about 1 year ago - Ahskance - Direct link

Honestly, it seems as though most testers didn't even know about the Secondaries. The highlight of the ship was spammy 203's on a Battleship hull, so she was mostly played as a main-gun oriented ship.

The changes put in place moved focus to the main guns as that's what's standing out to players.

about 1 year ago - Ahskance - Direct link

Players are aware there are secondaries on most every ship in the game, sure. However, people see "Holy crap, it's a Battleship with 203's!" and think, "I'm going to go use the 203's on a Battleship!". It's the thing that stands out and ends up being seen as the defining feature of the ship.

about 1 year ago - Ahskance - Direct link

Some players are diligent in that fashion, but the majority of our testing data comes from players being players and just playing games in the ship. Test ships are granted to volunteers/participants in various programs, but they aren't the sole focus of any specific test group outside of internal playtesting.

Test data is best when it approximates real-world application. We balance to Random Battles and use actual outcomes/data from the ship being played in Random Battles throughout our testing/balancing process.

You can learn more about our Balancing process in this video:

about 1 year ago - Ahskance - Direct link

I will be honest in that I don't understand the amount of vitriol that I'm reading in this thread. If we look at the path the Illinois has taken so far:

Start: Illinois is a 203mm gun Battleship that is interesting. The concept has been requested for years and get slated on our internal roadmap for creation and implementation.

Initial Concept: The initial hull is a Battleship hull that has weaknesses. In direct confrontation in might not withstand overmatch that exists from some battleships she could see. Also, the DPM is intriguing but the Battleship dispersion is a bit of a limitation. As such, she's given improved secondary capability as a value add. It's not uncommon to see secondaries married with weaker caliber main turrets (see: Pommern at the same tier with improved accuracy at the expense of shell size). Also, Slot 3 could use the Secondary Focused Upgrade as an option instead of the +range Slot 3 (because shell float could be seen as a common limitation).

Testing Begins: The 203's are US so the shells are floaty. Also, the dispersion is notably worse than Cruiser-level because she's a Battleship with Battleship Dispersion, albeit with access to the US Slot 6 -dispersion Upgrade which is likened to make Battleship Dispersion into Battlecruiser Dispersion.

Data is pulled from players playing the ship.

Revision A: The 203's are buffed in reload time and given better Dispersion by default. The Slot 6 still exists and could further effect the 12 gun salute into better-then-battlecruiser dispersion? This gives a natural increase in power at further ranges as you could expect more consistent damage (if you can deal with floaty shells). Gun-range combined with non-Brawling BB hull leads to less likelihood of brawling then existed before, which the DevBlog mentioned was of negligible merit anyway. Since the Secondary power wasn't showing relevant, the power is transferred to the main guns (damage comes from Main Guns and Secondary Guns, so take away from one and give to the other). Lastly, HP reduction seems sensible as Montana-style US heals are very powerful and increased expected engagement range likely translates to additional safety/damage resistance.

Cue next round of testing.

Illinois is a Battleship with 203's. That's what people have talked about since her announcement, and the recent changes move her further in that direction. It's a very understandable direction.

The thing that stands out the most is the size of the health reduction, which really does seem impactful. When looking at Buffs and Nerfs during the Testing process, Buffs indicate overperformance and Nerfs indicate underperformance. If it feels like the Illinois was nerfed overall, that would likely indicate that she was overperforming in terms of test data.

about 1 year ago - Ahskance - Direct link

When I read this, the referencing of "envisioned concept for this ship" doesn't make sense. The original iteration was a ship that has secondaries as notable part of its kit, which is why it was given improved secondaries. The announced new iteration doesn't have improved secondaries because it is a different conceptual iteration. Iteration can occur rapidly during Testing and could mean sweeping concept changes if needed. The language I quoted above does not seem accurate to me because it indicates a final concept before the concept is finalized.

In most cases, the initial concept may function all the way through testing with occasional tweaks and touchups to flesh it out. In other cases an initial concept is abandoned and something entirely different occurs. The end goal is a concept that fits well in the game and provides an experience that can be enjoyed.

I don't think it's ever been explicitly stated that Illinois MUST be a main-gun focused ship. The first iteration directly argues against that concept as the initial developer concept included improved secondaries.

Players that have repeatedly brought up this ship concept have spoken about its unique main battery armament. Since her announcement, the 203's have been the focus point of conversation about the ship because they are the thing that stand out as unique and interesting. Shifting her concept to better resemble what seems to be the intuitive player vision isn't a statement of MUST be X or Y, it's a concept alignment that moves on for further testing to see if it bears out.

