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Lert

About Zoup's USS Johnston video

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Yesterday @NoZoupForYou posted the following video:

In which he suggests a buyable camouflage for existing ships to make them named sisterships. The example he puts forth is a purchasable USS Johnston skin for the Fletcher. The idea is that buying a Johnston skin for your Fletcher will make your Fletcher look like the Johnston in camouflage, hull number and, presumably, name on the team list. There is a discussion thread here, however, I've elected to make a new thread because of the in-depth arguments I'm going to make and the fact that the existing thread is a day old and thus won't get the traffic a new thread will.

For the purposes of this article I will call these purchasable skins that change a ship's identity 'sistership skins'.

I've made a similar suggestion before, and have spent a lot of time since Zoup's video yesterday thinking about the idea some more. I like the idea, it seems simple enough to do, but there are a lot of logistical issues that need to be solved before this can be implemented.

In no particular order:

Cost:

Zoup says in his video that he'd be willing to pay as much as a current permanent camouflage for this. But if WG implements this, it's going to be a lot more expensive than that. There are several reasons for this:

  • Software development. For this idea to be implemented there needs to be a number of software solutions developed and implemented that don't exist in the game yet. They're not difficult or impossible or anything, but they do need to be developed.
  • Skin development. Time will be spent on researching and designing the historical skins, and - as we'll see later - certain 3D elements on certain ships might need to be changed / relocated, to preserve historical accuracy.
  • Function. These skins would offer something that the current permanent camouflages don't offer, something players really want. Ofcourse WG is going to drive the price up.

3D historical model conflicts:

Not all sister ships are alike. Even if they are functionally identical in terms of armor, speed, weapons etc, there can still be cosmetic differences with a different AA layout, different super structure or bridge design, different boat locations, etc. The sistership skins would need to reflect this. WG has many skins in the game that change a model's 3D geometry, most notably the Halloween and Space Mode skins. Since a 3D skin is more challenging to develop than merely a 2D skin on an existing model, this will take additional time and add additional cost. Plus there is the issue of geometry that might affect game play. Like different AA layouts - not in terms of AA gun location, but what AA mounts are used. Different sister ships can have different angles on their main guns or torpedoes as well. Plus there are sister ships with different main gun layouts, like Maya vs Atago, where Maya surrenders a main gun turret for additional AA. Or more radical changes, like between Fuso and Yamashiro, with not only a different bridge tower design but the #3 turret facing completely the opposite way in rest.

3D geometry conflicts:

Would sistership skins with significantly different 3D geometry have the same hitbox as the in-game model? For fairness sake, they would have to. However, this will lead to visual problems. For example, compare HMS Malaya:

MeUcuka.png

to HMS Queen Elizabeth, its sister ship:

RlaRIZT.png

Queen Elizabeth received the 'Queen Anne's Mansion' bridge construction, Malaya never did. So if a Malaya sistership skin is introduced which has the correct 3D geometry, you'll have either a hitbox which doesn't fit the visual geometry but is fair and the same as that of its sister ship the QE, or you'll have a model accurate hitbox, which is a lot smaller than that of its sister ship, and thus unfair for the player shooting at you. Either way is imperfect, though I would have gameplay trump visual accuracy and go for the unchanged hitbox, myself. And that's just for different superstructure layouts. What if a sister ship had a different length? Like for example the five ships of the Admiral Hipper class had four different lengths, between 202.8m and 212.5m long.

Historical Accuracy Conflicts:

Let's say WG implements the idea, and offers a skin for sale for Kongou, changing it into Hiei. But wait a minute, the in game model is already Hiei. Does this mean they would need to change the base in-game model of Kongou to be the actual Kongou? But what about AA layout, etc? I mean, there's a reason they chose Hiei as in-game model, and Kongou / Hiei is far from the only ship in the game which depicts a sister ship rather than the name ship. Or, worse, an amalgamation of features from multiple ships creating a single frankenship.

Name confusion:

Ok, most people here would know what a 'Johnston' was if they ran in to one in battle. But what about a 'Leutze'? Or 'Isherwood'? Or 'Smalley'? And those are just Fletcher class ships. What about 'Kalinin'? Then there are re-used names. Did you know that there was a Koenigsberg class cruiser called 'Karlsruhe', that's different from the in-game Karlsruhe at tier 4? Confusion abound. Unless WG does one of the following:

  • Make the name change from a sistership skin local only, so only the user can see the name change, but nobody else in the match can.
  • Implement a way to identify a sistership skin name change, like for example "Karlsruhe (Koenigsberg)" to show it's the Karlsruhe named Koenigsberg class. The problem here is with very long ship names.

If they implement the sistership skin name change in such a way that others can see it, would WG add a filter to the game so you can opt to see the ship's names as they are base?

