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Ahskance

The Balancing Act - In-Depth Discussion on CVs with El2aZeR

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Hello General Game Discussion~ 

I run a twitch stream at https://www.twitch.tv/ahskance where I stream CV content with heavy commentary to provide teaching and perspective on CV driving.

Following the release of TBA's first episode, one vocal CV main took to this very forum to express his views!  El2aZeR is a European CV guy that is a constant critic of CV balance and often argues that CVs just can't be balanced in a surface ship world.

As two experienced CV drivers, we hit a variety of topics related to the class.  I tried to give explanation/background where I thought to, but I'm sure we went off into the weeds at times.  To be honest, I had a lot of fun both in the basic topics and the deep dives.  Chat got a bit feisty over half-way through, so we got to take some questions from the live viewers in the latter section.

We went over topics for a little over 3 hours, and probably could have continued... but I had to rescue my car from the mechanic before they closed.  Should we trade blows on the forum again, we might have to schedule a follow up~

Note: Casual swearing occurs as a part of my program (tis a bad habit)

Also on Soundcloud!  Behold my "Beautiful Paintbrush Skillz"

-----

Didn't catch the previous episode?  Forum post is below:

https://forum.worldofwarships.com/topic/227052-the-balancing-act-discussing-cv-dd-interaction-with-the_tech_geek/

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Quick follow-up on the .mp3/.mp4 file.  I haven't been able to use Filedropper (it keeps saying there's an error), so I don't have the raw file hosted as of yet.  I'll try to see if I can host it when I return from work later today.

If someone has a file-hosting service they can suggest, feel free to throw it out there.  At least one of our forum goers finds the raw file format useful for on-the-go listening.

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CV's will never be "balanced", it is not possible to make CV drivers happy and surface ships happy at the same time.

 

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1 hour ago, Turbotush said:

CV's will never be "balanced", it is not possible to make CV drivers happy and surface ships happy at the same time.

 

Any asymmetric game deals with problems like this.  You do the best you can.

In general, when two people are shooting each other in the face, it's often hard to convince each of them that it's an acceptable level of ouch.

Edited by Ahskance
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Would love to peruse this.. but man, 3 hours... I'll try it in parts...  I don't multi-task well enough to work and listen in background..  I think this back and forth is a great idea, but maybe find a way to structure it into something that doesn't end up playing out like the lord of the rings trilogy.   

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29 minutes ago, iRA6E said:

Would love to peruse this.. but man, 3 hours... I'll try it in parts...  I don't multi-task well enough to work and listen in background..  I think this back and forth is a great idea, but maybe find a way to structure it into something that doesn't end up playing out like the lord of the rings trilogy.   

Haha.  I'm still new to all of this.

I'd like to learn how to break it into sections, but I'm trying not to get too overwhelmed by trying to learn everything at once.  I'm sure it's doable, though.

I think some folks pretend is an audiobook and just listen as they go

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27 minutes ago, Ahskance said:

Haha.  I'm still new to all of this.

I'd like to learn how to break it into sections, but I'm trying not to get too overwhelmed by trying to learn everything at once.  I'm sure it's doable, though.

I think some folks pretend is an audiobook and just listen as they go

 

Yup. I listen to programs like this while commuting ( much more interesting than most news these days ), or when working at something that requires sight and hands but not hearing or much attention to detail.

 

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:Smile_ohmy: Wow you had a discussion with @El2aZeR  interesting :fish_book:  I might actually listen to this to get perspective on this individual :Smile_popcorn:

Edited by LastRemnant

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4 hours ago, Turbotush said:

CV's will never be "balanced", it is not possible to make CV drivers happy and surface ships happy at the same time.

 

Exactly. This is the corner WG painted itself into. Lucky for them, their marketing model is based on frustration.

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Okay, I've listened to about 1/3 of it so far.  Something was mentioned that I've seen elsewhere:  when WG changed AA, they put a big emphasis on flak bursts, and heavily nerfed continuous AA damage.  Both have been incrementally buffed or nerfed in each update, but the constant seems to be that a really good CV player can pretty much always dodge most of the flak bursts.  One of the counters I've tried is playing a DD with good to decent AA, such as Halland, Z-52, Haragumo, Gearing, etc., and hover near friendly cruisers and BBs with my AA turned off.  Once a plane squadron looks like it's going into an attack run, I'll turn my AA on at around 4 km, on the theory that the CV player will have difficulty dodging flak from two different directions.  It seems to work, since it usually results in 5-8 planes going down, often before they can drop ordnance.  But I'm not sure of it's the flak hitting them or just the addition of my continuous DPS.  I guess it doesn't really matter, since the results are the same.  But I am curious.

