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Premium Ship Review USS Sims6/29/2016 1:22:50 PM
Published By: LittleWhiteMouse

The Tier 7 United States Navy Destroyer

USS Sims
"Spinning donuts and pooping rainbows."

Quick Summary: The fastest and most agile USN Destroyer currently in the game, with four, quick-reloading 127mm guns, the Defensive Fire consumable and the choice of two terrible torpedo armaments.
Cost: No idea! She was last sold in a pre-order package back in April of 2015 for approximately $25 USD and came bundled with 1500 doubloons.

Patch & Date Review was Written: 0.5.7, June 23rd, 2016.

Closest in-Game Contemporary: Farragut-class, Benson-class
Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique

Historically, the Sims-class was the predecessor to the Benson-class. However, she shares a lot of World of Warships game play styles to the Farragut. I would normally just compare it to the Benson, but it's a big step down. She'll play a lot more like a tier 6 USN Destroyer in most respects, particularly with one of her two torpedo options, but with a dash of Benson-greatness tossed in to make her feel (almost) enjoyable.

PROs

  • Fastest firing guns at tier 7, capable of reaching 20rpm per rifle with Basic Fire Training.
  • Excellent turret traverse rates.
  • Better range than most USN Destroyers at 12.9km and able to stealth-fire without upgrades at 11.1km.
  • Choice of two different torpedo armaments.
  • Absolutely tiny turning circle of 500m combined with 2.7s rudder shift time.
  • Fastest USN Destroyer in the game at 38.5 knots.
  • Access to the cruiser consumable, Defensive Fire.
  • Sexy paint job. Yes, this is a perk.

CONs

  • Poor muzzle velocity on her guns makes long range gunnery ineffective.
  • Very poor chance to set a fire with high explosive shells at 5%.
  • Short range torpedo option can only reach 5.5km, impossible to launch from concealment and is weaker than those found on the Clemson at tier 4.
  • The long ranged torpedo option is painfully slow at 49 knots and is weaker than those found on the Wickes at tier 3.
  • Though she has access to the Defensive Fire consumable, her AA power is insufficient to seriously challenge any attack craft waves.
  • Rather large surface detection range of 7.6km before camouflage.

The USS Sims is one of the three pre-order vessels from the Closed Beta era of World of Warships. The one year embargo on her sale has come and gone and she's rumoured to be going on sale very soon. But what prompts this review isn't her return to the shops (though that is timely), but moreover with the newfound fame that's gracing the Sims due to her performance in Ranked Battles. Since Open Beta, the USS Sims has been lauded as a lemon. Though not as bad as the Yubari, no one would have called the USS Sims a powerful vessel in World of Warships. Yet, strangely, she seems to be enjoying some success in Season Four of Ranked Battles, with one of the first players to reach Rank One having used this ship consistently. This was enough to prompt a lot of renewed interest in the vessel, though her performance remains largely unchanged.

As such, when she returns to the shops, there is no doubt going to be a swarm of players looking to get a hold of this destroyer. Without detailed knowledge of what they're getting a hold of, there may be a few disappointed shoppers out there when they review their purchase. Hence this article. I'm not going to try and scare you away from the Sims. Just be aware of what you're in for and how you can make best use of her advantages.


The special perk of the Sims is something most people don't really notice -- her ability to use a Cruiser's Defensive Fire consumable in lieu of her Speed Boost. The rest of the package is interesting but not great.

Options

There are some surprising options with the Sims. You not only get the choice of two different consumables for your third slot, but you also have the choice between two torpedo armaments which can be swapped out without cost. Both these options came belatedly to the Sims and were from a buff the ship received around the launch of the game back in September to try and prop up the ship's performance.

Torpedo Armament: Two choices

  • Mk15 Mod 0 (Found on the Mahan but with different stats)
    11600 damage, 65 knot top speed, 5.5km range & 87s reload
  • Bliss Leavitt Mk7 Mod 2B
    8500 damage, 49 knot top speed, 9.2km range & 72s reload.

Consumables: Three slots

  • Damage Control Party
  • Smoke Generator
  • Speed Boost or Defensive Fire

Module Upgrades: Four slots with tier 7 standard destroyer options
Premium Camouflage: Tier 6+ standard. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy.

