ShipComrade

Premium Ship Review #135 – Gorizia

The following is a review of Gorizia, the tier VII Italian Cruiser.  She has been provided to me by Wargaming for review purposes (I didn’t have to do the grind to get access to her either).  This is the release version of the vessel and to the best of my knowledge, all statistics discussed in this article current as of patch 0.8.11.  Please be aware that her statistics may change in the future.

We’ve got a lot of delicious controversy for you today.  This serves as the appetizer for my review of Puerto Rico and the poop tornado circling around that particular dumpster fire.  As everyone knows, the only thing better than flaming garbage is a shitstorm’s worth of flaming garbage.  Open your mouths,  children, we’ll be shoveling in that hot, dripping mess by the mouthful. For now, though, you get to enjoy an appetizer of crappiness that is Gorizia.

In our previous episode of Copy & Paste Theater, HMS Conqueror had one of her gun mountings lopped off and stuffed onto the new and best-named-ship-ever, HMS Thunderer.  In today’s episode, we’re taking the Italian tech tree cruiser, Zara, and baking ourselves a brand new turd-sandwich premium out of her sister ship.

Now this is a Christmas giveaway ship — a vessel whose development pedigree is shared by previous examples such as Duke of York and Prinz Eitel Friedrich.  Really, that should be warning enough for the kind of ship we have on our hands here:  one that had a lot of promising potential, but that’s held back by deliberately machined flaws to keep her from ever being an ideal premium.  I’ll be going over the specifics in this review, but spoiler warning:  This is a ship where every bite of my experience makes me have a sad.

The good news is that Chobittsu has once again come through once again  with an Italian-themed outfit for me to wear.

Yeah, we kinda blew through our 2019 costume budget with Friesland.  We’re loadin’ up on the disappointment in this review!

PROS

  • Comes with SAP shells, able to deliver monstrous levels of alpha strike to soft targets and thinly armoured areas.
  • Good AP penetration values at all ranges.
  • Comfortable ballistics with a high shell velocity and energy retention.
  • Good hit point pool of 37,100hp.
  • Excellent agility with a great rate of turn and small turning circle radius.
  • She has an Italian cruiser Exhaust Smoke Generator with a shorter reset timer.
  • Comes with a tier VIII German cruiser Hydroacoustic Search consumable.

CONS

  • Comes with SAP shells which lack the ability to deliver reliable long-term damage to big targets due to its inability to start fires along with saturation and autobounce mechanics.
  • Painfully slow 15s reload on main battery guns with poor DPM as a result.
  • No torpedoes.
  • Poor anti-aircraft firepower and no access to Defensive AA Fire.
  • Her rudder shift time is slow.
  • Enormous surface detection of nearly 14km.

Overview

Skill Floor:  Simple / Casual/ Challenging / Difficult
Skill Ceiling:  Low / Moderate / High / Extreme

This ain’t yer daddy’s HE spammin’ cruiser, boy.

I could take a hipster’s stance here and tell you that Gorizia and the Italian cruiser line as a whole are only unpopular because they don’t embrace the populist flame-throwing world-view of the other HE spammers out there.  I could tell you that, but it would be a load of crap.  The simple truth is that these are not brainless ships to play.  Played poorly, they just can’t put out the numbers that other HE-equipped cruisers can.  Gorizia is no exception.

In expert hands, Gorizia delivers the numbers.  The combination of her consumables is a welcome one, even if it does come at the expense of her torpedo launchers (and some reload besides).  Playing carefully, exercising the strengths of her ammunition and aiming shells where they need to go will put out solid damage. Still, the carry potential on this ship is limited.

Options

Consumables

Gorizia is a bit weird here, though only in one area.  She has a non-standard Exhaust Smoke Generator and Hydroacoustic Search.

  • Her Damage Control Party is normal.  She has unlimited charges, a 90s / 60s reset timer (depending on premium or not) and a 5s active period.
  • Her Exhaust Smoke Generator differs from the one found on Zara at the same tier.  It has the same emission time of 40s and each cloud also only lasts 10s.  However, the reset timer is different, with Gorizia’s being slightly faster than her sister ship’s.  Gorizia’s resets in 210s/140s while Zara’s recovers in 240s/180s.  She starts with two charges base.
  • Gorizia’s Spotting Aircraft consumable is as standard as they come, with a 100s active period and 3 charges base.  It has a 360s/240s reset timer.
  • And finally, her Hydroacoustic Search is improved, matching that of a tier VIII German cruiser.  This gives her a 120s action time, torpedo detection at 4km, ship detection at 6km and a 180s/120s reset timer.  This comes with two charges base.

