Compiled by Boris_MNE (EU)
Q: Where is the carrier rework that was promised before “any more premium carriers”? We’ve gotten Kaga, Enterprise, and Graf Zeppelin is just around the corner.
A: I really doubt there was a promise not to release carriers before rework.
The point was we were not concentrating on new carriers because there were some major issues with them as a whole. This includes: UI problems, in-class balance problems, lack of tutorial/learning curve problems. These things, along with others, lead us to very global and serious question “Are we sure that existing CV/AA concept should be just tuned and tweaked or we need a global overhaul? And if yes, should we try to introduce it in a couple of big updates or to make it gradual?”.
For now, we fixed the major part of existing UI problems, which was the main blocker for releasing new CV content. USN/IJN balancing is WIP, and can be expected within several updates. Tutorials are being worked on, however, simpler stuff like movement and basic gameplay should be done first. As for global rework, this is a tricky one. Any major rework will be a stress for old players, so if we are going this way, we must be absolutely sure it is for good. Now, we don’t have any concept that we like THAT better, than the existing one, but we keep thinking about it. And in the meantime, we aim to make various smaller quality changes to the existing CV mechanics, in evolutionary, not revolutionary way.
Q: There were a number if glaring balance problems since last year, mostly about how USN was terrible when compared to IJN due to inflexibility and inconsistency vs key targets like DDs.
Instead, we got ammo buffs… which did not help much when it truly came to winning (it primarily benefited good players when whacking enemy planes since the “less skillful playerbase” normally lost his fighters before using even half the ammo)
A: Well, lack of flexibility is the exact main target for upcoming USN CVs changes.
Q: Please clarify the positions of the tiers 7 and 8 RN BBs, and let me re-iterate that putting such famous and anticipated ships as Nelson or 14″ KGV behind a premium paywall will not go down well among the community. Why do we need Monarch at all, when we already have plenty of ships with 2 armament choices of different calibres? Just balance KGV for tier 8 and give it both the 14″ and 15″ (or 16″) options.
On the same vein, why does every line need to be so unique to the point of being gimmicky and inconsistent? See RN CLs. I feel that if you pursue this strategy for too long, you will rapidly run out of ideas and harm the game balance. I do not mind if a line is a near copy of an existing one, the historical relevance and appearance of the ships alone is enough distinguishing features for me. I just want reliable and simple RN BBs with no fancy toys.
Thanks for your time
A: I cannot 100% confirm the final line-up for RN BB branch. However, I can say that Nelson being premium and King George going to T7, being replaced with Monarch, have major gameplay reasons:
- King George does not look good on T8 in terms of firepower, while it looks absolutely adequate for T7.
- Nelson is a fine ship for very good players, but being in the branch, it has all chances to become a breaking point, where the major part of playerbase will stumble. Of course we would like to have it in the branch as iconic ship, but gameplay should come first. We do not expect Nelson to be good source of income, because premium RN mid-tier BB niche is already occupied by Warspite and Hood, and the point here is not to earn extra money, but to release a line which will have nice progression for all players. Who knows, maybe Nelson will remain premium, but with some other means of distribution…we’ll see.
- While the final decisions are not made, I can say that after testing different loadouts of RN BB, we’re slowly coming to the conclusion this branch may not need any “gimmicks” to be viable. We will be considering basic BB loadout for it, with only advanced heal being “consumable gimmick”.
Thank you too for good questions of immediate interest.
I thoroughly disagree with this.
- KGV can easily work at T8, just buff her firepower. I admit she is in an awkward position, but surely small buffs to KGV firepower, to allow Nelson in at T7 is better, than Nerfing KGV to T7, and adding a paper ship?
- I do not believe you. Nelson is one of THE iconic ships of the RN, it is clear that money is the motivator for making her Premium. Why on earth would Nelson be a stumbling block?
I’m really disappointed to have this confirmed. I was really excited from OBT about RN BB’s, and in the current state, it looks awful.
Missing out on Historic Ships, for “smooth progression”. Wat.
Steel Ocean is looking more and more promising.
