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Found 11 results

  1. The following is a review of Azuma, the tier IX Premium Japanese Super Cruiser kindly provided to me by Wargaming. Please be aware that though this represents the release version of the ship, her statistics may change in the future. To the best of my knowledge, these stats are accurate as of patch 0.8.2. If you have any questions regarding any changes to this ship after subsequent patches, please feel free to contact me. Okay, this is getting ridiculous. I really don't know what to call these things. I'm defaulting to "Super-Type A" cruiser for Azuma because that's what my sources said the Japanese called her, but I reiterate that we really could use a catch-all term to describe these kinds of ships in World of Warships. Between Stalingrad, Alaska, Kronshtadt, Graf Spee and now Azuma and now with Yoshino on the horizon, we've got enough of these ships that they could use a name. PROS Large health pool of 58,350hp. Excellent range of 19.1km on her main battery guns. Good alpha strike and penetration for a cruiser. Increased penetration on her secondaries. Good long-range anti-aircraft firepower. Decent top speed of 34 knots. Extra charge of her Repair Party consumable with a faster reset timer. CONS Octagonal citadel which sits high over the water. Relatively thin armoured belt for a large cruiser. Large target and vulnerable to HE shells and AP overmatch with few sections thicker than 25mm. Takes increased damage over time effect damage like a battleship. Most of her continuous AA DPS is located in 1.9km range small caliber guns. Enormous 920m turning radius and poor rudder shift time. Large surface detection range. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / CASUAL/ Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / MODERATE / High / Extreme Azuma's pretty new-player friendly. This is largely owing to her range and speed which allows her to camp the back, dump HE shells at a distance and generally frustrate their own team by being a non-entity. But hey, at least this is easy to do. Skilled players can bring Azuma closer and do a bit of tanking, but not much. While her guns are perfectly capable of pressuring the enemy, she doesn't have an extensive toolkit to facilitate carries, nor the damage output to make them balk. Using and abusing her belt armour and anti-torpedo voids allows for some trollish moments, but these are exceptions rather than the rule. Skill will only take you so far. – One of, if not the worst at its tier. This is a pronounced weakness. – Middle of the pack at its tier. Not terrible, but not terribly good either. – Has a significant advantage over her tier mates. A solid, competitive performer. – No other ship at its tier does this as well as this ship. The "fair" evaluation belies the power of Azuma's guns. They're just not as good as those found on Alaska or Kronshtadt. While she has a lot of hit points and great heals, her citadel vulnerability holds her back on Defense. Similarly, she has great speed but her turning radius is so large as to push her into "bad" territory in regards to her agility. Her AA power is alright but she's too large to earn anything other than a "bad" value in Vision Control. Options Oh goodie, a tier IX cruiser. There's going to be a lot to talk about when we get to her upgrades. Consumables Azuma's Damage Control Party is standard for a cruiser with a 5s active period and a 90s / 60s reset timer. This has unlimited charges. In your second slot, the default choice is Defensive AA Fire. As per usual, this doubles the firepower from her 100mm AA guns (both sustained DPS and damage from flak bursts) for 40s and starts with two charges base. This has a 120s / 80s reset timer. Alternatively, you can swap out Defensive AA Fire for Hydroacoustic Search in slot two. This has two charges base and a 100s active period. This extends her torpedo detection to 3.5km and ship acquisition to 5.0km. This has a 180s / 120s reset timer. In slot three, she has a Spotter Aircraft. This increases her range by 20% for 100s. For Azuma this gives her a reach of 22.9km / 26.6km depending on upgrades used. She has three charges base and this has a 360s / 240s reset timer. Finally, she has a Repair Party in slot four. This heals back up to 14% of her health over 28 seconds, queuing 50% of penetration damage, 33% of citadel damage and 100% from all other damage types. She starts with an extra charge base for three total. In addition this has a much faster reset timer with a 60s / 40s cool down. Upgrades There's a lot of choices to be made with Azuma's upgrades however they're not too complicated when you break them down: Your first choice is whether to emphasize main battery performance or anti-aircraft firepower. If you select main battery firepower, choose if you want to do this through firing at range or emphasizing her rate of fire. In terms of survivability, choose if you want to reduce damage over time effects or attempt to dodge fire by improving her rudder shift time. You can mix and match if you so choose, but it's generally optimal to pick a specialization and go full hog down that route. The best performance build will stress DPM and concealment over AA power and dodging. There's also one stupid choice: see if you can spot it. In your first slot, Main Armaments Modification 1 is preferred for most builds. You can take Spotter Aircraft Modification 1 if you really want to stress her range advantages. Special Upgrades are best in your second slot. Take either Defensive AA Fire Modification 1 or Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1 for whichever consumable you prefer. If you can't afford the special upgrades, default to Damage Control Modification 1. Unless you're specializing for AA firepower, Aiming Systems Modification 1 is your best choice. For the latter, take AA Guns Modification 1. If you're only intending to use Azuma in Co-Op, then man up and take Secondary Guns Modification 1. Totally worth it. Now we start to get into defensive choices. If you want to focus on agility, take Steering Gears Modification 2 & 3 in slots 4 and 5. Otherwise take Damage Control Modification 2 and Concealment Expert. Finally, slot 6 lets you punctuate your specialization. Main Battery Modification 3 emphasizes DPM. Gun Fire Control System Modification 2 boosts her range. AA Guns Modification 2 improves her AA firepower. Camouflage Azuma comes with Type 10 - Azuma camouflage. This provides the usual 3% bonus concealment from surface targets, 4% increase to enemy gunnery dispersion, 20% reduction to post-battle service costs and100% bonus to experience gains. Default camo is grey and more-darker grey. You can unlock the green and grey camouflage through completing the "Uniform Items" of the Isoroku Yamamoto collection. You can tell this is a pre-8.2 screenshot from the gun screens on her forward AA nests. Those are her old 40mm guns and did not make it to the live version. Firepower Main Battery: Nine 310mm guns in 3x3 turrets in an A-B-X superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Sixteen 100mm/65 guns in 