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Aeries1

AA Skills

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So after a nice long needed break from WOWS I decided to come back and see how the CV rework went.  Even though I barely played CVs and haven't had a chance to try the new ones out yet I am happy for the CV players in the game.  CV players have needed some love for a long time and I am glad you finally got it, cheers.

That being said.  For those that know me/have played with me know I love speccing for AA on appropriate ships and farming CV tears by the gallon.  I admit it.  I get too much pleasure from it.  I have a problem.

So upon my return my first instinct was to try some of my AA build monsters I had left in port.

I looked over the revamped AA skills and was left feeling a little disappointed with the choices that BFT, AFT, MFCAA, and the Modules have become.

With free respecs during 8.2 I tinkered with all my old favorites.  Cleveland, DM, Mino, NC, Monty, Atlanta, and others.

After a lot of testing I have come to the conclusion imo that the skills aren't really worth their weight like they used to be unless you are speccing for DD guns or Manual Secondaries.

 

BFT

For 3 pts now still increases DPS by 10%.  Problem is the base values are so low you hardly see any increase till T8-T10 when constant dps values get into the hundreds.  3pts for going from 50 to 55, no thanks.

AFT

Gone is the ability to extend your AA range.  That is a major nerf imo.  It reduces your ability for fleet protection now and forces ship cuddling for AA protection.  Now it boosts flak damage by 15%.  Sounds good since 15% of those big numbers looks good.  Problem is even average CV players can dodge a lot of your flak and unicums can dodge the majority of it.  So 4 pts for a skill that can be relatively easily countered.  Hmm.

MFCAA

One of my favorites on heavy secondary ships.  Now it boosts by 25% sector reinforcement and switching time.  Sounds good, but you lose that 25% on the other side making it even weaker.  Huh?  So for 4 pts I can boost 1 side a little more, but make the other even weaker?  Timing it right can work, but the AA animations give away the boosted side.  Planes are a whole lot more agile than a ship.  Smart ones are just going to fly into your weak side and stay there till you switch, then back to the other.  Rinse and repeat.  This skill makes me sad, one of my old favorites.

AA Mod 1 (Slot 2)

No more extending range for fleet protection.  Hmm, a pattern.  Now adds 2 flak to medium/long AA.  Lower/Mid tiers not terrible as a percentage gain throws up much more flak for 40-100% gains, not bad.  Higher tiers there as already a lot of flak bursts so percentage gain isn't near as impressive.  Meh.  Losing Main Gun accuracy over this one.  Depends on the ship.

AA Mod 2 (Slot 6)

This is one I even rarely mounted before other than switching it out occasionally for giggles.  Giving up strong competitors like reload, range, or US BB accuracy is a lot to ask for.  Before was + 25% AA damage.  Similar now except they dropped it to 15% gain on your constant and flak DPS.  Admittedly I tried this one out the least and focused on the others more.  Effective or even worth it, your thoughts?

So all my previous AA monster builds I invested 11 captain points and a module to spread sweet confetti throughout the lands.  After trying a lot of different combos on different ships.  I honestly can't tell much difference for 11 pts of investment.  Premium Defensive fire now a huge advantage over captain skills since you can't extend range.  Double Constant AA DPS at the press of the button without spending my precious captain points and modules for a sliver of the benefit.  Yes please.

Bang for my buck I think November Echo flag , good "stock" sector control, and maybe BFT on higher tier ships where the DPS gains mean a little more and call it a day.  Add Premium Defensive Fire for ships that have it and imho that is what I have found to be the most effective for the cost/benefit of my ships.

I love that they reworked CVs.  Just wish they had put a little more effort into the AA skills.  Siggh.  I miss my no fly zones.  Reset all my captains I had last night before the deadline.  Time to tinker with some new builds.  Manual Secondary Cruisers FTW?

Thoughts?  Opinions?  Would really like to know how your testing of these skills has compared to my experience.  

Cheers.

 

 

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The AA captain skills are useless.

The flak damage itself is very high and will shoot down planes if they fly through it anyways. They are a major waste of captain points.

The only useful skill is BFT and that too only on destroyers as there are more useful skills to take on cruisers and batteships

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AA revamp should not been done in the same time as the CV . Now they constantly nerfing /buffing both sides,,,to get it balanced,,and they just cant get it done right...... Actually,,,don`t really understand why the  AA changes,from the ground up, were necessary at the first place..?... 

