it not being realistic doesnt automatically result in it not being a viable game mechanic.


Hey, I wanted to say that being shot most of the time kills you, as such being able to respawn should have no place in any kind of shooter game involving real fire arms. It's unrealistic to expect real human being to come back from death.

FFS it's 3k something dudes, we now have advanced weaponry so just deal with ships being able to ground fire subs.


The thing about depth charges is the "depth" part -- they sink to a specific depth (set just before deployment to whatever depth you think the submarine is) so that they're as close as possible to the sub when they explode. If the explosion were on the surface most of the blast would go up (where the low-density, easily compressible air offers minimal resistance) rather than downward to any significant depth.

But Gameplay > Realism. We have advanced weaponry, why not just replace all PD guns with lasers and have them shoot down aircraft as well as surface targets? They should have no trouble dealing with artillery shells, tac and strategic missiles, even Novax satellites... All your "Reality + 1000 Years" arguments could be made here too. But that would (in my opinion) be BAD for gameplay.

I LIKE needing different weapons to deal with different enemies. It's not like we don't have ways of fighting subs. Torp bombers, subs of your own... there's even a unit called a Sub Hunter. That's what they're for. The groundfire mechanic is a mistake, someone forgot to check that the AOE stops at the surface.


Actually, it's no mistake, it's just an unintended side effect of a rather primitive AOE mechanism, and the growing proliferation of large radius AOE weapons. I think it was just overlooked, as it's a simple matter to have the AOE effect adjusted when impacting water versus impacting a target - it just hasn't been considered yet, and there's a cadre of players who prefer this over having to engage in submarine warfare. It's only natural to defend the mechanism.


@Sprouto said in Atlantis:

Actually, it's no mistake, it's just an unintended side effect ... I think it was just overlooked...

So, a mistake then? Those are awfully fine hairs you're splitting there.

"No, teacher. I didn't make a mistake on the assignment. I just overlooked that part of the question. It was an unintended side-effect of not reading the whole thing before filling in the answer. Full credit please?"

What's wrong with players "having" to engage in submarine warfare? This is one of very few RTS games that even have subs, and for me that's one of the main reasons I play... but if they're made so weak and ineffective by the groundfire mechanic, then what's the point? If you don't want to play with subs, just disable them in the unit restrictions.


@John73John I think you mistook what I meant - I fully support the use of submarines and the elimination, or reduction of ground fire having any effect on submerged submarines.

There are quite a few sub-systems in the game that were given a basic framework, and then were discarded, turned off, or never implemented at all. The ORBITAL layer, for example, or terrain effects that go beyond just graphical impact.

I, like yourself, prefer the idea of proper submarine warfare, utilizing the tools that were put into the game for combat on that layer.


@Sprouto Alright, fair enough.

If I were designing the game from the ground up, this is how I would handle submarines:

-Submarines (when submerged) are only vulnerable to torpedoes and depth charges
-There's no such thing as "underwater vision". You can see your own/allies' subs, but submerged enemies will never be visible. If you have sonar coverage then you'll see a grey "submerged unit" icon. The only exception would be EXP units, they'd have the circle icon. Sonar can see how big it is, but that's it. No indication of which enemy player or its remaining health. No way of telling if it's even a sub or an assault bot walking across the sea floor.
-Subs don't provide vision either, only sonar. So they can only tell the location of surface ships, not whether it's a cruiser or destroyer or which player owns it.
-Make destroyers/torpedo boats and UEF Battlecruiser more anti-sub specialized. How this is done would vary between factions. They could have better torp defense, use depth charges instead of torps (meaning a sub's torp defense does nothing), built-in sonar... I'm sure there are other possibilities.


Would it be fun if we gave frigates depth charges with a tiny attack range, so if you can put your frigates on top of enemy subs you can kill them?


@arma473 That mechanic exists believe it or not - at present, it's often used to fire anti-torpedo charges out to the flank of some units. These charges last for only a few seconds at best, sinking slowly as you might expect - watch the UEF boats that have anti-torp systems.

I believe it was more widely used as depth charges in the original Supcom, but with the release of Forged Alliance, most depth charges were converted to torpedoes.


I'm aware that depth charges are part of FAF because the Czar drops them.

