Yuudachi In Preview - Yuudachi's Poiculiar Adventure Through Testing [WiP]     Yuudachi is very much work in progress, so all the stats and numbers here are subject to change. Any opinions presented here are purely mine. Yuudachi may very well change (again) as the testing continues.             [disclaimer] I may use the “Poi” throughout this preview. Note that, in that case, I am simply referring to Yuudachi in a different manner.   History   Yuudachi was laid down as the fourth hull in the Shiratsuyu-class of destroyers, an improved, redesigned Hatsuharu-class. Following the Tomozuru incident of 1934, a Japanese investigation called for a retrofit and redesign of all existent and to be built destroyers and escorts. Following this Shiratsuyus, as opposed to the Hatsuharus, were larger in size and displacement, and had a wider flare design to improve seaworthiness and roll. Due to these changes, and the fact that they still retained the same propulsion system, their effective top speed was significantly slower.   Yuudachi was launched on January 7, 1937, together with her sister ship Murasame. Both were assigned to DesDiv2. During the early stages of the war, DesDiv2 participated in numerous invasions and raids, among others Tarakan and Balikpapan. In mid 1942, as with many IJN DDs, Yuudachi was assigned to doing “Tokyo Express” runs, transporting troops and supplies to Japanese held territories and islands. During one of those runs, Yuudachi participated (and claimed credit) for sinking two USN Wickes-class destroyers Gregory and Little. Assuring their victory over the outdated ships, the IJN vessels headed straight through the crippled vessels, and continued the shelling and strafing of the sinking destroyers and their survivors. Yuudachi continued to run troop and supply transports for the next two months. Participating briefly in the Battle of the South Pacific.   On the night to the first Battle of Guadacanal, Yuudachi was assigned as an escort to Admiral Hiroake Abe’s force. Coming within proximity of a US cruiser group, Yuudachi had to go evasive. She then proceeded to torpedo USS Portland. During the confusion, Yuudachi mistakenly signaled USS destroyer Sterett, who opened fire on her, disabling the No.1 boiler room. Dead in the water,Yuudachi’s crew was removed by sister ship Samidare. After an attempted scuttling with torpedoes, the ship was abandoned, later to be destroyed by US gunfire.   Some accounts state that Yuudachi’s hulk had the white flag raised when it was later destroyed by USS Portland’s gun fire, which was deliberately ignored by Portland’s captain.   Poi?   Yuudachi has become a very iconic ship, and character, due to the browser game Kantai Collection, where many of her ship lines end on the almost verbal tick-esque word “poi”.     Ingame   Yuudachi has been for the longest time one of the most requested Japanese ships. Now that she's making her debut, many people have high expectations of her. Can she live up to the standards? Poi has been in testing for so many iterations that I’ve almost lost count (we’re at 4 I believe?). Being on a not-too-great basis to begin with, she'd require a lot of work to really become interesting enough to warrant being picked up by players. Initially a very interesting concept of a long range, slow torpedo sniper, that required a little fine tuning, she’s since been all over the place. I think we’ve finally hit a direction in which this ship is to go, but more on that later, let’s give this ship's stats a look!     Run-down   Yuudachi is a tier 7 premium destroyer of the IJN. She is 13200 hitpoints strong (400hp better than Shiratsuyu), and is armed with 2x2 12,7cm guns, 1x1 12,7cm gun, and 2x4 61cm torpedo tubes. Her AA defense is laughable, and her manoeuvrability is basically which you would find on her sister ship, with a slightly worse rudder shift at 3.2s, but a better turn circle at 570m. Her top speed is 34kn. Fully concealed, Yuudachi is detected at 6.1km, her air concealment is 2.7km. In many aspects, her stats are those of Shiratsuyu, in particular the ones for gun firepower, ship handling, model and armour layout.   What makes Yuudachi unique   Yuudachi has by far the lowest alpha on contemporary 61cm torpedoes. With 15633 per hit, she sits right between stock and upgraded Type 8s (tier 6). Furthermore, these torpedoes are very slow, with a top speed of 57kn, but have a range of 15km. Sadly the detection on these torpedoes is quite bad, at 1.9km. Yuudachi does get access to Torpedo Reload Booster in a separate consumable slot, allowing her to fire four instead of two consecutive sets. The Poi has has 400m worse concealment than her non-premium counterpart (6.1km full stealth build).     