FireAndHEspam

BlueMist's guide on how to not suck while playing Destroyers (UPDATED)

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As a DD main, I have come to play my DDs very, very well, and have picked up lots of several tibbits of info and tricks to improve my performance in-game, with help from my fellow, forumers, from just playing the game in training rooms, and best of all just playing the game in general. While I'm no unicum or anything (although I am close to the purple), I do tend to find a lot of people who don't really know how to play their DDs well, even at higher tiers. People who do things that should never EVER be done if you can possibly help it. people who tried to rush the center of Two Brothers in their DDs and get rekt because of it. Then there's me, racking up points, damage, and sometimes carrying(I don't find myself carrying very often, but when I do, its amazing). Anyways, these people look at my gameplay and ask me "How do you do so well? Im ini a DD just like you and I'm dead?" Well for starters, don't rush the center of Two Brothers. To all of those people, and to anyone here who may not be quite up to par in their DDs, the rest of this is my guide on how to not suck while playing a destroyer.

 

There are currently 4 nation's tech trees that have a DD branch. They are the United States, Japan, Germany, and the Soviets. Each nation's destroyers all have unique characteristics, and their play styles can't be more different even if they tried. IMO, the "best DD line" goes as follows, Soviets, USN, KM, and lastly the poor ol' IJN DDs. But the same with not just Dds but ALL lines in WoWS, there really is no "best line." At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference. I love the Soviet DDs best because they fit my play style well. I love going around shooting things, but not being in much of harm's way myself. I also love being annoying. I love being a fly in the soup. I love generating large amounts of salt. I feed on the salty tears of BB captains after I burn them down for 50k fire damage and an Arsonist medal. Anyhoo, where was I? Oh yes, DD play style preferences. In this guide I will cover all existing lines of DDs in WoWS.

 

First off, some general DD tips and tricks

-Don't sit still in smoke. While at tiers VI and below you can generally get away with this, at higher tiers, more often then not, if you sit still in smoke you're gonna end up eating a faceful of torps

-Use your smoke to cover allies when they need it

-Use your smoke conservatively most of the time. Don't pop at the first sighted enemy unless you're a USN DD covering the rest of your team from multiple threats. Pop it when you need it, not when you want it (Execption being adressed later; Also, this one was suggested by another forumer, not myself)

-Always use your WASD hax

-Don't attempt to engage a larger enemy such as a CA at close/point blank range, not even if you have torps ready. IT WILL USUALLY NOT END WELL (Generally speaking, Exception being the USN)

-However, don't be afraid to take risks. Sometimes the cost of winning is your ship.

-KNOW THE RANGE OF YOUR TORPEDOES

-Captain skills and upgrades really have no set "best build." Experiment around and see what fits your play style  

-"Stagger the Launch with your torpedoes (See IJN section on how to do this)

- And of course finally comes the number one rule with destroyers, 

 NEVER EVER EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, FIRE A SPREAD OF TORPEDOES AHEAD OF A FRIENDLY SHIP

 

Lets start off with the Soviets (VMF). (Not just WG. I also have Russian Bias :trollface: ). Anyhoo, the most prominent characteristics of the Soviet Navy's destroyers are 

-Very good guns, with fantastic shell arcs, speeds, aire drag, flight times, and range

-Rather poor Krupp values; These DDs generally rely on fire and DoT for their damage (but not all the time)

-Fantastic AP shell performance against broadside targets such as BBs or CAs

-Show-ish rudder shift time for a DD, and very large turning circles, especially at the higher tiers (*cough* *Khabarovsk* *cough*)

-Very poor concealment. Don't expect to be very sneaky

-Very situational torpedoes from tier VII and below, most of which only having a range of 4km. Don't expect to use these much, if at all.

