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Ensign_Cthulhu

Random Thoughts from Deep R'lyeh: sub hunting.

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On the assumption that we will not merely be playing subs but hunting them, something probably has to be done about an antisubmarine search tool that isn't the current hydro consumable. It will probably have to have the following qualities:

1) Always on.

2) Only sensitive to submarines (class lockout/lockin, for which DWT are the prototype).

3) Speed-sensitive (useless at flank speed, best at rest).

4) Directional, in the same manner as RDF.

I see it being tied into at least one captain skill, possibly one which makes the direction very specific. Because it will be an essential skill, it will probably come in at Skill Tree Level 1 or at most 2. I foresee the carrier rework making the one-point Evasive Manoeuvre skill obsolete (since manoeuvre will be in the player's hands) and there may or may not be a place for Expert Rear Gunner (too early to tell yet).

So perhaps what we will see is some sort of sprint-and-drift, with a destroyer getting a directional warning of a submarine somewhere within a certain detection arc (indicated perhaps on the water rather than 'up in the air' as with RDF, to avoid confusion), and then hydro would be activated to firm the position of the target in the run-in to the attack.

No doubt there are other ways to work this, but... those are my thoughts. Discuss them as you will, but remember - this is a hypothetical, and not a place to discuss whether subs should or should not be seen outside special modes. (I am in favour of special modes only for the foreseeable future.)

Edited by Ensign_Cthulhu

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1) Yes

2) Yes

3) No, real sub hunting was done at slow speeds, 8 - 10 knots while the subs were moving at 2 - 4 knots, but they were not under fire from warships. Since subs look to have unrealistic underwater speeds sub hunting will have to happen at unrealistic speeds.

4) Yes, directional getting more accurate as the DD closes with the sub.

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Just now, BrushWolf said:

Since subs look to have unrealistic underwater speeds sub hunting will have to happen at unrealistic speeds.

This is for Halloween, and Halloween ships need abnormal capabilities because of the opposition they face. My supposition is that those speeds will be nerfed to realistic values outside of that mode.

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8 minutes ago, Ensign_Cthulhu said:

This is for Halloween, and Halloween ships need abnormal capabilities because of the opposition they face. My supposition is that those speeds will be nerfed to realistic values outside of that mode.

I hope so but even if they go with historical submerged maximum speeds that is still unrealistic because the battery drain at max brought submerged endurance down to minutes instead of hours.

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Something like a MAD (Magnetic Anomaly Detector) could be the answer to this; but I'm not sure how should it work.

12 minutes ago, Ensign_Cthulhu said:

This is for Halloween, and Halloween ships need abnormal capabilities because of the opposition they face. My supposition is that those speeds will be nerfed to realistic values outside of that mode.

I don't think we'll see realistic submerged speeds (for gameplay purposes) but I do expect them to be slower than when surfaced.

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1 minute ago, CO_Valle said:

Something like a MAD (Magnetic Anomaly Detector) could be the answer to this; but I'm not sure how should it work.

I don't think we'll see realistic submerged speeds (for gameplay purposes) but I do expect them to be slower than when surfaced.

MAD was around at the end of WW2, IIRC (as were air-dropped homing torpedoes, BTW), but it was cutting-edge, and we will have to cater to ships that were in battle when HM the Queen still had her placenta attached.

Realistic speeds are sort of a joke in this game - speeds and distances have all been tweaked so that the most basic co-op battle doesn't take four hours - but as a proportional thing I see what you mean and I am in general agreement. It will take time to explain this to some of the more literal people, though.

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17 minutes ago, Ensign_Cthulhu said:

MAD was around at the end of WW2, IIRC (as were air-dropped homing torpedoes, BTW), but it was cutting-edge, and we will have to cater to ships that were in battle when HM the Queen still had her placenta attached.

Well we already have some magical skills that allow you to know how many ships are targeting you, or that reduce your surface detectability, or that would allow a pre-WW1 ship to radio locate another ship... I wouldn't mind MAD being in the game.

It could work as you said similar to radio location, but I say it should have a limited range, a range that is tier-bound, after all low tier subs won't be as capable as high tier ones.

ASW has been talked before in the forums (as in surface to submarine), but a topic not often discussed (that I've seen at least), is sub-to-sub engagements. From the demo video it looked like once fully submerged the depth could be controlled, how would torpedos work here?.

