Almost a year later and little has changed with the in-game meta, particularly at high tiers. There is still a lot of passive, play for yourself, farm damage play from most individuals in game. The HE spam meta has now migrated from a Cruiser or Destroyer tactic to now being used by battleships. Now, the correct use of HE from a battleship against a battleship is fine, if not a little annoying. However, what I keep seeing is battleships continuing to shoot HE at broadside targets, be them cruiser or battleship. Though I won’t complain too much if I’m on the receiving end of a BB shooting HE at my broadside, but when that player is on my team, it drives me nuts! This has become more of an issue with the introduction of the British Battleships. Some of this Battleship HE issue I can contribute to inexperience, but when you’re sailing a tier 8 or even 7, I would hope you know when to shoot AP vs HE. With all that said, I’m still not a fan of the static play coupled with this burning desire for Battleship players, and not just those in RN BB’s to shoot HE at everything all the time. For me, the games are less exciting when everyone I cowering behind a single island or sniping from the edge of the map while the other team controls all the caps. This leads me to my next point of concern, ranked season 9.
This upcoming season of ranked I’m very skeptical of. To start, the issues that I witnessed in season 7 with the smoke/radar duels is bound to happen again, only at tier 10. Coupled with the extended range of guns and duration of hydro and radar, I can only predict that there will be a lot more players playing to preserve a star from the very start of the battle than trying to win, especially with the increased service costs at tier 10. I miss the days where competitive team play meant teamwork and not self-preservation. So what are my predictions for Rank 10+ play? Early on, I’m expecting to see Montanas and probably Yamatos trying to hit anything they can, probably from 15km+. I further expect to see lots of deepwater torp action from the Yueyang and HE spam from behind cover from DMs and Zaos and some Hindys as well. As people progress and find that keeping that precious star is more important than gaining one, I expect to see more Khabas, Henri IVs and Conquerors on the flanks just farming damage as much as possible, doing little to assist the team in taking caps. CV’s, if they show up, will wind up being crucial to the sway of battle. With their ability to spot errant torps and deter static play or loan flanking they will have the capability to corral the enemy towards the center and hopefully out of cover. Those are just my predictions. I know I didn’t cover their earlier ranks at all, but those won’t have changed since last season and tier 8 has been a tier for ranked in the past where 10 has not. Let’s see how these hold up as the upcoming season progresses and sorry for the earlier rant but it needed saying.