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SUBMARINE TESTING BETA PHASE FEEDBACK BY BIGS

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Here is a technical paper I wrote on my feedback for the SUBMARINE TESTING BETA PHASE. I decided to put it in this format to give the best feedback I can. I have not looked at other lists or posts, so there may be redundant items.   I don’t expect everyone to find the same bugs as I, have the same experience, or agree with my following suggestions.

SUBMARINE TESTING BETA PHASE FEEDBACK BY BIGS

 

GENERAL BUGS ENCOUNTERED:

 

1)    SUBMARINE “PING” STOPPED BY INVISIBLE BARRIERS: The PING width appears to be wider than visually represented to the player. This results in many cases where the submarine Ping mechanic is “stopped” by an invisible barrier (I.E. sinking ships or islands) when it visually appears to be able to pass over them or by them. This results in the Ping mechanic appearing to hit “invisible” barriers.

 

2)    SUBMARINE PING WIDTH WIDER THAN VISUALLY REPRESENTED: The PING width needs to either be reduced or visually widened to match the actual PING area when “fired”.

 

3)    SUBMARINES HITTING INVISIBLE BARRIERS WHEN CLOSE TO ISLANDS: Parts of the islands aren’t matching up with their “visual barriers” resulting in submarines getting stuck on invisible barriers when submerged.

 

4)    DEPTH CHARGE EXPLOSION LARGER THAN VISUALLY REPRESENTED: When a submarine is being attacked by Depth Charges, the explosion appears to be MASSIVE compared to the visual represented explosion. In some cases, I was “hit” for 2-3k damage even when 1km away.

 

5)    SUBMARINE WINDOWS FLOATING ABOVE SURFACE WHEN IN PERISCOPE MODE: The windows of a submarine are still being drawn in place as if the submarine never submerged resulting in “ghost windows” floating above the surface.

 

6)    HORN BUG WHEN SUNK: Sometimes the submarine horn would sound when sinking and doesn’t stop resulting in an annoying constant horn bug.

 

7)    TORPEDOES PASSING THROUGH SINKING SHIPS: Sometimes a torpedo would pass through a sinking ship when it is fully submerged.

 

8)    GHOST BUBBLES: Sometimes when you submerge, the bubble trail won’t match up with Submarines resulting in a funny “ghost bubble trail” that doesn’t line up with the propulsion screws of the Submarine.

 

9)    SUBMARINE PERISCOPE DETACHES VISUALLY WHEN SPAMMING “PERISCOPE DEPTH AND DIVE” RAPIDLY: If you spam the periscope depth “G” button by default, and “C” by default, the periscope would detach itself visually and look as if its floating above the submarine.

 

10)  SOMETIMES GAME WON’T LOAD ENTIRELY LEAVING YOU WITH A MAP SCREEN ONLY: Weird bug where the game is technically “loaded” but you can’t get past the team roster/map so you can control your ship. Instead you can only watch the map icons start moving as other people begin playing. Fix seems to be to exit the game and re-enter the game.

 

11)  AUDIO OF FIRED TORPEDOES OCCASIONALLY DOESN’T OCCUR: When you launch your torpedoes from a Submarine, sometimes you get no audio clue when in periscope mode that they have fired.

 

12)  RARE OCCURRENCE OF DEPTH CHARGE BEING SHOT INTO ORBIT: Weird visual glitch that rarely occurred (only did it 2x for me out of 30x games) where a depth charge would be flung into the sky box from the ship. Looks as if its being fired into Earth’s orbit. Explosion occurs as normal and damage deals as normal, just a funny visual glitch.

 

13)  VISUAL GLITCH IF SUBMARINE SURFACES INTO A SURFACE SHIP: This results in a “ram” as expected, but the submarine visually merges with the surface ship clipping through it. This just looks weird but doesn’t affect game play.

 

CAPTAIN SKILLS:

1)    RADIO LOCATION: You can take this skill on submarines allowing a submarine to radio locate enemies through islands when submerged giving them a very accurate location of where the enemy is. I personally feel this is “cheating”. By taking the skill, it allows you to gain a high amount of intelligence data when you should otherwise be “blind” and have to rely on your passive sonar when in “submerge” mode. In short, this skill trumps the reason to have passive sonar.

 

 GAME PLAY: SUBMARINE

1)    THOUGHTS ON GAME PLAY EXPERIENCE:

a.    I really enjoyed my time as a submarine captain. It feels like a mini game of cat and mouse, something I hoped WG would achieve. If you are cautious and take your time to be as stealthy as possible and try to get 2x pings on every target, you can rack up a large amount of damage to stay competitive. However, if you play recklessly, get spotted constantly, and attack at dangerously close ranges, you get sent back to port quickly.  I did feel that submarine is very fragile, which at first alarmed me, but after learning how to become stealthy and avoid detection, the submarine really starts to shine. This class is really going to separate out those that love a more methodical and tactical approach rather than guns a blazing.

b.    I did not feel Submarines are overpowered or under powered during any time of play. Either you stayed stealthy, allowed yourself to get two pings on a target to maximize damage dealing lethal blows to an enemy, or you get detected and destroyed. As a submarine and a surface ship, I feel the relationship is really good so far.

