Hayate has 6mm of turret armour.
Hello forum goers! It has been some time. Finally I get around to writing again! Initially I wanted to talk about Yuudachi’s newest version, but as it happens we didn’t receive the Poi-bugger this test cycle, so instead we’ll be talking about a ship very close to my heart – Hayate. She is in her first testing iteration for contributors, so everything is subject to change! Work in Progress from bow to stern.
Now, you may ask how a ship that didn’t even exist until a few months back could possibly be close to my heart. I exaggerate, of course. What I really mean is that I was very excited about this ship’s arrival to the game.
Hayate is a new addition to the Japanese Gunboat destroyers, but she is quite unique. Hayate, unlike the Akizukis with their 10cm Type89 quick firing DP guns, boasts the not too well known 12,7cm 3rd Year Type – well, not exactly. Hayate is actually armed with something WG refers to as Type 5. A prototype 5” gun that was being tested by the Japanese at the end of the war. In short, she is a 5” Japanese Gunboat.
Which is amazing.
You see, ever since Yuugumo was added to the game, I’ve been increasingly drawn to Japanese Gunboating. Something that really wasn’t very popular, and still isn’t. Sure, there had been outliers like the Fubuki back in the day, certainly after the HE nerf, however, they had been all but forgotten.
Which is a huge shame if you ask me, since IJN DD guns are perhaps one of the strongest in the game. They punch hard, and have fast, flat trajectories. Their drawbacks… small things, turn rate and, ahem, reload.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, in comes Hayate to alleviate all the minor problems, the reload is now 4s and slow turn time is gone, in addition, she throws an extra 3k health into the pool.
This not being an ideal world and Hayate being a test ship that will probably go through changes, some more drastic than others, it was a bit optimistic of me to think that the ship would be as I had hoped out of the box. The rudder shift turned out worse than I hoped for, but is workable. She still handles very much like a Japanese destroyer. I am also aware of the inevitable longer reload of the quintuple torpedo tubes, meaning a miss hurts more than on a quad set. Personally I'd have preferred quadruples, since the reload outweighs the extra potential torpedo hit (which is almost never a hit anyway). But even so I think this can be overlooked with a decent set of guns to pass the time in between reloads. In addition to the fact, of course, that Hayate seems to be loosely based on Shimakaze, making quintuple tubes the obvious choice (despite like I said before: more not always equaling to better). What really baffled me was the sheer lack of armour on the guns, as well as the terrible concealment.
To the former, you may say that it matters very little. Considering the size of the ship, I cannot stress enough how MASSIVE these gun turrets are compared to normal 3rd Year Types. Getting overmatched by anything firing over 85mm is quite annoying (and it does, and will happen). In comparison, Akizukis (13mm) will stand up against anything up to heavy cruiser AP.
If you have ever fired at a Japanese destroyer, you’ll feel this. They may not have a lot of health, but boy do they tank when kiting away. Most of this can be attributed to saturation, to the clutter on their decks, as well as their guns just eating up the HE. Hayate does not do this. She has a lot more health, but she also takes a lot more damage.
To the latter, I just simply don’t understand it. Her reload may be 1.5s faster than contemporary Japanese models, yet she doesn’t significantly out-reload ANY of the high tier destroyers, and many of them are a lot stealthier. Her health isn’t that much higher either! And many of those vessels are not only on par, but receive extra perks, like consumables in separate slots, heals, a longer smoke duration, the list goes on. So what is the argument for the bad concealment? She has good alpha on both guns and torpedoes. The torpedoes load for a very long time however, and good guns can only go so far when you can’t compete in the pool of picking your own fights. Which is something Japanese destroyers are very good at.
What bothers me the most with this however, is the fact that she just doesn’t play like a Japanese 5” gunboat. She’s clumsy, is easily spotted, and does spam over precision. I’ve spent around 15 matches in her on the first day, and after the hype had worn of, I slowly started seeing her for what she truly was. I didn’t like it. If you’re one of those players, like me, that takes pride in sneaking up to 5.6km range with guns prepped on one side to plaster a 3.5-4k salvo on an enemy DD. Then just kite away as their health takes chunks from your “non-existent guns”, while they retaliate with their “DPS”. And they fire and fire, but your hitpoint pool, salvo after salvo, just doesn’t seem to deplete... whether through misses or hits in the wrong part of your ship, they begin to wonder what kind of RNG magic is at work here. I mean you are an inferior torpedo boat! How could you possibly win this fight. That's the kind of gameplay a Japanese 5" gunboat offers, and that type of gameplay you are not going to find in Hayate. What Hayate really is, isn’t a 5” IJN Gunboat. She is a Harugumo in a Shimakaze’s pelt. An inverse gearing with worse torpedoes but better guns. A destroyer, that tries so hard to be unique, that she overlooks something special that already is. So if you were looking for a true IJN gunboat like me, then I can tell you that Hayate right now, isn't.
Feedback on what I would change
Extend the reload by 0.5-1 second, give her 5.6-5.7km concealment, increase the turret armour to at LEAST 15mm, and you have yourself a true classical Japanese gunboat. Punchy torpedoes. Punchy guns. Not best in class reload, but dangerous as all hell, and fun to play. It may not be for everyone, but it sure is unique. And that's what these kinds of premiums are about, right?
Have a nice start to the week, and I’ll see you guys on the Seas.