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Mar 27, 2013

27.3.2013 part 2

Today is quite filled with WoT news it seems!

Storm on some points from 8.5:

(I was about to translate it, but then I noticed there was an official post on EU forums. Why WG makes its EU branch translate such snippets I have no idea)

- Yuri Pasholok: the T-80 tier 4 light tank could have a Soviet 76mm gun
- there is a rumor going around that the tier 10 tanks (M60, Object 907, Failowe) will be a part of a special Clanwars event, held during the official "CW season closure" (SS: just a rumor, not confirmed, take it or don't).
- tanks will not be transferrable for gold to another nation ("Players make a lot if idiotic proposals. We can't comment on them all, sorry")
- SerB states that the visibility duration (3-10 seconds) for a given tank aren't random, but rather cyclic. In other words, if two tanks light each other up simultaneously, it's possible that tank 1 will disappear for tank 2 sooner than tank 2 for tank 1
- the gold consumable prices for credit will principially be calculated as 50g*400 (credits per gold) = 20000s, but this price is not guaranteed
- VK3601H is transferred to the heavy tank category because "it's needed"
- Q: "New German tanks carry Bundeswehr crosses, yet earlier you said it's technically impossible for a single nation to have two symbols, how is it then?" A: "It's the first step to archieve the goal of having all the tanks carry red stars"
- more shell impact sounds (special sounds for impacts on tracks etc.) will be implemented
- a player on RU server actually archieved 15 kills with a FV215b....

- South American desert map ("Mexico") was scrapped, didn't play well

Overlord answers the questions in Russian regarding the World of Tanks Blitz (he became a producer-chief for the mobile division it seems):

- The requirements will be the Ipad 2,3,4, Iphone 4,5 (he's not sure about the 4), for Android port he says it's complicated, but it should work on Nexus 7 for example, it won't work on "budget smartphones" (as in, cheap), it apparently needs Tegra 3 SoC.
- the battles will be realtime 7v7
- the vehicle grind will be faster than in WoT PC
- turret control is still secret
- account will be shared with WoT apparently

There's much more but I'll get to that later, if anyone is interested in this anyway (I know I am not, I hate mobile games, the pad I have I use for work only).

VK7201 Part Deux

Hello everyone,

best of to react before this gets out of hand :) In the morning, I published an article "VK7201 - fake or not", where I wrote about the history of the VK7201. I expected some more outrage, but instead, some people just took it.

Without further ado: I made the thing up.

Well, not totally everything - I mean, the general part about the Lowe tank is true, even the Spielberger's book exists, but there was never any such a thing as "Feldhaubitze auf Infanterieunterstützungfahrgestell" - I made the name "Failowe" up too.

Why did I do it? Because generally speaking, if you cite reputable sources and publish it as "serious material", noone will doublecheck the sources and very few people will question it. And that's what I believe Yuri Pasholok did with this design. He simply pulled it out his ass (god knows why, there were many more historical and interesting vehicles) and when he got called on his bullshit, he started squirming. Neither the Panzer Tracts nor Spielberger's book on special tank variants mention anything about a rear-turreted 120ton supertank with 200+ mm frontal armor and 150mm L/38 (what was considered for the Lowe was the L/40). It's a fake and Wargaming should feel shame for peddling this crap.

Of course, as any good fake, it has SOME part of the truth. The vehicle is obviously modelled as a Lowe variant (turret) by Krupp (internally, it's referred to in WG as VK7201(K) ), the model comes from the early "Leichter Lowe" impressions (VK7001), but as the name suggest, 7201 means "72 tons, 1st design" - so it doesn't even make sense to name a 120 ton tank like that. Could have such a design existed in the mind of some Krupp engineer? Sure, but the fact it could have existed doesn't mean it did. I can understand why Wargaming filled some slots with "less-than-real" tanks such as the E50M - simply because it was needed and no other vehicle was found to fit, but making the vehicles randomly up? Uh... no.

Anyway, that's the end of the rant. I will keep on calling the VK7201 a Failowe - it's fitting, a fake name for a fake tank.


 First: a screenie from mid March (courtesy of ITDUDE, US server) from an official WG movie, showing some interesting vehicles on the bottom bar:

Now some FaiLowe news


(Storm made a post practically similiar to the European coming-out in wording earlier - hell, can EU server even write a post first?)

