Two weeks have passed and I finally played 80 games on Midway. I have about 2100 PR right now and is barely out of NA top 10 Midway. The meta has finally gotten stabled just a little bit, and I think it is a good time to talk about CVs.
Disclaimer: I like the new CVs, so don't expect reeeeeeeeeeeeevert as a line from me. I haven't played that much T8 and none on T6< CVs, so take my opinion on them with a truck load of salt.
For T10 CVs/AA:
– There are a few things about AA that is still absolutely broken. Cross-tier AA difference is still big — a Zao is almost as threatening or more threatening than Cleveland; and in a T10 CV I often just laugh at Clevelands and Baltimores. And the short range AA interaction is absolutely weird: for example, Grosser Kurfurst now has way better AA than Republique in my opinion, because Republique lacks short range AA, so I can F inside 1km and potentially take 0 damage while F-ing. Do that to a Yamato, or GK, it's all but guaranteed your planes will be sacrificed to the spirits of the Founding Fathers. Both of those ships also have catapult fighter which if it aggros you, it's guaranteed 4 planes lost. The only reason I still strike GKs is that it cannot dodge anything… but lack of short range AA shouldn't mean a 1km window to F my planes and get out scott free. Maybe a 500m window is more appropriate?
– Hakuryu is very fucked. She can still work in the hands of unicums, but I never saw the flying Shimakaze or raining AP bombs in randoms often now. Even when I do get a unicum Hakuryu, I feel I can match him in my Midway and I have to attribute a lot of my success to my ship. They nerfed Hak a bit too hard and maybe, just maybe, they should take away the 4-torp long range option entirely to properly balance her. That or they buff her and hope she's not broken again.
– Audacious seems fine. People are fixated on the 200k damage games, but actually fighting against them doesn't seem to be a problem in Midway. Their rockets seem extremely disgusting though, so if they need a nerf that is actually what should be nerfed.
– However, I've come to recognise that the status of T10CV/AA is balanced, by and large. It is impossible to not lose planes, and exceedingly difficult to attack blobs of ships/AA ships, but as a T10 CV you will always get your first attack off. The amount of planes lost highly vary with skill and it's not just "just dodge lul". Awareness of enemy AA ship position, proper usage of attack runs, and knowing how to penetrate a path through enemy AA bubble is something that takes time to learn. If the AA is made any weaker a good player will start running wild; if the AA is stronger newer players will run into walls of flak and die easily. Which leads us to the second point:
– The skill gap absolutely exists and is big, but it no longer influence the game as much as pre-rework. Top players are already getting >70% WR and at least >60% WR with 120k damage average. This is consistent with top players of Zao or Montana. Bad players however run into flak, lose planes, and miss their drop so badly that even a Grosser Kurfurst will dodge it with ease. But you will notice that except Gaishu, whose data is kinda an anomaly, most players in the top 10 list in NA has a higher WR on the old CV rather than the new. This is one of the positive aspects of the rework: I feel I am powerless to carry my teammates a lot of times when they just drop like flies, and the enemy team just hug their AA cruisers/refuse to die fast enough for me to really matter.
CV-DD interaction, spotting and MM: those need changes
– Right now, CVs are too hard a counter towards DDs. No the problem is not (just) rocket planes — I am using Tiny Tims that often miss, and even when I am using HVAR or Hak rockets they don't do as much damage as you would think (people started getting good and dodge, many times they do 2k-4k per run). It's like 3 Worcester salvos every 90 seconds or more, and if I am to kill DDs I will dive bomb them out of existence instead. But CVs are not actually incentivised to attack DDs that often unless you get 5 AA cruisers on the enemy team; most of the time the CV attacks the DD, get some chip damage, AND DROP A FIGHTER TO SPOT IT.
– The dropping fighter to spot part is something I feel dirty doing. I am not committing anything — the DD would take ages to kill the fighters or get out of range, or he will has to burn his smoke and stay in it. Those fighters should not spot, period.
– Spotting is definitely a problem and should be nerfed. Being able to spot the entire enemy team in 1 minute is… dumb. I am taking all the spotting ribbons that I am not leaving any to my DDs. I think at least a 30s delay should be introduced at game start.
– The spotting range of planes, which is around 20km right now, should be slightly nerfed. I understand WG wants the CV player to see the battlefield more clearly, but seeing a DM 17km away because he fired his guns is definitely too much spotting. However, I don't think it's a good idea to jump on the "minimap spotting only" train right now: not only will this create balance problems (how the fuck are you going to deal with AA cruisers in CVs then?) it doesn't solve the problem of your team knowing the positioning of enemy team. Also spotting is highly related to MM, which leads to the next point:
– NO DOUBLE CV GAMES IN T10 PLEASE. Double CV games are terrible. If one side has a good CV, he can simultaneously strike a target with his other CV and/or provide 24/7 spotting on both flanks. It's a huge amount of spotting, and while 1 CV games' spotting is kinda fine, 2 CV games are not. 2 CVs will also respond to opportunities much faster than 1, and will overwhelm even Des Moines. The result is that it will quickly lead to rofl stomps: as one flank loses the momentum and start fleeing, they will be wiped out of existence as they separate from one another in alarming speeds. Then the big blob of ships will fight a smaller blob of ships and crush the remainder of enemy team. It feels terrible to play as surface ship, and it feels terrible to play as a CV: you are competing for damage from basically your entire team, when your team loses momentum you will be unable to consistently strike the big enemy blob and have to accept your mortality. Only rarely, when the roflstomp is mirrored on two flanks and both sides' CVs are competent (or incompetent), will we get a relatively interesting game. At least with 1 CV per side, there's always a flank a CV cannot spot or attack, and that creates opportunities. With 2CVs, at least at T10, it will just get out of control once the first ships died.
TL;DR: AA is fine, T10 CV is fine, Hak is a bit weak, fighter should not spot, plane spotting range should be nerfed, and NO DOUBLE CV GAMES PLEASE!!!!!
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