Artillery

Primary Battery: 127mm guns in 4x1 turrets in a A-B-X-Y arrangement.

The biggest strengths of the USS Sims' main armament are its rate of fire and turret rotation speed. The Sims has the fastest reloading guns at her tier, managing to fire an impressive 18.0rpm which can be nudged up over 20rpm with the tier 1 Captain Skill, Basic Fire Training. This allows the Sims to compete with (but not overtake) the USS Mahan's five-gun armament with a comparable weight of fire. Her gun handling is nothing short of phenomenal. She's able to swing her guns 180' in 5.3 seconds. No matter how you throw your ship about, no matter how hard your enemy evades, you will never have problems keeping your bead locked onto your prey. These two traits make the USS Sims a potent knife-fighter, quite apt at putting the hurt on enemy destroyers.

The range of her guns is also very good for a USN Destroyer at 12.9km. This range is important for opening up the meta of being able to bombard and enemy from concealment. Her guns add 3.8km to her surface detection range when she's firing, allowing the Sims to blast enemies without being spotted right out of the box. This makes her visible at 11.1km with her premium camouflage equipped, giving her a 1.8km window from which to fire without being seen. This would be incredible -- something worth jumping up and down and getting excited over if she was armed with anything other than the USN 127mm rifles. With horrible muzzle velocities, you're looking at a 1s per kilometer of lead times to enemy ships out to this range, making hitting anything but a predictably moving Battleship all but impossible to do reliably.

Keep in mind, these are the USN 127mm/38 caliber dual purpose guns. These are the same guns you unlock on the Nicholas and use straight on through up to the Fletcher. Their ballistics qualities are their greatest weakness. Their poor high explosive rounds with minimal (5%) chance to start a fire doesn't help either. You'll often find the shells struggle to do any damage at all to armoured sections of enemy warships. The longer ranged the engagement and the tougher the target, the more telling the flaws in the weapon become.


The guns on the Sims are ideal for engaging in close ranged knife fights with enemy destroyers. Here, between her torpedoes and guns, the Sims eliminates three enemy destroyers inside of 90 seconds inside of a 5km engagement range.

Torpedoes

Launchers: Two dorsal launchers with four tubes each.

Damage: 11,600 (option 1) / 8500 (option 2)

Range & Speed: 5.5km @ 65 knots (option 1) / 9.2km @ 49 knots (option 2)

The torpedoes on the USS Sims are awful. Though you are given the choice between using two different variants, neither of them are particularly pleasant choices. With two quad dorsal mounts, the Sims' torpedo armament should feel familiar for anyone who has recently played the Farragut. Her default option are fast warheads with decent hitting power for tier 7. However, their 5.5km range limits their use to suicidal-close encounters with whatever it is you're trying to sink. You may try and ambush with them using a spit of headland, but other than this you're not going to be able to launch without being spotted.

Her second torpedo option was added in an effort to buff the Sims back in late Summer / early Fall of 2015. Affectionately called "water mines" these are some of the slowest torpedoes in the game at a top speed of 49 knots. Seriously, I think you could pimp out a Soviet Destroyer to outrun these fish. The good news is that they have a lot of reach -- out to 9.2km which is exactly where we need them to be for a tier 7 Destroyer. This explains why these torpedoes usually end up being the more popular of the two options. The bad news is that these torpedoes have worse stopping power than those found on the Wickes at tier 3. Yes, I'm serious. With the anti-torpedo bulges of the Nagato and Colorado, you're unlikely to do more than 5400 to 6300 damage per strike. And you can forget about demolishing an enemy destroyer with a single hit either. And though the water mines have a faster reload, it's still well over a minute which precludes from being able to easily stack flooding to compensate for her anemic damage totals.

The one advantage to the water mine torpedoes is that because they have such a long range and such a slow travel time, it's not uncommon for the enemy to dismiss the threat of torpedoes from a spotted Sims when the fish don't arrive when they're expected, only to be blindsided by her late arriving derpy fish. This is a rather perverse way of trying to find a silver lining to these terrible torps, but hey, if it works. It should be noted that by the time her 49 knot torpedoes reach their maximum range, your tubes will have reloaded.

