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DeliciousFart

Observation/Theory: Missouri is more difficult to citadel (broadside) than Iowa

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Foreword: I am operating under the assumption that shell normalization affects the exit trajectory after a non-overmatching penetration. If it's demonstrated that this isn't the case in WOWS, then disregard what I've written here.

 

Over all the experience I've had shooting Iowas and Missouris, there feels like a difference in terms consistency and reliability in hitting their citadels, even though their citadel heights are identical, i.e. right at the waterline. Namely, the Iowa feels moderately easier to citadel than the Missouri, enough to be noticeable. I strongly suspect that the 38 mm hull plate on the Missouri (versus 25 mm on Iowa) is responsible for this, due to shell normalization. Let me try to illustrate this below.

 

To my understanding, WOWS penetration mechanics is such that any shell that doesn't penetrate via overmatch has its exit obliquity reduced by a small angle; I believe this is what the game refers to as "normalization" and the specific angle is generally by shell caliber. For instance, the 406 mm shells have a normalization angle of 6 degrees, meaning that if the shell strikes a plate with 20 degrees obliquity, in other words, 20 degrees from the normal (or perpendicular) vector, then (if the shell doesn't overmatch the plate) upon impact the trajectory of the shell will be changed such that it exits with 14 degrees obliquity. The following diagram visually illustrates what I mean.

I7F7ag7.png

What does this mean? The 38 mm lower hull plate (which is historically accurate) on the Missouri means that no gun in the game can overmatch that plate, so every shell that penetrates it will have its trajectory altered by the normalization angle. Conversely, the Iowa's 25 mm lower hull plate is overmatched by nearly every battleship in its matchmaking spread, so shells that penetrate that plate won't have its trajectory altered. This means that shells striking slightly above the waterline are less likely to plunge into Missouri's citadel compared to the Iowa's. I believe it's normalization that makes the Missouri moderately more difficult to citadel than the Iowa; remember, a shell penetrating the Missouri's belt is "normalized" twice, once through the outer hull plate and again through the belt (whereas it's only "normalized" once through the main belt on the Iowa), which reduces the shell plunge by 12 degrees, a fairly substantial amount. In my opinion, this makes the Missouri's broadside moderately tankier than the Iowa's.

 

Well, so what Mr. Fart? I'm sure many here are aware of my pro-USN leanings (hey, I'm proud of my country), but everything I've posted, whether it's historical commentary or gameplay balancing, draws from facts and statistics, and I try to remain as objective as I can to the best of my knowledge in my analysis (and I'm willing to change my views when given sufficient and convincing evidence). I'm also well aware that the need for gameplay balance rightfully takes precedence over historical accuracy in a situation where the two are incompatible. With that being said, I think right now the Missouri is unduly tanky for how much firepower and utility she has. Sure, even with the Missouri's benefit of double normalization compared to the Iowa's single normalization, the Missouri is still easier to citadel than the FDG and Lion (the latter of which should have parts of its citadel raised), but I still think that it's too difficult to properly punish a Missouri for making a mistake or recklessly showing broadside. I'm not advocating a return of the old skyscraper citadel, but I do feel that the double normalization and current citadel on the Missouri makes it a tad too forgiving, whereas I think the Iowa strikes the right balance in terms of how difficult it is to citadel.

 

So here's my proposal for the Missouri: the volume under the splinter deck over the length of the machinery spaces counts towards the citadel volume. This is in contrast with the current Missouri citadel height that only includes the volume under the third deck/first platform. My proposal is somewhat similar to what I've been proposing for the British battleships to make their citadels more accessible, though here it actually includes a bit more volume lengthwise, but I think it's reasonable for the Missouri (and possibly Montana). The resulting citadel height would look like this, with the bottom image showing the proposed cross sections over the machinery spaces with uptakes and other items under the splinter deck included; note that even the proposed raised portions are still not as high as the original Iowa/Missouri citadel, and it's only half as long.

Green - current citadel

Orange - proposed raised section

Red - old citadel

WAKTPzi.png

 

CnuoV4E.png

 

Note how far the proposed sections are inboard; this should ensure that a well-angled Missouri is less likely to be hit in those areas compared to one that's fully broadside. I believe this change would be beneficial for game balancing; those who play the Missouri well and angle should not feel much difference, while those who sail broadside recklessly are more likely to take the consequences. I think it's at least worthwhile for WG to test this out to see what difference it makes.

