The Cleveland class, I think, was my first love when it came to World of Warships. This was mainly because I thought the Des Moines was pretty sexy during closed beta but it was either restricted or required a crazy amount of xp to get there over beta weekends. Anyways, one of the highest tier ships that most players could get to. Back then it was only tier 6 but a lot has changed since then.
Let get into it.
The idea behind the Cleveland class was to be able to build a ship that could better handle the armaments and anti air capabilities of the Brooklyn class. Because of the outbreak of war in Europe and Asia, all of the restrictions of the of the Washington Naval Treaty were gone and nations could produce whatever they wanted. The biggest changes between the Brooklyn class and the Cleveland class was the ability to create a more stable platform while still being a faster, light cruiser. They did this by losing one of the main turrets from the Brooklyn class and spreading out the four 152mm turrets along the whole ship. The benefit of the one less main turret meant that the Cleveland class could mount more of the dual purpose 127 mm guns. Compared to the Brooklyn, the Cleveland class had 12, while the Brooklyn had 8. The Cleveland class continued to be improved and with the continued focus on air power in the pacific war, the Cleveland class had continued design changed that would refit them and have newer builds that would include the very popular and effective Bofors gun.
Up to 35 Cleveland class ships were completed as Cleveland class ships or ships based on their hulls. Some of the hulls that were built for the Cleveland class were also converted into Independence class carriers, and later in the life cycle of the class, were converted into guided missile cruisers.
I played my first games in the Cleveland for the first time in a few months and it still holds up well. Even with the change in tier with the US cruiser line split, it does well in upper tier games. The raw amount of shells the Cleveland can put out is impressive and with a 12% fire chance on the main guns, it can start burning down all classes with relative ease and, when given a a closer target, can hammer destroyers.
At long ranges, the Cleveland can struggle with leading targets because it takes so long for the shells to actually reach their target. I wouldn't recommend trying to lead a destroyer from max range and planning to hit but slow moving battleships and unaware cruiser captains should be an easier target.
The inclusion of the cruiser tree split really made the Cleveland benefit in one major way. It now has access to powerful radar to find destroyers hidden on the map. Even though radar can be a nuisance to players who play ships like destroyers or cruisers that can hide, it can make the Cleveland a great support ship. Combined with its excellent anti air suite, the Cleveland makes an important part of a team.
In closing, I have noticed one thing about the Cleveland since I started playing again. It is absolutely stupid how much it can get ignored when shooting from behind and island. Staying concealed and burning ships to the ground is something the Cleveland excels at and, on some maps, can be an extremely effective ship. It really is a great ship to enjoy and play through and I think it should be one of the best tier 8 ships for newer players.
If you have any comments, suggestions or want to be one of the ones to do a ship spotlight next week, let us know in the comments.
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