- according to Storm, the new vehicles (VK7201, M60 Patton, Object 907) are planned for summer, Storm states they will not be tied to the "expert" medals
- Q: "What remains is to pray that these vehicles aren't tied to clanwars" A: "Remains, yes"
 (SS: if you are interested in Failowe history, here's an article)

Also, from Yuri Pasholok (source), a possible picture of new Soviet light tank destroyer, it was made in April-May 1942, based on the T-60 light tank (it's just a project, unclear whether it will ever appear in the game).

Regular translations:

Looks like SerB is in trollmood again

- there is a new Nvidia driver build released, it's being tested for WoT stability
- VK3601H won't be changed into a heavy in 8.5
- test server crews won't have multiple perks during tests
- maps aren't being converted to make arties' life easier
- free (undistributed) XP to crew XP transfer idea has been abandoned, because "it's not considered necessery"
- armor buff? "If needed - and we decide what's needed" (SS: this somehow reminds me of the old Czech movie quote: "We - the communist party - decide what's beautiful!" :) )
- SerB regarding the "elite players": "The elite can consider themselves the elite as much as they want, we don't care"
- rain, storm, snowfall, fog, night battles will be implemented
- Sexton stats (price etc.) are not yet completely decided
- Storm doesn't consider OpenGL to be interesting, WoWs won't support it
- World of Tanks Blitz and classic WoT are developed separately
- damaged suspension does not influence tank turning speed
- matchmaker considers the same map in regular mode and in (for example) assault mode to be two different maps
- the Chinese made a ripoff copy of World of Tanks - SerB reacts: "Copyright and right to copy are written the same in Chinese"
- ZIS-5 gun has different penetration on different tanks, because it's a different gun in each case (SS: there were more models, yes)
- KV-220 is named correctly according to WG (SS: some player suggests the correct name should be KV-220-2)
- SerB states that the rumor about the special artyzoom mod showing the enemy arty position after one shot is just a rumor
- the fact that the tank is turning its hull and its turret at the same time doesn't reduce the turret rotation speed
- the camouflage mechanics changes will affect all classes, it's not tied to the fact that the heavies on tier 10 are hard to play
- in alpha WoT, there was the idea to make the detection range (viewrange) better in the direction the driver/commander periscope is aiming at and worse in other directions, it was scrapped as counterintuitive
- minefields in CW are ATM only in idea stage
- improved garage tech filters will come most likely in autumn, the tank selection bar will be completely reworked

T10 Leopard - new screenies

Leopard Prototype and Indienpanzer screenshots


WG coming-out!


So, basically what Overlord hinted at a week or two ago on his blog came to pass: Clanwars will get their special tank rewards. Thanks god, the lines leading to those tanks would be... problematic. At least we don't need to speculate anymore about that.

Overlord on Clanwars rewards:

Sounds interesting, doesn't it!

Well, I think it's a retarded idea to link these vehicles to Clanwars. For following reason:

I firmly believe that personal skill should be rewarded. Clanwars are not about personal skill as players, Clanwars are about the fact you get another 100 people to do what you want so you have a shot at conquering a map territory. I really don't see a point in rewarding the fact you can create a mob of (potentially) muppets who win by numbers. I played 3 battles in clanwars - all with a Czech clan that was notoriously undermanned, half of the people didn't show up and at that moment had no real raidleader, who'd talk and prepare strategies. All 3 battles I played were roughly in the "okay, well, Maus and E-100 in the city, the rest do what you can" - and these guys actually captured a territory some time later? *sigh*

I mean - why not give out such rewards to exceptional players? I mean - 70 percent overall winrate from randoms, that's special. Getting 100 monkeys to click at the same time? Not so much. No offense to CW players of course, the amount of dedication you display when playing the same map with the same setup over and over and over... impressive!

Another beef I have is the German "contribution" to this. So, the Russians get a main battle tank. So do the Americans. And the Germans? That's right, no MBT for you, evil nazis, here, have a dinosaur. Enjoy.

Anyway, at least the special rewards for game play come thru. Let's hope this somehow continues to random battles.

