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Aetreus

Republique and the Belt Armor Hole

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Alpha Tester
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So, Republique has a belt armor hole. Actually it's worse than that, because it's not just one hole somewhere on the ship, it's some sort of weakness that extends the full length of the ship. It's some sort of vulnerability that comes into play across the full length of the ship's belt protection. I can say this because in testing, hits were able to generate citadels at 11-17km from Zao(not exclusive, this was what I tested), which absolutely cannot be due to AP pen of the main belt.

 

I did some more testing in North Carolina, it looks like against higher plunge BB guns the inside edge of vulnerability is approx 12-13km. NC has a higher descent angle, so it's likely not purely AoF related, or driven by pen as NC of course has more of that as well. Normalization and velocity may play a role here.

 

What I suspect is the cause is that Republique lacks any form of lower belt protection except the 50mm torpedo bulkhead. This combines with the heavy sloping of an internal main belt to allow shells that fall short or impact very low on the ship to pass under the main belt and easily punch past the torpedo bulkhead. Richelieu and Alsace probably suffer from the same issue to a lesser extent, their belts are deeper and less inclined.

 

If anyone has testing results they'd like to post, it'd be welcome. I'd be particularly interested in USN SHS cruisers and Yamato(overmatch). Yamato would have to be with spotting support at >20km in order to avoid directly penetrating the belt armor. I observed around 1/10 of shells would bypass the belt armor and cause a citadel hit, if this is driven by range it'd be very informative on the cause. Fire lots of shells at one range, that way the sample size is usefully large.

 

As for what this means to you, the wild probably-FXP Republique player, well basically your armor isn't worth anything past 10-15km depending on ship. Don't rely on it. Hope that this is due to some armor modeling error where a plate doesn't have the right figures or there's an issue with the citadel extending outside its boxes, but I kind of doubt that this is the case with a vulnerability that is so easy to trigger. Or maybe WG set the lower belt armor to 25mm instead of 250mm by mistake. Either way the ship can't stand up to sustained fire on her sides. Angling to autobounce should fix it, but otherwise angling may be questionable. If it is what I think it is, angling will only make the problem worse before then, as it provides more space for the shell to slip below the belt.

 

If you're shooting her, aim very low on the belt, possibly short entirely. This issue occurs on the main belt, not in relation to the turrets. Also she's really prone to eating AP 1/3 pen in general, so shoot her with AP anyways even if you're closer in and this doesn't trigger.

 

TLDR; Republique armor is totally unreliable and it may be innate to the ship rather than an armor model error. Alsace is probably better anyways for her tier, right?

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If you're in game now I'll log in and do some tests with Des Moines.  

For that matter Khabarovsk shells might be amusing if the angle is right.

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The fuse timing on the AP shells likely has an effect. Normally an underwater hit would not reach the citadel even if it passes under the belt - the water impact would fuse the shell and it would explode somewhere inside of the torpedo protection. It does look like the lower edge of Republique's belt is abnormally close to the waterline, making this kind of hit more likely. 

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My friend was able to triple-cit the French TX at 13-16 km with the Des Moines, and I can honestly say I was surprised about that. Someone leave a hatch open? 

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I'd have to check the armor model again, but if the armor belt structure is realtively shallow, and also inclines... then yeah, I think it's totally possible for shells to slip under it, although I'd have to check the angles. Not gonna be home for a good 7 hours though.

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If angling fixes it than the 25mm error theory is out the window.   More likely there is as you suspect the open bottom issue , or simply a gap in the belt somewhere that WG forgot to program.

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i haven't had time to really play as much lately, can someone post some pictures as to where the shells are managing to go in and cit the Republic?

 

kinda suprising that cruisers are having a easy time citting a tier 10 BB.  most of the time, you had to be relatively close to cit a bb in a cruiser. 

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We're currently looking into this.  Please continue to provide us any information you discover.  Thanks!

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We have tested and found this to be the case as well. I will attach video shortly.

