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_Dracarys

Zao: AFT any good?

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So I have advanced fire training on my zao. It's actually a really useless investment because I don't slot def aa.

I am thinking maybe I should get:

vigilance + expert loader + def AA for better AA, ok torpedo protection and ability to swap to AP fast.

 

Or RPF + hydro...absolutely no AA but didn't have much to begin with. 

 

My questions:

1. Is vigilance noticeable?

2. Is RPF good for zao?

3. Any other recommendation to reinvest my 4 points?

Edited by _Dracarys

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RPF is best

AFT is only useful against CVs, but you also need to combine it with DFAA

 

In other words, [edited] CVs :cap_book:

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17 minutes ago, MrDeaf said:

RPF is best

AFT is only useful against CVs, but you also need to combine it with DFAA

 

In other words, [edited] CVs :cap_book:

played against a midway this morning, with AFT i shot down one plane, and he was flying his planes all over my head

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12 minutes ago, _Dracarys said:

played against a midway this morning, with AFT i shot down one plane, and he was flying his planes all over my head

Did you have BFT, AFT, AAGM2 installed to compliment your Defensive Fire?  AFT alone isn't enough and does not constitute an AA Build.

 

AA Builds are like Secondary Builds.  A good degree of dedication is required to make it worthwhile.  The catch is that Zao's AA is never going to approach anything like DM, Hindenburg.

 

But to remain on topic for your Zao situation, if you want to drop AFT, I'd invest it in TAE and PM or PT, whichever you skipped in Tier 1.  TAE will shave off some time off the 12km torps which have a massive reload time, 171 or so seconds base reload time, IIRC.

 

Vigilance is cool if your Cruiser is consistently playing that close on a regular basis where torpedoes are a recurring problem.  This is something I may consider for USN, RN, German Cruisers, depending on your close up playstyle.  But IJN Cruisers, IMO, typically don't play close ranged games like that.  Especially Zao.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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10 minutes ago, _Dracarys said:

played against a midway this morning, with AFT i shot down one plane, and he was flying his planes all over my head

Did you designate a squadron to focus fire on?

Actual question,  not accusation.  My GK has like 94 AA rating and when a Hak flew its planes overhead I show down an entire THREE,  and that was designating a target.  Ran into a Taiho a match later and eradicated thirteen of his planes and stopped most of his offensive.  Might just be RNG being RNG,  though.

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AFT on Zao isn't a strong choice of 4pts. Even when you're doing something "crazy" like Secondary Build; and even then it requires further investment of either IFHE or MFCSB. 

With an AA build you might get somewhere IF you're also grabbing MFCAA. 

But there's better usage of points elsewhere. Both builds cost 8pts. 

Zao can get away with simply Concealment for T4 skills. But there are some other ones that hold potential. Especially when combined with other skills and and playstyle. 

RPF + Vigilance for close support cap contesting. 

FP + SI for additional Tankiness; counter HE-Cruiser Play.

JoaT + HA for better DCP cool downs. And other consumables. 

There's lots of options for Zao. With the Type93 torpedoes there's a possibility of a Torpedo Build via Modules and CMDR Skip's. 

She's a weapons platform that can almost be tailored to however you want to play her. It'll be more difficult than the "standard" builds for sure. But whatever playstyle you've mastered could potentially be squeezed out of the Zao's chassis. 

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1 hour ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

Did you have BFT, AFT, AAGM2 installed to compliment your Defensive Fire?  AFT alone isn't enough and does not constitute an AA Build.

 

 

 

Vigilance is cool if your Cruiser is consistently playing that close on a regular basis where torpedoes are a recurring problem.  This is something I may consider for USN, RN, German Cruisers, depending on your close up playstyle.  But IJN Cruisers, IMO, typically don't play close ranged games like that.  Especially Zao.

just AFT lol. 

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1 hour ago, Palladia said:

Did you designate a squadron to focus fire on?

 

i do

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I'm planning on trying MFCAA on mine, since the long range aura is strong relative to everything else.