Captain training:

Ok, the 'obvious' answer is that your USS Johnston would be captained by someone trained for Fletcher. But what about your Kidd captain? Or your Black captain? Or would WG make it so you need a specific Johnston trained captain because, hey, you chose to make the ship the Johnston, so here's the consequences of your choice? Again, the answer to this should be obvious, but it's still something that WG would need to discuss and I don't put it past them to monetize the sistership skin by fudging with the captain training.

The 'premium ship slot' conundrum:

Say WG sells a sistership skin for the Fletcher to turn it into USS Johnston. Does this mean WG would then not be able to eventually add the actual USS Johnston as separate premium ship, because it's 'slot' in the game is already taken by the sistership skin? What would happen to the purchased Johnston sistership skins if they decide to add Johnston as a separate premium ship? Like, would owners of the sistership skin get a discount on the premium ship? Would the sistership skin cease to exist, or exist alongside the actual premium ship it's supposed to represent? How would WG differentiate between a sistership skin named Johnston and the premium ship named Johnston?

Feature differences:

Some sister ships had features that their in-game counterpart doesn't. For example, Rodney carried a catapult on its B turret, whereas Nelson did not. Ofcourse, it would be kinda pay to win to introduce a new consumable with a sistership skin, which means that a skin for Rodney would either lack the catapult and be historically inaccurate, or feature the catapult but only visually, non-functional. I'm sure there are other ships in the game with a similar issue.

Conclusion:

Phew, that's a whole list of issues and problems that need to be sorted out before WG can implement sistership skins. Now, individually all of these problems aren't insurmountable, and I'm sure many of you have many solutions ready to go for many of these points. However, that doesn't mean they don't exist, or that they don't need to be solved before WG can sell sistership skins. Solving each of them, whether they're difficult or easy to solve, takes time, energy and money to solve. Investment on the part of WG. Investment that they're going to want to see a return on, via the sales of these skins, which you'll see reflected in the price.

Again, I like the idea in general. After all, I've suggested similar before. However, I personally believe that the sum of all the issues listed above is too much of a threshold for WG to actually go ahead with the idea and implement it. But I'd love to be proven wrong by WG.

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I'm more interested in variety.  Lets get new ship lines started, and roll out a few new premiums.

And please, free the T-61 and GZ.!!

ShadyUglyKillifish-max-1mb.gif.cf844de94ed90e1fea17e27affe79c45.gif

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I have to back Lert on this one. Having the anime Myoko clones is 1 thing … but historic ships another thing all together

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I think there is a simple middle ground.

You have the USS Washington camo on your North Carolina. You see Washington, but I see North Carolina or 'North Carolina-class' so I know what I am facing.

Naturally they could not include all sister ships, only the ones that shared their configuration, at least at the point that they are represented in the game, with the existing ships in game.

This won't get us a lot of sister camos, but it should get us a few important ones.

Edited by MasterDiggs

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I should think the precedent for what Zoup wants lies not just in the HSF vs Normal Graf Spee and the Anime clones but also (and probably most importantly) in the spaceship camos. Those involve radical changes to the appearance of the ship, and yet they were made to work; I'd like to hear your thoughts in that context, @Lert.

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Historical accuracy is already tossed out the window...  WG has gone the direction of balance and variety versus truth.

More examples:  USS Lexington..  Shows 5" dual purpose when it was sunk with quad 1.1" guns that replaced the 8" turrets just two months earlier.  The USS Saratoga sported the dual 5" mounts.

-- would be nice to have those 8" guns so I can go brawling with the Kaga...

****  Meanwhile, I'm extremely happy with the depiction of the Missouri, Arizona, Enterprise, Bismarck, Prinz Eugan, and Atlanta in the game.

The Hood is modelled well, but I'm disappointed in the lack of historical torpedo tubes it used against Bismarck and P.E.

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4 minutes ago, Ensign_Cthulhu said:

Those involve radical changes to the appearance of the ship, and yet they were made to work; I'd like to hear your thoughts in that context, @Lert.

Outside the scope of most of my point in this thread. The space camos work because they don't try to make the ship another, historical, ship, and the 3D geometry follows the existing geometry without deviating too much from it to the point where it completely mismatches the ship's hitboxes, like in my Malaya vs Queen Elizabeth example.

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1 minute ago, Lert said:

and the 3D geometry follows the existing geometry without deviating too much from it to the point where it completely mismatches the ship's hitboxes, like in my Malaya vs Queen Elizabeth example.

LOL okay, so much for that idea. :Smile_amazed:

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to be honest, hit box size n shape isn't all that encompassing a deal to change,  however most games would require a separate model that the skins would reference. at the very least it would require a fair amount of added txt lines/files/folders ect.  to only change the skin and not the hitboxes to match, is the core of the issue it would seem. the easiest way to get the given results would be skins that are only visual on client side as in some of the following 

 

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55 minutes ago, Gerbertz said:

I'm more interested in variety.  Lets get new ship lines started, and roll out a few new premiums.