8x2 turrets. For a large cruiser, Azuma's firepower is odd. Every other large cruiser I've played, AP shells are the default. They're the shell I wanted to use. When playing Alaska, Kronshtadt and Stalingrad, I hunted for targets that would let me capitalize on their AP performance. And here's where Azuma differed. I defaulted to using HE when sailing her -- rather, I felt like Azuma's guns encouraged me to default to her HE shells. I told myself that my reasons for doing so were elementary. Azuma does not have the god-tier ballistics and penetration values of the Soviet large cruisers which lets them easily citadel battleships at most engagement ranges. Similarly, she lacks the improved auto-bounce angles found on Alaska which helps reduce the number of AP shell ricochets. Finally, Azuma has improved HE damage (as do most Japanese ships). However, these feel like excuses rather than justified defense at my myopic ammunition preference. Putting Azuma's main battery firepower under the microscope shows that, true to her Large Cruiser pedigree, dynamic ammunition choice is not only encouraged but also necessary to enjoy success. She's reliant upon AP and HE, no matter how comfortable the latter will make her feel. Azuma has comparable DPM output with her HE to Dmitri Donskoi but with better HE penetration (and worse accuracy). I'm keeping this graph simple -- so no bonuses have been accounted for. The only weirdness you need know is that when Saint Louis activates her Main Battery Reload Booster, she has comparable DPM to Buffalo over 60s. This assumes the improbabilities of 100% hit rate and no fire resistance on enemy ships. Actual fire output of these ships is much lower, with fire resistance at tier X cutting the fire chance effectively in half. Tack on the accuracy issues with Azuma and she's not taxing anyone's Damage Control Party by herself without a lot of luck. Again, I am not confusing things further by including Saint Louis' Main Battery Reload Booster. Mega-Zao she is not Azuma's HE shells hit like trucks. However, for a cruiser she's not particularly good at starting fires nor is her damage per minute inspiring. The best that could be said about Azuma's HE shells is that when you're not firing AP, you're not hemorrhaging as much lost damage output as you might in other large cruisers. At least, she doesn't have the inherent weakness of her contemporaries where they struggle to deal significant damage per volley against destroyers. However, this is all assuming you can land hits regularly. While Azuma's HE shells are safe, her AP shells decidedly are not. She lacks the god-tier penetration values from Kronshtadt's high velocity railguns. She doesn't have Alaska's oh-so forgiving improved autobounce angles either. Unless Azuma can line up shots on perfect broadsides, it's all too common to see her AP shells ricochet or shatter against targets. This is 180 shells fired at 15km at a stationary Fuso without camouflage. Azuma and Alaska were both equipped with the Aiming System Mod 1 dispersion mod. Contrary to what's advertised, Azuma's guns performed more accurately for me than their datamined stats indicated they should. Alaska's and Azuma's horizontal dispersion should be close to comparable. Borrowed from my Alaska review to save time. These are the approximate penetration values of the large cruisers compared to the best-performing 203mm armed heavy cruiser at tier IX, USS Buffalo. Azuma's penetration is comparable to Alaska's, being slightly better over range but not by enough to get excited over. Go Fly a Kite Azuma's fragility keeps her from safely fighting on the front lines (see the Defense section below). She's largely relegated to firing from the second line, keeping her distance from her opponents in order to protect her vulnerable citadel. This works to the further detriment of her AP shells, eating away at their penetration value with increased distance. Thankfully, she's well setup for this role. Not only does she have excellent reach, she has a good top speed and her gun fire arcs are perfect for kiting opponents. Azuma has some excellent fire angles for kiting. Her turret traverse isn't so great. She starts with 5º per second, but once you add on Main Battery Modification 3, she starts being able to out turn her turrets. Taking Expert Marksman to combat this is recommended. Bolted-on Duckies I don't like wasting a lot of time talking about cruiser secondaries. It's so rare they do anything of value. However, Azuma's secondaries bug me a lot because they could have been amazing. She uses the same 100mm/65 caliber guns found on the Japanese gunship destroyers Akizuki, Kitakaze and Harugumo. These have the same ridiculous 20rpm rate of fire and more importantly, they also have their increased 25mm penetration. While I giggled for joy at the prospect of a fully secondary specialized cruiser (including taking Inertial Fuse for HE Shells to be able to blast stupid battleships) there are two flaws with this: Brawling with Azuma tends to end messily with your ship exploding in a horrendous, greasy kablooie. Azuma's secondaries only have a 5km base range. This just isn't enough reach in high tier matches to be effective. We'd really want to see a 6km to 7km base range, minimum. Without reach and with Azuma's exposed citadel, there just aren't many opportunities to make use of what could have been a very fun addition to this ship. Outside of co-op, it's just not a viable choice. Summary Azuma's guns aren't bad. They're more accurate than I thought they'd be. They have great range. Her HE shells do a nice chunk of damage. Her AP shells and her fire chance aren't terrible but they are disappointing, especially when compared to previous outings with Alaska and Kronshtadt. Kite, kite and kite some more. Look for opportunities to use AP, but you're probably going to be stuck with HE. You're not going to get to use her secondaries often, which is a shame. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Azuma needs to be able to compete with Alaska and Kronshtadt on equal footing. Kronshtadt has DPM and penetration advantage. Alaska has her improved autobounce angles and similar accuracy to Azuma. Azuma's HE performance isn't quite good enough to keep pace with these two. Defense Hit Points: 58,350 Min Bow & Deck Armour: 25mm Maximum Citadel Protection: 25mm anti-torpedo bulge + 195mm transverse bulkhead. Torpedo Damage Reduction: 22% Azuma has less health than Alaska but with her extra charge of her fast-reloading Repair Party consumable, Azuma has more potential HP. This is nice and all, but I would take Alaska's citadel placement and belt armour over Azuma's extra potential health any day. Extra health only counts when you can avoid exploding suddenly (and often). It should be noted that Azuma, like other large cruisers, takes damage over time effects (fires, floods) like a battleship, resulting in more damage. Much ado has been made about Azuma's durability. For a cruiser, she's pretty tough. She has a thick belt. She has anti-torpedo bulges. She has a lot of hit points and even a mildly improved Repair Party. Unfortunately, Azuma