-Meh AA at tiers VII-VIII and below. AA becomes rather decent for a DD at tiers IX and X

-Your ship travels at ludicrous speeds, often exceeding 40 knots

 

So for do you play these destroyers well? I got an answer for you. First, think of these DDs as more of light cruisers with no citadel and ludicrous speed. Its already been established that these DDs don't really hide well. These DDs are rather unique in that regard, as they don't rely upon stealth for their survival. They instead rely on their high speeds to dodge incoming fire. They operate best at long range for this reason. Also as such, DON'T expect to contest caps directly early on. You are more of a ranges support operative then a front-line fighter. Only cap early if and only if enemy force/opposition is minimal. When sailing a VMF DD, stay near the maximum range of her guns if you can possibly help it. Shoot AP at broadsides of BBs and CAs, you may be surprised by the results. Burn anyone you shouldn't be around. Stay near your team's CAs and even BBs so the enemy team has something to focus on that isn't you. Use your engine boost and WASD keys to make yourself a very frustrating target to hit, while at the same time lighting them up with your guns and burning them to death (Or AP'ing them to death. Whichever comes first). When playing a VMF DD, place your priorities on larger surface ships such as BBs and CAs; just keep at range and harassing them with HE and AP gunfire. Don't tunnel-vision. Always maintain your situational awareness. Never EVER stop shooting (Unless you find yourself getting focused down and you HAVE to use stealth to get away), and you will do very well with this line of DDs.

 

Next up is the United States Navy (USN). Characteristics of these DDs are 

-Good guns for knife fighting, very ineffective at long range due to their terrible shell arcs, speed, air drag, and flight times

-Ok krupp values. Don't expect to be firing much AP, though.

-Very tight turning circles and extremely quick rudder shift time

-Ok concealment at lower tiers. At high tiers (VIII and up), concealment is fantastic

-Situational torpedoes at lower tiers (VI and below), at higher tiers the torps are usable but not amazing until tier IX and X

-Very strong AA defense at tiers IX and X

-Only average speed and maneuverability

 

So how to play these DDs? First off, don't expect to be shooting up things from range. Instead, take the really aggressive  approach and contest caps early with your good guns and great maneuverability. Unlike the Soviets, your ship works best at closer ranges <8km. This way, your shell arcs and speeds aren't as big an issue. As a USN DD, your job is to contest caps early and spot targets for your team. DDs of the US tech tree have the best smoke generators of any branch, and as such, their smoke is widely recommended to be used to cover your teammates then yourself. The basic jist of a USN DD is to live fast, die young, and leave a really good-lookin' corpse. Go down swinging. get used to it. You'll find yourself doing it alot. Also, use your torpedoes (From tier VII and up) for zoning rather then damage. Is there a channel where there's likely to be an enemy force pushing? Torp it. Deny the area. Flank collapsed and is exposed? Torp the area, and fight a delaying action, similar to an IJN DD's role, only much more aggressive. Don't be afraid to get in close and ram your torpedoes down people's throats (Don't get to suicidal ranges though. Stay about 4km away at least is the general rule of thumb). 

 

Next up comes the Germans (KM). These DDs tend to 

-Better guns the the USN, still inferior to the Russians

-Nice shell arcs and speeds. A bit faster then the Americans, on par with the Japanese, but still quite a ways away from the Russians

-Increased AP damage in exchange for lower HE

-Wide hulls make these DDs very vulnerable to AP hits from CAs, and even BBs and other DDs

-Meh AA all around, but is above average by DD standards

-Meh maneuverability all around

-Respectable torpedo armaments all around

-Tolerable base concealment, but the gun bloom penalty is absurd

-Smoke? Never heard of it. These DDs have the worst smoke duration of all DDs, and don't expect to use it much for support as much as a temporary hiding place for when you need it

-Speed is alright. Much faster then the Japanese, on par (for the most part) with the USN, but still quite a bit slower then the Russians

 