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1 hour ago, Aeries1 said:

So after a nice long needed break from WOWS I decided to come back and see how the CV rework went.  Even though I barely played CVs and haven't had a chance to try the new ones out yet I am happy for the CV players in the game.  CV players have needed some love for a long time and I am glad you finally got it, cheers.

That being said.  For those that know me/have played with me know I love speccing for AA on appropriate ships and farming CV tears by the gallon.  I admit it.  I get too much pleasure from it.  I have a problem.

So upon my return my first instinct was to try some of my AA build monsters I had left in port.

I looked over the revamped AA skills and was left feeling a little disappointed with the choices that BFT, AFT, MFCAA, and the Modules have become.

With free respecs during 8.2 I tinkered with all my old favorites.  Cleveland, DM, Mino, NC, Monty, Atlanta, and others.

After a lot of testing I have come to the conclusion imo that the skills aren't really worth their weight like they used to be unless you are speccing for DD guns or Manual Secondaries.

 

BFT

For 3 pts now still increases DPS by 10%.  Problem is the base values are so low you hardly see any increase till T8-T10 when constant dps values get into the hundreds.  3pts for going from 50 to 55, no thanks.

AFT

Gone is the ability to extend your AA range.  That is a major nerf imo.  It reduces your ability for fleet protection now and forces ship cuddling for AA protection.  Now it boosts flak damage by 15%.  Sounds good since 15% of those big numbers looks good.  Problem is even average CV players can dodge a lot of your flak and unicums can dodge the majority of it.  So 4 pts for a skill that can be relatively easily countered.  Hmm.

MFCAA

One of my favorites on heavy secondary ships.  Now it boosts by 25% sector reinforcement and switching time.  Sounds good, but you lose that 25% on the other side making it even weaker.  Huh?  So for 4 pts I can boost 1 side a little more, but make the other even weaker?  Timing it right can work, but the AA animations give away the boosted side.  Planes are a whole lot more agile than a ship.  Smart ones are just going to fly into your weak side and stay there till you switch, then back to the other.  Rinse and repeat.  This skill makes me sad, one of my old favorites.

AA Mod 1 (Slot 2)

No more extending range for fleet protection.  Hmm, a pattern.  Now adds 2 flak to medium/long AA.  Lower/Mid tiers not terrible as a percentage gain throws up much more flak for 40-100% gains, not bad.  Higher tiers there as already a lot of flak bursts so percentage gain isn't near as impressive.  Meh.  Losing Main Gun accuracy over this one.  Depends on the ship.

AA Mod 2 (Slot 6)

This is one I even rarely mounted before other than switching it out occasionally for giggles.  Giving up strong competitors like reload, range, or US BB accuracy is a lot to ask for.  Before was + 25% AA damage.  Similar now except they dropped it to 15% gain on your constant and flak DPS.  Admittedly I tried this one out the least and focused on the others more.  Effective or even worth it, your thoughts?

So all my previous AA monster builds I invested 11 captain points and a module to spread sweet confetti throughout the lands.  After trying a lot of different combos on different ships.  I honestly can't tell much difference for 11 pts of investment.  Premium Defensive fire now a huge advantage over captain skills since you can't extend range.  Double Constant AA DPS at the press of the button without spending my precious captain points and modules for a sliver of the benefit.  Yes please.

Bang for my buck I think November Echo flag , good "stock" sector control, and maybe BFT on higher tier ships where the DPS gains mean a little more and call it a day.  Add Premium Defensive Fire for ships that have it and imho that is what I have found to be the most effective for the cost/benefit of my ships.

I love that they reworked CVs.  Just wish they had put a little more effort into the AA skills.  Siggh.  I miss my no fly zones.  Reset all my captains I had last night before the deadline.  Time to tinker with some new builds.  Manual Secondary Cruisers FTW?

Thoughts?  Opinions?  Would really like to know how your testing of these skills has compared to my experience.  

Cheers.

 

 

I find that how you build your AA depends on if you want to time the AA swaps or just let the AA do it's thing.

 

When swapping AA, it stays at the current level until the count down is finished. So if you are balanced in a cruiser and prioritize a sector, the AA stays balanced until your 10 second count down ends. Then is you swap the sector to the other side, it stays the same 125/75 until the count down is done before switching to 75/125. So timing is everything to anticipate the planes. MFCAA stacks with the priority sector, so a cruiser w/MFCAA can make one side 145% while the other is 55% and take 8 seconds to swap instead of 10 seconds.

