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Could carrier rework presage hybrid warships?

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We've known for a very, very long time now that Tone is a finished model, it just hasn't seen the light of day outside studio testing (and on the Chinese servers?).

CF0256I.jpg

IJN Tone

Now, of course, Tone's case (and the refit Mogami, and Oyodo) is rather unusual - Wargaming has essentially created a problem that didn't actually exist IRL: namely, what to do about all those potential "attack aircraft." For those of you who aren't familiar, the Japanese did not carry their scout planes on actual aircraft carriers, instead preferring to saddle cruisers with that duty. And... it didn't really work very well - one of the primary reasons for the IJN's defeat at Midway was the extremely poor coordination of reconnaissance planes (there weren't enough of them, the relaying of information from plane -> cruiser -> aircraft carrier created enormous delays, there were radio issues, etc.). But, for better or for worse, ships like Tone and Mogami (especially after her big refit) didn't carry strike aircraft - just scout planes like this.

cq5EXUe.jpg

IJN Mogami post 1944.

Wargaming does not see these scout fits as practical to the current meta (and, to a degree, I agree with them - there's not an enormous advantage to having your ship encircled by 6 float planes at once instead of 1-2 [the real advantage, rather, would be to direct these aircraft to all corners of the map, but as that doesn't seem to be in the cards, it must be seen as a non-starter]). Ergo, in order for the aviation facilities to have any use, they must host fighters, torpedo bombers, or dive bombers, even if that isn't historically correct.

3KvB1cE.jpg

IJN Oyodo

This matter is somewhat simplified by the much larger hybrids Ise and Hyuga. While neither vessel could recover its aircraft (and neither boasted any attack planes regardless due to shortages by that point in the war), they actually were intended to be true gun-flight deck hybrids that could launch (limited) aerial assaults, with their compliments later landing on friendly carriers/island air bases. Thus, if their representation in WoWs actually possessed, say, a few squadrons of strike craft, it would be realistic.

a7bp4EP.jpg

Ise Class

In a broader sense, this issue isn't limited to a handful of Japanese ships, either. The Americans toyed with the concept both in the 1930s and in the postwar era (possibly involving a few of the New Jerseys).

cfCIQuK.jpg

American keel-up hybrid.

jsWPjqS.jpg

New Jersey class refit.

It was also a on-again, off-again matter discussed by the British (eventually potentially involving one of the Lions).

TOfxP3O.jpg

Lion class hybrid.

And the Dutch went (as I recall off the top of my head) so far as to seriously consider ordering one of the 1047 battlecruisers as a hybrid.

RAvjtw0.jpg

1047 battlecruiser hybrid.

The problem, of course, is that none of this is really manageable as far as WoWs exists right now. Carrier play is enormously involved as-is, and requires the use of a top-down interface that isn't conducive to shooting guns (at least not in the twitchy style of WoWs - it would be fine in something like Navyfield, I guess). For however many players can truly excel at juggling all aspects of carrier play as it exists right now, their meager numbers would be even smaller if you demanded that they constantly swap between gun-play and active steering/torpedo dodging/angling. It simply isn't possible for the vast majority of people out there (present company included).

I wonder, though, if perhaps WG has been holding onto Tone, etc. because they want to pop them out post CV rework. While I cannot conceive of an active aircraft management role for any of these hybrids, if carrier play were "dumbed down," than it might be possible to work them in. I'd certainly like to give it a try - while I'll never be able to give up guns, I love planes (even if don't really enjoy current carrier play), and a best (or worst) of all worlds platform could be quirky and fun. Thoughts?

Edited by Battlecruiser_Kongo

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Hybrids, while interesting, have a few issues.

What aircraft system do they use? The CV system, or a variation on the float plane system?

If it's the CV system, then then how do you keep from overloading the player controlling the ship?

If it's a variation of the float plane system, it could be independent of the CV rework.

What does match maker treat them as?

