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KaptainKaybe

Roma's Identity Crisis (aka Alabamagate 2.0)

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Hi Wargaming and forum community,

I know, I know ... I brought up the dreaded Alabamagate issue in the subject line, which I'm sure brings up some past PTSD exceeded only by the GZ fiasco. But unfortunately, the comparison is quite spot on. And the problem is this:

Roma has an identity crisis that is turning a potentially fantastic ship into a very mediocre one at best. Here are the elements that make Roma what she is:

- Extremely high muzzle velocity and base dispersion that make her long range and mid range accuracy really suffer, but that can also ravage other battleships when those shells do land where they're supposed to.
- Excellent armor profile against AP and HE greatly hindered by her massive above the water citadel that makes her brawling capacity suffer as her very thick belt armor is useless at preventing massive damage at those ranges.

If you recall, this is what a lot of people were concerned about with Alabama. Her tighter turning circle and faster turret traverse made her a better potential brawler than North Carolina, except that she couldn't brawl because of how fragile she was. Meanwhile, North Carolina was simply better in the mid range due to her better sigma and smaller concealment value. In the end, Alabama got her citadel dropped and she's now a very good ship used competitively, while still being fairly balanced against North Carolina's better accuracy, slightly better AA, and better concealment. Everyone's happy and we all moved on from that.

Now along comes Roma and we're seeing pretty much exactly the same thing, but even more extreme. Roma's dispersion at range is HORRID. As in very very bad in ways that no other ship in the game is currently (except potentially the Gascogne in testing). And this is due to her having not only a very large horizontal dispersion, but also a very significant vertical dispersion due to shell velocity, and a 1.8 sigma which just isn't good enough to counter it. Alabama's vertical dispersion, on the other hand, is really very good, so her odds of landing most shells is still quite high. The other very problematic dispersion ships in the game at that tier, the Bismarck sisters, have been built so as to be able to withstand tremendous punishment up close due to having citadel-proof turtleback armor. Roma, on the other hand, is very very tanky ... until she shows her side. Now if Roma stays at mid range (12-15km or so), her very thick belt armor and decent angling can pretty much prevent citadels happening. Whereas in a brawl, even close to 400mm of citadel protection doesn't mean squat as we've seen numerous times with the Yamato. Except Yamato is VERY accurate at longer ranges so she never needs to (or ever should) brawl.

Therein lies the problem with Roma. You need to get up close to reliably land hits despite her dispersion, but being up close with this ship requires a *significant* amount of map awareness and hope that you're facing up against potatoes. Because if an enemy battleship has a chance to set up a cross fire situation, which happens often when you're pushing to brawl in the middle of the map, or if you're brawling an enemy BB up close and that enemy holds his fire and rushes you to pass you along the side, you're hosed. Absolutely hosed in this ship. I have dev struck close broadsiding Romas. Everyone has. It's close to becoming a meme at this point.

So, Wargaming, you need to make up your mind here. What do you want Roma to be?

Is she meant to be a brawler? Then drop her citadel to the waterline. She still can take citadel hits, but it won't be these massive triple or quadruple citadels you see on her now.

Is she meant to be a stealth sniper in the mid range? Then tighter her dispersion or give her a much higher sigma so her shells tighten towards your aim point.

A lot of us really love this ship because of her looks and her handling. But we just want to know *how* to use her in a consistent and reliable way without depending entirely on RNG throwing us a bone. Because right now ... well ... I'm sure you've seen all the comments and reviews on the forums and on Youtube. it's no big secret the majority of people are growing frustrated. She needs a buff. Not Cesare levels, god no, but a buff nonetheless to either her accuracy or her citadel.

Thank you for your time.

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25 minutes ago, KaptainKaybe said:

 

Considering she just came out. I say that it is simply too early for conclusions. Wait a few months before making any decisions.

Roma.(Kantai.Collection).full.1870775.jp

Besides the whole Alabama issue was a completely different kettle of fish. There is nothing wrong with Roma (other then the anti-grav unit being to large). Wait before make comparisons like this. She just came out, there is far too little data to say that there is an Alabama-esque ID issue.