 

2)    SUGGESTIONS:

a.    SUBMARINE VS SUBMARINE ISN’T FUN: Submarines really need a better way to combat other submarines when in “submerge” mode. Currently there is little you can do to an enemy submarine since it turns into a game of “submerge” chicken where you can only ram each other or see whoever doesn’t submerge fast enough to avoid the other’s torpedoes. This is the biggest downside I found in my entire time testing submarines.

b.    PINGING STOPS ON INVISIBLE BARRIERS: As stated previously, submarine pings appear to get stopped on invisible parts of sinking ships and islands. This is incredibly annoying as “visually” they should go over or by these barriers. This needs to be fixed asap.

c.     PASSIVE SONAR: I really like the passive sonar that occurs when submerged allowing you to see any surface ships direction from your position without knowing what it is. You are blind, but not entirely. My only suggestion is that Sonar should be able to ascertain a friendly or an enemy for you. Currently it doesn’t so you can get confused as to what ship it picks up. However, if it stays in its current state, its still very useful, but if someone takes Radio location, this makes this interesting ability completely obsolete (I don’t think Radio location should work on Submarines).

d.    DECK GUNS NEED TO EITHER BE MANUALLY USED OR AUTOMATED SECONDARIES: I was very disappointed that deck guns were not able to be used, even in a secondary capacity. I understand that this would yield minimal damage to enemy targets though. I would like to see deck guns get a higher chance to incapacity ships or some utilitarian purpose if they are activated in either case.

 

GAME PLAY: DESTROYER

1)    THOUGHTS ON GAME PLAY EXPERIENCE:

a.    I really enjoyed the relationship between a Destroyer and a Submarine. As a Destroyer, you feel very powerful against them allowing you to either gun them down relatively quickly, or depth charge them if they are submerged. However, in many cases, I felt too powerful, a thought echoed by other testers when I prompted the question. If you detect a submarine and run it down, it’s almost a guaranteed kill for a DD without much effort involved since its automatically done.

 

2)    SUGGESTIONS:

a.    DEPTH CHARGES NEED TO BE CHANGED: I liked the automated process of the depth charges (at first, I was skeptical but came to like it since I could focus on other tasks). That said, they feel WAY too powerful against Submarines in their current state. Either the explosion radius needs to be reduced, or the damage needs to be reduced. As a submarine, I could be chunked for a scary amount of damage even when 1km away from a depth charge. I get that Depth Charges are strong counters to submarines, but in current state, its just unfair.

 

GAME PLAY: CRUISER

1)    THOUGHTS ON GAME PLAY EXPERIENCE:

a.    As a Cruiser, submarines were not a great concern for me if I was aware of their location, but when undetected, they posed as much threat as a concealed destroyer does. I could dodge torpedoes relatively well, but if not paying attention, I could eat serious damage. If I spotted a Submarine, my HE shells could quickly remove it from play at a rate I feel is balanced so far. The balance between the two is really on the submarine player. If he’s able to remain undetected, I must chase him and hope to find him before I get torpedoed, but if he’s spotted, I could wreck him quickly.

 

2)    SUGGESTIONS:

a.    ADD DEPTH CHARGES IN LIMITED CAPACITY TO CRUISERS: The only annoying situations occurred when a submarine submerged near me which kept me from using my guns against him (as it should be). However, then I must wait for the submarine to surface again…I do feel that Cruisers should get Depth Charges, but they shouldn’t drop as frequently giving you SOME ability to counter them when submerged, but not be as good as a Destroyer.

 

GAME PLAY: BATTLESHIP

1)    THOUGHTS ON GAME PLAY EXPERIENCE:

a.    When I first played a Battleship, I was very skeptical about how it would handle submarines. In the end, I was pleasantly surprised. This scenario is very similar to combating a concealed destroyer. If you let the submarine take time to get two pings on you, you are in trouble. However, if you close the gap between you and a submarine, the submarine essentially becomes weaker. This is especially so if you can keep the submarine from getting that 2x ping on you by pointing your bow or stern to it minimizing its torpedo damage by blocking that second ping location. If you do spot a submarine in periscope depth or on the surface, your HE shells make VERY quick work of it, faster than against a Destroyer. Something I think should stay as is if a submarine is able to yield such massive damage to you with the double ping system. My only wanting as a Battleship is a way to alert myself or others to a submarine’s approximate location.

 

2)    SUGGESTIONS:

a.    PASSIVE SONAR ON BATTLESHIPS(?): I really want a way for a Battleship to be warned about a submarine whether by giving you a general direction, or a “circle” approximate location. Maybe a battleship should get a general direction from where a PING originated?

b.    SCOUT PLANES TO SPOT SUBMARINES(?): Maybe Scout Planes should be able to detect a submarine’s location when airborne?

 

GAME PLAY: CARRIER

1)    THOUGHTS ON GAME PLAY EXPERIENCE:

a.    Carriers were still fun to play in the submarine beta. You still maintained the role of “spotter” or “seek and destroy” with submarines, like how you can hunt down Destroyers roaming the ocean. Your rocket planes from all nations work well at incapacitating submarines that are at periscope depth or surfaced. HE bombs on Langley and Furious were especially effective, however AP bombs from Ryujo weren’t, leaving IJN to be handicapped against submarines.  If a submarine spots you, you get warned just like you would against any ship. It then turns into a race, who can destroy who first.

