T1 subs from all factions are terrible. We should fix them.
First, let's state plainly why T1 subs are so bad:
- T1 subs are expensive at 360 mass apiece. Cybran's T1 sub is 40% more expensive than it's frigate.
- T1 subs are fragile at only ~550 hp. T1 subs die in one hit from torpedo bombers and are utterly obliterated by T2 destroyers and torpedo boats.
- T1 subs do so little damage that they are ineffective against even targets that cannot shoot back. (Cybran T1 sub torpedo DPS is 38 compared to Cybran frigate surface DPS being 64. This is 40% less DPS for 30% higher mass cost. A Cybran frigate can kill an enemy ship faster than a T1 Cybran sub can, and also it is cheaper, has AA guns, and has radar.)
- T1 subs are virtually the same for all factions. Some faction diversity would be nice.
Let's buff T1 subs to address these issues:
- T1 sub cost should be reduced to about 300 mass, a reduction of about 15%.
- T1 subs should have their sonar completely removed to make them harder to detect by enemy subs at the T1 and early T2 stages. (This leaves Air scouts, T1 sonar, and T2 cruisers the best ways to find them. ) Vision should be reduced from 32 (same as torpedo range) to 25. (This allows a modest defender's advantage in sub-against sub T1 battles when T1 sonar is used to spot enemy subs, or an attacker's advantage if T1 air scout or suicide frigate is used to spot enemy subs.)
- T1 sub DPS should be modestly improved (10%) and more front-loaded. Aeon T1 sub fires one salvo for 150 damage every 4 seconds. It takes 4 salvos (12 seconds) to kill an enemy sub or 13 salvos (48 seconds) to kill a Cybran frigate. (4 subs working together take 12 seconds.) Damage for all subs should instead be 250 damage every 6 seconds. With this, it takes 3 salvos (12 seconds) to kill a sub or 8 salvos (42 seconds) to kill a Cybran frigate. (4 subs working together would take 6 seconds to sink the frigate.)
- T1 subs should also be modestly differentiated based on faction. Ideas follow: Aeon gets the cheapest T1 sub (-10% cost. 270 mass) due to most expensive frigate and no deck gun. UEF has toughest T1 sub and now is the only one which takes 4 salvos from another T1 sub (if the aforementioned damage/ROF change is made). Cybran T1 sub should cost more (+10% cost, 330 mass) due to cheapest frigate, but retain the sonar. Seraphim T1 sub should stay the same. (Increased damage per torpedo and reduced fire rate constitutes a modest buff to the Sera sub's torpedo defense and incentivizes hit and run attacks.)
With these changes, T1 navy should be more balanced and less focused on T1 frigate spam, but not fundamentally changed.