This could very well be what LWM is referring to:

From a Developer/Balance Concept standpoint, Secondaries and Main Batteries are both damage outputs. They both cause damage and threat. Every ship has an expectation of how much damage/threat it's going to provide on average, so those pieces exist in relative states to aim for that balance.

Ships may have Amazing Secondaries and Mediocre Guns, or Amazing Main Guns and Abysmal Secondaries, or any area between that reaches a targeted output level. The ships which have great performance levels for both outputs (see Schlieffen) have other significant weaknesses such as limited tankiness. In short, your damage expectation may be great, but if you're easier to sink than the other designs (with more heavily gated outputs) that amazing damage isn't expected to last as long which is a balancing factor in itself.

about 1 year ago - Ahskance - Direct link

As with any notable deviation from the norm, it goes where it goes. The ship is in testing to see what works and what doesn't. This is one reason why we don't comment on Test Ships, because everything can quite literally change in a single DevBlog if the concept doesn't bear out and something else is tried.

about 1 year ago - Ahskance - Direct link

She is as of this particular DevBlog. But she's not Final and she's about to enter a round of testing to see if the concept works or not. DevBlogs about ships in Testing are always subject to change.

I stepped into this thread to try to help speak to the change written in the DevBlog. By the nature of commenting on something which is subject-to-change, there is no finality in that statement.

about 1 year ago - Ahskance - Direct link

The irony here is that the Community team has been requesting for additional blurbs to go along with changes so that they help with understanding. This blurb's entire purpose is to be open and helpful in explaining what is a semi-significant adjustment to the concept of the ship. Saying that you'd rather it not exist in the first place just means encouraging the practice of releasing change data and saying nothing else.

Personally, I was very happy that we were able to provide an insight blurb into the changes for the Louisiana and the Grau. I thanked the folks that wrote them because I was excited that we were giving more insight and I felt that's helpful.

about 1 year ago - Ahskance - Direct link

I can't agree that the wording is nonsensical. That being said, as LWM point out, that could be because I'm internally translating Dev-speak of a sort. It might mean that a step or two is missed in the translation.


I already broke down the blurb in a DM chain with Sailor_Moon. It reads sensibly to me, though perhaps because of Dev-translation. Please read this and see if it makes sense in this way:

To me the language really doesn't seem all the different. It was more that it was expounded on a bit further, though Sailor_Moon did describe it as helpful.

about 1 year ago - Ahskance - Direct link

Initially, I read this thread as a frustration boil over at seeing a Secondary-capable ship being made less Secondary-capable. This is not uncommon as players that enjoy Secondaries really enjoy Secondaries. My assessment still feels that the core of this thread is around frustration at the loss of an improved secondary-concept even though it never made it to live and has never been touched outside of testers.

The issue with language was not something I expected at all. I'll speak with the other CMs about this thread and the language issue that's been brought up. There may be a delay as Austin iced over and many of the team are without power, so it's kinda sketchy at the current moment.

This relates back to removing improved Secondaries even though there are players that LOVE Secondaries? I don't think this should be taken as a personal slight or oversight.

I don't have the image in front of me, but I believe the base hull was that of an Iowa. There's no turtleback or any special brawling armor scheme to my knowledge. The ship also lacks torpedoes. While there could have been some secondary-focused excitement generated from the original DevBlog, there was never a guarantee that the idea would work or pan out. It would seem that it didn't which is why the testing has moved in a different direction.

about 1 year ago - Ahskance - Direct link

The buff isn't small. 10 second reload -> 9 second reload is an 11% increase in output. Further, the 17% reduction in shell dispersion is something around a 33% reduction in the area to the Dispersion ellipse. That's before the Slot 6 US BB Accuracy Upgrade of another 11% would be applied.

It's more shells fired and more shells hitting.

about 1 year ago - Ahskance - Direct link

This is the process I learn from. It would be nice if it were shorter and I seemed less stubborn throughout, but it's just the grind of me getting information and processing it.

In the end, it's useful information to review with the other CMs and see if there's anything we can come up with to help.

about 1 year ago - Ahskance - Direct link

Without going into test feedback, I cannot agree with this statement. I've read the thoughts of multiple veteran players and she seems to provide a unique enough experience to stand out, which is the goal with most new ships. New ships ideally provide different ways to interact with the game and different experiences, even thought many aspects may be similar.

about 1 year ago - Ahskance - Direct link

Ah, I understand. You were described the wording issue, not the shift in gameplay concept.

In effect, if the Dev Team had decided "Meh, they're not using them so let's just get rid of them." then it would have been overtly bizarre. That method would seem crazy to established players, sure.

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