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Spotting Mechanics for World of Tank noobs! With Pictures!

spotting invistanks camo view range vision vision kiting

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blackfalconjc #1 Posted Oct 15 2015 - 19:38

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So I got into another discussion with a clanmate last night, and they were complaining again about Warpacking cheaters and how they were tired of getting shot by invisible tanks. I tried briefly explaining the vision mechanics, but you could tell they weren't getting it. I decided it was time to revisit this topic (been a while since I've seen it pop up on the Forum) and try to cover some of the vision basics. Just understanding these points raised my game almost 400 overall WN8, my recent by 1000 WN8, and my W/R by 2% within the past 2k games.

 

Please note that while this isn't math heavy, it is concept rich as spotting is a complex topic. This doesn't hope to explore it in depth, just give a newer player an easy to read guide on how to stay alive longer!

 

Spotting Mechanics for World of Tank noobs!

 

So you just broke out that shiny new tank, drove your hunking metal monster out into the fray and started taking shots from nowhere… *whizz, BOOM* Your tank is now a tin-can junk heap and you’re cursing those L337 H@zzors using Warpack shooting through building and mountains.

 

But, consider just for a second… What if they weren’t cheating? What if instead they knew something about the game you didn’t and used it to shoot you before you can even see them?

 

Vision Mechanics:

In World of Tanks, tanks are subject to a “Fog of War” in which they do not appear on your map or screen unless someone has spotted them and will fall off if not actively being spotted.

 

All tanks have a View Range, which is the theoretical maximum distance that your tank can see an enemy tank. This varies tank to tank, but is typically low for Heavy tanks and Arty, and higher for TD’s, Mediums and very high for Light Tanks. Maximum for this is currently unlimited, out to the draw range.

 

Then you have Spotting Range, which is the maximum range at which your crew will see an enemy tank and note its location. Once an enemy tank is in range, your Radioman will pass this information on to friendly tanks, and also received similar reports from friendly tanks. At 50m, you can “hear” the enemy tank, so it’ll light up even if you can’t actually see them. You can use this to safely spot around a corner. This can be a fuzzy number because while you might have a really good view range, they have camo working to keep them hidden, more on that later! You can end up with a number higher than 445m, but all this does is work to defeat camo faster, you won’t spot someone past 445 meters.

 

Not to muddy the waters, but there’s also a Draw Range, currently implemented as a box 500m square around your tank in which any enemy tank will be rendered in the game engine if it’s spotted, by you or an ally. This will be changing in release 10, which will convert this into a circle 500m radius from your tank.

 

 

Spotting:

Spotting an enemy tank is simple, they have to be within your spotting range and one of your tank viewports has to make a direct line contact to a visibility checkpoint on an enemy tank. Think about it like your view range ports have a laser pointing out from it (in all directions), and if it "hits" a Visibility checkpoint on an enemy tank and comes back, that tank is spotted

 

View Range Ports:

 

Visibility Checkpoints:

 

Now this assumes no hills, bushes, and the tanks are within range of each other. Different tanks have different view ranges and equipment, training, camo, viewport damage, etc.

 

Distance:

Distance also has an effect on this as well. Since is game is played online, the Server is responsible for passing information on spotting down to the game clients. As you move your tank around the map, the position information is getting passed to the server, and it’s using those viewports to draw “vision” rays in a circle around your tank and checks if you can spot an enemy tanks visibility points. Since real time processing of all this data for every tank in-game would be very data and processor intensive, it only check every second or so, with increasing duration at longer ranges.

 

According to World of Tanks Wiki article: (http://wiki.wargamin...attle_Mechanics)

within 50 m range - every 0.1 sec

within 150 m range - every 0.5 sec

within 270 m range - every 1.0 sec

within 445 m range - every 2.0 sec

 

This means that at longer ranges you can move out from concealment and still remain hidden for a second or two, making it possible to cross a gap without taking instant return fire. Don’t try this at shorter ranges, as they’ll light you up and plunk a shot in your tracks or engine deck (both bad!)

 

Getting unspotted:

The game will keep you spotted for 5 seconds after starting to fail additional vision checks, which means something is breaking that vision connection, like a building, cliff, or camo/bushes. This mechanic makes for a great way to back up, reload, and wait to get unspotted, then pull back up and fire at the last known position of the enemy tank. People have a bad habit of not moving from their last position, so blind firing can often lead to a hit! There’s also a skill for your Gunner, Designated Target that will keep an enemy tank lit for up to an additional 2 seconds if you’re holding your reticle on them.

