Jump to content

LittleWhiteMouse

Players
  • Content Сount

    96
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About LittleWhiteMouse

  • Rank
    Leading Rate
  • Birthday February 14
  • Insignia

Contact Methods

  • Skype
    aPaintedOwl

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Kingdom of the Northern Ice
  • Interests
    19th and 20th Century History, Games Workshop's IP, Carbine Studios Wildstar and Animation.

Recent Profile Visitors

2,797 profile views
  1. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: USS Kidd

    The following is a review of USS Kidd, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of November 9th, 2017. With historical ties to the vessels Essex, Alabama, Arizona and Black which also appear in World of Warships. Quick Summary: A Fletcher-class lolibote that sacrifices one quintuple torpedo launcher and manoeuvrability for improved speed, anti-aircraft firepower and a Repair Party consumable. Cost: The equivalent of 9,100 doubloons Patch and Date Written: Patch 0.6.12.1 to 0.6.13.0, October 28th to November 9th, 2017. Closest in-Game Contemporary Fletcher, Tier 9 American Destroyer Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique There are many small differences between the two ships. The most telling are their speed, consumables, torpedo armament and anti-aircraft firepower. Kidd is faster than Fletcher but she doesn't handle as well. She has only a single quintuple torpedo launcher and she's stuck with Fletcher's stock torpedoes. Her anti-aircraft is improved with additional 40mm Bofors and 20mm Oerlikons. As a tier VIII ship, she has less hit points than Fletcher but she compensates for this with a Repair Party consumable. There are other minor differences too, such as Kidd having slightly worse concealment by air. PROs Comes with a Repair Party consumable. Armed with five rapid-fire 127mm rifles with amazing turret traverse speeds of 34º/s. Excellent AA power for a destroyer, including access to Defensive Fire. Good top speed of 38.0knots. She's very stealthy with a 5.80km surface detection range with a full concealment build. Combined features make her an excellent forward scout. CONs The shell flight time on her 127mm/38 guns is horrible. She has only a single torpedo launcher. The torpedoes are the same fish found on Benson (the stock torpedoes for Fletcher -- boo-urns). The reload on this torpedo launcher is longer than HMCS Haida's development time (Summer 2018, maybe?) Emphasis on "for a destroyer" in regards to the excellent AA power thing. They require a deep investment in skills to make them a credible threat and then only with her Defensive Fire consumable active. Large turning circle for a destroyer at 620m. She's not doing a lot of damage on her own with her current build, making her more reliant on support-damage to be profitable. I'm always excited to see new tier VIII premiums. They feel, I dunno, more legitimate than other premiums. It's a silly sentiment, but they truly are the flagship vessels in a given line. People look to them not only for grinding out experience to train Captains, but also to earn credits to help maintain their fleet. Tie in the added bonus of the competitive meta surrounding tier VIII in Ranked Battles and tournaments and it's hard not to get excited. Seeing the United States Navy finally get some tier VIII premium love in 2017 with Alabama and Enterprise has certainly been a highlight for me. I couldn't be happier to see USS Kidd join the fleet. At least, that was my initial sentiment until I played her. For those unaware, she had a rather troubled and delayed development cycle and for a while, it was anyone's guess whether she'd actually make it into the game or not. The ship we received looks normal enough on paper, but her looks can be deceiving. What we've received is a highly specialized vessel with a very distinct role at which she excels. Getting the most out of this vessel is a real challenge. Truth be told, USS Kidd reminds me a lot of USS Sims in terms of game play. Options Well, there's one fun little surprise here with Kidd's Repair Party, but the rest is to be expected. Her Damage Control Party is standard for a destroyer. Kidd is an American lolibote. Right out of the gates, she has access to the improved Smoke Generator for that nation. This improves not only the smoke cloud's duration (124 seconds vs 89 seconds at tier VIII), but also the emission time of the smoke (28 seconds vs 20 seconds at tier VIII). In short, it allows USN destroyers to lay more smoke which lasts longer. In practical terms, Kidd can generate up to 10 individual smoke clouds maximum. This comes with the standard two charges by default. Now let's talk about the exciting bit: Kidd's Repair Party is a standard version of this consumable. Kidd queues up 100% of fire, flooding, ramming and overpenetration damage. She queues up 50% of everything else. It's nice not to have to worry about citadel hits. Each charge heals up the standard 14% of the ship's maximum HP (2,338 damage in Kidd's case) over 28 seconds. This comes with two charges by default. Finally, Kidd must choose between the Engine Boost consumable or a Defensive Fire consumable. I say this is a "choice" but it's not. Take Defensive Fire. The destroyer version of Defensive Fire has a reduced active period of 30 seconds compared to the 40 seconds of a cruiser version while sharing the same 180/120 second reset timer. However, the DPS gain from the destroyer consumable has increased from x3 to x4 with patch 0.6.13. Either one of these consumables comes with two charges by default. Make sure you load up on as many premium consumables as you can afford. Kidd is an expensive ship to run. Consumables: Damage Control Party Smoke Generator Repair Party Engine Boost or Defensive Fire Module Upgrades: Five slots, standard destroyer upgrades Premium Camouflage: Type 10. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. This is the gorgeous Measure-22 paint scheme which you will also see on other American premiums like Missouri, Alabama and Massachussetts. We're going to build Kidd to emphasize her AA power. In her first slot, take Magazine Modification 1. She's a destroyer with a Repair Party. Your cause of death to detonations just went up because you can take more hits than other destroyers. In your second slot, take AA Guns Modification 2. This will bump up your AA range handsomely and better allow you to assist allies when they come under aircraft attack. In your third slot, take Propulsion Modification 1 to help keep your engines intact. It will help a little and speed is life. In your fourth slot, take Propulsion Modification 2. You may find yourself parking in smoke on occasion and this will give you a nice jump start. And finally, take Concealment System Modification 1 to make yourself sneakier. Special Upgrades! There are three Special Upgrades worth considering. If you don't have access to these, don't worry about it. They are rare. You can win them from Super Containers or from Ranked Battles and other events. Smoke Generator Modification 1 would replace AA Guns Modification 2 in the second slot. This increases the smoke generation time for Kidd from 28 seconds to 36 seconds but reduces the individual cloud duration to 118 seconds. This isn't a very strong choice. If you wanted to throw away Kidd's anti-aircraft firepower advantages and reduce your spotting-experience gains, go nuts, but it's a loser move. Next up in the Special Upgrades you won't be using but technically are compatible with Kidd is Engine Boost Modifiaction 1. This competes with Propulsion Modification 1. You won't take this because you'll have Defensive Fire and not Engine Boost on this premium like a smart person. And finally, also competing with Propulsion Modification 1 is Defensive Fire Modification 1. Now this seems like a no brainer -- it increases the active time of Kidd's Defensive Fire from 30 seconds to 36 seconds. The only reason I would imagine that someone wouldn't want to stick this on Kidd would be the rarity of the consumable and the demand to put it on other ships before giving it to a destroyer. Firepower Primary Battery: Five 127mm/38 rifles in an A-B-P-X-Y superfiring configuration. Torpedo Armament: Five tubes in a 1x5 launcher behind the funnels facing forward. Kidd's firepower sucks. USN 127mm/38 Mark 30s, we meet again. The last time we crossed swords with these weapons on a premium ship was with USS Sims at tier VII. These are the same guns found on Fletcher, Black and Benson, so veterans of the American destroyer line should immediately be familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of these guns. They mirror these other ships identically with their excellent rate of fire, the wicked fast gun traverse, the horrible muzzle velocity and the oh-so infamous shell flight time. Penetration and fire chance are all on par too. The detection in smoke while firing is different, however, with Sims having a 2.8km detection while everyone else has a 2.7km. Don't ask me why. It's not even a contest. The shell flight time for the USN 127mm/38s is terrible. We're probably going to have to wait for the Royal Navy destroyers before we see Kidd's shell flight time compare favourably to anything. This is compensated for by some of the highest HE DPM among the high tier destroyers. The lesson here is that Kidd can potentially do a lot of damage with her guns -- but only so long as you can overcome the challenges of her weak penetration and horrible ballistics. In theory, these guns are ideal for short range knife fights with enemy destroyers where they can throw out a wall of rapid fire shells and pummel their opponents into submission. The reality is that outside of 8km, it becomes very difficult to lead other lolibotes properly -- especially if you're working with a 1920 x 1080 screen resolution (or smaller) and you have a habit of firing from maximum zoom. Kidd needs to seize enemy destroyers by the belt buckle, keep close to them and hammer shells home lest she embarrassingly gets outgunned by a Yugumo. Once ranges increase beyond this comfort zone, it's better to go gun silent, dodge and disengage; especially if they run away to tattle on you to bigger boats. The stranger-danger presented by grown-up ships is quite palpable given that you cannot rely on Kidd's torpedoes. The USN 127mm/38s really struggle at tiers VIII+ to put out the damage on larger vessels. Their anemic fire chance, horrible ballistics and poor penetration values all compound to a muddy mess. Kidd's HE penetration sits at 21mm which can be boosted to 27mm with Inertial Fuse for HE Shells at the expense of her chance to set fires. This is already quite low on a per-shell basis, though the recent changes to the skill have softened this blow somewhat. This improvement to penetration will allow Kidd to damage the extremities of all battleships at tiers VI and VII, along with those of most cruisers up to tier X with the exception of the American and German cruisers at tiers VIII+. Without this boost, she's reliant upon setting fires and peppering superstructures to do the lion's share of her damage. Damage saturation mechanics, the reduced fire damage on cruisers and the increased prevalence of fire resistance skills and upgrades among battleships only makes it harder on Kidd to be relevant with her guns alone. If this sounds bleak, it's because it is. Kidd is reliant on landing a high volume of hits to start fires. The numbers presented here are very generously assuming 100% accuracy which is a pipe dream. In addition, high tier ships will reduce these numbers further, cutting them almost in half. Starting two fires per minute with Kidd is an ambitious goal. Start praying to RNGesus. There's a grim methodology to engaging enemy capital ships with Kidd's guns. Choose a target. Struggle to hit said target. Laugh as you suddenly light two fires in quick succession. Rage as your target uses their Damage Control Party and you're unable to light a subsequent blaze for the next two minutes. Hoover up a pittance in shell damage as you quickly oversaturated their superstructure. Slowly lose your sanity as that ship heals up all of the damage you did and then some. Question the meaning of life, the prevalence of the battleship meta and why oh why didn't you heed Mouse's colourful graphs and charts!? Their colours warned you! THEY WARNED YOU IT WOULD BE LIKE THIS! Kidd's guns may not be terribly effective against larger ships when you get down to it, but at least they're fun to use. The sheer volume of fire they put out is meme worthy (plus it's fun to say "pew!" every time they fire). They're decent enough against close range targets but because of the prevalence of Surveillance Radar and Hydroacoustic Search, it's dangerous to get that close, so pick your battles carefully. Still, they'll shred other destroyers, so that's something at least. Kidd needs more 'pedos. They took five of her 'pedos away to give her more AA power. You only have a single torpedo launcher on USS Kidd. Yes, this sucks. No, you don't get Fletcher's upgraded Mark 16 torpedoes with their awesome range and hitting power. No, they didn't improve Kidd's torpedo soft-stats to compensate. These are the exact same torpedoes as on the stock-Fletcher or upgraded Benson. They have decent range and modest damage totals, but they're slow as all get out and their reload time is downright punitive. So not only do you have your torpedo armament halved, you're also waiting just as long to fire them off as Benson does. If you're hoping to make torpedo soup with USS Kidd, your broth is going to taste pretty thin. Getting the most out of this horrible helping of fish requires a lot more skill than just dropping the pip onto the torpedo lead indicator and hoping for the best. You can't saturate an area or hedge your bets with a second launcher. Picking the right target at the right moment and anticipating how they're going to move in the 60 some odd seconds it will take for your torpedoes to reach their maximum range is a real challenge, even for veteran commanders. Landing even a couple of hits really helps pad the terrible damage numbers that USS Kidd puts out. The threat of Kidd's torpedoes is often worth more than the actual damage they put out. Your opponents are inclined to be more cautious if they believe you're able to dump a salvo into them when they're most vulnerable. Their imaginations will often envision far more devastation than Kidd can actually conjure, so sometimes it's worth holding onto your fish just for this bully-factor. Summary: Kidd's firepower is terrible. Same ol' USN 127mm/38s we know and love (and hate). Kidd's 'pedos suck -- and not always in the sexy way. USN 127mm/38 gunnery in a nutshell: First, pick a target. Next, setup outside of radar range. Step three: deploy smoke. And finally, step four: put four salvos into the air before your first shells connect. DurabilityHit Points: 16,700Maximum Protection: 19 to 20mm Well, this is shaping up to be a pretty negative review so far, innit? Thankfully, it gets better from here on out. Kidd comes with a healthy chunk of hit points -- 1,300hp more than Benson and 2,100hp more than Loyang. This still pales compared to the tier VIII thunderchunckers Akizuki and Z-23 which have a 3,700hp and 2,800hp advantage respectively over Kidd, but at least she can say that she's not at the bottom of the pile here. Taking Survivability Expert can prop this number up further, bumping Kidd up another 2,800hp which would make her competitive against some of the tier IX and X destroyers as well. However, she's not as reliant upon this skill as other destroyers and the points are better spent elsewhere. Kidd joins Khabarovsk with a fun dose of Russian-bias in the form of a Repair Party consumable. Each charge can heal back 2,338 hit points (this does not change if you take Survivability Expert). She begins the game with two charges that can be boosted up to four with a premium version of the consumable combined with the Superintendent commander's skill. Without a citadel, Kidd can always heal back a minimum of 50% of damage done to her which ensures you get the maximum use out of each charge. I tell myself that this is the reason that Kidd gives up a second torpedo-launcher. It's not the real reason, but it certainly has improved my attitude towards this ship. Kidd's Repair Party is a real boon. She effectively has up to 30,722hp if fully optimized for maximum toughness (Superintendent, Survivability Expert, premium Repair Party used four times, India Delta signal), allowing her to take an absolute beating, survive and later return to the fight hungry for more. This gives her endurance and longevity that Benson, Fletcher and Black could only dream of having. So while it may take forever to do any appreciable damage with Kidd's terrible weapon load-out, her improved survivability all but guarantees she's got the time to do it. The only thing you need fear is taking massive alpha strikes or sustained burst damage. Watch out for Surveillance Radar equipped vessels and practice dancing to those torpedo-beats. The John McClane of destroyers. Kidd rarely comes out of a match without looking like she was thrown through a plate glass window. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 38.0knotsTurning Radius: 620mRudder Shift: 3.9s Maximum Turn Rate: 7.9º per second. As far as destroyer agility goes, Kidd is decidedly average and is best compared to the Soviet destroyer Ognevoi in terms of her speed and handling. For a Fletcher-class destroyer, she's much faster than either Fletcher or Black but this comes at the cost of her turning circle which is 60m wider. Overall, this gives her power and speed enough to run down any Japanese torpedo destroyer within her Matchmaking spread and enough wiggle in her tush to dance to torpedo beats and dodge incoming shellfire. However, she won't feel as nimble as either of her sister-ships. For those who intend to play Kidd aggressively, I cannot stress enough how important the Vigilance skill on your commanders will be. High alpha strikes are the bane of this ship and there's few things worse than being blindsided by a wall of skill you didn't anticipate and being sent back to the port early. Pertinent agility statistics for Kidd's contemporaries (click to enlarge). She's decidedly average, with her high top speed compensating for her larger turning circle compared to Fletcher and Black. If you want to try out Kidd's handling for yourself before making a purchase, play around with the tier VIII Soviet destroyer, Ognevoi. The two are very similar in their overall handling characteristics with the biggest difference between them being their rudder-shift-time. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 127mm / 40mm / 20mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 3.5km / 2.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 53.5 / 65.7 / 36.6 In exchange for losing a quintuple torpedo mount, Kidd gains 21dps over Fletcher. Most of this DPS advantage doesn't come from the 40mm quad Bofor nests that replaced her torpedoes, but rather from the upgrade of her 20mm Oerlikon from single to twin-gun mounts. Her anti-aircraft firepower is good for a destroyer, but terrible overall if you merely to rely on her raw damage numbers alone. Kidd has less AA firepower than Tirpitz and no one would ever claim that Tirpitz has good AA firepower at tier VIII. It's only with a heavy investment in AA skills that her DPS truly becomes something to concern enemy carriers. So your choice to keep your lolibote safe from white-van driving CVs is to have them stay close to grownup ships like Kii and North Carolina or activate their 'emergency whistle'. Note that this whistle got extra loud in 0.6.13, multiplying your 40mm and 127mm DPS by four instead of just three. This is reflected in the animated gif above which turns Kidd into a pocket North Carolina temporarily in terms of AA power. The game changer is her access to the destroyer version of Defensive Fire. While some other tier VIII destroyers also get access to this consumable, only Kidd has the numbers to make it truly effective beyond a disruption effect. Like them, she must exchange her Engine Boost consumable to gain access to this but it's well worth the trade. Under the effects of this consumable, she becomes a credible threat to enemy aircraft and she may even be able to drive off fighters sent to perma-spot her. Let's be clear: Her anti-aircraft firepower under Defensive Fire will maul attack craft waves from tier VI and even some tier VII carriers but it cannot be relied upon the prevent a strike altogether. This may be enough to make a carrier look for a less thorny target, but against veteran CVs, it's simply going to delay their attack while they wait on your 30s consumable to run out of steam. Destroyers are too valuable a target to leave unmolested. It's possible, albeit very expensive to deep specialize Kidd into anti-aircraft firepower to try and make her more formidable against aircraft. Realistically, however, it's unlikely for Kidd to have this kind of specialization in the face of more survival based skill choices. Still, Kidd can survive better than any other destroyer under the eye of an enemy carrier. This gives her a little more autonomy than other scouting destroyers and it also allows her to play the supporting role in disrupting attacks against her allies if you're so inclined. More importantly, this gives Kidd the ability to extend beyond the cover of your team mates to better play out the role of a scout. Now you know what to do when an enemy CV offers you free candy. White van, white plane -- same difference. I DON'T KNOW THIS PLANE! THIS PLANE IS NOT MY MOM! HELP! HELP! STRANGER DANGER! STRANGER DANGER! Concealment & Camouflage Base Surface Detection Range: 7.38km Air Detection Range: 4.11 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 5.80km Main Battery Firing Range: 12.1km Detection Range when Firing from Smoke: 2.7km Surface Detection Rank within Tier: Tied for 5th with Benson & Loyang, sitting behind the Kagero-sisters. Surface Detection Rank within Matchmaking: Tied for 6th out of 36 places. This graph shows the advantage in surface detection Kidd enjoys over her contemporaries. All of the numbers are assuming the destroyers in question are fully rigged for stealth with all of the applicable options available to them (Concealment Expert, Concealment Camouflage, Concealment System Modification 1). Thus, the disparity in these numbers may be even greater to Kidd's advantage in select cases. For those that are math inclined, you can use this to estimate how much of a reaction time you have to steer away from enemy ships in order to preserve stealth and remain undetected. For example, if you stumble across a Mahan running perpendicular while you sail towards it at 38 knots, you have approximately 11 seconds to adjust course. However, if the same were to occur with a Z-23 heading towards you with both of you at full speed, this reaction time drops to a little over 2 seconds. There are very few destroyers that are more stealthy than USS Kidd. Kagero, Harekaze and Yugumo exceed her stealth rating. Benson, Loyang, Fletcher & Black match her. Hatsuharu and Shiratsuyu are close enough to make little difference. Against any other opponent she enjoys a minimum of a 140m surface detection advantage. When she's top tier, her advantage is almost comical. Between her speed and concealment, she can easily dictate engagement distances or simply keep enemies spotted. And herein lies Kidd's greatest strength. More than any other destroyer in the game, she is almost an ideal scout. Kidd is well suited to spotting targets for your allies to kill. She's tough, she's fast, she has excellent smoke and she has one of the best surface detection ranges within her matchmaking spread. And, it's a damn good thing too -- outside of a knife fight with another destroyer, she sucks at dealing her own damage. The only other traits you could ask for would be some punchier guns or some form of detection consumable like Hydroacoustic Search. Still, she's very well equipped for this task. This makes Kidd a real threat on cap circles. She may not be the immediate terror like Black, but she is dogged. Her presence around one of these control points is a real obstacle for the enemy team. Spotting Economy I had the pleasure of speaking to Boyarsky regarding the economy surrounding destroyer spotting mechanics. While I will compile a more complete article later, I thought it worth sharing with USS Kidd, given how dependent she can be upon the rewards earned from providing vision for her team. There are two types of spotting (as if it wasn't complicated enough). The first is simple and easy to understand. There is a reward for the first ship to detect an enemy that has not been seen before. This is a flat value. The second type of spotting is where you facilitate damage done to the enemy team. What it is: A destroyer can receive substantial rewards by scouting ahead of the allied fleet and keeping enemy ships detected to facilitate gunnery and torpedo attack for allies that would not otherwise be able to see them. How it works: An ally shoots at a target that the destroyer can see. The ally must not be able to see the target themselves. The destroyer earns a bonus percentage of the rewards that ally receives for damaging that target. Reward amount: The destroyer receives approximately 45% of the experience and credits for applicable damage done to targets they spot. Other ships may earn an award too, but they do not earn nearly as much as destroyers. Multiple spotters: If multiple friendly ships are providing vision upon a target and an ally who cannot see the target fires, the rewards are divided by the number of allies present. So if two destroyers an an aircraft carrier providing vision, the reward for the destroyers would be divided by three. Errata: Note that the destroyer only receives the reward if, when the attack was launched, the ally could not see the target and the destroyer could -- not when it strikes the target. This applies to all shell and torpedo attacks. These rewards scale as you would normally expect. In other words, you will earn more rewards for assisting a lower tiered ship to do 10,000 damage to a destroyer two tiers higher than you would for helping a higher tiered ship do 10,000 damage to a battleship that's two tiers lower than itself. The big complication for earning these rewards comes from the spotting mechanics themselves. If your allies can see the target without your help, then you earn nothing. Given the recent changes to smoke, this pretty much means you're not going to earn much of anything at all sitting between two groups of warships shooting at each other in open water. The bloom of their surface detection every time they pull the trigger is going to make them visible to one another. Similarly, the presence of aircraft carriers will also eat into your earnings as their planes put eyes on targets you're spotting. Spotting is a high risk venture and it does not always pay well. A keen understanding of vision mechanics and how ships interact with smoke is paramount to increasing your earnings One of the tricks to earning more spotting damage is to use your Smoke Generator to hide your allies. At full speed, lay a long 10-cloud fog bank between your friendly ships and the enemies but don't hide in it yourself. Then position yourself between your smoke and the enemy team. The concealment bonus provided by smoke will reduce the surface detection of both sides -- protecting your allies but also blinding them to the enemy team save for the data relayed by your spotting. In this manner, you help keep your team safe AND you collect a handsome reward for the damage you helped inflict. How to Avoid Pedo-Bears You can't. Far too many people told me that Kidd was too sexy. We have a real epidemic in our community, I swear. Your first ten points should be distributed like this: Start with Priority Target. Take Last Stand. Next grab Superintendent. This will give you an additional charge of smoke, heals and emergency whistle. And finally, take Concealment Expert. This should be considered the absolute minimum to take to do well with Kidd. From here, there are high value skills and players should mix and match based on their preferred play style. Demolition Expert and Inertial Fuse for HE Shells may seem like gimme skills for dealing more direct damage with Kidd. Tag on Adrenaline Rush and you are good to go for pew pews. For those who are super-salty about the stranger-danger presented by enemy carriers, Basic Fire Training and Advanced Fire Training pair nicely to give you some good punch against incoming planes and also let you help out beleaguered allies. Just beware of your increased spotting range from AFT when you fire your main battery. If you are more concerned with personal defense than helping others, swap Advanced Fire Training for Manual Fire Control for AA Guns. The survivability skills Vigilance and Survivability Expert make Kidd harder to kill. Not much harder, mind you, but you're less likely to get obliterated by a high alpha strike. I tried out a lot of different commander builds when testing Kidd. I did everything from loaning an anti-aircraft specialized Atlanta-captain to failing horribly with a 3pt newfish. If I had a dedicated Kidd 19pt commander dropped on my lap, I would take the initial 10pts skills listed above plus Vigilance, Demolition Expert and Survivability Expert. You'll note the lack of any anti-aircraft firepower skills and a reliance on fires to deal damage to larger vessels. "Fire Alarm..." In case you're wondering, the Legendary Captain, Steven Seagal, doesn't really add anything useful when he commands a destroyer. His skill bonuses apply to Expert Loader and Expert Marksman skills -- neither of which are of particular use on a ship that already has ridiculously fast reload times and turret rotation rates. However, if you want to phone it in the same way he narrated his dialogue, feel free to use him here. Kidd's bread and butter: Trading fire with other destroyers and outlasting them between her Smoke Generator and Repair Party. She didn't choose the scout-life. The scout-life chose her. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Kidd struggles to do damage. Her improved survivability traits are locked behind proper consumable management and having a commander with not only enough skill points, but the correct setup as well. And even then, her play style is going to be utterly alien to many players. NOT shooting? NOT firing torpedoes? Wut!? Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Kidd is all about surviving some of the most dangerous encounters in World of Warships -- namely, dominating cap circles early on in a match. She's got almost all of the proper tools to do it short of some form of Hydroacoustic Search or Surveillance Radar. Correctly managed, Kidd can survive for a very long time, making life miserable for the Reds. With such limited firepower, you're really going to have to milk every advantage to get the most out of this ship but she'll reward you handsomely for it. Mouse's Summary: "Tough" really defines Kidd. She's tough in that she can take a lot of punishment. But she's also a tough ship with which to do damage. In this regard, she's also tough to love. Poor child. She's totally going to become a delinquent when she grows up. Like USS Sims before her, she's going to be doomed to mediocrity in Randoms. A lot of people will pick her up, wonder why all of the CCs were enthusiastic about her and let her collect dust in their ports if they bothered to pick her up at all. Then someone's going to rockstar with her in Ranked or some other competitive mode and everyone and their mother will suddenly want one. I'm disappointed to see Repair Party used to balance yet another premium. Healing potion proliferation feels like an arms race waiting to happen. Remember, you didn't trade your torpedoes for more AA power -- you traded them for her Repair Party. All of the banes she suffers from her poor torpedoes should be made up for with the advantages her Repair Party provides. Really focus on outlasting your opponents. Take a few extra risks that other destroyers wouldn't dare and hold onto your fish for the best target possible. Scouting feels super rewarding. It's hard to pull off, but it pays well if you can manage it. Few ships have made me feel as categorically stupid as USS Kidd did during play testing. I got myself delorted in the opening minutes of a match more often in this destroyer than I have in any of the others I've tested this year. It's only when I smartened up and exerted a little more caution that things (mostly) got better. Vigilance helped too. Let this be a lesson -- be aggressive; just don't be stupid. So let's get to the meat of the matter: Is Kidd a good ship? My answer is: Yes, absolutely. She just totally sucks at doing damage and killing things. This does not preclude her from winning games. In fact, she's quite good at doing that so long as you don't trip over your own ego and pull a few stupids trying to pad your damage numbers instead of focusing on winning. The toolkit with which they've equipped her makes her an absolute beast when it comes to helping your team win matches. The manner in which she helps dominate spotting and cap control will secure you many wins. The trouble is that spotting is feast or famine. If there's aircraft carriers present or the enemy team roster is composed primarily of battleships, you're not going to earn many rewards for sitting gun silent. Under the correct conditions, you can earn a lot of rewards for providing vision. At others, you might struggle to scrimp out competitive gains compared to other tier VIII American premiums like Alabama or Enterprise. Economy concerns aside, Kidd does win matches. She's just not doing it with her own firepower most of the time. To this end, if grinding for credits and experience is your goal, I would have to give Kidd a solid pass. However, if your goal is simply to win -- such as in Ranked Battles where the quality of the win doesn't matter, just the win itself -- then Kidd is an amazing ship. Kidd is a premium with a purpose. If you don't espouse this purpose, you're going to really struggle to find satisfaction with what she can do. Would I Recommend? Let me apply a filter to my recommendations here. I must stress the skill floor to play Kidd well. If you're a novice destroyer player, you'll have a hard time with Kidd. Just because she gets a nod from me as being good at X does not mean that you'll be good with Kidd at X. This is not an easy ship to play. PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? Very no. While she can turn a profit with a 47,250 repair cost and less than 10,000 on ammunition costs for a long game, Kidd struggles to do damage quickly. And let's face it -- that's really what you want in Co-Op battles; that knockout punch. Kidd does't have that. She licks things to death. It's slimy. It's awkward. It's not very fast. It's kinda hot, really, but not terribly effective or fun. Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Do you like a challenge? Do you have enough patience to stomach hoping the lottery will hand you a team that can capitalize on the opportunities you'll create? Do you like working super hard so that other people get all of the rewards? Then go nuts. Otherwise? Stay clear. This is a support ship. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. Very yes. Really, this is the primary reason you'll want Kidd. A tier VIII destroyer with Repair Party and Defensive Fire? She'd have to be a steaming turd in all other aspects to not to kindle people's interests in this vessel for Ranked Battles. Be aware that her role is to provide vision and cover, brawl with enemy destroyers and above all else: Survive. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Museum ship? Check. Tons of history? Check. Awesome looking boat? Check. We are good to go. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? I really enjoyed playing her, but she wasn't like ... Okhotnik fun. The enjoyment I got out of Kidd was learning how to rise up to a challenge. So it's probably safe to say that you have to be all kinds of weird to find this ship fun. What's the Final Verdict?How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage - Meh - Gud - Overpowered? GARBAGE - Grossly uncompetitive and badly in need of buffs.Mehbote - Average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn't need buffs to be viable, but certainly not advantageous.Gudbote - A strong ship that has obvious competitive strengths and unique features that make it very appealing.OVERPOWERED - A ship with very clear advantages over all of its competitors and unbalancing the game with its inclusion.
  2. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: Alabama

