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Apr 9, 2013

Digging Deeper (1) - appendix

by Thor_Hammerschlag


We probably had a great discussion on the forum after I posted "Digging Deeper (1) - Shell Normalization". But there was also a lot of confusion. I came to the conclusion, that there are a lot of misleading sources on the web, mostly written by people who are simple not deep enough in the theme of armor penetration.

For anybody who is interested - I added on the end of my article (link is above) a FAQ, which covers most of the confusing parts. Feel free to post a comment or ask me something.

What I posted were values based on tests, these tests were summed up in graphs and then again proven by combat data. That is the basic idea and the really great thing about "WWII Ballistics- Armor and Gunnery".

At the end of this summery I would like to show you page 92 of [1]. The British BIOS engineers support my conclusion of armor penetration - mechanics and thus also the way of "normalization" I concluded.
Have a look at the first picture, you can see here that the way a projectile goes trough armor is more than armor/cos(angle) suggests - in other words, positive normalization.


Kurt Knispel's body found


For those who are concerned about history:

Kurt Knispel's body has been found in the village of Vrbovec (German name: Urbau) near Znojmo. It was known he died in fighting somewhere around the village, but not where exactly. A metallic identification sheet has been recovered, identifying the body as Knispel's.

Kurt Knispel was a German tank ace, racking up 168 confirmed kills, mostly on the Eastern front. There are two theories of his death, according to the article: a German military log mentions the loss of two King Tigers on 30th of April, 1945, one being Knispel's during the Soviet assault on the village (the Germans managed to destroy 10 enemy tanks). The second theory (confirmed by an eyewitness from his units) says he was wounded a day earlier and died in the local field aid station.

HE in real life

By EnsignExpendable

A while ago (so far back, a great number of you might not even have been playing then), HE was pretty awesome. The rays generated by the explosion didn't need line of sight to weaker armour in order to penetrate it, so, starting at the earliest derp guns, you could easily mess up any enemy tank with more or less reliable damage, even if you could not penetrate his armour. The change to HE mechanics made it pretty unreliable. Turns out, this is the more realistic approach.

As many of you know, the M3 Lee was kind of a terrible design. The 75 mm hull gun was only meant to fire HE at infantry. The 37 mm gun in the turret was meant to combat tanks. Seeing how the Soviets got a whole bunch of Lees, they decided to test their two guns against captured German tanks. The results of the 37 mm gun were not very encouraging. In that same test, the Soviets saw how the 75 mm gun's HE shells fared against the StuG. The result of that was not very encouraging either. The shells either failed to do significant damage to the tank. Some welding seams popped, some armour plates were dented, but the overall structural integrity of the StuG was not compromised.

Superficial damage of the StuG's side armour from a 75 mm shell next to a penetration from a 37 mm shell.

"The track is damaged! It can break any second!" Certainly not very impressive. However, let's see what happens when the T-34's turn comes. The results are obtained from the same report (CAMD RF 38-11355-832). Sadly, the quality of the scan is not so great, and the uploader chose not to include most of the photographs, since you can barely see anything in the ones he left in. I wish they were in there, because what happened is quite different from the Lee's attempt.

"Results of shooting at the German PzIV tank from the Model 1940 76 mm tank gun (F-34), installed in a T-34 tank.

76 mm HE-fragmentation steel grenade.

Range: 800 meters. Target: right turret side. Shell struck the turret side hatch. The hatch is torn off. The armour plate at the lower portion of the turret is bent by 50 mm.
Range: 800 meters. Target: commander's cupola. Direct hit. The cupola is torn off and thrown 5 meters to the side. Turret hatches are torn off and thrown 30 meters from the tank.
Range: 800 meters. Target: engine compartment, right side. A breach 130 by 350 mm formed in the hull."

Yikes, looks like there's quite a difference in the guns' effectiveness with HE shells. In game, the M3 Lee's historical gun does 175 damage with an HE shell. The T-34's historical gun, only does 156 damage with an HE shell! Both HE shells have the same penetration.

Looks like Russian Bias didn't make it into the game.

What you can see from this report is that the HE mechanics for medium caliber guns are more or less accurate. You can deal quite a bit of damage, if only you know where to aim. However, large caliber HE appears to be effective regardless of where you aim. The D-25 test (peels a Tiger II slightly, sets the tank on fire) and ML-20 test (tears a Panther turret apart) both proved that HE can be quite effective against tanks.


