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Jun 7, 2013

Changes on FTR

Everyone, this is going to be the last post on this blog, so please read it, so there is as little confusion with the transition as possible.

First, a little explanation (if TLDR, you can skip), why this is happening. Those of you, who read this blog regularily have noticed that in last weeks and months I have considered various options what to do with this blog, including quitting altogether. The reasons were simply the fact I had less time in general, FTR took more and more time and quite simply, I am just a human being: when I do something as time-consuming, I'd like to have something out of it, preferably while not burdening my readers with any donation stuff or whatever. At one point, I tried to set up an adsense account, but - as some of you know - that doesn't work when you have a blog like this, you have to have your own domain or something. Thus, the application was denied.

At that point Edrard showed up. We've been mailing to each other over some other matters even before, but even so I was surprised when he made me an "offer I can't refuse". Edrard is the administrator and owner of probably the biggest World of Tanks unofficial webpage in the world, He basically offered me to move the FTR blog over to his website and I accepted. Took kinda long time to tweak, but thanks to his technical skill and awesome attitude (he was and continues being extremely helpful in all the matters), we (well, mostly he) managed to setup a Wordpress-based copy of For The Record. Wordpress interface gets a little time to use to, but we managed, I think. So, I am proud to announce the wot-news/FTR cooperation:

From now on FTR will continue on 

Now, what does it all mean?

There will be some changes, but not that many:

- Interface remains the same as you can see. Even the functionality stayed. It basically works just like the "old" FTR, so you should have no trouble orienting. The only significant change I made is that from now on, the main page will display only first few lines of the article, not the article whole - for the whole article you'll have to click on the article itself.

- Comments - this is one of the (very few) bad sides of this system. I will have to make the comments allowable only for registered users, not anonymous as before. This is not to limit you in commenting, this is to fight spam, a level of which, as I was told by Edrard who has a lot of experience in this, will be considerably higher. Since I don't want to spend half of the day removing spam comments with cheap viagra ads and offers from Nigerian princes to transfer their money, I think this is the best solution for everyone.

- Adsense - as you can probably see, there are two empty adsense banners, one of the top of the article, one at the bottom. They will become active in 1-2 weeks after the website has enough new and original content (this is the reason why I can't simply copy the old FTR content to the new website, Adsense requires original content). What little profit the banners make will be split between me and Edrard (and of course to cover the hosting costs). I am not sure myself how this will go, but I will ask you one thing: please leave the Adblock and other filters off for FTR - it doesn't cost you guys anything and it would help me a lot.

- Content will also remain the same, the authors who write for current FTR will (if they are still interested of course) recieve editor's access, like they had in here.

- Linking to FTR - since are a very clean site, now you'll be able to link to FTR on all the forums, how cool is that? However there is a price...

- Leaks - no original leaks are allowed on wot-news. The biggest reason is that has very friendly relationship to WG RU and Edrard doesn't want it fucked up by massive leaks. Therefore, there is a rule that no original leaks are allowed, only reposts from other sites. However: obviously, you want your info fresh and I can promise you that you will get it. There is always a solution, don't worry about it.

- the E-mail remains the same:

Well, that's it for now. I do know that some changes are not exactly desirable, but FTR had to move somewhere, because stagnation equals death by decay. There will be a bug here and there and it will take a while before we polish the new FTR, so it works perfectly, but I hope you can forgive us that - in exchange, you will get more content, more articles and more info.

Gun Accuracy in Real Life

By EnsignExpendable

The issue of gun accuracy (let's forget for a moment that when most people say accuracy, they mean precision) comes up a lot when discussing the game. Obviously, since engagement distances are very short, accuracy is reduced compared to real life, or no one would ever miss. In a previous article, I pointed out how the M-30 gets shafted about half as much as the D-25. Let's use some extremely scientific methods to determine the shaftedness ratio (SR) for some guns in the game: the ratio of in-game dispersion to real life dispersion. A high SR corresponds to a gun that is highly nerfed compared to real life.

The Soviets used a metric called average deviation to determine how precise a gun is. Average deviation is given for three axes. Since the game doesn't tell you the length-wise dispersion, let's focus on the horizontal and vertical deviations. A bunch of them are given here.

Comparing average deviation to maximum deviation is a bit hard, but not impossible. Due to the magic of a normal distribution, you can convert between the two. The current system is allegedly off at 3 sigmas (it will be 2.5 in 0.8.6). In a standard normal distribution, the 50% boundary lies at about 0.67 sigmas. Half of your shots should land within the closest 22% of the circle. This may not be true if the distribution isn't standard (we know it's normal, so please no whining about impulse in the comments), but for the purpose of comparing ratios, it doesn't matter that much.

Now, let's take the figures for the guns in the linked article, and figure out how badly they got shafted! I will use the 1000 meter figure to calculate precision, since they are all 0.1 meters at 100 meters, and that's boring. Since real life deviations aren't circular, but in-game ones are, let's use the larger of the values.

