A new stage of submarine testing will start soon, so we'd like to share what changed since the last test session, which took place in autumn of 2020.
Submarines have come a long way: Since their announcement in the summer of 2019, we've gone through three tests, a temporary "Submarine battle" event on the main server, and again a test on a separate server back in October 2020. During this time, a lot of feedback and statistics were collected, on the basis of which changes have been made to almost all the mechanics associated with the new ship type.
For previous tests, the playstyle of submarines was similar to that of stealthy torpedo-focused destroyers. Now, in order to ensure a unique type of gameplay for the new class, we've changed the main target for submarines. For a significant part of each battle, the underwater hunters will be fighting the very classes that have the best tools to confront them - destroyers and cruisers.
Submarines in reality are very complicated pieces of machinery. So when adding them to World of Warships, we want to reflect the natural limitations that go hand in hand with operating underwater. To do so, we're adding a parameter — Dive Capacity— which simulates the different systems and resources a submarine would need to rely on. Dive Capacity will replace Battery Charge, and will likewise limit a submarine's ability to remain underwater for long periods of time.
Dive Capacity is limited in time - roughly up to 10 minutes of activity per battle, depending on the sub's nation and Tier. This parameter is depleted when a submarine is underwater, and cannot be regenerated during battle. Considering that the average battle lasts for about 15 minutes: if a submarine spends the first 10 minutes of a battle underwater, it will be forced to play the remaining 5 minutes exclusively on the surface. While a submarine is detected underwater or at periscope depth, Dive Capacity will deplete faster. This is a way for ships with Hydroacoustic Search and Surveillance Radar to influence an enemy sub's actions even without dealing damage to them.
This change will allow surface ships to counteract submarines even without dedicated anti-submarine weaponry.
Depth controls, detectability, and view
We've unified several previously tested mechanics and controls. Now, depth cannot be set freely within an accuracy of up to 1 meter, but instead, a depth has to be chosen from several options using the C and F keys. Moreover, periscope depth is back - it will allow a submarine to move stealthily and at a standard speed, but will deplete Dive Capacity. There is no longer a special consumable needed to submerge to Maximum depth.
A submarine's detectability radius now decreases linearly with depth. This will prevent situations when a submarine instantly disappeared from an enemy's sight shortly after being detected.
Depth controls have become easier and more intuitive, and different depths will have a distinct influence on gameplay.
Torpedoes and sonar ping
Subs' efficiency will increase against maneuverable targets and will lower against ships with strong torpedo protection:
- Submarines' torpedoes have had their damage lowered, but their chance of incapacitating modules has been increased;
- Torpedoes no longer ignore torpedo protection when there is an active effect from two sonar pings;
- Emitting a sonar ping became more convenient. The camera will now automatically follow the target when aiming the sonar, the same way it does when aiming guns with other ship types;
- Emitting a sonar ping temporarily increases a sub's detectability;
- Torpedo guidance towards ships marked with sonar ping was improved;
- Now, sonar pings mark both sides of a ship, and torpedoes don't lose guidance even if the target ship turns the marked side away;
- A ship hit by a sonar ping will be able to see a marker, similar to that of the Radio Location skill, showing the direction from which the submarine's ping came from.
Surface ships received new ways of influencing subs' actions thanks to their limited Dive Capacity and the fact that it depletes faster when a submarine is detected underwater. Therefore, the hydrophone was removed.
- Upgrades, consumables, and commander skills were added for submarines. You will be able to check them out in the test client, and there will be a free skill reset for all commanders with the addition of submarines to the main server.
- Some skills for destroyers, cruisers, and battleships will have additional effects to counteract submarines.
- Subs' secondary guns will fire SAP shells.
- Ribbons, achievements, combat missions, maps, and settings for game modes were updated, as well as the way consumables and upgrades work.
- Added an underwater environment for most of the maps, including seabed relief and the underwater parts of islands. This innovation will help submarines navigate the battlefield while submerged.
- A lot of bugs were fixed, the client's stability was improved, effects were updated and many other technical improvements were made.
Please note that all information in the development blog is preliminary. Announced adjustments and features may change multiple times during testing. The final information will be published on our game's website.