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Premium Ship Review: Loyang

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The following is a review of Loyang, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. These stats are current as of November 16th, 2017.
The classic spy.

Quick Summary:   A C-Hull Benson-class lolibote with less hit points (for some reason), two torpedo options and access to an improved version of the Hydroacoustic Search consumable.
Cost:   Sold in bundles starting at $33.99 USD including a port slot.
Patch and Date Written: to, November 9th, 2017 to November 16th, 2017

Closest in-Game Contemporary
Benson, Tier 8 American Destroyer
Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique

Loyang is USS Benson which was transferred to the Republic of China Navy in 1954.  In game, she closely resembles a C-Hull Benson-class destroyer with some changes.

  • She has 800 less hit points.  Maybe it's harder for her to get cheeseburgers in Taiwan?
  • Loyang has access to Hydroacoustic Search.
  • Benson has 40m more main battery firing range than Loyang (seriously?)
  • Her optional Mark 31 torpedoes are 13 knots faster than Benson's upgraded Mark 15 Mod 3 torpedoes at the cost of 2.5km worth of range.

  • Armed with four USN 127mm/38s with their super-twirly turret rotation and ridiculous rate of fire.
  • Access to two different torpedo armaments.
  • Uses standard torpedoes, not the deep-water variants of the Pan Asian line.
  • Fast, agile, and very, very responsive.
  • Stealthy as all get-out, with a great surface detection range.
  • Decent AA firepower values for a destroyer.
  • Uses an American Smoke Generator, with longer emission time and longer lasting clouds.
  • Loyang's Hydroacoustic Search has a fearsome 5.4km range for peeping on enemy ships and lasts for a minute and a half.

  • Small hit point pool of 14,600hp.
  • Armed with four USN 127mm/38s with their horrible gun ballistics and anemic fire chance per shell.
  • Her first torpedo armament is very slow with anemic warheads
  • Her second torpedo armament is dangerously short ranged with painfully long reload.
  • Without Defensive Fire, her anti-aircraft firepower just doesn't cut it when you're cornered by a carrier.

 It's been a long time since I last looked at Loyang.  I first reviewed her when she was released, almost two full years ago and so much has changed with the game in that time.  We've seen a minor and a major skill overhaul, an upgrade module overhaul, the death of open water stealth-firing, changes to concealment in smoke and a direct buff to Loyang as well.  It's well worth looking at her again.

Looking Back...
Loyang was originally released back in patch 0.5.3 back in February of 2016.  With patch 0.6.6 in early June of 2017, Loyang received a series of buffs which upgraded the performance of her short-ranged torpedoes and the acquisition range of her Hydroacoustic Search consumable.
  • Acquisition Range of Torpedoes: from 2.52 to 3.75km
  • Acquisition Range of Ships: from 3.48 to 5.43km
  • Torpedo Range of "533 mm Mk15 mod. 0": from 6.0 to 6.7km

Same great C-Hull Benson-flavour, with only 14,600 hit points.
You are spoiled for choice with Loyang.   First off, you have the choice between two torpedo armaments.  The one that's quick and dangerously short ranged while the other one is safer, slower and marshmellow squishy when it strikes (seriously, it should make a squeaky-toy sound when it hits).

Next you have your choice of three different consumables for your third slot.
  • Her Damage Control Party and Engine Boost is standard for a lolibote.
  • Loyang uses an American Smoke GeneratorThis is improved over the standard version of other nations.  It has a longer emission time (28s versus 20s) and each cloud lasts longer too (124s vs 89s). 
  • Loyang's Defensive Fire is again standard for a destroyer.  This has a shorter active period than a cruiser's (30s instead of 40s) but it multiplies the damage of her 127mm and 40mm guns by four instead of three as it would for a large vessel.
  • But it's her Hydroacoustic Search consumable which really deserves special attention.  This is the equivalent of a German tier VII cruiser's version of the consumable in terms of range, though it has a shorter duration of 90 seconds.  It will spot ships at 5.43km and detect torpedoes at 3.75km.  Having Loyang near a contested cap circle is a nightmare for the enemy team as she'll easily light up all of the ships hiding in smoke for her allies to tear apart while she can remain safely hidden within her own smoke. 

