it is common knowledge, that there are no cheats for World of Tanks. Well, at least that’s what they would lead us to believe – and, for the most part, it’s actually true. The key element of the absence of cheats such as a wallhack is the fact that the game (thanks to its spotting system) does not transfer all the data to your client. Your client only knows the position of the tanks based on what the server calculates, so you can’t create a cheat for your client telling you where everyone is, simply because the server does not tell you the data you need for such a program.
There is another cheat however, plaguing especially the online shooters, that works in World of tanks – an aimbot.
What is an aimbot?
As the name suggests, an aimbot is a cheating program, that allows you – even without any knowledge of the tanks – to target tank weakspots. It works essentially as a normal auto-aim, only using different reference points for each tank. Basically, you can select to target specifical armor weakspots, such as commander’s cupola, or for example the driver’s hatch on frontal armor. Alternatively, you can make the aimbot target specific modules, such as ammo rack, engine, fuel tanks and such. This selection happens (or can happen) using a single button, that “cycles” the target modules/areas.
Why is it dangerous?
Well, for one, it’s an obvious cheat. With such a program (which is relatively easy to access and to install), even a total noob can achieve some great results, since he doesn’t have to care at all, where he is aiming: the program will do it even for him. In this sense, it’s even more dangerous than malicious mods (such as object destruction detector). Ever seen such things as an enemy targetting unerringly your pixel-sized weakspot all across the El-Halluf multiple times in a row? Well, could have been luck… or, it could have been an aimbot.
Second huge issue with an aimbot is that it is practically impossible to prove, unless you make a video, showcase it and scream LOOK THIS IS AN AIMBOT while using it. The use of an aimbot cannot be detected or proven by a regular third party and even IF you are stupid enough to actually make a video of you using an aimbot and post it online, it will still be inconclusive to most viewers.
Check this out. This gem I found on Czech forums. There were two videos by the same player (“asdfbrom”), called “Epic platoons”. Immediately after they were posted, accusations of aimbotting appeared. This caught my attention (thanks to whoever linked it to me, I practically never watch player videos myself), so I downloaded one of the videos from Youtube, just in case. After the accusations, the video thread of that guy was junked and in the night, the videos were removed from Youtube (the one I will post is a re-upload). Ignore the “80′s porn” music please (was present in original video).
Now, Asdfbrom is not an extremely good player, but some of the shots in the video were spectacular. Don’t mind the aim reticle sliding away, that’s simply a freecam effect (video was done from replay). Notice instead (you have to watch the video closely to catch it):
- several pretty great weak spoint snapshots
- notice the “cycling” between several weakspots, the reticle “sticks”
There was a second video, but unfortunately I didn’t get to download that one. I have shown both videos yesterday to several people active in WG e-sports, the results were as such: 4 think it’s an aimbot, 1 thinks it’s not an aimbot, 6 cannot decide (inconclusive). I am sorry I didn’t get the download the second video before it was pulled down, it was clearer.
The situation is made even more complicated by the fact that the aimbot is not something active all the time (like a bot for example), it’s more like a “press a button to help you aim” type of thing. In addition: a player, who uses an aimbot does not really evolve – he learns nothing of the tank weakspots, he simply just presses a button and the bot does everything for him. If he was to suddenly play without the aimbot, he’d be utterly hopeless.
Where do you get it? Will you get punished?
Well, obviously, that I am not going to tell you, but it’s easy. Personally, I know of two aimbots, one is for free and one is paid.
- I do believe the infamous Warpack cheat collection contains an aimbot. Warpack is not for free, but it has many users. Cheats are pretty good business.
- another one (for free) is Lportii’s aimbot. Yesterday, one player tested that particular one in a training room, it works.
Naturally, there is always a danger of getting malware from such shady things, but it seems it’s a risk players are willing to take.
Both come from RU server of course, so I assume they are more widespread there than on EU and US clusters. The exact extent of their use is unknown. The fact they are so hard to prove makes them difficult to track. And will you get punished for using it? No. I personally know one player who uses it for three months already, nothing happened. Hell, he was never even accused of cheating. By the way – his main account is around 50 percent winrate. His “cheat” account? Over 60. So much for “u need teh skillz to pwn”.
What can be done?
Nothing. Or rather – I have absolutely no idea. In fast-paced action games, aimbot is not that hard to prove, since it allows the player to make tiny split second shots, that can be pretty obvious. In WoT, where everything is slow-paced and the gun repositioning time is artificially limited by turret traverse and elevation per second rates, an aimbot will not stand out that much. I don’t want to sound paranoid, but perhaps we have a completely different plague on our hands – the aimbot menace – and we don’t even know it. Personally, I don’t think this is as widespread as botting, but sooner or later, WG will have to have a look at it.