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Soshi_Sone

Soshi's take on Callifornia

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California is a great ship.  I'm really enjoying her.  

Now, I'm not sure if this is simply because I've had to change my play style (to one I don't play often) and the style itself has become fun (or I'm better at it than I thought).  Perhaps a bit of both.

The following is about her value in Random battles. I’m not experienced enough with Ranked or Clan battles to pass judgement.  But I respect the assessment of others experienced in the competitive field that California won’t do well there.  All I can give is my Random (no pun intended) assessment.

This is a great ship for Randoms.  But unlike some of the assessments I’ve seen, making her work requires a lot of experience.  Yes, she can be played casually...and I'm a casual player in general...but I also play to win, so I'm a serious casual player.   Casual should not be confused with inexperienced.  Making her work at tier and above, experience is needed.   Not unicum level experience, but a "good" bit of WOWS experience in general, and specific experience in BBs up to T9.  Here's a list of things one should be comfortable with in order to play her well:

1. Aim well at long range, because a lot of her worth is...well...long range strikes. 

2. Strategic positioning.  Because she is very slow; a mistake can take you out of the game for too long or just make you less effective. 

3.  Turret positioning.  Turrets are SLOW (even with EL buffs).  If your best target is on the opposite side...not good.

4.  Knowing the threats…T5 to T9!  Especially T7-T9.  You can often bully your way through T5/6 mistakes.  Price is paid above that.

5.  Understanding asymmetric advantages and disadvantages. 

6.  AP or HE.  Although this is true for many ships, given the nature of California's guns and the varying threats from T5 to T9, this is critical for this ship.

7.  Where to aim.  Just knowing AP or HE is not good enough...shot placement is also critical.  Again, this is due to the limited capabilities of her guns on certain targets...or LOCATIONS on certain targets.  

8.  Target selection.  Lots of range.  Gotta know who to fire at to maximize effectiveness. 

9.  DCP and RT management.  With Superintendent, you almost have 50K HP in repair!   But you gotta survive long enough to use them.

10.  Managing concealment.  This is symbiotic with (2) and  (9) above.   And its surprise potential is enormous.  

11.  Captain skills. Survivability (and Concealment).

12.  Managing the DD threat.  Because if one catches you flat footed, it won’t end well. SA is critical here.  By the way, if you play CVs, you will already have this skill set...always good to know where all the DDs are located...and especially the fact one or two have yet to be detected!

13.  Tier adjustment.  She plays well at any tier…IF…one adjusts play style.  Like most ships, you have to adjust your style.  But due to the California's other limitations, there appears to be a higher penalty for any failure to adjust.

14. Don't think she is just good at the snipe.  She might be slow, but she can still push, and even flank.  See (2). 

Some folks might say many of the things above apply no matter what ship one plays.  This might be true, but with California it seems the symbiotic nature of those things adds up more than with other ships.  Together, they make her much more than the T7 stats suggest.  The more you can bring it all together, the more you can stretch out her worth.  

If you enjoy having to to do all those things I laid out above, you will enjoy the ship.  If you do not enjoy managing all those things, then you will not enjoy the ship.  For sure, she is NOT for everyone.

Lastly, I know many folks have blasted WG over this ship.  Not every ship need be competitive in the competition environments (Ranked and Clan).  We tend to measure every ship on that metric, because that is the measure of...well...competitive.  But sometimes the metric should be Random.  Maximizing a ship in Random is not the same a maximizing it in a competitive environment.  California seems to have a good feel in Random games.  A fun feel that is a good enough to win. 

 

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My question is this regarding CA. What can you do in her that you can't do a tier lower in Arizona, at a lower price range with better MM and access to most Scenarios?

If the answer is only for AA or something minute, then was there any point?

Edited by warheart1992
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Most if not all of the 14 points apply to every BB. You may as well say the better your BB gameplay is, the better you will perform in California, and the more you will like the ship. 

