Since it's Tuesday…
My proposal to "fix" the artillery problem by adding the "fire correction" mechanic to artillery.
There's good historical basis for the mechanic. Before the advent of modern ballistics computers and shell tracking radar, the CEP (circular error probable) for artillery was extremely large, an order of magnitude larger than the mechanical accuracy of the guns themselves. Gun laying coordinates would be calculated to the best of the gun crew's ability using pre-calculated artillery tables, or later, mechanical computers. However, the inexactness and lack of empirical data meant that there were many factors which could not be calculated, and only be corrected from observing the shot. Forward fire controllers would relay corrections to the artillery crew, who would then factor the corrections into their subsequent shots.
This isn't reflected in World of Tanks, which has every "fully aimed" shot equally as accurate. Adding the "fire correction" mechanic into artillery can greatly reduce the ability for artillery to hit fast moving targets and shut down aggressive action, while making artillery more effective against static targets and better and rooting out campers like WG states they want Artillery to be able to do.
In game the mechanic works like this. The first round fired by an artillery is made much more inaccurate, (think 4-5 accuracy), this shell should not be much of a threat. Upon shell impact, shells create a "fire corrected zone" that causes shells targeted in that area to be more accurate. This buff stacks multiple times, and the size/duration/accuracy buff granted by a single "fire corrected zone" is determined by the gun that fired the round. Subsequent shots will benefit from this buff, and depending on the gun, the second sort into the same general area will be much more effective. After multiple hit to an area, artillery shots will become more accurate than they are now.
The net impact I foresee is
Artillery will be less of a surprise, the first "ranging shot" will serve as a warning that artillery is focused on your general area and to be more aware.
Artillery will be less able to instantly project force across the map, since there is a longer delay (a reload cycle) between when Artillery changes aim and when fire becomes effective
Artillery is less able to shut down a breakthrough. A fast moving tank can move out of the fire-corrected area before the corrected shot reloads
Artillery is better able to dig out campers, since they will be able to fire very accurately if a target has not moved for multiple reloads.
This increases the skill ceiling of artillery players by adding more considerations.
Artillery players can pre-range a potential trouble zone by firing shots into the area in advance. This requires some map knowledge/situational awareness.
Artillery players can mindgame the enemy team by firing ranging shots to deter them from pushing into accurate corrected fire, when the arty player has already shifted focus somewhere else.
Secondary balance considerations
Should moving forward and back reset corrected fire? I'm a fan of this, since it adds a risk/reward factor; moving is safer but reduces your effectiveness, whereas right now you should always scoot after a shoot. This also changes counter-battery; while a single CB shot in ineffective, followup shots against an arty that hasn't moved will be much more effective. Even if you don't hit the enemy, you reduce their effectiveness and protect your team by forcing them to re-correct shots (providing they haven't shot back at you).
Should shell arcs (and flight times) be increased overall to make artillery better at digging out campers out of hard cover but worse at hitting moving targets
Should artillery ROF/damage/stun time be adjusted to make fire correction less binary/painful for slow reloading artillery (more rounds, less damage)
Should aimtime be decreased to make artillery more responsive inside a fire corrected area
© Post "Yet another arty fix proposal: fire correction" for game World of Tanks.
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