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Helstrem

Aircraft HP and AA damage value scaling needs to be flatter

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One of the problems I am seeing, and hearing others say, is that if a Tier VIII CV is in a Tier X match the AA is simply too much while if you're in a Tier VIII surface ship and being attacked by a Tier X CV your AA is useless.

The solution to this, inaccurate as it may be, is to flatten the scaling of both aircraft hit points and AA damage.  Higher tier CVs should have an advantage, just as all other ships do, but it shouldn't be so stark.  Right now AA feels more like a WoT level of balance than a WoWS level of balance.  We're used to ships two tiers below being able to threaten top tier ships and the aircraft/AA balance isn't there for that right now.

Edited by Helstrem
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Actually this is an old problem going back to alpha that has never been addressed. I think that there should be an AA buff or Debuff based on the level of the plane being attacked compared to the tier of the ship being attacked.

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Don't know what the answer is, but the problem is definitely clear. I CAN still be effective in a tier 8 in any tier 10 match, but generally not nearly AS effective, of course. Requires a MUCH more passive spotting role for the most part, then exceedingly careful target of opportunity strikes. Results in much lower damage games (I think I tend to average 40-50k in tier 8 CV with tier 10 MM where it's more like 90-100k with tier 8 MM), but I haven't paid attention THAT closely).

I'm certainly no master CV player, but half the damage capability at bottom tier is a bit harsh.

Aside from nerfing AA/buffing planes, I'd honestly be completely happy if spotting factored more heavily into XP and credits earned. I've had matches spotting for 150k damage no problem, and that's almost as fun as actually striking.

*shrugs* Still very early days for balance. Having a blast in general.

Edited by TheWhiteRaven

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12 minutes ago, TheWhiteRaven said:

Aside from nerfing AA/buffing planes, I'd honestly be completely happy if spotting factored more heavily into XP and credits earned. I've had matches spotting for 150k damage no problem, and that's almost as fun as actually striking.

*shrugs* Still very early days for balance. Having a blast in general.

That’s part of my problem with the rework; to me carriers are all about striking targets first.

Scouting is important, I’ll actively seek out destroyers, other unspotted ships, and especially that first spot of the Reds; but to me, if a carrier isn’t striking targets, it might as well not be in the game.

Passive carrier play, for whatever reason, is dull as hell.

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I had this exact same thought the other day - and I don't think it's inaccurate at all. For instance, the F8F Bearcat at Tier X has over 65% more HP than the F4F Wildcat at Tier VI even though both are made of the same materials, both have the same self-sealing fuel tanks, and the Bearcat was only 40% heavier empty (and 30% heavier loaded). It's got twice the health of the F2A Buffalo, which, in the most widely-used form, also had self-sealing tanks. The higher tier planes were better in real life not by being able to take more hits, but by being able to avoid taking so many hits to begin with thanks to their improved speed and maneuverability which, in this game, will get you in and out of AA bubbles faster. The combination of ridiculously increased health on top of the improved speed makes the high tier planes inordinately powerful versus their lower tier rivals.

 

The solution is just as you say - Cut the survivability difference between Tier IV and Tier X in half just to get into the ballpark of balance, and flatten the AA power curves between the tiers by a comparable amount. That way a Tier VIII carrier can stand a chance against Tier X AA, while not being impervious to a Tier VI ship. Aircraft are an entirely separate field of balance that can be modified extensively without affecting the relative power of surface ships, so it shouldn't be hugely difficult to do.

 

Additionally, I'd reduce the relative power of the flak bursts so they're less likely to "wipe" a squadron, but I'd make the individual "hits" by constant DPS a lot nastier vs a plane's HP, so you're more likely to knock down one or two and leave others undamaged, rather than the current balance which sees you land thousands of HP worth of damage on a squadron without shooting down a single one. 

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1 hour ago, Helstrem said:

The solution to this, inaccurate as it may be, is to flatten the scaling of both aircraft hit points and AA damage. 

Actually - it's not that inaccurate. I've been saying for a long time now tiers 4-7 (most if not all 8-10 already have them) need their later upgrades to handle planes that have more HP and speed than they were designed in game to deal with (the WW1 style AA used to deal with WW1 style Biplanes). Once you get to those you see that AA becomes similar through a line, but the higher tier ship is usually bigger, and has more AA guns. Which would mean more DPS than the one below. Meaning an edge.

Where as the planes, honestly, changed, but not THAT much in terms of ability to take a hit. Arguably the 2 biggest jumps are A6M-N1K (added a fair amount of armour) and if we had Germany - 109-190 (radial engine and protections). 

If Wargaming would go to a consistent damage for a caliber, something I've suggested and they seemed to have a positive reaction to, it would level out the AA and then just level out plane HP - with the beauty being with a ship like Kongo, NM, etc, that would require a new model, using a fixed system knowing you need to add say 25x 20 mm barrels to NM you can increase her current 20 mm DPS by that amount today, and in say 2 months, when the model is done, simply redistribute the DPS to the new mounts - thereby having the buff now, and not really changing it in the future (beyond how much it loses per mount destroyed due to distribution). It also removes the bizzarness that is current AA. Midway and Montana is a great example. Montana has a whole 4 more 20 mm barrels than Midway 60 vs 56- and deals something like 80 more DPS. The numbers I suggested were for the old AA system, but using them for simplicity at 2 DPS per barrel, it'd be 120 vs 112, as opposed to current 755 vs 677. And that's 2 ships of the same nation and tier. A fixed system, lets take Iowa and Montana - with 20 mm being 2 DPS, 40 mm 5, and 127 mm 10 to keep math easy on continuous damage (flak bursts, whole other story and issue).