isn't a regular cruiser -- she's one of those hybrid large / battle cruiser type deals like Alaska and Stalingrad. So let's put this into context: For a cruiser, Azuma's protection scheme is great. Any complaints about her not being good are just being nit-picky. Azuma is very durable when compared to Ibuki or Seattle or what have you. It's only with a narrow focus on other large-cruisers (and battlecruisers) that her level of durability falls apart. Let's start listing the fails... Her citadel is raised above water. It's easy to hit. She doesn't have much citadel protection. Azuma's citadel protection is limited to a 178mm belt covered by a 25mm anti-torpedo bulge. So not only is she easy to hit, there's not a lot of armour preventing shells from punching into her vitals. This is easily within the scope of AP penetration for some 203mm armed Heavy Cruisers. Her citadel is octagonal (sorta). This is arguably the worst geometric shape you could choose for a citadel (short of a stretched oval). It all but guarantees a relatively flat surface for shells to penetrate into no matter how she angles. So now angling isn't an effective countermeasure to mitigate citadel hits. Her external hull armour doesn't exceed 25mm. Small and medium caliber HE loves farming damage off Azuma. It's not like Azuma isn't without merit, though. She has an enormous chunk of hit points for a cruiser, which is nice. In addition, the 25mm armour over her belt counts as an anti-torpedo void and it eats HE shells for zero damage. In addition, AP shells which shatter or ricochet off her internal belt also count for zero damage even if they penetrate her outer 25mm bulge. This bulge isn't an especially large target, unfortunately. Furthermore, she has a turtleback that's 125mm thick which will cause a lot of internal ricochets. Her final durability bonus is her improved Repair Party. She begins with 3 charges instead of 2 like most cruisers, giving her a maximum of 5 with a premium version of the consumable coupled with Superintendent. To facilitate this further, her reset timer is cut in half, with a 60s / 40s cool down depending if you're using a premium version or not (use a premium version!). The extra charge generally gives Azuma more effective hit points than Alaska provided you use it perfectly. Azuma's waterline anti-torpedo bulge counts as spaced armour and will eat HE shells for no damage. Similarly, AP shells that punch through her there don't automatically cause penetration damage and must contend with her belt behind it. Unfortunately, you won't have more effective health than Alaska because Azuma eats citadel hits for breakfast. While she can recover from citadel hits like other cruisers (queuing up 33% of citadel damage done) that doesn't do you any good if you get deleted outright. Thus, as great as that extra potential HP is, it's more likely that because of these catastrophic hits, you either won't survive long enough to make use of all of the charges or you simply won't be able to recoup enough HP to make up the difference. So that's all pretty damning for a ship type people equate with a baby battleship. It's really much better to think of Azuma like a standard heavy cruiser. If you wouldn't try tanking it with Ibuki, you shouldn't try tanking it with Azuma. Given her size, large turning radius and lack of concealment (see below for that), this has the unfortunate effect of pushing Azuma back from the front lines to keep her safe. I'm reminded of Abruzzi. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : It's telling just how exposed Azuma's citadel is that she doesn't automatically take a : rating here. She's close, though. Better external armour, something that would let her autobounce 380mm guns, for example, would help a lot. Agility Top Speed: 34.0 knots Port Turning Radius: 920m Rudder Shift Time: 13.9s Estimated 4/4 Engine Speed Rotation Rate: 4.6º/s Azuma's fast. Speed helps Azuma overcome some of her other manoeuvrability ills. To be clear, Azuma handles like a battleship, albeit a fast one. Her turning radius is appalling and she comes about about as quickly as a South Dakota-class battleship. Her rudder shift time is comparable too. For a ship with such a large, exposed citadel, even at her best, she exposes her broadside for far too long to ever be considered safe. In short, rely on Azuma's speed. It's arguably one of her best features. It allows her to dictate the engagement range against her opponents and flex where opportunities arise. If Azuma is far enough back, it also gives her better chances of dodging incoming fire. If you're beginning to notice a kiting theme, there's a reason... Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : It's that 920m turning radius which holds her back. Drop it down to even 820m and Azuma's easily one of the better cruisers at tier IX, agility wise. Anti-Aircraft Defense Long Range: 8 explosions at 1,470 damage each and 255dps from 5.8km to 1.9km Short Range: 519dps from 1.9km to 0.1km Right, it's theory-crafting time. I don't like doing this, but I don't have much choice in the matter. I only got to play Azuma's finalized AA armament on the 0.8.2 test server. I'm not terribly confident with my AA assessment here as the test server is the test server (with tier 10 carriers that couldn't drop torpedoes successfully on a stationary ship). The big difference was that Azuma shed her 40mm twins she had for much of the live-server testing, losing her medium caliber aura and replaced some of her triple 25mm guns with twins. So let me touch upon briefly what was and theory-craft what she has now. Azuma's current AA layout on top and the layout used during play testing on the bottom. Twin 100mm in red, twin 40mm in pink, enclosed 25mm triples in green, open-air 25mm triples in yellow, twin 25mm in blue. Maybe we'll see the old AA version on Yoshino. Azuma's AA DPS is ALMOST good. ALMOST. Her large caliber guns are great. They don't have the 6.9km reach to make them amazing, but they put out a huge chunk of sustained damage starting at 5.8km -- more damage than anything else at tier IX other than Neptune which is wonderful. Unfortunately, Azuma lacks any medium caliber AA guns, so her large caliber have to carry the weight as planes close. This gives her some of the worst mid-range AA DPS until her small caliber guns can pick up the slack. At close range, Azuma's damage output is again wonderful but it's a mistake to think that short-ranged DPS is going to do much in a given match unless your CV opponent is a complete tater-bot and likes to do flyovers without dropping ordnance for some reason. Maybe (MAYBE!) you might inconvenience them by shooting down aircraft that complete an attack run. Maybe. I wouldn't count on that ruining their day, though, unless you're facing a tier VIII CV that's already heavily taxed on aircraft recovery. Going back to Azuma's long range AA firepower, she throws out an average of 8 explosions with a meaty 1,470 damage per blast. These unfortunately have no impact on aircraft that are on their attack runs (with the exception of Hakuryu's torpedo bombers, because they're special -- maybe this got fixed in 0.8.2). This largely relegates them to being used to protect other ships rather than seeing to her own defense. The final take-away here should be that without Defensive AA Fire active, Azuma's only going to mildly inconvenience carriers. Lacking a catapult fighter, she will look like an inviting target, so expect regular attention. 