There are so many things to look at when you start specing out a new ship; from the captain skills, to the modules, to the flags. All totaled, there are probably thousands of different combinations of these 3 groups to consider when setting up a new boat but in this guide, I will help some of you newer players, and perhaps some of you veteran players, narrow down the possibilities based upon a few considerations: play styles, both personal and ship, ship type, and individual ship specs.

Play Styles

Play styles can be broken down into two parts – personal and ship. In regards to each, a ship’s play style may compliment a player’s play style, that is not always so the other way around. Further to that point, often times a personal play style has to change in order to succeed in a certain meta. With all that said, let’s break down the two play style categories (if you will) and how they can effect how you spec a ship

Personal

In either play style – personal or ship – a single style can be put into 1 of 2 groups, passive or aggressive, with sub-styles being part of each. Passive players tend to either sit at the edge of their range and snipe or damage farm, or farm damage from the concealment of smoke or an island. While this can be effective, there are times when this is useful and times where it is not, along with which ships this works for and those that it does not. More on that later. Aggressive players, on the other hand, prefer to make plays to actively engage the enemy. Sometimes this means moving up towards a cap or actively pushing in to a flank. While this can work well when a play is not alone, poor timing and or doing so in the wrong ship can get you sent back to port.

In the personal play style categories, the passive players are either new or bottom tier, OR are focused on damage farming. The aggressive players on the other hand either don’t know any better or want to make plays to win the game. While there are exceptions to those generalization or just otherwise outliers, that’s what I tend to observe the most. Ideally though, fitting in somewhere between the two and using the play styles of your ship work the best.

Ship

Like with personal play styles, ship play styles can either be aggressive or passive. Some ship have to be naturally passive, such as many of the light cruisers, while others and best suited to being naturally aggressive, such as the German BB’s. However, many ships can be played to either style. In this respect, you might see certain ships spec’d as a hybrid. An example of this might be a tank and secondary build Kurfurst. Unless you are going for a meme built, some level of hybrid is usually preferred.

What’s Right For You

Choosing the right build for a ship is to find the best pairing of what a ships capabilities and natural tendencies with your own. With that said, you don’t want to build a ship out to be a passive long-range damage farmer (unless that’s what is required of it) if you prefer to get in to the battle and get your hands dirty, so to speak. Simply put, play to your strengths and go from there.

Building it Up

The first thing to consider when spec’ing everything out is your own play style and capabilities. This is the driving factor in everything. The second and third thing to consider is the ship itself and all the underlying specs of that ship. This is where, to get the most out of it, doing your research, even before you purchase a ship, can be crucial. The easiest way to do this is to watch ship reviews done by prominent YouTubers. Not only do they already have a firm grasp on the game mechanics (usually) but they understand how to read the specs of the ship and how to improve on them to make the most out of a ship’s strengths and weaknesses. The other way is to look at the stats of the ship for yourself to make your own decisions. Most of this information can be gathered right from the port, such as base concealment, rudder shift, turret traverse time, etc. Other information, such as sigma and penetration values would need to be gleaned from a third-party site like WoWs Fitting Tool or GameModels3D. While some of the third-party info is quite useful, such as trying to determine whether to use IFHE or not, it’s not necessary most of the time.

Stats to Consider

Here is a list of stats that I like to look at when I’m spec’ing a ship, particularly if it is different from other ships I own or from its own line.

  • Rudder shift – smaller number is always better but the smallest value can come at the cost of concealment.
  • Base Concealment – smaller is usually better unless you plan on being mobile and keeping your guns firing.
  • Turret Traverse – Smaller numbers is better for aggressive play, while the larger numbers are less important for passive play.
  • Reload speed – smaller is better but can come at a cost to turret traverse.
  • Gun Range – A stat to keep in mind depending on play style. Longer is better for passive play.
  • Dispersion – Smaller is usually better. However, if you are a ship with a high rate of fire, I wouldn’t worry about this stat.
  • Secondaries – Look at number, caliber and max base range. Start with Number and range first. Lots of guns with long base range (7km+) makes for a good secondary build candidate. Caliber can determine if you can truly benefit from IFHE.
  • AA – Look at number of guns and DPM. If you don’t have a lot of guns or really low DPM you can stop thinking about your AA as it would be a waste.

Captain Skills

Usually, I have my captain already spec’d out from the subsequent ship and most spec’ing is of interest for the higher tiers. However, in those instances where I’m training a new captain or I need to retrain the captain, tend to look at the ships specs from above as well as consider the things below.

  • Consumables – While premium consumables add 1 more charge, so does Superintendent. This usually comes into consideration if I have radar or if I have hydro and want to be more aggressive.
  • Gun Caliber – Unless I’m in a battleship or a German boat, gun caliber is important when considering IFHE. It’s also important, particularly on destroyers, if I want to invest in BFT or AFT to increase my gun range and ROF further.
  • Ship Type – Mostly used to determine if I need to consider Last Stand, which is very important to Destroyers.
  • Aggressive/Passive – Both for me and the ship. This consideration can push me towards Superintendent for the extra heal or towards other skills like Survivability Expert as well as BFT, AFT or Manual Secondaries if I want to run a secondary build.
  • The Meta – The last 3 iterations of the games meta have included a strong focus on HE spam. So as a cruiser, demo expert can be considered but as a battleship, fire prevention is a smart choice. Further, since the rework, CV’s have been far more prevalent so if it makes sense to do anything to increase AA, such as using BFT, AFT or Manual Fire Control, I look towards those.

Flags

Flags are the icing on the cake. They tend to buff anything even further as well as give bonuses that are not otherwise added through skills or modules, such as extra speed. Much like with skills and modules, I’m looking to improve on the keys stats of a ship such as fire chance, secondary range and DPM or AA DPM. While there are always those that give bonuses to economy, I tend to apply those AFTER I have mounted the ones that help me perform better or survive longer. On a personal note to that point, I tend to hold on to my detonation flags for competitive game modes. While it still sucks to get detonated in a random battle, it’s not bad as as getting detonated with a majority of your health in something like Clan Battles.

Final Discussions

While I hope that this guide helps a lot of you who are still trying to wrap your head around setting up your ships and captains, you still have to find what works best for you. The tool mentioned above, WoWs Fitting Tool, is an excellent, and strongly recommended resource to use to spec your ship without needlessly spending credits or captain XP points by accident. Further, as with so many aspects of this game, getting a strong handle on how to spec a ship out based on stats and play style takes time and practice. Finally, as another great resource for those looking to best spec a captain for their ship, consider visiting ShipComrade’s Captain Skill Calculator. While it does the same thing as WoWs Fitting Tool (which does it better in my opinion), what it does have that is different is an option to see look at recommended captain builds for most ships in the game. This is a good shortcut and can be a nice place to start. However, I would use the information I supplied above to assess those build to see if they suit you.

Happy Sailing!

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