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Big list of ship designer improvements

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I collated a bunch of requested changes for the ship designer.


  • (Partially addressed) Allow design saves.
  • (Addressed) Allow name and nation changes.
  • Add crew category(ies).
  • Add deckhouses, allowing raised placement of items and improved "crew" effects.
  • (To be addressed) Better explanation of funnel capacity.
  • Allow display of citadel, magazines, turret trunks, boiler/engine zones, conning tower area, and other important places with a selectable viewer.
  • Add an armor viewer.
  • Possibly allow customizable towers, funnels, and turrets. These "preconstructed" modules could then be added to a hull as on the current system. Potentially would reduce need to add new modules; players could make their own out of simple building blocks.
  • Possibly allow paint scheme changes.

New Classes and Hulls

  • More cruiser and destroyer hulls, superstructures, and funnels.
  • If campaign allows, add bases and forts.
  • (Partially addressed) Possibly add monitors / gunboats, though only if campaign has a place for them (ie attacks on bases and forts).
  • Possibly add armed merchant cruisers, avisos / dispatch vessels, torpedo cruisers, and / or corvettes as classes.
  • Possibly add motor torpedo boats (ie, E-boats, PT boats, etc.).
  • If submarines are implemented (even in an abstract sense), possibly add destroyer escorts / frigates. These could be simulated by adding special destroyer hulls, but this approach might cause them to get into sticky spots if campaign treats them as normal destroyers.

Displacement, Hull Stress, Stability, and Seakeeping

  • Allow ballasting. Adding ballast to a ship would have various postive and negative effects. It could reduce port-starboard and fore-aft weight imbalances and increase stability. On the other hand, it could increase displacement, decrease freeboard (ie reduce seakeeping), decrease speed, and reduce resilience to flooding.
  • (Addressed) Give option for 50 or even 25 ton displacement steps on destroyers and torpedo boats.
  • Allow displacement values to be typed in, or otherwise add a simpler way to adjust displacement. It's awkward to fiddle with the slider to get precise values.
  • Increase hull stress and/or reduce seakeeping for turrets or items too far forward or aft, proportional to size of turret/item.
  • It appears difficult to build armored cruisers, among other designs, to realistic displacements. Possibly rebalance some weight displays?
  • Possibly add small accuracy or seakeeping bonus for guns or torpedo launchers higher above the waterline, to reflect reduced spray. Inversely proportional to gun size.
  • Possibly add penalty to casemated guns along the hull side, to reflect spray (this is somewhat inherent to placement along the ship side, in reality). 


  • (Addressed) Improve armor thickness selectors so that values can be typed in or otherwise changed by large amounts quickly.
  • Allow armor gradations. For example, on most pre-dreadnoughts only the waterline belt would be full thickness, the belt above being thinner. 
  • Lengthen citadel armor (with commensurate increase in weight) to accommodate turrets close to bow or stern.
  • Add transverse bulkhead thicknesses.
  • Add barbette thickness selector.
  • Add rudder gear room side armor thicknesses. Possibly add fore-and-aft bulkhead thicknesses (on some ships, such as the later US battleships, the rudder compartment was protected by a belt contiguous with the main belt, so there was no fore bulkhead).
  • Add weather or top deck thickness selector.
  • Possibly add turret side and rear thickness selector(s).
  • Possibly add conning tower roof thickness.
  • Possibly add separate armor thicknesses for magazine belts and roofs.
  • A possible citadel improvement: Change citadel options to only four, Protected (turtleback deck with no belt), Armoured (belt with turtleback deck), Belted (belt with low thin flat deck), and All-Or-Nothing (belt with high thick flat deck). Protected is cheap and light and replaces "belt" value with "deck slope" thickness, but it has poor overall resistance. Belted is cheap and has better resistance than Protected, but it is heavier.  Armoured has bonus to short range resistance but penalty to long range resistance. All-Or-Nothing is lighter, possibly cheaper, and has bonus to long range resistance, but must be researched. For All-Or-Nothing, extremity belt and extremity deck armor might be restricted to an arbitrary small amount (splinter protection), but extremities would have better compartmentation and resistance to damage. Each of these options might have tech-tree upgrades to increase overall resistance by some amount. Some hulls would have only one of the citadel options available.

