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Premium Ship Review Missouri12/6/2016 4:43:31 PM
Published By: LittleWhiteMouse

Please be aware that all of the statistics and performance discussed in this post reflect the version of the ship as she appeared during the testing period.

These are subject to change before release.

 
The Mighty.

Quick Summary:  A modified Iowa-class Battleship with reinforced forward and rear citadel protection, a radar consumable and tremendous credit earning potential. 
Cost:  750,000 free experience.  This works out to 30,000 doubloons for conversion, or approximately 100 ($110 USD).
Patch & Date Written: 0.5.15, December 6th, 2016
 
Closest in-Game Contemporary
Iowa, Tier 9 American Battleship
Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique

I don't think anyone is surprised here.  The differences between the Iowa and the Missouri are minor and well advertised.  The Missouri loses the aircraft of the Iowa and gains radar instead.  There's slight differences to their AA load out.  Most telling, the Missouri has reinforced citadel armour along the transverse bulkheads, making her better at bow-tanking while avoiding citadel damage at this angle.

PROs:
  • Reinforced forward bulkheads, providing better forward protection than the Iowa.
  • Versatile guns with tremendous AP hitting power for their tier. 
  • Guns can specialize for either the best medium range battleship accuracy in the game or for the best battleship DPM at her tier.
  • Excellent range of 23.4km which can be increased to 27.1km with a module.
  • Very good anti-aircraft firepower, especially at medium range.
  • For a Battleship her size, she's very fast at 33.0 knots.
  • Has the same radar as the tier 9 Baltimore-class cruiser.
  • Choice of two camouflage patterns.
  • Earns 100% bonus experience.
  • Earns 50% more credits than a tier 8 Premium, 100% more than a tech-tree ship.
  • Available for "free" just by playing the game.
CONs:
  • Extremely vulnerable citadel that sits high over the water.
  • Bow is easily overmatched by the 460mm rifles of the Yamato. 
  • Poor torpedo defense with only a 25% reduction from hits.
  • Large base dispersion values coupled with a low muzzle velocity on her AP rounds.  Without the accuracy module, the Missouri is one of the least accurate ships in the game.
  • Wide 920m turning circle and 19.4s rudder shift time.
  • The amount of free experience required to unlock her is prohibitively high and will nominally require clever use of premium time, consumables or simply spending money to acquire her.
 

The Missouri doesn't correct a lot of the problems found on the Iowa-class. In fact, for those familiar with the Iowa, she will seem familiar -- perhaps painfully so.
 
The Missouri is the twelfth premium Battleship to be added to World of Warships (not including the Arpeggio Kongo-class sisters) and she certainly tops all of the others for the attention she's grabbing.  The promotion of a certain action-hero aside, the Missouri is an important historical vessel.  Wargaming has paid a nod to both their Hollywood endorsement and the Mighty Mo's 15 minutes of fame with fun details visible on her decks in port.  But perhaps most importantly to players of World of Warships, the Missouri represents a departure from premium ships that have come before it.
 
This is a premium tier 9 ship with accelerated economic boons.  She earns 50% more experience and credits than tier 8 premiums.  It's this latter ability that made me raise an eyebrow.  A lack of credit earning has long been the bottleneck in progression in World of Warships and the Missouri steps all over this.  If you have her, earning a couple million credits in the span of an hour's worth of casual game play is laughably simple.  Players with this ship will be at a marked advantage over those who don't when it comes to acquiring new vessels or simply financing premium consumables or high tier content.
 
In fact, the Missouri could be an utter potato boat and she'd be worth looking at if only for these economic gains.  But let's take a closer look at what Wargaming has cooked up for us and see if she's worth the astronomical sum of 750,000 free experience.
 
NoZoupForYou provides a nice, concise summary of the Mighty Mo.

