Storm Announces Spotting Changes


Hello everyone,

in a recent comment, Storm explains upcoming plans and changes in visibility/spotting system

The following lines require at least general knowledge of how the spotting check system works – if you don’t know that, please read it on WoTwiki (it’s quite complicated).

- the most important thing is that the developers are reworking the Bigworld spotting check rays tracing system on the server, the plan is that this will increase the performance of the system a lot, which will in turn allow the server to make the visibility checks every “tick” (cycle) at all distances and it will allow the developers to increase the amount of spotting check points on a tank (SS: this means that tanks at longer distances will no longer have the “between spotting checks” advantage, it means spotting at longer distances will become easier)

- the “tanks disappearing in the middle of a field” effect will be removed. The increased camouflage coefficients after stopping shooting and stopping the vehicle (SS: as in, the tank is harder to spot when it doesn’t shoot or when it stops) will be removed in cases where the tank is in your view range and is not covered by obstacles (SS: as in, when you get spotted while driving in the open field and stop the vehicle, the reduced camouflage factor (moving reduces your camo) changes to “camo when standing” (unreduced) and the tank can “disappear” if it stops in the zone where the moving camo allows it to be spotted but the standing camo doesn’t – this will not happen anymore)

- a spotting check point for spots after shooting will be made at the end of the gun barrel, which means that you will have to hide barrels that are sticking out of the bushes when firing

- draw distance will be changed from 1000*1000 square to a 565 meter radius circle

The ETA on these changes is, as usual, “when it’s done it’s done”, Storm adds that the circle viewrange is the closest of all these changes.

99 thoughts on “Storm Announces Spotting Changes

    • I disagree. It’ll just make light tanks more viable. as their camo when moving IS THE SAME as their camo when standing. So light tanks will still do the vanishing act and instantly become more viable.

      Also it makes more sense that small quick tanks would be quicker to disappear out of your view.

      Oh wait… I just got what you were talking about… The spotting worked in beta but not now? I can’t say I can comment on that. I sadly was not here in beta.

      • He just doesn’t understand the spotting system, that’s why he claims it is broken. Tanks disappearing in plain view is easily explained by the mechanics of the spotting system. It’s working, people just think it’s broken because they don’t understand it.

        • If a tank gets disappeared RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR SIGHT just because of its’ camo coefficent and its’ relative range to you, then there is something really wrong.

          Like him, I also claim that the spotting system is malfunctioning. Not broken, but, it is malfunctioning.

    • careful with your enthusiasm. we already know the quality of their programming. “[...] the plan is that this will increase the performance of the system a lot” probably means they’ll ruin spotting so much, no tank will ever be visible on your screen again (maybe your own one will at least).

      but IF it works, the gameplay might start feeling much more natural, which would be awesome. to be hidden you have to actually hide yourself, I like it.

  1. Finally! “tanks disappearing in the middle of a field” It happend to me more than i can count. If it is implementet on live server it will be on of the best changes!

    • Yeah, I had enough of those moments where a Rhm.-B was disappearing in the middle of a road at Himmelsdorf.
      That ain’t normal and fair.

        • If a Maus disappeared, probably because the guy who spotted it (not you) was no longer alive or within sight. Those things will still happen.

    • Hmmm… I have soo many blind kills because of this system… can’t say I mind it… it’s strange and unrealistic but most of the time I can abuse it :)

    • Methinks this is about the draw distance at which spotted tanks appear on the map. It has nothing to do with spotting range.

      It will completely change the behaviour of several maps though, in which the draw distance is a relevant gameplay factor with long diagonal firing lanes that currently benefit from 707m diagonal draw distance. E.g El Halluf or Karelia.

      • Yup, some maps will suffer from the law of unintended consequence.

        Some currently useful scouting spots will become useless because nobody can actually see what you have spotted, some currently useless ones will become useful.

      • Yep, spotting distances will remain.
        El Halluf , and campinovka sniper positions will become useless for shooting the other side. The middle will become no man’s land. Arty will become more useful attacking those.
        Hopefully it will help some of the spotters.

      • Not happy about this personally. This will remove a lot of positive situations on certain maps. Now people who have no clue how spotting draw distance work will be more useless or get killed more often by rushing too close.

