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>>>Alpha-3 General Feedback [HotFix v66]<<<


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HOTFIX v66 (18/12/2019)
Balances
- Addressed issue making ships too hard to sink.
- Fine tuning of damage model, addressing especially the low power of secondary guns.
- Improvement of short range accuracy for secondary guns.
- Improvement of dynamic aiming mechanics.
- Reduced damage resistance of torpedo protection belt, so that there is more critical damage against large torpedoes.

Fixes
- You can now restart a custom battle via menu, or replay it after victory/defeat (and also rebuild your designed ship, if you made any).
- Fix of unbuildable over-the-budget ships in missions.
- Fix of small issue with renaming of ships.
- Fix of exception due to Fn hotkeys of saved designs in missions.

======================

9/12/2019

A new update has become available. You can read the details in our blog: 
https://www.dreadnoughts.ultimateadmiral.com/post/alpha-3-brings-many-new-features

or below

======================

NEW SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Custom Battles: You can now choose to fight randomly during years 1890-1930 selecting the nation, fleet composition and year for both you and opponent. The available ship designs will be based on the upcoming campaign tech tree , so errors/warnings may occur, for example ships might not be available for a nation in a specific year. We are going to improve further the functionality in next updates.
  • Explore all available hulls via the Custom Battles: We delayed the patch to create this additional feature. In custom battle mode you can quick-start or design your desired ship class of your fleet. You will be able to select all available hulls of the selected nation and year. Enabling the setting “Unlock” will provide you all hulls of all nations for the selected year! This feature replaces and supersedes the previous cheat mode (Unlock Parts/Techs). All cheats had to be eventually disabled, because they caused multiple issues to the game, and were replaced by this new feature which can be easily played by anyone without exploits.
  • Damage decals: You will notice much more detailed damage effects on ship hulls due to shell or torpedo impacts and realize where each hull penetration took place.
  • Improved Combat Penetration Info:  Detailed “Penetration Estimator” shows up when you hover your mouse over an identified target, including information about sections that you can penetrate, your total pen power over the enemy armor, ricochet angles and side/deck hit chances. This feature should help players to understand what is the best distance and angle to attack versus heavily armored warships. 
  • Save and name your designs: You can now save your ship design, for the respective missions. and also give custom names to your creations. This is a first simple functionality and is going to be improved further when we make the campaign.

NEW MISSIONS

  • Sink the Raiders: Use your Semi-Dreadnought or other ships to defend your transports from three dangerous cruisers.
  • Meet the US Battleships: Try to defeat two very large and experimental battleships of US Design.
  • Rise of the Heavy Cruiser: Design modern heavy cruisers without the constraints of treaties and confront three strong reconstructed armored cruisers.
  • There can be only one: A speculative Iowa vs Yamato scenario! The ships of course are not identical but their designs are based on the historical hulls.
  • Sink “The Cruiser Killer”: Fight versus an experimental and deadly Battlecruiser.
  • Heavy Duty: Design modern warships and fight versus a super battleship and its escorts.

NAVAL ACADEMY BALANCES

  • Increased armor of targeting ship in mission "Targeting Practice" and reduced available time to increase the difficulty.
  • Added +1 opponent torpedo boat in mission "Battleship vs Torpedo Boats" to keep things interesting with the new balance.
  • "Search and Destroy" mission rebalanced in initial distance between ships and also two light cruisers escort the enemy BB.
  • In the “Modern Battleship” mission, the AI fleet has one extra BB, to make it a tougher challenge, due to the new balance.
  • Re-allocated mission "Pre-Dreadnought conflict" in the mission row, since it is now easier than initially. Additionally, the enemy will not retreat, so that the mission can be not lost because of some enemy light ships running away.
  • Reduced the time for mission "Raid an undefended convoy" due to new balances.
  • Further rebalances as per feedback for several other missions. “Defeat the Semi-Dreadnought” allows one extra BB hull plus technology bonuses are more appropriate versus the opponent’s tech. “Destroyers vs Torpedo Boats“ mission gives to player ships less technology difference vs the opponent, so that AI ships are not overpowered on average and various more.
  • Ship building limit for missions became 30. Previously without limits, it was possible to build many more small ships in some specific missions, causing balance or performance issues.

