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Ark Royal First Impressions - Beautiful, Historical, Boring

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It's a Tier 6 CV with 100 knot planes.  Don't expect exciting game play.  She handles pretty much inline with the rest of the T6s.

 

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I like this ship for historical reasons, I’m thinking of getting it just for OPs.  Unfortunately, CCs don’t seem to factor OPs in their reviews.

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3 minutes ago, FrodoFraggin said:

Unfortunately, CCs don’t seem to factor OPs in their reviews.

That would be my first question for Zoup, and also for @LittleWhiteMouse. DID YOU PLAY HER IN T6 OPERATIONS?

In my opinion, @Vader_Sama should be issued this ship for hardcore operations testing. That mitigates most of her weaknesses at a stroke, as the opposition to be found there (especially in Killer Whale but also the opening phase of Newport) is frequently underpowered, and the slowness of her torpedo and bomber groups is mitigated by the scripted and predictable nature of the ops.

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I haven't watched Zoup's video, but I have seen another CC's video on the Ark Royal.  I think that the problem here is that the AR would probably be a decent enough tier 5 CV with the current mix of planes.  But as a tier 6 CV, I think that the historical planes make this premium CV very, very bad.  Seriously, TB and DB planes that can only do about 100 kts and can see tier 8 battles seems ridiculous to me.

I think that this is a situation where in the current even tiers only CVs, the devs should have told the community that the Swordfish planes were simply not viable for a tier 6 carrier in this game.  Hell, they'd be questionably viable if the AR could be a tier 5 ship facing tier 7 battles.  They'd be OK, I suppose, on a tier 5 CV when top tier, or maybe in tier 6 battles (though questionable here too).

So, honestly, I think that WG should just bite the bullet and put some more competitive planes on the Ark Royal, and to heck with the historicity of the Swordfish.  Let's also consider the reality that had the Ark Royal not been sunk when she was (Nov 1941), it's probably quite likely that she would have received better planes throughout the war.

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32 minutes ago, Crucis said:

I think that this is a situation where in the current even tiers only CVs, the devs should have told the community that the Swordfish planes were simply not viable for a tier 6 carrier in this game.  Hell, they'd be questionably viable if the AR could be a tier 5 ship facing tier 7 battles.  They'd be OK, I suppose, on a tier 5 CV when top tier, or maybe in tier 6 battles (though questionable here too).

So, honestly, I think that WG should just bite the bullet and put some more competitive planes on the Ark Royal, and to heck with the historicity of the Swordfish.  Let's also consider the reality that had the Ark Royal not been sunk when she was (Nov 1941), it's probably quite likely that she would have received better planes throughout the war.

They should just buff the Swordfish with more HP or something to make them viable, its not like there is some historical reference that says "Swordfish had X hit points".      They are really just for appearance sake anyway, so just buff them to not totally suck, either make them a little faster or give them more HP, or something to make them not awful.    Or better yet, make the Ark Royal Tier 4 where it belongs, sure, it won't get to torp Bismarks, but at least it wouldn't be totally worthless.

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7 minutes ago, Zenn3k said:

They should just buff the Swordfish with more HP or something to make them viable, its not like there is some historical reference that says "Swordfish had X hit points".      They are really just for appearance sake anyway, so just buff them to not totally suck, either make them a little faster or give them more HP, or something to make them not awful.    Or better yet, make the Ark Royal Tier 4 where it belongs, sure, it won't get to torp Bismarks, but at least it wouldn't be totally worthless.

Seeing as the swordfish are on the tier IV CV, you could have different Marks (I-IV) on the two different ships to account for the HP difference.

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11 minutes ago, Zenn3k said:

They should just buff the Swordfish with more HP or something to make them viable, its not like there is some historical reference that says "Swordfish had X hit points".      They are really just for appearance sake anyway, so just buff them to not totally suck, either make them a little faster or give them more HP, or something to make them not awful.    Or better yet, make the Ark Royal Tier 4 where it belongs, sure, it won't get to torp Bismarks, but at least it wouldn't be totally worthless.

Numbers of planes per attack flight, regeneration time (on deck), both need to be known before questioning plane "hp".

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3 minutes ago, Zenn3k said:

They should just buff the Swordfish with more HP or something to make them viable, its not like there is some historical reference that says "Swordfish had X hit points".      They are really just for appearance sake anyway, so just buff them to not totally suck, either make them a little faster or give them more HP, or something to make them not awful.    Or better yet, make the Ark Royal Tier 4 where it belongs, sure, it won't get to torp Bismarks, but at least it wouldn't be totally worthless.

