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mofton

'But is it fun? - A Subjective Review of the RN T8-T10 Destroyers

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Hello All,

Here is my final review of the Royal Navy destroyers I've now ground through. I've done 'reviews' of the T2-T4 and T5-T7 ones too, and you can find them here:

In addition I took a detailed look at the mechanics behind the 113mm gun of Jutland/Daring and how they performed here:

As always, this is not a detailed or high quality review, it's more about how I feel about the ships - though there are odd stats thrown when I found ones that agreed with me. As

 

Ground Rules:

  • I played the ships... quite a lot. I wanted to grind quickly, I didn’t use FXP though I did run flags. Total games were 24 in Lightning, 36 in Jutland and 16 in Daring  
  • For every sweeping statement read 'in the humble opinion of this poor player guv'nor'
  • I used a 16/19 point skipper, switching build after Lightning
  • Captain build Lightning: PT, PM, LS, AR, BFT, SE, CE
  • Captain build Jutland/Daring: PT, LS, AR, BFT, SE, CE, IFHE
  • Captain build Lightning (alternative): PT, PM, LS, EM, JOAT, SE, CE, IFHE
  • The English, the English, the English are best, so up with the English and down with the rest!

 

Lightning, T8
Power Level: 9/10
Suitable Nickname: Frightening
Basic Description: A significantly overpowered stealthy gunboat of murder

Lightning is overpowered, but that’s ok because she’s a lot of fun and no one likes Japanese destroyers anyway. Well, maybe it’s not ok but she is a lot of fun nonetheless.

 

aS3ONo3g.png
T10 matchmaking, 1 carrier, 4 higher-tier DD, 0 problems, 2845 BXP

Everything about Lightning is at least ‘very comfortable’. The most noteworthy improvement on the rather dreary Jervis being a massive leap in concealment from 6.3 to 5.5km courtesy of the slightly improved base concealment and Concealment Module. Having about the second-best concealment in your matchmaking spread (the best Kagero/Asashio having 5.4) is incredibly potent. It allows you huge flexibility and the power to make choices that influence the game on the basis of your skill, rather than waiting to find out if that Kitakaze with 0.4km better stealth is indeed the thing that just spotted you in Jervis… The handling is good, 36kt even without engine boost about works (and is faster than Kagero, Shiratsuyu, Akizuki and Kitakaze among others in your MM range) and turning feels fine.

The comfort doesn’t end there. Lightning gets lightning-fast (once and done, I promise) turret traverse at 20°/second, her forward turret angles are good and not only does the rear turret traverse 360° but the two forward turrets do too, giving her great flexibility. You can freely switch axis when kiting away, rather than accepting a long 300° traverse to change direction when running.

The firepower improves in every way over Jervis and is a pleasure to use. The torpedoes are upgraded to 8km range, which combined with 5.5km concealment gives you a decent launch window of 2.5km, more than triple the 0.7km on Jervis. Not only that but the torpedo tube firing angles are improved both forward and aft. The guns revert to the T4 (sigh… see my T2-T4 description) ballistics, which are excellent – shells take 7.69s to 10km vs. 9.82s on the older gun. They also have a decent chunk of penetration.

 

muUHj3e.png
Sure, things don't end well, but with 138mm of pen at 4.2km (vs Jutland/Daring with 92mm) the occasional do-or-die citadel on say the 102mm belt armor of Myoko is entirely possible

Lightning is somewhat held back by limited offensive firepower thanks to her short ranged torpedoes for the tier, and fairly weak smoke, reducing the time you can spend raining HE with impunity. Aside from that though the smoke is more sensible at T8 where you see far more radar than you do at T7. There’s no point having less-vulnerable smoke, if there is no radar, and there will be a decent amount of radar as you see T10 matchmaking and multiple radar with some frequency.

As for the elephant – matchmaking, my 24 game experience with Lightning wasn’t too terrible. The average top tier was 9.04. I was top tier 42%, bottom tier 46% with the main deviation from what you’d expect being mid-tier only 12% of the time.

