English Q&A – 27/09/16

Yes, another one of these, from Sub_Octavian, and formatted for easier reading by godzilla5549 on Reddit. I have to wonder what made Sub_Octavian start posting on the NA Forums all of a sudden. The EU Forums would probably make more sense, considering the greater population size of their server, but who knows. Anyhow, here’s the Q&A!

As you might know by now if you’ve kept up with Sub_Octavian’s Q&As, it’s long.


HI Sub_Octavian!

You caught my interest when you said you were an analytics person. Can you say more about the kinds of data and analyses that WG uses to determine whether gameplay changes are needed? Nothing proprietary, of course. For example, it is a very common practice among players to compare average winrates among ships in order to judge their relative effectiveness. However, I would imagine that with the full data set, you could do separate comparisons of effectiveness when, e.g. playing as the lowest-tier ship, or in CV vs. non-CV games. Do you use an internal regression of some sort to account for player skill when looking at balance? Do third-party ratings like WTR come close to approximating the kinds of things WG takes into account? Or do you do mostly analytics on the customer base, rather than the ships?

Regarding gameplay mechanics, I am curious about the penetration mechanic for multiple layers of armor, e.g. turtleback, front bulkhead, citadel wall. I usually see armor described as Layer1(mm) + Layer2(mm) + Layer3(mm), sometimes with effective thicknesses given due to different angling of the layers (i.e. perpendicular to Layer1 will hit Layer2 at an angle). My question is regarding overmatched armor layers — if this occurs, will they still reduce further penetration, and if so, at what effective angle are they assessed? Is it zero (overmatched armor ignored)? Is it assessed at 28mm @ 60 degrees (autobounce angle)? Is it 28mm @ true angle (perhaps as steep is 80+ degrees)? This is of interest currently, because the proposed 28mm bow/aft armor changes to high-tier battleships mean that they could be taking a lot of shells in an overmatched section that subsequently challenges the (angled) citadel wall, and I am interested in understanding what kinds of angling will be viable on different ships (e.g. NC and Iowa have an extremely large bow section, and a very small, thin belt for battleships).

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Why Do German Battleships Have Torpedoes?

Bit of a short History Sunday today, and as it happens, we’re staying on the subject of the German navy! Still battleships, too, perhaps because I’m lazy and like being a little topical.

The three German battleships still afloat after the sinking of BismarckScharnhorst, Gneisenau, and Tirpitz – all were upgraded to have deck-mounted torpedo tubes: two triple mounts each for the Scharnhorst-class, and two quadruples for the mighty Tirpitz. They’re wonderfully fun in-game, since they allow you to blast any ships that come too close with heavy damage, particularly other battleships. That latter part might even be considered an effectual strategy if, during your games, you’re picturing yourself as the battleship Rodney going toe-to-toe with Bismarck herself.

Unfortunately, the truth is far less exciting than that.

German Admiral Johann Günther Lütjens, most famous for going down with the Bismarck, executed the generally great success that was Operation Berlin in early 1941, starring Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, and the Allied convoys of the Atlantic. He found that one of the riskiest parts of the business of commerce raiding was the scuttling of captured vessels; normally, scuttling charges would be placed, the sinking would be observed, and the raiders would be off like pirates into the open sea. More often than not, the two battleships in the Atlantic found that the British were hot on their tails, and Lütjens was perpetually adamant that the ships avoid engaging in open combat, even with older battleships like Ramillies. This was smart, considering that if the two battleships got tangled into a fight, the rest of the Royal Navy’s capital ships would certainly close in quickly.

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