Just a few more reasons why AA feels particularly uninteractive after the rework. Going off the mechanics of reworked AA here. I'm speaking more of perception here, as I feel others have done a better job discussing actual performance.
1. Damaging all planes simultaneously vs shooting down planes one at a time.
Previously, the effect of AA was obvious as flights came in. You could see it as squadrons depleted and lost planes. Planes would disappear one-by-one, giving a clear indication that AA was doing work.
Now, however, assuming a CV player competent enough to not fly through flak, this is no longer the case. Planes are all damaged simultaneously by the continuous damage aura, and will all go down at approximately the same time. To a surface player who can't see the health bars, it looks like AA does nothing. This is a contributor to the complaints that "AA does nothing before the strike, but shoots down all the planes after."
2. Squadron depletion and its effect on airstrikes.
Previously, the effect of surface AA was also clear in this case. Knocking down a few planes would create gaps in torp spreads and bomb patterns, making it easier to dodge.
Now, however, AA has no direct effect on this as far as the first strike goes. Knocking down planes or doing damage has no visible effect on the strike pattern, nor does it change the damage potential per strike until the squadron gets depleted. The result is a perception that AA does nothing to help.
One might argue that AA is usually sufficient to prevent more than 1 strike from being made. While this may be true, the fact that AA does not appear to affect the first strike in any way already creates the perception that surface AA does nothing. Most of the time, once the first drop is made, the average player is focused on avoiding the drop, not on the planes. Therefore, that first drop is most influential on the player's impression of their AA.
3. Defensive AA
The changes in the defensive AA consumable only make matters worse from this viewpoint. Defensive AA used to panic planes and make it easier to dodge drops. Now, however, it is simply a boost to damage. If the DFAA does not increase damage to the point that the whole squadron can be shot down before making the first drop, (1) and (2) result in the perception that the DFAA does nothing. In fact, I've heard it going around that there is no point fitting DFAA because of this perception.
In short, the changes in surface AA mechanics make its effects almost invisible to the surface player compared to before the rework, unless the AA is strong enough to knock out most of the squadron before the first drop is made. This is especially relevant for ships with moderate AA that, before the rework, could not shoot down full squadrons but could take out a few planes to make it easier for themselves. After the rework, however, such ships will not appear to effectively interfere with the drop.
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