COMBAT GAMEPLAY

  • Improved Secondary Guns' Penetration & Accuracy.
  • Torpedo Boats less resilient against gun fire.
  • Penetration rebalance for more effective medium/long range encounters. HE shells should not be as overpowered as previously.
  • Fixed issue with hull damage that made severely damaged ships and torpedo boats too hard to sink.
  • Reduced ladder aiming penalty of initial salvo shot, from -75% to -50% because it caused too low accuracy at close range.
  • Cordite, Tube Powder, TNT explosives rebalanced to reflect better their special characteristics. Cordite offers more explosive power but is unsafe, Tube Powder is the safest explosive and more effective in penetrating armor, TNT is very expensive but overall the best compromise.
  • Fixed issue of Radar towers, increasing too much the surface visibility of ships that carry them.
  • New Oxygen fueled torpedoes.
  • New 23-inch and 24-inch torpedoes.
  • Late tech torpedoes have even more intensified damage so they are useful against heavily protected battleships.
  • Torpedo protection now also increases floatability but reduces acceleration and turning speed making a ship slightly less maneuverable, yet, it will be vital for your capital ships in order to survive against the stronger torpedo threat.
  • Citadel armor schemes increase the armor quality, but are more expensive. Citadel is a feature not yet finalized, but this new functionality simulates better its influence in armor schemes and vitals protection.
  • Ship steering/acceleration slight rebalance for more realistic maneuvering. This balance addressed additionally the over-effectiveness in evading torpedoes and the unnaturally very tight turning circles of small ships, which causes also issues in formation and evasion logic.
  • Coal engines produce more smoke obstruction from funnels. Oil fuel engines will significantly reduce this penalty.
  • Engines hp efficiency and other related balances for improved ship maneuverability with the proper design and vice versa.
  • Reduced slightly the penetration penalty of light shells, from -7.5% to -5%. Their weaker weight and steeper trajectories at long ranges made them too inefficient.

VISUAL

  • Guns smoothly elevate to fire at target and depress to reload.
  • Water displacement effects (better waves, ship splashes and interaction with water).
  • Improved fog dissipation over distance.
  • Sinking mechanic improved so that ships do not “jump” to a default sinking state as previously. Ships will gradually sink according to their last floating state.
  • Fixed issues with USA battleship hull type. Now mission “Design a Dreadnought” includes a properly looking and scaled model based on BB South Carolina.
  • Cage mast towers are available to a series of hulls belonging to USA.
  • New modern battleship assets based on BB Musashi.
  • New modern battleship towers and hull types, based on BB Missouri/Iowa.
  • New Heavy Cruiser hull types based on Italian Cruiser Pola.
  • Several other hull types unlocked to become playable.
  • Several new visualizations for guns according to technology. Fixed also some issues with scale for some guns.

BATTLE AI

  • Slight fix of AI related with formations. AI should keep formation and respond to screen orders at better distances. The fix is not final. AI is going to be optimized on this aspect in next updates.
  • Fixed issues of AI related to engage mechanics. AI ships should approach more gradually and fire broadside salvos at more effective angle and distance.

BATTLE MECHANICS

  • Targeting became more dynamic and is affected more smoothly due to maneuvering.
  • Ladder aiming may be acquired faster but aiming can be lost very soon, due to evasive maneuvers. This new feature will make much more effective your evasive actions against long range guns, that previously could lock on you and progressively destroy you without a real chance to do something to avoid them.
  • Barbette damage now causes damage to its attached gun and vice versa. You will no longer see barbettes becoming individually damaged without any effect to the attached gun.
  • Detected torpedoes are now indicated by a visual warning for a short period of time.
  • Improved shell ballistic mechanics, addressing cases where shells could go too wide at short ranges.

SHIP DESIGN

  • Minor interface fixes. Some stats were not properly updated. More fixes will follow on next updates.
  • Improved AI ship design (with proper focusing on armor for Battleships).
  • Some minor bug fixes reported by players, related with ship assets.
  • Slight more flexibility in mounting guns/towers/barbettes/funnels. More fixes will follow in next updates.

BATTLE UI

  • Gun ranges now show with better visuals and are optimized for better performance. You can toggle them to fade out after some time or not, from the in-battle settings.
  • Gun stats show what is their propellant.
  • Added notification when battle time runs out.

BUG FIXES

  • Fixed error-message/bug caused by gun aiming calculations.
  • Fixed crash related with amount of torpedoes fired.
  • Fixed timer not reverting to maximum speed, even though enemy was completely unseen.
  • Fixed error of log report that could make it completely invisible for player.
  • Fixed bug that could make invisible AI ships traceable by using the mouse pointer.
  • Fixed crash that could be caused in Ship Designer interface when pressing a hotkey for a disabled category.
  • Fixed issues of flags that could become white at a certain angle.
  • Fixed a bug related with the scrolling of Help window.
  • Fixed issue with operational range not altering weight, in some late ship designs.
  • Fixed distorted damage info window for ships that disappear from LOS.

OTHER

  • Some game performance optimizations, increase the FPS for all pc systems.
  • Minor improvement on gun fire, shell trails and impact sounds.
  • In-game music reverted back to full functionality.
  • Removed possibility to enable developer debug options on build.
  • Much faster loading of Ship Designer interface. 
  • Added graphics quality slider in settings.
  • Added option “Centimeter” in measurement system.

======================

We hope you like all the new improvements. Let us know with your feedback!

