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  1. Hey all, I'm just looking to get a feel for what people think is the best option. My stats are public, so you can see that I'm a mediocre/middling player. I play every class these days, CVs the least by far. I've got enough coal for any one of the top-tier armory ships right now. I hear the Georgia is really good, nice guns and good secondaries. I've also heard that the Thunderer is an excellent investment, and possibly OP. I don't know what coal ships people are expecting to be released in the near (3-6 months) future, so I don't know if it's worth saving my coal. I still have my coupon thankfully, so that'll help me reduce the cost of whatever I choose somewhat. Right now I play German BBs, German DDs, French BBs, and American Cruisers, and French DDs the most. I'm pretty flexible, just not necessarily great. I thankfully got Nelson and Mushashi for free XP.
  2. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: California

    The following is a review of California, the tier VII American battleship. This ship has been provided to me by Wargaming for evaluation purposes -- I did not have to pay for this thing, which is a good thing because I would have felt offended had I shelled out money for this horribly mistreated piece of history. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this article are current as of patch Please be aware that her performance may change in the future. I'm not going to waste too much time on this review (she says, and then spends four whole days on it). USS California's inclusion in World of Warships bothers me on so many levels. I should preface this by saying that I love the American standard-type battleships. I think they are some of the most interesting warships of the Second World War. They are phoenixes that rose from the ashes of Pearl Harbor. Despite their outdated designs, they went on to not only find a role in the fast-modernizing US Navy but they went on to engage triumphantly in one of the final battleship surface actions in history. They could have just as easily remained a footnote in the war, left behind by fate. So, you can keep your Iowas, the romance (to me) lies in names like West Virginia, Tennessee and California. This is why I took issue with West Virginia appearing in her Pearl Harbor mien and not that of Surigao Strait. So imagine my disappointment when, against all advice, Wargaming stuck to their guns and pulled a copy-paste job of USS Arizona's performance and tacked it onto California. Now, let me be clear: Arizona, the tier VI American premium, is awesome. Lert really helped me appreciate the game play of the "American Bricks" way back in 2016. However, I do not love Arizona so much that I think cloning her game play and asking people to pay a premium price tag for a tier VII version is right. While California does have some minor improvements over Arizona, they are (in my opinion) inconsequential. I fear that these buffs will blindside people to what is nothing more than an already existing tier VI premium with a tier VII price tag. With that in mind, this review is going to myopically focus on the differences between Arizona and California and why one ship is worth the money and the other is a slap in the face. As much as I need a break right now, USS California is a big enough name to elicit sales simply merely by reputation. I know it. You know it. Wargaming knows it too. I want to head off any impulse purchases and warn players that they're not getting a ship worthy of California's name. Quick Summary: A slow American standard-type battleship with horrible gun firing arcs but improved long-range gunnery with her twelve 356mm guns. She has excellent AA firepower. PROS Fully submerged citadel. Heavy broadside of twelve 356mm/50 guns. Long ranged with a starting reach of 19.9km which can be extended to as much as 27.7km between upgrades and consumables. Decent gunnery dispersion with 1.9 sigma. Small turning circle radius of 640m. Excellent AA firepower, equivalent to a tier VIII American battleship. Good concealment with a surface detection as low as 11.8km. CONS Painfully long, 34.2s reload. 356mm guns lack overmatching ability against targets with 25mm+ extremities. Horrible gun handling and appalling gun firing angles. Very slow top speed of 20.5 knots and poor handling as a result despite her smaller turning circle radius. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / CASUAL / Challenging/ Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / MODERATE / High / Extreme California isn't difficult to play. Picking her up and farming some damage is pretty easy. Were it not for her horribly slow speed, I'd have given her a 'simple' rating. All you really need to know are the battleship basics: use the correct ammo, beware of flashing your sides, try not to get left behind. California's speed is a severe handicap, but you knew that coming in. California gets no tools to seriously mitigate this. Long range is nice, so flex those aiming skills you've acquired, but her gun caliber and long reload will largely limit the impact this has. You can largely forget applying those brawling skills or getting to cap or even angling to mitigate damage -- it's just not applicable. There's a pretty hard cap on how far skill will take you with this ship. Options There's nothing too surprising about California's options. She conforms to the norms for American battleships. She doesn't get access to Aiming Systems Modification 1 to reduce her main battery gun dispersion. Instead, she has Gun Fire Control Modification 1 which increases her main battery gun range. Consumables California's Damage Control Party is standard for an American battleship. It comes with unlimited charges and an 80s reset timer. For US battleships, this is active for 20 seconds rather than the 15 seconds for other nations, so bonus there. Her Repair Party is also standard. It queues up 50% of penetration damage, 10% of citadel damage and 100% of all other damage types. Each charge heals a base of up to 14% of the ship's health over 28 seconds. She starts with four charges. In her third slot, you have the choice between a Spotting Aircraft and a Catapult Fighter. The former increases range by 20% for 100 seconds. It comes with four charges and a four minute reset timer. Her fighter is active for a mere 60 seconds (like all Battleship fighters) and resets in 90 seconds. It has three charges base and sends up a squadron of 3 planes. Upgrades There should be no surprises for anyone here. Build for survivability and fire resistance. Start with Main Armaments Modification 1. In the second slot, begin your fire resistance build with Damage Control Systems Modification 1. Most people are going to want to spring for more range for California and thus Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1 will seem optimal. However, once you get behind the helm of California and play with her (as I have), you'll come to hate her sluggish gun traverse as much as I do and Main Battery Modification 2 will look hella appealing. Damage Control Systems Modification 2 is your best choice for slot four, however, given California's ridiculously-poor fire angles, you will not be blamed for reaching for Steering Gears Modification 1 in order to help with rudder shift time to swing her butt out and back in between salvos. Commander Skills Time to re-use a graphic because battleship skill optimization has stagnated! Same old, same old. Build for fire-resistance first, then double back for your other skills. You probably want Expert Marksman over Adrenaline Rush on your first pass. Camouflage California has access to two camouflage patterns: Type 10 Camouflage – California and Freedom -- California. The two are merely cosmetic swaps of each other, providing the same benefits. You'll probably have to shell out some extra cash for the Freedom camo, whether that will be through a bundle or with doubloons after the fact. 3% bonus concealment from surface targets 4% increase to enemy gunnery dispersion 10% reduction to post-battle service costs 50% bonus to experience gains. Summary so far: Well, so far so good, I suppose. There's nothing out of the ordinary here. I dunno what's going on with California's turrets with her Freedom camouflage. Firepower Main Battery: Twelve 356mm/50 guns in 4x3 turrets in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Sixteen 127mm/38 guns in 8x2 turrets in superfiring pairs on either side of the ship facing fore and aft. Arizona & California's Main Battery Differences California has more range (19.9km vs 16km) California's AP shells do more damage (10,500 vs 10,300) California has a faster reload (34.2s vs 35s) California's AP shells have higher penetration. California's shells have higher muzzle velocity. California has higher sigma (1.9 vs 1.8). California has much reduced firing arcs (102º broadside vs 113º) California uses New Mexico's 356mm/50 caliber guns rather than Arizona's 356mm/45s. A lot of what's listed above owe to the differences of the gun calibers. Compared to New Mexico, California has increased range (19.9km vs 16.1km) and better sigma (1.9 vs 1.5) but again that horrible deficit in fire arcs (102º broadside vs 109º). So while California is an obvious gunnery upgrade over New Mexico, California is only a soft upgrade on Arizona. The biggest advantage here is her increased range with the rest largely being window-dressings. Calfornia does have a higher muzzle velocity and thus better AP penetration over distance. However this gap isn't quite as pronounced as the difference in speed would suggest as Arizona has higher Krupp, a coefficient WG uses to directly modify penetration values. California's increased rate of fire, higher shell damage and sigma are all nice but the difference is so minor as to be largely unnoticeable. California is a slow reloading, reasonably accurate 356mm armed battleship. The 0.8 second faster reload still does not make her feel like she has anything but a painfully slow rate of fire. The 0.1 sigma difference is imperceptible in game play -- you couldn't tell the difference if you tried. And finally, as nice as the extra damage is, these are still 356mm guns. Compared to the 380mm, 406mm and 410mm shells being thrown about by some of her tier mates, their individual shell performance is middling at best. Thus cutting through all of the crap, California's only significant change is her range increase over Arizona and she pays for this with truly appalling gun fire arcs. Observe: California has absolutely horrid main battery traverse rates, coming about at a glacial 60s for 180º. California has tier VI firepower with tier VII range. As much as I would like to be excited about her range, she needs it or the ship simply doesn't work. Wargaming will try and sell