This was a bit of a question I had, so I took to the training rooms to figure it out.
Of the middle tier cruisers, the most hated are possibly the "Bel***" and "Cheatland", however the primary players saying these things are DDs for Belfast and BBs for Cleveland.
Belfast feels like it has excellent guns for just everything, where as Cleveland feels like they are primarily meant to torch BBs. Is this true?
Off I went to training room.
I tested these numbers. 15.4km, max range of Belfast. 14.6km, max range of Cleveland. 13.3km, Irishfire™ range of Belfast. 10.0km, a nice round number. 9.0km, a smidgen over Belfast's minimum detection range. 8.5km, a tad bit over Belfast's radar range. 7.0km, intermediate number. 4.2km, Belfast's Hydro range.
I tested both HE and AP, as they don't necessarily have the same flight time.
|Cleveland HE||Cleveland AP||Belfast (HE and AP)|
These results clearly indicated Belfast having better shell flight time at all ranges.
Turret and Gun performance
What about the other aspects of the guns?
|180d turn time (w/EM)||29.0s||23.4s|
|HE shell damage||2200dmg||2100dmg|
|AP shell damage||3200dmg||3100dmg|
The results do not paint a clear winner.
Better fire starter: Cleveland
Better DPM: Belfast, but only by a small margin
Better turret handling: Belfast
There is one more aspect which I didn't do, and that is AP penetration performance. Luckily, someone else has already done that.
Which are here: http://forum.worldof...23#entry1234723
and here: http://forum.worldof...38#entry1427638
In short, Cleveland AP is a clear winner.
Yes, the player base opinions are supported by facts.
Belfast guns have a lower skill floor, allowing players an easier time aiming at all sorts of targets. Belfast HE spam will annoy all captains on the receiving end equally.
Cleveland, on the other hand, has guns with a higher skill floor, making aiming more difficult, but with greater fire chance. This is more likely to annoy battleship captains to no end and can result in higher total DPM than Belfast with the amount of fires it can start.