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Crispy007

Zao needs some love

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Average player here, I do enjoy the Zao a lot, but it is a CA, should it's HP pool be lower then the new US  Cl's? Not too mention the BC's that MM pairs it against. I'm not suggesting a lot of increase, just make it on par with the Worchester.

Any thought's?

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Nope, doesn't need a buff imo. It's stealthy, can disengage well if you cease firing, has amazingly accurate guns with an excellent fire chance. The AP rounds are good. You can kite well with it and don't need island cover like Worcester does.

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This is not a ship that needs buffs.  It's pretty darn good already.  Excellent stealth, good guns at range, super accurate, solid AP, hellfire HE, trollish armor that lets her get away with certain things, and of course, option to mount 12km torpedoes.  The price Zao pays for all that is lower HP levels than what's normal.

 

She's a very dangerous skirmisher in open water.  One of the most dangerous things is that she can be doing things to deal big damage and she won't even be seen, i.e. Stealth Torping 12km torpedoes.  Then opening up later on the poor bas**rd that had to use his DCP to stop the Floods if he got hit by them.  An undetected Zao is no less dangerous than the one spotted spamming shells at 17km.  A Zao at even 15km spamming shells, makes you wonder if it didn't send 2 full waves of torpedoes your way before it started shooting at you...

 

The funny thing with this Cruiser, is I play super aggressively to a fault.  It gets me into big trouble at times.  Yet even with a part-time user of Zao like me, I manage an absurdly, abnormally high Survival % with her compared to my other Tier X Cruisers.  I can only imagine what she's like to the guys that user her a lot more.

 

Right now, I would not touch any of the Tier X Cruisers for nerfs or buffs (except Stalingrad, f**k that thing).  They're pretty good among each other.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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3 minutes ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

Right now, I would not touch any of the Tier X Cruisers for nerfs or buffs.  They're pretty good among each other.

Not even Stalingrad and Moskva?

But I agree. Zao is in a very good place as she is.

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Just give zao its HP back from its nerf from ages ago. It is fine as is but that small HP buff wouldn't make it too strong.

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2 minutes ago, WuYixiang said:

Not even Stalingrad and Moskva?

But I agree. Zao is in a very good place as she is.

Moskva is fine.

Stalingrad, I'm not fine with.

 

So I stand corrected. :Smile_veryhappy:

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway
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Just now, HazeGrayUnderway said:

Moskva's is fine.

Stalingrad, I'm not fine with.

 

So I stand corrected. :Smile_veryhappy:

 

Fair enough. I would still like their radar range slightly nerfed. It feels weird to be able to see DDs from space with no LoS from islands.

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To help you out OP, I highly suggest having a Full Stealth Build.  Concealment Expert + Concealment System Mod 1 Upgrade in Slot 6 + Any camo that improves your detection range.  Stealth Build Zao goes down to 9.7km detection range and I **WISH** I could have something like that on a number of my other Cruisers.

 

Use range as a tool to safely engage and disengage from.  There are times to spam shells, there times to use those Ninja Disappearing Tactics Zao does so well.  Manage your engagement ranges and cease fire when needed, and you disappear after some time.

 

Don't drop your torps while detected and someone is staring right at you.  Especially if you were going towards them and trying to do a 180 to drop torps.  That is one of the largest sins you can do as an IJN Cruiser.  Do this to a BB and you will have a very bad day and get a prompt return to port.  Even a number of the Cruisers like Hindenburg, Des Memes, Moskva, Henri IV, Minotaur will make you pay if you do something like that and they're expecting it.

 

I found Zao to be a very comfortable Cruiser to use in open water.  I do better in Des Moines, but my gameplay with DM is a lot more stressful.  I play DM up into and around the caps, around islands fighting with other Cruisers and Destroyers in close proximity, and trying not to get deleted by a BB.  Very stressful.  Zao?  Just cruise around and fight, go dark sometimes, drop torps, shoot again, etc.  She's not too fussy, just play her to her strengths.