The question is can you justify buying California in the first place? She has a lot of major issues, ranging from 14" guns and lack of overmatch, 20.5kts top speed in large T9 maps, to terrible armor scheme that eats pens everywhere. All of what I mentioned are significant problems in randoms, especially when fighting T8 and T9 ships. Why not spend the money on Arizona which is $12 cheaper, plays similarly, and has better MM?

A lot of the CCs do not play in CBs or even ranked; doesn't stop them from calling California a terrible ship. 

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1 hour ago, warheart1992 said:

My question is this regarding CA. What can you do in her that you can't do a tier lower in Arizona, at a lower price range with better MM and access to most Scenarios?

If the answer is only for AA or something minute, then was there any point?

To your question probably nothing, it is a US standard and other than gun power and AA changed little over the years that they were made.

1 hour ago, Your_SAT_Score said:

Most if not all of the 14 points apply to every US standard & other BB. You may as well say the better your BB gameplay is, the better you will perform in California, and the more you will like the ship. 

The question is can you justify buying California in the first place? She has a lot of major issues, ranging from 14" guns and lack of overmatch, 20.5kts top speed in large T9 maps, to terrible armor scheme that eats pens everywhere. All of what I mentioned are significant problems in randoms, especially when fighting T8 and T9 ships. Why not spend the money on Arizona which is $12 cheaper, plays similarly, and has better MM?

A lot of the CCs do not play in CBs or even ranked; doesn't stop them from calling California a terrible ship. 

FTFY, you have to play the standard/slow BB's far different than with the much faster BB's. There is no real ability to react to a change in the battle like you can with faster BB's unless you have positioned yourself to do so before hand. So you have to go to where you think the key point will be.

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I played the Colorado a long time ago on my quest through the US BB line. By sheer volume of games played counting both tech tree and Premium/Special ships - US BB's are one of most played nation/class ( 943 games ). Counting premium/special ships I own the Arkansas Beta, the Texas, the Arizona the West Virginia, The Alabama, two flavors of the Massachusetts, the Missouri, the Georgia and the Ohio.  I really like US BB's.

I can't see a single redeeming feature of the California, in fact I would be interested to see if a West Virginia could solo a California 1 v 1 without much effort.  I wouldn't buy it on the stats, and if I really needed to play slow BB games, i just run my Mass at 1/2 throttle ...

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I am happy you like the ship Soshi, but I wouldn't buy it for a frenemy.

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2 hours ago, Soshi_Sone said:

California is a great ship.  I'm really enjoying her.  

Now, I'm not sure if this is simply because I've had to change my play style (to one I don't play often) and the style itself has become fun (or I'm better at it than I thought).  Perhaps a bit of both.

The following is about her value in Random battles. I’m not experienced enough with Ranked or Clan battles to pass judgement.  But I respect the assessment of others experienced in the competitive field that California won’t do well there.  All I can give is my Random (no pun intended) assessment.

This is a great ship for Randoms.  But unlike some of the assessments I’ve seen, making her work requires a lot of experience.  Yes, she can be played casually...and I'm a casual player in general...but I also play to win, so I'm a serious casual player.   Casual should not be confused with inexperienced.  Making her work at tier and above, experience is needed.   Not unicum level experience, but a "good" bit of WOWS experience in general, and specific experience in BBs up to T9.  Here's a list of things one should be comfortable with in order to play her well:

1. Aim well at long range, because a lot of her worth is...well...long range strikes. 

2. Strategic positioning.  Because she is very slow; a mistake can take you out of the game for too long or just make you less effective. 

3.  Turret positioning.  Turrets are SLOW (even with EL buffs).  If your best target is on the opposite side...not good.

4.  Knowing the threats…T5 to T9!  Especially T7-T9.  You can often bully your way through T5/6 mistakes.  Price is paid above that.

5.  Understanding asymmetric advantages and disadvantages. 

6.  AP or HE.  Although this is true for many ships, given the nature of California's guns and the varying threats from T5 to T9, this is critical for this ship.

7.  Where to aim.  Just knowing AP or HE is not good enough...shot placement is also critical.  Again, this is due to the limited capabilities of her guns on certain targets...or LOCATIONS on certain targets.  

