WoWS – Top of the losers

I’ve got into my second Tier X Hull in World of Warships – the French Cruiser Henri IV.

I recently also moved into the Tier IX DM Donskoi, so my next Tier X Hull will likely be on the Russian Cruiser tree.

This little flurry of moving into higher tier ships however has left me broke. I am going to have to do some serious credit grinding before I can afford to do much else. That raises the question – what is the best way to grind credits in World of Warships?  (Aside from being a good player – that option is out.)

I must admit I am not particularly enjoying the Tier X games – even in Tier X ships. In part it is because I am not as familiar with the new hulls I am using, or the newer maps I am playing on. Mostly however I am not enjoying them as much because they can play like well grinded set acts. Your opponents seem to know the optimum camping spots, the optimum tactics, and the key strengths and weaknesses of everything on the field. It is hard to feel your way around and learn because your mistakes are punished so quickly and harshly.

It is obvious to say the opponent are generally of a higher caliber – and they are – but it doesn’t feel as simple as just that. Sometimes the battles can seem less about what people do to win, and more about what mistakes people make to lose.

Currently I’m still playing a mix of ships – from Tier V to X.

The following sums up my World of Warships experiences in the lower tiers for the last week:

While holding our own on the West flank of the map, I noticed the East flank had collapsed and our base was open. I returned to help defend it – finding myself trying to use islands and angling against enemy ships shooting at me from both the North and the East, while also dodging Torpedo Salvos.

It was one of those battles where you keep close watch on where your enemies’ guns are pointed, what caliber they are, and when they last fired, and maneuver based on that. I managed to force a couple battleships to turn away, sink two cruisers, and have a third kill sniped at the last second.

While I made a couple mistakes with being too slow to change ammo types – and I missed one or two salvos I probably shouldn’t have, I was happy with how I played under pressure.

During this game I had someone on my team bagging me out in chat for how poorly I was playing. It is not all that often I am singled out for negative comment– but when it does happen, it is often when I am feeling like I am playing reasonably well. I guess the longer you tend to stay alive, the more you are likely to be singled out for their attention.

In this losing match I was also bagged out – for my choice of using a premium Marblehead when it was just a useless painted Omaha.

And another loss.

And another loss – yet again where I was criticised in chat. The Chapayev is paper thin when up against Tier X ships, so you have no choice but to use Islands for cover. I start most matches in this Cruiser by pushing up close behind our Destroyers, using Radar and the ships good guns to force off enemy Destroyers. If I live through that, I then must settle back into a more cautious game, burning Battleships from behind Islands and making life difficult for any enemy Destroyers trying to contest capture points. Here someone took umbrage to me running behind an island instead of derping into an open capture zone in front of three enemy Battleships.

And another loss.

And another loss.

I have more screen captures just like this – but you get the idea. I’ve been towards the top of the losers over and over. I feel like I am playing the mid-tier Cruisers more reasonably and reliably well – but still not well enough to carry a team.

The in-game chat is an odd thing.

You get the obligatory canned messages – such as good luck. It is also somewhat common for people to make tactical suggestions – although just as often as not, they are dubious. Occasionally someone will appropriately suggest team mates report an AFK player or call out some particularly bad play. Very rarely – maybe as little as once in every 400 or 500 battles, I will notice someone offer a critique that is of value.

If there is someone actively chatting, they tend to be slagging off. I like to take note of their names if they are particularly bad. I like to see where the game ranks them at the end of the battle. Often, they have died early without making any real positive contribution to the match. Funny that.


After more than 1,800 battles in World of Warships I finally got my first Tier X Ship – the Japanese Cruiser Zao.

As I have remarked before, I generally only use a Ship until I get its first win of the day, then I move on to a different ship. This approach has slowed down my climb up the Tiers – levelling most of the hulls at the same time.

(It is also one of several reasons why my win-rate is poor. The primary reason is I am not particularly good at the game – but my approach means I play the ships I am poorer in more often than the ships I contribute better in.)

I hit a real hole at Tier VIII.

This is the best I can hope for – a mix of Tier VIII, IX and X 

I find myself – far more often than not – stuck playing in Tier X battles.

At first glance Tier VIII, IX and X ships can look relatively similar, but there are some key differences that make being in a Tier VIII ship against a higher Tier very uncomfortable.

If I compare the Tier VIII Japanese Cruiser Mogami against the Tier IX Ibuki and Tier X Zao.

The Mogami had 39,100 HP, the Ibuki 39,000, and the X Zao has 40,800. It would appear they basically are the same – but the Tier IX and X ships both have Repair Party Consumables, meaning they have the chance to restore some of their damage. They also both have progressively lower and better protected Citadels. It doesn’t matter how I angle my Mogami, bow or stern on citadel strikes are as common as flank citadels.

All three Japanese Cruisers use 203mm Main batteries. Again, it appears they are basically the same – but the range increases once configured for each tier from 15.8, to 19.2, to 21.3 km. The Zao also has 12 barrels against 10 at Tier VIII and IX and does better damage. The much more fragile Mogami has to be much closer to do less damage than the Zao.

The Ibuki and Zao also have the important sixth Upgrade slot over the Mogami’s five.

The Mogami and Ibuki have 4×4 Torpedo launcher tubes, with a range of 10km. The Ibuki’s Torpedoes are a little faster and do a bit more damage. The Zao has 4×5 Torpedo launcher tubes which do a bit more damage again and have an option for fast 76 knot Torpedoes with an 8km range, or slower 67 Knot Torpedoes with a 12km range that can be fired from stealth.

The biggest difference however is that your Tier X opponent’s rain down either more shells, or bigger shells on you. The ability to survive some knocks is vital. The Tier X Battleships are particularly ruinous. One straddle from a Battleship Salvo and my Mogami was often left with a sliver of health – dead the next time I risked showing myself. The Ibuki in part, the Zao more so, are easier and more forgiving to play than the Mogami in Top Tier Battles.

