We'd like to share details about the 21st season of Clan Battles.
From May 29 till July 17, the 21st Clan Battles Season "Cachalot" will be held in a 6 vs 6 format on Tier VIII and Tier IX ships.
The following restrictions will apply from the start of the season:
- No aircraft carriers or submarines
- No more than two Tier IX ships per team
- No limits on number of battleships per team
- After one week the limit will change to no more than one battleship per team
- No more than three mercenaries per Division
Restrictions on specific ships:
Ships that have an alternative version (such as Black or Collaboration versions) are included in restrictions by default when the original is restricted, but not listed separately.
- Limited the number of Cherbourg, Brest, Carnot and Schroder. One team may not have more than two of these ships in total.
- Limited the number of Le Fantasque, Le Terrible, Kiev, Mogador, Nebraska, Delaware and Kearsarge. One team may not have more than two of these ships in total.
- Limited the number of Kidd, Loyang, Cossack, Akizuki, Benham, Kitakaze, Nebraska, Delaware and Kearsarge. One team may not have more than two of these ships in total.
- Limited the number of Massachusetts, Lenin, P. Rupprecht, Nebraska, Delaware and Kearsarge. One team may not have more than one of these ships in total.
- Limited the number of Alaska, Kronstadt, Nebraska, Delaware and Kearsarge. One team may not have more than one of these ships in total.
- Musashi and Georgia are not allowed.
Battles will be held on the following maps in the Clan Domination mode: North, Trap, Hotspot, Sleeping Giant, Trident, Loop, and Northern Waters.
In Season 17 we allowed clans to bring seven ships of Tier X and include up to two Superships. Community feedback was extensive, but the biggest takeaways were that the multi-tier format was exciting and new, but that certain pairs of Superships were too strong. Overall, the feedback was that it was nice to move Clan Battles in a direction that had not been done before, but that specific cases needed attention beforehand and quicker reactions were needed from our side with restrictions when problems arose.
Season 19 was Tier VIII - the first time we had done a Tier VIII season since season 6! Much had changed in the World of Warships landscape since then, and a very interesting meta developed from Storm league all the way up to Hurricane. Multiple compositions and lineups were effective and this remained in place all the way to the end. The main takeaways for us from this season were that French Destroyers continue to perform very well in clan-based formats and that large cruisers with heals like Cherbourg needed restrictions due to their combination of speed, hp pool, and armor layout.
Now we arrive in Season 21 and we are eager to share another multi-tier season with you all! Since the tier VIII meta has shown a solid variety of compositions, we would like to see how things go when a few tier IX's are available. This effectively doubles the ship options, but means that the Tier IX's a clan chooses will have a major impact on how the rest of their lineup evolves. Our hope is that each clan will be able to better play to their strengths and weaknesses by the lineups they field with these increased options. We are also pleased to share that we have already added better UI support for multi-tier seasons and are working on ideas to improve the readability of the restrictions window.
We also noted last season that many clans did not like having meta-defining restrictions introduced late into the season when teams are making their final pushes into a higher league or to the top of hurricane, so in this season we've decided to make the biggest changes early in the season while the meta remains undefined, and return to a more familiar setup as the season progresses.
On battleship restrictions and cruiser interaction:
Last season we checked what would happen with cruiser survivability by removing battleships of gun caliber 430 mm+. Further, we experimented with both double-battleship and single-battleship to see how it affected cruiser choice. These restrictions were perceived quite positively as many “forgotten” cruisers became viable options once again without the 430mm+ battleships present. Once the battleships were restricted to 1 only the cruiser variety again increased. We would like to take this a step further and see how survivability and ship composition of teams as a whole is affected when the limit on battleships is removed completely. This experiment introduces new options that have not yet been explored in Clan Battles at the beginning of the season before teams have begun to define their primary ship lineups. After one week battleships will be reduced to a single slot once again.
On Hybrids and Delaware + Nebraska + Kearsarge:
To find out how hybrid battleships perform in competitive modes we allowed Louisiana into the last week and half of Season 20. It allowed us to better understand how such ships are played in the Clan Battles format, how similar / different they are to CV’s in competitive formats, and how great an impact they have based on league. It turned out that while Louisiana was strong in some leagues, she was not the best pick across all leagues. The obvious benefits of having a hybrid are the ability to spot destroyers, increase damage by cycling planes, and the ability to strike specific targets anywhere on the map that all come from the controllable planes. While Louisiana performed well in both popularity and effectiveness with her accurate and sturdy USN bombers, it was not the case with the Tone in the Tier VIII format of Season 19. Tone was a viable choice brought by a number of clans, but was not either an immensely popular choice, nor an immensely successful choice despite having controllable planes. Further, clan feedback was that Tone was a fun choice that allowed them to trade gun power over time for the situational ability to spot or drop torpedoes, but that using the planes was not an automatic need. We would like to take a look once more at where the line is for a hybrid ship between "must-have" and "a viable choice" in a Clan Battle lineup. We would like to give a special thank you to all of the players that helped our team with feedback on the specific details of how Louisiana performed at the higher-end of the competitive field.
With that in mind, we would like to see how Nebraska, Delaware and Kearsarge fit into the mixed-tier meta. It is possible that they will be regarded the same as Louisiana, but it is also possible that taking a Delaware or Kearsarge is not as useful as taking another Tier IX choice. It is also possible that the rocket-armed planes of Kearsarge will be regarded more like Tone: situationally useful and therefore an exciting choice that is not regarded as mandatory to win. To see how the hybrids perform in a mixed-tier season, but recognize the impact they can have on the meta, Delaware, Nebraska, and Kearsarge will be on several lists at once. These lists are designed to allow only a single hybrid battleship in a lineup while also denying other strong ship choices if a hybrid is chosen. If the hybrid battleships show themselves to be too strong in the first two weeks, we can add extra restrictions or remove them entirely from the mode.
Quicker reactions from Wargaming:
Another important piece of feedback from Season 20 was that more reactive restrictions from our side were appreciated by those players heavily invested in clan battles. We have tried this for several seasons now, so once again we will closely monitor the popularity and success rates of ships as well as taking feedback from our focus groups and may alter lineups for the sake of maintaining a varied meta across all leagues. With a multi-tier season the number of ships available essentially doubles, so the restrictions are by necessity more complicated. We will keep an eye on other ships that may be problematic, as well as gauging the current effectiveness of these restrictions, and apply changes accordingly. Good luck, fair seas, and thank you to everyone who helped our team with feedback! Get out there and make for the eye of the Hurricane!