I've had some more thoughts on the Ark Royal and her planes (some from reading comments in this video's youtube comments).

1. Arguably, the Swordfish aren't as fragile as they're made out to be.  The fact that it's a biplane doesn't automatically make it fragile.  Apparently, historically speaking, the Swordfish wasn't as fragile as people think, because the skin of the ship was cloth.  Yes, bullets and shrapnel can easily go through the cloth easily.  But those holes aren't going to cause the plane to be destroyed.  You have to get hits that destroy the plane's frame, not its cloth skin.  For in-game purposes, this would be represented by more HP for the Swordfish.

2. One way that WG could improve the TB 6 plane squadron's performance might be to NOT break the squadron up into smaller groups, but allow it to attack as a single 6 ship group.  This would make the planes in the second half of the squadron a bit more capable of making attacks because they wouldn't have to survive a second pass through the enemy's AA.  They could do the same thing with the DBs, though they'd probably want to drop the size of the squadron from 9 to 6 planes.

3. As for speed, I think that if they're going to be on a tier 6 CV, the Swordfish need more speed.  100 kt planes on tier 6 CV planes is, IMO, unbearably slow.  It's not so much how it's ugly for making attack runs (though it is).  It's how painfully boring it is to fly your planes from the CV to the enemy at such a glacial speed.

 

4. As an aside on the slow speed on the Swordfish, I think that it might be a bit of an advantage for attacking DDs with DBs.  Think about it.  One of the things that makes it difficult to attack DDs not using their AA is that by the time you spot them (that first time), the speed of most planes is too great to start the attack run and get the reticle on target, before overflying the DD.  You usually have to overfly the DD, make a U turn, and then make a best guess about where they'll be so that you can make your attack run work.  But with the slow Swordfish, you're so slow that you probably do have time to start that attack run and aim the reticle the very first time you spot the DD without the risk of overflying the DD before you're ready to drop.  So it might be that these slow Swordfish end up being the deadliest anti-DD CV planes in the game, tier for tier.

 

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@Crucis, @Zenn3k, in the Randoms context I tend to agree with you, but I'm beginning to believe WG intended and balanced this ship for use in Scenarios even if they'll never admit it. Killer Whale in particular is a scenario where the Ark will only ever see ships that are well within the capability of her planes to handle, and the ability to drop any UK carrier captain in there (or at a pinch, any UK captain) could make her a valuable asset. It's quite possible that the Ark is an insurance policy against ongoing troubles with balancing Indomitable, and given the potential XP and cash gains in operations, it could well be that she's an even better choice as well as being a more affordable one. Felix Culpa.

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36 minutes ago, Ensign_Cthulhu said:

@Crucis, @Zenn3k, in the Randoms context I tend to agree with you, but I'm beginning to believe WG intended and balanced this ship for use in Scenarios even if they'll never admit it. Killer Whale in particular is a scenario where the Ark will only ever see ships that are well within the capability of her planes to handle, and the ability to drop any UK carrier captain in there (or at a pinch, any UK captain) could make her a valuable asset. It's quite possible that the Ark is an insurance policy against ongoing troubles with balancing Indomitable, and given the potential XP and cash gains in operations, it could well be that she's an even better choice as well as being a more affordable one. Felix Culpa.

I won't disagree with you, Cthulhu.  I don't really have an opinion on what you've written.  I will say though, that in my experience, the Ryujo is the best tier 6 CV for Killer Whale, at least for how I think that CVs should be played in operations and that one in particular.  I believe that CVs should be going after BBs almost exclusively in Killer Whale, because they have the reach to get to them before other ships can.  (One exception here, I'll address later.)  I can send TBs after the Konig well before my team mates can get in gun range of it.  And I can send TBs after the Kawachi and Ishizuchi that spawn up at A1 long before my team mates will be in gun range of them.  

The one exception I refer to above is a tactic I witnessed last night where a guy in a DD took his DD up to A1 right at the start and waited for the Kawachi and Ishizuchi to spawn.  He took out the Kawachi quickly, but died to the Ishi.  I don't know exactly what happened because he was far out of range of my ship.  So, it is possible for a DD to do it, but I'm uncomfortable with doing it myself because it's too meta-gamey to me.  And IMO, WG should really randomize the spawn location of those two BBs to prevent this sort of meta-gamey tactic.