you this ship bragging that this reach is to California's advantage. Simply put, it's the only thing which makes this ship viable as a tier VII vessel and even then it barely passes muster. This ship is slow. Unlike Arizona which finds herself occasionally enjoying the 36km x 36km claustrophobic maps of lower tiers, California more often than not sees the 42m x 42km and 48km x 48km maps of higher tiers. That extra reach is an outright necessity to bring her guns into play before the battle moves on without her. Even then, it's often not enough. You can get a taste for this already by playing Arizona in bottom tiered matches and struggling to keep up with the pace of battle. California's reach partially mitigates this, but only partially. Her horrible gun fire angles necessitate that she swing out and show a lot more broadside in order to bring the weight of fire to bear on targets. This exaggerated manoeuvre bleeds speed (to say nothing of changing her heading and possibly navigating away from battle), further slowing her already ponderous pace. Thus her range becomes even more important. Are California's main battery guns better than Arizona's? Absolutely. Are they good enough to be tier VII guns? Sure -- they have better range and much better sigma than New Mexico's. The issue, though, is that they're not improved enough over the tier VI premium's to be worthwhile. Arizona's weapons are amazing at tier VI. California's weapons are only okay at tier VII. This means, gunnery wise, you're paying more money for a worse experience. This means for California to be worth her price tag, she's gotta make it up elsewhere. Once again, here are some dispersion tests. These are 180 shells fired at 15km locked onto the stationary Fuso bot. The bot was without camouflage. Unlike my normal dispersion tests, as Arizona and California can't equip the dispersion reducing ASM1 upgrade, their fields look comparatively larger than ships of the same tier. Shots are coming in from right to left with Fuso bow-tanking. One of these is California, the other Arizona. I'm not telling you which ship is which. If you're struggling to see a difference in as clinical and sterile a trial as this, you have no hope of feeling the difference through normal game play. In battle, targets are moving at different angles and speeds which makes any reasonable evaluation exceedingly difficult unless there is a tremendous change in performance. This is why I frown on a difference of 0.1 sigma being used as a selling feature -- it's a "spreadsheet" value that will affect a ship over the course of several games but isn't likely to be significant within a single match. A Missed Opportunity California doesn't make up for her main battery gunnery with her secondaries. California's secondaries are crap and they didn't have to be. Despite constant suggestions to give her improved accuracy and/or range on her secondaries, Wargaming wouldn't budge on keeping them standardized. These weapons are not worth upgrading any more than you would find it worthwhile to upgrade North Carolina's or Alabama's secondaries. California's AP penetration is okay. It's not high-velocity Soviet-good like Poltava's, though, nor does it have Duke of York's improved auto-ricochet angles (which shares the same penetration as KGV). Landing citadel hits against enemy battleships tends to fall off at ranges over 14km or so, but you should still be able to land penetrating hits through most belts you'll encounter. In theory, California has some pretty good AP damage output. She doesn't have boosted HE shell damage the way Japanese and British battleships do, so she's kind of lackluster there. That hurts given her inability to overmatch 25mm armour that's so commonplace within her matchmaking spread. Arizona sits just behind California in AP and HE DPM, but not so much that you'll notice in most cases. Summary so far: You're buying a longer-ranged Arizona. The 0.8s improved reload time and harder hitting AP shells are okay, but you can't feel the 0.1 sigma difference. However you're paying for the improvements with very crappy gun fire angles. Options: Nothing unusual, for good or ill. Firepower: Arizona with longer range, slightly improved damage output but much worse fire arcs. Durability Hit Points: 58,300 Min Bow & Deck Armour: 26mm extremities, upper hull and deck with some 31mm rear deck sections behind the superstructure. Maximum Citadel Protection: 35mm anti-torpedo bulge, 343mm belt and 44mm citadel wall. Torpedo Damage Reduction: 36% California's protection scheme is perfectly adequate for a tier VII battleship. It's comparable to Arizona's and they each have their strengths. California versus Arizona's Durability California has more health (58,300hp vs 57,200hp) Arizona has better anti-torpedo protection. No, really. (37% damage reduction for Arizona vs 36% for California) Arizona has better upper-hull armour. (Arizona has a strip of 37mm armour above her belt while California's upper hull is only 26mm). California has better deck protection (California's deck behind her superstructure and around her X & Y turrets is 31mm thick. All of Arizona's decks are 26mm). Overall, the ships are very comparable in terms of their protection and durability. While California has the slight edge in health, it pays to keep in mind that Arizona has a large hit point pool for a tier VI battleship while California is on the low side of average for tier VII. Tier for tier, Arizona is the better protected ship with her armour and hit points meaning more at tier VI than California's at tier VII. That 35mm anti-torpedo bulge covers a huge section of California's side. All things told, it's not bad for helping keep shells out (especially when angling). Her 31mm rear deck will help shatter small-caliber HE shells too, as will her 50mm armoured secondaries. Look at this chungus. This is a top-down view of California with her 343mm belt highlighted in red. You can see just how massive her 35mm anti-torpedo bulges are. Shells which fuse inside this bulge but outside of the hull spaces underneath result in zero damage penetrations. Here's a better view of how deep California's belt extends. The dark red is 343mm thick while the orange strip at the bottom is where it tapers to 273mm. In order to land citadel hits, shells must contend with her 35mm anti-torpedo bulge then her 343mm belt and finally her 44mm citadel wall. California's citadel (in yellow) is fully submerged well below the waterline. Short of adding a turtleback, it's as well protected as you could hope it to be. The most dangerous shots come from medium to long range where shells have a bit of drop going for them to strike beneath the waterline and angle towards the citadel. As good as California's lateral protection is, her big weak spot is her bow. Her stern is made up of composite layers of armour beneath the 26mm outer shell in a similar vein to Giulio Cesare's bow. It isn't anywhere near as vulnerable. But her bow? It's just the 26mm outer portion until you smack the transverse bulkheads protecting her citadel. They're not thick enough to keep battleship caliber shells out. Furthermore, that big 26mm area is just begging to receive hits from HE spam. California faces a lot more opponents that can easily best her extremity and deck armour -- not only with battleship caliber AP but also HE spam from cruisers with enough base penetration to out-muscle her structural protection. Once engaged at medium-range, there's really not much this ship can do about it short of trying to fight her way out. As we've already covered, she doesn't really have that much better of a chance of doing so than Arizona. California's protection scheme is decent for a tier VII battleship but it's nothing special either short of her anti-torpedo protection (which is good but not as amazing as the size of her bulges would suggest). She doesn't have improved heals like the British battleships. She doesn't have a nigh-impervious citadel like Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. She's missing an ice-breaker bow like the aforementioned German ships. The Soviets infamously have it too. Were it me at the helm of California's project, if improving her offense was off the table I would have done something here. There's lots of ways they could have gone about it, though I think the most elegant solution would have been to give her 32mm structural plate on her bow, stern, deck and upper hull, akin to a tier VIII battleship. She would have felt immediately tankier but still vulnerable to higher tiered ships. Oh well, missed opportunities. California's on the low end of average for her potential health. This isn't exactly welcome for such a slow brick with a big squishy snoot to boop. California has a boring ol' 14% healed over 28s, not the 16.8% of the KGVs and Hood, the 40% Nelson or even Colorado's 18.48%. It could be worse, I suppose. She could have ended up like Poltava with a max of 4 charges of heals. Summary so far: Worse protection than Arizona, tier for tier, but that's largely owing to a deficit of hit points as a tier VII battleship. Her protection scheme is otherwise fine though her snoot is a huge weak spot. Options: Nothing unusual, for good or ill. Firepower: Arizona with longer range, slightly improved damage output but much worse fire arcs. Durability: Comparable durability to Arizona even though she sits a tier higher. Agility Top Speed: 20.5 knots Turning Radius: 640m Rudder Shift Time: 14.7 seconds 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 3.7º/s So, there are slow battleships in World of Warships and then there are the American premium standard-types. You see, the normal American tech-tree battleships have an artificial boost added to their engines -- they don't bleed speed like normal battleships do. It's akin to (but not a copy of) the UFO-style acceleration found on British cruisers and destroyers. However, the premium standards Arizona, West Virginia 1941 and now California, all lack this boost. They decelerate like normal battleships. This means the moment you touch their rudder, they dump their speed faster than a tweaked-out college student having their dorm inspected. The net effect is that though California has a 20.5 knot top speed, she's usually flirting with much less -- as little as 15.3 knots at 4/4 engine settings. Colorado at least manages 19.2 knots under heavy manoeuvres. The horrible fire arcs on California's guns will necessitate more manoeuvring to swing out her guns and then duck back which will only ensure she's stuck on the lower end of this speed. I have no idea why Wargaming didn't provide her with the tech-tree style energy preservation. This would have made her functionally as fast as Nagato under manoeuvres. So you can largely forget about getting anywhere fast. You can forget keeping up