I spent a while in the Tier II American Destroyer Sampson. It has a base surface detectability range of 5.9km. (That means another surface ship needs to get within 5.9km to see it.)
There are only two other Destroyers in Tier II and III (what the Sampson will come up against) with lower detectability ranges – the Tier II Russian Destroyer Storozhevoi at 5.8km and the Japanese Umikaze at 5.6km. That gives them a 100 and 300-meter buffer respectively where they can detect the Sampson (which I am alerted to), but I can’t see them.
The Sampson covers 15 meters per second at full speed, the Storozhevoi 18. On direct approach this 100-meter gap in detection is covered in just over 3 seconds. Given realistically you are more likely to be angled in approach, this buffer might last 5 or more seconds. Useful, but it would be very tricky for the Storozhevoi to be able to maneuver to keep himself in this 100-meter buffer. (At least I am finding it extremely difficult to hover just outside of detectability range when spotting opponents.)
The 300-meter gap in visibility against the Umikaze however is more dangerous. The Sampson takes 20 seconds to cover this distance, plenty of time for the Umikaze to change direction. It also allows the Umikaze to invisibly fire its Torpedoes if it carries the upgraded Type 44 Mod 2’s.
At this low level the only ship specific option to help your concealability is using camouflage, which is a consumable on non-premium ships. This reduces your detectability by 3%, or 177-meters on the Sampson. (Drops it down to just over 5.6km.) Of course if you can fit it, so can your opponents.
I don’t think there are any signal flags which lower this detectability.
You can of course smoke up in a Destroyer. While I can’t look into smoke at this tier, I can certainly see its outer edge. If I am detected but have no other ships or planes close enough aside a bloody big smoke screen, then it would be easy to deduce a destroyer is sitting within it looking at me.
You can also hide behind islands – but that of course blocks your own line of sight so you are just as blind unless someone else is spotting for you.
So that is the assumptions I have taken into my World of Warships Sampson battles – there are only two Destroyers who should generally be able to detect me first, and I look for them in the list at the start of each battle. I can’t ever recall coming up against a Storozhevoi, so it is just the easy to remember Umikaze. That gives me a little more confidence when making the start of game run into Capture Zones.
Except that is not how it was happening. I was regularly being spotted by different Destroyers who seemed to have little trouble keeping me in view for long periods of time without me seeing them.
It is not unusual for me to find myself in this sort of situation. I’ve done what I think is a reasonable amount of research – more than a lot of newer players might. What was I getting wrong? Maybe the Official wiki wasn’t up to date? Was it something like lag? Maybe islands can give a degree of concealability? In the end I think it is something very obvious.
There is a 5th rank Ship Captain skill called Concealment Expert. It lowers the ship detection radius by 10%, but it requires a 16th level Captain. My highest level Captain is only 7 or 8th, and none of my Destroyer Captains at Tier II and III got past maybe 4th. I just wasn’t expecting to be up against Ship Captains that high in level. I also wasn’t expecting to be so regularly up against such experienced players at such low tiers.
I like this sort of stuff – figuring out the why and how. Unfortunately, I just don’t have the memory to retain it all. I play a weekly game of online DDO with a bunch of old friends. Several can remember every single quest by name and the optimum way to run each. They know the optimum skills, enhancements, EPIC destinies and equipment for multiple classes at every level. I instead play World of Warships surrounded by paper notes, reminding me what my ranges are and the likely ranges of my opponents, what keys do what and so on.
It is a bit rock, paper scissors like, but there is a reasonably level of complexity to the game that keeps me interested.