To anyone that has an association with World of Warships post-0.8.0,
I have been keeping up to date with everything that has happened to the game ever since update 0.8.0. There is a general consensus that the reworked aircraft carriers are currently unbalanced and over powered. I would like to put many of these arguments to rest and create a place of discussion for the people that are in favor of the rework. Before I get started, I would like to say that I was in favor of nerfing the original Hakuryu and I would not be opposed to only a single aircraft carrier on each team. Anyways, these are the main concerns that I have with the current situation and various comparisons of the aircraft carriers before and after the rework.
The term “Infinite Aircraft” was first used and popularizes by the developers during the reveal of the aircraft carrier rework. I do not know why the developers decided to use the word infinite when there is a finite number of airplanes that an aircraft carrier can deploy over the course of a game. I use a full airplane regeneration Midway so I will use its numbers. For the attack aircraft, I start with 16 on deck and they have a regeneration time of 74 seconds. The maximum game length is 20 minutes or 1200 seconds. Dividing the maximum game length by the regeneration time of the aircraft will tell us the maximum number of regenerated airplanes possible so there are 16 additional planes. The 16 planes on deck plus the 16 regenerated gives us a maximum total of 32 deployable attack aircraft in a full-length game. Using the same process for torpedo bombers with 16 on deck and a regeneration time of 89 seconds, we get 13 additional aircraft and 29 in total. The dive bombers start with 20 on deck and have a regeneration time of 69 seconds for 17 additional planes and 37 total aircraft. If we add the totals for each type, we get 98 total aircraft that a full regeneration Midway can deploy in ideal conditions, being all types of aircraft are regenerating for the entirety of the game which is not possible considering at the start of a game, a player can only launch one type of aircraft, so the other two are sitting there not regenerating. Anyways, 98 maximum aircraft, a finite number which is the exact opposite of infinite. In fact, the Midway pre-0.8.0 had a hanger of 116 planes, so not only does the Midway not have an infinite amount of aircraft, it also has less planes than before the rework.
Recall mechanic and AA (Anti-Aircraft) Defense
AA Defense, as stated in its name, is a defensive and not offensive mechanic. Its primary objective should be to deter aircraft attacks in your vicinity or mitigate the damage done by aircraft to your ship. AA Defense’s primary objective is not to shoot down as many planes as possible. An aircraft carrier is most effective if it can drop all of its ordinance during every attack run so that the players spends as little time in transit as possible. With that said, any time that an aircraft carrier player recalls their planes before using all of the available ordinance reduces the maximum potential damage an aircraft carrier player can do within a game and should be considered as a positive thing regardless of how many planes got shot down because the AA stopped attacks from happening. An aircraft carrier can only attack a limited number of times during a game and it is limited by the speed of the aircraft. At the start of 0.8.0, we had the instant recall mechanic, more commonly known as F-spam, and in many cases, it was more tactically advantageous to recall the squad after the first attack and send out a new squad. This strategy was popularized by iChase in his video titled
” because the AA Defense was already too strong for squads to frequently make second and third attack runs.
Many players were also unhappy with the fact that the aircraft carrier player could recall their planes after the Defensive AA Fire consumable was used to save their planes. Once again, I will argue that the surface ship both successfully defended itself, and any other ships in the vicinity, from an aircraft attack run and wasted the time of the aircraft carrier player. This time is considered wasted because the carrier player had to abandon the squad without getting any direct value out of it. In the RTS system, if a player used their Defensive AA Fire, I could just hover the squad outside of the AA range and wait for the consumable time to end and then engage the target. This time is not considered wasted because I could use a different squad to attack a different target or reposition/spot with my fighters in the down time. I will use the Midway’s statistics again to calculate the time wasted if the aircraft carrier player recalled their planes immediately. Let’s assume that the target is 26 km away, just outside of a Montana’s attack range. The Midway’s attack aircraft are its fastest planes and travel at 36.69 km per minute while boosting. Let’s also assume that the planes have unlimited boost. Traveling at 36.69 km per minute, it will take the planes 42.5 seconds to reach their target i.e. the carrier player was just as effective as if they had just sat on the deck and did nothing for 42.5 seconds.
Relating to the time to reach a target, I know many people have been complaining that they get attacked every 20 seconds and using it as an argument to nerf aircraft carriers. This phrase was popularized by a video titled “
”, by The Mighty Jingles. In the video, Jingles talks about the 0.8.0 update and makes the statement, “I read a comment from one player saying that he was getting dropped by torpedo bombers every 20 seconds.” I am not going to say that this player was lying, but based on the previous calculations, it is highly improbable that the player was attacked every 20 seconds and this number was probably exaggerated out of frustration.
