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Learning where to aim and what the numbers mean

aiming weakspots armour values

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Ozymandias #1 Posted 18 May 2013 - 01:20 AM

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Ok, bear with me because while I don't usually start new threads, I do have to moan for once. In the form of a wall of text no less.

It's my experience that one of the major problems plaguing the WoT community is the total inability of the average player to know when and where to shoot. To be fair, this is a thought brewing inside my head for a long while and it's only been reinforced ever since I started driving the AT 8. It's one of the few TD's that I laugh whenever I meet it since half its front is armoured with aluminum foil and the cupola weakspot is huge. Yet I've been baffled at how a vast number of people I face when driving it myself seem to manage to hit the actual thick part of the armour. In short, while this TD shouldn't be anywhere near playable, it actually is because people don't know the first thing about aiming and weakspots.

But today I get in this lovely situation.

I'm driving my Black Prince in Lakeville. I'm down to 70-something hp (i.e one-shot  material), when I face an ARL V39 with the long 90mm gun at about 200m or so. I figure I'm toast, the BP isn't exactly Speedy Gonzalez so all I can do is turn my front and angle it and hope for the best. The best in this case being, that the guy is unaware that it's not easy to pen an angled BP.

So the guy in the ARL keeps shooting at my angled front plate, he gets off at least 3-4 shots, all of which bounce because like I said, the BP not an easy nut to crack. Yet even though he sees he can't pen me, he stays there shooting for just enough time so that I (with a dead loader no less) can finish him off.

The result was this:

Victory!
Battle: Lakeville Σάbbaτο, 18 Μaΐου 2013 2:35:56
Vehicle: Black Prince
Experience received: 1.722 (x2 for the first victory each day)
Credits received: 19.893
Battle Achievements: Steel Wall, Spartan

I'm not posting the result for the (totally not amazing) performance but to show that the guy helped me to both a Steel Wall and a Spartan medal.

After the guy he dies,he says in chat something in the lines of "how much of a lucky noob you can be, you bounced 3 of my shots" to which I reply "that's not luck, it's me knowing how to angle and you not being able to shoot for shit". His response to that was "My gun has 212mm of pen and can pen your front regardless of the angle". After I heard that gem, I went straightaway to check the guy's stats, expecting to see a guy with like 500 WN7 rating like I'm used to seeing and I was surprised to find a player with an average rating, who should at the very least know better than to spout such nonsense.

So what we have here is one more case of the "my gun has 212mm average pen, your front is only 152mm thick so you can't bounce my almighty shots" syndrome. A syndrome which I feel plagues a huge percentage of the WoT commmunity.

I know the really bad players don't bother to read the forums but maybe some new players actually want to improve and maybe this advice will actually mean something. Learn where to aim. Learn what weakspots are and where they are located. Don't expect to use autoaim and pen everytime. In fact, most of the times autoaim is a hindrance. And if for some reason you can't pen, don't stay there trading shots for god's sake.

And perhaps more importantly, numerical values in the game are just for reference and not absolute values. Do not think that because gun A has more average pen than frontal hull B it's a guaranteed pen. Find out what angling is, learn what sloped armour means and how it affects overall armour values. There is almost no single value in the game that is a "hard" stat, a stat unaffected by circumstances. The faster new players understand that, the faster they will be on the track to improving their performance.

My 5 cents and thank you for your time. Carry on.

Arpee78 #2 Posted 18 May 2013 - 01:45 AM

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You were lucky. In that situation angling didnt help too much.(However your suspension cover your hull, the soft area was much smaller.) The ARL V39 had enough pen to penetrate the yellow and green areas. The large red area=autobounce(over70°). Perhaps the ARL was unlucky and he found the reds.

I think 200m is quite a large distance for the ARL's gun(0.36 acc). He could not have been aim precisely enough to hit your weakspots.
Posted Image

Edited by Arpee78, 18 May 2013 - 01:58 AM.


Dan_Abnormal #3 Posted 18 May 2013 - 03:17 AM

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View PostArpee78, on 18 May 2013 - 01:45 AM, said:

You were lucky. In that situation angling didnt help too much.(However your suspension cover your hull, the soft area was much smaller.) The ARL V39 had enough pen to penetrate the yellow and green areas. The large red area=autobounce(over70°). Perhaps the ARL was unlucky and he found the reds.

I think 200m is quite a large distance for the ARL's gun(0.36 acc). He could not have been aim precisely enough to hit your weakspots.
Posted Image

Plus thx to the magnificent RNG we have no idea what pen rolls the guy got. Way to go WG.

