The following is a review of Orkan, the tier VIII Polish destroyer serving in World of Warships under the Pan European flag. She has been provided to me by Wargaming for review purposes. This is the release version of the vessel, with all statistics discussed in this article current as of patch 0.9.3.1. Please be aware that her statistics may change in the future.
Quick Summary: An M-class destroyer superficially similar to Lightning from the British destroyer line. She has decent main batteries but a gutted torpedo armament and no smoke. She makes up for this lack with access to radar and heals.
- Guns can rotate 360º with excellent forward fire angles.
- Good fire-starter with a high fire-chance per shell and decent rate of fire.
- Torpedoes are long ranged, very fast with a short reload timer.
- Very small turning circle radius.
- Access to Surveillance Radar & a limited Repair Party.
- 120mm guns interact poorly with the Inertial Fuse for HE Shells skill, limiting their penetration.
- Awkward rearward firing angles.
- Single torpedo launcher with fluffy bunny kisses instead of actual torpedoes.
- Only a modest 35 knot top speed.
- Crappy AA firepower.
Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / CHALLENGING/ Difficult
Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH / Extreme
Orkan isn’t easy to play. I cringe at the thought the various pitfalls the destroyer presents for novice players. She has no Smoke Generator, providing no ‘get out of jail’ card when detected early. Furthermore, while she can launch attacks undetected, her torpedoes aren’t going to be particularly potent. And finally, destroyer hunting in cap circles is stupid-dangerous, even with Surveillance Radar.
For experts, you need only look at Orkan’s guns and consumable list to see the potential in this ship. She is a tough destroyer with Surveillance Radar. In a team-setting, this is ridiculously very powerful, even if, pound for pound, she’s found wanting in other areas.
Orkan’s consumable load out is weird. With the coming changes to consumables in World of Warships, I’m going to future-proof myself and talk only about the premium versions. Do note that as of patch 0.8.3.1, there are still the non-premium versions available with 50% longer reset timers and one charge fewer.
- At least her Damage Control Party is what you would expect for a destroyer. This is active for 5 seconds with unlimited charges and a 40s reset timer.
- Next up, we have her Engine Boost. Again, this isn’t unexpected and provides the usual 8% speed increase to Orkan over 120s with a 120s reset timer. She begins with three charges.
- Now we’re getting interesting. Orkan has a Repair Party in her third slot. This heals up to 10% of her health over 10s. She starts with three charges and an 80s rest timer.
- Finally, Orkan has a Surveillance Radar consumable. Yes, really. This has a 7.5km ship detection range for 20 seconds. She starts with three charges and it has a 120s reset timer.
There’s nothing too surprising here — you’re going to want to spend some Coal on Special Upgrades from the Armory if you can afford it. I do wish there was more competitive variety in Orkan’s upgrade choices, but the meta is what it is.
- Main Armaments Modification 1 remains optimal in slot one. If you’re particularly salty about detonations and you’re hoarding your Juliet Charlie signals for game modes that matter, you can go for Magazine Modification 1 instead.
- In your second slot, take the Special Upgrade: Surveillance Radar Modification 1. This is the ultimate team-play upgrade extends her radar’s uptime from 20s to 24s which really helps with making enemy lolibotes poop themselves in terror all the more thoroughly. If you can’t do that or the idea of enemy destroyers soiling themselves disgusts you, take the Engine Boost Modification 1 Special Upgrade instead. Otherwise, default to Engine Room Protection.
- I’m sorry to say that Aiming System Modification 1 remains optimal in slot three. You can spring for Torpedo Tubes Modification 1 as an alternate if you want. This reduces the reaction time of enemy ships by approximately 0.3s (or 0.8s when combined with Torpedo Acceleration).
- Propulsion System Modification 1 is best in slot four, though Orkan will admittedly spend less time parked anywhere without her own smoke. Still, if you’re humping islands, the extra get up and go is nice, especially with her rudder shift time being perfectly reasonable, even without Steering Gears Modification 1.
- Finally, to no one’s surprise, Concealment System Modification 1 remains dominant in slot five. If you want to try and make her a super-wigglebutt, you could always spring for Steering Gears Modification 2, but she doesn’t have the speed or rate of turn to make this feel especially worthwhile.
The first ten skill points for Orkan are what you would expect for a destroyer.
- Depending on your preference, start with either Priority Target or, if you’re capable of seeing through time, Preventative Maintenance.