Upgrades

This is pretty standard fare for a non-American cruiser at this tier.

  • Start with Main Armaments Modification 1.  You can swap this out for Spotter Aircraft Modification 1 for a bit more uptime on your float plane to boost your range. This is a Special Upgrade which can be purchased through the Armory for Coal .
  • Next, take Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1.  This is a Special Upgrade which can be purchased through the Armory for Coal .  If you don’t have access to this upgrade (cuz Smolensk ain’t going to buy herself!), default to Steering Gears Modification 1.  You’re going to lose your rudder often in this ship — enough to be concerning.
  • Aiming Systems Mod 1 is our next port of call.  Alternatively you can grab AA Guns Modification 2 if you’re salty about aircraft.  Just be aware, this is a band-aid being applied to a severed limb.  I’ll discuss more in the AA Defense section below.
  • Finally, grab Steering Gears Modification 2 for your final slot to boost her agility slightly.

Captain Skills

Gorizia synergizes well with most Italian cruiser captain builds.  The presence of her Hydracoustic Search consumable may tempt you more towards anti-destroyer builds, but that’s strictly an option and not entirely necessary.

I recommend starting with the following for your first ten skill points (circled in yellow):

  • Start with Priority Target.  You can take Incoming Fire Alert instead if you choose, but it doesn’t provide as much information.
  • Last Stand will keep Gorizia alive.  Her rudder is notoriously easy to damage and you will be doing a lot of dodging and kiting of enemy fire.
  • Superintendent is the best choice at the third tier.
  • Finish this off with Concealment Expert.

Pick and choose from the remaining recommended skills to fit your play style.

Camouflage

Gorizia comes with Type 10 Camouflage providing the usual bonuses for a tier VII premium.  These include:

  • A 3% reduction in surface detection ranges.
  • A 4% increase to the dispersion of enemy gunfire.
  • A 10% reduction to post-battle service costs.
  • A 50% increase to experience earned.
I must admit, I’m disappointed that Gorizia doesn’t have the bow red and white aerial identification striping. Overall though, the Zara-class is one gorgeous looking ship.

Firepower

Main Battery:  Eight 203mm/53 guns in 4×2 turrets in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration.
Secondary Battery:  Sixteen 100mm/47 guns in 8×2 turrets with four mounts down each side straddling the funnels.

Gorizia’s firepower is a hot mess.

Ostensibly, she’s meant to be an anti-destroyer specialist with enough versatility and punch to pose a significant threat to enemy cruisers.  This comes at the expense of limiting her effectiveness against battleships.  Anyway, that’s what her paper stats will tell you.  This is not the first time we’ve seen a specialized warship paying for a strength in one area at the expense of another.  However, it’s probably the first time we’ve seen a ship pay for a specialization that they’re not particularly good at.  At best, Gorizia scarcely crosses the “kinda okay” threshold as a hunter of cute little destroyers.  So, you’re giving up effectiveness against the most popular ship-type in the game to MAYBE be able to OCCASIONALLY be good at lewding lolibotes.  Don’t get me wrong, I like lewding lolibotes as much as the next destroyer-hunter, but Gorizia is not my white van of choice.

The real challenge I’m going to have here is trying to describe Gorizia’s SAP shells without sounding like a whiny bitch.

Gorizia’s fire arcs are very good — just short of excellent. Expert Marksman is a worthwhile investment if you can spare the commander skill points — Gorizia’s sustained rate of turn matches her gun traverse and exceeds her gun traverse if you use the Sierra Mike signal.

That time Mouse tried to describe SAP without sounding like a whiny bitch

I haven’t reviewed a ship using SAP yet, so I suppose I should touch base.

