Playing To Your Strengths: A How-To Guide

As a novice or even ‘average’ World of Ships player, playing to your strengths can be difficult. You’re likely just figuring out the game, the mechanics, a particular ship, etc. This shouldn’t stop you from finding your own niche of play and using it to your advantage. Often times, figuring this out early (or earlier than most) will make forward progress move much faster and playing a new ship, or even class, that much easier. So how can you determine your strengths? How do I profit from those strengths? What can I do to improve them? Continue reading to get an idea.

Finding Your Strengths

The first, and most important part of playing to your strengths is discovering what they are. The easiest part of this is asking yourself, “What ships/classes do I have the most fun in?” This can immediately give you an idea of your preferred play style. Examples might be if you enjoy the IJN destroyers, you probably like to be sneaky and torpedo naive battleships or if you play American cruisers you probably enjoy annihilating planes and lobbing your shells over islands at defenseless targets. But if you play the German battleships, you likely enjoy getting into the action and dealing damage, up close and personal.

The first two examples that I gave could be considered more passive play while the third is a clear example of aggressive play. Turns out, we have a measure for that; which leads me to the second part of finding your strengths, identifying whether or not your play style tends to be more aggressive, or more passive. You can use the Player Stats look-up tool on WoWReplays.com to see where you sit, or just click My Account to login using your WarGaming account details. Once you’re in, you can click on Ship Stats for details on all the individual ships you play, including Passiveness (this should be Aggression). To give an example, I’ll use myself.[1] In the Großer Kurfürst, I have an Passiveness Rating of 159; using the scale Evaluation Scale[2], I am be considered to be Very Aggressive in that ship, whereas in the Montana (my first tier 10; the beginning of my learning curve), my rating is a 60, classifying me as passive.

Profiting From Your Strengths

Passive Play

With this new knowledge of your play style, you can now work on accentuating those strengths by outfitting your ship with the correct modules and training your captain with the necessary skills. The best way I find to describe this is to give examples, so to highlight passive play style, I’ll use the play MrT11[3][4] and his New Mexico[5] and a 12 point captain. For modules in this ship I would likely go for Main Armaments Modification 1 (MAM1) for slot 1, Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1 (APRM1) for slot 2, though AA Guns Modification 2 would be OK as well, Damage Control Systems Modification 1 (DamaCon1) for slot 4 and probably Damage Control Systems Modification 2 (DamaCon2) for slot 4, however, Steering Gears would be usable as well. As a passive player, being farther away from the action is more common, so the modules mentioned exemplify that. As a note for slot 2, you choice of all but the Secondary Battery Modification 2 will depend on what works for you. I recommend the range increase as it will help keep you out of range of cruisers, however, should you ever decide to move in to closer distances, Main Battery Modification 2, should be its replacement. As the New Mexico has decent AA, and you might find yourself unsupported, adding that extra range to your AA could be useful if you find yourself facing a lot of carriers. With this, Steering gears could be useful to help turn into incoming torpedo drops, however, as you will likely be up-tiered a lot, the DamaCon2 may be more useful due to manual and cross drops. Further modifications to this ship should include any camouflage that reduces detectability and flags that reduce damage over time, increase the amount of repair damage and decrease consumable reload (India Delta, India Yankee, Juliet Yankee Bissotwo, and November Foxtrot).

For Captain skills on a 12-point captain, I would recommend Priority Target for 1 point, Expert Marksmen for 2 Points, Superintendent for 3, Concealment Expert for 4 and for your final 3 points, either Basics of Survivability or Basic Firing Training. Again, due to the passive nature of play, Basics of Survivability might be a better choice, but if Basic Firing Training is stacked with AA Mod 2, you should be able to chew up equal to lower tier planes without issue.

This build should allow the player to still maintain damage on the enemy at a distance while surviving as long as possible. However, even though the player is at distance from the main action, this should not give them an excuse for isolating themselves too much or sailing on a predictable course. Destroyers can still hunt and easily torpedo solo targets.

 

Aggressive Play

To highlight builds and skills for aggressive play, I’ll use player PoliticsGaming[6][7] in the Tier V USN Cruiser, the Omaha. For this built I would recommend Main Armaments Modification 1 (MAM1) for slot 1, Aiming Systems Modification 1 and Damage Control Systems Modification 1 (DamaCon1). Though pretty standard, the choice of Aiming Systems Mod 1 is important for aggressive play as it increases accuracy, secondary range and accuracy, and torpedo traverse, which with only 5.5km range, is very useful. Final external modifications should include a camo that at the very least reduces the enemy accuracy and flags that increase survivability and damage output (India Yankee, Juliet Yankee Bissotwo, November Foxtrot, Victor Lima, India X-Ray, and Juliet Charlie[8]).

For our 12-point captain, the Skills that I would recommend are Priority Target for 1 point, Expert Marksmen for 2 Points, Basics of Survivability and Demolition Expert, each for 3 points and for the final 4 points I would likely got for Inertia Fuse for HE Shells (IFHE). Though an argument can be made for concealment expert, the 12% reduction in detectability won’t likely matter too much to an aggressive play, particularly in a USN cruiser with their high firing arcs.

Aggressive players, particularly in cruisers, have a high damage expectation paired with a low survival expectation. The above mentioned built should assist such a player in dealing as much damage as possible, both directly and over-time, as well as maximizing their survivability. Keep in mind however, aggressive plays should also be calculated. This is something that is often overlooked, even by experienced players. Be sure to have teammates in range to provide support, avoid YOLO rushes if possible, and pick engagements where the potential damage to the enemy team outweighs the HP pool of your ship.

Conclusion

Though I only have two examples, one for each basic style of play, I hope that this guide will help new players find what works best for them and how they play. Not everyone wants to outfit their USN cruiser to lob shells over islands and similarly, not everyone wants to outfit their brawling capable battleships for close in engagements. Play to your strengths and as you get better, not only will those likely change, the options you have for ship modules and captains will also increase.

Please feel free to leave any comments or suggestions below.

[1] https://wowreplays.com/Player/NA/SnipeySnipes

[2] https://wowreplays.blog/2017/06/03/wowreplays-ship-and-aggression-ratings/

[3] https://wowreplays.com/Player/NA/MrT11

[4] Player Aggression is 41 (Very Passive) with a Ship Rating of 87 (Average)

[5] I will be using tier 6 or lower ships as examples due to the increased likelihood of the players being less experienced OR were less experienced when they played those ships.

[6] https://wowreplays.com/Player/na/PoliticsGaming

[7] Player Aggression is 170 (Very Aggressive) with a Ship Rating of 107 (Average)

[8] If you do not have any Juliet Charlie flags, I would strongly recommend running Magazine Modification 1 instead of Main Armaments Modification 1.

Author: SnipeySnipes

A technical and analytic writer for the WoWReplays.com blog - I focus on nuances and details that are often ignored or over looked by other World of Warships community contributors. With a background in the social sciences and statistics I aim to answer questions about the game and player population as a whole, backing my findings with numbers as proof. I play World of Warships as often as I can but by no means am a "professional." Though I would say I perform better then the average player, I still screw up and die often! You can find me in game or hanging about the WoWReplays Discord server. Hit me up for questions, comments or suggestions. Snide remarks or toxic comments will be forwarded to my complaints department for disposal.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s