Previous Feedback Thread:  >>>Alpha-3 General Feedback v65<<< 

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There were more or less seven major engagements between 1867 and 1914. The first was Yalu River, in the 1894-1895 First Sino-Japanese War. It was a large fleet engagement, 12v14, and ended with d

[First of all I'd like to say I'm delighted to see Nick and the others making adjustments and keeping us so well informed. Very encouraging, and NOTHING I say here is intended in any way to suggest I'

HOTFIX v66 (18/12/2019) Balances - Addressed issue making ships too hard to sink. - Fine tuning of damage model, addressing especially the low power of secondary guns. - Improvement of short ran

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Thanks for the fast update/hotfix.

|

Played a few custom battles with the new patch.

A 1935 BC vs 1933/34 CA and CLs with a couple DDs.

Second battle as French BB vs Italians 1922 CLs + DDs, after that another with same time/navies but CA vs CL + DDs.

The ships indeed sink easier now, without the prolonged 5% sponge.

Torpedoes are more lethal, especially when they hit smaller ships. My big 1930s BC took 6 toprs no problem. 

The small ships have much-much improved accuracy vs the big ships.

Big ships' (BBs and BC) secondaries still have single digit accuracy vs the smaller ships in the same ranges. Eg. in a enemy DD push/attach at around 4-5km, they had almost 80+% accuracy for their 5". My 6" secondaries had 1.4%. The smaller 3" tertiaries had 1.9%. 

That was the case when I had only one 1920s CA vs their 1920s CL and DDs. I think that the border is the CL? Because my CA was quite minimal/small and comparable in size with a CL in all but better armour. 

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Hi!

After testing changes in missions Speed basics 2 and undefended convoy. In both I went with CL 2inch and 4inch only. I feel like short range accuracy for small guns is now even to high - it's easy to get up to 100% on short distances which seems as unrealistic as previous unability to hit anything at point blank range. Also now, when much more of shells reach their target it feels like they are doing to much damage - destroyer was sunk after 10hits - 4 came from 4ich guns and 6 from 2inchers (this were surprisingly devastating). As far as I know 3ich gun in first part od XX century was already considered as insufficient even against early destroyers. Poor transport convoy was totally anihilated in just few minutes. I think even this ships were a bit harder to sink with just small caliber guns. 

Also I feel like adding some accuracy supression penalty for being under fire would increase significance of secondary baterries without making them to overpowered in terms of their destruction abilities.

cheers

Piotr

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Another testing, custom battles 1902 USN BB vs austrian-hungary and french BBs (three battles in total).

I must say that the secondaries are far more effective in early BBvsBB, but the ships themselves are very-very prone to sink via flooding.

I mean I one-shot one BB with a single 12" hit. It went down via flooding in a few seconds (X3 speed)...

My ship almost got down to 70% flooding after a 6" hit in the rudder area. In a BB with normal bulkheads, reinf. I bulkheads, double bottom and anti-flood...

Maybe tone it down a bit? I mean it is very positive that now flooding is a real threat to BBs, but this is too much.

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All I can say is things feel a lot better!  Secondaries seem to actually work and be effective against DDs and other ships!  Also it's really nice how ships are a bit more fragile.  No more enemy ships running away at 10%~ and never dying.  It still takes a while but it doesn't feel nearly as hard to pull of now.

All in all Great Job!  The game feels a TON better with this hot patch :D

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Over the last few builds, accuracy across the board has been pushed far too high and now is very out of line with historical reality and with the technological revolutions that led to huge advances in fire control.  Played a series of 1890 custom battles starting at 10000m and consistently saw target locked immediately on spotting and firing on target a single time at 10-8km distance, sometimes even when firing just one gun.  Such precise and immediate range-finding should be impossible in this era.

 

At the same time, the relative accuracy between small ships and large ships remains very imbalanced, if slightly improved by the changes.  Playing an 1890 custom battle, I have small ships with 2-inch guns firing with 100% accuracy on a battleship that can only return fire at 5% accuracy with 6-inch guns.  These are not the right changes.


Baseline accuracy is too high.  Maluses and bonuses are not being applied in a balanced manner.  Long-range firing needs to be treated differently than point-blank firing.

Edited by akd
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2 minutes ago, akd said:

At the same time, the relative accuracy between small ships and large ships remains very imbalanced, if slightly improved by the changes.  Playing an 1890 custom battle, I have small ships with 2-inch guns firing with 100% accuracy on a battleship that can only return fire at 5% accuracy with 6-inch guns.  These are not the right changes.

I cannot speak for the magnitude but the smaller ship should have an easier time hitting a bigger ship than the reverse.  As the bigger ship is a far bigger and easier to hit target while the small ship is much harder to hit due to being smaller and usually also due to being much faster.

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11 minutes ago, captinjoehenry said:

I cannot speak for the magnitude but the smaller ship should have an easier time hitting a bigger ship than the reverse.  As the bigger ship is a far bigger and easier to hit target while the small ship is much harder to hit due to being smaller and usually also due to being much faster.

Based on what?.

