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Submarines Beta Test [Feedback]

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Good morning/afternoon,

Since WG had the generosity to allow me into the submarine beta test, I've decided to make the most and provide some feedback.

Firstly, I'd like to say I am extremely impressed with how WG has been implementing submarines and making great balance changes. I feel that the entire submarine experience - for all ship classes - is a massive value add to the game.

Secondly, onto feedback about specifics of submarine gameplay at the moment:

1. Sub torpedoes: In the second iteration, the base damage of torpedoes was increased and the double ping damage was decreased. This to me was a good move. It allows submarines to use torpedoes as anyone else would without having to expose themselves and ping their location in order to do worthwhile damage. On the other hand it also is not too powerful against ships where you can just pop up and fire before submerging with little exposure time. If set up right however, and the torpedoes and double pinged, it still doesn't do OP damage, but a healthy punishing amount for anyone not paying attention to the mini-map for pings and whether they are isolated  and in danger or not. I feel like the amount of homing the torpedoes get at the moment is good enough to punish cruisers and battleships, but not enough to always ensure a hit no matter how the target is maneuvering. Against DDs, homing torpedoes and especially difficult to hit against a clever player that is looking for them. I'm happy with this state of affairs. I think good counter gameplay by other classes should be rewarded, and not that a double ping means assured high damage against the ship you pinged. DDs SHOULD in my opinion be hard to hit if they're playing smart as they need the ability to get close and depth charge submarines. If subs are able to land a hit every time they activate homing then DDs won't be able to counter them very well no matter the level of play. In regards to against submarines, I really like that they will now chase a submarine once double pinged. Again, torpedoing another submarine should not be easy, but it is doable, and it makes for fantastic gameplay trying to do so - especially when you have rear torpedo tubes for the sub chasing you XD.

2. Depth charges: The change to manual use in the second iteration has been a godsend to gameplay IMO. The satisfaction for a depth charge kill is now in the players hands, and the fact that you need to use them carefully to get the kill before you run out and have to reload means that a destroyer hunting a submarine isn't an assured kill, and the submarine has a chance of survival compared to the first iteration. I feel like the radius of damage could be reduced, but the damage could be increased a tad. I have depth charged right on top of a submarine starting to dive from periscope depth only to not get a kill because he was able to get to the consumable depth after my first wave of depth charges and before my second wave of depth charges hit. I feel that at that sort of close range situation depth charges should net a kill from such careless play by a submarine - especially after I had to stick my neck out in front of enemies and dodge al the subs torps to get that close. I don't believe this is unreasonable, I see it being equivalent to a BB dev strike against a close broadside cruiser, or a dev strike from a DD against a BB from close kamikaze range torpedoing. At the same time though, if you decrease the range the depth charges damage it also means the DD has to be accurate and can't just sail, "that'll be close enough" distance away to net damage, floods and fires. 

3. Maximum depth consumable: I absolutely love this consumable. Firstly, it gives players who time it right the ability to escape a destroyer and survive a depth charge attack (as long as you're at depth already when activating it so that the depth charges don't get you while you're still submerging), and secondly, I love that it gives the ability to go undetected by other submarines and ships for the time you are at that depth. It allows for a greater depth and skill to the gameplay and gives the submarine a little bit more ability to enable clever plays inherent to the sub class just like every other ship class has it's own particular style. The consumable doesn't feel too easy though - it has to be timed just right or else it'll run out before you evade the enemy sub and get re-detected, or evade the depth charges.

4. Destroyer sonar location when close to enemy submarines: I feel like this mechanic is a little too easy at the moment in so far as the range you start getting highlighted sonar areas is too large. The accuracy and update speed of the sonar is in a good spot I feel; it doesn't update fast enough to allow a destroyer to easily understand where the enemy submarine is or is going. However, I feel that you should need to be closer before you get these sonar areas. As a destroyer player you already get pings on the mini-map to tell you where submarines are and you are generally much faster than them. It also allows submarines a chance to play smarter around DDs without getting instantly detected at range by the DD sonar.

5. Deck gun on submarines: Something I would love to see is a consumable for when surfaced that allows you to use your deck gun. I feel like that would be a good way to balance no deck gun vs constant deck gun, and could represent the effort that gun crews had to make to get out of the submarine and man the gun. It would allow you to finish off that 56HP enemy that you just torpedoed half to death, and give you some way to say screw you to enemy DDs bearing down on your out-of-air submarine just before you die XD. This could be balanced by giving a time penalty for diving when the deck gun is activated (need to get the men back in the submarine!) so that submarines can't just pop up and fire before submerging with no consequence. I would really like to see some purpose given to the nicely modeled deck guns though.

6. Radio location and subs: Since they removed radio location for the second patch the gameplay has greatly improved IMO. Submarines key values lie in stealth and torpedoes, and radio location negates that a great deal. I don't think radio location should ever be able to work against a submerged or periscope depth submarine, however I would be open to trialing the idea that it would work against a surfaced submarine. It would make sense if the skill was: locates the nearest surface vessel. This could still be too punishing against submarine play though and I believe that with DDs sonar they don't need any more help from radio location of any form against subs. 

7. Hydro vs submarines: I think that ships with hydro acoustic should be able to use this in some way against submarines, more so than currently only detected them when they are completely surfaced. What I would be interested in seeing is giving ships using hydro the same sonar highlighted area of where a submarine is/was as the destroyers currently get. I feel like this would make it harder to be careless around good cruiser players in a submarine and allow the cruiser a means to predict where the submarine might next surface, so that they can attack it with HE.

8. HE vs surfaced and periscope depth subs: I am very comfortable with how it currently is. I feel the damage done is perfectly reasonable and makes surface ships that aren't DDs a means to effectively combat submarines so that they can't attack with impunity.

 Overall, I think that covers most of what I wanted to say. I am absolutely loving the gameplay though and I think it will be the best addition to the game for a while. Well done WG!

Cheers, Sebdspy

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