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SteeLeviathan

Small way of fixing the Italian Cruisers

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So I was playing my Duca degli Abruzzi yesterday, and it plays ok, but compared to many of the other tier 7 cruisers, it is a very lacking ship. It got me thinking, is this supposed to be how the Italian line of cruiser will be represented and I then began thinking of some ways of improving the cruiser line that might bring this meh ship to something more that might stand out better among its tier of ships. I will also include some about the Duca d'Aosta, though I don't own the Duca d'Aosta, so can't quite compare how it plays to other tier 6, but I can get some of its details from the wiki page.

Now then, to get started, the Italian cruisers that we currently have are light cruisers, though the play style doesn't quite match how some play current light cruisers, so much. When I think mostly about a light cruiser, I think of the American line of light cruiser of spamming HE from behind a island, or hiding in smoke while firing rapidly at targets that are spotted, or using long range firing of HE to set fires on distant targets. The Abruzzi, on the other-hand, can't really do those things. It has very low arcs, which are good for getting your ammo to the target quick, but doesn't allow for you to fire over an island, like the American or British cruisers, so can't quite use islands for cover as well as, other light cruisers. The Italian cruisers also have the lowest fire starting chance of all cruiser lines and their AP shells have terrible penetration, compared to other lines. Yes they can be used to fight close combat fights with their tier and below with there 30mm belt armor, but that still doesn't stop a heavier cruiser from getting it from the front. 

Now, I started to think of some ways of fixing the line. First off, the HE of the Italian line. Now before people get all uptight about the fire chance, I think that its good. We don't really need any more flame throwers in the game but my suggestion is adding the Italian line to the growing group of ships that gain the 1/4 penetration of their HE. This would make their HE penetration a lot better and be less reliant on captains perk, IFHE, to have your HE shells stick into the target. Actually, I would want it to be taken a step farther and possible make the Italian line have a special HE that would have a lower fire chance but would deal 200 to 300 more damage then what they currently do, bring the Abruzzi from the lowest damaging HE of tier 7 to the highest, while leaving the 1/4 penetration would allow its shells to stick more into its target. I think this would make it more effective as a HE spammer without it having to be a fire thrower. 

 

Onto the AP shells. Italian AP sucks. Everyone knows it. Its tied with the Fiji for lowest AP shell of tier 7, but unlike the Fiji, it doesn't get the good penetration or the improved angles of the British or American cruisers. Currently it has a chance of Ricocheting at 40% with a guaranteed at 30%. I always thought of the Italian line as being a line with powerful AP shells, so perhaps they could be improved some? Maybe give it the same improved angles as the Stalingrad, of chance of bouncing at 35% with a guarantee at 25%, or somewhere between that and the plain bounce stats. I know that the reason that its shells have the least potency of shell aerodynamics and poor ammunition quality control and they weigh about the same amount as the Fiji. But then, why does the Nurnberg at tier 6, have better penetration, though it has a 45 lb shell that does 800 more damage then the Abruzzi at tier 7? I know it possibly the german AP that does it, as it beats out the Helena as well with its AP damage, but the Helena has 15 turrets. The Abruzzi has 10, and they both reload at about the same time. Abruzzi might have a heal, but will it recover enough to keep itself alive when fighting an Helena or a Boise, who has a better heal then the Abruzzi. My way of improving the Abruzzi and possible the Italian lines of AP is possible increase the Autobounce angle slightly and maybe add an additional 100 to 200 more damage to the AP.

 

Now onto the belly of the ship and boy, does it need something. Abruzzi's angles suck just as much as its shells suck. Just to get your back turrets off, you have to basically sail broadside to the enemy, which will cause you to return to the dock much quicker then you would like. Its health though is ok, as its about middle of the pack of light cruisers for health, only falling behind the Helena with just 800 less health. If there was a way of improving its fire arcs, it would be a better ship, but I don't know if that would be able to be done.

Its torps, are interesting. On one side of the argument, it tied with the tier 10 Japanese cruiser for having the longest reaching torps but they are so slow that they should be classified as sea mines. But that hasn't stopped me from sniping battleships from 10km with them and they most certainly can be used in some situations but maybe the could be improved some. Either give the speed a boost or lower the reload time a bit more. I know that asking for a lot, so we will leave that be. 

