Note: These ideas are based mostly around high tier (T8-T10) CV gameplay. In the author's opinion, T4 CVs should just be removed entirely due to lack of T4 AA and matchmaking difficulties placing 3 CVs per team.
There are a few major community concerns related to high tier CV gameplay, mostly related to vision play, lack of counterplay (specifically on behalf of DDs), lack of decision making by the CV / lack of impact of mistakes, and CVs camping at the back of the map. These concerns are mostly well founded, and I believe a few new mechanics could do much to aleviate them. These will be presented in terms of a concern, the underlying problem, and the changes that could be implemented to improve the situation.
Many of these proposed changes are based around the following idea: New mechanic: Squadron Leaders. These, like captains, are unique individuals that level up alongside commander experience. They take a few unique perks with them along the lines of captain perks (increased squadron speed, etc) that can only be taken by one squadron leader per CV (so CV players are forced to utilize multiple different perk sets rather than duplicating one meta build) with 3 squadron leaders per CV maximum. Instead of consumables being tied to attack flight types, consumables are now tied to squadron leaders. More interactions to follow. (Selection of Squadron Leaders shouldn't be difficult: a CV would press 1/2/3 for the strike plane type and then 1/2/3 for the Squadron Leader that leads them.)
Concern 1: Planes spot everything, simultaneously punishing flanking and encouraging camping. The problem: Vision play isn't important when CV squadrons can provide ally vision of a large area without being shot down. The solution: Solution 1: Remove ally vision from attack squadrons and fighters. Squadron leaders gain consumable: Radio Beacon. Upon activation, the next attack run by the squadron will mark the location of the attack in a 2km circle. While friendly squadrons are in vision of the beacon, it grants ally vision of the area, with vision lasting after the squadron departs for a short time. If the attack run hits an enemy vessel, the beacon attaches to the vessel. Only one beacon can be on the map at a time and they last for (60?) seconds (number up to balancing). This means that the CV will have to carefully choose their vision. If they want vision of a specific flanker/camper, they lose vision of other ships. This also allows for more fine-tuned balancing. Additionally, smoke removes beacon vision and damage control party removes beacon.
Concern 2: CVs don't interact with each other much, and DDs just get screwed in general. The problem: Lack of counterplay around CV mechanics, especially as they relate to DDs and dodging. The solution: Solution 2a: Decouple fighters from squadrons and tie them directly into the ship. Return some RTS gameplay by allowing fighter squadrons to be dispatched to a certain area or to escort an attack flight. Make fighter plane numbers count rather than just be consumables, letting them be serviced like other squadrons.
Solution 2b: Radio Beacons cannot attach directly to DDs (but can spot DDs in the small area surrounding the beacon if not in smoke).
Solution 2c: Drastically decrease sight stabilization for rocket attack squadrons that shift left-right after initiating attack runs. WoWs is all about predictive shots: CVs should be no different. Allow dodging to be meaningful, and good predictions more so.
Concern 3: Lack of CV decision making / skill expression to be effective. The problem: CVs do not have their mistakes adequately punished. The solution: Solution 3a: Reduce attack flight size of squadrons in general. For example, Hak/Midway bombers go from 4 attack flights (12 planes) per squadron to 3 attack flights (9 planes) per squadron. Reduce overall plane number by a small amount (2ish planes per strike type).
Solution 3b: Remove slingshotting. Luckily, this is already done for us.
Solution 3c: When a squadron is completely destroyed, the Squadron Leader (along with his consumables!) falls into the ocean and becomes a "Downed Airman" zone. Ally ships and ally squadrons that make it to the zone recover the Squadron Leader, who returns to the CV after a short time (depending on distance from CV). Alternatively, if enemy ships capture the Squadron Leader, he is lost for the rest of the match. This means that throwing away planes has a real impact on the CV, because they lose their ability to spot, use engine cooling, and gain perks from the Squadron Leader.
Concern 4: CVs just camp at the back of the map, never risking themselves. The problem: CVs are not incentivized to push up with their team. The solution: Solution 4a: CVs have slightly better concealment, health, armor, speed, rudder shift, and secondary armament across the board to allow them to get into harm's way without getting deleted immediately.
Solution 4b: CVs regain manual control of DCP and CAP fighter consumables, and can return to manually control ship position without forcing squadron to return to ship. This increases skill expression and allows the CV to better dodge incoming fire without losing control of their squadrons.
Solution 4c: CV plane servicing time increases dramatically with the time that it took for that plane to return to the ship (call it "refueling time"– the farther away, the more fuel they use). This means that a CV camping at the back of the map loses out on fast plane return time.
Summary of changes: CV ships themselves are sturdier overall, and now must push with the team and get into the line of fire in order to get off decent DPM. CV spotting becomes more selective, and CVs become worse at murdering DDs without interaction. CV counterplay is improved and CV skill ceiling increases. CVs gain powerful bonuses from Squadron Leaders, but must play smartly around them or else risk losing their abilities.
Thoughts? I think these changes would help CVs play more around their team and reduce their overall power, while allowing more customization and skill expression in the hands of a skilled player.
Source: Original link
© Post "A Comprehensive Guide to Balancing CVs [Serious]" for game World of Warships.
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