- a French premium TD is planned (unknown ETA)
- battles without artillery are not planned
- maps that were removed for re-work (Dragon's Ridge, Serene Coast) are not going to be implemented as optional (SS: the idea was to make them selectable much like the new modes)
- Leopard 1 mantlet is 70mm "historical" (proof given by Storm)
- 0.8.5 test 2 will have the same queues as test 1 (no server boost)
- a "national" mode where for example only German vehicles would play against only Americans is not planned
- grass render will be optimalized for better FPS
- the reason for introducing gold ammo for credits was "fair play principle"
- new premium vehicles are introduced "as needed". The reason why the Germans have so many premium medium tanks and the French have none is that the Franch simply didn't have any viable projects for that.
- the World of Tanks Blitz game will be cross-platform apparently, SerB states there are many problems, but they hope to solve them
- the devs have enough tanks to implement for 5 more years, in that time they expect many game algorithms to change because of the technology development
- regarding hightier Soviet light tanks, SerB states there were only paper projects and they won't implement that for now.
- there will be no random battles mode without gold shells
- Q: "Is it worth it to wait for new music in next patches?" A: "You can always wait for new music"
- Q: "And will there be rock'n'roll too?" A: "Rock'n'roll is - as everyone knows - dead. Unlike us."
- it's worth it to report the AFKers, however there is some sort of automatic AFKer tracking system now
- transfer of premium tanks from one account to another will not be implemented
- Q: "Will there be special camouflage scheme for Clanwars as a reward?" A: "Camo is not enough, watch the news" (SS: I think we can safely assume the T10 prems will be a CW reward)
- automatic anti-illegal-mod system: "no comment"
- Yuri Pasholok will see whether the current T-80 crew setup is historical (SS: one Russian book suggests it is not)
- another alternative Soviet medium branch (which is to start from KV-13) has a tier 8 problem, devs haven't found a suitable vehicle yet, also tier 9 is problematic (SS: if I understand it correctly, a project designated A-22 was meant for tier 9, but it was found out that the A-22 project was in fact a codename for the Object 907 hull development). Apparently, there was no "T-22SR" project, only the A-22
- automatic (gold) fire extinguisher reduces the chance of fire (10 percent chance of fire reduction) not by an absolute number, but by a relative amount taken from the engine, eg. a 20 percent fire chance engine will have it 18 percent with the gold fire extinguisher, not 10.
- the A-43 Soviet medium branch will also be implemented, after A-43 there will be the A-44 tank
- in the new chat system, there will be a different category for clanmates and friends (SS: so you will be able to set it so that you will recieve private messages only from friends and not clanners)
- on top Soviet tanks in planned branches: "Soviets are doing fine, there will be no paper tanks implemented unless absolutely necessery"

"The Game" results

A few weeks back, an EU Q&A thread was opened (you can't see it now, the original questions thread was deleted) on EU forums and players got to ask another round of questions. I decided to play a little "game" and try to answer to see, which questions would fit. Today, the answers came.

And the result of "the Game"? Well, apparently, none of the English questions I asked actually got answered as far as I can see. It seems most of the questions answered were taken from the non-English sections. That's maybe why the stuff that got asked are notoriously known questions, such "when will the Japanese tree come" (well, sorry, but it is my opinion that non-English speakers rarely ask anything that has not been said in the English section.).

Notice that everything that got asked is extremely short. If we assume that the answers published are the exact translations from Russian original, it perfectly fits what I wrote about the EU Q&A earlier:

a) complicated questions do not get answered
b) WG staff picks only very easy and obvious questions to answer (which - if you follow the news - you know the answers to most of the time) - or, what would be even worse - shortens the questions. Obviously, this is a huge problem, as a lot of the context is lost. I will give you an example (real example, from Russian forums of what happens when context is lost):

Player asking: "In early 2013, you introduced the Chinese. The Chinese have practically the same guns as the Russians (they are mostly copies), yet they seem to deal more damage than the Russian originals. Is it possible that the Russian guns recieve a damage buff, possibly offset by other characteristics, so the DPM stays the same as with the Chinese weapons? In other words, will both of them become normalized at some point?"
Storm's answer: "Yes, it is planned that both Russian and Chinese weapons of the same caliber will recieve the same alpha damage".

And what happens when a moron comes along and makes a question "shorter"?

Player (via EU WG): "Will Russian guns recieve a buff?"
Most likely answer: "No"

This is just an example - but you get my point. After all, the alpha damage change is not really a "buff", it's probably considered a "rebalance" by WG and by shortening the question, the meaning gets different.

c) Translating from a minority language to English and then to Russian by more than one person is a really bad idea, meanings get lost. Same principle as above, just done inadvertedly, like when the "Player asking" question is asked in Czech and the guy who translates it goes "hurrrrr durrrrr he's asking for buff", tanslates it as "Will they get a buff?" and on it goes to the person who translates it into Russian already in a messed up form.

This does not work.

The solution would be obvious: to make what I do, but officially (I talked many times on the topic of disadvantages of that though). I think there is some vague (or even not-so-vague) plan to introduce something like that to the EU forums (NA guys have The_Chieftain, who provides reasonable answers). Not long ago I thought there will be a grand return of Overlord, but since he was transferred to the WG mobile division (or something like that), I doubt that'll happen.

Replay: What the hell just happened?

Alright, today I decided to have one quick battle during the break I took - and something strange happened. I'm driving to attack the StuG and suddenly, I am driving in the opposite direction, the tank just turns around (and shows the surprised StuG its backside). If the StuG was a derp, I'd be so dead.

There was no lag, nothing. Is this some physics bug?

Replay (it happens at exactly 8:00):

8.5 supertest vehicles gameplay footage

Not much to see here, but it's still something :)