NOTE: the values, in most cases, are given to the nearest decimeter. This means that a small change that puts a gun from, say, 0.5 meters to 0.6 meters, has a sizeable effect on the SR.

Starting at the lowest caliber, we have the DShK 12.7 mm machinegun. Just like in the game, the dispersion isn't that stellar, 76 cm. At 100 meters, that's 7.6 cm. The 100% dispersion is 57 cm, and the 50% dispersion, using the 22% rule above, is 12.54 cm. That's a shaftedness ratio of 1.65.

Cranking up the caliber to 20 mm on the TNSh autocannon, we get 7 cm of dispersion at 100 meters, 100% dispersion in-game of 53 cm, 50% dispersion at 11.66 cm, and a shaftedness ratio of 1.66. Pretty consistent so far.

Getting out of the autocannon region, we advance to the American 37 mm M5 gun. Compared to the TNSh, it's a sniper, at 4 cm at 100 meters. In game, the 100% dispersion at 100 meters is 46 cm, 50% dispersion is  10.12 cm, and SR is 2.5. That's pretty nerfed!

Let's see how the German 3.7 cm gun does. 5 cm at 100 meters, with the same 46 cm of 100% dispersion as the American gun. That's the same 10.12 cm of 50% dispersion, and a SR of just over 2.

Moving up in caliber, the British 2-pounder gun (40 mm). The maximum deviation is 4 cm (although the horizontal deviation is an impressive 2 cm) at 100 meters. In game, it's 36 cm for a 100% radius, or 7.92 cm for a 50% radius, for a SR of 1.98.

Next up is the Soviet 45 mm model 1937 gun. Artillery tables give us a radius of 6 cm, either 46 cm in game, which converts to 50% radius of 10.12, and gives an SR of 1.68. Interestingly enough, this is the only gun where APCR scatters less than AP. Firing only gold, the SR goes up to 2.

Sadly, I have no data on 50 mm guns, so let's skip all the way up to the M2 75 mm American gun. The impressive deviation of 3 cm at 100 meters is increased to a not so impressive value of 47 cm at 100 meters, or 10.34 cm for a 50% dispersion, matching other similar tier guns. Since the real life precision was much higher, the M3 Lee scores an SR of 3.44. Yikes.

The T-34's 76 mm F-34 gun doesn't do much better. At the same 3 cm, both the Soviet and Chinese versions carry a 46 cm dispersion. At 10.12 cm for 50%, that's a SR of 3.37. Not as bad as the Lee, I guess, but just barely.

Skipping up to 88 mm, the Tiger II's gun gets some impressive results: 2.6 cm at 100 meters. The in-game stat is also impressive, 34 cm. The 50% dispersion is 7.48 cm, for an SR of 2.87.

Moving up a caliber, we get into artillery territory. The 105 mm German 1918 howitzer gets a dispersion of 4 cm (same as the 2-pounder, with an impressive 2 cm on the smaller axis), or 49 cm in game. That's a 10.78 cm 50% dispersion, and an SR of 2.7.

The 122 mm M-30 howitzer has a dispersion of 6 cm, and 55 cm on its TD version in-game. The 50% radius is 12.1 cm, giving an SR of 2.

The 122 mm D-25 has long been the subject of debate among those who care about truth and justice historical accuracy. The dispersion is approximately 2.4 cm, and 46 cm on both the Soviet and Chinese brothers. That makes for a 10.12 cm 50% radius and a whopping 4.2 SR.

The biggest gun I have data on is the 152 mm ML-20S. Its real life deviation is an impressive 3.2 cm, but in-game, SerB's cruel nerf bat reduced it to 50 cm, or 11 cm for a 50% radius. The SR is 3.43. Hey, not as bad as the IS!

So, what do we see here? The low tier, low accuracy guns aren't penalized that much, or else you wouldn't be able to hit anything. The penalty at tier 1-4 is about 2. Tier 5s have a harsher fate, with the SRs going over 3.

Here is a sorted list, in summary.

Soviet 12.7 mm DShK: 1.65
Soviet 20 mm TNSh: 1.66
Soviet 45 mm: 1.68
British 40 mm 2-pounder: 1.98
Soviet 122 mm M-30: 2
Soviet 45 mm 20K (APCR): 2
German 3.7 cm: 2
American 37 mm: 2.5
German 105 mm 1918: 2.7
German 88L/71: 2.87
Soviet 76 mm F-34: 3.37
Soviet 152 mm ML-20: 3.43
American 75 mm M2: 3.44
Soviet 122 mm D-25T: 4.2

Yes, the bottom 3 guns are Soviet, but so is the top one. That's explained by most of my data being Soviet. If anyone has tables for Western WWII guns, I'd be grateful. Despite the cries of anti-German bias, Germans are clustered solidly in the middle.