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LittleWhiteMouse

Mouse's Little White Christmas Review #3: Fourbees

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There may be as many as thirteen premium ships being released over the coming holiday season. I want to cover them all, but I may need more time than is available to get my review done. These Little White Christmas Reviews are intended to be placeholders until I can finish the full article. This way, I can make sure I have at least something available when the ship hit the stores, even if it’s limited to general impressions. The full reviews, as you’re used to them, will follow. My priority order will be new vessels before reskins, high-tier ships before low tier and for-money (or free-XP) ships before coal, steel and reward ships.

Paint it Black

The "Black" ships (not to be confused with USS Black) have been added to the online store.  These are clones of existing premium ship releases, right down to their camouflage bonuses.  I have reviewed each of these ships in full with three out of the four having had their ship revisited within the last year.

The aesthetic of the black camouflage is interesting.  It's two-toned with one of the blacks being more of a matte finish with the other having a touch of semi-gloss.  This is accented by a chrome trim.  I do have to give compliments to the artist(s) who put these skins together -- they look very sharp.  While I would have personally preferred these camouflage patterns were simply sold for their existing namesakes, there's no harm with the Black ships existing except to your wallet.

I'll go through each of these ships with my general feelings of how they play and give you a yes/no recommendation for each.  Note, I'm doing this for the ship as a whole, not specifically the Black-version.  If you want one of these ships, well, now you're spoiled for choice on the palette.

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Asashio B

Asashio is a memebote.  She's overspecialized to the point of comedy, infamously armed with 20km "deepwater" torpedoes that are only capable of engaging enemy battleships and aircraft carriers.  During development, certain portions of the community made some pretty outlandish claims regarding Asashio's inclusion, including (but not limited to):

  • Asashio was meant to reduce the number of battleships queuing in Random Battles.
  • Asashio was intended to break the bow-camping meta.
  • Asashio would make pushing in a battleship impossible.

She does none of these things.  Her popularity following her initial release plummeted to the point that she's a rare sight in Randoms.  As a one trick pony, this isn't surprising.  It's easy to get your fill of this relatively one-dimensional gameplay rather quickly.  With patch 0.7.11 Asashio received a buff to her gunnery.  Her shell damage has increased from 1,800 per shell to 2,150 along with a boost of the fire chance per shell from 7% to 9%.  This buff is modest, but welcome, giving her a few more teeth to try and dissuade pursuing gunships or try and tax the Damage Control Party of enemy battleships.

Full Review Link:  https://forum.worldofwarships.com/topic/156299-premium-ship-review-asashio/

Would I Recommend?

On the whole, I'd give Asashio a solid "pass".  She's such a one-trick pony.  She's hilariously good at that one particular trick, but she didn't initiate the Apocalypse as doomsayers promised.  I am disappoint.

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Atago B

Atago has been (and continues to be) one of the most reliable premium cruisers found in the game.  For fans of the Japanese heavy cruiser line, she spoils them by carrying over their game play elements perfectly and adding a safety net in the form of a Repair Party.  The generous fire-sectors of her torpedo launchers are also welcome.

Atago has long been one of my favourite ships in the game.  Fast, stealthy, hard hitting and with her consumable helping band-aid the relative fragility of IJN heavy cruisers, she's always felt like a safe purchase to me.  If you've enjoyed any of the 203mm armed Japanese heavy cruisers between Furutaka and Ibuki, Atago is a great premium.  What's more, with patch 0.7.11, Atago received a huge accuracy buff, which reduced their dispersion from cruiser levels down to destroyer levels.  What I like most about this buff is that it allows her to be a little more versatile with her upgrade choices -- you can now take AA Guns Modification 2 in her 3rd upgrade slot to pad her admittedly weak AA  power without adversely affecting her gunnery.

Full Review Link:  https://forum.worldofwarships.com/topic/65709-premium-ship-review-ijn-atago-20/

Would I Recommend?

Atago is about as safe a purchase as they come.  If you like Japanese heavy cruiser game play and want more of the same, just easier, then Atago is a great ride.

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Massachusetts B

Massachusetts has to be one of the most pleasant surprises of 2018.  What began life as a slightly less stealthy and slightly more manoeuvrable Alabama-clone became something else entirely over the course of development.  Massachusetts differentiated from her sister-ship significantly with reduced accuracy, improved heals and phenomenal secondary firepower.  In this last aspect, she dominates having arguably the best secondary performance of any of the battleships currently in the game.

For anyone who ever wanted a brawling American battleship, here she is.  The South Dakota-class battleships are reliable ships, copying a lot of what works on the North Carolina-class but with added agility and anti-torpedo defense.

Full Review Link:  https://forum.worldofwarships.com/topic/162316-premium-ship-review-104-massachusetts/

Would I Recommend?