 

The most fun thing Zao fights as, is when you got people trying to chase after you! :Smile_trollface:

 

 

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway
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2 minutes ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

This is not a ship that needs buffs.  It's pretty darn good already.  Excellent stealth, good guns at range, super accurate, solid AP, hellfire HE, trollish armor that lets her get away with certain things, and of course, option to mount 12km torpedoes.  The price Zao pays for all that is lower HP levels than what's normal.

 

Right now, I would not touch any of the Tier X Cruisers for nerfs or buffs.  They're pretty good among each other.

While I agree with your last statement, Zao's HP change is really old. 0.5.2 is when it was applied, looking back at the change logs. Back then there were only 3 T10 cruisers, Zao, Des Moines, and Hindenburg, if I'm recalling correctly.

And as someone who's recently acquired Zao, I do have to say that sometimes the lower HP just doesn't feel right, even with SE Zao doesn't break 45k HP(heck, with the current SE, Zao barely gets the HP she lost back, still missing the mark by about 600 HP). Not saying that she needs a buff or this buff, but I wouldn't be opposed to her getting back the HP she lost long ago, nor do I think at this point in the games development that it would make much of a difference.

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3 hours ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

To help you out OP, I highly suggest having a Full Stealth Build.  Concealment Expert + Concealment System Mod 1 Upgrade in Slot 6 + Any camo that improves your detection range.  Stealth Build Zao goes down to 9.7km detection range and I **WISH** I could have something like that on a number of my other Cruisers.

Use range as a tool to safely engage and disengage from.  There are times to spam shells, there times to use those Ninja Disappearing Tactics Zao does so well.  Manage your engagement ranges and cease fire when needed, and you disappear after some time.

1

In case OP is like me and hates full concealment, I have an alternate build that I enjoy using because I'm not a patient person:  the stupid maneuverability build.  With Propulsion Mod 2, Steering Mod 3, and her Unique Upgrade, Zao becomes extremely potent because she can stop, start, and turn much faster than most people know how to lead.

Either way, Zao is very flexible and a lot of fun to use in her current iteration, and buffing her HP just doesn't feel necessary.

shot-19.01.17_22.11.57-0593.jpg

Edited by WuYixiang
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On 1/17/2019 at 5:31 PM, GhostSwordsman said:

While I agree with your last statement, Zao's HP change is really old. 0.5.2 is when it was applied, looking back at the change logs. Back then there were only 3 T10 cruisers, Zao, Des Moines, and Hindenburg, if I'm recalling correctly.

And as someone who's recently acquired Zao, I do have to say that sometimes the lower HP just doesn't feel right, even with SE Zao doesn't break 45k HP(heck, with the current SE, Zao barely gets the HP she lost back, still missing the mark by about 600 HP). Not saying that she needs a buff or this buff, but I wouldn't be opposed to her getting back the HP she lost long ago, nor do I think at this point in the games development that it would make much of a difference.

Zao in the old HP days also had Stealth Fire.  IIRC, she was the Queen of Stealth Fire considering the prowess of her guns at range.

 

Maybe there was a case for giving Zao her old HP again with all the new ship lines, competition in High Tier.  But with her getting access to 12km torpedoes that give her even more attack options now, I would vehemently disagree for more Zao buffs.  Those 12km torpedoes are no joke.  They got a severely long CD but you'd be surprised who you can pop.  An undetected Zao with her 12km torps ready is essentially a DD, only unlike Shimakaze, if some poor ba*[edited] gets hit by those torps, Zao can open up at range with her deadly accurate and hard hitting guns with powerful HE shells and high fire chance. 

 

She just has too many offensive options to justify getting her old HP back, IMO.

 

DD players were not too happy Zao got those torps.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway
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12 hours ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

...

She just has too many offensive options to justify getting her old HP back, IMO.

...

Yep. Besides, with good angling on a retreat, most AP attacks bounce off her troll turtleback anyway, artificially increasing her "HP" (really, her potential damage).