Yes, a battleship is a bigger ship. But a destroyer is a FAR more lively firing platform that's pitching, rolling and swelling with the movement of the sea like mad, and which (until very late with the most advanced techs) was fired by hand and didn't have much in the way of stabilization...if any at all. Meanwhile the battleship is not only far stabler, and battleship secondaries were given stabilizing gear before it was widespread on destroyers with the advance of technology.

So what's easier, to shoot a smaller enemy from a relatively stable platform?

or shooting a bigger one from one that's moving like mad in all directions you can't predict?.
 

Also, speed doesn't really matter at close enough ranges when the firing method changes from plot-and-spot to direct line of sight aim-and-shoot. If the enemy is faster you only need to lead more. When that close it does not matter wether you're moving at 30 knots or 20 knots, all the enemy has to do is lead a little bit more or less. The game does NOT represent that: Hit chances at point blank are seriously compromised by the way penalties and bonuses work, and in a big way too.


TL:DR: akd is right.

Edited by RAMJB
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LOL.

Dev’s can’t seesaw through opinions on secondaries and accuracies, it’s ridiculous how everyone keeps protesting one way or another!

The only solution is for easy, normal and hard modes, with hard (hardcore) mode representing historical mode, or preferences tab and accuracies sliders (best option).

This is the only way Dev’s can coalesce opinions. 

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They also could develop the game they intend and promised, according to the parameters that match those intentions, and just forego hearing the "opinions" of those who know as much about naval warfare as I do about the abyssal ecosystems in the depths of the Mariana Trench.

Because "coalescing" opinions is something tremendously dangerous when a lot of those "opinions" come from people who can't tell the difference between bow and stern.

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Has nothing to do with difficulty, and I see nothing about the discussed changes that makes the game easier or harder, just deviating more from the actual relationship between technology and tactics, and devaluing the important changes that occurred across the big time span of the game.  If we start with WW1+ long-range gunnery, where do we go with tech changes?  Will technological and tactical development have any meaningful impact in game?

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50 minutes ago, akd said:

Over the last few builds, accuracy across the board has been pushed far too high and now is very out of line with historical reality and with the technological revolutions that led to huge advances and in fire control.  Played a series of 1890 custom battles starting at 10000m and consistently saw target locked immediately on spotting and firing on target a single time at 10-8km distance, sometimes even when firing just one gun.  Such precise and immediate range-finding should be impossible in this era.

This type of performance does sound rather incorrect.  I more felt the performance of secondaries are good for 1940s.  As at that end of the tech line it feels right.  The problem is more at the start of the timeline now.  The biggest issue I think is that the impact of rangefinders / gun marks might be too low.  As I think gun marks are supposed to bake in new generations of fire control added to in part by the rangefinder / radar you choose.  The overall total impact feels correct for 1940s but I think the base stats at tech level 0 are probably too high and the impact of improved fire control, shown by gun mark and rangefinder type, is probably far too small.  

Basically drop the performance at the 0 tech down a fair bit but increase the impact of gun marks and rangefinders so at 1940s you get the performance we currently have from 1940.

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The changes are interesting. I agree that small guns have probably swung too far in accuracy, from playing the unescorted convoy mission. I think further testing is in order though.

 

I think small guns instead should have bonuses against fast, small ships at short range. That is, they would have less of a penalty compared to bigger guns. This would better reflect their handiness and ability to make quick corrected shots. Then they would be good to take down attacking torpedo boats and destroyers, but not have super-high accuracy in general.

I think crews would have to be implemented in a meaningful way before small guns can be perfectly balanced.

 

Bigger torpedoes are much more impactful. A 21in torpedo is powerful enough to sink a merchant ship unaided. This seems tentatively appropriate. I have not tested them against warships, so I am curious how they do. 

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Interesting irony after giving the BB vs TBs mission a go in this build: the small guns on the TBs are a much bigger threat to your BB than their torpedoes.  Penetration of wrought iron seems very high, and very low angle deck penetrations (even over penetration) 2-4" guns is frequent.  BB here has 3.1 deck and 1.5 inch deck extension (typical designer default):

1349902795_TBgunthreat.thumb.jpg.33132002a9f3b0452de29257a65a7eb5.jpg

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As far as naval knowledge goes, I'm definitely one of the players who can't tell a bow from a stern, so I'll only talk about this update from a gameplay point of view.

 

The main thing I noticed this patch is battles are a lot faster. This is probably a combination of ships needing less damage to sink and guns becoming more accurate and thus better at delivering said damage. A battle that before would have taken something like an hour to resolve now takes around 30 minutes. I am not sure how I feel about this.

 

When I first started playing, I was quite taken in by the slow pace of the battles. It gives the game a sense of gravity, I think, that's not really found elsewhere. It also struck me as realistic -- a naval clash in those times should have taken hours, no? Not sure if this is an intended consequence of these changes. While this is not relevant right now, I feel like the shorter battles also make ships less able to maneuver or retreat from them, which could be an issue if retreating is a common part of battle design in campaign.