Ironically, the weapons of torpedo planes are also classified as depth charges (perhaps they are only classified that way so torpedo defense doesn't nullify torpy boys).

I think it would be fun if it mattered whether frigates ran over subs. It would turn the tables a bit on subs harassing frigates (subs would have to be a bit more cagey about it but of course subs, properly microed, should be able to beat frigates).

Probably the depth charge weapon of frigates should not be available against buildings or floaty units (hover, surface ships, or walking on the surface like engineers), it would only be against submerged units. There's no reason to give frigates extra anti-building dps. It wouldn't make 1-2 frigates very dangerous for subs, but a big pack of frigates could kill subs if they spread out and the subs couldn't escape. Which would promote the sense that subs are "hunted" and need to be sneaky/snipers even when they're in a position to do damage.


Atlantis being able to build air units while moving, would make it more useful.

I know it's an engine limitation, but a workaround exists.

Also, why not make it's torpedo's do much more damage? Than it could do something for it's price.


because it already does something


Main issue i have with all of this is the ground fire frustration from an ease of play and realism standpoint. You have advantages garnished from losing intel. I say cut all restrictions on ground-firing spotted units so you don't get the blocker on your position in ground fire mode, then nerf damage in some way if not all the way because its bullshit and the shells would just explode or change course on impact.


Dang, Mach really fought the good fight in this thread. I feel like no one who responded to him addressed the core point that ground-firing is super unintuitive and doesn't really add anything to the game. As he pointed out, if it makes sense and is intentional for battleships to shoot subs, why don't they do it automatically without this very odd groundfire + drag the order mechanic? Every other unit in the game attacks whatever it can when things are in range, why would this one behavior work differently?

It absolutely makes it unintuitive for new players, and like Mach said, 80%+ of the playerbase probably doesn't really know how this system works. There are things that add depth, but you have to recognize the difference between adding depth in a reasonable way that "feels" good for players, is intuitive, and makes sense, and ways to add depth that do not.

A good test is, "if this wasn't already in the game, and someone suggested it, would you think it's a good idea?" It may be too hard for some people to consider that hypothetical.

Along the same lines, we could add cool micro tricks. T1 mobile arty deal double damage if you control+k them before the shell lands, just like Age of Empires. Sounds super fun, way more skill! How about ASF/Inties can target a plane that's far away, then you hit the stop button, they'll fire their missles at targets on the ground near them?

No matter what, if you think battleships, fobos, and bombers should be able to hit subs, why would you not just allow them to target them? If you think having more micro "skill" is a good feature, why not have other units be unable to target things unless you groundfire? Maybe t1 mobile arty can't shoot units unless you groundfire+ shift-click?

It feels to me like Mach is being so reasonable and clear here and people want to find the most convoluted/semantic ways to defend this behavior, when it's obviously extremely unintuitive and doesn't fit in the logic of the game at all.

I'm not saying you should necessarily get rid of it, maybe it is too big an undertaking, and I'm no expert in naval balancing. But acting like it makes sense the way it is is just silly.


This thread doesn't follow our guidelines, but I feel that conversation has been quite productive this far.

So instead of locking it outright, I request that whomever replies next adds a replay. If there are further replies without replays, I'll lock the thread.


I don't think a replay will tell you how effective an Atlantis is as it is heavily dependent on Army composition. UEF literally has no other sub option, as Coopers get borked by Frigs and destroyers.

I'll edit this post again once I find a replay for you, it will explain nothing, but it will satisfy the new rules.


Atlantis wasn't built, navy did fine.


Allow Atlantis to fire AA while submerged

  • Very cool
  • Unique
  • Powerful
  • Opens new strategies

I proposed this years ago and made the changes needed, but all the stick-in-the-mud boring people told me not to put it ingame. I got outvoted.

So boring 😞

EDIT: Just saw Deribus' post. I have no replay, but as this is a response to the OP and general idea of the thread, rather than the ensuing conversation, I request this be allowed to slide. Thank you! 🙂


Find replay of useless unit being used to prove that is useless is a usefull rule)


@Mach This doesnt work. The Atlantis is enormous and cannot go deep in water that is shallow. Although this solution works when water is deep enough, most maps simply dont have water that deep.

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