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Elbschlucker

A recent review of captain skills

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When the rework of the commander skill went live I did a review of the skills and since the topic is archived I post a new topic. This will be a review of my review and my new opinion on how those skills worked out for me. My old opinion is in gray.

 

So here we are:

 

LEVEL 1: 

 

Priority Target: rather useless skill, knowing the number of enemy ships aiming at you gives you no advantage whatsoever. You should know when you're the priority target and often if you are the priority target you did something wrong in the first place and can't do anything about it

Still rather useless, Accidentally I kept it on my American BB captain. I see no benefit of this, especially as a BB I have to expect to be aimed at any time and the maneuverability can't help you. If the reskilling is on sale sometime this skill will be exchanged. 

 

Preventive Maintenance: powerful skill (the most powerful Level 1) for cruisers and destroyers who suffer most from module damage. BBs (maybe if your main guns are fragile) and CVs not so much as with the first modules do not get damaged so often and for the second you should stay out of the fight anyway.

I use this one on all my ships and still see this as the only viable option on level 1 (unless you're a CV). The problem however with such "math" skills is that you do not have real feel what this skill does. Over many games you may get the impression: "yes I do less often loose my steering" but in a single battle you do not know if the skill helped you and a hit you just received would have otherwise disabled a module...

 

Expert Loader: Not a real option as it is most of the time useful to just fire the rounds you have just loaded and switch with the next reload.

Nothing changed my mind here.

 

Aircraft Servicing Expert: must have for CVs. More HP and faster servicing are just good.

Also here. The effect of 5 % HP and -10 % servicing time is noticeable but due to the way "HP" works on planes you have the "math" problem explained above.

 

Direction Center for Catapult Aircraft: I like this one as it brings lone BBs the opportunity to better defend themselves and since there is no better option.

I kept this on my Amagi as she often gets the attention of the enemy CV and the two catapult aircraft are good. This skill is the exact opposite of "preventive maintenance" in terms of feeling. Here you have one plane in the air without and two with the skill in the air. This type of skill is what I would like to have for all skills.

 

Dogfighting Expert: Another pure CV skill. Might become more interesting with other nations CVs but for a slight more ammunition of fighters sacrificing HP and servicing time? No.

My old comment was misleading as you can skill both this and "aircraft servicing expert". The 10 % more ammunition are noticeable here, the fighters of my American CV can stay longer in the air. 

 

Incoming Fire Alert: Useless, keep your eyes open and you can ignore this one.

Nothing to add, I tried it on my Russian DD and forgot to re-skill it. Useless.

 

Evasive Maneuver: Misleading name. I thought a long time if it might be a good choice for my IJN CV but realized that the speed loss is just too severe, resulting in way longer servicing time (return flight) and therefor attack potential. Also this skill has no effect on the attack run where most of the planes are shot down.

This skill is harmful. Enemy CVs who had this one suffered a lot since my planes could easily catch up and with the manual fire control devastated the returning squadron.

 

Overall: bad composition of Level 1, 3 out of 8 are CV only. DDs have no real option and the other basically only two

4 useful ones (PM, ASE, DCfCA, DE) 4 garbage (PT, EL, IFA, EM).

 

LEVEL 2

 

High Alert: A classic, mainly useful for BBs and cruiser as the other two classes want to avoid using this so often.

I would narrow this one down to BBs only. The 10 % aren't that noticeable

 

Jack of All Trades: A good alternative and useful for every class except CVs as it can boost your HP recovery (BBs), AA fighting capability or DD hunting (cruiser), smoke or fast movement (DDs).

Found that that I use this only on my New Orleans where it helps to get the AA consumable faster up again. But also 5 % are even less noticeable.

 

Expert Marksman: The must have for every ship with poor gun traverse. Can be skipped if you can play your ship with that bad traverse.

I use this on a lot of ships. Was it buffed? I thought the traverse speed upgrade was less than 3 deg/s as it is now.

 

Torpedo Acceleration: Useless skill as I found out, the 5 kts are barely noticeable the 20 % less range are!

Changed my mind here: The long-range Japanese torpedo boats benefit from the 5 kts and can compensate the rather large 20 % less range. Eight kilometer range is still more than enough to stealth-fire. 

 

Smoke Screen Expert: I do not see the big benefit of a bigger screen, either you move around to cover your team or stay and then the 20 % are not much.

