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Exocet6951

Thoughts and speculations on Italian cruisers

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Thoughts on Italian cruisers.

As some of you may know, it's been confirmed for a while now, Italian cruisers are coming on their merry way in late Q3 to early Q4 2018 after RN DDs.

 

Feel free to speculate on the branch's composition, but a better thread for that is the fan made tree here:


An excellent read.

Instead,  I thought I would bring the forum in this new thread for a little brainstorm/feedback/speculation session.

 

 

WG loves its gimmicks, that's no secret, and with speed boost gone for the French (for some reason) and every other consumable having already been taken, the prospect of finding a consumable combination that makes sense and hasn't been taken by another branch is not looking good.

So where does that leave us?

 

Well, it turns out that a solution might be found in one of WG's oversights regarding existing Italian ships.
As @Historynerd pointed out, some Italian HE shells are currently using SAP shells as a basis, and that somewhat limits their alpha damage, making them overall the worst HE shells of those calibers.
Even in soft stats, they fall short of even the low damage German shells.
So why is this a potential solution? 

Well, if WG wants to use SAP shells as HE shells, why not make said shells actually act like pseudo-SAP shells?

 

 

The concept is rather simple, you have an HE shell bound by exactly the same constraints as currently, only instead of having a krupp modifier of 1 (thus having a penetration of a fraction of a millimeter), you increase it to a bit more. Say, enough to penetrate a superstructure or very lightly armored ship that's not too angled. And presto, you now have a shell capable of exploding inside a ship thanks HE's natural 0.01s fuze setting.

The second part of it is damage. That's the tricky part, and one with which I won't delve into absolute numbers, because theory rarely seemlessly merges with practice on the first try.

 

The current alpha damage on Italian HE is pretty poor. So you keep that. In fact, you can probably lower a bit, because this hypothetical SAP shell would act in on of two ways:
First scenario is the classic one. The shell doen't have enough penetration to go through, so it explodes on contact. Classic HE damage rules, HE penetration checks, low damage because Italian HE cannot into damage nor fire chance, etc...
Second scenario is the interesting bit. The shell manages to penetrate. What's the pay off? Increased damage. The damage fraction goes up so the shell deals more than the regular contact fuze damage. What's the cost? If the shell explodes in the ship, it's not exploding at the feet of some poor AA crewmen. Less module damage.

 

And that's the pitch. A branch whose gimmick is simply having potentially more or less damaging HE shells, depending on your aim and RNG.

A bigger focus on HE damage than fire chance, without relying on the lazy 1/4th HE penetration rule.

NOTE: IFHE shouldn't interact with this hypothetical shell's physical penetration, as the skill only acts upon the HE penetration.

 

 

I'd really love to hear what you guys and gals have to say about this, and if you feel that it's a stupid suggestion (it was born at 4AM during a sleepness night, so chances are that it is) tell me why and what you think a better direction for these ships are. I'd also love to ask @MrConway if it's even technically feasible.

 

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I'd absolutely prefer that to some new gimmick-fest, maybe the penetration damage could be like 50% of max shell damage?

Very interesting idea, as it would also add more variety to ammunition types :)

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20 minutes ago, Erga_Buzerga said:

I'd absolutely prefer that to some new gimmick-fest, maybe the penetration damage could be like 50% of max shell damage?

Very interesting idea, as it would also add more variety to ammunition types :)

 

That's essentially the number I had in mind, yes.
Hence the possible lowering of HE alpha damage just a nudge to avoid potentially dealing excessive damage.

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They don't need and gimmicks like speed boost imo. Just a consistant and high velocity AP with decent fire arcs.

 

Low tiers would be thin armoured but very fast and agile ships. There would be a change at tier VIII (Zara class with high probability) and up. Those would be heavily armoured cruisers. Maybe Roma kind of protection but on a cruiser. Cruisers with high survivability that could strongly push a cap, tank almost like bb and use the whole spectum of support consumables.

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Since they will still take 6 months to arrive, no need to get 6 months of hype for clones of ships like the duca, that is quite meh.

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6 minutes ago, ImperialAdmiral said:

Those would be heavily armoured cruisers. Maybe Roma kind of protection but on a cruiser. Cruisers with high survivability that could strongly push a cap, tank almost like bb and use the whole spectum of support consumables

 

That unfortunately dosen't necessarily work.
If anything, having a bit too much armor makes you more vulnerable to BB fire. 

 

Also, I was mostly suggesting that since German cruisers had a strong focus on AP and armor, but that was deemed not good enough.

A little boost and quirk without falling into the silliness of imcomprehensible gimmicks while improving on a flaw that's already present ingame wouldn't hurt.

In fact, I think it would help solidify the notion that Italian cruisers are about good gunnery and good ammo choice, something that's already the case with the Aosta.

