It’s that moment that so many of you have been waiting for. Subs, absent since alpha, have made their triumphant return to Planetary Annihilation! Released into the PTE, Uber want you to play with them, experiment, and break them. See what works and what doesn’t and provide feedback.
Design Vision for Subs
tvinita posted about his intention when adding subs into the naval balance:
SUBS! Okay, submarines. When designing the subs, I was trying to preserve what would make submarines strategically interesting within the current meta of the game while keeping them easy for the player to both understand and manage.
So, whatever way subs behave, you want them to be a pain in the *** for your enemy to deal with. To accomplish this, there is not a submerge/surface state on the subs. Instead, submarines are always considered “submerged” as you can see above. The key here is that though the periscope is poking up out of the waves, submarines cannot actually be targeted by conventional weaponry because just look at how small a target that periscope is–how are you gonna’ hit that with a broadside cannon? This forms the crux of what makes submarines a tricky target without making it too confusing or frustrating for the opponent who has to deal with them. While submarines have their own recon layer, it’s not set up in any way to be different from surface/air vision. So you can see the submarine, both visually and on radar (no sonar needed), but unless you have torpedoes, you can’t shoot back at it.
Terror of the Seas
Submarines are the cheapest naval units aside from the piranha. They’re relatively agile compared to ships, and they pack a lot of anti-naval firepower into a conveniently cheap package that’s hard to hit. A swarm of submarines will be an unprepared navy’s worst nightmare, and though narwhals now have torpedo launchers to defend themselves–stolen from the orcas–metal for metal, a force submarines will win out against a force of narwhals every time, leaving your submarines free to pick apart the rest of your opponent’s navy while you cackle maniacally.
Not the end-all of Naval Control
Submarines cannot be targeted by conventional ballistic weaponry, however, as of right now artillery and bombs can target submarines just as they can target ships. This is to make sure that you can’t just maintain complete unchecked naval dominance by spamming submarines and your oppponent has no options to counter short of superweapons, and to further encourage unit diversity. If you want naval dominance, you’re going to want a balanced force that can take on all potential threats to naval, rather than just building a unit that can maintain naval superiority while ignoring any other possible threats completely.
With that in mind, let’s go into the design of the two new subs.
Tech 1 Submarine — The Barracuda
The Barracuda is cheaper and more maneuverable than the other ships, and it’s packed with torpedoes that fire much more rapidly than the narwhal’s. It also has lower Health than other ships. This allows it to function as your basic naval superiority unit, as most ships can’t even fire on it and it’s the most cost-effective optionf or maintaining control of the seas against ships. However, since it can only use torpedoes it can’t do anything against land-based coastal bases like the narwhal and orca, nor can it defend itself against bombers.
Tech 2 Stealth Submarine — The Kraken
The intent behind the Kraken is for it to serve as a late-game raider of sorts. Basically, we have a lot of long-ranged and slow ships in t2 naval, and the Kraken is sort of the reverse. It has torpedoes equivalent to the Barracuda, but its primary weapon is its hailfire missile array, which is a shorter range bunch of missile launchers that serve very high DPS out to nearby enemies. Also, here’s the kicker; the Kraken does not show up on radar. So if your enemy isn’t scouting properly, a small crack team of krakens can be chewing through their base before they even know what’s hit them.
Subs are likely to change a lot over the next few days as they’re coming in hot off the presses, so be sure to play the PTE and provide plenty of feedback so we can make sure subs are at the best state they can possibly be when they hit the live build!
- Submarine added to game
- Stealth Submarine added to game
- Explosion radius increased from 150 to 200
- Explosion damage deals 5% damage to AT_Oribtal armor type (AKA blows up structures, but not your fighters)
- All oribital stuctures now have armor type AT_Structure
- Guard Radius increased from 50 to 100
Advanced Energy Plant
- Health decreased from 13500 to 5000
- Metal cost decreased from 600 to 400
- Metal cost decreased from 1600 to 1000
Missile Ship (Stingray)
- Health increased from 1000 to 3000
- Missile Rate of fire increased from .2 to .25
- Missile Range increased from 180 to 210
- Missile Damage increased from 500 to 1000
- Antidrop range increased from 180 to 210
- Added Torpedo weapon
- Torpedo Damage set to 250
- Torpedo Rate of Fire set to 0.2
- Torpedo Range set to 150
- Shell Rate of Fire reduced from 1.5 to 1.0
- Removed Torpedo weapon
- Will now fire in a 30 meter spread around target
- Fix for random landing spot generation not creating valid landing spots
- Holkins art fixed
- Can now do multi-node jumps in Galactic War instead of having to move nodes 1 at a time
- Kickstarter credit updates on commander screen
- SpiderofMean Commander name change to Xenosentry based on backer request
- Additional fixes for non-English languages
- Additional logging added for crash tracking improvements
- Improvements to logging
- Fix for Galactic War cards overlapping and obstructing buttons in some localizations
- Adjusted AI nuke targeting logic
- Adjusted Order Bar sizing
- Added support for Command key on Macs
- Metal spots now added to ocean floor
- Fix for custom metal spots orientation
- Layout fix for multiple chat windows styling
- Fixed 1px shift on chat messages
- Fix for the “Team Games” achievement
- Remedy a very uncommon crash affecting some Mac OS X users running firewall software
- Fix for AI getting stuck sometimes on mixed terrain planets
- Bug fix to allow bombers to attack subs
- Moved air transports to bottom of build bar
- Fix for AI land and naval rally point selection
- Update for naval platoons to use the new AI rallypoint work
- Fix for AI on multi-planet system crash
- Pings hidden if AR turned off (toggle with ctrl+y)
- Guard radius increased from 60-120
Not In Uber’s Patch Notes
Thanks to wondible for picking up on most of these.
- Pelicans can no longer transport commanders
- Torpedo Launcher has been made a little cheaper, tougher and had its firing rate doubled
- Astraeus can move in the air layer
- Differentiated sound effects for different commander weapons