Never tried it out and still do not see the point of why I should.

 

Expert Rear Gunner: While there where 3 options on level 1 this is the only pure CV here, maybe High Alert if you're bombed often.

CV only skill, not very noticeable but the only option really. I never feel that I missed something in my Ranger.

 

Adrenaline Rush: A BB or last ditch cruiser skill (maybe Gunboat destroyer can benefit from it as well). Can be confusing with Repair Party II as you constantly change your reload time. But interesting option as in BB you can be more risky and do not repair but benefit from a faster reload or repair and lose that bit of DPS.

Only now as I write this I saw that I use this on my Amagi, never realized it... This speaks for the skill. Assuming 99 % damage you receive a 19.8 % reload boost which translates into a 5.94 s reduction in reloading. So 24.06 s instead of 30 s (depending on how it is actually calculated, correct me if someone knows more) for my Amagi which isn't that much. It is more for a standoff where it counts who fires the follow-up salvo.

 

Last Stand: A classic, the must have for all fragile cruisers and aggressive DDs.

Must have for knife fighting DDs. Found that my fragile cruisers are better in not getting hit at all than relying on that skill.

 

Overall: much better than level 1 but for Torpedoboats is nothing to go for.

Beside SSE, which might be useful in ranked battles, I found use for all skills.

 

LEVEL 3

 

Basics of Survivability: A very strong skill. Good on every type of ship the no brainer if you dislike the other skills.

I found that I rather use other skills of this level and compensate this skill with the premium consumable. Having one consumable more (Superintendent) is more worth it.

 

Survivability Expert: Feels not so strong compared to other skills, mainly useful for DDs as this skill gives you flat HP, might be an more interesting option if it would be percentage based.

Nothing to add. Use it on my gunboat Japanese DDs.

 

Torpedo Armament Expertise: Finally something for Torpedoboats. IJN DDs click here.

See above and as an alternative for CVs who are willing to sacrifice AA for better torpedo bombers (if you use them)

 

Emergency Takeoff: A clear nerf for CV hunting DDs as they are not be able to suppress such CVs. This skill is very strong in some rare circumstances but most of the time it is useless as you can extinguish the fire or wait until it burns out without much punishment (except as said a DDs is hunting you).

Nothing changed here. As a CV if this skill is handy for you, you're doing something wrong.

 

Basic Firing Training: A BB skill, regardless of nation, competes with BoS on this level. Interesting that is is listed as "Support" as it boosts your aggressive play (secondary buff) and keeps fighters away. The 20 % damage for AA is good selling point.

Still wondering what is the "support" part. I forgot to include all those pesky DDs that benefit from this skill. Mainly BBs and low tier cruisers love this skill. Higher tier cruiser who really want the best AA, make check here too.

 

Superintendent: A good all rounder for every class except CVs. Also "Support" is rather weired as only DDs and AA cruiser are getting more supportive others can be more aggressive.

Maybe the best skill of all level 3. If you survive long enough this is really helpful to have another HP replenishment or another smoke screen to disappear into.

 

Demolition Expert: Do you like spamming HE? Yes? Here you are.

Nothing to add. A bad "math" skill, you never know if the shell that just started a fire would'n have without the skill... Might be interesting for aggressive CV players that only have dive-bombers as strike aircraft.

 

Vigilance: For everyone who is frequently running into torps and will still do even with this skill.

Map awareness is more useful that this skill. The black sheep of level 3 skills.

 

Overall: Feels much more balanced but gives you the feeling to miss a lot of good stuff. What I mean is that all skills here give you all bonus with no drawbacks. Even though Evasive Maneuver is a bad skill, in my opinion it brings exactly what I think off, sacrificing something for another thing within a skill.

More well rounded than I initially thought off, if "Vigilance" gets buffed it might become an option:
Two ideas for the concept of vigilance:

variant 1:

+ 25 % to acquisition range of torpedoes

+ 5 % rudder shift time

variant 2:

+ 25 % to acquisition range of torpedoes and aircraft detection

 

LEVEL 4:

 

Manual Control for Secondary Armament: I like this one, clearly specializes people who want a powerful secondaries armament.

Really powerful on my Amagi and exactly the sort of skill I would like to see more. You sacrifice the ability to fire to both sides and have to manually select a target but gain a lot more single target damage. 

 

Fire Prevention: A BB Skill, now buffed with a reduction of total fires.