Turrets, Mounts, and Barbettes

  • Resize turrets based on number of guns. Gun turrets are now all of one size for a given gun caliber and tech level. A single-gun turret should have a much smaller diameter (and smaller barbette diameter) than a quad turret.
    (Partially addressed) Quadruple turrets are a must. Consider quad mounts for smaller guns.
  • (Addressed) Blank off unused casemate gunports. That is, put plating over them as was done when guns were permanently removed. Alternately, eliminate unused ports entirely (this may prove difficult).
  • Provide some means of showing which guns will fit in a given casemate gunport. As is, trial and error is necessary.
  • (Partially addressed) Increase flexibility in barbette placement.
  • Allow laterally offset barbettes (off centerline). Useful for secondaries and used on "K" German light cruisers.
  • (Partially addressed) Increase number of barbette sizes. Ideally, allow barbettes to auto-scale to whatever turret is placed on top.
  • (Partially addressed) Add secondary barbettes and raised torpedo mounts.
  • Allow barbette stacking, to allow "super-superfiring" turrets. That is, a turret that can fire over a superfiring turret. This was sometimes done for secondary turrets (Yamato, Des Moines) and was not uncommon for main guns in paper designs.
  • (Addressed) Allow placement of guns and torpedoes upon deckhouses (for bigger guns, this would also add the same weight as a barbette piece).
  • Do turrets mounted directly on the deck have "internal" barbettes below them? If not, they should.
  • Do barbettes extend all the way down to the citadel? If not, they should (or a smaller diameter armored trunk tube should).
  • (Addressed) Possibly add different turret designs for the nations.
  • Possibly add two-story "superposed" quadruple turrets, as on USS Kearsarge and USS Virginia.


  • Separate gun propellants from shell fillers as options.
  • Add indicator to show if guns are too similar in caliber (ie, if accuracy is thereby reduced).
  • Reduce (displayed?) shell weight. Tooltip numbers are grossly too large, by about 50% compared to many real weights. Is this because the charge weight is combined with the shell weight?
  • Add diving shells if they are not already implemented. AP shells should be able to hit underwater if falling slightly short at long ranges. A tech-tree research upgrade should be available to improve this effect. Might be as simple as a chance to hit the lower compartments above a sliding-scale range.
  • Allow changes in gun qualities, such as barrel length. Most simply, allow more primitive guns to be used if a newer Mark is available (such as the Mark 2 vs. the Mark 4).
  • (Addressed) Possibly allow guns up to 20in, to match the very large available hulls. May need to de-incentivize them to prevent creep.
  • Possibly consider additional gun caliber variation. There is interest in 5.5in (140mm) guns, for example; possibly it would just be better to allow specification to one millimeter or one-tenth of an inch?
  • (Partially addressed) Possibly increase shell penetration with tech-tree research. Currently this is essentially foldered into the gun Mark; I am unsure that it necessarily needs to be separated.
  • (Partially addressed) Possibly increase rate of fire with tech-tree research. Currently this is essentially foldered into the gun Mark and the "autoloader" option.
  • Possibly add machine guns and autocannons. Low weight, high rate of fire, can be placed in high places, poor damage, very low range.
  • Possibly add dual-purpose and AA guns. This would depend on if and how aircraft would be implemented.


  • (Addressed) Allow larger torpedoes, up to 24 or 25 inches.
  • Allow smaller torpedoes, down to 14 inches.
  • (Partially addressed) Add torpedo fuels/engines, such as: compressed air, dry heater, wet heater, burner cycle (semi-Diesel), oxygen-enriched, pure oxygen, and peroxide. Electric propulsion would be folded into this category. Compressed air would be default, being the oldest, slowest, shortest-ranged, and cheapest. "Fast" would be separated into another category.
  • Create a speed/range setting for torpedoes: Slow, Default, and Fast. Slow would have long range, default would have medium, and fast would have short range. Could further balance this with torpedo detectability.
  • Impose more penalties for underwater torpedo tubes (reduced underwater protection, reduced accuracy, or detonation risk).
  • (Addressed) Allow deck-mounted torpedoes on higher-tech dreadnoughts.
  • Add fixed and semi-fixed above-water torpedo tubes on some hulls.
  • Change size of torpedo launchers to reflect size of torpedo.
  • Possibly add different cosmetic launcher designs for the nations.
  • Possibly prevent torpedo launch if launcher is not close enough to deck edge. Might be complicated, as raising the launcher (as in US destroyers) reduces this issue. Bigger launchers also have less an issue than small ones.

