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Lert

"AA has been nerfed to hell!"

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"AA has been nerfed to hell" is a common complaint since the patch dropped. It's not hard to see why people would say it, either. Port AA ratings have gone down the toilet. But, is that because AA has been actually nerfed or simply because the calculation and scaling for the rating in port are different?

To test this I took my almost-but-not-quite-fully-AA-spec'd Des Memes out against a clanmate's Hakuryu and told him to just come at me hard and fast.

This is the DM build I used:

Spoiler

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As you can see, almost fully AA spec'd but not quite, missing manual fire control for AA. Which does this, btw, in the rework:

SYiYRvK.jpg

This was the battle result:

jB6cBvc.jpg

gUobas6.jpg

I picked a small map to reduce turnaround times for the Hakuryu, then sailed east to west to give the Hak enough time to send several strikes at me before turning south and sinking him.

A few lone strikes came through for minimal damage. I suspect @Admiral_Franz_von_Hipper is just a god awful, worthless carrier jockey or I wouldn't have dodged all his torpedoes with one finger up my nose like I did :Smile_trollface:. I did maneuver to try and dodge his strikes like any player would and did try to keep my reinforced sector towards his planes.

So what does this tell me? Well, AA is not nerfed into uselessness. Just the meaningless number in the port UI. It might be nerfed a little to compensate for the lower numbers of planes actively striking at any given moment, but a good AA build is still viable.

Ofcourse, this test is far from scientific and not all botes are created equal where AA is concerned - a Zao for example will have more trouble murdering all the planes than any Des Memes, but AA ships are still AA ships and AA still murders planes. For really reliable numbers and conclusions one would need to run this test multiple times, with multiple ships. However, that's not something I have the time for at this moment.

Replay here.

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Yeah, people just need to try a little...

Captain skills never meant much in AA before. They do now.

Ship mods never meant much in AA before. They do now.

Shipborne fighters never meant much in AA before. They do now.

And it's not always the obvious ships that pull in the kills.

I just experimented with a Fighter II equipped Edinburgh, with moderate ship AA mods/skills.

Killed 18 Tier X fighters in the first game! (Previously there was no way an Edinburgh could scratch T10 aircraft)

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3 minutes ago, HMS_Formidable said:

Shipborne fighters never meant much in AA before. They do now.

Eh, I wouldn't go that far. Catapult fighters always had the panic effect on the strike squadrons they engaged, which significantly reduced the amount of ordnance that hits you, with some clever maneuvering. Yeah their DPS wasn't meaningful, but the panic effect helped a lot.

Unless ofcourse you had three strike squadrons on your aft, then the panic effect wasn't going to save you.

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1 minute ago, Lert said:

Eh, I wouldn't go that far. Catapult fighters always had the panic effect on any strike squadrons, which significantly reduces the amount of ordnance that hits you, with some clever maneuvering. Yeah their DPS wasn't meaningful, but the panic effect helped a lot.

But you would rarely have considered taking it other than, say, smoke or a spotter plane - right?

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A big factor in how good your AA can be is how good or bad the CV attacker is.  If your opponent can dodge flak your, AA suffers.  If the CV player runs head long into flak, they suffer.

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2 minutes ago, HMS_Formidable said:

Yeah, people just need to try a little...

Captain skills never meant much in AA before. They do now.

Ship mods never meant much in AA before. They do now.

Shipborne fighters never meant much in AA before. They do now.

And it's not always the obvious ships that pull in the kills.

I just experimented with a Fighter II equipped Edinburgh, with moderate ship AA mods/skills.

Killed 18 Tier X fighters in the first game!

OK, so from now on, we can all ignore every captain skill, but those that help us deal with 1 problem class of ship. Just ignore the other ~27 skills so that you can stand a chance against 1 ship type, yea that sounds fun and interesting.

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2 minutes ago, Slimeball91 said:

A big factor in how good your AA can be is how good or bad the CV attacker is.  If your opponent can dodge flak your, AA suffers.  If the CV player runs head long into flak, they suffer.