- Next, take Last Stand at tier two.
- At tier three, Survivability Expert is key. You’ll need the extra health.
- And finally, grab Concealment Expert.
For your next nine points, other than grabbing Superintendent, the rest of the skills should be as your prefer. During testing, I preferred Demolition Expert and Basic Fire Training to round out my build, but there are many combinations you can play with depending on your play style.
Orkan comes with Type 10 Camouflage providing the usual Tier IX bonuses. They are:
- 3% reduction in surface detection.
- 4% increase to the dispersion of enemy gunnery.
- 10% reduction in post-battle service costs
- 50% increase to experience points earned.
Main Battery: Six 120mm/50 QF Mk XI guns in 3×2 turrets with an A-B-X layout.
Secondary Battery: One 102mm/45 gun mounted forward and beneath X-turret.
Torpedoes: Four torpedo tubes in a single launcher.
Alright, harsh reality time. Orkan’s weapon systems suck.
- Her 120mm/50 guns suck.
- Her torpedoes suck.
- Her secondary gun sucks.
There, now that I’ve effectively scared off and/or annoyed those who can’t be bothered to read a full review, allow me to go into detail about why this largely doesn’t matter and how to get the most out of these weapon systems.
When it comes to HE penetration, 120mm guns are the red-headed stepchild of World of Warships. No other gun was damaged so thoroughly by the Inertial Fuse for HE Shells rework than these weapons. Her 25mm IFHE penetration value doesn’t open offer a lot of targets — a select number of cruiser extremities and a carrier hull section here or there. Thus the IFHE skill isn’t worth investing into. Orkan, like other 120mm armed ships, has to manage with only 20mm worth of penetration. This is just barely enough to damage the hulls of destroyers and very-light cruisers along with the superstructures of other ships. Despite Orkan having some pretty solid theoretical HE DPM, realizing those numbers is another story.
Fortunately, the ship itself is styled as a lolibote disciplinarian and she’s well suited to paddling their butts. 20mm of penetration is more than enough to spank those lolibote cheeks raw. Her forward firing angles are gorgeous and are coupled with 360º turret rotations. It’s easy keeping guns on target with an aggressive attack angle while knife fighting. Her modest range, while a drawback when fighting larger ships, is perfect for this leather & lace combat style against other destroyers, helping ensure she can go dark quickly once the enemy destroyer sinks or smokes up.
It’s worth mentioning the minor increase in alpha damage Orkan boasts over Lightning. Though the two ships share the same guns and the same shells, Orkan’s AP and HE shells each deal 50 damage more than Lightning. To me, this really cements Orkan’s role as a destroyer hunter — it’s just that little bit extra DPM that can clinch destroyer on destroyer engagements. Often in these fights, it’s a matter of making the enemy ship flinch first and having even a minor advantage in damage output can make all of the difference.
These hilarious, one-sided encounters against destroyers are almost good enough to make you forget how poorly the guns fare against larger targets. Thankfully, they’re good fire setters — especially if you haven’t compromised them by taking IFHE (don’t). Once you factor in enemy fire resistances, she has good odds for being able to light three to four fires inside of 60 seconds against a high tier target (roughly one fire every 15 seconds). Using her guns this way to pressure an already taxed opponent is arguably the best way for Orkan to farm big damage totals. If you want direct damage, you’ll have to focus on superstructures or switch over to AP shells when you have enough broadside to make the hits stick.
There are problems with shooting up big targets, of course. I’ve already mentioned Orkan’s HE penetration woes, but there’s also her modest range. It’s a little too short to bombard targets safely, leaving her no room to dodge. It’s scarcely 250m greater than an optimized secondary armament on ships like Bismarck or Massachusetts. Advanced Fire Training can help but then that compromises her survivability when knife fighting (along with being expensive, skill point wise). Furthermore, while Orkan’s forward gun angles are gorgeous, her rearward firing angles are lame, echoing the problems found on a lot of other British destroyers. Lastly, there’s also her floaty ballistics to consider once the range exceeds 10km or more.
Overall, Orkan’s main battery firepower is heavily specialized and you can feel it. While wonderful for abusing other underage boats, it’s awful against large ships. It forces your to pray to the Church of RNGeebus and there will be some encounters where using your guns at all will be a complete loser move. This isn’t a ducky-bote or a Friesland where you can pop smoke and confidently spam. Orkan doesn’t let you do that, so you have to take care when using her guns.