 

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11 minutes ago, Lillehuntrix said:

I'm planning on trying MFCAA on mine, since the long range aura is strong relative to everything else.

 

I suggest having a backup ship to stick that same CMDR on. Something like Harekaze, Kii, or Yubari. Something that will benefit more with an MFCAA build. 

My Zao Cmdr is currently IFHE Secondary and has been since Ibuki . Once I get far enough through the IJN gunboat line he'll be transferred there. 

Although if that rumoured 10cm gun buff also affects Ibuki, Zao, and potentially Kii's (not that I own one) secondaries also.. He might be staying put. 

Have a backup ready, unless you're fine with respecs if it doesn't pan out or the novelty wears off. 

 

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3 hours ago, False_Premises said:

Rating means nothing.

Is this a thing that starts at tier 10,  then?  Cause it's sure as heck mattered at every other tier for me.  My battleships are capable of taking out decent to large numbers of any squadron below T10.  Are you telling me that the Midway and Hak suddenly and mysteriously become much harder to shoot down?  Or was it just pure RNG?  Cause I could totally see it being RNG.

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If you don't spec for full AA but still want some security, Manual AA is a better choice since it boosts your DP guns' AA power when you have an actual plane squad designated (CTRL + Click on enemy plane squad). Of course, the caveat is that it requires a bit of active micromanagement; it only works when plane squads are designated.

Otherwise, you could do Vigilance + Hydro, as Vigilance actively improves Hydro's torpedo detection, or you can instead split the points elsewhere.

I'm partial to IFHE on an alternate Zao captain, simply because it allows a bit more consistent damage to the upper sections of USN BBs, but that's not quite optimal unless you just like firebombing.

My mainstay uses the spare 4 points on Superintendent + Preventative Maintenance; just to increase my consumable usage by 1 and reduce some destruction of my AA or torpedo tubes.

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1 hour ago, Palladia said:

Is this a thing that starts at tier 10,  then?  Cause it's sure as heck mattered at every other tier for me.  My battleships are capable of taking out decent to large numbers of any squadron below T10.  Are you telling me that the Midway and Hak suddenly and mysteriously become much harder to shoot down?  Or was it just pure RNG?  Cause I could totally see it being RNG.

Rating means squat.  What does matter for every tier 4 and up is the DPS and where in your bubbles the DPS is.

For instance, on the Cleveland switching from the A hull to the B hull the AA rating goes up.  But, it loses long range and mid range DPS in favor of more 20mm close range, which btw isn't affected by DF.

Consider yourself learned.

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1) planes are Zao's only weakness if no def AA.

2) even though, I still run sonar stacked with vigilance 

It's a choice, you only need def AA to spread plane drops, nothing else really needed.  If you Div with a CV go full AA spec and you can chew up planes pretty good. 

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1 hour ago, Palladia said:

Is this a thing that starts at tier 10,  then?  Cause it's sure as heck mattered at every other tier for me.  My battleships are capable of taking out decent to large numbers of any squadron below T10.  Are you telling me that the Midway and Hak suddenly and mysteriously become much harder to shoot down?  Or was it just pure RNG?  Cause I could totally see it being RNG.

What False_Premises is telling you is that the Ratings, for any of the stat areas, are very 'fuzzy'.  The classic example is the +1 for the Clemson's gunnery upgrade that DOUBLES your gun power.  They are especially silly for comparing different ship types, or ships at different Tiers.

53 minutes ago, False_Premises said:

Rating means squat.  What does matter for every tier 4 and up is the DPS and where in your bubbles the DPS is.

For instance, on the Cleveland switching from the A hull to the B hull the AA rating goes up.  But, it loses long range and mid range DPS in favor of more 20mm close range, which btw isn't affected by DF.

Consider yourself learned.

F_P, you are correct in intent, but incorrect in the details of your example.

