this thread is under construction.
what is armor
the armor in the game isn't a real armor, and it isn't even a simulation of a real armor. it is a mathimatical algorithm which describes several events, and generates an answer ; is damage done ?
the visual model is how the tank is rendered to give the illusion of a movie. Wargaming artists and developers have spent an enormous of time and skills into creating the models and their textures, they have scanned real tanks in 3D and studied paint and lighting and materials to make a photographic render of the tanks. the result files are then adapted to your platform, and it is as realistic as the current technical limitations of the devices and infrastructure allows.
however when you shot at another tank, the visual model has no effect. another model, much more simplified, is used server side to calculate how the shell path and shell characteristics will interact with the geometry and local characteristic of the armor. this armor model in the videogame industry is called a collision model. it decides when you collide with the map, a wall, another tank or object, and a shell path. it is entirely handled server side, the server descides the exact location of the collision model, sends the position to your device, and your device renders it using the visual model instead... there is no way to see the collision model during the game. In blitz, there is an overlay while in sniper view, which roughly shows when the armor model will be too thick to penetrate, in the 0% to 40% chances of penetration. if you make a screenshot ou can see that the collsion model and the armor model differ.
As both model are different, a lot of cosmetic parts simply do not exist for the server. most tool boxes, soldiers gears and rolled nets, external tanks or tree logs make the game look nice, they have simply no existence for the server. Shooting them will cause nothing, it is not an event.
as only the collision model exist, what is it made of ?
It has several parts, with different specs. There are the primary armor, the spaced armor, and the external modules.
only the primary armor will make the tank lose hit point when penetrated. it is also called the main hitbox. the hitbox is a volume defined by points, which form triangles, in a very classical videogame way. each triangle is a separate surface.
the primary armor is defined by its thickness. the model doesnt have any thickness, it has a parameter called thickness, which has a separate value for each triangle. some areas cary high values, typically at the front of tanks, and some areas have lesser values, typically at the rear r sides of tanks. in real tanks, front logically receive the most abuse from enemy, and need to be as protected as possible. meanwhile the back of tanks were most of the times a compromise to save weight and money.
studying the location of the strong plates and weak plates is of course primordial importance in the game.
spaced armor is an extra layer of armor. it carries a thickness value, which will add to the primary armor thickness which lies behind. it will deceive you in three ways. first of all it may be that the spaced armor is hanging out and doesn't cover anything. penetrating it doesnt penetrate the hitbox and results in no damage. in most cases it will cover the primary armor, in which case it will hide the real angle of the plates underneath, which will deceive your aim as angles are very important for the penetration of ammo such as AP, APCR or HEAT. finaly, the main goal is to create space between the spaced armor and the primary armor. the space will be critical to defeat some ammo, HEAT, HE and HESH, all of which explode upon the first impact, HEAT only causing damage over a very short distance.
external modules also work as spaced armor. they are outside the tank, have a space and a thickness value. as modules, upon a hit from a shell path colliding into their geometry, they also have a chance of receiving damage or not.
internal modules have no armor. they have a hitbox which is a geometry defining a volume, if the shell path crosses that volume, it will trigger the module damage algorithm.
to learn more, read the guide "how to damage modules"
homogenization factor has been exposed when a dev explained how enhanced armor works in the equipment of blitz v3.8, however the values foer each tank or the influence on the mechanics is not documented. we can only make two assumptions, which might be both false, one of them true, the other true, or both true.
- the homogenization factor might be used to softly help a tank perform better when it is slowly sinking in a category of stats, it might also be a way to batch move up or down an larger ensemble of tanks rather than
- more controversially, as it is an easy factor to raise or lower on demand, you would soon think it may very easily nerf or buff individual players or team during a game, either to "enhanced" the RNG during that game and provoke some excitement in a boring series, or to reflect the state of your crew training and the effect it would have on their ability to actually perform a hull down or deflect a shot due to their positioning. I am not saying that the game is rigged, and especially not saying that it is unfair. whatever is the use of the homogenization factor, it does apply to every player, and if it goes up and down, it does so for every player at various moments.
overall it is a soft stat whose numbers or function is not made public, which was carried from the PC game into blitz. it also exposes that the game has several layers of RNG or factors, in a typical role game way.