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25 minutes ago, zubalkabir said:

Okay, I've listened to about 1/3 of it so far.  Something was mentioned that I've seen elsewhere:  when WG changed AA, they put a big emphasis on flak bursts, and heavily nerfed continuous AA damage.  Both have been incrementally buffed or nerfed in each update, but the constant seems to be that a really good CV player can pretty much always dodge most of the flak bursts.  One of the counters I've tried is playing a DD with good to decent AA, such as Halland, Z-52, Haragumo, Gearing, etc., and hover near friendly cruisers and BBs with my AA turned off.  Once a plane squadron looks like it's going into an attack run, I'll turn my AA on at around 4 km, on the theory that the CV player will have difficulty dodging flak from two different directions.  It seems to work, since it usually results in 5-8 planes going down, often before they can drop ordnance.  But I'm not sure of it's the flak hitting them or just the addition of my continuous DPS.  I guess it doesn't really matter, since the results are the same.  But I am curious.

At 4km and less, I believe a Halland does around 600 damage a second.  Outside of 4km, it's around 200 a second (easy numbers).  Planes often have around 2,000 to 2,500 health each, so if you're killing MANY planes quickly, then your flak is causing large strikes in those instances.

When all the flak is dodged (which is very hard against a Halland), you can expect a single plane kill every 2 to 3 seconds.

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35 minutes ago, zubalkabir said:

on the theory that the CV player will have difficulty dodging flak from two different directions.

"Cross flak" doesn't exist. Any additional flak you provide will be added to the already existing wall, meaning there is only ever one wall of flak to dodge regardless of how many ships are in range.

It is still possible to dodge flak when locked into an attack run by simply slowing down, however that only works if the CV has started the attack at the minimal attack distance required to make an accurate drop as otherwise flak will start to adjust to the speed change.

It is therefore best to activate AA as soon as enemy planes enter your range to cause the maximum amount of losses if your goal is to screen your ally.

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15 minutes ago, Ahskance said:

At 4km and less, I believe a Halland does around 600 damage a second.  Outside of 4km, it's around 200 a second (easy numbers).  Planes often have around 2,000 to 2,500 health each, so if you're killing MANY planes quickly, then your flak is causing large strikes in those instances.

When all the flak is dodged (which is very hard against a Halland), you can expect a single plane kill every 2 to 3 seconds.

 

5 minutes ago, El2aZeR said:

Cross flak" doesn't exist. Any additional flak you provide will be added to the already existing wall, meaning there is only ever one wall of flak to dodge regardless of how many ships are in range.

It is still possible to dodge flak when locked into an attack run by simply slowing down, however that only works if the CV has started the attack at the minimal attack distance required to make an accurate drop as otherwise flak will start to adjust to the speed change.

It is therefore best to activate AA as soon as enemy planes enter your range to cause the maximum amount of losses if your goal is to screen your ally.

Hmm.  So, looking at both these notes, I'm guessing any success I've had with this has mostly been against CV players who didn't know what they were doing?  Or maybe RNG?  Or just the brute force of adding multiple ships' AA together?

Edited by zubalkabir

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59 minutes ago, zubalkabir said:

I'm guessing any success I've had with this has mostly been against CV players who didn't know what they were doing?  Or maybe RNG?  Or just the brute force of adding multiple ships' AA together?

Likely a mix of all 3. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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4 hours ago, Ahskance said:

Haha.  I'm still new to all of this.

I'd like to learn how to break it into sections, but I'm trying not to get too overwhelmed by trying to learn everything at once.  I'm sure it's doable, though.

I think some folks pretend is an audiobook and just listen as they go

I have been using this for years.  Works like a charm and is free.

http://www.audiobookcutter.com/products.html

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If enough ships are stacked up you can create a wall of flak with virtually no holes to shoot for. At that point there are only 2 ways I have found to dodge it;

1) Change in speed (boost or breaks)

2) Change in elevation (begin attack run in-between flak bursts)

Given a perfect scenario (no internet lag, great frame rate etc. it is possible to reliably avoid most flak.  With that said the slightest hiccup in latency or visual processor and these bursts can quite literally one shot multiple planes with no warning or initial burst to begin your maneuvering. 