Its AA is bad, and though I would love to say that light cruiser should be able to take out planes easier then others, much of the Italian Navy was taken out by Aviation, so....ya. Maybe touch it up a bit, but its most likely won't make a difference.

 

So though I said that I wanted to compare the Italian line, it appears that I only wanted to improve the Abruzzi, but those slight changes could also help out the Duca d'Aosta as well, and possible the future Italian cruiser line, if it comes in the future. Improve its HE by moving it to the 1/4 penetration and possible buff the HE damage, with either leaving its low fire chance where it is or lowing it more, I guess. Next increase its auto-bounce angles slightly and or buff its damage output. Finally give it some better angles please.

This is technically my first created topic, and could defiantly improve some but you can only get somewhere only if you push yourself to go there. If you wish to add some constructive criticism to it, or if you see of other ways of improving the ships, go ahead. I would appreciate hearing them, as long as its not trying to provoke a terrible reaction to the post.  All I want, is for the line to feel a little bit more coherent with other lines.

 

Edited by SteeLeviathan
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I never have had any problem firing over islands in the Abruzzi; you just have to find one that works. As for the AP, it's not great, but works just fine within its limitations against broadside cruisers. Maybe your expectations of the ship are too high. It's not the pos that some make it out to be. It's kinda average with good concealment, needs IFHE, and the torps are good. Maybe somewhat average is good enough...

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Abruzzi is an excellent t7 cruiser, a light cruiser with decent armament, excellent anti dd capacity (hydro) and endurance (heal). But it will be a struggle at first, until you hit 14 points of captain skills and can afford to spec both IFHE and concealment.

The flattish arcs of fire offer deadly accuracy which are supremely effective at derping medium range dds, and making long range snipes on enemy cruisers, enjoyable.

But even without, she is extremely tanky for a light cruiser, trollish bow and stern armour/angles allow her to kite her t6-8 bb peers while steadily wearing them down, with both fires, alpha and torps.

Agreed the AA is nothing special, but DFAA is there to make dodging cv torpedo drops quite doable, repair party is there to help you get back on your feet, from those torps that do hit.

I'd like to see one buff, but only one, and that is a slight improvement to her agility (less speed loss on turning maybe). Arguably, she could do without the heal.

I think you have a similar number of battles to myself in this ship, and are doing more than fine in  Abruzzi, too!

(My impression is that Abruzzi has been undeservedly slammed in reviews/youtube, while she is in fact, a secret gem, possibly OP in her role).

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uh...Italian AP doesn't have low pen. Yeah, they're 152mm guns, but that's not the only factor in penetration. Since they travel so fast (1000m/s), it's really easy to punish broadsides.

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4 hours ago, SteeLeviathan said:

Currently it has a chance of Ricocheting at 40% with a guaranteed at 30%

That is not quite correct.

The AP bouncing angles are the regular ones, meaning that at 45° the chance to ricochet begins and it is guaranteed with 60°.

 

Anyway, I do not share your view on the ships being lackluster. I believe that they fill a different niche than the other Cruisers, and that thus they can not be directly compared to other Cruisers at their Tier.

Duca d‘Aosta is a stealthy DD hunter, capable of being a pain in the butt for any DD at her Tier and one Tier above. With her stealth she can operate closer to the enemy than for example Budyonny can, which leads to a rather active playstyle. The swiss knife tool that Hydro+DFAA are help you with hunting DDs, while protecting yourself and your own DDs from incoming airstrikes by scattering the drops. Her AP allows her to take nasty bites at broadsides, it flies extremely quickly and takes opponents off guard. At T6 none of the other Cruisers fill that role.

Would I buff something if I could? I would probably make her dp guns have a 4.2 or 4.5km range, to further help her protecting allied DDs.

Abruzzi goes more into the direction of hunting Cruisers, while still maintaining the threat to DDs. Even more stealthy, she can out-trade opponents when played correctly and can heal up. Just make sure you don‘t get blapped because despite the historical strength, her side protection sucks. She can not, I repeat NOT, farm damage like mad like Payfast, Shchors or Helena do. That‘s not going to happen. You can only temporarily farm BBs when you pop your spotter, anything closer bears the risk of deletion.

Would I buff something on her? The arcs of the X-turret. Seriously, they suck.

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2 hours ago, awildseaking said:

uh...Italian AP doesn't have low pen. Yeah, they're 152mm guns, but that's not the only factor in penetration. Since they travel so fast (1000m/s), it's really easy to punish broadsides.