Ozymandias #4 Posted 18 May 2013 - 03:18 AM

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View PostArpee78, on 18 May 2013 - 01:45 AM, said:

You were lucky. In that situation angling didnt help too much.(However your suspension cover your hull, the soft area was much smaller.) The ARL V39 had enough pen to penetrate the yellow and green areas. The large red area=autobounce(over70°). Perhaps the ARL was unlucky and he found the reds.

I think 200m is quite a large distance for the ARL's gun(0.36 acc). He could not have been aim precisely enough to hit your weakspots.
Posted Image

First of all, thanks for editing your initial post, as it didn't make much sense as originally posted. Now I'm sorry to say, the fact that my suspension covers my armour is not a matter of "luck", it's a matter of counting upon it and using it! If I'd pointed my hull front straight ahead at the ARL (that is 152mm of unsloped armour at no angle), he would have penned me with every single shot and that's taking into consideration the 25% RNG variation as well. And the armour values you show are unangled values. Afaik this increases dramatically when correctly angled. I'm not good at quoting mathematical formulas so I can't give you exact numbers of course. To me however it's matter of covering your weakspots and knowing what angling is. A guy saying "I have 212mm pen and you have 152 mm of armour so I can pen you every time" is plainly unaware of how battle mechanics work.

And let's say the distance is great enough that he can't target weakspots. Why stay there and trade shots with a guy that has higher dpm, is a tier higher and as it seems quite difficult to damage? This is why people come to the forums afterwards and scream about the tier spread "omg omg I cannot pen anyone cause I'm a low tier tank boo hoo hoo". Well newsflash, it's not solely a matter of tier spread. It's a matter of knowing not only where to fire but also when to fire. And no, I'm not saying all this because I'm some form of progamerer, since obviously I am not. I'm saying it because a large part of player complaints regarding tier spread, certain tanks' effectiveness and so on stems from the fact that they have no idea where to aim. If only people took the time to learn weakspots and basic aiming, things would be SO much easier for them.

Ozymandias #5 Posted 18 May 2013 - 03:26 AM

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View PostDan_Abnormal, on 18 May 2013 - 03:17 AM, said:

Plus thx to the magnificent RNG we have no idea what pen rolls the guy got. Way to go WG.

Sorry for the double post but I do have to point out that even with the RNG the lowest pen the long 90mm can get is something like 159mm which should be easily enough to penetrate the BP's unangled frontal armour, even if we assume he was breathtakingly unlucky in his rolls. So while I make no claim to any special abilities, I doubt that I'd have managed to bounce 3 successive shots while facing him at no angle.

And at any rate, my post is more gneeric if anything and not so much referring to that specific incident. Just using it as an example.

Nechrom #6 Posted 18 May 2013 - 05:06 AM

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While I agree with the general sentiment of this thread, the average players inability to understand basic trigonometry and apply it to in-game ballistics, I disagree with your assessment of your situation in the battle you described.

Now you didn't specify all the circumstances like use of cover or position aside from an angled one, so I'll assume no cover was present. To achieve an effective armour thickness of 215mm (around his average penetration), you would have to angle your front at 50° which would still only mean about 50% chance of a bounce. At 50° you would be exposing your 90mm side armour at 40° which puts it at 110mm effective thickness.
So even in this ridiculously over-angled position I would agree with his statement about you being lucky, regardless if he probably should have aimed elsewhere for better odds of penetration.

ZingFreelancer #7 Posted 18 May 2013 - 06:43 AM

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While you spout shit like "Learn the weak spots and how to aim", you provide no such information source for people to learn from.

Way to go bro, you are just like the rest.

Superball #8 Posted 18 May 2013 - 07:08 AM

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View PostZingFreelancer, on 18 May 2013 - 06:43 AM, said:

While you spout shit like "Learn the weak spots and how to aim", you provide no such information source for people to learn from.

Way to go bro, you are just like the rest.

Someone equipped with average intelligence can find that information with google in under 30s, if you are too lazy to do that you really don't have rights to complain about it.

(hint: world of tanks <tank> weak spots)

Edited by Superball, 18 May 2013 - 07:10 AM.


IhmisLoinen #9 Posted 18 May 2013 - 09:18 AM

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View PostSuperball, on 18 May 2013 - 07:08 AM, said:

Someone equipped with average intelligence can find that information with google in under 30s, if you are too lazy to do that you really don't have rights to complain about it.

(hint: world of tanks <tank> weak spots)
Or for easy findings www.wotdb.info/
New tanks come fast and all in one place.

Corporal_Punishment #10 Posted 18 May 2013 - 09:54 AM

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To say one is "aiming" at 200m is a bit misleading. At that range the targeting circle, if centrally placed over a target would more or less cover the target, with the crosshairs smack bang in on the highest armour section. You certainly could not accurately pick out a particular area on a target, more an armoured mass.

