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Norsehound

Subs might underperform

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I'm one of those guys whose really stoked for Submarines. But as I think about it, they're going to have deficiencies that WG will have to handwave away in order to make them work successfully. Based on the gameplay snippets that we see, I have some concerns if the class will underperform, rather than be these invisible all-killing monsters that never allow anyone to be safe again. Because I assure you, they won't.

The Primary Armament is restrictive
Based on what we've seen in the Halloween gameplay video, you're dropping at most 3 torpedoes before the whole salvo needs to reload. You have a very narrow firing arc, and ZERO secondary weapons. I don't think they're going to give us deck guns guys, or maybe even AA guns (though we do see those at least, so perhaps?)

When I run my IJN DDs, (Specifically Minekaze) I rely on my torp armament first, but I like the reassurances I have with my gun batteries. They aren't the greatest, but I can at least snipe at enemy DDs, or hit near-death BBs when I know my Torpedoes would take too long to get there. A battery of deck guns can be a nice finisher and comfort weapon in case your torpedoes miss, aren't fast enough, or your against a more nimble enemy that can dodge the torpedoes. Submarines do not have this option. Their entire gameplay wins or fails based on if they can get their Torpedoes to hit a target. Expect many frustrating misses you can't do anything about because that Battleship decided to veer juuuust slightly to the left. That's, what, an entire minute of reload time spent?

You may not have enough Air Time to stay under as long as you'd like.

The mechanic makes sense to me, preventing Submarines from, say, staying underwater for most of the game's duration and being the invisible killers players are terrified!! of facing. I see it as much of a fallback mechanic as smoke is for DD players- they need it if they get in trouble and want to sneak around someone. But all it takes is one determined DD player to just... hang out... above the water, circling at full speed, waiting for the DD to run out of air. Even without any countermeasures an enemy DD is fast enough to avoid torps, can quick-fire their own Torps in response, and typically has the fast-cycling guns that will make short work of a surfaced sub.

The only way I see Subs escaping this is to stay hidden and trying to duck behind an island to put some cover between them and the hunter to surface and get some air.

That seems like really restrictive gameplay to me and being very much in favor of the surface ships with quicker guns. If you surface wrong and end up facing something like four boats of the enemy's team, you're going to be an even bigger fire magnet than any destroyer that accidently dips below their concealment range. And if you're slow with no air, it's going to end for you very quickly.

Incidental Rams will kill you

If you're not paying attention in a Submarine, or you try getting underneath your opponent to speed away (at your probaly slow knots), if you're not paying attention the enemy BB will ram you, you will die, and not take away a good portion of their health as-is with nearly every other class collision. You're banking a lot on your stealth and ability to drop torpedoes hidden because, literally, that's all you have. You're trading away everything else that's great about being a boat for that one ability, and you may find it wanting.

 

Good news is all of these issues are without trying the halloween event, which I'm eager to be a part of next month. But I really don't think submarines are the doom-and-gloom the naysayers are portraying. When released, they'll be a hyper-specialized slot catering to sneaky, crafty players who like positioning for that right torp drop and getting away from your opponent- like every IJN player hugging islands are now. And of these expectations, WG doesn't have to go to this bottom limit either; they can have deck guns, their torp reloads might be faster, they may stay hidden for longer, etx.

They're not going to be the apocalypse for WoWs, that honor is probably going to carrier's squadron planes, which can kite and harass you to death then just come back for more with their unlimited planes (If you thought carriers were bad before...)

No, at worst, sub drivers are probably going to find the class frustrating and inefficient to play without WG making essential tweaks. If we read about them, we'd say they're unbalanced, but if we were there on the testing side and watching them struggle to make these things >work< well, you'd understand. Or not, since it's easy to complain on the internet without having any practical knowledge of what you're discussing. Like this very post you finished reading.

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You do understand that this is a preliminary release in a coop game mode just to test the concept?

You do realize that they are not going to be released for random/competitive battles?

You do realize that fussing now about them is SERIOUSLY premature?

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Alpha Tester, In AlfaTesters, Beta Testers
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Just now, Prothall said:

You do understand that this is a preliminary release in a coop game mode just to test the concept?

You do realize that they are not going to be released for random/competitive battles?

You do realize that fussing now about them is SERIOUSLY premature?

True.  They’re just playing around with ideas right now.

Besides, I’ve always seen the sub as an ambush predator, going after lone or lightly guarded ships before running away.

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Remember when WoW said we'd be getting those teased Russian DDs that were supposed to carry missiles in 2017? Seen any of those yet. It's a TEST, and every test does not receive a passing grade. Wait until they actually say they WILL be in the game before you start "THE SUBS WILL BE UNDERPOWERED AND THE SKY IS FALLING" end of all things that are holy rant .

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I thought OPs comments were well thought out and incisive. We can't help but compare the WWII subs to how we play this game because other than the teaser, we just don't know how they'll be realized. It's fun to have discussions on upcoming content even if practically speaking, we don't have an iron in the fire.

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