Torpedoes Right Ahead!

26.02.14, Vladimir Grisyuk, Game Designer
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From the moment when humans first started picking up rocks to hit animals and each other with, an arms race began. For every weapon that was developed, someone was already thinking of one that would be more effective and threatening to counter it. Even at sea, this was no different. For many centuries, the only way to attack enemy ships was to get close enough to ram or board them. Later on, it became possible to deliver small explosive charges through the air (such as by firing cannons), or by finding another way to use a large explosive.

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A breakthrough came thanks to an English inventor named Robert Whitehead. The first prototype torpedo was launched in 1866, and just a few decades later, torpedoes were present in the arsenals of every major maritime nation. They were also famously used during World War I. Over a third of ships in the Battle of Jutland were downed by torpedo fire. Every attack like this was a true menace – several hundredweights of explosives rapidly approaching your ship – unlike regular HE shells, it really couldn’t be ignored, especially if the charge had been sent to detonate underwater. An underwater breach to the hull could be sufficient to down even the largest battleships. Even if the ship is lucky enough to remain afloat, her speed and manoeuvrability will be severely reduced due to the water in the hull.

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In game, torpedoes are only carried by cruisers and destroyers, which have launchers on their decks. Aircraft carriers also have a means to use them through the aircraft on board. Why are they not used by battleships? Historically, these giant ships were only able to launch torpedoes from underwater launchers. Aiming was performed by turning the hull, and the torpedoes themselves had a low operational range. As a result, compared to the rest of the battleship’s armaments, torpedoes were a less desirable option, and sources state that the torpedoes were generally only used for training and never in battle.

So, what do we need to launch a torpedo? An enemy, our own ship with torpedo launchers aboard and, of course, the torpedoes themselves! There are numerous variables to take into account – speed, travel depth, salvo divergence angle (wide or narrow) all need to be account for. Not to mention the target’s azimuth (angular position), leading point, launch intervals, movement… It all sounds very complex, doesn’t it? Thankfully, we’re not building a sim, so we picked another way.

The leading point will be shown by the game – all we need to do is to define the launch direction and the divergence angle (how widely the torpedoes spread). Although massively simplified compared to the real life process, it’s still a fair bit to handle during the heat of a fierce battle as you will need to anticipate the movement of your enemy and define the angle for torpedo spread. At short distance you may want to give your torpedoes a wider spread to increase your chances of hitting the target. Narrower spreads will result in heavier impacts, but are also easier to dodge.

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At long range, this is reversed. Wider spreads are easier to dodge because by the time the torpedoes reach the enemy, the gaps between them are much wider and easier to slip into.

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So, our torpedoes fly out of the tubes and are speeding towards the target. What can the enemy do to resist the attack? Firstly, they can start actively manoeuvring to evade the attack. More nimble ships will find this simpler to do than big slow heavy ones! Ships can also use islands to provide natural cover from attacks, but be careful and choose wisely – certain low locations may be impossible to cross by ships but can still be skipped over by torpedoes!

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So, to summarise! When used correctly, a torpedo launch can deal deadly damage to an enemy ship, even those that are far larger than the attacker!

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77 comments

  1. Nice article as well as animations.
    If I get it right leading point will show where to aim torpedo launchers, right? I don’t know all english terms sorry :). If that is true, then I see it to be way too easy to aim. I would prefer that player has to “calculate” where to aim. But this way will save some time that can be used so I get use to it.
    I will disagree that firing torps at long range with wide spread is always bad. If ship has more torpedo launchers or there are more and a bit coordinated ships with torps, they can create nice torpedo wave with much smaller gaps. Especially useful if there are more enemy ships close together. In NavyField these long range torpedo waves caused a lot of damage and troubles. Those that played NF know how dangerous, feared and by its’ users enjoyable (my self included ^w^) IJN “Torpedo W**res” were. Torpedo swarm anyone? *devil face*

    • The leading point won’t show you where to aim. So, it’s as you described – the player will have to ‘calculate’ where to aim :)

    • Ok, then it will be real fun :D
      I just hope we could set torpedo speed, slow and fast at least, to influence range. I forgot to ask about that week ago. Fast torpedo = shorter range, slow torpedo = longer range. Like IJN Type 93 if speed was 36 knots its’ range was up to 40km or if 48 knots then range was 20km.
      BTW, could some1 post/link/show IJN and USN tech trees? If it is not against the agreement testers sign that is. Thx