EDIT:

I'm assuming that the radio location skill won't be effective against fully submerged contacts... but still, radar sees through islands. :-S

Edited by CO_Valle

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Submarines should reveal themselves at closer ranges when using active, otherwise they should get a passive hydro that works like a weaker RPF which shows ships in a certain range, maybe only the largest vessel. Without surfacing they only have the last spotted location information on enemies unless they use the active hydro consumable. This should make it so that WG can keep their time underwater realistic without making their air meter a short duration. 

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WW2 ASDIC and Sonar worked quite well at half speed for reception but both had a fairly narrow beam that, in its early versions, had to be trained by hand. So while you could get decent signal reception when travelling at speed you risked missing contacts. At high speed DD's and DDE's were pretty rough rides in the north Atlantic and it wasnt hard for the sonar dome to come out of the water or have a lack of water block the soundwave. The signal reception was key as the tone of the return ping is what gave an operator an idea of the sub aspect.....going away the sound was muffled due to bubbles, coming towards you it was a higher pitch, sideways was a very clear ping of equal tone as the outgoing signal. The 'doppler effect' was dealt with fairly early in development so the speed effects of the sub and ship were removed from the return signal. A Sonar or ASDIC operator required a lot of training, however the majority of ppl cannot detect the differences in pitch, its something you either have or dont have.

Sprint and drift is more of a passive sonar technique and passive sound detection is crap for a surface vessel when underway.

I was a Sonar operator in the Can Navy in the early 80's, around the time when the new 'waterfall' style Sonar was being tested. We had multiple systems on board, 5 I think, VDS (passive) for very long range, a 10k, 5K, attack, a waterfall and of course the hydrophone......which was used to send morse code signals to subs we were training with lol.

It will be interesting, if they go the full in game route, to see how WG approaches homing torps, both air and sub launched, torps that had programmed patterns to crisscross a convoy, hedgehogs and air dropped DC's. However, subs are my line in the sand....if I do decide to keep playing it will be for the sole purpose of hunting subs :)

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1 hour ago, Ensign_Cthulhu said:

This is for Halloween, and Halloween ships need abnormal capabilities because of the opposition they face. My supposition is that those speeds will be nerfed to realistic values outside of that mode.

I think this is wishful thinking.

57 minutes ago, Ensign_Cthulhu said:

Realistic speeds are sort of a joke in this game - speeds and distances have all been tweaked so that the most basic co-op battle doesn't take four hours - but as a proportional thing I see what you mean and I am in general agreement. It will take time to explain this to some of the more literal people, though.

Maybe someone should explain it to the developers.

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5 minutes ago, hipcanuck said:

It will be interesting, if they go the full in game route, to see how WG approaches homing torps, both air and sub launched, torps that had programmed patterns to crisscross a convoy, hedgehogs and air dropped DC's.

I very much doubt any of this will go into the game. This is, after all, more arcade than sim.  If you want that, either dust off and reboot Harpoon, or ask the developers of Cold Waters for a WW2 edition.  :Smile_teethhappy:

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I was thinking about this over the weekend.  As to something on all the time..... hydrophones.  Not Hydro Acoustic Search.  A passive thing that would work like RPF but at shorter range.  Question is would this be a captain skill or an upgrade like concealment upgrade?

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55 minutes ago, BrushWolf said:
1 hour ago, Ensign_Cthulhu said:

This is for Halloween, and Halloween ships need abnormal capabilities because of the opposition they face. My supposition is that those speeds will be nerfed to realistic values outside of that mode.

I hope so but even if they go with historical submerged maximum speeds that is still unrealistic because the battery drain at max brought submerged endurance down to minutes instead of hours.

I happen to think subs will be able to go as fast submerged as surfaced.  The question is will going faster reduce your submerged time?  Right now it doesn't seem that's way it will go since, after all, they are calling it an oxygen meter.  If it were changed to a battery system then different speeds changing your submerged time would make sense.  That would make for a more complex balancing approach.  I fear we may get a far more simplified sub game play/counter play system.

Right now the subs do go as fast underwater as on the surface.  You can't fire torps fully submerged but it seems like you do have ships show up on the mini map.  All pretty simple.  Let's just assume they make it into the game that way.  Counter play might be as simple as automatic, AI controlled depth charge drops when you get near a submerged sub.  You don't do much other than steer the ship.  That way you can counter subs while you carry on with your surface engagements.  Pretty simple, and the console kids would like it.  

