The recent season was quite significant both for players and the development team: for the first time, aircraft carriers participated on equal terms with other classes. We thank everyone for your participation and feedback. Despite some challenges, the outcome of this season was very important for determining changes to upcoming seasons.
Let’s break it down:
Battles in Squall, Gale, and Storm leagues included the best elements of past seasons, but with the addition of aircraft carriers. The participating clans tried various tactics and lineups using all available ship classes, which had a good influence on the total number of participants, as well as their overall impressions. While the current global situation led to an overall higher player count, the season turned out to be more popular not just in general numbers but also in relative numbers than previous seasons. The dynamic of these battles came close to what we ultimately want to achieve: clans are not limited in their choice of setups, can choose any ships, and apply various tactics; and the basis for victory is a carefully planned strategy and team skills.
Despite the results of battles in the Squall, Gale, and Storm leagues, no less important are the results in the Typhoon and Hurricane leagues—and they cannot boast the same results. A number of factors, including the impact of the quick and efficient spotting potential from aircraft carriers, the prevalence of very specific ship lineups, and the fact that in many battles just one wrong move could spell defeat—all in all—lead to frustration. The current state of battles with Tier X ships in high leagues is therefore not satisfactory to us and requires changes for the better.
There are still a lot of things to improve in the future, but first, we tried to focus on the big issues:
- Individual balance of ships — among which Hakuryū and Venezia stand out the most because of their excessive effectiveness in all types of battles. Due to this, clans tended to use the same setups and apply similar tactics, and the outcome of a battle could often be decided by one successful bomb drop. You can find more details here: https://blog.worldofwarships.com/blog/38;
- Battleships in high-Tier leagues. Due to its excessive performance, Hakuryū almost displaced battleships from Typhoon and Hurricane leagues, even though Midway/Audacious had a less significant impact. On the other hand, in the Squall, Gale, and Storm leagues, battleships were competitive in battles against an aircraft carrier. In addition to solving this issue, as an alternative for the next seasons, we want to try to increase the number of battleships in a team to 2. Before a final decision is made, testing will, however, be necessary. According to the results of the test, we can reject or implement this idea;
- Aircraft carriers “Spotting”. One of the most common points you mentioned—aircraft carriers' ability to “spot”. In clan battles, this feature is getting more important than in other battle types: taking into account the coordinated actions of the team and a specially selected ship lineup, a team can quickly work out the opposing team's strategy. We are going to conduct testing with weather events, which should limit aircraft carrier influence in Clan Battles. We are also looking for an opportunity to lower this influence through other means. However, making separate mechanics for one type of battle leads to big differences in gameplay experience and the transformation of Clan Battles into a “game inside the game”, which would complicate the adjustment for new players. We will try to extend any new mechanics to all types of battles—if possible, adapting them to the specifics of each of them.
Destroyers and aircraft carriers. In Random and Ranked battles, carriers show a performance which can be compared to the performance of other classes, but there is one exception: attack aircraft often complicate the game process for destroyers. In Clan Battles, this point is getting more notable due to well-coordinated teamwork. Already, we have been working on solutions to this problem for some time. In the near future, we will conduct a test session with the following parameters: Destroyers' detectability range by air will be decreased by half, but when AA defense is turned on, their detectability range by air will be equal to their AA firing range for 20 seconds after the AA guns cease firing. Thus, it will require more skill from a carrier's side in order to interact with destroyers, and destroyers will be given more opportunities to evade the attack with careful positioning. This change can solve the problem on paper, but testing may show various results and implementation into the game can take some time.
Destroyers in high Tier leagues. The factors listed above led to clans discovering that it was more efficient to take lineups made up exclusively of cruisers, backed up with only one carrier or battleship. This led to the almost complete absence of destroyers in high tier leagues. We will consider different solutions to this point, but to a greater degree, the return of Destroyers depends on the solution of the above problems as well.
We'd also like to take this chance to answer some of your most popular inquiries:
One of the most popular suggestions which we received recently is introducing limits on classes or ship types to reduce the number of identical ships in lineups, or using limits on classes to return destroyers to Clan Battles. We considered this option but see it as an artificial limitation that will not solve the problem: if a clan does not plan to use a specific ship, and does not consider it effective for a strong team setup, then the problem should be solved in such a way that all ships are seen as an equivalent alternative to other options. Despite our current position on this issue, we do not discard the possibility of returning to these restrictions.
Many players note the weakness of AA defense and/or the consumable “Defensive AA Fire”. We recognize that some improvements in the AA mechanics are possible. It's too early to talk about the details, but we will be happy to share them with you as they are developed.
- We often faced a proposal to reduce the reconnaissance potential of the “Fighter” consumable by reducing its visibility range. We thought about this option, but for now, we want to maintain the same general principles for the “spotting” mechanics for all aircraft and first try to reduce their efficiency by using the changes described above.
To summarize, we can say that the season had its pros and cons which we should consider and work on. In the future, we aim to conduct clan battles where all four main classes in our game will be presented, but before we return to Tier X, it will take some time to work both on the points described above and on general improvement for Clan Battles. We thank all the clans who took part in battles and those who shared their impressions in the past season.
To make time for us to develop improvements—and for clan battlers to test themselves in a new environment—season X will be conducted in a 7x7 format on Tier VI ships without any weather events. The restrictions remain the same: one carrier or battleship for one team. Season date: July 15th – August 31st. Changing the format will allow trying out new tactics because, at this Tier, ship balance and command ship structure are absolutely different from Tier X:
- At this Tier, aircraft carriers play more a supporting role, while battleships allow teams to confidently push a flank.
- With the lack of Radar and most T6 cruisers don't have a Repair Party, Tier VI Clan Battles might become a refreshing experience, especially for destroyers.
The new season will allow us to collect information and consider other Tiers as an alternative for conducting various competitive formats in the future. We will return with news closer to the beginning of the next season and tell you about the results of the implemented improvements and upcoming changes
Thank you for your attention, good battles, and see you next season, commanders!