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After playing the ship over a number of battles, I see nothing wrong with how the ship is performing except for the fact the you over pen everything... Honestly buffing the ship further may push it into the op side of things.  

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17 minutes ago, RN_Roma said:

After playing the ship over a number of battles, I see nothing wrong with how the ship is performing except for the fact the you over pen everything... Honestly buffing the ship further may push it into the op side of things.  

Yes, but those overpens are a symptom of the dispersion problem. Against cruisers, with these high velocity guns, you need to aim a little bit below the waterline to get those citadels, and when those shells DO go where you aimed, they can be devastating. I know ... I've had RNG bless me on a couple of occasions and blapped ships into non-existence. But it's very very rare. The problem is that her vertical dispersion is so massive that shells fired disperse up and down so as to either plunge to far in the water to hit the citadel, or disperse too high up so that they either overpen or miss entirely. What you described there is exactly the problem with this ship.

Now I don't want them to change the shell velocity or the penetration. I think both are unique to this ship and teaches players a different way to aim than, say, the significantly more plungy shells on Alabama or NC. But if the dispersion, on both axis, is so ridiculously high that they miss where you're aiming this much, then she either needs a buff to dispersion or sigma, or she needs a waterline citadel to make her safer to use up close and personal where she can reduce the odds of those shells dispersing too wildly.  Note that there are only two other battleships in the game with high above the water citadels currently: Yamato with it's deadly accuracy at all ranges, and Nelson with her mega heal and pretty decent accuracy. Both of those ships have elements that balance out the danger of their massive citadels, whereas Roma does not. So you end up with a ship that is JUST shy of greatness, but that in it's current form would never be used in competitive gaming.

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Sigma wont fix vertical dispersion. I also don't see a problem with the citadel, its really not "huge" and doesn't go far above the water (see Yamato or Nelson for a real tall citadel). If anything its a BB citadel done right. Sail with a flat broadside like a moron? Get punished by good aim. Sounds fine to me. I also feel this is a more than fair trade for a tanky upper belt and deck that shatters HE left and right that would wreck your normal 32mm armored bb.

 

Dispersion numbers could use a slight tweak and I wouldn't mind 1 more kilometer in range but other than that I feel its a pretty good bb.

On an aside Nelsons heal has no effect against Citadel damage (tops out at 10% like others) so its moot using the latter as an excuse for the former being massive.

Edited by ksix
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Sigma addresses both horizontal and vertical dispersion. There was a debate about the correlation between sigma and vertical dispersion about a year ago, but it's been thoroughly analysed since then. In fact, iChase put up a video about how dispersion works just today. Go check it out. It's good stuff.

And if your solution is to tweak dispersion values instead of the citadel, that's fine by me. Either option works for me. I just want to see this ship being consistent at either medium range or close range. Right now it is neither.

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2 hours ago, KaptainKaybe said:

So, Wargaming, you need to make up your mind here. What do you want Roma to be?

Is she meant to be a brawler? Then drop her citadel to the waterline. She still can take citadel hits, but it won't be these massive triple or quadruple citadels you see on her now.

Is she meant to be a stealth sniper in the mid range? Then tighter her dispersion or give her a much higher sigma so her shells tighten towards your aim point.

WG already made up their mind on what they want Roma to be.  They did that during the ship's extensive testing period.  The ship has a fairly obvious "identity" because its characteristics are quite different from any other tier 8 BB.  It's got concealment and turret traverse speeds more in line with a heavy cruiser than a typical BB, which are huge advantages.  But it's not fragile like a CA because its armor scheme is very effective while angled and it's not too vulnerable to HE spam.  That seems like a fine "identity" to me.

 

If they dropped the citadel to the waterline Roma would just be a better Monarch.  If they improved the dispersion or sigma significantly Roma would just be a better Amagi.  Either way, it would then be the tech tree ships with the "identity crisis" and we'd have yet another premium that's just a straight upgrade over anything you can grind for.  Doing that is a huge mistake as it devalues much of the game's content when you can just buy a better ship.  Stop fishing for buffs on a ship that's performing just fine and was only released a few days ago.