I hope we get something more complex.  I'd like a battery system for being submerged.  How long you'd be able to stay under, and how fast you'd be able to go are a matter of balancing; for now let's just assume it will be balanced.  If you can extend your submerged time by going slow, or stopping, then I think it would be fair to have your mini map go to last know position as soon as you go fully submerged.  My line of thinking is like Neo's where the sub gets a RPF like passive sonar.  This would always be on but maybe it wouldn't point to anything until you where within a certain distance of an enemy ship.  You wouldn't know what ship type it's pointing to, it might be the BBs you were stalking, or it could be a DD or cruiser hunting you.  How well your passive sonar worked would national flavor.

Now back to the topic, ASW.  I'm not sure how this will work.  Everyone seems to be focused on how surface ships are going to counter submerged subs, and not enough on how are subs, the weakest ships in the game, going to survive.  On the surface subs will have better concealment than DDs, but not by a great deal (about 1km better than a stealthy DD).  DDs have a larger health pool, are the fastest and more maneuverable ships in the game, have speed boost, smoke, main battery guns, and way better torps.  Now keep in mind DDs don't survive well in the game when spotted, imagine what it will be like for subs that don't have any of those tools.  Going under is their only defense.  If you make finding submerged subs too easy subs just won't work.  I suppose there might not be any tool given to surface ships to find submerged subs unless they can stay under for relatively long periods of time (more than the 1:20 we see in the demo video).  If subs can stay under for extended periods then DDs and cruisers should have some sort of short range passive sonar too.  Maybe like the proximity air plane and torp indicator, but with a sub icon. 

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16 minutes ago, Slimeball91 said:

I happen to think subs will be able to go as fast submerged as surfaced.  The question is will going faster reduce your submerged time?  Right now it doesn't seem that's way it will go since, after all, they are calling it an oxygen meter.  If it were changed to a battery system then different speeds changing your submerged time would make sense.  That would make for a more complex balancing approach.  I fear we may get a far more simplified sub game play/counter play system.

Right now the subs do go as fast underwater as on the surface.  You can't fire torps fully submerged but it seems like you do have ships show up on the mini map.  All pretty simple.  Let's just assume they make it into the game that way.  Counter play might be as simple as automatic, AI controlled depth charge drops when you get near a submerged sub.  You don't do much other than steer the ship.  That way you can counter subs while you carry on with your surface engagements.  Pretty simple, and the console kids would like it.  

I hope we get something more complex.  I'd like a battery system for being submerged.  How long you'd be able to stay under, and how fast you'd be able to go are a matter of balancing; for now let's just assume it will be balanced.  If you can extend your submerged time by going slow, or stopping, then I think it would be fair to have your mini map go to last know position as soon as you go fully submerged.  My line of thinking is like Neo's where the sub gets a RPF like passive sonar.  This would always be on but maybe it wouldn't point to anything until you where within a certain distance of an enemy ship.  You wouldn't know what ship type it's pointing to, it might be the BBs you were stalking, or it could be a DD or cruiser hunting you.  How well your passive sonar worked would national flavor.

Now back to the topic, ASW.  I'm not sure how this will work.  Everyone seems to be focused on how surface ships are going to counter submerged subs, and not enough on how are subs, the weakest ships in the game, going to survive.  On the surface subs will have better concealment than DDs, but not by a great deal (about 1km better than a stealthy DD).  DDs have a larger health pool, are the fastest and more maneuverable ships in the game, have speed boost, smoke, main battery guns, and way better torps.  Now keep in mind DDs don't survive well in the game when spotted, imagine what it will be like for subs that don't have any of those tools.  Going under is their only defense.  If you make finding submerged subs too easy subs just won't work.  I suppose there might not be any tool given to surface ships to find submerged subs unless they can stay under for relatively long periods of time (more than the 1:20 we see in the demo video).  If subs can stay under for extended periods then DDs and cruisers should have some sort of short range passive sonar too.  Maybe like the proximity air plane and torp indicator, but with a sub icon. 

I like that battery idea; however... if memory serves they also said that launching torps reduces the oxygen reserve (jettison the torp from the tube), so... maybe keep both battery and oxygen?

And talking about sub survival... the first line of defense of a sub is its stealth... perhaps the speed the sub is moving affects "passive" detectability, that is, the slower the sub moves the less noise it makes, therefore its harder to detect; on the other hand if you have already been detected you go flank to avoid incoming attacks.

And also, I believe some subs had noise makers back then... perhaps you could go full speed while detected, release a noise maker and change speed to 1/4 to crawl away, it could be "underwater smoke".

Edited by CO_Valle

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