I play from two different locations,  one has excellent internet and one does not.  The overall difficulty in playing cv with less than stellar internet is exponentially harder and much more exaggerated than it is in surface ships.  When you get a lag spike or a little rubberbanding in a surface ship usually involves your ship stopping then suddenly lurching forward.   For me at least it very rarely happens when firing at or being fired at.  For CV it causes your planes to fly in a circle and almost always happens during an attack run which causes you to overshoot your drop, spend extra time in AA and fly in a predictable path making you eat flak bursts.

I can see how some people say flak is unavoidable and how some say it is.  In many cases both are correct. 

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1 hour ago, HallaSnackbar said:

I can see how some people say flak is unavoidable and how some say it is.  In many cases both are correct.

I actually have observed the same thing as you by virtue of often traveling between two homes. One location is where my quite decent gaming rig with an excellent connection sits, on the other I have a PC that is fairly dated and a more unstable connection. Playing CVs on the latter often becomes a chore. E.g. ships do not even render until around ~10km and the slightest lag spike will inevitably ruin any kind of approach you may have been executing. Flak renders noticeably more late than it does on my other PC. It is still avoidable if you dodge "by instinct" however I do not believe that is something many can do.

On the other hand, I wouldn't say that means flak is unavoidable sometimes. I'd rather say that the shoddy technical implementation of the rework shows itself in all its glory here.

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36 minutes ago, El2aZeR said:

On the other hand, I wouldn't say that means flak is unavoidable sometimes. I'd rather say that the shoddy technical implementation of the rework shows itself in all its glory here.

Agreed, I was not saying flak is technically unavoidable as much as I was saying how I can see how some would perceive it as such.

Edited by HallaSnackbar

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Made it about 45min in so far and I have to spot for now, but here are a few things that came to my mind.

You talk a lot about resource management and that managing your planes is important and that AA is designed to drain planes. From this, the conclusion is that how players should think about AA is the amount of cost they incur to the CV via their AA/flak. However, as a surface ship this is a really unsatisfactory way of dealing with this because it means you are trading a very finite and important resource - your HP - against the time of the CV player. And from design like this stems a lot of the toxicity towards the class imho, since as a surface ship once I go low/zero on HP my game is over whereas the CV maybe just 'wasted' 4 minutes. To me the stakes in this trade of resources seem very different.

This is further exacerbated by the positioning and flanking aspects. The idea of having the 'flank above' mentality in game is actually quite good and helpful, yet it fails on a basic level since there is no counter that flank. I can't put an island there, I can't bow into that, there is almost nothing skill related to interact with that flank except a bit of positioning. Then again, E12azer brought up the fact how irrelevant those decisions become when you think about the various ordnance CVs have for all these situations. I would say positioning would matter much more if a CV would have to decide before the match between dive bombers or torpedo bombers.

Overall, being just on the receiving end of a CV time vs ship HP trade without initiative or active counterplay is one of the fundamental flaws of the whole rework. Its net effect on randoms might be balanceable in form of a CV damage tax or something, but I still think it is very bad design. And so far I have heard nothing that convinced me otherwise.

The idea of manual AA as another minigame might seem infeasible to many but I believe it can be done, or should at least be tried.

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6 hours ago, LastRemnant said:

:Smile_ohmy: Wow yeah had a discussion @El2aZeR  interesting :fish_book:  I might actually listen to this to get perspective on this individual :Smile_popcorn:

Interested as well since he is apparently the best CV player in WoWS. 

Have started listening, but this is going to take a few sessions to digest. Interesting give-and-take. 

Edited by Pugilistic

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3 hours ago, shinytrashcan said:

Made it about 45min in so far and I have to spot for now, but here are a few things that came to my mind.

You talk a lot about resource management and that managing your planes is important and that AA is designed to drain planes. From this, the conclusion is that how players should think about AA is the amount of cost they incur to the CV via their AA/flak. However, as a surface ship this is a really unsatisfactory way of dealing with this because it means you are trading a very finite and important resource - your HP - against the time of the CV player. And from design like this stems a lot of the toxicity towards the class imho, since as a surface ship once I go low/zero on HP my game is over whereas the CV maybe just 'wasted' 4 minutes. To me the stakes in this trade of resources seem very different.

This is further exacerbated by the positioning and flanking aspects. The idea of having the 'flank above' mentality in game is actually quite good and helpful, yet it fails on a basic level since there is no counter that flank. I can't put an island there, I can't bow into that, there is almost nothing skill related to interact with that flank except a bit of positioning. Then again, E12azer brought up the fact how irrelevant those decisions become when you think about the various ordnance CVs have for all these situations. I would say positioning would matter much more if a CV would have to decide before the match between dive bombers or torpedo bombers.