    I dunno -- it seems kinda pervy to me -- like Loyang is some peeper hiding in the bushes with a pair of binoculars and streaming the whole thing on her smartphone.  The poor lolibotes have no idea she's about to spy on them when they're at their most vulnerable until it's too late.

Really, you should be taking Hydroacoustic Search.  This is what makes Loyang special... and a criminal.

  • Damage Control Party
  • Smoke Generator
  • Engine Boost or Defensive Fire or Hydroacoustic Search

Module Upgrades: Five slots, standard destroyer upgrades
Premium Camouflage: Standard Type 10. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy.
When equipping Loyang, be sure to take premium versions of all of your consumables.  Yes, this is expensive.  Yes, this is going to eat into your earnings.  Unless you're playing co-op against bots, pull the trigger here.  You'll need them. Loyang's upgrades are pretty standard fare for a destroyer.
  • Take Magazine Modification 1 in your first slot.
  • Next, equip Aiming Systems Modification 1.  This doesn't provide a real boost to your guns accuracy (the gains are minuscule) but it does provide a nice rotation speed increase to your torpedo armament which is nice.  Alternatively, you can take AA Guns Modification 2 here, but Loyang isn't known for her AA power.
  • In your third slot, take Propulsion Modification 1.
  • Fourth comes Propulsion Modification 2.
  • And finally, take Concealment System Modification 1 in your final slot.
Special Upgrades!
At the time of publication, Loyang has access to five Special Upgrades, but only one is worth considering.   Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1 changes the active period of her consumable from 90s to 108s.  This replaces Propulsion Modification 1.  If you do not have access to this consumable, you are missing out as it makes Loyang all the more dangerous to her enemies.  They are typically found within Supercontainers.

Before you buy this ship, it's worth checking your account inventory in port to see if you have earned one of these to immediately equip it to this ship.

Primary Battery: Four 127mm/38 rifles in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration.
Torpedo Armament: Ten tubes in 2x5 launchers straddling the rear funnel.  Choice of either Mark 15 Mod 0 or Mark 31 torpedoes.

Loyang's guns really emphasize how much you're going to need to outplay your opponents make this ship work.  Truth be told, she's under armed as far as gunnery is concerned with only four Mark 30 USN 127mm/38 rifles.  While these guns have excellent handling and can dispense almost eighteen rounds per minute, this won't be enough to keep up with other destroyers if it comes down to a slugging match.
Do these graphs look familiar?  They've been requisitioned from my USS Kidd review.  USN 127mm/38s Mark 30s are a common weapon used across many ships (including no less than four premium ships currently) so data in these graphs will get some mileage.  Loyang sits in the middle of the pack for damage output.  Her shell flight time precludes her from trying to engage destroyers at long range.  She cannot out-muscle enemy destroyers in gunnery duels, not without a plan. 
Fortunately for Loyang, her preferred hunting ground is cap circles where enemies often oblige you by staying close and making terrible mistakes.   Loyang isn't very tough and she doesn't hit especially hard.  But what's important is that she hits hard enough -- often enough to prompt them to use smoke.  Loyang's secret weapon is the combination of her Smoke Generator and her Hydroacoustic Search.  Regardless of which destroyer smokes up first, Loyang can activate her second consumable and continue to spot enemy destroyers.  The range of Loyang's Hydroacoustic Search will nearly span the diameter of many cap circles leaving enemy lolibotes no where to hide from this Peeping Penelope.  If they foolishly try and continue to contest the cap, Loyang has all of the time in the world to tear them apart.
This combination of an American Smoke Generator duration combined with what amounts to a German Hydroacoustic Search consumable allows Loyang to sit comfortably in smoke, unafraid of ambushes from torpedoes and cycle her guns to her heart's content.  This can really help her attempt to pad her damage stats by bombarding enemy battleships at medium ranges.  Given the low fire chance of her shells, this time is greatly appreciated.
Without her consumables to support her, Loyang's gunnery feels lackluster.  To this end, premium consumables help considerably -- providing an extra charge and reducing the reset timers of each.  When her consumables run dry, Loyang is easily outgunned by just about any destroyer she may encounter due to the combination of poor ballistics, only middling DPM and her own small hit point pool.
Loyang gives you the option of using one of two different torpedo armaments.  One is fast, short ranged and reasonably hard hitting.  The other is slow, long ranged and downright tender and nurturing when it comes to touching enemy ships with their tiny warheads.  One of these armaments has a ton of street cred -- I'll let you decide which.
Mark 31s.  Live fast.  Die young.  Leave a beautiful corpse.
Mark 15s.  Magical baby bunny kisses from the sea
Stats wise, the MANLY METAL DEATH FISH OF JUSTICE are no harder hitting than Benson's upgraded torpedoes.  They also share the same reload time with Benson's upgrade.  With the prevalence of Surveillance Radar, float plane aircraft and Hydroacoustic Search among Loyang's manly prey, making proper use of these torpedoes presents a very high risk and it's no wonder only the most brutal and cunning Loyang commanders elect to use this armament.  This is an armament suitable for giant-mans.
 Instead, most choose to wuss out and use the Happy Marshmellow Springtime Friendship torpedoes (yay!).  These are identical to Benson's stock (baby) torpedoes with a comfortable range but anemic warhead that hits for less than 10,000 damage per strike against large targets.  The flooding chance on these fish is worse by a large margin too.  While they're easier to land hits on target, the chance for doing catastrophic damage is greatly reduced.  What did you expect of a torpedo armament suitable only for tiny-baby-mans?
Flooding chance per torpedo hit against tier VIII Battleships with Damage Control Modification 1 installed.  These apply only to hits which strike their anti-torpedo bulges amidships.  Hits that strike unprotected ships (or the bow or stern) have a 89.3% chance of causing flooding for the Manly Metal Death Fish of Justice while the Happy Marshmellow Springtime Friendship Torpedoes (yay!) have a 60.8% chance.
Once you've unlocked a 10pt Commander, either one of these torpedo armaments may be launched from concealment.  The question really becomes how close do you dare get to the enemy?  There's no doubt that the stock Benson-torpedoes are much safer and easier to use, even if they are wanting in their damage totals.  The 'upgraded' torpedoes are just too short ranged to be effective outside of ambushes and suicide strikes.   You're just so very likely to be spotted before you get a chance to use the shorter-ranged fish which will often end in disaster.

