Russian Q&A from the 10th of August, translated by Carnotzet.
1. My question concerns the latest collection of data regarding spotting and tanking. More particularly tanking. Is it possible, technically speaking, to monitor conditions where a player is tanking? In other words, do evading volleys at the border of the map and maneuvering between four battleships have different weights that come into the calculation of tanking? If so, will they be rewarded differently?
A. At the moment, it is not possible, but, according to our data, players who are more active during battles receive more tanking rewards. If, in the future, we see an urgent need to do so, we will add logging conditions.
2. It’s no secret that a large part of the community is waiting for clans (in one form or another). We know that it’s being worked on, etc., etc. and that it will be released someday. So I wanted to know what department is assigned to this work and what parallel work (maybe more important tasks than clan functionality) they are assigned to?
A. It is in the hands of the team that is in charge of what we call the metagame (economy, ranked battles, team battles, etc.), together with colleagues from Minsk who are working on clans and the global map in general. We plan to present their work to the players before the end of the year. We will try really hard to.
3. Where is the long-due armour visualisation feature?
A. It is nearly ready. We will make some final changes and will try to release it in one of the next few updates. If you recall, we promised we would release it in 2016. There is still time until then.
4. Not so long ago, you explained that developers are happy with how fire mechanics are working. One of the arguments presented was that cruisers need to have a chance against battleships. I concur but my question is not about that.
If we take into account the fact that cruisers need to have a fighting chance against battleships, then what about battleships who get burnt to the ground by invis-fire?
If you want, we can discount firing from smoke. Even then, what can a battleship player do when a cruiser fires on him from stealth? Since he cannot catch him, he doesn’t stand a chance.
A. The situation you described is indeed possible, especially in 1v1 duels. On the other hand, a battleship can also remove more than half the HP’s of a cruiser in one salvo.
Currently, we do not think invis-fire is harmful since it requires a very specific build (which makes the ship weaker in other areas) and cannot be used very often in battle when there are many players.
Regarding fires mechanics, since you asked, I will answer the question in details; I know there are many players interested in this matter that believe fires are more deadly than what they actually are. This is often the case with battleships captains. As an example, let us take tier 8-10 battleships, since it is a widely discussed topic.
1. Battleships popularity in general
The statistics regarding the RU-cluster from January to July show that battleships popularity is stable and even slightly increased. If we take all standard battles played on the cluster during that period, battleships representation increased from 32.9 to 35.1%. Thus, they make up slightly more than a third of all ships. There is no reason not to expect a slight increase in popularity with the release of the German battleships, or, more accurately, there is no reason to expect a decrease at least.
2. Battleship damage distribution (damage received)
During the last 30 days, battleships largest source of damage received comes from AP shells (42% – 45.6%), torpedoes plus flooding (19.9% – 20.2%). HE shells account for 16.8% – 17.8% and fires, 14.5% – 17.6%. Also remember that citadel damage can be healed by 10% (that is of course damage from AP shells and torpedoes direct damage), damage to the superstructure, stern and bow by 50% (here we can also add damage from HE shells and bombs), and damage from fires and flooding can be fully healed. That is why a badly damaged battleship can withdraw from battle to heal up and come with as much as half of his HP back.
3. Combat effectiveness
Regarding the potential for dealing damage, battleships do not disappoint, combining the roles of damage dealers and tanks. Their concurrences are carriers and in about every category, there is a tough fight going on between these two classes regarding who is the best.
Destroyers and cruisers, which, according to some players, burn the poor battleships and flood them under waves of torpedoes cannot even dream of dealing that much damage. Moreover, according to those same players, battleships are easy food for these classes since they have a lot of HP on which to feed.
Regarding win-rate, battleships are about the same as other classes.
Their AA is normal (only cruisers are above them because of their barrage ability).
Survivability (% of battles in which a ship has survived until the end) for battleships is considerably higher than for cruisers or destroyers.
4. A very brief summary
Battleships are played. Battleships survive. Battleships inflict damage. Battleships are a good and useful class. If we were to buff them, by increasing their survivability (especially against fires and HE shells), they would be overpowered. Our game would become World of Battleships. And that is bad. 35.1% popularity, we can live with that. But it is bordering on being too much.
So, if we were to follow players’ suggestions, we would have to nerf them in another way. If they had a better survivability, we would have to nerf their damage for example, and according to our experience, such change would not be well received by players.
That is why we do not plan to make any considerable changes to battleship balance or to fire mechanics.
Edit: added a question I forgot.
5. I once asked if you thought that Moskva was performing too well. You said no.
I also asked the same question about Khabarovsk
So, here’s my question. You plan to nerf Zao, but you don’t see any problems with the over-performing Moskva. Even Yamato cannot pen its bow. Please tell me, is it a coincidence that a nation with such a mediocre fleet, of which half the branch is paper ships perform so well?
A. Cruiser Moskva and destroyer Khabarovsk have one characteristic in common: they are nearly ideal to fight against their pairs. On the other hand, they also share a common disadvantage: a high detection range. It is easier to avoid 1v1 duel with them than it is with other ships. And firing on them is the same as with other ships. Moskva is easily (and more importantly, more constantly) damaged by battleships and Khabarovsk, by cruisers.
We can say that these ships have a very distinctive role and a very distinctive disadvantage. They are bullies, who can give their pairs hell but who can be easily taken down by the “adults” (by the class above).
In the current gameplay, we do not see the necessity to nerf their characteristics. Improve their concurrences, that is entirely possible.