 


But hey, your point of view is perfectly valid and perhaps even useful to WG.
To each his own.

 

5 minutes ago, Juanx said:

Since they will still take 6 months to arrive, no need to get 6 months of hype for clones of ships like the duca, that is quite meh.

 

All the more reason to start discussing it now.
Models aren't even finished yet, so balancing is still completely open. 
If we wait until images are leaked and ST starts, the developers will already have had a solid plan in place.

This way, we can still give input and forward some ideas in time for them to be relevant.

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11 minutes ago, Exocet6951 said:

 

That unfortunately dosen't necessarily work.
If anything, having a bit too much armor makes you more vulnerable to BB fire. 

 

 

Perhaps you are right. Yet if they could manage to boost their survivaibility that way ,without giving them ridiculous ammount of HP, Italian tier VIII-X would find the perfect niche in game. And since they will be the last major navy cruiser line added it would not break the balance imo. 

 

Question remains though, what are WG plans for tier IX and X. Since they might surprise us with another GK from sekrit archives.

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1 minute ago, ImperialAdmiral said:

 

Perhaps you are right. Yet if they could manage to boost their survivaibility that way ,without giving them ridiculous ammount of HP, Italian tier VIII-X would find the perfect niche in game. And since they will be the last major navy cruiser line added it would not break the balance imo. 

 

Question remains though, what are WG plans for tier IX and X. Since they might surprise us with another GK from sekrit archives.

 

On that end, I think they'll receive the "good concealment" coupled with "27mm bow and stern" treatment.

 

The TIX and X is indeed a good question, as the inclusion of the Algérie as a T7 and moving the New Orleans down to T7 sheds some doubt on a historical Zara (ie: no magic AA upgrades and buffed RoF) being T8.
If that's the case, the question "what happens to the Spanish and Russian Ansaldo projects?" springs to mind.

There might be a hole which WG might have to take some creative liberties in order to deal with.

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28 minutes ago, Exocet6951 said:

All the more reason to start discussing it now.
Models aren't even finished yet, so balancing is still completely open. 
If we wait until images are leaked and ST starts, the developers will already have had a solid plan in place.

This way, we can still give input and forward some ideas in time for them to be relevant.

 

You might be right, but given the track record...

 

I will make it easy for you, and let us know when has WG listened to any feedback, even from STers, before.

 

I hope you are right, sadly, I already know WGs ways...

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1 minute ago, Exocet6951 said:

 

On that end, I think they'll receive the "good concealment" coupled with "27mm bow and stern" treatment.

 

The TIX and X is indeed a good question, as the inclusion of the Algérie as a T7 and moving the New Orleans down to T7 sheds some doubt on a historical Zara (ie: no magic AA upgrades and buffed RoF) being T8.
If that's the case, the question "what happens to the Spanish and Russian Ansaldo projects?" springs to mind.

There might be a hole which WG might have to take some creative liberties in order to deal with.

 

Might be the case. I was 100% sure that Algerie is going to be a tier VIII. Yet still Hipper being on tier VIII gives me hope.

As for the Ansaldo projects they are would still have to be modernized a bit. Like for example B Hull Saint Louis with newer secondary turets and AA.

 

Another interesting question would be what names are going to be chosen for tier IX and X. All Italian Heavy cruisers beared names of cities that were reclaimed from Austro-Hungary after WWI.

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9 minutes ago, Juanx said:

 

You might be right, but given the track record...

 

I will make it easy for you, and let us know when has WG listened to any feedback, even from STers, before.

 

I hope you are right, sadly, I already know WGs ways...

 

They removed radars on RN BBs?  :Smile_teethhappy:

 

I'm perfectly aware that chances are, our input will be ignored.
But I'm going on principle that if it isn't, the right time to give it is before testing starts.

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I must admit i love the way the Duca D'Astoa Handles, she is without a doubt on the best handling cruiser outside of the Royal Navy IMHO. She is the Italian Sports Car, Fast, Turns well, but if you loose control and drive into a large piece of Steel you are wrecked. 

Its Just...her Guns ohh boy the AP is ok but she is too squishy to get close enough for it to be effective and the HE performance is laughable, slow, fast reloading but long ranged torpedoes are useful but only in an area denial point of view. 
She Handle great, but the aim of the game is to damage and sink ships not looking good dodging shells as fun as it is. 

I do like the suggestion that damage for the shells is higher than standard (50% instead of 33%) as this would give them a flavour of something different as opposed to the 1/4 rule for HE, as right now the handling on the Italian ships is fantastic, it is just their offensive power that seems lacking. and a 50% damage per HE shells per example could make up for the terrible fire chance. 

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Just going to call it now, Zara T7 not T8. Algerie and now New Orleans at T7, WG are clearly saying a 1930s treaty heavy cruiser has no place at T8. Sure Zara was cheating the treaty slightly, but not enough to make her Hipper or Baltimore strength.