with the pace of battle. You can also forget about successfully kiting or disengaging when things turn sour. I think the real unfortunate detriment here is that it makes California more vulnerable to torpedoes. If you're trying to get from A to B as fast as possible, you're not going to want to touch your rudder. That just makes her easy meat for enterprising lolibotes. Ostensibly, California's range is supposed to help her here. She might not be physically present in the heat of combat, but her reach should allow her to at least offer some contribution while she lags way in the back. Summary so far: California's agility is absolutely appalling and worse than it had to be. Still, she's not far removed from Arizona -- like, the differences are barely perceptible. However, the larger map sizes makes this a lot more problematic. Options: Nothing unusual, for good or ill. Firepower: Arizona with longer range, slightly improved damage output but much worse fire arcs. Durability: Comparable durability to Arizona even though she sits a tier higher. Agility: An ever-so-slightly worse Arizona but now deployed on larger maps. Anti-Aircraft Defense Flak Bursts: 5 explosions for 1,400 damage per blast at 3.5km to 5.8km. Long Ranged (up to 5.8km): 137 dps at 75% accuracy Medium Ranged (up to 3.5km): 364 dps at 75% accuracy Short Ranged (up to 2.0km): 490dps at 70% accuracy So here's California's main selling feature. You get tier VIII American battleship AA firepower at tier VII. This is in contrast to Arizona which has like ... no practical AA to speak of. As far as gimmicks go, it's downright laughable in the current meta. This might have meant something back before the CV rework, but it's a joke currently. Before patch 0.8.0, the levels of AA firepower California puts out would have been formidable and worth celebrating. She would have been a meme the way USS Texas used to be down at tier V. Now such AA firepower is merely an inconvenience to CVs. While tier VI carriers have to respect your AA firepower they can still strike you. Furthermore, it's not going to put off a determined tier VIII carrier even for a moment. The best that can be said is that California won't be high on the enemy aircraft's priority list. However, she has enough problems already without considering CV strikes. I've sorted these ships by the formula I like to use (DPS x [range-1km]) to give a better, but not entirely accurate, impression of AA effectiveness -- the logic being that longer range AA is better than shorter range AA. Hood is listed without DFAA active, just know that the numbers shown here jump by 50% when she pulls the trigger. Nothing can touch California, though, which sits smack in the middle of the tier VIII American BB range, rubbing elbows with Alabama, North Carolina and everyone's favourite: Massachusetts. Summary so far: California has absolutely amazing AA levels. She's boasting not only tier VIII AA firepower at tier VII but good tier VIII firepower at tier VII. Unfortunately the state of the CV rework makes AA unrewarding and frankly useless at times no matter how much of it you have. This is a booby prize in the current meta. Options: Nothing unusual, for good or ill. Firepower: Arizona with longer range, slightly improved damage output but much worse fire arcs. Durability: Comparable durability to Arizona even though she sits a tier higher. Agility: An ever-so-slightly worse Arizona but now deployed on larger maps. AA Defense: Excellent and sadly irrelevant. Refrigerator Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 13.5km / 11.79km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 9.69km/ 8.72km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 11.71km California is very sneaky for a tier VII battleship. I wish this could have meant more than it does. This ship isn't likely to sneak up on anyone, mostly because it's patently unable to catch up to anything that doesn't want to be caught. At best, you might be able to setup an ambush and catch someone unawares but that's not likely to happen -- again because of that lack of speed. Ostensibly, this should allow her to disengage more easily by holding fire but let's not kid ourselves into imagining that she can escape pursuit. Without allies to road-block, California will be run down, sneaky or not. The final thing to keep in mind is that because of her long range, every time she pulls the trigger, she rings the dinner bell. This can be especially problematic if you've boosted her range and there are silly things like a bored Musashi or Champagne itching for targets. So California has good concealment! Unfortunately she can't really take advantage as well as another battleship might because of her slowness. Summary so far: California's concealment is meant to be her saving grace. With a base 900m advantage over Arizona, this is supposed to facilitate not only engaging the enemy but escaping from difficult situations. However, without it being paired with improved agility or durability, this bonus is merely nice to have, rather than ship-defining. Options: Nothing unusual, for good or ill. Firepower: Arizona with longer range, slightly improved damage output but much worse fire arcs. Durability: Comparable durability to Arizona even though she sits a tier higher. Agility: An ever-so-slightly worse Arizona but now deployed on larger maps. AA Defense: Excellent and sadly irrelevant. Vision Control: Better than Arizona by a lot, but she isn't able to take ready advantage of it. Summary: California vs Arizona California is a longer ranged Arizona with slightly improved damage output between better AP shells and a faster reload. Her improved dispersion via sigma will only be apparent over the course of multiple games rather than individual matches. She has greatly improved anti-aircraft firepower and she's more stealthy. However, she has very poor gun fire angles, horrible agility and no appreciable gains in defense all while being up-tiered to tier VII. The final difference is cost. Arizona will set you back the equivalent of 6,900 doubloons. California will cost you around 10,000 for a worse experience, tier for tier. It's worth being said: Arizona over-performs at her tier. She is a powerful tier VI battleship, so you might think my comparison unfair. California isn't broken, she's just not over-tuned the way Arizona is. And that's fair to say. However, for a consumer looking for the best bang for their buck, why buy California when Arizona is available? If you had to choose one, Arizona is the better purchase, hands down. What's more, California does not offer anything novel in the way of game play short of having better AA firepower. Are you really inclined to pay to play Arizona with worse matchmaking for the simple sake of being slightly less victimized by aircraft? Arizona is "long ranged" for a tier VI battleship once you install Gun Fire Control System Modification 1, so you largely duplicate California's schtick there too. California plays like Arizona but she plays less comfortably owing to her worse fire arcs and even more sluggish handling. I'm left to wonder what the point of California's design implementation as is. Rather than look for something new or novel, Wargaming played it safe. This might have worked had Arizona not been on offer -- California would have been more rightly compared to New Mexico and her strengths would seem obvious. "Ooh, 1.9 sigma with twelve guns? That's MUCH better than 1.5 sigma on New Mexico!" But again, Arizona is a thing. We already got that game play and at a better price and matchmaking. Hell, if you're a fan of PVE you get an even better deal with most scenarios now being limited to tier VI these days. With Arizona existing, Wargaming should have either retired the Pearl Harbor monument or dredged up something from their box o' gimmicks for California to compensate. California is a ship without game play identity. She is to Arizona what Alabama is to Massachusetts & North Carolina-- entirely forgettable and an unfortunate waste of money for worse game play. California is a beautiful port queen that doesn't live up to her fantastic history. It's such a bloody shame. This screenshot makes me sad. Once upon a time, seeing a ship with this much AA would have made me very excited. Now it's just a reminder of how much potential is wasted in the current meta. Final Evaluation Let's pretend Arizona doesn't exist. Is California worth it? No. No, she isn't. I love my standards -- I love them to death. But playing a standard-type battleship at tier VII or above needs to come with some pretty juicy perks or I'm not biting. The issue is their inflexibility. Once you start stacking on any other flaws and they just become unpalatable -- and California's gun handling and reload are some pretty wonky flaws, especially when paired with her slow speed. And she gains naught for these handicaps. The perks they gave her to compensate, namely good AA, nice range, good concealment and more accurate guns, don't cut the mustard for me. This is largely owing to what should be her main selling feature being laughable. Phenomenal AA power is watered down more heavily than American Lite Beer. Like American Lite Beer, the CV rework has a lot to answer for. It should be hella tasty and refreshing. Instead, it's so much thinned out swill with a rancid aftertaste, leaving you to wonder what could have been. California isn't fun to play and that's her greatest crime. If she can't be powerful, she needs to be interesting and she fails at that utterly. I'll play a shoddy ship back to back for hundreds of games provided she's fun (I've done it too -- I loved Atlanta before Surveillance Radar was a thing). I don't want to touch California. I'm constantly fighting with her rudder or her guns and she has nothing I value to compensate for it. Hard pass, ladies and gentlemen. California is a hard pass. Conclusion I was going to take a break after Siegfried and Agir's review was published. However, California's an important release and, more pressingly, I don't feel she's a good ship. Had she been strong, I think I could have just sat aside and let people discover that for themselves. But seeing how she was being released reminded me of why I write these reviews in the first place: To protect other players from making bad purchases. Wargaming burned me once too often in World of Tanks. If I can help others avoid that, I will. Now that said, with this high-profile release covered and my feels (hopefully) clearly broadcast, I'm taking some much needed time off.
  3. Pretty straight forward: Had to yank my NC Captain to move to USN CL line. I don't drive NC enough to want to grind another Captain for her. I have 19 point DM and Monty Captains ready, which T8 USN premium BB should I get to replace NC? What sucks is that NC is the better ship, right?
