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Carl

USN Cruisers And The Split, My Thoughts.

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I've held off on providing too firm an opinion on what should happen with each ship because at the time of initial news i hadn't played the Baltimore. Having now played some games with her in top config i feel ready to offer some opinions on what i think they should each look like.

 

I'm going to list each ship in turn and do a few subsections on each. I had hoped to get it done before we got details. But eh, w/e.

 

PENSACOLA:

How She's Doing Currently: Pensacola is in win rate terms, (the biggest stat WG;ing uses), one of the most underpowered ships in the game persistently in the bottom 5 of all non-ARP cruisers of all tiers in the game. To be fair to her thats not unique to her, York, joins her. Schors, Algerie, and Myoko are quite low as well but currently the gap from between Pepsi/York is fairly considerable with Myoko just above Schors so comparatively they're doing vastly better than the rest. Fiji is well up the charts and the only true solid performer, (archives approx 50% win rate) amongst the T7 non-premium cruisers.

 

Severe Problems With Being At T7:  DPM. DPM for days. Yes she actually has very comparable DPM to all of the other T7 CA's except Myoko who has a HE DPM advantage. But they're all sharing a less than ideal stats position with her so that doesn't IMHO invalidate the point. I've also played around with her AP and looked at it from a theory standpoint and at extended ranges it just isn't accurate enough to get enough upper belt hits to make it better than the HE vs BB's and vs cruisers it doesn't have enough pen to deal with acutely angled cruisers beyond 10km if they have over 100mm of belt armour. This means HE is allways going to be your first go to ammo choice, the long 15 second reload also hampers switching. That's not to say the AP is bad, but it's not the universal cure all some would have you believe.

 

Moderate Problems With Being At T7:  This is one your going to see me repeat endlessly about the USN cruisers. Her maximum gun range vs her maneuvering stats produces a very narrow couple of km wide stretch of water where she can play duck and weave effectively. This makes it very hard for players to keep the appropriate distance, she's a high position awareness input cruiser, she demands more in this department just to make her work and this makes her very unfriendly to play. 

 

Minor Problems With Being At T7:  I can't really pick at anything here. Yes she's got paper thin armour, and yes that can hurt but i wouldn't call it an issue as such, it simply denies her any make up capacity elsewhere.

 

Severe Balance Issues Possible At T6:  AP. T6 has and sees a lot more cruisers with sub 100mm belts which means a lot more targets that AP can be just brutal against. However it's important to note that by using Aoba as a point of comparison the HE DPM looks spot on so any work here needs to be done carefully or it risks leaving the ship too highly specialised.

 

Moderate Balance Issues Possible At T6: The HP total of the Pensacola is noticeably high for a T6 cruiser and could present several issues with excessive survivability. 

 

Also unless some kind of range or maneuvering buff takes place she's still going to be riding the ragged edge of the viable duck & weave capability. Thats viable but a serious comfort of play issue.

 

Minor Balance Issues Possible At T6: Again i don't foresee any issues not mentioned above.

 

Changes That Would Break The Ship At T6: Any change to her turning or range, a cruiser that can't wiggle is all kinds of screwed and Pensacola is barely able to do that now, nerf her range or handling and she won't be able to do it at all.

 

 

NEW ORLEANS:

How She's Doing Currently: Like Pensacola NO is one of the worst performing cruisers in the game, Unlike Pensacola she only has one tiermate that's as badly off, and thats Hipper.

 

Severe Problems With Being At T8:  DPM. DPM for days. Just like Pensacola she's just lacking in the ability to pour damage onto targets. Like the Pensacola the majority of the ship in tier outperforming her have superior DPM. The two exceptions are Mogami and Atago. Atago is a special case I'm going to discuss when i get to New Orleans second serious issue, and Mogami is well known for her use of the 6" guns. All the commentary i made about the AP with Pensacola applies here also, only now there are even fewer cruisers you can get through the belt of at severe angles.

