Now I have a machinegun, ho,ho,ho!

Hello everyone,

today, we will talk about tanks and machineguns.


Machinegun has been tank’s companion ever since the beginning. First tanks ever to see the light of day were not armed (only) with guns, they were armed with machineguns, because their purpose was to fight infantry. A machinegun has always been a vital part of tank armament (vehicles without machineguns, such as Ferdinand tank destroyers, almost always had problems when fighting off enemy infantry assaults) and it still is to this day: look at the most modern tank in the world and you will find a good old machinegun sitting there somewhere.

Of course, as you well know, there are no “secondary” machineguns in World of Tanks. On very low tiers, we can run into heavy machinegun equipped vehicles, but we all know, how useless that .50 cal HMG is, when fighting other tanks. Still, there are players asking regularily, whether we will have the secondary tank machineguns operational in the game.

The answer is (or has been so far) “no”.

The reason is obvious. A tank usually has two types of machineguns – a coaxial (or body) machinegun against enemy infantry and soft targets and (usually heavier) anti-aircraft machinegun, that – as its name suggests – can be used against airplanes, but also against other soft targets, including infantry.

Apart from several exceptions, the machineguns, installed inside a tank, usually have smaller caliber (7,62mm, 7,92mm, .30 cal). There are several obvious reasons for it, such as:

- the machinegun is smaller, easier to handle and install
- the power of these rounds is completely sufficient for their task
- more ammo of smaller caliber can be carried

The decision not to model these weapons in the game was probably taken very early on. The reason for it is that from tank-vs-tank combat point of view, it’s completely pointless. These weapons cannot hurt enemy tanks, apart from “lucky” hits, where a bullet jams something or breaks something fragile. These “one in a million” shots are obviously not worth modelling (forget about setting the external fuel tanks on fire – in combat, these were either completely tossed or at least empty), because from damaging point of view, having to calculate hundreds of extra shots per battle (the way the game does for the Panzer IC for example) only to make sure nothing vital was hit is just a colossal waste of server resources and whether we want it or not, this game simply has to be optimized for good performance.

Anti-aircraft machineguns are a bit more complicated. The thing is, .50 cal bullets (and their Soviet 12,7mm counterparts) actually could penetrate the armor of German light tanks and even Panzer III/IV side armor under certain circumstances – and I am not even talking about the Japanese tankettes, that were barely protected against regular rifle fire. While theoretically having the option to fire AAMG’s in the game could be imagine, you run into serious problems, when considering this idea.

- for one, you would need a multi-turret mechanism in order to operate two guns independently (or in turns)
- it would give quite an advantage in certain situations to American and Soviet tanks (if applicable against very soft targets)
- in a vast majority of situations, this option would be completely pointless
- it would only create pointless extra load on servers, that would have to calculate the bullets (even if those bullets did nothing)
- how would you model the person (commander?) shooting the gun? Would the crewmember hitzone moved behind the AA machinegun? That’s a suicide. But having a “ghost” firing it is also dumb

It would be a rarely-used (apart from trolling or by idiots) and situational option – with the amount of development needed for such a thing, no wonder the developers are not keen on doing it.

There is however one way of implementing machineguns in the game. Recently, I was talking to The_Chieftain on Rita’s stream and he mentioned something I was actually thinking before (I just didn’t realize it at that point). The only role a machinegun in WoT would be effective at would be a suppression device.

Imagine then machinegun rounds as a purely visual gimmick (client-side calculated), a “ray” (graphically consisting of tracer round bullets) from your tank to where you are aiming. By pointing this ray against the enemy, you won’t hurt him (graphical effect, zero game impact), BUT you will let him know:

“Now I am aiming at you and in a few secs my main gun will be reloaded, so what are you gonna do about it”

When facing a stream of red hot lead (although incapable of actually damaging the tank), most people will back down. This would bring a new tactical element into the game. It’s easy to aim at someone, who’s just standing somewhere. Not so easy when that tank is actually blazing off with his machinegun at you. For the purpose of the game, if all rounds were actually tracer rounds and the machinegun effect was very visible, it wouldn’t even have to affect camouflage skill. I mean… if you see a stream of shining bullets coming from a bush, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that there’s a tank behind that bush, even if you can’t see him due to regular camo restrictions. Tactical applications could prove quite interesting, for example your strongest tank “baiting” enemies by machinegun fire.