 

Perhaps the naval experts here can shed a little light on how long naval battles took in the relevant time period? If it is currently too short, maybe accuracy or damage can be toned down across the board to increase it?

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Smaller guns should have a proportionally higher accuracy against smaller targets, that simulates and represents a faster tracking train rate and elevation, and more rapid ladder firing/sighting in.

So even though a 16 inch gun would have higher accuracy at 5km, a 5 inch gun has a higher accuracy against smaller targets, as logically the 16 inch gun simply won't have the train rate or fire rate to properly lock onto the target.

Edited by ThatZenoGuy
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There were more or less seven major engagements between 1867 and 1914.

The first was Yalu River, in the 1894-1895 First Sino-Japanese War. It was a large fleet engagement, 12v14, and ended with decisive Japanese victory. It spanned about five hours, from ~1230 to 1730.

The second was Weihaiwei, in the same war. I have never seen a good account of the engagement. The combined land-sea battle lasted about two weeks. To my knowledge there were several short naval actions over a couple days, including two nighttime torpedo boat attacks, against the largely immobile Chinese fleet. It ended the Sino-Japanese War in Japan's favor.

The third was the Battle of Manila Bay. Though a relatively small battle, it was a decisive American victory. Spanish shore batteries fired intermittent shots overnight, but the engagement began in earnest at 0515 when fortress guns and the Spanish fleet opened fire. The American fleet returned fire at 0541. At 0745 the Americans withdrew; they reengaged at 1040. With the Spanish fleet soon in ruins, the Americans fought shore guns until Spanish surrender at 1240. Total battle time was 7 hours, about 4 hours shooting.

Fourth was the Battle of Santiago, in the Spanish-American War. It was an overwhelming American victory. The main engagement lasted from 0930 to about 1115 with the grounding of Vizcaya. Cristobal Colon attempted to get away, but was chased down and finally scuttled and surrendered around 1330. Thus a duration of an hour and forty-five minutes, with another two hours tacked on for Cristobal Colon.

Fifth was Port Arthur, which kicked off the 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese War. It began with a Japanese destroyer surprise night attack on Port Arthur, from ~0030 to ~0200, an hour and a half. The Japanese had overestimated the damage to the Russian fleet, so they dueled the port's fortress guns starting vaguely around 1110. The Russian fleet emerged near noon, and a daylight engagement then occurred between the two full fleets.The Japanese realized they had erred and quickly left. No ships were sunk, and the fleet engagement lasted perhaps a half hour, from ~1200 to 1230.

Sixth was the Yellow Sea, of the same war. It was a large fleet engagement and ended indecisively. It started at 1300, with fire engaged until 1520. The Japanese then broke off. Some skirmishing occurred at extreme range at 1540. They re-engaged at 1735 and fought until at least 1900-2000 (to my knowledge, possibly some time longer). The daylight battle lasted at least five or six hours, of which perhaps three or four were spent shooting. Japanese destroyers gave chase and made attacks during the night.

Seventh was Tsushima, the definitive fight of the Russo-Japanese War. It was an annihilatory battle and lasted more than a day. The main engagement began at 1355, with the first shots at 1405. The battlefleets fought five and a half hours, until 1930, when Borodino blew up and the Japanese battleships drew back. Japanese destroyers and cruisers made many attacks overnight and into the next day. The Japanese battlefleet reengaged Russian survivors at 1000 the next morning, ending at 1030 with Russian surrender. The battle completely ended a few hours later, when Japanese cruisers fought the coast-defense battleship Ushakov from 1500 until ~1530.

So, very hard to say how long a battle "should" last. If you average these out, you get 3.7 hours shooting time. Standard deviation for that would be pretty high though. Take my estimate with a huge grain of salt.

Edit: If we consider only battleship-battleship encounters, Yalu River, Weihaiwei, Manila Bay, and Santiago de Cuba do not count. Port Arthur would count only as the 30min skirmish, Yellow Sea for three or four hours shooting, and Tsushima for six hours shooting. Very small sample size.

I must profess too much ignorance to say how long the night actions took. I will have to read over more accounts to say.

Edited by disc
I reconsider my methodology for the average.
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4 hours ago, ThatZenoGuy said:

Smaller guns should have a proportionally higher accuracy against smaller targets, that simulates and represents a faster tracking train rate and elevation, and more rapid ladder firing/sighting in.

So even though a 16 inch gun would have higher accuracy at 5km, a 5 inch gun has a higher accuracy against smaller targets, as logically the 16 inch gun simply won't have the train rate or fire rate to properly lock onto the target.

[First of all I'd like to say I'm delighted to see Nick and the others making adjustments and keeping us so well informed. Very encouraging, and NOTHING I say here is intended in any way to suggest I'm not happy about such things]

Apologies for incoming wall of text, lol.