It got so demoralising I resorted to playing Tier V matches. It ended up being quicker and more enjoyable to pay a proportion of the Tier IX and X upgrades with Free XP instead of grinding through them at level.

My next Tier X ship will likely be the French Cruiser Henri IV.  That is my Tier IX Saint-Louis above, in which I am a fair way into grinding the required XP for its upgrade.

A new record maybe

(Version 2 of this post)

It has been over five weeks since I had posted – possibly an inauspicious new record. I hadn’t noticed.

I’m still logging into EVE once a week or so but doing little other than playing the skin collecting game. I have on several occasions really wanted – needed – to be able to do some mindless mining. The reality is however you need to pay attention when mining now, and that defeats the purpose of using it to relax.

I noticed that someone has picked up the EVEMon project and moved it off the old API. I haven’t tried it – but it is available here if anyone wants to give it a go:

(Edit.. changed link from current version on GitHub to the EVE Forum post that gets updated to the latest version as it is released:)

I am sporadically playing World of Warships. I tend to play a ship until I win its first battle of the day – which gives an XP bonus, then move onto the next ship. A consequence of that is I tend to end up with a large collection of ship lines all at the same Tier. At the moment that tier is VIII. I have been stuck at this point for a very long time – generally only around half way to Tier IX. To make matters worse – I find myself in Tier X matches more often than not, and even when I play at my very best, I have very little impact on the finally result.

I am only getting to Dungeon and Dragon’s Online once a month or less. I am meant to have Wednesday Night off to play, but my wife scheduled an activity for my Daughter on that evening.

Most of my gaming now is a session or two a day of Hay Day and SimCity on the iPad.

The main reason for this lack of free time is that I spend the vast majority of my days and evenings as a taxi service for my two kids.

EVE – even if I could find something new and interesting to do – just can’t get a look in.

Time Flies out the door

Aside a couple sessions working on T3 fittings, I’ve spent very little time playing EVE over the last few weeks. I have been reading about the current and approaching wars, but it all tends to come across as the same old story, just a different day. The style of propaganda probably doesn’t help much there. I think the August release is arriving today. I looked at the patch notes but not much stood out. There is a new event starting called Lucky Clash, a new Standings UI, and some updates to the map and scanning interfaces I’ll have to look at. One nice change is that scan results no longer clear on session changes.

I have been playing a bit of World of Warships, and try to fit in a couple battles each day. I actually feel like I am playing ok – not brilliantly, but regularly being in the top 3 or 4 experience earners in my team. This is not however reflected in my stats. My win rate for the last 3 months is sitting at around 40% from 215+ battles. I know it shouldn’t matter, but it does. It doesn’t make it a particularly satisfying game.

I am sailing a lot of Tier VII and VIII Cruisers at the moment, and often find myself bottom tier up against Tier IX and X ships. The Battleships just chew through you – the majority of your strikes just shatter, but every time one of their shells land, boom, 30 to 40% of your hits are gone. It only takes one or two salvos and you are out of the game. I say the same thing over and over – but it pretty much sums up my experience.

Recently I resorted to running a few Tier III/IV matches, up against a generally lower level of player. I am finding I am normally effective, sometimes enough to carry a match. It was a confidence boost I needed. The above battle was particularly memorable with the Murmansk captain well and truly outclassing everyone. I am pretty sure he came out with around half his hit points still. I did a lot of spotting and had many torpedo hits in that game – being untimely robbed of several kills. I cemented the win by soloing a Battleship parked in one of the Capture points, and then choosing not to engage the Murmansk and focus on ensuring a strategic point win. I have seen a lot of games lost by players focused just on drawing blood. It is an easily exploited tactic used in EVE.

I am still doing a DDO Session every week or so with friends. They use the one night I join them to do loot runs, primarily in EPIC level quests. They all have characters with many reincarnations and highly optimised set ups and equipment. They run these quests solo, and in groups they move mindlessly at breakneck speeds. There is no such thing as stopping to smell the roses. Often, I spend the entire session running to catch up, struggling to even just target opponents before they are swiftly killed by the others. It doesn’t tend to be fun. I had to put aside all but one of my highest-level characters as they just fell too far behind. I am down to just using my original Cleric now, and while I often pull my weight in the kill count, it is just a handful of crowd control tactics used over and over and over again. I just don’t have the time – or the inclination – to spend the months required to partially catch up. The reality is I should stop playing.

Speaking of stopping, I’ve pretty much stopped playing all my iPad games – with just the occasional glance at them with weeks or months between. Interesting how none of them have really been able to hold my interest like EVE had.

All told my gaming time has dropped by more than 50% over the last year. I should have a bit of spare time on my hands, maybe to tackle something new. Real life however energetically vacuums any of that time up. Mostly it sees me taxiing kids around to their silly number of activities and events. I am struggling a bit with the lack of escapist downtime.

I have written various more personal blog entries that I never posted. I might throw one or two of them up for the other middle-aged gamers with kids to nodded their heads at and mumble yep.

WoWS – Numbers

In a recent World of Warships battle I found myself on the wrong side of the numbers game. My spawn location dictated what capture point I moved towards in my battleship, and I was joined by only three others, a Destroyer, a Cruiser and another Battleship. The remaining eight ships in our fleet went to another capture point. As our enemy showed themselves it became apparent our squad of four would be up against eight, and our squad of eight would be up against four. This sort of split is common, as is my ability to be on the wrong side of the numbers. I resigned myself to an unpleasant early demise.

I didn’t pay much thought to the rest of the fleet, instead concentrating on my closest allies as we began a fairly hectic battle. Our enemy kept passing behind large islands which afforded us cover from their shells and meant our return fire tended to be more focused on those fewer ships in the open. When I took a breath and looked up from my gun sights, our squad had captured the point with the loss of the Destroyer and Cruiser, sunk six of the enemy, and forced the remaining two into retreat.

