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GabeTheDespot

How should I learn to play DDs

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I have played CAs, BBs, CVs, and even CLs and have gained a level of mastery on some (Hindenburg). But DDs seem to elude me, the Ruskies, I zoom around, don’t help the win, and get blapped by a Chapayev. When I still played the Japanese DDs, I got cornered and blapped, and after 1 game in Clemson, I get blapped. 

How should I play DDs, and which lines should I start off with, I would really like to learn this rather influential ship class. I think it will help me improve my gameplay, because the best way to counter DDs is to think like them, and the best way to know the actions of a radar cruiser is to be forced to counterplay radar, so I know when the 2 key will be most useful on Hindenburg. 

Thoughts?

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Watch you tube videos be aware of ships around you do not fire torpedoes behind friendly ships.

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Can you give us a bit more info about your playstyle? DDs range from almost light cruisers (VMF) to super stealthy torpedo boats. 

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22 minutes ago, warheart1992 said:

Can you give us a bit more info about your playstyle? DDs range from almost light cruisers (VMF) to super stealthy torpedo boats. 

^ What he said. 

I would guess that you need to pick what countries DDs suit your playstyle. While no champion DD driver myself I find that I am terrible at Jap DDs but usually do quite well in Rusky gun boats. 

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51 minutes ago, warheart1992 said:

Can you give us a bit more info about your playstyle? DDs range from almost light cruisers (VMF) to super stealthy torpedo boats. 

I will do my best, 

I like the kiting and death by devastating AP every 9 seconds style of Hindenburg, but I also like sneaking into a hiding spot/smoke of Fiji. I also like taking stealth specced BBs and going into a position on the enemy’s flank and showing them the power of 10 410mm guns, especially to pesky NCs. 

However, trying to gunboat hasn’t worked out too well for me in Russian DDs thus far (fun, but not effective), so decent guns when I need them and torpedoes mostly. 

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5 minutes ago, GabeTheDespot said:

I will do my best, 

I like the kiting and death by devastating AP every 9 seconds style of Hindenburg, but I also like sneaking into a hiding spot/smoke of Fiji. I also like taking stealth specced BBs and going into a position on the enemy’s flank and showing them the power of 10 410mm guns, especially to pesky NCs. 

However, trying to gunboat hasn’t worked out too well for me in Russian DDs thus far (fun, but not effective), so decent guns when I need them and torpedoes mostly. 

I think based on that the Russians are probably the most likely fit for you.  If you are having trouble with higher tier Russians I would say they are most obnoxious when they are not going full speed but have speed boost running for the increased acceleration and maneuverability and bounce between basically stopped, half speed and full and back again.  Simply put: be unpredictable in both speed and maneuvering.

The big thing for the other lines is basically learning to stay alive.  Try to spot ships early and don't do anything too risky until you have spotted (either visually or via the enemy beginning to cap with unspotted ships) the major cruiser and destroyer threats.  Only do safe things or go places you are pretty sure you can get out of even if you get surprised by a cruiser or radar.  Later in the match you will have more freedom because of knowing where enemies were and fewer of them.

Another thing is you need to understand what ships you can kill and which ones you can't.  While technically your torpedoes can kill any ship, a skilled player is probably not going to be dev-struck in a cruiser while spotted by an invisible foe i.e. no one else spotted could spot them.  You need to try to kill those ships early when they have many other ships to worry about and more other people that could be spotting them OR you need to support the ships on your team that can kill them and help eliminate threats to those friendly ships such as enemy destroyers (also spotting torpedoes, forcing enemies to turn broadside with your torpedoes, etc..).

The supporting of friendly ships is important.  You should not be getting cornered in Japanese DDs if you are with your team.  Too many people think they need to flank with them.  You can be extremely annoying, but more often than not eventually a few ships are going to chase you down.  If you are near your team you can fire torps from an angle and then retreat back to the team if pursued.

Getting blapped is part of life as a DD.  You just need to learn to stack the odds in your favor.  I'm sure better players than me can give you better techniques but basically you need to seek out the enemy and spot them, break contact if they are a threat and work with your team (F3) to eliminate the threats to yourself or the team in the quickest manner possible.  Sometimes that means ignoring the threats to yourself to make sure the rest of the team has a good game.

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If you don't enjoy the RU DD playstyle, though it kinda fits what you describe OP, USN and KM DDs are pretty good choices.