Maneuverability

Top Speed: 38.5 knots.

Turning Radius: 500m

Rudder Shift: 2.7s

Racers, start your engines. Here is where the Sims excels.

At 38.5 knots, she does have the distinction of being the fastest American ship in the game. In her tier bracket, she ranks up quite favourably with enemies she may face. By top speed among tier 5 through 9 destroyers, she ranks seventh behind the tier 7 through 9 Soviet DDs and the 39 knot Minekaze & Blyskawica. She has the smallest turning circle within her tier bracket at 500m with only the Gremyashchy coming close and everything else having at least a 10% larger circle. Combine this with a good rudder shift time (though not quite as good as the IJN Destroyers) and she can thread the needle through some impossible dodges.

In short, the Sims handles beautifully. Added to this, her turrets spin ridiculously fast and aren't impaired by any evasive action, making the Sims ideally suited for close in knife fights based on maneuverability alone.


Sims makes dancing to Torpedo Beats super easy.

Durability

Hit Points: 13,800

The durability of the Sims is unremarkable. She has a healthy pile of hit points -- a little less than the Mahan or Blyskawica but more than the Kiev or Hatsuharu. Like all destroyers, she hoovers up critical damage like it's going out of style, losing steering, engines and weapon mounts if someone so much as looks at her funny. So there's nothing unexpected there. Taking the Captain Skill, Last Stand, can make the most dangerous of these criticals all but moot.

Concealment & Camouflage

7.6km Surface Detection, 3.3km Air Detection

If this Sims has one concealment option that's really going in it's favour, it's the 3.3km Air Detection range. Even among destroyers at her tier, this is rather small, beating out every other vessel at her tier, if only by a couple of hundred meters in most cases. You will hear people make cases that her surface detection range is also quite good. It is among the gunship destroyers at her tier, but without the ability to take the Tier 8+ Concealment System Modification 1, she will always have a poor detection rating in anything but top-tier games. When combined with her camouflage and Captain Skills, her surface detection range can be brought as low as 6.6km which is quite favourable, but it's still 1.1km outside of her primary torpedo option, precluding using those from stealth.


The Sims is never going to be stealthy enough to get the drop on higher tiered ships with their higher stealth ratings. The best you can hope is for them to make a mistake, like this Fubuki that tried to hide stationary in smoke and got her bow blown off for her troubles.

Anti-Aircraft Defense

AA Battery Calibers: 127mm, 20mm, 12.7mm

AA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km, 2.0km, 1.2km.

Her anti-aircraft armament doesn't look particularly noteworthy on paper. She lacks the 40mm Bofors mounts to really give her some midrange teeth, but as ever, the dual-purporse 127mm/38s do their job well and can punch out to a significant distance. Out of the box, she has a combined total of 65dps when all of her mounts are blazing, with 43 of that coming from her primary battery. This isn't really enough to seriously maul anything that invades her airspace. At best you can hope to gradually swat down interloping planes that are intent on spotting you. Where she gets interesting is if you equip her with Defensive Fire.

Coming at the expense of her Speed Boost consumable, this gives the Sims some real teeth for any aircraft that might normally not think twice about buzzing a destroyer. Even the tier 9 planes of the Saipan have to be wary. However, the volume of fire that she will put out, though impressive looking, is rarely going to do more than shoot down a couple of planes. If the enemy CV is making an attack run on you, you can expect that when upgraded and blowing your consumable to shoot down between 1 to 4 planes depending on tier. This may be enough to make them think twice about re-engaging you (though if you're putting pressure on a CV, don't count on that). It certainly can allow the Sims to provide some much needed assistance to a beleaguered ally, especially with the disruption effect it stacks.


Even when heavily specialized for the role, the AA power of the Sims is best used to disrupt enemy attack craft. It can cause some damage, but it's not going to shoot down planes quickly.

Overall Impressions

Mouse' Summary:

  • A very fast ship with very good handling and lightning quick turret traverse speeds.
  • Guns reload very quickly, but are unfortunately still the USN 127mm guns.
  • Torpedoes are downright terrible, with the "water mines" being the most viable.
  • AA is interesting but not powerful in of itself except to keep the ship safe from the occasional air strike.

