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Destroyer_KuroshioKai

Rebalancing the German DD line

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If WG reads this here are my thoughts on re-balancing the German DD line, with particular focus on EG and Z-23 which I see are in a difficult place since the HE pen buff and the impact it had on their 150mm gun options.

https://wowsft.com/ship?index=PGSD108&modules=12221&upgrades=143220&commander=PCW001&skills=2152906818&ar=100&flags=14556&consumables=1111&pos=0

https://wowsft.com/ship?index=PGSD107&modules=12221&upgrades=133200&commander=PCW001&skills=2152906818&ar=100&flags=14556&consumables=1111&pos=0

https://wowsft.com/ship?index=PGSD518&modules=11111&upgrades=133220&commander=PCW001&skills=2152906818&ar=100&flags=14556&consumables=111&pos=0

German DD should enjoy a clear hydro advantage over rivals.  Specifically this should be aimed at more offensive use of hydro than other DD lines with hydro.  An offensive hydro should have longer range but shorter running duration than a defensive hydro.  Lo Yang shatters this for Z-23 offering .5km longer range hydro and .4km better concealment.  While these numbers seem small, the smoke/hydro game is often a game of inches.

Let me begin with concealment, the first thing a DD needs to be balanced on.  I consider Z-52 about perfectly balanced with in its line, and with other DDs as a whole.  Its detection slightly larger than its hydro range offers options to DDs to avoid falling into an inescapable hydro trap, but its still small enough to have flexible hydro usage.  Starting at T8 all German DDs should have a 6km hydro with longer run times given to each higher tier ship.  The concealment should be about 6.2km based on the proven balance point of Z-52 and its interactions with other DDs.  This does nerf Z-46, but that ship is arguably better than Z-52 since the HE pen buff pushes the line more into a gunboat role and the kiting gun configuration on Z-46 is much better in most cases.  This even can fit with Lo Yang currently having an odd ball 5.5km hydro with a 5.8km surface detection, letting Lo Yang have a more competitive surface detection but still be out classed by the best in range German hydro.  Gaede and Maass should have their hydro extended to 5km but maintain their current concealment values that are well in excess of the purposed hydro range.  This change will help teach and encourage offensive hydro use in lower tier games and offer more ability for these ships to use hydro and smoke together to prepare players for higher tier ships.  The higher surface concealment of Gaede and Maass will help other  DDs detect and zone these ships out since radar is not as reliable in the MMing. 

If considered too powerful the duration of the hydro can be reduced to limit its long term impact.  As it is now Mass has barely a 1km usable smoke/hydro window and Gaede has a mere .77km.  

Second is standardizing the smoke firing detection range on the 128mm guns and not the 150mm.  With the current 5km range hydro on Z-23 both gun configurations have a 3.38km surface concealment when firing in smoke.  This leaves a miserly 1.62km usable buffer to hydro and shoot things, and Gaede at the aforementioned .77km effectively can get a shot, maybe a second off tops before it gets surface spotted by a ship rushing it through smoke/hydro.  Neither ship can kite easily in smoke like Z-46 can to extend that time due to their gun configurations. 

Since 128mm breaks the critical 32mm armor barrier the 150mm really offers little beyond the situational AP use on broadside ships for big alpha damage.  The 128mm however do more DPM with AP pen damage as soon as we move beyond citadel ranges, will do more HE DPM, and will have more fires per minute with a similar build as well.  So why punish people running 150mm guns with a higher gunfire bloom in smoke?

Third Z-23 is rapidly approaching complete obsolescence.  It is outgunned by its T7 sister Maass by about 25k with its HE and 50k with AP.  While Z-23 does offer a bit better torps the reality is they are only 1km more range sharing the same alpha, reload, flooding chance, detection, speed etc so the difference really isnt that impactful compared to the differences in the guns.  While I have advocated for buffs to Z-23 for years in the past, the below maiden voyage video in my Z-35 hammers home the clear weakness of Z-23 to her premium sister, and the damage comparison with her lower tier sibling makes comparison down right painful.  Z-35 not only has a 5th gun like Maass, but has a shorter gun reload as well.  The above buffs to hydro would help offset some of this, but short of a faster than normal reload on four guns or introducing a 5th 128mm gun version of Z-23 on a normal reload Z-23 will continue to lag in the power curve significantly.  To note since Z-35 has very situational torps it should maintain an advantage over Z-23 in the gun department since Z-23 has much better torps available, I am just using Z-35 as a balancing point between Maass and Z-35.