404'd. Medium Caliber AA not found. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : A lot. It would have to start with a catapult fighter and then we can talk options. Refrigerator Base Surface Detection: 15.12km Aerial Detection: 10.73km Minimum Surface Detection: 11.88km When Firing in Smoke: 11.73km When Firing in Open Water: 19.09km to 26.57km Azuma really drops the ball when it comes to Vision Control. Not only is she fat (without the ph), she lacks Surveillance Radar found on Alaska, Stalingrad and Kronshtadt. She's just not that helpful at projecting vision. Her dependence on Defensive AA Fire to keep her safe also makes taking Hydoacoustic Search a risk. Combine the deficiencies of her agility and defense and it's all too easy to relegate Azuma to a back-of-the-pack support sniper. The further back you park Azuma, the more likely you're going to have to depend on her HE shells to do all of the heavy lifting and the more boring she becomes. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : She's going to need a lot of help here. Go West Azuma meshes very well with Japanese battleship commander skills. In particular, fire mitigation combined with Superintendent are optimal. This isn't the only option, of course. You can opt for more specialized builds, including anti-aircraft or, (if you're a complete nutter) a secondary build if you prefer co-op. Take the skills in green first and then double back with those in yellow. This will help mitigate damage over time effects for Azuma. Final Evaluation It feels kind of redundant to write one of these when it feels like the community has already largely condemned the darned thing before I publish. The amount of commiserations I received when people learned I was play testing Azuma just goes to show the kind of uphill battle Wargaming faces with trying to get people to spend money on this ship. Azuma isn't obviously powerful, thus she's been relegated to the mehbote pile, already dismissed. On the one hand, it's nice that my job is done for me: the player base is cautious and they're not going to throw money recklessly at Wargaming over the newest shiny on offer. On the other hand, it concerns me how many times I've heard the same inaccuracies about the ship repeated over and over. Azuma isn't a bad ship. Unfortunately, because she's not optimal, people will call her garbage (or whatever expletive substitute they prefer) and that's just not accurate. Azuma's flaw isn't that she's weak. Her flaw is that she's inconsistent, dependent on her citadel not blowing up and relying on fire damage from her HE spam to pad out her numbers. Some times things will go amazing. There will be those players who swear by her. Contrarily, there will be those who will damn her outright because of real or imagined flaws. For all my grumbling, Azuma's on my "forget" pile too. Once I'm done with this review, I'm not going to be playing her. She's not a ship I enjoyed outside of derping around co-op. You could argue this is owing to her power level. She's middling. While she does present a fun challenge to do well in, she's more work than she's worth, in my opinion. It was hard to feel that she presented me with the tools needed to outplay my opponents. Giving it my all didn't yield much improved results over just hoping nobody shot at me. That's not a formula for a fun time, in my opinion, but your own mileage may certainly vary. The most damning thing I could say about Azuma is this: I know I have a contrarian streak. When a ship gets bad-mouthed while still in development, I'm usually inspired try and find some limited element about their performance to champion. I came up empty on Azuma. Believe me, I looked hard too, driven by this inner snootiness to laud some useless factoid that could redeem her in my eyes. That way I could dangle it over the masses. You all might have damned her but I was going enjoy her as only the upper-crust of top-hat wearing, be-monocled World of Warships connoisseurs could. Except, I couldn't. I didn't like playing this boat. Instead of supping with the elitists where we all play eclectic premiums, I'm going to have to choke on some base experiences with the commoners and play Giulio Cesare like a bloody peasant. Screw you, Azuma. Would I Recommend? Azuma comes with a 1M free experience price tag, the same as Alaska. If you were to pay for it using the 1 doubloon for 25 free experience cost, you're looking at a price tag of $164.24 USD. I'm not of the opinion this is worth it (especially when there are tricks to farm up free experience at a reasonable rate), but to each their own. For PVE Battles? How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? Yes. Azuma does very well in Co-op. You can even get away with that aforementioned secondary build and pad out your damage in close quarters (cuz bots are dumb). For Random Battle Grinding? This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Yes. Azuma works well enough for training Japanese battleship and cruiser commanders, with comparable skill overlaps. For Competitive Gaming? Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. No. Taking any ship with an enormous, vulnerable citadel into competitive is a loser move. It's on par with stapling your upper lip to your computer desk and standing up suddenly -- it's so bad, it's painful to watch and people will beg you not to do it (and some sickos will encourage you to do it anyway). For Collectors? If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. No. Azuma, though an interesting "what if" ship, it doesn't have the collector's appeal for me. For her Fun-Factor? Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? No. If I'm going to sit in the back and spam HE at things (with the occasional AP shell to prove I'm not a complete scrub), I'll play Conqueror. At least she has a fun hotto doggu theme song. What’s the Final Verdict? How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage – Meh – Gud – Overpowered? GARBAGE– I hate it! Mehbote – An average ship. Probably forgettable. Gudbote – The best thing ever. Totally not overpowered because I like padding my stats in it. OVERPOWERED – I hate playing against it! In Closing For my next review, I will be reviewing... well, this is where I would be saying something witty in light of it being April Fool's. I dunno, Thunderer Two? Famous and Historical Monarch? I don't have two brain cells to rub together at this point. I'm going to try and finish talking about the premium carriers. The next part, rocket aircraft, is due out this week and dive bombers should be the week after. Then I just need to talk about the ship's hulls and that will finish off Saipan, Graf Zeppelin, Enterprise and Kaga. After that I think I'm well overdue for a long vacation.