And please, free the T-61 and GZ.!!

ShadyUglyKillifish-max-1mb.gif.cf844de94ed90e1fea17e27affe79c45.gif

@Gerbertz you old sea dog flying the flag for GZ and T-61 and the kriegsmaine  brethren that's the spirit  plus 1

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1 hour ago, Lert said:

I've made a similar suggestion before, and have spent a lot of time since Zoup's video yesterday thinking about the idea some more. I like the idea, it seems simple enough to do, but there are a lot of logistical issues that need to be solved before this can be implemented.

Great posting, Lert it has given us all a lot to think about.

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I believe I understand what you're saying, @Lert, but this may also be one of those defining issues that is actually useful to have.

What should the difference between a "skin" and a Premium ship be?  I think the Malaya / Queen Elizabeth argument sets that forth pretty well.  I expect Malaya should qualify as a true Premium, encompassing different textures, different hitboxes, different sprite locations, different capabilities (no catapult), different geometry and most likely handling characteristics as less LOA/LAW = smaller turning circle & lower maximum speed.

Changing the shape of the superstructure and texture colors of a destroyer is a nigh-unto unsubstantial change that should require maybe 10 to 15 man-hours.  Premium-camo prices are not unjustified for this.

 

Some of the more complex changes above aren't, in my opinion, entirely necessary.  In-game name should of course change with premium ships.  Like the space and Halloween camouflages, though, I don't advocate changing them from what already exists.  In other words, Imperator Nikolai I with the Rasputin skin currently identifies as Imperator Nikolai I in game, not Rasputin.  Players to whom it matters will see a Fletcher with a dark blue hull and superstructure, maybe the square superstructure and understand it's Johnston.  Players to whom it does not matter will see a Fletcher that's blue and not really care.

Essentially, this:

Class Ship, labeled as such in-game:

Spoiler

0544523.jpg

"Zoupskin" labeled as Class Ship in-game:

Spoiler

0555703.jpg

Premium, labeled as ship name in-game:

Spoiler

0547701.jpg

After all that, though, I guess it's really up to the developers.  I'll remain in the "more variety is better" camp, and if I had to guess I'd say most of us agree on that.

-R

Edited by Mister_Rawr

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1 minute ago, Mister_Rawr said:

I'll remain in the "more variety is better" camp, and if I had to guess I'd say most of us agree on that.

I sure do, with the caveat that I'd prefer ships / nations that aren't represented in game yet over variations on existing hulls, threads like this notwithstanding.

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Meh. Another Fletcher? Don't we already have 3?

Or a horse of a different color with a lookalike camo? Meh.

How about new ships instead? How about T-61 (not even soontm)

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4 minutes ago, alexf24 said:

Don't we already have 3?

4.

And, please, read the post. This is about introducing permacamos instead of full separate premium ships, with Johnston just as example.

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2 hours ago, Lert said:

Make the name change from a sistership skin local only, so only the user can see the name change, but nobody else in the match can.

As you won't have access to the armor layout option in battle it would be unfair to have the models change for your opponents...or unfair for people to have to memorize (possibly multiple) alternate ship configurations for different ships.

Keep it simple & keep the cost reasonable.

A disclaimer should be included for situations like your QE/Malaya example where the new hit box is smaller but the old one is actually in effect to let people know that when they are equipped it may "look" like that shot missed you but your "bridge construction (in your example)" is actually bigger than is depicted in the new camo & it is the responsibility of the player to know the actual layout of the base ship.

That solution covers all of the points in 3D historical conflicts/3D geometry conflicts/Historical accuracy conflicts/Name confusion/Captain training/& Feature differences just by making the skins local...as for the other 2 points...

 

Cost:

2 hours ago, Lert said:

there needs to be a number of software solutions developed and implemented that don't exist in the game yet

I'm sure they didn't alter the hitbox for the Roma when they put the beer can on top...these could be implemented in the same way as it was.

Just making skins (although altered from originals in some cases) & not needing to change any of the hitboxes should keep the costs down compared to actually trying to implement the new "ship models" based off of the new alignments (which in essence any alteration to the hit box would basically require an all new "ship model"). But the work needs to be done no matter what the tier so a T10 camo price (5k doubloons or $ equivalent) no matter what tier ship (just for the novelty of it) would seem reasonable...or at least just start out w/T9 & T10 options & if the profit makes it worth it offer discounts on the lower tier ones later.

2 hours ago, Lert said:

These skins would offer something that the current permanent camouflages don't offer,

I disagree w/this idea...they should just be alternate perma camos w/the same stats as the regular perma camos.

