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Reddek

Low Zao damage explained?

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Hi all, 

I've complained about WG RNG enough in my past to know there's no point. There's often not a lot of mathematical sense to the way damage is tabulated, sometimes it just seems to be "it is what it is", some games it's great, others not so much. However, I thought I'd turn to the forum (perhaps I may regret that!) to see if someone smarter than I can apply any logic to a recent game I just had in my Zao.

In short, I had what I felt was a reasonably decent game. 128 shell hits (95HE/33AP), 5 fires (6777 damage), not a horrible performance. Then I looked at the damage....60k? And subtracting fire damage, I did only 53k?? WTH?

Zao HE is 3400 MAX damage, so of course, you won't get near that on all hits. I understand that many hits will only do nominal/minimal damage, but it seems odd that for 95 HE strikes - even if just over 1/2 are non-pen, you should yield better than 53k?? 120+ hit games I expect 100k damage (and usually get more). I'm sure there's some explanation, but simple math and laws of averages considered, it seems way off. Maybe I'm missing something, which is why I ventured to ask here.

I think WG just screws you over sometimes, or is there something else one can do? (FYI: I DO aim for and strike decks and superstructures, not torp belts and armored areas... assume I have a reasonable grasp of mechanics please.) Constructive discussion and advise welcome - trolls, well, just don't bother... :P

2020-07-01 (1).png

2020-07-01 (2).png

2020-07-01.png

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Hi, from the first screenshot I see 55 shatters and 10 ricochets, that’s half your hits total.

If memory serves those hits cause no damage (but can cause fires or incapacitations). I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong.

Edited by CO_Valle
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12 minutes ago, CO_Valle said:

Hi, from the first screenshot I see 55 shatters and 10 ricochets, that’s half your hits total.

If memory serves those hits cause no damage (but can cause fires or incapacitations). I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong.

Correct. The max HE damage is if it gets a citadel hit which is rare with most HE as only ships with very thin armor can take citadel hits from HE. Then when you hit an area repeatedly damage saturation kicks in reducing the damage per hit until it is fully saturated in which case each further hit only does 10% of the max listed damage.

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As a general rule, damage is calculated in the following manner:

Citadel Hit - 100% of the listed shell damage
Penetration - 30% of the listed shell damage
Overpenetration - 10% of the listed shell damage
Bounce/Shatter - no damage

This baseline applies to both AP and HE shells, however HE shells very rarely get citadels and they can't overpen so usually you only see the 30% amount.

But there's more.  Ships will take reduced damage in areas they've taken a lot of damage in.  To simplify this means after a certain point, most HE shells will do HALF damage.  Usually half of the 30% number.

Your screenshots show you have 59 penetrating hits.  Now it's hard to tell how much was AP and how much was HE but I'm going to run the calcs with HE to get a ballpark number.  Each HE penetration is 1020 damage before saturation.  Multiply that by 59 and you have ~60k damage.  Of course it's impossible that all your shots will do full penetration damage, but since there are AP penetrations in that number as well (which do more than HE penetrations) we can say that it roughly evens out.  Given the number of penetrations you scored that game your damage numbers seem to line up with the expected values pretty well.

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The deck isn't guaranteed penetration. Only the superstructure is.

There is also saturation. Ever see a DD take a silly number of torps and live? Take enough damage to a single region and you start doing no damage to that section.

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Zao is my favorite ship in the game and also one with the best stats and from that screenshot alone + what u said i can point out some stuff where u can improve

Half your shells shattered, this is an issue with shell choice and/or aiming. You can mitigate the first one by imagining the battlefield in the next 15-30 secs and using the Expert Loader skill, since her reload is long for a tier X CA. The second problem you have to know is which platings you can pen with 203mm HE (34mm pen), most cruisers and against BBs it can vary a lot, i suggest for u to take a look at their armor scheme in port.

Also i noticed you got only 7k damage with AP after 33 shell hits... that means you are firing against targets way too angled or aiming too low against BBs (these ones u can only cit at short distances). I suggest calculating the angle of the target using the minimap, not the visual, since mainly long, slim, ships can mislead their real angle (Iowa, Stalingrad, Venezia are some examples). Below there's a graph with her AP performance.

image.png.d0154173e68bcf14971cb4d41ad9ce7a.png

Focus down BBs that have their Damage control party on cooldown, your teammates might call target on them by pressing F3 and/or improve your situation awareness. I wanted to point this out as well because u got an average of only 1k from each fire... even though Zao is a witherer farmer. (Obviously the enemy problably got away by extinguishing a single fire and you couldnt set anymore during the next min. that happens).

Avoid fighting other tier X cruisers in a DPM contest at all costs... Zao doesnt have the HP or reload for it.

These are one of my few advices, if u dont mind i would like to see at the build u use for your ship.

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don't forget to take into calculation of some ship area are "saturation" area

:Smile_teethhappy:

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10 hours ago, Reddek said:

2020-07-01 (2).png

To add is what you can HE Pen with your shells.

 

If you don't Penetrate, you don't do direct shell damage.  You may set fires, but that's not the same as doing direct shell damage.

Zao's 203mm guns by default have 34mm HE Pen.

The first thing I did was take a look at what targets you were engaged with.  From the selection of targets hit in your screenshot, of the 7 ships only 2 of them you could reliably HE Pen on most of their locations.  The others are pretty well armored.

+ GK as with all Tier VII+ German BBs has 50mm deck armor.

+ All High Tier USN BBs have 38mm deck armor.

+ I do not own a Stalingrad, but IIRC, she has 50mm deck armor.

