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Eggy_Bro

An Opinion on Destroyers (May 2018)

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Eh... So this one will probably be the last one I do for a while (At least until enough shifts in gameplay happen). Per the usual disclaimer, This is all just my opinion. Take it as you will, a guide, a gospel, a badly cooked salmon filet, but this is purely subjective. 

So. Destroyers are probably my second favourite ship type to play. Fast, agile, able to deal large amounts of burst damage with torps, Destroyers are the WoWs equivalent of the assassin characters in RPGs (Or the Scout and Spy from TF2). Understandably, this makes destroyers the first pick for edgy edge lords who generally like to live on the flank and refuse to play the objective. But most people who do stick to destroyers all the way to high tiers are those who are competent and know how to balance playing the objective and flanking to deal damage. I myself started on the IJN line but reached tier 10 on the USN DD line first. (Because USN DDs are just so much better at securing caps and winning) 

Now for those who are still undecided as to which Lolibote Destroyer line to start with, here is a basic description of each line with a brief guide on what playstyles they bring to the table. (Keep in mind the date this thread was created) I will not be going over the exact specifics of each and every value and statistic for every destroyer because that would detract from my point of how these ships feel to play and also make this thread way too long. I may touch on premiums, but not all of them. 

 

As usual, we begin with the United States Navy Destroyer Line: 

Guns and Layout: 

From tier 1 to tier 9, American destroyers are armed with guns mounted in single turrets along the entire ship's hull. At tier 10, Gearing gets three twin guns in AB-X. The guns get increased damage and fire rate as tier increases, but the general characteristics remain the same. These guns have low shell velocity and high arcs, making long-range engagements difficult at best. In close quarters, however, the high fire rate of these guns can shred any enemy foolish enough to get in close. (Those who have gun duelled a Myoko in a Kidd know what I mean) Armour Piercing rounds are effective against light cruisers in close range, but in general, you want to be running High Explosive. It is more effective against enemy destroyers and battleships. 

Torpedos: 

Up to tier 7, American torpedos are, as the wiki describes, a bit of a joke. You could hit an enemy battleship with every single torpedo in a single salvo, and it would still survive with a significant amount of health remaining. Seriously. But from tier 8 onward, American torpedos get a significant improvement. Admittedly they do start off a bit slow, but the tier 9 Fletcher is a very effective torpedo boat, almost rivalling Yuugumo at the same tier. 

Concealment, Armour and Speed: 

American destroyers are still quite small. Even though their concealment is larger than their torpedo ranges for most of the line, past tier 8, they have detection ranges rivalling their Japanese counterparts. Their armour is thin, but average for a destroyer. They can feel a bit sluggish when it comes to speed, especially when you swap speed boost out for defensive AA fire, but handling is in general pretty good. 

Gimmicks: 

American destroyers at higher tiers can switch out their speed boost consumable for defensive AA fire. This special DFAA multiplies the ship's AA by four, making you a nightmare for any carrier unwitting enough to attempt to drop you. American destroyers also get the longest lasting smoke screens in the tier for tier. Then there is the USS Kidd, which is the only tier 8 destroyer which gets repair party, giving it the highest potential survivability in its tier. 

 

(TL: DR) American Destroyers excel in close quarters combat. While their concealment leaves something to be desired at lower tiers, their guns can shred all who oppose you in your capping conquest. Islands are your best friend, helping you block sightlines and avoid damage. Use them to your advantage as much as you can. 

Highlights: Clemson (Seal Clubbing here we come), Fletcher (This thing is really powerful)

Lowlights: Mahan (Just not very good at anything)

 

Second on the list (with the usual weeb joke stuck here), the Imperial Japanese Destroyers: 

Guns and Layout: 

IJN Destroyers start a bit like American destroyers, with single guns but mounted on slower turning turrets. But from tier 6 onward, Japanese destroyers switch to twin gun mounts mounted in A-XY formation. This means that more of their guns are mounted on the rear than in front, making firing while retreating a more viable option. The guns themselves are relatively similar to the USN guns. The same calibre, about the same damage, but sporting a significantly lower rate of fire compared to their western counterparts. Additionally, their twin turrets turn relatively slowly. This makes IJN destroyers much less suited to gun duelling at any range. 