Loyang has more of a dependence upon her torpedo armament to stack up impressive damage totals, however, it would be a mistake to think of her primarily as a torpedo-based destroyer like some of the Japanese ships. 
  • 2WaT69k.png  vs  yUJLwPN.png
  • USN 127mm/38s, we meet again.
  • Her guns by themselves won't let you win knife fights. You're going to have to play smart.
Deep Water Torpedoes
Loyang does not use the deep-water torpedoes of the Pan Asian Destroyer line.  Unlike her sister ships within the tech tree, she's capable of engaging all types of enemy ships with her fish instead of merely being limited to larger vessels.  The down side is that her Loyang's torpedoes are more easily spotted (and thus easier to avoid) than the other Pan Asian lolibotes.

A large portion of Loyang's effective damage is going to be done just like this -- sitting in smoke, cycling her guns as quickly as she can.  Her USN 127mm/38s are not the hardest hitting of guns, with terrible ballistics and horrible fire settings properties.  Given enough time, however, they can stack up some respectable damage totals, especially when supplemented by the torpedo style of your choice.

Hit Points: 14,600
Maximum Protection: 19 to 20mm
*Hsienyang is still in testing and her statistics many not be final.
There's not a whole lot of good news here.  Loyang has the second lowest hit point total among the tier VIII destroyers.   This puts her on lower footing than even some tier VI and VII destroyers, such as the German Ernst Gaede, the upcoming T-61 premium (still a work in progress) and Leberecht Maass along with the Soviet Leningrad-class destroyers.  This should further emphasize how important it is for Loyang to use every tool she has at her disposal to outplay enemy gunships rather than simply trying to trade fire with them.
It's almost an imperative that you invest three commander skill points into Survivability Expert to bump Loyang's totals up to a more competitive 17,400hp.
Fighting in and around cap points is exceedingly dangerous and not for the faint of heart.  Loyang is well equipped to bring vision into these control points and bully enemy destroyers out of them.  However, when radar-packed ships appear, even she needs to beat a hasty retreat.  Compared to the other gunship destroyers at tier VIII, Loyang is fragile and she doesn't stand up to such abuse very well at all.
Top Speed: 38.0knots
Turning Radius: 570m
Rudder Shift: 2.7s
Maximum Turn Rate: 8.5º per second.
In all respects, Loyang has the exact same agility as USS Benson, right down to their rate of turn.  She shares the title of being, hands down, the most agile destroyer at her tier.  This doesn't quite make her the most agile ship within her matchmaking spread, though.  She still pales compared to 9.2º/s rotation rate and the 38.5 knot speed of USS Sims.  Loyang should be used carefully to try and control engagement distances -- whether that is keeping out of the range of Surveillance Radar armed cruisers or sprinting the distance between itself and a newly raised Smoke Generator cloud  to light the occupant with your Hydroacoustic Search.
Rivals:  USS Kidd
When it comes to being tough, few tier VIII destroyers can boast the kind of durability that USS Kidd has.  For those who have been living under a rock, USS Kidd has access to a Repair Party consumable -- currently, she's the only tier VIII destroyer with this ability.  All told, this functionally gives her upwards of 30,724 hit points under perfect circumstances.  This isn't the only trick up Kidd's sleeve -- she also has excellent anti-aircraft firepower for a destroyer.  Unlike Loyang, she doesn't give up access to Defensive Fire for her gimmick, keeping her a credible threat and nuisance to enemy aircraft carriers.