Yes, with a butt. For fans of the American battleship line, Massachusetts might seem like an easy purchase, but you have to keep her commander-skill needs in mind.  This isn't a ship that you'd want for a trainer.  She demands her own dedicated captain to really get the most out of her.

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Tirpitz B

And finally, we come to the original and best:  Tirpitz.

TIrpitz is almost a copy of her sister-ship, Bismarck, with just a few changes. Tirpitz has slightly more hit points.  Tirpitz has reduced AA firepower.  Tirpitz lacks her sister's Hydroacoustic Search.  Tirpitz has two quadruple torpedo-launchers.  Before Massachusetts came around, she was the default heavyweight brawling champion, with phenomenal secondaries and the frightening killing power of those fish.  She's still decent but Tirpitz feels a bit long in the tooth these days.

The addition of AP bombs to the American aircraft carrier arsenal didn't do Tirpitz any favours.  Already dangerously vulnerable to air attack, she can be one-shot by dive bombers which is about as fun as it sounds.  Even when they're absent, Royal Navy battleships just love to set this ship on fire and break her torpedoes before she even gets a chance to get in close.

Still, when everything goes right, Tirpitz delivers.  It's just unfortunate that those opportunities to slam fish into unsuspecting ships is so uncommon.

Full Review Link:  https://forum.worldofwarships.com/topic/141211-premium-ship-review-tirpitz-06121/

Would I Recommend?

Meh?  Tirpitz used to be a safe purchase, once upon a time, but now it's definitely more of a personal preference.  If you enjoyed Bismarck or other mid-to-high tier German battleships, then sure.  Otherwise, I'd give her a pass.

The Endy Bits

That's my quick look at the four Black Friday ships.  I really want to give Atago and Asashio another full review, but that's going to have to wait until things calm down.


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Edited by LittleWhiteMouse
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Asashio is absolutely hilarious. She's somewhat inflexible and overspecialised for the sole purpose of making the life of a BB a living hell. But when you get into a 5 BB match, and that pays off Asashio will bring a maniacal smile to your face.

Even when there aren't too many BBs, Asashio can still cap, spot, and with the recent gun buff can help take out some wounded targets.

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3 minutes ago, Super_Dreadnought said:

Asashio is absolutely hilarious. She's somewhat inflexible and overspecialised for the sole purpose of making the life of a BB a living hell. But when you get into a 5 BB match, and that pays off Asashio will bring a maniacal smile to your face.

Indeed.  Her torpedos are so long range they're almost shoot and forget until awhile later when you start racking up torpedo hit badges like cherries on a slot machine.

I don't bring her out often, but next time a big BB event or the next full tech tree BB line is released, she'll come out and feast with full fury.

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Thanks for the commentary about these guys. I just wish I had the money to buy the containers :Smile_sad:

Perma camos look badass though

Edited by mcgibe

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19 minutes ago, Belthorian said:

Psst....Hey Mouse.....I hope you had a good turkey day!!!!!

LittleBlackMouse's turkey day was a month ago.

Sentiment still valid, though.

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1 minute ago, iDuckman said:

LittleBlackMouse's turkey day was a month ago.

Sentiment still valid, though.

Pfft....everyone knows Canadian Thanksgiving isn't really a thing. Kinda like Tim Horton's are real restaurants. 

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4 minutes ago, Belthorian said:

Pfft....everyone knows Canadian Thanksgiving isn't really a thing. Kinda like Tim Horton's are real restaurants. 

Timmy's has gone to Hell since they were bought out.  The quality of their food has taken a nose-dive.  They used to make all of their baked goods fresh in house.  Now they're factory delivered.  I don't go there anymore.

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1 minute ago, LittleWhiteMouse said:

Timmy's has gone to Hell since they were bought out.  The quality of their food has taken a nose-dive.  They used to make all of their baked goods fresh in house.  Now they're factory delivered.  I don't go there anymore.

That's a bummer, honestly I only know about them because of one of my favorite shows of all time How I met Your Mother. I am binge watching all 8 seasons for the second time. 

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By the way thank you Mouse for all of your hard work in creating these reviews. Part of me wants to buy at least one of these ships but the other part says heck no. I tried playing the Twilight mode and the players were sooooooooo bad in 3 out of the four games it makes we wonder why I bother playing this game anymore. 

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6 minutes ago, LittleWhiteMouse said:

Timmy's has gone to Hell since they were bought out.  The quality of their food has taken a nose-dive.  They used to make all of their baked goods fresh in house.  Now they're factory delivered.  I don't go there anymore.

There are some in the US now and I've tried going twice in different regions. Sadly, no reason to try a third time. It's just fast food with below average coffee. Turns out they're owned by the Burger King folks, so I suppose it's not surprising the quality went tits up.

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@LittleWhiteMouse  Could you give us some details on the benefits of the black perma-camo?  Are those any different from the default tier 8 premium perma-camo benefits?