Optimal penetration values are calculated at range up to 100m and at 0 degrees angle.

It is quite feasible that aiming dead centre, at 200m (perhaps -25% pen based on penetration reduction), with a 30 degree angle (+15% armour) would give roughly a net pen of 160 and a net frontal plate armour of 175.

Several things the V39 could have done:

1) Switch to HE. 1 shot would have done it...
2) Aim for a lesser armoured extremity rather than centre on the tank and risk a miss but increase the chance of penetration upon a hit
3) Get closer thus i) mitigating the penetration penalty and ii) being able to aim better
4) Why was a V39 trying to trade blows with a BP anyway? The BP can pump at least 2-3 shots in for every 1 from the ARL. Strewth.

Homer_J #11 Posted 18 May 2013 - 12:04 PM

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Average players don't have a clue about angles or spaced armour or weakspots and they don't need to because they mostly meet the same kind of player (or worse ones), all they know are numbers and that the front of their tank is the bit to point at the enemy.

Ozymandias #12 Posted 18 May 2013 - 12:53 PM

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View PostZingFreelancer, on 18 May 2013 - 06:43 AM, said:

While you spout shit like "Learn the weak spots and how to aim", you provide no such information source for people to learn from.

Way to go bro, you are just like the rest.

If a man with my mediocre googling and overall search skills can find that information with a simple search of the WoT forums and the internet in general, i have to assume everyone can do it.

Brodan #13 Posted 18 May 2013 - 12:55 PM

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View PostHomer_J, on 18 May 2013 - 12:04 PM, said:

the front of their tank is the bit to point at the enemy.
I see many failing even at this...

ChroTal #14 Posted 18 May 2013 - 01:24 PM

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Guys, I am afraid you are all discussing the wrong thing.

The problem in this case is obviously the "1% tank, gotta finish it, because it is easy!" mindset, which also skilled players fall to more often than you can think...

It's a phenomenon when instead of switching strategies people keep shooting in the same manner because " damn it didnt work on the first 2 shells, it's for sure gonna pen NAO!"

Dan_Abnormal #15 Posted 18 May 2013 - 03:06 PM

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View PostOzymandias, on 18 May 2013 - 03:26 AM, said:

Sorry for the double post but I do have to point out that even with the RNG the lowest pen the long 90mm can get is something like 159mm which should be easily enough to penetrate the BP's unangled frontal armour, even if we assume he was breathtakingly unlucky in his rolls. So while I make no claim to any special abilities, I doubt that I'd have managed to bounce 3 successive shots while facing him at no angle.

And at any rate, my post is more gneeric if anything and not so much referring to that specific incident. Just using it as an example.

But he was angled, that is the whole point- some slight angling and low pen rolls and there's no surprise the BP managed to survive.

Ozymandias #16 Posted 18 May 2013 - 04:57 PM

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View PostDan_Abnormal, on 18 May 2013 - 03:06 PM, said:

But he was angled, that is the whole point- some slight angling and low pen rolls and there's no surprise the BP managed to survive.

Yes, in case I didn't make that clear, the BP was me. I didn't say it was a surprise, sure the chance of it happening was rather low but it did happen and I attribute this to the ARL's lack of knowledge about angling mechanics and where to shoot (or in this case not shoot, seeing as I out-dpm's him easily and could reliably pen him).

I'm getting the distinct impression that I managed to miscommunicate something in my original (huge) post so if I can clarify something, I'm more than happy to.

Ozymandias #17 Posted 18 May 2013 - 05:14 PM

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View PostNechrom, on 18 May 2013 - 05:06 AM, said:

While I agree with the general sentiment of this thread, the average players inability to understand basic trigonometry and apply it to in-game ballistics, I disagree with your assessment of your situation in the battle you described.

Now you didn't specify all the circumstances like use of cover or position aside from an angled one, so I'll assume no cover was present. To achieve an effective armour thickness of 215mm (around his average penetration), you would have to angle your front at 50° which would still only mean about 50% chance of a bounce. At 50° you would be exposing your 90mm side armour at 40° which puts it at 110mm effective thickness.
So even in this ridiculously over-angled position I would agree with his statement about you being lucky, regardless if he probably should have aimed elsewhere for better odds of penetration.

Double post again, I'm sincerely sorry but I really don't like ignoring people that try to contribute.

I have played so many battles with the BP lately that finding the replay is a chore, I will try to do so however. Afair there was little or no cover present. I didn't use an overangled position (that would be dumb as it would expose my crappy side armour) but I used enough to make my suspension cover my front while still keeping my sides exposed only minimally. At any rate, I don't doubt there's an element of luck involved at all. But where I actually disagree is that this was *entirely* luck. It wasn't. Like I said, even with the RNG he should have enough pen to go through my unangled armour even with terrible rolls. It's not my fault if he doesn't know how that works or that he shouldn't shoot at the suspension.