I rarely have more than two fires on my BBs. A more elaborate use of the repair party can save you the skill points here.

 

Inertia Fuse for HE Shells: So far I do not see the point of this skill, either you fire HE for fires or AP into the weak but strong enough parts. Also completely useless for most British cruiser.

Haven't tried out the Inertia fuse yet. Seems to be a real buff for some cruisers and DDs. But again, good type of skill gaining something but lose something instead. Can be compensated by skilling DE in level 3.  

 

Air Supremacy: Good for IJN CVs and US CVs who really want a lot of planes in the air. Might be more interesting with future CVs.

Nothing to add here.

 

Advanced Firing Training: This and MCfSA for your dream secondaries.

A very powerful skill, creates the german BB secondaries plague ;)

 

Manual Control for AA Armament: Alternative for all AA specialists, sacrifice range for harder hitting AA? or get both.

Without that skill long range AA barely shoots down any plane. Look at your AA setup first as you might not get a huge buff out of this if your AA mainly consist of medium range guns of a caliber less than 85 mm.

 

Radio Location: Oh the controversial or just hated skill. In its current state a very strong skill, especially for non AA cruiser as they do not find much alternatives. My idea to optimize this skill (except from removing it) is that is only active if the nearest ship has selected you as the primary target. This gives players the opportunity to avoid beeing detected if they wish so. A DD waiting behind an island can wait undetected for the surprise attack as long as the DD does not lock onto the target for a torpedo bearing. A gunboat DD can still fire undetected but must be aware that the enemy may then take a bearing on him or keep the guns silent and escape undetected for repositioning.

The way Radio Location is right now the impact is rather slim. Other skills are more useful in casual games. Due to the removal of stealth firing (oh bless you WG) this skill is even less good. It becomes very powerful in late game when positioning and mind-games come into play. 

 

Concealment Expert: Still the must have for every DD and certain cruisers.

Is a bit watered-down due to the mentioned stealth-fire removal but still very effective for all ships with already good camouflage as you can decide even better when to engage and when to disengage.

 

Overall: 50 % are gun driven skills. It is lacking the versatility part.

There should be more skills than MCSA and IFHS.

 

Best Elbschlucker

Edited by Elbschlucker

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Players
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IMO priority target is good skill for 1 point and thanks to it you can focus on other things than looking at every bb 24/7 if he is not shooting you. Adrenaline rush is my choice for every captain as this already gives 10% reload to everything on half hp. The only time I sail at full hp is the start of the battle or if the enemies die too fast to do anything.

Edited by Msiiek

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I play light cruisers of the 150/155mm gun variety.

Believe me, you NEED the Level1 skill "Priority Target", and the level4 skill "Inertia Fuse for HE" (and by extension the level 3 skill "Demolition Expert")

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[NIKE]
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Some things worth noting that you missed/I disagree with;

 

Priority target can do wonders for destroyers/cruisers. Get spotted? Instantly know if anyone is targetting you or not, and based on that if you need to pop smoke. Similarly, why dodge constantly if you know no-one is targetting you - keep your guns on target and keep firing. Theres cheeky other things you can do with it too  - destroyers can lock a target with torps when its out of gun range, and based on this you can tell when a destroyer lovks you for torps. Fancy doing some scouting? If youre in a position where LoS is limited fire your guns, and see if you get spotted and how many numbers pop up. If none you know the way is clear.

 

Torp acceleration. Use it on carriers. The range of torps doesnt matter for them, the extra speed makes drops more difficult to avoid.

 

Smoke screen. Useful on RN cruisers. Means you can be less stringent with the speed you're going, gives more room so you can avoid torps in it without leaving it, and if you like to division means theres enough room in there for a friend.

 

Vigilance: stacks with hydro acoustic search. Main use is not for avoiding torps yourself, but for spotting them for the less agile ships behind you. German cruisers with hydro and vigilance makes a mockery of anyone trying to launch torps

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Expert Marksman: The must have for every ship with poor gun traverse. Can be skipped if you can play your ship with that bad traverse.

I use this on a lot of ships. Was it buffed? I thought the traverse speed upgrade was less than 3 deg/s as it is now.

 

 

If you are using Mr.Seagal as your captain then yes, you get 3 deg/sec, any other captain in same ship will have 2.5 deg/sec.
Edited by Gleb_Reawer

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I agree there are some fairly useless/situational skills that could be replaced or improved. Maybe a skill to improve dispersion. Priority target is useful though, especially if you play squishy ships because you know whether to keep firing or GTFO.

