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Aegis270

Let's look at the flak vs aura problem for AA

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The vast majority of your AA's damage potential is in those flak bubbles. Let's take my NC for an example. It's short range (<1.5km) AA aura is 521 damage per second with a 66% chance to hit. The medium range (1.5-3.5) aura is 350 with a 77% chance to hit. Finally, the long range (3.5 to 5.8) aura is 141 with 71% chance to hit. Let's average those out to get 343.86 DPS at close range, 269.5 at medium and 100.11 at long range.

Now, let's look at the health of an attack squadron. A single Helldiver torpedo bomber launched from a Lexington has 1660 health. In order to kill a single plane from the attacking wave, assuming it managed to avoid the randomly placed flak bubbles, it would need to spend 4.8 seconds at point blank range, 6.1 at medium range or 16.6 seconds (!) at long ranges. This doesn't take into account BFT, but since the new aircraft armor skill completely negates BFT anyways it doesn't really matter. It also doesn't take into account the sector system, however that is mostly pointless as enemy squadrons spend just as much time in the weaker section as the strong section, and my NC cannot switch fast enough to keep up. There are also no other ways to buff the passive AA anymore, as every other skill and equipment only focuses on buffing the flak bursts. 
 
Remember, the torpedo bombers come in waves of 9 planes. In order to actually shoot down the entire wave, it either needs to blunder into flak clouds, or spend close to a minute circling my NC. Given that the average strike takes only a few scant seconds inside the very short range weapons, and the planes most exposed to it are sent back to the carrier immediately after they drop, making any damage against them pointless, it's entirely possible a Lexington can get off all three strikes without losing a single aircraft to the passive aura AA.
 
Meanwhile, the NC has two layers of flak bursts. The long range ones do 2240 damage a second (!), enough to completely wipe a Lexington's strike squadron if it strays too close. The medium range ones also do 1400 damage per second, enough to doom the entire squadron if they hit it. This means that the only real threat to carrier borne aircraft is the flak bursts, which are entirely RNG dependent. Some spreads leave enormous gaps that anyone with a working brain can fly through, while others require tricky maneuvering to navigate. Already, skilled carrier players are finding tricks to avoid this flak. For instance, many people have already found out that going in for an attack run early causes your plane to go over or under the wall of flak, completely bypassing any real damage to their planes.
 
Ultimately, the key problem with AA firepower at the moment is a lack of reliability. The only part of it powerful enough to reliably shoot down squadrons of planes is incredibly inconsistent. If the carrier hits that first wall of flak, they'll often lose their entire squadron instantly. Meanwhile, if a player manages to avoid the flak, either through luck or skill, then they can get off three strikes on a ship with very powerful AA while only losing a couple of planes at most. This is in large part causing the back and forth arguments where in some games ships are swatting planes out of the sky, and in others even AA monsters like the Mino and Woster can't seem to shoot anything down. 
 
This problem is only going to get worse as more carrier players catch on to this fact and start evading flak more effectively. WG needs to rebalance the AA system so ensure that even if the flak misses, high AA ships can still tax enemy squadrons through passive AA alone. As recompense, lower the damage in flak clouds. Being caught in a flak cloud shouldn't be a complete death sentence for a carrier, as there are spread patterns that make flak nearly unavoidable. 
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Keep in mind, afaik, the sector stays reinforced until switched to the other side.  Essentially, if you can time it right, you keep the squadron under the increased AA as they switch sides. This takes some practice in prediction and the timing does vary between ship types, but it can be done.

Edited by RipNuN2

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2 minutes ago, RipNuN2 said:

Keep in mind, afaik, the sector stays reinforced until switched to the otherside, so if you can time it right you keep the squadron under the increased AA as they switch sides, this takes some practice in prediction and the timing does vary between ship types, but it can be done.

The problem is this:  BBs take freakin' forever to switch. By the time you've switched over, the planes will already be on the non-reinforced side.

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1 minute ago, WuYixiang said:

The problem is this:  BBs take freakin' forever to switch. By the time you've switched over, the planes will already be on the non-reinforced side.

 

This is why you start the switch well in advance of them passing over. Not the easiest thing to time but with practice you will get better at it and if you want it faster you take the skill.

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7 minutes ago, WuYixiang said:

The problem is this:  BBs take freakin' forever to switch. By the time you've switched over, the planes will already be on the non-reinforced side.

also IIRC remember this.... as long as the planes are on the FIRST SIDE when you click the other side.... the FIRST SIDE is still reinforced until the timer switches over... so you time it right you NEVER lose that extra % firepower...

 

the real problem is this... I watched a video today... TWO as a matter of fact., NOTSER and someone else who EXPLAINED how the sector thingy works.... WG does NOT give a real if any explanation on how it works and how to access the Circle on screen to switch, as far as I know... so for two days I was oblivious to the extra % you get in my Fletcher....so at least the CCs and STs are looking out for us...

 

 

 

Edited by neptunes_wrath

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Just now, RipNuN2 said:

This is why you start the switch well in advance of them passing over. Not the easiest thing to time but with practice you will get better at it and if you want it faster you take the skill.

 

The system is easily exploitable by CVs by baiting the switch, much like they currently bait out DefAA from Cruisers and Destroyers.

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