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About Shels

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  1. Shels

    LWM Needs Help: Crowd-Sourced Missouri Data

    Random match, victory. Didn't get in all that much damage (kept running cruisers off the caps) and still pulled in significant base credits. With flags the credit haul was quite high - a better game would have easily cracked the 1.7 million mark. I've had the Missouri almost from the day she was released and I've never seen a drop in earnings.
  2. I concur with RC1138's in-depth explanation of the issues inherent to a simplistic or "obvious" analysis of the server data. He or she points out multiple completely valid and well known factors in properly analyzing data sets. If I may rephrase the argument, server stat averages lose all of the vital details of how those numbers came to be, specifically, the conditions that generated each piece of data that went into the final average. Without that context, the final server average loses all statistical meaning, and indeed, because of the absolute reduction of information, has no actual validity at all. To reduce even further, "Context matters", and there is no context in the base server average. As a scientist, specifically with multiple degrees including a doctorate in Biochemistry and routinely working with high-dimension super-large datasets (look up x-ray protein crystallography and cyro-electron microscopy for a taste of my field), I strongly concurr with the arguments presented by RC1138. For, of course, all that matters on an internet forum board. What defines "OP" is a different argument and is a subjective matter. The issue above is how datasets can or cannot be used to support said argument.
  3. Shels

    Premium Ship Review #120: Plus Sized Baltimore

    Thanks for an, as always, excellent review. I picked up Alaska on the first day, having been saving like so many other players, handed the conn over to Halsey, and set sail. Having come up through the American cruiser and battleship lines back in open Beta, I have found Alaska to be very easy to use. She feels like a perfect cross between American CA and BB play, which is what one would expect as she is basically right between those two classes in armament, armor, maneuverability. I've always enjoyed battlecruiser type play, and that is exactly what I think Alaska brings, similar to the Scharnhorst, which is another of my favorite ships. Alaska is great at running down fleeing cruisers or blunting a push by them, and can provide solid fire support to full up BBs as they engage their peers. She isn't a one-on-one match for enemy BBs, but she was never intended for that role and so shouldn't be expected or criticized for not standing up to them. I find that with Steering Gears Mod 2 she actually is quite maneuverable enough to dodge most BB fire beyond 12-14 km, and I've torp beat many times with ease. She's not the most maneuverable, but she's got enough as long as you don't go chasing down DDs and getting too close in the first place, which isn't her role anyway. I find the radar is most useful preventing island ambushes or blapping out a cruiser sitting in smoke, rather than as an offensive tool. This is ship that really rewards smart play, but is forgiving enough to allow a few mistakes. I think some of the concerns about her being taken out easily has more to do with the "new ship, focus fire it" phenomenon and people not yet finding the best way for them to outfit and drive her. She's not a ship for novices, but that shouldn't be expected given it is a T9. As for the price tag, 1 million Free XP is much more attainable now than it was when Missouri was released; it was far easier and faster for me to earn the 1 million this time around than the 750,000 for the Mo - flags, camos, 500 Free XP drops common in supply boxes, it all adds up quite fast, especially for those grinding out the scenarios with lots of flags. I think the price is perfectly reasonable given the essentially decreased cost of Free XP versus the prices for upgrading ships remaining the same.
  4. With the recent reload buff, I have found the Buffalo to be quite effective. Using the reload upgrade the reload is now 10.6 seconds, functionally identical to the 10.5 second reload on Baltimore. That equates to the same forward firepower, twice the aft, and 33% more on the broadside. Range is very similar, so the firepower is straight up superior. If you go with the range upgrade you retain the 12 second reload, but have a significant range advantage and slightly more competitive DPM. I think the reload buff was just that little bit extra the Buffalo needed. I play it as well as my Des Moines every time I log in. I do think that the play style progression is a little odd as mentioned in a previous post, but no longer as pronounced as before. For me, the Buffalo has gone from mehboat to gudboat. Seattle is still a mehboat. I made her work, but those firing angles are atrocious.
  5. Shels