    • Thanks. I had something like screenshots from game in mind, but glad to get on something. Looks like I will have do dig through that topic to find ones up to date, since first post pictures were not updated. Sadly I don’t have all much time, I need to work on my bachelor work atm :/

  2. @Sahiba, Wasn’t that always the case in most simulators having torpedos

    I’ll be glad the first time i can field my dessie with Fishes and watching them avoiding. It’s only up to the player to who the fish are send at keeping any eye in the water, unless the developpers forgotten the nice torpedo trail ;)

  3. Nice animations, but they dont correctly follow the explaining text that accompanies them.

    Regarding your explanation on Short Range the Wide Angle should be the efficient one, while on Long Range the Narrow would be the optimum choice. So far so good.

    But the Animations show for both (Short and Long Range) that Narrow has the best hit ratio overall. (Short Range: Narrow 3 vs. Wide 1, Long Range: Narrow 2 vs. Wide 0 hits) … Just my 2 cents …

    Looking forward to the Beta!!!

    • We can’t give you a specific date atm, so simply follow us here, on forum and FB ;) And thx for your feedback ^^

    • When the beta is ready there will be a download link on worldofwarships.eu

      Hold your eyes open!

  4. Yes, when is this game available to download AND PLAY? Looks amazing.

  5. I hope that the effects of the explosion and the graphics will be exciting. Nice article ;)

  6. its all seems great and i think it will be great game , but when u are going to lunch it .waiting ……..

  7. Wann erscheint die Beta denn endlich ich möchte alles aus probieren und freue mich schon drauf.

    Wenn die Grafik nur ein tick besser wie Wot ist wird das Spiel echt der Hammer :-) , das ist aber schon ziemlich schwer mit den anderen gleich zu ziehen, weil es werden ja schon extrem hohe Anforderungen an das Spiel gestellt oder nicht.

    Ich denke das alle die Wot oder Warld of Warplans mir da zu stimmen werden.

    • When the beta comes out. They are working on the alpha right now. Just wait and you will be able to play soon :)

  8. Don’t want torpedo reloads for every nation. Historically only japanese destroyers had that capability. I think it’s enough with having the jap torps nerfed.

  9. Ab wann kommt denn endlich der download???

    oder kommt man irgendwie in die alpha?

    Gruß: ich ;)

  10. This looks awesome!!!
    I’m looking forward to play this game in beta!

    I wonder when the test-period will come out… :3

  11. If a torpedo hits the ground/I land close to our ship can it get splash damage from it

  12. This looks amazingly good & nicely explained to, cant wait for the game

  13. Mikor lehet majd letölteni?
    És ha feliratkozok (ugye ingyenes) akkor kb. mikor kapom meg a “játékot”?

  14. I have a question – is launching a torpedos makes destroyer visible and transmits his position?

  15. I hope that I will soon have the same opportunity to participate. Waiting for an invitation to the beta-test, as applied just found out about this possibility.

  16. wie kann manda mit machen um zu schauen wie es geht
    ich möchte es mal probe zocken

  17. Now, ingame controls: how do you actiually adjust the torpedo spread (from a destroyer/cruiser)?

  18. I’m just wondering why there are no Submarines (U-boat) in this game. Submarines are also class as submersible stealth ships. They are also firing torpedoes and feared by all kind of ships except for destroyers which the only ship that can hunt them down.

  19. On this page having problems going from this page in to playing the game you should have a round green play button to make things simple, as i have looked ever where cant see where to go to get in to playing the game as i lost my short cut on my computer.

  20. Of course there are exceptions, Courageous and Nelson both carried torpedoes

  21. Yes understood but what are the ranges of each nationality within the game is there some way of determining that?

  22. do anyone know how to fix a extract updates critical error!
    I have tried alot to fix it and it sayed something like I need to delete if there is a previous version file of it.
    I need some help what to do I have tried update the game and keep clicking ok on the critical error message and when it hit 80% it just kept doing it for half second and I’m trying to make it full updated
    I’m worried about wasting my time on trying to delete and reinstaller and download the game.
    it might be the internet or some corrupted files or it could be the new update it was lauching that the laucher has an error or it could be the computer.
    I have checked everything that possible could be the reason that he keep making critical error messages.
    and developers if you see this try see what the problem is IF there is a problem gonna tell the rest when I have tried done updating.

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