    While steps have been taken to ensure accuracy, Alabama was a work in progress at the time of testing. Please be aware that all of the statistics and performance discussed here are subject to change before release. Average and good at it. Quick Summary: A Fast-Battleship with good handling and speed, excellent firepower and anti-aircraft protection. She suffers from a very large citadel placed high over the waterline. Cost: Undisclosed at the time of publishing. Probably about the same as a Tirpitz. Patch & Date Written: 0.6.2, March 10th, 2017 Closest in-Game Contemporary North Carolina, Tier 8 American BattleshipDegree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique Alabama feels like a weird amalgamation of the Colorado's ability to turn, North Carolina's guns and Iowa's 0.6.2 fragility. This combines to make a North Carolina that's both more agile and more fragile than you might otherwise be accustomed. PROs: Massive anti-torpedo bulges which provide 49% damage reduction -- the 2nd best value in the game. Powerful, long range guns with a 21.1km reach and good vertical dispersion. Responsive turret rotation at 4.5º per second. Excellent levels of anti-aircraft firepower. Good top speed of 27.5 knots. Small 710m turning circle and fastest turning rate of any of the mid to high tier USN Battleships. Excellent credit earning potential. CONs: Her citadel sits very high over the waterline, extending from beneath the full length of the #1 turret to the #3 turret. Her armour isn't quite as good as advertised. Improper angling will lead to many penetrating and citadel hits. Bow is easily overmatched by Yamato's 460mm rifles. Her aft transverse bulkhead protecting her lower citadel is only 16mm thick. Low muzzle velocity and long shell flight times over range. Finally, the American tech tree has access to a tier 8 premium. On top of that, she's a tier 8 Battleship. Better still, its USS Alabama, a famous museum ship and American icon. The hype is real and if I'm terribly honest, I was dreading having to review this ship. With such high expectations centered around this ship, especially after the debacle in December of 2016 with the announcement that she would be limited to Supertesters only, I feared she couldn't possibly live up to the hype. Well, I needn't have worried. There have been a few pessimistic reviews penned already and the word is out that Alabama is far from perfect. With that, I breathed a sigh of relief knowing I wouldn't be the messenger that risked being shot for delivering such glum tidings as Alabama not being the embodiment of Pax Americana superiority. But, like all things on the internet, people tend to focus on a single issue and blow it ridiculously out of proportion. Let Lert and I show you why you shouldn't believe everything you've heard about the tarnish on Alabama's reputation... The Lertbox Alabama. A Lertbox I've been both looking forward to and dreading to write. Looking forward because I like battleships and I've been wanting to sink my teeth into this one for as long as I've known she was coming. Dreading because after all the Alabama Drama on the forum, people will not accept anything less than an excellent warship as the USN's first Tier 8 premie. It's a good thing than that Alabama is exactly that. For this Lertbox I will be comparing her to Amagi, Bismarck and North Carolina, the three tech tree battleship peers she will be meeting in battle. A southern belle. Options There's nothing out of the ordinary here. Alabama uses the same improved USN Battleship Damage Control Party as other American Dreadnoughts. This has a 20s active period and a 120s/80s reset timer. Consumables: Damage Control Party Repair Party Spotter Aircraft / Catapult Fighter Module Upgrades: Five slots, standard USN Battleship options. Premium Camouflage: Tier 6+ Standard. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. This is the gorgeous measure-22 camouflage. Alabama has a little more variety when it comes to what modules you'll select for her, and this is largely dependent on how much you want to emphasize her AA firepower. For your first slot, Main Armaments Modification 1 may seem like the default choice. However, Auxiliary Armaments Modification 1 is also practical for AA-specialized ships. This will help keep your 20mm, 40mm and 127mm mounts operable, especially when you take a lot of HE fire. For your second slot, if you're going AA spec'd, take AA Guns Modification 2 to bump up their range. Consider this ideal for this ship. Alternatively, take Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1 to bump up your range from 21.1km to 24.5km. For your third slot, grab Damage Control System Modification 1. This will increase your already amazing torpedo damage reduction from 49% to 50%. In slot number four, I prefer Damage Control System Modification 2 to help mitigate fire damage. You can take Steering Gears Modification 2 if you prefer. This will drop your rudder shift time to 12.3s. And finally, in slot 5, take Concealment Modification 1. This will cut your surface detection range down to 14.1km with your camouflage. Firepower Primary Battery: Nine 406mm/45 rifles in 3x3 turrets in an A-B-X configuration. B is stationed in a super firing position over top of A. These have a stock range of 21.1km. Secondary Battery: Twenty 127mm dual purpose rifles in 10x2 turrets along the sides of the ship. There's a comforting familiarity to Alabama's guns. They're reliable, hard hitting and accurate. They are, however, plagued by the usual American gunnery weaknesses. They have a low muzzle velocity and Alabama has no way of reducing the enormous linear dispersion common to all USN Dreadnoughts. Right off the bat, she has comparable dispersion than any of the other high tier American Battleships, with a 1.9 sigma rating. Only Colorado and North Carolina, with a 2.0 value a tier lower, has less vertical dispersion. This helps prevent her shells from overshooting, removing some of the RNG influence of Battleship gunnery. Now, with this said, it would be a mistake to call her guns accurate. Short of the German Battleships, no other ships in the game have as terrible a dispersion value as USN Battleships. This only gets mitigated at tiers 9 and higher, when they can equip Artillery Plotting Room Modification 2. Sadly, (and I was really hoping for this), Alabama does not get access to this module. What Alabama does have is excellent damage potential on her shells. At 13,100 alpha strike, this gives a 500hp advantage over the Amagi's 410mm AP shells and 1,500hp more than the 380mm guns of the Tirpitz and Bismarck. This lets Alabama trade very favourably, especially with two-thirds of her weapons mounted on her bow, letting her angle aggressively and help mitigate return fire. Penetration values for Alabama's 406mm rifles For penetration, she sits well ahead of the German 380mm guns and just behind the 410mm of the Japanese, with better preservation of penetration characteristics at longer range over her IJN counterparts. Her effective penetration values are more than enough to demolish the citadel of just about any cruiser she faces within her engagement range. Inside of 15km, Battleship belt armour is of no-consequence though at these extreme ranges, ricochet is likely. This is in part due to the slow flight time of the USN 406mm shells. With armour piercing, it takes in excess of 10 seconds for Alabama's guns to reach 16km. They're a full second slower to 18km than the IJN 410mm shells and 1.6s slower than the 380mm guns off the Tirpitz and Bismarck. Thus, while it's sometimes frustrating to land hits with Alabama's guns,when she does land her shots, they strike harder than anything from Japan or Germany and they're more than capable of penetrating the targets she does face. Special mention needs to be made in regards to Alabama's gun handling. Her guns traverse a half degree per second faster than North Carolina's at a rate of 4.5º per second. Even in a hard over turn at top speed, Alabama will never out turn her turrets. If you put Mister Seagal on board with Expert Marksman, you can get this rotation speed up to 5.5º per second which is just wonderful. Alabama's secondaries are ... well, they're nothing to write home about. They can't stand up to the awesome batteries of the Bismarck and they're certainly not going to frighten away anything that gets close. Their modest range of 5.0km combined with their 5% chance to start fires per shell definitely hold them back from being anything worth specializing into. Brawling is something you generally want to avoid when sailing Alabama anyway, so at least her armament isn't working at cross purposes with itself. Summary: She has better accuracy than most mid-tier USN Battleships. Only Iowa, Missouri or Montana specialized for reduced shell dispersion are superior. Alabama is less accurate than IJN Battleships but more than German Battleships. Excellent gun handling characteristics, but poor shell ballistics. It's easy to get guns on target but harder to get the shells there. When you do land hits, the good penetration values and high shell damage will make it easy to rack up big damage totals. Her secondaries are meh. Rivals: North Carolina Lert: These ships are so near to each other in performance that it comes down to which one is driven by the better player. The differences between them are for the most part minor. Alabama turns better, North Carolina has better gun range. Alabama has a better close range AA umbrella, North Carolina a better mid-range one. Where the comparison falls apart though is in their citadels. North Carolina's is at the water line, Alabama's extends a deck above. With competent drivers behind the wheels, it's a wash between the two. The differences aren't enough to sway the battle either way. Until you start showing broadsides. Then driving a North Carolina or an Alabama is the difference between taking heavy damage or catastrophic damage. Between these two it comes down to player skill and the circumstances of them meeting rather than differences between the ships. Until you start having to turn. Alabama pursues HMS Fiji around the headland of an island and executes her at point blank range with six of her 406mm rifles. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 27.5 knotsTurning Radius: 710mRudder Shift: 15.3s Alabama stands out as the most manoeuvrable of the high tier American Battleships. While she doesn't keep the small turning circle of the Standard Type battleships (Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona), when compared to Iowa and Montana, she stands miles apart. It's quite surprising that this agility doesn't come at the cost of speed -- Alabama keeps pace with North Carolina and can turn inside her. At range, this ability gives an extra level of protection that is (unfortunately), sorely needed. When it comes to dodging, Alabama is very well equipped. She not only has the best rudder shift time of the high tier American Battleships, but she progresses through her turn far more quickly than even the 640m turning circle of the Colorado. In fact, she has a faster turning time than most of the tier 6 Battleships as well, being bested only by Dunkerque, Warspite and Bayern. She is the most agile of the mid to high tier American Battleships, bar none, and something to celebrate. Her top speed of 27.5 knots is decent, but sadly outstripped by the Bismarck-class and Amagi-class Battleships which can make dictating engagement ranges difficult. Once she's up tiered to face tier 9 ships, this lack of speed only magnifies. Alabama must use her good concealment values to help her disengage and redeploy as needed. Data drawn from running these ships at maximum speed and then placing the rudder hard over and timing their turn. Alabama is the most agile of any of the American Battleships. Pay close attention to how little benefit Steering Gears Modification 2 actually provides. Durability Hit Points: 63,300Maximum Protection: 32mm anti-torpedo bulge + 310mm belt armour Min Bow & Deck Armour: 32mmTorpedo Damage Reduction: 49% Let's start with what's fun and remarkable about Alabama. She has the best torpedo damage reduction in the American tech tree. Alabama is surpassed only by the Yamato for the highest torpedo damage reduction currently in the game. Air dropped torpedoes feel especially anemic, striking for as little as 5000 damage along her armored belt. For as much work as carriers are going to have to do to land hits with their fish against this battleship, her anti-torpedo bulge will quickly teach them to look elsewhere. Sadly, that's about where the good news for Alabama ends as far as her armoured protection goes. Alabama suffers from all the same durability problems that the Iowa-class has had in World of Warships. Her citadel sits well over the surface of the water. This enormous vulnerability runs from just in front of her #1 turret all the way to her #3 turret. Short of her anti-torpedo bulge, there's no further protection beyond her belt armour to keep it safe. At 310mm, this is hardly adequate to repel the kind of firepower that's thrown at her. Alabama doesn't have any other tricks going for her. She has no turtleback, no armour sloping, no layering to keep her machine spaces and magazines safe. She's a painfully easy target to citadel and it will happen a lot to the unwary. I know this is a deal breaker for many, so let me emphasize this again: Alabama has awful citadel protection and she takes citadel hits regularly. You can see the problems readily in the armor viewer. Even her transverse bulkheads are poor. Her upper bulkheads are 287mm from the waterline on up. Beneath that, her forward bulkhead is a mere 156mm. The roof is 154mm. Her rear may as well be an open door at 16mm. Her fragility is further compounded by a tendency to take frequent penetrating hits from AP shells, even when angled. I suspect this is largely caused by shells striking the 32mm hull above the main armoured belt, where the funny contours might prevent auto-ricochet angles when your approach isn't sufficiently acute. In summary, while Alabama has some great anti-torpedo defense, she's a fragile warship. Use her great handling and concealment values to keep her safe. Rivals: Amagi Lert: You're slower, but not by much. Amagi also has better penetration at close and mid range, plus more accurate guns, more DPM through volume of fire and better gun handling. Alabama out-ranges her Japanese counterpart though, and that is an advantage you should take whenever you get the chance. It's a free salvo of damage the Fighting Geisha is unable to answer, unless she has a plane in the sky. While at range make your agility count, you're the most agile battleship in tier by far, making you a difficult target to reliably land solid hits on even for a ship with such comfortable gunnery as Amagi has. Both ships are very tanky against each other's AP fire when bow in, but here the turret layout of Alabama gives her an advantage, Amagi can only bring four barrels a-fore, Alabama six. In order to make her volume of fire advantage count, Amagi has to show a lot more broadside than she should, allowing you a large juicy target for your Mark 8 Superheavy shells. Fighting an Amagi in an Alabama is the same as fighting one in a North Carolina, except you want to show your side even less. Like all high tier American Battleships, Alabama has no business brawling. She can do it, but it puts her at such a tremendous disadvantage. Concealment & Camouflage Surface Detection Range: 16.2km Air Detection Range: 12.1 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 12.2km Concealment Penalty while Firing: +12.2km (vs 21.1km gun range) Alabama shares the same surface detection range as Missouri, but with the added bonus of being harder to see from the air. This doesn't quite measure up to the North Carolina, which enjoys a 500m advantage over her, but she does hide better than every other tier 8 Battleship. With a full concealment build, she can become downright stealthy with a 12.2km surface detection range and limiting her visibility from the air to a mere 9.4km. With Alabama's large, exposed citadel, she must exploit this to the utmost to keep herself safe. Alabama is a glass cannon. She is best played using her speed to move out to the flanks and catching the Reds in a cross fire. When the enemies turn their attention her way, she can cease-fire and drop back into concealment and redeploy. By playing up to this strength, she can strike from an advantageous position and let her guns go to work. Anti-Aircraft DefenseAA Battery Calibers: 127mm / 40mm / 20mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 3.5km / 2.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 151 / 191 / 187 She enjoys all the comforts the later USN Battleships when it comes to anti-aircraft firepower. Her air defense starts with the same battery of twenty 127mm dual purpose secondaries found on North Carolina, Iowa and Missouri. They provide a long reach and excellent alpha damage in five second pulses. When we filter down to her close-range batteries, they differ somewhat from her big sisters. While Alabama has the lowest AA power of the high tier American Battleships, it would be foolish to label it as anything other than excellent. Alabama's reach and firepower stands head and shoulders above her closest competitor, the Bismarck, with a full 117dps more than the German behemoth. She shreds enemy aircraft squadrons with alarming levels of ease and is a real asset when it comes to fleet defense from attack craft squadrons. This can (and should) be exemplified even more with modules and Captain Skills to increase their range and lethality. Properly specialized and manually targeting incoming squadrons, Alabama can get her average DPS up to well over 900, with almost half of that at a 7.2km range. Alabama's tighter turning circle and her anti-torpedo defense must not be forgotten. Against torpedo aircraft, no other Battleship is as well protected as Alabama. Enemy carriers will quickly learn to look elsewhere to farm damage. Throughout play testing, I was regularly shooting down in excess of 20 aircraft per game when carriers were present. This greatly increases the experience gains Alabama can earn. The average DPS of the high tier American Battleships and a comparison of tier 8 Battleship AA levels, divided by weapon ranges. Rivals: Bismarck Lert: She's tougher than you. You hit harder than her. She'll want to close in. You'll want to fight at range. Fortunately your turret angles are generous enough to keep all your barrels on your teutonic adversary without showing too much side. Try to keep her at range. Lure salvos into your armor belt while still inviting auto-bounces. This is a situation where Bismarck's 15" guns are simply not up to the task. Meanwhile your 16" super-heavies will nibble off more hit-points than you're losing. Unfortunately 'keep at range' is easier said than done as Bismarck is faster than you. In inevitable close range engagements it's imperative you use your superior agility to avoid showing a broadside, as even Bismarck's 15" guns can rip your citadel asunder. Try to keep a higher than 45 degree angle to the German warship, inviting those bounces off your armored belt, and retaliate with your own massive guns. You fire the biggest, baddest AP shells in tier, and while your opponent is difficult to citadel, a salvo of Mark 8 406mm shells into her side will still tear off bleeding chunks of hit-points through normal pens. Roll Tide! As an American Battleship, there are a few different skill builds that are viable for Alabama. They summarize generally to three main types, emphasizing particular strengths. Anti-Aircraft Firepower Concealment Survivability All of these builds will begin with taking Priority Target. This is, in my opinion, the strongest of the tier 1 skill for Alabama. It will let you know when you've got the attention of the Red team and when it's time to start putting that agility and concealment to work. For the Anti-Aircraft Firepower and Concealment build, your skill choice will be almost identical until tier 4. For the former, make sure you take modules that help boost your AA firepower. To this end, taking AA Guns Modification 2 in your second upgrade slot is key. I would also strongly recommend adding Auxillary Armaments Modification 1 to your first slot to help the survivability of your AA mounts. For the Concealment build, you can take whichever modules you want, except for Concealment Modification 1 which is mandatory. At tier 2, you have the choice between Adrenaline Rush and Expert Marksman for your second skill. Alabama is less dependent on buffs to her turret rotation, making Expert Marksman less of a necessity. But if you're using the Steven Seagal Captain, the bonus it provides makes it absolutely worthwhile. At tier 3, Basic Fire Training will increase your AA firepower by 20%. At tier 4, the Anti-Aircraft Firepower build should take Advanced Fire Training to further increase your guns reach up to 7.2km for your 127mm/38s. Next, they should take Manual Fire Control for AA Armament. This will maximize your AA firepower. For the Concealment build, take Concealment Expert instead at tier 4 and follow it up with Advanced Fire Training to add some reach to your AA guns. You'll have 5 skill points remaining at this stage. Spend them where you wish. Good skills to consider are: High Alert, Superintendent, Basics of Survivability and Vigilance. Concealment Expert for the AA build and Manual Fire Control for AA Armament for the Concealment build aren't bad choices either. If you're using the Steven Seagal Captain, then Expert Loader is also worth considering. Skip it otherwise. Sample Concealment & AA Builds Having your Cake and Eating it Too (Steven Seagal, Concealment & AA Hybrid) AA Build Concealment Build (No fires to increase detection) The Survivability build differs somewhat from these other two and there are many variations to consider. Make sure you take Damage Control Party Modification 1 & 2 in slots three and four of your modules. At Tier 2, take High Alert as your second skill to reduce the time on your Damage Control Party. At tier 3, you'll want Basics of Survivability. This will cut the duration of fires down to 43s. Basic Fire Training will get your AA firepower up to very impressive levels. Survivability builds greatly benefit from doubling up on skills. Jack of All Trades reduces the reset timers on your Repair Party and Damage Control Party. Superintendent gives you an extra charge of your Repair Party. Vigilance helps spot incoming torpedoes. Basic and Advanced Fire Training gives Alabama the necessary teeth to keep safe from aircraft. These skills are optimal. Concealment Expert will help keep you safe from harm. Finally, Fire Prevention helps reduce the chance of fires being set while also reducing the maximum number of blazes that can be set from four to three. Here are some sample variations of the Survivability Build: Fire Prevention and AA Power All of the Tier 3 Skills Consumables Buff Brave but foolish. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme When patch 0.6.3 comes around, Alabama will be a bit of a dinosaur. Montana and Iowa will get their high-water citadels lowered and Alabama will be a relic of times gone by. For this reason, Alabama is a difficult ship to recommend for novice players. Her high citadel is going to punish recklessness. Once you're out of position, your game is going to end very quickly. As a result, Alabama will encourage novice players to avoid combat and snipe at very long-range. This will greatly reduce her efficacy. The only good news, really, is that whatever hits she does land can rack up some impressive damage totals. In the hands of more experienced players, the sky is really the limit. Like North Carolina, Alabama can dish out ridiculous amounts of punishment while supporting her team with impressive anti-aircraft firepower. Where North Carolina relies on pure stealth, Alabama provides agility to help mitigate damage. Her fragility will hold her back from ever truly dominating in some situations. The Lertbox Keep enemy battleship shells away from your flat, unangled side. As long as you can do that, Alabama will reward you. New players and players unused to USN battleships will struggle with Alabama. People who love North Carolina and Iowa will be able to make her sing and dance. She has a wonderful combination of agility and firepower with sufficient speed to move around the battlefield. Plus, she has that late war USN AA suite that we all love. Yeah ok so she's soft in the side, but I'll forgive her this foible. Alabama may not be newb friendly. But she's good. She's damn good. Mouse's Summary: Alabama is defined by five characteristics. Hard hitting guns, excellent AA power, great torpedo defense, good agility and that damned citadel height. Scoring enormous damage totals in this ship isn't hard. Getting yourself sunk because you made a stupid mistake isn't hard either. Alabama can't seem to help being a drama llama, now can she? When Wargaming originally announced she would be a reward ship for her Supertesters, the resulting poop storm was downright biblical. The early reviews from certain parties have blown new life into the turd tornadoes twirling around this ship. I'm not surprised. With the level of hype surrounding her, Alabama had to be perfect. Only small flaws would have been permissible. When I was doing my first pass for this review, only one glaring flaw stood out, and that's her citadel. This is the flaw upon which everyone has similarly latched on. For many players, it's a deal breaker. No matter what strengths the ship had, with a vulnerable citadel, some players just cannot warm up to her. And do you know what? That's a perfectly legitimate sentiment to have. I empathize completely with this revulsion and I know why some players will wash their hands of her right from the word go. Alabama isn't a battleship with training wheels. I also think that it's a completely reasonable flaw for the ship to have from a balance point of view. Lower her citadel and Alabama becomes a very, very powerful ship. She's already almost as agile as Bayern, with North Carolina's great guns and AA firepower combined with Yamato's torpedo defense. And people want her buffed!? Look, she's going to torpedo beat between fish, swat down planes, dodge long-range fire and drop diesel trains on the heads of anything she catches broadside. She needs a weakness somewhere. I'm exaggerating, but only a little. Lowering her citadel wouldn't make her immune to damage to her machine spaces, of course. It's not like she would suddenly gain German Battleship levels of durability. However, it would make her hands down better than North Carolina -- no question at all in my mind. She's more accurate, harder to hit, just as punchy and harder to damage with fish. If that's the ship you needed to have to make Alabama an instant-buy, well, so be it. But be honest with yourself when you're writing off Alabama for that one (admittedly quite glaring) weakness. I had some phenomenal games in Alabama. I don't see that changing going forward. However, she doesn't have the optimal strengths of Bismarck. She's not the be-all, end-all tier 8 premium some players needed her to be. Alabama is delightfully average in many ways, with a great balance of features that made her a real treat. She just has that one weakness and I've always loved a challenge. Would I Recommend? Alabama competes with two other American premium battleships that bracket her tier: Arizona at tier 6 and Missouri at tier 9. Missouri is a troublesome ship for some players to afford, locked behind the wall of 750,000 free experience, while Arizona is an easier purchase but suffers due to the Matchmaker which often puts tier 6 at the middle or bottom tier. Truthfully, Missouri is the better ship to grab, especially after 0.6.3 when her citadel gets lowered. This doesn't make Alabama bad, but she cannot challenge Missouri for primacy. For Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Mouse: Alabama is an excellent credit earner, but she doesn't hold a candle compared to Missouri. If Missouri isn't available, then Alabama holds her own quite nicely, making around 350,000 credits before premium for a 2,000 base experience game. With her great AA power, shooting down even a handful of planes can greatly increase the amount of experience gained in a match, letting Alabama top the experience charts much more often than she might otherwise. Lert: Yeah. She's a tier 8 premium, and a very good one at that. Wear that Zulu flag and watch the credits roll in. Wear a dragon flag and a Zulu Hotel on watch that captain fast-track through training. In earning potential she's every bit a match for Tirpitz, Atago and Kutuzov, and second only to Missouri. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. Mouse: Alabama will always suffer her citadel poorly in competitive environments. Using her speed and agility combined with her AA power, she's a good asset to the team. However, if she's ever caught out, she's a ready target for the enemy team. She is the less optimal choice when compared to ships like Bismarck or North Carolina. Lert: At first I was going to answer a tentative 'yes' here, seeing how comfortably she plays and how she compares to North Carolina. But honestly? You're likely still better off with a Bismarck. You'll give up firepower and agility for sheer brutish toughness, flexibility and secondaries. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Mouse: It's the Lucky A. Yes. What's wrong with you? Lert: Yes. While Alabama herself didn't do much of note during her service she still exists as a museum ship. Plus, she's the only South Dakota class currently in the game. For Fun Factor:Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Mouse: Very yes. I enjoyed my time very much sailing her... so much so that I'm giving North Carolina a bit of the stink eye. Alabama has good agility, great gun handling, punchy guns and who doesn't like making enemy carriers cry? Lert: Yes. Alabama is a comfortable and enjoyable ship to drive. Until you overestimate your turn and end up losing 2/3 of your health to some well placed battleship AP into your overexposed citadel. If you're the kind of person who can suck it up when that happens and admit it was your own mistake to show so much side, Alabama is a fun and rewarding ship to play.
  3. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: Okhotnik

