I've only experienced one "prime time" session on this submarine iteration so far. These are my thoughts so far with one day play time and I plan to update this as I continue to test. None the less here are my thoughts (in no specific order but I will do my best to format it nicely)
Feedback: Submarines are better but still require minor tweaking, and there are also some quality of life changes/desires that I hope are taken into consideration.
Submarine Thoughts and Desires:
Thought: Submarine underwater visuals are pleasing
Desire: Keep it the same
Thought: The sonar ping is also pleasing to the eye and fun to use when searching for enemy submarines
Desire: Keep it the same
Thought: The torp laser is nice to get a general idea of where the torps will go when launched
Desire: Keep the laser indicator present when in periscope view underwater so we have a better idea of the direction our torpedoes will launch
Feedback: When trying to attack enemy ships underwater, attempting to maneuver the submarine hull to launch torpedoes at a better angle often results in me over or under launching the torpedoes in relation to the target. Even with homing, it makes it tricky to land proper hits. I would like to see that underwater torpedo laser brought over to the zoomed in camera view as well to help better gauge the torpedo launch angles.
Thought: Sub vs Sub warfare is tedious and at times frustrating when you can't go undetected or kill the enemy submarine
Desire 1: Allow submarines to go completely undetected at a range of values (ex: 30m-50m, 40m-50m, (or when max depth 50m-80m is used)) so submarines have some form of escape. In exchange allow it so submarines cannot detect friendly or enemy submarines and ships at this depth. Also disable all ability to shoot torpedoes at this depth so it is made more clear that this depth is used only for moving around undetected/escaping.
Desire 2: Another option would be to allow a submarine to go completely undetected from the depth of 30m-50m and 50m-80m, when moving at 1/4 speed or lower
Feedback for both desires: It is frustrating when once detected via proximity by enemy sub or surface ship, it is impossible to go undetected/escape. The enemy submarine will just follow you around trying to torp you and it allows the enemy to have a constant location to drop depth charges. For once, it feels like submarines have no counterplay in this scenario. It also results in little damage gained for either side and results in mostly wasting time.
Thought: Submarine camera between 6m-10m is annoying when trying to see the surface and get information
Desire: Please add a toggle button (like AA on/off) that we can bind, which function is to raise a periscope and and allow the zoomed in camera view to be as if we were on the surface. This would only be available to use between the depth of 6m-10m
Feedback: The camera view when between 6m-10m is annoying because the screen is mainly underwater while so close to the surface. A periscope option would be nice for both immersion and information gathering (since I would be able to see the surface again)
Thought: The submarine dive/ascend times are nice but still may need a little tweaking
Desire: Play with the values to see if any adjustments can be made.
Feedback: I know each nation has different dive/ascend times but in conjunction with the camera view issue above at 6m-10m, sometimes it feels too slow just to go up or down a few meters, in certain scenarios. I understand this was changed due to the previous invulnerability exploit and I do admit that the current dive times feel nice and more, "realistic", for lack of a better word, but sometimes its frustrating when trying to move forward with an attack at full speed and not being able to clearly see.
Thought: Submarines cant escape planes that follow you on the surface when the CV is dead and the planes are last alive
Desire: Enable the use of the deck gun as secondaries and AA
Feedback: When trying to traverse the surface level and there is an dead CV but still a player controlling the last of the planes, it results in them keeping you permanently spotted with no ability to shoot them down. The use of a deck gun would at least allow us to shoot down the planes and traverse on the surface at full speed to cover more ground when the need to move across the map arises. It also helps encourage submarines to go to the surface or use the surface level more often. Lastly, it would help if used as secondaries to shorten the prolonged sub verse sub battle when only two subs are left alive.
Thoughts: Submarine gameplay feels kind of slow, sometimes
Desire: I'm honestly not sure the solution is. Limit the amounts of DDs to two per match and one sub per match? Make the maps bigger and add more than twelve per side? More consistency for submarines in general?
Feedback: Submarines feel like they are often all or nothing right now. Perhaps this is due to my lack of experience and playtime in this test sessions iteration but most games I either do good damage or no damage, often wasting time chasing/being chased by other submarines. I'm not sure what the solution to this is and this thought may just be more of a "me" problem so I will leave this as a debatable topic depending on point of view.