A Hull Cleveland:

23 X 1 20 mm Oerlikon Mk4
Aura TypeAuraNear
DPS 82.0 dps
Distance 2.0 km

10 X 2 40 mm Bofors Mk1
Aura TypeAuraMedium
DPS 113.0 dps
Distance 3.5 km

6 X 2 127 mm/38 Mk32
Aura TypeAuraFar
DPS 90.0 dps
Distance 5.0 km

B Hull Cleveland:

23 X 2 20 mm Oerlikon Mk20
Aura TypeAuraNear
DPS 140.0 dps
Distance 2.0 km

4 X 4 40 mm Bofors Mk2
Aura TypeAuraMedium
DPS 63.0 dps
Distance 3.5 km

6 X 2 40 mm Bofors Mk1
Aura TypeAuraMedium
DPS 67.0 dps
Distance 3.5 km

6 X 2 127 mm/38 Mk32
Aura TypeAuraFar
DPS 90.0 dps
Distance 5.0 km

Notice that the B Hull trades some dual Bofors for quad Bofors?  B Hull total midrange DPS is 130, compared to 113 for the A Hull.

Edited by ZoomieG

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2 hours ago, Palladia said:

Is this a thing that starts at tier 10,  then?  Cause it's sure as heck mattered at every other tier for me.  My battleships are capable of taking out decent to large numbers of any squadron below T10.  Are you telling me that the Midway and Hak suddenly and mysteriously become much harder to shoot down?  Or was it just pure RNG?  Cause I could totally see it being RNG.

The rating itself doesn't mean much.  It is a general abstraction of how effective your AA is.  The actual effectiveness of your AA is seen in the AA panel.  You have to get under the hood to really understand your ship's capabilities.

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3 hours ago, Pope_Shizzle said:

The rating itself doesn't mean much.  It is a general abstraction of how effective your AA is.  The actual effectiveness of your AA is seen in the AA panel.  You have to get under the hood to really understand your ship's capabilities.

And these are things I understand,  particularly the division between short,  medium,  and long ranged AA and their general effectiveness.  The issue I am having is that prior to facing T10 CV's,  they seemed fairly accurate in so far as effectiveness in dealing with enemy planes went.  I am completely open to the idea that RNG just hasn't been on my side in the few T10 CV matches I've had,  but it just seems odd to me that my ships go from being decently effective at dulling the edge of CV drops to being totally ineffectual.  

Note that this is JUST with AFT and BFT,  no manual AA or modules.  Just that said setup was acceptable in dealing with CV's before a certain point and suddenly shooting down anything seems like a bit of a crapshoot.

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11 hours ago, Ivlerlin said:

I suggest having a backup ship to stick that same CMDR on. Something like Harekaze, Kii, or Yubari. Something that will benefit more with an MFCAA build. 

My Zao Cmdr is currently IFHE Secondary and has been since Ibuki . Once I get far enough through the IJN gunboat line he'll be transferred there. 

Although if that rumoured 10cm gun buff also affects Ibuki, Zao, and potentially Kii's (not that I own one) secondaries also.. He might be staying put. 

Have a backup ready, unless you're fine with respecs if it doesn't pan out or the novelty wears off. 

 

What is the rumored 10cm gun buff?

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Considering the ZAO is a long range weapon. I don;t suggest Vigilance. RPF is up to the player if he wants to know where the nearest reds are. As a long range spammer, cpts options are limited. IF you go for RPF I would suggest wasting the rest on bringing your consumables off cool down faster. GL and HF

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3 hours ago, Palladia said:

And these are things I understand,  particularly the division between short,  medium,  and long ranged AA and their general effectiveness.  The issue I am having is that prior to facing T10 CV's,  they seemed fairly accurate in so far as effectiveness in dealing with enemy planes went.  I am completely open to the idea that RNG just hasn't been on my side in the few T10 CV matches I've had,  but it just seems odd to me that my ships go from being decently effective at dulling the edge of CV drops to being totally ineffectual.  

Note that this is JUST with AFT and BFT,  no manual AA or modules.  Just that said setup was acceptable in dealing with CV's before a certain point and suddenly shooting down anything seems like a bit of a crapshoot.