 

2)    SUGGESTIONS:

a.    IJN REALLY NEEDS ANOTHER WAY TO ATTACK SUBMARINES: Ryujo felt very handicapped against Submarines since you could only rely on rocket planes to deal with them where USN and RN gets both rocket and bombers.

 

CLOSING THOUGHTS

1)    DO I FEEL SUBMARINES ARE A GOOD FIT?

a.    Based upon my time during the Submarine Beta Testing, I feel that the concept for Submarines is there. They add a whole new element to the game, unique perspective and play style while at the same time, not detracting from any other ship classes role or game play. While there needs to be some balances between certain classes, I do feel that War Gaming has set an excellent foundation to build off from in this Beta test. Will submarines be for everyone? Probably not, I believe that you will have a core group of players that love submarines and will exclusively play them, others that will just occasionally pick up the class, and a group that won’t touch them at all. The one big difference between submarines and carriers though is that I get the sense from other testers that players combating submarines feel as if they can do something against submarines where they feel handicapped against carriers. In short, it feels good to sink a sub and as any class you feel you got tools to eradicate them. Ultimately, I think submarines can fit very well within the World of Warships game play.

 

 

------------------------------------------------------COMPILING ALL OF MY ADDITIONAL FINDINGS INTO THE ORIGINAL POST FOR EASE OF READING------------------------------------------------

 

 

In regards to captain skills, I only had a 10pt captain, so I could not load up on skills. That said, I did reset my captain multiple times and tried several builds out with the 10 points, mainly to test skills that could be applied to a submarine captain. Here is what I settled on after several builds:

https://worldofwarships.com/en/content/captains-skills/?skills=4,5,18,20,23&ship=Destroyer

Preventative Maintenance: When you DO get hit, and you will at some point, its gonna hurt. You mainly get a lot of incapacitations, such as knocked out engine, rudder, etc. This skill helped a lot whenever I was hit. 

Last Stand: This was a life saver in many cases as any hits you take have a high chance to incapacitate your engine/rudder. 

Torpedo Armament Expertise: Torpedoes reload very slowly in submarines, with this skill I was reloading at a blazing 1min 30secs, approximately in the American Cachalot. Without it, much longer. Since Torpedoes are your bread and butter weapon system, you want these to churn out fast. 

Adrenaline Rush: As you take damage, this will help with reloading torpedoes faster. It can help in a pinch, but you REALLY don't want to be caught in the first place. Most ships can devastating strike you, so this is a "incase you happen to survive" skill. 

High Alert: You reload at 40s with this skill already, making it faster helped me out, especially when I got hit by HE shells or depth charges. Its mainly to help you escape by quickly getting rid of any engine/rudder shift incapacitations. 

 

Skills I initially took but later swapped out: 

 

Survivability Expert: I did not take Survivability Expert, the reason is that when I ran it, I found it to be very underwhelming for what you get. Sure, you can survive a tiny bit longer from Depth Charges, or take 1 or 2x extra shell hits, but in general I found that if you get caught by any surface ship, you die so quickly that it never really mattered if I had this skill or not.  I passed on it, but someone else might like it. 

Jack of All Trades: JOAT might be useful to couple with High Alert, but that's a lot of points for 5% extra Damage Control Reload speed...

Torpedo Acceleration: This was another skill that I initially took, but quickly swapped it out. It makes your torpedoes faster, sure, but the distance reduction is kind of scary for a submarine. Example, I went from 8km to 6.4km in the Cachalot American Submarine. It did help hit targets more often than I had without the skill...but it puts you in a uncomfortably close position to any target you come across considering your concealment range is 5.0km in it. In short, that range made me uncomfy and I wound up being unable to plan a successful escape route should my torpedoes miss. 

Radio Location: This is the bees knees, super good to have skill just from the point of being able to know where the closest enemy is. That said, I felt this skill is so good on a submarine its mandatory. I took it off my last build though since I think this skill needs to not work on Submarines. It trumps any reason at all to have passive sonar on a submerged submarine. It also doesn't make a ton of sense since Submarines were required to surface to send and receive radio signals. I personally feel its "cheating" the system to run it, but that's up to WG to decide. 

Concealment: Concealment isn't recommended really...you have 5km detection in the Cachalot for example..that's insane. It only really helps when you surface yourself to replenish oxygen. I guess you could take it to try and ambush other submarines, but whenever most players were detected and they couldn't see me, they just dove out of precaution I was sending torpedoes (and I would send torpedoes each time). In short, its kind of a waste of 4pts when other, more useful skills are available. 

Priority Target: I didn't take it, if you surface in a sub and get detected, prepare to get bombarded by anything that can reach you. 

Incoming Fire Alert: This could be useful, but again, if you are detected, you're gonna be shot at by anything that can reach you.

Basics of Survivability: This skill did come in handy when escaping depth charges since they have a crazy high chance to cause you to flood. That said, this is more of a "if you survive" skill. 90% of the time I was being actively depth charged, I died. Seldom do you live through that to make this skill worth the points. 

Vigilance: Could be handy later on if torpedoes change to be used while submerged, but this skill didn't really help in any way that I felt I must have it, or even considered it to be of use. 