At any rate, as I've said, it's not so much a matter of that specific incident. You say it yourself, "he should have aimed elsewhere for better odds of penetration". That's EXACTLY my point. This is not a bragging "look how cool I am" thread. There's nothing to brag about. It's more of a "people pls learn your weakspots and angling mechanics and don't just quote numbers coz all they are is just that: numbers" type of thread.

View PostCorporal_Punishment, on 18 May 2013 - 09:54 AM, said:

To say one is "aiming" at 200m is a bit misleading. At that range the targeting circle, if centrally placed over a target would more or less cover the target, with the crosshairs smack bang in on the highest armour section. You certainly could not accurately pick out a particular area on a target, more an armoured mass.

Optimal penetration values are calculated at range up to 100m and at 0 degrees angle.

It is quite feasible that aiming dead centre, at 200m (perhaps -25% pen based on penetration reduction), with a 30 degree angle (+15% armour) would give roughly a net pen of 160 and a net frontal plate armour of 175.

Several things the V39 could have done:

1) Switch to HE. 1 shot would have done it...
2) Aim for a lesser armoured extremity rather than centre on the tank and risk a miss but increase the chance of penetration upon a hit
3) Get closer thus i) mitigating the penetration penalty and ii) being able to aim better
4) Why was a V39 trying to trade blows with a BP anyway? The BP can pump at least 2-3 shots in for every 1 from the ARL. Strewth.

I cannot overstate your no.4 and this is one of the points I'm trying to make. This is one of the reasons why,even now that tier spread has been reduced to a very manageable level, a large part of the playerbase whines about not being able to pen higher tier tanks.

View PostHomer_J, on 18 May 2013 - 12:04 PM, said:

Average players don't have a clue about angles or spaced armour or weakspots and they don't need to because they mostly meet the same kind of player (or worse ones), all they know are numbers and that the front of their tank is the bit to point at the enemy.

I have to disagree there. I'm an average player and I know the basics about both angling and weakspots. And ok, to give the obvious and dumb answer here, even if one does not know the first thing about weakspots, he can go with the "quick and easy guide". If something is a break in the continuity of the tank's hull, it's probably a weakspot. Machine gun ports, driver viewports, commander cupolas, hatches, that sort of thing. Ok, that's not ALWAYS the case but it's a safe assumption a lot of the times and tbh, rather than just autoaim and hope the RNG favors you, it's better to try something along those lines. It's worked for me quite a few times and not always on tanks whose weakspots I'd researched.

Dan_Abnormal #18 Posted 18 May 2013 - 05:24 PM

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View PostHomer_J, on 18 May 2013 - 12:04 PM, said:

Average players don't have a clue about angles or spaced armour or weakspots and they don't need to because they mostly meet the same kind of player (or worse ones), all they know are numbers and that the front of their tank is the bit to point at the enemy.

"I shootz HE, it does the moar damagez!!1111"

Edited by Dan_Abnormal, 18 May 2013 - 05:24 PM.


Slyspy #19 Posted 18 May 2013 - 05:35 PM

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View PostNechrom, on 18 May 2013 - 05:06 AM, said:

While I agree with the general sentiment of this thread, the average players inability to understand basic trigonometry and apply it to in-game ballistics, I disagree with your assessment of your situation in the battle you described.

Now you didn't specify all the circumstances like use of cover or position aside from an angled one, so I'll assume no cover was present. To achieve an effective armour thickness of 215mm (around his average penetration), you would have to angle your front at 50° which would still only mean about 50% chance of a bounce. At 50° you would be exposing your 90mm side armour at 40° which puts it at 110mm effective thickness.
So even in this ridiculously over-angled position I would agree with his statement about you being lucky, regardless if he probably should have aimed elsewhere for better odds of penetration.

I would argue that since the OP wisely angled his armour then is shows that he used skill to make his own luck. The ARL was the unlucky one not to penetrate at least once or twice but also less skilled since he kept on trying something which wasn't working.

Moulie #20 Posted 18 May 2013 - 05:48 PM

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There is a nice android app with a beta option showing weakspots on a 3D model (and ammo areas etc). Even so, if i encounter a really nasty tanks head on i try to detrack or hit the turret ring, 2 shots then off behind a large rock! Although, in the heat of battle with the adrenalin up, it is sooooo easy to stay a shot or 2 too long, especially as i mainly play TDs....just....one....more.....shot rofl.