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How can I be successful with the Cleveland?

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I read through the other post about the Cleveland, but needed more help on how to use the current version of the Cleveland. I did at or slightly above average with the St. Louis, the Phoenix and the Omaha and then hit the Cleveland and it's like it's a different class of ship. I've been compensating for the slow speed of the artillery round but still doing very low damage and not really contributing. So any help in what I can do to improve my game with it would be appreciated.

I know I only have a few games in it, but I'm so far off course I don't want to continue to be no help to my team.

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To be honest its a ship that has a low skill floor and low ceiling. It's a ship that is easy to play okay but just lacks the requirements to do well in the hands of a good player. The only thing you can do is spam HE at mid range while trying to not get shot as unlike other cruisers it takes alot more full pens while other cruiser will often be over penned.

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50 minutes ago, SoliDeoGloria said:

Get IFHE and farm everyone while you still can.

Is IFHE really worth it with the 4 points, you already have 25 mm pen with reg HE fire and your fire chance drops off ?

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From a perspective point of view, I would rather play any of the other tier 6 cruisers than the Cleveland.  Nurnberg, Aoba, Leander, Budyonny, Graf Spee, Perth, and the Molotov are all easier or more enjoyable to play.  Yes the Cleveland has very good AA, something that is not very useful given the low amount of CV play, and yes it has a decent volume of fire, something that is a problem against any maneuvering enemy at more than 8km.  It has NO gimmick if you will, no smoke, no hydro, no torps, no great AP rounds or flat firing arcs or high percentage to start a fire - just a lot of guns and thicker armor than other cruisers ( something that is not always a benefit as pointed out by Yoyoya ).

I keep reading that the DesMoines is competitive at tier 10, but you don't read people praising the tier 8 or 9, so much as saying they are playable.  The Pensacola at tier 7 is quite good for the tier, it's AP rounds are very effective and it is comfortable to play.  That's why HT was suggesting you free xp past it - the Cleveland is an anomaly of a ship - it has little in common with the ships before it or the ones after it.

The ones that I have seen do well in battle use islands as cover and count on other ships to spot for them, the high gun arc allows you to hit ships that can't hit you by firing over intervening islands.  You area big ship, so not stealthy - if you lead the pack you will get focused since you will be spotted first - you need some patience on your engagements.  Late game, down to the last few ships, you can be a force, because 1 V 1 you can chase down any DD and sink it, you can also sink a low health BB by overwhelming it with multiple fires - you have the speed to take and reset caps that other ships don't.  It's not an early damage dealer like a Fiji or a Belfast, it's a ship that requires you to carefully position and stay alive for late game situations.  I played mine right at the beginning of my WoWs career and was complete crap in it, I could probably play it much better today, but I can't imagine why I would want to ....

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The only other ship that has much in common with the Cleveland is the Atlanta, so if you have an Atlanta there isn't too much reason to play Cleveland since tier 6 MM will make you cry. ;) And as wonky as playing the Atlanta can be at least it's a premium ship and you can make some coin. It's just not the kind of ship though that you can play for hours on end. I max out at 3 per session, win or lose, just because the ship isn't that flexible; find island you can volley over without being easily shot at, alternate between 1/4 forward and reverse, wait for your team to either die or push, rinse, repeat. Sometimes you get an inexperienced CV captain that tries to strike you because you're not moving very much behind an island and that can be loltastic at times. Or your team dies and the enemy smells blood in the water so a couple of overeager CAs push into you at point blank range and you wreck their citadels with AP. (My favorite are the Myokos because they have a slower reload and turret traverse and they always feel the need to drop torps at that range which gives me lots of extra shots into their juicy citadels.) But the ship isn't really fast enough to escape higher tier BBs either unless you've got a good head start and some islands to help. Even angled a good NC volley will easily erase half your HP.

Anyway, the Cleveland is similar with the only significant differences being better range on the guns and no torpedoes. Play style is pretty much the same. 

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14 hours ago, xWulffx said:

Is IFHE really worth it with the 4 points, you already have 25 mm pen with reg HE fire and your fire chance drops off ?

It can be, allows you to pen more cruiser and BB armor, and if you have DE, you won't notice any fewer fires.

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2 hours ago, SoliDeoGloria said:

It can be, allows you to pen more cruiser and BB armor, and if you have DE, you won't notice any fewer fires.

It allows you to pen bow on BBs conning tower and decks. (sometimes)

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I actually set it up with a secondary build (before latest patch) because the planes you see are not very good and anyone who knows what they are doing will avoid you anyway.   You get your range out to 7.2km IIRC, so you can run down DD's and cruisers who get to close.  Within that range you are a full CLE and half an ATL, so you just melt things.  Once the BB got in close you can support them

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I have tried a few more games in this ship, trying to use all the suggestions here. I have decided that this ship is just a slow, paper armor gimmicky ship that I'll never learn to play. I've tried everything and still can't pull out a good game. Even my best games are on the low end/bad games I pulled off in the Phoenix and Omaha. So apparently the one suggestion I should have listened to, and didn't, is the correct one for me.

Thanks How_Terrible. Sorry I doubted you. :)

On 3/30/2017 at 10:13 PM, How_Terrible said:

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@WIKD: Just a thought, in this game there are ships that are awesome at tier 10, and enjoyable/playable from tier 6-9.  The British CL line requires a greater knowledge of the abilities of other ships, but if you have that knowledge, it's a fun and unique line.  The IJN cruisers from 6-9  vary in fun, but they are all playable and have great torps, good concealment values and fire starting HE as their specialty.  I would seriously recommend going up the IJN line, then the Brit line, then the German line, and finally the American line.