 

Camouflage:

So, while you’re trying to spot enemy tanks, they are trying to hide from you. Camouflage is implemented in game as mechanism that essentially defeats your vision checks by decreasing the range which the enemy tank can be spotted by you. Camo paint and the Camouflage crew skill increase this ability. Some tanks naturally have really good ratings for camo, so they can get really close before you spot them. Other tanks, like the Maus, well, it’s big, grey, and shaped like a barn… It’s going to be visible from a long way off!

 

Camo has three ratings, sitting still, moving, and after firing. It stands to reason that if you’re moving, it’s easier to spot you! And since guns when fired have a tendency to belch smoke, fire and loud noises, which will all get your tank spotted easier!

 

Some tanks have a natural advantage though, light tanks for example maintain their camo rating while on the move, and so while they are weak in terms of HP and armor, they can move about (mostly) unseen on the battlefield. Smaller tanks and TD's also typically get better camo ratings, while big tanks have terrible camo...

 

Natural Camouflage:

So what about Mother Nature? Hills and buildings will offer you protection, but they also defeat your vision checks. Bushes do so as well, but they are become transparent when close enough, meaning you can see partially through them if you get with 15 m of them. How big the bush is and how far you’re parked into it will offer you more or less camo and also control if you can see through the bush. If you’re 15m away from a bush, you cannot see, or be seen through it. A nice trick to use here is to wait in a bush to spot or for friendlies to spot up the enemy, and then pull back away from the bush past that 15m line and fire… Remember, they stay lit for 5 seconds! Your cannon fire will be invisible to the enemy, and they’ll be wondering where that shot came from! Also, you can use that trick to your advantage, if you’re in a light or medium tank, you can spot the enemy and let your Heavies and TD’s take the shots. You stay unlit and get spotting XP, and the enemy crumples in a pile of twisted metal without even knowing how they got spotted!

 

 

Vision Kiting:

An advanced vision control method where you realize that your tank simply has better view range and camo than an opponent. You stay off within your spotting distance, but yet outside of theirs, and you’re got free range to fire as much as you want. The top clans use this technique with highly mobile tanks with excellent view range (such as the T37, or Cromwell) to win Stronghold and Tournaments (and make everyone decry them as hackers), as people literally can’t see what is shooting them.

 

Radio Range:

But wait there’s more! Remember how we said your Radioman is busy passing information on to your buddies? If they’ve spotted someone, and they are within your draw range, but not necessarily in your spotting range, you can still shoot a lit up enemy tank and they’ll never even know you were there! In that manner you’re basically chaining together your teams spotting circles and keeping the enemy under observation the entire time.

 

 

Six Sense:

Then your commander has one really great game changing skill, the shiver he gets on the back of his neck when someone sees your tank. This does come with a 2 seconds delay from when you’re spotted until he knows about it. This is quite simply a game changing skill, you move from suspecting that the enemy might see you and hiding all the time, to simply knowing that a little drive across the plain is safe because no one is covering it as you were unspotted when you did a vision check on it... It also lets you know to take evasive maneuvers before a Waffle or Arty decides you’re a tasty nibblet to waste a couple rounds on…

 

Here's a really great link to exploring the math behind it all, and seeing how/when you'll spot someone:

http://www.wotinfo.net/en/camo-calculator

 

TL-DR? It's hard to explain simpler as there's a lot going on... Try re-reading it with a more open mind! :P



RUSS663 #2 Posted Oct 15 2015 - 19:53

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Thank you.  So simple I can even understand it.  :)

HeroSandwich #3 Posted Oct 15 2015 - 19:58

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The diagrams in Russian are a nice touch.

blackfalconjc #4 Posted Oct 15 2015 - 19:59

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View PostHeroSandwich, on Oct 15 2015 - 13:58, said:

The diagrams in Russian are a nice touch.

 

Oddly enough that's the only one on the WG wiki page... Why recreate the wheel? ;)

5teve_The_Cow #5 Posted Oct 15 2015 - 20:31

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Good post.
Very nice.
Even for a Vet like me its good to re-read it.. 
Never remember the update times for the long range Vis checks though.  2 seconds is a long time.

