Before I start I wish to state I am an unrepetantly mediocre player, more than likely a potato if I was to be brutally honest, but I enjoy the game and while I may not like the commander rework, I've been tinkering and trying to get what I can out of it. If you've no interest in what I have to say and feel my words mean less due to my lack of experience and skill then so be it.
However I've been noticing something that was pretty lacking before. My first few matches I abhored what the game had become, but as the weekend came about more and more I began to notice things. In wins and losses you'd see small snippets of something, and slowly they became more common until they became fairly regular in the last few games I played.
Whether by accident or intention, the commander rework has made teamwork far more essential to any style of gameplay than ever before. However it does allow the older playstyles to shine through when done in conjunction with others.
For the purposes of the anecdotes that follow, imagine each map as being 9 squares, A1-A3, B1-B3 etc.
I spawned in A1 at the top of the map, along with a cruiser and a destroyer. I slowly moved down in my Thunderer, joined by a Kleber and a Shimakaze. At A cap we encountered an enemy Kleber, that attacked the Shima but was engaged by myself and the friendly Kleber and swiftly dispatched. A Minotaur came up to the cap but was driven off. Ahead were now 3 BBs (Thunderer, Conqueror and a GK) and a Hindenburg. They knew the DDs were around and so started moving accordingly. I harassed them with HE and AP, continuing to sail south at around 1/2-3/4 speed. At several points I was targeted by 6 ships, but they couldn't spend too long shooting at me as they offered broadside to my team, who now were bunched up around A2 and B2. The Shima was engaged again by a Minotaur and sailed back towards me and I slapped the Mino. Kleber later bit off more than they could chew with a Hindenburg and did the same, with similar results. An enemy Shima was spotted off my port bow and was then ruthlessly hunted down by the DDs with me. In under 10 minutes A1, B1, C1 and C2 were under our control, using just 3 ships. The fight that raged around A3 was going in our favour because they could only have so many ships there because they couldn't leave 3 ships in their rear. We won and it was a great game. I didn't post any crazy damage numbers, but it was fun. That is what I find key, it was the first fun game I'd had in days. You could tell who had dead-eye as they would constantly sail away, and their shots were be far more accurate then they had any right to be. They spent so much time sailing away it was rare they would spend too long shooting at me. In reality had the GK stood it's ground with one of the other BBs, or one of the cruisers, I'd have been in a lot of trouble. They couldn't though, DDs were a clear and present threat and they would constantly sail away, turn broadside to fire all their guns, or just use their rear turrets. Accurate in so much as the shells landed pretty close together, but when playing with the throttle and adjusting course, I took damage, but far less than I should have done.
Granted the above is a case of things going really well. The enemy team, having only lost a handful of ships, were herded into a small space in the map. I've seen it happen to me as well. Playing Shokaku on epicentre, team grabbed the caps, but the enemy advanced slowly down the flanks. Our BBs didn't really move, theirs did. The DDs were never too far from support. Soon my entire team was basically herded into B2 and C2. We lot, badly. I saw a Kansas, Montana and an Akizuki I believed it was, do something similar to what I had done, same map, but moving from A3-C3. Crossfire is created, our team crumbled. Battleship shells are now a potent threat to DDs at around 13-15km. Aim carefully and fire and even if you overpen, you're likely to get a couple of hits now and that's a few thousand damage.
Battleships that advanced slowly, with their teams, that kept friendly DDs at kind of the edge of their detection range (12-15km depending on the BB) tended to live longer and achieve more. Whether cruisers take the increased detection range for better RoF or go for a sneakier build, as long as they pay attention to their placement, can massively impact the game. What is key though is that they support each other. Now either the enemy keeps backing up because they want to use dead-eye as much as they can, in which case you likely gain map control, or they have to come in to contest caps and brawl. In a Daring I watched a friendly GK doing just that, and was annoyed at first that they didn't seem to be contributing. Then about the 10 minute mark the enemy advanced in and the GK used the islands to brawl and within a few minutes had sunk two enemy BBs. The enemy assault stalled, was now outnumbered and taking heavy fire.
The game has always relied upon map awareness and a certain amount of strategy and reacting to events effectively. Now though it seems that as long as you pay attention, read the minimap, don't yolo in and don't sit at the back, you're going to get at least a half decent game. Is it perfect? No. There are still issues, but it seems that selfish game play (sniping, lone DDs going off, CVs just doing whatever they want, island camping) now has a far more noticeable detrimental impact on the team. As such it affects gameplay and enjoyment far more. Destroyers are incredibly important, and a BB sitting 20km behind them isn't any use. The team that loses their destroyers first, loses. The CV that just keeps flying aircraft at a wounded Yamato rather than hunting DDs or harassing other ships, will achieve very little. The Thunderer sitting at 22km and setting fires is only useful if their Shima hasn't slipped through.
Dead-eye is talked about a lot, and it is an issue. It encourages sniping. Then watch a Yamato get stripped of its use because 13 minutes have passed and there's a Harugumo opening up on it, the destroyers and cruisers that might be able to help are dead because the Yamato never moved to help them.
People will argue with me, they'll call me out for everything under the sun and I'll likely get downvoted into oblivion. Maybe I'm late to the game and I'm stating the obvious because everyone has already figured this out. Now more than ever though, supporting your team and actually moving up is important. For the the average player in the average match, carrying has become substantially harder, at least from what I've seen.
If you haven't already, give it a go. Move up with your destroyers, but don't yolo in. Shoot at what is shooting them. Punish enemy battleships looking to punish your cruisers. Focus your efforts and your gunfire but don't lose focus of what is going on around you.
Or ignore me and let the salt flow.
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