Options
There's two big points to mention in regards to the Missouri's options.  The first, during testing we had two camouflage patterns to play with.  These both did the same  thing, providing a bonus 100% to experience gains as opposed to the 50% normally provided by premium ship camouflage between tiers 6 and 8. This is on par with premium camouflage purchased for tech tree ships at tiers 9+, though, so it's good to see the Missouri keeping pace.

Note that the Missouri's credit earning potential isn't baked into her premium camouflage, but rather the ship itself.  The camouflage also doesn't provide any reduction to repair costs.  So your choice between the two is purely cosmetic.  Or you could use some other camouflage in your reserves if you prefer.  It won't hurt your credit earning.
 
In addition, the Missouri has access to Radar.  This has a 9.45km range with a 35 second active period.   This is identical to the radar found on the tier 9 USN Cruiser, Baltimore.  She does not have the option for any kind of aircraft.
 
Consumables:
  • Damage Control Party
  • Repair Party
  • Radar
Module Upgrades: Six slots, standard USN Battleship options.

Premium Camouflage:  There are two versions of the Missouri's camouflage. Both provide a 3% concealment bonus, a 4% increase to enemy gunnery dispersion and a 100% bonus to experience gains. 


The two colour schemes for the Missouri.  One nearly matches the colour scheme of the premium camouflage of the Iowa.
 
 
Firepower
Primary Battery:  Nine 406mm rifles in 3x3 turrets in an A-B-X configuration.  B is stationed in a super firing position over top of A.  These have a stock range of 23.4km. 
Secondary Battery:  Twenty 127mm dual purpose rifles in 10x2 turrets along the sides of the ship.  
 
The American 406mm 50-calibers Mk7 rifles are interesting.  They combine some of the hardest hitting shells at their tier with some of the worst gun dispersion.  Yet, thanks to the combination of modules the American ships can take, the Missouri can potentially be the most accurate Battleship in the game at ranges around 12km, and on par with the IJN Battleships at about 18km but at the cost of her rate of fire.
 
It's that 6th module slot which unlocks at tier 9 which is the culprit for this. Every other nation in the game gets a 7% dispersion reduction module for their 2nd slot (found at tier 5+) with Aiming Systems Modification 1.  The American Battleships instead have a range boosting module.  It's only with the 6th slot where the USN can reduce their dispersion.  Artillery Plotting Room Modification 2 provides an 11% reduction to dispersion.  However this comes at a price.  The other module competing for everyone's attention in the 6th slot is Main Battery Modification 3 which provides a rate of fire increase.  This forces USN players to choose between DPM and Accuracy.
 
Player preference will largely dictate which setup they prefer.  If a player chooses to accelerate her reload then the Missouri, like the Iowa, will have the best DPM of any of the tier 9 Battleships with her AP shells.  At 13,500hp per citadel hit, these can quickly doom anyone rash enough to make themselves a target.  I personally believe that the accelerated reload is the way to go though there's a firm argument to be made in favour of accuracy.
 
There are two primary downsides to these guns.  The first has been touched upon already.  Their dispersion, unless properly mitigated, can be downright trollish.  This is combined by a rather slow muzzle velocity for her shells of 762m/s with her AP rounds.  They thankfully retain energy well due to their heavy mass but this still leads to a longer lead time than with the IJN guns, for example.  The only other 'bad' point worth mentioning is that due to the overmatch mechanics, anything with 32mm of bow armour can tank the Missouri's guns and remains largely immune to her AP shells so long as they keep their prow pointed towards her.  This includes all tier 8+ Battleships which can make for long, drawn out stalemates.
 
The secondary gun batteries of the Missouri are regrettably forgettable.  While deadly enough to a low health destroyer that strays within range, the Missouri doesn't put out the same fearsome volume of fire of the German or Japanese Battleships.  While it's possible to specialize into their performance, this usually happens as a happy coincidence rather than a deliberate act, with skills such as Basic and Advanced Fire Training being taken primarily to boost her AA power rather than with an aim to increase her secondary potency.
 