Radar is a threat to Lightning and I saw a maximum of 6 radar in one red team (thanks triple-Missouri division…) while about 20% of my games were radar free and the average was 1.75 radar/game. However, playing around this is entirely possible and Lightning uptiers very well. Carriers are a problem, but even at T8 I only saw them in 25% of the games.

How to fix:

Erm, it’s not broken, clearly needs no fixing. Move along here!

Well, my main niggle with Lightning is knowing when the guns can fire at the target. Yeah, that’s pretty slight. The game uses a system of green/orange aiming reticule to indicate whether the guns can point where they’re aimed, with the RN 360’ traverse turrets they can frequently point, but not shoot and you don’t get a clue as to what angle you need to give.

 

63vcvqr.png
Ok, this is Jutland, but exactly the same applies, you get one green icon indicating the guns are aimed there, but 1 can't fire, could this be looked at?

Lightning is very good, I can foresee a stealth nerf in her future though I’d regret it. She is the concealment anomaly in the line, and ultimately that didn’t work for the Japanese destroyers with Shima getting buffed.

 

Jutland, T9
Power Level: 7/10
Suitable Nickname: Yuckland
Basic Description: A rather piggish but still dangerous gimmick-riddled gunboat

I was very disappointed to get to Jutland, and my initial impression was very unfavorable. I made the tragic mistake of trying to use the A-hull, which has the historic 5-gun configuration but found it virtually unplayable. With the A-hull you have significantly fewer HP than the B-hull Lightning and your rudder shift is a frankly laughable 5.9s. It’s far too high a price to pay for a set-up which also lacks the 6th gun and arranges the 5 in a less advantageous (though more cool) layout. I don’t know why the guns and everything else are all tied to the hull. Anyway… TLDR stock grinds are bad, nothing new I know.

Jutland (the B-hull) isn’t a bad ship, she’s simply unremarkable in a lot of ways, held-up by gimmicks and not very user-friendly.

If you look at a basic Jutland:

  1. Her guns aren’t bad, but they’re not monstrous and cost you 4 skill points for a mandatory IFHE and while they have the advantages of 360° traverse like Lightning, and the same base traverse MBM3 for -13% traverse speed hurts the feel. They have good, but not exceptional reload slightly behind Benson/Fletcher. DPM is good – higher than everything in your MM range but the Japanese gunboats, Daring (duh) and Gearing but it’s not tremendously better than say Fletcher – about 8%. Fire chance is excellent. Ballistics are reasonable, at least better than the American competition, but the AP penetration at close range is poor.
  2. The torpedoes are ok… I guess, but you want to use them fairly opportunistically and 120s is a long reload, exacerbated by it not being worth speccing into them.
  3. The hull is ok, HP are reasonable. Concealment is fine, 5.7km is better than average if not up to the level of Lightning, and it does give you less scope to pick your fights, especially as you’re slow.
  4. The maneuverability is trash. Like all other RN destroyers Jutland gets the baked-in super-acceleration of the cruisers. According to @LittleWhiteMouse this means in a full turn Jutland should retain about 98% of her speed while most destroyers drop to about 86%. Unfortunately the base speed at 34kt feels fairly punitive for the first time, and for moving over big maps losing speed in a turn is less important than getting places. Most T9 destroyers can get around at about 40kt while using the Engine Boost, Jutland really feels slow. Fletcher boosting to 39.42kt and losing proportionally more speed to the turn is still faster in a turn than Jutland is while being ~16% faster to rejoin the action or get to the cap first in a straight line.
  5. In addition a 4.2s rudder shift and 610m turning radius combined with the low speed make her handling less impressive than on most other ships, in particular Lightning. Even with the rudder shift mod (and you can’t take propulsion mod) you’re still left wallowing around turns.

 

Summing up Jutland in pictures:

7fopA1q.png
What a spawn for a 34kt destroyer (also all the middle spawns on this map suck...)

Spoiler

x36hqQs.jpg

Don't worry, the Zao's only a bit faster... you have to rely on smoke more than other destroyers to disengage from tight situations, though air-spotting follow up is a problem

Jutland compensates for some overall fairly poor baseline (ok guns, ok/good concealment, ok/poor torpedoes, poor speed) with – and you knew this was coming – even more gimmicks.