Fire Prevention: Again, not really recommended. If you are being shot at, you're gonna die too quickly to be set on fire. (seems to be a pattern here ;)   ) 

 

------------------------------------------------------COMPILING ALL OF MY ADDITIONAL FINDINGS INTO THE ORIGINAL POST FOR EASE OF READING-----------------------------------------------

 

SURFACING NEXT TO TARGET TEST

I've also attempted to surface right up next to a target and fire in a attempt to "blap" destroyers or cruisers point blank. In theory you can do this, but its insanely risky, but with radio location, it makes this cheeky maneuver possible. Hence why I suggest to WG that it not work on subs for fear of stunts like this, and because it trumps the reason to have passive sonar.

 

CURVE BALL TORPEDOES TEST: 

You CAN "curve ball" torpedoes as I call it. Throw one set far right of a bow on target, then ping to have it home in, then fire another set far left and ping to have it home in. The result is the two sets of torpedoes will curve towards the target resulting in semi-broadside hits. I don't really find this unfair though since it does take some skill and good prediction on the sub player's part to pull it off. From the perspective of the surface ship, it looks like torpedoes are coming from two different directions which does two things. 1) makes it semi difficult to ascertain the location of origin (aka where is the sub launching from) and 2) you gotta wiggle hard to avoid it, but not impossible to dodge. 

 

SURFACING INTO A TARGET TEST:

Other things I found was surfacing under a target. This results in a ram, which you always die, but does decent damage and flooding to a target. 

SURFACING TO AVOID DEPTH CHARGE DAMAGE TEST:

Surfacing while being depth charged DOES help you evade damage from them, however you then have to worry about being shot. So you need to dive quickly. Currently this results in death for the sub still, but can save you in very rare instances. 

 

SPOTTING SHIPS IN SMOKE WHILE SUBMERGED EXPLOIT(?):

You can spot ships in smoke if you dive under them. Granted you as the sub can't attack them, but you can spot them with with abusing the "target aquisition" passive mechanic. Aka, you are within 2km of the target; so close you can spot them no matter what. This only really works on cruisers, battleships, and carriers in smoke. Destroyers immediately start dropping depth charges.

 

SUBMERGED RAMMING EXPLOIT(?):

Lastly, "submerged chicken" is a issue, which is just ramming a sub while both are submerged. This isn't really a exploit though, but it is annoying that its the only real tactic to deal with submerged enemy subs at the moment. 

CURVING TORPEDOES AROUND AN ISLAND TEST:  

With homing torpedoes, one big concern I had was curving them from behind an island. You can "kind of " do this, but with the ping mechanic stopping on islands and ship wrecks, and the curve rate of torpedoes being poor, its not really a reliable tactic or exploit. 

 

CURVING TORPEDOES AROUND TEAM MATES TO A TARGET TEST:

Accidentally hit "post" before I finished. You CAN curve torpedoes around a friendly teammate to a target using the "curve ball" method. This can result in some hilarious ambush torps on the charging target who is gunning for your teammate. This is super risky though since you can hit your teammate if done poorly, or if your teammate is not aware of your torpedoes. Communication is key here to pull it off. 

I achieved this last one by being left or right of my friendly teammate to ensure my ping had a clear line of sight to the target. I did not check if teammates block pings. (UPDATE: YES, TEAMMATES BLOCK PINGS)

 

AS A SURFACE SHIP, SUBMARINE DEPTH IS DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND (PLAYERS REPORT HAVING TROUBLE KNOWING WHEN A SUBMARINE IS AT PERISCOPE DEPTH)

Many players I encounter are having difficulty understanding when a submarine is at periscope depth, or to deep to hit with main guns. Currently this information is displayed with two different sets of numbers underneath the submarines name, and player name. The first number is the distance from you to the enemy submarine. The second number below it is the depth at which the sub is currently sitting. It took me a hot minute to understand that I cannot hit submarines below 8m underwater (8m is periscope depth) with my main guns, even though the target is clearly able to be locked onto. This is just a convenience of play issue. If you target a submarine with your main guns, that is "submerged" the player should get a "Target impossible to hit" notification similar to how asashio gets a "Target Impossible to Hit" notification when targeting a Destroyer or Cruiser with its special Deep Water torpedoes. Unless this is made clear, I think there will be a lot of confusion among the player base as to why they can target the enemy submarine but cannot hit it. 

 

HE BOMBS FROM USN CARRIERS ARE INCREDIBLE POWERFUL; UP TO WG TO DECIDE IF THIS SHOULD CHANGE

HE bombers launched from the USN carriers specifically, are incredibly powerful against Submarines. I'd even go so far as to say that the USN carrier tree line is THE sub hunting line. It takes about two passes from the Ranger's HE Bombers to nuke a surfaced or periscope depth submarine if the submarine is at full health; only one pass if the submarine has taken moderate damage (I.E. 1/4 of its health is gone).

While this is a powerful counter, the submarine that is aware of bombers, can quickly submerge before bombers get a chance to complete their dive run; The only exception is if a submarine just happens to surface right as a squadron of HE bombers flies over them and just happen to be within dive bombing distance (I.E. the sub surfaces right in front of or in the center of the bombing reticle). I can see some players frustrated by this, but given that the submarines are difficult to detect from the air, and can quickly dive to avoid all damage. Given this experience first hand, I think the relationship between aircraft and submarines is on a good path to being balanced. This is especially so if a submarine is able to sneak through your front lines and get within torpedo range of a Carrier as this almost always leads to death for a parked carrier. 