 

Personally, I get focused on one thing and have trouble swapping properly, so I'll leave mine alone mostly.

 

BFT first if you don't swap, otherwise MFCAA first. Second is the one you didn't take first. AFT if you are whole hog AA for the third one. Of course a secondary spec can put AFT first.

 

AA mod 1 is one I use a lot. At lower tiers it can double or triple the flak clouds. At higher tiers, going from 8 to 10 is still good as the more flak clouds, the more they spread out. The first 6 or so are put in front of the expected plane path, but the rest spread out to the left and right of the plane path making them harder to dodge.

 

So far I think that I have AAM2 on just the Salem. Salem has better AA than the DM as Salem does not have the 20mm guns for the last 1.5km to the ship. That means that the 76.2mm mid range guns cover from 4km to the ship meaning flak clouds to dodge all the time.

 

BTW, all the old AAM2 (slot 3) and the AAM3 were converted into the new AAM2 (slot 6). Check your inventory as I had a bunch of the slot 3 AA mods before the rework that became worth 1M credits each. It was a nice chunk of credits to pay for the new mods I wanted.

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46 minutes ago, VonSmallHausenn said:

AA revamp should not been done in the same time as the CV . Now they constantly nerfing /buffing both sides,,,to get it balanced,,and they just cant get it done right

?!?!?!

...

?!

They had to be done at the same time.  The previous AA was designed for the original planes.  It would have been either ridiculously over- or underpowered.  Because they completely changed the plane health mechanics, the previous AA would have either completely annihilated incoming squadrons within seconds, or (more likely) let the CV driver get all three attacks off, possibly even in the middle of several AA ships, and get all their planes back without losing a single one.  They probably changed the manual squadron select to sector focus because most of the time you'll only be under attack from a single squadron at a time now.

If you change the scale of a mechanic like planes, you have to adjust the scale of it's counter-mechanic at the same time.  It would be like if they multiplied ship-launched torpedo speed by 3 across the board, but didn't change any ship's rudder shift time and/or turning radius at all.

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50 minutes ago, Fishrokk said:

?!?!?!

...

?!

They had to be done at the same time.  The previous AA was designed for the original planes.  It would have been either ridiculously over- or underpowered.  Because they completely changed the plane health mechanics, the previous AA would have either completely annihilated incoming squadrons within seconds, or (more likely) let the CV driver get all three attacks off, possibly even in the middle of several AA ships, and get all their planes back without losing a single one.  They probably changed the manual squadron select to sector focus because most of the time you'll only be under attack from a single squadron at a time now.

If you change the scale of a mechanic like planes, you have to adjust the scale of it's counter-mechanic at the same time.  It would be like if they multiplied ship-launched torpedo speed by 3 across the board, but didn't change any ship's rudder shift time and/or turning radius at all.

..i quote you..."It would have been either ridiculously over- or underpowered".... and that would been different from the mess we have now?? That is exactly the case... first patch made AA completely ineffective,next made it overpowered... . so  :-)

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..than again,,i`m keep saying,,the biggest issue with CV and AA is,the 2   tier difference between the planes and the AA(when)..... I can`t possible see,how they can balance it thru 4 tiers.... tier 6 planes falling like flies against tier 8 AA,,,and tier 8 planes can easily(well, with competent CV captain) erase tier 6 ships.....

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7 minutes ago, VonSmallHausenn said:

..i quote you..."It would have been either ridiculously over- or underpowered".... and that would been different from the mess we have now?? That is exactly the case... first patch made AA completely ineffective,next made it overpowered... . so  :-)

Two different rules. Health number vs chance of shoot down vs that number.

 

Actual HP vs actual DPS.

 

You had to switch both at the same time.

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The AA skills that boost the constant DPS are more valuable than the ones that boost flak damage (AFT) since the former can't be dodged. If you are going to commit to AA, then BFT + Manual AA (MAA) with sector reinforcement should allow you to shred some planes before they can strike. For instance, the base mid-range DPS on the Montana is 718.8. Without MAA, sector reinforcement will boost the DPS up to 898.5. However, with MAA the DPS shoots up to 1078.2. Tack on BFT on-top of the wall of flak clouds that planes have to fly through, and you have a formidable deterrent from CV strikes. 