Best way to play these DDs? These DDs have characteristics that stand out. Most radically in their A.) Increased vulnerability to AP shells, B.) Their HE/AP damage tradeoff, and C.) The radical variations in playstyle as you climb higher up the tiers. Lets start with C. These DDs from tier II-IV are mainly torpedo boats. Their torps are effective all around, but are predominantly torpedo boats at lower tiers. These tier KM DDs have the unique ability to fire torpedoes more or less directly ahead of the ship, meaning you only have to expose a little bit of your ship to get your torpedoes off. The downside, however, is that you can only fire at maximum two from this position. If you wish to get more off, you'll have to expose more of the ship then you may want to. But from tier V-X, these DDs become more and more like gunboats. While their torpedo armament is very viable, these tier KM DD rely on their guns more and more (More power to you if you make it past tier V). Anyways, my best advice for the tier V and VI DDs is to play them as a mix between the Soviet and American DDs. Get in close and be aggressive, but only stay at about the maximum range of your torpedoes. Generally, this will be about 8-9km. Fire off torp walls, then go back to guns. At tier VII-X, these DDs are more on par with the Russians, but require a range of about 10km to effectively land hits due to the poorer shell ballistics. The tier VI and VIII KM DDs are best known for their option to mount 150mm guns. AKA, cruiser guns. At tier VI, just stick to the 128mm guns is all I have to say. But at tier VIII, the 150mm guns are definitely viable. These DDs rely on AP more then HE, as the HE damage is lowered in exchange for higher AP performance. Always switch to AP against ANY broadside target (Except another DD, but DO fire AP at other German DDs). When no targets are showing a good angle to shoot at, just spam them with the HE, and hope for fires. Also, don't forget your torpedoes. While at higher tiers, these ships are mainly gunboats, their torpedoes are VERY viable weapons. These ships are best used at about 10km range, where you do have time to dodge incoming fire, much in the same ways the VMF DDs do, except only now, you have little room for error, as A.) You have less HP, and B.) The punishment you can take for making a mistake can hurt your chances very, VERY hard. As for the gun bloom issue, expect to spend most of the game spotted and employing your elite status WASD hax. All in all, these are a solid line of DDs. Be prepared for the transitions in play style as you climb the tiers, and adjust accordingly, and you will perform great with this line of destroyers.

 

Last up but certainly not least is the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). These DDs all have

-Poor gun handling with poor range and turret traverse speed, with a questionable RoF

-Reasonably good shell arcs/speed. Better then the Americans but still far worse off then the Russians

-Fantastic torpedoes (Once you get past tier VI, anyways)

-Generally speaking, the best concealment of all DDs, but not by much

-AA? What's that, a type of vodka? 

-Very slow speeds, but with ok rudder shift time and turning circles. Most IJN DDs only travel at a speed of 33-35 knots.

 

So how do you play these destroyers? If you ask me, these are the hardest nation to play, as they don't really have many characteristics that stand out from the rest of the crowd. Whatever you can do, another DD can usually do it better. While statistically, they are the worst line of destroyers currently in the game, that doesn't mean they're bad. Because believe me, they are not. Japanese Destroyers require a very strict balance between passiveness and aggressiveness. You want to find the "magic range" where you are close enough to the enemy to be able to effectively launch great walls of skill, but still be far enough away to avoid the risk of detection. IJN DDs do not react well with gunfights with any vessel (unless it is another IJN DD). Their poor gun handling coupled with their meh-ish RoF makes them not helpless, but close to it. The hardest part of playing these DDs is retaining your stealth. Prominently at higher tiers, American gunboat DDs will have detection ratings that significantly rival your own, which makes close quarters encounters with an "undesirable" adversary. Your guns and RoF will not be enough to out DPM an American, Soviet, or German destroyer. Your only chance here is if the enemy Dd is low HP. Should you be spotted, the usual best course of action is to simply pop smoke, and haul @#$ in the other direction. Pop some torpedoes behind you at where the enemy was last seen or where you think he may be headed to slow him down. Even if you miss or he takes a different course of action then what you had originally thought, better to be safe then sorry. The main role of an IJN destroyer is mainly spotting enemies and stealth torping enemy targets such as BBs to damage, flood, or at very least slow them down. Speaking of slowing down, if there's one thing these DDs excel at, its fighting delaying actions. When a flank is weak or collapsed, you can buy a significant amount of time for your team to respond by launching the occasional wall of skill in their direction. But at higher tiers, torp reloads get very long, generally about 2 minutes. This makes it hard to launch enough walls of skill to effectively slow them down, right? WRONG! A very easy remedy to this is a tactic known as "staggering the launch." Doing this is simple; all it requires is a little bit of patience. To do this, simply fire one spread of torpedoes, keeping at least 1 tube in reserve. Now you wait. Wait for the first torpedo tube ro reach about its halfway point in reload, then fire the reserve tube. This way, you can put out just as many torpedoes in the water, but in half the time. IJN DDs revolve around balance. Be close to the frontlines and to the action, but still far enough away to not be at risk yourself.  Smoke your team if the need it. Slow down and delay pushed. Spot enemy torps in the water early for the rest of your team behind you. Doing this may not be the most rewarding way to play these DDs, but IMHO this is certainly the most effective. Or you can do what this good fellow says:

 

 By the time I've reloaded to hit him a second time, he's already hit me three times and is reloading his 4th salvo. And note that IJN 12.7cm guns do the same damage as USN ones after the idiotic shell damage nerf back in November when WG was like "But we want IJN to use their guns!"

 

Fletcher overpowers Yuugumo when it pops up at 5.5-6km. It's also faster than Yuugumo so you're not running away from it. The only choice is to stand and fight--and die, because yes, you are completely helpless against it. The only way Yuugumo stands a chance is if Fletcher is at 1/4th health and Yuugumo is full, or if Yuugumo lands a lucky torpedo early in the firefight. Either situation she'll be limping away with severe damage if she wins it.

 

My experiences in the ship vs Fletchers who get the drop on me make me seriously wonder if anyone who says "No Yuugumo is better" has even played it. It's 100% the worst destroyer in tier 9 by a huge margin.

 

They do not do "great damage". They do the exact same damage as the USN 12.7cm guns. While having way worse reload and traverse. Yes, they're good guns for harassing big targets at range and that is how I use them, but you people neglect the simple fact that IJN destroyer guns are absolute and complete garbage against other destroyers.

 

The guns are best suited to setting fires on battleships and inattentive/distracted cruisers, or burning carriers you come across to keep their aircraft grounded.

But do remember that detonations exist. If you find an enemy DD, Pray 2 RNGesus real hard and he may just come through for you. Any ship can sink any other, and as such, even though you're usually at a massive disadvantage against any DD of any other nation, doesn't mean you can't stand and fight. usually it won't end well, but reread what I said about detonations. Or you can rek them with torps. or you die. Whichever comes first. Just remember this:

 

Hoping for a detonation in an IJN vs USN firefight is well and good, just don't rely on it. It's less than 1% chance and he probably has a flag for it in higher tiers anyway. I know I sure have one on my Yuugumo.

 

Remember the general tips area? It said "Use your smoke conservatively. Save it for when you NEED it?"

There are exceptions to this one.

1.) If you're in a DD div or there's another DD on your team that's nearby, the other DD can also pop smoke and extend the smoke wall you laid further. This gives the rest of the ships behind you free reign at shoot at things with impunity save for the blind torp spam, and as long as someone is spotting the targets

2.) This builds on my interest in playing mind games. Say that you, one DD, one CA, and one BB are all that's guarding a flank from half the enemy team. If you and the other DD both pop smoke, and have the BB and CA and one of the DDs sit in it and spam guns, it can create the illusion of a massive force just waiting to be revealed. This can effect the confidence of the enemy team on that flank, and they may stumble around for a minute or two trying to come to a consensus on what they want to do next, meanwhile, on the other flank the lemming train is well, lemming right into their cap. This can act as a good delaying action on a weak flank, but Radar CAs will likely prove troublesome at the very least with this