I had a momentary thought that the battle was in the bag when I stopped to wonder at the status bar across the top of the screen. Our second squad of eight was down to one, having only sunk one ship in return. Our three remaining ships – two badly damaged, were spread out. The enemies five ships were all together, steaming through the capture points, and focusing fire.

I still had my unpleasant demise, it just took longer than expected.

If not on the wrong side of the numbers, I keep finding my Tier VI and VII Cruisers are ending up bottom tier in most of their battles, up against Tier VIII and IX. In one battle my poor La Galissonniere landed 50 main shell hits with her 152mm guns, and did a grand total of just over 500 points damage. Yes – I changed targets, where I was aiming, and shell type, but everything shattered or bounced against the primarily Tier IX opponents. The ship was put out of its misery by just two shell strikes, taking off 90% of its hit points.

In another battle I was impressed to see half our fleet were in the same division and obviously knew each other. They then proceeded to yolo troll the chat channel, shoot each other down to 1/2 health, then suicided themselves into the enemy.

I am still intrigued by the game, but the reoccurring theme over and over is just how random the battles seem to work out. I am just as likely to come out of a battle with a win when I am ineffective and sunk within minutes, as I am to lose a battle when I play a (rare) faultless game and do everything right.  I assume it plays a little nicer if you are top tier.

Show me the Money

I realised the other day that I have spent more on World of Warships in 7 months than I have spent in EVE in over 3 years.

Both games can be played for free. In EVE you are restricted to a relatively small subset of skills, ships and fittings on a free account. In WoWS I think you can basically do everything on a Free account that you can do on a Premium account, the only difference is the premium account earns 50% more XP and Credits.

The grind in WoWS is real, especially if you are silly like me and tend to train all Destroyer, Cruiser and Battleship trees for all Nations all at the same time. Premium makes sense.

A year of premium time in WoWS is around 20% cheaper than a year’s subscription in EVE, but I have never paid that full price. I picked up 7 or 8 months on specials with reasonable discounts, plus more recently another 12 months at 50% off.

I have purchased extra port slots in WoWS – also on reasonable specials. This was required as I train so many ship lines, plus I have a tendency to keep my favourite hulls even after I stop using them. I have however picked up enough free slots from containers and the like that I now actually have too many.

I have picked up extra reserve slots for Captains – again on special – and again I have since picked up enough free slots from containers and the like that I also have too many.

I have purchased Credits and Doubloons – again always on special. The Credits get used on Ship upgrades – freeing me up from some of the grind. The Doubloons have been used to purchase some permanent camouflage, but mostly they get used for converting earnt XP from Elite and Premium ships into Free XP.

I have purchased flags packages, again always on special, and primarily for those focused on standard and Captain XP boots.

I also purchased some of the Christmas containers.

Mostly however I have purchased Premium ships – yet again, always on special. Some of these are kind of pay to win – the Murmansk, Belfast and Scharnhorst are particularly effective. Most however tend to be harder to play than standard ships. They might have a party trick or two, but they require more skill than average to make the most of them. I have purchased more of these Premium ships than I had any need too as I simply like trying many of them out. I might also have been caught up on occasion by the collect-ability / rarity of some of these hulls that might only turn up once a year.

I wonder how much more money CCP would make selling special edition collectable ships for limited periods of time from its store, instead of just the skins. They would have to be balanced very carefully. Probably won’t be worth the player upheaval, but Wargaming has been able to extract a lot more of my money than CCP has been able to.

EVE and WoWS – Charge

The Total Net Worth indicator has been added to the EVE client:

I’m worth about 167B ISK apparently.


CCP have given an overview of how the Upwell Refineries / moon mining might work going forward.

There is plenty to like about it, but again, nothing really for solo players.  You can’t even Ninja mine the Moon chunk asteroid belts without the Refinery Owners getting a detailed log about what you were up to – or likely being able to shoot you in the Belt from the Refinery.

CCP did a second Structure blog which was more self-congratulatory than informative, but there were some statistics and a link to a survey worth looking at.


Unless you are hiding under a rock, you would be aware PLEX changes are inbound.  I’m not going to talk about the mechanics, but I think it is a good idea to get rid of Aurum.  I’m not sure why CCP made so obvious miss steps in their initial Dev Blog.  The first and follow up Dev Blogs are below:


The CSM 12 elections are in full swing (or at least I assume they are).  This year I think my vote will have slightly more value in not being used, so I will be skipping it.  CCPs and the CSMs version of “all play styles” has been proven for many years now to be too limited in scope.


I haven’t looked at the new scanning UI changes – most of my MMO time has still been spent in World of Warships.  I continue my fascination / dislike of the game.  After finally reaching the heights of a sad 50% odd success rating I then lost something like 10 out of 12 battles.  This happened immediately after I purchased a year of premium time – sort of like karma laughing at me.  There were some obvious reasons for this – I was finding matches more difficult again as people came back from ranked battles, people adjusted their play to the new skill options, plus I moved into some new Tier VII ships and onto new maps I’ve never played before.  Despite my wining streak coming to an end, I am finding if I am not sunk in the very first push forward that I often rank towards the top in many of my battles.  I’ve found a particular liking for the US Tier VI Battleship New Mexico.  The tri-turrets seem to work better for how I aim, and it is so slow that it is more difficult to overextend.  Actually – by the time I reach battles it will often be at stalled flanks, and I’ve been able to push my side forward by moving past them in my own version of a charge.  The New Mexico can take a pounding and seems particularly deadly in closer combat.  I’m sure some of these lessons would help me in EVE PVP.

Off the pedestal

I paid for a year of premium time in World of Warships – then immediately had 8 or 9 losses in my next 10 battles. I played some really good games, but kept finding myself in teams that needed to be carried, and I am not good enough to do that.


That can get rather frustrating.