Kidd risks supplanting Loyang's supremacy in the competitive scene.  At the time this is being written, we haven't seen another season of tier VIII Ranked Battles, but there's a lot of excitement to see how this new tier VIII destroyer will fare. 

In a straight up match, Loyang may be able to bully or even destroy Kidd in the short term provided she falls for Loyang's usual peek-a-boo tricks.  What Kidd wants to do is get a few licks in with every such encounter and then break contact.  In this manner, she can turn the fight into one of attrition -- one that she will win given enough swings.  Her five-gun firepower will out muscle the four of Loyang and her ability to recover from damage done is likely to overwhelm to peeper.

Like Loyang, Kidd is a difficult destroyer with which to be successful.  While Kidd trivializes dealing with enemy aircraft, her offensive firepower is lacking with only half of a torpedo armament. 

Concealment & Camouflage
Base Surface Detection Range: 7.38km
Air Detection Range: 3.60 km
Minimum Surface Detection Range: 5.80km
Main Battery Firing Range: 11.55km
Detection Range when Firing from Smoke: 2.7km
Surface Detection Rank within Tier: Tied for 5th with Benson & Kidd, sitting behind the Kagero-sisters.
Surface Detection Rank within Matchmaking: Tied for 6th out of 36 places.
Like USS Black, Loyang is a creepy pervert that likes to peek in on ships hiding behind their blinds.  Loyang didn't invest in the deluxe, top of the line binoculars the way Black did with her Surveillance Radar, opting instead for a handsome, German-engineered Hydroacoustic Search she bought on sale. However, unlike the lonely German destroyers, Loyang has the short ranged surface detection to get very close to her targets before she's spotted -- almost within the same range of her Hydoacoustic Search consumable which makes her nearly as good as Black at catching her prey unawares.
Fully specialized for stealth, Loyang's surface detection range is 5.8km compared to the 5.4km range of her hydro.  Loyang can sneak right up to point blank range against enemy destroyers, initiate a knife fight and when they smoke up, continue keeping them spotted for all of the world to see.  Unlike Black's victims, Loyang can keep said targets lit for up to one minute and 48 seconds with the right upgrades, which is insane.  She can even do this through her own smoke.  What's more, her Hydroacoustic Search has the dual function of lighting up torpedoes too, so the vain flailing by the enemy lolibote to try and cover herself with a spread of fish goes all for naught. 
This gets especially funny if you can pull it off against larger targets like Mikhail Kutuzov or British & Commonwealth Cruisers.  Just beware of enemy radar ships.
Loyang blends well into the crowd too, with a competitive surface detection that matches Black, Benson, Kidd and Fletcher.  This is bested only by a couple of Japanese Destroyers -- Kagero and Harekaze. She's an excellent agent to contest and push on capture points, putting pressure on enemy destroyers that have the misfortune of crossing her path. 
Her Hydroacoustic Search is best foiled by simply opening up the distance.  However, this very act often surrenders the cap circles her enemies had originally come to take in the first place.  The only reliable ways of pushing Loyang back when she takes root is with Surveillance Radar or another larger ship engaging her with Hydroacoustic Search.  Aircraft can pressure her too, but she'll simply hide in smoke until the control point is secured before sneaking away like the criminal voyeur she is.  Finally, opponents can try and charge her and close the distance -- hoping to weather the torrent of fire her 127mm/38s will spit out before they can close to 2.7km and dodge any MANLY or Friendship fish she might spit out to deter their reckless advance.
Loyang patrols around the border of a capture circle as the Reds begin to secure it.  She has spotted a smoke cloud at the far side of the capture point and readies torpedoes to try and snipe the enemy lolibote before giving away her presence, ready to move in to prevent them from capturing the area uncontested should her fish miss.
Anti-Aircraft Defense
AA Battery Calibers: 127mm / 40mm / 20mm
AA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 3.5km / 2.0km
AA DPS per Aura:  42.8 / 22.6 / 14.4
Loyang shares USS Black's vulnerability to aircraft.  Both ships sacrifice their Defensive Fire consumables to gain access to their detection consumables instead.  While Loyang could, in theory, forgo taking her Hydroacoustic Search to gain a strong measure of anti-aircraft defense, this would be surrendering one of her greatest advantages.  As a matter of course, players should rightly assume that Loyang's defenses against aircraft will be lackluster and that she shares the same vulnerabilities to aircraft predation as German and Japanese destroyers.
Just think of aircraft carriers as the neighbourhood watch, keeping an eye out for dirty peepers like yourself.
Rivals: HSF Harekaze
In terms of accessibly, Harekaze is a better premium destroyer than Loyang.