Trufax. This is why I would encourage anyone with the time to try this test out for themselves. I might do more tests versus other carrier jockeys over the weekend, but right now I'm not sure I'll be able to find the time.

2 minutes ago, HMS_Formidable said:

But you would rarely have considered taking it other than, say, smoke or a spotter plane - right?

On ships with bad AA and sufficient base range, yeah. My Musashi for example has always carried a fighter.

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1 minute ago, MajorWang said:

OK, so from now on, we can all ignore every captain skill, but those that help us deal with 1 problem class of ship. Just ignore the other ~27 skills so that you can stand a chance against 1 ship type, yea that sounds fun and interesting.

I thought rock-paper-scissors was always part of the game?

Previously we could completely ignore anti-air skills, and not suffer much. 

Now we cant'

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@Lert thanks for the test.

The issue for me isn't CVs are the endless planes, as you indicated those can be handled.

What is difficult is 2 T10 CVs, if you have to mitigate DCP, consumables etc, they can farm you down quickly if working indirectly together.

Most games at T8-T10 if they were limited to 1 CV, I don't think youd see the hate as you would be seeing now.

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Just now, _greifer said:

What is difficult is 2 T10 CVs, if you have to mitigate DCP, consumables etc, they can farm you down quickly if working indirectly together.

Yeah but then you have two ships coordinating to take down one. That was no different under the old system.

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2 minutes ago, HMS_Formidable said:

I thought rock-paper-scissors was always part of the game?

Previously we could completely ignore anti-air skills, and not suffer much. 

Now we cant'

Except now it's rock also beats paper unless paper decks itself out to fight rock and can ignore scissors.

Edited by MajorWang

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I have experience in the Atlanta and Flint that they do not eat planes as the did in the old meta. Was even hard to get more than a handful of kills in Atlanta against a Ranger when I counted four squadrons passing within 2-3 km throughout the match. 

Something is wrong if Atlanta can’t shoot down planes. 

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Another factor I am curious about is AA damage. I've done a few runs in an almost full AA build Atlanta and I've noticed CV captains not fully afraid ofe as they used to. I'm also not walking away with the air kills I would have expected. But I have noticed a new damage number of AA damage. I have yet to fully determine if I'm doing lots or little damage there. My initial impression is I am dealing lots of damage to planes but just not getting the kill shot. This is because I have noticed a lot of planes not returning to home. This raises the question of does AA damage give xp or just kills. 

Is anyone else noticing this and what are the impressions you are getting from this. 

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Just now, Mik6669 said:

I have experience in the Atlanta and Flint that they do not eat planes as the did in the old meta. Was even hard to get more than a handful of kills in Atlanta against a Ranger when I counted four squadrons passing within 2-3 km throughout the match. 

Someting is wrong if Atlanta can’t shoot down planes. 

Yep, mid tiers got screwed in the patch. 

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I just ran a full-AA spec Gearing.  I was targeted by the enemy CV 5-6 times throughout the match, basically perma-spotted, and I got ZERO PLANE KILLS.  That includes the use of Defensive Fire and sector reinforcement.

Broken.

We should just stop talking about it.  Nothing to say except the rework is a nightmare.

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I've been playing my Lexington a bunch and can attest to the fact that if you get into a tier X battle you are only a minor inconvenience to the enemy for most of the match. Later, when your team has shelled the ships and removed most of their AA modules you can usually get some nice strikes in though. 

There are a few ships that will just shred your planes; you won't even get close to doing them damage in the early game if up-tiered. Of course, the classic X AA cruisers will eat your planes, but so will secondary-spec'd battleships like the Grosser Kurfurst. Gunboat DDs also will shred your squadrons. A Kitikaze was just laughing at my attempts to rocket him a couple of games back.  

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Actually it is both, before the patch the killer AA was the medium range AA were now it is the long range flak which was made DD's and anything else with dual purpose guns rather nasty.