Also, if a CV is trying to fly through your reinforced sector, and then strike you from the weakened side on the second run, you can swap sectors while the first strike is underway, and then when the planes come back for another pass on your other side, your AA sector will have already switched and be ready. Unless you did something to provoke an enemy CV's ire, most will strike you on the side of the ship that's closest and presented to them. I've yet to see one try to fly around the entire ship just to strike the non-reinforced sector on the first run.

That being said,  I don't think an AA build is valuable on ships that don't already have strong AA, and you have to give up some other useful skills to fit it into a 19 point build. Since I've had a burning hatred for CVs since 2015 where the Midway had UFO planes and jet fighters, I'm willing to make these concessions on ships like the Montana, Des Moines, Worcester, etc.

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15 hours ago, VonSmallHausenn said:

and that would been different from the mess we have now??

Yes, it would have been different from "the mess" we have now.

Both the scenarios I described are more extreme than the first implementations of the rework AA actually were.  Even in the first iteration, AA was not completely toothless; in the second, aircraft were still able to deliver at least some ordnance.

15 hours ago, VonSmallHausenn said:

first patch made AA completely ineffective,next made it overpowered... . so

They were finding the edges.  They found 'em.  Now they're tweaking for balance, which will continue.

If you have an expectation that the AA/plane balance is ever going back to either of those extremes, I don't think that's realistic.

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I still spec my favorite AA ships for AA.  My only issue is CVs tend to ignore me.  There is an art to the sector switch.  I'll often have a heavy sector toward inbound aircraft and then switch to uniform vice a full sector switch as they get close (targeting me).  This gives the inbound strike force my buffed AA, and then any follow-ups my all around standard.  This enable me to maneuver against the threat without worrying about putting the aircraft in my weak sector.

There is also an art to escorting.  As a CV player, I've discovered some players have the escort role figured out very well.  There are several tactics (too many to discuss here) that can be used to really frustrate a CV players ability to get in good strikes on teams that know how to work it.  It's  not that the AA is necessarily impenetrable (albeit, sometimes it is), but it is of sufficient caliber to limit me to one pass and requires at least two squadrons to ensure I can deliver on that pass.  I get one drop, and can lose two flights.  That is often not an attrition battle a CV can win.   In a nutshell, you don't have to STOP a strike from getting through, you just have to make the price so high that the cost/benefit trade is not worth it.

I'll give one example.  I still full spec my QE.  Only a shadow of her former self in the AA department, but can still dish it.  T8 match.  I was being chased by a T8 CA, a T7 BB....and being focused by a T6 CV and T8 CV.....while I was on the A line...literally on my backfield border....running away.  I know folks lament BBs in the back...and I was WAAAAY in the back....but the reds kept coming at me.  My little T6 BB was taking up the time and effort of one T6, a T7, and a two T8.  Those planes were swarming me like crazy...the CV players (working in tandem) were using cross drop tactics. I managed to shoot down only 17 of them, but I survived several sorties from the CVs and the rain of fire from the ships.  My team?  Rolled their other flank and capped.  Me?  I survived. 

 

 

Edited by Soshi_Sone

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17 hours ago, VonSmallHausenn said:

..i quote you..."It would have been either ridiculously over- or underpowered".... and that would been different from the mess we have now?? That is exactly the case... first patch made AA completely ineffective,next made it overpowered... . so  :-)

It's not even that, they could fix that by tweaking numbers.

Previously, a squadron of planes was a single entity. A squadron is however many separate planes now. They would have had to invest time and effort into adapting the existing system to the new squadron structure, and they'd end up having to redo and rebalance it again anyway. 

If you're going to do the work, why not just do it once?

 

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2 minutes ago, Skpstr said:

It's not even that, they could fix that by tweaking numbers.

Previously, a squadron of planes was a single entity. A squadron is however many separate planes now. They would have had to invest time and effort into adapting the existing system to the new squadron structure, and they'd end up having to redo and rebalance it again anyway. 

If you're going to do the work, why not just do it once?

 

This :Smile_honoring:

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A skilled CV pilot will dodge most flak. What they cant dodge is the continual AA damage in the zone. Ships like the Salem have so much of it that is near impossible to get a planes less than 4km from them. Spec into skills that add that instead of flak bursts.

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