The 8.0.3 patch has hit and I tried my Midway. The overall change seems to be in the right direction: DDs are no longer scared and less spotting has led to people playing more in isolation (sometimes). However:
There's a delay when AA hits you to the ship rendering, and it is significant. There are times where you can get hit by AA flak burst and lose half of your squad; while the render delay also happens with ships, there's a delay until the shell arrives. There are no such thing with AA and you are almost guaranteed to take at least one instance of damage, usually flak bursts. This feels terrible, and it also goes through mountains. Which leads to the second point (kinda)
The aerial detectability nerf has the unintended result of letting CV players running into AA ships behind your intended target. For example, you see a BB alone or separated from teammates for a bit. You engage your attack run, but by the time you can release your payload and gtfo you are already well within that DM's midrange. All your planes die and once you clicked attack, there's nothing you can do — your squads will die.
Rockets, at least Tiny Tims are unusable on cruisers now. Rocket planes mod is not mandatory because without it, hitting a BB will be difficult. Even with the mod (longer run), with a battleship or so, you have to go in a very very straight line and doing any little bit of final adjustments will fuck up your aim. It's even worse than torpedo bombers. Why should I use rockets at all then?
The fighters are strong, like very strong. The CV fighters now do what they are supposed to do, but I think catapult fighters are a bit too powerful on some ships (Musashi for example). That is not a problem on its own, but with how powerful AA is at the moment and pure nerfs to carriers this patch, I think it's a bit concerning.
I hope the nonlinear AA stacking is added sooner than later. With the decreased utility, higher chance to run into a DM, nerfed damage output and consistency, and soon flood nerf on top of those, and that we cannot even go after DDs anymore, CVs sometimes feel useless. Any T10 BB not called Yamato can pose a big threat to Midway planes, let alone two. They don't even to be AA-fit — they just need to press catapult fighter, boom, 8 planes gone and if my squads have more their AA will take care of them. I haven't played Lexington because of this, but judging by the speed I am losing planes to a pair of T10 ships, I seriously doubt they will get out any planes at all.
I think some of the above may not be exactly accurate but still I think the proposed changes should come ASAP. As it stands, I don't find any reason to grind CVs, British (received separate nerfs), IJN (already bad), or USN (kinda difficult already), unless you are a collector. People don't play surface ships to be clubbed by CVs, but they also don't play CVs to be a spotter plane (which they cannot even do as well now).
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