Summary:
  • Versatile guns that can be specialized for either high DPM or high accuracy.
  • Excellent range.
  • Very hard hitting AP shell with excellent alpha strike potential.
  • Struggles somewhat against angled enemy Battleships due to overmatch mechanics.
  • Secondaries are adequate but weaker than her contemporaries
 
With a range that can exceed 27km, the Missouri often finds herself engaging enemies from one extreme of the map to another.  Without an accuracy modification, doing any damage at these distances is chancy at best.  Like all Battleships, she really starts coming into her own at medium to close range, however her fragility makes getting this near to the enemy extremely risky.  Sometimes the rewards are worth it.
 

Maneuverability 
Top Speed: 33.0 knots
Turning Radius: 920m
Rudder Shift: 19.4s
 
The Missouri has some very long legs.  It's a shame she so seldom gets to flex them in the current high-tier meta.  At 33 knots, the Missouri and Iowa are the fastest Battleships in the game, bar none.  This should, in theory, allow her to dictate the range of any engagement with other Battleships while also allowing her to redeploy as needed.  However, this straight line speed comes at a cost.  Her handling is downright horrific with a 920m turning circle and a sluggish rudder shift to boot.

So while you can navigate from point A to B with alacrity, you're not going to want to do so under fire as it will expose your Missouri to enemy artillery and torpedoes.  Dodging the latter, never mind the former will be an extreme challenge.

Durability
Hit Points: 78,300
Maximum Protection:  Up to 368mm + 38mm external citadel protection, 432mm turret faces, 439mm conning tower.
Min Bow & Deck Armour: 32mm (immunity to 420mm rifles)
Torpedo Damage Reduction: 25%
 
The Missouri is much lauded for its improved forward protection with the reinforcements made to her transverse bulkheads.  This beefs up her citadel protection to 368mm + 19mm at best or 297mm + 19mm at worst, depending on how high or low these forward penetration shells strike.  The only ship that will severely be testing these forward bulkheads is the Yamato unless you over angle your Missouri.  While this looks great on paper, it pays to look at the Missouri (and the Iowa-class overall) objectively where her durability is concerned.
 
For people hoping that the Missouri would correct the errors in the Iowa citadel placement, don't hold your breath.  It's still enormous.  It's still extends well above the water line.  She bow tanks decently, and that's about it.  The buffs to her transverse bulkheads aside, the Missouri isn't the fixed Iowa-class some have been praying for.
 
The German Battleships created a new standard for what "good" armour protection is back when they were introduced in the third quarter of this year.  I hate to parrot my Iowa-review, but the Missouri doesn't have good protection.  Her citadel is placed far too high in the water for that.  If an enemy ship catches her broadside, you will take citadel damage -- it's almost a matter of course.  Combined onto this, she has weak torpedo defenses with a paltry 1/4 reduction of torpedo strikes   She also still has that enormous hole in her citadel protection directly to the rear, just beneath her #3 turret.
 
In order to stay safe, the Missouri needs to bow tank -- keep all of her enemies directly in front of her.  In this way, she can bounce an enormous level of punishment, forcing enemies to instead pick on her superstructure or switch over to high explosive fire in order to stack any reasonable form of damage.  This isn't a trait unique to the Missouri or the Iowa-class as a whole.  The Friedrich der Große is just as good at it, if not better with her improved deck armour around the turrets which can make even Battleship caliber HE explode for no damage.  
 
So what does this buff to the Missouri's transverse forward bulkhead mean, exactly?  Well, it means it's a little harder for a Yamato to citadel you through the bow.  It might occasionally come into play if you over angle and another battleship tries to bulls-eye your citadel from the front.  I couldn't test this out in a training room to see for certain so pay close attention to this if you pick her up. 

 
Bow-tanking.  It's not pretty.  It's not historical.  But it is effective.
 