    Mid-Tier Mondays - The Cruisers

    I started in open beta, so some events may predate readers. T5: None. Pre-AFT/BFT nerf the Omaha was a favorite T5 of all my ships, but after that nerf she suffered badly. None of the others have stood out enough for me to revisit. I skipped the Furutaka and Aoba based on the reviews of their then terrible status. No Furutaka C-hull, original 15-second reloads. Kirov was meh, French was boring, I really dislike the K-berg turret arrangement, and Emerald was a steaming pile of refuse. T6 - Old Cleveland, even after the skill nerfs, was a beast and favorite. I am surprised to find that I really like the Pensacola at T6. That alpha strike is just brutal. Schors and La Glassy are, to me, boring to play, just kite and HE. While common for many CLs, those two with their speed and range felt like a very stale style of gameplay. Leander was a solid improvement over Emerald, but felt very undergunned. I enjoyed Dallas, actually felt she was better at T6 than Cleveland because the latter had been so awkwardly nerfed to fit into T6 - the handling and turret traverse was very cumbersome. Dallas seems much better balanced for the tier. Skipped Aoba like I did the Furutaka and disliked the N-berg for the same turret layout reason as the K-berg. T7 - I absolutely agree that this is a sweet spot tier with numerous great ships and the ancillary benefit of favorable match making. Pre-USN split, hated the Pensacola. Ground part way pre any buffs and almost quit the game, the ship was so bad back then. Post the New Orleans seems good, but I haven't spent much time in her. I think I miss the T8 version that was very stealthy and had solid radar. Helena rocks, one of my favorites in the game and I would play far more often if I was not grinding the last 30k xp on the Donskoi as well as the Halsey campaign. Fiji was great, but since I have Belfast, I didn't keep Fiji. Myoko is another favorite that I just don't have time for right now. Long range guns and lots of them. Grinding Algerie, nothing stands out. Schors was solid but stale, York was dull for me. Premiums I list separately since they aren't FTP attainable outside of a special event or crate. I like Belfast and Indianapolis in particular. Atlanta is okay, but unless I am in a division, a little too niche for my enjoyment. Graf Spee (got in a mission) does not match my play style. Molotov is okay, but I prefer either fully CA or fully CL, whereas Molotov is in the middle and feels lacking to me in many engagements. I actually don't play Belfast that much any more - with her dedicated 19-point captain, she just feels dirty, even in a T9 match. She was pure easy mode in ranked, almost felt like cheating or, dare I say it, paying to win. I had her long before that season, took her in with that 19-point captain. "Payfast" was a not inaccurate moniker.
  6. Shels

    Des Moines or Worcester?

