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Submarine Torpedo Arming Mechanic

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Beta Tester
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1,552 battles

While the balancing problems are the most consequential for the larger playerbase regarding counterplay and interaction, the even bigger issue for me in terms of submarine longevity is the (admittedly subjective) boring/repetitive experience of aiming the acoustic torpedoes, which makes submarines almost uniquely boring to watch and leaves little room for genuinely 'new' submarine gameplay going forward as new lines/premiums are added.


I think submarines could be balanced eventually in terms of surface interaction from the many suggestions already put forward, particularly forcing them to spend more time on the surface and making them more vulnerable in transition between depths. Depth charge armed aircraft would certainly give some form of recourse, though preferably they would be 'aimed' to some degree so as not to be a repeat of the boring 'defAA' mechanic for submarines, perhaps they would not inflict lethal damage, but have a high flood/fire chance that forces a submarine to surface and repair.


Thinking about how to make the actual combat mechanics of the submarine more engaging while leaving potential for variation, though there are many different possibilities and pitfalls to consider, my suggestion would be a system of arming as oppose to tracking:

  • Torpedoes are fired in a 'disarmed' state and must be 'armed' by the submarine 'pinging' the moving torpedo itself (or discreet torpedo salvo).

  • Torpedoes have different behaviours between the two states, for example, disarmed torpedoes do not alert opposing players of their approach (though the wake may still be spotted).

  • Torpedo 'citadels' are related to the timing at which the torpedo is armed, trading off timing/distance and torpedo speed states to adjust the difficulty of the shot.

So, let's use this basic framework to imagine a different arming mechanic for different national flavours to create some genuine variation in submarine combat:

  • 'US version': Torpedoes move slowly, but invisibily in disarmed state (perhaps deeper underwater?), allowing them to creep close unseen. Once armed, the torpedo accelerates to high speed rapidly. If armed immediately before impact, it causes citadel damage.
  • 'German version': Torpedo moves at an average constant speed with a visible wake, more like a typical surface torpedo. Once armed, following a brief fuse in which citadel damage is possible, the torpedo detonates causing splash damage based on proximity, perhaps with a higher chance of module damage.
  • 'Soviet version': Something like the inverse of the US counterpart, the torpedo moves quickly (with a visible wake) in a disarmed state, but slows down significantly once armed. Citadel damage is active several seconds after arming point, meaning the torpedo must slowly cruise to target for a time to score a citadel.

These are just a few examples of how to get creative with arming time to challenge the player in more varied ways when trying out different lines of submarines, hopefully the feedback of pulling off a successful arming ping would feel as visceral as scoring a citadel with gunfire. It might help provide exciting footage if the arming ping is followed through the water to target so you can watch your well aimed torpedo strike home. While I think it may be possible to make acoustic torpedoes more interesting than they are currently implemented (more direct aiming rather than just bow/stern pings) I feel they should be a lategame rarity as befitting them historically.


What do you think? Do you find the current acoustic targetting system has excitement enough in scoring a hit? Do you think whiffing a ping on a well targetted torpedo would be too frustrating? Do you think intentionally sailing into as yet disarmed torpedoes makes for good surface counterplay? Can you envisage any alternative combat mechanic that would at least make future submarine gameplay replays more exciting to watch?

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Personally I'd remove whole ping mechanic and go with different torpedo types for subs and switch between them just like you switch ammo on a surface ship.


For example, Germans:

-unguided torps (normal damage, normal speed, normal detection, 8km range)

-acoustic homing torps* (normal damage, normal speed, high detection, 6km range, acoustic guidance)

*torpedo guides towards nearest source of noise within 3km. Can be foiled by cutting speed down to 1/4 or stopping



-unguided torps (normal damage, slow speed, normal detection, 10km range)

-unguided torps (normal damage, high speed, normal detection, 5km range)



-unguided torps (low damage, normal speed, normal detection, 8km range)

-unguided torps (low damage, low speed, low detection, 13km range)


Issue with that would be sub vs sub combat, as Germans would have massive advantage there. Thus, either add torpedo lead indicator that can work in vertical as well or just give everyone unguided + acoustic homing torps, with latter having shorter range and high detection, so evasive maneuvers can be taken earlier.

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To add some realistic national perks:

58 minutes ago, Panocek said:


So overengineered that it takes 10 seconds of preparation to launch them after the order to fire is given



10% chance to blow up in the launch tube and sink the sub



25% chance of a dud on impact


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