Launching Lovey Lagomorphs
Like Haida and Cossack, Orkan has only a single quadruple torpedo launcher. Though her rabbits are fast and they reload quickly, scoring hits with such a limited number of fish isn’t as easy as it is with multiple tubes. Furthermore, without the ability to single fire bunnies (she has the normal wide/narrow spreads), landing multiple hits per salvo is harder still.
This might not be so bad given just how fast these torpedoes travel. Stock, Orkan’s bunnies reach their 12km max range in less than a minute, so it’s possible to keep up a near perpetual spam of fish. This constant barrage can help tax Damage Control Parties of larger vessels which opens them up to further prey from Orkan’s fire-setting guns.
The problem lies with their striking power. Y’see, Orkan’s torpedoes don’t explode when they hit things. I mean, they do, but instead of big beefy explosions, they make squeaky toy sounds. Or they make those annoying cutesy-kissy noises while they pucker and slobber all over your hull. 10,000 damage hits are really a best case scenario. It’s not uncommon to see sub-8,000 damage from these sea-hares when facing even modest anti-torpedo protection. You’re going to need to spam a whole lot of fish to see the results you want.
So Orkan may be able to fire her tubes often and their travel time is nice and quick, but the individual hits she does land don’t do a whole lot. This might not be so bad if she had two launchers but she’s only got the one.
The Sick Joke
And Orkan gave up her second torpedo launcher for this stupid thing:
So yeah, Orkan’s weapons suck if they’re taken outside of their designed role — namely spanking over-extending lolibotes.
- Great guns for knife fighting other destroyers, crappy at everything else short of praying to RNGeebus for some nice fires.
- Individually, her torpedoes suck, but you can make up for that somewhat by spamming them. Get on the flank and let your adorable bunnies gnaw their way into the hearts of your opponents.
- Her single secondary gun is a sick joke.
Verdict: Poor marks, mostly due to her gun caliber of all things. She suffers from a lot of the same firepower problems as Cossack or Haida, but without powerful alpha from torpedoes to make up for it or smoke to make sustained gunnery easier.
Hit Points: 15,700hp
Min Bow & Deck Armour: 19mm
Most of what I have to say here has to do with Orkan’s Repair Party. She’s otherwise middling. Her armour scheme holds no surprises nor does she have any weird saturation mechanics like French destroyers. Her hit point total is pretty average, just a couple hundred shy of Lightning’s own.
With the addition of the Pan European destroyer tech tree, Repair Party consumables become an ever more common sight among destroyers. Orkan’s own isn’t terribly inspiring, being akin to that found on high-tier British destroyers rather than Pan European ones. The best that could be said about it is that it works fast, needing just 10 seconds to recover 10% of her health. Still, she has one and a lot of the competition doesn’t. Ostensibly this should provide her with more endurance over the course of the match, but that’s predicated on her not taking significantly more damage than the competition. Without a Smoke Generator, Orkan is often forced to spend hit points to accomplish what other destroyers manage through concealment.
Spend them wisely.
Verdict: Orkan’s tough, but maybe not tough enough.
Top Speed: 35 knots
Port Turning Radius: 590m
Rudder Shift Time: 3.7s
4/4 Engine Speed Rotation Rate: 7.7º/s
Orkan is pretty decent overall here. She has a small turning radius, a nice rudder shift time and a good rate of turn. If she was a little faster, she’d be excellent. At least she has access to an Engine Boost consumable to make up for her average top speed of 35kts. Still, for a destroyer lacking a Smoke Generator, she can’t run and gun as effectively as the high-speed Soviet and French destroyers. Be stupid-careful when firing from open water. Keep those poor rearward gun fire angles in mind. Running down other Lolibotes may be difficult too, so make careful use of her Surveillance Radar when it comes time to scatter the roaches from their smoke cover.
pVerdict: Fairly decent except for her modest top speed.
Flak Bursts: 2 for 1260 damage per blast.
Long Ranged (up to 5.2km): 35dps at 100% accuracy
Medium Ranged (up to 2.5km): 35dps at 100% accuracy
Short Ranged (up to 2.0km): 70dps at 95% accuracy
I remind you, you gave up a torpedo launcher for this.