I'd say that's true ONLY when the target is at a range where the aiming and firing is more "point, shoot and correct largely visually, especially for nearly ALL the period the game covers".

I suspect you're more or less saying the same thing based on your example, but it's really the range of the target that determines whether rapid VISUAL aim is superior to working on a gunnery solution to anticipate where the target ought to be then being able to put your shells there.

@akd and @RAMJB covered it pretty well earlier, and I suspect you have elsewhere. I know I've spoken of it many, many times.

The root causes of the issues are the fixed penalties for "target ship size" and "target fast speed" that are applied at ANY range regardless of whether the gun is a large calibre battery under whatever is the best fire control direction the ship has v smaller calibre guns operating effectively without a FCD.

I don't know the degree to which the game applies "tower benefits" to the various gun types. For the vast bulk of the period, secondary mounts on larger ships were under local control and thus really ought not to gain from them. This means their effectiveness out to long ranges is open to question.

Digging further into the Falklands info we do have this (see http://www.jutland1916.com/tactics-and-technologies-4/the-long-range-battle-and-shell-debate/: )

Reports right at the start of the war – from the Falklands campaign – brought back important intelligence about German long-range gunnery. According to Vice-Admiral Sturdee, on the Invincible, “Following experiences gained in recent action. German 8-inch guns reach 16,000 yards, straddled ship(s) at 15,000 yards, 6-inch and 4-inch guns effective at 12,000 yards, [the] latter outranging Kent’s 6-inch guns”. In fact, Sturdee reported that the Germans had managed to land 83 hits on the British.

Then there's the action of HMS Kent chasing SMS Nurnberg (see http://www.worldwar1.co.uk/falkland.html ) :

By 1700 the range was down to 12,000 yards and Nurnberg opened fire with the by now expected superb accuracy.  When Kent returned fire ten minutes later her shells fell short.  Once the range had fallen to 7,000 yards both sides started to score regular hits and Nurnberg gave up her escape attempt and turned to bring her broadside to action.

By 1730 the range was down to 3,000 yards and Kent's heavier shells and thicker armour gave her the upper hand.  An hour later, just as bad weather arrived which may have saved her, two of Nurnberg's boilers exploded, reducing her speed.  Kent was now able to easily outmanoeuvre her opponent and within half an hour Nurnberg was dead in the water, at 1926 she rolled over to starboard and sank with only twelve survivors.
Kent had received thirty eight hits but only sixteen casualties.

As a last bit of info, there's this (again from http://www.worldwar1.co.uk/falkland.html ) :

There was some criticism (mainly from the 1st Sea Lord Fisher) of him for letting Dresden escape and for the heavy ammunition expenditure of his battlecruisers (Invincible 513 12 inch rounds, Inflexible 661 12 inch rounds fired) but generally his clear victory was welcomed.   He had destroyed Spee's squadron without any serious damage to any of his ships and their shooting (c.6.5%)** was considerably better than was managed by British (and German) battlecruisers at Dogger Bank and Jutland.

** It's worth noting their initial accuracy was extremely poor, some 4 hits from about 210 shells fired. This was due to range and especially smoke interference with spotting and correcting of gunnery. Indeed, based on that it's probably the case that the second phase of the battle, where Scheer knew the game was up and tried to close and the changes of course meant the range was closing AND the smoke was no longer greatly affecting the battlecruisers' gunnery, saw their hit rates jump to as high as 10% or more.

The various aspects of the battle, and indeed the preceding Battle of Coronel, are interesting with respect to what they show:

- those with the greatest number of the biggest guns have a huge advantage. Not insurmountable, perhaps, once other factors like how great a difference in number and calibre there is between the two sides, the speed and armour of combatants, fire control, crew quality, weather etc are taken into account. Regardless, however, you can probably safely assume the side with the significant gunnery advantage is more likely to win if they can force an engagement.

- fire control matters a lot, as does crew skill in making the best of it (something we know will be added later)

- scoring more hits doesn't mean winning, or indeed even achieving much. Note that the Nurnburg's 4.1"/10.5cm gun ( http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNGER_41-40_skc00.php ) was clearly an excellent weapon in range and ability to hit v the Kent's 6"/15.2cm gun (http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNBR_6-45_mk7.php ). Indeed the navweaps page for the 6" I've linked contains the following footnote about range: During the Falklands Battle of 1914, these 6" (15.2 cm) guns on HMS Kent were reported to have been badly outranged by the much smaller German 10.5 cm (4.1") guns on the cruiser Nürnberg. However, the heavier British shells with their lyddite bursters were significantly more effective than the lighter German ones.

- it was possible for ships to sink relatively quickly, but just as possible for them to take a battering. From 1450 to 1617 (when she sank) Scharnhorst took over 50 hits of 12"/30.5cm and 4"/10.2cm. Gneisenau, already damaged by earlier hits, was fired on by both the RN Battlecruisers (eventually down to a range as little as ~4,000 yards/3.7km) yet lasted until capsizing slowly at 1800;  she even ran out of her main gun ammunition. 

