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Noob201

How to play tier 4/5 carriers?

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I'm not new to the game, persay, I used to play a number of years ago until they patched out the ability for tier 4/5 carriers to use manual drop/strafe. I never found out why, but ever since then I've been unable to find a good tutorial explaining how to play the carriers well without using these abilities. In particular, Japanese carriers. I haven't gone down the American carrier line quite yet, I'm slowly and very frustratingly trying to grind through the Wyoming as I really don't like playing BBs. My impression of them though is that they are much better for the dumb automatic fire system as they have more torpedoes and although I presume they do less damage, when you have the spread for the Zuiho using the crappy automatic drop sustem, well, some hits are better than literally dropping 8 torps and only hitting one somehow despite dropping in such a way to try and maximize hits

Another problem I've been having has been how to fight American fighters. I can't understand how I'm supposed to fight against 6 enemy fighters when I only have four, and despite the fact I've invested in skills/upgrades/flags to try and increase fighter damage and HP, I haven't been able to have superior fighters. I've lost a number of fights that are 4v3 or 4v4 versus a Bogue or another Zuiho. Do these skills make a difference or no? It doesn't seem to have done very much for me.

I've attempted to bait them either over friendly ships to try and tip the scale or bait them with torpedo bombers but neither have worked. The only time it's worked is if the enemy CV is distracted by something else, but if he's paying even a semblance of attention to what's happening they just don't fall for it. I know I could have killed hundreds of fighter squadrons by now if I could manually strafe... It's painful to watch an enemy fighter group get juust close enough to be hit by a quick strafe... If I could actually freaking strafe, but no, I can't. It's frustrating.

The final problem I've run into is the actual automatic drop system itself - half of the time it seems to want to fight me than try to help. I've had instances where I want a squadron to drop torpedoes running along a coastline to a beached enemy ship - but the autodrop wants to send in the bombers at some odd of strange angle that wouldn't result in nearly as many hits if he just turned slightly. I have to struggle with the autodrop system as it constantly shifts and changes around for no apparent reason, essentially chasing the drop reticle so I can set up a drop that I actually want to do, not what the game thinks is best even though the enemy could just press E twice and literally avoid every single torpedo dropped.

I guess this mostly seems like me complaining but, I don't really get how I'm supposed to fight against an American carrier which can field more planes than me in a match. From what I've seen the quality of the planes is meaningless, and the quantity is all that really matters. I've never seen four fighters win against five and sometimes they seem to have difficulty against just three.

This problem has been something I've been having trouble with for years now and is easily the main reason I haven't played a ton. I cant figure out or find a guide on how to play my highest tiered ship in my port and I genuinely do not enjoy playing the vast majority of other ships I have, as tier 2/3 teams are... well... There's nothing quite as infuriating as losing what feels like every other match, in which we lose five ships, enemy team caps all points, and they don't lose a single ship, winning with 1000 points reached. But I suppose that's something else entirely.

So, how am I supposed to beat enemy CVs? Is there a 200IQ strat involving losing all my torpedo bombers so the enemy CV thinks I suck and thus falls for all my bait traps and I reverse the situation on them by sneaking up behind them and ramming them or something?

Sarcasm aside though feedback would be appreciated. If I can find a way to actually play CVs and enjoy playing them, then WoWs would become a much more appealing game to play outside of co-op or operations, in the rare case they accept a tier 5 CV.

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Might want to check this out, I know practically nothing about CV play but to me it sounds like good advice:

 

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19 minutes ago, Noob201 said:

I never found out why,

Because for starters, it has been, and always was, broken. Even more so at those tiers because you had 19 point captains obliterating newbies, who then quit, CV's and helped stunt the population, as well as Manual Drop not helping both with CV's getting sniped, and other ships because at that tier they are slower, less agile and have at best inadequate AA. Which, led to players leaving the game, and AA buffs that ruined balanced at other tiers as well. And led to a series of "Super AA ships" like Texas and others, that further caused balance issues like the over targeting of DD's. Which, add in that the two in their current forms are 90% of the skill gap issue, is why we have the stupid as hell rework in the mix now. 

You aren't going to beat USN fighters with IJN unless you get a noob that takes the bait. And it's not because they have 6 fighters vs your 4 as much as it's their DPS is too high for the number of fighters they have. This has been an issue some of us have been on them about since Alpha and their solution if the rework goes through is to basically remove fighters. Only other chance is to have at least 10 point captain with AS, full fighter build, with them not having the AS skill and/or DFE - which they benefit from as they have lower tier planes. 

