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  1. Introduction In the aftermath of Operation Grief, I wanted to make some observations about the current state of Submarines. My test was limited to T6-T8 German Submarines. The German line is overall superior to the USN line, so it makes more sense to use it in order to test the full potential of Submarines, the USN in general will practice a more standoff-ish stance, inevitably sacrificing some match influence. I don't see the point in playing T10 Submarines as they represent a straight exponential increase in power and performance when compared to T8, whatever weakness T8 has, it becomes lessened for T10. Whatever strength T8 has, it becomes amplified for T10. It is a pretty straight power progression that adds only positives to all the performance metrics. What that said, let's proceed with some preliminary observations. First Impressions The first aspect that called my attention about this last version of Submarines was the cumulative nerfs applied to standard torpedoes that reduced them to being useful only for point blank shotgun attacks, the reduced speed coupled with the increased visibility make them very easy to dodge when used as conventional torpedoes thus largely ineffective against most targets/players able to apply the most basic WASD. This by necessity represented a reversion to using Homing torpedoes as main armament for most situations, even when using them as dumbfire weapons they are more reliable than the standard torps. The second and more important aspect I noticed is Submarine play became much safer, there are barely any significant threats to Submarines unless they push recklessly (which is a very common mistake for mid tier Submarines). WG has managed to provide Submarines the safest environment possible, there's very little to be worried about when playing Submarines and all direct threats are consequences of the actions/risks taken by the Submarine. For all practical effects Submarines had been given the ability to stealth fire anytime, everywhere. This ability coupled with the diminished threat in the environment makes unequivocally this version of Submarines the strongest, most resilient version I remember playing, and this is what's going to be released... Occupational Hazards I honestly felt the Workplace Security division made a case study of Submarines and "corrected" all the potential threatening and dangerous situations a Submarine could face in their normal playing. Starting from the most threatening situation of all, a close encounter with an enemy Submarine. This was removed in the most extreme and ridiculous way, I don't feel like going deeper in this particular nonsense.The Airstrike threat has been also reduced and will be further and unnecessarily reduced in the next patch, as it is, Airstrike damage represented at most a 20-15% of all the damage I accrued while playing Submarines. Airstrikes can be easily avoided as long as you operate at Surface, which provides you enough mobility to avoid the attacks, which are already heavily hindered by RNG. Basically you are free to ping as much as you want without fearing any significant retaliation. I'm fairly sure the amount of damage I received by "blind" Airstrikes was zero. Radar became for all practical purposes a non factor as you'll be able to dive down to periscope as fast as you render, minimizing all potential incoming dangers. Hydro is fairly avoidable, if you get caught it was very likely because you overextended. Planes are of course also nothing more than annoyance as you have ample time to dive before it reaches your position. In short, there's very little to fear and even less a threat of detection. There's simply no reliable tool in game to detect you if you don't want to be detected outside the Submarine's own Hydro, which would be great if it wouldn't be paired with a 6 minutes initial delay and the ridiculous null proxy spotting. All this adds up to Submarines being for all practical purposes, impossible to kill during the first half of the match unless they misplay. All the while they maintain full offensive capabilities. But it gets better, as the match progresses and fewer units remain, Submarines get even more space to play and even less threats to stop them. This is only partially balanced IF the enemy still have DDs capable to intercept the and hunt the Submarine, which can be done much comfortably and safely in late match situations. A late match CV can also make the decision to focus on keeping the Submarine located and spotted, but it will be sacrificing all other influence and damage potential. If the enemy has no DDs or Submarines able to threat you, you'll have free reign to rule the match virtually unopposed. I add a video example of late match Submarine domination. Offensive Potential I honestly don't see many changes in this area other than the derived ease of operation due to the reduces threat level. The homing torps are still unreliable against experienced players, but for those there's the recourse on shotgun attacks which basically negate all defensive input outside of "safe positioning". In general terms a target can´t be successfully shotgunned when retreating, so it is very difficult to force damage upon a kiting target. This of course is not a big issue as if the target retreats you already gained control of the area, there lies the match impact of Submarines beyond the "brute damage dealing". A Submarine can "zone out" the enemy very effectively from its area of Operation, without giving the enemy very little chance of doing something about it... the choices usually are leave or die. The ability to recharge Dive time seriously compromised a lot of long term counterplay options against Submarines for regular ships. IMO, the recharge ability was a very powerful buff and hasn't been really balanced by improved detection tools, this provides late match Submarines a very clear advantage, giving them a greater comparative advantage the longer the match last as they are able to regenerate their main offensive and defensive "resource". This is also apparent in the video posted above. The One Time I was actually countered in a Submarine During the matches played, I was sunk 4 times in 11 matches. 