2 minutes ago, Slimeball91 said:

A big factor in how good your AA can be is how good or bad the CV attacker is.  If your opponent can dodge flak your, AA suffers.  If the CV player runs head long into flak, they suffer.

That is true if you get to see the flak before it kills you.

3 minutes ago, HMS_Formidable said:

I thought rock-paper-scissors was always part of the game?

Previously we could completely ignore anti-air skills, and not suffer much. 

Now we cant'

We could safely ignore AA skills because outside of the tier 4 - 6 window they were rare enough as to make them not worth taking. I foresee BFT and AFT becoming common even on ships with meh secondaries just for the AA boost. Secondary builds will still be popular because they use BFT and AFT but pure main gun builds are going to be much less common.

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4 minutes ago, Mik6669 said:

I have experience in the Atlanta and Flint that they do not eat planes as the did in the old meta. Was even hard to get more than a handful of kills in Atlanta against a Ranger when I counted four squadrons passing within 2-3 km throughout the match. 

Something is wrong if Atlanta can’t shoot down planes. 

One thing you have to keep in mind as well is that in the old system you could have as much as 15 planes or more attacking you at the same time if a savvy CV player struck you simultaneously with multiple strike squadrons, and the AA was balanced to handle those number. Now? 6. Maybe 9. With only three or so planes attacking directly you at any given time. So yeah, you're going to shoot down less planes. If the plane kills per time unit were at the same quantity as before, no CV would ever be able to land even a single hit. Wouldn't be a lot of use playing a CV then.

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When I shoot down 8 planes with a B hull Benson, "AA has been nerfed" certainly doesn't cross my mind.

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13 minutes ago, HMS_Formidable said:

Yeah, people just need to try a little...

Captain skills never meant much in AA before. They do now.

Ship mods never meant much in AA before. They do now.

Shipborne fighters never meant much in AA before. They do now.

Um...

The skills mean less, AFT has been rendered a shell of its former self on the AA side -- the range boost actually did something useful, now it gets a token damage bump.   Manual AA control is 4 points for a buff to sector reinforcement, which is a useless distraction meant to make players feel like they're "doing something". 

AAGM1 looks useful, with the increased number of salvos... AAGM2 is another token damage boost, big flipping deal.

Cat fighters are a cartoon gimmick now, spraying entire squadrons off the back of cruisers in a surreal display of WTH, but at the cost of their long-endurance coverage and spotting utility from before.

 

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23 minutes ago, Lert said:

"AA has been nerfed to hell" is a common complaint since the patch dropped. It's not hard to see why people would say it, either. Port AA ratings have gone down the toilet. But, is that because AA has been actually nerfed or simply because the calculation and scaling for the rating in port are different?

Depends entirely on the ship -- the effect of the changes to AA and the implementation of the new system had a very uneven effect on AA. 

Some ships are about the same, a few are better, and a swath of ships had their actual AA efficacy GUTTED by the rework. 

 

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3 minutes ago, KilljoyCutter said:

and a swath of ships had their actual AA efficacy GUTTED by the rework.

Honestly curious, which ones? I'll see if I can do a similar test with some of the ones you believe were AA gutted, if I have them, can find the time and the opponent with a tier-appropriate flattop.

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16 hours ago, Lert said:

Honestly curious, which ones? I'll see if I can do a similar test with some of the ones you believe were AA gutted, if I have them, can find the time and the opponent with a tier-appropriate flattop.

Try Konig, it is on his list. I ran AA spec in the old days but eventually stopped playing it because of the T5 MM. It had pretty respectable AA. 

I ran an AA spec Iowa against Notser in a T8 CV in the PTS. He struck me again and again, I took 35-40K damage and ate 15 of his infinite planes. So yes, some ships have suffered under the new AA system. Under the old system with an AA spec/manual AA Iowa captain the CV loses 30-40 planes. 

Too, this test would be more believable if your friend were not running the Hak.

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