Engines and Rudder

  • Add a twin rudder option. Increases maneuverability, increases cost, increases weight, possibly slight decrease in speed.
  • (Partially addressed) Add turbo-electric and Diesel-electric drive option for main engines, giving an increase in underwater compartmentation but with high engine weight.  This could be an option in the "Engines" category, or it could be its own category.
  • Allow players to select number of engines and shafts.
  • Possibly increase number of engine/boiler criticals. Four might be appropriate (many vessels have four prop shafts). It might be reasonable to separate boiler and engine criticals -- for example, four engines and four boilers.
  • Possibly allow combined plants. For example, partial Diesel and partial turbine propulsion, as on some German light cruisers.

Other Items

  • (Mostly addressed) Increase flexibility in tower placement.
  • Allow unlocking of all towers for all hulls.
  • Add fire control computers and/or other fire control instruments as selectable categories. For example, four options might be: None (default), Dumaresq with Range Clock, Analytic Computer, Synthetic Computer. From "None" to "Synthetic Computer," base accuracy and cost would steadily increase, and long range accuracy would dramatically improve. Each option might have its own tech research upgrades. They do not need to be named, but, for example, it could include "Continuous Aim" for None, "Range Averaging" for Dumaresq, "Improved Plotting" for Analytic, and "Stable Vertical" for Synthetic. Tower effects on accuracy might need to be adjusted if computers are added as a category.
  • Add cross-roll effect. Guns firing close to exactly forward or exactly aft have penalty to accuracy. This is one of the reasons why broadside tactics predominated in the pre-dreadnought era. Fire control tech research upgrades would vastly reduce or eliminate this penalty.
  • (Addressed) Possibly allow heavy cruisers to mount hydrophones with a special upgrade, though maybe with a penalty.
  • (Addressed) Possibly allow battleships to mount hydrophones, though maybe with a penalty.
  • Possibly add mine rails and minesweeping sets (if mines are added) and depth charge rails/launchers (if submarines are added in campaign) for destroyers and light cruisers. Depth charges could even be mounted on heavy cruisers and battleships with the right upgrade, but with a very big scaling penalty to effectiveness.
  • Add catapults and spotter planes. Implementation may be messy.

I do worry that adding too many of these changes may cause overcomplexity, but I figured I would include many options that could be pruned down if implemented.

I added more points.

Edited by disc
Added more improvements to list.
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Yes, this is forum is I think more for discussion of historical designs and components and how they might come together in the game.  Your list is relevant here, but I think the other thread is a bit more pertinent to the feedback.

Edited by akd
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  • 1 month later...

One thing I'd love to see is some earlier hull types.  If the campaign kicks off in 1890, there should be no reason nations should have all their ships just be 1890 and after designs.  I'd love to see more protected/unprotected cruiser designs, as well as some very late turret ironclads or casemate battleship designs.

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May I suggest adding the caliber option for naval guns as well? Nations used 45 most commonly but there were 30, 35, 40, 50 caliber guns and guns of higher calibers weren't impossible but weren't implemented because they were too accurate and offered too flat of a shell trajectory. 

Also, Barbette placement issue, let us click a checkmark when selecting a turret so it comes with barbette already and we can better see the weight and balance impact it has on the ship

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I'd suggest adding the ability to choose the inclination of the belt armour to your list, as well as a tapered armour plate option.