  4. TLDR at the end :) After taking a good look at Queen Elizabeth's bow armor in the client and external websites, I noticed a good section of 104 mm bow armor quite near up front. Theoretically, if you could angle and bounce shells with the 104 mm section, you'll be pretty much be able to tank any BB ap for a good amount of time. To test this, I tried taking out my QE out for a spin in the training room against a Kremlin (LOL). The Kremlin has 457 mm shells that can overmatch QE's external plating of 26 mm but definitely not the 104 mm section. In the training room, I discovered that I managed to bounce around half of his AP. Most of the AP that bounced was on the main belt armor near the center of the ship. There were several occasions where the AP bounced when it hit the bow but most of the them resulted in regular penetrations. There was one citadel hit during the test but that was when I overturned and pointed my bow straight on when the AP hit. As the test progressed, I took less penetration damage to my bow due to damage saturation mechanics. I ended up taking a total of 93k damage after using 5 heals. Most of the damage was fire damage from his secondaries and the regular pens from his AP. I took 88 hits from his AP shells, with the damage averaging less than 1k per shell. I did get my main turret disabled a few times as a result of a penetration hitting the turret barbette area. After the test, I took a closer look in the armor viewer and made some notes. There are two sections to the bow armor I circled and examined. Both of them are 104 mm and located at the waterline. So although you may be technically angled, a shell could pass above the 104 mm section and deal damage. Section A (Red) This section of bow armor cannot bounce BB shells if you angle properly because shells will probably pen this area and hit something else. This means that this section of armor will not protect you from AP shells if you are bow on to an enemy BB. I noted in green arrows the possible path an AP shell could go. If an AP shell hit the bow head on, it could very well hit the citadel (the top boxy thing I outlined in red). Even though this section of armor will be penned most of the time, if you angle you reduce the probability of an AP shell hitting your citadel. I noted that approximately from 0-25 degrees from the centerline of the bow, the path of the AP shell will hit the citadel. Beyond that, it will miss the citadel. This is assuming that the AP shell hits section A of the armor and penetrates. Section B (Blue) This section of bow armor is actually useful. Since it extends a significant amount towards the bow, you find that you get overmatched less often than most battleships with fragile bows. The armor is at such an angle that it will bounce shells up to 15 degrees off the centerline of the bow. Once you go past 15 degrees, shells will start penning that section of armor. However there is a slight overlap in angling between section A and B. If you angle beyond 25 degrees, any shell that strikes section A will miss the citadel. However with the same angling, any shell that strikes section B of the armor will have a good chance of hitting your citadel. Considering that section B of the armor covers a significant amount of the bow, it is better to angle 15 degrees from the centerline of the bow to minimize getting citadeled. TLDR: Queen Elizabeth has a section of 104 mm bow armor that can technically bounce any AP shell in the game. This armor can be abused and you can tank a Yamato in this thing (not that she would ever meet one) There is no specific angle the Queen Elizabeth can take while approaching bow on without a chance of getting overmatched and citadelled. If you angle around 15 degrees from the center of the bow, you make it darn hard for other ships to overmatch your bow. Even though it is possible to be overmatched at this angle, it is very hard for enemy ships to do so and hit your citadel consistently I tried doing this in Training Room and managed to sink a Yamato while bouncing his AP on that 104 mm section. I simply angled 15 degrees and bounced his AP which gave me time to slowly chip away the Yamato's hp and eventually sink him. I'm not an expert at this kind of stuff so if something is up feel free to correct me :)
  5. Longtime player, somewhat new forum poster. Forgive me for being bad at formatting. This is essentially going to be a giant essay. I'll try to space it out to be easier on the eyes. The Izumo. No matter what people think of her, she is well known. Especially by those who've played her. Izumo is notorious as the insurmountable last hurdle to getting the Yamato. But for a lot of people the grind is anything but smooth. I want to explore this more and figure out why exactly the attitude towards this ship is the way it is. In my experience when I first grinded her, Izumo was indeed a pain. But way back then I was a terrible player in general. I was bad at everything and Izumo was punishing my mistakes even more than usual. But let's for a moment assume that most people who personally grinded Izumo were actually competent at that stage of their play history, unlike me. Still, why does the ship get so much hate? Is it all hearsay and bad reputation or is she really a bad ship, and if people are doing bad in her, why is that and how can they fix this? So Let's get down to business(to defeat the Huns) And to take a look at Izumo's glaring weaknesses. Her stock form is atrocious, ugliness aside(I actually like the C hull's look a lot), you are going to have a rough time with Izumo's initial stats. Let's go down the line. HP: 76,500. Starting off you have more HP than Iowa and Friedrich, But they beat you once out of stock. Good news is you beat Lion.... Speed: 27.1 Kts. You start off around the same as the other T IX BB's but you stay the slowest out of stock. Rudder Shift: 26 seconds. Every BB at this tier starts out equally as bad, but Izumo is still the worst. Out of stock is a bit more playable but the competition still leaves much to be desired. Especially since other BB's can afford rudder shift upgrades where Izumo is forced to use damage control for reasons that will be addressed. Concealment: 19.26 Km Absolutely atrocious. The worst stock value in the game. Now here is possibly her biggest weakness of all. She is covered in 32 mm plating from bow to stern and has a wide open deck. This means that any cruiser or RN BB will see you as food and boy will they feast. Not only from fires but from HE pen as well. Your only chance of protection is if shells hit your turrets. Which isn't desirable, as they are all in one spot and if they are knocked out you lose a lot of firepower. The above alone is enough to easily make people hate their experience and disown the Izumo for good. Not to mention in updates past she had absolutely unusable guns as well. Now Lets focus on what the Izumo does well. Which is surprisingly a lot of things. First Izumo has very good guns. These things hit hard, and are reasonably accurate. Izumo's guns tend to hit for high damage very consistently from steep angles sometimes. But it's her turret traverse that is her sweet spot. Compared to Yamato, and some of the other battleships in her tier Izumo has very fast turning turrets. Stock, they turn 180* in 40 seconds flat. With Expert Marksman, this goes down even further to 34.6. With Main Battery mod 2 even further to 30.6. Additionally you can run MBM 2 and 3 simultaneously to enjoy a 27 second reload and 34.6 traverse. In short these are very responsive guns that unlike their more responsive German competition, are very accurate. Even sans the aiming systems upgrade. This is a far cry from Yamato's turret ergonomics, which in my opinion are Yamato's biggest weakness. Personally I think these responsive turrets make up for the awkward no. 3 Derp turret, or at least make them in line with other 3 turret battleships that can enjoy firing directly to the rear. Now her outer Armor scheme is very bad but her internal armor scheme is pretty good. A near submerged citadel with a nice beefy belt covering it. Additionally, similar to Amagi, Izumo also has a nice thick rear armor belt. This may not see much use, but it is interesting nontheless. Now taking all this into account, let's try to assess whether or not the Izumo is really a bad ship or not. Her atrocious concealment can be brought down to a playable amount somewhere around 14 Km. (forgive me as I don't have a fully specced captain for her at the moment.) This mitigates one of her worst weaknesses to a good enough level that lets a skilled player position themselves into a good place to stay alive and be effective. In fact some unicum Youtubers recommend using hard cover in Izumo as much as possible. Damage control 1 and 2 is absolutely required to make this ship be playable, and if you have the spare points, Basics of Survivability and India Yankee flags will bring fires down to a very manageable level. This doesn't fully solve the weakness against HE, but in a big ship like this. These modifiers will help a lot. You could go a step further and take Fire Prevention, but unless you have an uber captain I would take Concealment Expert over this, given the choice. So between fire extinguishing modifiers and good positioning, a lot of Izumo's worst weaknesses can be patched up. In my opinion the strengths above will shine through the best this way. Which makes her an absolutely acceptable Tier IX Battleship. Now by no means is she the best battleship or even Tier IX battleship, but I see no reason why Izumo isn't a perfectly acceptable grind to Yamato. Besides, in the current meta battleships carry a lot of weight. Izumo has a bit of a higher skill floor to do acceptable in her, but played right can do her job. Speaking of her playstyle, I find Izumo to have an interesting one. Basically you need to hang in the back or behind hard cover preferably and take potshots at people. Once the battle reaches a certain point you can throw your weight around and help mop up and carry the team to a victory. Other ships like Kurfurst are better at this, but Izumo does just fine with it. And that's it really. My final thoughts on Izumo, that she's fine exactly where she is right now. She doesn't need buffed or nerfed or replaced. She is tough to play, but that doesn't mean she is bad. I think she does her job fine as the final gatekeeper to Yamato. The Wiki here also brings up an interesting thing. She essentially can outdo Friedrich at range, and beat Iowa in a brawl. So I think she has a good place in the meta. Here are some captains builds at different stages that I think will help this ship a lot. Especially for anyone new to the ship or struggling with it. This is what I would recommend a new player try to use first on their Izumo also taking into account future Yamato play. It's nothing special really. Most Battleships need these core skills. I assume by tier IX a player would have at least 10 points. To a player who has a spare captain with a decent amount of points wanting to use Izumo, I would use this. The Basics of Survivability and High Alert will be very useful for keeping this ship alive especially with damage control and India Yankee. If you, like me, have a soft spot for underdog ships performing their best, then these 19 point builds will push Izumo to it's maximum usability. The first one uses Jack of all trades to push that repair cooldown even further as well as your heal too which can be beneficial. And uses Adrenaline rush to capitalize on Izumo's low reload (assuming you went with MBM 3) and the idea that shes going to take damage in every match, so might as well benefit from it. DISCLAIMER for those who want to say "your stats are garbage therefore your words have no weight." Fair enough My stats are bad. Most of them accumulated during my awkward player phase where I did not care one bit about improving myself. This isn't true now, but my stats are still bad. However they are increasing, which means I am improving. It just takes time. Have a nice day, and thanks for reading.
