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Ankhimas

The new test of submarines

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Hello everyone. This is my first time posting on these forums, as I usually don't do much forum posting in general. But after trying the new subs test, I felt the need to speak my thoughts about it. I couldn't find a feedback thread at the time of posting this, so I put it here. I'll be happy to post this to any feedback thread.

I'm even going to try and offer some balancing solutions to the live server test version that, in my opinion, would have been better than what they came up with for this test.

I have played many ww2 naval games that feature subs in one form or another, including a few that are very similar in format to WoWs. My first time trying WOWs subs was during the test last year on the live server in the "submarines" game mode. I tried this new test immediately to see if any improvements had been made, as up until the latest bit of info, I was looking forward to trying them out again.

During the live server test, the WoWs implementation of subs was the best I had seen in a game outside of an actual subsim. It wasn't perfect, definitely needed some tweaks, but overall it was a good setup. It made me excited to see what the finished version would be like, and offered a new and interesting way to play.

But this version... this new test version is by far one of, if not the worst, implementation of subs I have ever seen. I feel as though every single thing they got right the last time around over any other similar game was removed entirely, and instead, they took every bad idea ever other similar game has ever done and made it worse. All in the name of "Balancing" for the people who complained last time around.

Fighting subs in surface ships feels more like you're fighting a PT boat that can hide for 2-3 mins(that about all the time you get underwater thanks to the 'detection drains dive time' mechanic). Even in a BB I rapidly stopped caring if they were even around. They were the least threatening opponent.

As a sub, I felt as though a better ship to have would have been a liberty cargo ship. At least they're more useful.

Some of what they got right/wrong, as far as my opinion goes, are :
-
Giving the big ships the depth charge planes was a good idea. The "Ping warnings" for surface ships was also a good idea. Giving the subs surface guns was a good idea (though they should be player controlled not secondaries).

- Removing control of sub depth was a bad idea. The last version was better gameplay (though I like the addition of the 'periscope depth' setting). The "Dive time" that gets used up by being detected and cant be refilled is one of the worst ideas I've ever heard. There are much better ways to balance/influence surface vs underwater time, I'll even list a few later.

Starting with the live server version, these are just a few ideas off the top of my head for balancing subs, that I think would have been better options. You can tell me if you agree or not.

  • Underwater/Surface time :
    Make subs realistically slow when underwater. 8-10 knots at flank. That in itself will force subs to the surface for positioning.
    Battery use underwater. Traveling faster than 1/4 speed will drain it faster and faster. When empty, you can't go faster than 1/4 speed and can't fire homing pings for the acoustic tracking. Surface to recharge it (snorkel equipped subs could do this at periscope depth with a trade off of higher detection). This would make doing lots of high speed underwater maneuvering due to combat/detection essentially put the sub out of the fight if it doesn't surface to recharge.
    Depth charging a sub could have a chance at forcing the sub to the surface because of major flooding (the crew would blow the ballast to avoid sinking).
     
  • Torpedoes :
    While real WW2 subs did have acoustic homing torpedoes, they were definitely not their primary weapon. Also they homed in on engine noise, not sonar pings. If kept in game as is, they should be a separate weapon type (like HE/AP gun ammo) that are of limited quantity and/or mostly relegated to higher tier (late war) subs.
    The main weapon of subs should be wake-less electric torpedoes, that fire just like any other torpedo (possible exception for sub vs sub combat), except they are nearly impossible to detect except by hydro search.
    Sub torpedoes should only be able to be fired from the surface and shallow depths (subs had a depth limit for firing IRL which could be used a basis).
     
  • Detection/Visability :
    Subs on the surface should have a smaller detection range than destroyers, with some very small and some larger (based on sub size). Radar and Hydro search should be able to pick up a surface sub. They're visibility on the surface would be much the same as the normal surface ship spotting.
    Subs at periscope depth should be nearly undetectable unless close enough for the periscope to be spotted, or hydro/radar search is used (the exception to this is aircraft. aircraft are very good at spotting periscope depth subs). They should have slightly worse spotting capability than on the surface (perhaps limit it to the angle the player is looking through the scope)
    Fully submerged subs should be undetectable to anything but Destroyers and hydro search (exception for sub hunting specific ships). They should not see any ship that they cannot spot themselves. They're spotting range underwater should be base on how good their hydrophone/Hydro operator is (possible use for commander skill there) with hydro search capable subs seeing farther than normal.
     