Fourth would be considering adopting the Z-35 smoke model for German DDs as a line.  The German smoke was originally modeled in an age where CVs were neigh extinct and work much differently than they do today.  The much longer cooldown compared to their peers originally meant to limit their ability to block positions with smoke/hydro now leave these ships quite open to follow up CV attacks during this long cool down forcing more passive play.  The Z-35 shorter smoke duration helps keep the game moving while accounting for the faster temp the game has with CVs in the MMing.

I'll get a Z-23 game up in this thread soon for comparison.

What do you guys think?  Have I been breathing too much smoke?

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German DDs definitely haven't aged well, and I completely agree with increasing hydro and buffing the Z-23. Z-52 is the exception due to its monstrous hydro range and duration.

Frankly, I find it difficult to justify picking one of these DDs past T7 as I feel the RN DDs perform similar roles and have better smoke with more charges. The varying smoke fire penalty has also gotten me killed plenty of times, so I would appreciate that adjustment. Like the improvements to German BB dispersion, I think a simple upgrade to smoke would do wonders.

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First of all, let me preface by saying the German DD line (pre HE buff) as a whole was pretty bland to me. The one real gem in my opinion is Z-46 as she enjoys a series of advantages Z-52 doesn't, as you also mentioned.

Personally, I believe Hydro should be left as is with most KMS DDs. Maybe a shorter cooldown could be interesting. That said, I agree on the smoke change, at least in the sense that KMS smoke is a horribly outdated remnant of the past.

Last, WG should focus on introducing a 150mm gunboat line. If memory serves you can scrounge ships like that, with not much fantasy stuff. Top tiers could be these designs that were actually planned.

Tier IX: Zerstörer 1938A/Ac

https://www.german-navy.de/kriegsmarine/ships/destroyer/zerstorer1938a/tech.html

zerstorer1938a.gif

Tier X: Spahkreuzer

https://www.german-navy.de/kriegsmarine/ships/destroyer/spahkreuzer/index.html

spahkreuzer.gif

 

The split could happen at Gaede of course. These ships could get a somewhat weaker form of Reload Booster to compensate for the artificially high HE penetration and possibly low rate of fire.

Still, that's my explanation for WG not touching KMS DDs, maybe they will do in one go, but that's just wishful thinking I guess. :Smile_sad:

Nevertheless, any bone thrown to KMS ships is a boon right now.

Edited by warheart1992

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I agree with the design issue of the offensive hydro. Often times I can't use hydro to rush DDs due to the German DD's high surface detection. In many cases, the hydro is for detecting torps making it inferior to the RN DDs in this role. Z-52 is the only DD to break this trend with the 0.1km hydro/detection difference, but the abundance of radar and CVs causes other issues. 

Gaede's 150mm is obsolete and is markedly inferior to the 128mm now. Z-23's 150mm guns are fine, but more due to the fact she gets 1 extra gun for some reason. I don't consider the 150mm guns to be a priority as only 3 ships carry them. 

I would argue Z-23 was obsolete long before even the CV rework due to Lo Yang. Even if LY didn't exist, it is hard to justify playing Z-23 due to her poor DPM, still unreliable torps, and poor detection. She was at least a disappointment compared to the awful pre-buff Maass. 

A big issue with the German DD line now is an identity crisis. With the 1/4 HE pen buff, German DDs have changed from their traditional DD roles to more of a HE spam gunboat line. It may be balanced, but it creates a lot of confusion over what the German DDs are supposed to do, what they are designed for. Afaik hydro is supposed to be the selling point of the line, and should be the focus of changes. 

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I think a suitable buff for these ships would be to give them access to the Pan-asian smokes and buff the concealment of the T6-8 ships. With the 1/4 HE pen I find most of the ships to be somewhat competitive but the lack of effective smoke really hurts their ability to lock down caps and farm damage. I also feel like the current smoke-screen """gimmick""" is a leftover from a time where having Hydro on a DD was much stronger than it is today and the short/limited smokescreens were a tool to balance it out. Nowadays the hydro isn't your only carry tool (1/4 HE pen is no joke, especially on the higher tiers) and in general is nowhere near as good for a multitude of reasons so I think buffing the smoke would be a safe balancing option.

