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Norsehound

PT Submarines Performance Review

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Ok! Thanks to the update in the PT test, I'm happy to finally get my hands on all the subs and gave each of them a run. Here's my thoughts;

 

General Remarks:

Rudder shift- The rudder is odd for many of these subs- I find I'm often over-compensating and have to swing back to point my sub in the right direction, doing sea-saw actions as I try to aim my torps. It'll take some getting used to but it is a bit uncomfortable.

High splashes- Near misses from the surface guns create huge plumes of water which obstruct vision when trying to drop torpedoes- it's very difficult to aim in situations where you're targeted by every gun but willingly being on the surface (say in the Barracuda, but dropping your forward torps).

Torp Direction: With surfacing or switching weapons sometimes it's a little hard to get the torpedoes to swing to where I need them. Dropping torps out of a sub is a bit different than how surface ships play, so a new indicator may be needed to make it easier for subs to drop their torps on such a narrow arc profile.

Rudder fragility: Each of the captains are loaded up with full skill points for you to configure- all of them have 'Last stand'. I've noticed my rudders incapacitated kind of frequently, enough that it must be really frustrating to take that hit when you've already used your repair team to deal with fires. Subs are going to live and die by how well they maneuver, don't make rudders this fragile!

Dive/Surface consistency: I figure it's a factor of balance, but I'm not sure if it's working. Subs are already going to have the diversity of weapons/rudder shift / speed that a player is going to content with, but the time taken to dive feels like one of those things that should be standardized to make it easier on players. The Zipper is ridiculous for how easily it does this, and part of why the Barracuda doesn't work as well is because it takes so long to dive. Moreover, the activation of secondaries and what arc you get for dropping torps isn't always consistent with when you reach the depth. The Barracuda can start firing before the sub is even fully surfaced and getting air.

Anti-submarine forces: Enemy cruisers and destroyers dump torpedoes, but I don't think I've been hit by one yet. These torps are surface-only, and most of the time when I'm mixing it up with enemy ships, I'm at periscope depth ideally. If I'm on the surface, there's a lot more things threatening me than those torps (every secondary, every primary, and those dang catapults). Depth charges themselves have been kind of a nuissance, doing more to passively chip away health than be a serious threat to the sub.

Craft Review:

Barracuda (X1 Submarine) – Cruiser Submarine, has two secondaries. Starter submarine, has a one-system 4-tube torpedo launcher standard torpedoes and a 2-tube freeze torpedo. Submergence time is nearly two minutes! Dive/surface time is the slowest of the submarines.

My guess is she’s supposed to be played like a kind of destroyer. Stay submerged, approach with torpedo attacks, then surface and let your secondaries open fire. Problem is Barracuda doesn’t have the resilience to last in a gun fight, so when you’re at the range her secondaries are effective, you’re getting more secondaries thrown back at you in turn.

In a PvP environment this might actually work, since she can ambush lone ships or sneak in when a friend is engaging the target. Alone in this bizzare land where catapults throw things at you, helping not-battleships laden with secondaries, it's kind of a death trap. Still, I can see myself trying to run this in PvP and being clever with it... I'd try it at least in random battles, doing as I described (lone ambusher). Maybe she can spot BBs, but she's going to have problems if she's caught unaware.

Edits:  I think if her dive time was better or her detection radius were smaller she'd be a successful raider. She catches fire disturbingly easy, so if you surface thinking you can run and gun, be prepared to pop your repair team immediately as the Zikasas catch your ship on fire from glancing blows.

 

Zipper Sub (M-401) – Almost comically fast surface/dive speeds. Air time is reduced accordingly to 50 seconds. Only armed with a couple of freeze torpedoes (likely as an experiment for one tube per weapon), and a forward gun. Has a pretty small detection radius compared to her attack range.

I don’t think the quick dive time is worth it. At the moment there’s nothing you get out of it- changing depth quickly allows you to duck under stuff and avoid torps quickly… maybe changing depth to escape depth charges? But if a more effective anti-submarine countermeasure was used (ie, depth charges detonate at level 3, level 2 and 1 (surfaced) you can be rammed), then this wouldn’t be needed.

Not sure if I'd like this sub in a PvP environment. If the speed was up with her dive time it could work... something needs to be rewarding for the 50 seconds you have underwater. Either her torps need to reload faster or something. Right now her only advantage is staying clear from depth charges and being up on the surface for as little time as possible (for the shortest underwater time of the subs now).

Edit: If you ever hear complaining about submarines popping up and down out of the water to fire their guns with impunity, it's likely they're driving a Zipper. I don't know how successful this tactic is really- the single gun doesn't have the high fire chance the Barracuda's twin guns do, and it's also likely to miss. They can be interesting in swarm tactics where three of them are taking turns poping up and back into the water to snap off their guns but... they're fragile. I'd almost say their rudder shift and speed is more desirable than the pop-ups. Of the subs we're offered, if you want an example of what a Cartoon submarine looks like, it's the Zipper Sub. Interestingly, it's supposed to be based on a Russian submarine.

