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Patch Feedback

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First off WG, thank you for the work you put into the CV rework. I wasn't much of a CV player before and just played the other ship types but I thought the new version looked like fun and tested it, it has a lot of potential. Piloting and actually attacking with planes is a lot more fun and immersive than clicking on a map. I really enjoy the interface and feeling of flying the planes now, good job. Also, the rocket planes were a good idea, variety is always good! I also like your changes to radar, I think it's a good start to finding balance. Something definitely needs to happen to strike a better balance between radar ships and DDs.

I've played the different ship types a fair bit since the PTS and the new patch. As you know, the problems with CVs have not just had a huge impact on people who want to play CVs but also to DD players. Because CVs currently have so many problems and are so weak against Cruisers and BBs they often resort to focusing on DDs, the one ship type with the weakest AA. This experience is making both your CV and DD players miserable. The current experience is also going to dissuade most non-CV players from investing significant time in CVs and is deterring a lot of players from playing DDs. I believe if you adjust AA and CV damage, it will help the DD population too.

In my games as a BB or Cruiser this change has only had two effects of significance. Now I hardly ever get hit by plane attacks, I think I was hit twice by planes in 10 games as a BB (once by rockets, once by a single torp). I've played a lot of games as a cruiser and might have been hit a few times but never anything of significance. In all of these games my AA was unreal and I shot down far, far more planes than I would expect to. The only thing negative experience I had was with AA sector reinforcement, it doesn't feel natural and there should be shortcut keys for switching sectors. I assume you realize the AA value displayed on ships doesn't accurately reflect the new AA values and is upsetting players who think their ships AA has been nerfed. Additionally in the beginning many non-CV players did not know about sector AA or had not respec'ed their ships and captains and have had a difficult time because of it. Please consider adding additional information in game that can't be easily missed.

Although I had a lot of fun playing DDs, Cruisers and BBs, my experience with CV's was fun but exhausting. While flying the planes is fun and a nice change, I've found a lot of issues:

  • BBs and Cruisers can out-spot the much smaller planes. Even if the CV player uses concealment they seem constantly out-spotted and are often immediately within AA range upon spotting the Cruiser or BB. This same backwards logic appears to have been applied to spotter planes.
  • The plane controls need a little work, the planes don't maneuver as well or smoothly as they could, making it harder to dodge, lineup shots and leaving sharp turns feeling slightly erratic and a little jerky. Planes were the acrobats of the sky, they should be able to dodge flak and maneuver into position for attack more easily.
  • You chose not to incorporate altitude or vertical controls in normal player maneuvering, planes often use this to help dodge. Many ships throw up walls of flak that a squadron of planes can't slip through, normally they would increase or decrease altitude to dodge them. Players need an viable alternative to flying circles around ships waiting for a hole in the flak wall, as that is not reasonable or realistic.
  • Once inside of long-mid range you take what appears to be undodgeable damage from short range AA. Some of these ships display a 100% AA chance. If secondaries have a much lower chance to hit WITH Manual Secondaries, short range AA should suffer the same inaccuracy.
  • Whether attacking with rockets, bombs or torps, plane attacks appear to have had their damage output greatly reduced. CV players are now taking far more damage, working much harder, spending much more time flying and losing far more planes. Considering they can only launch single squadrons with small attack groups that launch a very limited amount of ordnance, it would seem appropriate to increase the damage. 
  • Rockets don't penetrate well and do hardly any damage.
  • Rockets have a lower fire chance than shells?! So rockets (whose primary purpose is to explode) have a lower chance to start a fire than that of some ship's shells. 
  • The dive bomber's aiming reticle is hard to use and often partially hidden by the edge of the screen.
  • Targeting needs to be improved upon. Often the displayed HUD isn't accurate, targeting can be difficult (especially dive bombers) and decreasing the target reticle and aiming accurately are made overly difficult due to having to try to avoid unrealistic amounts of AA damage and turn and dodge too much.
  • With the limited spotting range from the air, rocket targeting needs to be adjusted to aim and fire faster and at closer distances.
  • Accuracy needs to be adjusted to be a little easier, faster and more fluid. Many times I've lined up a shot only to have a dozen rockets all somehow miss the target in the middle of the target. All or most of the bombs fail to hit the ship in the dead center of the target recticle. 
  • AA is unreal, I've watched entire squadrons reduced to smoke countless times by a single ship. I and others have had our squadrons destroyed on our initial attack run by a single ship before we were ever able to fire/land a shot.
  • AA appears to have been determined based off of Co-Op. In Co-Op it can be difficult but with skilled flying it is manageable. The moment you add skilled players with AA modules, captain skills equipped with flags moving as groups the game becomes Duck Hunt on steroids. AA is ridiculously overpowered.
  • I've seen CVs have all of their available planes deleted in quite a few games.
  • I've seen AA fired through landscapes.
  • The lack of in-game information has led to mass confusion among the players creating a lot of upset players. 
  • As you know the AA score no longer reflects a ships actual AA ability and captains skills, modules, flags, etc., no longer alter the displayed AA score. A lot of the players don't understand and think their ships have been nerfed, you might want to announce the bug.