    The scenario I dread for most Battleships is having this thing charging you from stealth. I've had a pretty good success rate of picking an isolated battleship in open water and hitting engine boost and sailing straight towards it. They see me at 5,7km and if they do not immediately drop everything and turn away, I'm within torpedo range inside of 15 to 20s and dropping fish. Smoke goes out and I steer away. At most I take one volley from their main battery. They will die. I then wait for my consumables to reset and then repeat. This sort of suicide drop should not work (and would not work if there was any coordination on the enemy team) but at low to mid tiers, you can get lucky repeatedly. Combine this with the ability to make any destroyer you meet poop themselves when that first slap of seven rifles hits them and yeah, Okhotnik has all sorts of potential for abuse.
  4. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: Okhotnik

    No I won't. Not the way this poor slug turns. To put it in perspective, Blyskawica -- a destroyer not particularly known for its agility, can haul herself over to a 90º turn in 12.0s. I wouldn't want to be caught blind by a broadside of torps in Blyskawica. It takes Okhotnik another 3s to manage the same feat (15s total). If you don't have your eyes on the sky, even a auto drop can catch you.
  5. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: Okhotnik

    While steps have been taken to ensure accuracy, Okhotnik was a work in progress at the time of testing. Please be aware that all of the statistics and performance discussed here are subject to change before release. HMS TOG II* eat your heart out. Quick Summary: A Viking long-ship. A TOG II* in World of Warships form. A fish story. A destroyer that's happy to see you. A meme waiting to happen. Patch & Date Written: 0.6.1 - February 16th, 2017 Cost: Undisclosed at the time of publication. Closest in-Game Contemporary Izyaslav, Tier 4 Russian DestroyerDegree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique Okhotnik feels like something that would be concocted if someone was trying to describe the Izyaslav in a fish story. She's an exaggeration of the tier 4 Russian destroyer in almost every dimension (particularly length) while still keeping close enough to the source material. She really should be a cruiser, but she's not. PROs Armed with seven (!) 130mm rifles, delivering a massive alpha strike potential per volley. All guns can rotate 360º, allowing for easier re-engagement of targets from one side to the other. Also armed with twelve (!) dorsally mounted (!!) torpedo tubes divided between four launchers. Fast reload time on her torpedoes of 47s per launcher. Her torpedoes provide some of the shortest reaction-time for her opponents with a mere 1.0km detection range. This gives targets about 6s to respond. Good concealment values for a ship of her length, with a 6.5km surface detection range while stock. She looks absolutely hilarious. CONs Short ranged main battery with a reach of 9.2km Horrible turret traverse of 5.5º per second. Receives the 2.0km Soviet-destroyer stealth-tax to her surface detection range when she fires her main battery for a total penalty of +5.9km. Her torpedoes are short ranged with restricted forward fire angles. Pathetic AA armament and a big target for enemy aircraft -- because she's long. Enormous turning circle of 730m and slow rotation speed of 6º per second. Because long ship is long. Heavy reliance on a significant number of Captain Skills to make the ship competitive and enjoyable. Okhotnik makes me think of what would happen if you asked a small group of six year old children to design a destroyer and they each tried to one-up each other. “My destroyer is going to have four guns and six torpedoes.” “Yes, but MY destroyer is going to have FIVE guns and EIGHT torpedoes!” By the time you get to the kid that designs Clemson, with her twelve torpedoes and six rifles, you know things are getting a bit out of hand. The Okhotnik is the next abomination to be conceived and you should probably stop the exercise there before someone reinvents the Kitakami. This thing looks ridiculous. As a weapon system, Okhotnik looks as subtle as stuffing a brick into a sweat sock and swinging it around your head. It's cumbersome, awkward and things get horribly stretched out. It's also absolutely devastating when it lands a blow. I normally reserve all accusatory judgments to the end of the article but I'll say this right from the start: Provided you've got a highly-experienced Captain at the helm with the right skills, you're going to love playing this thing. Okhotnik is hilarious looking and a riot to play. She can be an overpowered little monster in her current iteration and there's only a few checks in place to give her the illusion of balance. Lert's joining me to show you how she compares directly to her competitors while I go over the nitty-gritty to explain how she can be used and abused. The Lertbox Mmh? ... I'm up. I'm awake, promise. zzzz .... What? Oh. Right. Okhotnik. Okhotnik has a very distinct (and low) silhouette. This latter trait plays very much to her advantage, making her difficult to shoot. Options No surprises here. Okhotnik uses the same three-tone camouflage scheme found on Imperator Nikolai I and Aurora. Consumables: Damage Control Party Smoke Generator Engine Boost Module Upgrades: Three slots, standard destroyer options.Premium Camouflage: Tier 2 to 5 Standard. This provides 30% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. As with most ships, you'll want to splurge on premium versions of consumables on an “as you can afford” basis. I strongly recommend taking a premium version of Okhotnik's Smoke Generator and Damage Control Party. A premium Engine Boost consumable is also nice to have, but it's not necessary. For her module choices, it's the same picks you'll take for most destroyers. For your first slot, Magazine Modification 1 is your best choice. Your guns are fragile, though, so if being detonated doesn't bother you, then taking Main Armaments Modification 1 is a reasonable alternative. In your second slot, you have a choice. Aiming Systems Modification 1 is best. This reduces your maximum dispersion by 7m at 11km... which isn't a lot, but it is preferable to assist with your torpedo traverse. Alternatively, you can take Main Battery Modification 2 to increase your turret traverse but this comes at a minor loss to DPM. And for your third slot, take whatever because they're all terrible. Firepower Primary Battery: Seven 130mm rifles, two on the bow and five on the stern. None of these guns are superfiring. Torpedo Armament: Twelve tubes in 4x3 launchers Okhotnik naval rifles are the 130mm/55 B-7 and she gets a lot of them. This gun was first introduced to us last year with Krasny Krym, the modernized version of Svietlana. These are also found on Podvoisky, the new tier 5 Destroyer supplanting the Gnevny-class. They differ somewhat from the 130mm B-13s that are found on the higher tier Soviet destroyers. They have a slightly lower muzzle velocity and a worse penetrating shell. These do the same 2,500 AP and 1,900 HE damage with an 8% fire chance. Okhotnik is very short ranged for a tier 5 destroyer at 9.2km, which helps keep her power level in check. Okhotnik trades away DPM for alpha strike. A single broadside of all seven rifles lands for 4,389 HE damage when they penetrate an unsaturated target. This is one third of a tier 5 destroyer's health pool and amounts to a larger alpha strike per volley than the tier 7 Blyskawica. Landing hits like this made most of my opponents get all squirrely for some reason. They often elected to disengage rather than press any DPM advantage they had over me. Of course, missing with one volley is more tragic in Okhotnik than other destroyers and poor gunnery will punish you especially hard. Make those shots count or reap the consequences. Some of the negative traits of Okhotnik's guns will be very familiar to veterans of the Russian and Soviet Destroyer line. First of all, she has the same 2.0km “stealth tax” when firing her guns. Instead of receiving a nominal 3.9km surface detection penalty (gun calibre x 0.3km), Okhotnik gains 5.9km of surface detection range when shooting. This precludes her from ever being able to fire from stealth short of lobbing shells from smoke or behind an island. She also shares the horrible gun traverse rate of the Gnevny-class. It takes her almost 33s to traverse her guns 180º which is downright appalling. However, you might not notice it as much given Okhotnik's handling, but more on that later. The good news is that Okhotnik compensates for this by having a 360º rotation on all of her guns. Okhotnik has next to no deck clutter. What's more, her guns aren't mounted in partially or fully enclosed turrets. Heck, they don't even have gun shields. So while her guns may not be mounted in a superfiring configuration, it's surprising how many you can bring to bear. All seven rifles can be aimed at targets 30º off her bow to either side. More surprising is that gun #2 can fire through gun #1. Yeah. Weird. This gives you two rifles that can shoot directly forward but only one gun can shoot directly astern. As you'll often be tacking towards or away from your targets at an angle, you'll often only need to adjust your heading by a little to bring all of your guns to bear. Torpedoes Okhotnik's torpedoes are almost as hilarious as her gun mounts. She has four triple launchers, mounted dorsally. She can dump a broadside of 12 torpedoes at a target at once. This is a feat that isn't matched until the Shimakaze at tier 10. These “walls of skill” are an absolute nightmare for enemies to try to avoid and it's not uncommon to see players freeze in the face of the approaching doom. The only thing that keeps this balanced is the horrible performance of the torpedoes. Okhotnik's fish are unique currently. They have a 13,667 maximum damage listing which isn't bad for a tier 5 destroyer (especially not one that can spit out twelve of the little blighters). They're very quick too, traveling at 62 knots with a 1.0km surface detection range, giving opponents a mere 6.1s worth of reaction time when their death approaches. Worse, these things can be veritably spammed with their 47s reload per launcher. With their respectable damage output, Okhotnik can keep tubes in reserve, launching only what's needed and keeping others on hand for a follow up target. The only thing gives these things a modicum of balance (and only just) is their short range of 4.5km. Her torpedoes are one of the most unbalanced features about Okhotnik, and if she were any faster they would be horribly overpowered. With the ability to get the ship's surface detection range down to 5.7km with Concealment Expert, Okhotnik can sprint the last 1.2km she needs to dump her fish against a chosen target in as little as 13 seconds against a ship running a perpendicular course. This isn't a lot of time to react to the ambush. The only fly in the ointment here is that Okhotnik doesn't have very good forward torpedo arcs as her first three launchers are sandwiched in between the fore and after superstructure and funnels so it will require her to manoeuvre to swing out her weapons. Expect to see a lot of spectacular suicide torpedo runs and close-range island ambushes in this boat paying big dividends. Rivals: Gremyashchy Lert: Gremyashchy is faster and has more range. She has better torpedoes, turns better and can fire from stealth in open water. She'll be spotted before Okhotnik is though, and if you catch a Gremy with its pants down you can smash him in the face with superior alpha strike, giving you the edge in the DPM fight that follows. Be wary of Gremy's torpedoes, which have twice the range of yours. Always be wary of potential torps and maneuver accordingly, you don't have the agility to dodge torpedoes you didn't expect. If Gremyashchy comes within 4km, flood the ocean with metal fishes, though a smart Gremy driver will avoid this situation. Try to control the engagement, difficult as it seems versus a ship that is faster and turns better than you. Keep the pressure on him, and you might come out of this engagement still floating. It's very important to get that first strike in though, and your superior stealth helps in this regard. Even then, it's an uphill battle and a savvy Gremyashchy driver will use his speed and agility to try and dictate the fight. Okhotnik is good, but it doesn't challenge Gremy's crown of best Russian destroyer at tier 5. Wall of skill deployed. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 34.5 knots Turning Radius: 730m Rudder Shift Time: 3.2s So here's where the bad news lies, and it's all in one trait, really. Okhotnik has a lower-than-average top speed and decent rudder shift. But where she really hurts is her turning radius, which is comparable to that of a Battleship. This is to be expected given her length. It takes Okhotnik just over 15 seconds to make a 90º turn and almost a minute to rotate 360º, slowing down to 28.9 knots with her rudder hard over. For comparison, a Farragut can make the same 90º turn in 11 seconds and the full rotation in 43. Okhotnik just doesn't answer her rudder quickly. This makes her rather vulnerable to enemy torpedoes as you can well imagine. Torpedo bombers are a particular weakness of Okhotnik's, as she has a rather large surface detection range for a destroyer while simultaneously having pathetic AA power (more on that later). The length of her hull only exacerbates the problem of avoiding these waterborne warheads. Still, even with this sluggish handling, she's still capable of out turning her even more sluggish turret traverse (6º ship turn, 5.5º turret traverse). Thankfully, her 360º turret rotation more than makes up for this. Okhotnik's lack of agility also makes dodging incoming fire a little more challenging. However, her low profile does maker her a difficult target to land reliable hits against, especially at range. Durability Hit Points: 12,700 Maximum Protection: 16mm Min Bow & Deck Armour: 10mm Okhotnik has a slightly-more-than-average hit points total for a tier 5 destroyer, but nothing to get too excited about. Her exposed main battery mounts have only 6mm of armour protection but they can absorb just as much damage as the weapons on other DDs. Still, expect HE splashes from large caliber guns to disable and destroy these vulnerable weapons regularly. With the length of her hull, it's important to keep incoming AP shell penetration mechanics in mind. Shots that strike her broadside are likely to over penetrate while those that travel the length of the ship are more likely to result in full penetration damage. Be careful on your approaches against Battleships. This makes the Captain Skill, Priority Target, worth it's weight in gold. Pay attention to what ships are shooting at you and with what ammunition types to best protect yourself. Rivals: Nicholas Lert: The American fighting lady has a hit point advantage, superior gun DPM, better range, better speed and is more agile. Her torpedo armament is arguably weaker than yours by volume and damage output, though not by range. This theoretical duel will depend greatly on who gets the initiative. Although she's faster, Nicholas has slightly worse detection than you, giving you a small advantage here. Make sure your first salvo hits, and hits hard. This will give you an advantage that you need to press. If Nicholas makes a mistake and comes close enough, perhaps to try and launch her torpedoes, make sure you close the gap and get your wall of skill in the water to crush her. Your volume of fish will mean no escape if the Nicholas makes the mistake of coming within 4km. Still, this is an uphill battle that depends greatly on who takes the initiative. Concealment & Camouflage Surface Detection Range: 6.5km Air Detection Range: 4.3km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 5.7km Concealment Penalty while Firing: +5.9km (vs 9.2km gun range) I dunno what they were thinking here. Okhotnik is an enormous destroyer, yet she has better concealment values than Gremyashchy, Gnevny, Podvoisky, Nicholas and T-22. Her enormity is in one dimension only, however, and that may explain why she gets such a generous surface detection range. Okhotnik sits very low in the water, with her raised forward bow section lower than that of the Kamikaze-class and her bridge being much lower still. Within her Matchmaking spread, from tiers 4 through 7, only the IJN Destroyers Isokaze, Minekaze, Kamikaze, Mutsuki and the tier 4 German V-170 have a better surface detection range. Short of being sniffed out by aircraft or tripping over one of these ships, Okhotnik is going to see her opponents before being detected in turn. This is good news for the Russian Destroyer given the short range of her weapon systems. She is utterly incapable of firing either her torpedoes or her guns without being detected by her enemies. Every time you pull the trigger, you're putting your ship in harm's way. One of the few balancing measures for Okhotnik shows up here with her very large detection range from the air. She's spotted 4.3km out, which is closer to the range you would expect for a destroyer-leader like the Tenryu or Yubari. Okhotnik moored alongside a reference-Minekaze. You can very clearly see the difference in length and height between the two images. Anti-Aircraft DefenseAA Battery Calibers: 76.2mm / 7.62mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 3.0km / 1.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 3 / 7 Ha-ha, who are you kidding? Okhotnik is dangerously vulnerable to aircraft and should be made a priority target by any CV that spots her on the team line up. Her long keel and horrible turning radius makes her a juicy target for torpedo planes though she is rather slender, making her a harder target for dive bombers. This is one of the few destroyers where you can safely keep her AA turned on at all times as their range is actually shorter than her aerial detection range. Rivals: Minekaze Lert: She's stealthier than you, faster than you, more agile than you and can fire torpedoes from outside her detection range. In Minekaze's ideal hypothetical scenario, you'll never see him coming and the first notice you have of him being near is the Sixth Sense warning icon appearing on the screen. Expect torpedoes in the water, and turn towards where you suspect he is. The concealment difference between the two is only 100 meters base, so if you guessed right, you'll be able to spot him once you make your turn. Smack him upside the head with a devastating volley and hope he doesn't just turn and run, in which case you'll never catch him. Any Minekaze driver worth his salt knows he'll never win a gunnery duel with a Russian gunboat, and will not engage in one if he has any say. Skills to Beat Sneaker wearing Hedgehogs Okhotnik has a real dependence on Captain Skills to make her an enjoyable and effective destroyer. Arguably, most destroyers manage this level of competitiveness with 10 skill points -- when they unlock Concealment Expert. This makes Okhotnik very much a late bloomer. Whether a player considers her powerful will largely depend on the skills available to their Captain. While there's always some mutability in skill choice between players, the five skills below should be considered “must haves” for Okhotnik. As a trainer for your Soviet Captains, this dependence on certain skills can make Okhotnik ill suited to performing optimally with skills that run contrary to this recommended build.Priority Target (tier one) Okhotnik cannot engage enemies without being seen herself, short of abusing island and smoke cover. These forms of concealment will not always be readily available, so it's important to know when it's safe to pull the trigger and when you should go gun-silent to preserve your hit points. Due to Okhotnik's middling speed and manoeuvrability, dodging fire isn't as viable as dropping off the radar and disappearing. Knowing when you can continue pulling the trigger safely and when you should probably disengage will help keep this ship in the game. This can also allow you to know when it's safer to attempt a point blank torpedo drop.Expert Marksman (tier two) During play-testing, Okhotnik was shackled with the same awful turret traverse with which Gremyashchy was originally introduced. This 5.5º per second rotation didn't feel as limiting for this destroyer though. The reason was simple enough -- unlike Gremyashchy, Okhotnik could only turn the ship itself at 6º per second. So while she could out turn her turrets, it wasn't to such a dramatic degree as the original Soviet Premium Destroyer. So Okhotnik's turret traverse doesn't feel as punitive as Gremyashchy's did while the ship is under manoeuvres. However, Okhotnik struggles to use her rudder to help bring her guns to bear on a new target. To this end, Expert Marksman is a very important skill to help her re-engage targets quickly. Without this skill, Okhotnik is still playable though switching sides with her guns takes a very long time (as much as 33 seconds). This said, having a 360º rotation on her turrets will help some, at least with tracking a new target. Thus, this should be the last skill you pick up.Last Stand (tier two) You're a destroyer, and one that cannot stealth-fire at targets. It's safe to assume your steering and rudder will be knocked out regularly. Take this one on your first pass through the skill list.Concealment Expert (tier four) Take this as your first tier four skill. This may seem like a no-brainer. There are very few destroyers in the game where Concealment Expert doesn't provide a tremendous bonus to their effectiveness. Okhotnik isn't special this way by any means, but it's worth paying special attention why she gains from this skill. With camouflage, this drops her surface detection range from 6.3km to 5.7km. This does not allow Okhotnik to torpedo without being detected or to fire from stealth in open water, even with Advanced Fire Training . With this in mind, some players may be outright dismissive of the necessity of this skill, but it shouldn't be skipped over. With Concealment Expert, Okhotnik gains the ability to spot other gunships before she herself is detected. Provided her turrets are properly aligned, this all but guarantees her to get off the first volley of shells. As Okhotnik focuses on alpha strike and not DPM with her guns, this can mean the difference between clinching an engagement with that first strike or being on the back foot every time she meets another destroyer. Finally, when things do go south (and they will), it provides an additional 600m distance buffer to allow you to drop back into stealth when you silence your guns.Advanced Fire Training (tier four) One of Okhotnik's biggest flaws is the short range of her main battery. Her 9.2km stock range may seem like a nuisance at first, but it works considerably to the detriment of the ship when it comes to engaging capital ships. Advanced Fire Training opens Okhotnik's range up to 11km and the importance of this range increase cannot be understated. Her guns, with their good ballistic qualities, are still very accurate to this range. Okhotnik shares a low surface profile, similar to the German V-170. With almost no deck structures, hitting Okhotnik with main battery fire is a challenge. The more range you can open up between yourself and your targets, the safer Okhotnik becomes. While you can never remove the threat of return fire in Okhotnik, you can make it so annoying to shoot her that opponents elect to fire somewhere else. So if you intend to use Okhotnik to abuse larger ships, this skill is almost a must. This should be acquired as soon as you have Concealment Expert.Final Note on Captain Skills If you've done the math, you'll note that with taking only a single tier 3 skill, this adds up to 16pt Captain. The only real variety and choice for Okhotnik comes in with her tier 3 skills and there are a lot of good options there. I personally prefer taking Basic Fire Training as my primary skill at tier 3 and Demolition Expert as a follow up. Decent alternative skills include Survivability Expert and Superintendent. I firmly believe that a 14pt Captain is really needed to enjoy this ship, though 16pts is ideal. When combined with the inflexibility of skill choices, her uses as a Soviet training ship are much more limited. Recommended Build: http://shipcomrade.com/captcalc/1000000000100001000010100000100119 Skills should be taken in this order: Priority Target Last Stand Basic Fire Training (or tier 3 skill of choice) Concealment Expert Advanced Fire Training Demolition Expert (or tier 3 skill of choice) Expert Marksman Inertial Fuse for HE Shells Okhotnik doesn't need to take the tier 4 skill, Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. Her 130mm rifles are capable of penetration up to 21mm of armour without it. When she's top tier, short of the belt armour and turrets of larger warships, there are very few sections of any ships she cannot damage directly. If you can scrounge the points for it, this will give her the ability to extend this ability to penetrate all targets just about everywhere up through tier 6 and 7 battleships and some of the IJN and German Cruisers at tiers 6+. The only problem with taking this skill is finding the points necessary to afford it. The easiest place to acquire them would be to drop a tier 3 and a tier 2 skill to shoe horn this into your build. Alternatively, you could drop Concealment Expert, but this would prevent you from being able to effectively engage enemy destroyers.Alternative IFHE Bombardment: Build One: http://shipcomrade.com/captcalc/1100000000000001000000100010100119 Build Two: http://shipcomrade.com/captcalc/1000000000100001000010100010100019 Aircraft carriers should make taking this destroyer out a priority. However, they need to switch up the tools they use to do so. Torpedo bombers are very effective against this clumsy ship. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme As far as destroyers go, Okhotnik is pretty forgiving but only with the right Captain Skill choices. Properly set up, she can hide from anything she can't outfight and barring tripping over a Belfast or Atlanta, she can outfight anything from which she can't hide. She's always going to be detected when you engage enemy targets, so there's no fussy stealth-firing calculations to make. You can blindly rush unwary capital ships and make their lives miserable with a suicide torp-wall of doom and they're equally effective at deterring enemy destroyers from knife fighting. About the only bad trait about her for inexperienced or novice players is her horrible handling but don't let that stop you. But again, that's contingent on having the right skills to optimize this destroyer's strengths. Without the right setup, novice players may find this ship frustrating. For veterans and skilled players, Okhotnik is going to be a little monster. The damage this ship can put out demands a lot of respect and her base concealment rating allows players to control the engagement. Her ability to deliver sudden and massive alpha strikes with her torpedoes and guns will put many inexperienced opponents on their back foot right from the word go and allow Okhotnik to bully with ease. The Lertbox - Final Words Okhotnik struggles against same tier opponents in theoretical 1v1s. If you only read my three comparisons you might get the idea that she sucks. However, that's only if the opponent presses their advantage and pursues the engagement. Plus, Okhotnik is unrivaled in delivering apocalyptic devastating ambushes versus battleships - in a training room I was able to reliably one-shot (stationary and unarmed) Grosser Kurfuersts with her torpedo broadsides. Versus other destroyers, she relies on smashing alpha strike from a situation of stealth. She relies on dissuading gunship destroyers from engaging her by biting their face off, without warning. Once so hit, the enemy destroyer driver may panic and try to disengage or smoke up, at which point you've got them. Against cooler heads though, you're on the defensive. Against destroyer drivers who aren't intimidated by your first salvo you've got your work cut out. Without the ROF to pummel them down or speed to disengage, you're facing an uphill battle. I just don't think she's as OP as Mouse says. Time will tell though. Mouse's Summary: Longship is long. It should come with Vikings. She doesn't handle very well, but that didn't bother me. Her torpeedus are amazing. She's the perfect ship to dig out an enemy destroyers and cruisers hiding in smoke. Why is she so stealthy!? As far as Soviet-bias goes, Okhotnik isn't too bad -- she's only a little overpowered (like that's a good thing). Her performance is gated behind a combination of skills so not every Okhotnik is going to be awesome. She isn't unbalanced in the same manner as the Belfast. Her strengths are more well-rounded, with good guns, good torpedoes and good concealment without any gimmicks. This makes her strong without being dominating in a single arena. A lot of focus will be put on her torpedoes as THE defining feature of what makes her so advantageous, but this would be a mistake. If her torpedoes had more range, then certainly, I could agree with that sentiment, but it's the combination of traits rather than any one single element that makes her overpowered. She has great stealth but she can't stealth fire. She has a great torpedo armament, but good luck getting those off against tier 7 ships. Her guns are hard hitting, but they're not going to let you knife fight an American destroyer that wants to fight back. You're not fast enough to get away from an Atlanta or Belfast that's running you down with radar. Okhotnik dances the fine line between risk and reward. Aggressive players will love her. Cautious players might not. Okhotnik up-tiers rather well, having little trouble facing off against tier 6 opponents as well as she might against tier 5. It's only when the tier 7s appear, with higher velocity guns and ships like Belfast, Fiji and Atlanta, that she begins to feel a bit long in the tooth. Battleships also get faster and the maps are less claustrophobic making for fewer ambush-opportunities at close range. It's a testament that Okhotnik is at least a little more balanced than Gremyashchy which scarcely notices when she's up-tiered. Okhotnik's strengths really lie with her concealment / alpha strike ability. With this, I could engage even tier 7 Kiev-class destroyers and remain confident of winning. It's not hard to land 6 or 7 shots when the engagement range begins at 6km and this initial 3,000 to 4,000 hammer blow into their hit points sets the tone for a winning battle. A second volley could often be delivered before the Kiev could bring all of her guns on target. It's no wonder most of them would try to smoke up and reset the engagement at this stage. It was often wise to blow my own smoke at the same time and back off if the Kiev had spotters in the area keeping me lit. If not, there was no harm in dropping a wall of skill into their smoke screen. Easy money. I had a lot of fun playing Okhotnik; she surprised me. I admit, I took one look at this derpy boat and thought I'd hate it but she won me over. Once I dropped my Gremyashchy Captain into her, she took me for a ride and I was grinning the whole time. Changes from Play Test Okhotnik changed somewhat from the play test sessions I enjoyed to her release on live. Two were minor and one was rather significant. All of these changes have been considered and folded into the review already, so you don't need to back track and re-evaluate what was written. Okhotnik's turret rotation was buffed from 5º per second to 5.5º per second. Okhotnik's guns used to traverse with the same sluggish handling as Gremyashchy. A large number of the Soviet Destroyers got a gun traverse buff with 0.6.2 and Okhotnik was no exception. Originally only Okhotnik's two forward turrets could rotate 360º. This is a minor change, really. Now all five rear turrets can also rotate in a full circle. Combined with the minor turret traverse buff, this is a nice quality of life change but again not too significant. Fire angles of the aft guns (except for the last one) is limited to +/- 30º off the ship axis. Now this one is a kicker and represents a more significant (but not terribly damaging) nerf. Okhotnik's five rear guns used to be able to engage targets 20º off the forward or rear arcs of the ship. Okhotnik already has a small profile and being able to aggressively angle her towards or away from a foe while firing five (rearward) or seven (forward) guns was pretty huge. She doesn't have enough armour to auto-ricochet anything but a select few destroyer-caliber AP shells, but it did make her a much smaller target to bulls-eye. The individual fire angles for the rear guns began as little as 16º off the bow (#7). Okhotnik belongs up front in an aggressive stance. Use her excellent concealment values to spot for your team and screen them from attack. Would I Recommend? Players are spoiled for choice where Russian premiums are concerned. Okhotnik competes directly with Leningrad (and for old, crusty veterans, Gremyashchy) for primacy among the Soviet Destroyers. She's not as powerful as Gremyashchy, that's for sure, but she will be less expensive than Leningrad which may immediately appeal to some consumers. Overall, I think Leningrad is the better boat for most of the reasons you'd buy a premium, but Okhotnik is definitely more fun (and stupid looking). For Random Battle GrindingThis includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Mouse: Well, maybe. She can do very well in random battles, earning you credits and medals galore. I found it an easy feat to get three or four kills per match, which made unleashing the Kraken not too much of a stretch. The problem is that she's reliant upon having a Captain with the right skill combination to truly play efficiently. This precludes her use as a comfortable trainer for all but the last few skill points (and you're completely out of luck if your skill choices don't gel with Okhotnik's needs) which sort of undermines the purpose of a premium ship. So your mileage will definitely vary. For me? I'd take her to farm achievements and Kraken medals. Lert: Maybe. She doesn't really need premium consumables to shine, but tier 5 is in a bad MM spot right now, and tier 5 premiums are not really the greatest captain trainers or credit earners. Tier 6 is where you really want to be for that, minimum. Plus, she relies on a set of advanced captain skills to really shine, which makes her less ideal as a captain trainer. For Competitive GamingCompetitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. Mouse: Her concealment value alone will make her a good choice for competitive environments, especially combined with her ability to deliver high alpha, opportunistic strikes with her guns. The only major downside is her lack of agility which makes her torpedo bait. She cannot compete with Gremyashchy (what can?) but for people looking to pad their win rates, Okhotnik is a good ship.Lert: No. Too slow, too vulnerable to torpedo strikes, not agile enough. The only things she really has going for her is her stealth and initial alpha, which isn't enough in a competitive environment. For CollectorsIf you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Mouse: Ha! No. Okhotnik was never built in steel.Lert: This is a paper ship with no actual history behind her. She looks amazing though. If you're looking for historically significant ships, look elsewhere. For Fun FactorBottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Mouse: Very yes. She's a party boat.Lert: Yes. Alpha strike is fun. Driving odd ducks is fun. Ships with interesting playstyles are fun. Crushing battleships as they round the headland is fun. Okhotnik is fun.
  6. LittleWhiteMouse

