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  1. So here we are in T8 Ranked Sprint, small teams, everyone plays BBs, a CV in every match. What is a DD main to do? Glad you asked. So first off, things are not as bad as the might seem at first. You know there will be a CV on your team, and one on the enemy team. You can plan ahead, and chose/outfit your ship accordingly. Second, there are lots of BBs, and lots of aggressive BBs, since most people go with Mass or Derpitz or Vlad The Penetrator. This means two things: life is very unpleasant and/or short for RADAR CLs, so your main threat (except for Amalfi, more on that later) is kept largely suppressed. And second, it means a lot of tonnage pushing up to within torpedo reach. Of course it means hydro, secondaries, and incoming torps. So getting close is bad. Getting spotted is bad. There are plenty of DD options. Fantasque, Terrible, Benson, Kidd, Kagero, Akizuki, Asashio, Lightning, Cossack, Orkan, Oland, Loyang, and some Russian models I can't quite remember the name of! It's more interesting than last time, because there is no obvious best choice. Last time, concealment was king so Haida or Jervis ruled. Now with CVs, its more open. Do you prioritize AA or plan to stick close to friendly CL. Smoke or not? Trade concealment for gunpower? How important is countermeasures like hydro. I've been playing Benson. I can't say it's especially effective, but it's not bad as a general purpose do-it-all. Akizuki seems to be a strong (and popular) choice. Loyang is a Benson with Hydro, which is clearly another strong option. Kidd, too, allows you to operate independently of your fleet since you have no fear of enemy CV. I would say the meta favors good smoke and good AA. I was considering Cossack, but I suspect a good CV could shut you down. Oland and the french DDs have their place, but without smoke it's really risky, limiting your options. Thoughts?
  2. G’day Folks… OK this may be a bit ranty but I’ll try and keep it as fair as I can. A post I did up for clan mates a few days ago... WG has seriously lost the plot. Just so I’m not completely having a go at them, let us take a look at what they’ve done right over recent memory: USN BB buffs IJN CA buffs (Mogami still needs a range buff to 16km IMO and you could argue Furu/Myoko didn’t need them but global 203 buff was good) USN CL line (mostly, Worc is still a tad ‘OP’) IJN DD gunbotes 9/10 (still ‘OP’ – looking at you Flambass w/ Haru div, good to finish the line though) Arms race game mode (good when not in ranked) Brawler mode (circle reducing during Halloween, a lot of fun) Salem MN CA reload booster JB PEF campaign (reasonably difficult but not impossibru like others have been in the past), PEF not so much though. Ranked Sprints Izumo buffs (both first and second) Ibuki buffs (still really squishy though) What was the common factor in most of the above? Simplez, minor changes, not sledgehammer ones (game modes/campaigns exempted). Even things like the Salem and JB, Salem isn’t ‘OP’, and JB is good fun (most of the time – looking at you RNG) but again not ‘OP’. Both are very similar to tech-tree ships with some minor changes that made them feel unique and fun. (Although I have heard Salem called boring *shrugs* at least it isn’t broken). Now by doing things incrementally, even when WG hasn’t implemented changes that CC’s/players have asked for; they’ve still managed to release balanced changes that felt right. I feel like over xmas they’ve lost the plot. Let’s look at some major issues since xmas… From the recent ST changes; Azuma has heal buff, accuracy nerf and hydro again. Do you know why? Because she was too niche as a ‘sniper’. Do you want to know what the CC’s issues wit here were? Squishiness. You might be looking at this and saying ‘but heal buff’. Yeah nah… Her biggest issue is she has such poor armour and an IJN citadel. Outside fires and floods, other damage is healed at a percentage, citadels being the lowest. The one thing people liked about her was her accuracy and they’ve now taken that away as well. So WG you buffed the not-issue with her squishiness and nerfed her only compensation… Wow… Now I will add that this is still in testing so they could wake up, however I don’t hold high hopes. CV Rework and Haku things Now I am fairly forgiving when it comes to CV rework hotfixes, it’s a big change and will take time. The issue is they completely overnerfed Haku and IJN CVs have pretty much become ‘meh’. The one issue Haku had was TB spam, instead of just addressing F-key abuse and replenish rate, they nerfed the TBs as well. They are now basically useless and I am yet to see a Haku do well (outside enemy CV being useless). The other major CV issue was in and around DDs. Rockets were completely