I'm not sure how exactly your having to chase the things around to set your own drop - I use auto drops through all tiers and have no real issue. but as for the drops themselves - you have to actually anticipate enemy ship movements, lead a target, make it do what you want, or rely on cross drops - actual ones where turning one way to avoid set A puts you broadside into set B, not the bull some call a cross drop where you hit from a single side. One also has to remember what IJN CV's were built for in this game - capital ship hunting. They are meant to hunt larger ships like BB's and other CV's. They can hit smaller and more agile targets, just not as well. no different really than in someways hitting other ships with DD torps. These are just really slow ones. 

Case in point I just played this, against a bogue, with my 7 point captain , by being where his fighters weren't, and everything I said above -

shot-18_10.09_22_58.49-0588.thumb.jpg.e572f1e915f5b0041eac940a58bc97f2.jpg

1 hour ago, Noob201 said:

From what I've seen the quality of the planes is meaningless, and the quantity is all that really matters.

Quantity is a bit of a red herring, as by that, Zuiho has more TB's and should have no issue. Even 2-1 IJN fighters are out classed. The issue is USN DPS - basically the calculation for plane shoot down chance is tooltip DPS x number of planes/HP. Zuiho is 44x4/1090 and Bogues best is 43x6/1210. And even as IJN DPS gaps more, it's still a higher number plus the number of planes, with ammo not helping. Drop Bogues top fighters to around 30 DPS and it becomes alot more fair, especially given the ammo reserves USN has. While yes, quantity is a small part, the real issue is in fact, quality. 

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Also, there’s a green tab on the attack commit circle; you can left click and hold that, and drag it around to change the direction your autodrop comes from.

Also, if you’re having trouble, I would STRONGLY recommend playing your carriers in Co-op until you’re comfortable with the controls.

Also x2; because of the pending change to carrier mechanics, I wouldn’t recommend going any higher than tier 5, and certainly not higher than tier 4; again; until you’re comfortable with the controls.

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6 hours ago, Estimated_Prophet said:

Also, there’s a green tab on the attack commit circle; you can left click and hold that, and drag it around to change the direction your autodrop comes from.

Also, if you’re having trouble, I would STRONGLY recommend playing your carriers in Co-op until you’re comfortable with the controls.

Also x2; because of the pending change to carrier mechanics, I wouldn’t recommend going any higher than tier 5, and certainly not higher than tier 4; again; until you’re comfortable with the controls.

I know how to use carrier controls. I can do well enough in a co-op battle playing as the Zuiho as the enemy team is literally a carbon copy of yours, so I've found it quite easy to get 4 or 5 kills without a whole lot of effort on my part. I know to move around the tab, my main problem as been that sometimes this tab decides to shift from one end of the circle to the other because of a minor change of course of a ship or something and I have to essentially chase it with the cursor as it moves. It can be a bit annoying or frustrating when your squadron is right next to the target and very nearly attacks on the usually mediocre attack angle it sets up on the opposite side of the ship and has to shift around right overtop of the enemy ship for an extended bit of time. My main problem has been with trying to fight other carrier players and carrier types.

 

7 hours ago, WanderingGhost said:

Because for starters, it has been, and always was, broken. Even more so at those tiers because you had 19 point captains obliterating newbies, who then quit, CV's and helped stunt the population, as well as Manual Drop not helping both with CV's getting sniped, and other ships because at that tier they are slower, less agile and have at best inadequate AA. Which, led to players leaving the game, and AA buffs that ruined balanced at other tiers as well. And led to a series of "Super AA ships" like Texas and others, that further caused balance issues like the over targeting of DD's. Which, add in that the two in their current forms are 90% of the skill gap issue, is why we have the stupid as hell rework in the mix now. 

Well, I'm not sure if it's because I didn't read up on news since I last played but admittedly I don't really remember hearing of much of that. There should be a better solution though than just removing the features, maybe make them less powerful somehow? Idk, the gap between tier 5 CVs and tier 6 CVs isn't just having a better carrier, it's having rediculously overpowered abilities like the strafe and manual drops. I have been punished before for having my stuff too close together and lost all four squadrons from a single strafe, literally destroys everything even remotely close. I essentially can't counter it with, say, my own strafe or something of the sort. Tbh this may be what you're referring to, I'm not familiar enough with news as to whether your referring to seal clubbing or just horrible balance.

 

9 hours ago, WanderingGhost said:

You aren't going to beat USN fighters with IJN unless you get a noob that takes the bait. And it's not because they have 6 fighters vs your 4 as much as it's their DPS is too high for the number of fighters they have. This has been an issue some of us have been on them about since Alpha and their solution if the rework goes through is to basically remove fighters. Only other chance is to have at least 10 point captain with AS, full fighter build, with them not having the AS skill and/or DFE - which they benefit from as they have lower tier planes. 

