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ArIskandir

Design choices: How to make CVs interesting to play (Thread under construction :)

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So, riding the wave off a certain video. I will assume your are by now familiar with the following statement and reasoning behind it:

"CVs are uninteresting to play in the long term" 

For more information about it you can go and read the other threads on the subject. If you have no problem and find CVs interesting, challenging and fun to play after lets say six months of playing them, good for you, you are probably a proud member of a minority of players.

My intention in this thread is do some (fun) brainstorming on how to redesign CVs to make them more interesting to play with and against, I will try to adhere to the following directives:

  • The redesign must take advantage of the current CV implementation, must build on it. We don't have resources to start from scratch again
  • The redesign must be accessible to average players yet have depth enough to keep players engaged for a long time
  • There must be minimal intrinsic skill  requirement of any type to play it
  • The redesign must add something to the core game, not subtract from it. It needs to act as an additional layer of content
  • It must be congruent with the core game design and not act against it or subverting the core mechanics of the game.

GENERAL INITIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Lets start with an initial definition of what the game is and what are its core working concepts. This is a "third person" naval flavored arcade-ish action game with heavy focus on decision making, situational awareness and mechanical knowledge. Its core mechanics are concealment, positioning, ballistics, effective range and time to target, HP pool management. Having this clear is very important in order to keep a congruent design. 
In concordance with the game prime definition, CV gameplay must focus on decision making without sacrificing the action element. To this intend maintaining direct control over the aircraft is required, but we need to add layers of complexity and minimize "down" times in the playing experience.
 

  • Managing Down time: Travel time to target.
    Every attack cycle needs an initial travel to the target which might be shorter or longer relative to how much risk is desired to incur for the hull. In order to minimize this time travel to target, it was decided to split attack cycle into multiple attack subroutines. This IMO is a very bad design choice and root of many problems. By allowing multiple attack runs under the same attack cycle, the time over target (time the target remains spotted and subject to attack from both aircraft and surface fire) significantly increases. This is maybe the major concern for the average surface player as the aircraft presence becomes oppressive, overbearing and hard to withstand (imagine being force choked to death for several seconds a time in a regular FPS). It also becomes very difficult to balance AA values given the extreme variability between in time over target. Another consequence is the "exploit" or ability to push damage on target with minimum lose of planes by shortening the attack cycle and finally the perception that AA is ineffective in terms  of limiting the damage received per strike. 
    To prevent all the negatives and simultaneously minimize the "down" time, I suggest getting rid of the multi-attack subroutines and reduce it to only single or dual staggered attacks. In exchange, increase the number of controllable squadrons in the air to two. The logic being to have a squadron "in transit" meanwhile the other squadron is being actively controlled during the attack, so ideally you won't need to manually fly your squadron to the engagement zone but just take direct control from them once they reach the target area. In order for this to work, the squadrons must have the ability to receive basic instructions for autonomous operation. More details on this further ahead.
  • Introducing complexity: Customization 
    My suggestion for making CV gameplay a bit more deep and complex relies on introducing a fair degree of customization and preparation for the attack flights. This would be performed in 2 stages, the first one on the CV hull, where you would get to set and prepare you attack flights by selecting the type of aircraft (squadron) and selecting the ordinance for them (yes, you read it right, you should be able to load either AP or HE bombs, heavy or light torps, etc on a per flight basis). Once given the order, the flights start to "arm up" and get in queue to take off maybe even starting the flight towards a position previously indicated by you. The second stage of customization happens at the attack instance, where you get to set your squadron on different formations and drop patterns in accordance to your intended target. This would introduce a lot of variability and considerations in the attack action, beyond WASD and click timing, selecting the appropriate formation and drop pattern would improve your attack effectiveness.  
  • Introducing complexity: Limited multitasking
    In order to make CV even more engaging, I would reintroduce a limited layer of multitasking in the form of the ability to control different squadrons simultaneously. Ideally this would be limited to one attack squadron, one fighter squadron and one auxiliary plane. Control would be achieved by simple commands given to the squadrons and performed autonomously by the AI. For example, you can order your fighter squadron to escort your active attack squadron, intercept an enemy squadron or fly a CAP over a certain location or friendly ship. Your attack squadrons could be assigned to perform the attacks autonomously while you focus on "programming" the optimal formation and drop pattern for the attack while leaving the actual execution of the attack run to the AI, this would work as a skill gap leveler helping players with bad "twitch" skills and guaranteeing a base performance level in the execution of the attack runs (AI level).  Auxiliary planes would include non combatant planes mostly represent by dedicated spotters, which would be the only planes able to relay real time spotting info to the team. 

