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Shinzon1

Smoke mechanics and the evolution of player skill

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Hello all,

When I started playing this game in earnest about two years ago I started with the RN cruiser line. I was attracted to this line partly for the smoke and historical value (loved the ROF too). RN cruisers even before the smoke nerf were probably the most unforgiving to new players. I got tired of being squishy, stopped at the Neptune and migrated to other lines that did not depend on smoke so heavily for survival. But while playing up to the Neptune over several months I began to notice how much more effective players became at countering my smoke. And it didn’t seem to matter much if I smoked in open water or behind an island.

Standard smoke play for RN cruisers means you smoke up while undetected, deploy hydro and then fire on enemy ships and reap profits. Lately, even in my destroyers players are hitting my ship reliably in smoke while angled or moving back and forth. Combine that with the inevitable torpedoes players send to smoke, Hydro, RADAR, spotter plane and the smoke firing detection nerf and what exactly is the point anymore? Smoke has kind of become a liability. On DDs and CA/CLs that can take anything else in the smoke slot (TRB/RADAR) I take that instead. I have exhausted all mitigation efforts to not get hit in smoke. Smoke screens just don’t seem to matter most times.

My theory is that smoke was nerfed right around the time the player base skill had become good enough to overcome the advantages of smoke anyway. Ranked season at T7 with the Belfast fiasco had taught everyone how to deal with smoke ships. Nerfing smoke when WG did only served to further weaken ships that depended on it for survival. Players that experienced Ranked that season came away with new tactics, techniques and procedures to successfully prosecute ships in smoke while players that did not participate were in for a rude surprise if they deployed smoke without factoring in lessons learned.

At this point in the game veteran player retention seems to be at an all-time high so this knowledge has been retained. Combine those experiences with the natural progression of player skill at high tier and we start looking at the final nail in the coffin for smoke play. Even I can reliably hit ships in smoke now and I am an average player. I think the solution is that WG should look at evolving the smoke mechanic to reflect the new realities of player skill if they want it to be a useful consumable. Creeping smoke on the Haida and Cossack is a good start but a smoke refresh is overdue. The legendary smoke upgrade for the Minotaur hasn’t been deployed in battle in enough numbers yet for me to form an opinion on that. For clarification, I am not advocating we go back to the days where people could smoke right in front of you and farm you to death but I think we need a change. 

I know my experiences may be subjective but lately I have seen many players eschew smoke for anything else. Do you think smoke should evolve to match current player skill/meta? Do you think smoke was nerfed too much? Please let me know your observations. Thanks.

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smoke is near useless in t10, thats why radar yueyang is only yueyang.

between radar saturation, and players being able to blindfire smoke. it can become somewhat meaningless.in some cases it can hurt your team too. it breaks your teams LOS. or my personal favorite is to take a yueyang, radar a destroyer who poped smoke, and then steal his smoke and farm his team.

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My smoke is for supporting my team, my smoke is for running away. Even if my smoke is near useless at Tier X, I will still smoke. I will always tell players to NOT stop in my smoke. I will almost never stop in my smoke, I will move slow in my smoke.

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23 minutes ago, Hanger_18 said:

smoke is near useless in t10, thats why radar yueyang is only yueyang.

between radar saturation, and players being able to blindfire smoke. it can become somewhat meaningless.in some cases it can hurt your team too. it breaks your teams LOS. or my personal favorite is to take a yueyang, radar a destroyer who poped smoke, and then steal his smoke and farm his team.

Same reason you see an increasing amount of radar Minotaurs as well. 

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Smoke can still be useful still as was stated limited use for ships crossing open spaces at sea, nice to give your supporting ships some kind of blinder instead of just open sea with zero chance of hiding out in open water....or to aide in evasion.

Edited by C_D

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OP, I think your assessments of the reduced value of smoke, and how/when we got there are spot on.  As for the question of the future of smoke.  I think will see less and less smoke.  I happen to believe WG will be forced to make an anti-radar consumable and DDs will have to choose between this new anti-radar consumable or smoke. 