  6. Title about sums it up. Recently, I finally completed the Captain Bad Advice collection and as such, I now have a 10 point RN captain sitting in my port, waiting for a ship. However, that's the rub: I don't have a ship to put her on and I don't know what to choose. Currently, I have four RN ships in my fleet: HMS Exeter, HMS Warspite, HMS Implacable, and HMS Indomitable, all of which I already have 10+ point captains for. As for the new ship, since I'm torn on what to pick, so I've decided, in a mild twist of irony, to turn the mic over to the rest of you in hopes of getting some good advice. What do you guys think? Should I pick up one of the RN cruiser lines? Should I complete the Fleet Air Arm trifecta and buy the Ark Royal? Perhaps I should start my way down the RN DD line, or restart the RN BB line, or choose between London, Vanguard, Hood, and HMS Dreadnought for another premium? Feel free to let me know if you so choose. Thank you in advance to anyone who offers any advice. Sincerely, 1Sherman. *Update: Bought myself a Fiji based on your advice. If 108k damage, two kills, and the near single-handed fighting off of a Chapayev, an Atago, a Siegfried, and an FDG one after the other is any indication, I might just have to listen to you guys more often.
  7. ...and where can i get one? (this is a footnote from the devblog about the us line split.)
  8. metus_regem

    Help picking a BB line

    Greetings, thank you for taking the time to look at this... I'm trying to figure out the right BB line for me to go down, I've got USN/KM/RN BB's upto T4/5, but I'm trying to figure out what line I really want to invest in, I don't mind starting a new tech line if that helps. Right now my favorite ship to play is the Graf Spee, I don't mind the lower speed of her and I love her hitting power (ability to punch above her weight class), so I guess what I'm asking is, is there a line that can give me a similar feel (between T1-10, not just T10) to the Graf Spee all the way up the line?
  9. Xero_Snake

    What is Poltava?

    Whilst Poltava is, in fact, the Type "B" light battleship project in design, Poltava is actually based on one of a few designs representing the Type "B" project. More specifically, Poltava is, in actuality, the Project 64 light battleship. Before Pr. 64, there was the Pr. 25 - predecessor of Pr. 64. For the light battleship project itself, Type “B” was meant to be a support for the heavier Type “A” battleship, sometimes it was considered in the same league as the battlecruiser concept – their “heavy cruiser”, for the lack of better term. From my Soviet Premium Ships wish-list thread: https://forum.worldofwarships.com/topic/108636-soviet-vmf-premium-collection-precolle-part-2/ Draft technical data specs & parameters (TTZ) of Project Type "B": Original TTZ of Pr. 64: From my perspective, Pr. 64 - Poltava is supposed to play like a "cruiser killer"-type battlecruiser like the French Dunkerque & the German Scharnhorst. Overall performances should be, more or less, comparable to those two aforementioned "oddball" BBs. Otherwise, play like how you played battecruiser Izmail, as your closest comparison you can come across with. Don't expect Poltava to be like of Sinop on the same tier, but at least she represents a more modern & improved version of Izmail on contemporary superfiring A-B-X BB design, while being on the same league as Scharnhorst.
  10. I just got back from playing my first sub battle and, suffice to say, I had fun. I didn't kill a sub, but I did have an 84k damage victory in my Perth which I was very proud of. That, however, is beside the point. The point is the ships that I saw some people bringing out. On both sides, I saw people going out in cruisers that can't use depth charges, such as the Aoba, Devonshire, Pensacola, La Galissonniere, and Trento, as well as BBs like the Fuso and Bayern and CVs like the Ranger and Ryujo. LIkewise, while I do have a decent selection of ships that can use depth charges (Anshan, Perth, T-61, Aigle), I have far more tier 6 ships that can't (Arizona, Warspite, Furious, Molotov, Graf Spee, Dunkerque, Huanghe, Duca D'aosta) and I can't help but wonder what the point of using any of them are. Without depth charges, or even Hydro in some cases, it seems like those ships would just be sitting ducks for subs, dependent on ever-undependable teammates to protect them. Of course, that's just my observation, so I now turn the mic over to you guys: Do you know what the point is to playing a ship in Sub Battles that can't use depth charges? I look forward to seeing what you all have to say. Sincerely, 1Sherman.
  11. hammer_1

    USN Radar

    Since by tier 8 ALL us BBs had radar, not to mention cruisers, it offends me that my late tier US BB which has radar on its game model but NONE in game. For reference, my late father in law was a radar technician assigned to a Liberty (cargo) ship in WW2. My father was a radar operator on a US Heavy Cruiser. Why is it not at least an option to equip ALL tier 8 and above BBs, and CAs with radar? Having a tier X USN BB with its radar screen twirling, but no Radar is noxious. Vote your opinion Thanks
  12. I picked up the Alsace a week or so and I'm sincerely asking for help. 27 battles with it so far and I cannot get any spark going. Every fight feels like an ordeal. Does that ever happen to you guys with new ships? I'm not the best player. nor the most experienced (this is my first IX), but I'm not totally inept. I bought Alsace the moment I hung up 201k with the Richelieu, and have been 100% confounded, humbled and frustrated by it ever since. I rush in... I get torched. I hang back... I can't hit a goddamned thing. I try to be strategic, and eat 20k salvo after salvo. I've got the B hull, the longer range arty, and have tried two different setups for my 18-pt captain (survival, then secondary build). I know they recently nerfed the Alsace, but I had such an amazing time with the rest of the French BB line that I couldn't resist... 23 million credits later and I'm cursing myself. Alsace, so far, is my lowest K/D out of 15 battleships I've tried. It's abysmal. It's even worse than the Tier IIIs that I first fumbled around with: Any pointers? What am I missing? Am I washed up? I would greatly appreciate any advice, tactics, recommendations, etc. that you have. -Jake
  13. ilikeboats_with_steam123

    anchors in WOWS

    So, if you have seen Battleship 2012, or at least seen that clip, you will know that the USS Missouri drifted using the anchor. I always wondered if anchors could be used as a consumable while you need to retreat as a BB. It would make a cool consumable and can make retreating much easier. However, it wouldn't be realistic, and if the draft (red part) gets exposed, it will give out free citadels.
  14. The other day someone came into our discord (o7 discord) and was asking for advice about the upcoming clan battle season. He said his clan leaders were going to use a battleship and that he believed they would be at a disadvantage if they were not using a carrier. Despite multiple high end clans giving him reason after reason why a carrier is essentially required this season, his clan leaders wouldn't budge and insisted on using a battleship over a carrier. I'm not saying it's impossible, but i believe that if 2 equally skilled clans faced each other and one had a carrier while the other had a battleship, the one with a carrier would win the vast majority of the time (+80%). I am genuinely curious if anyone can provide solid reasoning on why you would bring a battleship over a carrier (if both are available) for clan battles?
  15. Dogget

    Vive l'Alsace

    Has anyone run both ships and preferred the Alsace? I'm loving the Alsace and notice the wider dispersion, fewer guns, etc., of the Republique? My very first salvo when I got it and took her out, early, deleted a cruiser. 3 salvos (and two cits) later, down went a BB. My next shot took out another cruiser! Not my usual production. That sequence was unusual, but my first two games with her were my highest two damage totals ever. Blah, blah,blah. Anyone regret moving up to T10? Anyone go back? Is the Republique all that AND MORE? Merci.