This would also not be possible to abuse or hack, disabling the graphic effect would only hurt yourself, making it more visible would only confirm what you already knew even with standard effects and you wouldn’t be able to “force” it anymore you can make a hack to “force” enemy tank to shoot (laser pointers are based on tank models, nothing too sophisticated about that).

Personally, I think this actually could work, but I guess the developers don’t, so there are no plans for this option. Still, it could be pretty interesting. Anyway, just a thought. What do YOU think?

53 thoughts on “Now I have a machinegun, ho,ho,ho!

  1. >”Now I have a Machine Gun, ho ho ho!”
    Green Giant…
    Sorry, was instinct. Anyway, I think that there should be the ability to mount MG’s on large tanks to take out scouts and stuffs along the lines of that, that, or just add multi-turret support, and consider a MG a second turret.

    • The problem is, even scouts’ side and often rear armour is going to withstand .50cal, if you go by the guns’ stats on the M2LT and the T7CC. The only use I see is finishing off SPGs and some of the soft TDs without using a (second) main gun round. Imagine two Hellcats raking each other with their MGs :)
      Frankly, the idea of ‘suppressing’ a target I want to shoot with fire that is guaranteed to do nothing seems a bit absurd.

      • The whole problem with this game is that armor almost never goes in to battle with out infantry. One man with binoculars can out scout any light tank. Infantry can kill isolated tanks with ease. Some tanks like the T95 were created take out hard targets like bunkers and would only battle other tanks with lots and lots of support. So not having infantry in the game makes it a nice shooter but not very realistic!

        Oh and in passing did you know that many Russian tanks had flamethrowers to counter infantry rushes.

    • Then you have to model them server side.

      As for the idea of suppressing fire, that just seems pointless, why give away the fact you are paying someone attention, you don’t want them staying in cover, you want them to come out where you can shoot them.

      • > Other side has broken through, I want to keep these guys busy, but don’t want to reveal my position too much (to let them have a hit), let’s fire from the bush/behind a rock
        > I am coming to a breach in defense lines, these guys are rushing forward and I need to let them know I am coming before they are behind the corner (not everyone checks surroundings/map), because if I stop them, there are more meds coming behind me

        Stuff like this.

        • also be not spoted and dont know whether you are alone or with more tank just start shooting and create a distruction and false beleif of what is going on there
          it is good for defending flanks where you are pretty much alone and need to make them beleive the oposite

          it might work well :)

  2. There are some spelling errors SS.
    “First tanks every to see the light …”
    “…apart from “lucky” hits, where a bullet something or breaks something fragile.”

    Just pointing them out.

  3. SS: Your punctuation is atrocious. If you read what you have written, and pause to take a breath only when you have used a comma, the issue may become more clear to you.

          • That’s better :D Now remember, read out loud what you wish to proof, and a comma goes in the text at the moment your speech pauses briefly. At the moment your pause is of the longer variety, insert a period, one or two spaces depending on your national standard, then begin a new sentence with a capital letter. A period is definitely required if you cannot breath comfortably and read at a stretch any longer, or you have a respiratory disease and will need to mumble or read silently. Spoken aloud is best.

            If I read this post out loud while adhering to your punctuation calls for rhythm, I would sound like I had a mental deficiency.

            That’s all I wanted to say. No biggie. Just an observation. You know, being friendly and sharing and stuff. Snizz.

        • I think it’s trying to communicate with us, but I’m not sure if those are words or just nonsensical ramblings. XD

  4. I’m tired of all the crappy suggestions for alterations and additions to the game. There are countless games that have been affected by the vocal gamers during gestation and been born like a crack-baby. Anybody see Omerta? Such a shame. Seen it after the patch? They should of just put a bullet in its head.

