First, let me explain the current vision system: …oh, right, there isn’t one.
Currently all tanks on the battlefield are always visible to all players, wasting bandwidth and client resources. Outdated and boring, so let’s change that!
The first version of the new vision system will be rather simple, but still a lot better than the old approach. For now, all tanks will receive 3 base values (which can be slightly improved by leveling your crew) and 1 dynamic value. The base values are:
- View range - your regular view- and shooting range
- Scout range - additional range to scout other tanks in
- Radio range - range to transmit known enemy positions to allies
The dynamic value is called signature radius. It basically is the current cloak value of the tank. It constantly decreases over time to reach a value of 0. If you shoot, it goes up, if you move into cover (like hiding under a tree or in a bush) it goes down and can go even below zero.
Your view range + scout range make up your whole vision area. Let’s say your T-34-57 has a base view range of 22 and a scout range of 10. This creates a circle with a radius of 32 around you, marked red. Now we have 2 enemies, a StuG III hiding under a tree inside your vision area and a Panzer IV shooting at something slightly outside of your vision area. The StuG is standing still since a while and has a signature radius of -10, marked in blue around it (the circle radius on the picture is 10, but keep in mind that the signature value is negative!). As you can see, the blue circle is not completely inside your vision area, making the StuG III invisible to you. While you can’t see the StuG III hiding near you, the Panzer IV further away is visible, because it’s shooting. Shooting and moving causes the signature radius to increase. In this example the Panzer IV has a signature radius of 20, marked in green. The green circle is touching your red vision area circle, making the Panzer IV visible for you until its signature radius lowers.
If the distance to your enemy is lower (or equal) to your total view range plus his signature radius, he is visible.
The example above has a base view range 22, a scout range of 10 and an enemy 40 tiles away from you with a signature radius of 20: 22 + 10 + 20 = 52 = greater than 40 = enemy visible
In another theoretical example we have a base view range of 25, a scout range of 15, and an enemy 35 tiles away with a signature radius of -10: 25 + 15 + -10 = 30 = not greater than 35 = enemy not visible
The radio range is not covered in the examples, but that one is pretty simple to explain: any allied tank within your tanks radio range will see all enemies you currently see, with the exception of tanks you see because of other players radio transmissions. If you spot a tank yourself, it gets transmitted to your allies in your radio range. If you see a tank far away spotted by another ally and transmitted by his radio to you, your radio won’t recast that position to other allies.
And that’s it already, pretty easy, isn’t it? Of course there is still room for further improvements, like a vision cone are coming out of the front of your hull or turret. But let’s test this basic version first to see how it works out.
Even this simple version comes with an exciting new game feature already: scouting (and hiding)! Knowing the position of your enemies will be really important in the new upcoming game mode (more detailed info about that later), and tank destroyers will be able to hide from you now.
But that’s still not all! Because of this new mechanic, we will introduce another tank class in Update 0.1.9: light tanks! Their main purpose is scouting: driving around the battlefield at high speed to give your team a tactical advantage. And of course, scouting will be rewarded with silver and crew experience...
Please note that the shown changes are not final yet. They may still get reworked or completely abandoned at any time without further notice. The Devblog series is here to inform you about the latest development plans for the game.