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My thoughts on CVs, and the interclass balance.

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Since I have an obsession with CV threads, I thought it would be better to put all of my thoughts here, then to have all of my thoughts fragmented across multiple threads. 

First off, I am not claiming that CVs are not broken, or that they do not need fixing, but rather, that they are less broken than they many seem to believe that they are. I am also not claiming that countering CVs is feasible with the current way that players act on the NA server. Very rarely, maybe once every 50 games, will my CV run into a coordinated team, often since Cvs require team play to counter them, players stand little chance of fighting off a CV attack. 

On to the first part that I wish to speak on; skill gaps.

Spoiler

CVs are notorious for the skill gap that occurs when playing them, having the highest skill ceiling and floor in the game, they point the flaws of a player glaringly. This is coupled with the low CV population attracting the despicable practice of sync dropping, resulting in the gap appearing far worse then it is. However, I do not think the skill gap is a massive issue, simply because of the fact that the harder a class is to play, the more the ability of the class has to increase to compensate for the effort needed to unlock the potential of the ship. Take DDs, the highest DD players win rates rival that of the top CV captains, and they also have a high skill floor/ceiling. The only difference is that because of the low CV population, manipulating the queue is easy. The skill gap becomes an issue, however, when the current meta of the game is taken into account. The meta highly favors CV captains, with ships making themselves targets, AA builds becoming near non-existent, and team play is thrown out the window. In such a meta it is up to the CV player to provide the majority of the AA defense on his team, as well as to out-damage the enemy CV, resulting in a disproportionate impact. I have pointed out in a previous thread something that I feel is worth mentioning, and that is the surface ship vs CV skill level. What I mean by this is that players have much less experience on how to dodge or mitigate damage taken by CVs, then Cvs have experience blowing up ships. (maybe a hundred times vs thousands of times) this is, of course, an issue because CVs basically have a massive advantage in experience over regular ships.

As I see it, the skill gap is an unavoidable creation of role monopoly (i.e. one player is the only representative of their type and role, and pitted against another sole player) the CV's quasi-mirror matchmaking, low CV population, and the difficulty of CVs. Unless one or more of those are taken out of the game, the skill gap will persist indefinitely.

 
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Secondly, the balance between CVs.

Spoiler

CVs are currently stuck between one line with, by the nature of their lower skill floor, less flexibility in balancing, and a line with a higher floor that is much more easily balanced. The premium CVs released have to compete with these two lines, and not be brokenly OP, but still not inferior to the other CVs. Given the nature of CV play, this is nigh impossible. Currently, strike power is heavily favored in the game, the best premium CVs sacrifice a bit of fighter power for massive strike potential, creating the broken premiums. Not only that, but because they are premiums, newbies can pick them up and fight in the most inhospitable environment in the game, so the CVs often attract hate because the new players are often massive failures. Not only that but with the decline of easy AS builds, new players cannot have a ship in which they can easily protect their strike aircraft or their team. 

 
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CVs effect on DDs, as well as other surface ships.

Spoiler

In the perfect world, this game would be like CW or KoTS, the ships are well co-ordinated, push with each other, and provide cover and Intel to their team, however, this is not the perfect anti CV meta like CW would be and, of course. Players get punished by CVs for not playing in that manner. OF course, playing like that is almost impossible when, as one player put it, "there are three people who read chat, four who ignore it, and four more who don't speak english." Of course, this is complicated, again by the lack of CV players, since players don't often experience CVs, or have time to try to figure out how to work as a coordinated team. Often you only need one or two well-positioned AA ships to deny the enemy CV his strike, but this is rare because of selfish play. CVs are also the perfect anti DD, forcing DD players to play in a more passive manner, and to be less reckless, however, because of the decline of the CV player base, new methods needed to be added to counter DDs, i.e Radar, better hydro, hydro on BBs, HE centered BBs, and more effective anti DD ships. Now Cvs are too much in the current meta and need to have their spotting mechanic re-adjusted to compensate for the massive amount of counters Dds now face. Ideally, CVs would enforce team play, but that is rare, instead, they often kill ships who have no idea what they did wrong, and are overbearing to DDs. 