Overall, being just on the receiving end of a CV time vs ship HP trade without initiative or active counterplay is one of the fundamental flaws of the whole rework. Its net effect on randoms might be balanceable in form of a CV damage tax or something, but I still think it is very bad design. And so far I have heard nothing that convinced me otherwise.

The idea of manual AA as another minigame might seem infeasible to many but I believe it can be done, or should at least be tried.

Well, the "aerial flank" is counter by the "umbrella", so that's unfortunately dependent on teammates/coordination.  Still though, it is an available counter.  I think the topic is covered further as the conversation continues, and I very tired so any response I give here would just be useless :(

-----

An AA minigame could be fun, but think of when you're firing guns and dodging torps at the same time.  It's a lot to process, and often the game is hard enough without the multiple "high input" events at the same time.

Ultimately, I think the devs just felt it would be too much to do.  Especially if your AA underperforms when you -don't- do the AA minigame.

 

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So Im currently listening to this.

 

I have to agree with El2aZeR... it generally feels like Im just an NPC inthe CV game. I think you dont necessarily agree because for the most part you dont play surface ships all that much. (Not that you dont at all, but significantly less than you do CVs). As a surface ship main, it often feels like (and is actually the case) that regardless of what I do to position myself to make it as hard as possible for the CV to strike me (whether that be sticking close to an island, being in open water for extra maneuvering options or sticking near a friend for more AA) it doesnt actually matter. Hes gonna strike me, and damage me and realistically the mechanic the CV is playing against isnt my maneuvering or positions, its the AA system. Which is out of my control other than hitting 'O' to reinforce the sector, and even that doesnt feel as if it actually does anything, but I do it because its the only thing I can actually do. At the end of the day what Im hoping for is not for my skill to get me out of the situation, its me hoping for the CV's lack of skill, because otherwise, regardless of what I do, Im probably dead 8 times out of 10. While in a surface ship to surface ship engagement, unless I make a conscious choice to put myself in a position where Im hoping for my enemies lack of skill (say I come out from behind an island broadside in a cruiser in front of a BB), its more often me relying on my skill to get myself out of situations that Ive put myself in.

 

One of the major problems is that CV's resource management, for an average length match of WoWs, doesnt really matter. As long as youre cycling squadrons atleast every other strike, youre probably not going to be significantly deplaned by the end of an average match. You can pretty much strike with impunity, regardless of target, unless you happen to wander into a clump of 6 ships or get blapped by an unlucky flak bubble. This might be a result of AA, in general, feeling useless as a surface ship driver.

 

I also have a problem with how attacking planes getting shot down doesnt actually do anything to mitigate a strike. If Im in a DD, and I shoot down an attacking rocket plane, another one from the squadron just goes "Oh hey, cool its my turn now" and pulls right into the strike run, and I still get hit with 20 rockets instead of 15 rockets. Or I get hit with 3 torpedoes instead of 2 in a BB. Why? Is it not enough that my AA is mostly out of my control, that when I do shoot down an attacking plane the CV player still gets to get off is full strike run? Sure shooting down a plane, makes follow up attacks less (potentially), but thats not really much consolation.

 

Also, the CVs ability to spot anywhere on the map in a relatively short amount of time (atleast compared to DDs) is a problem. The reason that CVs are banned from KotS on a global scale is because they close down positions and fundamentally change the game by their existence in a match and they can account for the entire enemy teams position at nearly all times. When youre always, or almost always spotted, your options are significantly less than they are when you have the ability to stealth for large periods of time. I dont know how to solve this issue, I think a nice middle ground would be only letting CVs relay minimap positions of spotted ships to their team, but not actually have the ship rendered unless its surface spotted.

 

At the end of the day, all things considered CVs as a class have one fundamental problem: They follow none of the rules that the other 3 classes follow. They arent limited by range. They arent limited by position. They arent even limited by the vision system in the same way as the other 3 classes. This is what makes them broken, and its what makes them hard, if not impossible to both balance and have remain fun to play (and I dont think they will ever be fun to play against, even if they some how did manage to balance them). Theres a trinity of ships: DD>BB>CA>DD, and then theres the CV which can pretty much do what they want, when they want. (They have the same issue that artillery from WoT has).

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11 hours ago, Ahskance said:

Any asymmetric game deals with problems like this.  You do the best you can.

In general, when two people are shooting each other in the face, it's often hard to convince each of them that it's an acceptable level of ouch.

The problem is with aircraft carriers only one person is shooting the other in the face. The other  cannot do a thing about it.

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