  • ASW Gameplay :
    Depth charges on Surface ships should have a shallow/deep setting. Pick the right one for the target. Subs could climb into a shallow pattern, or dive into a deep pattern by mistake (or by the skill of the ASW ship).
    Primary ASW ships should be Destroyers (with possible ASW specific variants).
    Secondary ASW ships should be Carriers. CVs should get a 4th squad to launch, based on the British CV level bomber mechanic, armed with depth charges.
    All CA/BB spotter/fighter squads should be armed with depth charges (they often were), and should a sub be detected by one it would make a single run on it. The ability for BBs and CAs to call in depth charge runs should be kept available to them.
     
  • Sub Evasion Gameplay :
    Subs should have full control over their depth, like in the live server test. Subs should have a surface level, Periscope level, then full control down to 90m. Past 90m would require a consumable and cause damage over time past a certain depth (based on sub). Below 90 and at 1/4 speed, a sub should be 100% undetectable, but if they don't successfully escape the enemy's detection range before returning to 90m they will be re-aquired. This would give players a bit of a realistic sub hunt/escape feel.

These are just a few examples off the top of my head. I may have a few more if I think about it for a bit, but this is my initial thoughts. I had been very excited about subs, especially after the live server test. Now I'm struggling to find anything good/fun about it.

I would like to hear everyone's opinion on this as well as your thoughts on the new sub test. Maybe hear some of your suggestions for gameplay as well. Hopefully we can influence the design process of the final sub gameplay. Try to push it back in a good/fun direction for all involved.

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All that said, I encourage everyone who can to take part in the new sub Test and post your thoughts/feedback to the devs. Play both as and versus subs. Its the only way there's even a chance of making it good gameplay.

Edited by Ankhimas

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21 minutes ago, Ankhimas said:

All that said, I encourage everyone who can to take part in the new sub Test and post your thoughts/feedback to the devs. Play both as and versus subs. Its the only way there's even a chance of making it good gameplay.

they dont want our ideas...never have..never will...they do what they want

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4 hours ago, Ankhimas said:
  • Underwater/Surface time :
    Make subs realistically slow when underwater. 8-10 knots at flank. That in itself will force subs to the surface for positioning.

This change alone would help a lot. I think the limited dive meter has its merits, but all-in-all I think it's more of a countermeasure to keep subs from staying underwater 100% of the time.

Perhaps if they were just a bit more generous with the dive time limit then it would allow skillful players to be more aggressive while ensuring that passive players can only get so much done if they waste time underwater unnecessarily.

4 hours ago, Ankhimas said:

I have played many ww2 naval games that feature subs in one form or another, including a few that are very similar in format to WoWs. My first time trying WOWs subs was during the test last year on the live server in the "submarines" game mode. I tried this new test immediately to see if any improvements had been made, as up until the latest bit of info, I was looking forward to trying them out again.

+1 for the feedback. I won't have the time to try out the test server, but I feel better knowing that players with your background are willing to offer their opinions to the community :Smile_honoring:

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I've only played against them so far, but they seem kinda underpowered tbh. Was playing in the Q.E. and got hit by a cachalots torps twice for 8 in total, but managed to survive. The Sub surfaced like 4km away to try and finish me off with his deck gun, right where I was waiting. He wasn't even done surfacing before he was dead from just a few shells.

Playing as a DD was fun to. I picked the gnevny, and it was lots of fun. Started out the battle with nuking another DD when the sub was spotted about 5km away. He dived as I started speeding over there. By the time I was 2km from where he was last spotted, I had a feeling that he would be around there, so I popped my depth charges. 4 hits later and he was dead. Didn't even spot him but he died. The only sad bit was that the Depth Charges didn't make a big explosion. Really hope they change that. 

 

Please, Art Department, I'm Begging You!

 

On the side note, when do you think they'll add the Surcouf?

