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Submarines: 2 weeks of Random Battles testing

Greetings, captains!

It's been 2 intense weeks since Submarines entered Random Battles, and we're eager to discuss your feedback and how we plan to address it. The changes described below are scheduled to be released in the next big update — 0.10.10.

 

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.

Homing torpedoes rework

The only proper armament a submarine has access to is a few torpedo launchers. Due to this natural limitation to the type, the ability to use Sonar Pings to activate torpedo homing was implemented; to help build an interesting and unique type of gameplay revolving around this one avenue of attack. However, your feedback clearly indicates that, right now, subs' torpedoes feel too powerful, efficient, and easy to use.

Many of you highlighted that a submarine receives too many advantages off of the proper use of Sonar Pings — both enhanced homing and increased damage — and that this makes the interaction on the receiving end quite painful.

To address this issue, while also preserving the unique gameplay we've built for submarines, we've reworked their torpedoes, splitting them into two types that will receive different bonuses from their use in conjunction with sonar pings.

  • The first type are homing torpedoes. Their maneuverability will be reduced, and the distance at which they stop homing on destroyers and cruisers will be increased twofold. The rest of the parameters and mechanics of these torpedoes remain similar to the current ones on the live server: the first ping activates homing, the second ping improves it, but doesn't make it better than how it is now on the main server. However, the successfully Sonar Pinged torpedoes no longer receive any bonus to their damage.
  • The second type are torpedoes with a magnetic detonator. Their base damage is somewhat higher than that of homing torpedoes. The first ping reduces the torpedoes' detectability by 25%, and the second ping doubles their damage if they hit the torpedo protection. These torpedoes can potentially deal a lot of damage, but they do not have any horizontal homing at all — when the Ping effect is active, they can only ascend or descend to match the level of the target. 

All submarines will have access to homing torpedoes, while only tiers VIII and X will also have the option of loading proximity fuse torpedoes. 

It's important to remember that anti-torpedo protection coefficient reduces the damage of these torpedoes (as well as the ones we currently have on the live server).

Switching between the two types of torpedoes will be handled similarly to superdestroyer Yamagiri — it will take some time to switch, and the current torpedo reload will be suspended in the process. For example, if you have 6 torpedoes out of 8 loaded, and you have 20 seconds left for a full reload, after switching from homing to proximity fuse, you will have 6 proximity fuse torpedoes ready, and still 20 seconds until the remaining two are loaded.

So, roughly speaking, this change will introduce a choice for a submarine captain between homing and high damage, and should make the interactions on the receiving end much less punishing.

By the way, further on in 0.10.11 we plan to introduce torpedo aim for underwater states, which will make aiming torpedoes underwater more convenient. 

Submarine spotting underwater

On top of dealing precise damage, subs can also spot surface ships relatively well from underwater. We decided that in the current implementation it is too much, and that spotting from underwater should be nerfed. Therefore, the base detectability of all surface ships from underwater will be 2 km, and it will be substituted with the proximity detection mechanic in one of the future updates. Thus, submarines will no longer be able to spot efficiently while remaining relatively invulnerable. 

Depth switching abuse

Not a very frequent, but still rather frustrating trick that we've noticed is the ability for submarines to switch depths quickly between surface and periscope depth. It allowed some players to reduce their concealment while not spending their battery charge because a sub's detectability started to change immediately when a depth change is ordered. We don't believe such tactics are healthy for gameplay, so this trick will be patched out: detectability changes will occur when a sub reaches periscope and maximum depth.

Hydroacoustic search and maximum depth

One of the main gameplay aspects of submarines is the ability to hide at maximum depth. While being there, submarines can't see much and can't do much, which balances the advantages of hiding. For this reason, we want to keep this mechanic as it is, so we don't plan on changing Hydroacoustic Search so that it can detect subs at maximum depth. Please note that it still detects them at all other depths. 

Submarines popularity

Even though subs' efficiency didn't change much since the previous test, right now their popularity in Random Battles is a bit higher than we anticipated — up to 10% of games on tier X are played on subs.

As shown above, following your feedback and results of the test, we're already changing the mechanics for the new ship type and we intend to continue working on it. As a consequence, these changes might also affect subs' presence in battles and their popularity over time.

Moving forward

Even though these changes quite noticeably affect their gameplay, there are still many subs-related mechanics which have not been touched. In order to test this new ship type as well as possible and to decide what further changes may be needed, we will need to carry out more testing. So, even with the changes planned for 0.10.10, we will continue testing the current iteration of subs — the battles played before the release of 0.10.10 and all the feedback on them are still important. 

We're pretty sure these changes are not the last you will see, but right now these are the changes we're implementing and soon you will be able to try them out. We will keep you updated and share news as soon as we have more plans to share.

Thank you for the battles you've played — your feedback and results help us forge the new ship type and make playing subs and against them more interesting.