Disclaimer: First of all, this is a long post and im too lazy to make a TL:DR. Instead, i will try to highlight everything important with bold text. So if you just want to read quickly through this WALL OF TEXT and read the most important bits, you have that option.
Also, when i talk about AA mechanics, i mean the range of the AA guns, the grouping of them and such, not necessarily the balance of AA. The two overlap heavily however, unlike the current AA! You might think that AA cruisers should have enough DPS to wipe out squadrons without getting hit and i certainly think so too, but that is not necessarily withing the scope of the post.
Finally, you should also read
this amazing forum post by LWM. The only one that really applies to this post is the opening firing delay for large caliber AA guns, but if you want to understand the inside workings of AA give it a chance.
Right, to the actual content.
Problem: German Battleships on and between T5-T9 (And Graf Spee):
- It occupies a large, important AA defense zone between 1.5km-3.5km. For German ships this is almost 40% of their total AA range. Due to this the following scenario tends to happen:
Planes (usually TBs, this works for other bombers also) line up outside of you AA range. Then, they start closing on you. At 5.2km the long-range AA opens up, doing good, but somewhat limited damage, especially due to the delay before damage is applied. At 3.5km the mid-range does…essentially nothing. Planes are free to line up and ready their first run of torps.
After that they will just come as close as they need to, while taking 50% reduced damage, drop their torps and… become temporarily immune to AA,"slingshot" straight back into the mid-range AA zone, turn around inside it and repeat.
You start to see where the issue is? The mid-range plays too critical of an role in AA defense and the German BBs suffer from it the most. I thought the way the mid-tier German AA should work is that it scales very little as you get closer, not "I get past your bugged long range and im essentially immune after that" way. Pre-rework, the damage would come out consistently. Now, your 105mm AA gunners spend most of their time eating sauerkraut, sausage and drinking beer, while the ship is being bombed into pieces.
The only saving grace for Gneisenau, Bismarck and Friedrich der Große is that once you upgrade their hulls, you gain a huge upgrade in mid range AA power. Now you can actually shoot something down. Good luck with the premiums tho.
So, does the data support this conclusion that KM BBs have really bad AA? Well, since WG loves their spreadsheetTM i decided to try using
Maplesyrup (thanks for this site) to see if i could find anything noteworthy.
I decided check some RN and KM ships at T6, with roughly similar AA (in theory) The Prinz eithel Friedrich to Queen Elizabeth and Bayern to Warspite should be fair comparison. Bayern to Warspite may be a flawed comparison (because the WW1 A hull Bayern is horrible with AA), but PEF to QE should work rather well, since QE doesn't gain much AA with hull upgrade.
(Open up these 2 and compare)
(Note, the following is just EU server. The following pattern is visible on both NA and ASIA too. It's also limited data sample and im horrible with spreadsheets, sorry. WG would propably have more data)
As you can see, the German ships are shooting less planes (Plan) down…
So, i can pretty safely say that German mid-tier AA is busted as hell. Their BBs are already rather mediocre in this meta, due to combat ranges going up. Just nice to see that their AA is also sucky. GG.
Moving on to other ships
USN C-hulls are pretty questionable, both pre-rework and after it: trading main battery gun for AA isn't the best choice.
But the Benson takes the crown: C-hull makes your AA worse in EVERY possible way. You lose close-range AA, long range AA and you have a mid-range ring with some boforses now. Unfortunately this ring is weaker than the long-range AA and replaces part of it's area of operation so…Enjoy? You do get the ability to trade speed boost for DD defensive fire, which does prop your numbers temporarily higher than what the B-hull can put up, but…is it worth it? I will let you decide.
Pretty simple: B-hull gets Boforses that replace some 25mm AA guns. So, your close-range AA gets worse, but now you got some boforses. Sadly again, it's a downgrade to the overall AA suite and long-range AA puts out more flak (it does have slightly smaller continuous DPS than the Boforses).
There is propably tons of other similar examples, but you get the idea now.
"But you don't have to take all these upgrades…why complain?"
Well im in the opinion that upgrades should be upgrades and not damm downgrades. Heck, let me skip on the Boforses if it makes my AA worse. Why am i forced to worsen my AA to get some extra hp and better ruddershift? Especially when pre-rework your AA would have improved…
Duke of the York is the secret winner with current AA mechanics
Yeah i have to expose this absolute monstrosity /s. Sorry guys, it has better AA than it should have.