 

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The problem with the Roma's citadel isn't that it sits above the water, the problem with her citadel is that it unrealistically abuts up against her belt armor when it should be a good 10 meters back on each side. That results in shallow pens causing citadels instead of just normal pens.

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3 minutes ago, Vaidency said:

 

WG already made up their mind on what they want Roma to be.  They did that during the ship's extensive testing period.  The ship has a fairly obvious "identity" because its characteristics are quite different from any other tier 8 BB.  It's got concealment and turret traverse speeds more in line with a heavy cruiser than a typical BB, which are huge advantages.  But it's not fragile like a CA because its armor scheme is very effective while angled and it's not too vulnerable to HE spam.  That seems like a fine "identity" to me.

 

If they dropped the citadel to the waterline Roma would just be a better Monarch.  If they improved the dispersion or sigma significantly Roma would just be a better Amagi.  Either way, it would then be the tech tree ships with the "identity crisis" and we'd have yet another premium that's just a straight upgrade over anything you can grind for.  Doing that is a huge mistake as it devalues much of the game's content when you can just buy a better ship.  Stop fishing for buffs on a ship that's performing just fine and was only released a few days ago.

 

Even if the citadel was dropped to the waterline, it wouldn't be a "better Monarch" as both those two ships have *wildly* different guns and armor characteristics. They couldn't be more far apart. In fact, the only similarities between the two are the AB-X 15 inch turret layout. But Roma has better armor, Monarch has noticeably better AA, Monarch has *significantly* better HE, Monarch AP is low pen whereas Roma AP is very high pen. Monarch has MUCH better vertical dispersion than Roma.

Also, I'm not asking Roma to have the near invulnerable RN BB citadel that's very slim and sits several meters below the waterline. Was more thinking along the lines of the NC style citadel that's still fairly wide and right level with the waterline.

Again, to repeat ... this ship needs to have more consistent gunnery. Either by making her longer range accuracy better, or by dropping her citadel to the waterline to make her more comfortable at brawling ranges.

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3 minutes ago, KaptainKaybe said:

Again, to repeat ... this ship needs to have more consistent gunnery. Either by making her longer range accuracy better, or by dropping her citadel to the waterline to make her more comfortable at brawling ranges.

Hey, maybe even the 90mm secondaries might start some fires, who knows? :cap_like:

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Just now, TornadoADV said:

Hey, maybe even the 90mm secondaries might start some fires, who knows? :cap_like:

Meh ... her secondaries are nothing to write home about. And I'm okay with that.

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The citadel is fine. If anything, the RN BBs from KGV onwards should have had them too, around the machinery areas below the funnels, where they historically should have been. KGV's wouldn't be as big an issue if her B hull sank her deeper into the water with Monarch also featuring similar (considering it's mainly a gun swap but very similar draft), while Lion and Conqueror would still have theirs stick out just enough to be punished if they broadside at the wrong time.

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I'm okay with RN BBs, including the late tier ones, having those really difficult to hit citadels. Remember that their trade off is that they are very vulnerable to HE spam. Even Lion and Conqueror both still have 32mm decks and upper belts (at least I'm fairly certain of that ... I'll have to check again when I'm back home), so the strong heal is balanced out how quickly both of those melt under sustained fire. Conqueror's advantage with her mega heal and low concealment is that she can appear out of the blue, riddle targets with HE and cause as much damage as possible, and disappear once she's taken enough damage herself so as to heal up and reposition. Whereas Montana, Yamato, GK all have thick enough armor everywhere that 203mm non-German HE spam would do very little damage unless it starts a fire. Conqueror is NOT a very tanky ship other than for her great heal. All it takes to take one down is to bring in a DD up close to prevent her going dark and just shelling her till she's dead.

Roma on the other hand has great armor everywhere. She's actually quite strong bow on and up close. The danger is in situations where she can't be bow on to all other BBs. All success I've had with that ship have been in those ideal situations where I found myself in a position where no BB had a clear shot at my side. But there's no way to guarantee that, especially in open waters and with enemy BBs that abuse concealment to reposition.

Edited by KaptainKaybe

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