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German Destroyers: A Tier-by-tier Comparison

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Everybody, including me, seems to be griping about the German destroyer line being woefully underpowered and generally unable to compete with other destroyers.  So while responding to another post in another thread I brought up the overall server stats on warships.today and discovered something completely unexpected: they don't actually suck.  With a few disclaimers, that is.

 

Obviously, the sample size on the German DDs is considerably smaller than it is on other lines.  Particularly so in the higher tiers, where you're going to find a much higher than average number of elite players logging games because (free XP notwithstanding) the average and poor players just haven't had enough time to grind up there; I'm only on the T6 Gaede, and I do consider myself to be at least slightly above average in destroyers.  That being said, let's look at the numbers: comparing each destroyer from T5 to T10 against its contemporaries, going by win rate, average damage per game, K/D, survival ratio, and average XP per game on the NA server.  This is including premium destroyers in the rankings; I'm not bothering with T2-T4 because the characteristics of the lower tier boats are somewhat different than from T5 up and the ratio of potatoes driving them goes up considerably.

 

Tier V T-22

9 ships in total

WR Dmg K/D Srv XP
7 6 7 8 5

 

Looking at these ranks we sort of see what we'd expect to: the T-22 is in the bottom half in everything, and even the relatively high XP ranking could be partially explained by more players using premium accounts than normal, what with the recent holiday sales and having more ways to earn premium time in-game.  The only thing that really surprised me at T5 was how badly the Nicholas is performing; it's not exactly the gem of the USN line, but it's not really a bad ship.  Anyway, moving on.

 

Tier VI Gaede

8 ships in total, including the pre-split Mutsuki

WR Dmg K/D Srv XP
3 2 3 5 3

 

Wait, what?  With the exception of survival ratio, the Gaede is actually preforming remarkably well against its competition, with the only ship consistently coming up better being the reward ship Shinonome (which has an even smaller sample size and should have a far higher percentage of elite players driving her, given the tasks required to unlock the ship).  The Gaede comes up better than the much less maligned Ognevoi and Farragut in every single category.  Well, okay but...most people (myself not included) have been saying that the Gaede was among the better ships in the line, what about the rest?

 

Tier VII Maass

9 ships in total, including pre-split Hatsuharu

WR Dmg K/D Srv XP
2 2 2 5 1(!)

 

The trend continues, but even more so.  Only the IJN Shiratsuyu (which is a favorite of mine) outranks Maass in the first three categories, and the Blyskawica (widely considered one of the best tier-for-tier ships in the game, including by me) comes in well behind the Maass in every category save survival, where again the German ship ends up slightly below average.  Maass also consistently outperforms the Leningrad and my own favorite ship in the game, the Kiev.

 

Tier VIII Z-23

7 ships in total, including pre-split Fubuki

WR Dmg K/D Srv XP
2 2 2 3 2

 

Well, now the newcomer also ranks in the top half for survival; in fact, the only ship which bested the Z-23 in every category was the Akizuki, and the margins were slim across the board.  Notably, the Z-23 far outperforms the much-loved USS Benson in everything other than planes shot down.  I'm not showing the actual stats in these tables because it's far too much work and I don't want to cross that fine line of using other peoples' work without permission, but any of you can easily check out the raw data on WarshipsToday; my ranks are current as of the morning of 1/15.

 

Tier IX Z-46

5 ships in total, including pre-split Kagero

WR Dmg K/D Srv XP
1 1 1 3 1

 

Now this is getting just a bit ridiculous.  Again, it should be stressed that the higher we go the smaller the sample size becomes (less than 10,000 games in this case), and the higher the presumed ratio of elite players gets, but these rankings are pretty conclusive.  Z-46 outdoes Udaloi in damage by more than 4,000, and absolutely crushes the Fletcher by nearly 11k.  Its survival ratio once again lets it down, but only the pre-split Kagero (King of Stealth) comes in more than 1% higher.  In WR, Z-46 is more than 3% higher than the second-place Udaloi.

 

Tier X Z-52

4 ships in total

WR Dmg K/D Srv XP
1 2 2 3 2

 

Are you even surprised anymore?  Z-52 loses to the behemoth known as Khabarovsk in every column other than win rate, where the German ship comes in 0.2% higher.  The sample size here is perilously small (less than 5k games played), but given the trends in the lower tiers this seems about right...the German ship is once again well above average in every category except survival ratio, and even there it's competitive (and better than Gearing).