Using Harekaze is straightforward.  She's a torpedo destroyer with decent guns.  If your goal in your premium destroyer is to play it safe, stand off and dump fish into big-dumb-battleships, then Harekaze is hands-down preferable to Loyang in this regard.  She's capable of some gunnery action too, though this is often locked behind taking the proper commander skills to make these weapons sing.

Loyang is the better premium destroyer between the two, but there's a very high skill threshold to unlock her potential in this regard.  This doesn't preclude novice and casual players from having some success with her.  Her Happy Marshmellow Springtime Friendship torpedoes (yay!) are still capable of putting out decent numbers, but this play style would be better served with a destroyer that would reward such play more, like Harekaze.

Loyang's full potential is only unlocked in the thick of the action -- hunting down enemy destroyers and unmasking lurking cruisers.  This is a very dangerous game to play and it's not for the inexperienced.  Players lacking the situational awareness, map knowledge and tactical acuity to pull this off will not find Loyang a comfortable fit.  In this regard, Harekaze is more ubiquitous and better suited to the population at large than the Pan Asian destroyer.
Posting your Treasures on Instagram
Your first ten skill points are going to look like standard fodder and fare for a gunship destroyer.
  • Begin with Priority Target to know when it's time to disengage.  Don't let yourself get blindsided in a knife fight when a new challenger joins unexpectedly.
  • Next, the old destroyer standby, Last Stand is imperative to keep your engine and steering gears operational when they inevitably get knocked out.  Cause they will.  Often.
  • Take Survivability Expert (3pts) to nudge your hit points up to 17,400.  This will make you more of a credible threat in a knife fight when your Hydroacoustic Search consumable is down
  • And finally grab a nice big, roomy trench-coat & fedora in the form of Concealment Expert to complete your super-sneaky look.

Your next nine points are yours to spend as you see fit, with high value skills including Radio Location (4pts), Inertial Fuse for HE Shells (4pts), Superintendent* (3pts), Vigilance (3pts), Demolition Expert (3pts), Basic Fire Training (3pts), Torpedo Armament Expertise.(3pts) and Adrenaline Rush (2pts)

* A Not so Super Superintendent
Mouse, why aren't you recommending Superintendent for Loyang in the first 10 skill points?  Surely, having up to four charges of your oh-so powerful consumable combination would be best?

It's funny what happens when you sit down and do the math.  Loyang's Smoke Generator dispenses smoke for 28s and it takes 160s for the reset timer to expire.  This gives us 188s -- or a little over three minutes, per charge. Her Hydroacoustic Search is even worse, with upwards of a 108s active period and a 120s reset timer.  This adds up to 228s or almost four minutes between charges.