Changes during testing   I will do my best to summarize what has changed on Yuudachi during testing.   The initial test of Yuudachi, was interesting. She was essentially a premium Shiratsuyu with 15km torpedoes that went 57kn. The reload on the torpedoes was 101 seconds, which is standard Shiratsuyu. Her abysmal torpedo detection really cut into her effectiveness, however. With 2.5km (versus Shira's 1.6km), players had all the time in the world to avoid the torpedoes, by either slowing down, or just speeding out of the torpedoes’ path.   Buffing of torpedo detection by 600m, knocking down the reload by 10 seconds.   The second test of Yuudachi was, in my opinion, one of the best. She had a better reload over the Shiratsuyu. She was sneaky, had good range, alpha, but her torpedoes were slower and less stealthy. A trade-off, but certainly not bad. The only problem with this version of the Yuudachi was that it just simply wasn’t very interesting. An inherent problem when creating premium ships that are very close to the non-premium counterparts, she just didn’t really have that much appeal. And here is where things got interesting. Note above that Yuudachi, statistically, shouldn’t be outperforming Shiratsuyu. She’s essentially identical, with the torpedoes being somewhat worse in hit potential, but better in range.   Nerfing of torpedo damage, 17 233 to 15 633. Nerfing of flood chance, 287% to 259%.   However, Her stats were deemed to strong, and she was overperforming for an IJN DD. The choice was made to lower Yuudachi’s torpedo alpha, which seriously cut into her damage per drop. While it wasn’t such a huge change superficially, you could really feel it when playing her. Combining with the other already worse torpedo stats, she would most likely turn out worse than Shiratsuyu if kept this way.   "Torpedo reload boost" consumable added to a separate slot, detectability range by sea increased from 6.48 to 7 km, detectability range by air increased from 2.784 to 3.01 km. Detectability range firing main guns in smoke increased from 2.42 to 2.61 km.   I am not 100% certain, why this direction was taken, but I understand a part of it. You see, Yuudachi’s torpedoes are not great at this stage. Their per hit damage are certainly far below other Japanese destroyers. It is also a lot more difficult to hit ships with them. So what do you do? You can adjust the torpedoes to deal more damage, be more stealthy. Or you can increase the volume. Personally, I think improving the hard stats of the torpedoes would yield good enough results, but it could be considered a step back from an already taken route. Furthermore, we'd be again facing the question of lacking interesting gameplay (fundamentally embedded in the Japanese torpedo only meta). Increasing the volume with a consumable is one way to approach this problem. It also offers a lot more dimensions to balance the ship. Yuudachi with the current set up is a lot more "noob" friendly. A less proficient player may find it easier to hit a target with more torpedoes at his disposal, while a better player can compensate for the lacking detection by running more predictive drops.   Increased torpedo load time by 9 seconds   Smaller adjustments of the ships stats to accommodate the new consumable.  
  Yuudachi as she is now   I for one absolutely despise this quantity over quality approach. But I do have to concede, you can get good matches in Yuudachi. A lot of times your torpedo hits will happen because a target simply isn’t in a position to avoid torpedoes. Speed and concealment help, but they only work if someone isn’t expecting to be hit. Which is an art in and of itself: being stealthy and smart about your torpedo placement. Poi is much more user friendly than most IJN destroyers. People facing her won’t have too bad of a time dealing with her. She has bad concealment for IJN standards, and her torpedoes are not as punishing. At the same time, Yuudachi's captains will have a more forgiving ship to play with. You can botch a set of torpedoes, you will still have another. We’ll see what the future holds for Yuudachi. She’s not for me as she is right now, but I can go and play Yukikaze instead.   Wishing everyone a good start to the week, see you on the seas!   Strefs
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