1
 

Manual attacks, and CV damage.

Spoiler

CVs are infamous for their massive damage, and the lack of apparent counters. While I cannot say whether or not counters exist for tier 10 CVs, which I have not played, from my experience, every CV in the game can be countered by a combined AA bubble. As I have explained before, this is nigh impossible in the current meta, the meta could possibly be changed with an increase in carrier population, but I doubt it would be seriously improved. CVs have two attack modes, one of which is useless, the other is a higher skill attack that deals incredible damage. The latter is where most complaints against CVs originate, the manual attack for Torpedo bombers is extremely powerful,  however, based on experience, manual attacks become an issue with Kaga, then enterprise, and then Taiho and the tier 10 ships. All of the ships I just mentioned have 10 or more torpedoes, which, increases the damage potential enormously. I have no issue with the dual torpedo drops on all low tier IJN CVs, or the US' 1 powerful torpedo squads. The reason that high tier CVs get such high damage is that AA becomes incredibly powerful at high tiers, often resulting in the massive alpha those torpedoes do being used very rarely. 

If AA was toned down, CVs would be ungodly in their strike power, having their aircraft doing much more damage a strike. The current way CVs are balanced is like this; CVs do massive damage with strikes, so AA is increased, however now CVs cannot get strikes off, so the damage is increased, and on and on it goes. This is coupled with the re-arm times CVs have, which ensures that they have to do massive damage a strike because of the long wait times for the next attack (anywhere from 3-5 minutes.)

1

 

Now, onto the bane of al CV players, AA.

Spoiler

AA values are currently hit or miss, depending on module selection, nation, and captain skills. Currently, low tier ships have almost no AA, but that is balanced by low tier CVs having only auto drop and miniscule plane reserves. It is when we get to higher tiers when problems arise. AA is on the high end of the balance, right on the verge of being broken. Patch, after patch, after patch, has buffed AA values. Almost all new ship lines being released have high AA values. The newest example is the French BBs, which, as far as I can tell, have AA that is on par with USN AA. Right now, AA is so powerful that one or two well-positioned AA CAs have near total dominance over the ability of the enemy CV to strike. However, in the rare low AA games, CVs have almost unlimited power, with the ability to hit every ship in the match. 

Right now, I would rate AA as the biggest issue with CVs, there is nothing in game more depressing, or rage inducing, then playing as bottom tier, in a high AA match, in a CV. CVs may have massive strike power, but if they can never use it, and are reduced to glorified barges because of the MM, what's the point? I have been reduced to tears because of games like that, that's not because I am emotional, very rarely am I upset by anything, but because the pain and frustration that come from these scenarios is extreme.

On the flip side, many ships in the game do not AA spec or have ships that have naturally bad AA, these ships have no protection against CVs, and the game is highly un-fun for them as well. 

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Lastly potential fixes.

Spoiler

As many people have probably noticed, I traced many of the issues down to low player base, or because of AA imbalance and lack of team play. My personal favorite fix would be to remove all AA specs, but to buff all AA to make it a halfway mark between stock and fully spec'd that way, CVs are no longer as highly skill dependant, because all ships of a class will have the same AA value, but also, ships that don't AA spec have a chance. 

2

I will add more suggestions later, but this is it for now.

I would appreciate it if the comments were kept respectful, constructive, and if you downvote explain the rationale, thank you.

 

Edited by megadeux
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3 minutes ago, Battlecruiser_Lutzow said:

I kind of tuned out the moment you asserted that the skill gap wasn't that big a problem. Sorry, but I reject that notion pretty much out of hand.

I said not a massive issue, they are still a problem. I state so later, read everything please before making a judgement. My phrasing was bad though, so that is my fault.