HE LEVEL BOMBERS FROM RN CARRIERS DO A DECENT JOB OF ERADICATING SUBMARINES

I was asked specifically how the HE Level Bombers of the Royal Navy line fair at destroying submarines. They aren't as good as american dive bombers, but they are definitely better than IJN's. So I would say they do a good job, just not the best in the BETA. 

 

IJN AP BOMBS DO NEXT TO NOTHING TO SUBMARINES

Again, I was asked specifically about how IJN carriers fair against enemy submarines. They currently only have rocket planes and torpedo bombers to deal with submarines. Torpedoes are easily avoided, and difficult to land on such a tiny target, so I don't really consider this a "GOOD" option at all for anti-torpedo warfare. Their AP bombs don't do much at all unless they hit the target, which is very hard to do. When they do, it does poor damage at best. Again, not really a option I would consider when dealing with a submarine. This puts us back to Rocket Planes, which do fair against enemy submarines quite well. 

I would say that IJN carriers are the worst at hunting down and destroying enemy submarines. 

 

DOES THIS PROMOTE BATTLESHIPS TO SOLO CAMP IN THE BACKFIELD BY THEMSELVES, "ISLAND CAMPING", OR PROMOTE ANTI-OBJECTIVE PUSHING PLAY?

One big issue raised by many Community Contributors and the community at large is that by adding in submarines, it will "keep battleships from wanting to push objectives, or push fronts and promote a more stand-off game play." 

The short answer to this from my first hand experience in the BETA testing is, No. At any rate, it PROMOTES MOVING with teammates more than ever, something people have been trying to get other players to do for years.

This is because of a couple reasons, 1) Submarines can sneak past surface ships AND aircraft, 2) Since you are by yourself and no teammates to threaten a submarine, they can take their time getting two pings on you leading to MASSIVE damaging torpedo strikes.

What sets submarines apart from Destroyers trying to hunt down solo battleships way in the backfield or hiding carriers is that while yes, they can get to locations to do surprise strikes, submarines just fill the role of "Backfield ambusher" or "Carrier hunter" better because of their extreme stealth capabilities. The difference lying in that submarines can hide from aircraft very easily. This creates a very interesting counter play to carriers who like to hide behind islands by themselves, and battleships that like to solo roam by themselves deep behind your own lines and never push. They now have to worry about putting themselves in danger of a surprise torpedo attack from a submarine. 

While you can still backfield/island camp in a cruiser or battleships or carrier, with a enemy submarine in the area, especially one that hasn't been seen for a while, its best to be on your guard and stay near a friendly destroyer or cruiser in hopes they spot the torpedoes or submarine, or the enemy submarine taking aim at them instead of you. However, once the enemy submarine(s) are eradicated, solo roaming/island camping play generally resumes. This last part further proves from observation that no, the introduction of submarines does not promote stand-off game play. 

 

CARRIER SECONDARIES ERADICATE SUBMARINES AT A SURPRISINGLY GOOD RATE

Here's a fun fact I found. I had three(3) instances where a submarine managed to ambush my carrier and got WAY too close. Taking control of my carrier personally, You can guide yourself around torpedoes pretty well. In all three of these cases where I was paying attention and had ample time to react, I survived as a carrier. (only times I didn't was when I either wasn't paying attention at all, or the enemy sub player was incredibly sneaky). What I found, to my surprise in these three cases, is that carrier secondaries deal with submarines at a VERY good rate. Due to their low health pools, submarines that wander too close to a carrier and into their range get destroyed quickly. To test this even further, I dropped my third upgrade slot which contained the upgrade for longer torpedo attack runs, to "secondary range upgrade". I then proceeded to actively CHASE submarines in my carrier in a couple games by taking control of the carrier directly, and I got to say, the secondaries work very well at anti-submarine warfare and are a plausible last ditch effort to get rid of them in a pinch. 

Not saying you should do what I did and CHARGE TORPEDO THROWING SUBMARINES WITH YOUR CARRIER :P But, if you DO get into a situation where a sub is in your face, you do have a weapon system on the carrier that can deal with them reliably. 

So, secondaries on Carriers now have a good purpose other than looking cool, and creating lots of smoke and fire while you wait to get blapped by a destroyer, cruiser, or battleship. 

 

DOES RADIO LOCATION WORK SUB TO SUB/ SHIP TO SUB?

Yes. Radio Location Captain Skill does detect submerged submarines, and submarines that have the perfect can locate other submerged submarines. This of course is up to WG if this skill will continue to work in this manner. However my feedback on this is that, I feel its cheating since it negates any reason to have passive sonar, and submarines have next to no chance to "hide" or "escape" from a destroyer actively hunting them with this captain skill. 

Edited by Bigs_Destroyer_of_Worlds
compiled findings into original post.
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Thanks for taking the time to write this up and share it with us.  I hope more people post their experiences, both good and bad.

 

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Here are some of my thoughts and a question or two.