 

Her second major issue is her Durability. She has the lowest HP of all cruisers at her tier. In addition 2 of the ships at her tier, Edinburgh and Atago get heals exacerbating the HP difference. I did mention above that Atago has fairly similar DPM to New Orleans, and thats true, but she also has around 5k more HP, and a heal which can easily exacerbate this to 15k or more. Atago also has a 40mm top deck which has a major positive effect on her ability withstand hits to ehr upper deck from cruiser HE and BB AP. Atago also has good angle torpedoes for when a fight goes south unexpectedly and you find yourself in a brawl. And torpedoes beat good AP in a brawl generally unless the AP is very, very good, and NO's isn't good enough.

 

Moderate Problems With Being At T8:  This is one your going to see me repeat endlessly about the USN cruisers. Her maximum gun range vs her manoeuvring stats produces a very narrow couple of km wide stretch of water where she can play duck and weave effectively. This makes it very hard for players to keep the appropriate distance, she's a high position awareness input cruiser, she demands more in this department just to make her work and this makes her very unfriendly to play. Yes i just copied the sentence straight from my Pensacola commentary, it's a much repeated thought with the USN cruisers.

 

Minor Problems With Being At T8:  The stock grind, having to sit through the even more awful DPM of the stock configuration to get the top hull is downright punitive as the ship in stock configuration is inferior in every respect to the top hull Pensacola, the preceding ship, something that is pretty rare otherwise in WoWS.

 

Severe Balance Issues Possible At T7:  Assuming Radar is removed and the T8 modules slot is removed i foresee no issues.

 

Moderate Balance Issues Possible At T7: As above, remove radar and concealment modules and change nothing else and she'll downtier 

 

Minor Balance Issues Possible At T7: Again as above.

 

Changes That Would Break The Ship At T7: Anything other than removing radar and the T8 module slot. New Orleans has few advantages over Pensacola and several of those advantages are of low importance IMO. So pretty much any change is going to leave the ship as bad or worse than the Pensacola currently is. To cover the differences with my thoughts on them.

 

First and foremost he NO has slightly better range, however this is heavily offset by the ever increasing average turning circle, and by the ever decreasing BB shell flight time. This forces the NO t tay further back using up the extra range in the process to leave a similarly sized gap to work with.

 

Second the New Orleans has better armour than Pensacola. Unfortunately 127mm is still  complete paper vs BB's. It helps noticeably vs cruiser AP in theory, but if your driving the ship right it's not much of an advantage because you shouldn't be taking cruiser AP at awkward angles to begin with. It's an advantage but a small and situationally relevant one only. with one exception. New Orleans has a small 32mm plate just in front of her raised citadel section containing the boilers and engine rooms. This at auto bounce angles can eliminate a number of potential BB AP citadels and it's lack on Baltimore or the rear of the New Orleans is noticeably felt IMO.

 

Third the New Orleans has a faster RoF giving greater DPM.

 

That list is not long and only one of them would i call major, (the DPM), if you nerf New Orleans at all beyond removal of radar and T8 modules slot she's virtually guaranteed to end up as bad or worse than the current Pensacola IMO.

 

 

BALTIMORE:

How She's Doing Currently: On paper her performance is mediocre compared to her tiermates generally, but it varies by server. The truth is it's hard to pick a specific cause out of what we have available. At the same time I'm confident WG'ing has something in their statistics that we don’t that's a cause for concern, I'd love to hear from WG'ing what exactly it is that they see that’s an issue.

 

Speaking Personally my No 1 complaint really is that the ship is completely reliant on island firing to be effective. It means unless her team cooperates she's virtually worthless, she has no real ability to contribute outside of this rick. it's a very powerful trick, but it is one trick only, and it’s a relatively inflexible one with an even worse problem of requiring a fair amount of skill to really pull off.

 

The reason she's like this is entirely a result of the fact that she's too much of a slow turning slug to play duck and weave.

 

Severe Problems With Being At T9:  Her Turning circle. It's so much greater than the New Orleans that it seriously hampers her ability to play duck and weave, coupled with her normal maximum range and it’s simply flat impossible for her to do so. This completely eliminates any option but island firing.