 

The lower tier ships could also use a bit of help since their horrific detectibility ruins any chance to use their hydro effectively. While I am against buffing the range of the hydro, I think considerable buffs to the concealment of these ships (think 6.3 - 5.9km instead of 6.9 - 6.2km) would make them way more enjoyable to use in aggressive role. The Z-23 could also use a bit of a DPM buff (increased to about 130k~ instead of less than 100k) and the 150mm gun option should be made the default loadout.

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great post and analysis (expect nothing less from Kuro).

The Z23 is garbage for what it can do for its tier.

Im not entierly sold on your smoke option, but I see the merit in it.

Question: regarding your 128 vs 150 guns choice. I too will always choose the 128 over the 150, mainly because I am a fairly aggressive DD player and want to get in a knife fight with the enemy DD and want the DPM advantage. However, and asking you as a probably better DDer than myself, (same to Sats), given the German lines main role is predatory ambushing of DDs and thus more often you would be choosing the engagement start point, would not an initial higher alpha strike or two with the 150s swing the engagement more than the 128s?

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1 hour ago, FullMetal_Inferno said:

German DDs definitely haven't aged well, and I completely agree with increasing hydro and buffing the Z-23. Z-52 is the exception due to its monstrous hydro range and duration.

Frankly, I find it difficult to justify picking one of these DDs past T7 as I feel the RN DDs perform similar roles and have better smoke with more charges. The varying smoke fire penalty has also gotten me killed plenty of times, so I would appreciate that adjustment. Like the improvements to German BB dispersion, I think a simple upgrade to smoke would do wonders.

The dds still work but you have to be all in on hydro usage.....but as his post shows...I have been saying I believe the z35 is stronger gun wise...I personally think the z35 is a better all a round boat that the z23 because of the guns and smokes I love on the z35...and it isn't because of winrate difference...I'm over 60% in z23,z35,z46 and mid 56% in z52.....but I am.all in on the hydro being pushed out to 6km....

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51 minutes ago, Your_SAT_Score said:

I agree with the design issue of the offensive hydro. Often times I can't use hydro to rush DDs due to the German DD's high surface detection. In many cases, the hydro is for detecting torps making it inferior to the RN DDs in this role. Z-52 is the only DD to break this trend with the 0.1km hydro/detection difference, but the abundance of radar and CVs causes other issues. 

Gaede's 150mm is obsolete and is markedly inferior to the 128mm now. Z-23's 150mm guns are fine, but more due to the fact she gets 1 extra gun for some reason. I don't consider the 150mm guns to be a priority as only 3 ships carry them. 

I would argue Z-23 was obsolete long before even the CV rework due to Lo Yang. Even if LY didn't exist, it is hard to justify playing Z-23 due to her poor DPM, still unreliable torps, and poor detection. She was at least a disappointment compared to the awful pre-buff Maass. 

A big issue with the German DD line now is an identity crisis. With the 1/4 HE pen buff, German DDs have changed from their traditional DD roles to more of a HE spam gunboat line. It may be balanced, but it creates a lot of confusion over what the German DDs are supposed to do, what they are designed for. Afaik hydro is supposed to be the selling point of the line, and should be the focus of changes. 

I consider Z-23 more broken than Gaede simply because its lower tier sister because even in its highest DPM configuration Maass currently out shoots it by having 25% more DPM.  Thats just absurd.  Even Kagero without any points spent into gun DPM has higher DPM than Z-23 in any configuration.

51 minutes ago, HereCreeepers said:

I think a suitable buff for these ships would be to give them access to the Pan-asian smokes and buff the concealment of the T6-8 ships. With the 1/4 HE pen I find most of the ships to be somewhat competitive but the lack of effective smoke really hurts their ability to lock down caps and farm damage. I also feel like the current smoke-screen """gimmick""" is a leftover from a time where having Hydro on a DD was much stronger than it is today and the short/limited smokescreens were a tool to balance it out. Nowadays the hydro isn't your only carry tool (1/4 HE pen is no joke, especially on the higher tiers) and in general is nowhere near as good for a multitude of reasons so I think buffing the smoke would be a safe balancing option.

