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Lancer_0951

Buff Zao?

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Yes, I know that Zao is already a game spoiler, however, compared with other Tier X cruisers, she is not as good as she used to be. In fact, I feel like that Zao is lame in the current gameplay, she does not have a good AA, no radar, poor hydro, and torps only for banzai-use (much less useful than Atago's). The only shining point of Zao is her HE and AP, but her health pool limited her performance and the ability to do something really useful towards the team. (Under current meta, Hindenburg actually has the best HE performance though...). Currently, Zao to me, is a handicapped fire lighter,  that the only thing she can do is spamming HEs behind. If she were to take any actions other than that (YOLO, pushing DDs, Cap, AA, CQC), the risk she will take is beyond any other Tier X CAs, since the poor armor, and maneuverability, and perhaps the slow fire rate. In this way, Zao is forbidden from contributing to her team, since even with her great guns she still cannot take out high threat target nor cap the points (the risk is too high, she will get deleted once she is spotted, while DM gets to radar them first, and Minotaur can just smoke up). 

Therefore, to conclude my POV, With the stealth fire ability gone, and so many other strong competitors like Minotaur, the gaming experience with Zao has significantly decreased. Her survivability is absolutely the worst among all Tier X cruisers. As one of the earliest ship in WoWS, Zao needs a buff or adjustment to adapt to the current game. It can be either a buff to her firing rate, or health pool, or torp angle, or AA, or a new consumable. I just want Zao to be back in games, that I want to be a key roll in my team, instead of a stupid firelighter. 

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I'm up for buffing Zao, provided it focusses on something outside of HE spam, because I feel we already have enough.

So I think that we should put more power into her torps and/or concealment to help encourage her to contest caps.

Also I just want to see a torpedo focussed cruiser line..

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The only thing Zao might need is the Type93 Mod.2 Torpedoes Ibuki has; as an option. 

The transition to Short-Mid Torpedo tactics from T5-9 are lacking once you hit Zao. Your back to the short range ambush only.

I'd say Type93 Mod.3s that Shima has, BUT 12km Torps on a Cruiser imo is too much. And I'm someone who launches Torpedoes alot from my cruisers with access. 

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I think zao is pretty good how it is. It has the most accurate guns with the highest fire chance of all the cruisers, its also one of the 3 cruisers at t10 that gets torps (also has the best of the 3), has the best stealth of all t10 cruisers, is very versatile in consumables to help the team, and has the speed and mauverability to be an excellent flanker. 

If she were to have a buff, id like it to be in AA as it has the worst AA of all t10 cruisers. 

Im my eyes, shes got a lot more strengths than weaknesses, and is still the scariest cruiser in t10 to me.

Once again, my opinion, everyone is entitled to their own ;)

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Zao is fine already... You need to play its concealment better to get full use out of the ship. 

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Zao is good as is but a small HP buff wouldn't hurt, even with the troll armor it has.

10km torp range should already be there. I know they're very powerful torps but T5-T9 are 10km. It's odd.

I guess armament progression and consistency only applies to BB guns.

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Much faster turret traverse and option for quad 10km torps.

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I sold my Zao when I couldn't make her work for me. Granted, I am a mediocre player, but she is not up to her tier-mates, and too different(to me) from the IJN CA line.

Not to go against the grain, but I think she needs 12km torps. Nerf the damage/up the reload time if need be. After being in a torp CA line, it should progress, not regress. A bit of a rudder buff and another knot or two of speed would not be remiss either. Leave the AA if it gets us a knot and better torps.

The advent of radar and KM hydro have left Zao behind in areas, and limited the ways in which it can be effectively employed.

Hindy has the HE crown.

Minotaur is the rapid-fire, high-arc,  smoke/rock-hiding annoyance.

Moskva has both the long radar and stalinium armor.

Des Moines has radar and rapid-fire real guns.

Zao should continue the IJN ways of being the stealthy torp CA. A big DD with armor and 8 inch guns. Put her back out front where she belongs. :)

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Love the Zao 10km torps would be nice and small HP increase also what is taking away from the Zao's HE is all the BB's that are spamming it now.

Edited by CaptKornNutz

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I do great things with my Zao but I usually have to stay between 15 to 18km back to stay alive in a T10 match. A 10-12km torp buff would be a great thing. 

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Zao don't need buff... Well maybe HP buff but other than that she's fine. You easily start fire and if someone is broadside your AP is really good. I wouldn't mind a torps buff but honestly I only use them to see if a ship is moving or not, her torps arc and range are garbage but if I'm in a situation where I can use them, it's really deadly.

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Great suggestions everyone. I think a few areas of alteration would do Zao good and make her stand out against others in her Tier better 

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Zao is really not effective at influencing matches in the current meta. As a result, it fails to be impressive as a tier 10 cruiser that can only spam HE at range.

