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Shells, Armour and Damage Model
Steeltrap posted a topic in General DiscussionsThis is something I posted in the "AP doesn't matter" thread (a good thread itself). As it addresses a bunch of stuff, however, thought I'd put it up as its own topic header and see what people might have to say. Cheers ================================================ Wall of text follows, so here's a TL;DR All in all I think the appearance of crazy randomness does not do the game justice and the devs might well do themselves and the players a service by taking the time to be reasonably explicit about how things ought to work. We can provide better feedback if the devs let us know what they regard as things working as they intend, rather than us listing what we think seems peculiar but not being sure one way or another. In part the choice between AP and HE is a matter of extremes. If the AP will likely bounce off as the armour around or greater than pen, or if it will over-pen with the armour much lower than the pen, HE is better. If the AP value is around that of the armour, logically that's the time one would expect to use AP. Simple enough in theory. A lot of the questions seem to resolve around various unknowns, or at least unknown to me so perhaps others can help. How does pen of HE vs AP work? One thing that seems a bit misleading are the big numbers you can get with pen of extended deck/belt with HE. Worse, however, is you can see big numbers and pen of what one would expect to be the normal armoured deck section amidships. That's a bit of a mystery to me because when I look at my own guns' deck pen values, normally they're way lower than the likely deck armour of my targets at normal ranges until you're using late tech with plunging fire at 20-30km. The bit I struggle with is seeing that happen to my own ship. I can see what gun hit me and from the enemy class, go to their info cards, look up their gun performance, and that info would have me believe it simply ought not be possible. If my deck is 4" of Krupp III, for example, how is a 14" mk2 gun doing a large number with an obvious HE shell? How is an HE shell seemingly doing significant damage to a well-armoured target when an AP shell, designed to do that, frequently is being ineffective? It's sometimes the exact opposite of what we know was true in reality (I try to avoid using that word, lol). Then there's the damage model. Kills by "structure loss" are far too common, although it's also true that ships like transports remaining afloat with 1% structure while absorbing hits that would wreck a WW2 Cruiser seems bonkers. AP to my mind IS the most dangerous ammo when effective. It's the one that will KO main guns, start flooding and do all sorts of internal mayhem. The trouble appears to be HE can be just as good at much of that, in fact sometimes more so, and in cases where it simply to my mind ought not be. There's also the situation of lots of ships going "pop" as soon as they present a largely bow or stern on aspect as a large calibre HE shell, or sometimes a smaller AP one, triggers ammo explosions. Seems the AI design logic might need to be amended to reflect the altered performances of shells with the last update, particularly with respect to citadels and bulkhead upgrades. "The Modern BB" scenario can see you blowing huge chunks out of enemy BBs at range with plunging HE fire. That just can't be correct, can it? Wrecking the upper works, superstructure generally, funnels etc, sure. Damaging areas not covered by "all or nothing", sure. But doing large damage through multiple deck levels on the compartment graphic, including right down to the bottom and starting flooding? Sorry, no, that's just bunkum to me. The whole question of what would work best in terms of multiple decks of various thicknesses designed to trigger fuses then absorb resulting explosions and splinters was a widely studied design question, with varying results. But I'm all but certain what we're seeing with HE shells against decently armoured large targets is just not correct. At the same time, those same HE shells sometimes do next to nothing. And, yes, the armour multiplier system v penetration seems off as well. We know that "immunity zones" were a thing, but they typically operated at range band that was quite distant, at least for WW2. Others have said it appears to be a mismatch of penetration performance that was measured against KC armour yet being taken as against base iron in the game. In WW1 leading up to Jutland, Jellicoe had quite specific instructions for the ranges at which he expected the various guns of the fleet to open fire and also that the fire was to be "deliberate" and not to shift to rapid fire until hits/straddles were occurring. He also quite specifically stated he didn't believe the gunnery would become decisive until at ranges of 10,000 yards or closer, because the Lyddite AP rounds were not expected to be able to penetrate to vital parts of the main German battle units outside that range. He stated he believed the longer range shots would be disruptive to the superstructure and upper works, but not killing blows. As an aside, I read they were aware of French experiments with different alloy shells and TNT that were proving significantly more effective, but the RN had already ordered more of their current ammo and doing the extensive work on improving shells wasn't seen as viable at the time. All of which in my mind points to the devs having to do a significant rethink about the damage model, right down to the hit boxes, armour calculations, shell impact and non, partial, full and over penetrations. Also the limits on HE damage and "structure kills" at least for warships of greater than a certain tonnage, although there is a case to be made that for the purposes of a battle and campaign that might still be acceptable. Bismarck, after all, was structure killed before sinking, and even if the RN had sailed off and left her there, she wasn't ever going to do anything other than sink eventually. So here's what I'm after: - greater clarity about how the system does AP and HE penetration calculations. - limitations on HE damage against more heavily armoured/larger tonnage warships - easier destruction of non-combatant ships; TR absorbing multiple 5", 6", 8" and even 12" or greater while remaining afloat has to end. I don't mind if it takes several minutes to sink, but looking at the ship and thinking "it's flooding, afire stem to stern, structure down to 10% and flooding getting worse, I can shoot something else" only to find 5 or more minutes later it's still afloat and flooding is getting better is, I think, a bit ridiculous. (I failed a run of the Armed Convoy scenario because I left a TR like that and it didn't sink, lol). - players being able to understand the implications of their choices when it comes to levels of armour they choose to allocate. Please add to the list, or provide whatever feedback you wish. By all means list any disagreements, too. I'm hoping to help get the best feedback we can give the devs, and that won't all come from me lol. Cheers