 

USN DDs are probably more newb friendly to someone starting with the DD playstyle, with long smokes, progressively good concealment, very fast turret traverse and RoF, good maneuverability and slowly improving torps to reach the pinnacle of the Fletcher/Gearing. To counterbalance these advantages, you sacrifice torpedo range until tier 7 (Mahan is the first USN tech tree DD to be able to stealth torp), and your gun velocities are almost awful, requiring alot of lead. They are better suited to ranges within 6km to be used effectively. Another big bonus is that with the exception of the Mahan (though I quite liked her), the USN DD line has no stinkers.

The KM DDs are in some ways similar to USN ones, but are more specialized. They have some of the best torpedo reloads in the game, strong AP that can punish most broadsides and some of the best HP tier for tier. Their gun velocities are also better than the USN ones. In addition to all that they can equip Hydro starting from tier VI, being able to contest capture points easier. Their disadvantages are shortest smoke duration among destroyers, clumsiness, mediocre torpedo damage (it stays 14400 for most of the tiers), average turret traverse until you hit tiers IX and X. They are also chubby, meaning you get more AP penetrations yourself. The line itself is reasonably good until Maas (got the Z-23 unlocked but not bought), but I have seen the tiers IX and X are pretty strong due to the torpedo reload mod, competitive Rof and HP, and the improved Hydro they get.

These are the lines I would recommend if you want to get started.  If you have also  done the Honourable Service campaign you will have Shinonome with an 11 point captain. You can try her to see if you enjoy the IJN DD playstyle, which is more stealth and torpedo focused.

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17 hours ago, GabeTheDespot said:

I will do my best, 

I like the kiting and death by devastating AP every 9 seconds style of Hindenburg, but I also like sneaking into a hiding spot/smoke of Fiji. I also like taking stealth specced BBs and going into a position on the enemy’s flank and showing them the power of 10 410mm guns, especially to pesky NCs. 

However, trying to gunboat hasn’t worked out too well for me in Russian DDs thus far (fun, but not effective), so decent guns when I need them and torpedoes mostly. 

US DDs are generally the most versatile, and because of that often considered the "easiest" to play.  The one great caveat to that being that American destroyers do not gain the ability to stealth torp until the upgraded torpedoes on the tier VII Mahan.  Up until the Mahan the recommended play style consists of lots of smoke firing and bullying any lone destroyers you can find; the torpedoes are situational and mostly used against ships which sail close enough to your smoke.  Beyond Mahan they are excellent, well-rounded ships...although the prevalence of radar in high tier matches makes their bread & butter tactic of smoke firing very difficult to pull off, the high tier US torpedoes can be game-changers.  Their "jack of all trades" persona often makes US destroyers the best bet for beginning DD players.

Japanese destroyers are a blast to play through the low tiers, but quickly become difficult and somewhat frustrating as you see more enemy ships equipped with hydro (and more opponents who understand how to steer).  While their torpedoes are easily dodged due to their insane visibility, they pack a huge punch when you can land them.  The concealment stays at the "best in tier" level all the way up through tier 10 Shimakaze, but with the exception of Akizuki their guns remain slow-firing and even slower-rotating, meaning you will not win gun duels against any but the worst enemy destroyer players (and possibly against lower-tier IJN destroyers).  I personally recommend starting with IJN DDs for any new destroyer player, simply because their longer-range torpedoes coupled with fast reload times allow for getting in lots of torp practice in each low tier battle you play.  However, the relative cliff these ships fall off beginning with tier VI run the risk of turning anyone not prepared for it off from destroyers in general.

German DDs are fairly odd.  The "gimmick" lies in the hydro-acoustic sensors you get at the high tiers, combined with fairly good torpedoes and guns.  The difficulty lies in generally mediocre concealment vis-a-vis other same tier destroyers coupled with slower gun reload and rotation compared to their American counterparts.  At the highest tiers you get great hydro and incredibly fast torpedo reload, but those torpedoes do far less damage than other nations.

You've already tried out the Russian DDs, and yeah--they are quite a bit of fun to play, but their play style relies on your team to carry much of the objective burden.

And then there's the line everybody seems to forget about: the Pan Asians.  Their deep water torpedoes limit your ability to combat enemy destroyers, particularly during early-game cap contests, and the recent nerf to their smoke recharge takes away one of their bigger advantages in the mid tiers.  On top of that, you literally do get a mixed bag as you work your way down the line, with smatterings of British, Japanese, Russian, and American DDs found along the way.  That said, the end of the line is well worth it, in the form of Chung Mu (tier IX) and Yueyang (X), who both get a combination of great guns, very good concealment, and highly effective long-range torpedoes (plus the option of mounting radar).  This line as a whole seems to fit best with what you're looking for, although there will be some low-tier boats which play differently.