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51 minutes ago, Ensign_Cthulhu said:

@Crucis, @Zenn3k, in the Randoms context I tend to agree with you, but I'm beginning to believe WG intended and balanced this ship for use in Scenarios even if they'll never admit it. Killer Whale in particular is a scenario where the Ark will only ever see ships that are well within the capability of her planes to handle, and the ability to drop any UK carrier captain in there (or at a pinch, any UK captain) could make her a valuable asset. It's quite possible that the Ark is an insurance policy against ongoing troubles with balancing Indomitable, and given the potential XP and cash gains in operations, it could well be that she's an even better choice as well as being a more affordable one. Felix Culpa.

In running OPS, I'm finally figuring out how to make the new CVs work. Ryujo in particular has been loads of fun.

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What I have seen, it seems OP against DDs, except for maybe the T8 gunbotes.  And underpowered and flimsy against T7 and T8 anything else, which it will see a lot of.

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2 hours ago, Crucis said:

So, honestly, I think that WG should just bite the bullet and put some more competitive planes on the Ark Royal, and to heck with the historicity of the Swordfish.  Let's also consider the reality that had the Ark Royal not been sunk when she was (Nov 1941), it's probably quite likely that she would have received better planes throughout the war.

Agreed. Wildcats (Martlets)or Seafires and Albacores like Implacable would be fine, in 9 plane squadrons. Take away the DB option but up the damage levels for rockets and give her three-torp drop 9 plane TB squadrons with an additional 300 damage points per torpedo. One armed bandit with a slightly faster regen for planes.

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1 hour ago, GrandAdmiral_2016 said:

Agreed. Wildcats (Martlets)or Seafires and Albacores like Implacable would be fine, in 9 plane squadrons. Take away the DB option but up the damage levels for rockets and give her three-torp drop 9 plane TB squadrons with an additional 300 damage points per torpedo. One armed bandit with a slightly faster regen for planes.

I don't know about removing the DBs.  The carpet bombing concept is the RN's national flavor for CVs, so removing it seems wrong to me.

 

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Real question: why is she Tier VI instead of Tier IV? With the planes she has, seems like that would be a better tier fit for her. Obviously they'd need to tone down her current squadrons and tweak her stats, but I don't really get why she's at this tier. Unless they just REALLY want her to be able to fight Bismarcks.

Edited by Hermetica

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5 hours ago, Crucis said:

I haven't watched Zoup's video, but I have seen another CC's video on the Ark Royal.  I think that the problem here is that the AR would probably be a decent enough tier 5 CV with the current mix of planes.  But as a tier 6 CV, I think that the historical planes make this premium CV very, very bad.  Seriously, TB and DB planes that can only do about 100 kts and can see tier 8 battles seems ridiculous to me.

I think that this is a situation where in the current even tiers only CVs, the devs should have told the community that the Swordfish planes were simply not viable for a tier 6 carrier in this game.  Hell, they'd be questionably viable if the AR could be a tier 5 ship facing tier 7 battles.  They'd be OK, I suppose, on a tier 5 CV when top tier, or maybe in tier 6 battles (though questionable here too).

So, honestly, I think that WG should just bite the bullet and put some more competitive planes on the Ark Royal, and to heck with the historicity of the Swordfish.  Let's also consider the reality that had the Ark Royal not been sunk when she was (Nov 1941), it's probably quite likely that she would have received better planes throughout the war.

Ark Royal would have been fine for a Tier V CV.  The Tier IV aircraft would see Tier VII max, not this comedic bull---- of seeing Tier VIII AA.

 

There's also the dumb situation where her bombs can't even penetrate High Tier BB superstructure.

 

The only plus for Ark is that she's a historical ship that bullied Bismarck to her doom with mere biplane Swordfish (LOL that German AA!).  But the way the CV, AA system is right now, she's absolute garbage.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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1 minute ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

Ark Royal would have been fine for a Tier V CV.  The Tier IV aircraft would see Tier VII max, not this comedic bull---- of seeing Tier VIII AA.

 

There's also the dumb situation where her bombs can't even penetrate High Tier BB superstructure.

 

The only plus for Ark is that she's a historical ship.  But the way the CV, AA system is right now, she's absolute garbage.

I agree.  I will say that there's nothing wrong (that I'm aware of) with the ship itself, but the squadrons are terrible for a tier 6 CV.  On a tier 5 CV, they'd be barely bearable.  On a tier 6, not at all.

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I use those same three adjectives to describe my left big toe.

My right big toe, on the other hand...

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSyulf4nrBKqm4PsMTmJg3

Edited by Battleship_Elisabeth

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My first impression is this CV is "useless". Ark Royal is dead on arrival in 8.5.1 because you absolutely will be up tiered 90% of the time and be regulated to watching the match. And that is if you ever get to the action area because the planes are glacially slow.  Also, pushing the Graf Zeppelin "global" speed boost nerf after people already bought it was a crappy move. I would be a fool to by another premium CV.