3 times I was sunk by DD depth charges and 1 time by gunfire. Of those 4 deaths, 2 can be directly tied to mistakes that led me to positions where I was vulnerable to be attacked by DDs (in short, I derped), another death was a voluntary risk taken on an already decided match, I remained at surface to keep spotting the enemy and died to gunfire... I honestly didn't cared at that point so this shouldn't account as a "real" death but nonetheless here it is. This leaves the one and only real time I was effectively countered by the enemy, this required the undivided attention of the enemy CV and the intervention of non other than a British DD (as we know, the best ASW there is in game). I was playing U-190 (T8), the enemy CV (a T6 German) focused on keeping me spotted the entire match... I've never seen that level of dedication to the task on a CV player before, he never spent more than a minute away from me, keeping tabs on my location and obviously blocking my offensive displacements. In retrospective it was probably the smartest thing for him to do in that situation, he basically gave up most of his T6 CV influence in order to negate my T8 Submarine influence, it kinda worked out because we very clearly lost that match. I was left wondering if I was Stat sniped or something, do Sub stats show up in MMM?... Anyway, my final demise came in the form of the enemy DD sneaking on me while I was hiding from planes, the first sign was being Hydro detected and at that point there was no way out, I surfaced to try to shotgun the DD but I my angle was really bad and could turn in time, I launched an ill aimed volley that was easily avoided (mid tier DDs are quite small and nimble) and was sunk at surface by a combination of gunfire and DCs. So in order to properly counter me it was required the intervention of 2 enemy units over a considerable amount of time, one of them being none other than the enemy CV. Honestly a part of me feels great about it, the best counter for Subs are (Escort) Carriers and Destroyers working together!!! That makes my history driven self giggle like a child eating candy... but otoh, in game terms it represents 2 very influential enemy units focusing on screwing a single Submarine. I leave the open discussion if it is "fair" or not. The Mechanical Problem I will divide the mechanical problems into 3 main categories to talk a bit about them. Detection: This is the first and most critical issue as the lack of detection tools limit any chance of reciprocal interaction with Submarines. With the emasculation of Submarine proxy detection, there's no in game mechanic able to provide a reliable form of enforcing detection on a Submarine that doesn't want to be detected. Radar, Hydro and Planes can be easily avoided or nulled by submerging, there's no other detection tool and none that is able to enforce detection. All the weight of detection falls upon Submarines giving themselves up either by misplay or by ping usage. The restoration of the ping tracer, while useful to opening Submarines to counterbattery fire, it is clearly limited if the Sub avoids using pings and insufficient as a detection tool as it is again totally dependent on the Submarine player. There's no active detection tool (other than the gaggled Submarine Hydro) that allows to enforce detection on a Submarine, this is a critical problem if there's any expectation on having healthy PvP interactions, this need to be solved and the options are evident: Restore Submarine proxy detection and provide sellected ship lines with a consumable equivalent to the Submarine Hydro (with more limited action time). Vision: This second aspect has been lingering for quite some time now. Allowing Submarines to receive team spotting information when underwater is a source for exploits and magnifies other issues by providing Subs with uncanny situational awareness while they remain invisible, this isn't a healthy asymmetry... this should be considered an exploit. It isn't healthy for a PvP interaction when one side is able to attack the other at will from a possition of both invulnerability and invisibility. The solution is also evident: Restore Submarine proxy detection and restore the Original Max Depth vision rules... if the Submarine is invisible, the Submarine is blind. Dive Mechanics: It is baffling that after all this time, dolphining/porpoising is still a thing. The main problem with shotgun attacks is the impunity with which they may be executed, you can easily escape retaliation because vertical displacement can be reversed almost instantly. This also combines to the problem of being able to resubmarge with only a couple seconds of Dive time adding up to ridiculous and exploitable situations as illustrated in this video. The solution is also clear: Restore Submarine proxy spotting and introduce significant delays/cooldowns to reversing Vertical displacement and a base minimum (10-20 seconds at least) of Dive time required to Submerge. Homing Torpedoes: I've previously talked a lot about the fundamental nonsense of forcing a Stealth based class to give up stealth in order to perform their attack, tho I grant the ultimate intention (promoting 2-way interactions) is commendable. The biggest problem remains the same as always: The guiding system can't be balanced beyond its binary nature... if it can be avoided it will be avoided and thus will be ineffective. If it can't be avoided it will be OP and will break PvP interactions. Honestly this is an issue that imo can't be solved and won't be solve, at least options are provided in the form of dumbfire torps and shotgun attacks. I'm adding one more video to portray another issue on Submarines, in this case the possibility of being killed like a sitting duck by another Submarine if your "vision" consumable is in cooldown or you are noob enough to not understand how it works. More skill gap, more asymmetry. BTW, observe also how little chance the enemy team has to survive the late match Submarine onslaught. This will be all for the moment.
