Power creep is becoming a hot topic for a number of World of Warship players, including myself. Ships that have once been ‘good’ or even dominant, are now falling out of favor due to new ships that are being introduced that are outright better. This issue is further exacerbated by an apparent push in the HE spamming meta. You can see this quite clearly, in my opinion, with the introduction of ships like the RN BB line, the entire French fleet, the IJN gun-boat line and planned ships like the Friesland, Colbert, and Smolensk, to name a few. Be it raw high fire chance like the RN battleships or shear DPM, no amount of ‘tank build’ will protect ships from the continuous onslaught of fires, particularly with the increase in CV play. Ships like the Kurfurst, which was once a chore to bring down if she was played right, can be quickly melted due to overwhelming fire from only 1 or 2 ships and continuous fires.
While the necessity for larger ships to spec for durability increases, they must often take away from such skills as those necessary to protect themselves from air attack, leaving them vulnerable in that area. However, while I am NOT a fan of CV’s in their current state, any player who has spent the time and resources to become skilled does deserve their argument and the CV-AA game of leapfrog for supremacy is certainly an issue as well. Nearly every patch, if not every patch since 0.8.0 has included some tweak to either AA and its mechanics or CVs and theirs. There has been a constant struggle to find balance between these two while still instituting a level of skill and tactic to both as well. While there are ships, like the Kremlin and Montana, Worcester and Minotaur and Grozovoi and Gearing all offer superior AA capabilities at their tier for their type, none are invulnerable. A skilled and determined CV player, at the current ‘balance’ level, will always sink these ships or due considerable damage so that they are easy pickings for the team, often due to no mistake of their own. Try as they might, heals, defensive AA, damage control and AA gun mounts, all are limited by either count or time – giving CV’s windows of opportunity. Further, every time a tweak is made to AA, a baby CV dies, or a tier X CV cries, I can never remember which. Either way, So far as I’m concerned, their needs to be some ships that whether fully spec’d or while running Def AA that are capable of fully defending themselves against CV attacks. While some ships should remain weak in this category, others should be well endowed while others God-like. Make the CV’s pick their targets more cautiously – that’s where we will find the best balance.
The final power creep issue I would like to address in this article is with destroyers. There is so little balance in this class that it is sad. If there is a CV, they are neutered as they are out spotted and outrun and smoke or not, if they aren’t spotted by the planes, radar will soon flush them out and they are done. If there are no CV’s, the experienced players can roam quite freely. Sure, mistakes will and should be punished, but overall, DD’s not as punished by close encounters with battleships as they used to be. Further, when there are no CV’s in a battle, destroyers, much like CV’s, have such a profound impact on the outcome of the battle that team with the better DD player(s) tend to win the match a majority of the time. One can even go so far as to predict it based on the composition of DD’s on a team vs the other when skill is about equal. The good players, they’re the ultimate headfake. However, unlike with HE spam, there are things in place to help mitigate the power of destroyers, but that would require team play and we all know how well that can go.
Overall, while I have gone off on some ‘tangents’, there are several examples of the power creep issue highlighted about, and several more that I haven’t touched, though I will mention one more briefly. Prior to the release of the Henri IV, the Hindenburg was the King of the Kite and HE Spam from range, even better than the Zao in my opinion due to the higher HE pen. As such, she was deemed too strong, and along with her predecessor, Roon, had her reload nerfed. While it seemed small at the time, and it was, once the Henri was released she was quickly obsoleted. So much so in fact that she has been ‘buffed’ with a faster reload. Power creep at its finest. Power creep has been a constant issue, and will likely remain an issue with this game, and games like it that are constantly releasing new content in which the developers are hoping to be unique and refreshing to the player base. However, what I hope gets fixed, and is prevented from happening, is ships that were once considered ‘good’ aren’t completely obsoleted by remaining untouched and neglected. In the real-world, when we get our tires changed and brakes done, it’s recommended we get an alignment check – make sure all the wheels are facing the right directions when they are supposed to. We don’t just do the one wheel that needs it the most but do its opposite at the very least, and all 4 ideally. While it’s a lot of work, why can’t WG do that? Instead of focusing on a new ship line for a certain patch, focus on balancing changes across the board. I’d like to see that, wouldn’t you?