 

To be continued...

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You're way over-thinking this.

First, WG doesn't give two poops about player input.

Second, rework CV were (and are)  intended to be simplistic zoom and boom toys for the low attention span/instant gratification market segment.

Third, their key metric is popularity, not fair play.

Adding complexity would make it "too hard!!1!!" or "It's boring!" for the average CV player, so numbers would drop, and the cycle of CV buffs starts all over again. Their only available tools are whiz-bang gimmicks, nerfing AA, and ez-mode damage. That's all they got, and they're not the least bit hesitant to use them.

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Two huge changes:

  • CV's cannot spot for friendly ships.
  • The automated AA system needs to be reworked so that a player can control it rather than an AI system.

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One thing that would be nice is to build your own arsenal, instead of fixed X Rockets, Y Torpedoes and Z Bombers.

More flexibility to manage the carrier would be nice. 

Also, one interesting idea that popped in my head during an Ahskance streaming, when people were discussing what kind of gimmick would WG bring to Italian CVs was Aircraft smoke curtain. Instead of simply damage farming and spotting, CVs could be used to provide support in other ways, by laying smoke ahead of teammates.

CV vs CV play could be a thing as well. The patrol fighters are useless for their actual purpose and the recent attempt by WG to add some kind of anti-CV gameplay, with very expensive interceptor builds, were.... well, a complete failure to say the least.

I am also not against multi tasking, contrary to WG, and I do think people should have to command the carrier and even more squads, as long as the strike itself should be manual.

 

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20 minutes ago, DesRon_29 said:

You're way over-thinking this.

First, WG doesn't give two poops about player input.

I know mate, I'm not writing this with any realistic expectation things will change. Just having some fun doing it.

22 minutes ago, YAMATO_DIFFERENCE said:

Two huge changes:

  • CV's cannot spot for friendly ships.
  • The automated AA system needs to be reworked so that a player can control it rather than an AI system.

Still those changes wouldn't make them interesting enough for me to play them.

10 minutes ago, WarStore said:

One thing that would be nice is to build your own arsenal, instead of fixed X Rockets, Y Torpedoes and Z Bombers.

More flexibility to manage the carrier would be nice. 

Also, one interesting idea that popped in my head during an Ahskance streaming, when people were discussing what kind of gimmick would WG bring to Italian CVs was Aircraft smoke curtain. Instead of simply damage farming and spotting, CVs could be used to provide support in other ways, by laying smoke ahead of teammates.

I think having customizable ordinance paired with an auxiliar/utility aircraft slot would be an elegant way to manage different national gimmicks. Imagine the ability to load smoke canisters as you point out, our maybe supply containers to drop over allied ships to restore consumables or HP, maybe an airborne Radar or Sonar bouys.

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I think the interaction between plane and AA and making that work is the key. Play and counterplay; because without counterplay nothing will be acceptable with carriers, no matter how good the mechanics are.

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1 hour ago, YAMATO_DIFFERENCE said:

 

  • The automated AA system needs to be reworked so that a player can control it rather than an AI system.

Give us a manual *option*, but leave it possible to automate, like another Russian made game does.

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I think aircraft should having some altitude control (can be a simple shift to go up control to go down).

Adding verticality to the game will add more depth to the class and make more things interesting. for example, say theres a high aa ship that's around a bunch of small islands. with altitude control you could potential sneak up with torpedo bombers by flying low near the islands to avoid detection and ambush the ship (if your aircraft does get detected when flying low they would be easier to shoot down than if they were flying at normal or high altitude)

 

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Restrict them to tear 8 and tear 10 only let the new people that they want to rush up line play with them all they want but make a safe area for people that hate them

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I want to fly my Il-2 in wows. Doge flak AA, bombs and straight flying rockets, vertical maneuvering, fast responding although it turns slow, and twin 37s to strafe citadels :Smile_trollface:

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Can see CVs being almost popular if they can send a healing plane, even if it's just 0.5% every 2 seconds in an AoE.

IJN CV still needs kamikaze planes.

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How about banning red PR players feedback on any test boat and probably listen to the players who are higher on the skill level :cap_popcorn:

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7 hours ago, YAMATO_DIFFERENCE said:

The automated AA system needs to be reworked so that a player can control it rather than an AI system.

Pointless change when the CV will just shrug the loses off due to regen. It's putting the cart before the horse. Make it so plane lose actually matters first then we can talk about how those planes are shot down.

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