    In my humble opinion, WG should stick to refining the core gameplay that got us all hooked in the first place. National Battles is a step in the right direction. Balancing will now have a greater potential of not resulting in cripples and tarts.

  5. Coax with tracer that shows roughly how your round is going to hit something? Why not.

  6. I have played battlefield 3 for years, do modern tanks really carry cannister rounds? Seems cruel to me to rip someone to pieces when he/she gets hit by it!

    • The only modern tank I know of that carries canister rounds is the Abrams, but only because it lacks a proper HE round. And when you think about it, hosing something down with the co-axial/AA/Loaders MG is pretty much just as effective. Both solutions see a hail of steel/lead being thrown at soft squishy bodies, but one of them doesn’t restrict the use of the main gun for other roles.

      • You’re absolutelly right, but if you ‘burst’ someone with a machine gun, the effect (for the tank’s gunner) is arguably less dramatic/traumatic, but I do not have any personal experience (luckily) in combat situations, so that might as well be my Hollywood-brainwashed-mind.

        • Have you any idea what large caliber rounds do to a human body? Anyway, canister shells are meant for hits at a distance and have gone somewhat out of practical use since the Napoleonic wars.

  7. This tracer idea is the best way I have seen to implement MG in WOT. The Devs should play around with this kind of MG fire. It seems like it would add another tactical element to the game.

  8. Is WoT ever going to feature tanks from the 80′s? I want to command a T72 against the infidels!

    • Nope. Plus, that wouldn’t be much fun, since the “infidels” have Abramses.

      On a hunch, I checked your previous posts. Please stop trolling, it’s somewhat annoying and I am quite tired of trolls lately…


      • Woah. Ok, we are definitely worlds apart. You don’t know how to punctuate in English, and you have a different definition of ‘friendly’ to mine. That’s ok; people are different, and that’s good.

        Hope your day gets better SS.

        • I don’t mean to be rude, mate. And I have a different sense of humor than most, that much is true. As for punctuation – so? Most of the time I don’t have time to proofread everything using “your” method – if you volunteer for that, we can arrange something :) But it’s the general time vs quality argument – and my time is limited I am afraid.

          • Oh, no worries! (: I have all the time in the world; I’m here ain’t I ;)

            Instead of being aggressive in response, try giving me a bloody lip back and then we can be friends, mate.

            Get your email address to me and I’ll send you the proofread and altered articles as you post them. You can decide to replace with my version, or not, at that time. Seems most efficient to me.

    • >Wants to fight against the Infidels
      >Probably doesnt know who the infidels are
      >Is thinking that WG will add 80′s tanks.

  9. IMO, WG should implement only HMG like .50 20mm etc (those mounted on french TDs). As per multi turret control they can “link” them to the main turret i.e. the HMG will fire at the same point where the main gun is firing.

    The usage of HMG can be to kill lightly armored vehicles like scouts, artillery and the WTF German line.

  10. The only use of coaxial mg would be to check, if shell will fly over an obstacle when aiming using external view.
    But that would require same ballistic curve from machine gun shots as for gun, which I doubt is possible.

    When aiming at someone, I prefer, as other people, that that someone doesn’t move, not to scary him.

    And imagine all retards who start shooting their MGs to teammates (noise) and miss MG trigger with gun one.

    Horns v2.

  11. For me, this idea is somehow strange.

    I cant imagine myself why I would shoot the machinge gun? Just to show off my position, to let enemy know behind which bush I’m standing? To let the enemy know I’m about to shoot at him with regular gun? I cant get the advantage of sending rain of useless bullets at anyone.

    And one more thing – whatever should be shared among players, much go over the server. I guess that “calculating bullets client-side” is nonsense as far as every milisecond the data has to be transferred from my client, via server, to clients of other players in the battle because they interact with other user’s action. Not like ground track traces, which are probably not tranferred from client to client (I can see my ally traces) but rendered in-client according to data about allies/enemies location, speed and movement direction.

    “Now I am aiming at you and in a few secs my main gun will be reloaded, so what are you gonna do about it?” Easy answer – shooting you back before you can and than retreat fast in order to deprive you of your shot.

