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DeliciousFart

Proposed Montana armor and citadel fixes

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Forward: The purpose of these proposed changes is to make the Montana both more rewarding to play, and also more historically accurate. I'm a pretty big history buff, and currently I see several historically incorrect armor values for Montana. While it's true that game balance should take precedence over historical accuracy, I believe the following proposal can fulfill both. My goal for these changes to the Montana is to make the ship more rewarding for skilled play while making mistakes and poor play more punishable, while also reducing vulnerability to certain "skill gap reducing" elements that have been introduced (*cough* Conqueror *cough*). Some of these changes also have historical precedence. While "realism" may draw some skepticism, I want to point out that for all the liberties that WG takes from realism, they generally do not deviate from historical armor values. My images are scans from Friedman and Garzke & Dulin.

 

Armor thickness corrections:

The Montana in-game is missing a substantial amount of deck armor. As designed, the Montana's weather deck is 57 mm, while the main armor deck is 179-184 mm (179 is for the inboard section, 184 is for the outboard section). Currently, the in-game values are 38 mm and 150 mm respectively. The most beneficial aspect of this change would be protection against Graf Zeppelin AP bombs. I personally think that those bombs are detrimental for the game, and the current Montana is quite vulnerable to them. Giving Montana her historical designed deck thicknesses would be an indirect way of curbing those bombs' effectiveness. I can see that a 57 mm weather deck is arguably too strong, as it would resist the HE shells of Hindenburg, Roon, Hipper, and Prinz Eugen, as well as IFHE 203 mm guns. As such, I think a 50 mm weather deck is an acceptable compromise, as this would only affect Henri IV and non-German IFHE 203 mm guns which are quite rare. Of course, AP damage against a broadside Montana would remain unchanged (or even greater, see below), which again plays into the theme of these proposed changes rewarding angling while punishing broadsiding.

  Current Proposed
Weather deck (bomb deck) 38 mm 50 mm
Main armor deck 150 mm

179 mm inboard
184 mm outboard

 

Another change, though less urgent in my opinion, is a reduction in the rear citadel bulkhead to 387 mm from the current 457 mm in-game, as the Montana was designed with a 457 mm bulkhead fore and 387 mm bulkhead aft. Furthermore, the citadel roof over the 16" gun magazines should be 25 mm rather than 19 mm currently in-game. The main battery turret should also have its 4.5" (114 mm) STS backing plate included, because that is a huge amount of armor missing, thicker than the deck armor of some battleships like KGV.

image.jpeg.5c888881611e43aedfcf141a19af33a5.jpeg

 

Citadel changes:

I'm proposing slightly raising the citadel over the machinery spaces. I think a good balance would be about 2/3 of the old citadel height, roughly where the 16 mm splinter deck underneath the main armor deck would be. Note that the raised portion of the citadel is only about half of the entire length of the citadel, so the actual increased area ("danger zone") is quite modest. However, with good aim, sailing carelessly broadside will incur harsher punishment. Here are two visual references of what I'm proposing.

0KiJrJs.jpg

phDNUUN.png

The new citadel roof over the machinery spaces should be 16 mm. This does mean including a part of the third deck above the machinery spaces in the citadel volume. Note that these spaces contain boiler uptakes and secondary magazines. However, because of how segregated these secondary magazine spaces are, as well as how far they're placed from the main battery magazines, the risk of losing the entire ship from secondary magazine would be rather small. 5" powder cartridges also tend to burn rather than detonate. Anyways, I think for balancing purposes this is a reasonable addition.

While I agree with the 0.6.6 citadel lowering of Iowa and Missouri, I feel that the lowering for Montana was somewhat excessive; unlike the Iowa sisters with their 307 mm belts (only 2 mm more than the North Carolina), the Montana has very beefy belt armor of 409 mm, almost the same as Yamato's 410 mm, which means that angling is much more viable and even at moderate angles it's capable of defeating battleship AP shells at medium ranges. While the old Montana citadel would be too vulnerable, as it was taller (due to lack of angled ourboard deck armor) and much longer than Yamato's citadel, a moderate raise of the citadel of the machinery spaces will make it such that angling is rewarded while showing broadside is more punished. That being said, because of how sluggish Montana's turning is (she's got the slowest rudder shift), I feel that a citadel raise needs to come with a change in turning ability as well, namely reducing the stock rudder shift from 22.2 seconds to about 18 or 19 seconds.

