out blows. If their alpha was lowered too much, and kept their same reload, there would be very little purpose to bring them over a cruiser, except perhaps as a damage sponge.

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H'm interesting. However, this is the core balance of the game, literally everything centers around it. So be real careful when you tinker with it.

I think you have to be careful reducing alpha damage. If I hit an enemy BB for a citadel and a couple of pens, that 20K damage is nice, but it's far from deleting them. Outright deletions are rare, and usually well deserved.

 

However, I do think there is a problem between armor modeling, shell pen model, alpha damage, and accuracy. WG basically gave everyone the historical armor, but then put the fights at unrealistic ranges, with the result that armor, while not useless, is definitely weaker. Now, I'm not saying we should be historical, I know what that would be like, but I do think there may be a developing problem in the core mechanics of shells vs armor, and the resulting damage dealt. Not sure exactly what it is, or how to fix it, and it's nowhere near being a huge problem, but as every new line adds more complexity and mechanics, the old stuff is starting to show it's age.

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9 minutes ago, sulghunter331 said:

The dispersion decrease does sound nice, but you can't lower BB alpha too much, or else the BBs would lose their purpose of existing in this game: destroying ships in single, huge knock out blows. If their alpha was lowered too much, and kept their same reload, there would be very little purpose to bring them over a cruiser, except perhaps as a damage sponge.

I would argue that even with reduced alpha, the increased accuracy still makes knockout blows and devastating strikes possible, but it would be less dependent on RNG to do so, and more on aim. The 40% decrease in alpha is just me spitballing, as that can be adjusted.

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3 minutes ago, AJTP89 said:

H'm interesting. However, this is the core balance of the game, literally everything centers around it. So be real careful when you tinker with it.

I think you have to be careful reducing alpha damage. If I hit an enemy BB for a citadel and a couple of pens, that 20K damage is nice, but it's far from deleting them. Outright deletions are rare, and usually well deserved.

 

However, I do think there is a problem between armor modeling, shell pen model, alpha damage, and accuracy. WG basically gave everyone the historical armor, but then put the fights at unrealistic ranges, with the result that armor, while not useless, is definitely weaker. Now, I'm not saying we should be historical, I know what that would be like, but I do think there may be a developing problem in the core mechanics of shells vs armor, and the resulting damage dealt. Not sure exactly what it is, or how to fix it, and it's nowhere near being a huge problem, but as every new line adds more complexity and mechanics, the old stuff is starting to show it's age.

Honestly, I just feel that the best solution for the armor issue would be to re-scale the distances such that the current max ranges for the guns would be their historical max ranges, and have the shells follow their historical ballistic profiles. This would put the armor on all of the ships in the ranges that they were actually designed for.

This would also make plunging fire a thing now, and a very real threat to ships that have hard-to-hit underwater/turtle-back citadels.

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Honestly, DFart, this is not an idea that I like.  The defining feature of battleships are their big, hard-hitting guys.  Reducing their alpha would destroy this image of them as very hard hitters.  I wouldn't really want to play a naval warfare game where BBs where just glorified pew-pew ships.  Furthermore, realistically, naval gun accuracy was rather poor in this era.  Now, I realize that this is a game, and the devs have already greatly improved gun accuracy.  I don't think that the game should go in the direction of even more BB gun accuracy at the expense of alpha.  I think that that's a terrible direction to go in.

 

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Just now, sulghunter331 said:

Honestly, I just feel that the best solution for the armor issue would be to re-scale the distances such that the current max ranges for the guns would be their historical max ranges, and have the shells follow their historical ballistic profiles. This would put the armor on all of the ships in the ranges that they were actually designed for.

This would also make plunging fire a thing now, and a very real threat to ships that have hard-to-hit underwater/turtle-back citadels.

You might be right. Would be interesting to test. That would mean a humongous rework though. Like I said, core mechanic, have to be careful. Plunging fire would be a good addition though I think.

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4 minutes ago, sulghunter331 said:

Honestly, I just feel that the best solution for the armor issue would be to re-scale the distances such that the current max ranges for the guns would be their historical max ranges, and have the shells follow their historical ballistic profiles. This would put the armor on all of the ships in the ranges that they were actually designed for.

This would also make plunging fire a thing now, and a very real threat to ships that have hard-to-hit underwater/turtle-back citadels.

I think that there's something to this idea.  There's already various forms of compression in the game.  Something's very wrong when an obsolete armor scheme, the German turtleback, is more effective at high tiers than more modern armor schemes, like those on high tier USN BBs, that were designed to increase protection at the ranges where combat was expected to occur.

 

Edit: If the necessary changes were made to do this, it might have a secondary effect.  That is, if plunging fire became a thing at long ranges, it would or at least should force (smarter) players to close the range to avoid plunging fire and get incoming shells to start striking their stronger armor, rather than their weaker deck and turret top armor.

 

Edited by Crucis

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Just now, Crucis said:

I think that there's something to this idea.  There's already various forms of compression in the game.  Something's very wrong when an obsolete armor scheme, the German turtleback, is more effective at high tiers than more modern armor schemes, like those on high tier USN BBs, that were designed to increase protection at the ranges where combat was expected to occur.