Edited by megadeux

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Not sure I'm getting the point here. Where's all this going, or is this just a thread to collect thoughts?

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Just now, Edgecase said:

Not sure I'm getting the point here. Where's all this going, or is this just a thread to collect thoughts?

There's a point, but I haven't got to it yet, but it's also a thread where I stated my general thoughts on CVs.

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My view on CV's in general is how they counter nations instead of ship class/types. 

USN BB's have great AA and I don't have to sacrifice their strengths to get good AA.  German BBs can have good AA, but to have good AA means I have to compromise that nations strengths, AA build means I  reduce secondary build power and possibly give up the aiming mod, leaving me with a ship that has a chance not to get AP bombed into oblivion, but less able to support the team - so I become a liability vs an asset. 

A DD that relies on concealment(JPN) isn't happy to see a CV, if I'm sailing a gunboat DD(Russian) CVs are not a big deal, I'm not worried about being spotted since i'm shooting my guns pretty much nonstop.  So once again, CV is countering a nation and not a class.

CA's are probably the only class across the board that isn't affected as much - believe most if not all above T6 or so can equip DFAA.  That may make them less effective vs DD's since you give up hydro, but now we are talking ship class counters vs nation.  And yes, I know some CAs have much better AA than others, but the overall effect isn't as dramatic compared to BBs and DDs.

So if there are a lot of CV's being played I'm less likely to choose a poor AA ship or a DD that needs concealment.  Since most of the game play is Random, relying on "teammates" to provide AA cover is a gamble and I would prefer to limit my risk in the face of a known threat.  Ultimately if CVs become common place, the diversity of ships being sailed will be reduced.  Which in theory becomes a catch 22, a whole lot of AA ships will make playing CVs not so much fun.  So this system easily gets out of balance.

Not sure there is an easy fix.  As it stands today, CVs are pretty rare so not a big issue, but that doesn't change the fact that the current system is unbalanced/broken

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An honest (if tired) effort OP, (+1) but gawd I feel sorry for that dead horse.

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4 minutes ago, nuttybiscuit said:

An honest (if tired) effort OP, (+1) but gawd I feel sorry for that dead horse.

This will be the last thread i make on this topic, unless WG does something monumentally stupid with the rework. It's pretty much beyond the point of dead horse, maybe twice resurrected, four times killed horse by now.

Edited by megadeux

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Fix the balance between USN and IJN CVs and make the CV interface intuitive and easy to use. More CV players means you remove the situation where current CV players are either masochists that played long enough to get really good, or people new to the class and lacking in experience. More CVs in matches means people will start running AA builds again, reducing the impact CVs have on matches.

Collect data for 6 months then re-assess to see if more changes are needed.

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43 minutes ago, megadeux said:

I said not a massive issue, they are still a problem. I state so later, read everything please before making a judgement. My phrasing was bad though, so that is my fault.

I read everything you wrote, brother. A couple thoughts...

It could be that the relative skill difference of competing CV captains in and of itself determines whether the problem is a massive issue in any particular game. Over the entire server population you are likely correct, imo, that the issue is not massive. But whatever the chance of both a big difference between the skill/experience level of CV captains and/or a difference in capabilities of actual CVs being played is in any particular game, I think most of us will likely agree that these two issues seem to lead to a fairly large imbalance in games where it happens. Or so it seems from my perspective.

I don't claim to have any answers. The problem is a thorny one. Dumbing down the CV controls (no manual drops), minimizing alpha strike damage, or simplifying the UI for CVs robs, imo, experienced players who have invested a lot of time and effort of the advantages they have worked very hard to achieve in terms of skill. I personally believe adding multiple new premium CVs before reworking overall CV game play has only served to further complicate this. There have been some solid suggestions made my others here in the forums that might (or might not) help a bit (aircraft fuel limits,  AA damage increasing over time (to prevent camping planes over a DD indefinitely) and others) but I can't help believing WG will need to make significant changes to CV game play and/or the CV UI in order to reduce the potential magnitude of effectiveness between very skilled and not very skilled CV captains.

