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Ensign_Cthulhu

Random Thoughts from Deep R'lyeh: Thoughts on the Strong-Willed (Jerzy Swirski) campaign.

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I've been doing a lot of thinking about this campaign, the details of which are summarized in my how-to guide here...

...while I've been completing it. However, I felt it was better to wait until I was done before posting anything. I didn't want to be accused of sour grapes (for failing to finish) or asking for an easy way through (because I haven't got the guts for the hard slog). However, those things are off the table now; I have Jerzy and I can say what I like.

The TLDR of it is this: I thought it was too much to ask for the reward it gave. But it also wasn't a terrible experience for me, so let's break this down.

 

THE GOOD:

The thing I liked about this campaign was that it had a broad range of tasks to achieve which were both economic and combat-related, and there were several that could be done in co-op. The mix of missions was good, and as someone who at the start had at least one of ALMOST every ship type at every eligible tier, I felt I was ideally set up to complete this thing.  It encouraged me to get on and finish a couple of grinds I'd been dragging my feet on (Lightning to Jutland, Monarch to Lion), and as a result of it I've really started to enjoy playing in Randoms again. It also came along at exactly the right time to fill in the gap that I'd left in my life by finishing both all the permanent campaigns.

Note that I did not say "all the OTHER permanent campaigns". That's because this wasn't one, but I'll get to how I really feel about that later. 

If you were starting this campaign with far fewer eligible ships than I started with or have now, it would have been a useful spur to getting at least one of your T8 ships to T9 (via the commander and ship XP tasks in Missions 1 and 2) and having options for later, because options were important, as we wll soon see.

 

THE BAD:

Not all of these are my complaints, but I'm going to address them nonetheless. Note that "address" does not always mean "agree with".

1) Limited time. I'm an average player, albeit experienced and with a broad-based fleet. I finished the campaign in two months, but someone coming into it late in its validity cycle (six months from the date of launch) might have bigger problems. 

2) Tier 9 and 10 ships. I will agree with anyone who thought that too many of the tasks were restricted to Tiers 9 and 10. I had no problems because I had ships with permacamo, coal ships at Tier 9 and 10, etc. etc., and premium time, which made all that affordable. But some of those coal ships (Musashi, Smolensk, Jean Bart) are no longer available, and not everybody can afford to buy or gets lucky enough to win doubloons for permacamos. Tier 8 is the last at which you can play in mediocre fashion and not get hammered by service costs. 

Yes, the campaigns for Yamamoto and Halsey also had Tier 9 and 10-limited missions, but both those campaigns had a way through (grinding XP or credits) for a player with any Tier 8 ship at all. This campaign had a roadblock in Mission 3, in which non-Euro Tier 8 ships that were not destroyers could not progress at all. 

3) Exclusion of Blyskawica from Euro DD missions. Yes, I know she's Tier 7, but being a Polish destroyer (and the oldest in the game) in an event centred around a Polish admiral, she really should have been given a free pass. 

4) The "winning battles" condition; some of these tasks depended on your team not throwing the battle (and everything you had achieved) down the drain at the last minute (happens too often). While this is not an issue in the permanent campaigns, it puts the pressure on in a time-limited one (especially for those coming to the event late). Note that this criticism only applies to those tasks that had to be done in PvP; the win rate in co-op is so high that it doesn't matter. 

5) Too much to ask. I agree with this completely. The requirement to use a majority of higher-tier ships in randoms to do this in a short time frame was more than we were ever asked to do to get Sansonetti or Cunningham (or arguably Kuznetsov, but I deliberately didn't go for him so I can't be the judge there). The Yamamoto and Halsey campaigns are grindier, but can be done at leisure and offer bigger rewards. 

6) Euro Premium Ship Missions. Let's be fair; the event which spawned this campaign was centred around the introduction of European destroyers, and it would have been too much to expect them not to receive SOME side-benefit missions (including for the premiums). However,  while these did offer something of a shortcut through the earlier phases, I felt the shortcuts got a bit illusory toward the end. Even if I'd spent my FXP on Smaland instead of Hayate, I'm not sure she would have made this campaign any easier. Given how quickly I got the first three missions done without them, I'm not sure having a Euro DD at T8 or better in my port would have benefited me much at all. So I am kind of inclined to downplay this complaint... but once more, I say that in the context of having a fleet which can tackle just about any task at any time.

 

Well, almost. After neglecting my Implacable to Audacious grind in part because there was no use-case for a T8 CV in some of the missions, I eventually FXP'd to the Audacious and farmed spotting and torpedo ribbons with her to grab myself a few easy stars in Mission 5. I'm pretty sure we will get future campaigns that include similar tasks, so the doubloons I spent on giving Audacious her permacamo are not going to be charged against this event alone (and I like playing her, so there is that). 

 

OKAY, ENOUGH COMPLAINING, WHAT ABOUT AN ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION?

If I had been in charge, I would have done one of the following:

1) Made everything harder, put on more stars per stage (maybe ten, ten, twelve, twelve, fifteen), made the campaign permanent and pushed Jerzy up to 15 stars, OR

2) Kept the time constraint and the reward the same, but made everything Tier 8+ and given Blyskawica a pass as the only T7 allowed in for the T8 Euro destroyer missions. Hell, I might even have brought the tier bar lower. Jerzy's not all THAT powerful, and if you weren't going to lock Sansonetti and Cunningham behind a time limited tier wall, you shouldn't have done it here either.

I liked this campaign- sort of. It was very well suited to the ships I have accumulated while trying to get the permanent campaigns done. Yet I couldn't help but think, the whole time, that it was and is going to be a very rough trot for less experienced players with smaller fleets, limited playing time, and an inability to pay.