        Should have made it a 1000m circle draw distance… problem fixed for everyone and no unfair advantages on certain maps like in the current diamond shape.

        • 1000m draw circle would affect performance unnecessarily, I’d be happy if they just rounded up to 600m and call it good.

          • How would it affect performance? does your game slow down to nothing when there’s all 30 tanks in your sight?

            I don’t get HappyBallz’s comment, because it makes no sense. I bet the number of people who don’t understand that currently the draw distance is a SQUARE instead of a circle is probably much smaller than the number of people who would understand a flat distance of 565m. That’s actually the main issue, some people did not understand that on certain maps, enemies at 600m+ could see and fire at them because of the square thing

            I’d like for HappyBallz to come up with an actual example of how the flat 565m will screw players.

        • Actually, the draw distance circle will be 1130m…565m radius x2 (the radius is the distance from the center of a circle to the edge, the diameter is from edge to edge through the center). So we’ll actually have 130m MORE draw distance now, although it will be a slightly different layout. Now, for example, on El Haluf you’ll have 565m that can be seen in all directions from where you’re parked, so it may be harder to set up to snipe both ends of the map…but you’ll be able to see farther across the valley if you’re working support/suppression fire on the camping TDs/snipers.

          • yeah, you’ll be shot at from positions you weren’t shot at from before. At the same time, you won’t be receiving flanking fire on Karelia from the sniper hill anymore, taking that hill will now be less important.

  2. And another step to look like WT ground forces. Come on i play WoT becuase its diffrent from Wt groundforces, it more arcade like and not that realistic. I don’t want 2 tank games that just play the same and are the same :/

    • This is what Jingles said…How about making your own opinion? We all know WG fails often, but im pretty sure they have a brain too and they wont copy-pase all the features from WT.

      - Im pretty sure the physics mechanism (tank movement) wont be implemented the way it is in wt. More realistic movement yes, but not as hardcore as it is in wt. (at least i hope so).

      - Spotting mechanism in wot is a bit strange…it is not normal for tanks to dissapear in the middle of the field. Im glad WG decided to do something about it. Tho i hope wg will be very careful how they will implement this (as in, without bugs and more important, to make light tanks competitive again)

      • “This is what Jingles said”

        And he was citing FTR as well, it’s like a freaking boomerang

        • SS said something, Jingles quote him. but as far as i am aware, SS didnt mention a thing about “WoT becoming WT”. SS just said that developers are working on a new physichs mechanic (tanks flip over, a bit more realistic tank movement etc) but its just a concept, idea, nothing is written in stone. SS didnt said how “realistic” the new tank movement will actually be because developers didnt give any details, facts. Jingles (and many others) took it as a fact and based on that “fact” he said his opinion (WoT is turning into WT) wich (i dont think) its the case.

      • Do you think opinion is a unique thing?
        I am so bad but my opinion is quite similar – deal with it

        • lol like i give a damn. i love people who cry/whine/get exited without a reason, since these changes are not facts. stop taking as they are. as i said, im pretty sure WG has a brain and they wont copy everything from WT (this means WoT wont become a WT copy- deal with it)

          • HD models are facts… and they start making them after WT GF models realese. Now they speak about AI in game, fliping tanks, drifting and other shits. Did you see here some patern and game develop prio changes? WG has a brain? – Users cry obut Historical and Nation battle they do it without analyze (because WT has something like this) – no one plays it – mutch brain here so wow

            • Im not trying to defend WG or something, but yes, they have a (maybe small) brain. WT GF just speed things up for WG. its good they copy some features from WT GF (like HD models, historical battles, tho the last one just failed terrible) but i dont think they will copy all the features from WT GF. just the ones that are suitable for WoT and doesnt screw up the gameplay. :)

              Since they care about money im pretty sure they know what kind of people are playing WoT and why. This means they wont implement all the craps from WT GF without give a damn about feedback.

              And IIRC WoT was aware about historical battles before WT GF was even announced (tho i may be wrong). Competition is a good thing for both games. here, WoT is getting its priorities right. More game and tank balance, optimisation, rework of the mechanism, further improvement. IMHO this is what we need :D

              • Most of the things you are getting now has been planned before Warthundurr existed.

  3. Believe it or not, this will lead to nothing positive.


    Simple: easier to get spotted = people camping even further back.

