This seems to be the method in which WarGaming has been using to balance ships and classes lately. When something with a bit more testing and finesse could have been used, instead the opt for the more aggressive and frankly, overzealous approach. I speak primarily of the nerf to the Yeuyang and to Battleships in terms of their AP damage to destroyers.
For starters, lets discuss the nerf to the Yeuyang. While I don’t have her, though I did want to grind towards her next, I can read stats and the recent use of a battering ram to her main armaments have made her far less appealing. As a matter of fact, statistically, the lower tiered Chung Mu, can out perform her. The nerf to her main guns reload means she can only outgun the original IJN destroyer line and due to having only deep water torpedoes, those are useless against other DD’s as well. This outright castrates this ship in a 1v1 battle with most other destroyers. Sure, she has the unique radar consumable for a destroyer, but what good can that with the current meta – which once again has changed due to the BB AP nerf? In terms of its use in CB, where is was very prominent last season because of its ability to radar and hold its own in a gun fight, she is far less relevant now with the introduction of ships like the Daring and Haragumo.
Though it is arguable that she was an incredibly strong ship as a DD hunter due to her radar and guns and a nerf might have been warranted, the 20 or so percent increase in reload time was far to extreme, both in my opinion and that of others who play her. Finally, keep in mind, due to her only having deep water torpedoes, which as useless against other destroyers, her performance of a gun boat should be a priority and more often than not, it’s the top players that skew her stats as they also got her first. Food for thought Wargaming.
Finally, for the Battleship AP nerf in regards to their interaction with most Destroyers. Here is another huge miscalculation on their part as well in my opinion. So far from what I have witnessed in-game, destroyers are more plentiful and are certainly more emboldened in their approach of battleships. This is both a good an bad thing. For the good destroyer players vs a distracted or not so good battleship player this is excellent news. As you can no longer be outright blapped (unless you’re a Khaba or Hara), you can really put the hurt on that BB. However, the bad here far outweighs the good. For the Battleship players, this is terrible news. First off, it’s typically not the Khabas or Haras that are going to be the ones to try and sneak up on you. This means, of course, your ability to defend yourself adequately is gone. Even if you were to have HE loaded in your Montana (most guns plus best dispersion), you would have to land all 12 shells and have them fully penetrate to one shot most tier 10 destroyers shy of a detonation. And quite frankly, having all 12 shots land on a DD when it’s rare to have it happen on a BB at 10km is just not going to happen, sorry. When it comes to this mechanic, and style of play, I’m in full agreement with NoZoup.1 If a destroyer is foolish enough to get that close to a battleship and get spotted, he deserves to be sunk swiftly.
When the community as a whole has concerns and complaints at Battleships maintaining a 15+km distance from the fight, typically due to the destroyer threat, removing their ability to defend themselves in short notice will only increase that play style. Sure, there might be those that argue that they should switch to HE anyways but here are the facts, under best, though not ideal conditions. A Montana with a 19 point John Doe running adrenaline rush, expert marksman and expert loader at 50% HP, the switch from AP to HE will take about 6.75 sec – a very manageable time. Being a battleship though, the turret traverse is still 36 sec for 180 degrees. Of course turning the ship will assist in getting your guns on target faster, but it will also likely offer up more of a target for the torpedoes as well. IF all this works out as far as timing goes, now your fate is left to RNG and this is where you’ll likely lose. You’ll either A) have to destroy all the DD’s torpedo tubes, B) detonate that DD or C) All 12 shells will have to hit and pen for a chance to one shot that destroyer, and only the Shima or the Yueyang running survivability expert have low enough HP pools that make this possible. So RNG be true, you now have 27 sec to load another…those were the torpedoes that have been launched. Sure, you might get that second salvo off and you might be able to finish off that destroyer but you will be eating some torpedoes if not dinning on them in Davy Jones’ locker, sorry.
There are so many different ways that Wargaming could have solved these two issues and yet, they chose the ones that quelled the loudest few in their cries for “Nerf!” and were the easiest. The easiest path is not always the right path, certainly in this case. What is done is done though, and those of us who are truly disappointed, and likely frustrated with these changes can only hope that they are both not repeated with other ships and mechanics in the future, but more importantly, and reverted back to a more happy medium.