    This is not good idea. Not even bad. Working machine guns in WoT are simply useless, at least till we have planes overhead and infantry throwing cocktails to engine deck.

  12. Dont we play the game for a sweet exp?? i think this effect will bring the life like affect out of them game. When you cant hear anything but gunfire and machine guns while your tactically holding off 3 enemy tanks is awesome. When you win the battle you cant even remember what the chat was saying or what else was happening. Your so sucked into the game that you realize ur team is losing after you exit a small battle. That makes you want to play. Machine guns would add to this. I think it would be a really cool feature to scare tanks.

  13. I love this idea! I had wondered how machine guns might work in the game, but this sounds like it might work and would add a new strategic layer to game while at the same time making battles more fun and chaotic. I wonder why WG isn’t interested in implementing it?

  14. Another thing, we already have ****s who find it fun to fire their gun off as soon as it is loaded, I really don’t want the spawn area turning into a laser disco.

  15. It could be used as an untracking device, still dealing damage. But using it in a tactical way would be much more useful.
    Example: Imagine you being a TD and a scout is circling you, you have just shot your gun and it needs to reload for something like 15 to 20 seconds. Well, you’re toast at the moment. BUT, if you could use an MG (IE on an AT 7), you could see the vehicle passing to you and you could shoot him with the MG, shooting his tracks off and making you able to kill him in your TD.
    Also, this could work the opposite way. You could be a scout or a flanking medium attacking a TD. You could user your MG to track the TD and flank him. By flanking him and him not being able to move, you could kill him.
    For SPG’s it would be a hell of a lot of help. Imagine being an arty in a tier V or VI game (can also be higher, but this is my example) and you see an enemy scout rushing right through your lines. At the moment, you would be dead. Quick firing low pen gun, boom, boom, boom. Dead. But with MG’s, you could literally kill him. Just by first shooting his tracks and then murdering him. OR, you could flee, but that’s your choice.
    For heavies, they usually have a second MG in the turret (some mediums do too). These could maybe also be controlled. Like, you see a scout passing your lines. Turn either your turret or hull, save your expensive precious ammo and kill him with MG power.
    Another heavy tank example. You could be winning the game, but only a few arties are left. Usually, you one shot them with your damage. But, what about saving expensive ammo and using your MG. Both Hull and Turret MG could completely wreck that arty. Of course, the lazy people who don’t like to enjoy life, could just one shot them and waste money.

    So, for all classes:
    Arty: Saving yourself from scouts
    TD’s: Saving yourself from scouts and from mediums by tracking them OR just killing scouts and mediums.
    Light tanks: killing arties and low armored vehicles.
    Medium tanks: Flanking TD’s by blowing their tracks of and finishing them OR killing arties and scouts.
    Heavy tanks: Saving your money.

  16. It would be fun to use the rear-facing MG on the SU-14-2 to destroy scouts behind me, or use one of the FOUR MGs on the SU-14-1 ;)

  17. “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake” – Napoleon
    Why would you want to even let your enemy know that your about to shoot him? Its just going to make him hide around the corner before you can deal any damage to him.

    The act of suppression in tank warfare should not be some puny .30 cal rounds that scratch his paint.
    You want to suppress him by hitting his fat ass with the biggest shell you can fire from your tank, doing as much damage as possible, not giving him a clear signal that he is in danger and should retreat into cover. Your goal is to kill the bastard, not be his ally.

    • Lemming herding. They don’t necessarily know if what’s bouncing MG fire off him is going to be something big and threatening or something tiny, and most save the gutsiest or most stupid are going to be too spooked to look.

      What’s better: Three tanks too scared to come out because they think you might be something mean and scary, or three tanks surrounding you because you turned out to be a light tank?

  18. I’m sorry but firing machine gun tracers at enemy tank is the most retarded idea I’ve seen for a long time. Period.

    Now, if you want it as a suppression device simply give each tank a suppression value based on the size of main gun and whether it could shoot HE or not plus all the secondary guns and machine guns. Such value would then determine how much cap points the tank would get per second when capping the base.

