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Procrastes

Will submarines eliminate the destroyer as a scout and cap contender?

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Hello, fellow forumites!

 

About the forthcoming introduction of submarines, there is one aspect in particular that I'd like to adress, namely their effect on destroyer gameplay. As a class that relies to a great extent on stealth and manoeuvrability, the destroyer is extra sensitive, balance-wise, to any change in the stealth meta. I can hardly see how submarines can fail to affect stealth play in a big way.

 

We know, as yet, very little about the details of submarine gameplay, and this is hardly surprising since there is - as yet - very little to know. But from what I've seen in the videos by iChase and others, and read on this forums, I can at least begin to make some educated assumptions.

 

We can assume that submarines will have the highest stealth rating in the game. Even on the surface they will probably be able to out-spot most, or maybe even all, destroyers. Once they go to periscope depth, their stealth advantage becomes even greater, although they lose mobility to compensate. And if push comes to shove, they can submerge fully and - with added mobility - make an expeditious retreat. As for weapons, they have no guns of any kind, but they do have homing torpedoes.

 

In iChase's recent videos of submarine gameplay, the odds seemed to be fairly even in a straight-up duel between a submarine and a destroyer, although I'd guess that a destroyer that manages to avoid getting torpedoed during the initial attack, would probably hold the advantage. But this is in a situation where there are no allies on either side to provide fire support. If the destroyer had to conduct his manoeuvres while under fire from the allies of the submarine, things would be much different.

 

Based on this, I can see the following scenario taking place in a typical scouting or capping contest between a submarine and a destroyer, early on in the battle.

 

A. The submarine (in surface mode) and the destroyer both approach the cap zone. The destroyer is spotted first, and immediately comes under fire from the enemy team. If the destroyer disengages at this point, the submarine will have won the engagement. If the destroyer pushes on, go to B.

 

B. As the two ships close in on each other, the submarine goes to periscope depth and thus remains unspotted. It starts to reverse, and fires homing torpedoes at the destroyer. Meanwhile, the destroyer - which remains spotted and is kept under continuous fire - starts to take some serious damage. If the destroyer disengages at this point, the submarine will have won the engagement. If the destroyer pushes on, go to C.

 

C. The destroyer may take one or more of the submarines torpedoes, in which case it will either sink or be forced to withdraw, or it may dodge them and push on. In the latter case, the destroyer - who is significantly faster than the submarine - swiftly comes close enough to proximity spot his enemy, and opens fire. The submarine takes a few hits, and immediately submerges fully. Since a fully submerged submarine continues to proximity detect ships on the surface (without being proximity spotted in return), the destroyer remains spotted and will probably be sunk by incoming fire before it has time to conduct a depth charge run. When this happens, the submarine will have won the engagement.

 

To sum it all up: If a submarine has even moderate back-up from its allies, I can't see how it could lose this sort of engagement other than through some serious mistake or misplay of its own.

 

Obviously, there are many other parameters to consider in a scenario such as the one described above. A destroyer equipped with hydro, for instance, would  presumably have a much greater chance of avoiding the homing torpedoes, and unless submarines are given magical anti-hydro capabilities, it should also be able to use the hydro to locate submarines at greater distances. And the good old "Vigilance" skill may perhaps see a renaissance. But these are all details in a much bigger picture - namely the supplanting of the destroyer as the most stealthy ship class in the game. How will this affect destroyer gameplay, and how will it change the overall balance between ship classes?

 

I have intentionally painted a bleak picture of the future. I am hoping for counter-arguments, showing that the scenario I've envisioned above will not come to pass. I don't claim to be able to predict what will happen. But I know what I don't want to happen, namely to see the destroyer reduced to the role of second-line torpedo spammer. Launching torpedoes from second line is not only a war crime in itself (joking, here), it is also a damn boring way of playing what I personally regard as the most fun, mobile and challenging ship class in the game. And before you say it, no - neither the carrier rework nor such game mechanics as radar and hydro, have yet been able to relegate the destroyer to second line. The game environment has changed more than once since this game's inception, but the gunboat destroyer still is where it has always been - in the middle of the action, fighting at close quarters with the enemy in the glorious grand melêe. I sincerely hope it will remain there.

 

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this matter, captains and gamers all!

Cheers!

:Smile_honoring:

 

 

Edited: After putting up this thread, I learned from another poster - courtesy of a link provided by @Cagliostro_chan in post #23 below, thanks a bunch! - that fully submerged submarines will indeed proximity detect surface ships, without being proximity detected by them in return. It follows that the odds are even more heavily stacked against the destroyer, than I reckoned with at first. I have amended paragraph C in my above scenario accordingly.

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3 minutes ago, Procrastes said:

Will submarines eliminate the destroyer as a scout and cap contender?

No.

They are just another kind of DD, which makes Subs redundant as a class.

DD life will be harder as they get outspotted more, as you described.

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 I was about the start to give my full focus to DD play but like ColonelPete said, DD life seems gonna be more harder. Than first thing for me is continue bb and ca play and observe whats going on around. Will see mate, will see...

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[MORIA]
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Nope. The only thing that would change is that all team including DD will shout at the sub "go spot you coward!" ....

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The idea of submarines getting into a spotting race with surface ships is so ludicrous and such a complete misunderstanding of the purpose, tactics and mechanics of submarine warfare that I don't know where to begin. The gameplay you are describing is for torpedo boats, so they should be adding those instead if that's what's needed.