A: To expand on this from the historical point of view: “Just balancing KGV for Tier VIII and give her both 14″ and 15″ options” would mean she won’t be KGV as built anymore (as the 3×3 15″ was alternative design to the 3×4 14″, ie the KGV the Admiralty wanted and before being cut down to fit in the tonnage limit). So… Effectively what Monarch is. Now there would be few options (making the “real” KGV stock configuration, for example)… But their result would be nobody really playing the famous historical configuration (say what you will about “historical enthusiasts for sure would”, when it comes to winning and progressing, players generally do not stay on Stock longer than they need to). So… What is more important for you? To play a King George V in the proper configuration… Or to have King George V as a name on Tier VIII? 😉 As it works in the tree that can be constructed from the previews we released (mind you: nothing is final until the release – you can remember swaps in the RU or IJN DD lines even quite short time before release) you would get the “real” KGV on VII and the “ideal” KGV on VIII.
Q: What determines the krupp value for AP shells? Also, why do British BB’s have such low krupp values? Thanks
A: Roughly speaking, Krupp value is used in our ballistics model to have the desired armor penetration value for different shells on different distances. And the “desired penetration value” here is the value that is as close to IRL as possible, because this is one of the game aspects we seek to keep realistic. So, this is just a tool for achieving needed shell performance.
Q: For your new development blog how much information are you planning on giving with it? Will it be showing only changes for the next patch, or will it be further down the line (like 2-3 or even 5)?
A: I plan to talk about the changes starting from ST phase. Commenting on more distant things does not makes sense, as too many changes can be done even before ST.
Q: Hi Sub, thanks for taking the time to do this. I’m not sure if this has been officially confirmed anywhere, but can you say whether or not the Conqueror will have the option of both the 419’s and 457’s?
Bonus if I may: Will the Vanguard be a future premium?
A: We know about some players who want to have 4×2 457 option, and we will consider it. Bonus: it is a possible option for the future. Thank you for your question.
Q: When using the catapult spotter plane, is the shell trajectory any different from the normal view?
A: No, it only naturally differs when you are firing at longer range, no special tweaks are applied to it.
Q: I thought Scharnhorst put paid to the idea that a BB couldn’t be balanced and fun for it’s tier with sub-tier firepower? If 9×11 inch works at T7 surely 10×14 inch can be soft statted to work at T8?
A: Scharny has much more features than sub-tier firepower to be viable. I do not underestimate the playerbase, but I think if we designed the IJN branch from the start right now, with all past experience, Izumo would be different or wouldn’t be there at all. It is a good, but very demanding ship. Thank you too 🙂
Q: BBs are still massively over-represented in the MM and game line-ups. What are the plans to deal with this? Surely not adding another line of BBs and nerfing smoke? Is it WarGaming’s belief that battleships are over-represented because the class is overpowered or because people just enjoy the power of commanding a battleship?
A: There are two questions here, actually: about BBs and about planned smoke changes. Let’s take them separately.
High BB population has two main reasons:
- Big and iconic ships. Not everyone wants to play big ships with big guns, but this really contributes.
- High survival abilities with high firepower – due to IRL natural specs. Of course if we were making fantasy MMO, we would try to avoid combining high tankiness with high firepower, but hey, we cannot give BBs 127 mm main guns and call it balance – because World of Warships is heavily based on history. We also cannot make them as powerful as they were IRL and limit them in some other way (for example, economically), because the core concept is the interaction of 4 peer game classes with as few artificial MM limitations as possible. Hence the gameplay limitations we have in core design: average accuracy, very limited secondary guns, fire & flooding mechanics, etc, etc.
There are two main directions we are going to keep BB in line and to keep the balance healthy:
- Paying more attention to other classes. If you go through patch notes history over a year, you will find quite a lot of DD and cruiser buffs, and quite few BB buffs. They were not always direct – for example, new commander skill system actually favoured BBs less, forcing them to spec and be less universal. As for direct buffs, many cruisers were made much more viable.
- Adding more counters to BBs, especially to passively playing BBs. AP bombs are one of the first implemented weapons, and they have all chances to be introduced on more CVs: Enterprise is kind of testing ground here. We think they are good, because they a). make horizontal armor count more in the game and b). due to stretched ellipse are more efficient against more stationary targets. We have two more BB-specific counters in development, and some other ideas in concept stage. This path seems slow, but healthy and user-friendly, because it can not only contribute to class balance, but also contribute to game diversity and other classes gameplay.
BB population itself is stable, without any growth over last year. To address this question I double-checked the popularity data from August 2016 to this date, and I can say that BB population fluctuates around 35%, depending on server, tier and month. However, even 35% is a bit too high – in our mind, the ideal number is 30%.
Now, let’s have a quick overview of “nerfing” smoke thing.