- armour mattered a great deal. Note the previous comments on Kent being hit 38 times yet taking minimal damage from the 4.1"/10.5cm guns of Nurnberg. Wiki mentions that HMS Invincible had been hit twenty-two times. Two of her bow compartments were flooded, and one hit on her waterline abreast 'P' turret had flooded a coal bunker and temporarily given her a 15° list. Nevertheless, only one man had been killed and five wounded aboard the battlecruisers. After the battle, Invincible made temporary repairs at Port Stanley and headed for Gibraltar, where she could be drydocked for more permanent repairs. This took a month, and the opportunity was taken to extend the height of her fore funnel by 15 feet (4.6 m) to reduce the amount of smoke blocking visibility from the bridge and spotting top. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Invincible_(1907) )

As I suggested, and others have as well, It's pretty clear that these factors are at play specifically re smaller calibre rounds in real world examples:

- size and speed of the target (target ship size; target fast speed)

- type of gun being fired and range (baked into the hit chances for the various guns)

- stability of firing ship (base accuracy as shown in shipyard, pitch and roll penalties that vary according to interplay with sea conditions)

- fire control direction methods (towers and techs, although not clear to me how they affect secondary guns)

We know the game includes these things as you can see them when your ship is selected in combat if you've the details open on the left side of screen (I've listed the in-game modifiers I remember directly after each real world factor). Clearly it's a matter of continuing to tweak things to get something that's at the very least an acceptable compromise between game play considerations and historical authenticity.

I've not played under the hotfix so I'm going to play the armoured convoy attack mission as I've a BC with a load of twin 4" secondaries (effectively a 5x2 broadside as it's a turret fore and aft and a further 3 along each side) to see what happens re the accuracy and damage. My experience has been the secondaries generally do what I expect them to do, which is to say shower easy to hit targets at range (which means slow and/or large, and slow AND large in particular) with loads of HE that can do damage plus light fires, or hit more difficult targets if they're pretty close and you've enough firing. That's why I decided to use the 2x4" mounts as they do this well.

I DID find, as everyone else said, the DDs in the "Rise of the Heavy Cruiser" mission to be rather absurd. I had 2 "CAs" with 4x2 11" guns and broadside 4x2 5" secondaries. The -70% "target ship size" plus the -40% (or maybe higher?) "target fast speed" made them almost impossible to hit until within perhaps 3km even with the main guns, and you don't want things with a load of torps that close (fortunately my ships were so manoeuvrable that I avoided multiple attempts to torp me). On top of that they had "maximum" bulkheads, which means they were, frankly, stupidly difficult to sink (I'll leave that for damage model discussions).

As a final comment, I ENTIRELY agree with @akd and @RAMJB that my preference is NOT to speed battles through pushing accuracy and damage to "yippee shoot arcade" levels. For that there's another game.

I would humbly suggest the devs take the view they want something relatively historically accurate (what's the point of all this ship design in great detail if the battles are over in 10 minutes through crazily inflated hit rates and devaluing of armour?) and only THEN should they decide how much to tweak things to 'accelerate results for game play reasons' WITHOUT sacrificing the underlying validity of the core elements.

Cheers

p.s. I've feedback on the damage model, too, but will do so later.

 

Edited by Steeltrap
added specifics of in-game gunnery modifiers; commented on BC accuracy in Falklands
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6 hours ago, ThatZenoGuy said:

Smaller guns should have a proportionally higher accuracy against smaller targets, that simulates and represents a faster tracking train rate and elevation, and more rapid ladder firing/sighting in.

So even though a 16 inch gun would have higher accuracy at 5km, a 5 inch gun has a higher accuracy against smaller targets, as logically the 16 inch gun simply won't have the train rate or fire rate to properly lock onto the target.

This would seem unjustified. Faster tracking rate and elevation should help against target maneuver, not target size. You can easily imagine this by imagining a tiny torpedo boat moving at zero knots - does it feel any more demanding on tracking and elevation than a battleship?

In terms of target size, the smaller guns probably don't have superior dispersion, so they are also disadvantaged there. Really, against any particular target at worst they should never show superior accuracy than the larger guns, and their increased number of hits achieved simply because they fire more. 

If the firing range is extremely small (say less than 3 seconds flight time), they can use direct fire instead of semi-direct, and they can be given reduced reductions against target maneuver, not target speed (in a straight line being a bit faster just doesn't help that much).

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- About the accuracy improvements:

Smaller guns can hit and cripple something, this is a welcomed change. This was asked for several patches and as nothing to do with historical accuracy or an imaginary arcade mafia taking over the world. We are playing the Alpha version of a video game depicting ships armed with guns of various size that are meant to hit things at various ranges. If they can't do that, or if we can't tell the difference when they do, there is a problem and it need fixing. If they hit too often and do too much damage at X range, this is another problem which can be adressed now because at least they hit and damage.