I never really assume cheats or hacks..  I just assume I drove somewhere dumb at the wrong time..    ;P

 

Dunfalach #6 Posted Oct 15 2015 - 20:34

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Very well done.

owlgator #7 Posted Oct 15 2015 - 20:40

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A translated diagram can be found in this thread:

 

http://forum.worldoftanks.com/index.php?/topic/452384-vanishing-tanks/



blee0111 #8 Posted Oct 15 2015 - 20:55

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Warpack user,  I had to say it, good post,:D

SleeplessinCharlotte #9 Posted Oct 15 2015 - 20:57

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If I was a new player, I'd take one look at this and run like hell.  That said, you did an awfully fine job.  It's the material that is overwhelming.  Every once in a while I'll look at this stuff and, a few sentences in my eyes start drooping.  At that point, I close it and go back to shooting tanks.  Explains my stats I know but ffs way too much info. for a video game.

Harmonious4 #10 Posted Oct 15 2015 - 21:53

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The circle in the next patch will be 564m in diameter, not 500, so as to still cover (almost) exactly 1 km2 as the square did.

Edited by PurpleDefender, Oct 15 2015 - 21:59.


owlgator #11 Posted Oct 15 2015 - 21:54

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View PostSleeplessinCharlotte, on Oct 15 2015 - 13:57, said:

If I was a new player, I'd take one look at this and run like hell.  That said, you did an awfully fine job.  It's the material that is overwhelming.  Every once in a while I'll look at this stuff and, a few sentences in my eyes start drooping.  At that point, I close it and go back to shooting tanks.  Explains my stats I know but ffs way too much info. for a video game.

 

A ten minute read (and I'm being generous) which is the equivalent of one battle.  If that's too much time to "sacrifice" to improving your tanking ability...

lightwaveTT #12 Posted Oct 15 2015 - 22:13

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sorry buddy but they say ... " They still don't get it"

Echo_Saber #13 Posted Oct 15 2015 - 22:23

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Very nice article, +1. 

Argon3 #14 Posted Oct 16 2015 - 01:29

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Now if only those that needed this information would actually come to the forums

beryn #15 Posted Oct 16 2015 - 03:32

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OK i have a spotting question i'll try and explain the situation  that i was in .the map Malinovka i was on my BDR the other tank was a O-I it was on the 7 / K line . now from my point of view it went like this .i was on a flat spot looking towards the 1 line there was a small hill then a valley the O-I was in the valley and all i could see was his commander hatch just the top not the gun at all.  what hurts my head is how the hell was he hitting me when i can even see his gun and hes on the low side? so the real question is were is the point of view that you see taken from the  commander hatch,the driver Level , gun level because he could most definitely see me and i couldn't see any of him so i don't get how the line of sight thing works. Thanks

Dunfalach #16 Posted Oct 16 2015 - 04:33

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View Postberyn, on Oct 15 2015 - 21:32, said:

OK i have a spotting question i'll try and explain the situation  that i was in .the map Malinovka i was on my BDR the other tank was a O-I it was on the 7 / K line . now from my point of view it went like this .i was on a flat spot looking towards the 1 line there was a small hill then a valley the O-I was in the valley and all i could see was his commander hatch just the top not the gun at all.  what hurts my head is how the hell was he hitting me when i can even see his gun and hes on the low side? so the real question is were is the point of view that you see taken from the  commander hatch,the driver Level , gun level because he could most definitely see me and i couldn't see any of him so i don't get how the line of sight thing works. Thanks

 

There's two things here:

 

1) Point of view in sniper mode is down your gun barrel, roughly. In theory, you see what your gun sees, though there may be a few tank models where this camera spot is off a bit.

2) Point of view when you're in normal mode, looking at your tank, is above your tank, often by quite a bit depending how zoomed out you are. You can see more in this view than your tank gun can.

3) If I remember rightly, at least one of the O-I guns is a howitzer, similar to the 152mm gun on the KV-2. Howitzers fire a shell in a curve, upwards first and then downwards at the end, rather than in a straight line. When you put your mouse pointer on a solid object in the normal view, World of Tanks tries to calculate a trajectory for your shell to hit that point. With a howitzer, this can allow firing a shell over an intervening object (such as the crest of a small hill or a rock you hide behind) and having it come down from slightly above your target, because the shell goes up slightly above your gun and then comes down again.

 

As a side note, this tendency of World of Tanks to try to calculate a shell trajectory to what your cursor is pointing at can also work against you when trying to aim at a sliver of an enemy tank visible just beyond cover, since World of Tanks may think your pointer is over the cover and calculate a trajectory to hit it instead. I remember one match in my KV-2 trying to hit a turret top peeking over a sand dune on Sand River, and the helpful little trajectory calculation kept getting fixated on the dune top instead of the turret and dropping shells short.