      • It’s not a bad thing, wot is not mentioned for geeks but for casuals. This change in spotting mech is made the game to be more real (you stick out gun form the bush – you are visible)

        • I’m actually looking forward to some of this…especially the draw distance change. Had a game a few days ago working my VK30.01H on El Haluf (top tier, thank god). I was playing as a sniper on the south end (50mm frontal hull armor vs. KV-1 derps on the hill? No thank you), and there was a Cromwell that kept popping in and out of my view range because it was just barely on the edge…I had to move almost all the way to the cliff (north spawn, firing south to the serpentine road, the Crommie was up above the road making a nuisance of itself), and even then 3/4 of the shots that I hit it with were invisible guesswork because it kept popping in & out of view, despite being constantly in motion. Killed an invisible KV-1 the same way, because it was only visible when it would pull up to shoot, and then be in my draw distance. The new 565m radius would have let me see both tanks for longer periods, since that extra 65m from my location would have kept them in view range.

    • If anyone takes this change as “easier to get spotted” then he is hopeless moron with no way to understand this game (I don’t mean you, I mean those you talk about). These people usually “guard arty” or suicide so this doesn’t affect them whatsoever.

      Good change. Tanks disappearing right in front of you is just stupid, however it resembles WT. I guess that the reason is not to have things like in WT but sometimes reality plays some role in decisions… Like I don’t mind WoT tanks drive on tracks and not their roofs, even it heavily resembles WT where tanks drive on tracks too! :)

  4. So tanks with long barreled guns will be effectively nerfed? I’m sure the panther will love this change….

  5. For anyone interested, this is how the new 565m view range will look like compared to the 1000m square. In terms of area, it has increased by 2874.9 metres squared although it may look like it has decreased due to the corners of the square being “chopped off”.

  6. Having a spot check at the end of the barrel means a big massive nerf for tanks with long barrels. This is evident for the Rhm B WT, I’m just worried they will unintentionally nerf other non-TD tanks with long barrels in the process.

    • I guess it’s universal, for all guns. So maybe the choice of the gun will be no longer limited to pen/dmg/aim/acc but other aspects too, like barrel length or fire signature.

    • The idea is to stay 15m behind a bush anyway, so this doesn’t change much if you use bushes correctly.

  7. - viewrange will be changed from 1000*1000 square to a 565 meter radius circle

    It’s not a view range, it’s the draw distance – the distance beyond which you will not see spotted tanks (they will not be drawn). A view range is the parameter (statistic) of the commander, negating the camo factor of enemy tanks and resulting in a spotting range of that particular target.

      • But what about for example the 750 meter wide spread radios?
        (Wiki:A tank’s radio is its communication system and communicates your location, and the location of any enemy tanks you spot, to your team members which are within Radio Range.)

        So radio range was another tool that shown you the spotted enemies beyond your view (spotting) distance. I am a little bit confused… Will they act as before?

        Draw Distance – a technical limitation to being able to see tanks and other objects in the 3D world. Maximum is 707m.
        Spotting Range – the game mechanics limitation to spotting, i.e. “lighting up” a target yourself. Maximum is 445m.
        View Range – a tank specific value only used for calculating spotting range, without any relevance of its own. No theoretical maximum.

  8. SS, you shouldn’t confuse the retards. Please change “viewrange” to “draw range/distance”. There’s already one confused comment here and there will be hundreds more.

    The anti-disappearing mechanic and gun barrel change are yet another way to dumb the game down for pubbies.

    • True. Now let’s wait for another batch of corridor maps for 43% WR idiots playing their KV-1S.

      Cause we all know who they are catering for…

    • It will be much harder to abuse bushes when the changes get implemented – if you have to keep the barrel 15m away from bush to stay hidden, you will have less time for shooting (when spoting on your own).

      Imo this will lead to less aggressive play by unicorns, and even deeper camping by casuals.

    • dont try fool yourself. The game is made for pubbies from the very beggining it was released and its not gonna change. I thought somebody like you have figured this out already. :)

  9. so spotting made easy
    = easier to drive light tanks or
    = jobs taken by mediums?

    the drawing distance i guess is ok, since the squares didnt really make sense.
    im gonna miss those 600m+ shots tho

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  13. “- viewrange will be changed from 1000*1000 square to a 565 meter radius circle”

    Meaning draw distance I think.