 

Seelowe (Type XXI)– Torpedoes are paired with 3 launch systems- 2 normal, 1 freeze, all of them out the front for a total of 4 standard torps. Probably an experiment to try splitting all those front torps and making the player think about it. No secondary weapons. Has a pair of AA cannons that are unused. Dive/surface time is sufficient. Apart from the rudder slippage issues this is one of the most satisfying submarines to play, without the arsenal on the Killer Whale that makes you feel guilty for being so over-armed. Air time about 1:20.

In PvP this would probably be one of the best submarines to use- almost to the point I wonder of being unbalanced. It was easy to torp the zombie battleships when they were sailing in a row, and such would be the case in Pvp for inattentive battleship players. That all said, I tried taking on one of the zombie destroyers and got my butt handed to me as it easily dodged my torps and killed me with gunfire and catapult attacks.

 

Gerfalcon (Type XXVI) – Torpedoes similar to the Barracuda- individual systems with reloads. Strange setup of one 5-tube freeze torpedo out the front with standard tubes in the rear at an off-angle from the propeller. Dive time is satisfactory, Does not suffer from the rudder slippage issues, was great on steering.

It seems like the Gerfalcon is designed for the dive-and-pop-up attack. Disable a target with the freeze torps, dive beneath them, and then use the rear torps as finishers. In my opinion, it’s just not fast enough to do this- it’s almost better to approach then turn around and fire your rear torps for the additional damage.

If she had some normal torps in the front she could be interesting to try in PvP, but I don't think she's fast enough to do the trick. Still, the splayed rear torpedoes is an interesting way to handle this on subs, and the split means drivers have to be mindful on which torpedo goes in what direction.

Edit: These B.U.T.T. torpedoes (for any Star Control fans out there) are interesting to use, since you can use them in a retreat pattern to maintain some distance from your opponent. You'll need to turn around in order to use them, which is kind of slow (fortunately the Gerfalcon is one of the fastest turning subs), and makes you do a circle while you're trying to get all your torps on target. In terms of practicality I like the handling and speed of the Gerfalcon a lot more than the armament arrangement, which is kinda comical.

Edit 2: Gerfalcon is 31 knots max.

 

Killer whale (Gato-class)– Unlocked when you get 5-stars on the Terror of the deep mission. Kinda reminds me of the penguin’s submarine from the 1966 Batman movie (Please please WG can this be a premium? Or a skin we can win for april fools?). It has a 1-2-1-2 arrangement between standard torps and freezing torps, front and back. Detection radius is similar to the Barracuda’s, so be careful when surfacing.

Probably the most satisfying submarine to play, tied with the Seelowe, because of the armament and arrangements. Rudder shift suffers the slippage problem and the sub is a little sluggish to turn, but the option of front-back torpedoes is very helpful. Unlike the Gerfalcon, I was able to execute the dive-and-pop-up attack with the Killer Whale. The secondary cannon was also great to have on hand- I got sunk in my first game with the KW when I tried using it to finish off a nearly dead cruiser.

This is probably what a future PvP submarine is going to look like. I think the torp armament would be tweaked, but the optional secondary (and optional AA) combined with flexibility on a torpedo armament is what many mid-to-high tier subs will perform with.

Closing thoughts

There's enough between all of this that I think subs can work. The best ships to represent submarine play are going to be the Seelowe and the Killer Whale, with an honorable mention to the Barracuda. The other two are just too strange to consider realistic. If I were to guess, early/middle/late subs for a few trees would be Barracuda (one-off weirdness like submarines with functional secondaries), Seelowe (Basically torps only, good performance) and Killer WHale (every torp you'd want in every forward/backward direction with a functioning secondary thrown on).

Edit: I'll keep revisiting this document as I keep playing these to get a better opinion on them, and what they could mean for future PvP play.

I'll add this too though, they aren't invincible. Quite a few of these missions were failed against simple bot players.

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Hi

Thanks for the review enjoyed it also very informative will come in very handy later on when the event goes live

cheers

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Norsehound - thank you for informative writeup !!

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So I'm wondering now... where are all those sub-haters who ripped every one of us who asked for subs to be in the game these past three years? 

Me, I'm like   b5be1447899d1647cf4237982f7d61bb.gif 

... because it's going to be a really fun thing, far more fun than a carrier. Let's just hope they don't nerf the crap out of them, turn them into something one can totally ignore WHEN they go live. 

Thanks again for the opportunity to play subs in this game, WoWS. 

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Unfortunately these performances are not gonna be in the pvp environment.