8.  Target selection.  Lots of range.  Gotta know who to fire at to maximize effectiveness. 

9.  DCP and RT management.  With Superintendent, you almost have 50K HP in repair!   But you gotta survive long enough to use them.

10.  Managing concealment.  This is symbiotic with (2) and  (9) above.   And its surprise potential is enormous.  

11.  Captain skills. Survivability (and Concealment).

12.  Managing the DD threat.  Because if one catches you flat footed, it won’t end well. SA is critical here.  By the way, if you play CVs, you will already have this skill set...always good to know where all the DDs are located...and especially the fact one or two have yet to be detected!

13.  Tier adjustment.  She plays well at any tier…IF…one adjusts play style.  Like most ships, you have to adjust your style.  But due to the California's other limitations, there appears to be a higher penalty for any failure to adjust.

14. Don't think she is just good at the snipe.  She might be slow, but she can still push, and even flank.  See (2). 

Some folks might say many of the things above apply no matter what ship one plays.  This might be true, but with California it seems the symbiotic nature of those things adds up more than with other ships.  Together, they make her much more than the T7 stats suggest.  The more you can bring it all together, the more you can stretch out her worth.  

If you enjoy having to to do all those things I laid out above, you will enjoy the ship.  If you do not enjoy managing all those things, then you will not enjoy the ship.  For sure, she is NOT for everyone.

Lastly, I know many folks have blasted WG over this ship.  Not every ship need be competitive in the competition environments (Ranked and Clan).  We tend to measure every ship on that metric, because that is the measure of...well...competitive.  But sometimes the metric should be Random.  Maximizing a ship in Random is not the same a maximizing it in a competitive environment.  California seems to have a good feel in Random games.  A fun feel that is a good enough to win. 

 

i really enjoyed your review. thanks.

it makes me want the ship.

you habe over 17k battles, so you can talk about it without doubt.

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16 hours ago, warheart1992 said:

What can you do in her that you can't do a tier lower in Arizona, at a lower price range with better MM and access to most Scenarios?

Narai.

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13 hours ago, Hookie_Bell said:

Opinions vary.

 

That video was funny.

kTBUPpu.jpg

The sad part was it dawning on Eurobeat to HE Spam with California.

Then I realized later that if you want to HE Spam with a mid tier BB, King George V already exists.  She has much better speed, RN BB Mega HE Shells, and 25 seconds reload which is another world faster than Cali's.

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2 hours ago, Ensign_Cthulhu said:

Narai.

Is it even worth playing Narai anymore though, given the recent heavy nerf to its economy?

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7 minutes ago, landcollector said:

Is it even worth playing Narai anymore though, given the recent heavy nerf to its economy?

There is that. On the other hand, if you can do it reliably, it's still an easy way to gobble down a thousand base XP or so per battle without having to face large numbers of T9 ships. I merely pointed out the possibility.

It's probably not worth BUYING California solely to farm Narai any more. If the op were still a gold mine, that alone might justify California. But most of her raison d'etre has worn off, and I don't consider the ship a good deal. 

I find that the general standard of play in randomly assembled teams in operations has rapidly declined from a couple of years ago, and I actually find operations more stressful than randoms now. There's no telling when some complete idiot (or bunch of them) is going to either hide in the harbour or blindly farm in the middle of the map until the time runs out and turn Killer Whale from a guaranteed five-star into a dead loss.

Edited by Ensign_Cthulhu

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15 hours ago, BiggieD61 said:

I can't see a single redeeming feature of the California,

Profile...bow view...stern view...the sexiest BB in the game.

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2 hours ago, Soshi_Sone said:

Profile...bow view...stern view...the sexiest BB in the game.

As one of my high school basketball coaches joked all the time:  "Its not whether you win or lose, it's how you look playing the game."  - Coach Spradlin

Not sure I'd spend money to 'look good' in a match only to get regularly over matched simply due to the weak inherent capabilities of said ship.

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