I'm not trying to "harsh your mellow", but I wish someone had told me to do the lines in a similar order early in my WoWs career.

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In the grand scheme of things Biggie is probably correct: The US cruiser line isn't the easiest nor most forgiving cruiser line. Heck, I rage sold my Pensacola almost a year ago and only last night rebought it because it was on sale. I mean, you could free xp to the Pensacola but without other skills and knowledge honed that will be a jump into more frustration.

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On 4/1/2017 at 4:01 PM, WIKD said:

I have tried a few more games in this ship, trying to use all the suggestions here. I have decided that this ship is just a slow, paper armor gimmicky ship that I'll never learn to play. I've tried everything and still can't pull out a good game. Even my best games are on the low end/bad games I pulled off in the Phoenix and Omaha. So apparently the one suggestion I should have listened to, and didn't, is the correct one for me.

Thanks How_Terrible. Sorry I doubted you. :)

 

The Cleveland isn't that hard to learn. It is just DERP DERP DERP HIDE BEHIND ISLAND AND PEW PEW PEW HUR HUR HUR. Though with that being said there are two major issues with the Cleveland.

The first is that is has a low skill ceiling. Simply put the ship doesn't reward highly skilled players since it really doesn't have any particularly strong characteristic that can be a skill-lever that is useful for prying open the door to victory. I honestly think that was an intentional decision on WG's part, and I don't think it is something they can easily be swayed to change, so I am not going to invest much time talking about it.

The second and from my perspective more important issue is that it's play style is so radically different from the ships that come after it that is does nothing to help prepare players for those ships. If I could make one change to the USN cruiser line it would be to remove the Cleveland completely, and in it's place put some sort of made up cruiser either a super-Omaha or a Pensacola-light. Though instead of a fuck ton of 6" guns that the Omaha and Cleveland get I would give it 3 two gun 8" turrets with performance identical to that of the Pensacola, or at least as close to identical as game play balance would permit (slow ass 15 second reload, very modest traverse speed, decent firing range, and hits like a brick to the face). I feel that would be a much more natural bridge between low - mid tier and mid - high tier game play for the USN cruiser line then the Cleveland could ever hope to be. Sadly I don't know if the USN ever even hypothetically considered any sort of design like that. I'll have to dig out my copy of Norman Friedman's book on US Cruiser design and development this week to see if they did.

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12 hours ago, BiggieD61 said:

@WIKD: Just a thought, in this game there are ships that are awesome at tier 10, and enjoyable/playable from tier 6-9.  The British CL line requires a greater knowledge of the abilities of other ships, but if you have that knowledge, it's a fun and unique line.  The IJN cruisers from 6-9  vary in fun, but they are all playable and have great torps, good concealment values and fire starting HE as their specialty.  I would seriously recommend going up the IJN line, then the Brit line, then the German line, and finally the American line.

I'm not trying to "harsh your mellow", but I wish someone had told me to do the lines in a similar order early in my WoWs career.

Thanks Biggie, I’ll look into that. Right now I have all the cruiser lines sitting at tier 4 or 5 so I’ll just move up in that order and see what shakes out.

As for the Cleveland, I ended up in a lot of tier 7 games and although I hit plenty of targets, I started very few fires. And with the shell arc on the Cleveland I figured I’d start more fires, not less, than the other American cruisers. When you’ve hit the target 90 something times and have damage in the 20K range, that’s just disappointing. And that was moving to AP and causing 3 citadels on other cruisers. I know this isn’t normal, so is it just bad games or am I doing something very wrong? I seem to start fires on the same ships, targeting the same areas, with the Omaha.

My take away on the Cleveland is that it is VERY team dependent. The chance to just sit behind an island and just spam HE never appeared in any game as my team didn’t really allow it. I mean to slow down to ¼ speed and farm, I need my team to hold an area for a short time at least. I spent most of my time, every game so far, running away. And that’s where I am lost for those that say the Cleveland is fast. I was constantly being overtaken by other cruisers and battleships, even when I had a decent jump on beating feet out of an area. Maybe that is my actual problem with this ship, I haven’t had a strong enough team to play it to its advantage. Every game has been a loss, and in almost all of them, even with my low damage count, I still fall in the top 1/3 of my team.

Not sure exactly how to handle this. I do well, for a new player, in the Phoenix and Omaha, constantly causing above average damage and helping my team win. And I like playing both ships, even when I have a bad game, where I find the Cleveland frustrating. So am I just a sucky player that has finally hit a ship where you need a lot of skill, is it the lack of a strong team to let it shine or is it just a crap ship? That’s the question I have to answer for myself.

With the knowledge that the Pensacola plays different than the Cleveland, will I gain anything from sticking with the Cleveland, besides my stats falling further in the toilet?

 

 

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18 hours ago, WIKD said:

With the knowledge that the Pensacola plays different than the Cleveland, will I gain anything from sticking with the Cleveland, besides my stats falling further in the toilet?

Nope. Though with that being said the Pensacola does have a very steep learning curve. The initial impression of most players, both good and bad, is some variation of the phrase "This thing is awful". It takes quite a few game to get the hang of how to use it properly. The best advice anyone can give you it to keep your nose towards the enemy. The Pensacola's exposed broadside is hilariously explodable, but the front and rear aspects of its armor are trollish as hell against cruiser AP rounds. It won't help you much against battleship AP, but that is true of pretty much all cruisers.

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