 

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WG will try to avoid anything too complicated for the “avg” player.  That said i think there are some easy options for the Tone that give her two potential air load outs.  First is all scout planes that could give her a fleet intel function via a consumable that launches a group of scouts to give wide area spotting for a limited time.  Second is an all float fighter load out that could give her a fleet air defense /CAP consumable to provide AI controlled air support (equiv to a fighter squad) in a defined radius around the ship, greater than the standard catapult fighter’s range. This CAP could also be manually targeted using CNTL key.  Both of these options require little user management aside from activating the consumable.  

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3 minutes ago, missile742 said:

WG will try to avoid anything too complicated for the “avg” player.  That said i think there are some easy options for the Tone that give her two potential air load outs.  First is all scout planes that could give her a fleet intel function via a consumable that launches a group of scouts to give wide area spotting for a limited time.  Second is an all float fighter load out that could give her a fleet air defense /CAP consumable to provide AI controlled air support (equiv to a fighter squad) in a defined radius around the ship, greater than the standard catapult fighter’s range. This CAP could also be manually targeted using CNTL key.  Both of these options require little user management aside from activating the consumable.  

Ultimately, that would be the easiest solution for all these ships - a "fire-and-forget" CAP squadron (1-2 for Tone, 2-3 for the battleships). There's no strike to manage or anything at that point - you press a button, the planes go up, they automatically strafe/attack whatever comes within range, and then land after a while.

However, it would be cool if the capital ship sized hybrids could perform some kind of strike. I don't know how this would me managed, but it would give them a unique gameplay niche. 

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12 minutes ago, SgtBeltfed said:

Hybrids, while interesting, have a few issues.

What aircraft system do they use? The CV system, or a variation on the float plane system?

If it's the CV system, then then how do you keep from overloading the player controlling the ship?

If it's a variation of the float plane system, it could be independent of the CV rework.

What does match maker treat them as?

 

That would depend heavily on the CV rework, I think. Ideally (although it may not be possible), carriers will emerge from the rework as "just another ship," that the MM doesn't have to specially account for. Based on Octavian's statements about power-levels respective to other types and skill requirements, this would seem to be the end goal. And, if it is achieved, then I guess that they could be classified as either battleships or carriers (or cruisers) - so long as they were balanced relative to their tier, it shouldn't matter.

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Ise is going to be so so much troll.

Imagine dive bombers and solid AP.

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9 minutes ago, ValkyrWarframe said:

Meanwhile this Soviet design.

k4dYKwY.png

Well, you know those Russians. Decks immune to blast damage? DA COMRADE!

LUV3Xw0.png

*Edit* Are you sure that's a Russian design? It looks suspiciously like a Nelson with a flight deck.

Edited by Battlecruiser_Kongo

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32 minutes ago, Dr_Venture said:

Ise is going to be so so much troll.

Imagine dive bombers and solid AP.

Yeah, being able to start fires on a whim would be interesting - especially if you had 2 squadrons and could stagger the attack.

But she'll only be troll if she's actually tier 6. The Ise can essentially be seen as a Fuso minus two turrets, with vastly enhanced AA and some planes. So... weird; almost like a slow, uptiered Kongo with aircraft. 

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I'd be cool with that.

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So Aviation Cruisers and Aviation Battleships only carried scout planes.

 

I guess the Aichi E16A Zuiun shipborne seaplane dive bomber and the (planned) N1K1 Kyofu Kai seaplane fighter that was fielded off Hyuuga and Ise, with plans to launch off the Tone and Mogami conversions never existed, then.

Edited by KiyoSenkan

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9 minutes ago, KiyoSenkan said:

So Aviation Cruisers and Aviation Battleships only carried scout planes.

 

I guess the Aichi E16A Zuiun shipborne seaplane dive bomber and the (planned) N1K1 Kyofu Kai seaplane fighter that was fielded off Hyuuga and Ise, with plans to launch off the Tone and Mogami conversions never existed, then.

...