 

With range upgrade you can do it, barely, but your so far out it can be hard to keep the range that far apart and the floaty arcs make the guns fairly ineffective at that range.

 

To be completely fair part of the issue is that when travelling at above her natural turn speed, (the speed a ship decelerates to n a turn), it has a much larger than listed turn radius, which is not normal behaviour.

 

Moderate Problems With Being At T9:  The stock grind, being saddled with a 15 second base reload at T9 is downright agony.

 

Minor Problems With Being At T9:  Really she doesn't have any real issues beyond the above 2. 10 second reload and SHS AP gives her rock solid DPM with both ammo types, her AAA is solid, she has nice radar, good HP, acceptable armour. It's all rock solid. She's just let down by the fact that she can't turn worth a damm.

 

Severe Balance Issues Possible At T8:  If they fix the turning circle then they're probably going to need to nerf the HP and maybe the reload. If they don’t touch it, well she's going to be a poor ship even if they don’t change anything else beyond the stuff involved in the downtier, (module slot, heal, and radar range/duration).

 

Moderate Balance Issues Possible At T8: It all comes back to what they do about her manouvering.

 

Minor Balance Issues Possible At T8: Again if they fix the manoeuvring they're may be issues, if they don’t they're won’t be a thing.

 

Changes That Would Break The Ship At T8: An failure to fix that turning circle If she can’t turn worth a damm she's going to suck, that’s all there is to it. After that you just have to choose exactly how much to shave of the HP and/or the reload to balance her.

 

 

 

Global Changes That Would Hep the US Cruisers: I put this bit in to discuss/suggest something they could do to help the US cruisers globally. And that would be to globally improve their speed retention in a turn whilst keeping their turning circles the same. They'd move through the turn faster and as a consequence dodge better. It wouldn’t fix Baltimore on it's own, (though even there it would be very helpful), but it would help, and ti would do wonders for the Pensacola and New Orleans if done right.

 

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As far as your main body is concerned, good write up.

Maybe some day I’ll believe Fiji is as good as everyone seems to say...

...thanks to Leander, and my personal experiences with it, F, and E; I hate all three, and they were ruthlessly and with joy in my heart sold without the least hesitation.

SAP can go to hell.

Edited by Estimated_Prophet

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I like the Indianapolis that I have and once considered going down the USN cruiser line, but I'm hesitant. Maybe I'll get the Cleveland and wait for the line to split.

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53 minutes ago, Estimated_Prophet said:

As far as your main body is concerned, good write up.

Maybe some day I’ll believe Fiji is as good as everyone seems to say...

...thanks to Leander, and my personal experiences with it, F, and E; I hate all three, and they were ruthlessly and with joy in my heart sold without the least hesitation.

SAP can go to hell.

I have FUN in the Fiji, Fully spect, 19 pt captain and perm camo. WASD haks and smoke make her a solid choice.

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3 hours ago, LordGomes said:

I like the Indianapolis that I have and once considered going down the USN cruiser line, but I'm hesitant. Maybe I'll get the Cleveland and wait for the line to split.

It's not that bad I did it fine and I have less battles under my belt than you. Heck, I have had Des Moines since January of this year.  Grind it in co-op if you want @AdmiralThunder knows a few tricks there on how to get XP. I grinded that line in scenarios and in random battles for the most part. Pensacola is my of my favorite ships the only drag was New Orleans. Baltimore was straight up great just gotta dodge, dodge, and dodge.  If you started now you could be done just before the line split occurs. People said "ohh Pensacola sucks" I found that to be not true the ship works if you know how to use her strong points. Good accuracy of the guns and good AA stick to BB's. People have said Kransy Krem is a bad ship and I have gotten to work nicely. People have said "ohh Myoko has horrible turret transverse" it's decent and not horrible. Don't let popularism stop you from getting some decent credits and a decent tier 9 Buffalo ship or even Des Moines itself. Up to you 

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