The most important thing you need to know is that main driver for the change is competitive meta. By competitive I mean not only locally hosted tournaments, but also Ranked and division play (partly, yes, I know it is not pure competitive) and, what has huge value, upcoming Clan versus Clan combat. What is the problem there? The smoke meta, and even smoke + IFHE meta. It is efficient, not fun, it leaves too little space for other tactics and..hell, we don’t want it to be “hide your North Carolina and IFHE Chapayev in smoke and scout for them” every battle. Actually, the whole idea is NOT to nerf smokes – it is to nerf BB in smokes and shooting crowds in smokes.
On the other hand, we don’t want to harm Random battles, which are still majority. We are 100% fine with Akizuki, Fletcher or Neptune setting smoke and firing from it. We’re also fine with these guys setting smoke for friendly battleship for protection/repair, but not for stealth bastion thing!
First idea would be different mechanics, but no, it’s a terrible idea. Ideally, a player should learn basics in Random Battles, and then either to go to competent solo player path or to engage in some form of competitive play. The core mechanics should be the same across all modes. Thus, the smoke dispersion mechanics was chosen.
For now, judging from all feedback and tests, I can say our solution has three big issues:
- The debuff affects solo players noticeably, when it shouldn’t. Remember – we don’t want to really harm smoke firing tactics for solo DDs and smoke-equipped cruisers. This is one of their core tactics, and it is good.
- The solution does not have protection from the scenario when a passing-by BB unintentionally blows your smoke away with one salvo.
- The solution makes competitive a little bit better, but there is still little reason to take heavy cruisers, when you can go with HE+IFHE+smoke combo, which is avaliable only with limited team line-ups.
So, what we’re doing now after we decided that 1st edition shouldn’t be released? We are working on the issues discovered. Actually, we do have solutions to the issues I named, and hopefully, 2nd edition will be much better and will hit the target without harming Random Battles DD and cruiser players we absolutely don’t want to harm.
Sub Q: This is all excellent, and thanks for the detailed reply!
One quick question though, if there are 4 equally important game classes, shouldn’t the target population for any given one be 25%? Why target 30% for BBs?
A: By equal I don’t mean equal by number, but equal by opportunities and quality of life. We don’t expect and don’t want 25% of players to be interested in CVs – they are like a game in a game thing for more strategy oriented guys. Cheers!
Q: Why does the Kagero (and Akatsuki, to a lesser degree) have so little gun range? Up-to-date balancing or a legacy setting from before the stealth fire nerf? Stock gun range progression through her line is as follows:
- Fubuki: 10.5 km
- Akatsuki: 9.4 km
- Kagero: 8.6 km
- Yugumo: 10.9 km
- Shimakaze: 11.4 km
A: Because basic firing range is calculated by universal formula (with FCS specs in mind), and then altered only if really needed gameplay-wise. Here, it is not needed gameplay-wise. The same reason Fuso stands out in range.
Q: Are you planning to introduce another premium Polish ship? Possibly Wicher-class destroyer?
A: Not in the near future, but hell, I would LOVE to play Wicher (and also Wicher-II: Assassin of Battleships and Wicher-III: Wild Torpedobeat).
Q: Can you get citadeled by mines?
A: Only if they are Soviet, comrade. LOL
Q: How does the spotting damage mechanic work? How do you deal spotting damage?
A: Spotting damage is damage dealt by one ship to the target that is being scouted by another ship. E.g. if you turn on Radar and spot a DD in smoke, and your ally shoots him, you will get a reward, because without you, your ally wouldn’t see this DD. Another example – if you are scouting on front line with your DD, you will probably spot some enemies, and if your team manage to deal some damage to them, you will get bonuses as well, because without your help this wouldn’t happen.
Important addition: if you are spotting, and your friendly DD is spotting, you both get EQUAL bonuses, so it’s nice to scout with some buddies.
Sub Q: Thanks for that information. So both get the same value as if they are spotting alone?
Sub Q 2: Does spotting bonus apply only when target is not visible to shooter? For example if enemy you are spotting fires its guns becoming directly detectable by the other ship shooting at it, the spotting bonus no longer applies?
A: Yes, if the shooter can see the target without your help, you don’t get a bonus for the damage dealt in this state.
Q: With the introduction of AP bombs on US CVs T7 and up, will the Saipan recieve them as well or not given the unique nature of the DB squadron?
A: Saipan, in our opinion, does not need any buffs or additional diversity.
