The Harugumo is a very controversial ship and I often hear people claiming it is incredibly OP and you get regularly attacked in game for playing it. The ship has been released for quite some time now so I think it is time to have a serious discussion about it and clear up some myths about her streangths.
Let's start off with a bit of performance statistics. In terms of winrate, Harugumo does not outclass other DDs. Yes her WR is a bit above 50% (small differences based on the server and which date you look at), but nothing out of the ordinary if we consider that the ship is still relatively new and all new ships tend to have better stats in the first few months of their release. Looking at the average damage, Harugumo is definitivly among the best having compareble damage to Khabarovsk. So from data alone we can see that Harugumo is dealing a lot of damage, but her game impact is not that high. It that sense it is very similar to Khabarovsk as both ships promote damage farming on BBs over contesting the objectives.
Next up we have to compare Harugumo to other DDs in stats. And here we can see a trend that characterizes the ship very well: Extremes. Her gunpower is uncontested among T10 DDs with the best DPM (both AP and HE; yes Daring is a tiny bit better), the best HE pen (only DD the ability to reach 32mm pen with IFHE) and very good fires er minute (base is not super impressive but benefits more from DE and flags). On the other hand her weaknesses are very pronounced as well. The speed is unimpressive, the maneuverability is dreadful to the point where cruisers start to compare favorably and her concealment is second worst only to Khabarovsk.
Where does all of that leave us? Harugumo is extremely powerful at one specific role: Sitting in cover (smoke or islands) and raining death onto non evading BBs and CAs. She can also help cap contesting with her massive firepower but needs other DDs to lead the way and scout. In the perfect situation Harugumo is definitely OP and can burn down her enemies faster than any other DD can. And these are the situations people complain about because it feels very unfair to be farmed by an unspotted enemy. In that sense she reminds me of US cruisers that can sit relativly save behind an island and devastate BBs or other cruisers with their DPM or a Minotaur that kills you from her smoke in a matter of seconds if you show any broadside. These are all very annoying opponents to deal with and their strength can make you feel helpless.
But we need to understand that all these ships that share incredible powerspikes in specific situations need these situations to have any power at all. A Harugumo is more easily dealt with than most other DDs. Torpedoes into her smoke force her to leave or often die due to lousy acceleration and turning circle. And a Harugumo in the open is a dead Harugumo. Yes her healthpool is impressive but she is huge, still eats AP pens from BBs and cant dodge incoming fire like other DDs can. Or you can open up the distance to the smoke and evade most damage by a bit of maneuvering. Harugumos arcs get very bad beyond 10km to the point where even BBs are able to evade a lot of the damage. Furthermore, despite her good AA values, her bad maneuverability again makes her easy prey for a decently competent CV.
As we can see Harugumo features amasing firepower on a very subpar hull for a DD and her massive strength gets countered by her glaring weaknesses. So what are my feelings about her? I hate ships that are build on extremes. They make the game unfun for everyone. It is unfun for the one being farmed with seeming impunity. But it is also unfun for the one dying in smoke to a torpedo or getting focusfired in the open due to extreme weaknesses. She punishes enemy mistakes hard and gets punished hard for making a mistake.
Giving a DD 32mm of HE pen was a very bad idea and this will probably be fixed when WG changes IFHE. But Harugumo needs are very close look because loosing her one defining feature would leave her in the dust. People feared that she would be dead on arrival because before she had 1/4 HE pen she looked just worse than the upcoming Daring. Without 32mm of pen Daring would just be a better ship. Comparable DPM with more fires per minute. Less HP but heal in return. Worse torps by their stats alone but a lot more flexibility (way lower cd, one launcher more, singlefire). Worse speed in a straight line but way way way better maneuverability, better concealment and access to hydro. In a lot of regards Daring is just "a way more flexible Harugumo".
What can be done to "fix" Harugumo? And by "fix" I dont mean nerf, because she is not too strong overall, just way to anoying to play and play against.
- Take away the 1/4 HE pen and make it 1/5 instead? A solution I often hear in the community but as mentioned above she would need buffs in other areas to compensate to not become a worse Daring. Better acceleration and a smaler turning radius would make her into a very beefy cap bully that can still harass BBs with fires while being able to avoid torps and incoming shells a bit better. But that would homogenize DDs even more than they already are.
- Preserve her streangth but make her weaknesses even more pronounced? Making her concealment worse to allow for even more counterplay options and make her weaker angainst other DDs? She again would need something in return like a heal to push her more towards a "stationary Khaba". But that would still not fix the issue of 32mm pen and massive damage opportunities.
Overall it is just like I already said in the title: a dilemma. Harugumo is not massively overperforming based on statistics and she is already so extreme in what she does that nerfing is difficult without killing her (*cough* YY). We want diversity in the game but pushing ships too far into extremes ruins the experience for everyone. I feel like this dilemma is very hard to solve and it will always be a fine line between too much homogenization and too much extremes.
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