EVE has definitely been dropped from the top of the pedestal for both the time and money I put into MMOs. I still play and have an active account, but no longer have that old passion. I tried – I really tried hard to keep it. It has just been too long since much of anything was introduced into the game that I was enthused about.

Who would have guessed that Solo Hermit game play isn’t on CCP’s development radar?

I went right through the CSM11 Summit 2 notes looking for inspiration, but found only a single thing that was particularly interesting. There would be changes to the scanning UI, but nothing fundamental to game play, just tweaks to try correcting earlier mistakes in the design.  Mostly this effort however was deflating – with CCP saying things I didn’t like, agreed with and supported by the Null Sec heavy CSM.

I didn’t run a single Guardian’s Gala event site – it was just far too much of the same. Instead I went to Jita towards the end of the event and purchased the handful of skins I liked the look of.

I am however logging in regularly and am working through a To Do List for my newest Alt, but what I am up to doesn’t really seem blog worthy!

After finishing the New Player Experience and running all the Career agent missions, I decided to make a move to a High Sec area with access to lots of Low Security space. It was some 20 jumps away from where I started.

It took me some 150 odd jumps to move 6 fully fitted ships into my new home system, via the Amarr trade hub to tweak fittings. Several times I had to stop and wait for excess gear to sell on the market before I had the money to finish off some of the ships. Not a T2 module in sight, and often a lower Meta level item picked because I couldn’t afford the more expensive ones. It was kind of enjoyable.

One play session might involve making a flight one way between my old and new home. Another session might have been spent in Pfya trying to find a suitable fit with low skill points and little ISK.

When Burn Jita came along I simply did not log in for a week. The alt couldn’t afford to lose one of these ships to a griefing gank.


I’ve ended up with 6 rigged and fitted hulls, a small collection of spares, and around 500,000 odd in ISK (total worth somewhere between 5 and 10 M ISK), ready to start trying to accumulate some wealth.

I have two haulers (one slower with more capacity but less tank, the other faster with less capacity but more tank), a mining frigate, a scanning frigate, and a combat frigate and destroyer for PVE.

As I said – I am finding this process kind of amusing and enjoyable.

WoWS – I finally reached mediocrity

It took almost 700 battles, but I have finally wrestled myself into the mediocrity of a 50% battle win rate in World of Warships. This was after languishing around 47% from battle 100 to 600.


There are excuses outside of just being a poor player, particularly in my preference towards using Cruisers. In reality however I was just not playing the game in an optimal way. Like Homer or Bart Simpson, I would repeat my failing tactics over and over. Not because I couldn’t see there were better ways, but because those better ways lead to a less satisfying game.

I didn’t relent and play differently, instead Wargaming changed the rules. They added some skills, tweaked some ship attributes, and I was able to mitigate some of the punishment from pushing forward earlier in the game. Instead of dying soon after first being detected, I now often get the chance to push, retreat, adjusting and push forward again a number of times over. That means I am more often a positive contributor to my team, and that seems to help with the average win rate.

Yes – I am cheering 50%.

WoWS – Flaming Ship

World of Warships regularly has time limited goal orientated tasks, under the guise of Events, Challengers, Combat Missions, Campaigns, Ranked Battles and what not.

For the first 600 odd of my battles in the game, I’ve almost totally ignored them. I play World of Warships in a very casual manner, without knowing when I might have free time, how long it might last, or if I will be interrupted or not. Time limited grinds don’t really fit into that.

With the continued positive impact on my battle experience from the Priority Target skill, I decided I would try to complete the Lunar New Year Marathon, which required you to earn 20,000 raw experience in Tier V or above ships for each of the Japanese, USA, German and Russian Navies.

This process helped trigger my move to multiple Tier VI ships, which for the most part have been better to play than their Tier V counterparts. I picked up the Fubuki, Aoba, Farragut, Cleveland, Budyonny, Nurnberg and Bayern in recent weeks.

I found it reasonably easy to grind the XP for the Russian and German lines. I like their guns and last stand torpedoes, and generally contribute in most battles. The US line took a little longer, but was helped a lot when I picked up the Cleveland. The Japan line however was a hard slog. I struggle doing much DPS with the Furutaka and Aoba in particular. I got over the line in the end when I picked up the Tier VI destroyer Fubuki. A nice mix of gun DPS and reasonable Torpedoes that suit my play style.


The end result was getting this colorful ship in my port:


Apparently in battle it just looks like its donor ship to all the other players – only you get to enjoy the flashy paint job. It is also in its own special navy type so you can’t use it to train up captains. It is however the first special ship I have picked up by myself in the game.

In the meantime, I have also been paying attention to the various combat missions and Campaigns running, working through those too.

I’ve had 100 battles now paying more attention to these little quests, and I’ve found it adds a positive element to the game.

I have always said about EVE that – if you don’t have a social impetus to log in, that you really need to ensure you have goals set for yourself. I’ve been struggling for quite a while now to find goals that I am really interested in. The smaller type quests that World of Warship provides work well. I know EVE has the Guardian’s Gala event coming soon. This type of thing was a step in the right direction, but from what has been said it seems to be more of the same of what we have already experienced. I’d like to see more simple and short goal options set by CCP, to help prod the casual player to log in more.

WoWS – Avoiding being a Priority

I fell out of the habit of playing World of Warships.

I prefer sailing Cruisers, but once I hit Tier 5 I found them especially frustrating. I’ve already remarked on how I had changed my style of play. I couldn’t be too aggressive as I died too quickly, I couldn’t be too defensive as while I might live longer, I would not do enough damage to have an impact on the game. I got better at using islands for cover, maneuvering to make myself harder to hit, angling my ship against incoming fire, thinking where my route through the islands would leave me positioned many turns ahead, being very mindful of the alignment of my guns and so on. I tried to remember the basic strength and weaknesses of the ships I was opposed to, I looked at the alignment of their guns through binoculars, I tried to logically think ahead about their likely course and behaviour. I watched YouTube video after video, and captained Battleships against Cruisers to better understand what tactics worked and what did not, and made a real effort to improve my play.

