Sorry for the lengthy hiatus between posts as RL has been very chaotic but this is a post that had been dying to be made so here goes.
The state of the game has changed drastically since the release of the CV rework in patch 0.8.0. With the attack power increased, the skill ceiling lowered, CV vs CV battles in regards to planes eliminated and the hard cap of 1 CV per team eliminated meaning more CV’s per game. This has been a particular issue for DD’s or ships who’s specialty was flanking. Though they have stated that they fixed the Midway DB exploit were if you drop at the last second all bombs would impact and do damage, this does not really reduce the power that even a single CV can have on a match, particularly against destroyers. Further, due to the increased ease to used them, their popularity has skyrocketed so you can expect to see a CV in 9 out of 10 battles as opposed to the exact opposite prior to 0.8.0.
While many of us have accepted the reality and permanency of these changes (sadly), there are many who have just stopped playing as it is just not as fun as it used to be if you are playing as a surface ship. With that said, I have avoided, even more so now, playing Randoms on the weekends as the amount of CV’s just becomes too annoying. While I always accepted the fact that if I got deleted by a wall of torps or a good salvo from the enemy was typically due to a misplay on my part (save for a detonation – I save my flags for competitive), even if I got frustrated about it, the same does not hold true for CV’s. Shy of being in a death ball, and even then, there are really no scenarios where a I can outplay a determined CV to avoid damage or being sunk. That just makes gameplay unfun and why play a game if not for fun? So what next?
Ranked Season 12
While I did not get too much time to play in season 11, which is not new, I did find it fun. The tier 9 gameplay, without CV’s and playing in the sprint game mode actually made it very fun for me. Certainly as players got used to the game mode and how to play the maps, even losses tended to be fun as they were usually pretty close games. However, WG just announced today on the Dev Blog that Ranked Season 12 will be back to tier X, most likely as a result that they opted to include CV’s. Though only one CV per side, this will still have a huge impact on these battles as well as players opinions. Further, as there is no CV/CV counterplay, and with battles being only 7v7, it will once again boil down to the team with the better CV will have the clear advantage, particularly if the CV is able to harass and ultimately remove any DD’s from the opposing team.
New Meta Push
Through multiple individual changes, some big and some small and discrete, WG has been making what I consider to me a clear push to decrease the engagement distances of the game and make battles less stagnant and long range and more mid to close range combat. Their first move here was with the introduction of the German BB’s. With the turtleback armor scheme, great secondaries and hydro they are the perfect, in your face brawlers. This trend progressed with the removal of stealth fire, the introduction of the German destroyers with hydro, the Epicenter game mode, the CV rework forcing everyone to stay close together for protection and finally, the introduction of the Russian BB’s. While I’ll go into the Russian BB’s in another article, the premise here is that they are specifically designed to work at the mid to close ranges from their guns to their armor profiles and even their consumables. While the push towards more brawly gameplay will be a nice change, there are still many counters to brawling in WoWs. First off, it’s worth noting that brawling tends to be static in that the players don’t move too much. Both the RN DD’s and CL’s can counter this pretty hard with their single launch torps as well as of course, CV’s. It’s easy to hit a stationary target. With all that in mind though, I won’t mind see more close in matches so long as it is balanced and can become a team effort and of course – remains fun.