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Anchored flights

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apartclassic #1 Posted 14 April 2020 - 10:58 AM

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Dear blindfold, I would like to toss this subject around a bit, and see how you and the devs feel about it.


Let's start with the definition, as I think not everyone is familiar with the term as it is used on the official Discord and here on forum. An anchored flight is a flight consisting of different tiered planes. Simple as that, and only the difference in tiers is important - exact composition of the flight is irrelevant, only that one of the planes is of higher, and the other of lower tier.


Now, ordinarily a mixed flight is not an issue. Neither is of any extraordinary benefits, and this is a little known fact. As far as I'm aware of (please correct me if I'm wrong on this, blindfold) xp is hard-capped per tier. Therefore a plane of lower tier, participating in a battle with higher tiers, gains marginally more (because it's fighting higher tier planes/targets), but taking this to extreme and trying to 'powerlevel' is counterproductive. The lower tier plane will hit the hard xp cap anyway (t2 killing a t6 will get the xp 'allowed' for t2, not the amount a t6 would get in such a situation). Since the xp is based on damage done (simplifying, I know you can technically score some cap points for the lower tier plane by setting targets up for a finishing volley, giving the 'kill' and cap points - still though, it's tedious, and regardless of effort taken, that lower plane has to still make the killing blow), a plane on a significantly lower tier than battle's tier will not achieve much. What's more, such a plane is just an xp pinata: will explode as soon as the AA looks at it, will get one-shotted by either higher calibre or more barrels of higher tiers, will not get places fast enough to contribute, etc. Therefore a drastically lower tier plane will be simply ineffective, not earning nearly as much money and xp as it would playing within its regular tier bracket. Flights of such type are of no concern for me, and I treat them as - well, xp pinatas.


With the current MM and the +/-1 tier rule we're used to, being in +/-1 tier range is transparent to everyone (though we sure like to be the higher, not the lower, tier). It's the average experience of every player, and it balances out in time. However, I am under the impression that anchored flights are being used more and more, to directly manipulate the outcome of battles. The direct purpose of anchoring the flight is making sure one of the planes will always be the top tier - and here's the manipulatory part. Let me point out two glaring instances:

- an anchored flight of a bomber and a HF; especially obvious on t8/9, where an anchored flight takes a t9 bomber to ensure it is top-tier, and therefore has max effectiveness, while the lowered tier HF plays a support role (easily dispatching of e.g. lower tier bombers of the red team)

- an anchored flight of two HF; the same principle of one of them being guaranteed top-tier, and they control the battle by shutting down the opposing bombers/HF/LF who dare to challenge one of them


Here the abuse and cheesing the game commences. I agree anchored flights are absolutely within the regular game mechanics. I agree anchored flights do not guarantee a win (especially when done inadvertently or by inexperienced players). I am not advocating banning flights alltogether. However...


I'm convinced there's more of such flights around, especially on period break points, where there's a tech level disparity (biplanes vs monoplanes, prop vs jet planes). I'm seeing more and more of veteran players, who are usually of the sort that values WR very high, doing anchored flights. It's not ignorance, it's being done on purpose. Inasmuch as it is a legit element of game's mechanics, used like this it becomes akin to an exploit. To clarify what I mean by that: anchored flights are used by veteran players on purpose, to manipulate game's mechanics (directly influencing MM), in order to achieve some sort of a gain (be it all the trolled battles contributing to their higher WR, or just trolling around and roflstomping red teams). I do not look at this in a similar way I look at flying meta planes. It's comparable in that a meta plane is perfectly within game's rules, it gives a higher chance of winning a battle, it may be the deciding factor in battles it participates in. However a meta plane is still subject to the MM randomness, whereas anchored flights minimize that. It is a manipulation, it is cheesing the game, and I dare say it's becoming an exploit.


Here's my question, mostly to blindfold and the devs: is this a thing you even noticed? If it's noticed, and/or subject to analysis, would you care to share your position on it? I would like to point out a change that was already made to the game, regarding flights, and it turned out to be a very good move - limiting flights from 3 to 2. I think it's entirely possible - IF you share my sentiment, or IF you notice some peculiarities in battles that had anchored flights in - to introduce a tier restriction for flights. Same-tier-only flights. As I stated above, it would make virtually no difference in terms of xp/money, or gameplay, for 'casual' players, but could potentially change the fact of being roflstomped by anchored flights, and it could prevent exploiting the mechanics. ---> Is a tier-limitation on flights feasable? <---


I guess my personal opinion about such flights and players cheesing the game in such a manner is rather obvious, since I'm stirring the pot. Bear in mind that my questions are not directed at anyone personally - I'm just having a hard time accepting this sort of behaviour, as I believe it's hurting the game's population. If you're one of people benefiting from anchored flights, don't worry. I'm sure that were something to happen to them, you will find another way fast enough, being a veteran and a victor, and all that jazz.

Edited by apartclassic, 14 April 2020 - 11:10 AM.

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zen_monk_ #2 Posted 14 April 2020 - 11:03 AM

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For what it's worth, I fully support this.


Honestly, it would be a smart and good thing for the game in the long run.

Edited by zen_monk_, 14 April 2020 - 11:03 AM.

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