Well, well, well… The aircraft carriers rework never ends and a new small update is upon us. Let’s have a look at it and also, let’s talk about the planned changes Wargaming announced.
The Update 0.8.0.3
The update size is 200 MB.
The servers will be unavailable as usual during the installation of the update.
On the European server, it will be down on Thursday 21 February from 05:00 CET (UTC+1) until 06:00 CET (UTC+1).
On the North American server, it will be down on Thursday 21 February from 02:00 AM PT until 03:00 AM PT.
On the South-East Asian server, it will be down on 22/02/2019 from 05:00 (UTC+8) until 06:00 (UTC+8).
Now that it’s cleared, let’s look at the changelog.
Update 0.8.0.3 will affect the interaction of carriers with destroyers, the “Fighter” consumable, and the individual balance of some ships.
- Due to the good maneuverability and precise aiming even when changing direction of attack, Attack Aircraft are excessively effective against destroyers. The latter have almost no opportunities for counterplay, even with active maneuvering. Given the high speed, Attack Aircraft successfully repel destroyers from control points and, in the early stages of battle, force them to keep close to allies, so as not to suffer from airborne attack. Taking into account the above factors, we have reduced the effectiveness of attack aircraft against maneuvering destroyers, but at the same time preserved the main features of the planes. These changes will apply to Attack Aircraft of all CVs:
- Increased preparation time for the attack, which will not allow instant attacks on destroyers.
- Changed the parameters of aiming: now planes get a large aim penalty when changing their direction during an attack and will not be able to accurately shoot rockets when maneuvering.
- Maneuverability during the preparation for the attack and during the attack run is reduced, which will not allow Attack Aircraft to easily aim at a maneuvering destroyer if the approach of the attack was originally on the wrong vector.
- Thus, the destroyer, which actively maneuvers and takes into account in advance the attack vector of the squadron, will be able to successfully dodge the attack. The interaction of attack aircraft with ships that do not change their course or, due to their characteristics, cannot do it quickly enough, will remain at the same level.
- Visibility of all ships from the air is reduced by 20%. This will reduce the reconnaissance potential of CVs at the start of the battle and will help destroyers to remain undetected for a longer period, provided that their AA is turned off with the help of the P key.
- To improve the efficiency of the “Fighter” consumable, we changed its settings. Now, fighters quickly begin pursuing enemy squadrons in their area of influence.
- Also increased cruising speed, increased the number of aircraft called by consumable on the squadron from 2-3-4 to 3-5-7, respectively.
- We have also significantly reduced the hit points of fighters, which will emphasize their weakness against ships and low efficiency as an intelligence tool. In addition, the radius of patrolling fighters for squadrons has changed with tier progression: at tier VI it has been reduced to 2.5 km, tier VIII is unchanged, and at the X tier it is now 3.5 km.
- Due to the excessive efficiency on account to the large number of torpedoes in the attack flight, the attacking potential of Midway’s torpedo bombers is reduced: their torpedoes have been replaced with weaker ones (the maximum damage is now 4233 instead of 5367) and the chance of flooding is reduced. Other parameters remain unchanged.
Changes that have affected the premium aircraft carrier Enterprise:
- Bombers in all respects have become similar to the SB2C Helldiver bombers found on aircraft carrier Lexington, but they still carry AP bombs. This change will increase the survivability of the squadron.
- Reduced torpedo arming time. The torpedo aiming is now similar to the TBF Avenger torpedo bombers of the aircraft carrier Lexington. Previously, the torpedo aiming reticle was tightened slowly, but the penalty for maneuvering was lower. Now, the aiming will be faster, but the penalty for maneuvering will be higher. Thus, when it’s the right time to attack, the torpedo bombers will be able to drop their torpedoes more quickly and accurately.
- Replenishment of Attack Aircraft on the deck has been accelerated, allowing for faster compensation for the loss of aircraft in battle.
- Fixed an incorrect cooldown for consumable “Defensive AA Fire II” on destroyers. Now it is lower than the “Defensive AA Fire I”.