As a side note, in case someone brings it up, I also think that the citadel for the Conqueror, Lion, Monarch, and KGV should be raised, especially at the boiler rooms which should be above the waterline at proper historical height, but that is for another topic.

Overall, these changes came from gameplay observation and experience where I feel that the Montana is a bit too forgiving of showing broadside (though not nearly as immune as Conqueror), while also being vulnerable to "skill gap reducing" elements like Graf Zeppelin AP bombs. Hopefully these changes would allow the Montana's performance to be more dependent on the skill of the player. While these changes may seem unnecessary, I think it's worthwhile to test them. It can be tested using the same method as Henri IV, where the reload booster was tested on Brennus and given to testers. WG can make a USS Ohio with these changes and see how it plays out.

EDIT: Yes, I'm aware that British battleship citadels like Conqueror's is more problematic than Montana's, but I've talked that in another topic where I proposed a similar raise. Again, that's for another discussion.

Edited by DeliciousFart
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The problem with increasing the deck armor is that you will make an already strong BB even better vs cruisers. With a 50 mm armor deck only Hindy will be able to pen it with HE and 57 then almost no cruiser will be able to. The superstructure is too small to warrant a deck armor buff. So though I like your well detailed post, I think from a game prospective  (balance) this simply won't work. 

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13 hours ago, Fog_Heavy_Cruiser_Takao said:

The problem with increasing the deck armor is that you will make an already strong BB even better vs cruisers. With a 50 mm armor deck only Hindy will be able to pen it with HE and 57 then almost no cruiser will be able to. The superstructure is too small to warrant a deck armor buff. So though I like your well detailed post, I think from a game prospective  (balance) this simply won't work. 

Montana's weather deck is currently 38 mm, which already shatters all cruiser HE except for Henri IV and Hindenburg. If the weather deck is increased to 50 mm, then only the Henri IV would see a difference. The only other difference would be 203 mm cruisers running IFHE, but those are exceedingly rare. In other words, increasing to 50 mm would make very little difference in terms of cruiser HE, while increasing protection against AP bombs. Now, 57 mm may be excessive as it would protect it against all non-IFHE cruiser HE, and as such 50 mm would be a good compromise. As a side note, for some reason Yamato and Musashi have 57 mm weather deck in-game, even though historical documentation actually points to 35 to 50 mm weather deck.

Edited by DeliciousFart
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Citadel Raising on the forums? That's a paddin'

I don't think Montana needs her old citadel back, theres far too many battleships which have citadels similar or worse then hers and that's the issue. The best solution to lack of hittable citadels on battleships is honestly to reintroduce the underwater penetration bug that happened on French BB release.

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40 minutes ago, Akeno017 said:

Citadel Raising on the forums? That's a paddin'

I don't think Montana needs her old citadel back, theres far too many battleships which have citadels similar or worse then hers and that's the issue. The best solution to lack of hittable citadels on battleships is honestly to reintroduce the underwater penetration bug that happened on French BB release.

I agree that British battleship citadels are a much bigger issue, as they're much more difficult to hit than American battleship citadels. I've made a separate topic about how I would like to raise the citadel of the King George V, Lion, and Conqueror, but that's for another discussion, I'm approaching this one at a time. Montana in particular needs an armor model update and a citadel correction, which is why I dedicated a topic to her. We've seen how WG has used a modified version of a ship to test out changes, such as Brennus testing the reload booster for Henri IV. Similarly, perhaps WG can make a USS Ohio which incorporate the suggested changes and see how it plays out.

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52 minutes ago, Akeno017 said:

The best solution to lack of hittable citadels on battleships is honestly to reintroduce the underwater penetration bug that happened on French BB release.

That was when they began the AP tinkering on Battleships looking for a way to mitigate it vis a vis Destroyers.

It was funny because some players absolutely loved the bug and others not so much, it was actually punishing to sail a broadside BB!

 

What is the intention of your proposal other than "historical realism"? To me it just seems like a big ol buff on a ship and type that really doesn't appear to be struggling in the game we are playing at the moment. Plenty of ahistorical stuff going on, so why should this be the thing that requires us to adhere to history?

