The (mostly) mandatory
- Preventative maintence: losing your torp tubes, resetting the reload (or even worse if they get perma knocked) is just such a huge penalty that you need this, only exception maybe being Khaba and Kleber/Marceau where the turret traverse is more valuable due to torps being yolo on Khaba and short-reloading on the frenchies.
- Last stand: if your rudder gets knocked, preventing you from disengaging, you're dead. This is a universal must take.
- Adrenaline rush: there are not many things in this game that give you free DPM buffs. Every battle that you don't get 100 -> 0 dev struck or your team completely stomps the other before you tank any damage, you get big value from this. IMO this is a must take on literally every ship in the game even with it being 3 points.
- For DD's even more so since it buffs both main battery AND torp tubes (and AA even though AA is useless anyway) up to 20% when very low. That is just too much value to pass up.
- Survivability expert: a 7k HP DD can take more risk than a 3.5k HP DD. A 1 HP DD that has a points advantage can run to the border and earn a Lone Survivor. Sure sometimes you just eat torps or get nuked and get no value from it, but every game that doesn't happen, you do. DD's have often have to trade HP to get stuff done, so every hitpoint counts.
- Concealment expert: this is obvious for most ships, but I still think even for the Kleber's and Harugumo's and Marceau's this is still a take. Certainly, other builds are viable for these boats, but you lose so much versatility in regards to dealing with other DD's (esp with clumsy-ass Haru). Also, the utility of the French torps is so much greater with CE. Khaba Im not so sure. But Khaba is still quite bad.
- Radio location: if you're a gunboat, you want to know where the other DD is so you can hunt. if you're a torp boat, you need to know where the mean gunboats are coming from so you can be ready to run. Also, helps with knowing where torps will be coming from and where to send blind torps if you have nothing else to launch them at. It also gives you the ability to have your ship angles and guns aimed whenever you engage a DD. Might be a hot take, but this is a must pick.
So now you have 4 points for all that build diversity that they thought this patch was going to bring. My top picks would be, depending on the boat:
- Dazzle, again this is a perk that you'll get value from every game. Throwing off a couple of thunderer shells (for example) can make a huge difference. You think dead eye has a big impact? This has twice the effect of that perk. Very strong pick.
- The extra range can be good for the boats that can use it effectively (haru, kleb, khaba). However, the extra range can be a liability when trying to disengage, and you are getting no value from it all the time that you aren't firing in those outer couple km that you pick up with this skill.
- Swift in silence: speed is so important in this game that the 5% DPM loss is manageable for boats that like staying undetected (torp boats like shima, somers, maybe even halland/gearing and otheers).
- Superintendent, torp reload, or the 5% reload buff are all okay for row 3.
- Extra AP damage could be useful on the DD's that have good AP
- Turret traverse on the boats that don't have good traverse.
Options that might seem decent but I'd argue are bad:
- Liquidator: flooding ain't what it used to be and it normally gets DC'ed anyway.
- Gun feeder: simply useless
- Pyrotech: 1% fire buff? That means for every 100 shells you land, you can expect 1 extra fire from this skill. for 2 points? no.
- Swift fish: 5% faster torps is not much and the vast majority of the time, when you miss torps, it wasn't cause they were 3 knots too slow. its probably cause they turned out or whatever.
- Priority target: if you're detected, assume you're being shot at. The other skills are just so much better.
- IFHE: fire-starting is important.
- Fearless brawler: you're gonna take 4 points and 5% conceal to give me what used to be 3 point BFT with no debuff? No. If I just argued concealment expert is mandatory for almost everyone, you bet your ass I'm taking that debuff. Just take the 3 pointer that gives you 5% reload buff and no debuff.
My main considerations when looking at the relative values are: how often will this skill come to help me? and how much help will it give? And I'd honestly argue that these suggestions are good for both randoms and competitive. Hope this helps someone though, lmk what y'all think.
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