In addition to the odd smoke, long-duration hydro, baked-in acceleration and single-launch torpedoes of  the rest of the line Jutland becomes yet another destroyer with a repair party, only it couldn’t just be a normal repair party could it? A normal repair party repairs 0.5% of starting HP per second for 28s or, as the mathematically astute will deduce 14% of HP. The RN one on the other hand restores 1% of HP per second for 10s for (it’s easier…) 10% of HP. The Jutland and Daring, along with the Grozovoi only get 1 base charge instead of the 2 charges of the Tashkent, Khabarovsk or Kidd, leaving the RN ships able to restore a maximum (prem, SI, flag) of 36% of their HP while Grozovoi can restore 50.4% and the others up to 67.2%.

So it’s a better repair than almost all destroyers, which lack them entirely, but about half as good as that on the Kidd. I’m not quite sure why WG went with it, and the fact that SI pairs poorly with the other consumables and that RN DD have to waste 4 points on IFHE just to function also compromises it. Without SI you’re left with a 24% total repair – so good luck with the 120% of damage received requirement for a ‘Dreadnought’ medal.

The other annoyance about the repair is that when you glance down at your HP bar it ‘looks’ like you’ve not taken enough damage to have a full use available – but you have. I’d quite like a little quality of life change to indicate a full use of repair is available there.

 

MRzIkgg.png
The (crap) repair looks like it's not ready to use for full effect, even when it is - could we do something about that?

As you’d expect, T9 matchmaking is basically T10 matchmaking and I was mid-tier (which is fine) in 77% of my games and top tier in 23%. It’s a bit of a shame as it generates a feeling of ‘might as well be a T10’ and also limits the range of ships you see. Red radar numbers varied from 1-4 with an average of 2.4 per game on the red team. There were no radar-free games whatsoever. Carriers turned up in 29% of the games, possibly due to getting ‘cycled’ with a pair of carriers for successive games.

How to fix:

Jutland’s slow speed is historic but her main shortcoming, along with other factors (smoke) that WG are unlikely to touch. Her guns requiring IFHE is a major pain, but given WG have already given her better AP bounce angles I can’t see them revisiting it.

One of her odd plus points is the repair, which does bump her already good HP but it is a gimmick. I think it could go. WG have allowed an engine boost on a ship with RN DD maneuvering in the shape of Cossack and trading the repair for engine boost might smooth her out a bit.

 

Daring, T10
Power Level: 7/10
Suitable Nickname:
Basic Description: A less stealthy Jutland with 40% moar dakka!

I’ve generally not had the most fun playing destroyers at high tiers. I think it becomes unduly stressful with abundant radar, aircraft, a fairly ‘hit or miss’ life shooting torpedoes for a lot of ships. While the playstyle of the Khabarovsk is different, it's one I prefer to have in a cruiser. That does color my impressions.

That said, Daring isn’t that bad. I’m not in love, but I’ve had a good run of games and Daring has some major plus points. The fastest reloading guns in the game, pushing out 24 RPM and begging for BFT and MBM3 to throw even more firepower will always put a smile on your face. While your smoke might be a rubbish 40s duration you can in theory throw out over 100 rounds in that time, with a 7% fire chance. Maybe there’s a reason it’s rubbish after all…

The remarkable rate of fire, improved traverse (25°/second vs 20°) retention of 360° traverse for all three turrets and decent firing angles make Daring feel very comfortable in most gunfights. The middling ballistics, combined with (really) high ROF allow you to ‘walk’ fire onto targets and Daring can usually be doing at least something.

Aside from the guns, Daring is otherwise an incremental upgrade over Jutland. She maneuvers a little worse on paper with even slower rudder shift and an even bigger turning radius, but she does go a knot faster which is nice. She has a decent chunk of hit points and the same repair party as Jutland giving her among the best survivability at T10, though she’s quite a tall target.