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Canadians feel the same way about Thanksgiving as they do about their flag - it's nice and should be celebrated but they don't go insane over it :)

WG graphic designers +1, WG sales team -1

LWM +1 always

Edited by Commander_367

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Regarding the Asashio, I so wish that WG would give it an optional set of torpedoes that were normal torps.  Heck, they could be the same ones used by the Harekaze.  Of course, I suppose that if the Asashio had the Harekaze torps, it'd probably be no different from the Harekaze A hull.  It would just be damned nice if she mounted some decent normal torpedoes that weren't those BB/CV-only DWT abortions.

Edited by Crucis

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1 minute ago, RagingxMarmoset said:

Same benefits as regular tier VIII permacamo

Ok.  Thanks.  Too bad.  It might have been nice if the "B" black perma camo was a little different/better.  Regardless, thanks for the quick response.

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Picked up Mass today since it was cheap and I didn't have it. The camo looks amazing, although like all my other premium ship camos, I'd often not see it since I'd use better camos, lol.

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Just now, Crucis said:

Ok.  Thanks.  Too bad.  It might have been nice if the "B" black perma camo was a little different/better.  Regardless, thanks for the quick response.

It sounds good in theory, but just think of the salt that would pour out if they gave the black ships added benefits. They did this on WoT Console, and it was an absolute dumpster fire. They never really got it back under control and people left the game. It was bad, man.

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5 hours ago, KaptainKaybe said:

Picked up Mass today since it was cheap and I didn't have it. The camo looks amazing, although like all my other premium ship camos, I'd often not see it since I'd use better camos, lol.

I think someone mentioned they used a -30% coupon they got on the mass - regular version … that would make them roughly same cost and just boost sales of each ship?

I wonder if you can buy the black version and add regular camo as an option later since it's obviously not vice-versa

Edited by Commander_367

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9 minutes ago, RagingxMarmoset said:

It sounds good in theory, but just think of the salt that would pour out if they gave the black ships added benefits. They did this on WoT Console, and it was an absolute dumpster fire. They never really got it back under control and people left the game. It was bad, man.

Well, to be honest, I also think that they should offer this black perma camo for sale, without the ship. 

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So I picked up the Black Mass because it was cheaper than the regular Mass, and that paint is snazzy.

Been fun so far, enjoying it quite a lot.

However I have uncovered one unique downside with the "Black" variant, It is nearly impossible to tell how many of your secondaries are intact at a quick sweeping glance of your ship, everything is black! I was trying to figure which side was best to angle with against an enemy and because I had been slammed with Conq HE earlier I knew some turrets were KO, but heck trying to figure that out in a hurry was a pain!

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12 minutes ago, RagingxMarmoset said:

It sounds good in theory, but just think of the salt that would pour out if they gave the black ships added benefits. They did this on WoT Console, and it was an absolute dumpster fire. They never really got it back under control and people left the game. It was bad, man.

Yep, I made my feelings stupidly clear to the devs if they made the Black Friday ships better than the regular versions.  It sums up to this:

"Hey, you!  Yes, you!  The player with the Massachusetts!  Would you like to buy a Massachusetts B?"
"Uh, no thank you, I already have the regular one.  Why would I want to buy a second?"
"To collect 'em all, silly!"
"I'll pass, thanks."
"Did I mention that Massachusetts B has better economy bonuses?"
"What?"
"That's right!  Massachusetts B doubles the experience gains over the old Massachusetts!"

So let's analyze what happens here. 

  • At best, the player happily buys Massachusetts B.
  • The next step down the ladder is that they don't buy it and think nothing of the offer.
  • However, said player may feel put off that their ship is inferior to a clone that Wargaming just released.  Wargaming can hope that slight discomfort is as far as it goes.
  • That said, it may go in a way Wargaming didn't expect.  For example, players now armed with the knowledge that Wargaming will release better versions of the same premiums around Black Friday, become reluctant to invest in premiums as they are released, instead waiting out to see what goes on sale around the holidays in order to get the best deal possible.  Wargaming has effectively damaged all impulse purchases throughout the year.  Even with the glut of extra spending around the holidays, the number of sales will never amount to the same as they could have gotten by players making purchases throughout the year.
  • One of the worse-case scenarios is that people feel insulted by these business practices cease being paying customers.
  • Others, insulted by these business practices, cease being players.
  • And finally, the absolute worst -- their business practices garner internet-wide attention and they get slammed by an outcry that goes viral, scaring off future players and convincing swathes that this isn't the game and/or company they want to be associated with anymore.

There are too many risks associated with doing this.  As much as I generally loathe marketing types, this is exactly the kind of analysis the good ones would be able to foresee and avoid. 

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53 minutes ago, LittleWhiteMouse said:

Timmy's has gone to Hell since they were bought out.  The quality of their food has taken a nose-dive.  They used to make all of their baked goods fresh in house.  Now they're factory delivered.  I don't go there anymore.

Hell would be an improvement.

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