  16. with a big hat-tip to the other players on their suggestions. Similar to Vibirus Unitis, (good but not crazy good accuracy, low detection for a BB, slightly lower HP pool, maybe add a better than average heal and good damage control at tier 6+ to buff) but with vastly improved AA above tier 5. More sneaky sniper than muh brawler with decent HE and AP damage output at medium and long-range because of more guns per ton than other BBs in tier. Higher tiers (7 and up) with above average speed, tier 6 and below average to below average speed. Tier 3 Spanish dreadnought Espana https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_battleship_España Tier 4 SMS Tegetthoff https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_Tegetthoff_(1912) Tier 5 Spanish dreadnought Reina Victoria Eugenia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reina_Victoria_Eugenia-class_battleship Tier 6 SMS Monarch https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ersatz_Monarch-class_battleship Tier 7 Turkish dreadnought Reşadiye https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Erin upgraded for WW2 service. Tier 8 Spanish battleship Jaime I https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Littorio-class_battleship with slimmed-down stats to fit into the overall play style of the line. Tier 9 Turkish dreadnought Sultan Osman I https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Agincourt_(1913) with extensive upgrades for WW2 era service, but you could also use this design as the basis for a fictional up-gunned Agincourt successor of 1920s-1930s standards. Tier 10 'Greek battleship Vasiliefs Nikephoros Fokas' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Dakota-class_battleship_(1939) with nerfed secondaries, lower detection, no American super-heavy AP, and a low for tier HP pool. If Wargaming decides to use the Turkish ships in the Pan-Asian tech tree instead of pan-European, replace Resadiye with Vasilefs Konstantinos (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bretagne-class_battleship with similar upgrades to the Bretagne's upgraded module as stock) at Tier 7, and maybe an upgraded version of the Littorio design for Spanish service replacing the Sultan Osman I (or up-gunned successor) at tier 9.
  17. Saw a German(I think) premium a week ago, couldn't find anything through using a search engine or browsing the WOWS wiki. It's either a Cruiser or a BB. Name ingame was displayed as A. Marke or E. Merke or something like that, and I think it was German from the name. Yes I know this is pretty vague, that's exactly why I am bringing it to the forum. Anyone know what it is? I just want to be able to check out the stats and description.
  18. This is what to look forward too in 2020... Let me set the stage, In a Flint finding my favorite Wifu rock in the map so that I can rein fire in domination mode... B cap is being rushed by the reds, only 2 ships at A cap so I aim for the middle of my rocky Wifu... I got spotted from B Next thing I know, half my HP is gone... Its not from the reds at B (they have a clear angle to my citadel). It was a BB from behind the rock.... Out of my range but yet easy for him to take half my HP.. As a narrow target as I was (facing north and south bow on at the time), I was shocked but not surprised.. AP from BBs has gotten to easy to citadel light cruisers even from bow on... Due to these circumstances, I dont blame if my follow cruisers dont want to play Domination mode properly... A BB nails 3 shots on a bow on Light cruiser just getting into position and its port... It is what it is, the game is centered on BBs/guns and rockets for 2020. I'll adapt (pics below). I would include the replay but I after 30min of searching in the WOWS drives.. I haven't found it
  19. It would be great to have another German BB line buff along the lines of fire resistance. German BBs are effective when up close but it's hard to push up with confidence when HE spam is setting you ablaze every 5 seconds. Or maybe this could open up the possibility of a German-exclusive consumable which makes you resistant to HE fire for a period of time. Thoughts?
  20. All I got to say is, if a torp ship or a Hakuyru did what the this BB final battle results did... The forums would be asking for Torp/CV torp nerfs tonight... Instead, its a BB with OP brainless secondaries... So its ok...
  21. creo que seria buena idea arreglar el asunto de los acorazados, con tier 10 usando un acorazado no puedes defenderte en contra de un solo crusero, me enfrente a un henry y fue imposible defenderme, me incendio y rapidamente perdi el 70 % de mis puntos de vida y a el mis disparos le causaban unos miseros 1000 puntos de daños o incluso no daba ningun daño, al final me elimino y termino con un 95 % de sus puntos de vida y por su puesto ami me elimino practicamente sin darle ninguna batalla, mi recarga lenta y cuando pegaba 0 daño causado, deben de darle una manera de defenderse contra los cruseros a los acorzados, es el barco mas abandonado los dd tienen torpedos los cruseros un alto dpm y los acorzadaos a parte de lentos sus tiros no causan ningun daño
  22. SweetBabyRuth

    Please Create alternative US BB line

    Please world of warship developers, create an alternative line for US battleships. I know that wargaming likes making money, but y'all keep releasing "so-so" US BBs that people aren't super excited about. You have plenty of content to use, from the Tennessee class BBs to the South Dakota class. And even more of the Iowa class. Instead of putting the Ohio in the research bureau, your should make her the top tier of the alternative line. I know this seems like complaining but the community has wanted this for a very long time. More than they wanted West Virginia and more than they want California. And yes, even more than they want to regrind for an Ohio. Stop releasing premiums and make an alternative line for US BBs.
  23. Been back and forth on this the last few days, BB's aren't normally my area of expertise but after seeing Zoup's more recent video on burnout with this game, and a mention that somewhere in here subs are happening because "they are running out of content" well, I've said to hell with it and might as well give it a shot. Of late such suggestions I see "send a support ticket" said but even if I were to go that route - rather have some player feedback and all first because it would be the one time something I say makes it in to the game and creates yet another firestorm. That and why waste time if absolutely 0 interest. Granted it may already be low seeing as they've given us half a line in about a year or two, plus duplicates at tiers of USN BB's already. (Side note: Besides this proposal, even putting the odd tiers back in CV's there's enough for an additional full line of the existing 3 nations that have them, plus Germany, France, Italy and Russia for 7 lines, pretty sure enough USN DD's to make a branch if not a second line, generally seems that Commonwealth and the Dutch can field enough, maybe with a little creativity needed, a line of DD's and CL/A each, USN, Germany, UK, IJN and Russia all seem to have enough to make full submarine lines, not this evens only nonsense, the quick glance I took USN may have enough classes for 2, and that right there is 17 lines, 18 with USN BB split, 19 is USN has enough for 2 Sub lines, and not even counting Italian BB's, the evens only CVE/L/M lines that USN, IJN, and UK can field, and any other one I don't know or have thought about that can exist. If more than a new line every quarter for 5 years more isn't enough material, there is something very wrong and I'm king of Ireland and the Americas.) Intro and Tangent out of the way - lets start with what I'm thinking for "Flavour" and all. As it stands, the current USN line has always been more the "AA" boats with solid medium range performance and what not, with Germany and IJN filling close and long respectively. And I feel like Mass added to the game and the capabilities or Georgia, possibly Ohio a different kind of short range menace could be interesting. As it is German BB's are decently armoured, great close in, not as much at range and a carelessly tossed matched that just got put out lights them on fire. Really, they tend to be more like even heavier cruisers in a lot of ways, especially the faster ones. So especially given the way USN BB's are - I'm thinking of heavy brick walls that close in on you slowly like a horror movie monster. Something that will be lurking around a corner, may not out run you but just drive you away or go till you run out out of running room or some kind of dead in, maybe even bait them in to attacking at their own peril. How best to achieve this in the current meta, pending any changes to how HE, IFHE, and fires work? Well I have a couple ideas. Reduce DCP to 100/60 seconds for the consumable (just 60 if they make it that the default is the premium version) Repair Party - This one is going to have a few tweaks proposed. First things first the easy one is that it gets the "zombie" type repair party that Salem, Nelson and other UK ships enjoy in terms of how much HP it can repair. However I would also tweak it to have a slightly faster CD (110/70 if not the same 100/60 as repair party) and change how much overpen and regular pen damage can be repaired to 80% or higher (instead of the 50% standard or the 60% British ships have). Reduce the %damage taken by these BB's when a fire is started Some combination of any of these. Now having said number 2 in particular - lets be real here for a second. 