Well, I'm stuck with a 5 point captain right now on my Zuiho right now, ironically I have a free 10 point captain for the Americans as I still have that free captain from the tier 1. From the rest of what you say, yeah, it does seem a bit broken that the Bogue not only gets more aircraft but better overall stats. I wouldn't mind this, tbf, if I could strafe but the ability is just completely broken. I can kind of see why they would just remove fighters although it seems to indicate more of a lack of creativity or knowledge of what to do rather than if they had come up with a real solution.

 

What I don't really get 100% about what you say is good at hunting CVs and Battleships - I don't really understand how Japanese CVs are better at this than American ones. Usually when I do the A and B pattern you mentioned above (which is how I execute all my drops if possible) I still only manage to get one hits, maybe two if I'm lucky and they weren't travelling at full speed or just had an exceptionally slow BB. It takes 8 torpedoes and two separate squadrons to do this, and the damage from what I've seen is eh. It's a decent amount but for 8 total torpedoes... eh. Against CVs, I suppose as more squadrons means more targets to split the AA's attention as well as CVs being slower in general and making it easier to hit but, from what I've seen, it seems that US CVs get a ton more torpedo hits (and more damage) than a Japanese strike using both of it's squadrons would. If this is just because I'm bad or something, idk, it has been a long time since I last played but tier 5 carrier gameplay really hasn't changed very much (if at all) and I got the hang of it pretty quickly.

 

Thanks for the replies though, I didn't know that damage was calculated based on dps x plane #/hp system so I guess that would explain some of the frustrating results I've had in which I thought I outmatched the enemy but didn't I presumed it was based off of maybe a semi-RNG system or something of the sort.

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6 hours ago, Noob201 said:

Tbh this may be what you're referring to, I'm not familiar enough with news as to whether your referring to seal clubbing or just horrible balance.

Both really - Wargaming's official reasoning was over seal clubbing, however, because I've been playing CV's since Alpha testing, the connecting of dots is me. And it is horrible balance as well because even the noobs who were getting through learning to strafe became frustrated with the fact that a CV could insta delete 20 planes. There is literally no reason for it to be as powerful as it is, gameplay or historically. And because I played Alpha, I played before these both existed, so tier 4/5 is a bit of a throwback for me. There was another iteration of strafing, forget at what point, where it was basically an AoE debuff against bombers. Yes, you might take down a couple planes, but the overall point was to use it at the right time to scatter the enemy bombers so it was harder for them to hit, like DF AA. Which going back to that style, with almost 0 DPS bonus, takes the focus off fighters like Wargaming wants. Manual Drop, there is only one way to keep it at this point that most CV players wont want to hear, but is in line with what Wargaming wants to do, is to nerf the alpha damage of CV's, hard. Much as the damage is lower per hit, between manual drop, changes to DB's that need to happen, and maybe some further tweaks to TB auto drops, hitting more often and using fires and floods for the bulk of the damage. 

But your right, and we said as much that leaving strafe and manual drop in at any tier where it can see a tier that has no access to the abilities was a bad idea. However, one upside is that some who played tier 5 saying "it's fine" after getting stuck against 6's suddenly realized how absurd the mechanic is and needs changing when suddenly it's them losing all their planes in about 5 minutes.

6 hours ago, Noob201 said:

I can kind of see why they would just remove fighters although it seems to indicate more of a lack of creativity or knowledge of what to do rather than if they had come up with a real solution

Oh yeah, ever since the rework concept came out I have hammered them on the fact, at times earlier than even that after the debacle that was GZ. My money has been on lack of knowledge, and listening, when some of us have been telling them for literally years what the issue is, and they just ignore us. Biggest example was when USN CV's started to slide and more and more were switching to strike loadouts, because at that point AA was so over buffed USN DB's, that were slower, had fewer hitpoints, and had to fly into the heaviest possible AA, just weren't cutting it. However, because of the balance issue on fighters, AS was still all of the troll to use usually, except when DB's could get trough, though even then DB's are far too inconsistent. So, we said that we needed to have DB's get better HP for USN, and dial in the accuracy to be better than IJN's DB's, so they could be useful, Maybe change strike loadouts to 1,1,2, and nerf the fighters. So instead to try and fix this issue of USN having trouble competing outside of strike setups and even with, they buffed the USN fighters. 

7 hours ago, Noob201 said:

semi-RNG system or something of the sort.

Make no mistake it is an RNG system - that formula I gave you is the calculation for %chance every second to shoot down a plane. Same as AA (DPS/plane HP). Should have been clearer on that . But if memory serves me (don't feel like actually doing the math at the moment) Before any skills or mod slots are used I think the math works out that the A6M2 has a 16.x% chance to shoot down an F4F, and the F4F has a 21.1% I think chance to down an A6M2. Which, as you lose planes, changes the calculation so, odds favour USN to get the first kill, meaning now you lose 25% so let's call that down to 12% vs 21%. Now, the A6M's could still get a kill, but USN would only drop to about 17%. Which, is yet another edge USN has - it loses less DPS with planes lost. And why while you can lose 2 USN planes, vs another USN group, and still make a comeback, while IJN tends to be steamrolled by USN, and USN gets steamrolled by Graf Zeppelin's single fighter group of 8 or 9 planes. 