 

 

Okay, so looking at these numbers you can very effectively make the case that German destroyers are not underpowered as a whole, and do not really need any major buffs.  The relatively low survival percentage can almost certainly be linked to the visibility bloom in effect whenever the guns are used, but given the higher numbers in every other category this "nerf" is needed to prevent the ships from being overpowered.  However, the fact that the ship with the largest sample size (the T-22) does not follow the overall trend can be used to show rather conclusively that the tactics needed to succeed in these ships are neither obvious nor apparent to the average player.  As far as what these tactics are and any tips or tricks to improve your own numbers, well...I'm as lost as you are.  I'm barely coming in above average in the Gaede and struggle as much in the German DDs as any of you.  But it can clearly be stated that, in the hands of a very good player, the German destroyer line are actually very capable ships and are performing quite well vis-a-vis their competition.  Which is very bad news if you're waiting for a buff to be made.

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Very good write up and thanks. +1

 

I don't find the Maass a bad DD at all. I am doing well with her. She can be a gunboat but not really good in the knife-fight as her turrets are slow. I play her like Anshan and Blys for the most part - when I use guns. The gun bloom and resultant visibility after firing is ridiculous. I will make every effort to engage with torps at the start of the game relying on guns only when necessary. Guns are used more often at mid to end game as the number of red ships is reduced so I receive less focused fire back. Survival is low. I think that is not only due to the visibility after firing guns but also to the "wide hull" that WG gave her. She seems to take more damage more readily than other DD's.

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Very good write up and thanks. +1

 

I don't find the Maass a bad DD at all. I am doing well with her. She can be a gunboat but not really good in the knife-fight as her turrets are slow. I play her like Anshan and Blys for the most part - when I use guns. The gun bloom and resultant visibility after firing is ridiculous. I will make every effort to engage with torps at the start of the game relying on guns only when necessary. Guns are used more often at mid to end game as the number of red ships is reduced so I receive less focused fire back. Survival is low. I think that is not only due to the visibility after firing guns but also to the "wide hull" that WG gave her. She seems to take more damage more readily than other DD's.

 

I'm actually kind of looking forward to moving up the line now for the first time ever. :D  Not sure how you use the Blys, but I don't think my play style in her would work...I tend to rely a lot on smoke firing in Blys, coupled with torpedo salvos, and given the much shorter duration of German smoke (so many truly tasteless jokes could be made about that) that wouldn't work out at all.  Do you tend to stay further out with her and rely on the gun range more?

 

The point about the wider hulls is valid, particularly when AP is being shot at you (almost like they designed the German DDs to make the British cruisers more viable).

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Not really sure where I want to go with the German DDs.

 

My interest only extends as far as the T7 Lebe, and only then because of KanColle, and even then I would prefer the Z3, Max Shultz.

 

Wondering if I should just fxp to T7 and leave it at that...

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Statistical values are skewed in everything but tier 10.

The older, established lines are more likely to be 'complete' ships.  Those would likely be used as Elite for missions, or in divisions for fun.

For those grinding lower hulls, the numbers are not separated.

....

What I'm trying to get across, is something I've realized when playing up to tier 4.  These are the easiest to use and most OP line there is.  The low tier ones have a lot of tricks up their sleeves.

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Statistical values are skewed in everything but tier 10.

The older, established lines are more likely to be 'complete' ships.  Those would likely be used as Elite for missions, or in divisions for fun.

For those grinding lower hulls, the numbers are not separated.

....

What I'm trying to get across, is something I've realized when playing up to tier 4.  These are the easiest to use and most OP line there is.  The low tier ones have a lot of tricks up their sleeves.

 

I think I get what you're saying, but that's not really going to be true yet with the German DDs (or with the "new" IJN boats) which makes their performance all the more impressive.  It should also be noted that from around T6 up, even in the case of somebody just grinding to advance & never playing the ship in its "elite" form, the majority of games played are still going to be with all upgrades in place--that's particularly true in T8 & T9 ships.  So with the possible exception of T5 the number of games played with stock ships is never going to be a high percentage of the overall total, even on an individual basis.  Significant, perhaps, but not really enough to make a huge difference in the final numbers.

 

I kind of missed out on the true experience of the lowest tiered German destroyers, as I was playing them on launch day when lobbies consisted almost entirely of German DDs.  I can see how much fun a V-25 could be in a normal T2 match, but a lot of that is lost when you're surrounded by 23 other V-25s (true story). :D

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The stats are heavily skewed, as very few people have these ships beyond the Maass unless they're dedicated DD captains or unicum players with tons of free exp sitting around.