    Anyway, map changes proved to be not enough to satisfy all the idiots unable to find themselves on open maps. They still get shoot at from afar. Next change: reduce the draw range at some angles, so people pretty much HAVE to get close, even if by some huge luck they happen to be playing on one of the very few open maps with long lines of sight.

    Next step: reduce shell range to 390 meters, after which shells will vanish (like with low tier machine guns) …. for balance reasons.

  14. - a spotting check point for spots after shooting will be made at the end of the gun barrel, which means that you will have to hide barrels that are sticking out of the bushes when firing

    OMG This is hilarious. Imagine a Pz.Sfl. IVc behind a rock, binocs on and the barrel straight up :)

  15. Great to see this. I would like clarification on one aspect, so you can be spotted by your barrel but you will still spot off the top/front of your tank?

    • It says about spotting check after shooting, as I understand it you can get spotted via barrel tip only IF shooting. And yes, your own spotting points are not changed which seems logical – why would you spot via barrel tip, after all.

      “- a spotting check point for spots after shooting will be made at the end of the gun barrel, which means that you will have to hide barrels that are sticking out of the bushes when firing”

      • Actually, this makes sense…after all, if you fire a tank gun there’s probably going to be a big flash of flame and smoke coming from the end of the barrel and any nearby foliage is GOING to move from the shockwave, making that the most obvious thing in the area. So, using the barrel tip for the spotting check makes perfect sense after firing. And, needless to say, if you’re not 15m behind the bush you’re using as cover, in the words of Jingles…”You’re doing it wrong, son.”

  16. They just need to implement hysteresis to camo coefficient – once you are spotted, you are easier to continue being spotted, so it’s logical that your camo coefficient should drop as long as you are being spotted by someone. Once you stop being spotted, you camo increases again – and you are much safer then because you had to meet extra conditions to disappear, i.e. go further away or get some extra bushes (or buildings/rocks) between you and your enemy.

    • Like your idea, but the current camo/visibility system already proved to be too “complicated” for… for many people.

      • Since camo coefficients are top secret stuff anyway, it won’t change much in the matter in understanding ;) .

      • @Stieger

        “Like your idea [...]”

        What idea? Nixxxie simply described what (according to the news) already is in the plans, he just phrased it in a much better way.

  17. Great news!

    The changes to the visibility checks will improve the game a lot. This was always a big downside of the spotting system. The draw distance changes and the removal of the “tanks disappearing in the middle of a field effect” are also welcome and long awaited. Should have been done 2-3 years ago, but better late than never I guess…

    Adding spotting check points to the gun barrels is a bad idea. Don’t touch the gun barrels!

  18. I really hope for additional checking spots from the front/rear on the tracks (= on the side), now it’s pretty ridiculous that u can’t see a tank 100 meters away because he has that tiny little spot on gun mantlet hidden but half of his tank is visible.

  19. tanks disappearing in the middle of a field” effect will be removed

    God this should have been changed a loooooong long time ago.

    But still good they finally looked at it

  20. They need to just remove their broken, flawed spotting system all together and use a traditional spotting system that has worked for every game in the history of shooting games.

    WarThunder’s or MechWarrior Online’s spotting system would work great. The enemy vehicle may not be “detected” but it’s sure as hell not invisible. That shit’s just stupid. If it’s in your line-of-sight, you should be able to see it. There’s no reason in hell you can see a bicycle 800 meters away but can’t see the 100 ton tank sitting next to it…

    If the spotting system works for giant stompy robots, I don’t know why it wouldn’t work for tanks.

    • That “shit” is the only thing protecting this game from cheating – if you can’t get data about your enemy, you can’t make it more visible. Imagine silhouette mod if all tanks are rendered.

      • So are you implying that every other game with a line-of-sight spotting system has cheaters abusing it?

        Because I’ve been playing MechWarrior Online and I’ve never encountered anyone abusing the vision mechanics. They work great.

        Same for WarThunder.

        A keen eye should be rewarded. An invisible tank is stupid.

        • As far as I remember (haven’t been playing WT for a month or so), people are abusing spotting there ALL THE TIME.