Alternately, you could wait a couple updates until the British destroyer line is released, then work your way down it with everyone else.

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From what I see, USN, and maybe PA are the lines to grind, thanks for the help guys! I really appreciate it!

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Just started to play DD as well...seems like a good time with the RN coming in... Tried the PA line, mostly in coop mode so I don't piss off too much people and had mixed results... 

After checking some videos, I decided to try German, which are mostly located between IJN and USN? 

Most videos I've seen are older and don't include RN or PA... Even RUS are somewhat sided a bit

I think the best way is to try them all and figure out which one I like, but I would prefer something more balanced... Not bad at gunning, but decent torpedoes as well....  The problem at lower tier is I find they all basically play the same?

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On 6/27/2018 at 9:57 AM, GabeTheDespot said:

I have played CAs, BBs, CVs, and even CLs and have gained a level of mastery on some (Hindenburg). But DDs seem to elude me, the Ruskies, I zoom around, don’t help the win, and get blapped by a Chapayev. When I still played the Japanese DDs, I got cornered and blapped, and after 1 game in Clemson, I get blapped. 

How should I play DDs, and which lines should I start off with, I would really like to learn this rather influential ship class. I think it will help me improve my gameplay, because the best way to counter DDs is to think like them, and the best way to know the actions of a radar cruiser is to be forced to counterplay radar, so I know when the 2 key will be most useful on Hindenburg. 

Thoughts?

Destroyers are one of the classes that can be a bit of struggle to do well not only because they take patience to play effectively, but also positioning. If you trying to gun everything, for example in a USN DD you may find yourself sunk rather quickly. How I tend to play DDs is that I will trying to play objectively as the first priority and then any damage I inflict will either come while I am playing the objective or after I have finished the objective I was trying for. One rather helpful piece of advice I can give is that sometimes it is better to not fire your guns and remain stealth than it is to fire and be spotted.

 

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On 11/8/2018 at 2:46 PM, Patsky said:

Just started to play DD as well...seems like a good time with the RN coming in... Tried the PA line, mostly in coop mode so I don't piss off too much people and had mixed results... 

After checking some videos, I decided to try German, which are mostly located between IJN and USN? 

Most videos I've seen are older and don't include RN or PA... Even RUS are somewhat sided a bit

I think the best way is to try them all and figure out which one I like, but I would prefer something more balanced... Not bad at gunning, but decent torpedoes as well....  The problem at lower tier is I find they all basically play the same?

Destroyer KuroshioKai has a lot of recent, DD-focused videos with a ton of excellent tips and insights throughout.  The focus is more on competitive play vs. randoms, but you'll learn a lot that will come in handy in any game mode.

Mejash has recent videos covering all sorts of Warships-related topics, including some excellent stuff on destroyer play.

Lord Zath has a whole playlist dedicated to analysis of destroyer replays sent in by viewers of all skill levels.  Scrolling down to the bottom of the list will get you the most recent ones.

All three of these channels are somewhat under the radar, but all three also contain excellent insights into the minds of super-unicum destroyer players.

As far as low tier DDs go, yeah...while it isn't always optimal to do so, they can all be played in pretty much the same fashion with just about the same results.  You don't really get a sample of each national flavor until you progress to tier 5 and beyond.  FWIW, I stick to what I said above: USN destroyers are probably the "easiest" to learn on due to their combination of excellent smoke and guns (plus great torpedoes at the high tiers), but the IJN tree is probably the best for a total DD noob to cut their teeth in.  Playing the low tier Japanese destroyers will force you to learn how to use concealment to your advantage and will provide the most practice with torpedoes.  Once you get to tier 6 you can switch over to another line if you want to, but the lessons you pick up with the low tier IJN boats will make you a better DD player in any line.

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Try watching Flamu's destroyer videos too, they were pretty helpful to me.  They helped my overcome being blapped by a Gearing, Des Moines, Minotaur, or any other dakka dakka ship whenever I take my Kiev out to battle.