Torpedos: 

IJN torps are powerful, to say the least. Tier for tier, they have the best damage potential, with the range to realistically utilise them against enemy ships. From the very start of the tech tree, Japanese destroyers get the ability to torp outside of their detection range. This means that you can safely strike any enemy ship without getting detected. Their damage is also one of the highest tier for tier. With just two well-placed torpedos, they can sink an enemy cruiser with ease. And even a single hit will spell disaster for any destroyer. And the speed of these metal fishes is nothing to sneeze at either. It is advised to keep a tight spread on your target to get as many torps to hit. 

Concealment, Armour and Speed: 

Japanese destroyers have the best concealment ranges in game. The tier 8 Kagerou and Harekaze can reduce their detection range all the way down to 5.4km, making them the most stealthy ships in the game. Armour wise, the thin profile of IJN dds makes penetration damage much less of a threat. However, their armour is slightly weaker than average. (Not that that makes much difference when it comes to taking HE damage). Without speed boost, the IJN ships feel a bit slow (OSOI joke here). You will have a hard time outrunning enemy ships when trying to disengage. 

Gimmicks: 

The IJN gimmicks are once again, TORPEDOS. These fish, while questionable when it comes to hit-rate, are deadly when they do connect. Additionally, higher tier Japanese destroyers (With the exception of Shimakaze) can equip torpedo reload booster. Being able to launch up to 16 fishes at once makes for a terrifying sight, be it spread far apart or concentrated close together. This is fantastic for psychological warfare and effective in making cautious enemies think twice about entering any point. 

Line Split: 

The IJN Line splits from tier 5 to an additional, more gun focussed line. This line stops at tier 8 with Akizuki, which has an even higher shell output than Gearing and a single quad torpedo launcher. Additionally, Akizuki has the highest default health pool for any destroyer in its tier. However, it has to be noted that using the Akizuki effectively requires a lot of investment in the way of captain skills and upgrades. Without these, the duck is quite difficult to do well in. 

(TL: DR) IJN Destroyers can hold their own in head to head combat but will struggle. Their concealment does allow them to engage first and spot targets first, assisting their allies in spotting targets while capping objectives quietly. Torpedos have a high skill ceiling and require a lot of game sense to use effectively. 

Highlights: Fubuki and Shininome (The jump from the comparatively anaemic Mutsuki is very welcome), Akizuki (DAKADAKADAKADAKA), Yuugumo (Surprisingly effective gunboat)

Lowlights: Mutsuki (Low output in both torps and guns), Hatsuharu (A painful stock hull grind)

 

Next, we have my personal favourites, the Kriegsmarine destroyers: 

Guns and Layout: 

Tier 2 to 5 ships get 105mm guns. From tier 6 to 8, German Destroyers are equipped with 128mm single gun mounts that turn slowly and have average fire rates. Tier 9 and 10 ships get the same guns mounted in faster turning twin mounts. Admittedly I did skip the 150mm option all the way through, so I have no idea how those feel. The 128mm guns maintain the typically German shell characteristics. HE with better penetration but lower damage and fire chance and AP shells with high damage against broadside targets. Shell arcs are flatter than USN shells, but engaging at range is still challenging. 

Torpedos: 

German torpedos do not do a lot of damage when compared to other nations' fishes. But they travel fast and reload quickly. The most effective tactic is firing one salvo, waiting about fifteen to thirty seconds, and firing another salvo on the same target. Nothing is more satisfying than hitting an enemy with two salvos and watching them helplessly flood to death because they burned their damage control. 

Concealment, Armour and Speed: 

The KM destroyers do have above average detection ranges. Going head to head with Japanese destroyers, these ships will get detected and fired upon first. Additionally, their increased size and displacement makes taking heavy penetration damage from battleships a real risk (On top of that is the fact that you will just eat more shells because of your size). They do have decent speed and handling to compensate, allowing to dodge incoming shells with relative ease. 

