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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A New Ship Line (for me) in World of Warships

Monday night I finally decided I had enough credits to start the U.S. Destroyer line. I jumped straight into a Wickes for reasons given below, and man did I have some fun! I fought six random battles in my Wickes and my team was victorious in five of them. That's the best start I've had in a new ship in quite some time. And the history of the Wickes is an interesting one. I did not realize it was a Lend Lease destroyer. During World War II it was actually the HMS Montgomery, the only ship in the Royal Navy to ever have that name.
I find the Wickes in World of Warships to be an agile and capable ship. Its guns do not have a great deal of damage potential, but they fire quickly and you can always get three of your four guns on target. The two guns amid ship are on either side so one or the other can't always fire. It's a bit like the Omaha cruiser in that regard. It does do fairly well with the circle and fire maneuver once your captain is trained in Basic Firing Training and Expert Marksman. However, you'll have to fight a dozen battles or so before you can get those skills because you must start with Situational Awareness and Last Stand. The only real protection the Wickes has is her speed of 34 knots, and you don't want to be dead in the water, That's a big "sink me" sign. YMMV concerning those choices, but don't blame me if you don't take last stand and learn what the term "sitting duck" truly means.

The torpedoes are not as short range as Russian destroyers, but they still have a far shorter range than your detectability. Us them in ambush maneuvers. Conceal yourself behind islands and let the enemy come to you. When they are in range, race out, launch your torpedoes and then smoke up if you have to. Don't overextend while doing this and you'll likely have someone to spot your target for you and then you can do what U.S. destroyers excel at: fire many, many shells at your target from the smoke. U.S. smoke lasts longer than any other nation's smoke. I personally recommend you purchase Smoke Generator IIs so you get an extra charge and a shorter cool down. You can pay for this with credits. This maximizes your ship's effectiveness.

As for credits earned, the one game we were defeated I was also sank early. I still made about 20,000 credits. So long as you land a few shells, I don't think you can lose credits in this ship. I plan to use it until my captain gets six skill points which I will cover all the skills I've mentioned so far: Situational Awareness, Last Stand, Expert Marksman, and Basic Firing Training in that order. Then I will move to the Clemson and work on Superintendent.

Those are my short range plans with the U.S. destroyer line. My mid range plan is to get to the Mahan or possibly the Farragut and then use that ship to make credits over and extended period before moving to higher tier U.S. destroyers. If anyone reading this has played those two ships, I'd be interested to know when one you think would be better for doing this. And who knows, I may keep the Wickes if it keeps being victorious. It's helped me to finally get my win average over 50%!
On a related matter, When I purchase a new ship within World of Warships, there are a few things I make certain I can accomplish before I do so. If the new ship is also a new ship line, there is an additional rule by which I play. Here are my rules on acquiring a new ship.

  1. Getting a new hull is not enough. I always save up experience and credits to purchase at least the B hull line if upgrades before I actually buy the ship. I research it, thus making the old ship elite, and continue to play it until I've gotten enough experience and credits to not have to fight a stock ship. The stock ships in World of Warships typically suck bilge water. What makes most ships good ships, or at least playable ships, are the B and C hulls, the longer range torpedoes, the better guns if available and the better fire control systems. These systems are the World War II configurations of ships built before the war but after the end of the various restrictive naval treaties of the early 20th century. In World of Warship terms, these are ships of tier I through tier VII or VIII depending on the line. It isn't necessarily that cut and dry, but you can generally rely on the upgrades being better - in most cases. As with everything there are exceptions. For example, some C hulls trade main guns for more antiaircraft guns. If you are in a Japanese destroyer you may not want to do this. You role is not anti-aircraft. Leave that to the cruisers. There is one drawback to this rule. You must use doubloons purchased with real money to convert the experience from your old elite status ship to free experience you can use on the new ship.
  2. I always transfer my old captain to the new ship. I only purchase one captain per line. This is how you build up a highly skilled captain quickly. This is no secret. However, I always pay the 500 doubloons to immediately train the captain for the new line. I do this for the same reason I don't fight stock hulls: so it's a bit more fun. A no skill captain is also a no fun captain. For destroyers I want at least Situational Awareness and Last Stand. Playing without those skills is a lesson in pwn, and not from the giving side.
  3. And lastly, if I am starting a new line, I always pay for a 3 skill point captain with which to start. This allows me to skip the first two tiers, which are bad no matter what you purchase for upgrades, and start with a tier III ship. This works fairly well, and I save a few credits by not buying upgraded components for the ships I'm not interested in grinding through. However, don't go too far up the new ship tree this way or you will end up with a captain at higher tiers missing some crucial high tier skills like concealment. Never forget that in any ship line you are grinding two things: new ships and captain skills.
As you can see above, those three rules are all predicated on the use of doubloons. I don't mind. Wargaming.net has expenses and I surely don't want to see them fail financially. I do try and limit my spending to a "subscription" rate each month. I don't always succeed. I do own a Tirpitz after all. Otherwise I am fairly successful in budgeting my World of Warship spend while still feeling like I am maximizing the fun I have. How do you go about maximizing your fun in World of Warships? And last but not least, thank you for reading the blog.

1 comment:

  1. An old post, but this might be useful:

    US destroyers are short-range gunboats first, torpedo boats second. Their guns have high rate of fire, and excellent rotation speed, but poor shell arc and velocity. With the tier-7 Mahan, they gain the ability to fire torpedoes from beyond detection range, but these torpedoes are slower than their Japanese counterparts.

    For skills, at tier 6 and above I would advise against Expert Marksman and Advanced Fire Training.

    US upper-tier destroyers already have perhaps the fastest-turning turrets in the game. In a Benson, I have had no issues tracking other destroyers at under 2km. Boosting turning rate by a small fraction won't be beneficial. If you want a second level-2 skill in addition to Last Stand, Torpedo Armament Expertise is probably more beneficial since it brings your torpedoes off cooldown faster, which increases your flexibility when deploying torpedoes.

    Advanced Fire Training can be useful IF you already have no difficulty engaging at maximum range, and regularly do so. The poor shell arc makes it difficult to reliably hit even battleship-sized targets at beyond 10km, much less at maximum range, since shell arc and shell flight time increase almost exponentially with every additional kilometer of distance. Also, in my experience, at higher tiers usually US destroyers have better things to do than try to set battleships on fire at maximum range, such as screening for torpedoes, hunting down Japanese and Russian destroyers, and positioning for torpedo strikes.

    At tier 4, there are also possibly more-useful skills. Survivability Expert allows higher-tier destroyers to survive a hit from a Shimakaze torpedo. Demolition Expert increases base chance of fire by 60%, from 5% per shell to 8% per shell. Manual Fire Control for AA can be useful if you're routinely getting camped by CV planes.

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