Average damage and frags decrease
The aircraft carrier is, without a doubt, the strongest naval ship, why do you thing a countries naval power is measured by the number of aircraft carriers it has. Wargaming knew this when they brought carriers into the game in the first place and this is shown in two different ways. First, aircraft carriers receive 75% of the expected value of credits and XP for damage dealt to ships, battleships, destroyers and cruisers revive the modifications of 150%, 200% and 325% rewards respectively for dealing the same amount of damage. This means that an aircraft carrier would need to do 2x, 3x and 4x the amount of damage as the other classes to achieve the same rewards for damage. The aircraft carrier does have an easier time spotting enemies however, this is balanced because of the near impossibility for an aircraft carrier to capture objectives.
The other way that Wargaming has shown that the aircraft carrier should be the strongest class is through the elite commander emblems. To receive these emblems, the player must achieve an average damage above the required amount over the course to the last 100 games in that class. These averages are 64000 for destroyers, 95000 for cruisers, 108000 for battleships and 130000 for aircraft carriers. Let’s compare the elite averages against the average for all players at tier ten, on the NA server. Destroyers average 47000 damage, 17000 below or 73% of the elite status. Cruisers average 71000 damage, 25000 below or 74% of the elite status. Battleships average 85000 damage, 23000 below or 79% of the elite status. Aircraft carriers pre-0.8.0 were averaging 91000 damage, 39000 below or 70% of the elite status. Now, aircraft carriers are averaging 80000 damage, 50000 below or 62% of elite status. Not only were carriers underperforming before the rework, they have taken an 8% decrease post-rework and this was with more than 67% of the time is in a state where many people said they were over powered.
Let’s look at the individual carrier’s average damage before and after the rework. I will not state each ships statistics, but if you want to look for yourself, the numbers can be found at WoWs Stats & Numbers web page. Asides from the Hakuryu, whose average damage has increased by 1600 damage, every other ship has seen a decrease in its average damage output for its new counterpart. I am excluding the Kaga and Saipan because they changed tier and no longer have a valid counterpart however, it is worth noting that they are both performing worse than the old Graf Zeppelin and Enterprise. Another area where aircraft carriers have decreased in effectiveness is frags per game. Every single carrier, except for the Langley which has no difference, has seen a decrease in its frags per game.
Spotting potential decrease
Many players have stated that they are permanently spotted by aircraft for the entirety of the game. An aircraft carrier’s spotting potential is limited to the area around their current attack squadron and a single on summon fighter consumable that stays locked in a small area effectively, one mobile and one fixed spotting platform. In the RTS system, the minimum number of independent and completely mobile spotting platforms was three at tiers four and five and the maximum was eight independent and completely mobile spotting platforms with the Hakuryu. At its weakest, I could spot three different locations and move them around rapidly and with free will. At its strongest, I could use eight squads to effectively spot every location on the map that my friendly ships could not, basically making concealment useless and forcing players out of open water engagements due to the fear of being shot by enemy ships.
Another thing I could do in the old RTS system, was have a fighter squad hover over an enemy destroyer and keep him spotted while simultaneously using my attack squads to deal damage to ships on the other side of the map. Now if I want to keep a specific ship spotted, I have to sacrifice all attacking power and circle around the target. Another area where the spotting potential of aircraft has decreased is with regards to torpedoes, now aircraft can not spot torpedoes at all. This allows destroyers to launch torpedoes and not worry about the aircraft detecting them and giving ships additional time to maneuver and dodge the torpedoes.
Underrepresentation from CCs
Community contributors and content creators are a popular way to acquire knowledge about various aspects of the game. They cover everything, from ships to mechanics to updates. I think that this is a wonderful way to increase the spread of information. The issues are when they make statements, acting as if they are experts, about ships and mechanics that they have relatively little experience using. Due to the unpopularity to play or learn about aircraft carriers, the popular CCs do not have much experience in aircraft carriers and even less in the post-0.8.0 carriers. Let’s look at some popular youtubers, iChase, NoZoupForYou, Notser, Mejash, Flambass and Flamu. These guys have very large fanbases and many people take what they say as facts because to their popularity and skill. None of them have used any single reworked aircraft carrier for more than 30 battles or used any reworked carriers, in total, for more than 70 battles. I have more games in the new Lexington than any of these guys have in new carriers in total. Also, my 150 games in the Midway is more than these guys have in all new carriers combine. For the most part, these guys are amazing and put out exceptional content, but take anything they say about using and power level of the reworked carriers with a grain of salt because they do not have adequate experience to have reliable knowledge about carriers. The same can be said for anyone who complains about how easy or powerful any ship is if they have not taken the time to learn the difficulty of how to consistently produce exceptional statistics.