My suggestions are:

  • Temporarily increase dispersion on attacks against ships spotted through radar (similar to the effect applied with Camo). Since the ship hasn't been visually spotted, shots fired at it would not be as accurate. This seems realistic and like a well balanced solution.
  • Please limit games containing CVs to groups from the 2 adjoining Tiers. Whether it's a T8 CV attacking a T6 ship or a T6 CV having it's planes shredded by an AA heavy T8 BB/Cruiser, the difference is too much and it's not fun for anyone who has been uptiered.
  • Slightly reduce DDs spotting range from the air (Maybe reduce them by 1km, rocket aiming would need to be adjusted for shorter aiming distances).
  • Please add hotkeys for switching AA sectors.
  • Work on the handling of planes, make it more responsive, smoother and consistent.
  • Making aiming easier, faster and more reliable.
  • Please give special attention to Dive Bombers targeting/aiming. It's difficult, imprecise and can be hard to pull off.
  • Increase the accuracy of attacks.
  • Increase the damage of attacks.
  • If you expect us to dodge AA then you need to make it easier to dodge or give us better/more realistic methods (like altitude changes).
  • Reduce Flak/Explosion damage between 33-50%.
  • Increase Engine Boost time on attack craft to mirror the other two.
  • Increase the penetrating damage of rockets -OR- fire chance significantly.
  • Increase bomb damage/fire chance.
  • Increase torp damage/flood chance.
  • Adjust spotting so the tiny airplane can see the giant BB/Cruiser before it is seen, always insure a ship can be spotted BEFORE the plane enters it's AAA bubble.
  • There are 10 different ways to increase AA damage on ships. (Def. Fire, Cat. Fighter, AA Mod 1, AA Mod 2, MFC, AFT, BFT, DCF, Flag & Sector AA). CVs should have at least as many ways to increase damage resistance or increase their own damage for this to be balanced. (Spreading a similar option across all 3 plane types doesn't count as 3, it would be 1).
  • In the future I would make use of more in-game tutorials and communications. Surprisingly enough, quite a few players did not know much about the changes, how they worked, how to control CVs, etc., and blamed WG for every problem they encountered. It's no fun for the rest of us when someone decides to try out the new CVs for the first time in a T8 Random battle and has no idea how it works. Neither is it fun to listen to players flood chat through entire games about how hard CVs are only to learn they don't know about designating AA sectors and haven't respec'ed their ships or captains. In fact more than one player has told me CVs are too strong as-is because "they shouldn't have to alter the builds to account for CVs". Things like this account for A LOT of the complaining players I've met in-game. "The fact that I need to alter my ship/captain's build is proof that CV's are OP and need to be nerfed" is something I've heard quite a bit. Hard to believe but some players think that way.
  • CVs are very, very limited in their ability compared to other ship types. They do NOT uptier well at all. You shouldn't let CVs be uptiered by more than one tier. At least players can move in groups and build for AA, CVs have ONE active squadron and a fraction of the buffs to help them.
  • I recommend testing more before a release and relying more on the public next time. Consider trying to have a larger group of testers by inspiring more of them to help by offering much better rewards. This change was not ready for release (I'm guessing you've figured that out) and you really should be questioning anyone that told you it was.
  • Please rely heavily on game stats in weighing the degree of your changes. You should be aware, a large number of the Cruiser and BB players are very happy with the change. They are taking far less damage and shooting down far more planes. Many of them want it to stay just like it is and are trying to convince everyone it's fair or that CVs should be nerfed further. So please monitor the actual game stats closely. In most of my Random games CVs get 0 kills and score near last on both teams.
  • I would strongly urge you to follow up with the "sources" who urged you to buff AA and weaken CVs to such a great degree. I would also follow-up with the testers who promoted the belief that CVs would have infinite planes and be completely OP and game breaking. This has contributed a lot to the hysteria we've seen in the forums and in the game. Instead of learning what changes they needed to make because of the patch and offer constructive criticism there's been targeted misinformation and fear-mongering. I would ask myself, is my businesses' relationship with these people worth relying on someone who would obviously give such blatantly untrue feedback knowing it would be detrimental to my businesses' product? 

