This post wil be mostly about Patrol Fighters (consumable for all Carrier squadrons).
Like, seriously, they are extremely unreliabe at their primary purpose (intercepting enemy planes).
- They require so much time to even start attacking (lock on);
- Planes carrying heavy ammunition like bombs and torpedoes can outrun Fighter planes that were designed and armed for anti-air combar and intercepting other planes, okay;
- Lasts only for one minute, have small patrol area and easily ignored/avoided (late game is the exception, usualy there are few ships left, which means less targets to attack and drop Fighters on);
- Can be baited onto enemy Fighters if they patrol area overlaps (even listed this as the countermeasure), mutually destroy each other and achieve nothing;
- Deployed only on current attack squadron position;
- Extremely vulnerable to AA fire, have wee HP and get rapidly destroyed even from DD anti-air weapon;
- Post-drop invincibility frames for attack squadron affects Fighters, further reducing their effectiveness.
- Stop functioning completely after destroying one target (even one plane) or if their target had fled.
- They patrol area is outlined for enemies.
- Damage distribution based on destroyed plane number is weird.
Fighters have two major benefits. If they actually attacked the enemy squadron, the damage is huge and planes will be destroyed fast. And the second is their scouting ability.
Now, after stating many obvious things, let me get into actual discussion:
What WG intent towards Fighters right now? Protect allies? Disrupt enemy air squadron movements? Area denial? Or maybe spotting? They are not good at any of this.
You can't be sure that allied ships are safe when dropping Fighters on them. You can't be sure they will score plane kills even when enemy squadron entered their patrol area. You can't protect allies that are on frontline, because enemy AA will destroy them. You can't be sure that allied ship will not just drift away from patrol area (Random games). You can cover only one tiny area, not whole battlefront, not even many of them.
And, at last, Patrol Fighters are not supposed to be scout planes, in my opinion. This is their secondary function, which got nerfed several times by the way. People are angry that fighters are used as scouting tool, but, sadly, it is their most valuable usage right now. At least, damage on spotted target is guaranteed, instead of ghost of a chance to shotdown some planes.
Honestly, the Rework just destroyed Fighters as a whole. In current situation players must rely on ship AA way more than on Fighters and I don't think it is a good direction for the balance to go. Of course, WG wanted to level the difference between skilled CV players and potato CV players. Also, reduce the impact Carrier can cause to the outcome of the game. But looks like that in the long end, they failed at both ends.
Finally, I do not want to make Fighters the ultimate force against planes. I want them to be a little more than throw-out consumable. Proper usage should be properly rewarded. Carrier should be able to protect their allies from air better than they do now.
Please, leave your opinion in comments. Thanks. And sorry for my bad English.
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© Post "Why Fighters are so bad right now?" for game World of Warships.
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