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Here is a quick video. It get's a lot more consistent about halfway through the video. The citadels appear to come from hits at the waterline coming in at an angle. Give it a few minutes to process to HD.

 

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Alpha Tester
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Replay controls are a bit of a muck(slowing to pause breaks freecam), but I took some close-in screenshots of impacts to see what exactly was happening.

Spoiler

x4PNMlq.jpg

0PyQl3I.jpg

You can see the first citadel, likely due to the splash closer to the ship. It's probably not the shell that has gone high, because we receive 2 normal pens here as well.

gvg4ACr.jpg

2nd citadel is somewhere in here as well, but the shell splashes are cluttering the view. Following the view I am inclined to believe that it is the third shell down still visible in the previous image, following a very close trajectory to the previous suspect.

keIOLEU.jpg

This image has a much better view, you can see the shells more closely as they approach impact. Again we have a close short already visible, two into the upper belt(normal pens) and multiple shells heading into the belt of the ship.

dYEKI33.jpg

4 shells get defeated by the main belt, 1 overpen(?) and 2 normal pens. Noting the more distant splashes, it might be that a very close short isn't the cause, but a more intermediate one. The close short might be one of the defeated shells, and the two lower shells in the previous image the culprits for the citadel. Again it's hard to tell clearly.

Spoilered the images and commentary for size, attached the replays that I'm pulling the screenshots out of. If anyone else wants to have a shot at getting good images out of them, feel free. IIRC you have three slow speed presses before you lock the replay cam up.

20180301_003311_PJSC034-Zao-1944_00_CO_ocean.wowsreplay

20180301_004653_PASB012-North-Carolina-1945_00_CO_ocean.wowsreplay

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Good job to the folks posting the replays. As a suggestion, it would be easier to isolate the specific shell exhibiting the weird behavior if you fired only one gun at a time instead of full salvos. It would take longer, but we'd only have to consider three possible shells instead of 12.

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How would WG buff the Republique against this scenario, hmmm.  Extend the turtleback so it begins closer to the citadel and extends lower in the water? Lower the ship herself (but the plimsol line is low enough as it is)?

Edited by admiral_noone

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I have Hit the Republic  with 3 Cits using a Charles Martel from 13 k so yes there is something wrong with the French BB

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Alpha Tester
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In regards to hypothesis testing, does anyone have a Nelson they'd be willing to take a pile of shots in for science? It has the same sort of no lower belt armor, internal shallow belt thing going on that Republique does, so it might be vulnerable in the same way under the right conditions.

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Yikes...glad I didn't have the cash to burn and convert XP and get her right off the bat..I would be tearing my hair out... (of course I'm doing that in my richie, but that is another thread) 

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The Hindenburg is especially able to put the hurt on it. After spending an hour or so this morning shooting at the Rep with several different tier ten cruisers it seems the citadels are coming from plunging fire at the waterline. The Hindenburg seems able to consistently double and triple citadel it at about 16-17km when targeting the waterline in the spotter plane view.

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I suspect the waterline belt just stops too high - WG might need to add a piece extending downwards to block those shells. 

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Seems like a derp on WG's end. Looking at the client-side armor viewer, there should be no way the DM is able to score cits, they should only be normal pens.

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So that explains the cit I got on a Republique in clan battles last night with my Hindenburg. It was even slightly angled...

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I've been testing it. I think it's bc the armor belt doesn't go low in the water. So at range you hit the torp bulge and if the shell lands low enough it only has to go through 72mm of armor amidships

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Just now, Fog_Battleship_NCarolina said:

I've been testing it. I think it's bc the armor belt doesn't go low in the water. So at range you hit the torp bulge and if the shell lands low enough it only has to go through 72mm of armor amidships

The other issue is you will get full pens even at near-autobounce (or any angle with the Yamato) - the shell will enter the bulge and detonate there. 

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I have heard you could do this with HE as well.

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Just now, MrDeaf said:

I have heard you could do this with HE as well.

That makes no sense - HE should detonate on impact with the water.

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