Because WG groups up AA based on its calibers, the two quad bofors mounts raise the mid-range AA from 2.5km to 3.5km. So essentially the British pom-pom gunners got angry that the Boforses can fire 1km further and by some magic gained the ability to fire 1km further, matching the range of the Boforses.
Gotta say it's pretty sad. The only redeeming quality of DOY is it's AA and it gets unfairly more range…
OK, so how do we fix this mess? Can it/should it be fixed?
I will address the first point soon, but lets go on the latter one: Should AA mechanics be changed to fix some issues?
Although i did just make a post about it im still "slightly" unsure. The current AA mechanics do work for some ships just fine. For example, USN BBs, Alaska…for anything with a rather linear and simple AA suit the current mechanics are satisfactory enough…
Ah! See? WG is actually super genius in designing their game mechanics, it's the damm shipbuilders fitting their ships with weird AA suites that are the problem!
Ok im kidding, don't worry.
MAGA (Make Aa (mechanics) Great Again?)
Number 1: AA needs to overlap. We covered the issues that no overlapping causes. Allowing German 105mm AA to overlap with the 37mm mid-range would go long way in improving. It would also fix the many issues where getting extra AA guns would nerf your AA.
Number 2: AA guns shouldn't be grouped together anymore This means that if you got some boforses and Pom-poms they will operate withing their own ranges and not cause any range issues to each other.
We still need categorize AA guns from each other (for reasons) so i will suggest changing it so that: * AA up to and including 20mm is considered close range AA. It will have no flak and no minimum range (well 0 obv meters, nerd) * AA above 20mm up to and including 40mm(!) will be considered medium range. It will have flak and no minimum range(!) * AA above 40mm is considered long range. It will have flak and minimum range of 1Km?
I chose the following values mostly for balance. You could technically make the upper limit for medium range higher, say 60mm (adding SM-20 45mm found on Moskva and Stalingrad, Jean Bart and Republiques 57mm mounts and German hightier 55mm guns there) or maybe even up to the current 85mm limit. The thing is that if you allow all those powerful AA guns to engage under 1km…the DPS might be just bit too much.
Also most of these "mid-range" AA guns wouldn't have any issues engaging targets under 1km and shouldn't be restricted from firing there. Remove flak if necessary under 1km, but let the damm bofors guns fire.
You could also add them into a new AA gun category. Call the current mid-tier category "intermediate AA guns" or something, and group these 40mm up to 85mm into a new mid-range AA category.
Number 3 (not mine, seen it suggested somewhere else in reddit): Restore old AA ranges for some AA guns. For example Wooster, Mino, Kurfurst and Hindy used to have a 5km range on mid range, now it's only 4km.
- Im not really fan of the idea, as it would be bit too much (in 1 patch at least). Some close-range AA guns could certainly bumped back to their OG ranges (Oerlikon and Kriegsmarine 20mm had 2km originally, IJN 13mm/ type 93 1.2km etc), but buffing the AA of ships with already pretty good AA is propably asking for too much. The argument can be used other way also (reduce the range of long range AA). What do you think?
Ok, im asking for a lot. All of this would be HUUGE buff and realistically too much. The original idea here is to fix some stupid cases of AA, not to make Montana shred planes between 1-2km with all auras firing.
We are gonna have to also nerf the AA for this to work. So i have two suggestions:
1: Reduce the AA DPS across the board by 10% Im saying 10%, but realistically the value would likely have to be higher, 15-20% maybe even 25% up as high as 30%. Consider however that almost EVERY single AA ship would be buffed with the ability for AA to overlap, with the exception of some low-tier ships. You could also tweak some AA individual values along with this, to balance out the ones who would otherwise get too much from this
2: Apply the current overlapping nerf (used when squadrons are under attack from multiple ships) into AA overlaps I think everyone knows how multiple AA ships do reduced damage to planes. Apply that in some form withing the ships personal AA defenses. That way if planes get into Montanas 1km deathzone they aren't taking nearly as much damage. You might have to apply a stronger version or make a class specific one to balance it out properly.
Ideally this overlapping reduction would only apply when two AA guns from different categories overlap, so that for example Bofors and Oerlikon overlapping would reduce the damage, but a pom-pom with Bofors firing next to it wouln't
Ok that covers it all. I suppose that ends it. A damm wall of text just to fix few AA cases. It's not the magic that will make your AA turn planes into dust. However, this would just about fix the mechanics AA; after that it's up for WG to use their spreadsheet and decide if some ships deserve more AA DPS or less. Balancing should be easier, but more things will have to be taken into account when changing something.
Source: Original link
© Post "The AA Mechanics are flawed and unbalanced right now." for game World of Warships.
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