If you opened this thread hoping to find out which mod will make you the supreme frag god of the universe, I fear I shall disapoint you. There are no mods that will do that for you, and there are too many mods to discuss in one thread. Instead I shall try to explain what a mod is and how you can apply and use them. A mod is a "Modification" to the user interface of a game. It can change aspects of what you see and in some cases what you hear when you play. But it only effects the interface on the computer that it is installed on. So if you don't like the flag that waves on the back of your ship and want to replace it with the Battle Standard of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick you may find a mod that will do that for you. But you will be the only one to see the brave double headed eagle. To the other players your flag will be the standard flag that comes with the game, or whatever flag their mods have flying. While it is sad that no one else will see my St Louis that looks very much like the tragically lost USS Maine, with the proud, breton sporting, black sheep standing on the prow (kidding), we work with what we have.
So mods may be available that will change almost any thing you can see or hear in the game. Some examples would be:
The cursor reticle and grid marks in binocular view, numbered for easy reference and colored like a rainbow.
The details of your ship, anything from narhwal shaped bowsprits, to mermaid figureheads, to enormous "Eat At Joe's" signs on the hull.
The details of your weapon sprites, basket ball shaped shells flying through the air, and sharks instead of torpedoes.
The details of your aircraft, and who wouldn't want a scout plane that looks like a navy blimp or mono-planes instead of bi-planes.
The details and content of the player lists on the side of the screens. For instance showing ship weapon ranges in their icons.
The color and size of the text and on the GUI. (Graphical User Interface). Imagine a clock you can read without squinting.
Partially transparent minimaps.
Smoke stacks with My Little Pony or the Chicago Cubs icons on them.
The voices giving you updates. Instead of "All ahead Flank" think of Montgomery Scott saying "Captain, the engines can't take anymore!"
In short, anything your heart desires may be available someday. If you can't find what you want, ask your favorite mod maker. (Hint: that would not be me).
Let's say you find a mod that will put a really excellent camoflage pattern on your hull. Your ship will look great, but unless you have forked over the coin to WarGaming for a coat of camo paint you will receive no bonuses to your concealment range. Variables and calculations that are handled on the server side will not be changed by any mods you install. So if you put a mod on that will make your HE shells look like balls of greek fire as they loft through the sky, you should not expect them to have a higher chance of starting fires on an enemy ship. Modding the turrets on the Erie to look like the turrets of a Yamato will not change the damage the Erie's guns do, or the reload time.
You should only download mods from the WarGaming forums or some other trusted website. If a mod is really good it will find its way onto the WarGaming forums soon enough. Mods that you find offsite may be trojan horses for malware that you will be placing on your computer when you install them.
It is a good idea to run a virus scan on any file you download, no matter the source.
There are mods that are considered illegal and the use of them may result in consequences imposed by WarGaming. In general any mod that provides information to the user, that is not available to players without the mod, providing an unfair advantage, may be considered illegal. An example would be the Aim Assist mod that provided visual reference points on where to fire to hit the center of mass of all enemy ships, based on the targets course and speed and your distance and shells travel time. This mod took advantage of existing code in the game, for a feature that was no longer made available. However the information was not available to players without the mod.
The code for determining the lead assistance is no longer available so that mod no longer works.
In contrast a gun-sight mod that shows the distance to target and the shell travel time would not be illegal because the information is available to anyone who selects the Alternate Battle Interface Mode or holds down the [Alt] key.
Mods are installed in the res_mods folder
C:\Games\World_of_Warships\res_mods\0.4.0.4 where the 0.4.0.4 represents the current patch. Every time a new patch comes out you get a new folder under res_mods named for the patch number. You may delete the older folders to save space. It can be a mistake to copy mods from the old folders to the latest folder. Sometimes they will not work properly and may have unfortunate consequences in your game. You are better off downloading the latest version of the mod. Most modders are pretty good about providing versions of their mods that work with the current patch.
So how do they work? When you start the game the program reads the content of thousands of game files into memory. These may be images or sounds or scripts, etc. The program then reads the content of your res_mods folder and replaces any content in memory with corresponding content in your res_mods folder. For example, if you install the rainbow crosshair mod from Major it will create subfolders under res_mods that look like C:\Games\World_of_Warships\res_mods\0.4.0\gui\flash and contain the file crosshair_screen.swf. The content of crosshair_screen.swf will be used instead of the content of crosshair_screen.swf that was supplied with the game.
It is important that you not replace the game files.
The mod files should stay in the res_mods directory and the game will sort things out.
the installation of mods can differ from mod to mod. Some mod packs will come with a sophisticated interface allowing you to pick and choose what content you want and some will be as simple as "unzip the contents to this location". Reputable mods will have good instructions and occasionally online help available. Read the installation information before you download it. If a mod seems to be asking you to do something hinky with your machine you should avoid downloading it until you can get a clarification from a trusted source.
Oh my god I installed this great mod and the game won't work! Perhaps you did not follow the instructions. Perhaps the mod is not compatible with another mod. Don't worry. Delete the contents of the :\Games\World_of_Warships\res_mods\latest_mod_folder and you should be back to the original game. You can then get help from the forums or just use the mods that you know worked well.
Is Hacking possible in World of Warships?
MajorRenegade suggest that I borrow a page from Lert's book and discuss hacking. None of us should pretend that the game cannot be hacked, but before we cower in fear or beat our chest and say "See, I told you!" we should look at the realities of the situation.
Any given battle in World of Warships involves twenty five computers. There are twelve client computers for each team and a server. The client computer, the one you play on, handles the graphical information that you see, the sounds that you hear and logs the commands that you enter with your mouse and keyboard.
The server tracks the location, acceleration, velocity, of every ship, shell, torpedo, and aircraft in the game. It decides where a shell lands and if a shell has hit your ship, what part of the ship, what form of damage has been done, etc. etc. etc. You tell your ship to turn with broken steering gear and the server ignores you. You give the command to repair your rudder and the server decides if your repair function is available. In addition to keeping track of the data it also needs to receive everyone's instructions and send data back to all of the client computers.
If that was not impressive enough, it is doing those tasks for every battle that it is handling. Perhaps that will give you some insight into why lag can be an issue.
To perform any meaningful hack of the game you must hack the program on the server. Assuming you have those skills, any changes you make are going to effect every ship of that class and load out, in every game that is being played. If you are clever enough to make changes that only effect your ship, the server has to know which client needs to see the tweak. So you think the server knows what client just changed their rudder location but WarGaming won't be able to identify the account that just developed unobtainium armor? No I didn't think so either.
So relax and play. The only people trying to sink you are the reds, and they have the same ships that you do.
I would like to acknowledge Red_Raven_168 and MajorRenegade for their contributions. This guide would not exist without their assistance.
If you do come across a black sheep standing on the prow of the Maine, please let me know. I'd love to know what you're drinking.