  2. @Kami @Radar_X @Gneisenau013 Come on guys. I understand some changes need to be made for balance sake but the poor Azuma left the shipyard with nothing. Every surviving document from the time states that the B-65 Super-A Cruiser had 190mm side armour. Please fix it so she's not citadeled by a passing seagull.
  3. So I am something of a champion of the unloved boats in this game. I have worked with many of what are considered the 'worst ships' and have found very few that I could truly not make work. I like Mutsu, I love Ashitaka, Izumo was always a favorite, and I'm currently smitten with Azuma. I find that knowing where to be, what ammo to fire when and especially when to attempt to get out of a bad situation makes a world of difference with these ships. I'll admit, they are not for everyone and even I have bad games every so often, but they are not the garbage boats that everyone seems to think of them as. Case and point, my Azuma. Yes, she has exploitable flaws as all balanced ships should, but with planning and skill, you can overcome many of the flaws and get truly great performance out of her. If there was no challenge, it wouldn't be very fun (or balanced) for very long. Now first off, I need to tell you that, yes, I do prefer to play in co-op these days and no I don't really care that many of you out there think it is 'easy mode'. I made this choice because I'm a brawler at heart (and randoms got too static and stale for my taste long ago), I prefer smaller teams, and I got sick of the salt and rage in chat. At the tiers that I tend to play at, the bots are not the stormtroopers that live in the kiddie pool of tiers 1-4, they tend to be able to shoot better than most players and they can dodge torps like you wouldn't believe. If they actually were to start using tactics, they'd be superior to about 90% of human players, but fortunately, they don't do that yet. Anyways, that mess out of the way, I was just taking my Azuma out to grind up xp for my daily containers, trying to work on the AL chibi collection for flags and a captain that I really don't need, but what the heck (hopefully the voice acting is good, might find a use for her someday, but Iona is staying put until Yoshino comes out, then Chihaya Gunzo will take over the Azuma). It was one of those matches where there weren't enough humans to fill out the team, so at least half the team was green bots (which are usually inferior to the red bots, makes for more of a challenge, and I'm fine with that). I started out with support, but as the battle got rolling, my support went to a different cap point and I was pretty much on my own and trouble was headed my way. I got into a brawl, got out of the brawl, got back into another brawl, and ended up with a rather nice score at the end of it all, no hits to my citadel, and a fair few hits from my IFHE secondaries to boot (the IFHE is more for the main guns, to enable me to punch through those pesky 57mm decks that some T9 and 10 BBs have). Don't take my word alone for it, I have the replay up on wowsreplay.com, specifically at https://replayswows.com/replay/50560#stats. Results screen pics are also in the spoiler, forgive the hastily censored names of the other humans.
  4. Introduction: Well Yoshino is finally here, the replacement of the old T10 Azuma that will be released for coal in the Arsena- I mean Armory, in the near future. Seeing the very mixed reaction to the initial stats of the Yoshino, I have decided to delve deeper and actually compare Yoshino’s current iteration (as of March 31, 2019) to the single iteration of the T10 Azuma’s stats. Yoshino is designed to be an enhanced T10 Azuma, as Azuma was down-tiered to T9 due to a lack of comfortably. Hopefully this analysis will bring light as to whether or not Yoshino will currently succeeds in filling that role. Spreadsheet comparison: Direct link to public spreadsheet This is a personal spreadsheet I made, comparing the Yoshino (left) to T10 Azuma (right). Hopefully it is simple enough to be understood; grey means they are equal, green is better, and red is worse. I’d like to say that for AA and torpedoes, it’s a simple Yes/No, as Yoshino outclasses T10 Azuma in both of these - unless you prefer having no torps over torps, but you do you. The big “if” - the guns: There is one custom statistic I have put into the spreadsheet: Dispersion/Range. This is meant to show the average increase in dispersion per kilometer - hence the title of maximum dispersion being divided by range. I would like to state that I am aware that there is a minimum firing range, and as such these values would be slightly lower, however the point should still stand. Yoshino actually has, if my math is correct, a 0.05m advantage per kilometer, meaning that her shell groupings will in fact be very slightly tighter than the old T10 Azuma’s, which already had better dispersion than other super cruisers. While this will likely be minimal and possibly unnoticed, it is still an interesting difference. Yoshino also has a 0.05 sigma buff when compared to the old T10 Azuma. This will be noticeable, as over time more shells will likely hit due to sigma influencing how close shells group towards the center of a firing circle. Now, with these incremental changes in mind, it is time for the big question that I cannot answer - the dispersion formula. Azuma has been tested with her T10 formula, which was changed to cruiser levels at T9, which was then nerfed - whether T9 Azuma’s release state has the old formula is yet to be seen. IF Yoshino has the same formula as the old T10 Azuma, then this will be a fairly balanced tradeoff for the loss of 2s of reload. People following the development process of Montpelier may be familiar with this design choice: as she has lost 0.5s of reload in exchange for 0.15 sigma, to a fairly pleased audience reception. Once again, IF Yoshino has the same formula as T10 Azuma, then a reaction comparable to that towards Montpelier’s guns can be expected - slightly slower but with slightly more reliability, a balanced trade off. Should Yoshino have cruiser accuracy, then I will be thoroughly surprised, although this was not mentioned in the Dev Blog post. If Yoshino has a normal Graf Spee formula, then prepare yourselves for a wave of controversy. The torpedoes: As a quick note, Yoshino has received one choice for torpedo armament. These torpedoes are exact clones of the 12km Zao torpedo option in every way except reload, due to the fact that Yoshino has quadruple (4) launchers rather than Zao’s quintuple (5) launchers. With a base reload time of exactly 2 minutes (120 seconds), these torpedoes will likely be very potent, especially when the firing angles are taken into consideration. The above image depicts the firing angles of Yoshino's and Atago's torpedo tubes from left to right respectively. The inner circle represents the angles needed for a single torpedo set to be fired, with the outer circle representing a full broadside. Atago is well known for her forward torpedo angles, which, even though outclassed by French torpedo angles, still work extremely well in the current meta. Take note of how the cones for both circles on Yoshino's arcs are larger than Atago's. Yes, that does in fact mean that Yoshino has superior angles in every form when compared to Atago's. Couple this with the fact that Yoshino has exact copies of Zao's 12km torpedoes, and you begin to see just how potent these torpedoes can be when used effectively. The AA: I will not delve deep into this topic, as AA is still changing with updates in light of the CV rework. In short, the old AA on T10 Azuma was perfectly fine for self defense in a pre-rework meta as seen in Flamu’s video, and it would likely have been perfectly usable in the post-rework meta as well. Vomiting, as I like to call it, extra triple and single mounts of 25mm AA guns on the deck of Yoshino will only help to enhance her own personal AA aura. I will leave it at that, Yoshino’s buffed AA is certainly a quality of life improvement to the ship, whether or not it was needed is open to debate, as the IJN dual “bofors” were already packing quite the punch. Although I think at least one Midway bomber squadron will be able to get through to enlighten you with a perfectly balanced 15k damage drop. No I’m not salty, I swear. The armor: Oh boy. Oh boy oh boy oh boy. This one is fun, and I will admit I fell for this one as well. I’ve seen people claiming that Yoshino has nerfed armor when compared to the old T10 Azuma. Fortunately for us, Flamu showed every piece of armor of the T10 Azuma in his video (source below), and guess what: 30mm plating and center deck with 25mm nose and stern. I don’t know where the idea that T10 Azuma had a 30mm fore and aft came from, but it’s apparently a thing that’s believed. But no, Yoshino has the exact same armor as the old T10 Azuma, perfectly serviceable and good for tanking against BB shells 406mm in size or smaller. The model: The above image shows the models of Yoshino and T10 Azuma, Yoshino can be distinguished by the inclusion of white tarps on her rails and far larger quantity of 25mm AA guns on her main deck. I got quite lucky with 0.8.3 being delayed until April 1, allowing me to compare the 0.8.1 model of Azuma (before her 40mm guns are removed) to the 0.8.3 ST version of Yoshino’s model. A list of differences in Yoshino’s model when compared to T10 Azuma’s are: Far more 25mm AA guns Presence of sand bags all over the deck and superstructure as makeshift defense against small arms fire from planes Torpedo tubes slightly aft of the catapult in the main hull Different lifeboat configuration Spare wings for float planes by the catapult “Tarps” (I don’t know what these are called, canvas?) that cover over the railings amidships Various little details on the deck Truth be told, nothing special has really been done, you can tell that this is clearly a late war version of a sistership to Azuma, much like when you compare a 1942 Yamato to her final version in 1945 (bless WG for changing the model on Yamato). All in all this is passable for being a new model, although I wish WG did do some changes that were unique and not just the usual for sister ships. My main wish was for the inner secondaries to be given barbettes sticking out of the deck, akin to the French battleships, that allow then to superfire over the lower secondary batteries. This is a massive nitpick but it is something I’ve noticed with sister ships. I’m a little irked by the inclusion of the canvas tarps as a means to add color to emphasize a difference between ships, this was done when Anshan’s model was reused to make Fushun (Fushun lost the tarps), and when Mikhail Kutuzov’s model was reused to make the Irian. While this is very minor, I do wish more was done to differentiate sister ships rather than a little splash of color. /rant Does Yoshino fulfill her role?: Yoshino is meant to be a modestly buffed replacement of the original T10 Azuma. As outlined by the developers themselves in their Dev Blog post, “...Cruiser [Azuma] moved to tier IX. This reallocation will allow the ship to feel more comfortable in battle…”, the T10 Azuma was thus not well suited for T10 due to a lack of comfortably. Because of this, Yoshino is meant to be, by design, a more comfortable (and thus a very slightly more powerful) version of T10 Azuma. Do I think Yoshino fills this role? No. Yoshino is so damn close to fulfilling her potential, but she’s not quite there. She has gained situational advantages in the form of AA and torpedoes with extremely good angles, which is a plus. But this comes at a direct cost to consistent DPM in the form of a 2 second reload nerf. A 1.1 second rudder shift nerf which came out of left field does not aid in making her more comfortable to play as a mid-to-long range HE and AP spammer either. It feels like Yoshino’s current iteration leans less towards being more comfortable than T10 Azuma, and more towards relying on unneeded crutches at the cost of gameplay aspects that were actually contributing to a comfortable play style - losing exactly 10k hit points on a whim to the Balance Gods did not help this case either. Conclusion - What I would personally like to see changed: For extremely basic changes to make Yoshino more comfortable, it is an easy route: her slow turrets should be changed from 5 to 6 degrees of rotation per second - dropping the 180 degree rotation time from 36 to 30 seconds, the rudder should also be looked into, as there is no real reason why an already slow rudder should be 1.1s slower. Yoshino’s guns will likely