3.) Draw in enemy DDs. Only do this if you have unspotted support, BTW. When you pop smoke, position yourself in a way that would be hard to hit with torpedoes (preferably nose/stern forward, facing the enemy directly). If the enemy DD is confident in themselves, or believe themselves to have the advantage (USN vs IJN, etc), then they may try to bumrush the smoke and kill you off, then you proxy spot them and they get rekt. Should he kill you and he falls of detection, chances are he took a fair ol' amount of damage in the ordeal and will likely try to retreat, thus putting him out of the battle directly for a while. if he doesnt show signs of retreating, just pop Radar or Hydro and rush the smoke and finish him off is he decided to stay put, or wait for the smoke to dissipate  (Reply #52 copied/pasted)

 

If you find yourself having trouble, don't be afraid to hop into a training room (There is a pinned thread on how to enable these) and experiment around until you get the hang of it. Practice does make perfect eventually, ya know. If you need to, feel free to message me ingame and division with me. If I have time, I'll happily throw more tips, tricks, and strategies your way. 

 

So that's my guide on how to not suck while playing destroyers. hope you learned something. If you did, the more you know. If not, then there goes about 5 minutes of your time. Sorry. Good luck, and see you on the high seas! :izmena:

 

Edited by BlueMistPvP

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Shimakaze is great

 

Not sure why you would try and discourage players from going up a branch of the tech tree but whatever, your bias is showing. Ditto KM Destroyers.

 

Just because you struggle with them and are likely turned off because? Likely stats, doesn't mean some players wouldn't enjoy playing them.


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Shimakaze is great

 

Not sure why you would try and discourage players from going up a branch of the tech tree but whatever, your bias is showing. Ditto KM Destroyers.

 

Just because you struggle with them and are likely turned off because? Likely stats, doesn't mean some players wouldn't enjoy playing them.

Those are just because I was presssed for time and had nothing else to think of right off the bat. Ima work on changing them tommorow 


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People say the same thing about the USN Cruiser line, even though it is one of the most rewarding in game and teaches players how to properly play a Cruiser imo. IJN DDs are the same, they make you learn how to use Concealment over spamming HE non stop.


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I'm a freakin rock star with IJN DD's right now, and I do ok with the KM as well, so I have to respectfully disagree with ya this time around, homey. :)

 


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Those are just because I was presssed for time and had nothing else to think of right off the bat. Ima work on changing them tommorow 

 

i look forward to seeing it.

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I'm a freakin rock star with IJN DD's right now, and I do ok with the KM as well, so I have to respectfully disagree with ya this time around, homey. :)

 

Again, I'm gonna change those ones. I was pressed for time writing the last two so I have to wait until im not running on borrowed time before I do a full guide for them

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Again, I'm gonna change those ones. I was pressed for time writing the last two so I have to wait until im not running on borrowed time before I do a full guide for them

 

I've been on borrowed time for 23 years. :D

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Yugumo is a good ship, don't you doubt it.


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Yugumo is a good ship, don't you doubt it.

 

Undoubtedly. She's suffering right now because of the "hurr durr, DD go cap" attitude of players in BBs and the high prevalence of free-XPed Gearingkazes, but she's an easy 100k ship when you actually get to go scout, scupper, and scavenge.

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Yugumo is a good ship, don't you doubt it.

Compared to what? A Mahan?

 

I've ground to the Shimakaze myself and the high tier IJN DD are sorely lacking.

 

Are there high points? Yes. The 'Tissue' at T7 does great with its "Dodge THIS you ***hole" 5 second reload booster and good T7 consealment. The "Z" at T8 lights everything on fire, sets the fire on fire, and then pens it with 100mm AP.

 

The mainline T8 and 9 boats badly need the 30s reload booster either in its own slot, like the Tissue, or give us the option to put it in place of engine boost. Making them give up smoke is like choosing "Cake or Death". It's no choice at all.


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so i just got to the kagero and even though i love its torps, the reload time is absurd, so basically i should sell all my stuff and pick either the USN or the russian line?