    Week in Warship History for March 6th

    NoZoupForYou continues his Week in Warship History series.
  7. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: Atlanta 3.0

    Thank you for the feedback. I've received a similar recommendation on the NA server so I'm definitely going to do this going forward. For Atlanta, I would recommend the following order for skills: For the Bombardment Builds One and Two, there are two paths (confusing, I know!). This build can come into its own pretty early. A 6pt Captain can be reasonably effective if you can pick your fights with Demolition Expert. At 10pts the comfort level of this build jumps up considerably. Priority Target at tier 1 (stay alive!) Adrenaline Rush at tier 2 (more pew pews) You have your choice at tier 3. Basic Fire Training is arguably better -- it buffs not only your DPM but also your AA firepower. However, Demolition Expert will let you tickle big ships in all of the ways they don't want to be touched right out of the gates. If you like playing the support role on occasion, go BFT first. If you want to live dangerously, DE is better as a first pick. Do not double up on tier 3 skills -- move on to tier 4. At tier 4, take Advanced Fire Training as your first tier 4 skill. This gives you so much more utility with increased AA range and adds a layer of safety for your Atlanta. You might be tempted with the Concealment Expert build to grab that one first, but that would be a mistake. Use this time to familiarize yourself with which islands you can use to lob shells at enemies and which ones you can't. Get into the habit of learning when you need to bug out to avoid enemy reprisals. If you have these habits worked out early on, it will make you all the more dangerous when you do have CE. When you go back through the tech tree, it depends on what your second tier 4 skill would be. If you're planning on taking Concealment Expert, then grab that first before hoovering up your second tier 3 skill. If you're planning on taking Inertial Fuse for HE Shells then make sure you have Demolition Expert before you take this second tier 4 skill. For the Destroyer Hunter build, the order is much more straight forward. You want to gun for Concealment Expert ASAP, but the build will not really come into its own until you've got a 10pt to 14pt Captain. Take Priority Target for that lovely warning system. Next, grab Last Stand. You're going to be on the firing line often. Protect yourself. You live and die by your consumables with this one. Superintendent is your best choice at tier 3. And finally, grab Concealment Expert to top off your first 10pts. For the next skills, you'll want to grab Radio Location (14pts), Basic Fire Training (17pts) and finally Adrenaline Rush (19pts). For the Anti-Aircraft Escort build, it's again very straight forward. This ship is good enough with a 6pt Captain, but enemy carriers really have to start worrying about you once you get a 10pt Captain. If carriers were more prevalent in World of Warships, this would easily be my go-to recommended build for novice players learning the ropes of this ship. It would provide so many fun rewards. Take Priority Target first. Don't bother grabbing your second tier 1 skill. That will be our 19th point. Jack of All Trades is next. At tier 3, grab Basic Fire Training. And for your 10th skill point, take Advanced Fire Training. You're now super dangerous to any planes that slip within 7.2km of your ship. Now it may seem counter intuitive, but take Concealment Expert before Manual Fire Control for AA Guns. Concealment Expert will allow you to stay unspotted longer. This will help you setup that first ambush of the enemy attack craft waves. It will also let you do damage a bit easier if there aren't any carriers in the match. After you've got your manual AA guns, drop back and spend your last point on Preventative Maintenance.
  8. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: Atlanta 3.0

    Any player can take any ship and take her to Rank One, it's just a matter of how well they'll make her perform. Obviously a unicum will have a much better time of things and get the most out of a given vessel. The question on my recommendation becomes: If it was an average player (45% to 51% win rate), would Atlanta be a good choice to take into Ranked Battles? This is a player that will not know which islands they can use to lob shells over. They're the kind of players that are going to do an average of 25,000 damage, survive one game in four, and land a killing blow only one out of every two games. Stick that same player in a Fiji (41k damage) or Belfast (43k damage) and their contribution jumps considerably, including a one in three survival rate. Don't get me wrong -- I love the Atlanta and I'm convinced that a great player can do great things in her. But she's not a good recommendation for the average player to take into Ranked Battles.
  9. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: Atlanta 3.0