have better shell groupings over T10 Azuma as well, due to the increased sigma and slightly lower increase in dispersion per kilometer. However, this only applies if Yoshino uses the same dispersion formula as T10 Azuma. The biggest gripe that the community has with Yoshino right now is her survivability. When compared to the release version of T9 Azuma, she has 30mm armor (thank the lord), but at the cost of 10k health when compared to the original Azuma. Yoshino also lacks the enhanced heal of the T9 Azuma, it’s perfectly standard. I’d like to see Yoshino either get her health buffed into the higher range of the 60,000’s, or receive the heal of T9 Azuma (extra charge with faster cooldown) to maintain the flavor that has been set with Japanese super cruisers. What are your guys’ thoughts on Yoshino? Do you believe she achieves the set goal of being a proper replacement for the older T10 Azuma? Sources used: Yoshino Dev Blog - https://medium.com/@devblogwows/new-ships-9fab6b188e90?fbclid=IwAR2pNYlHHcz-9j3sUi6zYTcc0g6fzeNyydILTtemN3vNfqDDLPYoIdz0QGU T10 Azuma Dev Blog - https://www.facebook.com/wowsdevblog/photos/a.1914529002206771/2228614504131551/ Flamu (T10 Azuma Video) - https://youtu.be/Tnzq4cgD694 Game Models 3D - https://gamemodels3d.com/games/worldofwarships/vehicles/pjsc520 https://gamemodels3d.com/games/worldofwarships/vehicles/pjsc034 https://gamemodels3d.com/games/worldofwarships/vehicles/pjsc038 https://gamemodels3d.com/games/worldofwarships/vehicles/pjsc510 T9 Azuma and T10 Yoshino purchasing methods (Dev Blog) - https://www.reddit.com/r/WorldOfWarships/comments/aofu5u/azuma_yoshino_neustrashimy/ Azuma down-tier Dev Blog - https://medium.com/@devblogwows/test-ship-changes-bc8825f30d1c Wow the forums are difficult to use to format text...
  5. Aghostinthetank

    FYI Free Azuma Draw on FB

    Just an FYI for those with Facebook, the official World of Warships page is giving away a free Azuma. All one has to do is submit a picture of their favourite Japanese ship in the comments of the post along with their username and region.
  6. I just forked out the 1,000,000 FXP I received from selling Hakuryu for Azuma. I have no regrets with my purchase, but that's only because I've basically every single Tier X ship except Haku and Audacious. If you're not overflowing with FXP and/or are looking for an overpowered ship, I don't really recommend Azuma. There's a lot of really good tech tree ships and Azuma doesn't live up to her cost. My impression of Azuma is that she's very average. There's nothing outstanding about her, but nothing too terrible either. Firepower: Meh. She's got decent guns. They have a decent alpha, but her AP is very prone to shattering and her HE DPM is suboptimal. She can punish cruisers if they give her a full broadside and she can HE spam, but not that much better or worse than many other ships. One thing that is very nice is he arcs are very flat. Even if her shells are somewhat slow, they don't lose speed, even at longer distances. w/ MBR3 She fires 9 shells every 17.6 seconds. She can fire out to 19.1km (23km w/ spotter: she doesn't have access to a fighter). Gun handling is nice, shell arcs are fast and turrets turn quickly (33.6s w/ Yamamoto) HE alpha is 5100 31% fire chance with DE + flags 51mm HE pen AP alpha is 8650 Absolutely terrible AP at range, you have to shoot perfectly flat broadsides to even have a chance at penetrating I'm sure her AP is better at close ranges, but you really don't want to be that close in this ship Stealth: Meh. For a cruiser her size it's actually really good, but compared to other ships her tier it's not that great (it's actually pretty poor) 11.9km stealth, compared to 12.2 for Alaska. It's perfectly serviceable since you don't want to be that close anyways Maneuverability: Meh. She's kinda chunky. Definitely does not handle well, but at least she's decently quick. 35.7kt max speed w/ flag (Kron and Alaska are around 33-33.5kt) 11.1s rudder shift w/ Steering Gear II, but not III(Kron and Alaska are around 10.5-12s) 920m turning circle (Kron and Alaska are around 840-850m) Survivability: Meh. She has a raised citadel and absolutely no armor to speak of. However, her stealth and nice gun arcs allow her to dictate the engagement, and around 15-16km she can pretty comfortably spam HE. Against high tier battleships I would definetly try to sit around 18-19km, otherwise you simply won't be trading effectively. 58,350hp is comparable to Alaska's 60,800 Has a extra heal compared to non supercrusiers but still heals 33% citadel damage No 27mm plating, 25mm everywhere (15" overmatch), Yamato-style hexagonal citadel Even Tirpitzes will farm 10k salvos off you if they land 3-4 shells. Be prepared for 30k salvos from Montanas and Yamatos She eats damage everywhere, but even if you eat a double citadel from 16" shells you're still left with more HP than a ibuki would have if it ate a single citadel Overall she's a very mediocre ship. She's okay at spamming HE at long range, which is nice since the top tier meta for most cruisers is to sit at 16km and spam HE. However, since Azuma is tier IX MM doesn't pull any punches. It's hard to compare her with other tier IX ships since she faces constant tier X games. There, she really struggles to compete against ships like Zao, Henri, or Stalingrad and struggles to survive against ships like Montana and Yamato. With no gimmicks like radar she's also pretty weak against DDs. I like her. What we have here is a very simple ship. Sit at range, spam HE. There's no gimmicks that make her frustrating to deal with, nothing special that you need go up against her (*cough* Stalingrad 50mm plating *cough*). To beat Azuma all you really need to do is shoot at it. It's wonderfully simple: she shoots at you and you shoot back. It's like WoWs was back in 2017. I despise how every new ship seems to needs some sort of gimmick to set them apart from all the other ones. I hate how premium ships are almost always as strong or stronger that their tech tree counterparts. Here we have a very mediocre premium with no gimmicks and I think that's a nice change of pace from everything. If they did intend to buff her, I wouldn't mind giving her cruiser accuracy again. It's nothing terribly gimmicky, but would help her long distance spam playstyle.
