Caveat: I'm not here to crap on the idea, I'm working through all this on the assumption that some form of subs will end up in the live server it's just what will they look like and how to adjust them. I'm also basing a lot of this around an idea of how it would fit into a normal game mode because PTS and games with AI aren't really representative of how it'll go live.
So I've been playing a stack on PTS both as Subs and as DD/CLs.
The whole Subs/ASW thing looks amazing when you play it. Graphically I think only the Depth Charges (DCs) look underwater could use some work.
For information on how the subs currently work: Submarines: How to play
Basic Subs info:
- KM – U-69. Hydro and 6.6km torps that hit for 15k @ 58 knots
- USN – Cachalot. Speed Boost and 10.5km torps that hit for 10k @ 64 knots.
- SN – S-1. Heal and 8.7km torps that hit for 9k @ 62 knots
Personally I've been having a blast with the T-61 and Perth for ASW and doing ok with Cacha and S-1 for Subs (although I've played U-69 more trying to get her to work).
For ASW you really need someone who's got Hydro, is brawl-ish and mobile. For Subs I found the torpedo range on U-69 to just not be good enough with the current team line-ups. I was constantly finding my torpedoes to miss my target by under 1km simply because of range.
I currently think there are a stack of minor changes but three main challenges (bolded) with the idea moving forward:
- Submarines spend a LOT of time under water and can theoretically do it indefinitely.
- For effective ASW to be conducted, you have to be within 1km at the time of dropping DCs.
- Planes are a key part of ASW and as far as I can tell, they don't do anything in game atm.
- Damage potential on Subs is theoretically high but this is only really the case when ships are static/predictable (ie BBs).
- The moment Subs are engaged in Sub v Sub combat, it's often this endless dance in Limbo, like two old-timers facing off for fisticuffs.
- Subs ignoring targets armour with the double-ping hits could be an issue as they're already strong vs BBs anyways.
There's a few core balance 'meters' or sliding scales.
- ASW effectiveness v Subs time underwater
- ASW effectiveness v ability to spot submerged Subs
At the outset, I'd give DCs to almost all ships except BBs. The worse the detection of the ship, the less likely they are to be able to use them anyways so then it becomes punishment for a Submarine getting 'caught out'.
At the moment, subs can spend an indefinite amount of time underwater, all they need to do is slow down to 1/4 to recharge batteries. I get why this is a thing, being submerged is kind of Submarines 'thing' but the thing is that by doing so; Submarines are detached from the rest of the ships apart from DCs.
In this regard Subs either need to have submerged time be a 'oh shit' type button, either for them or for their victim (so an escape or ambush thing) or ASW needs to be easier to get them.
The core issue here is reach, how can ships reach Submarines while the Submarines can reach them. In the case of Cachalot, you can just safely sit back all day missing torpedoes at 10km, no one will ever get you but you won't really influence the battle.
Submarines are currently most effective at 5-8km.
So my suggestion for the ASW v Subs being submerged challenge is for DCs to be able to be launched upto 5km away.
You can do this a variety of ways depending on how you want the ASW role to work. Only DDs can do it, only CLs can do it, etc. I'd still have CAs having depth charges, just less range – they're easy to spot anyways.
This suggestion also mitigates some of the challenges with the ability to spot subs at further distances. You can approximate an area where subs are suspected to be and launch your DCs there.
Obviously the balancing factor would be launched DC reload/number but that's an easy thing to balance after you get range right.
As for planes… Plane spotting in general is currently something that doesn't have consistency at the moment and I'm not going to get caught into the CV-space with regards to balance but just know that I think spotting is one area CVs still need work. But for planes their interaction with Subs… …
IMO planes should spot subs for the owner of the planes, minimap reveal sub for allies.
This would allow allies situational awareness of where the sub is and with DC launchers, some ability to counter it but it's basically a skill-shot.
The endless sub v sub brawl I think will improve with time and as people get better but I also think it should be discouraged in some ways. I don't think that Sub v Sub combat can be a balanced and quick enough deal without breaking the class vs others because it would require more agile torpedoes.
Honestly the only other thing that MAY be an issue is ignoring targets armour with torpedoes. I can see this being a problem because the natural prey of the Subs are BBs and they are already easy targets with semi-guided torpedoes. This will also more be an issue the greater the torpedo ranges, if they go down that avenue (I expect them to).
What are your thoughts folks?
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© Post "PTS 0.9.4 Honest thoughts on Subs and theorycrafting the way forward" for game World of Warships.
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