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Read a few then thought fek me this guy knows fek all and stopped reading

 

Agreed, I myself use this thread when looking for skills to pick.

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[XTREM]
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Read a few then thought fek me this guy knows fek all and stopped reading

 

A bit harsh, but I also stopped reading after I noticed a few very wrong assessments by OP.

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A bit harsh, but I also stopped reading after I noticed a few very wrong assessments by OP.

 

Basically stopped reading after the first paragraph where he says Priority Target is bad. It's basically the single most useful  and universal skill in the entire skilltree, I have it on every single captain. 

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Basically stopped reading after the first paragraph where he says Priority Target is bad. It's basically the single most useful  and universal skill in the entire skilltree, I have it on every single captain. 

 

Yup, it's a must have on CA/DD and very nice even on a BB. In fact that skill is overpowered because it only costs 1 point (but please WG don't nerf as it would be an indirect buff to BBs!)

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[TTTX]
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Yup, it's a must have on CA/DD and very nice even on a BB. In fact that skill is overpowered because it only costs 1 point (but please WG don't nerf as it would be an indirect buff to BBs!)

 

thing is, that skill (like all that just give you additional information) scales purely with the skill and awareness of the player using it. It's worth its weight in gold when you know how to properly make use of the information it gives you - but if you don't, it doesnt help you one bit. The "little things" like gauging how many ships are on your flank before you even spot them, or figuring out when that DD that you're dogfighting is using his torps, are not something the average player will do usually...

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[TOXIC]
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thing is, that skill (like all that just give you additional information) scales purely with the skill and awareness of the player using it. It's worth its weight in gold when you know how to properly make use of the information it gives you - but if you don't, it doesnt help you one bit. The "little things" like gauging how many ships are on your flank before you even spot them, or figuring out when that DD that you're dogfighting is using his torps, are not something the average player will do usually...

 

You're generally right but this skill is no RPF - some uses are very straightforward, especially on cruisers - if you're at range, sailing broadside to enemy fleet and peppering something with shells, it's pretty easy to guess what a number appearing means (and boy, is it important to react promptly to that information).

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I just assume the entire enemy force is aimingvat me at all times and play accordingly.

 

You are missing out on a lot of opportunities then to fire all your guns broadside when in fact noone is aiming at you .. Someone is right thou, the average potato wont know whats going on with that skill, but it enhances situational awareness so incredibly much. Its gold to know if that enemy that has his guns pointed your way is actually shooting at you or some friendly close to you, and if its safe to turn out and fire a broadside salvo, or when its time to turn in again to bounce/dodge shells because someone just started engaging you. 

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Is the catapult skill decent as a poor man's Vigilance for BBs? Do 2 spotting aircraft have a better chance of spotting torps or not?

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Is the catapult skill decent as a poor man's Vigilance for BBs? Do 2 spotting aircraft have a better chance of spotting torps or not?

 

Well, in theory two planes spot more than one because they cover a bigger area around your ship than one plane (except for the time when they are right next to each other).

However, there are two problems: Firstly, the planes fly around your ship and don't give you a 360° detection buff at all times, no matter whether you have one or two planes up. Secondly, planes on a BB only last for about 1 1/2 minutes while Vigilance has a permanent effect. I personally use the Catapult Fighter skill together with fighter planes to have the possibility to make two squadrons panic. So I wouldn't take this skill as an alternative for Vigilance if you want better torpedoe aqcuisition permanently.

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Is the catapult skill decent as a poor man's Vigilance for BBs? Do 2 spotting aircraft have a better chance of spotting torps or not?

 

Double catapult fighters are only worth it on cruisers wince they last around 5 minutes, unlike the 1:30 minutes they don on a BB. That gives you a great spotting advantage, especially if you want so spit ships behind islands and such.
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Priority target can be depressing.

 

Last night I was in my new Fiji, followed two DDs to a cap with a BB and two cruisers behind me.

 

Pop smoke and start pounding a DD spotted by our DDs. Naturaly the ships behind me do a full u-turn as soon as they see an enemy DD.

 

A Belfast comes around an island and pops radar. Priority target pops up with FIVE ships targeting me.

 

At that point the skill was more depressing than useful, I was a spectator 30 seconds later.

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