 

The lower tier ships could also use a bit of help since their horrific detectibility ruins any chance to use their hydro effectively. While I am against buffing the range of the hydro, I think considerable buffs to the concealment of these ships (think 6.3 - 5.9km instead of 6.9 - 6.2km) would make them way more enjoyable to use in aggressive role. The Z-23 could also use a bit of a DPM buff (increased to about 130k~ instead of less than 100k) and the 150mm gun option should be made the default loadout.

I would rather buff the hydro range to 6km than just be more sneaky.  A large part of that is to expand play styles and tactics not really in wide spread use except by one ship.  Balancing their hydro for T8 to T10 to be 200 meters more than their hydro range leaves just enough range to trap DDs not respecting their hydro threat, while still permitting proper scouting techniques to make these ambushes difficult.  We have plenty of sneaky ships already, we dont have that much offensive hydro capable DDs.

The issue with the PA smoke from a balance stand point is the deployment time.  You can really lay out a long corridor.  This becomes a balance issue letting a DD chase for an extended period of time while being able to self spot and conceal themselves on demand like you can with Haida smoke.  That would be too strong IMO for skilled DD players to be able to abuse.  I do think around a 30 second smoke cooldown would be a huge benefit.

44 minutes ago, Dareios said:

great post and analysis (expect nothing less from Kuro).

The Z23 is garbage for what it can do for its tier.

Im not entierly sold on your smoke option, but I see the merit in it.

Question: regarding your 128 vs 150 guns choice. I too will always choose the 128 over the 150, mainly because I am a fairly aggressive DD player and want to get in a knife fight with the enemy DD and want the DPM advantage. However, and asking you as a probably better DDer than myself, (same to Sats), given the German lines main role is predatory ambushing of DDs and thus more often you would be choosing the engagement start point, would not an initial higher alpha strike or two with the 150s swing the engagement more than the 128s?

Generally for fighting DDs I prefer the 128mm guns.  They tend to have more DPM while still having the pen needed to shread CAs and most BB armor.  There is not that much 38mm plate compared to 32mm plate and that really lowers the benefit of the pen of the 150mm guns.

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I agree with basically the entire post. I'm in the middle of regrinding the line after long avoiding it, and it's essentially the exact experience described in the OP. The German DD line needs to be visited by the same balance fairies that touched the German BBs (giving them US dispersion instead of French) -- they feel like the victim of old mechanical anomalies and as an archetype have one too many weaknesses right now.

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Example Z-23 game.  

Imagine this ship with 6km hydro, 6x short duration/fast cool down smokes, and another 25k HE DPM to match the Maass gun performance.  I think that would be a very interesting addition to the game that would not break the balance in the DD lines at all.  What do you guys think?

Edited by Destroyer_KuroshioKai

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I'm a mediocre player, so this is coming from a mediocre player's standpoint, but:

The german DDs feel mediocre.  They're middle of the road, and in a bad way.  They simply don't have enough of anything.

They don't have enough health to brawl.  They don't have enough stealth to scout.  They don't have enough smoke (as defined in total smoke duration over a game) to survive the glut of CVs.  They don't have enough speed or maneuverability to escape literally anything.  And their dpm is generally terrible.  The HE dpm for farming is kinda whoop-de-freaking-doo, and the AP is so useless against enemy DDs because it's inconsistent.  And they don't have enough torpedoes considering their mediocre damage/flooding chance (enough torpedoes being defined by either total torpedoes launched over the course of a game, or by the number of torpedoes launched at once.)

Why should I bother playing the German dds?  They're terrible!  American DDs at the high tiers (above tier 7) have better torpedoes, and the Japanese DDs arguably have guns that are as useful or more useful.

There's nothing compelling about the line anymore.  British DDs do the same job and miles better.