    Poopin' rainbows. Quick Summary: A fragile anti-aircraft cruiser with radar and armed with sixteen 127mm rifles and short-ranged torpedoes. Patch and Date Written: 0.6.1. February 3rd, 2017 Cost: 9,000 doubloons. Closest in-Game Contemporary Flint, Tier 7 USN Cruiser Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique Flint is an Oakland-subclass of the Atlanta-class cruiser, so it stands to reason that the two ships would be very similar. Flint has an upgraded medium-range anti-aircraft suite. She loses out on the two wing turrets found on Atlanta giving her a maximum of a twelve-gun broadside. Flint's superiority is very firmly set by her torpedoes which have a reach out to 9.2km. Lastly, the two ships trade out their third consumable, with Flint having a USN Smoke Generator instead of Atlanta's Radar. PROs Armed with sixteen, rapid fire 127mm rifles in eight turrets dispensing up to168 rounds per minute from a fourteen gun broadside. Turret traverse is blinding-quick at 25º per second. Able to fire over intervening terrain quite easily. Her main battery customizes incredibly with the 0.6.0 Captain Skills. Her torpedoes are very fast and very hard hitting for a cruiser of her tier. Powerful anti-aircraft armament, with unlimited charges of her Defensive Fire consumable. With a full AA-upgrade build, she has some of the best AA-power in the game, tier for tier. She has access to the USN Radar consumable. CONs Tiny hit point pool of 27,500hp. Her machine-spaces citadel sits over the waterline and has a maximum of 89mm of protection. Her bows are overmatched by 203mm guns or larger. Her turrets get temporarily disabled easily. Painfully short ranged at 11.1km stock. Very poor ballistics, with shells being launched into low orbit even at modest ranges. Poor penetration values on her AP and HE shells. She struggles to do damage to tier 8+ Battleships. Torpedoes are pathetically short ranged at 4.5km. Large surface detection range of 11.0km. My last review of Atlanta was over a year ago and there have been some rather significant changes to the game in that time. Atlanta has been graced by some better fortunes, including one direct buff and many smaller, indirect buffs caused by differences in new mechanics and systems. This time last year, she was an overspecialized oddity, unable to perform in the manner players wanted and expected her to perform. She remained a favourite to eccentrics and experts and downright punitive to novice players. Atlanta's fame (or infamy) has waned considerably over the year. She is no longer commonly available, having been removed as a permanent fixture from the online store. She is also gone from the in-game tech-tree where she could be bought with doubloons. Though far from rare, it is likely that as the game matures she may become a more uncommon sight. This said, her game play style has been diluted somewhat by the inclusion of USS Flint, an Oakland-subclass of the Atlanta-class cruiser. Flint shares many characteristics with Atlanta but with the benefits of better torpedoes and a smoke generator -- two fixes for the Atlanta-class many fans of her were clamouring for. We received different fixes for Atlanta instead of questionable effectiveness. This does raise the question if Atlanta is now worth purchasing for those who do not have her, especially given her limited availability. Hopefully this review will address said concerns. Atlanta subscribes to the original Wargaming design for premium vessels in World of Warships, where candidates were to be selected from ships that didn't fit in the tech tree. These "weird" vessels included ships like Kitakami and Tone. Options Atlanta's Defensive Fire is special. Unlike other ships, she has unlimited charges of this consumable. Its other characteristics, including reset timer, duration and intensity remain the same. Atlanta is also one of the few tier 7 ships with Radar. This has an 8.49km range, 25s duration and two or three minute reset timer depending if you took the premium version or not. Consumables: Damage Control Party Defensive Fire or Hydroacoustic Search Radar Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard USN Cruiser options.Premium Camouflage: Tier 6+ Standard. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy Firepower Main Battery: Sixteen 127mm rifles in 8x2 turrets with an A-B-C-P-Q-X-Y-Z arrangement. A-B-C and X-Y-Z are superfiring, with all three turrets capable of shooting unobstructed directly forward or aft respectively. P and Q are wing turrets mounted just ahead of X-turret and behind the torpedo launchers. This gives the ship a fourteen gun broadside. Torpedo Armament: Eight tubes between 2x4 launchers. One is mounted to each side of the ship behind the rear funnel. Let's start with Atlanta's torpedoes; they are terrible. While individually hard hitting at 16,663 damage per and fast at 65 knots they are pathetically short ranged at 4.5km. This limits their utility to ambush scenarios and acts of desperation. In order to properly make use of Atlanta's torpedoes, your opponent has to have made a serious mistake. In such scenarios, a broadside of all four fish will be catastrophic and your opponent deserves the punishment these can dish out for being so horribly out of position. In close range brawls with enemy cruisers, a broadside of her AP shells is often more reliably devastating than her torpedoes. That's really all that needs to be said about these weapons. Main Battery Atlanta has arguably the most entertaining main battery armament in the game. There are few guns as interesting as the USN 127mm/38 rifles in World of Warships. They are not without their controversies either. With 0.6.0 they received a significant buff in regards to how they interact with select Captain Skills and the variety of builds centered around improving these weapons is diverse. But let's start with looking at their raw performance before we worry about how we can modify them. Common Captain Skills taken by Atlanta players to buff their Main Battery. Few ships benefit so greatly from Captain Skills as the Atlanta. From left to right: Basic Fire Training, Advanced Fire Training, Demolition Expert, Inertia Fuse for HE Shells, Adrenaline Rush and Expert Marksman. Not all of these skills should be considered optimal or even necessary. The 127mm/38 rifles found on Atlanta are similar to, but not an exact match to the weapons found on the USN Destroyers. They fire the same shells, with the same relative range, ballistic qualities, alpha strike, penetration values and fire chance to her line's destroyers. However, Atlanta doesn't enjoy the same rate of fire found on vessels like Mahan, Farragut or Sims. Farragut, at tier 6, fires 15 rounds per minute -- a value matched by Mahan at tier 7. Sims gets this volume of fire as high as 18.2 rounds per minute while Atlanta has to make do with 12. For those wondering, this isn't historical and has been reduced for balance reasons. Atlanta may appear to have the equivalent broadside to three USN Destroyers combined, once you factor in her reload time, this works out closer to two. And this brings us to our first two Captain Skills. Rate of Fire Atlanta reloads every 5s giving her fourteen gun broadside a potential rate of fire of 168 rounds per minute. There are two ways to increase this. As a destroyer-caliber weapon, Atlanta enjoys full benefits of Basic Fire Training which drops her reload down to 4.5s and increases her rate of fire up to just over 186rpm. As if that weren't enough, you can also take Adrenaline Rush which increases her rate of fire as your ship takes damage. At half health, this drops Atlanta's reload by another half second, increasing it to 210rpm. Let's look at some real-world examples. Assuming penetrating hits from her HE shells (594 damage per), a full 14 gun volley (8,316 damage per) yields the following. Against saturated areas, the damage will be half this. At 168rpm: 99,792 damage. At 186rpm: 110,494 damage. At 210rpm: 124,740 damage. This is contingent on being able to land hits with that level of accuracy and penetrate vulnerable areas. Like all guns, Atlanta's rifles are exceedingly dangerous up close. Landing with ten or more shells per volley is easy enough inside of 7km ranges. However, even veteran Atlanta players only land between 29% and 35% of their hits overall which much of the accuracy disparity coming from her poor ballistic qualities at range. Range and Ballistics One of Atlanta's biggest weaknesses is her lack of reach relative to her surface detection. Stock, Atlanta's guns can theoretically hit targets up to 11.1km away while she's detected from the surface from 11.0km. This 100m buffer for such a fragile ship forces her to be placed in harms way anytime she pulls the trigger. Taking the skill, Advanced Fire Training extends her reach up to 13.3km. Between camouflage and skills, it's possible to get her surface detection down to 9.4km. In theory, this opens the tiniest of stealth fire windows (less than 100m) but in all practical sense, Atlanta cannot engage targets and stay hidden without the use of cover. This is further compounded by the appalling ballistic qualities of her shells. At her maximum range, her shells are taking a full second per kilometer of distance traveled. This leads to horrible lead times. Depending on game resolution, some players may be prevented from using the maximum zoom when ranging their shells as their targets will be well off screen. This can make targeting specific sections of ships very difficult This is a necessary skill when facing off against heavily armored targets which her HE shells can struggle to damage.Penetration and Fire Atlanta has one of the lowest average damage per game values of any tier 7 cruiser. Stock, Atlanta's high explosive shells can penetrate a maximum of 20mm of armour. Aside from destroyers and some light cruisers, her shells just don't have the penetration power to directly affect vessels short of their superstructures. So while her guns may murder a destroyer with some alacrity, when facing against cruisers and battleships, Atlanta was often on her back foot. Atlanta's AP shells can be truly monstrous when properly applied. However, their penetration values due to their low muzzle velocity and poor ballistics arcs prevents them from being used efficiently outside of 7km ranges. Inside this distance, Atlanta is more than capable of blowing out the citadel of heavy cruisers or hammering the upper hull or extremities of a Battleship with her AP shells and wracking up enormous damage totals quickly. It's not uncommon for Atlanta to deliver seven to ten citadel hits against a broadside cruiser inside of knife fighting range. This can deal a whopping 29,400 AP damage if you can land 14 out of 14 shells as citadel hits. For this reason, Atlanta's torpedoes are often forgotten in the heat of a brawl as her AP can be more than sufficient to put down an enemy cruiser. Outside of this range or against even slightly angled targets, her AP performance becomes quite anemic. For this reason, the ship has often lived and died by her high explosive shells. In the past, this forced Atlanta Captains to rely on the fire potential of her weapons to inflict damage against larger capital ships. As a flamethrower, she was quite good at this in theory but in practice, this was never sufficient. Her individual shells have a poor base fire chance at 5% per hit. Demolition Expert can nudge this number up to 7%. However, this plugs into a larger formula: [Fire Resistance Coefficient x ( 1 - [Damage Control Modification 1 - [Fire Prevention ) x ( [Projectile Base Fire Chance + [Demolition Expert + [signals - [inertial Fuse for HE Shells) = Fire Chance Fire Resistance Coefficients vary, from 0.8668 for a stock tier 5 to 0.5671 for a fully upgraded tier 9 vessel. This makes the chances of stacking fires much easier against lower tiered targets than higher tiered, which is ironic given that Atlanta can often deal more damage directly to lower tiered targets than needing fires to prop up her damage totals. Here are some real world examples: Atlanta with Demolition Expert facing an upgraded Kongo with Damage Control Modification 1 (0.8335) x [1-(0.05) - (0) x [(0.05) + (0.02) + (0) - (0) = 5.54% per shell Atlanta with Demolition Expert facing an upgraded Iowa with Damage Control Modification 1 and Fire Prevention (0.5671) x [1-(0.05) - (0.1) x [(0.05) + (0.02) + (0) - (0) = 3.37% per shell Combine this with Basic Fire Training on the Atlanta (186rpm) and a 30% accuracy and you're looking at 3.1 fires per minute against the Kongo and 1.9 fires per minute against the Iowa. Based on these numbers, an Atlanta should be able to easily stack a fire or two past Kongo's Damage Control Party and disengage. Against an Iowa or similar tier 9 Battleship, it's questionable whether any fires will stick at all if the target Captain manages their consumable properly. Dueling with either Battleship for longer than a minute greatly increases the changes of reprisals from the now-annoyed battleship from which Atlanta is unlikely to survive, so it's important to stack fires in a limited time frame and disappear. Without the ability to do damage quickly to larger targets and her own poor survivability when such ships elect to shoot back, it's perhaps no wonder that Atlanta's average damage has been so low. There is a ray of sunshine, however. Inertial Fuse for HE Shells All light cruisers have benefited massively from this skill and it has been a real game changer. For Atlanta, this increases her HE penetration from 20mm to 27mm allowing her to now damage the extremities of tier 6 and 7 battleships and all cruisers within her matchmaking spread. With this skill, now Atlanta can drop those theoretical 8,314 damage, 14 penetrating hit HE volleys against most of her opponents. Only tier 8+ Battleships retain an immunity to her shells with the exception of their superstructures. This skill isn't without its trade-offs, however. It's an expensive investment for one, requiring the sacrifice of one or more beneficial Captain Skills. In addition, it damages her already poor base fire chance by a whole 3%. It's this latter trade off which can really hurt as her (in)effectiveness against tier 8+ Battleships plummets even further. Let's look at our Iowa example again. Atlanta with Demolition Expert and Inertial Fuse for HE Shells facing an upgraded Iowa with Damage Control Modification 1 and Fire Prevention (0.5671) x [1-(0.05) - (0.1) x [(0.05) + (0.02) + (0) - (0.03) = 1.92% per shell And if you can no longer afford Demolition Expert: Atlanta with Inertial Fuse for HE Shells facing an upgraded Iowa with Damage Control Modification 1 and Fire Prevention (0.5671) x [1-(0.05) - (0.1) x [(0.05) + (0) + (0) - (0.03) = 0.96% per shell Once again, assuming Atlanta is using Basic Fire Training and attaining 30% accuracy, this works out to 1.1 fires per minute with Demolition Expert and 0.5 fires per minute without. So it becomes a question of a trade off. Inertial Fuse for HE Shells greatly increases Atlanta's lethality against same tier or lower tiered battleships but worsens her performance against those found at tiers 8 and 9. Conclusions: Few ships have their performance defined so significantly by Captain Skills as Atlanta. With her torpedoes being a mere afterthought, how a player customizes and elects to use Atlanta's main batteries will largely define their level of success with this ship. There is no build that is optimal against all targets and some that are superfluous or even damaging to Atlanta's damage output depending on the ship type engaged. A player must decide well in advance what kinds of ships she wishes to specialize against and build her Atlanta accordingly. One of Atlanta's more infamous traits is the awful shell flight times. At maximum range (13.3km) it's possible to begin firing a fourth volley volley before the first has hit the target. This makes lead times downright punitive and adjusting fire difficult. Maneuverability Top Speed: 32.5 knots Turning Radius: 610m Rudder Shift Time: 8.4s Atlanta's top speed of 32.5 knots isn't particularly exciting. It's sufficient for her task as an escort cruiser, but she doesn't have the speed necessary to challenge evasive destroyers. Perhaps more pressingly, she is also lacking in sufficient speed to outrun fast Battleships that may seek to engage her, such as Bismarck, Tirpitz, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau or Iowa and she has no chance of outpacing Soviet and Japanese cruisers. So while not slow or inflexible, some care needs to be taken when planning Atlanta's course lest she find herself out of position or over extended. This is a problem common to all USN Cruisers. Ship rotation times from starting at maximum speed and rudder hard over. Each ship was run through the course five times (except Flint and Atlanta which were run for ten to confirm their similarities) and the average taken. Deceleration is the time taken for a ship to reach it's lowest speed in a turn. The two most important factors for determining ship rotation speed is the radius of her turn combined with the average speed while turning. Smaller turning circles and higher average speed will result in faster rotation rates. The tier 7 and tier 8 American cruisers are all very similar to one another in their performance, but Atlanta and her sister, Flint, are hands down the most agile of all of the mid tier USN Cruisers with between a 0.5s and 1.0s advantage in turning 90º. Atlanta's handling is almost identical to other vessels found in the American cruiser line. This similarity between mid-tier USN Cruisers makes for easy skill transference from one ship to the next. If you can torpedo beat in a New Orleans, you'll find Atlanta answer similarly to her rudder. Atlanta's turrets have no difficulties tracking targets, even with her rudder hard over. They traverse at a rate of 25º per second compared to the 6.3º per second she turns at full speed, allowing Atlanta to quickly acquire targets and engage new threats from one side of the ship to the other even while under heavy maneuvers. This makes the Captain Skill, Expert Marksman, much less valuable for Atlanta than on other USN Cruisers. Atlanta is rather agile and can be a real bothersome target for destroyers. Durability Hit Points: 27,500 Citadel Protection: 89mm of belt armour Min Bow & Deck Armour: 13mm Torpedo Damage Reduction: None. Over the last year, Atlanta has enjoyed a considerable buff to her turret durability. Patch 5.5 from April 26th, 2016, all small caliber weapons had their hit points increased as much as 2.6 times what they had been. Prior to this, Atlanta's turrets had 1,500 hit points each while she now enjoys 4,000 hit points per. Previously, it was a rare occurrence for Atlanta to survive a battle without losing some of her main battery. Now it's rather uncommon for Atlanta to permanently lose any of her weapons. However, much of what was previously said about Atlanta's durability still holds true. Atlanta is one of the worst protected cruisers in the game, making her truly a glass cannon. She has a pittance when it comes to her hit point total. Her armour layout is laughable with 89mm of belt armour. Her large citadel has a section that sits above the surface running beneath the twin superstructures, from the bridge to the wing turrets. Her bow has only 13mm worth of protection, making it possible to overmatch it with 180mm guns found on the Kirov, Molotov and Dmitri Donskoi, never mind the larger caliber guns found on heavy cruisers and battleships. There are few HE shells not capable of landing penetrating damage on Atlanta, no matter where they strike her. In short, an exposed Atlanta is very likely to become a dead Atlanta. It's imperative to make use of her concealment and agility to stay alive. Hug islands and use them to block incoming fire. Concealment & Camouflage Surface Detection Range: 11.0 km Air Detection Range: 6.4 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 9.4km Concealment Penalty while Firing: +3.8km (vs 11.1km gun range) For such a fragile and short ranged vessel, Atlanta is shackled with an enormous surface detection range. She is utterly incapable of engaging enemy targets with her torpedoes without giving her position away. It's only when either her main battery range or her concealment is upgraded that she can ambush surface targets with her guns. Even with a full investment into concealment and range modifiers, Atlanta cannot stealth-fire from open water and remains dependent upon friendly smoke or island cover to stay concealed. At best, Atlanta can get her surface detection range down to 9.4km which is still punitive for a ship of her size and range. She's unable to sneak up on destroyers and, unlike HMS Belfast, her surface detection range exceeds that of her radar, giving destroyers time enough to begin evading before Atlanta can light them up with her consumable. It is worth mentioning that Atlanta, with her radar consumable, can make better use of borrowed smoke clouds than some other ships. When divisioned with smoke-laying vessels, Atlanta can help provide eyes for herself and allies while remaining obscured within the smoke clouds. Though her radar has a very short duration, this can tip the balance in some engagements to let this fragile vessel exploit concealment mechanics within the game to her advantage and decide the local fight. Anti-Aircraft DefenseAA Battery Calibers: 127mm / 28mm / 20mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 3.1km / 2.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 121 / 27 / 29 Atlanta used to have the best anti-aircraft armament at tier 7 without contest She has been partially eclipsed by her sister ship, Flint, which has a modernized suite of weapons which replaces Atlanta's 28mm 'Chicago Piano' mounts with the famous (and more reliable and powerful) 40mm Bofors. This gives Flint a better punch at medium to close range while Atlanta dominates at a distance. When combined with Captain Skills and module upgrades, Atlanta competes very well with her sister. The image below breaks down how Atlanta's anti-aircraft power can be modified. * Bonuses are multiplicative, not additive. Note that all DPS values are approximate with some weird rounding occurring (which is why the tool-tip in port is weird when you begin stacking bonuses). This table can be used to calculate partial bonus stacks. For example, a 127mm mount (121dps) with Basic Fire Training (x1.2) Priority Target (x1.1) and Defensive Fire (x3) bonuses would generate an average of 479dps. The maximum output of Atlanta in an optimal situation would be a combined total of 1,215dps. Fully specialized and in an optimal situation, Atlanta puts out 1054 / 118 / 42 dps (a combined total of 1,215 dps) at ranges of 7.2km / 5.0km / 2.9km. Flint manages a combined total of 793 / 392 / 62 dps (a total of 1,247dps) at the same range intervals. No other ships at her tier come close to Atlanta as her sister-ship. With Atlanta's anti-aircraft firepower focused on her 127mm rifles and their 7.2km range, she makes a much better anti-aircraft escort over Flint and bests just about any other cruiser in the game, tier for tier. Atlanta's anti-aircraft advantages do not stop with just raw damage. Her aerial detection range is only 6.4km. If she keeps gun silent and switches off her AA guns, she can ambush incoming aircraft squadrons by sailing into their path to intercept them. By keeping her AA guns silent up until they're all in range, she gives the CV player no warning of her presence and can devastate a concentrated attack wave before the CV player can react. In addition, her and her sister Flint are the only ships in the game with unlimited charges of their Defensive Fire consumable. Specialized in this role, Atlanta becomes a 7.2km no-fly zone which any CV player is fool to test, no matter what their tier. But don't kid yourself. Without this specialization, without Defensive Fire specifically, you're only going to damage attack craft waves, not rout them. Any carrier wishing to delete you will be more than capable of doing so. In her element and unconcerned. Overall ImpressionsSkill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / DifficultSkill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Atlanta is not a friendly ship for beginners. Her weapons are too short ranged with a very temperamental damage output. Her surface detection range is too large and she has no easy-escape tools. She is far too fragile to account for any mistakes. While it's terribly fun to hold down your left mouse button and poop out rainbows of 127mm high explosive rounds, the efficacy of doing so is highly suspect at best. You can't deal damage quickly with Atlanta unless you get in close and without proper forethought, that will simply get you killed before accomplishing anything of note. The influence a well played Atlanta can have on a game is telling, but it depends entirely upon her Captain / Consumable / Module build. She's a good support ship, however the decision on how to support your team will largely dictate the spheres of influence you can perform. When Atlanta is caught out of position (which, let's admit, occurs almost continually in this ship), her ability to affect the outcome of the match falls away to nothing. Mouse's Summary: One of the oldest premiums in the game. She's also one of the most unforgiving ships in the game. The recent buffs were nice... sort of. I wanted Atlanta to get what Flint has. Despite all of her troubles, Atlanta is a riot to play. What a difference a year makes. Here's the long list of changes that occurred directly or indirectly to Atlanta between February 2016 and 2017. Her main battery durability was buffed, increasing her hit points 2.6 times. She no longer loses her turrets constantly (HOORAY!). The Situational Awareness skill was given out for free. Her AP shell normalization was changed from 8º to 10º. This means that if her shells strike at a 10º angle to the flat broadside of a ship, her shells will treat it as 0º and calculate as if they had struck flush. She received Radar. The new Matchmaker system places her at top tier very frequently. The Captain Skill changes have benefited Atlanta greatly, with easier access to quality of life improving skills like Concealment Expert and the introduction of Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. In addition, many players can't easily afford fire-mitigation skills like they used to. Atlanta has seen both feast and famine. During Closed Beta, when AP shells were dominant, she was as powerful as she has ever been. The changes to AP and HE shells nerfed her considerably, but she still had a lot of functionality with asymmetrical carrier Matchmaking and how common carriers were during Open Beta. There was almost always need for an AA escort and Atlanta filled that role nicely. Once deployment symmetry became a thing when the game was released in September of 2015, Atlanta's popularity began to severely wane. Now in 2017, it's the increase in smoke generators, specifically those of the British Cruisers, that have breathed new life into USS Atlanta. She has a purpose now -- an ability that's always welcome when there's an enemy that needs digging out. It's sad to say, but she gets more use out of that than she does her Defensive Fire consumable. Inertia Fuse for HE Shells has restored some of the bite Atlanta once enjoyed back in Closed Beta. While her upgraded HE shells don't have quite the same ubiquity as AP did back in the day, the average damage that Atlanta is dealing out has been on the rise in the last six months. Looking at a two-week snapshot of her performance ranks her 6th overall for damage output among tier 7 cruisers. It's still not a good performance, but it's definitely better than has been for the last year. Atlanta isn't back to her glory days from Closed Beta. Would I Recommend? Atlanta is a weird ship. She's not something you invest in because you think she's good. You do it because you want something unique. While it is possible to earn an equivalent through Ranked Battles in the form of USS Flint, Atlanta's analogue is likely to be out of reach for much of the player base. For Random Battle Grinding Atlanta isn't going to make it easy on you to earn rewards like High Caliber, Confederate or Kraken Unleashed. While she or any premium will earn a fair amount of experience and credits, Atlanta is difficult to make perform to make such numbers consistent. There are definitely better investments. So no. For Competitive Gaming No. There are much better ships to bring in a competitive environment than Atlanta. She's too fragile and if caught out of position, she has no get-out-of-jail cards to play. For Collectors Yes. They saw lots of action early in WWII and enjoyed success and tragedy (Google the Sullivan brothers and have tissues handy). For Fun Factor Very yes on toast. Her guns are hilarious. Staying near islands is imperative for the longevity of your Atlanta. Use it to set up attacks and cover your escape. Atlanta is not an easy ship to play. She's not like the British Cruisers or premiums like Mikhail Kutuzov or Flint where you can pop an easy smoke consumable and trump any attempts to engage you. Outfitting Atlanta Atlanta can be one of the most complicated premium ships to equip in the game presently. It's important to decide on a role for your Atlanta first. From there you may select Captain Skills and equip consumables which best support the role that you've decided upon. Modules: All of my builds for Atlanta include the same module choices. Main Armaments Modification 1, AA Guns Modification 2, Damage Control Modification 1, Steering Gears Modification 2. There's some pretty simple reasons for this. In slot 1, you can take Magazine Modification 1 if you're really paranoid about detonations. If you're intending to take Atlanta into a competitive environment, this choice should be moot as you should be using Juliet Charlie signals instead to mitigate detonations. Personally, detonations don't bother me. Atlanta does pop a little bit more than other cruisers, so keep that in mind. In slot 2, you may be wondering about the viability of Aiming Systems Modification 1. Skip it. At maximum range, and by that I mean 13.3km from Advanced Fire Training, ASM1 provides an eight meter dispersion reduction. Yep. That's it. Eight whole meters. It's 6.9m at 11.1km. Whoo. Exciting! Take the AA mod. You'll get more use out of it. All of the choices in slot 3 are terrible for the Atlanta. Take what you want. In slot 4, Propulsion Modification 2 is also a fair choice. However, Steering Gears Modification 2 will shave almost half a second off of a 90º turn going at full speed. Core Skills: Despite the 0.6.0 Captain Skill overhaul making several builds viable, there remain some skills that are optimal for Atlanta. They re included in all of the builds below. Your tier 1 skill for Atlanta should be Priority Target. Knowing when you're targeted and when you're not will save your ship and allow you to pull off some rather audacious feats. None of the other tier 1 skills is as useful. At tier 3, Basic Fire Training is the second essential. This increases your main battery rate of fire by 10% and your AA dps by 20%. Few ships gain so much as Atlanta from this skill. Bombardment Build This build focuses upon doing damage to larger ships -- specifically cruisers and tier 6 and 7 battleships. The idea is to keep her guns singing as often as possible and to use intervening terrain to keep safe. Because you're expected to be shooting almost non-stop, stealth abilities are less of priority. This build, grace of taking skills which improve her gunnery, also makes a passable anti-aircraft cruiser but this isn't our focus. Consumables: Damage Control Party II, Defensive Fire II, Surveillance Radar II Captain Skills: http://shipcomrade.com/captcalc/1000000000000011000010100010100019 This build is all about maximizing the performance of your guns against these targets. Basic Fire Training and Adrenaline Rush increase your rate of fire. Inertia Fuse for HE Shells allows you to land damaging hits against the plethora of 25mm armoured sections found on ships of your chosen targets. Demolition Expert helps mitigate some of the lost fire-potential. Variant: Swap Inertia Fuse for HE Shells for Concealment Expert. This changes the build from doing direct damage to relying on fire damage to affect your targets. This will generally result in increased survivability but you'll pay for it with lower damage totals. Destroyer Hunter The idea here is to sneak up as close as possible to destroyers and annihilate them at close range. She's built for stealth. This ship is rather vanilla when it comes to the performance of her weapons against larger targets, but such is the price you pay for being a specialized hunter. Keep your anti-aircraft guns disabled until you absolutely need them. Consumables: Damage Control Party II, Hydroacoustic Search II, Surveillance Radar II Captain Skills: http://shipcomrade.com/captcalc/1000000000000011000011000000001119 The first thing that should stand out is that this will keep your Atlanta shorter ranged than other builds. This will also impair her anti-aircraft power somewhat. Radio Location is used to assist with finding the little blighters. Concealment Expert is used to reduce the range at which you're spotted to give destroyers less time to react. In addition, you will have to go gun silent to evade return fire from larger capital ships. Superintendent provides an additional charge of your Radar and Hydroacoustic Search consumables. You'll use Radio Location to home in on the destroyers until you're spotted. If haven't uncovered the destroyer within 20 seconds of being lit, activate your Radar to light the destroyer and be ready to evade any return fire. Last Stand is there to help keep you alive when your rudder gets shot out as you try to evade. The destroyers will shoot back and they always seem to hit your rudder and set you repeatedly on fire. The last thing you want to be doing is spinning in circles. Anti-Aircraft Escort As the name suggests, this build focuses on protecting friendly ships from air attack. This is hardly an optimal build in the current Random Battle meta -- carriers are not as commonplace as they once were. However, few can argue against Atlanta's efficiency as an AA-platform with this build. Consumables: Damage Control Party II, Defensive Fire II, Surveillance Radar II Captain Skills: http://shipcomrade.com/captcalc/1100000001000000000010000000110119 Everything pushes towards increasing Atlanta's AA range and DPS. Basic Fire Training and Manual Fire Control for AA Armament boost your DPS directly while Advanced Fire Training provides the range. Concealment Expert provides some survivability while also helping prevent you from being spotted early by surface ships. This can allow you to better intercept an inbound bomber stream and ambush them. Jack of All Trades is used to reduce the reset timer of your Defensive Fire consumable so that it will always be ready when the next attack wave comes in.
  10. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship PREVIEW: USS Black