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unless they're dedicated DD captains or unicum players with tons of free exp sitting around.

 

Non-unicum player here...

 

4.5mil fxp, more or less; and that's AFTER purchsing Missouri.

 

That being said; I wouldn't use it to fxp to T10... Did such a thing LAST  January-Feb, (for Fletcher and Des Moines,) and have regretted doing so ever since.

Edited by Estimated_Prophet

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The stats are heavily skewed, as very few people have these ships beyond the Maass unless they're dedicated DD captains or unicum players with tons of free exp sitting around.

 

I did point out that this could have an effect on the overall numbers, but I don't know that I'd call it heavily skewed.  For example, in the tier X Z-52, only 5 players have amassed 100 games played on the NA server (as of right now).  While they're all doing fairly well in terms of damage, there's one with a 48% WR in the ship, another with a 947 WTR...really, only one of the five shows through as a clear unicum level player based on these stats.  Even if you drop to only 10 games played, an 1140 WTR would get you onto the server top 50, and 50th place in damage/game sits only 5k above the overall server average, so again there are clearly some average (at best) players racking up games in the Z-52.

 

If you drop down to T8, on the basis that poor players who burn FXP to skip lines generally skip all the way to the top, it's even more pronounced: a 1000 WTR over 100 games would put you 4th on the NA server right now, and 4 of the 7 players who have hit 100 games in that ship are logging damage totals below the overall average.

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Everybody, including me, seems to be griping about the German destroyer line being woefully underpowered and generally unable to compete with other destroyers.  So while responding to another post in another thread I brought up the overall server stats on warships.today and discovered something completely unexpected: they don't actually suck.  With a few disclaimers, that is.

 

Obviously, the sample size on the German DDs is considerably smaller than it is on other lines.  Particularly so in the higher tiers, where you're going to find a much higher than average number of elite players logging games because (free XP notwithstanding) the average and poor players just haven't had enough time to grind up there; I'm only on the T6 Gaede, and I do consider myself to be at least slightly above average in destroyers.  That being said, let's look at the numbers: comparing each destroyer from T5 to T10 against its contemporaries, going by win rate, average damage per game, K/D, survival ratio, and average XP per game on the NA server.  This is including premium destroyers in the rankings; I'm not bothering with T2-T4 because the characteristics of the lower tier boats are somewhat different than from T5 up and the ratio of potatoes driving them goes up considerably.

 

Tier V T-22

9 ships in total

WR Dmg K/D Srv XP
7 6 7 8 5

 

Looking at these ranks we sort of see what we'd expect to: the T-22 is in the bottom half in everything, and even the relatively high XP ranking could be partially explained by more players using premium accounts than normal, what with the recent holiday sales and having more ways to earn premium time in-game.  The only thing that really surprised me at T5 was how badly the Nicholas is performing; it's not exactly the gem of the USN line, but it's not really a bad ship.  Anyway, moving on.

 

Tier VI Gaede

8 ships in total, including the pre-split Mutsuki

WR Dmg K/D Srv XP
3 2 3 5 3

 

Wait, what?  With the exception of survival ratio, the Gaede is actually preforming remarkably well against its competition, with the only ship consistently coming up better being the reward ship Shinonome (which has an even smaller sample size and should have a far higher percentage of elite players driving her, given the tasks required to unlock the ship).  The Gaede comes up better than the much less maligned Ognevoi and Farragut in every single category.  Well, okay but...most people (myself not included) have been saying that the Gaede was among the better ships in the line, what about the rest?

 

Tier VII Maass

9 ships in total, including pre-split Hatsuharu

WR Dmg K/D Srv XP
2 2 2 5 1(!)

 

The trend continues, but even more so.  Only the IJN Shiratsuyu (which is a favorite of mine) outranks Maass in the first three categories, and the Blyskawica (widely considered one of the best tier-for-tier ships in the game, including by me) comes in well behind the Maass in every category save survival, where again the German ship ends up slightly below average.  Maass also consistently outperforms the Leningrad and my own favorite ship in the game, the Kiev.

 

Tier VIII Z-23

7 ships in total, including pre-split Fubuki

WR Dmg K/D Srv XP
2 2 2 3 2

 

Well, now the newcomer also ranks in the top half for survival; in fact, the only ship which bested the Z-23 in every category was the Akizuki, and the margins were slim across the board.  Notably, the Z-23 far outperforms the much-loved USS Benson in everything other than planes shot down.  I'm not showing the actual stats in these tables because it's far too much work and I don't want to cross that fine line of using other peoples' work without permission, but any of you can easily check out the raw data on WarshipsToday; my ranks are current as of the morning of 1/15.