I look forward to seeing where you go with this thread.

Respects,

Am

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CV's are so convolutedly complex that balancing by conventional means is almost impossible. When the rewrite comes, if ever, I suspect they will be completely different.

AA is just as big a problem as...... player skill...the terrible state of US CV's until Midway,.....the Saipan abomination.....the ROFLstomping Kaga....tier power discrepancy.....AP bombs.....strafing.....manual drops.....

The devs took everything bad about CV's from NavyField and didnt bring any of the good, many of which restricted the power of CV's. However, once again, in NF a high level of player skill was needed to do well in a CV....actually a high level of skill was needed in NF period, something that the Dev's seem to want to get away from. I cant see too many ways to dumb down CV's unless they ditch fighters altogether

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It is tough to balance...

1) DDs want CVs to be less capable of perma-spotting them (for me, that happens rarely at best, whether I play any ship class)

2) BBs want CVs to stop being able to nuke them.

3) CA/CLs want either what DDs want, what BBs want, both, or just more planes to farm XP from.

4) Inexperienced CVs want the skill gap to be smaller, so they don’t need as much time to learn (justifiably).

5) Experienced CVs want to be able to stomp players who don’t want to learn, cannot learn, or refuse to learn so that their skill advantage is relevant.

6) All CV players want less salt coming their way for the team’s failures (whether it is their fault or not is mostly irrelevant, experienced players will have fewer shortcomings though).

My best idea is removing them from the game while rebalancing occurs (I haven’t the faintest of what that will look like). Then giving things for CV mains or those who have dedicated lots of time on them with MASSIVE doubloon rewards for the trash they have gone through to get to that experience level (10 doubloons a game maybe?).

A bit like how Roon and Hindenburg are after the painful grind after Königsberg (Nürnberg is just as infamous as Pensacola for exploding).

Edited by GabeTheDespot

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Topic edited to add a segment on damage and to expand on the skill gap issue.

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Sigh....

1) allow ships to change their modules and consumables once a CV is in the game. Teams can't even coordinate two of three caps to focus on at the start of a game, you think they can coordinate AA bubbles?

2) Create a MM based que system that wont allow an 80% CV to be matched up against a 19% CV (number of games combined with wr and damage rates) I think the general population would agree with this.

I'll use myself as an example. Would I rather take my chances and get matched up against a seal clubber as a new CV driver? Or, would I rather get a guy who has a similar wr or number of games or damage? Would I be willing to wait an extra minute for a fair match? How many more CV players would their be if there were an avenue to progress at their own pace......with out getting screamed at, reported or team killed. 

 

There is nothing wrong with CV's, the problem is who plays them. I have literally dozens of screenshots of skill based massive blowouts from one CV dominating another and easily winning. No one complains that CV's are broken or OP, they complain that their own CV sucks.

 

 

 

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40 minutes ago, Sweetsie said:

Sigh....

1) allow ships to change their modules and consumables once a CV is in the game. Teams can't even coordinate two of three caps to focus on at the start of a game, you think they can coordinate AA bubbles?

2) Create a MM based que system that wont allow an 80% CV to be matched up against a 19% CV (number of games combined with wr and damage rates) I think the general population would agree with this.

I'll use myself as an example. Would I rather take my chances and get matched up against a seal clubber as a new CV driver? Or, would I rather get a guy who has a similar wr or number of games or damage? Would I be willing to wait an extra minute for a fair match? How many more CV players would their be if there were an avenue to progress at their own pace......with out getting screamed at, reported or team killed. 

 

There is nothing wrong with CV's, the problem is who plays them. I have literally dozens of screenshots of skill based massive blowouts from one CV dominating another and easily winning. No one complains that CV's are broken or OP, they complain that their own CV sucks.