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5 hours ago, WuYixiang said:

Yep. Besides, with good angling on a retreat, most AP attacks bounce off her troll turtleback anyway, artificially increasing her "HP" (really, her potential damage).

I remember watching a Zao long ago, that came around an island at about 10km from two of our BBs.  The BBs made a terrible mistake in that they slowed down and tried to reverse.  Zao was charging.  The very last thing you should do as a BB with a Torpedo-capable Cruiser rushing you at that range is kill your speed.  Should have turned away.  Anyways... She baited them with an angled hull and the BBs fired their guns at her 30mm hull plates, which not even 406mm AP can simply Overmatch.  When those BBs fired their salvos and did little damage, I knew they were f--ked.  Zao sailed between them and dropped BOTH LAUNCHERS on BOTH SIDES and killed both of our BBs to her left and right.

:Smile_veryhappy:

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway
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I don't see why the Zao shouldn't get her old HP back....but other than that she's a very strong cruiser and not really in need of buffs.  

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The only buff to Zao would be giving her a bit more HP. Other than that, she's really strong.

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Good cruiser, buff arn't needed, CL & CA are naval ship designation by gun not displacement of ship. I find my Henri is at odds with Zao for CB when choosing a flanking cruiser for the team with Zao coming out as more favorable.

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Zao's hps are fine. With the recent upgrade to the range of her torpedoes, she is now a complete package. Her armor is enough to offset her lower hp pool. I have tanked plenty of BBs firing at me from range just for their shells to bounce off the hull. The ship is not designed to go toe to toe with a Moskva, Des Moines or Hindenberg. They will delete you like that. Play to her strengths, not theirs. She works fantastically from range with her fire chance and highly accurate guns. You stop firing, go dark and then change positions launching your torpedoes during the transition.

I will say this though, I think her AP damage has been changed slightly. I used to nail broadside BBs like Montana with 20k+ salvos. Haven't seen that recently. Only 12k or so now.

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1 hour ago, Iron_Myke said:

Zao's hps are fine. With the recent upgrade to the range of her torpedoes, she is now a complete package. Her armor is enough to offset her lower hp pool. I have tanked plenty of BBs firing at me from range just for their shells to bounce off the hull. The ship is not designed to go toe to toe with a Moskva, Des Moines or Hindenberg. They will delete you like that. Play to her strengths, not theirs. She works fantastically from range with her fire chance and highly accurate guns. You stop firing, go dark and then change positions launching your torpedoes during the transition.

I will say this though, I think her AP damage has been changed slightly. I used to nail broadside BBs like Montana with 20k+ salvos. Haven't seen that recently. Only 12k or so now.

From what range were you getting those damage numbers?  I do ok in zao, just struggle to consistently put up big damage

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Eh, it’s probably fine. It’s only real competition for what it does is the Henri, which probably needs a nerf. 

I’d be more for a Henri nerf as a subtle Zao buff than an actual Zao buff. Zao is only under par when compared to others because the Henri does its job, but more. Aside from niche things like surprising DDs in a meta that already has a plethora of ways to get rid of them/ zone them out, the Zao doesn’t have enough upsides to take over the Henri. If it more clearly beat out that ship in a kite fest it would be in the perfect spot balance wise.

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On ‎1‎/‎17‎/‎2019 at 7:38 PM, Crispy007 said:

Average player here, I do enjoy the Zao a lot, but it is a CA, should it's HP pool be lower then the new US  Cl's? Not too mention the BC's that MM pairs it against. I'm not suggesting a lot of increase, just make it on par with the Worchester.

Any thought's?

It doesn't need any buffs. In fact it's extremely strong. What it loses in health more than makes up for it in it's armor. Worcestor in comparison is coated in 25mm armor and can get blapped by anything regardless of angle. The same can be said about Des Moines despite having 27mm armor.
Additionally Zao has insane stealth allowing her to do stuff that other cruisers can dream of. Only Minotaur and Worcestor can do this but they both can easily get dev struck when detected unlike Zao. This also compliments Zao's good armor allowing her to disengage whenever she wants.

