Hello everyone. This is my first time posting on these forums, as I usually don't do much forum posting in general. But after trying the new subs test, I felt the need to speak my thoughts about it. I couldn't find a feedback thread at the time of posting this, so I put it here. I'll be happy to post this to any feedback thread.
I'm even going to try and offer some balancing solutions to the live server test version that, in my opinion, would have been better than what they came up with for this test.
I have played many ww2 naval games that feature subs in one form or another, including a few that are very similar in format to WoWs. My first time trying WOWs subs was during the test last year on the live server in the "submarines" game mode. I tried this new test immediately to see if any improvements had been made, as up until the latest bit of info, I was looking forward to trying them out again.
During the live server test, the WoWs implementation of subs was the best I had seen in a game outside of an actual subsim. It wasn't perfect, definitely needed some tweaks, but overall it was a good setup. It made me excited to see what the finished version would be like, and offered a new and interesting way to play.
But this version... this new test version is by far one of, if not the worst, implementation of subs I have ever seen. I feel as though every single thing they got right the last time around over any other similar game was removed entirely, and instead, they took every bad idea ever other similar game has ever done and made it worse. All in the name of "Balancing" for the people who complained last time around.
Fighting subs in surface ships feels more like you're fighting a PT boat that can hide for 2-3 mins(that about all the time you get underwater thanks to the 'detection drains dive time' mechanic). Even in a BB I rapidly stopped caring if they were even around. They were the least threatening opponent.
As a sub, I felt as though a better ship to have would have been a liberty cargo ship. At least they're more useful.
Some of what they got right/wrong, as far as my opinion goes, are :
- Giving the big ships the depth charge planes was a good idea. The "Ping warnings" for surface ships was also a good idea. Giving the subs surface guns was a good idea (though they should be player controlled not secondaries).
- Removing control of sub depth was a bad idea. The last version was better gameplay (though I like the addition of the 'periscope depth' setting). The "Dive time" that gets used up by being detected and cant be refilled is one of the worst ideas I've ever heard. There are much better ways to balance/influence surface vs underwater time, I'll even list a few later.
Starting with the live server version, these are just a few ideas off the top of my head for balancing subs, that I think would have been better options. You can tell me if you agree or not.
Underwater/Surface time :
Make subs realistically slow when underwater. 8-10 knots at flank. That in itself will force subs to the surface for positioning.
Battery use underwater. Traveling faster than 1/4 speed will drain it faster and faster. When empty, you can't go faster than 1/4 speed and can't fire homing pings for the acoustic tracking. Surface to recharge it (snorkel equipped subs could do this at periscope depth with a trade off of higher detection). This would make doing lots of high speed underwater maneuvering due to combat/detection essentially put the sub out of the fight if it doesn't surface to recharge.
Depth charging a sub could have a chance at forcing the sub to the surface because of major flooding (the crew would blow the ballast to avoid sinking).
While real WW2 subs did have acoustic homing torpedoes, they were definitely not their primary weapon. Also they homed in on engine noise, not sonar pings. If kept in game as is, they should be a separate weapon type (like HE/AP gun ammo) that are of limited quantity and/or mostly relegated to higher tier (late war) subs.
The main weapon of subs should be wake-less electric torpedoes, that fire just like any other torpedo (possible exception for sub vs sub combat), except they are nearly impossible to detect except by hydro search.
Sub torpedoes should only be able to be fired from the surface and shallow depths (subs had a depth limit for firing IRL which could be used a basis).
Subs on the surface should have a smaller detection range than destroyers, with some very small and some larger (based on sub size). Radar and Hydro search should be able to pick up a surface sub. They're visibility on the surface would be much the same as the normal surface ship spotting.
Subs at periscope depth should be nearly undetectable unless close enough for the periscope to be spotted, or hydro/radar search is used (the exception to this is aircraft. aircraft are very good at spotting periscope depth subs). They should have slightly worse spotting capability than on the surface (perhaps limit it to the angle the player is looking through the scope)
Fully submerged subs should be undetectable to anything but Destroyers and hydro search (exception for sub hunting specific ships). They should not see any ship that they cannot spot themselves. They're spotting range underwater should be base on how good their hydrophone/Hydro operator is (possible use for commander skill there) with hydro search capable subs seeing farther than normal.
ASW Gameplay :
Depth charges on Surface ships should have a shallow/deep setting. Pick the right one for the target. Subs could climb into a shallow pattern, or dive into a deep pattern by mistake (or by the skill of the ASW ship).
Primary ASW ships should be Destroyers (with possible ASW specific variants).
Secondary ASW ships should be Carriers. CVs should get a 4th squad to launch, based on the British CV level bomber mechanic, armed with depth charges.
All CA/BB spotter/fighter squads should be armed with depth charges (they often were), and should a sub be detected by one it would make a single run on it. The ability for BBs and CAs to call in depth charge runs should be kept available to them.
Sub Evasion Gameplay :
Subs should have full control over their depth, like in the live server test. Subs should have a surface level, Periscope level, then full control down to 90m. Past 90m would require a consumable and cause damage over time past a certain depth (based on sub). Below 90 and at 1/4 speed, a sub should be 100% undetectable, but if they don't successfully escape the enemy's detection range before returning to 90m they will be re-aquired. This would give players a bit of a realistic sub hunt/escape feel.
These are just a few examples off the top of my head. I may have a few more if I think about it for a bit, but this is my initial thoughts. I had been very excited about subs, especially after the live server test. Now I'm struggling to find anything good/fun about it.
I would like to hear everyone's opinion on this as well as your thoughts on the new sub test. Maybe hear some of your suggestions for gameplay as well. Hopefully we can influence the design process of the final sub gameplay. Try to push it back in a good/fun direction for all involved.