I said in the OP that the cruisers only carried (not what they planned to carry) scouts, and that the battleships could field attack aircraft. You're getting indignant about something that I basically agree with >.>.

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There's also HSwMS Gotland as another potential CAV, as well as the 1940 Jean Bart BBCV concept. To quote myself and others:

On 1/9/2018 at 10:38 PM, Sventex said:

Take the proposed 1940 Jean Bart Battleship CV conversion.  What exactly does Jean Bart here lose in exchange for a flight deck?  She still has all her firepower intact.  How do you balance this?

88My3kX.png

For the benefit of the discussion, BBCV Jean Bart would be easier to balance than 1955 or 1950s Jean Bart by the fact that she doesn't have as many secondaries/long-range AA as she did in her post-war outfit, so her AA wouldn't be pushing T11. Remove any speed boost (or don't, just to for the sheer hilarity), nerf the RoF down to the roughly historical 32-35s, and leave the KM level dispersion values as-is. Since this is based on the initial Jean Bart design rather than the post war version, she wouldn't have the large TDS/bulge Jean Bart got much later, as well as not having as many USN AA mounts (if at all; they could entirely be French AA mounts/DPs).


As a partial aside, Steel Ocean has BBCV Ise operational. It more or less operates in a fusion of current WoWs CV and regular warship mechanics; CV overhead mode while managing planes, and standard battleship mode when getting the guns ready, though SO has the advantage of a partial overhead view point when going for long-range shots. The main issue I see in WoWs is figuring out what to do with the main guns between modes. Sure, WG could theoretically have the main guns go on AI "auto firing mode" while players manage the planes, but that would more or less just be a CV with bigger guns.

As for Tone, it's likely they used her to testbed CDBs and CTBs before considering modeling out BBCV Ise or Hyuuga (I bet it will be BBCV Hyuuga, on the grounds that Ise would likely split off from Fuso for a second IJN BB line in the future and instead have a semi-fictional refit that keeps her vastly increased AA from her BBCV conversion, but on her original 12 gun setup instead). Realistically, Tone really just was a scout plane carrier, though WG may have taken into consideration that her catapult craft had variants mounted with 20mm cannons for ground strafing or could carry 550lb bombs and mines. Assuming she was just given controllable scouts (say 1 squad of 3 and 3 reserves), she wouldn't be really unbalanced. That's assuming WG doesn't give her any other reserves, and limits the scouts to 1 squad rather than 2 single scout plane "squads". That also assumes that Tone doesn't get increased range while her scouts are up, but could still allow her to fire from an overhead view, like in SO or NF2, giving her a bit of an advantage over smoke-camping enemies. It would be another advantage of CAVs or BBCVs if they're able to get that top-down view as if a scout was active, but no range buff.  WG could also give Tone a theoretical squad of 2 scouts and 1 (or 2) squad(s) of 2 Catapult DBs (or 4 DBs if just 1 squad, or 2 DBs in reserve if still a 2-plane CDB squad).

Then there's CAV Mogami, with 11 planes to utilize, which, depending on how many scouts/CDBs they assign to her, could either be balanced or slightly OP, to say nothing about BBCV Hyuuga/Ise. HSwMS Gotland also only had 6 (could carry 8 max, prior to conversion), so if WG wanted to give Sweden a CAV Premium, they could reuse what they learned with Tone and apply it to Gotland. It would equally be interesting to see what WG would do about her Hawker Ospreys and whether or not they'd consider a DB variant or just go all scouts.


Ultimately, like CVs, the main make it or break it thing with Aviation Cruisers/BBs is the multitasking skill of the player at the helm. There's also the issue with WG wanting to bring them in, but also not make them so good they have to force mirror them like they do with CVs. The low plane reserves could already be a good limiter, and personally, a squad of 2-4 CDBs wouldn't be much of a threat considering they fly slower and are more likely to get shot down before they get to bomb. Controlled scouts may be a bit of a thorn for stealthy players, but being catapult planes, are also slower than carrier planes and more likely to get shot down the more they loiter. It's not like NF2 where scout planes can climb out of ship AA range and it's up to another player sending their scout plane to duel yours, or a CV to send a fighter plane to chase and shoot down the scout to stop it from reporting enemy ship positions within it's field of view.