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8 hours ago, Crucis said:

I've had some more thoughts on the Ark Royal and her planes (some from reading comments in this video's youtube comments).

1. Arguably, the Swordfish aren't as fragile as they're made out to be.  The fact that it's a biplane doesn't automatically make it fragile.  Apparently, historically speaking, the Swordfish wasn't as fragile as people think, because the skin of the ship was cloth.  Yes, bullets and shrapnel can easily go through the cloth easily.  But those holes aren't going to cause the plane to be destroyed.  You have to get hits that destroy the plane's frame, not its cloth skin.  For in-game purposes, this would be represented by more HP for the Swordfish.

2. One way that WG could improve the TB 6 plane squadron's performance might be to NOT break the squadron up into smaller groups, but allow it to attack as a single 6 ship group.  This would make the planes in the second half of the squadron a bit more capable of making attacks because they wouldn't have to survive a second pass through the enemy's AA.  They could do the same thing with the DBs, though they'd probably want to drop the size of the squadron from 9 to 6 planes.

3. As for speed, I think that if they're going to be on a tier 6 CV, the Swordfish need more speed.  100 kt planes on tier 6 CV planes is, IMO, unbearably slow.  It's not so much how it's ugly for making attack runs (though it is).  It's how painfully boring it is to fly your planes from the CV to the enemy at such a glacial speed.

 

4. As an aside on the slow speed on the Swordfish, I think that it might be a bit of an advantage for attacking DDs with DBs.  Think about it.  One of the things that makes it difficult to attack DDs not using their AA is that by the time you spot them (that first time), the speed of most planes is too great to start the attack run and get the reticle on target, before overflying the DD.  You usually have to overfly the DD, make a U turn, and then make a best guess about where they'll be so that you can make your attack run work.  But with the slow Swordfish, you're so slow that you probably do have time to start that attack run and aim the reticle the very first time you spot the DD without the risk of overflying the DD before you're ready to drop.  So it might be that these slow Swordfish end up being the deadliest anti-DD CV planes in the game, tier for tier.

 

:Smile_great:It ain't Bullets that are going to bring down the planes it's the HE  AA  and cloth burns easier than metal:Smile_facepalm:

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5 hours ago, Crucis said:

I don't know about removing the DBs.  The carpet bombing concept is the RN's national flavor for CVs, so removing it seems wrong to me.

 

I know that, but it is ahistorical and I personally don't care for it. The only DB the RN used was the Skua, and that was pulled from service in 1941 and replaced by the Fulmar, and later the Sea Hurricane and Seafire because the Skua was decent DB but a lousy fighter. The Fulmar was a good gun platform but too slow as a two-seater fighter to catch anything other than Stukas, Cants and Fiat biplanes. The German fighters and twin engine JU-88s were faster than a Fulmar in level flight, by a large margin. The RAF, which controlled aircraft production, intensely opposed any introduction of dive bombers in the FAA and the Air Ministry backed them up, considering DB production to negatively affect four-engine ''strategic'' bomber production when resources were limited.. The RN used Avengers as level bombers because the RN aerial torpedo was too long to fit in a TBF bomb bay. The Barracuda was passable as a torpedo bomber but a failure as a dive bomber, on top of being difficult to fly off a flight deck.

I would prefer to see what was used historically on these RN CVs. I have the four of them but they are the weakest CV line of the lot.They don't see much play, and neither do my two premiums, Enterprise and Kaga, given the current state of affairs.

And as for the constant griping by the DD players and others, I do not think that will produce anything useful. When running anything with more than 20 AA rating, my ships shoot down airplanes in a reasonable manner. When running CVs, you have to pick and chose your targets carefully and play in a support role most of the time, which precludes high scores. That fact alone drive players off CV play IMHO.

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Sometimes, you just feel like taking out beautiful and sexy, despite her issues.  Good looks and sexy can often make up for a lot of history and boredom.  

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22 hours ago, Hermetica said:

Real question: why is she Tier VI instead of Tier IV? 

Because nobodys going to spend cash, dubs, or sweat on a T4 CV.....

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17 hours ago, shadowsrmine said:

:Smile_great:It ain't Bullets that are going to bring down the planes it's the HE  AA  and cloth burns easier than metal:Smile_facepalm:

To be fair though, the stuff ships use for what we would consider close-range AA are contact fuses, and those would sail through without exploding, just like fighters' cannon shells.

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