PS: special shout-out to Supercharge and her smug comments on "conspiracy theorists", right back atcha :)
PPS: sorry if I offended any clanwars players - tbh, I don't care for clanwars much, but I do admit it takes some dedication and skill, just like World of Warcraft raiding

VK7201 - fake or not?

Attention! After/before (as you like) reading this, be sure to read this:

H.L.Doyle, T.Jentz - Panzer Tracts (6-3)
H.L.Doyle, T.Jentz - Encyclopedia of German Tanks (Revised edition)
W.Spielberger - Spezial Panzer Fahrzeuge (German edition)

I promised an article about the history of the VK7201. Well, here's what's I found. Everyone who has read my comments on this vehicle probably knows I consider it an unhistorical fake, made up by Wargaming's chief tank researcher, Yuri Pasholok.

Well, I was wrong. It's fully historical. But it's a pretty obscure vehicle.

First, a short Lowe introduction. The Lowe program was a (relatively early) very heavy tank program from 1941-1942. If you are interested in its particularities, I suggest you have a look at the Panzer Tracts - Paper Panzers. What we need to know for starters is that there were 5 basic Lowe models Doyle mentions, all proposed by Krupp. Here are their parameters, mentioned in Panzer Tracts 20-1:

 The common consensus is that the very early models had the turret in the back, while the later models had the turret moved to middle (this can be verified by checking the table hull lengths, comparing them to the respective gun lengths and then to total lengths of the vehicle). Contrary to popular belief however, there was never such a think as "Leichter Lowe" or "Schwerer Lowe", that nomenclature was made up, all the projects were referred to in VK (Vollkettenfahrzeug - tracked vehicle) nomenclature and later by the name of Löwe. It started as a roughly 75 ton tank, the early projects had the turret in the back, like this:

Later, the turret was moved to the middle into what we know from the game as the Lowe. By the way, if you look at the table and compare it with the ingame Lowe, you'll find out that the tier 8 tank we all know is not historical, it's a mashup of various Lowe models. But that's really not the topic of this article.

So, where did the VK7201 come from? The first hint was that it is internally in game referred to as VK7201(K). Okay, so it was made by Krupp. German version of Spielberger's book offers an interesting theory. According to Spielberger, "an alternative Lowe chassis turretted self-propelled gun was originally started by Krupp along with the first Lowe project".

That was not uncommon at the time: the Germans always tried to use available chassis for more projects. For example, the superheavy Jagdpanzer E-100 on the E-100 chassis, or its competitior, Jagdpanzer Maus (yes, that's not a fake). But this project was rather special. It was concieved with some sort of unspecified 150mm howitzer (Feldhaubitze) in a round turret (unspecified where located, but according to the vehicle length, it can be theoretized it was in the back). The very interesting part is that this project was concieved as an infantry support vehicle chassis (weapons carrier), with superheavy frontal armor. This new type of chassis was designated "Infanterieunterstützung-Fahrgestell" (gotta love Germans and their combined words) - the "infantry support chassis" as a reaction on Hitler's direct demand for the development of superheavy vehicles for both destroying tanks and specialized heavy vehicles for supporting infantry (no doubt under the influence of professor Porsche and his own megalomania).

Plans were made to incorporate an unspecified other weapon. The vehicle was designated at first the VK7201, but later it was concieved the weight of 75 tons wouldn't fit such a heavy projected armor (originally, it was projected with cca 100mm frontal plate, but Hitler demanded as much armor as possible, ideally cca 200mm). The project then recieved a name of "Howitzer on infantry support chassis 'Lowe'", in German: "Feldhaubitze auf Infanterieunterstützung-Fahrgestell 'Lowe'", which can be shortcutted as F.a.I.Lowe (well, it probably wasn't in real life). Yea, you laughed, it's stupid, but historical, sorry.

Not much else is known about this project, not even its engine, so that's most likely made up. Its history presumably ends with the termination of the Lowe project in April 1942. I will later scan the respective part of Spielberger's book.

So, there you have it, not only is the Failowe historical, but so is the name in fact. See, Wargaming introduces only well-researched and historical vehicles. Kudos to Mr.Pasholok for uncovering this obscure and interesting, if silly-named vehicle. Long live the Failowe!