To round this back to the CV Overhaul, it depends on whether or not WG ever gets direct player control for secondary armaments working as they had originally considered, as far back as Mikasa, but also during the early plans for Kaga and Graf Zeppelin. It would also bolster a Premium CV Lexington with her 8" guns. If they can get that working, it opens the door wide to CAVs and BBCVs as well.

True, BBCVs may be rather troll in being able to bring most of their firepower in, combined with some potential bombing, but those catapult craft would be far slower than CV fighters, and just as susceptible to AA/AADF. Throw in lower aircraft reserves compared to CVs, and they will more likely be kept in reserve for the late-game matches, where most of the AA has been HE'd off or where there's no more AADF available.

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1 hour ago, SgtBeltfed said:

Hybrids, while interesting, have a few issues.

What aircraft system do they use? The CV system, or a variation on the float plane system?

If it's the CV system, then then how do you keep from overloading the player controlling the ship?

If it's a variation of the float plane system, it could be independent of the CV rework.

What does match maker treat them as?

 

Sarge, I think that it depends on the ship in question.

For the Tone and similar "scout plane carriers", I believe that the answer could be as simple as this.  Just give them a boat load (pardon the pun) of spotter planes, possibly with far shorter cooldown times than most ships with scout planes have.  These may not operate like one could expect actual "scout" planes, but they would provide their ships with a very practical  benefit, i.e. increased range for their main guns.

 

But for a hybrid like the Ise's, I think that it'd be much more difficult, assuming that the Ise was carrying actual combat aircraft.  And honestly, I don't know how one handles an Ise-like hybrid, because it would be tricky to handle flight ops as well as the ship's integral main guns.

I know that some people wouldn't like my solution, but what I'd do is ignore the Ise-like hybrids completely and just include the Ise into the game as a regular BB, possibly including a fictional refit, probably very similar to the Fusos' final refit.  Or we might see the Ise's included as yet another down tiered IJN BB premium, i.e. as a tier 5 BB in its WW1 state.

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The Germans had a few designs for carrier hybrids, both the Atlantikflugzeugkreuzer AIII and AIV and the Grosseflugzeugkreuzer AI and AII being designed with four to six 8 inch guns or four to six 11 inch guns.

 

Image result for german carriers

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8 minutes ago, YamatoA150 said:

As a partial aside, Steel Ocean has BBCV Ise operational. It more or less operates in a fusion of current WoWs CV and regular warship mechanics; CV overhead mode while managing planes, and standard battleship mode when getting the guns ready

I can only speak for myself, but this sounds like hell on earth in World of Warships carrier game as implemented.

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1 minute ago, IJN_Yamato_BB17 said:

The Germans had a few designs for carrier hybrids, both the Atlantikflugzeugkreuzer AIII and AIV and the Grosseflugzeugkreuzer AI and AII being designed with four to six 8 inch guns or four to six 11 inch guns.

 

Image result for german carriers

Wow, cool, never seen those before! +1!

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Besides the Hybrid Carriers, Germany actually has more than enough Aircraft Carrier designs to create a carrier branch. It would be more believable than a Russian carrier line which was completely paper.

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3 minutes ago, IJN_Yamato_BB17 said:

Besides the Hybrid Carriers, Germany actually has more than enough Aircraft Carrier designs to create a carrier branch. It would be more believable than a Russian carrier line which was completely paper.

Eh, I've seen both with a fair amount of paper. Here are two I remember off-hand. The Russian one is worse off more due to the fact that there's no reasonable aircraft to fit them with.

Destroyer_Fuyuzuki's German CV Line

Xero_Snake's Russian CV Line

Interestingly, both have CVs that could also do the "Aviation Battleship gimmick" (KM T9 and T10), or "CV w/ large secondaries" gimmick (VMF T10, KM T8-T10).