1 hour ago, Bigs_Destroyer_of_Worlds said:

CAPTAIN SKILLS:

1)    RADIO LOCATION: You can take this skill on submarines allowing a submarine to radio locate enemies through islands when submerged giving them a very accurate location of where the enemy is. I personally feel this is “cheating”. By taking the skill, it allows you to gain a high amount of intelligence data when you should otherwise be “blind” and have to rely on your passive sonar when in “submerge” mode. In short, this skill trumps the reason to have passive sonar.

It will be interesting to see what role RPF plays both for ships and subs.  I would think RPF is a more important skill to consider for ships.  As you said there seems to be some overlap with RPF and sonar for subs.  I'm looking forward to see the captain skills for subs, and to see if there are new skills for ships.  I wonder if RPF could be lowered to a three point skill??

Speaking of captain skills, what else did you take on your subs? 

1 hour ago, Bigs_Destroyer_of_Worlds said:

2)    SUGGESTIONS:

a.    ADD DEPTH CHARGES IN LIMITED CAPACITY TO CRUISERS: The only annoying situations occurred when a submarine submerged near me which kept me from using my guns against him (as it should be). However, then I must wait for the submarine to surface again…I do feel that Cruisers should get Depth Charges, but they shouldn’t drop as frequently giving you SOME ability to counter them when submerged, but not be as good as a Destroyer.

I'm not against the idea of giving cruisers ASW, but if that is what happens then I would think the ability would be reduced considerably for DDs.  I don't know if that good or bad. 

It'll be fun to see hedgehogs when they get added.

1 hour ago, Bigs_Destroyer_of_Worlds said:

2)    SUGGESTIONS:

a.    PASSIVE SONAR ON BATTLESHIPS(?): I really want a way for a Battleship to be warned about a submarine whether by giving you a general direction, or a “circle” approximate location. Maybe a battleship should get a general direction from where a PING originated?

In general I feel like WG tends to hold BB players' hand a little too much.  I personally feel like increasing the skill floor for BBs some amount is in order, and subs could do that.  RPF should be a skill BBs players should be considering if they want a heads up on unspotted ships.  Admittedly, I have a little bias against some of the balance decisions WG has made in favor of BBs over the years.

One last question, it seems like the number of people selected to for this round of testing is pretty small, how many players were in game?  Was it mostly bots?

 

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Disclaimer: I don’t know if I will like submarines or not.  The OP took a lot of time writing strengths and weaknesses on every class and how they interact with subs, and I respect that, regardless of how I come down on subs when they go live.  

Could you no-explanation-downvotes show even a fraction of the diligence and integrity by writing a few *intelligent and coherent* words to constructively criticise the post?  I’m tempted to be a submarine cheerleader just to annoy the fsck out of people like you.

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DEPTH CHARGE EXPLOSION LARGER THAN VISUALLY REPRESENTED: When a submarine is being attacked by Depth Charges, the explosion appears to be MASSIVE compared to the visual represented explosion. In some cases, I was “hit” for 2-3k damage even when 1km away.

 

Wouldn't that be shock-wave that hits you?

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2 minutes ago, Chain_shot said:

Wouldn't that be shock-wave that hits you?

Yeah, it is a shock wave.  WG could model that so you can better understand why you are taking damage. 

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I hope WG looks into radio location for and against subs. For subs of the era, they had to be surfaced or at periscope depth to have their antenna above water level to send and receive; therefore radio location should only function when the subs antenna is raised. Hopefully these are just things that the developers are looking for during beta testing. Good luck to all that are beta testing the subs and may WG take all your constructive comments well to develop a good new class.

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1 hour ago, LoveBote said:

this is excellent stuff, comprehensive and well written.

Yes.

34 minutes ago, FrodoFraggin said:

Could you no-explanation-downvotes show even a fraction of the diligence and integrity by writing a few *intelligent and coherent* words to constructively criticise the post?  I’m tempted to be a submarine cheerleader just to annoy the fsck out of people like you.

First off, not a down-voter.

A year ago I might have been with you.

Now? Not so much.

My stock of trust in WG is much reduced.

I have more faith in it being screwed up, than done right.

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1 hour ago, Chain_shot said:

DEPTH CHARGE EXPLOSION LARGER THAN VISUALLY REPRESENTED: When a submarine is being attacked by Depth Charges, the explosion appears to be MASSIVE compared to the visual represented explosion. In some cases, I was “hit” for 2-3k damage even when 1km away.

 

Wouldn't that be shock-wave that hits you?

Correct. It is the shock wave, they have that visually represented in the underwater explosion. The problem is that the "shock wave/explosion" visual is significantly smaller than the area of its damaging effect.  It would be like if you were flying airplanes and a flak bubble burst 1km away from you, well away from where you are flying so you think you have it dodged, then suddenly all your planes blow up. Visually it doesn't make sense cause it appears that you "avoided" it. 

 

 

@Slimeball91

In regards to captain skills, I only had a 10pt captain, so I could not load up on skills. That said, I did reset my captain multiple times and tried several builds out with the 10 points, mainly to test skills that could be applied to a submarine captain. Here is what I settled on after several builds:

https://worldofwarships.com/en/content/captains-skills/?skills=4,5,18,20,23&ship=Destroyer

Preventative Maintenance: When you DO get hit, and you will at some point, its gonna hurt. You mainly get a lot of incapacitations, such as knocked out engine, rudder, etc. This skill helped a lot whenever I was hit. 

