Thursday, August 27, 2015

Warship Wednesday - IJN Carriers

During my vacation I still found the occasional time to play World of Warships and continued my march up the Imperial Japanese Navy line of carriers, getting recently to the Tier VII Hiryu.
Taken from

There's been a lot of talk on the forums on how overpowered carriers are right now in the meta, but really what the people have most issue with is the power of the tier V-VII IJN carriers, the Zuiho, Ryujo, and Hiryu.

There is good reason for this outcry. First, the stats from the Asian server were released and it was glaringly obvious that the damage done and experience gains for those carriers were much higher than other classes which matches my experience in the ships. Secondly, these carriers are seen in battles with a lot of ships from lower tiers where Anti aircraft fire is pathetic. Battleships don't start getting reasonable AA until tier VII and higher, and escorting cruisers are not a concern until tier VI. Even if your side has a couple high tier cruisers, that's a lot of wiggle room around them to find juicy battleships and cruisers with poor awareness or rudder shift speeds to be zotted by a manual drop.

The weird thing is that IJN carriers really are their most powerful in terms of damage delivered at tier V in the Zuiho. This is because all torpedo bombers have torpedoes that do ~8600 damage each (except the stock Hosho) and starting at the Zuiho they all have 3 squadrons. As you increase in tiers they get more dive bombers using the damage plane squadron loadout but the torpedo damage potential remains constant.

Tier Name Stock Damage Mod Fighter Mod Est Dam using Damage loadout 1
IV Hosho 1/2/0 17134
V Zuiho 1/2/1 0/3/1 30301
VI Ryujo 1/2/1 0/3/2 1/2/2 34901
VII Hiryu 1/2/2 0/3/3 2/2/2 39501
VIII Shokaku 1/2/2 0/3/3 2/2/2 39501
IX Taiho 2/2/2 1/3/3 3/2/2 39501
X Hakuryu 2/3/2 1/3/4 4/2/2 44101

1 - estimate based on one hit per squadron out of four bombs/torpedoes which might be a little high for dive bombers, and a little low for torpedo bombers, but I feel is in the ballpark for my personal performance

What I found personally is that the Zuiho is godly in its power in matches unless the enemy has a very good USN carrier captain or two, and even then I'm confident I can top the damage chart for my team. As I climbed into the Ryujo and then Hiryu, I still felt very powerful but increasingly less so as more AA appears in higher tier ships.

Strangely, IJN carriers in higher tiers start to get more fighter heavy instead of damage heavy with the Shokaku and Taiho both sporting the same damage potential as the Hiryu.

The rumour mill has it that the 0.4.1 patch coming soon will have changes to address this domination by the IJN carriers. In the developer bulletin it says "[m]any Japanese and American ships have been rebalanced - detailed information coming soon!" and forum rumours have the Zuiho, Ryujo, and Hiryu all losing a torpedo bomber squadron, presumably being replaced on those loadouts with something else (my predictions: Zuiho and Ryujo get Dive Bomber for a 0/2/2 and 0/2/3 respectively while Hiryu gets a fighter squadron for a 1/2/3 loadout).

We'll see how the Hiryu feels once 0.4.1 lands, I'm hoping it still feels as fun as it does right now.

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