Horribly simplified, SAP is an HE shell which does a lot of front-loaded damage but can’t start fires.  It’s more complicated than that, but that’s really the gist of it.  You’re trading the ability to stack damage over time effects to do more damage all at once. Against select targets, this is amazing.  Against others, it sucks bad.  Any flaws with the shells have to do with it’s unreliability:

SAP has two failure points, one of which it shares (kinda) with HE:

  • If SAP shells don’t have enough penetration, the shells shatter.  This is pretty straight forward and applies to HE as well.  Generally speaking, SAP has higher penetration than a same-caliber HE shell, making it hands down superior in this regard.  Gorizia’s SAP shells have a broader range of targets to which they can deal damage, specifically areas of up to 54mm worth of armour.  Like HE shells, SAP doesn’t concern itself with relative armour thickness, only absolute armour thickness.  So, if SAP hits an area that’s thickly armoured, it will shatter for zero damage just like HE.
  • SAP shells can ricochet.  This is the area upon which most people focus.  At extreme angles (70º+) SAP shells can ricochet, reaching a guaranteed ricochet angle at 80º.  Thus, if you hit the wrong angle of armour, BAM — no damage.  It’s here where SAP loses out greatly to HE, even with her higher penetration.  Because of the high velocity of her guns, this largely precludes her from scoring any penetrations against deck armour at ranges under 14km.  The shells will simply skip off the steep surface, coming in at too far shallow of an angle to bite in.  HE, meanwhile, doesn’t worry about impact angle at all and concerns itself simply with the absolute thickness of whatever surface it struck.

So other than the auto-ricochet thingie, SAP shells seem reasonably competitive against HE, right?  Well, no — HE shell performance isn’t limited to the binary of penetration / zero-damage.  Even a shattered HE shell can still put out the hurt because of the fires they start.  Thus it’s worth peppering a target with HE that you can’t directly damage simply for the sake of trying to stack some blazes.  The only reason to fire SAP at a target you can’t hurt is to annoy them with the sounds of shells plinking uselessly off their hulls. With Gorizia’s stupid-long reload, you really feel every shatter and ricochet of these shells and it’s not a good feeling.

Now, SAP has its place — namely for popping things that are too squishy to fuse your AP shells. This pretty much leaves destroyers and the tender (sensitive!) bits of ships that aren’t offering you up full broadside.  For one-off salvos, Gorizia’s SAP can deliver some really impressive numbers for an eight-gun armed cruiser (y’know, provided the hits that land do damage).  Taking a massive chunk of health away (1,667hp per shell or up to 13k if all eight connect) from a one off-salvo will put many opponents on their back foot, which may be enough to clinch the engagement.  This intimidation factor has its value, even if Gorizia can’t maintain it.

Hits like this fast lead to damage saturation. Gorizia’s follow up salvos are nowhere near as impressive unless you shift fire to undamaged parts.  Once a target starts going black all over, though, Gorizia really struggles to deal significant damage with any kind of alacrity.  Finishing off a low-health battleship, for example, can take an alarming amount of time.  Thankfully, this isn’t an issue when paddling lolibotes, provided they don’t bow or butt-tank you and prompt those auto-ricochet checks (really, you would think when it came to spanking destroyers, them presenting their backsides would facilitate things, but nooooo… )

On the whole, SAP’s performance varies, though it’s far from buttacular.  It’s definitely not a brainless ammunition type like HE, which immediately makes it inferior to HE shells which are much easier to use.

These are the tier VII heavy cruisers firing at an “average” battleship of each respective tier with the additional damage done from a single fire. I chose the saturated damage value to list here for their damage-per-minute (DPM) values because after the first volley, most areas where SAP and HE shells can penetrate will be saturated, thus it more closely resembles a “real world” example (while admittedly remaining very abstract).  Note that this graph assumes 100% accuracy AND penetration which presents what is really the best-case comparison for Gorizia.  You can fraction the DPM numbers for the sake of a desired accuracy and penetration rate, but the less accurate you are, the better HE starts to look.  Fire damage scales with a ship’s HP, thus the higher the target’s base hit point total, the more damage they take. SAP has diminishing returns against higher tiered targets when compared to HE.  When HE lands at least one full-duration burn it will always be superior to SAP.   A one-permanent fire blaze is pretty conservative, even for a tier VII cruiser for a minute’s worth of shooting.  At least SAP penetrations can’t be 100% healed like fire can, so there’s that, I guess.

But hey, at least her AP shells are good, right?  Right…?