Last Stand: This was a life saver in many cases as any hits you take have a high chance to incapacitate your engine/rudder. 

Torpedo Armament Expertise: Torpedoes reload very slowly in submarines, with this skill I was reloading at a blazing 1min 30secs, approximately in the American Cachalot. Without it, much longer. Since Torpedoes are your bread and butter weapon system, you want these to churn out fast. 

Adrenaline Rush: As you take damage, this will help with reloading torpedoes faster. It can help in a pinch, but you REALLY don't want to be caught in the first place. Most ships can devastating strike you, so this is a "incase you happen to survive" skill. 

High Alert: You reload at 40s with this skill already, making it faster helped me out, especially when I got hit by HE shells or depth charges. Its mainly to help you escape by quickly getting rid of any engine/rudder shift incapacitations. 

 

Skills I initially took but later swapped out: 

 

Survivability Expert: I did not take Survivability Expert, the reason is that when I ran it, I found it to be very underwhelming for what you get. Sure, you can survive a tiny bit longer from Depth Charges, or take 1 or 2x extra shell hits, but in general I found that if you get caught by any surface ship, you die so quickly that it never really mattered if I had this skill or not.  I passed on it, but someone else might like it. 

Jack of All Trades: JOAT might be useful to couple with High Alert, but that's a lot of points for 5% extra Damage Control Reload speed...

Torpedo Acceleration: This was another skill that I initially took, but quickly swapped it out. It makes your torpedoes faster, sure, but the distance reduction is kind of scary for a submarine. Example, I went from 8km to 6.4km in the Cachalot American Submarine. It did help hit targets more often than I had without the skill...but it puts you in a uncomfortably close position to any target you come across considering your concealment range is 5.0km in it. In short, that range made me uncomfy and I wound up being unable to plan a successful escape route should my torpedoes miss. 

Radio Location: This is the bees knees, super good to have skill just from the point of being able to know where the closest enemy is. That said, I felt this skill is so good on a submarine its mandatory. I took it off my last build though since I think this skill needs to not work on Submarines. It trumps any reason at all to have passive sonar on a submerged submarine. It also doesn't make a ton of sense since Submarines were required to surface to send and receive radio signals. I personally feel its "cheating" the system to run it, but that's up to WG to decide. 

Concealment: Concealment isn't recommended really...you have 5km detection in the Cachalot for example..that's insane. It only really helps when you surface yourself to replenish oxygen. I guess you could take it to try and ambush other submarines, but whenever most players were detected and they couldn't see me, they just dove out of precaution I was sending torpedoes (and I would send torpedoes each time). In short, its kind of a waste of 4pts when other, more useful skills are available. 

Priority Target: I didn't take it, if you surface in a sub and get detected, prepare to get bombarded by anything that can reach you. 

Incoming Fire Alert: This could be useful, but again, if you are detected, you're gonna be shot at by anything that can reach you.

Basics of Survivability: This skill did come in handy when escaping depth charges since they have a crazy high chance to cause you to flood. That said, this is more of a "if you survive" skill. 90% of the time I was being actively depth charged, I died. Seldom do you live through that to make this skill worth the points. 

Vigilance: Could be handy later on if torpedoes change to be used while submerged, but this skill didn't really help in any way that I felt I must have it, or even considered it to be of use. 

Fire Prevention: Again, not really recommended. If you are being shot at, you're gonna die too quickly to be set on fire. (seems to be a pattern here ;)   ) 

 

 

 

Edited by Bigs_Destroyer_of_Worlds
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"When I first played a Battleship, I was very skeptical about how it would handle submarines. In the end, I was pleasantly surprised. This scenario is very similar to combating a concealed destroyer."

Great write up, OP. Essence is right here. We already have concealed torpers....

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3 hours ago, Bigs_Destroyer_of_Worlds said:

DECK GUNS NEED TO EITHER BE MANUALLY USED OR AUTOMATED SECONDARIES: I was very disappointed that deck guns were not able to be used, even in a secondary capacity. I understand that this would yield minimal damage to enemy targets though. I would like to see deck guns get a higher chance to incapacity ships or some utilitarian purpose if they are activated in either case.

German submarines specifically carried an incendiary round for targeting surface vessels, even if usually transports and the like. I don't know about other navies but, stretching history to fit the game, the guns were secondaries and automated in the test even last year and further test on it with the DD events. Most are 88-130 mm guns so say 2-5.5 seconds off 1-2 guns average with a high fire chance would accomplish something at least by likely setting some fires. 

Maybe also have the guns of Subs default to 1/4 or 1/5 pen for a better shot that what rounds they do fire will actually pen a target. 

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4 hours ago, Bigs_Destroyer_of_Worlds said:

 GAME PLAY: SUBMARINE

b.    I did not feel Submarines are overpowered or under powered during any time of play. Either you stayed stealthy, allowed yourself to get two pings on a target to maximize damage dealing lethal blows to an enemy, or you get detected and destroyed. As a submarine and a surface ship, I feel the relationship is really good so far.

Thank you for taking the time to do that.

To me, this stands out, and is one of the things I was worried about -- the all-or-nothing.  The player who does it right will get in massive strikes almost unstoppably, the player who does it wrong will get stomped by the enemy, with very little middle ground.  This is an inherent issue with units in video games that rely so heavily on the ambush.  Some ships already lean towards this problem, but subs run a huge risk of cranking it up to 11.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, KilljoyCutter said:

Thank you for taking the time to do that.