Edited by Ensign_Cthulhu
Correct typos
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Nice write up, I agree with everything you said in general.  I found myself losing interest in this campaign after the first 2 legs of it when I realized that the rewards along the way were pretty minor and that the end reward was nice, but not worth the effort ONLY for that reward.  I am still on leg 4, and have mostly forgotten about it to be frank.  When nothing else is happening I will try to focus on completing it before the deadline, but it's not a "must have" item by any means for a lot of either "grindy" missions, or extremely difficult ones.

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Nice review.  I struggle to see the connection between sales and rewards in this event?  Usually, there is some correlation between what is needed and the rewards at the end?  As you and others have alluded to, the end game rewards are..........OK.....but not something to brag about or drive around in game with everyone commenting about that ship.......

The change I'd like to see is that this event is time limited......  WHY?  To what end?  That doesn't make sense to me? 

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The one thing that really sticks out with this write-up is the time sensitive nature of the event.  I feel fortunate to be part of this game from CBT, as there are so many events that players starting now would miss out on and never have a shot at again.  Maybe this is common with these types of games.....I don't know.

As I believe @Edgecase once brought up, it would be cool for WG (maybe once they've pretty much flushed out all tech tree lines) to revisit some events/ship lines to give new players an incentive to work at them with rewards (ie: Japanese DD arc, German cruiser arc, etc).  It'd also give other players who don't like the Research Bureau concept an excuse to play some older ship again that they may have forgot about.

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@Asym_KS The event is time limited to start with - six months. I was arguing that one of the potential options to have made it better would have been to keep it that way but lower the tier bar. I admit I would have preferred a significantly more difficult (more stars) but also permanent campaign, possibly with an XP grind in there that was open to any type or nation of ship.

As for the sales vs. reward, I think it's the weakest we've seen for a while - and that's probably a good thing. The benefit I would have got out of owning either the Smaland or the Orkan or both is so limited that even if God dropped them both in my port, I'm not sure how much use I would have made of them.

@Ace_04 Yeah. I think of all the things I could have done if I'd been in the game a whole lot earlier. You've no idea how pleased I was when the ARP ships came back. I'd always been kicking myself for not being in the game early enough to get them, and having a second shot was immensely satisfying (even if they were only offering one Myoko plus the Kongos for free this time around).

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7 minutes ago, Ensign_Cthulhu said:

@Asym_KS The event is time limited to start with - six months. I was arguing that one of the potential options to have made it better would have been to keep it that way but lower the tier bar. I admit I would have preferred a significantly more difficult (more stars) but also permanent campaign, possibly with an XP grind in there that was open to any type or nation of ship.

As for the sales vs. reward, I think it's the weakest we've seen for a while - and that's probably a good thing. The benefit I would have got out of owning either the Smaland or the Orkan or both is so limited that even if God dropped them both in my port, I'm not sure how much use I would have made of them.

@Ace_04 Yeah. I think of all the things I could have done if I'd been in the game a whole lot earlier. You've no idea how pleased I was when the ARP ships came back. I'd always been kicking myself for not being in the game early enough to get them, and having a second shot was immensely satisfying (even if they were only offering one Myoko plus the Kongos for free this time around).

I agree !  I picked up the Orkan to see if I could increase the speed at which I was accomplishing tasks and TBH, the ROI on that ship isn't really there for me in stage 3..............other than the fact that DD has a secondary gun and radar.....  I figured I'd try and see what happens. 

A permanent campaign would be far better for casual players anyway and the rewards seem to match a long effort versus a 6 month event....  JMO anyway.  Good review.

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Stacking the high tier requirements, the Euro requirements (when there's only a single line of Euro ships and only one Euro premium that qualifies because of the high tier issue), the unit type requirements... on top of the limited time deadline... on top of only making two missions per stage Co-op eligible... was just too much.

If the missions had been tier VII+ across the board, or the nation and type requirements were removed, or more missions were Co-op eligible, or there were no time limit, it would be fine. 

 

(Of course, I'm also of the opinion that the older Campaigns -- Science of Victory, Honorable Service, Yamamoto -- need to have a path to completion opened up for Co-op as well, there's no reason at this point to lock part of the playerbase out of finishing those.) 

 

E: for each of the Campaigns, now that I've had a moment to look in detail. 

Science of Victory -- Until Mission (stage) 10, it's just the perfunctory final task (play with a signal flag mounted, play with an upgrade mounted, play a battle with a commander with some skills, etc) that doesn't count Co-op and prevents progression, there are tasks in 1 through 9 that can already be completed in Co-op.  There's absolutely no reason to gate the progression behind Co-op, it wouldn't make any difference beyond trying to leverage players into a handful of Random battles they're not interested in playing. 

Honorable Service -- Completely PVP, could easily have select tasks opened to Co-op at this point. 

Yamamoto -- same as above, could easily have select tasks opened to Co-op at this point. 

 

 

Edited by KilljoyCutter

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17 minutes ago, KilljoyCutter said:

Of course, I'm also of the opinion that the older Campaigns -- Science of Victory, Honorable Service, Yamamoto -- need to have a path to completion opened up for Co-op as well, there's no reason at this point to lock part of the playerbase out of finishing those.) 

As someone who did finish them all in Randoms, I wouldn't be unhappy to have Yamamoto's XP grind opened up. However, the nature of the tasks in Honorable Service is another matter. They're almost all combat related, except for the finals, and opening any of that up to co-op as it currently stands would make it an easy romp.

One could argue that that easy romp at Tier 8 is equivalent in value to a Tier 6 premium IJN DD, but please forgive me if I'm not entirely in agreement with that opinion.

Likewise Science of Victory; there's just too much in that campaign that becomes too easy in PvE.

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