Over a year in development. Thanks ‘bama.
- Excellent anti-torpedo protection with a 46% damage reduction.
- 50% faster reset timer on her Repair Party consumable, allowing her to recover damage more quickly.
- Low velocity 406mm shells have good overall dispersion area and her AP shells hit like trucks.
- Improved secondaries compared to Alabama with 2.5km additional range, 50% faster rate of fire and 40% increased accuracy.
- Excellent anti-aircraft firepower.
- Very agile for a high tier battleship — even more so than Alabama — with a great rate of turn.
- Very vulnerable to cruiser-caliber HE fire with the majority of the ship having only 32mm of protection.
- Main battery is short ranged at 18.3km base.
- Main battery dispersion is a bit wonky with 1.7 sigma.
- Secondary guns are small caliber and struggle to deal direct damage to most targets.
- Horribly slow for a tier VIII battleship at 27.5 knots.
- Large surface detection range for an American battleship at 16.6km base.
Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult
Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme
– One of, if not the worst at its tier. This is a pronounced weakness.– Middle of the pack at its tier. Not terrible, but not terribly good either.
– Has a significant advantage over her tier mates. A solid, competitive performer.
– No other ship at its tier does this as well as this ship.
- While there are remarkable aspects about it, Massachusett’s firepower merits only a rating. As good as her secondaries are, they are only a situational weapon. That doesn’t make up for the deficiencies with her main battery.
- With the lowering of the American citadels, their biggest weakness was safely moderated. They’re still among the most fragile of the tier VIII battleships. Thankfully, Massachusetts has a Repair Party bonus which puts her solidly in the category.
- Where the South Dakota-class really shines is in their Agility and Anti Aircraft firepower. Both merit a evaluation.
- Finally, for Vision Control, Massachusetts has a disappointing surface detection and sits in the bottom half for her tier. She only gets a score here.
- Her Damage Control Party has a 20 second active period instead of 15 second of other battleships.
- She does not get access to Aiming System Modification 1 in her third upgrade slot.
- Instead, she gets access to Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1 in her third upgrade slot.
- Consumable wise, you have the choice between a Spotter Aircraft and a Catapult Fighter. This latter consumable offers 53 additional DPS.
- Massachusetts Repair Party has an accelerated reset timer of 60 seconds for standard and 40 seconds for her premium version. This is half the standard timer for other versions of this consumable.
- You can largely correct her range deficiency by equipping Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1. This will boost her range back up to 21.2km (compared to 21.1km on a stock Alabama) and your Spotter Aircraft consumable can boost it further.
- The most appealing and gimmicky choice is to emphasize her secondaries and take Secondary Gun Modification 2. Her accuracy with her secondaries will be boosted to 68% greater than most other ships.
- Finally, in the question of defense, you must choose between fire damage reduction with Damage Control Modification 2 and further emphasizing her good agility with Steering Gears Modification 2 for her 4th slot. In addition, you have a choice between emphasizing the durability of your already-tough main battery armaments with Main Armaments Modification 1 or doubling the hit points of your secondaries with Auxiliary Armaments Modification 1 in your first slot.
Massachusetts comes with Type 10 Camouflage. During testing this was in the style of Measure 22 historical pattern but is set to change when the ship goes live. This provides:
- 50% bonus experience gains
- 10% reduction to maintenance costs
- 3% reduction in surface detection
- 4% reduction in enemy accuracy.
During playtesting, Massachusetts used the Measure 22 camouflage (blue hull, grey superstructure). To my understanding, this is being replaced on live when she gets released with the black and grey scheme shown on the World of Warships devblog. Ye be warned, says I.
Official penetration values of American 406mm/45 Mk 6 Guns, taken from World of Warships Armada videos published by Wargaming.
The second issue compounds on this problem, however. Massachusetts has the worst sigma value of any of the aforementioned American battleships with a 1.7 value compared to the 2.0 of North Carolina and 1.9 of Alabama, Alabama ST and Colorado. Her guns, while still boasting good performance, are overall less reliable. It’s unlikely Massachusetts will ever be the darling of the competitive scene because of these flaws.
On a per salvo basis, most players will struggle to see the difference between Massachusetts’ accuracy and that of Alabama. Over the course of several matches this will be far more telling. Massachusetts will average less damage from her main battery due to shells straying from the center of her reticle.
- Secondary Signal: 5% dispersion improvement.
- 3rd Slot Main Battery Upgrade: 5% dispersion improvement.
- 3rd Slot Secondary Battery Upgrade: 20% dispersion improvement.
- 4th Tier Commander Skill: 60% dispersion improvement.
Only misses were recorded and then not all of them (there’s splash render issues at that much zoom). It took about 20 to 30 hits to sink Mahan, including a fire. Not only does it take Massachusetts less shots fired to sink Mahan, thanks to her faster reload, it takes her less time too.