7 hours ago, Noob201 said:

What I don't really get 100% about what you say is good at hunting CVs and Battleships - I don't really understand how Japanese CVs are better at this than American ones. Usually when I do the A and B pattern you mentioned above (which is how I execute all my drops if possible) I still only manage to get one hits, maybe two if I'm lucky and they weren't travelling at full speed or just had an exceptionally slow BB. It takes 8 torpedoes and two separate squadrons to do this, and the damage from what I've seen is eh. It's a decent amount but for 8 total torpedoes... eh. Against CVs, I suppose as more squadrons means more targets to split the AA's attention as well as CVs being slower in general and making it easier to hit but, from what I've seen, it seems that US CVs get a ton more torpedo hits (and more damage) than a Japanese strike using both of it's squadrons would. If this is just because I'm bad or something, idk, it has been a long time since I last played but tier 5 carrier gameplay really hasn't changed very much (if at all) and I got the hang of it pretty quickly.

Once you really get used to auto drop, maybe get torp accel (it helps) it becomes more apparent. The key thing is to look at weapons, performance, and pattern. Yes, USN's tight grouping, at first glance, seems like it's better against a BB. However, when a BB dodges that they may take only one hit, much like you describe having issue with. That single group can also be better focused by AA, which more and more BB's have some of the best, minus DFAA. Meanwhile they have DB's that are slightly better than IJN's, because despite similar dispersion they drop 2 more bombs, giving them an edge up in cruiser and DD targeting. Same with that tighter torp spread. However flip side - IJN has those larger gaps between torps, most any cruiser or DD that's paying attention can navigate them, even against a cross drop, and the DB's are all but for show. However, you can come at 2 sides, dividing a BB's fire and once you get the hang of it, can score 3-4 hits. Same with a CV. It's a bit harder cause of the speed, size and agility at that tier admittedly, even I get thrown off at times and go "how the ---- did I miss?" and the one thing IJN DB's can more reliably hit are larger ships like BB's and CV's. Not to mention having faster planes to get in and out of AA that little bit faster. 

Changes to the game have made things a bit murkier, but generally speaking, when they were designed and rolled out, USN was meant to have an edge in fighters, and be a bit more about having the edge hitting cruisers and DD's, which as noted, the fighter thing became an issue. IJN was meant to have somewhat better abilities in attack overwhelming the enemy, and was really geared more at targeting BB's or the enemy CV. Much the same as with their heavier long range guns on BB's, their torps especially pre-over nerfing on DD's and cruisers, really made them BB killers. Where as, prior to German BB's introduction, usually having somewhat smaller guns, in triple turrets, their cruisers, and the guns on the USN DD's were really better at cruiser and DD hunting back when it was just the two lines we had. 

That is what I mean by they are more geared to hit BB's, if it clears it up at all. 

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Sadly the Zuiho has next to nil chances against Bouge, when it comes to "Air Control" / Fighter Duel.... Unless you managed to bait his plans over AA heavy ship like Texas.
The likely hood of that is rather low, so another option is to bait Bouges planes over our own CV that set up for AA.

Evasive maneuver is somewhat of a wasted skill for higher tiers because of "strafing" and it requires more micromanagement. By having  to way point the return path for you strike planes and sailing your CV in revers to recover the planes in reasonable time. In lower tier it is less of an issue, because fighters can only "click" engage. In return your 4 plane squadron of Trop / Dive Bombers now has Hit Points equivalent of a 7 plane squadron when returning to a Carrier.

Torpedo Armament Expertise reduce servicing time from 18 sec to 14 sec, hardly noticeable to justify 3 points.

Basic Firing Training may be a "better" choice, Zuiho's AA is mostly mid and long range. Base AA DPS of ~61 on mid and ~40 on long. Taking AFT + Manual AA along  with BFT, results in ~73 mid(3.7km ) and ~96* long(6 km), add another 10% damage for flag . Lets be real this is CV not an AA cuiser so AA mod would be kind of silly for a 7.2km AA range and even if the captain has Concealment Expert air detection is ~7.8km.

Remaining 4 points can allocated Air Supremacy, but Zuiho doesn't have enough fighter reserves to make use of it. On  flip side it can make  half decent captain for 2-2-2 Hiryu at later date. Hiryu has tier 6 torpedo planes, so Evasive Maneuver may not be a bad choice to help your strike survive passive AA on the way out.

*have to Cntr+"click" the plane squadron for Manual AA bonus.

Edited by Sammy_Small
mistakes

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