 

Now, I know that WG has a policy of not "nerfing" premiums, but here I think the argument can be made that since the initial citadel lowering wasn't one of the advertised features, and the Missouri itself doesn't necessarily have to be bought with real money, adjusting the lowering hopefully should avoid any legal troubles.

 

@Sub_Octavian @ArdRaeiss

Edited by DeliciousFart

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I was under the impression that normalization was similar to WOT's use in that it reduces the effective angle of the shell when calculating penetration (at the initial strike, not after). For example: A shell with 6* of normalization coming in at 45* against a flat plate would only have to penetrate at an equivalent 39*. This overall makes angled armor and angling in general worse. 

Edited by AkXb70

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3 hours ago, DeliciousFart said:

any legal troubles.

God.. how many times...

 

There are no, none, nada, zero, zilch laws, in the US, Canada, EU, GB, Germany, Poland, Russia, or to the best of my knowledge any country on the entire planet of Earth that makes it *illegal* in a civil or criminal sense, to alter a digital product post release. A nerf is an opinion, a buff is an opinion; you may see a nerf to the Missouri as a nerf and I, in an Alabama, may see it as a buff relative to me. They all equal the same thing: a post release alteration of a product. They are *allowed* to do this, everyone is. Why? Because without allowing post release alterations, things like patches could NOT exist. Especially if a patch potentially broke a functionality of the product. That means every time say, Payday 2 released a patch that caused a previously nonexistent Crash,  you could demand a refund for doing so. But you can't. Anywhere. Because that's not how laws work.

On to the main part of your post:

No, they won't do this. Not because of their internal policy of not 'negatively' altering a Premium post release, but because it the net positive of doing it isn't worth the effort to do it. Basic engineering concept: Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. The Missouri just frankly ISN'T that hard to citadel on the broadside, making it 5% easier won't alter the outcome of nearly any fight and thus the work for the modelers and coders is not worth the effort. Practically speaking, this is a textbook example of 'Historical realities being a stupid justification for in-game changes."

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It was too strong even before the citadel change. If WG was ever planning on balancing it to be on par with the other T9 BBs they'd have done so by now. 

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Just a little thing about the normalization - I believe I remember the devs mentioning once that normalization does not affect the shell trajectory and was only used for autobounce purposes

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39 minutes ago, ElvenRed said:

Just a little thing about the normalization - I believe I remember the devs mentioning once that normalization does not affect the shell trajectory and was only used for autobounce purposes

I’ve read and seen conflicting reports of this. Can anyone verify whether or not normalization affects exit angle?

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2 hours ago, _RC1138 said:

Practically speaking, this is a textbook example of 'Historical realities being a stupid justification for in-game changes."

This... the OP is making a mountain out of a mole hill where the proposed change will make a negligible difference to the overall game. A Missouri will have just as bad of a day as a Iowa when put in the same position, tiny tweaks to the citadel height is not going to make any tangible difference. 

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6 hours ago, NeoRussia said:

It was too strong even before the citadel change. If WG was ever planning on balancing it to be on par with the other T9 BBs they'd have done so by now. 

Did radar make the Missouri too strong even before the citadel changes? Or was it some other factor? If so, then do you consider the Iowa too strong after the citadel changes as well?

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2 hours ago, Pope_Shizzle said:

Neither Iowa nor Missouri are difficult to citadel if broadside.  No buffs or nerds are needed. 

They do make quite juicy targets, even with the lowered citadel. 

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8 hours ago, Pope_Shizzle said:

Neither Iowa nor Missouri are difficult to citadel if broadside.  No buffs or nerds are needed. 

In my experience, the Missouri is somewhat more difficult to citadel than the Iowa. While this is admittedly anecdotal evidence, I believe that the 38 mm causing normalization of the shell trajectory that causes this. Now mind you, the Missouri is still not hard to citadel compared to FDG and Lion, but she has much greater utility. I think it also feels off when the Missouri enjoys a thicker lower hull plate than the Iowa for no good reason.

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