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Smoke is for covering friendlies if they're not spamming set a smoke screen or covering my A&&&& in a run away retreat 

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I dont think smoke has been made useless, you just can't mindlessly use it expecting it to be a trump card.  If you place smoke away from radar and don't sit motionless in it you will be fine. The smoke vision nerf generally only affects bbs anyway, so not really a big deal in general. I still gunboat effectively from smoke in dds, so maybe it's just playstyle

Edited by RedRushian
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6 minutes ago, Slimeball91 said:

OP, I think your assessments of the reduced value of smoke, and how/when we got there are spot on.  As for the question of the future of smoke.  I think will see less and less smoke.  I happen to believe WG will be forced to make an anti-radar consumable and DDs will have to choose between this new anti-radar consumable or smoke. 

and in every case i would take the anti radar one...

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Just now, RedRushian said:

The smoke vision nerf generally only affects bbs anyway, so not really a big deal in general. I still gunboat effectively from smoke in dds, so maybe it's just playstyle

I agree.  The smoke change was big nerf for BBs.  For cruisers it was a nerf and buff, for DDs I think it was just a buff since you can shoot without a spotter on ships that are firing. 

Just now, Hanger_18 said:

and in every case i would take the anti radar one...

Maybe, we'd need to know what the new mechanic was.  I have a feeling it will be a radar jammer, maybe chaff.  You'll get one charge, two with premium.  It will reduce or block radar for 5-8 seconds (maybe as long as 10 seconds).  All it will do is reduce the amount of damage you'll take, not make you immune to radar.  The net result will be DDs being nerfed without smoke. 

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The issue with the nerded smoke mechanics is this:

 

Originally the value of being in smoke was 2 km. This alllows ships of any class especially  BB's to just blap away. This became an issue during Season 7 of ranked. There were counters such as torping the smoke cloud and even radar ships. But since the counters were premiums (Atlanta, Belfast and Indianapolis) and thus rare, players were complaining about the unfairness.

Haida, Perth, Belfast and Kutuzov has been affected by the nerf in difference ways. Haida and Perth can take their smoke with them. Belfast and Kutuzov have to stay in the smoke if their using it. If you look at the smoke visibility ranges for firing in smoke:

Haida - 2.3 km

Perth - 4.5 km

Belfast - 5.3 km

Kutuzov - 7.7 km

 

Note that the gun caliber of Belfast and Kutuzov are the same but the smoke detect ability  is 2.4 km greater. Now as for the effects on game playing, not much effect on the Haida and Perth. I always turn on the hydro when I'm in smoke and it gives me an early warning of torps heading my way.  It's not even much of a problem with the Belfast, providing I smoke up at 8-10 km distance depending whether the targets are incoming or out going. The Kutuzov has been greatly affected by it due to the fact you have to smoke up in the 13-15km range to avoid being spotted in the smoke by a dd. Thar or resort to island humping.

What has been irritating me are ignorant BB drivers who insist into driving and staying into the smoke I generate thinking they can fire away w/o being spotted. I have 2 problems with that situation:

1. He fires, gets spotted and shells fly toward him. No problem if the shells hit him only. More often than not, they hit me as well.

2. Torps will be coming. I can dodge inside the smoke with just me. Something as big as bb with me?  I just run when I spot incoming torps. The BB can tank the torps better than me.

Of course the BB driver won't know when the smoke ends, but that's his problem also.

 

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8 minutes ago, Slimeball91 said:

I agree.  The smoke change was big nerf for BBs.  For cruisers it was a nerf and buff, for DDs I think it was just a buff since you can shoot without a spotter on ships that are firing. 

Maybe, we'd need to know what the new mechanic was.  I have a feeling it will be a radar jammer, maybe chaff.  You'll get one charge, two with premium.  It will reduce or block radar for 5-8 seconds (maybe as long as 10 seconds).  All it will do is reduce the amount of damage you'll take, not make you immune to radar.  The net result will be DDs being nerfed without smoke. 

Actually a better fix is have radar have a LOS solution. If there's an Island between the ship and radar, it won't be spotted. None of the X-ray property of the current game engine. Why WG won't implement that solution, I have no idea.

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I still smoke my retreat and blind your team to  target you were spotting j/k

 It is still useful but I hate the Meta changed with the big smoke nerf  Sure there was camping before but now there's a lot more camping and  A lot less pushes and less teamwork out side of division play

 

Edited by silverdahc

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4 minutes ago, silverdahc said:

I still smoke my retreat and blind your team to  target you were spotting j/k

 It is still useful but I hate the Meta changed with the major the big smoke nerf

 

the change to smoke fire blooms never bothered me, what bothered me is the over saturation of radar. and to some extent german hydro

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1 minute ago, Bill_Halsey said:

Actually a better fix is have radar have a LOS solution. If there's an Island between the ship and radar, it won't be spotted. None of the X-ray property of the current game engine. Why WG won't implement that solution, I have no idea.