 

Trento at T6 would also be a good counterpart to the new tin-can-Cola. Actually, I think the line going CA from T6 would make it very interesting.

 

But I think the line will be nice. I'm expecting high speed, good handling and high velocity guns. If the two Ducas are anything to go by these will be shorter ranged ships, meant to be played a bit more aggressive, but with the tools to do it. Good stealth would not surprise me.

 

I hope they use those Ansaldo plans for the top tiers, I don't want pure fantasy...

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58 minutes ago, VC381 said:

I hope they use those Ansaldo plans for the top tiers, I don't want pure fantasy...

"pure fantasy" . . . .   that is one thing that my fantasies could never be described as ... "pure"

 

ON TOPIC.... I like the OP's ideas. I don't want some daft gimmick for the Italian cruiser line. TBH I can't understand why they did not get great speed - they were famous for being quick.

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2 hours ago, Juanx said:

I will make it easy for you, and let us know when has WG listened to any feedback, even from STers, before.

 

I hope you are right, sadly, I already know WGs ways...

 

Same. I really hope to find maybe two ships in the line that won't suck. But knowing WG I don't have high hopes.

Seeing how they are gimmicking USN CLs right now doesn't fill me with high hopes for the RM cruisers.

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16 minutes ago, Admiral_H_Nelson said:

"pure fantasy" . . . .   that is one thing that my fantasies could never be described as ... "pure"

 

That's not what I meant and you know it :Smile-_tongue: 

 

I don't mind fictional ships, I just like my fiction to come from a dusty old sketch in a museum, drawn by a real naval architect 70 years ago...

 

Not the imagination of some exec in WGs office. That's one fantasy I really don't want to know about...

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1 hour ago, VC381 said:

If the two Ducas are anything to go by these will be shorter ranged ships, meant to be played a bit more aggressive, but with the tools to do it. Good stealth would not surprise me.

 

Which is for the best if you ask me.
Too many long range HE kiters as it is, and for some reason, WG thought it a good idea to even transform the originally AP oriented German cruiser branch into one that mostly use HE (from what I see in battle when fighting against Hippers => Hindens).

 

So a branch of lower range, yet stealthy ships that have a good punch?
Yes please.

 



 

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1 hour ago, Exocet6951 said:

So a branch of lower range, yet stealthy ships that have a good punch?
Yes please.

 

That is the one thing that I am missing with the Duca's. They have the lower range and stealth, but not really much of a punch. Other same tier cruisers have higher alpha and way better DPM, while not trading in versatility, so the Italians don't really shine as much as they should in their niche.

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38 minutes ago, Verdius said:

 

That is the one thing that I am missing with the Duca's. They have the lower range and stealth, but not really much of a punch. Other same tier cruisers have higher alpha and way better DPM, while not trading in versatility, so the Italians don't really shine as much as they should in their niche.

 

Indeed, and that's what I'm trying to construct with that proposal: a type of ship that provides the user that punch that's been lacking from cruisers, yet is very present (albeit unreliable) on the Roma.

The HE/SAP idea is nothing more than the extension of that notion, but with the added complexity of being able to further reward the user when using the best ammo choice for a given situation.

 

To paraphrase myself from a Roma topic, I believe Italian cruisers and battleships should be built on the principle that they handle beautifully and hit like freight trains.

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I have to say, I think the French cruiser line stole the playstyle and gimmick (speed boost) I was expecting for the Italians. Thing is, French are long range HE spam. Soviet are as well, and they are based on Italian design. So they really need to differentiate from both of those now.

 

Germans have the high velocity gun and AP punch focus but they're neither stealthy nor agile, so enough difference there, if Italian cruiser guns handle like German ones, which would make sense. Another non fire based line would be great IMO.

 

I don't think Duca d'Aosta lacks punch. It feels pretty good to me when you take the guns as part of the whole package, it's only Cleveland that's skewing people's idea of how much firepower a T6 CL should have and that's about to go.

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27 minutes ago, VC381 said:

I don't think Duca d'Aosta lacks punch. It feels pretty good to me when you take the guns as part of the whole package, it's only Cleveland that's skewing people's idea of how much firepower a T6 CL should have and that's about to go.

 

Well, the Budyonny and La Gal have more guns with similar reload speeds and a bit more AP and HE alpha, all while being able to be bow on and have 6 guns on target, so while Aosta's "punch" isn't bad per say, she's not exactly top of her class.

 

But it still more or less works. It's not her AP that's lacking. I never feel outclassed when using her.
Her HE is rather feeble though, and the difference can be felt, even in a single match.