Loud minority of DDs players (squeaky wheel gets the grease)
Ever since 0.8.0, there has been a large outcry from many destroyer players the class is unusable and the playstyle is completely different. One common phrase is that they have invested ample time and money into a game that has changed from what they put money into. I’ll agree, it is frustrating when you put a lot of effort into something and then have it 180 on you to have little resemblance of its former state. However, the core gameplay (how the move, shoot and their consumables) for destroyers, cruisers and battleships have remained identical through the rework, the carriers have zero resemblance of there former state. So, although the meta has changed, the time and money that players have invested in and skills they have been practicing for the better part of four years is not completely gone for surface ships. However, all the time, money and effort that aircraft carrier players have spent into the RTS system have been thrown out the window. I have a hard time feeling sympathy for people who complain that they have to change their executions when my entire gameplay has been turned on its head and, as stated before, have less potential impact on the game. I believe that the major shift in the meta stems from the fact that games with aircraft carriers before the rework were far and few in between. Destroyer players got used to a game where they didn’t have to worry about being spotted of harassed by aircraft because they almost haver played games with aircraft. So, when a ship that is as impactful as aircraft carriers becomes much more prominent, there will be a drastic shift in how the game is played. Many destroyer players took for granted not having to worry about planes breaking stealth, that when the influx of carrier players came, the destroyer players couldn’t use their old strategies to complete their objectives and they didn’t know what to do (a classic example of “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”), so the easiest thing to do was go to any thread and complain. This led to a different problem, volunteer bias. Volunteer bias states that the people who are most dissatisfied with the situation are the ones that voice their opinions the loudest. The developers use these various threads to see what people think of their game and then change the game so satisfy as many people as possible. With destroyer players most unpleased, they were the most vocal. The developers saw all of these complaints about aircraft carriers and acted accordingly without taking into consideration the obvious bias. Most of the complaints were either inaccurate, false or at best, highly exaggerated, causing the developers to massively overcompensate in areas that only needed fine tuning.
Going back to destroyer harassment, in the old RTS system, if there was a destroyer that I wanted dead, I could cross drop them with torpedo bombers and Devastating Strike them in a single attack. This was an excellent way to defend myself against a destroyer that would get too close for comfort. Now, at best, I have to send wave after wave of attack aircraft or dive bombers and slowly whittle them down. This generally takes a couple of minutes and renders the carrier unable to affect anywhere else on the map, which is what a carrier is supposed to excel at.
General disgust towards aircraft carrier players
I have been playing aircraft carriers since closed beta. I have also always had a passion for naval aviation, so when I saw that there was a naval game with interesting looking aircraft carrier gameplay, I had to check it out. I quickly learned that the carriers were both the most difficult and most dominant class in the game. Because of that, I can’t help but to believe that many players despised people who could play the carriers with success because they could not master the dominant class and were forced to use the other classes. Being a star craft player, the RTS style came with little difficulty to me. I ended up receiving a lot of hateful messages post game solely because I used aircraft carriers. It never bothered me because I know people are human and they get mad and blame the easiest target when things don’t go their way. This led to a subculture of “It’s cool to hate aircraft carrier players” and demoralized a lot of players from using the class due to the frequent backlash. This problem was only heightened when the carrier rework went live and there was an influx of players using the class. More often than not, I would spawn into a game and see a “SKY CANCER” message obviously directed at myself and the other carrier players in the lobby. This negativity from the community towards carriers is unhealthy for the community and we should be doing everything we can to make players feel like they won’t be ridiculed just because of the class they chose to play. On the homepage of Notser’s YouTube channel, he has a video that automatically plays and the opening lines are, “You should be nice to everyone. That’s what you’re supposed to do.” I don’t know why, but apparently this statement doesn’t apply to people hating aircraft carrier players. No patch, update or hotfix will get players to stop calling imbalance until this issue is resolved.
To sum everything up, aircraft carriers are weaker than they were before the update and have lost a lot of abilities that they one had. These include less average damage and frags, a decrease in spotting potential and self-defense against destroyers. Also, there is too much hatred and disgust towards carriers that people argue based on their emotions and popular phases as opposed to the facts. The two popular phrases that are highly improbable or false are “Every 20 seconds” and “Infinite planes”. Feel free to let me know what you think. Did I miss anything or is there something you think should be added? If you disagree, change my mind, but you ought to have solid evidence to support your arguments.
Source: Original link
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