127 mm gun with the 1/6 rule punches through 21 mm of armour no matter what, 27 mm with IFHE, and 152 mm does the same to 25 mm normal, and 32 mm with IFHE - no deflection, richochet, or anything just straight goes through. As I recall, through tier 5 most BB's have 19 mm or armour, tier 6-7 maybe has 25, and then 8+ is 32 mm or armour that covers a good portion or most of the ship. BB HE well.... that always just pend a ton anyway. And this isn't even getting in to other guns with 1/4 pen that can auto punch armour. Stack that with fires that eat away 18% of your health, damage can add up fast given volume of fire. Tier 7 and below, were talking ships that go 21 knots, above that, the fastest ship is maybe the tier 8 at 27.5-28 knots, the two after it 23-25 knots, tops - even the other BB's will generally be out running these things. USN BB's are pretty solid as is at deflecting AP, adding in better resistance to HE spam from all sources would toughen it up further. Ideally this would create a playstyle that instead of more flanking type brawlers like Germany's or even the French ones to a degree, while slow and trading some long range main battery performance these with their longer range, accurate if at times small secondaries and high durability would almost make them break through ships. If Germany is a regular one handed sword, France is a Rapier - then these are battering rams meant to take a cap point or soak damage in front of a team that sticks behind them. Obviously it still has limitations, unless it's a 6 UK cruisers with AP only it can bounce all day combined fire and torps are still gonna wear it down, just maybe not quite as fast. Now as far as ship choices, most of these should be obvious but off chance anyone doesn't - Tier 3 - Deleware Main Battery - 5x2 305 mm guns Secondary Battery - 14x1 127/50 guns, range 5 km AA - 8x1 76/50 mark 10 guns Speed - 21 knots Tier 3 isn't known for the greatest of AA, but if need be, a few MG's wouldn't be too bad. Tier 4 - Florida Main Battery - 5x2 305 mm guns Secondary Battery - 12x1 127/51 guns 5.5 km AA - 8x1 76/50 guns Speed - 21 knots Again, one we maybe need to add a couple machine guns to. Tier 5 - Nevada Main Battery - 10x 356 mm guns (2x3 and 2x2) Secondary Battery - 8x2 127/38 guns, range 6 km AA - 8x2 127/38, 32-40x 40 mm (8x4 or 10x4), 16-45 20 mm guns (single mounts on lower end, double and single on higher end) Speed - 20.5-21 knots The first of the ships everyone is really looking for likely, and I'll talk about the numbers that likely have people scratching their head at the bottom. Tier 6 - Pennsylvania Main Battery - 4x3 356 mm guns Secondary Battery - 8x2 127/38 guns, range 6.5 km AA - 8x2 127/38, 10x4 and 1x2 40/60, 22x2 and 27x1 20/70, 9x1 .50 cals (because it had them in 1945 and why not) Speed - 21 knots Personally the one I want most, especially after playing Arizona - just this one will have so much more AA, and secondaries. Seems like a lot of AA, but 42 barrels of 40 mm and 71 of 20 mm, 1/3 of that in single mounts, with a couple of maybe kept for the lols 50's - but the ships after have potential for more and Iowa as it is uses a 1951 upgrade to Mo that gives it 76 40 mm barrels and 64 20 mm ones with a bonus pair of 127/38 double turrets. Tier 7 - Tennessee Main Battery - 4x3 356 mm guns Secondary Battery - 8x2 127/38 guns, range 7 km. AA - 8x2 127/38, (x)x4 40 mm, x number 20 mm Speed - 21 knots So, this one, at the moment not sure exactly what to do with her 40 and 20 mm outfits. On the one hand like others there is just historical, though she'd have less AA than Pennsylvania, but California has it's setup of 14x4 40 mm and 40x2 20 mm guns - that would give Ten an edge over PA but do we want to straight copy the AA? Or maybe boost it a tad higher than Cali? Not 100% sure where to go at the moment. Tier 8 - South Dakota (1939) Main Battery - 3x3 406 mm guns Secondary Battery - 8x2 127/38 guns 7.5 km AA - 8x2 127/38, 17x4 40 mm guns, 77x1 20 mm guns Speed - 27.5 knots Another one that, especially depending on Tennessee's final numbers may require a bit of fudging on AA numbers, though could also be a case that, as it had the singles replaced by doubles (only 16 so maybe fudging numbers again) perhaps despite being fewer in number they have higher DPS over the singles? Tier 9 - SD 20/39 hybrid (Working name "Connecticut Class") Main Battery - 3x3 406 mm guns Secondary Battery - 8x2 152/47 guns 7.5 km AA - 8x2 152/47, ~80 40 mm guns and ~54-60 20 mm guns Speed - 23-25 knots I call it a hybrid because in my head it kinda takes elements of the 2 designs and blends in to one. 3 turrets like the 39, 6 inch secondaries, albeit updated to the 152/47's on Worcester, from the 20, with the hull likely having some elements of the two. Tier 3 - SD 20 updated (Working name "Virginia Class") Main Battery - 4x3 406 mm guns Secondary Battery - 8x2 152/47, 4-6x2 127/38 guns, range 7.7-8 km AA - 8x2 152 mm guns, 4-6x 127 mm guns, 15x4 40 mm, 20x2 20 mm. Speed - 23 knots Kind of the reverse of GK on secondaries (having more 152's than 127's) but unlike GK the 152's are also AA guns. Which given it has 16x 152 mm AA guns and 8-12 127mm AA guns why I toned down the medium/short range a bit. I kinda decided to update the class a bit seeing as the 16x1 case mate guns would be hilariously outdated and all at these higher tiers, so an update to instead use the DP 6 inch guns seemed like a good idea, the couple extra 5 inches are to mix it up, make it a tad more unique and again, something I thought might be good. The reason I did it here instead of this more intact at 9 and screw around with the fake is that I'm not sure how a tier 9 ship would do with 4x3 406 mm turrets. In terms that it could do to well or be nerfed a bit much to fit there and not just kinda wreck things - though I suppose if put at 9 it'd be like having a Montana to fight Musashi. I think in general the design deserves a place, but was always gonna need some form of tweaking. But if Wargaming thinks that a tier 9 can be put fairly with 4x3 406's, fair enough put this at 9 with maybe just the 6x2 instead of 16x1 6" guns and put the fake t the top with 4x3 turrets instead of 3x3with this secondary/AA configuration. Unless we wanna move the fake here with 3x3 18 inch guns, that could be hilarious. Now, once we get to Nevada on, I'm sure at least a few, especially my fellow CV players, want to know "What the are you thinking with those AA numbers!?". Well, Wargaming has said that, after years, they want to close the gap between tiers of AA, and within the same tier. At which point id were going to have less of a gap between what an Iowa and a Colorado can do - then we might as well be using the later outfitting's of ships with AA that may not have been as great as newer ships but was closer anyway. Personally feel we should see Kongo in her 44 outfit, Colorado brought up to her changes or at least Maryland's, etc, but that takes time and some heavy model changes in some cases, so can wait, but new ships should have less an issue. Anyway, end of the wall with my rough draft of an idea and concept for a USN BB split.. with a couple detours. Sorry if it's confusing or loops about too much, admittedly have barely slept in about 3 days so, running on vapors. Figured I'd toss it out there. People like it well enough and all, great, and if they want I'll even take a crack at more detailed stats write ups for the ships (save maybe AA until we know what the hell is happening with the possible change back to overlapping AA and all). If not, well, not the first time. And to anyone wondering why I don't just use Lexington - they straight up don't have the armour and would be a weird jump in most any spot. WV 41 is at tier 6 with similar funs so maybe Lex BC's could go there to hunt Kongo's and the like they were kinda meant to, or tier 7. But most likely a premium.
  24. Looking for suggestions on the first 4 point skill for French BB's. I can change later, so for now I'm looking for advice for probably tiers 4-7. I understand the secondaries are nice, but for the lower tiers as I gain some experience I think I prefer a safety approach playing at some range. So thinking concealment for the first 4 pointer. However the rental Dunkurque I'm starting the Captain with seems to catch fire more than other BB's I've played so I wonder about Fire Prevention too. I'll probably add AFT at tier 8 and up. Thanks
  25. So I'm sure most, if not everyone, saw that Wargaming was looking to make some changes to IFHE, HE and plating. This has been an issue for a long time - BB's, HE, and IFHE. So this one is going to be part history lesson, part explainer, and part "how can we fix it". There's a lot of text, basically a wall, you have been warned. I: HE vs BB's back in the day - When the game first launched and sometime after - there was no IFHE, just HE. The point of HE was really for thin skinned targets like DD's, maybe some cruisers, and setting a BB on fire. Though at low tiers some HE could pen more than the BB superstructure. And while there was frustration at low tiers with fires being set, high tier had a very different problem - inconsistency of fires and how outmatched anything but a 203 mm cruiser was against a BB other than another BB, and even then 203's had some issues. Pen on a 5 inch gun HE round is 21.1 mm, 152 is 25.3. This meant bow on, high tier BB's and some cruisers were heavily immune to damage - AP would richochet or shatter, HE unless you caught the superstructure would shatter, and you had to hope on fires. Part of why fire damage was so high. This created an issue in that BB's and some heavy cruisers were likely a bit tougher than they should be to take down because fires were so horribly inconsistent for damage. So something had to be done to redress this right? II: IFHE and the rise of 152 mm cruisers - Damage was inconsistent, so the solution to Wargaming seemed simple - make it more consistent. Thus was IFHE born. And while it has seen tweaks to fire chance, early on it overly punished DD's that took it, and barely punished cruisers by comparison. DD's or any ship with 127 mm guns gained the ability to punch through 27 mm of armour - basically anything but the layer that covered tier 8+ BB's. 152-155mm guns however - they reached the magic number to pen 32 mm armour - what covers the bulk of BB's. Combined with the fire chances they maintained, especially with DE and flags - it was a perfect storm. DD's while potentially strong in low tiers now still lacked punch and had limits on what they penned, what had kept 203 mm cruisers in check, save the likes of Des, was Rof - but the light cruisers had the perfect combination of Alpha, Rate of Fire, and penetration to become monsters eating ships alive. Ships putting out 108 rounds a minute that were straight pass/fail, usually pass, vs most of a ships protection with 726 damage per hit. even if 3 of 12 is all that penetrated, that's 19,602 damage in 1 minute without setting a fire. Any better accuracy, or more Rate of Fire, and numbers really start to add up. Add in the arcs some have that allow them to fire from behind an island 100% safe, it now swung the other way. BB's, meant to be tanks and soak damage, were now ripped to shreds especially if more than one focused on them. Knowing the worst offenders had short range caused BB's to start playing further back, and helped start the "camp meta" of BB's terrified to go forward because even if a DD couldn't get them, they may have 2-3k or more stripped salvo after salvo that they couldn't return fire against and couldn't get away from fast enough. DD's, Cruisers, and now even CV's have had fire duration and damage lowered - BB's have not. Which leads us to - III: The Problem - The problem is really simple, math and timing. Now, most defenders would by now be saying "But Ghost, fires are 100% repairable". Yes well - what does that mean. What this actually means is that - if you have the means to repair all the fire damage you took - you can in fact repair it all. And that's part of the rub - there's a good chance you don't, and heres where the math comes in, as well as timing and other mechanics. With no modifiers at all - 1 fire on a BB does 18% hp damage, as well as large cruisers - a normal repair party (not UK style zombie heal) repairs 14% HP. Now - lets take another WG idea which is to just make premium consumables the default, and assume that it will keep the same CD and number of charges. On an NC as an example that's 4 charges, that last 28 seconds on an 80 second cooldown. 