The outcome was failure.

Any time I made the slightest of mistakes I always seemed to be punished severely for it. Two Battleship volleys was all it took to take me out of the game. Bang, 100 to 50% health, bang, 50 to 0% health. Multiple times I’ve been sunk on the very first volley of the match – despite taking evasive action the moment I was detected. I would have had to move directly into the path of initially errant shots.

Maybe it was because I always seemed to be bottom tier in my matches? Maybe I needed to push through to higher tier Cruisers? I looked at the stats of Tier 6 and 7 ships and they didn’t actually look that much better. Sometimes on paper they looked worse. (Subsequently I’ve realised the upgrade slots is what lets them shine.)

Maybe it was because I did not have any maximised Captains? Maybe some of those top tier skills make all the difference?

Maybe it is because I don’t use any mods?

This is not just a short run of bad luck – I’ve been playing for 5 months, and over 300 of my 600 matches have been in Cruisers. I had to put up my hand and admit – with embarrassment, that despite my efforts I was frankly just no good at the game. It wasn’t a deliberate decision to stop playing, but I had.

I logged back into the game when update 0.6.0 was released, some 11 days ago.  I still had premium time on the account so I thought I would have a look around.  There has been a lot of displeasure about some aspects of this update, but without a deep investment in the game none of it really worried me.

After updating Captain Skills, I grabbed a few cruisers and took them out for a spin.


Obviously, I have taken this screen capture at a nice point in time and I expect things to return to their normal pair shape, but I’ve had 80+ matches since the update and it has been like a different game for me.

In reality, there is often only one person, or a small division of 2 or 3 people who actually decide each match and carry the rest of their team. I am not that person. I see them at the top of the result boards on each win. Since this last update however I have been close to the top of the results board, behind those people who carry the game, providing a useful contribution. When that person is not in my team and we lose, then I am finding myself in the top couple of the losers. I am not skilled enough to carry the team, but usually get something out of the game.


There have been a couple mechanical reasons for the change.

Because of my Graphic Card upgrade I am now playing the game in full window mode at 3832×2085. There are aspects of the UI I wish I could upscale, but the full screen view seems to help with immersion, improving my situational awareness and allowed an extra level of finesse to my control inputs.

I have also moved away from firing by math (where you mentally calculate the lead based on time to target, estimated speed, direction of travel and what not), and moved back more to firing by feel. “That feels about right”. It is easier to do this with Cruisers as you can fire single spotting rounds, then walk the main salvo in on the target. Once zeroed in like that, you tend to be able to constantly rain shells down on them without over thinking.

Both these have made a difference. The biggest impact by far however has been the one point “Priority Target” skill.


I have found it invaluable in a Destroyer or Cruiser. In the past evasive manoeuvring started as soon as you were detected, then ramped up when you saw shells coming your way. Such manoeuvring slows you down, throws your guns off the optimal bearings, takes you off your planned route, and often delays your arrival behind cover.

Now if you are spotted but no one is aiming at you, you can continue (torpedo awareness aside) towards your waypoint. If you know that one opponent aiming at you is that Battleship, you have 20+ seconds between each salvo were evasion doesn’t have to be your highest priority. If you have only one opponent aiming and you know it must be a Destroyer, you can respond differently than if you have Five opponents aiming at you. I still get one shot of the map at times, but I have found it far easier to place my ship more optimally, am staying alive longer on average, and having more of an impact on the game.

It is not perfect. I’ve already noticed that people can salvo you without the target indicator showing. I expect from the map that they were tracking another target in the same direction and switched over to me without specifically keying the UI to update. Once they fire however the indicator tends to come on soon after.

I expect this short flurry of win’s will die away as others work out the best offensive and defensive use of Targeting Priority, but in the meanwhile I’ve felt unusually almost competent, which has made the game much more enjoyable.

WoWS – Forgetting to Play

The time I have spent playing World of Warships has fallen off a cliff. I’m forgetting to play, which shows how enamored I’ve been with it of late.

I like the concept, pace and tactical aspects of the game, I don’t mind how the progression has been worked out, and I have battles that I really enjoy. A little more often though I come away annoyed or frustrated.

There are obvious balancing issues between ship types and ships that are placed in matches together.

There can be an element of rock-paper-scissors – where against one ship you dominate, but against the next you are easy prey.

A little too often you come up against opponents with fully skilled captains and all the best flags and consumables loaded.

The match maker probably needs to be less random – for the reasons above, and because there are too many matches where the battle is painfully one sided.

Early aggressive play tends to be punished, almost forcing you to hang back at the start.

All these can be irritating, but for most you can just focus on certain ship types or tactics.

I think the biggest problem however is that as a middling player, the results are generally out of my control.

Hold on – doesn’t that make sense? Isn’t that how’s it is mean to be? Yes – except the majority are just middling players. When you look at the stats at the end of the battles, there are commonly only 1 or 2 out of 24 who make that key difference and carry the win. It feels that really – if I die within the first two minutes under focus fire or in the last minute after a valiantly and well played match, I wasn’t that important in the grand scheme of things.

There are exceptions – as I said, some battles are really enjoyable. There are just not as many of those battles as there should be.

WoWS – 400

I’ve passed 400 Battles in World of Warships. I continue to be intrigued but somewhat frustrated by the game.


I don’t feel particularly good at it, but the trend seems to be an unhurried climb towards mediocracy.

I am working through all the Tech trees at the same time with the exception of the Carriers. I tend to use a ship until I get its daily 50% XP bonus for its first win, then move on to the next ship. This doesn’t do my win-rate any favours as it means I use ships I am less effective in more often. It also makes it more difficult to perfect the various ships nuances, weapon systems and tactics as I keep swapping through them.