penetration is basically the comparison between the penetrating power of your shell at the moment of impact, and the thickness and of the local geometry at the point of impact upon the primary armor.
armor thickness is a value that is calculated normal to the surface. however in the geometry, the greater the angle of the trajectory, the greater the effective thickness
this has two immediate effects :
- tanks designed with angled plates are harder to penetrate
- you will benefit greatly from exposing the surfaces of your tank in the most tangent angle compared to the incoming fire.
the penetration power is a spec of your ammo. for AP and APCR it will decrease with the length of the flight path. it will be also affected by destroying obstacles in the way, bouncing off of surfaces, crossing through spaced armor and external modules.
finally at the point of impact with the main hitbox, the residual value will be compared with the effective thickness
shell have a caliber, which in real life is their diameter.
however for the game they have no diameter. they are a line of flight path and that line has zero thickness. the caliber is a value attached to it.
similarly in real life the impact will change the trajectory : the shell tends to turns inwards to enter the armor, which is called normalization, or if the angle is too small, the shell either breaks or is deflected out, the real angle is complex.
In the game, the normalization is calculated to make a new angle influences the thickness accordingly, but the trajectory itself, oddly, is not affected. in the case of a ricochet, it bounces off like light upon a mirror. the bounces reduces the penetration power in case there is a collision later on the trajectory but doesnt affect the trajectory.
normalization and overmatch explained :
ammo types not only have different specs, but also use different mechanics
in real life, AP basically use the point shape and material characteristics, as well as weight and speed (forming kinetic energy) to overcome the material encountered upon impact.
in the game, the AP has a penetration value in millimeters, that is compared with the thickness it has to go through.
APCR uses the same principle, and in the game it uses the same mechanics uses a harder core as a penetrator (typically a tungsted crayon) and a lighter shell around to achieve greater speed, at the expense of mass. as the kinetic energy faovrs speed, and as only the tip shape is key to a penetration, it does achieve greater penetratin value which increase chances of damage, and time of flight, which eases aiming and increases chances of hitting.
the downside is, being lighter in real life, it will be subject to air resistance and lose penetrating power faster than AP. in the game it only loses oen power faster over distance and the trajectory isn't affected.
HEAT or shape charged ammo came to fruition during WWII. an explosive head is directed inward and compresses a sheet of aluminium into a plasma that creates a forward stream of plasma. the plasma focused over a short distance had no problem melting any metal. it was very advanced weaponry in the beginning of the war but soon evolved into an inexpensive handheld panzerfaust giving a single, untrained pedestrian antitank capability.
this led to serious reconsideration of the importance of armor, as it could be defeated so easily. in the game, it is typically an ammo found in the upper tier, and you can see cold war designs having far less armor than the super heavies projects.
the upside is that it doesnt rely on kinetic energy for the pentration, and the penetrating power is intact regardless of the distance traveled.
however the great penetrating power, HEAT are notoriously not reliable. it is ignited upon any contact and any fence or external module or spaced armor, just about any track will make it explode before it reaches the hitbox, resulting in a fail. also it isnt subject to normalization and therefore extreme surface angle will also make the jet tangeantial to the surface and unable to penetrate.
HE and HESH
HE and HESH have the most complex behavior in reality and in the game. they are slow shell and aren't meant to be thrown to tanks. they are slow and dull shaped, whoever they are heavy, which gives typically low penetration values. however they are able to deal damage even without penetration and even without direct hit, because of the massive shockwave, otherwise called splash damage. HESH in game works like HE with improved penetration, vaguely on par with AP values. in reallife it was exploiting the shockwave by delaying the explosion. the good part is that they don't lose pen over distance, and that damage doesn't rely upon penetration
the downside are many, they are slow, with higher trajectory, which throws the aim off, the failed pen only inflicts small amount of damage.
it can be considered a special purpose ammo, except for arty which makes extensive and proper use of explosives.