Well, yeah, actually.  The damage output on a per shell basis is decent.  The ballistics on them is great and they have solid penetration values across all ranges — seriously, you can citadel an enemy cruiser even at maximum range which is awesome.  Furthermore, you can citadel select battleships at stupidly close ranges, topping at around 400mm of penetration and point blank (sub 2km) distances.  They don’t like it when you do that for some reason, but you have to be pretty ballsy to get that close.  Keep in mind you’re only going to get one shot.

AP should be Gorizia’s default ammunition but they suffer from the usual faults of armour piercing rounds so they can’t be this ship’s universal shell.  Had Gorizia received some improved autobounce angles on her AP, she might have ended up a heck of a lot more comfortable (and useful).  Like with her SAP shells, there will be times when her AP just can’t put out the hurt.

Gorizia’s biggest flaws is her inability to deal damage quickly.  Her alpha strikes are impressive but she can’t out-trade opponents.  Barring blowing out the citadel of a clueless cruiser or causing severe emotional distress to a lolibote by shooting SAP in her hair, Gorizia’s numbers accumulate all too slowly with her long-reload.  Bereft of torpedoes (even the slow moving sea mines of the rest of the Italian line), Gorizia has no way of clinching fights unless your opponent makes an obvious mistake.  This is truly a cruiser that relies on survivability to accumulate damage in a “slow burn” style (if you’ll pardon the term given her lack of HE).  Her slow reload really, REALLY hurts this ship.

And this matters.  This really matters.

Without a fast reload, Gorizia is pigeon-holed into passive play. For the most part, you’re stuck in the back line, using what reach she has to lob SAP and AP.  The ammunition you use depends on what target you have and what aspect your target is showing.  When they start shooting back, you must dodge or disappear.  Her surface detection is terrible, so you’ll often be reaching for her Exhaust Smoke Generator to affect an escape or to stack a little more damage from relative safety.  Out trading in Gorizia means being patient, waiting for opportunities and capitalizing on opportunistic salvos here and there.

Yikes. Gorizia somehow manages to make Abruzzi look good.  Still, her SAP shells look like they can put out some pretty meaty damage against squishy targets, giving her similar damage output to some of the light cruisers.  This is done in big, chunky alpha strikes which has its pros and cons.
Penetration values drawn from proships.ru. Please be aware that these values are approximate — they’re close, roughly within 10% to 15% of the values that Wargaming releases on occasion, but they may not be entirely accurate.  Gorizia has some of the best penetration values over distance of any of the tier VII cruisers. Let’s not get too excited though, she’s not that far ahead of her competitors.

Summary

Gorizia’s weapon systems are patently unreliable.  They can deliver spectacular numbers with AP citadel hits to cruisers (and the occasional battleship if you’re brave enough to get inside of 4km of one) and fantastic initial SAP volleys against destroyers or the squishy parts of other ships.  Yet their follow up salvo can result in nothing more than an over-saturated pittance of SAP damage or nothing but ricochets and shatters.  It’s easy to mitigate Gorizia’s attempts to deal damage in duels.  Furthermore, while her individual salvos are quite meaty, her DPM is meager, even under the best of circumstances.

  • SAP is SAP.  Love it or hate it, it is what it is and we have to deal.
  • Gorizia’s AP shells are really good — just an autobounce improvement shy of excellent.
  • Her firepower necessitates she play the long game, taking small bites out of enemy ships over time.  You can’t bank on killing anything quickly.

VERDICT:  Horribly inconsistent and unrewarding punctuated by the occasional, surprising burst of wonderfully big numbers.

Defense

Hit Points: 37,100
Maximum Citadel Protection:
150mm external belt.
Min Bow and Deck Armour:
16mm
Torpedo Damage Reduction:
19%

As cruisers go, Gorizia’s armour protection isn’t bad.  It’s designed to primarily frustrate enemy fire from 155mm AP shells or smaller, though when angled at a minimum of 45º Gorizia can also bounce some 203mm AP shells as well.  Let’s discuss some of her key protection features, both strengths and weaknesses.