There was also a discussion about BB AP damage to light targets, especially DDs here. Well, honestly, we still need more specific data inquiries to be sure, but overall, there are no signs of any changes or bugs. We will continue the research, because we want to be 100% sure. However, it would be good for balance to reduce BB AP damage to light targets, to force BBs into more shell choice, and to reduce the “Devastating Strike” feeling for DDs and cruisers. There are many ways to do it, but the most logical (at least this is our conclusion for now) is to update underwater ballistics model. Point is, the problem is not with simple overpens, it is more with regular pens, when heavy shells arm at water and then explode inside a DD or light section of a cruiser, dealing significant damage. To change this, we need to rework a section of ballistics, which is, honestly, quite scary (being one of the most complex game mechanics), but doable. We will start working on the prototype very soon, but I don’t expect we’ll manage this in 2017. ETA looks like mid-2018, as there are a lot of work to do, and a lot, A LOT of testing to conduct before we can even try implementing it.
In the meantime, other work will go on, so that huge ETA doesn’t mean we won’t address BB balance in other aspects. Underwater ballistics is not the only thing that can be changed for good – on the contrary, quite soon, a couple of important features will be delivered, and they will contribute to inter-class balance in a positive way.
Q: How can you allow a biased map such as “Strait” in ranked play. C cap is further from spawn than A cap, among the obvious advantages the northernmost team has for grabbing B cap. #Unforgivable. #ISaidGetMeAChickenSandwich&SomeWaffleFriesFoFree
A: Heya! Asymmetrical maps don’t always give obvious advantages. For now, as I can see, the Northern team has slightly lower WR. The map will probably be tweaked for better balance, but overall, your impression that the Norther team has better conditions is wrong. I was surprised myself! #surprisefurutaka
Q: As someone who bought and loves the Duca d’Aosta, purely for the commander’s voice alone, are we going to see any more Italian ships in game any time soon?
A: Some Italian ships are in development plans, unfortunately, I cannot give you ETA without official announcement. But yes, we are definitely going to see more Italian ships in game.
Q: Question about the smoke changes. Where does the Kutuzov fall in all this? Cause if you are afraid of IFHE cruisers in clan games being the meta in giant blobs of smoke, it’s one of a few cruisers capable of generating that smoke on it’s own, if you aren’t wanting like an IFHE Chapy parked in that smoke farming damage, isn’t that what the Kutuzov basically is?
A: If we’re doing global changes, I doubt there will be any exceptions. As I said, IFHE + smokes combo is too strong, and it hurts competitive meta according to our obvservations AND player feedback, and here the ship doesn’t really matter – it can be Kutuzov with her own smokes or Chappy parked in other smoke – we are going to find a way to reduce the efficiency of this combo.
That’s going to be fair, because at the same time, BBs (who are the main targets for IFHE) will lose the ability to safely shoot from smoke whatsoever.
Q: Why Jack Dunkirk and not William Tennant, or at the very least Dunkirk Joe (which was his actually nickname)?
A: Legal reasons. We’d love to, but licensing such characters is surprisingly hard:( I’m glad we managed to resolve all issues with Yamamoto, by the way – there was a chance of failure too.
Q: I can get behind the line if Nelson is released as a permanent campaign reward or a Free XP purchasable ship.
Such an iconic ships should to be available to all the player base.
A: No, they shouldn’t. There should be balance in premium/regular iconic ships, because we need to release iconic premiums in order to be profitable and develop the game further on. Nelson is a T7 ship, no matter how it is distributed, it won’t be cheap (in terms of money) or easy to get (in terms of free XP or task difficulty).
Q: To Wargaming a few questions, How do you determine the range of guns for secondary guns in the game as balanced? For example, why is the 5.9” guns of the top tier German Battleships have over 11 kilometers in range max when the 6” guns on Nelson is projected to be about 7 kilometers max? Why does the tier 9 German Battleship not have the name Ulrich von Hutten or Götz von Berlichingen? Why does the Wyoming and the New York and Texas not get their float plans? Is it because of difficulty rendering them on turrets? And lastly why does the Hood not get the four torpedo tubes that she had when she went down? I know that hood is spec’d for AA in game but historical the UP rockets were terribly and would have been removed. I believe the hood’s torpedoes would help her in close combat. Thank you
- Secondary gun range is pure gameplay/balance.
- Sorry, but why should it have such name?
- Yes, right now we don’t have the mechanics of turret catapult, and it is not a priority.
- We don’t implement fixed torpedo tubes in the game.
- Yes they probably were, this is why they are more like panic weapon to debuff bombers drop:)
You are welcome!
Q: Question : Why do you hate the players?
A: Answer: We don’t. You should get some sleep, your question is psychedelic. I am worried.