So a few months ago, the Z-35 was released. Wargaming's desire to create a pure gunboat German DD. The idea is good in concept, but the problem is that it's simply lost too much for too little gain. It's a DD with the dpm and gun range of the Z-52, without being able to equip the reload mod. If you compare it to the 150mm Z-23, it's really not in a good place as the latter's HE dpm is a bit weaker, but you get speed boost and good torps. You could argue that the British DD smokes are better … but the problem with these short smokes is that they shine on the British DDs because of their crazy acceleration and agility allowing them to take full advantage and run out to safety just as it expires, which is much more difficult on such a sluggish boat as the Z-35. Plus it's horrible concealment, 1.2km outside it's Hydro range, does it no favors. Lighting and Cossack this ship is not.
And you know there's a problem when Notser, Flamu, Flambass, and most importantly, LittleWhiteMouse seem totally uninterested in reviewing the ship. Of the bigger CCs, only Zoup and Carbine Carlito touched her. Even Mountbatten, known for making two or three impression videos on each premium that comes out, called it quits after one.
Now here's the thing … I DO NOT want her to get better torps. Yes, you heard me. I want it to be a gunboat DD. We already have the Z-39 for the Z-23 hull torpedo boat experience. And of course, we have the rather broken T-61 at Tier 6 which just shits all over everything with her fish.
So I'm toying around with ideas on how best to buff her if Wargaming is ever interested in doing so. She's really not popular, hasn't sold well at all, and is scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of stats on NA and EU with a very low number of matches, something pretty much unheard of on new premiums. Let's give her some love. Let's try one or more of these:
– Speed Boost: This is the most obvious. It's the only German DD without Speed Boost. On a super sluggish boat. Giving it Speed Boost would make her at least par with the other German DDs in terms of speed and agility. And the ability to get out of dodge when she's spotted. And with her concealment and lack of decent AA, she'll always be spotted when not smoked up.
– 6km Hydro: This is my personal favorite option. She's a gunboat with HE dpm close enough to other gunboat DDs to actually pose a threat. So why not give her Z-52's gimmick and give her 6km Hydro so she can spot other DDs around the same time they spot her.
– Repair Party: I'm so so on this idea as it's become the sort of catch all buff everyone asks for on boats without it. Z-35 has a healthy HP pool and doesn't really need it, but it's there as an idea.
– The ability to slot the 6th upgrade: We have precedence on this type of thing on ships like Z-39 and the OG Belfast. So why not allow it the ability to slot the reload or range mod so it's gunnery potential matches that of the Z-46/52.
– Speed up it's reload even further: In the absence of above, you could simply give her a base reload of 3.0s.
– Short Fuse AP and enhanced pen angles: Give it the high tier British DD gimmick. If it's supposed to be an AP boat, it's AP needs to be WAY more reliable than it is. We all know the problems with German DD AP … it tends to overpen broadside DDs and superstructures, and it's pen is too weak to reliably pen anything else most of the time. It's great against unangled bow and aft plating, but it's really challenging to aim at those from longer ranges without shells falling into the water or skipping off the deck.
– Better Concealment: 6.2km concealment on a boat that can't torp anything other than pushing BBs and ambush opportunities is not great. Maybe give her the 5.8km concealment found on USN DDs at that tier.
Also, feel free to share your own experiences with the Z-35, the very few of you who have it. I'd love to hear how you play her. Thanks for listening!
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