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Spotting mechanic needs a major overhaul


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Every update I always load up the same fleet battle to highlight the new stuff we are needed to test and to test out the general gameplay. Three battleships Two light cruisers and four to six destroyers in the 1916-1925 range. In nearly every single update their is one constant variable that always happens. The AI will as always be the first to spot my fleet and will have roughly two to four minutes freely engaging my battleships. Finally when I do spot the AIs battle ships (who have already turned to port and forming a lead advantage leaving me to force a turn to follow) the Romulan warbirds decloak (destroyers) and launch a full spread of torpedoes causing me micro manage every ship in its path because the Ai is godawful and we still don't have an easy way to tell ships to get the hell out of the way from the torpedoes.

Its ridiculous that entire fleets can engage yours while your lame and blind spotter cant even spot the battleships until they feel like it. Its also ridiculous that destroyers and torpedo boats can decloak at close range to launch torpedoes as your incompetent screening AI struggles to get themselves into position.

These battles aren't fun if the campaign works anything like rule the waves destroyers and torpedo boats will be the single most annoying ship class in the game that can by magic torpedo your battleline and you cant do shit because some spotting RNG calculator says the smoke renders entire flotillas invisible.

Spotting should be a fixed measurement the only thing that matters is how far a ship can see. The Spotting Signature mechanic needs to be eliminated their is no reason mounting 16" guns will magically give a ship a higher profile than a 14" armed one. Each ship class will have their own fixed signature that changes on displacement and if one unspotted ship fires at another it will immediately be revealed.

As for accuracy the biggest upside of big guns is that you can fire accurately outside of torpedo range. But as many people will see that doesn't matter because the effective ranges of accurate fire is also in the range of torpedoes and with the World of Warships spotting mechanics the AI can happily position it self to launch torpedoes and you'll see it at the last possible minute.

When we're going to get the campaign fleet battles should be large and spectacular events but with the spotting mechanics, incompetent AI I do not see myself enjoying them.

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Posted (edited)

As far as I can tell the only error with spotting mechanics is on "Front Tower 1"... 

and I've tested soooooooooo many towers... and they seem ok.

Alot of the problems is down to the fact we can't design all our ships and therefore our ships that are auto-designed are design with larger target signatures, mostly. And along with that, from 1890 to 1926 enemy AI designed ships seems to always have the advantage in spotting ranges. It's like the enemy AI is designing on the cheap and by default is actually coming out with stealthy ships.  

But from 1927 onwards, when radar is available (as a timestamp), our AI seems to have the advantage and can regularly out-spot the enemy and blindfire (fleet based).

Academy Missions are set and crafted so target signatures can't be or is not included as a designable factor.

In the campaign we will be able to design all the ships thus anti-spotting strategies would be a thing (or should be), we'll test anyway. For Custom Battles it's only a matter of time before we can design everything too, we'll just have to wait, but that's when our fleets would/could be made stealthy and manifest tangible differences.  

IMO, so far, not being able to design all the ships is a contributing factor to enemies blindfiring abilities. 

Edited by Skeksis
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  • 2 weeks later...

This is still a major problem and probably the one that will make me sit this down until the fix comes along. To me this is gamebreaking when I run a mission 5 times and get the same result. I did the pocket battleship mission. Now each time I tried to get my detection down while still maintaining a decent fighting ship. Even had the design down to the lowest tonnage possible for the hull. Still the enemy outspotted me and every time it would turn into I can't see them but they can shoot everything at me all day. I even had my DDs forward to spot. Look the system of open water stealth firing is a ridiculous one that even arcade bathtub boats abandoned. This should be something that is either fixed before the campaign drops or fixed in the same patch.

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The spotting mechanic in general is just absurd. In good weather and visibility any ship up until the advent of radar should be spotted long before it is within weapon range. That was the main reason that Dreadnought was so revolutionary - she had the range to engage any other ship at a firepower advantage, and the speed to control that range. Not seeing your opponent until they're within their own, shorter, range makes a mockery of basic warship design principles in the dreadnought era.

Furthermore, incoming rounds splashing all around without even a hint of a sighting in return should be confined to science fiction. Any ship firing should automatically receive a significant visibility increase.

As for this being a design issue... designing for 'stealth' is thoroughly ahistorical and should not be in this game, full stop. See also: American cage masts and later British & Japanese superstructures.

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Posted (edited)

So terrible. I can't play the missions because of how terrible the spotting mechs are. This is a refund-worthy for me. Fix your game, devs!

Edited by HailCOBRALA
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I also think the spotting values should be based on the area of its projection to the observer, not (solely) component size and numbers.

If you add a 10 inch to the deck side by side with a tower, do you think that will make the ship more spottable? If you add at the front, yeah, but right now even minuscule turrets on the tower can increase spotting.

Can go into more details if needed.

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I think I get what you're saying and I never thought about that. If the ship is just a blob on the horizon whatever armament that is casemate or mounted on the superstructure isn't going to matter. Now doing something like adding a radar will increase because even though it's also mounted on the superstructure it will technically increase the height even if we don't visually see it on the model.

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3 hours ago, ston5883 said:

I think I get what you're saying and I never thought about that. If the ship is just a blob on the horizon whatever armament that is casemate or mounted on the superstructure isn't going to matter. Now doing something like adding a radar will increase because even though it's also mounted on the superstructure it will technically increase the height even if we don't visually see it on the model.

Look at any radar set from the time (which often were not mounted on the highest point), it will not be visible until you can make out details like secondary armaments. So bad example, but I get what you are trying to say.  

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On 5/28/2021 at 6:21 PM, Tankaxe said:

But as many people will see that doesn't matter because the effective ranges of accurate fire is also in the range of torpedoes and with the World of Warships spotting mechanics the AI can happily position it self to launch torpedoes and you'll see it at the last possible minute.

This game has World of Warships spotting code? I assume this game is based on probably entire source code of Atlantic Fleet by Killerfish Games. There is even some weird info in the game startup log that implies that the base is still running as a mobile "touch available" game - probably running through an emulator like most ports but I haven't looked deeper into it. UAD is Atlantic Fleet mobile engine, I 100% have a hunch but I need to look deeper about it aside from numerous in-game things being obviously evident of the fact. Aside from UAD having a horrendous lighting system compared to Atlantic Fleet. UAD is basically Atlantic Fleet only with different models. So I guess the aiming is the same as well. What it has to do with World of Warships is beyond me. I fail to fathom what is "DX11" in this game. I definitely do not see any evident DX11 assets. (But I would appreciate enlightenment about those.) Maybe locking games to dx11 for no apparent visual quality gain, just to  make it use more ram, is the new thing these days. But back on track, I usually take down enemy ships from 24 km away with 8 to 11 % accuracy. Didn't know there were torpedoes that go that far. Wow.

Edited by Elrerune
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