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On 11/30/2020 at 1:19 PM, Dareios said:

Question: regarding your 128 vs 150 guns choice. I too will always choose the 128 over the 150, mainly because I am a fairly aggressive DD player and want to get in a knife fight with the enemy DD and want the DPM advantage. However, and asking you as a probably better DDer than myself, (same to Sats), given the German lines main role is predatory ambushing of DDs and thus more often you would be choosing the engagement start point, would not an initial higher alpha strike or two with the 150s swing the engagement more than the 128s?

In a knife fight you always want to be able to out DPM your prey. It's why the USN DDs (and French DDs to a certain extent) do knife fights very well. Now while the 150mm guns do have a higher alpha, unless they're double turreted 150mm guns on the German DDs, you will be out DPMed by all the other knife fighters in the game because of rate of fire and turret traverse working against you. They're meant to be used against cruisers, battleships, and air craft carriers (when the opportunity presents itself and if you survive long enough for it) which the 128s do better anyway.

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Most of the German DD's felt sub-average for their tier even before the British DD's arrived with a very similar play style, but better.  The 150 mm's were never a very useful gimmick on the ships that can use them and I didn't miss them at all when I got to tier 9.

In the current environment, a line of DD's with short-range torpedoes, short-duration smoke, no Repair Party, poor concealment and useless AA just feels very underpowered.  Even with its ability to combine its smoke and sonar for a huge advantage in a duel with another DD, I still think Z52 may be the overall worst tier 10 in the game because knife-fighting other DD's is such a tiny part of the game now and the ship is so lackluster in every other situation.

The low tier German DD's with their jousting torpedoes would still be fun, except WG decided to just let low tiers wither and die by refusing to do anything about the glut of CV's at tier 4.

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Hydro on German DDs is definitely one of the most disappointing national flavors out there, and honestly one of the more puzzling.

Z-23 is now supplanted in every role by a number of ships with deeper specialization, and almost all of them don't really trade much against the Z-23 to get their niche superpower. 
Pan-euros are better at the long-range, low-damage, fast-reload torp flavor.
Lo Yang or Orkan - or even Lightning, Cossack, Haida - are better at picking off an enemy DD in smoke.
US are better do-it-al boats, and arguably for the number of torps you actually hit - so are the japanese.
The hydro just doesn't do enough and the tradeoffs they make in gun and hull seem too substantial. Everybody likes the T-61, and that doesn't have any different gimmicks - it's just slightly better at the basic move and shoot.  German DDs are just under-tuned at 5-8.

Could tweaking the hydro change something?  Well, maybe, but what are the ways you can even use it?  There are multiple other ships at this point that are better positioned to rush an enemy smoke and clean up a quick kill; the german DPM, concealment, and maneuverability is just too poor to excel at it.  Defensively it's fine, but is that worth the costs?

Maybe everything changes with subs and long-range hydro suddenly becomes hugely desirable. 

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On 12/1/2020 at 5:01 PM, Destroyer_KuroshioKai said:

Example Z-23 game.  

Imagine this ship with 6km hydro, 6x short duration/fast cool down smokes, and another 25k HE DPM to match the Maass gun performance.  I think that would be a very interesting addition to the game that would not break the balance in the DD lines at all.  What do you guys think?

Wouldn't that be stealing the RN DD's shtick?

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2 hours ago, Skpstr said:

Wouldn't that be stealing the RN DD's shtick?

RN DDs already have a lot of gimmicks to differentiate them from other lines. 3km hydro, RN acceleration, single fire torps just to name a few.

German DDs getting RN smoke won't have a major impact on the RN DD identity. 

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German DDs were the first Destroyer line I grinded to Tier 10 back in the day. The Z-52 was a great DD back them.

I think if you increased Hydro range to 6km for all their DDs and gave them all American or British smoke they would still be subpar. However it would be a huge step in the right direction.

The. 150mm  guns desperately need a shorter fuse. Right now the AP is almost useless due to overpen. The bounce angles on the 128mm AP is problematic as well.

Edited by CaptainTeddybear

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On 12/11/2020 at 1:19 AM, CaptainTeddybear said:

German DDs were the first Destroyer line I grinded to Tier 10 back in the day. The Z-52 was a great DD back them.

I think if you increased Hydro range to 6km for all their DDs and gave them all American or British smoke they would still be subpar. However it would be a huge step in the right direction.