In this demonstration, it took the stock Alabama roughly 4 minutes to sink the destroyer. Her fully upgraded self took less than 66 seconds to do the same. Massachusetts did it in less than 24 seconds.
- Her 127mm/38s lack penetration. They can only deal direct damage to areas of 21mm of armour thickness or less. This limits them to damage select cruisers and destroyers or the superstructures of more protected ships. If you take the Inertial Fuse for HE Shells you can increase their penetration to 27mm which will allow them to punish all cruisers within their matchmaking spread and lower tiered battleships.
There is a catch to this though. Secondaries tend to aim for the waterline of enemy ships. At very close ranges, this will cause Massachusetts’ secondaries to shatter against the thick belt of battleships and cruisers, mitigating some of her damage output. With Massachusetts’ improved accuracy, she’s very good at hitting the belt armour at close range so they tend to work best at distances of 5km+ against larger targets.
- Her 127mm/38s are terrible at setting fires. Though these guns have excellent reload rate, each hit only has a 5% chance base to start a fire. They cannot be relied upon to tax the Damage Control Party of enemy vessels. Each fire they do set should be seen as a bonus, not an inevitability.
- Their predictive aim is lacking. You’ll find at the extremes of her range (distances greater than 9km) that these guns struggle to hit small targets that are constantly manoeuvring. This is probably owing to the long flight time of shells out to these distances.
Massachusetts has less than ideal fire angles. Unmasking her X-Turret is just asking to get her penetrated through the front. Despite her secondaries, Massachusetts isn’t ideally setup for brawling as you’ll see in the Defense section below.
- 1.7 sigma hurts.
- Secondaries are surprisingly devastating. Unfortunately you can’t always use them.
- Do you like to gamble? Her firepower is very RNG dependent between bad sigma and her secondary performance.
What it would have needed to be : Amagi and North Carolina jockey for the top spot. Massachusetts would have needed better dispersion on her main battery and her improved secondaries to take this position.
Hit Points: 66,300
Maximum Citadel Protection: 32mm + 310mm + 16mm roof
Min Bow & Deck Armour: 32mm
Torpedo Damage Reduction: 46%
- She has awesome torpedo defense — one of the best in the game behind Alabama (49%), Musashi (55%) and Yamato (55%). I suppose you could call this good news for a battleship that’s meant to be up on the front lines by design, not that I’d recommend eating fish if you can help it.
- Her citadel is fully submerged. All of the high tier American battleships (including Alabama) had their citadels lowered in early 2017. Massachusetts carries this same trend forward, making her much harder to get her machine spaces blown out.
- Awesome turret face armour. Massachusetts has 457mm turret faces and barbettes. The sloping on her turrets can bounce battleship caliber shells for days until you’re in point blank ranges.
- Her Repair Party has a short reset timer. Massachusetts’ Repair Party comes off cool down in half the time. She’s better able to take advantage of multiple charges of her consumable when needed which increases the value of the Superintendent skill. It’s easy for her to cycle through the maximum of five charges in a given match, giving her access to a larger health pool per game on average.
- Her citadel roof is 16mm. So if an enemy battleship shell does manage to penetrate her belt at a shallow angle, she doesn’t have roof armour thick enough to cause their shell to ricochet — it will simply overmatch and deliver a citadel hit. This is devastating, especially at close range. This only applies to the areas over her machine spaces (her magazines are better protected), but her machine spaces are huge.
- Cruisers love to burn her. With only 32mm or less everywhere except her turrets, barbettes and belt, Massachusetts is highly vulnerable to cruiser-caliber HE shells. With the right captain build, any 150mm+ armed cruiser can hit her over and over and over again for massive amounts of direct damage, never mind the resulting fires.
- Her secondaries are fragile. Remember those secondaries? Y’know, the gimmick that’s the big selling feature of this ship? Yeah, those. They pop easy. Like most secondaries, they are not particularly well armoured and if Massachusetts gets spammed by HE shells or British cruiser AP, she’s going to lose these turrets quickly. There’s not a whole lot you can do to protect them, either. At best, you can use Auxillary Armaments Modification 1 in your first slot to double their hit point total (from 800hp to 1,600hp) but that’s not going to save them forever if they get taxed.
What it would have needed to be : Massachusetts would need quite a bit to bump her out of the doldrums of mediocrity here. She’s far removed from being and little more than a bad citadel placement away from .
Bow tanking is still as effective as ever so long as the enemies oblige you by throwing anything smaller than 460mm rounds in your face. Here Massachusetts outplays a tier X Großer Kurfürst, bouncing her 420mm AP shells in a brawl and using her superior agility to keep on the Kurfürst’s flank while never giving up her own. If they catch your side, you’re dead stupidly quick.