Just like how other Halloween ships gets drastic performance changes for the operations. These subs are also drastically changed for the operations. Therefore to make a review of them and how they fit in pvp is like reviewing any of the Halloween ships and see how it would do in pvp.

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Just now, Vader_Sama said:

Unfortunately these performances are not gonna be in the pvp environment.

Just like how other Halloween ships gets drastic performance changes for the operations. These subs are also drastically changed for the operations. Therefore to make a review of them and how they fit in pvp is like reviewing any of the Halloween ships and see how it would do in pvp.

The most drastic elements on the halloween ships are generally the consumables.  The performance of the ships is based on the in game ships. 

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Not sure why you considered the Gerfalcon to slow to dive past ships and then use the rear torps but considered the Killer Whale satisfactory doing that when the Gerfalcon does 31 knots and the killer whale does 28.

 

The pop up for the zipper is not to use the gun, its to recharge the O2 which it does extremely quickly. I used the zipper to spot the tower in the operation until I unlocked the Gerfalcon which is faster and was able to at least partially recharge the O2 between the cruiser reloads.

 

Hunting DDs is not very hard if you are underwater, just wait for them to get very close then they turn to use their torpedo tubes. Whack it with a freeze torp at that point then dive under the torpedoes. With ships like the seelowe and gerfalcon it is pretty safe to get very close to the enemies where you can make every torpedo count.

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45 minutes ago, Vader_Sama said:

Unfortunately these performances are not gonna be in the pvp environment.

Just like how other Halloween ships gets drastic performance changes for the operations. These subs are also drastically changed for the operations. Therefore to make a review of them and how they fit in pvp is like reviewing any of the Halloween ships and see how it would do in pvp.

Agreed. 

These subs are test beds in a controlled environment though I'm sure if they are released into the pvp environment a lot of things beyond the skins will be change, most notably the removal of the "freeze" torpedoes. 

You also need to consider that if subs are released, we'll have full lines of subs with the submarines shown here at or near the top of the various tech trees.  

Edited by BB3_Oregon_Steel

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1 hour ago, Vader_Sama said:

Unfortunately these performances are not gonna be in the pvp environment.

Just like how other Halloween ships gets drastic performance changes for the operations. These subs are also drastically changed for the operations. Therefore to make a review of them and how they fit in pvp is like reviewing any of the Halloween ships and see how it would do in pvp.

Right now these are the only representatives of a future pvp submarine class, and I wanted to comment upon that aspect.

Besides, I think given the wide range of the sub's ergonomics, WG may be experimenting to find out how they want to lay out a sub's armament. One weapons system with multiple tubes? One tube per weapons system? How should the rear tubes be laid out? I'm no closed testing agent but this is the best way I can offer feedback on the class type.

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Like other event ships, not so certain we will see subs anytime soon.  I am not saying I dislike the idea of adding anything new to the game.  You would think the German tree would be the most prolific tier wise.  Japanese also had some interesting subs.

IMHO the Halloween event is a fishing expedition for feedback (along with the PTS).  In a similar vein to the Carrier rework videos that I believe they just threw out there (in marginal seriousness) just to see what comments people come up with.

 

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4 hours ago, Norsehound said:

Right now these are the only representatives of a future pvp submarine class, and I wanted to comment upon that aspect.

Besides, I think given the wide range of the sub's ergonomics, WG may be experimenting to find out how they want to lay out a sub's armament. One weapons system with multiple tubes? One tube per weapons system? How should the rear tubes be laid out? I'm no closed testing agent but this is the best way I can offer feedback on the class type.

I thought I heard they had I-400 in the mix? Have you not tried it yet or is it not there?

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they better make Capt skill specific to sub operations.  much like there are Capt skills specifically for CV ops.  

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Well, thanks to the OP for starting the thread. I read it for the advanced knowledge required when Halloween special hits the server. No way was I considering it a basis for the future subs in game... but can you imagine all the pent up desire for something "new" in the game? 

Meaning, all those folks who are maxed out in their desired type/tiers... it's a great shot to the body of WoWS as long as they don't force fit it but take their time, like a master carpenter or mechanic, so when it is fitted into the game, it fits. Perfectly.

We don't want a WoWS looking like this:

bd40a23b5a83372e797030ffa432809a.jpg

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13 hours ago, Shinnidan said:

they better make Capt skill specific to sub operations.  much like there are Capt skills specifically for CV ops.  

Actually I was looking over the Captain skills we currently have, and many of them would already be suitable on subs. Although I would tweak the Incoming Fire Alert to include Depth Charges being thrown into water nearby instead of just oncoming shells alert. Because I fully expect at the first suspicion of a sub being anywhere nearby the water will full with Toros and Depth Charges in blind fire. And as a Sub that is below periscope depth we may not realize about the Depth Charges until it’s too late possibly.

Although getting some special sub Captain skills would not hurt as well.

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