Sometimes I can err in thinking my win rate relates to bad luck in how the teams are randomly put together. In reality however I tend to rank around the middle of the field, contributing, but not being pivotal. I rarely carry and win matches by myself, so am more susceptible to the impact from other team members. Should I say reliant on them?

I am mostly in Tier IV and V ships at the moment. I struggle more in the Tier V matches as you are often up against Tier VI and VII ships. I’m not sure how much of a statistical disadvantage this places you at, or if my discomfort is more psychosomatic.

Speaking of statistics – I find it interesting to see how often they don’t seem to add up.


The ship I have Captained the most is the US Tier IV Battleship the Wyoming. I enjoy using the hull and feel I am reasonably effective in it, generally finishing in the top third of my team’s rankings. My win rate however is a very low 37.8% (the average is 49.5%). You would expect my statistics to be poor with so many matches ending in defeat, but they are generally within a stone’s throw of average except for the damage I do (35K against 28K) and the average experience I get (837 against 629).



Another ship I enjoy Captaining is the German Tier V Light Cruiser the Konigsberg. I feel like I am effective in it. My win rate in this hull is a much healthier 56% against the average of 51%. The experience gained each match is also a health 1,028 compared to the average of 756. I also survive 44% of the matches against the average of 30%. That all looks good – until you lo0k at the other stats which are really poor, such as average damage of 17,017 compared to 27,180 and average kills of 0.4 against 0.8.

I would have to play this game very differently if I was focused on statistics, compared to if I played based on effectiveness, compared to if I played the game based on level of fun.  (At the moment I take the less impactful hodgepodge approach.)

Odd match ups


This was a rather odd match up in World of Warships – a 4 v 4 Domination Match (where you have three capture points to contest) instead of the usual 12 v 12.  While I have had some odd 2-4 v 2-4 battles, I’ve never had one with Aircraft carriers.  The match was decided by the Hosho – who both boldly went for Capture points on his own, and smartly prioritised his targets.  The Phoenix and I managed to dispatch the Carolina and Karlsruhe, and the Nassau with help from the Langley took out the Myogi.  The Hosho first took out the fast moving Phoenix, then the damaged Nassau as he made his way across the map taking two capture points.  He then took out the Langley who had steamed off on his own instead of trying to combine both of our anti-aircraft capabilities.  This left me steaming at a slow 20 knots across the map trying to get in range of him – but I was sunk on his 6th Torpedo squadron attack.

There is something I’ve noticed in the lower end (Tier III and IV) Battleships – it seems more important to angle to allow as many of your guns to fire as possible than to angle for protection.  In the battle above the South Carolina always carefully kept themselves straight on – but this meant they could only bring 2 turrets with 4 guns to bear.  I on the other hand was able to bring 6 turrets with 12 guns against them.  I would usually fire the first Turret to ensure my aim was true, then salvo the remaining 5 Turrets.  Whatever extra damage I was taking for being aligned to allow all guns to fire was easily outstripped by the larger amount of damage I was applying.  This has worked out with all the Battleships I have used.



I did something I haven’t done in quite some time – I “threw” a game down in disgust and walked away. I had a run of 8 straight battle losses in World Of Warships. Only one of them even looked like a win – but we managed to snatched defeat out of the mouth of victory by not staying in the cap zone.

I am finding Tier 5 ships, especially Cruisers, to be very frustrating to play. I haven’t found a way to be reliably effective in the Tier 5 to 7 battles. I have lost count of the number of times I have been one and two shot off the map by some Battleship 437km away from me, or had some Carrier pilot find me in the first 30 seconds of the game and perfectly bracket me on all four sides with 214 Torpedoes.

Yes – much frustration.

I went back to (lower tier) Battleships to get some idea on how I should try to avoid these quick deaths – but I can plink away at a broadsided cruiser all day and rarely get a citadel, yet it seems almost every bracket that lands on my Cruisers take 15,000 to 20,000 hits. I can twist and I can turn, I can follow the tactics of the ships I myself can’t hit at range, but I’m still getting nailed time after time.

Yes – those are tears. Enjoy them if you wish, they don’t seem to have the same impact in World of Warships as they do in EVE.

Some of this is bad luck. I always seem to end up in the numerically inferior force when running down a flank or towards a capture point. Some of this is me not listening to my inner voice. It is common for my last thought before being sent to the bottom to be along the lines of “This is probably not a good idea”. I am also, obviously, making mistakes. When you are advancing and dancing in and around Islands, you need to think about your next 3 or 4 major changes in direction, else you stumble unable to maneuver out into the open in front of the entirety of the enemy force. Still – and this is the crux of my frustration, it feels like my game play is being punished too harshly.

After starting the day 0 wins and 8 loses and walking away, I came back to complete a further 11 battles. I came away with a more respectable 7 wins and 4 loses. In a number I managed to keep my low health Cruisers alive and causing damage for far longer than I had a right to, and in three Destroyer battles I managed to accumulate 5 Carrier kills.  That included a very satisfying pair that involved dodging multiple attacks then firing a Torpedo salvo from one side of the ship at one, then immediately a second salvo from the opposite side at a second, sinking both.  I then got sunk by one of the Carriers torpedo bombers after getting myself aligned perfectly to escape them, then somehow hitting the full ruder turn and killing myself.  Never mind.

A higher wall with holes in it

I’m starting to hit the Tier 5 hulls in World of Warships, which has coincided with a string of consistent and often one-sided battle losses. I remarked that the step from Tier 3 to 4 took quite an adjustment, but here the change has been even more dramatic.

To start with I am finding myself on new and unfamiliar maps, which puts me at a distinct disadvantage. I am also finding myself bottom tier in matches with tier 6 and 7 ships, which completely outrange, outgun, and out skill me.

The tactics have also changed – I’ve had matches where everyone just dives for the nearest favourite island and sits behind it sniping. My more aggressive way of playing is often severely punished in such matches. Even when I am playing at my very best, I struggle to get into range of the opponents, to hit them when I do, or to make any sort of difference to capturing.