The. 150mm  guns desperately need a shorter fuse. Right now the AP is almost useless due to overpen. The bounce angles on the 128mm AP is problematic as well.

If my memorys serves right, German DD's were considered "overpowered", and because of that they were "emergency nerfed "right before their official release.

 

In the current meta, with so many "gundestroyers", (French DDs, Akizuki-line DDs, etc), perhaps it is time to return german DDs  the to their orginal state before such "emergency nerf"

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12 hours ago, Xwing_Red1 said:

If my memorys serves right, German DD's were considered "overpowered", and because of that they were "emergency nerfed "right before their official release.

 

In the current meta, with so many "gundestroyers", (French DDs, Akizuki-line DDs, etc), perhaps it is time to return german DDs  the to their orginal state before such "emergency nerf"

There are 2 different problems.

‘The escalation in Carriers  and Radar devalues their hydro to almost zero. Even 6km isn’t that great with the number of ships with 12km radar.

The second is an escalation of DD dpm. That AP theoretically do great damage but the 150mm overpens and the 128mm bounces. The HE has great pen of course but the damage is pathetic.

 

I’d like to see 2 more charges of smoke and an increase to ROF so they retain their flavor.

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I'm gonna have to be that awkward guy and disagree to an extent. I think that the German DD line is very well balanced and it's victim to WG power creep issues. Not because they as a line are an issue.

They have a good balance of HP, utility and influence. 

The T5 & 6 do suffer some inferiority due in part to concelement but they can still contest caps more than effectively. I personally think the T7 Maass and the T8 Z-23 are fantastic DD's. 

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1 hour ago, Pay_Your_Torpedo_Tax said:

I'm gonna have to be that awkward guy and disagree to an extent. I think that the German DD line is very well balanced and it's victim to WG power creep issues. Not because they as a line are an issue.

They have a good balance of HP, utility and influence. 

The T5 & 6 do suffer some inferiority due in part to concelement but they can still contest caps more than effectively. I personally think the T7 Maass and the T8 Z-23 are fantastic DD's. 

Which guns do you run onthe z-23? I’ve been running he big guns on gaede and z-23 simply because they exist, but i gu tht’s no the best choice.

i love maas, great for bullying dds, at least it was when i ground it and the brit dds may not have existed at that point, french and swedish definitely did not

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1 hour ago, monpetitloup said:

Which guns do you run onthe z-23? I’ve been running he big guns on gaede and z-23 simply because they exist, but i gu tht’s no the best choice.

i love maas, great for bullying dds, at least it was when i ground it and the brit dds may not have existed at that point, french and swedish definitely did not

I run the big guns. 

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19 minutes ago, Pay_Your_Torpedo_Tax said:

I run the big guns. 

I haven't watched your Z-23 replay yet, looking forward to it.

I like KM DDs, (I admit to being a bit of a Wehraboo lol) and Maass was pretty fun, but Z-23 just seems kind of "meh".

Hopefully I'll get some inspiration.

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9 hours ago, CaptainTeddybear said:

There are 2 different problems.

‘The escalation in Carriers  and Radar devalues their hydro to almost zero. Even 6km isn’t that great with the number of ships with 12km radar.

The second is an escalation of DD dpm. That AP theoretically do great damage but the 150mm overpens and the 128mm bounces. The HE has great pen of course but the damage is pathetic.

 

I’d like to see 2 more charges of smoke and an increase to ROF so they retain their flavor.

Yes. I agree with your points.

Ont he other hand, I wonder if someone. by chance, has the "pre-release stats" of  german DDs, so we can have a better idea of how they were, and compare it with all our suggestions.

  

 
Edited by Xwing_Red1

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7 hours ago, Pay_Your_Torpedo_Tax said:

I'm gonna have to be that awkward guy and disagree to an extent. I think that the German DD line is very well balanced and it's victim to WG power creep issues. Not because they as a line are an issue.

They have a good balance of HP, utility and influence. 

The T5 & 6 do suffer some inferiority due in part to concelement but they can still contest caps more than effectively. I personally think the T7 Maass and the T8 Z-23 are fantastic DD's. 

Yet, they were "emergency nerfed". Indeed they need to be "unnerfed"

 

Edited by Xwing_Red1
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