 

Your HE shells will not Pen their decks.  You may aim for the superstructure, but a bunch of shells will still land on the deck via dispersion.  RipNuN2 already mentioned Damage Saturation also, a very important thing to keep in mind.  I advise taking a look at this about Damage Saturation, in particular the First and Second Damage Threshold section.

https://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Ship:Damage_Saturation

 

What can help you deal more damage against such well armored threats?

+ Obviously Superstructure is the first place you farm, but once that starts going "black" you need to switch areas.  This area can easily, very quickly go "black" and be Damage Saturated when multiple people are attacking the target.

+ Extremities:  Bow & Stern.  These aren't as well armored as deck armor, even on the toughest ships.  Kremlin, S.Soyuz have 60mm deck armor.  Yamato-class have 57mm deck armor.  Izumo has 58mm deck armor.  But all BBs have 32mm extremities.  So spread the love!  Lavish attention on the bow and stern also.  With the 32mm extremities, Zao's natural 34mm HE Pen will Pen and do direct shell damage!  You may also get to set fires.

+ You've farmed the sh*t out of the superstructure, extremities but the target is still there, kicking.  The superstructure, extremities are black now, i.e. Damage Saturated.  Your HE shells will do minimal damage.  Consider switching to AP to Superstructure if the angle is sufficient where your shells won't get bounced.  Why?  Because if your shells are down to do 10% damage, your AP will do more than your HE at that point.

Zao's HE & AP:

3400 HE damage x 10% = 340

5400 AP damage x 10% = 540

It will be tricky, especially if the target is angling, because your AP can get bounced, but if you got enough of a wide angle, consider AP.

 

Speaking of angling, if you insist on sticking to the Superstructure, it can get easy for the opponent to "tank" even your HE.  All he has to do is angle in / bow tank.  The conning tower of the superstructure i.e. what people think of as the bridge of the ship, tend to be well armored on many ships.  In front of the superstructure will also now be the main battery turrets.  For BBs and many CA turret faces, they are very well armored, but more importantly, they'll help block shells from hitting the supserstructure behind them.  You have to switch strike locations, i.e. going for the bow and farm damage there.

 

I remember a while back getting into an amusing fight with my Alabama against this Atlanta player in open water.  Mistake on his part to begin with, but whatever.  I bow tanked his 127mm HE spam while I slaughtered his Tier VI CV teammate off to the side.  He did some decent damage at first but Damage Saturation meant his damage output steadily dropped as my superstructure was blackened.  Lots of his shells impacted the deck armor and main battery turrets for non-pens, i.e. zero damage.  The damage to the superstructure got to the point where I felt nothing, basically.  When his CV buddy was dead, I then casually took my time to blow him apart.

His Fire damage was meaningless, I healed it all back.  His direct shell damage dwindled next to nothing.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway
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Well, faith restored in the forum! I really appreciate the positive and informative feedback everyone. 

7 hours ago, Cpt_JM_Nascimento said:

Zao is my favorite ship in the game and also one with the best stats and from that screenshot alone + what u said i can point out some stuff where u can improve

Half your shells shattered, this is an issue with shell choice and/or aiming. You can mitigate the first one by imagining the battlefield in the next 15-30 secs and using the Expert Loader skill, since her reload is long for a tier X CA. The second problem you have to know is which platings you can pen with 203mm HE (34mm pen), most cruisers and against BBs it can vary a lot, i suggest for u to take a look at their armor scheme in port.

Also i noticed you got only 7k damage with AP after 33 shell hits... that means you are firing against targets way too angled or aiming too low against BBs (these ones u can only cit at short distances). I suggest calculating the angle of the target using the minimap, not the visual, since mainly long, slim, ships can mislead their real angle (Iowa, Stalingrad, Venezia are some examples). Below there's a graph with her AP performance.

image.png.d0154173e68bcf14971cb4d41ad9ce7a.png

Focus down BBs that have their Damage control party on cooldown, your teammates might call target on them by pressing F3 and/or improve your situation awareness. I wanted to point this out as well because u got an average of only 1k from each fire... even though Zao is a witherer farmer. (Obviously the enemy problably got away by extinguishing a single fire and you couldnt set anymore during the next min. that happens).

Avoid fighting other tier X cruisers in a DPM contest at all costs... Zao doesnt have the HP or reload for it.

These are one of my few advices, if u dont mind i would like to see at the build u use for your ship.

Thanks @Cpt_JM_Nascimento  for your very helpful explanation advice. This is my current cap/ship build FYI

2020-07-02.png

2020-07-02 (1).png

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11 hours ago, RipNuN2 said:

Correct. The max HE damage is if it gets a citadel hit which is rare with most HE as only ships with very thin armor can take citadel hits from HE. Then when you hit an area repeatedly damage saturation kicks in reducing the damage per hit until it is fully saturated in which case each further hit only does 10% of the max listed damage.

I thought that saturation occurs with AP only.  HE continues to damage at the same rate.

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no he saturates where as ap can go through some saturated areas. this the reason i can face tank a conqueror with a salem and win. just keep shooting ap into the super structure and pwn

 

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3 hours ago, Reddek said:

Well, faith restored in the forum! I really appreciate the positive and informative feedback everyone. 

Thanks @Cpt_JM_Nascimento  for your very helpful explanation advice. This is my current cap/ship build FYI

2020-07-02.png

2020-07-02 (1).png

This is a good build, I would only suggest switching for propulsion mod. at the 4th slot. Your rudder shift with the legendary mod. already becomes really fast, nearly DD levels, so improving it further becomes redudant. Then propulsion module would open more possibilities for evasive manuvers.

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