The torpedoes are the same fish as Jutland, and while they’re not bad they’re not amazing and not really worth investing in. I’ve used them primarily when I know I can get away with smoking up as well to try and stack fires, or for area denial. While not bad, they’re significantly worse than T9 Fletcher torpedoes. Given investing in them is hard, and that 8 torpedoes with single launch can often do what 10 can, the 120s reload is a bit of a pain.

 

XkKiu5q.png
It's situational, but the situation is quite fun, DM lurking behind an island gets a face full

Daring does require a bit of bravery at times, her concealment is not very good for T10 and while far from the worst I’d outright call it bad. That means on advancing you are likely to be spotted first, potentially held in spot by a faster DD and put in the position of making a difficult decision to smoke or push on. It’s very hard to ‘waste’ RN DD smoke given you get 6 with just the premium consumable, so if in doubt, my advice is smoke. With 6.0km concealment the Daring is significantly outspotted by ships such as Kagero at 5.4km, Shimakaze at 5.6km and Chung Mu at 5.7km as well as the raft of 5.8km conceal ships such as Fletcher. Only a few outliers like Harugumo, Khabarovsk and Z-52 do much if any worse. This does mean you may take first-shots, but you do have the weak repair, good traverse and DPM to overcome your initial disadvantage, so long as you keep your hand in the fire young Scaevola!

 

TR4TOls.png
A Daring, a Harugumo, a Shimakaze and a Gearing walk into a cap,  hijinks ensue - don't be afraid to try 'Team Play'

One frustration that seems to have come to the fore with Daring for whatever reason is the smoke emission time at 10s. The emission time is the worst in the game, with typical destroyers getting 20s and the US ones 30s, while even cruisers get 15s. One issue I’ve had is that you can’t slow down enough to stay in your smoke if your engine is knocked out leading to you ignominiously sliding out of it if you’re hit while smoking. Maybe Daring has a bigger, fatter engine or hit box.

 

J656UAig.jpg
Oh dear. 10s of smoke emission sucks and it's pretty hard to slow down in time, even without losing the engine. Would 15s be OP?

Daring I had… 100% top tier matchmaking (gasp!) the only noteworthy stat was maybe that there were no radar-free games, and the average was 2.75 red radar per game, which is nice because most games have 3 caps to fight over and I’d hate to think one was uncovered. Carriers turned up in 25% of the games which surprised me a little, but 75% of those carriers were T8 who got bashed into irrelevance.

How to fix:

Daring isn’t broken, she’s not as much fun as Lightning but overall I’d say she’s more fun than Jutland. I would prefer it if IFHE wasn’t mandatory but that seems a stretch to achieve. Being allowed a little more build flexibility would be a good thing. I’m also not entirely convinced that the 6.0km best case stealth is ‘fair’ and even 5.8/5.9km would be positive.

As with Jutland, I’d like the option for Engine Boost in lieu of the Repair Party. I’d also like improved UI features like the repair indicator and gun angle indicator.

 

 

Hope you had at least a quarter as much fun reading as I did playing Lightning.

 

mofton

Edited by mofton
  • Cool 10

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And here I was pondering whether I should Free XP to Lightning from Icarus. Couldn't have been a more opportune time for such a thread to pop up, your review is a sign from the Dark Gods I must get her asap.

Thanks mister :cap_like:

10/10

Edited by warheart1992
  • Cool 1

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10 minutes ago, RedSeaBear said:

You spelled the Jutlands Nickname wrong, Its Junkland. 

:cap_cool:

They also didn’t put in Derping’s nickname. 

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I haven't reached Daring, yet, but I concur, the t8-10 brit dds lack a certain something, the fun factor, the crazy conundrum, the merry mayhem, whatever.  All decent dds, but..

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Nice Work Mofton - I just researched Lightning (and still learning to play DD's), thanks for the good info M8.

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I find the Lightning a lot of fun as the OP mentioned, but I also quite enjoy the Jutland. I'm not sure about bothering with the Daring just because the concealment is so bad, what makes Lightening and Jutland fun for me is being able to spot and aviod fights you don't want,  at 6.0km in Daring you lose that.

Edited by VeatherVitch

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