To me, this stands out, and is one of the things I was worried about -- the all-or-nothing.  The player who does it right will get in massive strikes almost unstoppably, the player who does it wrong will get stomped by the enemy, with very little middle ground.  This is an inherent issue with units in video games that rely so heavily on the ambush.  Some ships already lean towards this problem, but subs run a huge risk of cranking it up to 11.

 

 

True, but this is a skill issue rather than a mechanic issue.  You could argue the same thing for torpedo boat players, or dd players in general. Either you got the skills or not.

Edited by Bigs_Destroyer_of_Worlds

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Just now, Bigs_Destroyer_of_Worlds said:

True, but this is a skill issue rather than a mechanic issue. 

To me, it's a game design issue that enables it either way, and it opens the door wide for one player or the other to have a miserable game. 

 

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2 minutes ago, KilljoyCutter said:

To me, it's a game design issue that enables it either way, and it opens the door wide for one player or the other to have a miserable game. 

 

So what would you suggest then to solve this issue that extends to many WOWS classes?

Edited by Bigs_Destroyer_of_Worlds

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Very well written review.  Personally I just feel the real issues keeping this game from growing or not being addressed or even talked about.  New player experience is possibly worse than ever.  New players with little to no AA are facing 2-3 CV's per side which makes for a miserable experience.  Overly aggressive monetization of every little thing in game such as port slots, module demount, and captain re-spec.  We love the game so we overlook it, but from an outsiders perspective the game industry has moved away from these models. 

If WG would take a step back and some outside criticism, they could fix what they have before adding yet another major update.  To me, this should be done after they figure out why the game isn't growing.

Watching the gameplay so far, it just looks like it doesn't belong.  Maybe that will change, but I am one of those that can't get past the fact that no vessel like this actually existed in real life. 

 

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5 hours ago, Bigs_Destroyer_of_Worlds said:

GAME PLAY: DESTROYER

1)    THOUGHTS ON GAME PLAY EXPERIENCE:

a.    I really enjoyed the relationship between a Destroyer and a Submarine. As a Destroyer, you feel very powerful against them allowing you to either gun them down relatively quickly, or depth charge them if they are submerged. However, in many cases, I felt too powerful, a thought echoed by other testers when I prompted the question. If you detect a submarine and run it down, it’s almost a guaranteed kill for a DD without much effort involved since its automatically done.

So destroyers are very strong against submarines, which intrinsically makes sense.  The thing I'm unsure about after watching the initial videos: Destroyers may have tools to deal with submarines, but will destroyers be able to use those tools in a random battle environment without getting crushed?  I can't exactly blunder into radar range of enemy cruisers to chase down a sub, I'll get lit up and blown to bits.

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I love the info and am looking forward to like minded testers to share their views, be it different to the OP's experience with them or not.

Skill level, in any form, comes down to the individual.

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Thanks for a first hand opinion that is not the usual crap.

I am still worried about the submerged speeds of subs, that in the perios of game were more in the 7-8knot range.

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Good write up.....    all in all sounds like a good introduction.    Still  inevitably a uni in a training room will find an mechanic that can be exploited.  that is rarely found in a test environment.   Thanks for sharing this .   

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Very good write up.  I would add the turning radius on the sub is horrible and therefore stern tubes are a necessity.   With only being able to fire 4 torps at once with a 2 min cool down, stern tubes give the sub at least some defense and a tad more offense....even if it is, at a minimum, one torpedo every 2 mins.

Once cv's figure out they can work with a dd to kill a sub, I don't think this present version will be difficult at all to kill.  Of course, like any ship on WoWs, the people that take the time to learn them, will be good in them regardless of the final version.   I also believe that at some point, light cruisers will probably have to be equipped with ASW capabilities at a minimum.  

To the op....next time they advertise for super testers you should apply.

@Gneisenau013  Can we get a feedback thread started so these posts aren't all over the place?  One central place to post the feedback would make it easier and more centralized.  There have been some good ideas put out already and would hate to see this feedback overlooked because of the numerous threads.

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17 minutes ago, BaronVonTom said:

Very good write up.  I would add the turning radius on the sub is horrible and therefore stern tubes are a necessity.   With only being able to fire 4 torps at once with a 2 min cool down, stern tubes give the sub at least some defense and a tad more offense....even if it is, at a minimum, one torpedo every 2 mins.

Watching Flamu's stream, the subs appear to get significantly more agile as they go up in tier.

 

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23 minutes ago, BaronVonTom said:

Very good write up.  I would add the turning radius on the sub is horrible and therefore stern tubes are a necessity.   With only being able to fire 4 torps at once with a 2 min cool down, stern tubes give the sub at least some defense and a tad more offense....even if it is, at a minimum, one torpedo every 2 mins.

At gamescon the T6 subs had stern tubes (you could also fire torps on the surface, but you can't now).  I wouldn't surprised if higher tiers subs get stern tubes.

8 minutes ago, KilljoyCutter said:

Watching Flamu's stream, the subs appear to get significantly more agile as they go up in tier.

The German sub had the bad turning radius, the US subs was better.  Both were T6.

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