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On 6/27/2018 at 7:57 AM, GabeTheDespot said:

I have played CAs, BBs, CVs, and even CLs and have gained a level of mastery on some (Hindenburg). But DDs seem to elude me, the Ruskies, I zoom around, don’t help the win, and get blapped by a Chapayev. When I still played the Japanese DDs, I got cornered and blapped, and after 1 game in Clemson, I get blapped. 

I would recommend to play the game objective first. As a DD driver your first priority (majority of the DDs not all) is to

  • provide Spotting
  • Smoke up your teammate when its applicable
  • Cap (for gun DDs its mandatory, Torp DDs should never cap alone)
  • Unlike cruisers or BBs. DDs are more mobile/concealment based play style, that is a good thing because sometimes you can win the match by racing to the red cap. As long as no one can hit you to reset the cap well you snatched the win.
  • DD drivers have to think on there feet, sometimes a win is simply cap and not firing a shoot. You will face easy wins like that.

Remember these are just the basic parameters of a DD cpt. Then the game mode comes into play like Epicenter and Domination. Learning take time but that is all we got to waste.

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I've been enjoying Russian DDs in the last days.

I'm at tier 3 now (Derzkie?) And I easily can get 3 or 4 kills against bots without putting my teammates in harm's way, which means using those torpedoes efficiently unlike others who launch whenever they want without taking a look at the map first.

I guess bots are eventually predictable... Now I need to watch other videos of how to sneak in and use smoke properly!

I might try some low tier random battles

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As someone who potatoes around in DDs a lot, I concur with the recomendation to run the USN line. It teaches you more about position and use of concealment than the IJN line which seems to encourage a lot of people to run at max torp range spamming torps.

The RN and PA lines are much like the USN but with better smoke for the current meta. Using the RN/PA smoke you can break engagement, and not feel like you've crippled your late game by using one of your 2-3 smokes like the USN line. Sitting in smoke blasting away with guns is a death sentence at even T5-6 against good opposing DDs.

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I'd add to the above:

DD's, particularly the US and Russian ones it seems, can be fire starters.  That is, you fire several quick salvos on a target and get it lit then stop and go silent until you disappear from spotting.  Your job isn't to sink a cruiser or battleship but rather force the player to use the repair party so somebody else can perma-light fires or if the ship gets hit afterwards by torpedoes can't stop flooding.

In carrier games in a DD you can go hunting carriers.

Torpedoes from DD's serve two purposes:  The first is they're your ship sinkers.  The second is you can use them to force enemy ships to maneuver to avoid them.  Nothing like forcing somebody to turn broadside and they get citadelled several times for the maneuver.  So, you have to stay aware of who on your team is shooting at what and where they are.  You can help out your team by a torpedo spread in this way even if you don't get any hits yourself.

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Two ways to get good.

First, the hard way.  It involves doing your homework on identifying very good DD players then scouring for every replay or post to absorb any tidbits of knowledge.  Its very time consuming, and often times requires a lot of thought.  I have on more than a few occasions resorted to a process of elimination to figure out what builds these guys were using by looking at their concealment, the reloads on the torps and guns over the course of the game, the HP pool etc.  I went from average to very good this way, but it took several thousand games.

The other way is to go competitive.  Find a clan that has a sub clan/training clan where they let you play with the top guys in scrims, divs, or even better formal training.  You can see the exact time I joined a junior competitive clan back in the day.  I did so because they had several really good DD players in Supremacy League that I could glean information from.  Things started clicking, and pretty soon I was competing on their gold team in SL.  I found the more skilled opponents I was faced with the faster I learned.  Pretty quickly I clawed my way from back up farm league DD player to starting on the flagship team. 

Both ways take effort, IMO going the comp clan route saves a lot of time.  The jump in my stats were rocket ship like and havent really slowed down, admittedly part of that is due to the 5k or so potato games I had learning on my own. 

Spend some time talking with any perspective clan before hand.  Make sure you are clear about wanting training, and ask questions about what they offer.  I dont know how other clans do it, but CUTE is pretty good about mixing things up so sub clans get to work with CUTER guys.  It was a lesson our leadership learned from our KNTAI days.  We lost guys to burn out and really saw we needed an aggressive training program getting new guys up to speed.  We did a lot of mixed scrims in the off season with CUTIE/CUTE and CUTER, and I think its starting to pay off.  CUTE made Hurricane and even beat CUTER in KOTS.  CUTIE I  think has a good shot at high Typhoon/low Hurricane this CB season too.

Not trying to push you towards CUTE, but just want to show you how our clan approaches this.

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