@Phoenix_jz has put together a list of things WG was rather inventive about with Italian 152mm rifles. Given that Italian 152mm and 203mm rifles achieved pretty much the longest range hits of their respective calibers we could see a different approach to the tree line. 

Premiums cant be nerfed or given the aspect of appearing nerfed. Cloaking shields and low range was the aspect WG wanted.

Italian HE should have higher splash damage to break/destroy modules. However from forum posts we have been told this was too OP. Yet British battleship HE was given high fire chance, 1/4 pen AND large splash damage. :cap_old:

Abruzzi definitely suffers from WG’s interpretation drag is too high, energy retention sucks donkey balls and penetration is wth levels of low.  Armor profile only enhances this by pretty much making sure every hit is a full pen or citadel.  For this it gets a weak heal while it’s Argentinian counterpart which gets lots of overpens, a lower citadel, WG mechanics friendlier rifles also gets an RN super heal. :cap_win:

only if WG thinks they can make a ton of money will they revisit these Italian low tier cruisers.

 

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I find the Italian cruisers very strong.

The AP is brutal vs any broadside vessel, structure wise or belt depending on range. The AP on them is what makes them shine.

The HE is brutal as well and as previously posted, they have flat arcs but you can still use islands to hide and with the spotter plane, increase your range to spam.

The torps are awesome, fire and forget area denial weapons. Very satisfying when you hit enemy ships. 

Don't get me wrong though, they aren't a ship if you have played a few games. They do take some skill, being able to read your map and deployment areas.

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To be totally blunt, the first issue for Italian light cruisers is that they're overteired.

 

WG gave d'Aosta's guns the ballistics of the 152/53 M1926 (50 kg AP @ 1000 mps), but kept the RoF of the M1929, and then bumped it up into tier VI.

This is important to note because the M1926 had those original ballistics (and a RoF of only 4 rpm), but do to dispersion issues was de-rated to 47.5 kg AP @ 850 mps. The succeeding M1929 used the reduced ballistics, but RoF increased to 5-8 rpm.

This was doable, albeit with some handling buffs, but it screwed over Abruzzi by;

1) Forcing her to have to be in a higher tier

2) Stealing her AP numbers 

 

Irl, the improvement of Abruzzi's main battery over d'Aosta's was far more than just two more guns. While the improved dispersion of the 152/55 M1934 isn't applicable, they were also of significantly greater power than the M1926. The mass of the AP shells increased from 47.5 kg to 50 kg, and the muzzle velocity from 850 mps to 910 mps. HE velocity also increased from 950 mps to 995 mps.

 

Thus, because d'Aosta uses the M1926 ballistics on her guns, it totally screws over Abruzzi - she'd never have the same penetration.

 

That being said, I'm also pretty sure WG screwed up the penetration numbers - it seems they based the penetration of the M1926 ballistics of of data existing for the M1934, which means the penetration that d'Aosta has, Abruzzi's guns should have - d'Aosta's guns in face should have higher penetration than they do (and damage). This is evidenced by both the penetration figures, and the fact that many values of the shells (Krupp, drag coefficient) are less than they usually are for Italian projectiles in the game.

 

 

Another continuous issue is the HE, which is hit with both low damage because of the lesser bursting charge compared to foreign navies - but we should hardly forget that this is because they were designed to penetrate more. They get all of the punishment for their design and none of the benefit, while German cruiser HE, for example, gets 1/4 HE pen because... why the hell not? Well, more accurately because they were struggling to perform, but WG has not extended this help to the higher-tiered Italian light cruisers, which are forced between choosing to gut their fire chance to do more damage, or keep it and do little. I don't see why it is necessary to force the light cruisers to adopt a mandatory 14 pt build to perform, especially seeing as the actual cruiser line is more likely to be heavy cruisers with 203mm guns.

 

My last gripe is Abruzzi's armor - her belt is a decapping-based system (not composite like Littorio's, however), which made the belt largely immune to light cruiser fire, although this was not true for higher-caliber shells. WG addressed this decapping question on Roma by simply giving the system a solid 375mm belt inclined at 11º - 381mm effective thickness (for hits parallel to the water). In Abruzzi, nothing is done, which reduces the strength of the belt as it becomes just a 30mm + 100mm system - which is less than 130mm in effective thickness. Given the cruiser had one of if not the strongest belt armor ever equipped to a light cruiser, I think it would've been better to handle this by just giving it a solid 130mm belt.