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WG thinks that CV players can't control both their ship and their planes but on the other side DD players could manage chasing Subs, fighting DDs, cap, spot, avoiding radar, dodge planes and other things all at the same time.  

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15 minutes ago, MacArthur92 said:

Nope. The only thing that would change is that all team including DD will shout at the sub "go spot you coward!" ....

And in what way will this be a change...? :Smile_smile:

 

Although to be fair, the tone and general conduct in World of Warships still remains nice and polite. Vitriolic outburst like the one you quote are exceptions, that can largely be ignored.

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2 hours ago, fumtu said:

WG thinks that CV players can't control both their ship and their planes but on the other side DD players could manage chasing Subs, fighting DDs, cap, spot, avoiding radar, dodge planes and other roles all at the same time.  

Yes, it is rather flattering when you think of it like that, is it not? :Smile_Default:

 

Hopefully they will make carriers a little less immune to damage as time goes on. Meanwhile, wag the dog, we will have submarines to confusticate and vex... and if nothing else, the aircraft carriers will probably be able to pitch in with that. The homing torpedoes should pose less of a threat to plane squadrons, so there is that.

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If what we have seen so far gets implemented without any changes: yes. Why? Because DDs don't survive being spotted for minutes and that was the case when the DD chased the sub in the gameplay demo. The devs also have to ask themselves if it's a good idea to limit anti-submarine weapons to the least played class (apart from CVs) with the lowest survivability.

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2 hours ago, invicta2012 said:

The idea of submarines getting into a spotting race with surface ships is so ludicrous and such a complete misunderstanding of the purpose, tactics and mechanics of submarine warfare that I don't know where to begin. The gameplay you are describing is for torpedo boats, so they should be adding those instead if that's what's needed.

If we go by historical accuracy then yes, you are entirely right. As far as I know, submarines were never - or almost never, anyway - part of large-scale fleet actions. But if we want the addition of an altogether new and engaging ship class - and this is clearly Wargaming's aim here - torpedo boats would hardly fit the bill. They already exist as bot opponents in the Dunkirk operation, and I doubt they would be very fun as a player-controlled vehicles. Maybe in a dedicated special operation or something like that, but hardly in random battles.

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Imagine two submarines as last survivors in a match. This will be fun. 

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In a sub vs sub game, the first submarine who loses all oxygen loses since they can just hone the torpedo on the submarine and follow to periscope depth.

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15 minutes ago, Procrastes said:

They already exist as bot opponents in the Dunkirk operation, and I doubt they would be very fun as a player-controlled vehicles in the game. Maybe in a dedicated special operation, but hardly in random battles.

They're the starter class in Naval War Thunder....

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16 minutes ago, invicta2012 said:

They're the starter class in Naval War Thunder....

And their survivability in WOWS were not very high... 

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Short answer: NO. 

 

Because subs won't make it into PVP. It will not survive the scrutiny of players expecting an immersive game when there are submarine's depicted in a WWII centered game where they suddenly have magic powers and go 30kts submerged. 

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Submarines cannot replace the DD, because DDs just make a better spotter. While concealment is key, it isn't everything, as otherwise, why do people play DDs other than IJN line? While the submarines we get are relatively fast for subs, they are slow compared to DDs, their potential to engage, disengage and relocate is far lower. If a DD gets spotted by sub, they can go disengage or engage, depending on how the odds are, but a sub will neither be able to run off, nor give chase. Additionally, DDs have smoke, more torps and a good few have a veritable gun armament.

 

And if subs somehow manage to creep into competitive meta, hydro DDs exist and at least at T8, the Loyang and Cossack see play already a lot.

 

I do wonder though, will RPF work vs subs...

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1 hour ago, invicta2012 said:

The idea of submarines getting into a spotting race with surface ships is so ludicrous and such a complete misunderstanding of the purpose, tactics and mechanics of submarine warfare that I don't know where to begin. The gameplay you are describing is for torpedo boats, so they should be adding those instead if that's what's needed.

 

No. The Schnellboot's are already in the game, you can shoot at them in scenario's. Think they would be fun for a player to control ( without totally changing the game for them ).

 

We already have everything we need, if anything WG could split up destroyers into DD leaders and normal destroyers or something ( gun and torpedo focus ), and adjust MM to handle this. PT boats and such could then be pushed into low tier gun boats, but even then... why spend the trouble, what would it ADD to the game except more content to grind? What new mechanics/gameplay would they bring which would actually make the game more fun?

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4 minutes ago, Winged_Cat_Dormant said:

Hydro will not detect subs.

Source?

 

Because afaik, hydro will detect subs. radar detects them surfaced, hydro even when diving. Source.

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1 hour ago, fumtu said:

WG thinks that CV players can't control both their ship and their planes but on the other side DD players could manage chasing Subs, fighting DDs, cap, spot, avoiding radar, dodge planes and other things all at the same time.  

Yes we (DD players) can. Aren't we doing so until now?

1 hour ago, Ubertron_X said:

No, but teams will be even more dependant on "good" DDs than before.

This

 

And just wait and see what happens. I really think it is premature to draw any conclusions. Anything said now is speculative.

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16 minutes ago, Cagliostro_chan said:

Source?

 

Because afaik, hydro will detect subs. radar detects them surfaced, hydro even when diving. Source.

Sorry, I meant to say when underwater. And yes, you are right, hydro works for the other two conditions, surface and periscope depth.

And then stops working for underwater, which does not make sense.

 

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