Genuinely curious.

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18 minutes ago, Canadatron said:

That was when they began the AP tinkering on Battleships looking for a way to mitigate it vis a vis Destroyers.

It was funny because some players absolutely loved the bug and others not so much, it was actually punishing to sail a broadside BB!

 

What is the intention of your proposal other than "historical realism"? To me it just seems like a big ol buff on a ship and type that really doesn't appear to be struggling in the game we are playing at the moment. Plenty of ahistorical stuff going on, so why should this be the thing that requires us to adhere to history?

Genuinely curious.

I thought I laid out my intentions in the lead. The changes I'm proposing would make the Montana less forgiving of carelessly sailing broadside by slightly raising the citadel, while the deck armor buff would make her more resilient against AP bombs and slightly more resilient against HE. The nature of the citadel raise and deck armor buff is from the historical design values. I'm not sure how you managed to interpret a citadel raise as a "buff"...

While gameplay should take precedence over realism, I believe the changes I'm proposing can satisfy both ends. Furthermore, for all the liberties that WG takes from realism, they generally do not deviate from historical armor values.

Edited by DeliciousFart

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21 minutes ago, Canadatron said:

It was funny because some players absolutely loved the bug and others not so much, it was actually punishing to sail a broadside BB!

What is the intention of your proposal other than "historical realism"?

That's essentially my opinion on this. Broadside battleships should be more heavily punished. I'm guessing ops idea is somewhat similar in the cit raise.

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4 minutes ago, Akeno017 said:

That's essentially my opinion on this. Broadside battleships should be more heavily punished. I'm guessing ops idea is somewhat similar in the cit raise.

Most BB's that sail broadside ARE punished heavily however and that includes the Montana. The KM and BRN BB's are the ones who are more easily able to get away with it.

Edited by AdmiralThunder

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22 minutes ago, AdmiralThunder said:

Montana, for as it is in game, is fine just as it is.

Maybe. Though it does bug me that i've had a far easier time landing citadels on a Montana than any other T-X battleship. 

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Just now, Yoshiblue said:

Maybe. Though it does bug me that i've had a far easier time landing citadels on a Montana than any other T-X battleship. 

Of the T10's only Yamato is easier to citadel than Montana which is why I get so confused when people talk about how hard it is to citadel a Montana??? However, with that said, for game balance purposes, I find the Montana to be just fine. It has a lot of strengths and a citadel that can be protected if you do your part, so I am good with it as is. Raising the citadel higher or back to where it used to be would make the ship horrible again. The current citadel location is a good balance between protected and ridiculously exposed.

At T10 you have Yamato and Monty as the easiest to citadel. Republique would be next but quite a bit harder. Then you have GK and Conqueror that are nigh on impossible to citadel (although GK has a weakness through the bow and in front of the front turrets). If people want to talk about BB's that need their citadel's raised because they are darn enar impossible to hit it would be GK and Conqueror. Montana isn't one of them.

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5 minutes ago, AdmiralThunder said:

Of the T10's only Yamato is easier to citadel than Montana which is why I get so confused when people talk about how hard it is to citadel a Montana??? However, with that said, for game balance purposes, I find the Montana to be just fine. It has a lot of strengths and a citadel that can be protected if you do your part, so I am good with it as is. Raising the citadel higher or back to where it used to be would make the ship horrible again. The current citadel location is a good balance between protected and ridiculously exposed.

At T10 you have Yamato and Monty as the easiest to citadel. Republique would be next but quite a bit harder. Then you have GK and Conqueror that are nigh on impossible to citadel (although GK has a weakness through the bow and in front of the front turrets). If people want to talk about BB's that need their citadel's raised because they are darn enar impossible to hit it would be GK and Conqueror. Montana isn't one of them.

If you look at the diagrams, you'll see that I'm not raising it back to where it was, only about half to 2/3 and only over half of the original length.

0KiJrJs.jpg

I agree that the original citadel made the ship too vulnerable, so what I'm proposing is only a modest increase that's recessed inside the hull, and it can be heavily mitigated by angling.

I also agree that British battleships such as Conqueror is a much bigger problem when it comes to citadel placement, but I'll address that in another topic; I made this topic for Montana because there are several areas I wanted to address, citadel placement being only one of them.