Turning Radius: 710m
Rudder Shift: 15.7s
Maximum Turn Rate: 4.5º/s
What it would have needed to be : More speed. 27.5 knots just doesn’t cut it if you want to be the best. Alternatively, shave off 50m from her turning radius. That will get people to sit up and take notice and steal the crown from Gascogne.
AA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 3.5km / 2.0km
AA DPS per Aura: 151 / 238.5 / 120.5
Out of the seven American battleships at tier VIII+, Massachusetts has the least DPS but her effective AA DPS is better than Alabama and Alabama ST’s and sits just behind North Carolina.
What it would have needed to be : More firepower or more range — something to make her stand apart from the likes of North Carolina & Kii.
Detection Range when Firing from Smoke: 16.01km
What it would have needed to be : Lose 900m off her stock surface detection range or give her access to a game-breaking consumable like Missouri.
Seriously, though, if you want a good build, take Superintendent to maximize her awesome Repair Party consumable. Build the rest as you will.
Would I Recommend?
So if you could only have one high tier premium American battleship, which should be it be? Missouri, Alabama or Massachusetts? Not that she’s available anymore, but Missouri is the defacto winner. Surveillance Radar and her broken, overpowered economy is just too good to pass up on. Out of the two remaining ships, Alabama is superior. She’s well rounded if offering very little that’s different compared to North Carolina.
What Massachusetts offers is unique game play. That’s it, really. She’ll earn the same amount as Alabama, but you’ll have to work harder for the same gains. She sure is fun, though.
- PVE Battles
How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots?
Very yes. Bots will rush you without hesitation, bringing them into secondary range. That’s exactly where Massachusetts wants ’em. Easy mode!
- Random Battle Grinding:
This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements.
Yes. Massachusetts works well in Random Battles. She’s great for farming Close Quarters Expert achievements. Team up with a smoke laying friend for extra hilarity.
- For Competitive Gaming:
Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding.
No. I’d give Massachusetts a pass here. Alabama is superior to Massachusetts and North Carolina bests them both. If you want to bring a brawler, dust off Bismarck or Tirpitz.
- For Collectors:
If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you.
Yes. She earned 11 Battle Stars in WW2 and is preserved as a museum ship.
- For Fun Factor:
Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play?
Yes. Secondary spec’d battleships are derpy fun.
- What’s the Final Verdict?
How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage – Meh – Gud – Overpowered?
GARBAGE – The boat is unbalanced, not fun to play and weak. The ship desperately needs some buffs or some quality of life changes.
Mehbote – An average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn’t need buffs to be viable however she’s not going to be considered optimal.
Gudbote – A powerful ship, often one of the best ships at a given role within its tier. Usually considered optimal for a given task.
OVERPOWERED – The boat is unbalanced and powerful. Typically she’s either horrible to play against or she redefines the meta entirel
- Ship Comrade – http://shipcomrade.com/
- World of Warships North American Forums – https://forum.worldofwarships.com/
- World of Warships European Forums – https://forum.worldofwarships.eu/
- World of Warships Wiki – http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/World_of_Warships
- World of Warships Reddit – https://www.reddit.com/r/WorldOfWarships/
- iChase’s YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/user/ichasegaming
- Farazeth’s YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/user/farazelleth
- Vehicles from Video Games – https://gamemodels3d.com/
- ProShips – http://proships.ru/news/
- SEA Group – https://sea-group.org/
- The Armored Patrol – https://thearmoredpatrol.com/
- World of Warships AP Penetration Calculator – https://mustanghx.github.io/ship_ap_calculator/
- Chobittsu Studios, Mouse & Lert artwork – https://chobittsu-studios.deviantart.com/
- Kantai Collection, fan works and official artwork – http://www.dmm.com/netgame_s/kancolle/
- Chaofanatic’s YouTube Channel, for speedlines – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7cs11HaqEA
- Victory Belles, https://victorybelles.tumblr.com/
- Azur Lane, http://www.azurlane.jp/
- Imgur – https://imgur.com/
- Pixlr for picture editing – https://pixlr.com/
- Ezgif for animation – https://ezgif.com/
- Gif Maker for well… duh … making gifs. http://gifmaker.org/
- National Center for Educational Statistics for graph making – https://nces.ed.gov/
- Google Docs for spreadsheets and data archiving – https://www.google.ca/docs/about/
- World of Warships (duh)
- Notepad (seriously)
- MS Paint (also, seriously)
- iPhone Stopwatch App (yep)
- The Final Part of the Message (July 2nd)
Hardware: Mouse toils away on an old i7-2600K 3.40GHz computer with 16GB RAM and an Nvidia 560Ti GPU running a 64bit OS.