HE and fire damage is so easily mitigated nowadays by BBs who understand how to absorb fire damage and repair almost all of it over time that Zao does not pose a significant threat but more of mere annoyance to BBs. In return, Zao can easily be crippled any tier X BB that simply fires at it because of the devastating effects of a single alpha strike. Yamatos will continue to fire at 18km away and still land lucky 10k+ salvos on Zao regardless of angling simply due to overmatch.

Zao may have concealment, but it cannot push into objectives like a Minotaur or Des Moines. If it gets caught and spotted up close, it will simply be shot to death from focus fire without the DPM to neutralize threats alone or risk exposing a broadside to turn away.

It does so poorly at close range because of the slow rate of fire and being sluggish to maneuver compared to DPM monsters like Mino and DM that it can only really perform well kiting and spamming HE at near maximum range. None of this influences a match as much as a Tier X is expected to carry out.

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Minotaur has the best concealment (with smoke), Henry IV has the best fire chance (with faster rate of fire). Zao has slightly better accuracy than the Des Moines...but DM fires at almost 3x the rate AND can arc their shells over cover which they can literally hug up to. Moskva out ranges the Zao heavily as well with 220mm guns to boot. Torp firing arcs on a Zao are suicidal plus the torps are short at 8km. Only thing Zao does have going for it is the Yamamoto Capt. Perhaps this is the real reason why this ship stays so....meh.

The Zao just needs some adjustments. Better torp angles with at least a 10km range would be a VAST improvement. Slow them down a bit to do it would be fine. You'd think a T10 warship would have better torp armament than a T5 ship in the same tree.

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Zao is actually one of the best DD escort at the start of the game.

She has the concealment to push very close to the cap, good maneuverability to quickly dodge the incoming BB fires and disappear. 

She also has a special dispersion formula that is the same as DDs, better than all other cruisers. It actually helps a lot with your ambush salvo. You can easily land 6+ shells on DDs and do massive damage in one salvo.

None of the other T10 cruisers except for maybe Minotaur to have such flexibility and concealment to push a cap like Zao. Even DM is heavily dependent on island location. DM also isn't as nimble as Zao to dodge incoming BB fires. 

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Thanks for the response, these are all great ideas. 

I carefully looked through all of the replies, and feel like that I need to clear something about what I said about Zao, and how I get to that conclusion based on my gaming experience. 

First of all, everything I said is all based on a certain degree of real in-game experience with Zao. I am a cruiser main, and I have played over 200 battles with Zao and total of 600 battles with T8-T10 IJN CAs. 

I think the weakness of Zao is not what we actually need a buff, I mean, every ship has weaknesses, there are no perfect ships. (well, instead of Khabar, dat 50mm armor, lmbo...) It is not her AA nor maneuverability needs a buff, not the main battery firing angle, not the armor, it is her torps. If WG ever just buffs her HP, I'd say that is probably the easiest way as well as the most boring way for Zao, I will be disappointed. Please, give Zao 10km torps or even 12 km! With this, 40800 HP is totally OKAY and fair for me, a stealthy torp CA! (not you, Minotaur.)

The current torp that Zao has is very strong, statistically... 76knots? that is insane. however,  these torps are just not very reliable in-game. Faster torps indeed means shorter reaction time for your enemies, while it also leaves you shorter Hit-and-run time. When I am with Atago, I always slow down for whichever BB that is chasing me, wait till they approach within 12km or 11km-ish, then drop the torps and start running again. This often guaranties 1or 2 torp hits even a kill. But for obvious reason I cant do this with Zao, the torp is just too fast and the range is too short, plus the terrible firing angle and the turning radius. In fact,  I scored more hits with Hinden's 6km torp than with Zao's 8km torp, and I played twice more the battle with Zao than with Hinden. Atago's 10km 68 knots toprs are just much reliable and useful in combat. The 8km 72knots torps just look fancy, not useful. Even in Banzai, with Zao's armor, 8 out 10 times you will get Deleted before you finally get to launch...(DS achievement +1 for BBs :cap_tea:)

Plz buff the torp, let Zao once again be a true IJN CA, let the player enjoy the unique playstyle of IJN CA ever since Tier 3. 

Edited by Lancer_0951

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On ‎3‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 5:40 AM, Exciton8964 said:

Zao is actually one of the best DD escort at the start of the game.

She has the concealment to push very close to the cap, good maneuverability to quickly dodge the incoming BB fires and disappear. 

She also has a special dispersion formula that is the same as DDs, better than all other cruisers. It actually helps a lot with your ambush salvo. You can easily land 6+ shells on DDs and do massive damage in one salvo.