Iowa - 64x 20 mm barrels, 76x 40 mm barrels, 20x 127 mm barrels. Montana - 60, 80, 20. 124 vs 120, 380 vs 400, both have 200 at long range. 

Iowa total - 704, Montana - 720. However if they remove Iowa's C hull fiction upgrade (based on what I find) for what the class really had by wars end based on my research (48x 20 mm, 80x 40 mm, 20x 127 mm) that actually drops it closer to 696, maybe just under, which makes the NC transition similar at 676, Only real issue then is Colorado as even WV drops below 500 unless we teak the CO's AA package to say 15x4 40 mm bofors and some amount of 20 mm guns that is kinda insane like 40x2 20 mm guns, or something. That at least would get you to 620. Kind of the issue of a 20 year gap between ships. and the sizes and all. 

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I’ve been playing CVs a lot since the update. Went from 0xp on my Ryoji to 158k and now 45k comes on my T8 IJN CV. That being said I initially agreed whole heartedly. Even taking both the armor and HP upgrades for planes wasn’t enough. But after a few T10 matches in my T8 CV I’ve gotten really good at dodging flak and flak seems to be the only think that really hurts the planes in mass. It does get really tricky though trying to find the 1 gap in a wall of flak but it is doable. One you can dodge T10 flak you can dodge flak much easier at the lower tiers. Some ships are just unrealistic targets. Salems have nasty AA as do some of the cruisers. I always try to sweet talk my team into focusing cruisers so I can spot/rocket DDs and melt BBs. I have very little trouble torping T10 BBs with my T8 ships. The trickiest part is after you attack and switch to the other planes casually coasting through AA. I would suggest waiting a week or two before asking for nerfs or buffs yet. There’s still a lot to be learned.

Edited by KnifeInUrNeck

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Knife, explain how you dodge flak consistently. Many times the bursts appear ON my planes, how can i avoid something that explodes in my face? I am not asking rhetorically.

I tend to agree with the OP, overall the feeling of weakness when low tier and utter domination when top tier is a bit much.

Edited by a_Mad_Dog_CA

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It's nice to see an increasing number of constructively critical posts suggesting sane and workable things.

OP, I think they'll probably do a balance round on both damage dealt and AA after they have results from this weekend. Problem is, it's a lot of work. I don't think you're wrong to suggest some sort of tier buff, akin to the now-obsolete dogfight skill that gave lower-tier planes a buff against the higher tiers. The existence (or at least former existence) of that skill points strongly to such a thing being easy to implement without too much effort.

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This was the biggest problem with RTS CV. And Wargaing never addressed it.

 

Either AA is too strong and the CV player hated the match. Or the AA was too weak and the gun boats felt like fodder.

 

It (imo) was the single greatest contributor to RTS CV being so broken. It artificially increased the skill gap. Either you could figure out how to counter strong AA (patience and positioning), you ended up quitting, or continued playing despite being horrible.

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It’s not intuitive. So the AA fires at where it predicts you will fly. If you fly straight...pow. Now you can either throttle the speed up and down to time in between bursts or you can weave and the targets adjust but if you use both throttling and evasive maneuvers on most flak not on AA specced cruisers you can get through. I’ve torped Salem’s with T8 planes and they have a literal wall of flak with one tiny gap. If you speed boost you hit the wall, but if you time it right you can get more of the planes through. Once you get through the long range flak it gets easier to dodge as you get closer since less guns are firing. Bomb drops are a totally different story. I can get to the ship fine but having to linger directly over the ship is a death sentence. So maybe a precise high drop but I’m not too lucky with those. Don’t fear machine guns since they rarely do anything. Next time you’re in a T10 match, notice the flak pattern difference between T10 BBs and T10 cruisers. When I looked at the flak wall a few times I started to see a pattern which made me realize they all have patterns or grids that they fire. It just moves around to try and hit where you’ll be. Learn the pattern and you see the hole(s). But if there’s multiple ships within range of the planes it’d take Stephen Hawking’s ghost to find a way to not lose all the planes as you’d have multiple grids overlapping.

Edited by KnifeInUrNeck

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I think WG can kill two birds with one stone here.  Remove the top tier planes from T10 and replace them with something a bit more historical, then use that as an excuse to also flatten out the stat scaling between the planes.  It's hard to tell what AA numbers are correct for balance, but I believe that having less differentiation between the tiers will help significantly with balancing in the future.

As far as AA balance goes, since the initial glut of AA ships is dying down and I've gotten more CV play in, I'm finding most CVs to be very powerful even at tier 8.  Being bottom tier really isn't as big an issue when people are breaking out their GKs and Zaos again.  While the contribution doesn't always show up in damage numbers, forcing a cruiser to turn while it's lit can be a death sentence for them.  I never thought I'd say this, but I think TBs need an increase in the distance they need to line up strikes.  Right now, unless the ship is really heavy on AA, it's really easy to hit them repeatedly if their maneuver options are limited in any way.

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