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44 minutes ago, FullMetal_Inferno said:

+1 for the feedback. I won't have the time to try out the test server, but I feel better knowing that players with your background are willing to offer their opinions to the community

Thank you. I also find the removal of dive control took away one of the most fun parts of playing a sub, actually driving it.

 

45 minutes ago, FullMetal_Inferno said:

I think the limited dive meter has its merits, but all-in-all I think it's more of a countermeasure to keep subs from staying underwater 100% of the time.

Being underwater 100% of the time in a 20-30 min battle is not inherently bad. Making them super combat effective at all times while underwater is the problem. A few other solutions to this would be:

  • subs can't cap points while submerged.
  • subs become ultra slow when out of battery (the max 1/4 speed as I prev mentioned).
  • subs lose the ability to use their homing torps when bat is drained.

Those 3 alone would make a sub combat ineffective after a short time underwater, without forcing a player into a hopeless situation.

54 minutes ago, FullMetal_Inferno said:

Perhaps if they were just a bit more generous with the dive time limit then it would allow skillful players to be more aggressive while ensuring that passive players can only get so much done if they waste time underwater unnecessarily.

The biggest issue I have with the forced dive time (especially the current version) is it basically stops a sub player from playing like a sub. If you are going to cap dive time to a fixed amount, it should be a min of half the battle with only "time submerged" draining it.

A better system would be to make it combat/capping ineffective after a time, without forcing the sub up somewhere it realistically never would surface.

Forcing a surface should be a perk of a good weapons salvo against a Periscope depth sub, or a good depth charge run by a DD or a plane. It could be like a fire or flood tag, that you need to repair before you can dive again. That could be just the thing to kill a pesky sub that used up his repair early, or even just enough time to salvo and kill one as it tries to re-dive.

About the only thing you need a mechanic for then is stopping a player from hiding and dragging out the game. Dive time doesn't solve that as you could just as easily do it on the surface, some CVs do it.

 

I'm all for balanced gameplay.. but balanced gameplay should be fun for all involved. I find in general "rock/paper/scissor" and gameplay design make far better balancing than the "Rock/Rock/Rock" nerf/buff method. I understand if other have a different point of view.

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I agree with everything you said, OP.

And I agree with the "no depth control" aspect!  COME ON!  It's part of the fun of controlling a sub (and watching the contours of the bottom)!

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This'll be my submarine gameplay....

 

PinkSubmarine.jpg

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On 6/10/2021 at 2:39 PM, Ankhimas said:

Hello everyone. This is my first time posting on these forums, as I usually don't do much forum posting in general. But after trying the new subs test, I felt the need to speak my thoughts about it. I couldn't find a feedback thread at the time of posting this, so I put it here. I'll be happy to post this to any feedback thread.

I'm even going to try and offer some balancing solutions to the live server test version that, in my opinion, would have been better than what they came up with for this test.

I have played many ww2 naval games that feature subs in one form or another, including a few that are very similar in format to WoWs. My first time trying WOWs subs was during the test last year on the live server in the "submarines" game mode. I tried this new test immediately to see if any improvements had been made, as up until the latest bit of info, I was looking forward to trying them out again.

During the live server test, the WoWs implementation of subs was the best I had seen in a game outside of an actual subsim. It wasn't perfect, definitely needed some tweaks, but overall it was a good setup. It made me excited to see what the finished version would be like, and offered a new and interesting way to play.

But this version... this new test version is by far one of, if not the worst, implementation of subs I have ever seen. I feel as though every single thing they got right the last time around over any other similar game was removed entirely, and instead, they took every bad idea ever other similar game has ever done and made it worse. All in the name of "Balancing" for the people who complained last time around.

Fighting subs in surface ships feels more like you're fighting a PT boat that can hide for 2-3 mins(that about all the time you get underwater thanks to the 'detection drains dive time' mechanic). Even in a BB I rapidly stopped caring if they were even around. They were the least threatening opponent.

As a sub, I felt as though a better ship to have would have been a liberty cargo ship. At least they're more useful.

Some of what they got right/wrong, as far as my opinion goes, are :
-
Giving the big ships the depth charge planes was a good idea. The "Ping warnings" for surface ships was also a good idea. Giving the subs surface guns was a good idea (though they should be player controlled not secondaries).