 

Tier IX Z-46

5 ships in total, including pre-split Kagero

WR Dmg K/D Srv XP
1 1 1 3 1

 

Now this is getting just a bit ridiculous.  Again, it should be stressed that the higher we go the smaller the sample size becomes (less than 10,000 games in this case), and the higher the presumed ratio of elite players gets, but these rankings are pretty conclusive.  Z-46 outdoes Udaloi in damage by more than 4,000, and absolutely crushes the Fletcher by nearly 11k.  Its survival ratio once again lets it down, but only the pre-split Kagero (King of Stealth) comes in more than 1% higher.  In WR, Z-46 is more than 3% higher than the second-place Udaloi.

 

Tier X Z-52

4 ships in total

WR Dmg K/D Srv XP
1 2 2 3 2

 

Are you even surprised anymore?  Z-52 loses to the behemoth known as Khabarovsk in every column other than win rate, where the German ship comes in 0.2% higher.  The sample size here is perilously small (less than 5k games played), but given the trends in the lower tiers this seems about right...the German ship is once again well above average in every category except survival ratio, and even there it's competitive (and better than Gearing).

 

 

Okay, so looking at these numbers you can very effectively make the case that German destroyers are not underpowered as a whole, and do not really need any major buffs.  The relatively low survival percentage can almost certainly be linked to the visibility bloom in effect whenever the guns are used, but given the higher numbers in every other category this "nerf" is needed to prevent the ships from being overpowered.  However, the fact that the ship with the largest sample size (the T-22) does not follow the overall trend can be used to show rather conclusively that the tactics needed to succeed in these ships are neither obvious nor apparent to the average player.  As far as what these tactics are and any tips or tricks to improve your own numbers, well...I'm as lost as you are.  I'm barely coming in above average in the Gaede and struggle as much in the German DDs as any of you.  But it can clearly be stated that, in the hands of a very good player, the German destroyer line are actually very capable ships and are performing quite well vis-a-vis their competition.  Which is very bad news if you're waiting for a buff to be made.

 

The nerfs didn't make KMS DDs way worse, although it was meant to hurt them. No, what the last-second nerfs ACTUALLY did was slam the nerfbat into the KMS DD fun factor, and made playing them rather more of a chore to play than they were before.
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The nerfs didn't make KMS DDs way worse, although it was meant to hurt them. No, what the last-second nerfs ACTUALLY did was slam the nerfbat into the KMS DD fun factor, and made playing them rather more of a chore to play than they were before.

 

I didn't get to play with the pre-release German destroyers, but I can absolutely echo the fun complaint.  After posting this thread I was actually looking forward to my next game in the Gaede...right up until I played it.  And the next game, and the next game, until I finally managed my daily win.  Same thing next day.

 

I can pretty much rattle off 50k+ damage games in the Clemson or Kiev in my sleep, I'm (finally) getting a handle on the Tashkent, the Fletcher is a ton of fun, I love my Blyskawica, the Lo Yang is alright, so is Fujin, Shiratsuyu is always competitive & entertaining to play, the Yugumo is often frustrating but still a solid ship...but when it comes to Gaede I just can't make it work.  I've tried gunning from distance, I've tried stealth torping, I've tried ambush tactics, and I keep ending up with 20k games (or less).  Even when everything goes right and the red team has some potatoes on it, I might be able to snag 2-3 kills & 70-80k damage...which is a "decent" game for me in most other destroyers.  This ship has all the frustration factor of the Yugumo, but without the sheer ecstasy that comes from being able to slam a full salvo of torpedoes into a battleship from less than 6km away.  Well, doing that and surviving the encounter.  There is definitely no fun in these ships for me.

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I've got all 4 at T10 and I'm really starting to like the Z52. If you spec the mods and captains skills right, this thing is pretty good. The stock firing range is long enough you don't need any firing distance mods or captain skills. Mods I like are the torpedo tubes mod 3, propulsion mod 2 and steering gears 3 (get CE as a captain skill). Survival Expert, BFT, EM and Last Stand. I'm having a lot of success with this build. YMMV.