The Good

  • Gorizia actually has some anti-torpedo protection.  This is uncommon on cruisers and a welcome sight.  Sadly this isn’t an external belt that could eat up HE shells, but it’s still worth noting.
  • She has a thick armoured belt of 150mm.  As mentioned above, this keeps out smaller caliber AP shells rather well.
  • She has a 30mm upper hull.  This prevents overmatching from anything smaller than a 429mm AP shell, leading to the occasional trollish bounce when angling.
  • Her citadel roof cannot be overmatched.  While not terribly exciting, this is a great feature for overall survivability.  Battleship caliber AP shells that hit over her belt, cannot plunge into her machine spaces.
  • She has a large hit point pool for a tier VII cruiser.  She’s pretty chunktacular.

The Bad

  • Her superstructure, bow and stern are enormous soft targets.  She eats a lot of damage from HE attacks of all kinds (shell, bombs and rockets).  British and Italian SAP also enjoy chewing up her hit points.
  • Her citadel sits over the waterline.  This isn’t uncommon at all for cruisers (in fact, it’s the norm), but it’s worth noting.
  • She doesn’t have access to a Repair PartyThis consumable is uncommon at this tier, found currently on Fiji, Abruzzi, Boise and Nueve de Julio.  The new (and still Work in Progress) British Heavy cruisers also look to be acquiring this, so it’s becoming more prevalent.  Those without just have to deal.
  • All of that citadel roof protection makes her vulnerable to AP bombs.  It’s not enough armour to keep the bombs out, and ironically makes her more likely to take bigger damaging hits.

The Ugly

  • Chibi-Mouse with moustache eyebrows.
The horror…

VERDICT:  Not terrible.

Agility

Top Speed: 33kts
Port Turning Radius:
580m
Rudder Shift Time:
9.8s
4/4 Engine Speed Rotation Rate:
7.0º/s

I love how Italian cruisers handle.  Short of the British cruisers with their mutant, physics-defying acceleration and energy preservation, no other cruiser line handles nearly as well as these ships.  Gorizia is no exception.  She wiggles like a dream with a tiny turning radius and quick rate of turn.  My only wish was that she had a bit more straight line speed.  The Sierra Mike signal will get her up over 34.5kts in a straight line but something in excess of 35kts with this boost would have made her feel absolutely perfect.

Don’t sweat her rudder shift time too much — Steering Gears Modification 2 takes the edge off and you’ll hardly notice it.

Look at that gorgeous turning radius and rate of turn! LOOK AT IT! Oh, it’s so nice!

VERDICT:  Deliciously delightful, if only she was just a little faster.

Anti-Aircraft Defense

Flak Bursts: 3 for 1120 damage per blast
Long Ranged AA: 
~79dps at up to 4.6km
Medium Ranged AA:
~47dps at up to 2.5km
Short Ranged AA:
~39dps at up to 1.5km

Gorizia’s anti-aircraft firepower is pretty craptacular.  It’s short ranged, so you’re not easily able to lend aid to allies.  She doesn’t have access to a catapult fighter, so it’s not like she can at least create tiny pockets of unattractive airspace.  Furthermore, what damage she can dispense is best described as “almost slightly the worst thing ever”.  Short of an enemy CV doing you the favour of tripping over one of your flak bursts, you won’t be able to see to your own defense, never mind anyone else’s.  Gorizia’s value in a blob of ships is to add a couple of pot shots but that’s about it.

All of this time and energy spent just to say that her AA is crap.  The best that could be said Gorizia’s AA is that she concentrates most of her firepower into her large-caliber, longer-ranged guns.

VERDICT:  Some of the worst AA of any tier VII cruiser.

Refrigerator

Base Surface Detection: 13.96km
Minimum Surface Detection Range:
12.19km
Air Detection Range:
6.98km
Detection Range When Firing in Smoke:
8.27km
Main Battery Firing Range:
15.55km (18.66km with Spotting Aircraft)

I going to be pretty myopic here.  Gorizia has bad surface detection.  However, it’s as her role as a supposed destroyer hunter where her concealment really falls to pieces.

The Destroyer Hunter

So I hope I’ve painted a clear picture on Gorizia’s play-style thus far through the lens of her guns.  What I haven’t addressed is why she sucks as a destroyer hunter, especially when her SAP ammunition seems so well specialized for ruining their day.  Indeed, SAP doesn’t have to worry nearly as much about over-saturation when pummeling lolibotes.  Against any non-French destroyer, hits amidships always land for 0.33x damage (sorta like a mini-citadel hit).  So what gives?

There’s a quick checklist for what makes a good destroyer hunter.