I have written a dedicated guide for HE and HESH heads, you can find it there.
result of penetration
the result of a penetration inside the main armor is immediate loss of hp, according to the specified alpha of the ammo correcte by RNG.
the shell path doesn't stop at the point of penetration. it continues inside and is checked for collision with internal modules, which may also be individually damaged. finally, it is destroyed before exiting the tank or upon having traveled inside the main hitbox for ten times the shell caliber
as we saw the armor depends mainly upon geometry and mechanics. we will try to abuse of both to deceit the enemy and make them waste shots.
first of all, the best use of armor is not being hit at all. but this can be seen more as HP management.
the second best use of armor is of intentionally baiting shots and causing them to fail. this leaves the enemy exposed and vulnerable, unable to fire until his reload is complete, receiving damage. It also saves your teammates from receiving that shot. repeated, it gives your team an incredible advantage.
I mentionned the above only to explain how the armor will react to the shot. but in fact, to repeat it, not receiving the shot is really the best strategy. for that you need to minimize exposure, which is to maximize hard cover. hard cover is the name for using terrain or non destructible objects as a protection. it may also be anything such as more armored teammates, dead or alive enemies, anything that cannot be penetrated by the enemy shells.
hull down is the act of placing the lower part of your tank behind an object or an elevation in the terrain.
the most effective hull down covers everything except your gun. but it can be as little as protecting your lower plate, a typically unarmored part of the front of your tank.
most tanks will have their strongest armor around the gun, for good reasons.
they wll have the gun supported by the gun mantlet which will work as an extra piece of very thick spaced armor rpotecting the hinges carrying the gun, which is itself usually very strong. the turret around is usually very thick itself, and profiled carefully with extreme angles. therefore the turret and the area around the gun is often both the thickest and most angled part of your tank. hiding the rest of the tank behind hard cover and directing your gun towards the enemy is usually your best chance of receiving and bouncing a shot.
sidescrap will place yoru nose into a wall while letting the side of your tank exposed at an extreme angle.
sidescrap will bait a shot from the enemy and discard it by using two mechanics concomitantly. the first on is the angle, which will create an autobounce if your flank thickness is more than a third of the enemy caliber. the other is using the tracks as a spaced armor and extra thickness. in blitz, the auto bounces arent represented, so you present an area that is marked as penetrable, whereas it is not. it is not meant as a static position, but as a way to bait the enemy into shooting. you are then free to come out, shoot, and hide again and repeat the process.
angle is critical to success, and of slightly less importance is knowing the relationship with the enemy diameter.
failure is often by making the angle wrong, and sometimes because of your armor being too thin compared to the enemy caliber. someimes also you will have a weakspot in your flank, which the enemy will know of and exploit.
in theory it is the same of the above. in practice, most tank having their turret forward, the sidescrap hinders your capacity to shoot back without exposing the unangled front. reversing it ll by placing your back forward into the wall allows you to both bait a shot and shoot at the same time, which makes it a much stronger position. the downside is that it is complex to set up, and maintain and maneuver as having the tank operating in reverse necessarily reverse your controls
external modules have a thickness, which will decrease the enemy's shot penetration power they will also have a hit chance. a shell hitting your gun may damage it and spare your armor and HP. often in a face hug you plunge your gun into the enemys base of gun, from which the shells originate. as such, any shot outgoing have a 30% chance of breaking your gun and not eating into your HP.
artifacts and odd occurrences
it does happen once in a while that there are ghost shots. that is due to the delay between your brain perception of the enemy movement, reaction time, your finger moving, te order being sent and traveliing to the sever, being processed and sent back to both devices, travellling the internat on the way back, and the devices displaying the result, which goes back to your brain for interpretation, closing the loop. this delay is perceptible and quantifiable.
constant movement will abuse this. you will shoot at something that isnt there anymore, once all things are processed and put ack into order. the server decides what happens. your brains and device are on the small end of the event chain.
speed and interpolation
fr the server time is not a continuous experience. just as a movie, it looks at frames and there is nothing happening between frames. the server has a frequency of 100 Hz which corresponds to 10 frames per second. for a comparision traditionally movies used 24 and when your game renders less than 60fps you start noticing it, and less than 30 fps you will start to be very angry.
what happens when you shoot at a high speed tank ? the tank covers several meters in 1/10th of a second. can your shot goes between these two positions ? to avoid this, the tank isnt supposed to occupy these two positions, but instead will be stretched over these positions, so as to cover the space in between.
I hope you that a few things have been refreshed or clarified for you.
my next step will be to add illustrations to this guide.