          First, in arcade battles, spotting works powered by fucking magic. You can be fully behind the bushes or trees and you still will be spotted (jungle map is the best example).
          On realistic battles tanks still have markers over them so you don’t need keen eye really …. but the best of them all, in simulation the enemy still shows up on the minimap. There were videos on the forum with skilled players using minimap to point their guns towards the enemy very precisely, and estimate the distance to correctly adjust the gun elevation … and they were getting kills. On “invisible” tanks. Half kilometre away or more. Only because the game displayed them on minimmap.

          If that doesn’t qualify as abusing spotting I have no idea what would.

            • No, no it does not.

              Also, I’m talking about actual WarThunder. Not WarThunder Pixeltanks. Because I don’t care about WarThunder Pixeltanks. In the actual game, you know–airplanes–you can spot an enemy on the horizon by actually opening your eyes long before you can see them on your mini-map or identify them positively.

              Like I said there’s no reason in hell you can see a bicycle at 800 meters, but not the 100 ton tank sitting next to it. That’s just dumb… It always has been dumb.

        • I don’t need to imply, various wallhack cheats are very old invention – i remember many from old CounterStrike, the one pre 1.6… They are older than some WoT players ;) .

          It’s not that you haven’t met – you just haven’t noticed them.

  21. Ok so you will be able to spot tanks on open according to your viewrange, does this mean that for initial spot you will still need to break their camo? Does stationary camo get removed or does it still apply behind bushes?

  22. O they no longer do the ray tracing via python? :P (i just assume this, because the client uses python very heavily….)

  23. Interesting sentence: “the most important thing is that the developers are reworking the Bigworld spotting check rays tracing system on the server, the plan is that this will increase the performance of the system a lot, .. ”

    Now it is crystal clear that after several patches WoT have reached the point in which even powerful hardware has a lot of difficulties to ensure high FPS. In other words, the mass in code and the number of programming & architecture work-arounds within the WoT are so high, that adding new functionallity to WoT will cause collapse sooner or later.
    So … it is more than welcomed that WG is working on the system performance increase.
    WG, please, optimize more features within the game, not only spotting system. It is complex to make things simple and running fast, but it will pay off in the end … Thank you in advance!

    • Spotting had always been the biggest performance drain in the game. I remember them saying it was something around 50% of the calculations done.

  24. - draw distance will be changed from 1000*1000 square to a 565 meter radius circle

    Haha, I’ll believe this when it goes live. They’ve been talking about this for a year now. Shame it’s such a short increase / large decrease, but ok.

  25. Overall, I do like updates to my favorite part of the game (I love scouting), but I’m worried that the disappearing tank fix would punish scouts, particularly ones that snipe or need to defend themselves on maps without much solid cover. If a scout tries to relocate in open terrain and decides to shoot, he’s fucked for the duration he stays in the open at greater distances. If bushes don’t count as intervening terrain, it’s a straight up nerf (they probably will, that’s the only way this could really make sense).

    Speaking of, it would be nice for the developers to take a look in Altering/adding maps to support scout reconnaissance better, particularly for tiers 5 and 6. The new MM made things so much better, but I feel there might be a possibility for improvement (or at least some variety in the number of field fun maps/scouting locations) For every Prokhorovka and Malinkova there is Himmelsdorf, Ruinberg, or Kharkov. The amount of spotting damage I manage to get is almost like trying to pull teeth on the really bad days when you have to make 300 meter contact to see a tank nobody shoots at, or wait half the game to consider yourself useful. The new El Halluf looks set to be more friendly for brawlers (good news for my E75), but at the cost of cutting off an entire section of map from scouts. You don’t get any exp when your shooter’s 51 meters from the guy spotted inside an artilleryproof canyon.

    I think the biggest offenders of the ‘open’ maps would be Lakeville, followed by South Coast and Ruinberg in distant third. For instance, on Lakeville, there’s nowhere good to spot at the start but the lake, which is swarming with TDs and suiscouts.

  26. We all know the pains of the disappearing tanks. Glad to hear they are being worked on. Honestly, I am SUPER glad to hear the circular draw distance is incoming. No more getting shot from across a map by tanks that should in no way be able to see you. I am somewhat concerned with the 565m draw range as some tanks can see 500m. That is a very small window of range where you can shoot a tank outside their view range and still remain undetected. perhaps 600-650m circular draw would be better.

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