Now that it's summertime, I've begun playing World of Tanks with some of my childhood friends.
This game is a lot more fun when you're platooning with your buddies–you can each take a different tank class and support each other by playing different roles. It's especially nice to have someone to help you when you accidentally flip your tank~
In one of our recent battles, my friend who was playing in a light tank called out to me: "Hey, get over here quickly!"
Here? What do you mean? I was so perplexed.
Huh? I don't see it!
Where do you want me to go?
"The enemy is targeting you!"
In the midst of my confusion, a shot came out of nowhere, and I was defeated instantly.
I had been hit by an enemy who did not show up on my mini-map, even though my friend had already spotted it.
Why couldn't I see the enemy?
Perhaps I would have been able to see the enemy Hetzer coming if it had been within my AMX 40's view range. Had the enemy simply been outside my field of vision?
Or maybe I just need new glasses.
Something about this conclusion didn't feel right to me (and my glasses are still pretty new!), so I decided to watch some video guides to find the answer.
That's how I finally understood what I was doing wrong!
Explaining Mechanics: Spotting
View range is not the only factor in spotting enemy tanks. There are some other indicators on your mini-map that will give you more infomation on their whereabous:
- The green circle marks the View Range of your tank, and can be improved by using equipment or selecting certain crew skills.
- Then there's the white circle, which shows the Maximum Spotting Range–it has a fixed value of 445m, regardless of how much you increase your View Range. You won't be able to spot any vehicles beyond this distance on your own.
- Finally, the yellow circle indicates the Draw Circle, which shows the distance at which other players' vehicles will appear on your screen. This is also fixed at 565m.
So where should I position my vehicle?
To put it simply, if you shoot at an enemy within your Maximum Spotting Range (the white circle), it is likely that the enemy can see you too, so you are likely to be attacked in return.
If you don't want to be spotted, you should aim for enemies who are outside the white circle, or hide yourself behind cover e.g. bushes, buildings, or terrain.
View Range (the green circle) also varies by tank class–light tanks tend to have a greater view range than others, for scouting purposes–and individual vehicle differences.
No wonder my friend could see the enemy.
He was in a light tank, and I was in a heavy tank!
That's not the full story, though!
If you pay attention to the later half of the video, you'll notice that the visual checkpoints and view range ports on each tank play a part in spotting mechanics as well.
The view range ports are like the "eyes" of the vehicle, and the visual checkpoints are the spots on your vehicle that you need to conceal from your enemies. If your tank's visual checkpoint falls within range of one of the enemy's view range ports, you will be visible to your opponent.
Furthermore, your enemy will be able to pass this information on to its teammates, who can then attack you from outside your own spotting range, so be careful!
If you are hiding behind cover, like a rock or sloped terrain, a good tactic is to leave only your gun barrel or "nose" exposed and pointing straight ahead, while keeping the rest of your vehicle concealed. This way, you can use your view range ports to spot enemies while concealing your own visual checkpoints and staying hidden.
Even if you don't manage to destroy or deal direct damage to the enemy, as long as your "nose" is showing, you will still be helping to spot for your team, and may even be credited with some assist damage. Sweet!
I was not good with light or medium tanks at first, but this was because I did not know the visibility system well and therefore could not figure out how I had been shot. But now that I understand the concepts better, I would like to try out a few lights or mediums with a little more speed and a greater view range, and put my new knowledge to good use.
Perhaps I may even discover a new playstyle that only I can pull off!