wrecking them and spotting of DDs was making things work. Here’s an idea, eliminate CV spotting of DDs as a temp measure (isn’t going to completely break the class like everything else they’ve done) and then increase dispersion of rockets a tad (baby steps folks). Nope, they overnerfed rockets… AA ratings So you introduce a CV rework, change AA and struggle to understand why the game is broken. The big issue here is that somewhere in the rework/hotfixes, AA became inconsistent across tiers, in tiers and particularly in ‘AA’ ships. Without addressing this inconsistency and the whole of AA first, how do they even hope to get CVs into a good place. At the moment CVs are annoying, inconsistent, frustrating, OP and UP at the same time. A large part of this is AA consistency and a large part of it is ad hock overnerfs/buffs. And yet we now have another CV line about to come into the mix… Stalingrad/Moskva OK not many people may know this but back around the IFHE introduction WG effectively said (I’m paraphrasing here) that 50mm of armour would not be a thing on CAs and it would not be common on BBs. The reason being that CA HE would need IFHE to pen 50mm of armour and 150s wouldn’t be able to –at all–. Stalingrad and Moskva both have it. And this has led the game down a dangerous path of armour/HE penetration creep. There is now a meta based around simply countering these ships. They are useful regardless (thankyou radar, range and gun calibour) but the 50mm of armour has seen Henri IVs with IFHE (even though it has biggest CA guns in the game) and Hindenburgs being a must-have in competitive line-ups. Here's a thought; nerf their armour down to the next bracket but give them more concealment, agility or even gun angles. To be honest the Moskva/Stalingrad issue is less major than others but it represents a willingness to power-creep armour which completely rewrites balance and starts cutting out large swathes of the CL/A and DD populations. IFHE is a skill that obviously needs addressing, particularly when it becomes a ‘must pick’ to do damage, however you can’t address it without addressing armour values either. Moskva and Stalingrad are a sign of worse things to come. Conclusion WG have done some seriously good buffs and changes over the last year or so. The biggest issue is that at some point they stopped making considered changes to issues and clearly have no idea about proper game development. They appear to have no concept of defining the end-state aside from a one-line clause. (Here’s a hint; you need to have a way of measuring changes and measuring success aside from ‘did it work’?) They seem more like a child, randomly pulling out jenga-blocks without any concept of basic structural integrity. If it holds up, yay! Nevermind the fact that they are most likely going to need to do it again in future. I really hope they can get this stuff right, even at some point, even just a little bit… Because I honestly enjoy this game and love the folks I play it with.
  3. A pretty common complaint no? You are in the top three with mua points but your team loses and it can't possibly be your fault ... I have two observations on this. 1. Actually it can still be your fault. XP is primarily given out for damage done, and its very easy for a good player to draw out a game and farm damage after most of his team is already dead and the game effectively already lost. IJN cruisers are especially guilty of this. Damage comes in two flavors, useful damage that leads to kills early in the game, and useless damage, for example on a BB who still survives to the end of the game. The game mechanics is such that damaged ships retain 100% combat effectiveness: no kill = no good. So don't look at the score, think back and reflect what you accomplished in the first 8 minutes of the game. Did you protect your DDs? Did you sink enemy ships? Which brings me to my second insight, 2. The most common way to guarantee a loss in random battles is to lemming train your BBs. I lousy DD or CA player on your team, while a significant handicap, can usually be overcome since on average the enemy team will have a couple of potatoes too. Having all your BBs break right or left however is a strategic error of such magnitude that the game can be considered over before it even starts. Typically: 3-4 light ships DD/CA/CL steam off for the side of the map without BB escort, they get wiped and the enemy force pushes up through into your spawn to flank your main BB group who are pushing down together on the middle of the other side of the map. I seen this error made several times recently, it always lead to the same result. So yeah: pro tip - with those spawn configs where 4 BBs are in the middle with CA/DD groups on both sides, split your BBs L/R or lose.