  7. Hi all I think it is about time to start discussing something else besides Cv’s. Per a recent dev log announcement or should I say developer corner we know that a version of a modernized Azuma will be placed at Tier 10 which I will call Yoshino in this thread and that the original Azuma will be Tier 9 with Tier balance adjustments. With that out of the way let’s talk about what we know for certain. 1. Added torpedo launchers 2. Strengthened AA 3. Hopes to be tested live in 3-4 updates per the reddit thread on the Azuma downtiering from @Sub_Octavian himself. Now the real questions are 1. 310mm guns or 356mm guns? 2. Armor all around? 3. Torpedo type? 4.how strong of an AA platform? 5. Coal or steel ? 6. Any other questions that are brought up etc... let the speculation begin on Yoshino
  8. LL_JuneBug

    Japanese Battle Cruiser

    I want to thank WOWS for their future development of the T-8 or T9 Japanese Battle Cruiser Azuma. I think she is a T8 although she could be a T9. She doesn't look like the projected B65 design. I also want to thank them for modeling the Andria Doria Italian Battleship, and the Italian DD.
  9. WackyMan157

    [ST] 0.8.2 - Azuma AA Nerfs

    Azuma AA has been updated in the 0.8.2 Super Test, appears to be an overall nerf. 0.8.1 AA Appearance Screenshot: 100 mm/65 Type98 ‎8 x 2 100 mm 40 mm/60 Type5 ‎12 x 2 40 mm 25 mm/60 Type96 Triple mod. 1 ‎12 x 3 25 mm 25 mm/60 Type96 Triple mod. 2 ‎6 x 3 25 mm 0.8.2 AA Appearance Screenshot: 100 mm/65 Type98 ‎8 x 2 100 mm 25 mm/60 Type96 Triple mod. 2 ‎6 x 3 25 mm 25 mm/60 Type96 Triple ‎18 x 3 25 mm 25 mm/60 Type96 Twin mod. 1 ‎6 x 2 25 mm Overall analyses of changes: - 12 x 2 40mm guns replaced with 12 x 3 25mm (two different types) - 6 x 3 25mm replaced with 6 x 2 25mm - Overall nerf of her AA from relying on 40mm guns to the 25mm guns - Different radar set on top of superstructure (visual only) Due to the late war appearance of the 0.8.1 AA set, it is very likely that the old AA layout will be the AA of the TX Yoshino. Hopefully there will be more visual changes between Azuma and Yoshino than just the AA guns and the torpedo tubes.
  10. Greetings my fellow Captains. It is my pleasure to present you with the 2nd project I have completed as part of my continued ONNI Recognition Manual. This page featuring the Tier IX Cruiser IJN Azuma (formally Tier X). And I do believe this entry will be close to, if not the, format I will be making use of from here on in. Of which, I would like to thank all those that gave feedback and criticisms. The suggestions of adding a top down view makes for a far better perspective of the ship. In addition to providing a pleasant challenge that was darn worth it. I have also changed to something close to the suggested Courier font. Both of these additions giving this work a more authentic look. I will admit my initial want to create one entry for the ONNI guide each month was a mite ambitious. Especially having a collective 5 months of experience drawing in vector under my belt haha In reality, adding the top down view may be taking these back to 10 in a year due to the added load. With that said, I am still learning the intricacies of Inkscape. So things may pick up the pace with the more knowledge I gain. As a side note I had planned on having this completed 2 days ago. Then the recent devblog post announced some changes to the Azuma. This changed her armor model for one. As you can imagine that required some further editing haha To bookend matters; If you fancied catching updates on my progress for future ONNI guide entries feel free to hop on over to the Numpty Navy Discord - https://discord.gg/EJ4YMM4 *Keep things laid back and civil* Updates are posted in the onni-teaser channel.
  11. The proposed super cruiser tier 10, Azuma, is an admission by WG that Stalingrad, was released in an OP condition. Why? Azuma with the proposed stats, without special rules for her AP, is essentially, a nerfed Stalingrad. This does not mean she is a bad ship, not at all, Azuma will be perfectly capable vs her peers, but she will not be capable of influencing battle outcomes as greatly as Stalingrad, when driven by unicum players. Stalingrad has quickly asserted a role as the "Belfast of tier 10", the "Graf Zeppelin press battle2win bote", in the hands of competent owners, according to respected EU server commentators. There are two ways WG can address a problem, which by releasing Azuma, it is admitting, a) By releasing Azuma, WG can permanently remove Stalingrad from the Arsenal. b) Stalingrad can be nerfed to specifications identical to its tier 10 sister ship, Moskva, becoming in all but name, a Moskva skin. B) is unlikely, as WG has a policy of not nerfing premium ships A) is possible, numerous examples of this having occured (Kutusov, Belfast, just to name 2) In the same vein, the release of Jean Bart (an uptiered t8 Richelieu) can be interpreted as a rebuke to game development/production that has downtiered tier 10s and flooded tier 9 gameplay with, frankly sharks in a goldfish bowl, Yamato>Musashi, Moskva>Kronstadt, which has created the untenable position of the likes of a tier 9 Ibuki, fighting tier 10 ready Kronstadts, or Alsaces expected to go toe to toe vs tier 10 capable Musashis. Is the removal of Musashi from the Arsenal yet more evidence of a shift in WG game developmental policy. All of the above is my personal opinion, largely inspired by some EU forum discussions. What do you all think? EU debate : https://forum.worldofwarships.eu/topic/108941-the-azuma-the-poor-mans-stalingrad/
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