4 fires will do 72% hp damage if allowed to burn, or forced to, whereas the repair parties will only make up 56% of the hp - even with a 5th, you don't quite make it up. Now remember that the repair party takes time, and doesn't start to reset till after it's finished. So that's 28 seconds up, 80 down, 28, 80, 28, 80, 28. To use all 4 on that NC would take almost 6 minutes of taking 0 damage to get back all you can with no issues, a lot when your average match is likely 10-15 minutes. "Buuuut Ghost - there are things to change fire damage and all" - true. There are of course signal flags that reduce burn time and increase amount repaired, these two alone make it closer to 1 fire = 1 repair. But that still takes time and there is a key issue - you have to have those flags. 1 requires that you take 120% HP damage from 4 ships and survive, the other lose 40% HP to fires and survive the battle. Especially for a new player easier said then done. Only other way to get them is as rewards from directives, missions, etc or crates. Well, then you have modernization's - everyone can get them, right? DCSM 2 - the one that reduces fire time, is the 4th slot. Only tier 6 and higher ships have that option if they have a million credits to spend. So a tier 3-5 BB doesn't have that option, with tier 5 being a tier that can be shredded by 127 mm IFHE rounds, let alone 152 mm. Which then leaves skills which sure over time a player can build up to take a 3 point skill to reduce the fire time. If the player knows to get that and sacrifice in other areas that could be just as useful, well, by the time they hit tier 5 they will have only achieved in all likelihood 27-30k of the 37k xp they need to hit 6 points. So newbie in New York is likely going to have a bad day I start raining fire on him with my 14 point Cleveland captain put in my Atlanta. "Your forgetting DCP" - this, once again, comes down to timing. That firerate I pulled numbers for earlier is the current Cleveland. It has a base fire chance of 12%, knocked down to 9% by IFHE. And while I get it's part of the weird equation WG has for fire chance, lets assume that when that's factored in, the average for starting a fire is 6% or 6/100 hits starts a fire. Cleveland fires 108 shots in 60 seconds - Premium DCP coolsdown in 80 seconds. Even holding out till 2-3 fires are started odds are 3-4 get left to burn - up to 72% of the ships HP. And it'll take 6 minutes to repair that damage. And that's the potential of 1 ship let alone 2-3. a nightmare scenario of 100% accuracy yes, but cruisers can be quite accurate. But then comes the part everyone forgets about - the penetration damage. It's not just the fire damage, but the fact that if we round up that figure from above to 20000 - most repair parties only repair half of that. Lets say these numbers are against a New Mexico. The damage is 20k plus 2 fires that had to burn at max for whatever reason. That's 39,080/53,200 gone in 60 seconds. Repair party can repair all but 10k of that technically speaking. However at the unmodified 14% - it would take all 4 repairs to fix both the damage from both fires AND the damage from the penetrations. And that still means 6 minutes untouched to get back to 80% health. Good luck in a BB that slow. And 25% of rounds penning a target causing 2 fires that burn out all the way - not exactly outlandish numbers to achieve. The nearly automatic penetrations are as deadly, if not more so, then the fires. IV: Wargaming's last suggested solution - So, before IFHE the issue is the inconsistency of fires being started in higher tiers where HE can't pen, and post IFHE the issue is that the penetrations alone are as deadly as the fires due to volume, let alone if they do start fires with no actual way to lessen the damage by angling or any other means. So - what does Wargaing's solution posted up on July 3rd look like? Tier 5 and below BB's a 152 mm gun still punches trough unaided, Tier 6 and 7 ships with 152 mm guns can pen tier 6 and 7 BB's/8-10 cruisers with IFHE, but cannot pen tier 8+ BB's at all, while tier 8+ 152 mm ships still punch through same tier BB's. Basically - little to no change on penetration other than Tier 8-10 BB's being immune to lower tier CL. Which brings us back to both the past and current issue with IFHE and HE vs BB's. The new IFHE would cut fire chance 50%. That means while tier 8-10 CL are fine just because they can autopen BB's still are fine - but tier 6 and 7 cruisers that take it to deal with the same tier BB's and higher tier cruisers are screwed against BB's they can see pretty often. So, obviously they can not take it, and keep the fire chance, but basically then anything not a same tier CA on the list is immune and are 100% relying on fires and superstructure hits. No real change in one tier range, the other stays broken or goes back to the way it used to be broken. Not to mention potential ramifications on DD's that use it or a ship like Atlanta. Best case scenario here you maybe fix things at high tier while causing issues in lower tiers, worst case, something on par with the wreck that was the launch, and mostly still is, the CV rework. V: How else to address the problem? - So - IFHE as it is is kind of a problem. Removing it to the old way, also a problem. The proposed changes a month ago - the potential to at the same time change too much and not enough at the same time. So - what can be done to fix it? The funny thing here is for a good while, and to some degree still do, go after Wargaming on CV changes because instead of nerfing an issue directly, like the fact Hak's torp alpha is too high, they nerf around it like changing the way the planes aim, or removing the 4x plane option. This time they go to nerf it directly - when the best option is actually changing things around it. I can't say for certain any one of these alone would be the solution, likely, it would be a combination of things, but all would go a ways to help it. Reduce fire damage of BB's - DD's, CA/L and BB's once all had 18% fire damage, and CV 24%. CV's are down to 2%, almost immediately after IFHE was added cruisers and DD's were dropped to 9%, yet BB's remained 18% - even as cruisers and DD's started getting heals, the one loose justification for the difference. And I'm not even saying nerf them that much - maybe just bring it that BB's and large cruisers are in the same range as Graf Spee. This would allow IFHE to stay unchanged, while reducing the damage just a bit from the fires started - they keep the consistency to pen targets and BB's regain some durability due to less fire damage. Changes to DCP - Having played Gascogne, I do believe lowering the base premium (or possibly if they do the 1 consumable thing just base) cooldown to 40 seconds could go a good way toward helping, maybe lower Gas and Mass's to say 30 seconds to keep the uniqueness? Tweaks to Repair Party - There are multiple teaks that can be done here. Faster cooldown like Gas and Mass, change the pen damage repair percent, repair percent in general, how fast it repairs the damage or some combination of those. Reducing/removing the modifiers - putting aside that I've long felt the "different tiers have more slots" bit should have faded away long ago, it would in general be easier to balance if we don't have to worry about if someone has a no bonuses yo repair party or reduction in fire damage, or all of them. If we use the example from the first suggestion here BB's and 'super cruisers' burn for 13.5% health, DD's and normal cruisers 9%, CV's for 2% - no more, no less per fire. We could always leave one thing, but aside from easier to know and balance around the damage dealt/taken by fires this would open up in combination with possibly the other changes here the option of new Mods and a new skill and more ability to have some choice and variety not pretty much defaulting to DCMS 2 in slot 4 or likely taking BoS just to fight fires. Changing how fire works - maybe fires need to be a little more like detonations. By that I mean once the HP of the magazine hits 0, it starts rolling for a detonation. Perhaps to make fires more consistent, and reduce the need for it, would be if as sections take damage, the fire resistance is reduced making it easier to set that part of the ship on fire at least. Possibly others I forgot or haven't thought of yet. Other than maybe number 5 (it would likely see either the IFHE change Wargming proposed or it'd removal) these would allow the 30% buff to stay, allowing the consistency to stay, if we don't just change the formula overall so that it's not needed, while leaving the ability to set fires intact but cut down somewhat on the ability of mainly 152 mm guns to simply overwhelm all forms of damage control and bring some durability back to BB's if the RNG damage is a bit lower. I think a bit more reasonable and equitable for all parties.