Reymu

How to Zao?

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7 posts in this topic

Play her like long-range version of Mogami w/ 203s--boring to snipe--and apparently mid-range and close-range are a matter of battlefield judgement.

 

No idea how to improve in her. HE sniping with railguns is dull and I'm starting to think it was a waste to grind to her.


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1. Load HE to start with.  Standard CA ammo rules apply.

 

2. Press fire only when you can't be spotted by firing or have people being shot at in front of you.

 

3. (Optional) Make morbid statements about burning people to death just to piss people off even more.

 

There's literally nothing else to using this atrocity of a cruiser.

Edited by TenguBlade

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Apparently it depends on both team's actions if a high-tier cruiser is to have opportunity to do more than snipe.

 

Atrocity? Since when? Ground to her because "apparently" up there with Moskva and Minotaur as one of the best cruisers to annoy people with, from asking in-game.


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Atrocity? Since when? Ground to her because "apparently" up there with Moskva and Minotaur as one of the best cruisers to annoy people with, from asking in-game.

Yes, atrocity.  It has stupidly-broken HE, AP that actually does something other than shatter on everything (which makes it better than pretty much anything besides DM by default), more powerful torpedo battery than anything but a Shimakaze, packs an AA battery about equal to Yamato's, and the best de facto armor of any T10 CA, tied with Moskva.  Not to mention she requires zero skill to use because WG nerfed the HP and scared all the idiots into using her for stealth-fire only.  So it has the best HE, best torpedoes, best armor, second-best AP, best stealth, third/fourth-best AA, and third-best maneuverability (fastest rudder shift time, third-best turning circle, tied for highest speed).

 

She's the single worst-balanced ship in the game, because the only way you can stop one is if the driver makes a mistake, and punishable mistakes are very few and far between for Zao.  The only thing that makes her remotely balanced on NA is her low HP and the massive prevalence of battleships on this server, because her optimal environment is a BB-heavy match where everyone camps.  The one BB that poses a threat to her at range is a Yamato because it alone can lolpen her deck and upper belt, but she also burns the easiest of any T10 BB.

 

They massively buffed the Zao in CBT (renaming her from Senjo in the process), and that update turned her into the abomination she is now: it buffed her HE fire chance from 17% to 20%, buffed her HE alpha by 600 (IJN HE in general got a damage buff - prior it was fire chance bonus only), raised her AP alpha to the current 5400, buffed her AA immensely by replacing some of her 25mm guns with the reverse-engineered 40mms, increased her extremity armor from 25mm to the now-infamous 30mm, and reduced her rudder shift time.  The reason was because DM couldn't be allowed to run away with both an edge in surface combat and such massive advantages against CVs: the kicker is, spalling damage was still in the game at the time.  That meant Des Moines could just AP people to death in very short order by not ever bouncing a single shell, and never had to resort to using her mediocre HE as a consequence.  Once spalling was removed, it skewed the playing field in Zao's favor, because her HE was miles superior to Des Moines'.  The disappearance of CVs further ate away at the edges Des Moines had over Zao by taking away the only reason WG had for even re-balancing the two in the first place.  Add to that a general nerf to arcs because of a compression re-adjustment (which was necessary, because otherwise Russian and German CAs would have even flatter arcs than now) and the many other changes that drove high-tier meta to the campfest it is now, generally against Des Moines' favor while being net neutral/beneficial to Zao.

 

WG's only nerfs to the Zao have been cutting off 4000HP and adjusting the stealth-fire formulae.  Which makes virtually difference when the damn ship can bounce virtually anything.  Yuro's gripe video about Bastion shows what the ship's only weakness is: ironically enough, HE.

Edited by TenguBlade

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Play her like long-range version of Mogami w/ 203s--boring to snipe--and apparently mid-range and close-range are a matter of battlefield judgement.

 

No idea how to improve in her. HE sniping with railguns is dull and I'm starting to think it was a waste to grind to her.

It plays like the pre-nerf Mogami; stay at range and snipe. Moskva is another sniper, although you can bow-on and at least get closer. If you wanted something that forced you to get closer, pay more attention to cover and ammo choice, you probably should have gravitated toward the US CA line.


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When the game is loading, you can check the stats of your teammate cruisers. More often than not, you will have highly ranked cruisers in your team. I personally like following them (or being their rabbit) and I can learn from how they position their ship.

 

For example, I have a tendency to sail at the max speed in my cruisers from the beginning to end, while many other highly ranked players stop behind islands a lot to ambush. They also know when to slow down and reposition their cruisers to avoid gambits into high-risk traps. A way to improve for me, hopefully for you too.:D


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