 

The "Premium ship slot" conundrum:

I'm sure WG either knows which ships they will be making premiums out of (or implementing in a tech tree line split in the future) & which they will not or has a pretty good idea about it. For ships they know will(or even might be) made into premiums they won't sell the skins...& for those that they know for certain they will not they can sell the camos...but there should never be a premium made for a ship after the camo option is used for it (or vice verse) as it would cause (actually warranted) complaints from those that dropped a premium ship price to see others get the same ship for a camo price.

(Bold type contradicted here) Of course if the camos stay local then it wouldn't matter as the premiums will have a different configuration & the camos will just be the tech tree version ship w/a purely aesthetic camo only seeable by the user. In fact they could eventually sell (aesthetic only) camo options for tech tree versions of existing premiums also (example Tirpitz camo for Bismarck).

 

 

 

Edited by IfYouSeeKhaos
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2 hours ago, Gerbertz said:

I'm more interested in variety.  Lets get new ship lines started, and roll out a few new premiums.

And please, free the T-61 and GZ.!!

ShadyUglyKillifish-max-1mb.gif.cf844de94ed90e1fea17e27affe79c45.gif

Too bad we have to wait until after the CV rework is released before GZ goes back on sale.

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5 minutes ago, renegadestatuz said:

Too bad we have to wait until after the CV rework is released before GZ goes back on sale.

No we don't...there was a 3 month exclusive time period from when the GZ was finished w/all testing & the new release of it...that time is up in a month or so (or even less) I do believe...if the new CV rework was gonna be implemented in a month or so I'm sure we would have heard about it by now.

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I think Zoup's Idea only works if you are really just changing for lack of a better term the color scheme and maybe the number on the ship's hulls, and the name.  Like for Iowa, you could easily do the New Jersey or Wisconsin, and basically change the number on the hull, name and give it a unique color scheme.

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16 minutes ago, IfYouSeeKhaos said:

No we don't...there was a 3 month exclusive time period from when the GZ was finished w/all testing & the new release of it...that time is up in a month or so (or even less) I do believe...if the new CV rework was gonna be implemented in a month or so I'm sure we would have heard about it by now.

Incorrect. If you had read the Q&A from earlier in the week or the forum posts from a few of the mods here reiterating it, they’ve decided not to sell her until after the CV rework is done. One reason being is because they’ll have to rebalance her again for the rework. Another being is that she has not been approved for sales. She’s also not a healthy ship in their eyes. So anyone wanting her is going to be waiting for a while. Octavian had to mention this a few times during the Q&A.

Fem also answers the question on page 1 of this thread 

 

Edited by renegadestatuz
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7 minutes ago, IfYouSeeKhaos said:

there was a 3 month exclusive time period from when the GZ was finished w/all testing & the new release of it

That means that the ship wouldn't be sold for those three months. It did not mean that it would go on sale the moment those three months were up.

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IMHO, if the sister ship requires a different hitboxes, it should just be a Premium ship. WG might as well as build a new ship around the new hitboxes, if it's gonna take that much work on the hitboxes. Case in point, Mr. Lert, your Malaya example.

On the other hand, if the sister ship is an exact clone with no need for such complex change and implementation, then I say it should be a skin. Purely cosmetic, for both camo and name change, but still a same ship in exact function, including its hitboxes and such.

My 2 doubloons.

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47 minutes ago, renegadestatuz said:

Incorrect. If you had read the Q&A from earlier in the week or the forum posts from a few of the mods here reiterating it, they’ve decided not to sell her until after the CV rework is done. One reason being is because they’ll have to rebalance her again for the rework. Another being is that she has not been approved for sales. She’s also not a healthy ship in their eyes. So anyone wanting her is going to be waiting for a while. Octavian had to mention this a few times during the Q&A.

Fem also answers the question on page 1 of this thread 

 

Sorry...I totally missed the Q & A & have had crashing issues so haven't been doing much besides quick battles to get missions done. I don't see the Q & A from earlier in the week on the web site...was it in the forums only or am I just going blind?

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IF they do this, I'd expect that the cost of the camo would be similar to what the space camos cost (assuming WG decided that the space camos were worth the cost of development), so the question should be are players willing to pay $36 or 8000 doubloons for a T-X reskin. Extrapolating from those numbers, there's a 3000 doubloon/$16 development coast. So a T-IX reskin would cost 7000 doubloons or $32, T-VIII 6000 doubloons or $28.

Is that worth it for a camo/skin that doesn't offer any additional benefits? 

 

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7 minutes ago, IfYouSeeKhaos said:

Sorry...I totally missed the Q & A & have had crashing issues so haven't been doing much besides quick battles to get missions done. I don't see the Q & A from earlier in the week on the web site...was it in the forums only or am I just going blind?

It’s all good. An no, the Q&As are done on reddit

 

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