 

That being said, so much could've avoided had the ships not been up-tiered. 

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Tell you the truth. The only real difference that I was hoping for was just switching the HE penetration from 1/6 to 1/4, like the Germans. Would take in account for there low fire chance with having better penetration. Then I wouldn't have a 6% fire chance.

Also played in one game where someone was cursing, playing the Abruzzi and I wondered if it was that hard for newer players. I really enjoy mine, but your stuck tell you get a 14 point captain with IFHE. But once you do, it is a hell of a fun ship. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by SteeLeviathan

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Germans received 1/4 because of the base fuse. These days I have no idea what justifies 1/4 pen benefit.  Italian HE is instantaneous nose fused. 

WG has as much admitted it won’t fix egregious errors in Roma’s model and stated their Russian book is to be believed over all other sources when it comes to Abruzzi. So hoping for any Balanstm changes is pointless.  :Smile_amazed: A small player base means that there aren’t as many of my fellow potatoes to drag down the overall numbers so it is a win/win for WG.

As I said it will be interesting to see how the tree will deviate from the premiums. Until then enjoy the ships as they are or don’t play them. I’m voting with my wallet and I’ve reduced my expenditures and play time.

 

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A simpler downtiering for both Italian cruisers would have been sufficient, with Doubloon compensation difference for the tier change costs, and the option to sell the ships for Doubloons for a limited time (like the Belfast/Perth/Kutuzov limited-time reimbursement after the global smoke changes).

In lieu of that, Phoenix_jz's suggestions on better belt armor and shell performance would be warranted. Maybe even adopt his unique handling of the SAP shells rather than just buffing the HE pen to 1/4 and calling it a day, like they did with German Cruisers from T6 onwards.

The bigger issue though is like Sparviero has mentioned; WG is just being stubborn about their choices and refusing to admit some of them weren't good, and make the adjustments that would lead to an overall better gaming experience in regards to the ships.

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Sooo a ship that's 4th on the server in win rate (53%), that I'm 65% in solo queues with, needs to be fixed. I say ok, buff this pig 'cause it needs it.

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Ok. Maybe I made the wrong chose of trying to make changes to the Abruzzi. Guess I just want it to be OP. :cap_haloween:image.thumb.png.58d049833536ea782b18e92bbee18875.png

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The ship needs IFHE to do damage. I think its a great ship once you have the cap skills, but the Italians overall don't' seem to have a thing. 

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No one denies you can have great games in these ships. The work effort compared to other ships is completely out of ratio unless you get one of those legendary games only CCs seem to get where everyone sails broadside and dazed the entire game. 

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Duca Delgi Abruzzi is my favorite T7 ship tied with Myoko. It requires a unique playstyle that is not one of the traditional cruiser, and I usually do very well in it. It is a VERY good ship in the right hands and doesn't really need any buffs.

Play it like a Russian DD mixed with an IJN cruiser mixed with a British cruiser.

You murder DDs and enemy cruisers, can tank with the heal, have good DPM, good concealment, and AMAZING maneuverability. Constantly wiggle while supporting your DDs and occasionally use islands.

In addition, it is fitted for many situations; it has def aa to disrupt plane attacks (that aa is GARBAGE besides this though) and hydro to spot torpedos and ships. Also, you can mount a spotter plane if you would like to extend the range.

Try to stay from 10-15km from your targets, and CONSTANTLY through those damn sea mines at your enemies. The torpedos have a short reload and good range; it is highly recommended that you launch them whenever you can, even if your just guessing where maybe possibly the enemy DD could go in the future.

Also, a 30mm plate runs all the way up the bow, making citadelling you from the front hard. Due to the crappy side armor, and bad rear firing arcs, attempt to remain angled away from your oponent or wiggle that back turret to fire.

You are a counter to DDs and Cruisers, not BBs because of that bad fire chance and big citadel. You can deal with CVs because of that guaranteed def aa and good rudder, but you won't shoot more than a few planes down. 

If these are the traits of the future Italian line, I'm going to love it. Imagine the T8 Zara class having a 7.5 second reload on 203mm Guns? That sounds pretty nice to me, even if you sacrifice aa and HE fire chance. The Italians seem to be a manueverable, low range, bad aa, great DPM, have unique torpedos, consumables for many situations, bad fire chance, and overall fun line. 

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