Seems like a whole bag of mixed impressions, doesn't it? Now I like the Sims. I always have. But it's really not a great ship. She doesn't have the hitting power needed to make her a real threat to anything out there short of enemy destroyers. You're going to hear me say that a lot. No. Hitting. Power. When push comes to shove, if an enemy Battleship tries to bully a cap, you can try sending your weak little fish her way or bombarding her with a constant hail of shells but you won't remove said battleship quickly unless you get especially lucky with your rolls on starting fires. Even where the ship excels in a knife fight, you're not likely to come out of that unscathed and probably no better than a Blyskawica, Kiev or Mahan would.

So why are we seeing her lauded for Ranked Battles? Is she really that much better when top tier? Well, no...

What makes the Sims a coveted vehicle for Ranked Battles is that she's good enough. She has that sweet combination of traits that makes her downright acceptable for Ranked Battles and forgiving in an environment in which there are two roads to success. You can try and be the most bad-[editedmomo on the team, killing everything and taking no prisoners. And let's face it, you're going to have to bend over backwards to make the Sims conform to this role. Or you can simply make sure you're present at every cap circle and bully a few enemy destroyers to ensure you're at the top of the team on experience earned and thus guaranteed not to lose a star if things go pear shaped. This is where the Sims excels in Ranked Battles. She's fast enough to flex from cap circle to cap circle. She can take care of herself in a knife fight, being reasonably stealthy, super maneuverable and she's got the guns to maul enemies. And if you want, you can even guarantee yourself the ability of being immune to CVs pooping on your personal party.

Be aware that just having the Sims doesn't guarantee you this top spot. The Blyskawica can do this trick almost as well. She's a little less stealthy and her guns aren't as ideal for a knife fight, but she can play too. And she can torpedo from stealth. And she can fire her guns at things at range and hit stuff. Please don't take this as a "the Sims is awful, Blys is better!" Just be aware that the Blyskawica is better. The Sims isn't awful, but she's not a forgiving ship. She just doesn't have the hitting power to make a short-term decisive difference.

The USS Sims is such a stereotypical example of a USN mid-tier Destroyer. She excels at picking on other destroyers, providing vision and harassing opponents. She lives a glamorous, high-risk, high reward life with lots of speed and explosions (usually happening on your decks as you get shot by HE rounds), but it's not an easy life. It's a shame that her only real quirk is her high speed and agility. And she doesn't feel really fast or really maneuverable, honestly. In fact, without knowing the exact values, it might be hard to pinpoint where she stood in the standing among all of her peers. The difference of 50m between her and the next ship in line is quite hard to spot (I am, of course, ignoring the Gremyashchy with this statement).

That may be the meat of the matter right there. The Sims is fun and all if you enjoy US Destroyers. But she's not a special US Destroyer by any means. She's a slightly better version of the Farragut and a slightly sneakier Mahan. This certainly has a place as making her special, but it's not sparkly special.

Would I Recommend?
It's really hard for me to recommend the USS Sims. Sure, she's a mid to high tier USN Destroyer, but I wouldn't say she's a must-have vessel. Her real selling point is that speed and agility. That's why you would buy the Sims, in my opinion. But as we've discussed, her speed, while good, isn't the best. Nor is it likely to win you games by itself.

  • For Random Battle Grinding, no. The USS Sims really can't compete well with higher tiered vessels at all. It loses out on stealth, firepower and torpedo armament. She can do just fine as a top tier ship or bullying lower tiered vessels, but you'll struggle to collect impressive damage totals short of winning duels with other same tier or lower tiered destroyers. This will hurt your experience gains and credit earning. You can forget about supplementing it as an AA picket ship -- she doesn't put out enough firepower to seriously damage air squadrons on her own, though she can provide some disruption for a beleaguered larger vessel. But again, without a lot of air kills, you're not going to see a healthy return per match.

  • For Competitive Gaming, as a top tier vessel, the Sims has potential. Her agility allows her to flex readily to where she's needed, but she doesn't have the hitting power when she arrives to do anything but brawl with destroyers. Her anemic torpedoes can provide some interesting surprises as they arrive far later than anyone would expect. In addition, her Defensive Fire consumable can frustrate enemy CV players trying to pick her off with Dive Bombers. This can save your skin when facing 9 Skyraiders from a Saipan intent on deleting you when you're at low health. The harm she does to the enemy is truly death by a thousand cuts. Use that speed to get away when they start focusing you and take advantage of your slightly-better concealment rating to keep out of danger.