Gimmicks: 

German destroyers from tier 6 onward get German Hydrocoustic search. This does not come into play that much until you reach the higher tiers where approaching an enemy ship's smoke screen and exposing them becomes more viable. And at tier 10, the Z-52 gets 5.9km hydroacoustic search range, giving them an active radar within their detection range. This makes them the king of the cap, especially if that capture point has islands in it. 

(TL: DR) German Destroyers start off as more support type destroyers. At higher tiers, however, they can hold their own and effectively deny any capture point they choose. Their size does make them an easier target to hit but their maneuverability can help get them out of any unfortunate scraps. 

Highlights: V-25/ G-101/ V-170 (Forward firing torpedos WHOO), Z-52 (My personal favourite. King of the cap with a large enough health pool)

Lowlights: Z-23 (A little hard to play especially with all the competition at tier 8) 

 

On to the next, the big bears. The Russian destroyer line: 

Guns and Layout: 

Up to tier 7, Russian destroyers are equipped with single mounts. After tier 8, they get twin mounts. Their guns are 130mm guns, are similar to German guns but with better HE damage and fire chance. On top of that, they have higher shell velocities, making long-range engagements against enemy cruisers a much more viable option. AP damage is also nothing to sneeze at, allowing you to penetrate medium to lightly armoured targets. You can deal a lot of damage at range with your output and shell speed. 

Torpedos: 

There are no destroyer torpedos as useless as those found on Russian destroyers. With a minuscule four kilometers of range (Up to tier 7) coupled with long reload times, using these fish is a suicidal pursuit. Things do improve at tier 8, with the line split introducing more torpedo focussed destroyers. But in general, Russian DD torpedos are more of a deterrent or distraction than an offensive tool. 

Concealment, Armour and Speed: 

Russian destroyers are the largest destroyers of the bunch. They have thicker hulls as well however, meaning they are more likely to take penetration damage from AP, and their detection range is on par with light cruisers. They do get a healthy speed advantage though, reaching 40 knots with aplomb. Because of this speed, however, their turning circles are a bit wider. Stay at range where your speed can help you outright outrun enemy shells. 

Gimmicks: 

Russian Destroyers are pretty clear-cut. Their gimmicks are their speed and high-velocity guns which make them ideal for harassing enemy ships and rushing down unwitting destroyers in smoke. At tier 9, the main line gets the option to swap smoke out for repair party. And the secondary line can switch engine boost out for defensive AA fire. This effectively allows russian destroyers to fill the role of a light support cruiser for friendly destroyers. 

(TL: DR) Russian DDs are not made for contesting caps. They are at their best when harassing the enemy at range, outrunning incoming fire with their speed. Their torpedos are usible at higher tiers but once again, should not be the focus. 

Highlights: Ognevoi (A bit of an outlier, but the most fun I've had), Khabarovsk (Holy damn this thing can put out damage), Grozovoi (100 AA rating for a destroyer. Nuff said)

Lowlights: Everything below tier 8 (AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH. But this is just my opinion)

 

Finally, we have the newcomers. The Pan Asia destroyers: 

Guns and Layout: 

Pan Asia destroyers are a mish-mash of ships from other nations. You have a Minekaze at tier 4, you get a russian ship at tier 6, and American DDs from tier 8 onward. One notable ship is the tier 7 Gadjah Mada, which can best be described as a tier 7 Gearing. Paired with the right upgrades, the Gadjah can sport a fire rate rivaling the tier t10 American Destroyer. This makes the Pan Asian the ultimate destroyer hunter at tier 7, overshadowing most, if not all the other options. Gun wise, the Pan Asia line sports guns which are effectively identical to the USN Line. All their advantages and weaknesses apply as well. 

Torpedos: 

Pan Asia Destroyers are unique in that they get deep water torpedos. These special fish do not hit destroyers, but can hit enemy cruisers, battleships and carriers. This is a disadvantage in the initial destroyer duel, but after the point is cleared, you will be able to deal much more damage in hits and flooding. When it comes to speed, these torps swim about as fast as their American counterparts in teir. Not bad, but not great either. 