When you lay out the time between charges, you can calculate how long a match needs to run to make use of all four charges.
  • 00:00 - Both consumables used. (Base charge)
  • 03:08 - Smoke Generator is available and used again. (Base Charge)
  • 03:48 - Hydroacoustic Search is available and used again. (Base Charge)
  • 06:16 - Smoke Generator is available and used again. (Premium Charge)
  • 07:36 - Hydroacoustic Search is available and used again. (Premium Charge)
  • 09:24 - Smoke Generator is available and used again. (Superintendent Charge)
  • 11:24 - Hydroacoustic Search is available and used again. (Superintendent Charge)

Note, these times are assuming you're using them immediately when they become available.  Any lapse in the action and this delays even further.  This may not look too bad -- most games are going to last 12 to 15 minutes or so, but this isn't including the delay before the first time you're going to need to use your consumables.  It often takes as much as three to four minutes before you'll be prompted to use your first cloud of smoke. never mind reaching for Hydroacoustic Search.

Where Superintendent will come into play are hard carries -- where the game is coming right down to the wire after nearly 20 minutes of play and you're milking every last drop of performance out of your destroyer.  For most players, these situations are going to be especially rare and you really need to be realistic with how much you're willing to prepare for outside occurrences like this.  You will definitely get more mileage out of skills that you use more regularly.
You can rig your Loyang into a torpedo boat if you wish.  This will make her easier to play.  However, to get the most out of her, you're going to have to go destroyer hunting and that's a far riskier venture.
Overall Impressions
Skill Floor:  Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult
As far as American-style destroyers go, Loyang is forgiving.  At her simplest, Loyang can stand off at the edge of her Happy Marshmellow Springtime Friendship torpedo (yay!) range and just lob fish and hope to score a few hits.  This is far enough away that she can turn and run from radar armed vessels and her hydro will also keep her mostly safe when she does have to fight other destroyers.  Your team mates may curse the wasted potential of this ship, but it will get the job done.
Skill Ceiling:  Low / Moderate / High / Extreme
Loyang is well loved by players with an eye on the more competitive meta.  As far as Randoms go, she's arguably the most powerful of the tier VIII destroyers, contending only with the USS Kidd for primacy.  In the hands of an expert, she can control vision, bully capture points, dig out cruisers and destroyers hiding in smoke and still manage to put out reasonable levels of damage herself.  Her only real weaknesses are radar-equipped cruisers, aircraft and being caught between Smoke Generator resets by more powerful gunships.
Mouse's Summary:
  • I spy with my hydro-eye...
  • Does anyone actually use the MANLY METAL DEATH FISH OF JUSTICE?
  • I mean, I totally see why people don't.  I'd want to give people seaborne magical baby bunny kisses too.

Loyang is HMS Belfast in lolibote form.

I exaggerate, but only a little.   Loyang is a trapbote in the same vein as the infamous British premium.  She forces enemy players to re-evaluate the manner in which they normally play.  Rushing headlong into a cap -- already a risky venture, becomes downright suicidal if Loyang is present.  A team that exploits the advantages Loyang can setup is well placed to take an early lead; especially if they can uncover an enemy unfamiliar with the threat Loyang presents.  I cannot stress this enough:  The ability to dominate the vision game early on and catch ships unaware is overpowered.
Loyang surrenders two things to pull this off:  hitting power and defense.  Though she's built and billed as an American-based ship, she cannot fend off enemy aircraft.  She also sits with a hit point deficit compared to every other gunship at tier VIII.  What's more, having only four guns to the standard five puts her on the back foot when it comes to knife fighting.  Her torpedoes are similarly cropped, with either short-ranged or anemic fish (player's choice).  Thus, while Loyang is still capable of stacking the hurt, she doesn't hit as hard and she cannot last as long in a straight up fight. 
Wargaming would call this balance.  Personally, I'm not sure if they pushed her back far enough.  The only thing that keeps me from condemning her outright as overpowered comes from the not-unsubstantiated rumours that the Pan Asian destroyer line will have access to the Surveillance Radar consumable at high tiers, so we may be about to see a proliferation of this meta.
Loyang is one of the best destroyers at her tier, bar none.  In the hands of a purple player, she's an absolute nightmare to face for the enemy team.  I suppose the only saving grace is that while she's gentle enough for a casual player to score some damage and maybe secure a cap, she's not so forgiving with mistakes.  Knife fighting in capture points is a recipe for disaster for inexperienced players and it will just get you sent back to the port in a hurry if you try and pull it off.  This speaks a lot to the wasted potential of this destroyer in the 'wrong' hands (I hate to use that term).  There's just a vast gulf between what she can do and what she will do in a given match depending upon who is using her.
Effectively, this means that your mileage with Loyang will vary considerably -- almost as much as with USS Kidd.  I do believe Loyang is the easier to use destroyer between the two of them.  You can stand off, build her to drop baby bunny kisses every 97 seconds and hope to get lucky with stacking floods.  This really makes her more accessible and perhaps better than Kidd overall as a premium for the community because of this ease of use.   However, I caution players that in this lower-skill threshold, Loyang isn't rewarding.  You would be better served buying yourself a Harekaze instead if this is the style of play you want to espouse.
 So, are you hungry for a destroyer that will make you a better player? Loyang is a powerful ship that will challenge you and reward you for patience as well as aggressive plays -- just don't think that it will necessarily be easy.
(Economic) Rivals: Anshan
If you're looking for a trainer for the Pan Asian destroyer line, why should you get Loyang when you could get Anshan instead? 