- Reduced the size of bomber squadrons for British aircraft carriers, and increased fall time of the bombs. Due to the specifics of dropping bombs, British aircraft were too effective compared to other bombers. These changes will allow them to retain their features but will lead to a more balanced damage output.
- Changed number of attack aircraft in the attack flight for the base plane module of the aircraft carrier Furious, and for the attack aircraft on the aircraft carrier Indomitable. Now there are two planes instead of three in the attack flight, which will make three attacks possible in one squadron instead of two.
- Fixed a bug that caused the guns of the ship HuangHe to be displayed as floating in the air when a special Lunar New Year camouflage was equipped.
- February 23, the port of St. Petersburg will be decorated to celebrate the Defender of the Fatherland Day. Its appearance will remain festive until the release of update 0.8.1.
Overall, I am relatively satisfied with this update. The attack planes are getting nerfed especially in terms of effectiveness against Destroyers. This was always a big complain from DD players as the enemy carriers could just prey on them with the attack planes as much as they wanted.
It doesn’t fix for now the problem of early spotting but it is something.
A very big change is the reduction by 20% of the detectability from the air for all ships. You might wonder “Why is it that important?” Well… now, certain cruisers (for example Worcester and Minotaur) will be able to start firing with their anti-air mounts from stealth. While this is an… interesting side effect, this also means that destroyers with their anti-air turned-off might have more chances of escaping from planes strike. Radio Location is still an issue but we will talk about it very soon. Also, against destroyers that have their anti-air turned off, I will be quite problematic for attack aircraft to get drops on them. For bombers, I’m not so sure.
The fighters being now more than some decoration is also pretty nice, won’t complain about that.
The Midway nerf is kinda debatable as the torpedoes are from the start not stellar on the ship but well… it’s the way it is. It’s also even more questionable as the flooding mechanic change is around the corner.
The Enterprise buff is welcomed and will for sure help her when uptiered.
The last thing to note, Wargaming are nerfing the bombers from the British carriers which is quite nice considering how disgustingly strong they were especially on the Audacious. Some of them weren’t nicknamed Sky Conqueror for nothing.
Now, let’s talk about Wargaming’s last devblog regarding the CV rework.
CV change and Roadmap
Today we will talk about the improvement of the new gameplay of aircraft carriers. As already noted, with such a big change in the game, it has been necessary to apply some corrections over a few updates, and now we will share our plans for the foreseeable future – up to 0.8.4.
Please remember that plans sometimes change: the information below is preliminary, the timeframe may move, and following your feedback and suggestions, some points may well be added a little later.
Balance settings, general to specific. We are now at the stage of adjusting the balance between the classes and focussing on addressing specific issues (e.g. alternate torpedo Hakuryu to 0.8.0.1). The individual fine-tuning of the ships is out of the question for now. For example, first we need to find the optimal balance of air defense and aircraft losses at each tier, and then, if individual aircraft carriers lose too many aircraft, we can individually increase the survivability (or, if the air defense of individual ships is too weak, it can be strengthened). In addition, it should be understood that the gameplay has changed greatly, and players are still learning and adapting. Statistics of the combat effectiveness of CVs and other ships on the part of air defense is changing literally every day and only after some time will it stabilize. Therefore, it should take at least a few days after each balance change before making preliminary conclusions.
Some changes will affect the mechanics of constant air defense damage. As we said earlier, the number of explosions that appear in the path of the squadron is limited, which on the one hand still leaves the AA of ships strong enough but at the same time gives a chance to the planes to survive and not to see just a wall of “black” sky in front of them (read more here: https://medium.com/@devblogwows/aa-article-107c18eac84) Constant damage from a couple of ships is simply added up, resulting in excessive efficiency of any group of ships (given that flak now gives more air defense breaks). To solve this problem, we implemented a nonlinear addition of constant damage. Overlapping air defense zones will still be effective, but the squadron will have more chance to keep aircraft. If the squadron gets into the zone of action of the same two groups of guns with permanent damage 600, the total damage is equal to 960 and not 1200. Hit three zones, 1260, not 1800.