 

You generally don't need manual AA to be an effective AA ship.  Zao can be effective.  You need the slot 1 module that gives 100% extra hit points to AA and secondary mounts.  You need the module that extends your AA range by 20%.  You need AFT and BFT.  Combined with judicious use of DFAA, Zao can be effective at shooting down planes.  You're not going to do as well as a Mino or a DM or even a Hindy, but you'll knock a few down.  Especially the tier 8 and 9 CV's.  It's tough to play AA versus tier 10 CV's because they have massive reserves and their planes have a lot more HP and are a lot faster.  Which means they are more resilient to your AA and are exposed to it for a shorter time.  If you happen to be the target of a tier 10 CV and you are kind of alone (no other ships can assist you with their AA aura), you're going to lose in a Zao.  Even if you spec AA.  Your only hope is that you can make it painful enough on the enemy CV driver that he leaves you alone.  At tier 10, AA is really an all or nothing approach.  You either spec completely for it, or don't bother. 

Also consider that at tier 10, a 100 AA rating on one ship may not be equal to a 100 on another ship. On a Montana, the 100 rating may mean 99.5 while on a Worcester, it means 129.  When you have ships that are capping out, it's tough to compare them.

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On 7/12/2018 at 2:50 AM, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

What is the rumored 10cm gun buff?

The rumour I heard was something about better HE Penetration for the 100mm/65 type98 guns for the new IJN T9-10 DDs and possibly the Akizuki/Harekaze as well. 

Which if it's specific to the guns might affect the other ships with the same gun batteries; Which Zao is part of the bunch.

Unless they do something sly like adding "Mod. 1" to the end of it and make it DD only. 

Basically make IFHE less critical a cmdr option for those DDs.

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On ‎7‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 3:07 PM, _Dracarys said:

So I have advanced fire training on my zao. It's actually a really useless investment because I don't slot def aa.

I am thinking maybe I should get:

vigilance + expert loader + def AA for better AA, ok torpedo protection and ability to swap to AP fast.

 

Or RPF + hydro...absolutely no AA but didn't have much to begin with. 

 

My questions:

1. Is vigilance noticeable?

2. Is RPF good for zao?

3. Any other recommendation to reinvest my 4 points?

My view.

Vigilance is good, very good. While the Zao is a long range sniper it also can get in close... nice to see metal fish in time.

RPF is a no go for all IJN dds and cruisers. The main strength of IJN is stealth, why negate that with rpf. many times late in the games all the dds are knocked out..the Zao can then become a dd.. torping spotting and capping.... When the Zao does really well... most players didn't realize it was even in the game.

Those 4 points could be used a bunch of diff ways... I run 3 3 tier skills and two 1's... Not sure its entirely effective... but the double spotter plane and vigilance allows me to get Def AA rather than Hydro. Also have fire starter wich is probably a waste now that I think about it....

 

Look into running the spotter plane... some games and maps you can be at 60k damage from spamming Zao sauce on everyone while being undetected before ships even get to the caps.

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1 hour ago, Sweetsie said:

My view.

Vigilance is good, very good. While the Zao is a long range sniper it also can get in close... nice to see metal fish in time.

RPF is a no go for all IJN dds and cruisers. The main strength of IJN is stealth, why negate that with rpf. many times late in the games all the dds are knocked out..the Zao can then become a dd.. torping spotting and capping.... When the Zao does really well... most players didn't realize it was even in the game.

Those 4 points could be used a bunch of diff ways... I run 3 3 tier skills and two 1's... Not sure its entirely effective... but the double spotter plane and vigilance allows me to get Def AA rather than Hydro. Also have fire starter wich is probably a waste now that I think about it....

 

Look into running the spotter plane... some games and maps you can be at 60k damage from spamming Zao sauce on everyone while being undetected before ships even get to the caps.

Yeah and if 2 or more enemy ships left and you have RDF enemy can actually reverse track you based on which one of them is spotted making your stealth attacks far riskier. I much prefer to not give enemy ships even the slightest hint that they are being hunted by a stealth ship if I can at all help it. And honestly as I have been working on prepping my own captain for Zao I can’t see squeezing in RDF in the first place without compromising far more critical skills.

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