    How far have you ground up the USN cruiser line? I wouldn't free XP to either until you've ground up to at least T8 in both lines, so you are familiar with gameplay at those tiers. If you get Salem, that will give you a feel for Des Moines, but not Worcester. Both are powerful ships, but not as straightforward or easy to play as some of the other T10 cruisers.
  7. When I was grinding the USN CV line I was eagerly anticipating the 2/1/1 Lexington. I must have been just a month behind Haze, because just two weeks before I got it, that loadout was removed. Grinding the 2/0/2 and 0/1/3 loadouts was painful, but at least there was a choice with clear strengths. Now, the only loadout just seems mediocre. I rarely if ever have any trouble against a Lexington when using my Enterprise or Shokaku. Maybe dual fighter squads with lower tier or smaller squadrons, similar to Enterprise, while keeping T8 strike planes would balance things out.
  8. I think it is the consensus that the Lexington is at the bottom of the tier 8 CV pool. With it's 1/1/2 flight group, it just doesn't have the ability to effectively contest the twin fighter squadrons on the Shokaku or Enterprise, and its single squadron is much smaller than the uber-sized one on the Graf Zepplin. The strike potential isn't terrible on paper, especially running AP bombs when there are vulnerable targets in the match, but because the Lexington has such a hard time establishing air-control, those strike squadrons are very vulnerable. I am not a unicum CV driver, but I've now reached T10 ranked battle playing just the Big E, and each time, I was matched against a poor Lexington. Every single match was a blow-out on the CV side and victory. Using the twin fighter squadrons of the Enterprise I was constantly able to lock-and-strafe the single Lexington fighter squad, then go on to wipe out the strike planes. With the smaller number of players in a ranked match and the tendency of everyone to stay together, especially when a CV is present, all I had to do was keep my fighters near our ships, then intercept the attack group. After that, while the Lexington is suffering the abysmally long squadron reload period, my strike planes would go in against no resistance save any DFAA carrying ships and proceed to smash things up. These aren't exactly novel tactics, but none of the Lexington drivers were able to counter it because the flight-group basically cripples them against a Shokaku or Enterprise. For the sake of your team, if you want to drive a Lexington in ranked, I urge you to reconsider. In my experience, both this season and last, the Lexington is just not competitive, not even close, against the Shokaku or Enterprise. Especially against the Enterprise, I would argue, due to the extremely large fighter reserves, bonus from Dogfighting Expert, and barely smaller squadron size. I have the Shokaku and Enterprise and leveled through the Lexington a long time ago, so the only tier 8 CV I haven't played is the Graf Zepplin. There are probably the few extremely good Lexington drivers out there that can make it work (pre flight-group changes, I had unicum status in the Ranger running the old 0/1/3 strike flight-group), but I argue that it is a massive uphill struggle that does not help your team. In randoms the Lexington may do better, where there are more ships to engage so the chances of catching one without cover is higher, and due to the different objectives in a random match as the opposing team's ships are less likely to be clustered together for mutual support. But in ranked, it just seems to be a futile exercise.
  9. Shels

    Secret to Myoko ?/

    To add to the great advice, pick your shots rather than trying to maintain a high DPM. You are a long-range sniper using HE, not a machine gum spamming HE like the Helena. You have a long reload, so make every salvo count rather than trying to throw out a lot of rounds and getting fires through volume. IJN CAs have a high fire chance, so as long as you aim well, you'll rack up that high HE alpha and set fires. Wait until you're confident in the shot, then let it go. With the longer reload, any missed salvo is that much more expensive in opportunity cost and exposure from the gun bloom. Myoko is a great support cruiser to your BB battle line or backing up DDs and other cruisers. One of my favorite T7 cruisers. I bought it back for T7 play when I want to play long-range sniping/support.
  10. Shels

    KGV Versus Gneisenau

    My Scharn is still quite effective in the current meta, which I don't think has changed all that much from the beta days. Cruisers still fling HE, there are just more of them good (rate of fire) at it, DDs still torp spam and skirt around the flanks. The largest change to me has been BB HE spam, thanks to the British BB line. But you deal with that the same as you do with cruiser HE. What I think is different about the Scharn and Gneis is their play style versus the other German BBs. They are not as capable as rushing brawlers because of either a smaller caliber main battery (Scharn) or a small number of barrels (Gneis). I find great success playing Scharn as a super-heavy cruiser, not as a battleship. This takes better advantage of her traits - faster reload, more barrels, speed and maneuverability. I hunt cruisers, turn the flank, break up pushes by smaller ships. Something that has worked particularly well and is quite fun is to follow a bit behind a friendly DD that is pushing a flank. If they fall back and are being chased by a cruiser or two, I steam right into them, opening fire only once I am in detection range. With the closing speed being near 60 knots, most cruisers cannot turn away without giving up multiple close-range cits, and if they press on, well, at short range the Scharn obliterates them. I have seen the Gneis used the same way. Use the speed of these ships to pick your engagement, going for more vulnerable targets versus trying to tank on through or fight in the main battle line. I haven't driven the Shiny Horse in a month or so while grinding the Halsey campaign, I hope to get back to it soon, though I must admit, it tends to feel like seal clubbing, especially when top tier. Poor Omaha and Emerald, and the USN standard BBs.