Concealment & Camouflage
Surface Detection Range:  16.2km
Air Detection Range: 14.2 km
Minimum Surface Detection Range: 12.16km
Concealment Penalty while Firing: +12.2km (vs 27.1km gun range)
 
For a tier 9 Battleship, the Missouri has good concealment, particularly if she specializes into keeping herself undetectable by enemies.  This allows her to finally make use of her speed and redeploy without nearly as much fear of having her citadel blown out the moment she's not presenting her bow towards her opponents.  This all goes away the moment you fire her guns though, but that's to be expected with any Battleship.

Anti-Aircraft Defense
AA Battery Calibers: 127mm / 40mm / 20mm
AA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 3.5km /  2.0km
AA DPS per Aura: 151 / 318 / 104

One of the most significant differences between the Missouri and the Iowa is her AA power.  The Iowa has nineteen quad 40mm Bofors mounts while the Mighty Mo has twenty.  The Iowa bests her with small caliber guns with thirty two dual-20mm Oerlikon mounts (for a total of 60 guns) to the twenty-nine single mounts found on the Missouri.  It's these Oerlikon mounts which makes the difference giving the Iowa a 75dps advantage over the Mighty Mo up close.
 
In practical terms?  No CV player is going to want to get close to the Missouri when there are softer targets available, especially lower tiered carriers.  Still, she shouldn't venture alone when there's an enterprising CV present.  Midway and Hakuryu are more than capable of overwhelming even the formidable guns of the Missouri and ruining her day, especially with her general lack of agility to facilitate dodging a point blank drop.
 

Nope.jpg.  Try again, Hiryu.

Overall Impressions

Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult
Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme
 
 How patient are you?  Patience and planning largely defines success in the Iowa-class and the Missouri is no different.  Reckless aggression will get you sunk in a hurry.  Being overly cautious may preserve your ship but it won't win you any battles as your guns keep idle for fear of reprisals.  This is a challenging ship to do well in, largely because of her fragility and how the bow-tanking and passive meta found in high tier game play will make finding those juicy targets so much more difficult.  When top tier, you carry the heavy burden of needing to punch at your weight class and do a lion's share of the damage, but the Missouri's fragility to being caught broadside makes finding those opportunities difficult.
 
Much of what I said in my Iowa review holds true to the Missouri.  She's not terribly forgiving.  If you catch the enemy in a bad position, you will look like a total rockstar, farming enormous amounts of damage.  But if you just opt to trade fire with wary opponents, your results will be very lackluster.  The truly excellent Iowa players look for and create these opportunities to shine while the mediocre wait for those one off games which hand them great results.  
 
Mouse's Summary:
  • Excellent guns.
  • Her protection almost seems good enough until it isn't.  Which is often.
  • Turns like a pregnant Yak in a mud wallow. 
  • Very respectable AA power.
  • Pees on the high-tier economy and laughs at everyone who struggles to afford their tier 10 boats like they were filthy peasants.

 I spent a lot of time in Co-Op with the Missouri trying to isolate her credit earning potential. I suppose I owe the few not-bot team mates a sincere apology for my lack of performance in said matches.  The only way to reliably get a measure of just how much the Missouri earned compared to other premiums involved getting myself killed without doing anything of consequence.  A half dozen matches in the Missouri and the same done in the Tirpitz, Atago and Mikhail Kutuzov helped pin down the value of the Missouri's credit income.

I can say with confidence:  She earns approximately 50% more credits than a tier 8 premium ship.  This is before any expenses, of course.  For repair costs, the Missouri will set you back  60,000 credits.  Compare this to the Iowa with premium camouflage, which spends 96,000 credits to fix the ship and earns only half of what the Missouri does. 
 