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wait i just looked and almost all the russian DDs have a 4km torp range, that might work in the lower tiers but anything past like IV???


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Compared to what? A Mahan?

 

I've ground to the Shimakaze myself and the high tier IJN DD are sorely lacking.

 

Are there high points? Yes. The 'Tissue' at T7 does great with its "Dodge THIS you ***hole" 5 second reload booster and good T7 consealment. The "Z" at T8 lights everything on fire, sets the fire on fire, and then pens it with 100mm AP.

 

The mainline T8 and 9 boats badly need the 30s reload booster either in its own slot, like the Tissue, or give us the option to put it in place of engine boost. Making them give up smoke is like choosing "Cake or Death". It's no choice at all.

 

Yugumo is far superior to what it replaced, Kagero.

11.1km gun range and 10.5RPM vs. 9.4km and 6.7RPM is no joke.


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Yugumo is far superior to what it replaced, Kagero.

11.1km gun range and 10.5RPM vs. 9.4km and 6.7RPM is no joke.

Except it lost any torpedoes with a range greater than 10k. That's a pretty big deal for a torpedo boat.

 

Kagero I had a 62% WR across 53 games using the 20k torps everyone hates. On top of that I never had a 15 point captian in it.


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Yugumo is far superior to what it replaced, Kagero.

11.1km gun range and 10.5RPM vs. 9.4km and 6.7RPM is no joke.

 

I agree.  Mind you, I've got a 19 pt capt in mine.

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Except it lost any torpedoes with a range greater than 10k. That's a pretty big deal for a torpedo boat.

 

Kagero I had a 62% WR across 53 games using the 20k torps everyone hates. On top of that I never had a 15 point captian in it.

 

Yeah? well I also have 60% WR across 45 games using nothing but the F3 on Yugumo.

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Even the so-called destroyer expert can't make IJN destroyers work and the only offered advice is to sell them.

 

That's not a good sign, Wargaming.


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Yeah? well I also have 60% WR across 45 games using nothing but the F3 on Yugumo.

Fantastic. How many of those games did you have a captian with CE?


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Even the so-called destroyer expert can't make IJN destroyers work and the only offered advice is to sell them.

 

That's not a good sign, Wargaming.

 

While the play may be similar in all DD's to some degree, I find it difficult to take recommendations from someone who has literally only played up to the Minekaze in them. Now if Zampy were to weigh in, that would be another thing. Personally the only issue I have with any of my IJN DD's that I kept, is the torpedo detection range nerfs that were made to the higher tiers. The Kamikaze clones are all very strong, Akatsuki, is basically my old Tier 8 Fubuki, which I loved to death, but faster with slightly less stealth. Yugumo is great with the F3's. Shimakaze I will admit is in an awkward position right now.  I can do ok with it, using the second and third set of torps, but they still need some tweaking when you compare them to the new standard of Gearing spam. I may go back and give the new Tier 6 Fubuki a try eventually, but have too many new ships/lines on my plate atm. Edited by Valas1

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Fantastic. How many of those games did you have a captian with CE?

 

why wouldn't you have CE on T8+ USN and IJN DDs?

It's even easier now, since you can get it at 10pts


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While the play may be similar in all DD's to some degree, I find it difficult to take recommendations from someone who has literally only played up to the Minekaze in them. Now if Zampy were to weigh in, that would be another thing. Personally the only issue I have with any of my IJN DD's that I kept, is the torpedo detection range nerfs that were made to the higher tiers. The Kamikaze clones are all very strong, Akatsuki, is basically my old Tier 8 Fubuki, which I loved to death, but faster with slightly less stealth. Yugumo is great with the F3's. Shimakaze I will admit is in an awkward position right now.  I can do ok with it, using the second and third set of torps, but they still need some tweaking when you compare them to the new standard of Gearing spam.

 

The big challenge with Yuugumo is escaping and avoiding Fletcher. Or any destroyer, really. Because you're basically helpless against them.

 

Especially when your team ignores the stupid thing.


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