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Skill Floor vs. Skill Ceiling

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I'd like to hear thoughts on the inherent difficulty vs. the potential of each ship type. Here are mine:




Skill Floor: High. Dependent on maneuvering and positioning to avoid taking massive hits. By far the type most susceptible to citadel damage. Accuracy is dependent on the player's aim and gunnery is always the focus. Short-range cruisers are considered an advanced playstyle for good reason.


Skill ceiling: Very High. Compared to BBs, accuracy is much more in the player's hands rather than RNGsus'. Maneuverability is a type of survivability but it's up to the player's skill. The speed and flexibility allows a good player to go where they need to be. The guns are usually pure death to both DD and CVs, while being able to overwhelm BB damage control. It's all about positioning and aiming. A great cruiser player can handle almost anything and come out on top.



USSR-style gunboats:


Skill floor: Low. Unpredictable wasdhax is something you could teach to a monkey. As long as you're drunkenly swaying around and diverting fire that could go to CLs, you're already an asset. DPM is dependent on the player's aim but also fire RNG. Thankfully, good ballistics and RoF make aiming easier. Positioning is simple - stay near max range and keep everything at arm's length as long as you can keep it spotted. You have no natural predators that can catch up with you, though good strike CVs can give you a hard time. You are a natural predator to slower torp boats.


Skill ceiling: Medium.  You're always shooting so stealth isn't a thing, you're an unattractive torp target and you're probably damn fast (sorry Akizuki), so positioning is not that difficult except when it comes to capping. Once you can dodge and shoot well and use your panic buttons, you're mostly set. Worst-case scenario, you have to cap alone at the start of a match. That's a metagame all in itself.



Torpedo DDs:


Skill Floor: High. The game is out to get you, it seems. Radar, hydro, wasdhax, Radio Location and any CV are easy and hard counters to your main weapon. Even the game's mascot's ship is equipped to mess you up. Even disregarding all that, you must master the art of torpkido, i.e. very very slow shurikens you send out every once in a blue moon in vain hopes of hiting something at an opportune time. The challenges you have to contend with depend on the tier you're on. In the early tiers, even big ships turn well and you can't stealth launch many torpedoes. Later, many ships will be lumbering behemoths but radar and sonar are almost ubiquitous and CVs can easily spare a squadron to cancel any attempt at stealthy play.


Skill ceiling: very high. You have an unseen influence on the game. As long as you're alive and undetected, battleships will avoid island chains, turn erratically and question their moves. You'll continually need to decide between stealthy launching, or tossing out your entire build and going loud. You can increase your accuracy by closing in, but that can also easily get you erased. Knowing how to aim torps is basically a mindgame that requires reading the situation for your target more than yourself. Only the best players will make the most out of of these ships, as you're a ninja in a samurai battle.





Skill ceiling: low. Unless you eat a torp salvo or wantonly show broadside to the entire enemy fleet, you're not going down fast. You'll always have the opportunity to slug it out for at least a bit before going down. Your toughness is a crutch that buys time for your guns. Accuracy is partially out of your hands. Angling is highly effective in almost all situations as long as you didn't overextend.


Skill ceiling: high. Your sluggishness in either forward or side mobility, or both, and possibly in turret traverse, are hard limits that you'll have to contend with. WIth angling and positioning you can be almost untouchable, but untouchable does not translate to being a positive influence in the match. WIthout having the benefit of cheap leading shots, familiarity with your guns is crucial for accuracy. Even then, RNGsus takes away much of your personal influence. If you know how to throw your weight around, you're either deadly or at least a dangerous target to most everything except possibly CVs. 





Skill Floor: N/A. It's so very dependent on the loadouts and the teams. How many cruisers have taken Def AA? Do they provide cover to weaker allies? US loadouts tend to be either completely lopsided or disadvantaged. AS Bogue can ruin its rivals in t4 or t5 but is almost worthless otherwise. You might only have one torp squadron or have the ability to crossdrop. There are too many peculiarities to say how easy or hard CV play is at its basic level. But of course, the recent removal of manual drop lowers the floor a bit.


Skill Ceiling: High. You can project power anywhere but it's up you to determine what's really feasible depending on the enemy CV, your loadout and the team compositions, as well as the way the battle progresses. It's a stressful playstyle that requires constant alertness. Finding windows of opportunity, or forcing your way in if there is none, is what CV players do. Husbanding your limited forces is a unique game mechanic, so pacing yourself according to the needs of the team is a skill you have to learn. An unopposed strike CV player against an unprepared fleet can be absolutely nightmarish.


Well that was a fun distraction. I realize I left out US-style gunboats a la Farragut as well as more niche ships. Very interested in different opinions.

Edited by MoveZig
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