As far as tools go, Surveillance Radar obviously tops the pile.  Gorizia lacks that, but that’s not the be-all, end-all for a cruiser.  Being stealthy and fast also works, particularly when paired with a Hydroacoustic Search.  Gorizia has an amazing Hydroacousic Search consumable — the best at her tier.  However, she’s neither fast nor stealthy.  When sprinting down a vulnerable destroyer, you want to reduce the amount of time you’re detected as much as possible, giving you more time to close the distance at top speed. This is part of the reason I was harping on her speed in the Agility section.  Sadly, Gorizia is visible from orbit and her only modest speed makes these sprints take longer than they should.  Sailing in a straight line in open water obviously leads her open to being paddled in return from supporting fire from the destroyer’s allies.

Now, Gorizia can make use of her Exhaust Smoke Generator to try and make up the difference when it comes time to lunge after an exposed ship, but it’s one Hell of a risky play.  At 33 knots and blowing her consumable, she can cover a distance of about 3.5km to 4.0km undetected.   Combined with her 6km Hydroacoustic Search range for detecting ships, this is still 2km shy of lighting her target, assuming the ship was stationary and you made perfect use of your consumables.  This should be close enough to ensure a kill, maybe.  If the DD spooks early and can get its butt pointed at you, not only will it outrun you, but it can bounce SAP off it’s cute posterior for days for little damage.  Alternatively, it could simply charge with its fish at the ready.  This largely necessitates that Gorizia use island cover to mask such approaches.  Alternatively, this involves waiting for the destroyer’s own mistakes or receiving spotting help from your allies.

Worse, if you fail to make this kill, smoke isn’t going to save Gorizia. After firing, she’s spotted in her smoke from almost 8.3km, so if she’s been shooting and her quarry escapes, she’ll remain lit for the twenty seconds before her smoke works correctly.  It’s definitely a bad situation to be in.

Short of team work, Gorizia is only really a destroyer hunter by happenstance.  Her SAP shells can make a mess of them, provided someone else does the spotting.  Detecting them herself is difficult and fraught with risk.  She has a partial anti-destroyer toolkit, but not a complete one.  Success here is dictated as much by your opponent’s mistakes as Gorizia’s abilities themselves, making her only a mediocre pursuit vehicle in this role.  Her SAP armament should make her a queen here, but she’s still only a peasant because of the other weaknesses of the ship.

Here we can see a file photo of a Gorizia (in gorgeous silverback camo) attempting to accost a Lolibote.  Later, the Italian cruiser was tragically shot by the destroyer’s team mates.

Summary

Gorizia has a fantastic toolset in the form of her Hydroacoustic Search and faster recharging Exhaust Smoke Generator but she’s held back by her awful surface detection and only modest top speed.  She’s thus forced to play the second line more often than not, rather than taking a more dynamic role of pushing up.

Verdict:  RIP Harambe.

Final Evaluation

Right, where to begin?  Maybe I should start with the differences between Zara and Gorizia and put off dealing with the Puerto Rico ship building event just a little while longer.  Here’s the comprehensive list of everything that Wargaming made different between these two sister ships:

  • Gorizia is a premium, with everything that entails (free bonus camo, improved economy, captain training, etc).
  • Gorizia has a German Hydroacoustic Search.
  • Gorizia’s Exhaust Smoke Generator resets 30s/40s faster.
  • Zara can exchange her Spotter Aircraft for a Catapult Fighter.
  • Zara has 500m more main battery gun range.
  • Zara’s main battery guns reload 0.5 seconds faster.
  • Zara has torpedoes.
  • Gorizia replaces the torpedo racks with an additional pair of secondaries turrets with two 100mm guns each (4 gun total, yay math!).
  • Gorizia has better long range AA firepower.
  • Zara has better medium and short-ranged AA firepower, making her AA better overall.
  • Gorizia is 1 knot faster.
  • Gorizia has an improved rate of turn (0.3º/s faster)
  • Zara has a slightly smaller aerial detection range (a whole 30m!  WHOO!  Game changer!)

I’m fairly certain that’s everything. Essentially, Gorizia gives up Zara’s torpedoes and a bit of reload speed for a Hydroacoustic Search consumable. She trades firepower for a little bit more survivability / utility.  Everything else is pretty much a window dressing and largely irrelevant to overall performance.  As sister ships go this is a decent trade and it’s enough to make Gorizia feel distinct — a definite side grade from the tech tree ship without overshadowing her.  Whether or not you find this difference interesting is another matter entirely.