It would be a very demoralizing brick wall to run into – if not for the holes. These are the Tier 4 to 5 matches you thankfully still get, which provide you the wins, experience, and frankly the fun required to move forward with the game.

The chatter has ramped up a bit more in the higher tier matches – or should I say, the complainers. So far I find around 5% of players say something productive or nice, 10% are immature wankers, and the 85% remaining don’t say a word.

In the 260 PVP battles I’ve played, I’ve typed in chat three times. I said “Stick together” – on a 2v2 match I had, “No” in response to if I was detected, and “Sorry for that” when I almost torpedoed a team mate. (Although in my defence, his ship was 18 knots faster than mine so he had closed quicker than I had anticipated).

I am still unsure on the longevity in the game. As I step up through each Tier I can’t say the game suddenly gets more fun. I can see from the experience needed to buy higher level upgrades and ship hulls that there will be a real grind required. It is at least giving me a distraction while waiting to see where EVE is going.

225 and big but soon to be forgotten moments

I’m up over 225 World of Warships battles now. I have come to the conclusion that so far I am relatively mediocre at it. The statistics in agree with me, along with my win rate that is languishing at around 47%.

Failure can however be a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you find yourself doing well in a ship and positively contributing towards the team you tend to win more, giving you more experience points. This means you progress faster through all the upgrades and into the next ship tier. If you don’t do well in a ship and don’t contribute as much to the team, then you tend to lose more. That gives you much lower experience points, which means you have to do more battles in those poor performing ships to reach the next tier.

For example, it took 16 matches for me to research all the upgrades and the next ship in line with the Russian Tier 4 Cruiser Svietlana. I had a 62% win-rate with that ship, doing on average 22,180 points of damage and surviving 31% of the time. It took me 27 matches to fully research and move on from the US Tier 4 Cruiser Phoenix, with only a 32% win-rate, doing on average 16,436 points of damage and surviving only 21% of the time.

In my defence, 65% of my battles so far have been with Cruisers, which I have found in the lower tiers sit uneasy and less effectively between Battleships and Destroyers. I also tend to play – surprisingly, a bit more aggressively. I don’t just sit behind Islands or at the back of the map – I am always looking for ways forward, which means I tend to die earlier than more cautious players. Last of all I am playing a lot of different ships – instead of just focusing on one branch and one style of play.

I can see improvements in my game. I am getting much better at moving in and around islands to my benefit, the amount of damage I do on average is continuing to increase, and I am contributing in ways the game currently doesn’t always reward you for, such as deliberately positioning yourself to spot the enemy ships, or sacrificing yourself for the greater good – like holding off the enemy from an otherwise undefended base, giving time for others to get back in range.

I still do not however particularly feel like I am a master of my own destiny in the game. While my skill level obviously needs to improve, I can’t help but feel my results are just as much the result of the vagaries of the random battle match ups.  Take the Phoenix for example. Because it is quick you tend to run into the enemy vanguard first. In some battles I can throw the ship around like a Destroyer – twist and turn and circle and duck and weave until I break the enemies focused fire and, still reasonably healthy, can reposition myself to move forward again. In other battles however everyone is painfully accurate and I die within seconds of first being detected under withering fire.  I can not overstate the huge differences between the accuracy of the players you come up against.  One match you can avoid the raining shells of half a dozen opponents in open water, the next a Battleship on the opposite side of the map can two or three salvo you off the field as you deliberately twist and turn and try to avoid him in amongst islands.  Even my own accuracy seems to change dramatically between matches – in one I don’t seem to be able to miss, the very next match, same ship, same type of scenarios, I don’t seem to be able to hit the side of a barn.

I am however having great moments in World of Warships.

I recently had a battle in the Tier 4 Russian Cruiser Svietlana that stood out for me. It was in standard mode on the Big Race map. I started out in the south east heading north. I was joined by two other Cruisers and two Battleships. The enemy flotilla we ran into heading in the opposing direction consisted of two Cruisers and two Battleships.

One of the enemy Cruisers overextended himself – I expect in order to fire Torpedoes, allowing us all to focus fire on him. Their second Cruiser was overly cautious and broke contact and circled back too soon. This allowed us to dispatch the first ship without loss. As we rounded the north east of the map there was an old fashioned brawl which saw the remaining enemy Cruiser and two Battleships sunk, with the loss of our two other Cruisers. During this battle I had to dodge the attack of two flights of Torpedo bombers.

At this point we had glimpses of one of the enemy Carriers, so a race began with myself and the two Battleships trying to get to it before the main enemy fleet (we could see on the mini map) returned to save it.

While the Svietlana is not a particularly fast Cruiser, I was out in front spotting for the two slower Battleships behind me. A Tier 5 Japanese Furutaka Cruiser popped out from between some islands, but soon dove back into cover under our combined fire. I then again had to dodge the attacks of a couple flights of Torpedo bombers.

As I straighten out towards the last known position of the Carrier I noticed a blip of an enemy Destroyer on the mini-map, detected by a flight of fighters sent from one of our Carriers. He had literally 1 hit point left, and was making his way in the opposite direction to us at the extreme of my main gun range. It took a while for my guns to swing around in the right direction, by which time he was no longer visible again. I had been tracking his position in my mind and fired off one salvo, quickly moving my guns back towards where I knew the Furutaka would be waiting. As luck would have it a shell landed and I had a lucky Destroyer kill.

I had just got the enemy Carrier spotted when I came into view of the Furutaka again. While the Battleships went for the Carrier I was left with the enemy Cruiser, his torpedoes and another two flights of Torpedo bombers. While the cruiser was a tier higher and I had taken one Torpedo, he managed to ground himself and was outgunned. He was down to 86 hit points with my last Salvo about to land when the kill was taken by another person on my team, pushing up from the south.