I know, and have stated many times in other threads that like BBs (albeit for different reasons), it was more of a driver problem more than a ship problem. Although, if CVs population rises to 2 per battle at T10, it still won’t be a problem with the AA buffs, such as USN DDs 

I was just saying that this is what different groups thought, at least to me.

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@megadeux I appreciate the generous use of spoilers, for I dislike greatly rereading walls of texts. For that alone, you will get a +1 once my limit is restocked.

 

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I have to say thank you for a well spoken description of the current CV issues.

In particular the de-sync issues, something I see more and more often with the server move/consolidation.  I was unaware of the deliberate use of that mechanic, but in retrospect I should have known

Sadly, with WG downsizing the Warships staff by roughly 33% (they closed the California office), I don't think we will see any remedies soon.

All the same, well spoken, effort appreciated!

Theodin

 

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3 hours ago, Theodin said:

I have to say thank you for a well spoken description of the current CV issues.

In particular the de-sync issues, something I see more and more often with the server move/consolidation.  I was unaware of the deliberate use of that mechanic, but in retrospect I should have known

Sadly, with WG downsizing the Warships staff by roughly 33% (they closed the California office), I don't think we will see any remedies soon.

All the same, well spoken, effort appreciated!

Theodin

Pardon my ignorance, but I though that the office move opened 2 new ones, maybe I remembered wrong and they are downsizing.

Also, what are the de-sync issue?

One thing about Enterprise torpedo bombers, it is impossible to land more than 8 torpedoes on a drop, I have tried, but only from an angle to one side could I get even that 8 (4 per squad). It’s just a whole lot harder to miss :).

Edited by GabeTheDespot
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7 hours ago, Cpt_Cupcake said:

@megadeux I appreciate the generous use of spoilers, for I dislike greatly rereading walls of texts. For that alone, you will get a +1 once my limit is restocked.

 

Thank you, I have a hard time reading walls of text as well, so I thought I'd break it up a bit.

@Theodin can you explain what the de-sync issue is? I alluded to sync dropping, which may be different.

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20 hours ago, Flying_butt_pliers said:

Snipped for convenience.

 

That actually, to me, is not an issue, a lot of ship types break rock paper scissors. For example, IJN CAs are very good at killing BBs, but are mediocre at killing DDs, often nation's defy the class vs class system for national flavor. In fact, a lot of ships counter certain nation's play styles, for example, my yugumo is very good at punishing ships with bad arcs and KM and IJN BBs. But USN and Brit BBs are very hard to fight. 

As for the national flavor of AA, that is often compensated by being weaker in other areas, although since CVs are so rare, many of those ships have been nerfed.

On another note, I'm planning on finishing the original post this evening.

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Almost done, I have a couple more potential fixes and reasons for them to add, but that's about it.

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Give the Same MM to CV's with no limits on quantity per battle or in Divisions.Lose the RNG altogether.Give the same tight aiming to all ships triple AA on all ships with accuracy.Double all Ranges of guns on all ships.Increase Divisions sizes, Make all maps Ocean battles can be as large as 36 v 36 v 36. Give two lives/respawns 2 hour battle limit.Call it" The Devils Trident "

 Hows that for thinking outside the box?

And all you wanted was Balance between  the classes.

Ask for the universe not just one star.

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On 2/22/2018 at 4:43 PM, CLUCH_CARGO said:

Give the Same MM to CV's with no limits on quantity per battle or in Divisions.Lose the RNG altogether.Give the same tight aiming to all ships triple AA on all ships with accuracy.Double all Ranges of guns on all ships.Increase Divisions sizes, Make all maps Ocean battles can be as large as 36 v 36 v 36. Give two lives/respawns 2 hour battle limit.Call it" The Devils Trident "

 Hows that for thinking outside the box?

And all you wanted was Balance between  the classes.

Ask for the universe not just one star.

...

That sounds like chaos.

I don't know how I'd cope with massive maps like that.

Edited by megadeux

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