Edited by DeliciousFart
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3 hours ago, Fog_Heavy_Cruiser_Takao said:

The problem with increasing the deck armor is that you will make an already strong BB even better vs cruisers. With a 50 mm armor deck only Hindy will be able to pen it with HE and 57 then almost no cruiser will be able to. The superstructure is too small to warrant a deck armor buff. So though I like your well detailed post, I think from a game prospective  (balance) this simply won't work. 

what?  Monty has a large superstructure.

 

1 hour ago, Akeno017 said:

Citadel Raising on the forums? That's a paddin'

I don't think Montana needs her old citadel back, theres far too many battleships which have citadels similar or worse then hers and that's the issue. The best solution to lack of hittable citadels on battleships is honestly to reintroduce the underwater penetration bug that happened on French BB release.

i liked that bug a lot.  It was so satisfying getting cits on BBs who sailed around like idiots.  Especially in BBs that normally did not get citted. 

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16 minutes ago, DeliciousFart said:

I thought I laid out my intentions in the lead. The changes I'm proposing would make the Montana less forgiving of carelessly sailing broadside by slightly raising the citadel, while the deck armor buff would make her more resilient against AP bombs and slightly more resilient against HE. The nature of the citadel raise and deck armor buff is from the historical design values. I'm not sure how you managed to interpret a citadel raise as a "buff"...

While gameplay should take precedence over realism, I believe the changes I'm proposing can satisfy both ends. Furthermore, for all the liberties that WG takes from realism, they generally do not deviate from historical armor values.

The question that I have is this: Why?

Is Montana showing an unreasonable vulnerability to HE fire and AP bombs compared to other BB at tier? It would most certainly be a buff against both HE and AP bombs while a slight "nerf" to the Montana's well protected citadel, but you also forget you slid a rudder shift buff into the ask as well, remember? 22 secs down to 18 or 19? That sounds like a horrible change, no? /sarcasm.

 

Frankly, it's changes that are not needed, and WG has plenty of stuff to do that is actually in the need category long before making BB stronger against their few non BB counters in game.

 

 

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1 minute ago, DeliciousFart said:

If you look at the diagrams, you'll see that I'm not raising it back to where it was, only about half to 2/3 and only over half of the original length.

0KiJrJs.jpg

I agree that the original citadel made the ship too vulnerable, so what I'm proposing is only a modest increase that's recessed inside the hull, and it can be heavily mitigated by angling.

I also agree that British battleships such as Conqueror is a much bigger problem when it comes to citadel placement, but I'll address that in another topic; I made this topic for Montana because there are several areas I wanted to address, citadel placement being only one of them.

But there is no need to do anything to the current version of the ship. It's fine just as it is. A good balance of strong and weak. No need to fix what isn't broken. It can be citadeled with ease now. Even going part way back to what it was would make it horrible to play.

I really don't get all this fixation people have on the Montana's citadel? It isn't hidden and impossible to hit. Actually it is quite easy to hit. only 1 of the other T10 BB's is easier to citadel while the other 3 are infinitely harder yet people complain about Montana's and want to "fix it"???

If it ain't broke leave it alone. These kinds of changes can ruin a ship.

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6 hours ago, Canadatron said:

The question that I have is this: Why?

Is Montana showing an unreasonable vulnerability to HE fire and AP bombs compared to other BB at tier? It would most certainly be a buff against both HE and AP bombs while a slight "nerf" to the Montana's well protected citadel, but you also forget you slid a rudder shift buff into the ask as well, remember? 22 secs down to 18 or 19? That sounds like a horrible change, no? /sarcasm.

 

Frankly, it's changes that are not needed, and WG has plenty of stuff to do that is actually in the need category long before making BB stronger against their few non BB counters in game.

 

 

The only cruiser that would see a difference is Henri IV. From 38 mm to 50 mm, that's the only cruiser HE threshold that's crossed. It would make no difference when it comes to fires; fire chance does not depend on whether or not the shell penetrates. You call the proposed citadel raise just a "slight" nerf, but making Montana more HE-resistant only against Henri IV is too much of a buff?

As for rudder shift, Montana's value is currently worse than both Grosser Kurfuerst and Yamato despite being smaller than both of them.

