Warning: The following post contains a request to buff a CV skill. I know it's heresy to even make such a bold suggestion but please read through the reasoning for making such a horrifying request.
Amidst all the outcry and rightful anger about Deadeye being far too powerful and Manual Secondaries being far too weak, there's been a skill quietly lurking in the background as the single most useless skill in the entire game. A skill so horrible that it has vanished entirely from use and killed the two most interesting CV playstyles, Legendary Audacious and Secondary MVR. Hidden Menance. The most fitting name possible for such a god-awful and somehow overlooked skill. For those of you unaware of the specifics of this skill, which I can't blame the majority of you who have no interest in CV's not knowing, allow me to give you the basics.
Hidden Menace replaced Concealment Expert as a 4 point CV skill. It contains three key parts:
1.) 15% reduction in the Ship's concealment range (compared to 10% reduction in ship and plane concealment from Concealment Expert)
2.) 20% faster Damage Control Party cooldown
3.) Planes take 50% longer to return to the CV.
The two biggest nerfs from this skill are very obvious. In exchange for 5% better ship concealment we've traded away the 10% planes would get from Concealment Expert and the obvious second nerf is the 50% slower planes on return. But there's a third nerf that most people overlook. More concealment isn't always a good thing, especially when WG bases max secondary range on the MINIMUM concealment of your ship. This rule results in MVR's secondary build only having a maximum range of 10.36km instead of the 10.9km it had pre-rework because WG refuses to let any ship stealth secondary. That's 500 meters of secondary range taken away from the MVR, even if you didn't ever build into any concealment. This applies to all German CV's, who very quietly received a secondary range nerf if they got too close to the new minimum concealment. The existence of this skill at all, whether or not you had any interest in using concealment, results in a net nerf to the range of German CV secondaries.
But let's talk about actually trying to use this skill. After all, Legendary Audacious was a personal favorite of mine and I loved that thing more than any other CV. Getting up right into the middle of the fight, hanging out just a few hundred meters behind the BB's as their silent guardian. That was so much fun. So let's say I equip this new skill, that would make me stealthier and tankier, right? Of course, but what about that ever so tiny little "-50% speed of returning air squadrons" part. I'm sure that can't be too bad. Sure, my planes may take twice as long to get back to me, but I get to play so much more aggressively and really support my teammates like a CV should. Oh? What's this? "Returning" also includes the immediate seconds after you drop the payload? So it takes your planes twice as long to reach the invincibility ceiling after dropping their bombs? And you can't control them? And they're stuck inside of the close-range aura, the highest DPM part of a ship's AA? And if there are any enemies nearby that spawn flak in front of them they literally can't dodge it?
oh… It's cool… I didn't want those planes anyways.
This isn't a one-off occurrence. Every time you drop your payload and a group of planes breaks off to return to the CV their speed is instantly cut in half. These planes then slowly and desperately try to climb to the invulnerability ceiling, with the vast majority never making it back to your CV. It doesn't matter how masterfully you dogged flak or how well you timed your heal. Even if you managed to avoid losing a single plane on your attack run, the moment after you fire every plane trying to return to the CV is stuck slowly climbing through the worst part of an enemy's AA, with no way to save them. There is no way to compensate for this penalty, no matter how much you stack on speed boosts. The only possible way to avoid losing all your planes on every attack is to only ever target the weakest AA ships on the enemy team, ignoring the desperate pleas of your teammates for help because you simply can't afford to attack anything else, but good luck trying to do anything else the moment those ships are gone. The -50% is instant and brutal.
I'm not asking for the next great OP skill or to make all CV's stronger, but can we just make this something usable? I don't need the 10% plane concealment, keep that overpowered BS out of here. I don't even want the 15% ship concealment and 20% DCP. Just give me back my 10% ship concealment, return the range you've stolen from German CV secondaries, and remove this god-awful penalty. That way those of us who want to play aggressive in CV's can actually do so again. I understand the fear of making a stealthy CV and having them waste time in the back of the map, but don't take away the ability to play CV's aggressively and push in with our teams. If you have to add a penalty to concealment make it scale off of distance from the target, perhaps "return speed decreased 2% per km from the ship". That sounds fair, right? 4 points, 10% ship concealment, and return speed based on distance from the ship. Nice and easy, balanced just right to promote playing up without absolutely annihilating your planes for doing their jobs.
Please just stop killing the only CV playstyles that let us actually get in and support our teams directly.
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© Post "The Skill No One’s Talking About" for game World of Warships.
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