I swung around to the carrier but it was dispatched as my guns came to bear. At this point the second carrier came into view – on the opposite side of the now arriving enemy fleet. I had the choice to turn and run, or to keep the carrier spotted for our encroaching and numerically superior fleet. I decided to fight it out – and was rewarded by spotting a very low health enemy Cruiser trying to escape. I fired one Salvo before having to take evasive action as an enemy Battleship rounded an island right in front of me. I frantically fired off Torpedoes and guns into the side of the Battleship under the crescendo of critical damage and fire messages and the noise of secondary battery fire. I just had time to register my second kill pop up – meaning my salvo on the Cruiser had been effective, before my Torpedoes stuck. In the space of seconds, I took the Battleship from three quarters health to almost zero. Just as I was about to fire one last salvo to claim the kill someone else on my team landed a hit and took the prize.

With only a sliver of health left and under the focused fire of the remaining enemy I literally fired a salvo off at the first ship my guns swung across before being sunk. As I sat there watching the battle finishing I suddenly had my third kill. My last salvo had started a fire on a ship, which had then been taken down to low health by a Battleship, with my burning fire then doing the last few points of damage. I had deserved three kills for that battle – just none of the ones I ended up with.

The nature of the game however is you tend to forget all these sorts of battles.  They just blur into one and another after a short period of time.

Searching to Contribute

I was caught out by my Null Sec Base office rental steadily increasing without me noticing. I had to send my main Alt down there via Clone jump to clean it out and close up. I’ll reopen when the price drops.

It took me a while to try out the new event sites. I noticed initial complaints about them erroneously impacting Amarr standings, so left them be. That all seems to have been resolved, so I ran a few this weekend.

I haven’t done any research into them, but so far they only seem to drop one of a wide variety of white Amarr ship skins. I’ll run them if I see them in the local system, but I don’t plan to go hunting for them.

I’ve passed 170 battles in World of Warships. I hit a real roadblock with the Tier IV Cruisers – all of them, not just the Japanese Kuma I was talking about before.

I found I struggled to hit anything and suddenly seemed to be paper thin, dying far too quickly and easily. I was always languishing around the bottom of the battle rankings.

Some of this related to the configuration of the new hulls, such as losing some of the main guns to be replaced by rarely useful Torpedoes, slower turret traversal, and starting out without the upgrades. Having to partially retain the Captains also impacts your initial effectiveness.

Some related to the quality of opposition, which seemed to take a bit of a step up at that level.

Some related to how I was trying to play the game.

One of the more obvious and important tactics in World of Warships is to focus fire – just as it is in EVE. It was around the point where I stepped from Tier III to IV ships that I made more of an effort to group up with other players.

I initially started out by focusing on giving the Destroyers support – but more often than not I just ate a hull full of torpedoes without contributing.

Then I tried hanging back with the Battleships, but that left me out of range and often the primary target of incoming fire. Once again I contributed little.

Last I tried to hang in between the main group of Destroyers and Battleships – which improved my Battle ranks from dismal too mediocre, but it was still rather unsatisfying.

Finally, I’ve stuck with that type of play – but focused more on my positioning around islands. Ducking in and out of cover, changing targets as you move around, capturing or assisting if you have the opportunity but being more willing to break engagements and temporarily retreat, pushing destroyers away when you see them, and stay on the lookout for targets on lower health or the obvious focus of others on your team – all the while being mindful of the strategic goal of the battle itself.

It is a sort of team focused individual game. Obvious when you stop to think about it. It took a bit of patience, but I am now regularly in the lower top half of the battle rankings, which means I am tending to contribute, which I am ok with.

I find the destroyers much easier to play – although have to be in the mood for them.  As was said recently in a comment, they are a hero or zero type ship to play. You are either dead quickly and at the bottom of the battle rankings, or you sink ships and capture zones and find yourself with lots of experience earned.

Last of all I have started out playing Battleships, which are a whole different sort of game play. I had not planned on trying them until I felt I had mastered Destroyers and Cruisers more. Interestingly, instead of distracting me, it has helped me better understand how to use the smaller hulls.  In a Battleship you love when Cruisers hang out in the open, and you hate when Destroyers ambush you around Islands.

I have a rough budget of $30 a month for online games I am getting a lot out of. In the first month of World of Warships I paid for 30 days premium and a small number of doubloons. Nearing the start of my second month, I have now paid for another 30 days premium and picked up a Murmansk premium ship. I am enjoying testing out the various aspects of the game.

One Hundred

I’ve hit 100 PVP battles in World or Warships. A reasonable effort given I am not normally enamoured with PVP style games. It came out at 50 wins and 50 losses.

I’ve been spreading myself around a bit with my port currently housing the following:

American Tier IV Destroyer Clemson
American Tier IV Cruiser Phoenix
German Tier III Cruiser Kolberg
Japanese Tier IV Destroyer Isokaze
Japanese Tier IV Cruiser Kuma
Russian Tier III Cruiser Bogatyr

I like the American and German ships better so far – with their reasonable turret traversal and good rate of fire. Admittedly their small guns don’t do a great deal of damage, but they are forgiving of bad aim and allow you to walk the fire in on top of your enemies. I am regularly landing 50 to 100+ hits from my main turrets each battle, which makes the game more fun. In comparison the Japanese guns are more frustrating to use, often unable to keep up with the ships own turning or passing ships at close quarter.

I don’t even mind the shorter range Torpedoes in the American Destroyers. They forced me out of trying to play the conceal and long range game I was using (ineffectively) in the Japanese destroyers. You have to think more tactically – both about your ambush options, and when you break cover and make a run across open water on solo ships.

The game is an interesting mix of simple and complex, luck and hard work. You can play one match and be a complete legend, landing every hit and putting yourself in the perfect position time after time. Then you start the next match feeling great – only to die from the first salvo of the game. Or worse than that – you run around the entire next match not hitting a thing or doing anything of value for your team despite trying your best.


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.