    USS Black is still a work in progress. Please be aware that all of the statistics and performance discussed here are subject to change before release. Hell and fire was spawned to be released. Quick Summary: A reward-version of the Fletcher-class Destroyer with Radar. Cost: Black is not for sale and can only be earned by achieving Rank One in five seasons of Ranked Battles. Patch & Date Written: 0.6.1, February 11th, 2017. Closest in-Game Contemporary: Fletcher, Tier 9 American DestroyerDegree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique USS Black is a Fletcher-class destroyer but, like most premium ships, she has a few changes to make her stand apart from her sister ships. The changes summarize to the following: Black has access to the USN Radar consumable as an option in her third consumable slot. Her deck armour is 19mm instead of 13mm. The torpedoes she launches are slower, longer ranged and harder hitting than Fletcher's with a faster reload. Black swaps out the two twin-gun 40mm Bofors mounts behind her #2 turret for a pair of twin-gun 20mm Oerlikons instead. She's slower than Fletcher by 1.5 knots. She turns slightly better than Fletcher. PROs Armed with five, rapid fire 127mm rifles. She can fire up to ten 13.7km range torpedoes, doing 21,600 damage each and a with reasonable 96s reload per launcher. Decent anti-aircraft armament for a destroyer, including the option to take Defensive Fire. Excellent handling, including a small 560m turning circle, a 3.0s rudder shift time and 34º per second turret traverse. Good concealment values, dropping down to 5.8km with proper specialization and providing a huge stealth-firing window. USS Black can combine smoke and radar, making her the ultimate spotting & support ship. CONs Her 17,100 hit points are on the low side for a tier 9 destroyer. Horrible gun ballistics which makes gunnery of any target outside of 10km punitive. Her torpedoes are the slowest ship-launched fish in the game at 43 knots, taking a full two minutes to reach maximum range. On the slow side for a higher tier destroyer with a maximum speed of 35 knots. Her consumable "options" aren't really optional. If you take anything other than Radar in her 3rd slot, you're a fool. Doesn't appear to have Missouri's massive credit-earning potential. Here it is. This is the second reward ship for Ranked Battles, requiring primacy in five seasons to unlock her. Even in her preview state, Black has caused a lot of fuss. This seems to be a trend with these reward vessels. This is not likely to ever be a common ship. While it can be argued that over time, more players will have reached rank one in five seasons, the natural attrition of the player base will also see some of these veterans hang up their cap and stop playing. Flint isn't commonplace. Black promises to be even more rare. That doesn't undermine the dangers to the meta that an unbalanced ship can present. Still, the alarm that has met Black's preview statistics has been considerable. While not quite an Alabama Drama Llama in scale, the sky is once again (or is it still?) falling in certain community groups. I stress that what we're seeing presently is nothing more than a preview of the ship and not her final form. Things can change. Hopefully this thorough look into USS Black's current build will provide enough insight to see where changes may or may not be needed. Black shares the same camouflage scheme as USS Flint, the first premium reward ship for Ranked Battles. #GetBoat Options Black has the same options as the Fletcher-class but with the added bonus of getting access to Radar in her third consumable slot. You have to swap out Engine Boost for this. Her Radar is identical to that found on Baltimore and Missouri, with a 9.45km acquisition range for 35 seconds. I firmly believe that Wargaming made a misstep with Black's consumables. Swapping her Engine Boost for Radar is a non-decision with radar being optimal in the majority of situations. A more balanced option would have been to make players of USS Black choose between a Smoke Generator and Radar. Thinking this would balance her is, of course, contingent on believing that a destroyer having radar is acceptable at all. We'll see if this consumable combination survives testing. Consumables: Damage Control Party Smoke Generator Engine Boost or Defensive Fire or Radar Module Upgrades: Six slots, standard USN Destroyer options.Premium Camouflage: Can I call this tier 9+ standard? It provides the same bonus as the Missouri: A 3% concealment bonus, a 4% increase to enemy gunnery dispersion and a 100% bonus to experience gains. Firepower Primary Battery: Five 127mm rifles in single turrets in a superfiring A-B-P-X-Y arrangement. P turret is forward facing behind the torpedo launchers. Torpedo Armament: Ten 533mm tubes in 2x5 launchers mounted before and behind the rear funnel. Black is armed with five 127mm/38 Mark 30 naval rifles. These are the same guns first seen on the Benson-class destroyers at tier 8 without any significant improvement in performance. This staple of the USN Destroyer line is known for its tremendous rate of fire and excellent gun handling but also its famously poor ballistic qualities that lead to a very high shell arc over range. So while Black can potentially dish out monstrous levels of damage, landing those hits is considerably more of a challenge than the 130mm of Soviet Destroyers, for example. These weapons are very much par for the course for American destroyers and offer nothing in the way of surprises for veterans of the American destroyer line. By tier 8, destroyer caliber guns begin to lose the arms race versus the armour values found on capital ships. Even upgraded with Inertial Fuse for HE Shells, her rounds cannot penetrate tier 8+ Battleships anywhere except their superstructure. Her 127mm guns can only penetrate 21mm of armour without the skill while being able to best up to 27mm of armour with it. This value is important -- it's sufficient to damage the bows and sterns of all cruisers and select deck areas on most of these ships. But it's as a destroyer hunter where these guns excel, provided you can close the range. Their very fast turret traverse rate of nearly 34º per second allows the ship to be thrown into evasive maneuvers while maintaining her gun lock on target. This makes her a very real threat to any rival torpedo or gunship. Like USS Sims before it, Black has what the community has often referred to as "naval mine" torpedoes. Their speed is downright laughable at 43 knots (115.1 meters per second under the game's compressed distances). It takes these torpedoes almost a full two minutes to reach the end of their impressive 13.7km range. With a 96s reload, this allows you to put a second salvo in the water before the first is little more than 3/4s done their first run. The good news is that they have a very short surface detection range of 0.9km. However, given their slow speed, her targets have approximately 7.8s worth of reaction time which is fairly standard. Their real weakness is if they're picked up early. They're so slow that some ships can turn away and even outrun the darned things. Black's torpedoes are, at best, area denial weapons. While possible to ambush someone at point blank range and make their life miserable (and short), more often they're used as a fire and forget series of water-mines, helping push the Reds away from a given area. During testing, there was a bug present where Black's torpedoes weren't doing anywhere close to the right amount of damage. Though listed as capping out at 21,600, their damage was all over the map and never where it should have been. Several of the testers and I took USS Black out into training rooms and slammed fish into various bots, ensuring we got midship strikes with single torpedoes. Strikes against ships without anti-torpedo defenses never got higher than 12,804 damage. Hits to the Yamato's torpedo bulges did 8,368. Yet hits to a Mogami (A-Hull) did 13,093 while hits against the upgraded (C-Hull) did 12,397 damage. This is despite the torpedo bulges for these three respective ships reducing damage by 55%, 13% and 18% respectively. The math doesn't add up. Bug reports were filled out. Did I mention this ship was still very much a work in progress? Black's torpedoes will be a heck of a lot more fun to use when they work properly. Maneuverability Top Speed: 35.0 knots Turning Radius: 560m Rudder Shift Time: 3.0s The Fletcher-class, and by extension USS Black, has great agility. With a tiny turning circle and excellent rudder shift time, Black appears equally well set up to dodge fire as Fletcher. However, it should be noted that she's 1.5 knots slower than her sister ship. But there's more to this ship than that. Black bleeds speed faster than Fletcher does in a turn while maintaining a comparable maximum speed with her rudder hard over. It takes Fletcher approximately 20.4s to drop down to 30.6 knots in a turn while Black will drop to 30.3 knots in roughly 12.9s. This makes the Fletcher "skid" more through the first leg of the turn while Black's hull bites in. Thus, Black has a quarter of a second's advantage in progressing through a 90º turn at top speed and almost two-thirds of a second for full a 360º turn. Though Black has the same rudder shift time and turning radius of Fletcher, Black is slightly more agile in a turn despite their similar stat profile. Who'd have thought? Durability Hit Points: 17,100 Min Bow & Deck Armour: 19mm One of the strange differences between Black and Fletcher is Black's deck armour. It's 19mm on Black versus the 13mm found on Fletcher. This isn't a significant change but it has two highly situational benefits. First, it provides some protection against high explosive shells smaller than 120mm in diameter. HE Shells of this size, without a buff from the tier 4 Captain Skill, Inertial Fuse for HE Shells will simply shatter on impact for no damage. However, this caliber of gun isn't too commonplace within Black's matchmaking spread, being limited to the main battery of the Akizuki and the secondaries off of Russian and German Cruisers (yeah, like those are worth fussing over) and some of secondaries off of German Battleships (okay, THOSE are worth fussing about). Second, 19mm armour provides some defense against AP shells. Anything smaller than the 283mm off the Schanrhorst is unable to overmatch Black's armour. If (for whatever reason) a heavy cruiser decided to shoot AP shells, this creates a chance for the shells to ricochet off her deck if they come in at too shallow an angle. Yes, I know. Neither benefit is going to come into play very often. Overall, Black's hit points are on the low side for a Destroyer -- well behind the German Z-46 and the Soviet Destroyers (including the new ones which are also works in progress). It's only against the Yugumo that she has any advantage. Thus, engaging enemy destroyers isn't without risk -- Black simply doesn't have the big hit point totals to trade fire effectively, especially if she begins to struggle to land hits. This Akizuki didn't have the Inertial Fuse for HE Shells skill on her Captain. Short of hitting Black's superstructure, she couldn't hurt her with her HE. Had she been shooting a Fletcher, it's possible some of the splashes against her upper hull might have struck the deck and penetrated, but that's very unlikely given their flat trajectory at this close range. Concealment and Camouflage Surface Detection Range: 7.4kmAir Detection Range: 4.0kmMinimum Surface Detection Range: 5.8kmConcealment Penalty while Main Battery Fire: +3.81km (vs 12.9km gun range) Black has excellent concealment values for a tier 9 destroyer, bested only by the Yugumo. When fully kitted out for stealth, she weighs in with a 5.8km surface detection range and just over 9.6km when firing her guns in open water. Without boosting her range with Advanced Fire Training, this gives the ship a 3.3km stealth-firing window with her main battery. It's not unreasonable to see why there's very little need to extend the range of Black's guns, especially given the punitive ballistics at targets more than 10km away. More importantly is how this rather small surface detection range allows Black to shadow enemy ships and keep them spotted. There is no ship currently in the game that is as adept at spotting as Black. By keeping her guns silent, she can creep along, trailing enemy vessels from a safe distance. Should they try and blow smoke, she can make use of her Radar consumable which has a 9.45km range to continue to provide eyes on a beleaguered target. The only answer to such sneaky spotting tactics is to hope that a friendly ship can spot Black and put an end to her shenanigans, usually in the form of aircraft or an enemy vessel also equipped with radar, like a Soviet Cruiser. Black's worth is often measured by how well she can support her team. Black gives you some very powerful tools for controlling vision, with an American Smoke Generator, which provides 127s worth of cover to team mates while at the same time lighting up the enemy. In this way, under ideal circumstances your team can see the enemy and the enemy won't see yours. Black can continue to contribute by dropping her fish without losing her concealment values. Where her torpedoes are concerned, Black has an enormous stealth firing window when specialized for concealment. This is an obscene 7.9km. However, it should be noted that it will take Black's torpedoes 52 seconds to reach a target that's a mere 6km out. That's a long time for a ship not to make any course adjustments, so it's best not to use the lead indicator on the torpedoes and instead go for more of an area-denial approach to hedge your bets. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Gun Battery Calibers: 127mm / 40mm / 20mm AA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 3.5km / 2.0km AA DPS per Aura: 54 / 34 / 37 It's possible (though admittedly a bit of a waste with Black) to turn this ship into a passable AA escort. It's unlikely that this ship will ever be without some form of buff to its AA firepower, as Captain Skills aimed at improving her firepower will also affect her AA suite. This provides Black with an approximate DPS value per Aura of 64 / 41 / 45 which is rather respectable, especially for a destroyer. However, this isn't going to dissuade tier 9 and 10 air-groups from loitering in your vicinity. It's only with a heavy investment in skills and (for some reason) taking Defensive Fire that Black can make her anti-aircraft armament into a very real threat to enemy attack planes. As this would require you to drop Surveillance Radar, it's really not worth it. Black's AA firepower is enough to dent attack plane squadrons. But like most destroyers, you'll want to keep your AA turned off most of the time. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Playing destroyers in general isn't easy. However, Black is a little more forgiving than most. The Fletcher-class is already one of the better destroyers at tier 9 (and arguably, in the game as a whole). Black provides a set of training wheels in the form of her radar consumable to make life just that little bit easier for an inexperienced player. In the hands of a veteran, the combination of Black's consumables, concealment rating, agility and torpedo armament make her an enormous threat to the enemy team. For players who enjoy the support role, I can think of few ships as exciting as the (arguably overpowered) potential that Black provides. With the monopoly on radar for a ship with such a small surface detection range, Black will inspire many rage-threads in the future, I have little doubt. This ship lives to use and abuse spotting mechanics and strip any pretense of vision control from the enemy in local engagements. Mouse's Summary: Black is a Fletcher-class destroyer with Radar. If you didn't know it already, the Fletcher-class is hella-good in World of Warships. And now it has radar. The most rewarding use of this ship is through the control of vision in an engagement. Spot the enemy and protect your own team with smoke. The torpedo bug annoyed me to no end. Black is still very much a work in progress. Be aware this is a preview, people, not a review. So, this is a rather late preview. It's not a lack of effort, but moreover from a change in preview policies from Wargaming itself. Community Contributors should be getting earlier access to ships. What's more, we should also be providing our content much earlier within development cycle. But this in turn presents a problem: Ships early in their development cycle aren't necessarily well balanced and are likely to undergo a change or two before release. This should explain why I'm saying, over and over, this is a preview. This is why you'll see "Work in Progress" (WiP) watermarks on videos produced by my fellow contributors. It's also why there was a bit of concern about articles like these going into extensive depth about the current statistics of a ship rather than simply a broad overview. My own release was delayed until I got the specific okay to go into the minutia of this upcoming release. Playing USS Black was a real treat for me. First, it's a Fletcher-class and I have a real soft spot for the Fletcher. When I was little, my father had an old DOS-box he liked to keep running long past obsolescence which had a game "Wolfpack" on it. This pit Type VII, IX and XXI U-Boats against American Fletcher-class destroyers. It had a hot-seat PVP mode. My father would always play the Germans and I would get to take my turn as the Fletchers trying to defend my poor freighters and tankers from his predation. This mostly involved me chasing after his pillenwerfer and blowing the snot out of them with copious amounts of depth charges and hedgehog mortars. My father loved lording his gaming superiority over his then eight-year old daughter... USS Black brings back the warm fuzzies of those memories. Instead of chasing down U-Boats, I instead get to chase down enemy ships trying to hide in smoke while screening my own forces. It's a very rewarding style of play and it's such a shame that it's limited currently only to the Black. With that said, it's not without its dangers to the meta of game play. If Wargaming were to make such a combination more commonplace (either through many USS Blacks becoming available within the community or through the addition of Radar to a destroyer-line), combat in and around capture points would certainly chance towards the more passive. The only thing worse about being the first ship spotted is being the only ship spotted and focused by the entire enemy team. I personally think that combining radar AND smoke one a low surface-detection ship is the wrong way to go. I hope to see USS Black have to choose between the two. But who knows? We'll see how her development continues. In Closing As a final reminder, take what you've read in this preview with a pinch of salt. There's plenty to discuss, maybe even a few elements to be concerned about but I would hold off on brandishing torches and pitchforks if you object too strongly about something you see in USS Black. Similarly, don't get too excited or married to the idea of a particular combination of stats if you think this ship is a must-have. Things will change.
  11. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: Mutsu

    Excellent, thank you. I figured it was a change in designation, similar to how certain maps and ships are labelled as something else entirely in the files. I figured a lot of the raw numbers we see are actually the result of a formula.
  12. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: Mutsu