16 minutes ago, Battlecruiser_Kongo said:

I can only speak for myself, but this sounds like hell on earth in World of Warships carrier game as implemented.

Depends on WG's interpretation, but if just translated superficially, considering constantly having to shift from top-down to gun view in WoWs, would lose the advantage of being able to call down more precise shell fire. It's more of a multitasking difficulty and how to handle the main guns while in CV view (can't exactly shift them to AI auto-fire mode when WG can't even do that for regular ships and the players wanting to alternate between main and secondaries between volleys).

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2 minutes ago, YamatoA150 said:

Eh, I've seen both with a fair amount of paper. Here are two I remember off-hand. The Russian one is worse off more due to the fact that there's no reasonable aircraft to fit them with.

Destroyer_Fuyuzuki's German CV Line

Xero_Snake's Russian CV Line

Interestingly, both have CVs that could also do the "Aviation Battleship gimmick" (KM T9 and T10), or "CV w/ large secondaries" gimmick (VMF T10, KM T8-T10).

Depends on WG's interpretation, but if just translated superficially, considering constantly having to shift from top-down to gun view in WoWs, would lose the advantage of being able to call down more precise shell fire. It's more of a multitasking difficulty and how to handle the main guns while in CV view (can't exactly shift them to AI auto-fire mode when WG can't even do that for regular ships and the players wanting to alternate between main and secondaries between volleys).

In my experience, battleship angling is such a finite skill (plus watching for incoming torpedoes, looking out for islands, etc.) that the idea of then attempting to flip between a map constantly to make sure your squadrons aren't getting mauled by enemy fighters, flying over an Atlanta, or simply lining up properly to perform a drop, is just too much. There are so many tasks there that need a light touch, whereas the resulting gameplay would be insanely frenetic. 

This is why the CV rework might help - since Octavian had pledged to lower the overall CV skill cap and try to make them more "normal" units, there is a hope that the corresponding gameplay could be less complex. And, in that case, merging the battleship/cruiser with a carrier might potentially not involve Korean Starcraft Tournament-level complexity. 

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3 minutes ago, Battlecruiser_Kongo said:

In my experience, battleship angling is such a finite skill (plus watching for incoming torpedoes, looking out for islands, etc.) that the idea of then attempting to flip between a map constantly to make sure your squadrons aren't getting mauled by enemy fighters, flying over an Atlanta, or simply lining up properly to perform a drop, is just too much. There are so many tasks there that need a light touch, whereas the resulting gameplay would be insanely frenetic. 

This is why the CV rework might help - since Octavian had pledged to lower the overall CV skill cap and try to make them more "normal" units, there is a hope that the corresponding gameplay could be less complex. And, in that case, merging the battleship/cruiser with a carrier might potentially not involve Korean Starcraft Tournament-level complexity. 

That's pretty much the reason the aviation cruisers and BBs were delayed indefinitely according to WG; a master multitasker could make effective use of both from the safety of the second line (behind the advancing team but not camping either), whereas a single-focus player would pretty much waste half the capabilities of the ship (either too focused on the CV play, or too focused on the cruiser/BB play). A similar issue that affects CV players; some can multitask extremely well, some just potato and hope for the best.

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I have also thrown my hat into the ring for a German CV line: I need to go back and fix it which I will complete by spring break.

 

 

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In regards to the Russian CV line even though the blueprints exist the German carriers still make more sense in Wow's.

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Just now, IJN_Yamato_BB17 said:

In regards to the Russian CV line even though the blueprints exist the German carriers still make more sense in Wow's.

I don't think we should see a Russian CV tree... well, ever. But if we do, it should come after pretty much everything else - we're talking minor navies, battlecruiser trees, etc. 

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well Russian Bias for the win. I will admit the Russian designs are not bad but like the Germans the lack of carrier aircraft will force Wargameing to get extremely creative.

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