Whatever Zao loses in health more than makes up for it in terms of stealth and armor. Giving Zao 40k hp then giving her these two things is more effective than giving her 11.5km stealth and 25mm armor for 60k health.

Zao not to mention is a pain to all BBs due to her insane fire chance not to mention having one of the highest alphas of any cruiser in the game. To add on, she gets extremely fast and devastating 12km torps. Buffing her health will require to nerf her in some other way otherwise will make her overpowered. But doing that will change her identity. Zao is a very strong cruiser and doesn't need any buffs to her health, the torpedo buff was over the top anyways. I enjoyed playing Zao rentals and plan on getting Zao sometime in the future as I already have multiple grinds and have the Takao which plays very similar to the Zao. HP pool is one thing, but it isn't the sole factor of determining a cruiser's survivability. You have to consider armor and concealment and in these departments, Zao well outperforms most of her rivals more than making up for her health pool. Minotaur makes up for her poor armor with a good heal and smoke. Worcestor doesn't really make up for survivability but has radar and can use islands to increase her survivability. Many cruisers use different ways to increase their survivability and there and many factors determining a ship's survivability, not just health. Once you get the hang of Zao, health really isn't an issue. You just need to get used to her. Zao's insane survivability and unique strengths are somewhat balanced by giving her less health and making her bow/stern 25mm.

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Disagree with pretty much everyone here. I agree that Zao is in need of some buff. The concealment is just completely meaningless with CV's around and the armor is overmatch by pretty much every BB that is being put into the game. Overall the game design is actually pretty crap. They did an interview awhile back about how they wanted to make sure that the central plating mattered if you angle correctly yet all these cruisers still have armor overmatched by like 430mm and above except Moskva and Stalingrad. I understand giving something like Yamato and Musashi that but the others don't need that to the central plating.

Thus due to CV's largely negating that stealth and the increase in large caliber guns I believe many cruisers need a central upper belt and deck of 32mm to reward good angling.

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Data pulled from Maplesyrup.  1st quarter 2019 NA Server, Tier X Cruiser Average Damage.

Zao 76978

Hindenburg 70793

Henri IV 92253 :Smile_veryhappy:

Minotaur 62632

Stalingrad 102609 :Smile_teethhappy:

Moskva 72803

Des Moines 65549

Salem 65336

Worcester 66569

 

Zao is doing fine, despite the presence of Henri IV, Stalingrad doing absurd things.  So no buffs needed for Zao.

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I agree that the Zao is perfectly fine.  What problems it has are the same that all the rest of the cruisers of any nation face.

And it has a whole bunch of very big advantages, which even in the face of CVs, make it still quite viable. And when CVs are lacking, it's a monster.

  1. Stealth that is second to none, and fully capable of stealth torping.
  2. Torps that are incredibly fast, and VERY powerful.  And lots of them.
  3. The best long range HE spammer in the game. Even better than the Henri VI - the raw HE damage is staggering, and the fire starting is second to none.
  4. Extremely high accuracy guns at the top of the heap.
  5. Quit good AP for use against broadside CL and CA, and great for punishing broadside BBs with their guns pointed elsewhere.
  6. It can perform very well without anything more than a 10 point captain. You don't need a 16 pointer to just feel comfortable.

Like the French line, the IJN Cruiser line is a line that depends on movement. You have to move all the time to make the most of your advantages. It sucks at static play.

It generally has two modes of play that work best, both in open water:   as a stealth ambusher, using torps and one or two salvos before disappearing, or as the par excellence long range HE spammer. 

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Stealth, Long range hyper accurate guns with good fire chance, and amazing agility. The trick with the zao is to pay attention to you PT. If you see 2 stop shooting and go dark. once dark change positions and then reengage.

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