    Please be aware that all of the statistics and performance discussed in this post reflect the version of the ship as she appeared during the testing period. These are subject to change before release. The following is aimed at new(ish) players looking to find a little more information about various ships from events, for premium currency or for real-world cash. The goal is to allow players to make an educated decision before parting with their time and money and to find premium vessels that suit their chosen style of play, whether that is competitive, cooperative, or simply for fun. The idea here is to elabourate on information not commonly available through reading statistics and provide some (heavily) biased anecdotal evidence to encourage or dissuade you from making your purchase. The usual disclaimers apply: everyone knows the Matchmaker clearly loves me because I spend money so that's why I occasionally get really good games, not because I have any particular skills of note. Mustu-have? Quick Summary: A faster Nagato-class Battleship with less armour, less efficient AP shells and almost no AA power whatsoever. She does get deck mounted torpedoes, though. Patch and Date Written: 0.6.0.1 - January 30th, 2017 through to February 3rd, 2017. Cost: Undisclosed at the time this article was published. PROs Largest hit point pool of any of the tier 6 Battleships at 58,400hp. Her 410mm shells are the highest damage rounds found at tier 6. Able to easily overmatch the bows armour of any Tier 5 through 7 battleships. Decent accuracy, including a 1.8 sigma vertical dispersion value. Excellent range at 20.4km. Armed with deck mounted torpedoes (!) Very heavy secondary gun battery. Good top speed of 26.5 knots. CONs Her citadel sits high in the water and is vulnerable to long-range, plunging fire. Poor overall armour values. Low Krupp (and penetration) values on her 410mm shells. Secondaries are short ranged at 4.0km stock. Very limited fire arcs and performance on her torpedoes. Rather large turning circle of 770m. Enormous surface detection range of 16.9km and the largest aerial detection range of the tier 6 Battleships at 13.3km Mutsu sets a new standard for poor anti-aircraft defense. Like, seriously. Her AA power would be shameful at tier 4. Patch 0.6.0 removed the stock hulls for Amagi and Nagato in the research tree and rendered these hull designs into two new premiums, Ashitaka and Mutsu respectively. Mutsu is the first of these ships to be released -- we'll see Ashitaka later on in the year. For those unfamiliar with the IJN Battleship line, the stock versions of these hulls weren't exactly good. While not as hamstrung as Fuso while stock, they certainly were not competitive at their tiers. For this reason, Mutsu appears in World of Warships as a tier 6 vessel instead of at tier 7 like her sister, Nagato. This allows this ship to be re-balanced based on her own merits and flaws rather than trying to shoe horn her into a tier where she doesn't belong. Mutsu as she appears in game represents the ship after her 1924 refit, where she acquired her serpentine shaped funnel but before 1926 where she lost her torpedoes. Of course all of this date specificity is moot when you you realize that she didn't get her catapults until the 1930s. Yay, fiction! I'm joined once again by Lert who will be providing his usual smarmy comparisons of some of this ship's contemporaries. I'm also trying something new. GrafZeppelinKai, one of the Wiki-Staff volunteers has written a lovely piece on Mutsu's history which can be found on the ship's wiki page. The wiki staff perform some wonderful written work and I'm trying to help give them a little more just deserved attention. I hope you all enjoy a bit of history about the ships. The Lertbox Hello and welcome to another Lertbox, in which I try to offer a counterpoint to LittleWhiteMouse's more in-depth review of an upcoming premium ship. This time it's Mutsu, a ship that earned its place in history for the same thing Arizona did: tragically blowing up in port with a lot of people inside. The cause of Mutsu's destruction is slightly more controversial than Arizona's, a Japanese investigation concluded that a disgruntled crewman sabotaged #3 turret and blew up the ship, while an alternative theory is that of a fire caused by 20+ year old electronics near #3 turret. All we know for certain is that Mutsu took 1121 crew and visitors with her, only 56 less than Arizona's demise claimed. For this Lertbox I will discuss how you would take on an Arizona, a Warspite and a Dunkerque in a theoretical 1v1. I hope this will give the reader an idea how Mutsu will perform compared to her peers. Given the Mutsu's large surface and aerial detection range, in combination with her vulnerable armour scheme to ranged fire, it's often best to let some of your allies screen your advance. History with the Wiki: Mutsu By GrafZeppelinKai, Originally published on the Mutsu's page for the World of Warships Wiki The Nagato-class battleships were the last pair of battleships build by the Japanese Navy before the global hiatus on capital ship construction due to the ratification of the Washington and London Naval Treaties. As such, the Nagato-class is seen as the culmination of all the experience learned by the Japanese Navy in dreadnought design and construction up through the end of World War I. Led by famed naval architect Yuzuru Hiraga, planning and design for the Nagato-class began in 1916. By this time, Japan was a steadfast, growing naval power and wanted their designs to reflect such a status. As such, from the outset the Nagato-class were set to be first-rate dreadnoughts, competitive with the offerings of the other navies of the world (chiefly the Colorado-class battleships that were being built by the United States). Hiraga and his team were meticulous, delaying final completion of her plans until mid-1917 in order to incorporate the lessons learned from the Battle of Jutland the previous year. What ultimately emerged were the most advanced battleships afloat in the world. The Japanese determined that high-speed was an integral asset to making a battleship an effective weapon; as such, the Nagato-class were designed to be the fastest battleships in the world. It was decided to fit no less than twenty-one (21) Kampon boilers into them: fifteen (15) oil-fired and six (6) mix-fired. These boilers then fed into four (4) geared turbines that each powered a single screw. Altogether, they generated 80,000 shaft horsepower and propelled the ships to speeds above 26 knots, significantly faster than their competition. This was not a fact the Japanese Navy boasted about, however, instead electing to keep the true speed a closely guarded secret. In fact, the US Navy didn’t know the true speed of the class until well into the late 1930s. In electing to focus on propulsion and speed, weight had to be saved from the armoring. Ergo, the Japanese opted to implement the “all-or-nothing” armor principle that was championed by the US; maximal armor to the vital areas whist non-critical surfaces receives minimal armor. The main belt and the barbette rings received 12 inches of armor, whilst the conning tower and the turret faces received 14 inches and 18 inches of armor, respectively. While this was sufficient to rival other battleships of the period, British and US battleships all had heavier armor, with belt armors exceeding 13 inches for many classes. After experimentation with the six turret design of the Fuso and Ise classes, Hiraga and his designers decided to revert back to a quadruple turret design, determining this configuration to be the most effective. In order to not decrease overall firepower — by reducing the number of barrels from 12 to 8 — the caliber each rifle was increased from the traditional 14 inches to 16 inches; in fact, the Nagato-class battleships were the first ships in the world to mount 16-inch naval rifles. To supplement the primary artillery, twenty (20) 5.5-inch casemate guns were added to the hull. Interestingly, the Nagato-class retained the Japanese tradition of fitting torpedo tubes to their battleships. Historically, eight (8) total tubes were incorporated in the design; 4 above the waterline and 4 submerged (only the four above the waterline are available in-game). Mutsu (named after Mutsu Province) was the second of the two Nagato-class battleships, built at the Naval Arsenal in Yokosuka. She was laid down 1 June 1918, launched 31 May 1920, and completed 24 October 1921. The Nagato-class underwent a modernization in the late 1920s and a reconstruction in the 1930s to keep the designs combat-capable. During the 1920s modernization, the first funnel was replaced with a serpentine funnel with a raked-top in order to attempt to fix the issue of the superstructure being occluded with smoke; the very funnel seen in-game. Furthermore, the torpedo tubes were traded-in for anti-aircraft artillery, in order to counter the growing threat of aircraft. Unique to Mutsu, her bow was remodeled in order to decrease water spray to her foredeck. The 1930s reconstruction proved to be a more extensive overhaul. The iconic 7-masted superstructure was replaced with a pagoda-mast style design, and the first funnel was removed altogether. The old boilers were replaced; the overall number was also reduced to just ten (10). Interestingly, the old turrets were replaced by the ones of the incomplete Tosa class battleships, allowing for greater gun elevation, ergo greater range. Furthermore, torpedo bulges were introduced. To mitigate the loss in ship speed due to the added weight, the length of the battleships were increased. Finally, a catapult was added to launch scout planes off the deck. Service History Commissioned in October 1921, Mutsu survived the Washington Naval Treaty, was assigned to BatDiv (Battleship Division) 1, and began an uneventful interwar career. From 1927 to 1933, Mutsu would receive periodic modifications, but in September 1934 she entered drydock for a complete rebuild and modernization. She remained in yard hands until September 1936. With the beginning of war with China in July 1937, Mutsu — having returned to BatDiv 1 alongside Nagato — joined the fleet for security and blockade patrols off the China coast. Mutsu would continue operations off China until March 1941. In August 1941, Mutsu began preparations for combat as Japan planned for hostilities with the United States. Mutsu would spend the beginning of World War II, from December 1941 to May 1942, in reserve and training. In June, she and the rest of BatDiv 1 — now including Yamato — sortied as part of the Main Body for Operation MO, the invasion of Midway. Other than to receive the transfer of survivors from Akagi, Kaga, Hiryu, and Soryu, Mutsu would not participate in the battle, and returned to Japan. In July, BatDiv 1, less Yamato, was attached to the 2nd Fleet. In August, they departed for Truk after the US landing at Guadalcanal. In late August, Mutsu was assigned to support the Main Body for the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, where she fired at an aircraft shadowing the fleet. This would prove to be her only shots fired in combat during the war. In September, Mutsu landed a party to help train anti-aircraft crews at Truk. She would remain and participate in exercises until January 1943, when she returned to Japan. Excepting one aborted sortie to the Aleutians after the Battle of the Komandorski Islands in late March 1943, Mutsu continued to conduct training and gunnery exercises until June 1943. On 8 June 1943, Mutsu was moored in Hashirajima harbor when, at approximately 1200 hours, her No. 3 turret suffered an explosion. The blast tore her in two, and the section forward the No. 3 turret rolled over and quickly sank. Her stern section sank early the next day. Of her 1,474 crew, 1,121 were killed. An investigation concluded human error was responsible for the explosion, and the Japanese Navy consequently altered regulations for the handling of explosives aboard ships. Mutsu was struck from the Navy List on 1 September 1943. Post-war salvage attempts proved to be failures, though Mutsu’s No. 4 turret, anchors, and other parts of the ship — including her bow — were successfully recovered in the 1970s. The gun barrels from the salvaged No. 4 turret were restored and are now on display in separate locations in Japan: one at the Museum of Maritime Science in Tokyo, and the other outside the Yamato Museum in Kure. Options Mutsu has standard tier 6 IJN Battleship options. There's nothing out of the ordinary here. Consumables: Damage Control Party Repair Party Spotter Aircraft Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard non-USN Battleship options.Premium Camouflage: Tier 6+ Standard. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy Firepower Main Battery: 410mm/45 3rd Year Type in 4x2 turrets in A-B-X-Y configuration @ 20.4km Range Mutsu fires a Type88 1000kg AP/APC shell up to a range of 20.4km with a 790m/s muzzle velocity. This is the largest shell found presently at tier 6, eclipsing Warspite's own 381mm, 879kg shell by a healthy margin. Don't mistake these shells for the same ones found on the upgraded Nagato. The ammunition Mutsu uses is a pre-WWII shell and was originally found on the stock Nagato and Amagi. They have worse overall performance than those found on the IJN Battleships at tiers 7 and 8, with lower alpha strike, muzzle velocity and Krupp values while being slightly lighter overall by 20kg. This gives Mutsu significantly less penetration power over distance to the lead of her class, with many shells shattering or ricocheting against enemy warships at medium to long range. Despite my incessant whining, Wargaming wouldn't provide me the exact penetration values present on Mutsu. For now, we have only two sources to give us with a glimpse into what the raw numbers might be. The first comes from Wargaming's own Armada Videos. These are few and far between, but thankfully have included a plethora of ships found in Mutsu's matchmaking spread. Statics drawn from the World of Warships The second, and admittedly more awesome source, is the work done by fnord_disc on the European Server, who reverse-engineered an approximate model of the penetration mechanics. The numbers they worked out provide the following estimated values for Mutsu's AP shells: 548mm at 5km 426mm at 10km 332mm at 15km Even as an estimation, this puts Mutsu's shell penetration among the worst for tier 6 Battleships, ahead of only Warspite at extremely short ranges and only ahead of Bayern at anything beyond that. The net result of this will be less damaging hits against heavily armoured (or angled) targets. Datamining reveals that Mutsu's gun accuracy is decent -- she boasted a 1.8 sigma during testing combined with the typically tight dispersion values found on IJN Battleships. This is superior to anything short of tier 9 and 10 USN Battleships specialized for accuracy. On paper, this should help compensate for some of the penetration issues found on the guns. However, with the small number of barrels Mutsu brings to bear, every shot feels considerably more precious than the 'shotgun blasts' fired by 12-rifle ships. Thus, Arizona which has more overall dispersion but the same sigma value, feels more accurate than Mutsu by combination of having more guns and better penetration values. You're going to simply do more damage more consistently with a ship like the Arizona or Dunkerque despite Mutsu's advantages in accuracy. Comparative data between the tier 6 Battleships + Nagato. Mutsu's strengths are her range, the high alpha damage of her individual AP shells and her ability to overmatch the bows of any tier 5, 6 or 7 battleship. She also has the highest potential DPM values of any of the 8-gun Battleships. Her weaknesses include her low muzzle velocity and poor Krupp and penetration valuesvalues. While Mutsu's guns look like they have the potential to perform, you may find they let you down at long range engagements. I'm trying not to sound too bleak about Mutsu's main battery firepower. There are two versions of Battleship Mutsu's guns. The first was the version that I play tested. The second is the version that's being released. Wargaming let me know in advance what the changes would be and I tried to keep them in mind while I tried out this ship. I'm taking it on faith that Mutsu will be released as Wargaming announced. Mutsu had a 35s reload on her main armament. This is being reduced to 30s. Mutsu had a turret rotation speed of 3.3º per second. This was buffed to 3.8º per second (from 54.5s to 47.4s for 180º rotation). In short, Mutsu's gun handling and rate of fire was buffed rather significantly. This in turn greatly affected the DPM we saw during play testing. This put her optimal DPM down to 170,057 AP damage and 89,143 HE damage. The buffs provided by Wargaming increase her DPM by a full 17% which I think we'll all agree is enormous. Summary: Her main battery has mix of significant strengths and telling weaknesses. Shells are individually hard hitting, long ranged and capable of overmatching the bows of any tier 5 to 7 battleship. However, she is severely restricted by poor penetration values at range, a low Krupp rating and small main-battery. Probably her best feature is her "new" 30s reload which gives her the best potential DPM of the 8-gun Battleships. Secondary Guns Secondary Battery: 140mm/50 3rd Year Type in 20x1 casemates, 127mm/40 Type 89 in 4x2 turrets @ 4.0km Range The lion's share of Mutsu's secondaries are composed of her 140mm casemates. These fire 7.9 rounds per minute at a disappointing 4.0km range. Like all IJN Battleships, her casemates fire an AP shell instead of HE which reduces their overall performance. While on paper, AP shells do more damage, their output isn't consistent. They cannot light fires. They are likely to ricochet and shatter against even slightly angled targets. Her 127mm rifles do fire an HE shell, but these are limited to two pairs of turrets on either side of the vessel. It's difficult to justify investing heavily in upgrading Mutsu's secondaries to improve their performance, primarily given their poor range and unreliability. Torpedoes Torpedo Complement: 4x1 Launchers firing a 533mm Type 6 torpedo at 57 knots for 7.0km. Move over, Kriegsmarine; the IJN now has deck mounted torpedo launchers too. While the Tirpitz introduced Battleship-launched torpedoes to fanfare and fireworks, Mutsu's torpedoes feel like they should be announced by a kazoo. The Type 6 is the same torpedo found on the Isokaze and Minekaze. This strikes for 10,833 damage which, when facing the anti-torpedo bulges of contemporary Battleships, feel lackluster. The devil is in the details with Mutsu's torpedo armament. While its true that she has limited fire arcs, these have a forward facing from 55º to 105º. In addition, these have a ridiculously short reload rate at a mere 21s. These torpedoes do not give her the strength to effectively brawl with enemy Dreadnoughts. While theoretically being able to interweave broadside main battery fire backed by torpedoes, alternating each in rapid succession, practical experience makes it too risky. Mutsu has to expose her vulnerable citadel to launch torpedoes. While this is easily done in the first moments while the engagement ranges are still closing, it becomes impossible to get a second salvo off as ranges close and the fight devolves into a "death circle" at point blank range. Still, if you get locked in a battleship brawl, her torpedoes can be a welcome trump card to end the engagement favourably. Keep in mind that Mutsu does not have the armour profile or secondary ammunition to brawl effectively. Firepower Summary: Main Battery firepower is optimized for a mid-to-short range engagement, between 7km and 12km. Her secondaries are plentiful but are painfully short ranged and focused around a heavy broadside of AP shells which limits their utility. Her torpedo armament reloads very quickly but a broadside does not hit very hard. It is only suitable for finishing off already crippled targets and should not be relied upon as a trump-card. Playtesting Mutsu with a 35s reload wasn't fun. She'll be in much better shape now. Rivals: Arizona Lert: You have longer range, more hit-points, better speed, better dispersion at a given range and your 16" shells will overmatch Arizona's 25mm bow and stern armor. Sounds like a foregone conclusion, right? Well, not quite. Arizona's bow (or stern) is a difficult target to hit at range. Also your large shells lose a lot of penetration when flying that far and are likely to shatter on anything that isn't Arizona's bow. Plus, a low volume of fire makes missing the American ship or shells shattering a relatively more painful event, cutting down your already lacking DPM. Meanwhile Arizona's range isn't that much shorter, and she has a much higher RPM with her 12 14" rifles. Plus, Mutsu's armor is so soft that you're bound to take significant pen damage from any Arizona return volley. If you can, point your bow straight at Arizona and close the distance with your superior speed. Arizona's 356mm AP will mostly bounce off your 25mm forward end with only stray shells going into your superstructure, and your 410mm return fire will go through Arizona's bow like butter - if you can hit it. The ideal situation is to set up a drive-by. Pre-aim your guns when you're almost about to pass, fire your torpedoes into the Arizona's path, quickly switch back to your AP and let loose a devastating volley of 16" AP at point blank range. Mutsu's guns are accurate enough to let you snipe, but they just don't have the penetration value to reliably deal the damage you want at those ranges. Pick your targets carefully. You can still score some pretty impressive early damage if you know who to aim for. Maneuverability Top Speed: 26.5 knots Turning Radius: 770m Rudder Shift Time: 14.7s Mutsu is rather fast for a tier 6 Battleship. Her top speed of 26.5 knots makes her faster than most tier 5 through 7 Battleships with the exceptions of Kongo, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Dunkerque which is rather respectable. While this doesn't give her tremendous flexibility, it does allow her to keep up with the pace of combat. She can attempt to dictate engagement ranges instead of having them set for her. Like most IJN Battleships, her turning circle isn't small nor does she answer her rudder especially fast. In truth, her Rudder Shift Time isn't terrible, it's just that when combined with her large turning circle, she doesn't feel especially maneuverable. During play testing, even with this slow handling, she was still quite capable of turning the ship faster than her turrets could compensate for. She initially had a 3.3º per second rotation speed on her main battery guns. I'm assured this will be buffed to 3.8º per second before release which will help. Mutsu has a 1.5 knot advantage over her sister, Nagato. This advantage comes grace of less armour protection. Durability Hit Points: 58,400 Citadel Protection: 305mm belt armour + 76mm turtleback Min Bow & Deck Armour: 25mm Torpedo Damage Reduction: 22% Mutsu shares a lot in common with Nagato, as one might expect. This provides a bit of good news right off the start: Mutsu has the highest hit point total of any of the tier 6 Super-Dreadnoughts. Their armour profiles are almost identical but for the following changes: Nagato has 25mm of extra armour across her sides in the form of anti-torpedo bulges. These afford the lead ship a 5% further reduction in torpedo damage along with their armour benefits. Nagato has reinforced main battery turret and barbette armour, with 457mm turret faces and 405mm barbettes. These values never exceed 305mm on Mutsu. Nagato's forward magazine is protected by a 289mm turtleback. Mutsu has only 76mm on this section of plate. The citadel deck of Nagato ranges from 44mm to 197mm. On Mutsu, these values range from 25mm (!) to 51mm. The Nagato-class has never been considered a heavily armoured ship and the deficiencies on Mutsu only exaggerate this weakness. While she can angle against 356mm rifles, if she doesn't angle properly she can (and will) get citadelled with alarming regularity. Her citadel sits over the waterline and while her belt armour and the turtleback protecting these machine spaces looks formidable, these are often bypassed by shots striking her from range, which need only contend with the 25mm + 70mm deck armour found amidships and the pathetic 25mm roof her citadel. She has objectively worse protection than the Warspite at all ranges. This emphasizes the gunnery strength of Mutsu which seems designed around a mid to short ranged engagement. However, with her citadel sitting over the waterline, short of bow-on angles of attack, she is far too vulnerable to risk at point blank ranges against other battleships. This illustrates some of the dangers of trying to make use of her torpedo armament. Angling out to take the lead on a closing enemy Battleship at the very least exposes her forward magazine to citadel hits. So to maximize her armour values, Mutsu seems best at medium ranges -- approximately 7km to 12km away from her targets. Of course, this all goes to pot if she's facing anything with 380mm rifles or larger which overmatch the 25mm sections of her armour. When facing tier 8 opponents, her armour feels very deficient indeed. Like all IJN Battleships, Mutsu is shackled with the worst Damage Control Party consumable in the game. This makes the Battleship exceedingly vulnerable to fire and flooding damage. Rivals: Dunkerqueueueeueeeuueueue Lert: You have the advantage in hit-points, range and firepower. Dunkerque beats you in speed, agility and size, being a smaller target. She has the speed to dictate the engagement, allowing her to keep you at the max of your range where your dispersion and low volume of fire means you won't hit many of your shells. The ones that do hit and manage to avoid the Frenchman's armored belt will bloody her nose, but that's not reliable enough to count on. Meanwhile Dunkerque's 330mm rifles will struggle to do meaningful damage to you as well, especially if you keep properly angled .. ... But that's when the dastardly Frenchy will just switch to HE and burn you down. While your own HE shells aren't bad, they have 5% less fire chance and you have a lower RPM, so in a fire-hose contest you're going to lose. If you're taking on a Dunkerque in your Mutsu you better hope that you're going to get lucky or your opponent is stupid, because barring luck a smart Dunkerque driver will just wiggle around at range and burn your lumbering stern to the ground. This will happen a lot. Concealment & Camouflage Surface Detection Range: 16.9 km Air Detection Range: 13.3 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 14.1km Concealment Penalty while Firing: +12.3km (vs 20.4km gun range) Mutsu has arguably the worst detection range of any of the tier 6 Battleships. Actually, Mouse, Fuso has worse surface detection range, and while that's technically correct, Mutsu will be spotted from the air a full kilometer sooner while still having an astronomically huge surface detection range. If there's an enemy carrier present, you can expect to be the first ship spotted in Mutsu. This in turn means that you'll have every gun pointing at you first until squishier (and closer) targets get lit. Priority Target is well worth the investment. Given Mutsu's vulnerability to long range fire, it's important to engage in evasive maneuvers when she finds herself lit in these early moments of the engagement. Alternatively, she can elect to begin her own advance a little later than the rest of her team. Her large surface detection range makes disengaging from enemies exceedingly difficult. She does have the speed to help dictate engagement ranges against most Battleship opponents in her Matchmaking spread, along with the range to hammer them beyond their own reach. However, she is always going to be reliant on Allies to keep her opponents lit while attempting to keep enemies at arm's length in this manner. Anti-Aircraft DefenseAA Battery Calibers: 127mm / 40mm / 12.7mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 2.0km / 1.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 40 / 16 / 5 To say that this Battleship has poor anti-aircraft firepower is a gross understatement. Mutsu has worse anti-aircraft defense than any of the research-based Battleships at tier 4. She's setting a whole new standard for what "bad" anti-aircraft firepower is at tier 6. She has half the DPS of Fuso, a Battleship that has some of the worst AA firepower at tier 6. Combined with her horrible aerial detection range, the sight of Mutsu on the enemy team should ring a dinner bell for all CV players. Rivals: Warspite Lert: A more even match, since both of these ships operate on the same basic principle: trading in number of barrels and DPM for shells large and powerful enough to overmatch the 25mm bow plating found on even tier battleships. Again, you have the larger health pool, better range and larger shells, but Warspite is notoriously wiggly making her a difficult target at range, has a superior healing potion and her shells aren't that much smaller than yours to begin with. She'll overmatch your bow as easily as you'll overmatch the grand old lady's, so face-tanking incoming fire isn't a thing like it is against Arizona or Dunkerque. Use your superior range to whittle her down and your superior speed to keep her at range. Conversely, you could go for the same drive-by tactic that I recommended for taking on an Arizona, but be aware that Warspite's 15" rifles will smash through your bow plating and bite chunks offa your face while you do it. Where against an Arizona you would charge in head on, you might try closing the distance under an angle to try to lure Warspite's return fire away from your bow and into your armor belt, where it will bounce off instead of eat up large chunks of your hit-points. A lot of CV pilots "experimented" with the AA defense on Mutsu while I was play testing her, but most weren't too interested beyond a cursory strike or two. As word gets out about Mutsu's vulnerability to air power, you can expect more concerted attacks. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Mutsu, as a tier 6 Battleship, already has a couple of strikes against her when it comes to evaluating her suitability to a novice player. She punishes players for exposing her broadside while simultaneously having a gimmicky weapon system that encourages exactly that. With poor armour, a (relatively) small number of main battery guns and secondaries that won't be of much help, a novice player could be forgiven for struggling to get any kind of reliable performance out of this ship. For the expert, Mutsu will reward good gunnery with excellent DPM values for an 8-gun Battleship. Her torpedoes will be a fun (if seldom used) gimmick that will clinch select engagements. Still, her horrible surface detection range, poor AA defense and poor armour values will limit her carry potential. The Lertbox I wanted to like Mutsu, but I just can't. She's wonderful in co-op where she'll just eat off everyone's face with her brutality, but against other people I found her lacking. Her WWI era shells don't have the penetration or the Krupp hardness to do significant damage at range, and she doesn't have the armor to mingle up close. Her hit-point pool gives her some staying power in a brawl and her torpedoes are a nifty poison dagger, but this is a ship with weapons that want to move in close and a hull that wants to stay far away. Comparing her to other tier 6 battleships makes her look better than she is. Truth is, Mutsu starts falling apart quickly against higher tiers, and I would take any of the other three into a tier 8 battle over Mutsu. Plus, there's the T6 MM to worry about, and Mutsu really does not up-tier well. I won't say that Mutsu is a bad ship per say, just that she's an alright ship in a pond of great ships, namely the trio I pit her against. Mouse's Summary: I have a love-hate relationship with Mutsu's guns. It was awful play testing with that 35s reload, but I could still make some great plays with them. I am very excited about their 30s reload. While I wasn't landing citadels as often against Battleships, they're perfectly adequate for regular penetrations. Her armour is super squishy for a Battleship. Also -- fires. Oh god, the fires. Her torpedoes were nice to have, but its rare when I got any good use out of them. Mutsu's secondaries were disappointing. She's a perfectly adequate ship ... until she has to face tiers 7 & 8. Wargaming didn't want a repeat of the German Destroyer incident. They let us Community Contributors know in advance that the Mutsu we were playing wasn't the final version. There were all of three changes that they gave us, but let me be be clear -- there may be others. As values like vertical dispersion, Krupp and shell-drag coefficient are not intended to be public knowledge, there are lots of parameters that could still change before release. So while I appreciate Wargaming striving to keep us in the know about what the release version of the ship may be, it pays to keep that disclaimer at the top of this article in mind. There was a third change, beyond rate of fire and gun traverse that Wargaming informed us of. It was this: "Increase rudder deflection speed from 19.2 to 17.9." Now, you would think that would coincide with Rudder Shift Time, but her rudder shift time is 14.7s. Whatever this value is, it represents a 7.3% change. From the way it's worded, it could represent either a buff or a nerf. If anyone has any grasp on what this is, feel free to let me know. My contacts at Wargaming who were relaying the information didn't know what it was either and couldn't get it clarified, so obviously someone at St.Petersburg has the info and simply assumed that we'd also know what it was. And so, I played Mutsu with a 35s reload and a 54.5s for 180º turret rotation speed and was asked to evaluate her performance. I won a heck of a lot of games. One day's worth of playtesting saw me win 12 out of 13 matches. However, let me add a qualifier to this win streak: I still have not broken a 2,000 base experience game in Mutsu. It wasn't a case of not being able to get the damage totals -- getting in excess of 100,000 damage wasn't impossible. But I never had any truly spectacular games. My personal best is 1,716 base experience which is disappointing with the typical "good" game sitting around 1,300 to 1,500 base experience. I took the occasional break from Mutsu by playing with my Warspite and Nagato and easily crushed that 2,000 base experience ceiling. I should warn everyone: I love Nagato, so it's probably no surprise that I took well to Mutsu, The improvements this ship will receive in terms of reload and gun handling (and the changes to whatever the heck rudder deflection speed is) will be welcome. Still, the ship isn't without its disappointments for me. The increased vertical dispersion of her guns over Nagato and the poor range on her secondaries really made me have a sad. Overall, Mutsu is a decent IJN Battleship but she's not phenomenal. I don't think anyone was expecting her to be outstanding, though -- not as an early version of a Nagato-class Battleship. So in that regard, she doesn't disappoint. Now if only the Matchmaker would let her be top tier more often... Would I Recommend? Mutsu makes a great Co-Op warrior. She's got powerful guns and she faces enemies that are, quite frankly, dumb as posts. The bots are unlikely to shoot at you when there are still cruisers and destroyers alive. This gives you lots of time to exercise your 410mm rifles often at very close range where their penetration issues aren't present. You'll also be able to use your torpedoes a lot and score hits too. Outside of Co-Op, Mutsu begins to suffer. It would be one thing if she was top tier as regularly as a tier 7 or 8 ship, but she exists in that special Hell that is tier 5 and 6 Matchmaking. She doesn't up-tier very well -- holding her own against tier 7 ships (if at a bit of a struggle) but really hurting once she faces tier 8s. Of course, this could be said about most of the tier 6 premiums, so that's nothing new. For Random Battle Grinding Mouse: It's sad to say, but Japan is rather lacking when it comes to premium Battleship trainers. The Ishizuchi is okay but, let's be honest, she's no Scharnhorst / Tirpitz / Arizona / Missouri. While Mutsu is a better fit, I wouldn't say she's a great fit. She can do what she needs to, however, and if you're hard pressed for a training ship, then Mutsu can step up to the plate. But I think you might be looking over your shoulder for the next IJN Premium Battleship. Lert: No. Arizona is IMO a far better ship, as is Warspite. And both of those are available in the tech tree for doubloons at the writing of this article. Consider Mutsu if you really need a Japanese battleship crew trainer, but buy American or British if you want a good ship to carry in. GrafZeppelinKai: Mutsu is a dependable battlewagon. Her above average gun handling characteristics, combined with a little practice, will come into it’s own. Similarly, if you’re looking for a dedicated IJN BB Captain trainer, Mutsu is your best option for now. For Competitive Gaming Mouse: No. She's too squishy and too huge. Lert: No. If you need range, bring a Fuso. If you need overmatching ability, bring a Warspite. If you need staying power, bring an Arizona.GrafZeppelinKai: It will take a bit more work to make her shine here, and her deficiencies will feel more glaring. Similar to Warspite, having good planning ahead of time will mean you’re able to dish the damage while not being the focus of the enemy. For Collectors Mouse: Yes. She's a beautiful ship with an interesting history and a tragic story. Lert: Yes. Mutsu has a place in history, and her configuration might appeal to people who like WWI era dreadnoughts. GrafZeppelinKai: I’m gonna be honest here: I like 1920s Mutsu. She’s very pretty to look at, and there are many subtle details that make her very period accurate. For that reason alone, she has a spot in my port. For Fun Factor Mouse: Well I liked her. However, I don't think I would play her very often, not compared to the other premiums 6s.Lert: She handles comfortable enough, if a bit sluggish on the rudder. I would consider her a fun ship if her shells didn't tend to shatter at long range, or her hull held up a bit better under fire. Plus, her torpedoes are just funny, if you get a chance to use them. Those are big if's though.GrafZeppelinKai: I enjoyed my time testing Mutsu. To me, the gunnery felt familiar and comfortable, and you can never resist a giggle when you surprise an adversary by pooping out a torpedo. In a brawl with Bayern and Nurnberg. Mutsu uses her main battery to finish off the German cruiser while dumping fish into the bows of Bayern. Brawling is exceedingly risky with Mutsu. Don't expect your torpedoes to clinch a fight for you. Outfitting Mutsu Mutsu doesn't require anything beyond the norm for IJN Battleships, which is a welcome relief. Recommended Modules For your first slot, take Main Armaments Modification 1. This should be no surprise. The armour around Mutsu's main turrets along with her barbettes is pretty substandard for her tier, so this will help keep them in the game. It should also help mitigate damage to your torpedo tubes, but they tend to go belly up if anyone looks at them funny. For your second slot, you may be tempted to try a secondary build, but in my experience this is a mistake -- you can't get her range out high enough to make it a credible threat.. Aiming Systems Modification 1 is arguably the most effective choice here. For your third slot, take Damage Control System Modification 1. This will help mitigate fire and flooding damage while increasing your torpedo damage reduction to 24%. And finally, take Damage Control System Modification 2 to reduce the burn-time of fires. You can take Steering Gear Modification 2 if you prefer, especially if you've taken Captain Skills to mitigate fire damage. Recommended Consumables Don't skimp out on the premium consumables for this ship. Taking a premium Damage Control Party is an absolute must. I also strongly recommend taking a premium Repair Party as well to reduce the reset timer of your healing potion and to give you an extra charge. I don't see much need in breaking the bank with a Spotter Aircraft, so it's up to you to invest in the 22,500 extra credits to make this premium or not. Captain Skills For the core build, we're going to want to emphasize her damage control abilities. For your first skill, you have a choice between Priority Target and Preventative Maintenance. I prefer the former on my first pass -- it's helpful to know when potential damage is incoming. The latter has currency with Mutsu due to the relative fragility of her weapon systems compared to other tier 6 Battleships. Next, at tier two, grab Expert Marksman. This was absolutely essential with her 3.3º per second rotation speed and it will still be worth while when this gets buffed to 3.8º per second. At tier three, Basics of Survivability should be the skill to grab to help mitigate fire damage. And finally, when you hit tier 4, take Fire Prevention. After this first pass, there are other skills to consider. The best of the bunch are Adrenaline Rush and High Alert at tier 2 and Superintendent at tier 3. This is one of those rare ships where I will not recommend Basic and Advanced Fire Training as the top picks. While these will help prop up her horrible AA firepower, it's really not going to move the needle enough to make it anywhere near acceptable. Similarly, her secondaries are just a little too short ranged to be worth specializing into. You can certainly try it out for yourself, but I don't think you'll find it pays off as well as it would for her tier 7 sister.
  13. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: Oleg