  2. I'll start by stating Submarine vs Submarine engagements are not only one of the best and most exciting aspects of Submarine gameplay, but one of their critical roles. The one critical role that really set them apart from a pure farming type and makes them a team support asset: Being able to hunt down and destroy the enemy Submarine threatening your team mates. This all is being undone by the disabling of guaranteed detection range. Let's review the premise: "Due to the interaction patterns of the submarines, they often accidentally detect each other. This causes them to get caught in an air strike and also forces them to engage in a duel without being able to get out of it safely. " This is critically omitting another aspect of Submarine gameplay: Submarines often hunt after each other in order to engage in exhilarating Sub vs Sub duels. A big part of the allure of Sub vs Sub combat is that sense of being within the "Thunderdome", you are set in deadly combat against your foe with an angry crowd watching your duel and dropping all kind of deadly artifacts around you. This isn't a negative aspect needed to be prevented, this is a very fun & engaging interaction that needs to be positively reinforced. The change to Hydrophone operation is a step in the right direction but gets undone by disabling the guaranteed detection. Exhibit A: Engagements like the previous one would no longer be possible. The enemy submarine used her Hydro consumable to spot me and ambush me from an advantageous position, but the rest of the interaction was fought within 2 Km (The Thunderdome), this lead to a thrilling and exciting extended engagement. The action time of the consumable (30-40 secs) is not enough to develop a meaningful and conclusive engagement, for most skilled opponents it will mean an enforced stalemate, the time frame limits the engagement to just one torpedo salvo which is often insufficient to achieve resolution given the first ping lock (and attached torps) will be lost to the assured DCP. There will be not enough time to follow up attacks or attrition games, and it will be all reduced to baiting the DCP and hoping you have enough time to lock a second set before losing sight of the target. This totally ruins what currently is a very rich and varied interaction, simplifying it to a very basic one dimensional engagement. But this change also ruins another very fun (even hilarious) form of Sub vs Sub engaments: Ramming. Contrary to popular belief, performing successful rammings require some knowledge and skill. It is another very powerful tool in the Submarine's arsenal, one that is also very entertaining and rewarding to use. Exhibit B: It is obvious these type of interactions will fall out of the table with the proposed change to underwater detection. No more Thunderdome fun, no more Submarine grappling engagements, just a bland, boring, unrewarding, uninteresting and one dimensional way to engage in Sub vs Sub combat, time limited and dependent on a consumable. This isn't making the game richer, it is making the game poorer. And this change is made in order to accomplish what?. When a Submarine engages a Surface target it is an asymmetric interaction, the Submarine uses an exploits its intrinsic competitive advantages to attack the target without opening itself to retaliation (if played correctly). You will always seek to engage from a position favorable to you and deny your target a chance to retaliate in return, that's the nature of the asymmetry and it isn't what can be considered fair. Setting up an "unfair" fight is key to your success as a Submarine player and your ultimate objective when interacting with Surface targets. Submarine vs Submarine engagements are the only event when a Submarine is able to engage in "fair" combat against an equal enemy, this is being denied with the proposed change. Attacking Surface targets is "hunting" or even "executing" enemies, asymmetric interactions by definition, what we call in colloquial gaming language as "farming". Fighting another Submarine is the only real symmetrical engagement open to Submarines, a real combat between equals, a duel. This change primes "farming" over actual PvP combat, is it that your objective?. Removing guaranteed detection range from Submarines make them less interesting, less enjoyable, less rewarding. If ASW meddling in Sub vs Sub engagements is considered too big of a problem, there's a more effective and clean solution as proposed by @Amfree: "Limit Submarine team spotting when submerged".
  3. ArIskandir

    11.7: RIP Submarines

    I had the faint hope they would ditch the change to Submarine assured detection, they didn't and it is going live... sad days ahead. For almost 3 years I've been following very closely the Development process of Submarines, being very engaged and providing a lot of feedback on how they were shaping up. Many changes I considered positive, some I didn't like but could find a reasonable rationale to them, a few I didn't like nor find a rationale for them but were not deal breakers for me. Now we arrive at this sad moment when the change to assured detection mechanics destroys a primordial aspect of Submarine gameplay (Sub vs Sub engagements). For me it is more than that, it is a statement of intention of what a Submarine should be and the role they will fulfill in the game, a purely predatory role I find abhorrent and detrimental to the game as a whole. This sets a path I can't enjoy and won't tread anymore. Be this my farewell to Submarines, I will miss the potential of what they could had been for the game if developed to their logical concept and balanced for fair integration instead of the exploitative, predatory design they currently aim at. I won't miss the things they have become. I still have a last glimpse of hope the change will be reversed in further iterations but given how late we are in the process and the perceived pressure for concreting a release, I don't think there will be enough time for a reversal. RIP Submarines.