    Think of it as the tank actually combating the base defenders (what else capping is if not dealing with whomever is protecting the base when tanks are away? else you could just drive over the base and win instantly) but without any graphic violence.

    Of course base capture mechanism would need to change to take into account some tanks being able to cap faster than others. Also there would be more define difference between tank classes where light tanks might cap fairly quick but tank destroyers might struggle and arty would have quite hard time capping. And why not? It would make a perfect sense.

  19. By the way, when you’re referring to 7.62mm and .30 cal…which 7.62? Cuz there’s the x39(and x54R) version the russkies use on their AKs and then there’s the x51 type that NATO uses that is the same thing with .30 cal :).

    Also, as I said before…I’d love to have the secondary armament usable so I can shoot away light cover and make silhouettes visibile or not use pen while firing through stuff…

  20. Assuming WG ever gets around to adding in hard mode aiming, where we have to compensate for vertical drop (I wont be using it, I like my game arcadey), the coax could be useful for ranging. Model it client side, no actual damage possible, and shiny tracer rounds, gives you away, but helps you be sure of the shot.
    Would also work for suppresion, which is a kinda cool idea.
    Anyway, Im not opposed to adding the things in, as long as they dont actually do any damage.

  21. “Anyway, just a thought. What do YOU think?”

    I think you picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue.

  22. Ok sorry to be that guy, I loved the movie, but that line always bugged me because it was NOT a machine gun but an H&K MP5 which is a sub-machine gun, which fires pistol ammunition so different to an actual machine gun… oh well carry on :)

    Its like how to the media every rifle is an ‘assault rifle’ if it just happens to be black and ‘scary’ looking :)

  23. Actually machine guns could be effective at the very bottom tiers (1 and 2, some tier 3s) assuming they’re at least .50 caliber (iirc the M2 was originally designed as an anti-armor weapon, but was too late for service in WW1, when it might have been effective in such a role). Unfortunately there aren’t a whole lot of vehicles that would benefit from this, as most tanks at that time had .30 caliber MGs for secondary armament, not .50s (the only vehicle I found currently in the game that might be able to take advantage of that is the MTLS-1G14, having a single .50 caliber MG in a ball mount as a secondary weapon, which for obvious reasons pretty much makes it a moot point since the MTLS-1G14 is only available to press accounts and WG staff accounts).

    Granted, some .30 cals might have been able to penetrate the armor of some of the weakest-armored vehicles in the game with the right ammunition type (and no, I’m not counting the one on the Panzer IC, which for all intents and purposes is an AT Rifle), but for the most part they’d only be useful to assisting in aiming the main weapon (and even then the only one that would be remotely useful on most vehicles would be a coaxial gun, if that).

    • Forgot to add this before the 5 minute timer ran out for edits:

      That would add a somwhat interesting mechanic, which would offer a high-risk, high-reward option. Firing the coaxial MG to help aim the main gun on tanks that have coaxial MGs could be used as a mechanic of sorts. Using it would cause one’s camo rating to drop while it’s happening, but in return the aiming time on the gun is reduced. The tanks that would be best able to take advantage of this are primarily ones with heavy armor that would be spotted anyway while aiming their gun (read: heavy tanks and some heavier tank destroyers). Of course, some tanks had coaxial CANNONS rather than machine guns (such as the Maus, which had a 75 mm coaxial gun, and the E-100, which would have had either a 50 mm or 75 mm coaxial gun), which would not only be useful for aiming but could potentially be used to kill thinly-armored targets (such as Batchat 25ts).

      Perhaps it would be a gunner’s perk/skill that could be activated on command (or the loader, which makes less sense but would finally give the loader a useful perk/skill besides safe stowage).

  24. Sorry SS, but this idea is pointless. It’s like adding into an FPS a possibility to hit another player with ejected shells from your rifle just to annoy him. “Wow, such possiblities, such realism!”, well, not really worth any effort and would be used mostly by retards to annoy everyone in the game. I’d rather see them actually making the multi-turret mechanism so tanks that are already in the game could use the real guns they have mounted, not useless MGs.