None of the other T10 cruisers except for maybe Minotaur to have such flexibility and concealment to push a cap like Zao. Even DM is heavily dependent on island location. DM also isn't as nimble as Zao to dodge incoming BB fires. 

Indeed, I always back a DD early game before falling back and healing if necessary after that.

I like her largely as is, however one thing I might consider is that Zao as a hypothetical ship finishing construction in the mid to late 1940's would have had radar like most large late war capital Japanese warships did.  WoW is hardly ever bound to "realism" (afterall she is a paper boat) but I'd equip her with a "primitive" radar (maybe something similar to the New Orleans or possibly PanAsian DDs) so really only useful for hunting smoked up DDs, definitely not very long range.  The challenge would be giving up DFAA which may make her to vulnerable to CVs, but I'd love to see if that would make her a bit more effective DD escort throughout the entire game and encourage her use in mid to late game cap contesting more and a few more diverse roles than firestarter/sniper.

After watching how that impacts game play then next up yeah I'd look at a possible torp option similar to the GK's guns. That said my Zao is eating the new high tier French BBs for lunch right now so I'm at least liking that.  :-)

 

 

 

 

Edited by seaherder

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On 3/12/2018 at 10:19 PM, Lancer_0951 said:

The current torp that Zao has is very strong, statistically... 72 knots?

Zao has 76kts/8km torpedoes.

9 hours ago, seaherder said:

but I'd equip her with a "primitive" radar (maybe something similar to the New Orleans or possibly PanAsian DDs)

Zao has hydro and I believe it has a 4.9km range.

I feel that better torpedoes w/firing arcs would be a blessing above all others. Zao can become a real threat at closer ranges and press caps more forcefully. Give Zao the ability to stealth torp....something unique from the other cruisers. I just feel she is falling more and more behind with each new ship line introduced. I would like to see her with some more versatility than what her current configuration has to offer.

I love the ship more than any other cruiser....except maybe the Akizuki (c'mon, you know its really a light cruiser).

Edited by Mad_Myke

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8 hours ago, Mad_Myke said:

I love the ship more than any other cruiser....except maybe the Akizuki (c'mon, you know its really a light cruiser).

 

Perhaps you should try Khabar instead of Akizuki : D, Akizuki's 100mm guns are just... insufficient... that penetration is just so painful. 

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On 3/8/2018 at 5:30 PM, MrDeaf said:

Much faster turret traverse and option for quad 10km torps.

I'm all for this. The F3 torps just have so limited use outside of a desperate last resort and the firing arcs basically ask for deletion. As someone who can do relatively well in Mogami and Atago, Zao can be dauntingly challenging to use in randoms even though I don't have this issue in clan wars.

Otherwise, she has to abuse concealment and constant dodging to stay alive.

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There is a problem with the Zao in that it has to be played a certain stealthy way and some good habits on other high end Cruisers could be bad habits in a Zao ... she’s stealthy so if im undetected before I fire I always start my turn And wait till I’m just past broadside and all guns on target before I fire or fire just before going behind an Island, fly the speed flag and do the WASD thingy ... it’s a fun boat that I went from not liking to this thing rocks when played well 

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Health. Zao needs health. Preferentially she needs the extra armor she had at one point- I think it was 150/170mm instead of 100/152mm.

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In CB, a properly played enemy Zao is usually the most talked about enemy adversary in terms of threat assessment. Zao's that know when NOT to shoot, then unleash lethal Ap onto broadside cruisers at 14-17 km to mention but one tactic in the Zao playbook, can really tie up the weak side in a Clan Battle. Since the Zao in CB often involves taking Radio Location as a Captain skill and is usually used on a 1 DD team, the Zao's strength in Random in the current meta is a little less clear. But if you drive a Zao in Randoms, try going dark at key times as well as pushing up early to support your DD's at the cap. If you can hit that first destroyer with a 5k salvo and chase him out of the cap and successfully evade most of the return fire, you might find your wins and damage going up by knowing when not to fire.

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I would have to agree with the majority of the people that are making proposals for changes.

Frankly the two things I would push for in terms of changes would be the torpedoes and the HP.

For the torps, its easy; extend the range out to 10 km. Frankly I just can't understand why the IJN has 10 km torpedoes from T5-T9, but decide to drop it down to 8 km at the end of the line. For consistency's sake just tack on the extra 2 km. Then that way you can give her more options for being an offensive tool, because essentially if you hold your fire the enemy will know that if they can see you, you can bring all your weapons to bear on them now.

For her HP I would frankly tack on another 6K  to 8K of HP to her. That would push her up to having a larger pool than the Minotaur while still having slightly less HP than the majority of other T10 CA's, which seem to sit between 50K to 65K. It would make her slightly more capable of taking some punishment while not being higher than the average CA in terms of HP.

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