To solve the problem of “F-spam” (when the player, after an attack, could recall a squadron even under heavy air defense fire with impunity), we significantly increased the period of vulnerability of aircraft (specifically the climb) when returning. Now recalling a squadron to the aircraft carrier should be done only after leaving the zone of air defense, otherwise losses are inevitable. The same mechanics currently affect aircraft that have just carried out an attack – they need to gain the same altitude before they become invulnerable. Taken together, the problem of F-spam was solved, but, as many rightly noted, the loss of aircraft after attacking increased. To mitigate this, we will reduce the invulnerability ceiling for aircraft that have carried out an attack, but the squadron that a player returns using F-Key will still return via the higher altitude. This will soften the exit from the battle for the planes, but at the same time to avoid the return the “F-spam” exploit. Taking into account the new mechanics of calculating the damage of intersecting zones, significant changes in this area may not occur if other changes sufficiently affect the survival of aircraft.
We received proposals to take into account the damage to aircraft in the combat economy, so that any contribution to the air defense team was evaluated. The plan is to add damage inflicted to aircraft on the battle results screen, and in the calculation of economic rewards, but it will be added a little later, when statistics have stabilized.
The priority air defense sector interface, as well as the information regarding plane readiness on the deck of the CV will be reworked for more convenience and clarity.
We agree with the popular opinion that aircraft carriers have excessive capabilities to spot enemy ships, especially at the start of the battle. Work on a solution of the situation is already underway, and we will share information on progress in future publications. In addition, the action of the skill “Radio Location” will be disabled for aircraft by popular request.
The same can be said about the interaction of aircraft carriers and destroyers – the search for opportunities to mitigate the unpleasant scenario in which the aircraft carrier can effectively shutdown a destroyer with exhaustive attacks are already underway. We’re testing changes to the settings of the Attack Aircraft and other potential improvements. There are chances that radical solutions will not be required, since the problems with the scenario described above play a serious role in the confrontation of the “Destroyer – Aircraft Carrier”.
After collecting your comments, we will try to modify the autopilot, so that its operation is more predictable, and more convenient and reliable to use.
Once again, this is a preliminary and possibly incomplete list, and these changes are planned to be implemented by the 0.8.4 update. We will continue to inform you about our plans and future changes. Thank you for playing, your feedback, suggestions, and above all – for your concern.
Good Luck and Fair Seas!
Well without any big surprise, there is still a lot of balancing in front of us. 4 updates of constant balancing around the aircraft carriers. This for sure will be fun, right?
The idea of overlapping anti-air scaling in a non-linear way is interesting especially with the tendency of players moving in big blobs as soon as they see an aircraft carrier in the match (which is starting to be very annoying with that rework). At least, the carrier player will have some room to strike.
After the “F-spam” that we had at the start, using the F key to force the planes to return became basically suicidal so if Wargaming are trying to find the good balance, I can only support them on it.
Regarding the damage inflicted to planes, I seriously don’t even understand why it wasn’t available in the first place on the battle results screen but at least, they are taking care of it.
The UI improvement regarding the sector reinforcement is something that I’m seriously looking forward to because right now, let’s say that it is not really well thought and during big fights, can become a bit problematic.
Now, for the problem of spotting, frankly, the sooner the changes will come, the better it will be. The fact that Aircraft Carriers can spot so effectively right now is really not healthy. In random battles, things are complete chaos with the different teams playing very passive as soon as a CV is around and in competitive, it’s simply awful because of how effective the CV player can be at spotting enemy ships. That is especially true since it breaks any sort of element of surprise early on as the player can just rush in at the start with attack planes and light up pretty much all of the enemy ships in a very short time.
As for the destroyers issue, Not sure how they will handle it but the sooner, the better.
Finally, for the autopilot well, I don’t have much to say. The current version is quite unreliable when you need to do precise movements between islands so I can only look forward to it.