    Bogatyr in a sexy black dress. Quick Summary: A stock Bogatyr-class protected cruiser. Patch and Date Written: 0.6.0 - January 25th, 2017 Cost: Undisclosed at the time of publishing. Closest in-Game Contemporary Bogatyr, Tier 3 Russian Protected CruiserDegree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique The Oleg is a stock Bogatyr-class. Lert and I will go on at length about the difference between the ships, so I'll keep it short here. I was sorely tempted to compare her instead to the Aurora. The Pallada-class is very similar in play style in World of Warships and short of an obvious difference in speed, it would be difficult to really set them apart in terms of performance. PROs The Oleg is very soft skinned leading to many over penetrating hits from battleship-caliber, armour piercing shells. More hit points than the fully upgraded Bogatyr. Fast for a protected cruiser at 24.0 knots. Good HE performance, with 2,100 alpha strike per shell and 8% base fire chance. Great handling, with a tighter turning circle than her sister ship at 450m. Very easy to understand and with a very low skill floor. CONs Low DPM for a tier 3 cruiser with her 8-gun broadside and 9s reload. Agonizingly slow turret rotation made all of the more noticeable by her small turning circle. Guns will often slide off the target in a high speed turn. Her top speed, while perfectly adequate when top tier is severely lacking when she faces tier 4 ships. Short of the turrets, the entire ship has no more than 13mm of external armour plating. Much of it has 6mm. This makes her take high explosive penetrations from any size of shell that strikes her. A small portion of the citadel is raised well over the waterline (found just beneath the two large lifeboats behind the last funnel). This portion has less sloping than the rest of the citadel. Her AP shells are downright forgettable with poor penetration and requiring very short range engagements to be effective. No anti-aircraft firepower whatsoever. Doing the dance. The Oleg cannot win by rate of fire alone. Learn to WASD early and often with your cruisers. It will serve you well. If you ascended the Russian cruiser line, you've already played the Oleg. It's disappointing to say, but there it is. The Oleg is a stock Bogatyr with a few tweaks to her stat line. They can be summarized by the following. The Oleg: Has more hit points. Has a slightly smaller turning circle. Has sexy black camouflage. Good and we're done. Review over. Goodnight everybody! Huh? What do you mean that's not good enough!? Ugh! Fine! I've asked Lert to once again join me in this review to provide his views. Lert has more experience in the Bogatyr than anyone else I know and he's certain a better hand at it than I am. He'll even deliberately up-tier his cruiser to face bigger opponents like the good ol' days. Apparently baby seals aren't enough to sate his appetite anymore. I totally approve of this behaviour. The Lertbox Hello and welcome to another Lertbox. This time we're discussing the russian tier 3 Bogatyr class cruiser Oleg. Is it worth your money? Is it worth being in this game at all? For this Lertbox I will comparing her to Bogatyr, St Louis and Aurora. I feel these are very representative of the protected cruiser gameplay at the tier. (He better make this review good cause I dunno how many times I can repeat myself in saying this is a stock Bogatyr and be expected to be entertaining!) Options No surprises here. Low tier cruisers aren't terribly complicated. Consumables: Damage Control Party Module Upgrades: Two slots, standard cruiser options.Premium Camouflage: Tier 2 to 5 Standard. This provides 30% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. The Oleg's camouflage is pretty sexy looking. Firepower Primary Battery: Twelve 152mm rifles. Eight guns are mounted in casemates along the flanks of the ships, four to each side. The remaining four are divided into two, two-gun turrets on the bow and stern. Secondary Battery: Twelve 75mm rifles, with six down each side of the ship in casemates. Let's start with what was almost a deal breaker for me: The Oleg has horrible gun handling. It takes 30s to rotate her guns 180º. This is so slow that in a turn, your guns will slide off your target every single time. This is so slow that you're unable to shift fire from one side of the ship to another quickly because it will take so long for the guns to acquire their target. Yes, even the casemate guns bolted to the sides of the ship which can only face on side will take too long to rotate onto your target. This is so slow that you'll be using the rudder to line your guns up. It's that bad. Expert Marksman, the tier 2 Captain Skill, is almost a must. The Oleg has less main battery firepower than the Aurora despite having the same broadside of eight 152mm/45 Canet guns. This disparity comes from a difference in rate of fire. The Pallada-class cruisers reload in 8.6s while the Bogatyr-class cruisers reload in 9.0s. This places the Oleg third from the bottom in terms of HE DPM among the tier 3 cruisers. 140,000 - Bogatyr (B-Hull) 152mm 126,667 - Bogatyr (B-Hull) 130mm with Basic Fire Training 126,000 - St.Louis 118,800 - Kolberg with Basic Fire Training 117,209 - Aurora 114,000 - Bogatyr (B-Hull) 130mm 112,000 - Oleg 108,000 - Kolberg 96,000 - Tenryu But let's be clear here -- she's not that far behind the Bogatyr with 130mm before Captain Skills. The 2,000 DPM between them is the difference of 1 extra hit from the Oleg's 152mm rifles. In the real world with shot dispersion, the Oleg's damage is going to compare very closely with the Bogatyr until Basic Fire Training is added. To this end, the Oleg won't feel that far behind ships like the Aurora or an upgraded Kolberg. The Oleg's main battery is supplemented by twelve 75mm secondary guns. However, like most low-tier vessels, her secondaries are hamstrung by painfully short range -- in this case, a mere 2.5km. Their small caliber isn't too much of an issue against anything short of a Battleship. While it's possible to engage targets with these guns, it's never going to end well unless you already have the upper hand by a significant margin. Overall, the Oleg's firepower is pretty average with nothing really spectacular about it. She has only a modest a 10.8km range, her AP performance is hamstrung by poor ballistics and she can't out muscle any of her contemporaries in terms of raw damage. This might be acceptable if the Oleg had other abilities to supplement her firepower but as you'll see in subsequent sections, these advantages fail to materialize. While her guns are completely capable of doing damage and performing, the Oleg does not win any recognition for what she brings to the table as a gunship. Rivals: Versus the Bogatyr Against a bone stock Bogatyr you actually stand a chance in an Oleg. Similar range, similar broadside with the same guns, similar reload, similar speed, same armor profile but more hit-points. It's when the Bogatyr starts upgrading though that Oleg is left choking in the dust. The B hull gives Bogatyr a heavier broadside, the FCS gives the tech tree ship better range and the 130mm guns give her a better fire chance. Plus, if the Bogatyr player has the 130mm guns mounted and AFT researched, he can keep you at arm's length without ever allowing you a chance to shoot back. The best (and only) way to handle a Bogatyr is when the latter is distracted. Get your fire in, while he's concentrating on other things. Try not to be the easy target, because he outguns and out-ranges you. The Oleg, doing what she does best: Providing supporting firepower into an engagement from the second line. She doesn't have the DPM, armour or hit point total to trade blows effectively. Maneuverability Top Speed: 24.0 knots Turning Radius: 450m Rudder Shift Time: 7.1s This is probably the best bit of news about this ship. The Oleg is, for a tier 3 protected cruiser, both fast and maneuverable. Her 24.0 knots isn't a blistering top speed by any means, but it does give her longer legs than most of her contemporaries with the exception of the Tenryu and Caledon. Her turning circle is also very tight at a mere 450m. This is a marginal 10m improvement over the Bogatyr herself, though she loses out on rudder-shift time. Still, she is very wiggly and this can be used to help dodge incoming fire and attack planes. Her top speed really feels lacking when she's facing tier 4 ships, though. She's easily outpaced by every other cruiser found at this tier and even some of the Battleships like the Ishizuchi and Myogi are outright faster. Being kited is a real risk in this ship, especially if the Oleg is fool enough not to silence her guns and turn away to drop back into concealment. A second drawback is that the Oleg WILL out turn her turrets. Firing and maneuvering just isn't possible as your guns will slide off their targets. Even with Expert Marksman, it's impossible to keep her guns tracking an enemy while she has her rudder hard over at full speed. Durability Hit Points: 24,100 Citadel Protection: Layered armour, with a 13mm outer hull and a sloped 70mm citadel deck. Min Bow & Deck Armour: Between 6mm and 11mm. The Oleg is an experience and credits pinata in her matchmaking spread. Hit her with anything and rewards leak out. She can be penetrated almost everywhere even by the smallest caliber HE shells and her bows can be overmatched by even 88mm worth of AP fire. You're simply not going to bounce a whole lot in this ship. Though she has more hit points than the Bogatyr, it isn't an appreciable gain over her sister ship, nor is it anywhere near enough to allow her to make up for the deficiencies in her DPM against vessels like the St.Louis. The Oleg shares the raised citadel weakness of the Bogatyr. There's a small section behind the funnels, found underneath the large lifeboats mounted there where the citadel rides significantly higher than the waterline. The only defense the Oleg has is to use terrain and her maneuverability to attempt to avoid fire. Rivals: Versus the St.Louis On paper, Oleg looks ok against a stock St Louis. You have a heavier broadside, slightly more range and are a hair faster. But that's where your advantages end. Even stock, a St Louis has more hit-points and better armor. When the American fighting lady is fully upgraded however, you're in trouble. A heavier broadside, much more hit-points, better armor, similar range and only a little bit slower, she'll outgun, out-tank and out-brawl you. It helps a lot to know where to aim on a St Louis. While she has better armor, that only covers her machinery spaces. Her extremities and superstructure are still soft, and that's where you should put your HE. Other than that though, the best you can do is pray that the St Louis driver is a worse shot than you are. She will outlast you in a direct slugging match. Concealment & Camouflage Surface Detection Range: 10.3km Air Detection Range: 5.7km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 8.8km Concealment Penalty while Firing: +4.56km (versus 10.8km maximum range) The best that can be said for the Oleg is that at least her surface detection range doesn't outstrip her guns. It's a very near thing, though, and something for players to be aware of. In the claustrophobic maps found at tiers two through four, there's not a whole lot of room to use range to hide, but there are a plethora of islands behind which cover can be found to break line of sight. Make judicious use of these to keep your Oleg not-sunk and to control the engagement. Anti-Aircraft DefenseYou can find it by reaching down and grabbing your ankles. It's down there somewhere. Just keep looking. Rivals: Versus the Aurora Finally a comparison where Oleg comes out at least looking equal to her competitor. Where Aurora has slightly more range, she's considerably slower. Where she turns better, she has less hit-points. The differences are small though, except for a 5 knot speed difference. Even the armor scheme is close to the same. With Oleg's superior speed you might try to kite Aurora and rain down fire from range, but she can turn better to avoid your fire, and return fire from just outside our range. Conversely you might try closing the distance to knife fighting range and bringing your secondaries in, but you're not walking out of that trade smelling of roses. In a 1v1 duel between these two Russian premium tier 3 cruisers, it usually comes down to who is the better shot and who manages his damage control party better. Both ships are underwhelming compared to their direct rivals, but between the two of them I would still choose Oleg. Her 5 knot superior speed cannot be underestimated, it gives her an edge in flexibility that Aurora simply cannot match. The Oleg is utterly reliant on friendly ships to shoot down aircraft. With it's good agility, it can be an annoying target for inexperienced carrier players, especially for torpedo bomber strikes. But don't get complacent. Overall ImpressionsSkill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / DifficultSkill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Game play doesn't get much more simple than that found in the Oleg. The only complexity to this ship is the choice of ammunition, the use of range, terrain and maneuver and the optimization found in the correct choices of Captain Skills. This is one of the ship's greatest strengths. It's also one of the ship's greatest weaknesses. There's not going to be a whole lot that separates an experienced Oleg pilot and a great Oleg pilot. The Lertbox Welcome to the most superfluous ship in World of Warships. Yet another Russian premium ship, at a tier where one already exists, and offering a playstyle that is done better in the free tech tree ships. Oleg offers nothing that hasn't already been done better before. She doesn't really offer that great captain training, and did we really need another premium Russian cruiser? Mouse's Impressions: Dirt simple game play -- often devolving into simply trading damage. There are a couple of ways to include sister ships in the game -- this isn't a very interesting way of doing it. Not different enough from the Aurora to matter, IMO. Her awful gun traverse was almost a deal breaker for me. Expert Marksman is a must-have. The Oleg has it pretty rough. Her big sister Bogatyr is arguably one of the best tier 3 ships in the game. I had high expectations for the Oleg as a Bogatyr-class premium. She looks really sharp in her black and gold camouflage. However her performance is admittedly lacking. She's not a bad ship, but she's definitely not a great one either. She's just the sister ship of a vessel already available in the tech tree, accessible simply by not unlocking any improvements. This is probably a big strike against her for some players, especially when she doesn't offer anything new in terms of game play. The Oleg doesn't follow the example of the Missouri or Texas which are an improvements over the Iowa and New York respectively. She also doesn't have a gimmick in the way the Lo Yang incorporates a Hydroacoustic Search to the Benson. She's not even like the Shinonome which now offers a weapon configuration no longer available to the Fubuki. I mean, if we thought the Prinz Eugen was pretty blah for being so similar to the Admiral Hipper, well at least the Prinz Eugen compared well to an upgraded Admiral Hipper. And on top of that, she had a baked in bonus with her premium camouflage. But the Oleg doesn't even have that going for her. And worse still, it's not like there's a drought of low-tier Russian protected cruiser premiums. The Diana and Aurora are so similar in play style as to be almost comical. Taken in isolation? Yeah, the Oleg is an okay-ish premium if you absolutely must have a low-tier cruiser to help train Captains. But she's not good and she's not special. Would I Recommend? No, I wouldn't. For a start, the Oleg isn't that different from a stock Bogatyr -- meaning if you really wanted to try this ship out, play a stock Bogatyr. The differences are so minor as to be near trivial. On top of that, there are comparable ships in and around that Matchmaking spread. While she's objectively better than the Aurora grace of her speed, that doesn't make her a "good" ship. For Random Battle Grinding Mouse: I did earn Confederate medals very easily in the Oleg. But then again, I earn Confederate medals very easy in an Aurora, St.Louis or a Bogatyr so... yeah. Nothing special there. So overall? Nope. Lert: No. She barely makes more than a tech tree ship, and she doesn't offer that much in captain training. If you really need a captain trainer or credit grinder there are better options out there. For Competitive Gaming Mouse: No, the Bogatyr is hands down better. And free. Lert: Ha. You make good joke. For Collectors Mouse: The Oleg is a well storied ship and for those interested in Imperial Russian Naval History, she's a little gem. Aside from that? Meh. Lert: Maybe. Oleg's combat history is actually quite extensive. She fought at Tsushima and survived, she fought in World War I and survived, finally meeting her end in combat in the Russian Revolution, being sunk by a Royal Navy torpedoboat. All that still doesn't make her a good ship though. For Fun Factor Mouse: Meh. I love riding on a sleek, black vessel as much as the next girl but I didn't get my jollies on the Oleg. Lert: No. There are tech tree ships that offer the same play style but are more fun to drive and flat-out better. Plus, they're free. Fire is a huge problem for low tier ships. Proper use of your Damage Control Party is paramount to survival. How to Equip your Oleg Recommended Modules As a low tier ship, the Oleg doesn't have a whole lot of options to choose from. Take Main Armaments Modification 1 in your first slot and back that up with Damage Control System Modification 1 in your second slot. Recommended Consumables There's only one consumable here. You'd be wise to upgrade to the premium version of the Damage Control Party. Fires will be everywhere and the shorter reset timer can really help mitigate the damage here. Recommended Captain Skills The essential skills for the Oleg on your first pass through the tree are: At tier one, Priority Target. This will let you know when it's absolutely imperative that you start wiggling your tush. You should be going semi-evasive anyway to avoid torpedoes, but this is less of a concern at lower tiers. Follow this up with Expert Marksman at tier two. You'll almost be able to keep your guns on target while turning. At tier 3, Demolition Expert is probably your best choice as the rest of the skills are pretty lackluster for the Oleg. And finally, at tier 4, Concealment Expert is your best choice to let you go gun silent and sneak away when things get scary. Other useful skill include: Preventative Maintenance (T1) and Last Stand (T2). The Oleg loses her engines and steering gears frequently and each of these skills can help with that. If you take Last Stand, you won't necessarily need Preventative Maintenance, so make it an either-or choice. High Alert and Adrenaline Rush are both good skills from Tier 2. The former will reduce your reset timer on your Damage Control Party to as low as 54s if you're using a premium consumable. Adrenaline Rush will help accelerate your DPM as you take damage. And you will take damage in almost every game. Skip Tier 3 skills. Vigilance would be the only other one worth while here. None of the other Tier 4 skills are particularly useful for the Oleg though there's two interesting choices at least. Inertia Fuse for HE Shells is curious. There isn't enough 25mm armour at tiers 2, 3 and 4. Most Battleships have 16mm of armour on their decks and extremities and your 152mm HE shells will handle that just fine. However, the decks of all of the IJN cruisers found at this tier are vulnerable if you take this skill, letting you land citadel hits against them. If this feels like a worthwhile investment for you, go for it. It's a lot of points to spend to help against one specific enemy. Radio Location may look appealing and you can certainly consider it but you won't get much use out of it in low tier games unless you come across an Isokaze seal-clubbing division.
  14. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: USS Missouri

    When he burned, did it smell like money?
  15. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: USS Missouri

    Well, that argument is assuming I have no interest in still progressing my account for World of Warships. I'm on the cusp of unlocking the Izumo (35M), Yugumo (30M), Shchors (15M) and Friedrich der Große (39M). I'm a little further behind on the alternative IJN line, but I do anticipate having my Akizuki before the new year. That's another 22M. And then there's the German Destroyer line. Who knows how far up I'll get up that by the time the three months are up? That's already a 141M bill I'll be footing as I progress my account going forward which all but absorbs the reported 160M I would be hypothetically be earning under that unlock process. This is also assuming I don't get side tracked with a sudden enamoring fixation on some other project like Soviet DDs or American CVs (HA! Yeah right!) These are exorbitant costs either -- it's sort of what we'd expect out of someone who is progressing their account and hasn't plateaued with every ship accessed. So arguing that "by grinding, you're making money so you don't need the Missouri" only works if you take it in isolation. My situation may not be typical. However, I doubt that it's uncommon. Players will be wanting to progress their accounts so arguing that by earning credits while grinding the Missouri, you preclude the need to acquire more credits afterwards is a bit silly. The time argument seems a bit wonky, doesn't it? Paying 100 quid for credits instead of a Missouri makes absolute, 100% sense on the short term. But don't look at being short on time as "being in a hurry". Think of it more as limited opportunities to get in and earn. Said player could be in this game for the long haul -- months or years. Given her average earnings (as best I can discern from my experience), you'd have to play 100 to 150 games in the Missouri to outstrip just paying for the credits instead. If someone is really limited on how much they can play -- say a dozen games a week, then we're talking about them playing nothing but the Missouri for three full months before they see a return on their investment. This doesn't look practical. They could have bought the credits, played the other ships they wanted and be further ahead than had they bought the Missouri. From a straight up logic sense, you are absolutely right. Players must look into their own personal situation and evaluate the best time-cost investment if they want to spend their money wisely. The return on her investment is on the long term. She will always print credits. Once a player finally crosses that 100 to 150 game threshold, then she becomes more worthwhile than having bought credits for cash. If the player views that as an inevitability in 3 months or 6 months or a year from now, then the Missouri was worth more than buying credits. I do appreciate your patience and appreciation for understanding that value is a completely personal view point. Thank you for that.
×