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An idea to improve gun technology

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So I was in the shower thinking about the game and a thought crossed my mind that makes so much sense. We now have the slider to adjust caliber and length, which is great, I now propose we change how gun main and secondary are researched. What if instead of learning 11 diffrent guns from Mk 1-5 which means your unlikely to get them by 1950, that I propose we instead use this. Caliber and Length are unlocked by research. So instead of 9-20 on the menu we have gun main that starts at a base 9in, that we can pull the slider to adjust up to 12 in 1890 and 40 caliber. But we unlock 13in rifles that now enables us to scale up to 13in max, then we unlock mark 2 that allows say 45 calibre ect. I think this makes more sense. This would also do way with some of the bloat as gun main and gun sec could be combined with gun mechanism. So while we research say triples or secondary on capital ships we also unlock Mk 2 or Mk5 guns. This is also more in line with how navy's really did it. When they moved on to the next bigger caliber they seldom came back, with the exception of the German's and American's building new 11 and 12in guns in WW2. What are yalls thoughts. I'd also propose a Mark Slider, as someone who loves playing Brittish it really stinks having to go back to Mk 2 8in guns just because i got Mk 4 9in guns and can no longer refit without taking a massive hit in firepower and range.

Edited by Candle_86
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I agree that currently it is very frustrating. Mark 1,2,3,... are more or less technoligy advancements that could be used across the board. Doesn't make sense to have MK3 12 inch guns and researching mk1 16 inch guns. There is no reason to use the mk1 guns at this point because they are just worse. Or why do we develop the tech to build triple or quad guns and then can only place them on certain ship types. We need to have more freedom here and improvements in gun tech should be added across the board.

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I'd just be happy with more control over what guns I want to advance in technology. If my navy only uses 2" and 4" secondaries, why am i spending years on 3" and 5" guns I will never use? Or if I want to just go "screw it" and slap a 20" monster turret on every ship I can, why should I have to rank up my 13"-19" guns?

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On one hand, the tech board makes for a good compromise between historical accuracy and choice (being able to prioritize techs). On the other, there are some logical inconsistencies like you said. Kinda wish it was more of a tech _tree_ with more clear prereqs, estimates/costs, etc. That kind of system would open up the possibilities for people to minmax, while giving the devs some control of how much extra cost there is to do so. Tech could be even more finely controlled/customized than it is now. I think it would also make certain things less prone to obvious minmaxing. For example, It seems like a no-brainer to focus on engines up to steam turbines, as well as cruisers up to like 9k tons. Whereas it would be a waste to put it in hull design and other techs that give like -2% construction time and the like.

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About gun research, I suggest 2 tech trees branches :

A- One which unlocks new calibers, bigger and bigger.

B- One which improves one (and only ONE) of the calibers you already "own"

For example, if you unlocked 10inch guns with tech tree A, you can select this caliber in tech tree B and get progressively better and better 10 inchers (including the possibility to make them longer and longer, and more options to make them larger OR smaller). This way, when you unlock a new caliber, you can't immediately make it ultra-powerful, and you have to choose the right moment to start evolving a brand new caliber.

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You could lump calibers and mechanisms together in Standard Main Gun, Heavy Main Gun, and Superheavy Main Gun categories, instead of having the separate barrel caliber tech. More advanced upgrades would retroactively apply to smaller guns in the same category, so when you unlock 14" Mark V guns, you also unlock 12" Mark V guns. But not  17" Mark V guns. 
Standard Main Gun I: 12" Mark I; Standard Main Gun II: 12-13" Mark II; Standard Main Gun III: 12-14" Mark III; Standard Main Gun IV: 12-14" Mark IV; Standard Main Gun V: 12-14" Mark V.
Heavy Main Gun I: 15" Mark I; Heavy Main Gun II:15-16" Mark II; Heavy Main Gun III: 15-17" Mark III; Heavy Main Gun IV: 15-17" Mark IV; Heavy Main Gun V: 15-17" Mark V
Superheavy Main Gun I: 18" Mark I; Superheavy Main Gun II: 18-19" Mark II; Superheavy Main Gun III: 18-20" Mark III; Superheavy Main Gun IV: 18-20" Mark IV; Superheavy Main Gun V: 18-20" Mark V

So, if you are focused on 14" guns for your battleships and/or battlecruisers, you could ignore the other two techs and go all the way up to Mark V. If you decide to jump up to a heavier gun, a 16" gun for example, you have to take a step back (heavier and bigger shells require different machinery and different layout designs). But some fraction of the research spent on one category gets applied to the others, so you may have Mark II Heavy Main Gun unlocked by the time you have researched Mark V Standard Main Gun. 

They could also add in barrel durability (a gun can only fire so many shots before wearing out and needing to be replaced) with things like chromium-plating, or hoop vs wire-wound barrel construction options that could affect the durability of the gun. Some of those technologies were only developed to deal with the increased pressures and weight of larger shells and barrel lengths, so some durability upgrades would only unlock with certain techs, such as Superheavy Main Gun III giving a +5% durability boost, but that durability boost applies to all Main Guns regardless of category (if a Navy develops a way to increase barrel durability they would apply it to all guns if possible), so that +5% boost would apply to your 13" and 16" guns too (once they are refitted with new barrels). That way there would be some incentive to researching the other categories, even if you don't intend to put 20" armed monster battleships into the water. 

The barrel durability feature would also mean that you wouldn't be able to send your ships into battle after battle after battle, even if they take little to no damage, without needing to return to port eventually for repairs. It might also mean the rationing of shots and make the more conservative vs aggressive behavior mean more than just wether or not you run out of ammo in that particular engagement. 

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