- Removing control of sub depth was a bad idea. The last version was better gameplay (though I like the addition of the 'periscope depth' setting). The "Dive time" that gets used up by being detected and cant be refilled is one of the worst ideas I've ever heard. There are much better ways to balance/influence surface vs underwater time, I'll even list a few later.

Starting with the live server version, these are just a few ideas off the top of my head for balancing subs, that I think would have been better options. You can tell me if you agree or not.

  • Underwater/Surface time :
    Make subs realistically slow when underwater. 8-10 knots at flank. That in itself will force subs to the surface for positioning.
    Battery use underwater. Traveling faster than 1/4 speed will drain it faster and faster. When empty, you can't go faster than 1/4 speed and can't fire homing pings for the acoustic tracking. Surface to recharge it (snorkel equipped subs could do this at periscope depth with a trade off of higher detection). This would make doing lots of high speed underwater maneuvering due to combat/detection essentially put the sub out of the fight if it doesn't surface to recharge.
    Depth charging a sub could have a chance at forcing the sub to the surface because of major flooding (the crew would blow the ballast to avoid sinking).
     
  • Torpedoes :
    While real WW2 subs did have acoustic homing torpedoes, they were definitely not their primary weapon. Also they homed in on engine noise, not sonar pings. If kept in game as is, they should be a separate weapon type (like HE/AP gun ammo) that are of limited quantity and/or mostly relegated to higher tier (late war) subs.
    The main weapon of subs should be wake-less electric torpedoes, that fire just like any other torpedo (possible exception for sub vs sub combat), except they are nearly impossible to detect except by hydro search.
    Sub torpedoes should only be able to be fired from the surface and shallow depths (subs had a depth limit for firing IRL which could be used a basis).
     
  • Detection/Visability :
    Subs on the surface should have a smaller detection range than destroyers, with some very small and some larger (based on sub size). Radar and Hydro search should be able to pick up a surface sub. They're visibility on the surface would be much the same as the normal surface ship spotting.
    Subs at periscope depth should be nearly undetectable unless close enough for the periscope to be spotted, or hydro/radar search is used (the exception to this is aircraft. aircraft are very good at spotting periscope depth subs). They should have slightly worse spotting capability than on the surface (perhaps limit it to the angle the player is looking through the scope)
    Fully submerged subs should be undetectable to anything but Destroyers and hydro search (exception for sub hunting specific ships). They should not see any ship that they cannot spot themselves. They're spotting range underwater should be base on how good their hydrophone/Hydro operator is (possible use for commander skill there) with hydro search capable subs seeing farther than normal.
     
  • ASW Gameplay :
    Depth charges on Surface ships should have a shallow/deep setting. Pick the right one for the target. Subs could climb into a shallow pattern, or dive into a deep pattern by mistake (or by the skill of the ASW ship).
    Primary ASW ships should be Destroyers (with possible ASW specific variants).
    Secondary ASW ships should be Carriers. CVs should get a 4th squad to launch, based on the British CV level bomber mechanic, armed with depth charges.
    All CA/BB spotter/fighter squads should be armed with depth charges (they often were), and should a sub be detected by one it would make a single run on it. The ability for BBs and CAs to call in depth charge runs should be kept available to them.
     
  • Sub Evasion Gameplay :
    Subs should have full control over their depth, like in the live server test. Subs should have a surface level, Periscope level, then full control down to 90m. Past 90m would require a consumable and cause damage over time past a certain depth (based on sub). Below 90 and at 1/4 speed, a sub should be 100% undetectable, but if they don't successfully escape the enemy's detection range before returning to 90m they will be re-aquired. This would give players a bit of a realistic sub hunt/escape feel.

These are just a few examples off the top of my head. I may have a few more if I think about it for a bit, but this is my initial thoughts. I had been very excited about subs, especially after the live server test. Now I'm struggling to find anything good/fun about it.

I would like to hear everyone's opinion on this as well as your thoughts on the new sub test. Maybe hear some of your suggestions for gameplay as well. Hopefully we can influence the design process of the final sub gameplay. Try to push it back in a good/fun direction for all involved.

These are very good suggestions.

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