 

 

Abruzzi on the other...
Jesus, what a wreck.
I would be lying if I said that this thread wasn't in part started just to hope that we don't get an entire branch of poorly thought out Abruzzis cobbled together by consumables until it clears the "literally unplayable" threshold.

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2 hours ago, Exocet6951 said:

 

Well, the Budyonny and La Gal have more guns with similar reload speeds and a bit more AP and HE alpha, all while being able to be bow on and have 6 guns on target, so while Aosta's "punch" isn't bad per say, she's not exactly top of her class.

 

But it still more or less works. It's not her AP that's lacking. I never feel outclassed when using her.
Her HE is rather feeble though, and the difference can be felt, even in a single match.

 

 

Abruzzi on the other...
Jesus, what a wreck.
I would be lying if I said that this thread wasn't in part started just to hope that we don't get an entire branch of poorly thought out Abruzzis cobbled together by consumables until it clears the "literally unplayable" threshold.

 

That's partly why I want to see a shift to CA at T6, so we don't have sister ships of the premiums and so the T7 will be better than Abruzzi (don't own that one).

 

La Gal has a lot slower reload, actually slightly fewer shells per minute than Duca (60 vs 64). Budyonny is probably the best all-round T6 cruiser, but still a bigger more visible target and doesn't handle as nice as Duca, that's why I said it's about the whole package. Theoretical DPS is one thing, and sure Budy wins easily in the lazy HE spam department, but I feel Duca has what it takes to put that AP to really good use against any target. I want more ships like that too, make you choose your ammo, work for your position, then really reward you for it when you do it right. The Italian line has the potential to capture a bit of the feel of the US brawling cruisers, if they follow the Duca example but with CAs.

 

Also, tin foil hat time, I get a lot of fires with Duca. Premium bias? :Smile_trollface: So easy to stay alive as well at range, with no real penalty to your ability to hit stuff.

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Well I've been thinking about the Italian niche since the Duca D'Aosta was released, and as with other people I was initially thinking Speed Boost until the French arrived, now I have thought again and had a different idea. Now don't just jump and rage at me for this, but I got my inspiration from the prominent smoke launchers on the sterns of all the Italian ships so far and while I know smoke cruisers is a bit of a taboo  but hear me out, what I was think was to have it compliment the play-style that the ships promote; and that is using concealment to get close and support the DDs against enemy DDs in the caps with the fast accurate HE shells and sneaking into close range to AP broadside ships then kite away and disappear with the odd torpedo attack thrown in, now the problem with this is (other than there being too many BBs for you to survive most of the time) getting out of those engagements alive. This is where the smoke comes in, it deploys from the stern of the ship meaning you can't use it to sit still and hide unless you are already going backwards and it only has a short duration, for example 18 secs deployment time and lasts only 5 secs with a quick reload on the consumable like 80 secs and more charges than normal like a PA DD. The way this works is to cover your retreat until the 20 sec gun bloom time has ended allowing you to go back to stealth thus increasing ship survive-ability thru making it easier to disengage. The ship characteristics will stay the same fast ships with an agile rudder, slim profile with fast deadly AP at close ranges and fast but low alpha and fire chance HE.

 

I will say your idea on SAP ammo is also very interesting.

 

4 hours ago, Exocet6951 said:

Abruzzi on the other...
Jesus, what a wreck.
I would be lying if I said that this thread wasn't in part started just to hope that we don't get an entire branch of poorly thought out Abruzzis cobbled together by consumables until it clears the "literally unplayable" threshold.

 

I have 2/3 problems with the Abruzzi after playing her, first is that the rudder is 2 secs slower than the D'Aosta and it really impacts the ships ability to dodge compared to the tier 6 counterpart, the second point is that the AP is just worse on the Abruzzi compared to the D'Aosta, at close range in the D'Aosta I can guarantee at least 2 citadels per salvo against a broadside CL at 7km (normally more), where as in the Abruzzi I only had 3 citadels after about 4 salvos on a broadside Atlanta at under 7km, I don't know what the reason fully is other than blame the slightly slower shell velocity, but with 2 extra guns over the tier 6 I would have expected a much greater return than I got. The last thing I am uncertain on is the main belt armor layout the D'Aosta has the thick armor first then thin armor on the citadel this meant the you could easily main belt bait BBs when coupled with the fast rudder, the Abruzzi has these 2 armor layers round the other way which means BBs will over match the main belt and instead bounce off the citadel, dunno if this affects the ability of the ship to negate damage or it is just the fact that the rudder is much slower making it take longer to angle or a bit of both.

 

Other than when MM throws you into a tier 9 game with a Taiho I am able to do decently in the ship but that is mainly because you can restore some of the damage you take with the heal as you can't avoid it as easily as in the tier 6.

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I would like to see some really good fast light cruisers - something on the lines of the Abdiel fast minelaying cruiser but without the mines

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