Edited by Dunfalach, Oct 16 2015 - 04:37.


Dirty_Camel #17 Posted Oct 16 2015 - 06:07

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A good sell but essentially garbage. For every above rule and dynamic in the OP, we have all experienced scenarios that easily nullify those 'rules' of spotting. You can 'well well, if, but and noob' all you want but when a tomato can shoot you from under 50M without being spotted (repeatedly), or an IS3 disappears while driving across an open field under 200M it's pretty easy to determine that WOT givith..... and it takith at will. Spotting is no different than RNG, UNPREDICTABLE. I've had entire armies pass within the view range of my bulldog without so much as a ping, while the next match on the same map will produce several spots in the same scenario. Just because you read something on the internet doesn't mean it's fact. Don't get me wrong here OP, your above story is good and will save a couple of noobs from a yolo or 2. Remember, purple scout tanks don't get purple from 'scouting', they stay back and farm instead of taking a chance on the shady design WOT has in place for spotting.

blackfalconjc #18 Posted Oct 16 2015 - 16:35

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View PostDirty_Camel, on Oct 16 2015 - 00:07, said:

A good sell but essentially garbage. For every above rule and dynamic in the OP, we have all experienced scenarios that easily nullify those 'rules' of spotting. You can 'well well, if, but and noob' all you want but when a tomato can shoot you from under 50M without being spotted (repeatedly), or an IS3 disappears while driving across an open field under 200M it's pretty easy to determine that WOT givith..... and it takith at will. Spotting is no different than RNG, UNPREDICTABLE. I've had entire armies pass within the view range of my bulldog without so much as a ping, while the next match on the same map will produce several spots in the same scenario. Just because you read something on the internet doesn't mean it's fact. Don't get me wrong here OP, your above story is good and will save a couple of noobs from a yolo or 2. Remember, purple scout tanks don't get purple from 'scouting', they stay back and farm instead of taking a chance on the shady design WOT has in place for spotting.

 

And I'd love to see any of those replays to help crunch the numbers if you have them. I think you'd be surprised that while it seems like you should have been able to see a tank in the middle of the field, there was a valid reason you couldn't... Heck, I once watched an Object 416 "cloak" about 70M away on Siegfried line, in the middle of a city street! Watching the replay afterwards, I realized that he had pulled back behind a bush on the side and because of his very high camo rating, I lost the spot very quickly... (I kept firing through the bush and killed him directly after). It seemed like magic at the time, but made sense afterwards!

 

As for unpredictability and "read this on the internet" this information was all pulled from Wargaming's published Wiki article regarding spotting game dynamics. Quite honestly there really isn't another reputable source for how these mechanics work aside from this information pulled from their game developers. ;)



Dirty_Camel #19 Posted Oct 17 2015 - 01:52

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View Postblackfalconjc, on Oct 16 2015 - 16:35, said:

 

And I'd love to see any of those replays to help crunch the numbers if you have them. I think you'd be surprised that while it seems like you should have been able to see a tank in the middle of the field, there was a valid reason you couldn't... Heck, I once watched an Object 416 "cloak" about 70M away on Siegfried line, in the middle of a city street! Watching the replay afterwards, I realized that he had pulled back behind a bush on the side and because of his very high camo rating, I lost the spot very quickly... (I kept firing through the bush and killed him directly after). It seemed like magic at the time, but made sense afterwards!

 

As for unpredictability and "read this on the internet" this information was all pulled from Wargaming's published Wiki article regarding spotting game dynamics. Quite honestly there really isn't another reputable source for how these mechanics work aside from this information pulled from their game developers. ;)

 

Sorry, I only save 'last replay' for epic purposes. You said it yourself, there was a reason the 416 disappeared. WG is going to show the public whatever it takes to make money, If they cared about fairness they would have fixed MM and RNG long ago. Besides, you don't post the secret ingredients to your million dollar brownies for the world to see........ else all would just make your brownies and you'd go broke. You post just enough info to appease the masses......... think like a business man here, not like a gamer.

Badabingg #20 Posted Jan 15 2016 - 15:43

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reflect upon this video

https://www.google.c...=utf-8&oe=utf-8

 

sensation does not equal perception

which also adds fun

like arty and RNG

I do like how it trains attention

 

thanks for the thread






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