 

Turtle-back armor is effective because all of the battles we have are artificially kept at ranges where it would be effective, and where plunging fire wouldn't begin to occur.

Unless you are using a high tier BB, with all of the range mods and a float plane, then plunging fire really won't be happening to the extent that it will be effective enough against turtle-back/underwater citadels.

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41 minutes ago, DeliciousFart said:

So what if we reduce the alpha of BB guns by 40% or so, while cutting down the dispersion by the same amount? Something perhaps akin to the old Giulio Cesare dispersion that was tested but abandoned. That ship was likely found to be too strong due to the accuracy, but what if instead of nerfing accuracy, nerf the alpha? I think doing so would raise the skill ceiling while simultaneously making the game more enjoyable as it shifts the outcome more in the player's control rather than chance.

 

It wouldn't move the skill ceiling up much because shell dispersion is a tiny contribution to the skill ceiling limit at high tiers were dispersion is already low. At that tier, things like map and concealment is far more of a factor on skill ceiling limit than shell dispersion. At the same time reducing shell dispersion would raise the skill floor to uncomfortable levels because now you have to aim accurately in order to hit anything where as right now you might get lucky and land a few hits thanks to RNG dispersion even if you mis-aimed by a small amount. 

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I would think that the reduction of dispersion would be the deathblow to destroyers and maybe cruisers as well.  IMO 60% percent of the current damage is more than enough to delete most DDs, who depend on dispersion to survive a salvo.

It would also seem that if you applied this same concept to all classes, then you are giving a huge buff to BBs due to their large HP pools.

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4 minutes ago, AJTP89 said:

You might be right. Would be interesting to test. That would mean a humongous rework though. Like I said, core mechanic, have to be careful. Plunging fire would be a good addition though I think.

The biggest thing would be to remodel the way the game handles shell flight paths.

Although, I think the most jarring of changes would be the fact that max range BB shots would fly for over a minute before hitting the target.

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Just now, sulghunter331 said:

The biggest thing would be to remodel the way the game handles shell flight paths.

Although, I think the most jarring of changes would be the fact that max range BB shots would fly for over a minute before hitting the target.

That flight time is not workable, especially with current maneuverability specs. I think the pen values could be scaled, but keep the velocities where they are. I don't even know if that's possible with the current engine, depends on how physics based it is.

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1 minute ago, KidDiscordia said:

I would think that the reduction of dispersion would be the deathblow to destroyers and maybe cruisers as well.  IMO 60% percent of the current damage is more than enough to delete most DDs, who depend on dispersion to survive a salvo.

It would also seem that if you applied this same concept to all classes, then you are giving a huge buff to BBs due to their large HP pools.

For one thing, if you're close enough in a DD that you can't dodge BB shells, then you sort of f*cked up anyway, unless you are attempting a torpedo ambush, at which point it's a high risk/high reward situation.

For another, battleships were literally designed to take the maximum amount of punishment and to keep fighting. cruisers and destroyers were never meant to sit in the battle line in the same manner as battleships do.

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1 minute ago, AJTP89 said:

That flight time is not workable, especially with current maneuverability specs. I think the pen values could be scaled, but keep the velocities where they are. I don't even know if that's possible with the current engine, depends on how physics based it is.

You are right, but the big ticket item here is to make plunging fire a thing.

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I disagree. Makes it more call of duty on water instead of ships. I mean I know it's a game but these ships already enjoy a WAY higher accuracy than they ever did. I think it's good the way it is.

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If you reduce dispersion you're going to create an even wider gap than there is now between the unicums and the potatoes.  You're going to get a ton potatoes averaging even lower than the incomprehensible, how-can-they-summon-the-brain-power-to-remember-to-breathe 15-20k avg damage they have now.

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7 hours ago, DeliciousFart said:

This was a thought I had about the state of the skill floor and skill ceiling of this game. RNG is a strange beast, but ultimately I feel that to some extent, it removes the amount of player control over the outcome in favor of random chance, and sometimes to an excessive degree. For example, against a broadside cruiser with a BB salvo at 13 km, the cruiser can sometimes expect outright deletion, or several overpenetrations, even with perfect aim on the BB's part.

 

So what if we reduce the alpha of BB guns by 40% or so, while cutting down the dispersion by the same amount? Something perhaps akin to the old Giulio Cesare dispersion that was tested but abandoned. That ship was likely found to be too strong due to the accuracy, but what if instead of nerfing accuracy, nerf the alpha? I think doing so would raise the skill ceiling while simultaneously making the game more enjoyable as it shifts the outcome more in the player's control rather than chance.

 

As a consequence of high accuracy, I think cruisers should also receive smaller citadel volumes (to the extent possible from the magazines and machinery spaces). After all, if it's possible to precisely target a citadel, then the citadel volume should be correspondingly more difficult to hit to raise the skill ceiling.

The Gulio Cesare had modest alpha and low dispersion, and was a montser. They had to nerf and do more testing

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