Concealment, Armour and Speed: 

Once again, the Pan Asia destroyer characteristics are very similar to American destroyers (Almost a copy-paste). Pan Asia destroyers do trade a bit of their survivability for added concealment though. Handling is once again very similar, if not the exact same. Seriously. It's almost laughable how similar these lines are. It's almost like they just went, "What if <Ship> but with deep water torps?" Rant aside, handling is about average. Enough to get you out of the engagement should you wish to retreat. 

Gimmicks: 

Pan Asia destroyers get two unique features. A smoke screen that is active for 30 seconds and lasts 70 seconds. With premium smoke, you can reduce the cooldown time to 80 seconds, meaning you could set a new smoke screen every 10 seconds. Then, at tier 8, Pan Asia Destroyers can switch out smoke for Radar. This radar reaches a range of 7.5km and lasts for 20 seconds. A pretty poor radar for a cruiser but a very potent utility for destroyers especially if working in a pair. 

(TL: DR) Pan Asia destroyers have the USN guns, speed and maneuverability. While their deep water torpedos can put them at a disadvantage in a destroyer duel, their guns are more than up to the challenge. Get in close, eliminate the opposition and free up space for you to get the bigger targets. 

Highlights: Gadjah Mada (This is the most fun destroyer to play at t7), YueYang (The second most effective destroyer in Ranked [Z-52 forever!] Fight me.)

Lowlights: The low tier destroyers up to tier 5 (Just not enough targets to hit with deep waters here) 

 

In Summary: (Because some of you would have fallen asleep by now)

The USN DDs are the best all rounders and the best for newcomers

The IJN DDs are focussed on stealth and torpedos. Except Akizuki, which makes her quite fun

The KM DDs are great at constesting caps with their Hydro

The RU DDs are focussed on ranged guns and speed

The PA DDs are US DDs but with deep water torps and a tier 7 that is actually fun to play

 

I hope my opinions have helped those who are as yet, undecided. And for those who have already been there and done that, I hope this was at least a good read. Unfortunately, this marks the end of this 'Opinions' series. I am not well versed enough on carriers to have an opinion on them. Maybe I'll do video guides in the style of Yuro and XboxAhoy when I get a new PC. Until then, Fair winds. 

Edited by Eggy_Bro

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just saying,..... Gadjah Mada is too stronk even Atlanta and other radar ship cannt do a sheet. its concealment is high, rudder is stupidly fast.... gun is burn everything.... the gun can deal more damage rather than its own torp -_-

this ship have unlimited smoke works if you have super smoke upgrade and with premium smoke comsumable. if there is another ship spot for you, you can phew phew everything in smoke for almost 10 min LOL

the only drawback is the slow torpedo and very wide drop.... its easy to hit because harder to detect, yet its so hard to land more than 3 torp at the same time because wide spread. so gadjah mada is well balanced.....its like DD without torpedo.... and gadjah mada is quiet slow with base  speed only 36knot

 

the only hard counter to it is T8 Lo yang with hydro or CV

 

Chung mu is also godly Fletcher with "RADAR". who need smoke? you have insane concealment already, contesting cap is like getting close, if something pop smoke just radar. and let team phew-phew. gun and torp is sooo good. 

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13 hours ago, Balzarknam said:

just saying,..... Gadjah Mada is too stronk even Atlanta and other radar ship cannt do a sheet. its concealment is high, rudder is stupidly fast.... gun is burn everything.... the gun can deal more damage rather than its own torp -_-

this ship have unlimited smoke works if you have super smoke upgrade and with premium smoke comsumable. if there is another ship spot for you, you can phew phew everything in smoke for almost 10 min LOL

the only drawback is the slow torpedo and very wide drop.... its easy to hit because harder to detect, yet its so hard to land more than 3 torp at the same time because wide spread. so gadjah mada is well balanced.....its like DD without torpedo.... and gadjah mada is quiet slow with base  speed only 36knot

 

the only hard counter to it is T8 Lo yang with hydro or CV

 

Chung mu is also godly Fletcher with "RADAR". who need smoke? you have insane concealment already, contesting cap is like getting close, if something pop smoke just radar. and let team phew-phew. gun and torp is sooo good. 

 

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