Now I liked playing Zara, however I didn’t enjoy her enough to displace any of the other ships that I’d rather play.  It should be no surprise then that Gorizia falls into this category too.  She’s acceptable, but she’s just not for me.  The most interesting thing about her, really, is that I feel she’s arguably the best of the premium Italian cruisers out there right now.  Abruzzi was only made viable by gluing a Repair Party to the tragedy that is her gun platform. Duca d’Aosta, while interesting, doesn’t hit especially hard.  This doesn’t catapult Gorizia up to must-have status, though.  She’s simply the best of some admittedly terrible-to-meh options.

Taken on her own merits, I’d give Gorizia a pass.  It’s a good thing we can earn her for “free”.

Would I Recommend?

And then Mouse was forced to comment on the whole Puerto Rico thing

Oh god, where do I even begin?  Look, it’s cool that we have a chance for unlocking Gorizia for free.  The ship-building port thing looks amazing and my compliments to the art team at Wargaming for putting that together.  I hope to see the visuals from the event used again.  The mechanics suck, though, and not just from the horrible missions and terrible grind.  The convoluted, over-complicated math needed to predict completion times is just insane.  It’s obtuse only for the sake of preying upon players and that needs to go.  If you want my money, Wargaming, have the decency to ask up front.  Don’t hide it in a veritable swamp of tangled algebra.  Don’t insult me like this.

That Puerto Rico, too, was promised as being free was downright scummy.  I think what bothers me the most (and admittedly, only upon reflection) was that this deception didn’t make me mad.  I accepted it as a matter of course, having had previous experience with many of Wargaming’s grinds beforehand.  I knew already there was going to be some horrible catch and I was honestly surprised that others didn’t see it too.

That’s when I realized that I have been conditioned to accept this behaviour.  That’s a chilling realization to know that I was willing to swallow lines like:

  • Of course it was going to be a Hellish grind, they’re giving away at tier 10 ship!
  • Of course only a small percentage of the players are going to be able to complete it!  That’s what makes it so desirable!  This is what provides players with a sense of pride and accomplishment!
  • Don’t worry, if you can’t finish the grind, you can just spend money so no one is really missing out!
  • We’re sorry if we didn’t make the costs clear beforehand!

It makes my skin crawl that I’ve become so blasé to this kind of crap.  Wargaming pulled an Electronic Arts move and my first instinct was to shrug my shoulders because I was used to this kind of bullshit from the gaming industry.  Ugh, talk about a wake up call.  I’m so bloody mad at myself for being complacent over this.

The worst of it, for me, is that Wargaming is deliberately targeting people like me for this grind.  Were I not a Community Contributor, I’d be right in their cross-hairs with a past history of binge-playing and spending money to accelerate completion of events like this.  With my health issues over the last year, a grind like this could do me lasting harm.  You are going to physically hurt yourself if you try and unlock Puerto Rico without spending money (or even only spending a small amount).  It is NOT healthy for a person to be forced to play that much over a prolonged period of time.  Crunch-culture in the industry has no business spilling over onto gamers themselves.  That they go on to try and shame us for calling them out on how this is dangerous is so insulting.  People get sick and die playing this much and Wargaming is actively targeting the vulnerable.

Yeah, I’m pissed.  I’m only sorry it took me so long to catch up.  Don’t buy Gorizia to participate in this nonsense event.  Yes, it makes it easier.  No, this event doesn’t deserve your time, money or energy.

If you want Gorizia for her own sake, go nuts. I hope I’ve provided you with enough information to make that call. I still recommend watching some streams / videos of other content creators to get a bigger picture and other people’s opinions. In my eyes, she’s only ever going to be “okay” in most game modes and kinda limited in Co-op. Bots are constantly going bow-in and her lack of torpedoes hurts her alpha strike. She’s a pass for me.

In Closing

Gorizia done.  I’m hoping to have Puerto Rico done before New Years rolls out.  Get ready for the sass and contempt.  Thank you for reading, and please be safe over this holiday season, especially with all of the nonsense that’s going on.  I don’t want to hear any news of someone getting into trouble over this.

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