T1 sub rebalance

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.

Submarines should be more expensive than frigates. It's got to be more expensive to design a unit capable of submersion.

Submarines should be able to hunt enemy submarines. Perhaps you could reduce sonar range if you want to make sub warfare more of a cat-and-mouse game, but they definitely need to have it. Why even have subs if you can't have subs-hunting-subs?

I don't think we want to increase the defender's advantage for subs, because they're supposed to be offensive/raiding units.

Buffing UEF sub hp could mean that it takes 2 passes from a torpedo plane to kill which could totally unbalance the game. (You could fix this balance issue if you just made UEF t1 subs better than all other faction subs but also more expensive. i like this idea because I don't think we need all factions to have the same naval options. I wouldn't mind if UEF's sub game was different from that of other factions, as long as it was balanced fairly.)

How about: cybran sub torpedoes have an EMP weapon that only affects buildings. That would add a bit of "flavor" to the faction. If the stun was brief enough it wouldn't be OP. But it would help them to overwhelm static defense and to annoy shipyards.

What we need to do , IMHO, is a scratchbuild submarine modification. They became invisible to sonar while stationary, and only when move or/and fire torpedos, they could be localized by sonar.

That wouldn’t be hard it be a check if moving or not

I’m a shitty 1k Global. Any balance or gameplay suggestions should be understood or taken as such.

Project Head and current Owner/Manager of SCTA Project

@BlackJaguar Not sure if you need to start over from scratch on that. Just give them free "stealth" (invisibility to sonar) that automatically turns off whenever they move or shoot. Just like selens have free stealth + cloaking when a certain option is toggled AND they stand still.

@arma473 I didnt propose any changes to HP in the OP. The UEF advantage would arise from changing the damage of all t1 sub torps as mentioned.

Cybran EMP torp would be cool, I agree.

@arma473 OOps, You are right ! My idea not exactly "from the scratch the submarine", and yes similar to Selens, but from the scratch , the submarine or navy balance, since the submarines could now trap in wolf packs the enemy squads, very like what happens in real naval war.

Just give t1 subs a decent anti torp so it doesnt get gibbed by t2 torp bomb and t1 torp def

Submarines are flanking, raiding and surpriseattack units

U use them to kill engis, underwater mexes, lonely ships, sonar or week fleetelements, such as cruisers and shield boats.

@BlackJaguar said in T1 sub rebalance:

What we need to do , IMHO, is a scratchbuild submarine modification. They became invisible to sonar while stationary, and only when move or/and fire torpedos, they could be localized by sonar.

That's cool. It is possible to add a 'silent running' mode and change a few stats as well, like cut speed to 1/3 and get stealth. Give it a toggle button like the Cybran destroyer walking, or the old Cybran Cruizer weapon select.

I love navy a lot. And am down for anything that changes or expands on it. Possibly even strategic things in water, like mexes or power. Perhaps give subs some reclaim ability? Would be kinda cool.

Personally I think it would be cool if there were torpedos you build like a tactical missile silo. As torps IRL are terrifyingly effective.

You must deceive the enemy, sometimes your allies, but you must always deceive yourself!

I would like to submit the following replay in support of my notion that T1 subs are underpowered: #13361553 https://replay.faforever.com/13361553
This is the ZLO versus BlastChilled game in Roanoke's Abyss. In this game with extensive naval battles, neither player constructed any T1 subs all game.

look at this one : https://replay.faforever.com/13360106
one player didn't bother making subs, while the other one, used his own subs for a long time and was able to deal quite a lot of damage through out the game.
Also if you want to see map with subs look at any flooded map in teamgame (eg flodded tabula rasa)

@keyser I think FunkOffs replay has more credence as its a more relevant map and had more extensive naval battles. You chose a small island map where naval play is very limited due to the small water streams that eliminate the abillity to properly micro.

@keyser said in T1 sub rebalance:

one player didn't bother making subs, while the other one, used his own subs for a long time and was able to deal quite a lot of damage through out the game.

I actually went through that replay tracking the first sub with a stopwatch. Jagged's first sub spends no less than 7 minutes and 12 seconds actively firing at something, and it dies with around 1100 mass killed.

At 360 mass per sub, extrapolating that means it would take an average of 2 minutes and 21 seconds of constant firing for a T1 sub to do its own mass worth in damage. I can't think of a single other combat unit that would have to survive in combat for that long to recoup its worth.

@Deribus it's true but it also understandable since subs are targeted by only a very limited amount of unit.
Once again if you look at water mexx map you will get to see subs more often.

I can think of only 2 situations that I would build t1 subs in:

  1. When there are quite a few frigates out on the map and building a sub instead of frigates won't lose me the navy fight nor will I miss an opportunity to raid and thus the sub can be annoying and over time pay for itself.
  2. When there are a lot of naval mexes eg. Tag_Craftious
    1 situation is rare and very map dependent so we shouldn't give it too much weight, the other shows us that t1 subs compared to frigates behave a little bit like higher tech units. You only get them when there are a lot of frigates ("lower tech units") on the field already and thus making a sub instead of a frigate won't have big enough negative effect, the problem here is that the window for t1 subs is very short, usually at a time when there are 10+ frigates and I could consider making a sub the t2 air stage is only a minute or two away and when torp bombers get out on the field there is no point in building t1 subs at all.
    Note: I am not linking any replay in particular, but that's how I play on basically every 20x20 naval map and these are the reasons why.
    Conclusion: The time window during which making t1 subs is good is too short, I think that one way to extend it would be to make them significantly cheaper (obviously would need to adjust other stats as well but overall it should still be a buff in stats [eg. cost reduction of 40%, Raw power reduction of say 20%]) this way you could get them out faster and also torp bombers while stile being an effective counter wouldn't be as brutal (one pass would kill like eg. 200 mass instead of 360).