Other suggestions to add to the list include - 

a) Separating the fore and aft extremity belts into two separate sections. They were often not the same, the front section typically being thicker.

b) Dividing the turret armour thicknesses more finely. The turret roof and walls in the front were thicker than those in the rear on several designs to optimize weight while remaining within tonnage restrictions (several notable Italian examples). Maybe a dropdown to select finer gradations as opposed to one thickness?

c) Conical barbettes. This was a method used by many American Treaty ships in order to provide the greatest amount of protection while optimizing weight.

d) More armour variants than just "Krupp I", "Krupp II", etc. Noncemented armour steels such as NVNC, Class B, OD and VH were extensively used to optimize cost.

e) An option to change longitudinal bulkhead thicknesses and an attendant 'Reinforced Internal Subdivision' armour scheme option. Reference the last two French Suffren-class cruisers, which used an internal caisson of reinforced bulkheads to avoid battle damage in lieu of a traditional external waterline belt. 

It may be more of a pain to code, but it might be superior in the long run to be able to click on the model itself while in the shipyard designer and adjust the armour values of the selected piece. The previously-mentioned dropdown could help factor into this, from "basic thicknesses" to very minute details. This could potentially allow for a lot more variety as those of us who want to build within even further artificial restrictions would be able to do so, while keeping things more simplistic for those of us who aren't as painstaking about individual boiler uptakes.

Edited by Shiki
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we are working on the 

On 10/15/2019 at 4:06 PM, disc said:


I added more points.

we are finalizing scope on the improvements of the ship designer that we plan to work in parallel or just before the campaign. 

Is this a final community topic incorporating all suggestions from the excellent posts in this forum section? (like posts on citadel rework, more freedom in the designer, addition of boiler quality and such?


Everyone please add your ideas suggetions from other threads to this topic.
Lets update this definitile list of proposals and we will edit main post with colors on things we plan to add and red that we delay.
After we give it a week or two we will add our plans to the list and prioritize in the open so everyone will see what definitely will be done from community proposals and what will be delayed to later.


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Ok my ideas are the following:

Guns up to 20-22inches to recreate super yammato and the H classes better.

Armour tabs for each section of armour could have a drop down menu to into further depth with what sections of the ship are armour to what degree so for example the belt could be divided into 4 sections upper belt, mid belt, lower belt and underwaterbelt which would allow for either all parts of the ships belt to be armour uniformaly or to armour certain sections more than others like in real life.

Ability to lengthen and widen the hull, ability to add torpedo bulges onto ships and nets. Scaleable superstructures and barrel lengths plus turrets, ability to add 'ice breaker' sections of armour as well along the belt (again links to the above suggestion).

Quad and quintuple turrets, for historical and ahistorical reasons. Scaleable funnels, smaller funnels have less power but decrease pitch and roll plus cost less and weigh less but large funnels provide more power and acceleration but more smoke interfereance (so mobility or speed trade offs).

Ability to move internal componenets around as well and also to armour the inside of the ship and even angle the armour inside as well. Ability to reverse as well.

Camo schemes and iconography for further customisation. Place fillers, propelants and explosives for shells into their own catergory and maybe other shell types each with their own bonuses as well.

Turbo-electric, geared turbines and water tube boilers (so basically powerplants). For coms, maybe telegraph and signal flags or signal lights. Also i believe there were several types of radar as well at the time.

Oh and emergency generators as well i believe thats later tech like some of the stuff here but could be incorporated.

Obviously if any of these suggestions make the game to complex you can ignore them and go for simplier options unless lots of peeps want them.

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Oh and more 1880-1910 bb, cruiser and dd hulls. However make sure we get more Heavy cruiser and light cruiser plus dd hulls that are modern first before doing some of the older models.

Supercruiser hulls with armaments up to 356mm or 335mm, basically designed to catch and kill other cruisers and maybe even engage battlecruisers if needed.

more amrour types echoing whats been said above. also more generic pieces for turrets, superstructures, barbetts, funnels etc. to make more unique ships as well.

maybe frigate and corvette hulls if you guys get the time to do so.

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1. More CL/DD hulls

2. More freedom in ship building, mainly on barbettes that are very limited to few places.

3. Instead of "point" system to place something, make "straight line" system (many people, including me, are already asking for it).

Well, everything what i wished for is already posted here :D

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On 3/4/2020 at 8:49 AM, admin said:

we are working on the 

we are finalizing scope on the improvements of the ship designer that we plan to work in parallel or just before the campaign. 