A few bugs:

  • I've witnessed AA fired through terrain.
  • On multiple occasions when your last active plane in a squadron is shot down sometimes a plane of the same type immediately launches from your CV.
  • When the above happens the HUD UI is affected and is not displayed correctly.
  • The client crashes more often now. I never see an error message, only a "Disconnected for Inactivity" message. Sometimes it occurs in the results screen after a battle.
  • Rockets appear to have too great of a miss chance. Sometimes (not often) they even hit outside of the targeting reticle.
  • Planes have a greater visibility than ships. This is shown to be even more outlandish in the case of spotter planes.

Considerations regarding the game balance changes you've made to CVs to reduce their strength, it feels like you overcorrected:

  • Carriers no longer have multiple active squadrons reducing their capability
  • No more dedicated spotters
  • No more crossdrops
  • No more staggered attacks (fire followed by flooding, etc.,)
  • No more strategically attacking multiple places at once (feints)
  • Due to only having one active squadron it takes several minutes between attacks when you have to fly back across the map
  • Torp/Bomb damage has been reduced
  • Torp/Bomb accuracy has been decreased (even if due to environmental & situational reasons)
  • Torp/Bomb aiming is now all manual
  • Rocket accuracy is poor
  • Rocket damage is unrealistically low
  • Rocket fire chance is poor
  • AAA is God-Tier
  • Carriers get uptiered constantly in Random where they are effectively useless creating a miserable experience for the player.
  • Planes are automatically attacked by every ship within 5-10km with no effort or aiming by the player.
  • Some ships (like the Shima) have 100% AA chance
  • Plane aiming doesn't work well
  • Plane controls/maneuvering are poor
  • There is no real way to consistently dodge flak walls
  • For every module, skill, flag, etc a player can invest in doing more AA damage, a carrier should have an equivalent to counter it (more HP, more planes, more damage).

You've taken so much from CVs and in return they got the experience of piloting planes and rockets. It doesn't feel like a fair trade, it feels like instead of obtaining balance they've been nerfed into the ground. I understand a significant portion of the players want no CVs or overpowered AA but a lot of these are the same people who wanted stealth firing, to get rid of radar/more powerful radar, etc. There are a lot of players that don't care about game balance, they want their preferred ship types to be more powerful and use "balance" and "OP" as an excuse and post extreme cases thinking it will deceive people.

Last night I decided to charge a T10 Carrier from 20+ km in a cruiser away because honestly, it seemed unable to defend itself. I chased it across the map, shot down 38 planes and sunk it. I was in the process of going after the second carrier when the game ended. Between AA doing too much damage and plane attacks doing too little these two carriers couldn't defend against my one ship. As you can see, out of the 4 CVs, one got a kill. This is what CVs have been reduced to. This isn't balance, it's sad.



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