In the days leading up to the Missouri's release, there's been a lot of talk about equivalents to the Missouri's earning potential.  This naturally comes at a consequence of the very high cost of the Missouri.  750,000 free experience is nothing to sneeze at. If you weren't already sitting on a significant pile of free experience before the price was leaked, you weren't likely to see this as an affordable sum -- not without some herculean grinding tolerances.  While ships like the Montana and Iowa can match the Missouri for experience gains, they cannot touch her where credit earning is concerned.  Tier 8 premiums are comparable to her earnings but even they fall short.  In terms of time spent to rewards earned, the Missouri will outpace the tier 8 premiums.  You'll need to play 3 games in your Atago to equate 2 in the Missouri for income earned.
 
For those players who feel perpetually strapped for credits, I cannot stress how liberating this ship will be for them once they own it.  Bad games in Random Battles will net you 200,000 to 300,000 credits.  Good games can score upwards of a million.  Even Co-Op becomes economically feasible for grinding credits with the Missouri and a premium account.  So long as you can earn a minimum of 250 to 300 base experience, you will make money (not much at that low experience, but a fair chunk at 500xp games or higher).  
 
Once you peel back all of this money talk, the Missouri is an Iowa-class at the end of the day.  She can bow tank.  She can spank enemies with her 406mm rifles just as well as the Wisconsin ever could.  But the buff to her forward armour didn't solve the vulnerability problems inherent with the class.  The Iowa-class has always been reasonably strong when bow tanking -- that's not where the problem was.  It's that enormous, high-water citadel that causes so many issues for the ship and that's not corrected in the Missouri.  If you were hoping for an improved Iowa, I'm sorry to disappoint, the Missouri is only an incremental improvement in that regard and not the big step forward some of us were hoping for.
 
Cool stuff like this only happens when someone royally screws up.
 

Would I Recommend?
 So let's talk about cost.  The Missouri will set you back 750,000 free experience.  This will make her largely inaccessible for non-veteran players in World of Warships and reflects a rather unique way of selling a premium ship.  Theoretically, any player of World of Warships could earn her for free given enough time.  Realistically and practically speaking, most players are going to end up spending some form of real-world money to facilitate acquiring this ship.  There's some pretty ingenious suggestions out there, such as combining signal flags and premium camouflage onto an Anshan or tier 9+ tech tree ship with premium camouflage for maximum free-experience gains.  For someone to pay for enough doubloons for the equivalent, the EU server has a bundle of 30,500 doubloons (500 more than needed) for 100 -- which is about $110 USD.   Of course, said bundle isn't (currently) available on the NA server which means on this side of the pond, a player will be shelling out about $130 USD.
 
For different players, this represents an obstacle of varying difficulty.  Some will be able to throw that kind of quid at the ship without a second thought while others will see it as insurmountable.  Few ships create such a change in the game experience as the Missouri, if only from trivializing credit earning.  Let me be clear, it's not like the amount of credits she earns cannot be obtained by other means.  She simply makes it easier and laughably so.  Time is money, after all, and those with the Missouri will have time to spare. 
 
  • For Random Battle Grinding:

I would absolutely recommend her for grinding.  She is, hands down, the best USN training ship and credit earning ship in the game -- a fact that is unlikely to be challenged anytime soon.  The only ship that comes close to her totals is the German Prinz Eugen for Captain Training, but the German ship doesn't come close to her credit earning potential.  So if you want to earn bank and accelerate training up your Captains, the Missouri is a must have.

  • For Competitive Gaming:

Is the Iowa-class competitive?  You'd be a fool to take her instead of the Friedrich der Große, IMO.  But this whole question is sort of moot with there being a distinctive lack of tier 9 competitive game play.  If it ever comes up?  No, don't use your Missouri.  Use the Friedrich instead.

  • For Collectors:
What's wrong with you?  Yes, it's the Missouri. 

  • For Fun Factor:
I don't like the current high-tier meta in Random Battles of World of Warships.  So the Missouri wasn't fun for me.  I prefer my action up close and personal and that's difficult to achieve in high tier games on the North American server.  Most Battleships seem terrified of getting anywhere near the cap circles.  Engagement ranges are usually up in the 18km vicinity.  It's passive, dull and heart breaking.  It involves waiting for one side to make a mistake and punishing those that try and make a move. 
 