  • For Collectors, the Sims represents the only one of her class (out of the 12 that served). For the history alone, this may be worth while. From a gaming perspective, this ship hasn't been sold since the pre-order packages and it's uncertain how often she will be made available after.

  • For Fun Factor, the Sims provides you with fairly typical mid-tier USN Destroyer game play. Though she has her quirks, there's nothing that really jumps out and says that she's unique (other than those really bad torpedoes). If you enjoy knife fighting, she's a really good boat for that. Otherwise, I'd pass.


Sims and Blyskawica (driven by Lert), the two tier 7 premium Destroyers currently available in game.

The Blyskawica is hands down superior, not that the Sims doesn't win out in a few areas. They're just not likely to be areas that decide the course of a game.

Outfitting your Sims

Recommended Modules

With 0.5.7, the Module system has had a few slots overhauled. A lot of players are concerned where the meta lies in between these upgrades.

  • For your first slot, Main Armaments Modification 1 is the best choice. It's important to keep the Sims' guns in the game. This gives a buff to the HP of the guns and makes them less likely to take critical hits that will temporarily disable them. Note, I don't consider Magazine Modification 1 to be a worthwhile investment. In competitive play, you'll still want to use anti-detonation flags. In random play, embrace your detonations. They'll get you more flags for when it really counts.
  • For slot two, you have the choice depending on if you want to play as an AA picket ship or not. AA Guns Modification 2 is the best choice for increasing your AA range, otherwise stick with Aiming Systems Modification 1.
  • For your third slot, Propulsion Modification 1 is arguably the best choice for a destroyer, but is largely irrelevant with the Captain Skill, Last Stand. Take whatever you want here once you have that skill. The benefits for each are very minor.
  • And for your last stop, you have a fun choice. You can reduce her rudder shift time down to 2.1s with Steering Gears Modification 2 or make her a drag-racer with Propulsion Modification 2 for faster starts. If you're varying your speed often, this latter skill can be useful but I firmly believe that reducing your rudder shift time is the better choice.

Recommended Consumables

The biggest choice you'll be facing when equipping your Sims is whether or not to drop Speed Boost for Defensive Fire. This largely depends if you want to embrace this poorly dressed up gimmick of the Sims and what gaming environment you will find yourself. Do consider equipping a premium version of your Damage Control Party, whatever you decide. This will reduce her reset timer down to 40 seconds which can mean life or death for a Destroyer when things get hot and hairy.

Recommended Captain Skills

There's a couple of different ways to outfit your Sims based on what you're looking to do.

  • At tier 1, the most important skill is Situational Awareness, just like with any Destroyer. But you'll want to grab Basic Fire Training as early as you can to bump her rate of fire to 20rpm per gun.
  • At tier 2, Last Stand is arguably the most powerful skill for a Destroyer. I would definitely look at grabbing Torpedo Armament Expertise to reduce her torpedo reload time as a second pass through the skill tree. This would allow her to put a second salvo of her slow moving 9.2km fish in the water before the first has reached max range.
  • At tier 3, there are three skills worth considering. Superintendent will give you an additional charge of all of your consumables. This is useful simply to have an extra smoke charge but can also be viable for AA builds. Vigilance is interesting, if only to assist you with dancing to Torpedo Beats. Finally, Torpedo Acceleration on the slow fish will bring their speed up to 54 knots (which is still bad but better) and reduce their range to 7.4km which can be usable with a stealth-build.
  • At tier 4, you've got a choice. For AA builds, Advanced Fire Training is a must but is less desirable for gunship builds due to the horrible float time on her shells over 13km. Demolition Expert should be reached for Captains interested in making the most of her pew pew.  Lastly, if you're playing Competitively such as in Ranked, Survivability Expert will boost your HP total up to 16,600.
  • At tier 5, it's a no brainer. Grab Concealment Expert. This will drop your surface detection range down to 6.6km.
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