Is this a final community topic incorporating all suggestions from the excellent posts in this forum section? (like posts on citadel rework, more freedom in the designer, addition of boiler quality and such?


Everyone please add your ideas suggetions from other threads to this topic.
Lets update this definitile list of proposals and we will edit main post with colors on things we plan to add and red that we delay.
After we give it a week or two we will add our plans to the list and prioritize in the open so everyone will see what definitely will be done from community proposals and what will be delayed to later.


Maybe we should also create topic about campaign ideas?

I'm still seing people giving ideas about campaign in others topic like Planning of next Updates, Upcoming Alpha-X or just creating new topic.

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i would love to have x-ray mode like world of warships and able to select armor thickness for individual plates, but its probably beyond the scope of this project. So i suggest expanding the current model to simulate real world armor system. Currently, a ship is divided into 3x7=21 sections and the main belt only protects the middle 5 sections. i suggest to expand it to 4x7 as the picture shown below.

1.Two armor schemes with different armor layout: Flat deck on top of belt & Turtleback.
2. Belt armor is divided into two belts: Upper and lower, allowing tapered belt armor design.
3. The bottom 5 sections are protected by Bulkhead
4. Deck armor is placed differently depending on the selected armor scheme.
5. For turtleback or protected cruiser armor schemes, the deck armor extends below the waterline. If a shell hits the upper belt, it has to penetrate both the upper belt and deck armor to reach the vital area. Similar to above, a shell that hits the lower belt has to penetrate both the lower belt and sloped armor deck.



Edited by StalkerJames
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This is neither a high-priority, widely sought, or game critical item, but one of the first tiny details that I noticed and really stuck with me gave me an interesting idea for the campaign. This detail, which I still absolutely love, is the launching of lifeboats when a ship is sank or abandoned. If you haven't seen this (it's really easy to miss) I recommend you take a closer look next time you see a vessel go down.

Anyway, getting to my point - what if some form of crew veterancy existed? Nothing overly complex, just an overall experience rating for a ship's crew as a whole. Theoretically, said rating would provide slight, but useful bonuses to maneuvering, gunnery, damage control, or engine efficiency. This could place an emphasis on the preservation (or at least careful consideration in sacrifice) of not only your ships, but their crew members. What is currently just a (cinematic?) effect of lifeboats rowing clear of the wreckage could add another element to the tactics of each engagement - rescuing or capturing stranded survivors. For the sake of budget, programming, etc, this could simply be done in a text-box message following each victorious mission: "Recover survivors? Y/N" with a small time/resource penalty for sticking around to preform search and rescue. In theory, a seasoned crew who manage to escape the sinking of their vessel could be recovered and in a few months' time be transferred to another vessel to improve it (likely with a penalty to their original stats) OR they could be captured as a form of asset-denial to rob an opponent of both resources and experience.

Victories would have the additional reward of recovering veteran sailors while denying enemies' experience retention, while retreats could be even costlier. Raids and long-distance attacks would have the added risk of potentially abandoning your crewmen unfortunate enough to lose their ships and fall adrift. In addition to the mechanics, this would also add an emotional investment beyond the admiration and marvel of your proud warships - the incredibly important human elements of strength, ingenuity, discipline, and sacrifice from the men that make up their crews, and deserve a spotlight of their own. How did you feel the last time you lost a CL in a battle? Yeah, I didn't give a shit either. But perspective changes when it's 300 crew killed or missing under your command. I feel like that's how the campaign should feel.

This might all be too much, or distract from the main focus of the game - perhaps it's just unnecessary and convoluted altogether, but I just had to get it off my chest. No matter what, I already adore this game in its present state, and am utterly ecstatic about what lies ahead for UA:D. Keep up the spectacular work, devs, and thank you for genuinely listening to the concerns, criticisms, hopes and crazy ideas of us fans. There really aren't enough like you out there!


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On 3/11/2020 at 6:15 PM, StalkerJames said:

So i suggest expanding the current model to simulate real world armor system.

I like the idea, and I've been working on a system myself. Might add it once I've come up with a mutually approved arrangement. I think a key element is individualizing compartments per ship.

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