In the previous versions I mostly designed my capital ships around main battery with no secondaries. DD's with all torpedoes armament and one mandatory token gun. This was efficient but wasn't good for testing. There was at lots of extra weight left for armour/speed, most of the hulls looked silly and empty, BB's of lower weight were unaturally tankier because of that. Now the game at least invite you and reward you to try them, this is good and needed for the later stage of the development.

On the other hand, I too think that the sliders have been pushed a bit too far in the other direction now. Main battery + secondaries hit rate are through the roof and battles ends much faster because of that.

- In the last few posts I see an interesting trend about battle durations:

Note that I'm clearly not against faster battles. For now most of the engagement are fairly simple and there is very little to do after the initial course orders besides some small adjustements when torpedoes are spotted. This doesn't mean we need to change drastically the value to arcade level though. Changing how the base time is handled could be an elegant solution. For example if one minute in real time is equal to two minute in game you have battle going twice as fast without changing the ships value. Twice as fast is probably too much, but you get the idea.

Don't change the value of the ships and technologies. Change how fast the game is played around these values.

- Floodings:

Since the latest big alpha patch I noticed that flooding are really frequents/dangerous and not only after torpedo hits. I already stated that I found large caliber HE shells able to reliably flood the lightly protected compartiments of a ship. Now with the improved smol gun accuracy I'm confident to say that they cause flooding pretty frequently too (at closer ranges). On bigger warships these can lead to catastrophic events. Overall I like it, ships are now more frequently sunk by floodings and less by just throwing enough shell at them as to reduce their structure integrity to zero.

- Range shell selection rules:

HE still seems the way to go at longer ranges on BB's. AP is used at short range or against cruisers/BC. I'm nowhere near being an expert in this area but it just feels a bit wrong and too "gamey" for my taste. The fact that the IA use AP most of the time even at longer range doesn't help either, staying at 10+ km (depending on technology) and raining HE is a safe and pretty reliable way of winning a BB engagement.

When we get crew values, HE could be even more valuable if fires have an impact on them.

- AI behavior:

This is a common trend after the last patch. The AI just give up with some/all of his ship and sail away. Stern chase are not really exciting, even if I welcome the fact that at least we have an IA that react if it think it can't win an engagement.

Ships falling back into formation when they can't keep up with it's speed are a problem. When this happen they need to be babysitted as to not expose themselves further and as to not expose the rest of your fleet. Ships on collision course generaly can't avoid it (I'm fine with that). What bother me is that after the collision they are stuck in a long loop of course changes, often in the same direction. This usually slow down the rest of the formation to a crawl and lead to a pathfinding nightmare.

Ship designer like pulling destroyers with below 30knots speed, even in late game technologies. They often can't keep up with human designed capital ships.

 

Edited by Tousansons
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1 minute ago, Tousansons said:

- In the last few posts I see an interesting trend about battle durations:

Note that I'm clearly not against faster battles. For now most of the engagement are fairly simple and there is very little to do after the initial course orders besides some small adjustements when torpedoes are spotted. This doesn't mean we need to change drastically the value to arcade level though. Changing how the base time is handled could be an elegant solution. For example if one minute in real time is equal to two minute in game you have battle going twice as fast without changing the ships value. Twice as fast is probably too much, but you get the idea.

Don't change the value of the ships and technologies. Change how fast the game is played around these values.

We already do have a speed up time option, which, to be fair, is the reason I feel ok advocating for battles that's probably too slow to be played entirely in real time.

 

as a side note: I just sunk a 1938 battleship with 2 battleships of my own 4 minutes after contact at 12km custom battle. All ships are AI generated (quick start)

image.thumb.png.c35cc1358755355d505be12406cdabb0.png

 

I hope the devs will agree when I say as far as realistic battle pace goes, that is ridiculous

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Capital ship engagements could be very quick underthe right/wrong circumstances. HMS Indefatigable was sunk within 15 minutes of the battleships opening fire. HMS Queen Mary followed twenty minutes later. HMS Invincible is destroyed minutes into her engagement with Derfflinger.
 

If any of those would have been 1 on 1 battles, or 2 on 2 like we have in this game, they wouldn't have lasted long.

I admit that those were all due to poor ammunition handling, but you have to keep in mind that many historical battles were much larger than what we currently have. Some balance issues are to be fixed, but not every engagement lasted hours.

 

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Just now, Hellstrike said:

Capital ship engagements could be very quick underthe right/wrong circumstances. HMS Indefatigable was sunk within 15 minutes of the battleships opening fire. HMS Queen Mary followed twenty minutes later. HMS Invincible is destroyed minutes into her engagement with Derfflinger.


Those were direct penetrations into the magazines that blew them up (or barbette penetrations that caused flash fires which pretty much ended in the same way).

So, on historical terms, barring a direct critical magazine hit with subsequent magazine detonations (main ammo explosion), the results described avobe are completely out of whack.

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