Outfitting your Mighty Mo
 I'm totally cutting corners here and repeating what I said for the Iowa.  When you're equipping your Missouri, there are two primary roles to consider. The first is whether or not you intend to fully specialize her as an AA-Ship or not. This is hardly an optimal build, but if you hate Carriers with a vengeance, it has its merits. If you decide against this, you can instead choose one of two gunship builds which focus on either accuracy or firepower.
 
Recommended Modules

If you are selecting an AA build, you want the following choices to best optimize your firepower. This will provide extra range and extra DPS off of your AA guns. In addition, this build also adds to your agility, reducing your rudder shift time.

  • For your first slot, take Main Armaments Modification 1. Even if you're specializing for anti-aircraft firepower, you're still a Battleship and increasing your main battery survival should be near paramount. If you really hate detonations, you can alternatively take Magazine Modification 1. This will make the chances of it happening absolutely miniscule.

  • For your second slot, take AA Guns Modifaction 2 to increase your AA range by 20% if you want to be a flak-boat. Otherwise, you should be taking Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1. This will boost your secondary range and accuracy by 5% and your main battery range by 16% which is huge.

  • For your third slot, AA Guns Modification 3 is your next choice for an AA-ship. This will add an additional 25% to your AA power. If you're choosing to be a gunship, now you have the choice. If you want to go for rate of fire, take Main Battery Modification 3. If you want to go for accuracy, take Artillery Plotting Room Modification 2.

  • All of the choices in the fourth slot are pretty terrible. At least Damage Control System Modification 1 will add 2% to your torpedo damage reduction, so take that one.

  • You're again faced with a choice here for the fifth slot and each have their own merits. If you want to improve your rudder shift time, take Steering Gears Modification 2. If you would prefer to reduce the amount of damage you take from fires that are left to burn for their full duration, then Damage Control System Modification 2 is your best choice.

  • And lastly, for your sixth slot, between the two options, Concealment Modification 1 is the better option for all builds.

 Recommended Consumables

When it comes to premium consumables, it's easy just to splurge with the Missouri because of how many credits she tends to earn.  The only players that need really concern themselves with their inherent costs would be those without a premium account looking to focus primarily on Co-Op.  However, there are some that are just worth taking from a game play perspective.
 
The premium version of both the Damage Control Party and Repair Party are both very important for mitigating damage in a Battleship.  This reduces their reset timer considerably and it can (and will) save your ship on numerous occasions.  Of less importance is taking a premium version of the Radar consumable.  This will reduce the reset timer from three minutes down to two.  I find the Radar on the Missouri to be highly situational.  I went for a premium version, but to be honest, I seldom use it.

Recommended Captain Skills

Again, depending on whether or not you want to specialize as an anti-aircraft vessel or not will affect your Captain Skill choices.  Optimally, you'll want to build towards specializing her for concealment and firepower, not for anti-aircraft duties.
 
  •  From tier 1, Basic Fire Training is your best choice.  Basics of Survivability is a nice follow up after you've unlocked your 16th skill point.
  • From tier 2, Expert Marksman is best. 
  • At tier 3 you've got a choice.  Superintendent is nice for the extra charge of your Repair Party, but is only really worthwhile if you regularly find yourself going through all four charges that you have with the premium version of the consumable.  Alternatively, Vigilance can assist with spotting torpedoes early which is of more importance on the Missouri without access to a float plane.  Lastly, High Alert is handy for reducing the strain on your already taxed Damage Control Party.
  • At tier 4 this is where you will differ between AA and gunship builds.  For both builds, take Advanced Fire Training first.  AA builds should follow up with Manual Targeting for AA Armament to make CV lives miserable.
  • Lastly at tier 5, Concealment Expert is very handy for the Missouri.  It gives her the opportunity to finally use her long legs and redeploy as needs be -- or simply fade from a gunfight she doesn't want to participate in anymore.
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