Edited by DeliciousFart

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10 minutes ago, AdmiralThunder said:

But there is no need to do anything to the current version of the ship. It's fine just as it is. A good balance of strong and weak. No need to fix what isn't broken. It can be citadeled with ease now. Even going part way back to what it was would make it horrible to play.

I really don't get all this fixation people have on the Montana's citadel? It isn't hidden and impossible to hit. Actually it is quite easy to hit. only 1 of the other T10 BB's is easier to citadel while the other 3 are infinitely harder yet people complain about Montana's and want to "fix it"???

If it ain't broke leave it alone. These kinds of changes can ruin a ship.

WG can use same testing method as they did for Henri IV, where the reload booster consumable was tested on a clone named Brennus. In a similar vein, the Montana changes can be tested in a separate ship (say, USS Ohio). Again, WG generally does not deviate from actual armor thicknesses, and keeping Montana's armor values incorrect would be a rather glaring exception. It may not be "broke" purely from a balancing perspective, I view balancing around an incorrect armor model to be a haphazard band-aid. It's the same reason I want Gearing's model to also be corrected as it's currently too wide in-game.

Edited by DeliciousFart
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25 minutes ago, Frederick_The_Great said:

what?  Monty has a large superstructure.

 

i liked that bug a lot.  It was so satisfying getting cits on BBs who sailed around like idiots.  Especially in BBs that normally did not get citted. 

Seriously she has the smallest superstructure area out of all the tier 10 bbs. It gets damage saturated very quickly as well. 

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8 minutes ago, AdmiralThunder said:

I really don't get all this fixation people have on the Montana's citadel? It isn't hidden and impossible to hit. Actually it is quite easy to hit. only 1 of the other T10 BB's is easier to citadel while the other 3 are infinitely harder yet people complain about Montana's and want to "fix it"???

Because current Montana is stupidly annoying to citadel and unlike the KMS bbs who have actual trade offs and take far far more damage in return for the turtleback, Montana does not. Montana is the prime and best used example of the current citadelcreep of high tier battleships, showing the old citadel to the newer ones that fail to punish misplays in battleships nowadays leading to monstrosities such as Conquerer to exist. Montana may be easier to citadel then Conquerer or Republique, but that by no means makes it consistent or reliable means. It actually makes GK the worst T10 battleship due to the excessive pen damage she takes unlike Montana which can negate a volley far better.

None of the citadel stuff is directed at Montana but moreso the T10 bbs in general, the underwater pen changes actually affect Montana the least, only slightly increasing her vulnerability, but it was enough to make her punishable. Conquerer/Republique are the ones that suffer the most, which was documented by people at the time iirc.

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30 minutes ago, Fog_Heavy_Cruiser_Takao said:

Seriously she has the smallest superstructure area out of all the tier 10 bbs. It gets damage saturated very quickly as well. 

The yammy has a smaller Superstructure.  Monty's is huge.  It covers a large part of the ship in both width and length.   I would say it is larger than the repubs, if not very close to it.  It is larger than the Conqs.  GK has the largest imo, with monty just behind. 

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If anything, rather than raising the Montana's Citadel, which people on the forums worked hard to get lowered,  the newest BBs need their citadels raised, as others have mentioned. I've plowed 5 or 6 rounds from my Missouri into the side of Tier X British and French BBs at maybe 5km, point blank range, and haven't scored a single citadel on them. Whether I aim at the waterline by the stacks or below the guns, not a single citadel.

Conversely, a broadside on a Montana is a good chance to score a citadel if you can land the shots around the turrets, and like wise on the Yamato.

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43 minutes ago, SirMuttonChops said:

If anything, rather than raising the Montana's Citadel, which people on the forums worked hard to get lowered,  the newest BBs need their citadels raised, as others have mentioned. I've plowed 5 or 6 rounds from my Missouri into the side of Tier X British and French BBs at maybe 5km, point blank range, and haven't scored a single citadel on them. Whether I aim at the waterline by the stacks or below the guns, not a single citadel.

Conversely, a broadside on a Montana is a good chance to score a citadel if you can land the shots around the turrets, and like wise on the Yamato.

The OP was a key figure in the discussion that corrected it.

This isn't a nerf as much as a balancing act so the ship more reflects it's actual as designed character.

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