I don't particularly think that's a good idea.  Then you force radar boats to not be behind islands in order to get effective radars, and then islands in the middle of caps become a trump card for dds. Just ram the island and you'll be completely safe from the majority forms of spotting. It would make radar boats fairly useless and force them to play in open water where they shouldn't be for the most part.  There would have to be a buff for the american cruisers.  Going through islands isn't a realistic game element, but it is a good game mechanic.  The radar duration could be reduced by 5 seconds or so if WG fixed the delay in ships popping into vision, which would help.

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1 minute ago, Hanger_18 said:

the change to smoke fire blooms never bothered me, what bothered me is the over saturation of radar. and to some extent german hydro

 Careful you said the R word :Smile_child: Don't wanna get them up in arms

Even though  I totally agree with that:Smile_great:

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9 minutes ago, RedRushian said:

I don't particularly think that's a good idea.  Then you force radar boats to not be behind islands in order to get effective radars, and then islands in the middle of caps become a trump card for dds. Just ram the island and you'll be completely safe from the majority forms of spotting. It would make radar boats fairly useless and force them to play in open water where they shouldn't be for the most part.  There would have to be a buff for the american cruisers.  Going through islands isn't a realistic game element, but it is a good game mechanic.  The radar duration could be reduced by 5 seconds or so if WG fixed the delay in ships popping into vision, which would help.

You just hit upon a very good reason do it. Breaking up the island waifu meta for Ca's and BB's. How many times have you seen 10 out of 14 ships of both sides huddling behind an island on 1 flak or another?

Edited by Bill_Halsey

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Just now, RedRushian said:

I don't particularly think that's a good idea.  Then you force radar boats to not be behind islands in order to get effective radars, and then islands in the middle of caps become a trump card for dds. Just ram the island and you'll be completely safe from the majority forms of spotting. It would make radar boats fairly useless and force them to play in open water where they shouldn't be for the most part.  There would have to be a buff for the american cruisers.  Going through islands isn't a realistic game element, but it is a good game mechanic.  The radar duration could be reduced by 5 seconds or so if WG fixed the delay in ships popping into vision, which would help.

you mean eliminate the skilless, lazy, passive gameplay that is parking behind an island and pushing a button???

it wouldnt be useless because you can still negate smoke screens and concealment in open water. you just cant park behind an island and push your i win button anymore. it would no longer be the ultimate reward for 0 risk. it would actually have a tradeoff, rather than negating concealment, smoke in a uncounterable 10km bubble for an entire minute. it would force people to actually think about when they should try radar, rather than the standard roll up to island, use radar... 

American cruisers dont need a buff...even after that change theyre fine.

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6 minutes ago, Bill_Halsey said:

You just hit upon a very good reason do it. Breaking up the island waifu meta for Ca's and BB's. How many times have you seen 10 out of 14 ships of both sides huddling behind an island on 1 flak or another?

5 BBs hiding behind a island from a 1 Cleveland and 1 IJN DD that just expended its torpedoes.

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26 minutes ago, Hanger_18 said:

you mean eliminate the skilless, lazy, passive gameplay that is parking behind an island and pushing a button???

it wouldnt be useless because you can still negate smoke screens and concealment in open water. you just cant park behind an island and push your i win button anymore. it would no longer be the ultimate reward for 0 risk. it would actually have a tradeoff, rather than negating concealment, smoke in a uncounterable 10km bubble for an entire minute. it would force people to actually think about when they should try radar, rather than the standard roll up to island, use radar... 

American cruisers dont need a buff...even after that change theyre fine.

