The simple reason is range. Take a Worchester, Minotaur or DM. With a normal AA build consisting out of AFT and the AA range module their 76mm AA guns had 7.2km range.
These 76mm guns are the main AA DPS of ships like this. This was the case before the rework and that is also the case now after the rework. The difference: These 76mm guns now have a range of only 4 kilometers.
Range is the strongest element of AA because it increases the time enemy planes spend in the AA. Before the rework enemy planes dropping you were under fire by the strongest elements of your AA for 7.2 km. Now they spend 2.5km in this AA. You can do the math yourself.
This is also the reason why overall the gameplay got so much worse with ships needing to clump up so much more. Before AA ships had an effective 7.2km AA bubble. Now anything AA ships put out outside of 4km just tickles. In other words: You need to be 3.2 km closer to each other to cover each other.
The same is true for other ships. The 40mm Bofors, quite universally used across most high tier ships as the midrange AA, had a range of 5 km with AA spec before. Now it got a range of 3.5 km and planes dropping you are inside it for usually 2 km, less than half the distance of before the rework.
What I am saying: Effectively the AA rework crippled the effective AA range of all ships. This was done to give carriers a chance to even make their drops if the enemy ships grouped up by even a bit. But at the same time this made single ships completely helpless.
It is this simple.
At 0.8.0.0 there was one ship that stood out and was a way stronger AA platform than anyone else: The Minotaur, because its midrange had 5 km instead of 4 km range. It already proofed that more range on the midrange makes all the difference in AA strength.
In the meantime Wargaming introduced a new tool: The reduction in effectiveness of overlapping AA.
They should use this tool, make the reductions even stronger, and in return make the midranges longer. Maybe even change it in a way that the number of midranges you are in counts for the reductions – but all that they would need to figured out with internal tests.
This would give single ships better chances to defend themselves. It would effectively be the desperately needed buff to the AA of lone ships.
Right now you are free CV food when you are 5 km away from your blob – that are 10% of the map size of lot of T10 maps. This change would give back the ability to play the whole map without making AA so overbearing that CVs can not play their game anymore.
TL;DR: Buff midrange ranges, increase the penalty to overlapping AA. This gives lone ships a better defense against CVs while leaving CV strength against blobs at current levels.
Source: Original link
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