Feedback 2: Throughout testing different strategies often dictate how the match will feel. Play aggressive in subs and get some damage but often result in sub vs sub combat while being infinitely spotted. Playing aggressive resulted in shorter lives with me killing multiple subs until the enemy team was able to suppress and kill me with depth charges. Likewise, playing passive and mainly taking longer range shots while doing some recon often resulted in lower damage but longer life. I still feel there is something that could be better here but I still cannot provide what may be the solution to this issue.
Thought: This is a touchy thought but in some cases I think citadels do too much damage
Desire: Adjust citadel damage in tier 6 to be lower and increase it like normal as we get to tier 8 and finally 10.
Feedback: Even playing as a submarine and surface ship, some citadel damages feel too high. This can obviously be tweaked whenever if overperforming but as a surface ship, trying to shoot other surface ships often distracts one and leads to taking massive damage. Especially when the ping is masked by a fire. (We will discuss this below) As a submarine it feels too powerful (for me at least) given the tier we are testing in. Again this is debatable depending on the view so I will leave it as a "me" problem.
Thought: Submarine mechanics need a better more through explanation with various examples
Desire: Better in game examples or tutorials of all the submarine mechanics not fully explained well.
Feedback: The controls for submarines are fine but some other areas need better explaining. An example of this is how the submarine vs submarine detection works. Another is the question of, do we get detected when an enemy submarine or ship is in range and we use sonar? There just isn't the clarity to fully understand and realize the mechanics in place to utilize submarines to the best of their abilities. Again, it could just be a "me" problem depending on point of view.
Surface Ships Thoughts and Desires:
Thought: The way the submarine mechanic works, it is nearly impossible to shoot/damage a submarine that is above 10m since I dont know where to aim
Desire: Add a Green oval on the ocean above the enemy submarine to give the player a better indication of where the submarine hull is when it is not visible on the surface but at "surface level" (above 10m)
Feedback: Surface ships have no point of reference when shooting shells at a "surface level" submarine since the hull is still below the ocean. A green oval like the dive bomber reticle but above the enemy submarine would help in targeting enemy submarines with surface ships guns
Thought: It would be nice to have a mini map range circle for the max range we can use depth charge planes out to
Desire: Allow surface ships to see the max range of the Depth Charge planes to they know when the earliest range they can launch them to put pressure on the enemy submarine is.
Feedback: As a BB it was annoying to figure out what the range of the depth charge plane was for the first few games.
Thought: Do PBY depth charge planes spot un-detected surface ships?
Desire: Find out if this works
Feedback: As a DD hunting subs in my smoke and also CLs hunting DDs, I cannot tell if I was spotted by players using the Depth Charge planes as infinite spotting planes. If this is the case PBY depth charge planes should not be able to spot.
Thought: When my ship has multiple fires and I am trying to also shoot an enemy surface ship, the double pin on my hull gets obstructed by the flames animation and my ship hull in general
Desire: A few new UI indicators like "Hydro", "Radar", "CV Spotted", etc. for all surface ships. These will say, "Submarine Located/Spotted", "Submarine Torpedoes Locked", and "Citadel Vulnerable". They wording can be changed but the concept is what matters. These warnings can even have a 5s-10s window before disappearing.
Feedback: When a ship is on fire and the player is focusing on shooting enemy ships, sometimes the submarine's highlighted ping section becomes washed out and hard to notice. Adding these UI indicators with color coating can help the player still maintain better situational awareness. The wording can be changed but if a submarine lock appears in yellow and a citadel lock appears in red, it is still up to the player to maintain awareness but doesn't rely on strictly hull visuals. Also if there is a timer for the warnings, it helps balance player awareness with the submarines opportunity.
Feedback 2: There still needs to be additional UI indicators and even sounds such as a sonar ping hitting the hull or something. In multiple of my matches, I have been pinged once or twice but based on my camera view of the other side of the ship, I could not see the ping and thus wasn't aware I was even being targeted.
Other Thoughts and Side notes
None so far, but time will tell
Thought: Submarines are still fun and tricky to master. While I would like to see the tweaks above implemented, this is still the best test iteration out of the bunch (my opinion of course).
Thought 2: I still enjoy submarines but my opinions listed above still stand for the most point. In my continuation of test I often found myself having fun but still coming back to the same conclusions listed above.
Feedback: Overall while I still continue testing, I just wanted to highlight that the changes made so far have been awesome and while some areas could use tweaking, the iteration we have now has been fun. The somewhat improved UI is nice. The guiding path for torps is nice. The marker for your CV when using planes is a good touch. I look forward to seeing where this goes in the future. The art department has also knocked it out of the park with the submarine models and underwater environment.
To Be Continued...