Some things for you all to consider....
- As has been stated above, gunnery at Jutland ranges was pretty bad, even with the best fire control systems of the day. It averaged 3-5% for well-trained ships and was considerably lower for British battlecruisers. Using the default slider value (20) for gunnery accuracy should give you results of a similar nature.
- Gun accuracy is supposed to be better at short range than it is right now with the default slider setting. Things have gone a bit haywire there, and we're looking into it.
- Moving the slider affects accuracy at all ranges, so right now if you move the slider up to get better hits at short range, you also get way better shooting at long range than is realistic.
- There are three types of directors modeled in the game. All the Germans have the same type and do ladder firing to start with on new targets. This system is the most accurate in the game. Most British dreadnoughts have the second type, which is only a hair less accurate than the German type and doesn't do the initial ladder. The third type is used by British battlecruisers (except Queen Mary) and also those British dreadnoughts with the foretop behind the forefunnel. This type is considerably less accurate than either of the others.
- The splashes of shells within salvos are going to be tight regardless of director or range. They had gizmos in the system to make them so. There is a fair amount of data on the tightness of salvos at Jutland ranges, and we have tried hard to duplicate this. Moving the slider has very little effect on the spread of shells in salvos.
- In WW1, there really wasn't much "plunging fire", even at long range, because few of the guns could elevate even to 30° -- most were less than that. Only a couple of German capital ships could elevate above 13.5° at this date. Thus, even at 15-20 km, shell trajectories are fairly flat, producing a long danger space. This is why you often get multiple hits from the same salvo, although some of these are usually harmless in the funnels and such. This is also why sometimes you get one hit (usually in a funnel) when the rest of the salvo lands 1000 m over.
- Many hits produce regular "critical hits". The vast majority of these, however, are unnoticeable because they mean only slightly more "normal" damage than non-critical hits. This is why you see a lot of "magazine critical" hit messages in the logs. In other words, not all critical hits in magazines make ships explode, so don't worry about it .
- Light cruisers are not likely at all to sink each other with gunfire damage alone. All light cruisers guns shoot HE (High Explosive) ammo only, and all true CLs have belt armour. Thus, they can't really let much water into each other. However, they do a good job wiping out each other's guns with flying shrapnel. A few ships on both sides are called light cruisers but are really protected cruisers lacking belts. These are much more vulnerable to HE fire. Think Emden vs. Sydney.
In real life, at this period in time (things changed later), director firing was done with one gun per turret per salvo in by far the majority of cases. A few ships (notable Lützow) instead fired both guns in half the turrets per salvo, but the result was the same. Each salvo contains the shells of half the main guns that bear. If the ship doesn't have a director, or if the range is short enough that directors no longer add materially to accuracy, then all guns fire at once.
The rate of fire for guns using director control is not fixed, but depends on the range and thus the time of flight. As range decreases, the rate of fire increases until it hits the max mechanical rate of fire limit of the gun/ammo system.
For long-range director fire, ROF = (time of flight) + (correction time). You fire one salvo, wait for it to splash, figure the correction and adjust the aim, then fire again. That's why you're seeing 45 seconds between salvos at 16 km. At Jutland, capital ships rarely exceeded one salvo per minute, so this is on the fast side, actually .