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Let me lay it out real simple. On paper the Ognevoi T6 is fail. Do a compare and contrast of the other ships up until it and you can understand why a lot of people XP past it. The reality? It's an amazing ship with crazy high pen that will cit cruisers all day long!

 

No one cares that the math shows the Germans are competitive destroyers. The average player of WOWS is 42 freaking years old, wargamings art department busted their [edited]to make these amazing looking ships, but in reality if you spent time (the most valuable currency any human being has) or burned a bunch of free xp (I assume you did if your desperately defending these ships) for what is average and has no outstanding characteristics than I pity you.

 

You can put all the theory crafting you want on the table but that is not going to stop me from lobbing my us shells at you over islands, outrunning you and slamming 70kph torps into your face with the russians, or just crushing you with the synergy of either of the IJN lines. 

 

The only thing the German's had going for them was frontal torps and those get taken at T5 along with any flair. So yea hey there is a bunch of PVE stuff coming where you can be "competitive" and reliable DPS will be of value but if your going to try to knife fight with a seasoned vet it's the tricks up your sleeve that are going to stop me from leaving you in a bloody pile in the corner. *drops mic*

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I currently Have the Tier II thru Tier VIII German DD's, with a minimum of 24 matches in every one and up to 79 in the Mass. The FIRST thing you have to know is the Tier II thru IV are a different LINE. They are fun even, the forward firing torps Add's a new dimension. The Tier V is IMO the Only POTATO of the line. She just got a Buff but I haven't played her since  so I can't comment if it helped any. The Tier VI and VIII are Cruiser Killers.The 150 mm's with AP of these two will citadel most cruisers from Broadside.Many play the line as other DD's. You can't do that and be successful. They are NOT knife fighters(USN), They are NOT long range HE spammers(VMF). And even though they can do it they are NOT stealth torpers (IJN).

 

They have their own unique playstyle.1v1 they can take out most cruisers, & many BB's. Where they have a difficult time is vs other DD's, unless the DD in question is trying to hide (they tend to forget KM DD's have Hydro). You can't play fast and dirty with them, you have to be cool and calculating. Long range fire is not worth the incoming fire you'll get most of the time. Hold fire til your detected then open up with all you've got.(That includes torps) At that range Cruisers are AP bait, DD's are HE bait and BB's are torp bait. It's hard to describe the best way to play these ships, they do not play like other DD's or even cruisers. They have a style all their own. The biggest problems with them are the "wide hull's" and Gun Bloom. Knowing the deficits and advantages (not just acknowledging them but KNOWING them) goes a long way to being able to play them effectively.

 

 

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But it can clearly be stated that, in the hands of a very good player, the German destroyer line are actually very capable ships and are performing quite well vis-a-vis their competition.

 

It's a nice write up and all, but I don't quite like this argument as it can be said with every ship in the game. 

Also, but that "very good player" in another DD, and he'll do even better.

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It would be interesting to do a follow up now that we are almost a month further along. 

My own experience is that they are average (up to t9). Good solid ships nothing sexy though.

 

Not too hot

Not too cold

Just Meh!

 

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I just did a quick look at the warships today stats for DDs and the german DD are holding steady in the top 1-3 in every category at tiers 7-10. All the talk about how bad they are is just silly.

 

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And now think about why they are in top 3.

It is because noone but bored unicum players or dedicated DD players even bother with them. And of course those players in general are better and can put out those numbers.

The average player that is bringing down the numbers on other lines just doesn't exist for German DDs. You can see that by just looking at the amount of games played in each DD over the past 2 weeks.

 

There are definately good ships in the German DD line but they definately could use a buff (German Hydro for the Z-46 for example would be extremly nice).

Edited by tmGrunty

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So being a Dedicated German line player I'm a little biased but IMO the German line of DD's even the much complained about T-22 are very good DD's. They have one drawback that some may consider a big one. They are NOT good DD killers. their HE kinda sucks, and the AP over-pen's DD's quite often. Where these things shine is at killing cruisers and BB's.I can't tell you how many times I've citadeled enemy cruisers with any tier KM DD. As far as BB killing goes, AP to the superstructure, I've had matches in excess of 70k damage from GUNS alone.

 

The hydro on the KM DD's in many cases will get you into more trouble than it's worth. Most smoke is from DD's of course, and with the KM DD's poor performance vs other DD's it's a bad idea to go flushing DD's out with your hydro solo. If you have an American or Russian DD to back you up or pretty much any cruiser then it's fine to go flushing them out but don't do it alone. The playstyle for the KM DD's has to keep that in mind. 

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