Anshan is a dream premium, to be sure.  She's a Gnevny-class destroyer but without the Gnenvy-class weakness of short ranged torpedoes.  The 8km range on her fish is perfectly serviceable, giving this lolibote a wonderful bit of balance between her guns and torpedo armaments.  Within her own tier, she's a perfectly competitive ship, well balanced against her peers.  The real icing on the cake for those looking to use her as a trainer is her premium camouflage bonus.

Anshan's premium camouflage earns double the free experience gains on top of the usual premium camouflage bonuses.  This makes her better suited for use as a trainer than Loyang -- allowing you to better amass free experience for use of unlocking modules to accelerate progression through the tech tree.  Loyang can't really compete this way short of earning more base experience grace of her higher tier.  However, the gains between the tier disparity aren't so much that this will undo Anshan's free experience bonus.

Where Loyang stands above Anshan is her ubiquity in other game modes.  Loyang, at tier VIII, is better positioned for the competitive arenas.  For players looking to graduate towards more aggressive, high skilled play, Loyang is the premium to choose.  If you are looking to find a good trainer for the Pan Asian line and you've no interest in competitive battles, Anshan is the better purchase.   She's less expensive and the free experience gains will serve you well.

Would I Recommend?
Loyang has had new life breathed into her import with the release of the Pan Asian destroyers.  She can now assist with training up commanders and assisting the transfer of captains from one ship to the next.

  • PVE Battles
    How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots?
Very yes.  Bots are dumb.  Loyang has sufficient hitting power to punish them and their inevitable headlong charge.  The combination of her Smoke Generator and her Hydroacoustic Search will allow her to let the bots get in close before shoving torpedoes up their nose.  In this manner she can be quite profitable.  Just don't go ham on buying premium consumables -- it will eat into your profits.
  • Random Battle Grinding:
    This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements.
Again, very  yes.  Loyang is arguably the best premium tier VIII destroyer in the game when it comes to ruling the roost in Random Battles.  Her combination of smoke, torpedoes, hydro and stealth is almost Belfast-worthy (almost). 
  • For Competitive Gaming:
    Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding.
Yes with a but.  American-style destroyers with their good manoeuvrability, concealment and super-long smoke time have always been highly sought after in competitive environments.  The addition of USS Kidd, however, may have supplanted Loyang here.  While still an excellent choice, if enemy aircraft carriers are prevalent then Kidd becomes more advantageous, if only just.
  • For Collectors:
    If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you.

She's a destroyer that was built in steel.  In USN service, she earned four battle stars.  Her service with Taiwan appears to have been largely uneventful.  I dunno, I could take it or leave it.

  • For Fun Factor:
    Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play?

If I say 'yes', does this brand me as a lewd?

  • What's the Final Verdict?
    How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage - Meh - Gud - Overpowered?
GARBAGE - Grossly uncompetitive and badly in need of buffs.
Mehbote - Average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn't need buffs to be viable, but certainly not advantageous.
Gudbote - A strong ship that has obvious competitive strengths and unique features that make it very appealing.
OVERPOWERED - A ship with very clear advantages over all of its competitors and unbalancing the game with its inclusion.
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