We would like to thank everyone who took part in the submarines test held on a separate server for the great number of battles played and detailed feedback. Today, we want to share the changes we plan to implement, and further steps.
Changes to mechanics and gameplay
Submarines of all tiers will now slowly regain Dive Capacity while surfaced. This will make combat more diverse for the new class. However, full depletion of Dive Capacity will still significantly influence a sub's survivability.
Sonar ping, crosshair, and torpedoes
To make sonar ping usage more comfortable, its speed has been increased. This will make interaction with maneuverable targets — cruisers and destroyers — easier.
A dynamic crosshair has been added so that leading targets with sonar ping at different ranges is easier.
To balance the interaction of subs with different classes we've reduced the chance of a submarine's torpedoes causing flooding and critically damaging modules. The guidance of their torpedoes has also been improved against other submarines and worsened against battleships.
Depth and detectability
We are planning to keep the choice of several depth levels instead of allowing meter-by-meter adjustments, as it gives all the necessary states for submarine gameplay-wise and does not create unnecessary complications in controls.
We increased the diving rudder's shift speed to make control of submarines more responsive.
We want the gameplay difference between subs and destroyers to be more pronounced, so submarines' detectability at periscope and operational depths will be reduced. Surface ships will be detected by submarines from the same range as from planes. Therefore, reconnaissance will not be the main task for subs.
If a submarine is at operational or extreme depth, its Hydrophone will detect enemy subs at these same depths. Paired with improved torpedo guidance, this will enhance sub vs sub combat.
Fighting against submarines
Changes to anti-submarine warfare (ASW) tools will make interactions more convenient for both sides.
- Surface ships' depth charges will sink slower, so submarines will have more time to maneuver and possibly reduce incoming damage;
- It will be easier to hit submarines with the ASW plane attack, and their depth charges will deal more damage;
- It will be easier to hit submarines with shells at periscope depth;
- AP shells will have a small explosion area dealing damage to submarines. HE and SAP shells still will be more effective against subs than AP;
- Some ships won't have depth charges or ASW planes. Much like with other existing tools such as Hydroacoustic search or Main Battery Reload Booster, some features are exclusive to certain ships. Ships without ASW armament will be able to confront submarines thanks to the depletion of their Dive Capacity or in close work with allies that do have ASW tools.
One of the most discussed submarine-related topics is their influence on matchmaking and the number of ships engaged in artillery combat. One of the frequent suggestions is to increase the size of teams from 12 to, for example, 15.
We don't plan to increase the size of teams in the main type of battle - Random battles:
- The balance is built around the interaction of a certain number of ships. Changing it would lead to a need to completely reconfigure all ships in the game;
- All maps and modes suited for 12 ships per team would have to likewise be changed;
- The more ships in there are in a battle, the less influence on the outcome each of them has. We find the influence of individual ships in the "12 vs 12" format to be optimal for Random battles.
Regardless, we also understand that the matchmaker may need changes with the addition of submarines, and now we're considering additional limitations affecting multiple classes together, for example both submarines and destroyers, or destroyers, submarines and aircraft carriers. E.g. no more than 5 destroyers and submarines combined. At the same time, limits on each class will remain.
We continue to work on other game elements related to the new class:
- Updating balance settings;
- Working on skills, upgrades, consumables;
- Work on the underwater world is ongoing — more and more maps are slowly but surely becoming ready for submarines;
- Working on the interface. In future, we'll consider adding a visual representation of a submarine's torpedo launch sector and spread cone while it is submerged.
Submarines have been through 6 open tests since their announcement in 2019, and a great number of internal and closed ones. However, testing on a separate server or in a special type of battle can't provide the same amount of data as testing in Random Battles does. We don't want to add submarines directly to the main type of battle, but at the same time, a new class requires a prolonged trial by a wide and stable audience. Ranked battles is a suitable type of battle for such a check, as the most similar to Random battles.
That's why a special season of Ranked battles will start in 0.10.7 which will allow taking part in submarines. They will be available for rent freely from random bundles. Such a distribution method will help to control the number of new class ships and avoid very long queues.
Besides Ranked battles, submarines will be able to enter Cooperative Battles to be tried in more calm surroundings.
The special Ranked season will last for 11 weeks, will be similar in structure to the 3rd season. It will allow players to get to know subs much better than they would during a short test and at the same time provide us with a large amount of feedback and data. During this check and following its results, we will continue to make changes, including to balance. Details about the season and how to get submarines will be published closer to the start of the event, and the closest opportunity to try out a new class with the previously-mentioned changes will be the 0.10.7 Public Test.
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.