I’m not going to waste too much time here. Orkan doesn’t have great anti-aircraft firepower. Her lack of a Smoke Generator means she also loses out on one of the few semi-reliable damage mitigation tools available to destroyers when bothered by airplanes. She’s an easy target, incapable of reliably protecting herself from carriers.
Verdict: Gimme back my second torpedo launcher.
Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 7.52km / 5.91km
Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 3.25km / 2.63km
Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 2.69km sea / 2.4km air
Main Battery Firing Range: 11.61km
Of her baseline features, the most remarkable element about her is her firepower and that’s a mixed bag. While her main battery appear capable, she’s held back by artificial in-game constraints which limits her HE performance to either bullying soft targets or setting fires to bigger ones. Her nice gun handling and fire arcs are contrasted with a disappointing range and poor HE penetration. Her torpedoes are similarly mixed in terms of performance mostly owing to her half-sized armament.
Once you look at her agility, durability and AA power, it’s all middling were it not for her Repair Party propping up her hit point pool. And there’s the rub. Orkan’s consumables define the ship.
Her concealment values are, once again, nothing to get excited about. Her surface and aerial detection ranges sit on the disappointing side of “meh”. It’s enough to just-barely ambush lower-tiered destroyers and out-spot some of the larger Soviet, French and German gunships of higher tiers, but there’s a long list of ships that are more stealthy. Orkan isn’t like Haida or Cossack where she boasts ready concealment advantages over most other destroyers she faces, facilitating ambushes and disengagements.
So it’s left to her consumables to make or break Orkan as a ship. Without a Smoke Generator, the training wheels on this destroyer are ripped off. So forget about the prospect of easy gunnery. And let’s not forget that she’s only spitting out half the torpedoes of other Pan European destroyers, so that’s not helping matters. Thankfully, she has Surveillance Radar.
I hope I don’t have to spend too long convincing anyone that this consumable on a destroyer is a real game changer. Orkan transforms from a middling gunship to a dangerous destroyer-hunter — her radar consumable literally defining the role of the ship. Used properly, Orkan is well suited to upsetting the play of enemy destroyers (and some light cruisers besides), especially in a coordinated division. This is Orkan’s primary selling feature, in my opinion — the ability to scatter the roaches hiding in their own smoke. The relatively short duration of her radar does not guarantee kills, however. Using Surveillance Radar Modification 1 is highly recommended.
Verdict: The whole ship is saved by her radar consumable.
Orkan is a Surveillance Radar delivery system, let’s be honest here. This ship lives and dies by this gimmick. To be fair, it’s a pretty good gimmick — enough to turn some heads and probably prompt some impulse purchases just on the basis of the chaos this particular consumable promises to deliver. Hsienyang from the Pan Asian line may be able to do something similar, but when it comes to hunting enemy lolibotes, Orkan has the better guns, torpedoes and durability for it.
Where Orkan shines is as a cap-bully. Push a cap, wait for it to be contested and then blow radar to make the enemy lolibote regret their life choices. Bonus points if you wait for them to blow smoke so you can take advantage of their screen to cover yourself while you blow them apart. This kind of game play is pretty fun — I had a blast doing something similar in Haida, though Haida requires a lot more suicidal aggression which suits me much better. Still, it’s all kinds of hilarious watching how people react when they’re radar lit. Most panic. Some freeze. Some offer up their butts in submission to the spanking — you can almost taste the rage-quit. I almost feel bad for these players. Between rockets and radar, it’s hasn’t been a good scene for destroyers over the last year. Orkan appearing on the team roster presents another very dangerous threat for destroyers to consider before pushing any cap. Any ship that forces people to change how they play is powerful in of itself.
As powerful as Surveillance Radar is, Orkan doesn’t hold much appeal for me. This is saying a lot from a self avowed teaboo. You’d think I’d be slobbering all over this M-class destroyer, especially when she paddles butts as well as she does. My reasoning is pretty simple, if not terribly fair: I love playing Haida and Atlanta — two ships that largely fill the same roles as Orkan but (to me) are so much more fun to play. Again, I’m fully aware that these ships are a poor comparison for Orkan, but to me, they feel similar and I can’t divorce myself from that sentiment. Orkan’s not going to get a whole lot of play from me because I have (and love) those other ships.
Is Orkan good? Well, Surveillance Radar on a destroyer is good. That’s really all you need to know.
I hope you’re all keeping safe. Please look out for one another.