Submarines Beta Test: Results of the first session. WoWs Dev Blog

Beta Test 2 Changes and Test 1 Results
Thanks to all participants of the first round of the Beta Test! We are grateful for the time taken to try out the new ship type and sharing your impressions and ideas with us.

The Second stage of Beta Test starts today and we would like to share a list of changes, most of which are based on your feedback.

  • The TST server only runs 8 hours a day to ensure maximum amount of participants online at once.
  • The TST server is available 12:00 - 20:00 UTC daily between the 3rd and 8th of October for round 2 testing.
We remind you that during Beta Test, we are working –with your help– to review and evaluate the current concept of the gameplay on and against submarines. Most of what you will see is now in development. The current state of the gameplay, balance characteristics, texts, and much more may differ from what will be in the final version.

As part of the beta test, we will work with you to improve the gameplay of submarines, make improvements or changes, and prepare for the next stages of testing.

After the Beta test, which will take place over several iterations, submarines will be added to the game client as part of a separate game mode (as it was, for example, with Arms Race, Rogue Wave or Space Battles). This will allow us to test under main server conditions, with a larger number of participants as we make the finishing touches and adjust the balancing of the new class.

Only after all these steps have been taken will we decide on the fate of submarines.

Don’t worry If you don’t find yourself among the Beta Test participants. As the test goes on, we’ll be sending out more and more invitations so that every player who wishes to can eventually join the Beta Test!

The main changes for Round 2 of the Beta Test:
  • Reworked interaction between destroyers and submarines;
  • Manual depth charges;
  • Maximum Depth: a new consumable for submarines;
  • Re-balanced submarine torpedoes!
Looking back at the results of Round 1, we’ve made significant changes to the interactions between destroyers and submarines. Previously, players hemming destroyers were able to get by with the performance of just a minimal set of actions. It often transpired that destroyers’ Commanders didn’t have much involvement in the submarine hunting process, and sometimes weren’t even able to determine which actions exactly they had received ribbons for.

Now, ships carrying depth charges will be equipped with an active Hydrophone that can track a submarine’s movement within a particular radius around the ship. The Hydrophone displays three ranges: long, medium, and short. At each range, the submarine’s bearing is updated at varying intervals of time: The closer the ship is to the submarine, the more frequently the incoming information will be updated. With each update, the submarine’s approximate location will be indicated with a special marker.

Depth charges will now be released by pressing the “G” key. A destroyer will carry several charges that can be released consecutively. Depth charges will have a certain reload time.

Many players enjoyed the option to change the diving depth in Operation “Terror of the Deep”. We’ve reviewed your comments carefully and decided to add greater diversity to the tactics available to submarines to counter destroyers by equipping subs with consumables that can increase their diving depth. By default, submarines will be able to choose between three depths: periscope depth, surface level, and underwater level. However, when at the underwater level, you can use the Maximum Depth consumable to temporarily dive even deeper than usual. At greater depths, submarines will take less damage from depth charges.

A submerged submarine now cruises at a speed that’s approximately 20% slower than her speed on the surface. With the improvements made to the mechanics of depth charges and the addition of the Maximum Depth consumable, we believe this change will balance the underwater gameplay.

Another major difference from Operation “Terror of the Deep” is the option to go to periscope depth by pressing the “G” key. The capabilities of a submarine at periscope depth are substantially different from her capabilities underwater or on the water’s surface. At periscope depth, a sub can launch torpedoes and emit sonar pings, but it comes at the cost of a substantial drop in speed. By assigning a separate key for going to periscope depth, we aim to avoid situations where a player accidentally “shifts” from one depth to another, losing the possibility to launch torpedoes and emit sonar pings as a result. Apart from that, when at periscope depth, a submarine will no longer be able to detect a submerged hostile submarine. This way we emphasise the main objective of a sub at this depth: hunting for surface ships without getting distracted by submarines detected underwater.

During Round 2 of the test, the Radio Location skill is disabled. During the first round, it worked without restrictions for all types of ships, often providing excessive information about the location of hostile ships. I.e. informing destroyers about the position of hostile submarines, and vice versa. We’re going to change the mechanics of the skill with the different diving depths in mind and bring it back into the game in the following rounds of the test.

A lot of players pointed out that the system of switching between torpedo tubes was not very convenient. After careful examination of your comments, we’ve reworked the way torpedo tubes are activated to bring the process in line with that of other ships: groups of torpedo tubes are selected depending on the chosen launching angle. Along with interface-related changes, in Round 2 we’re going to add an option to use the stern torpedo tubes. You’ll also be able to switch to sonar pings simply by pressing the “2” key. This way players will be able to determine for themselves whether they need to emit a sonar ping, or whether they can do without it and simply launch a torpedo salvo at a target.

The notification displayed when a sonar ping is emitted by a sub will now be more noticeable: the Minimap indication of the spot where the sub was last detected will be brighter.

Battleships are the primary target for submarines. However, during Round 1 subs turned out to be too efficient in countering them. They could deal huge amounts of damage with a single salvo of torpedoes after two successful sonar pings on the target. To balance this, we’ve changed the mechanics of damage dealing for acoustic torpedoes: we’ve increased their regular damage but decreased the damage to a target hit by two sonar pings. With this change, acoustic torpedoes will no longer be overpowered against battleships, leaving the latter with a chance to reduce the damage they might sustain by manoeuvring effectively.

At the same time, despite being highly effective against battleships during Round 1 of the test, submarines didn’t have much of a chance against cruisers and destroyers. To tweak the balance in this area, we’ve made the following changes: a second successful hit with a sonar ping increases the accuracy of torpedo guidance, giving players a better chance to hit cruisers and destroyers. However, these ships will still have a good chance to dodge any incoming torpedoes: we’ve increased the distance at which the guidance ceases to work and where an acoustic torpedo will continue onwards like a regular one. A ship has the best chance to avoid getting hit by maneuvering when the torpedo is no longer guided. During Round 2 of the Beta Test, this distance is set at 600 meters for destroyers, 900 meters for cruisers, 1,200 meters for battleships, and 300 meters for submarines.

Acoustic torpedoes now interact better with submarines and will track a hostile sub even when she dives deep, but their manoeuvrability is still limited. A submarine that makes a sudden change of course at the appropriate time can avoid being hit by a torpedo.

At periscope depth, a submarine is easy to detect using a variety of means, but she’s still hard to hit. In forthcoming rounds of testing, we are keen on improving the interaction between artillery-focused ships and submarines at periscope depth to achieve the optimum balance when firing at a submarine operating.

Of course, we’ve complemented this with changes to balance, audio, visuals, and other components. Regarding balance characteristics, we’ve changed the damage and effective radius of depth charges, the surfacing and diving speed of submarines, and a few other parameters.

Also, we’re glad to announce that the rewards for the participants of the first session of the Beta Test are already invoiced (except for the flag and patch, they will arrive later). We would like to note that all missions, except for the tasks on flag and patch, start every session anew.

Also, if you want to take part in Beta Test, check the Subscription Management section of the Account Management page on the portal — you should have a check-mark next to World of Warships for the invitation to reach you.

Please note that the mechanics described here and other elements that are available to Beta Testers may differ from the final version.

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