 

31 minutes ago, Bill_Halsey said:

You just hit upon a very good reason do it. Breaking up the island waifu meta for Ca's and BB's. How many times have you seen 10 out of 14 ships of both sides huddling behind an island on 1 flak or another?

so basically you want to replace ca hugging meta with DD hugging meta.  A cruiser can't hug the island too much or he can't contribute at all, if you put a DM in open water in front of yammys or montys what's going to happen? he dies, every time, unless they get a counter buff as i referenced earlier. The main problem with radar presently is how many of them there are, which is easily countered with mm rules or WG being better about limiting how many ships they make with it.  If there were only 2 radars a match this topic wouldn't even be here.  If you want to stop island hugging work as a team and flank the island so he can't use it.  Learn to play the game instead of asking for a nerf to other people to make your play better.  Why does a cruiser have to go open water to make himself an easy target?  A radar CA not named moskva can't play in open water consistently as the game is currently designed, dd sees you, you radar, if you fire your are spotted for 20 seconds at least in open water, and that's after he escapes radar range, not before. So if you spot the dd you will be punished, if you shoot the dd, you will be punished, so at this point why would a DM or another ship of that line worry about finding destroyers anymore?  There's no reward and a lot of punishment.   And then the unicums will start abusing the lack of vision to make previously very ill advised pushes around islands and catch potatoes off guard all the time. 

Edited by RedRushian

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21 minutes ago, RedRushian said:

 

 If you want to stop island hugging work as a team and flank the island so he can't use it.  Learn to play the game instead of asking for a nerf to other people to make your play better.  Why does a cruiser have to go open water to make himself an easy target?  A radar CA not named moskva can't play in open water consistently as the game is currently designed, dd sees you, you radar, if you fire your are spotted for 20 seconds at least in open water, and that's after he escapes radar range, not before. So if you spot the dd you will be punished, if you shoot the dd, you will be punished, so at this point why would a DM or another ship of that line worry about finding destroyers anymore?  There's no reward and a lot of punishment.   And then the unicums will start abusing the lack of vision to make previously very ill advised pushes around islands and catch potatoes off guard all the time. 

I had never been a fan of the island waifu meta. Had you ever noticed that the  simliarity of WoWs and WOTs?. That's because you run the ships, especially the cruisers like tanks. My other name of WOWs is "WOT Naval Edition".

but no worries, I'm pretty sure WG is going to accomodate the majority of the player base.

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32 minutes ago, RedRushian said:

 

so basically you want to replace ca hugging meta with DD hugging meta.  A cruiser can't hug the island too much or he can't contribute at all, if you put a DM in open water in front of yammys or montys what's going to happen? he dies, every time, unless they get a counter buff as i referenced earlier. The main problem with radar presently is how many of them there are, which is easily countered with mm rules or WG being better about limiting how many ships they make with it.  If there were only 2 radars a match this topic wouldn't even be here.  If you want to stop island hugging work as a team and flank the island so he can't use it.  Learn to play the game instead of asking for a nerf to other people to make your play better.  Why does a cruiser have to go open water to make himself an easy target?  A radar CA not named moskva can't play in open water consistently as the game is currently designed, dd sees you, you radar, if you fire your are spotted for 20 seconds at least in open water, and that's after he escapes radar range, not before. So if you spot the dd you will be punished, if you shoot the dd, you will be punished, so at this point why would a DM or another ship of that line worry about finding destroyers anymore?  There's no reward and a lot of punishment.   

but the DD is going to leave. a radar cruiser currently sits on that rock. especially in CB.

why should MM have to take into account 1 consumable? why is 1 consumable so stupid that MM has to be changed to account for it? why does radar need to be so overwhelmingly easy to play? why should he be able to entirely negate the smoke and concealment other ships are balanced around?

keep in mind. the DM was doing OK before it had radar...

32 minutes ago, RedRushian said:

And then the unicums will start abusing the lack of vision to make previously very ill advised pushes around islands and catch potatoes off guard all the time. 

uhhh....goood.

why should an idiot be able to counter someone better than him with the tap of a button?

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1 minute ago, Hanger_18 said:

but the DD is going to leave. a radar cruiser currently sits on that rock. especially in CB.

why should MM have to take into account 1 consumable? why is 1 consumable so stupid that MM has to be changed to account for it? why does radar need to be so overwhelmingly easy to play? why should he be able to entirely negate the smoke and concealment other ships are balanced around?

keep in mind. the DM was doing OK before it had radar...

uhhh....goood.

If you looked at the old videos at around 2016, DD's had it made w/o radar. See a CA/BB, smoke up and start shooting/launch torps. A CA/BB has the option of either charging in or breaking off. Still happens in T6 matches.

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Just now, Bill_Halsey said:

If you looked at the old videos at around 2016, DD's had it made w/o radar. See a CA/BB, smoke up and start shooting/launch torps. A CA/BB has the option of either charging in or breaking off. Still happens in T6 matches.

ah but if hes torping he has LOS and LOS radar would still counter that.

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