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ScottMeisterheim

Targeting Mechanic

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What is the function of this?  I know from playing that, when you shoot at an un-targeted ship, you often get bad dispersion and weird shell arcs.  (I'm fairly certain of this, but please correct me if I'm mistaken.)  But why?  Sure, 99% of the time it's easy to target the ship you want to shoot, but occasionally there are times when you lose visibility (due to smoke/islands) and you know the exact spot where the target is, but it becomes much harder to hit that spot.

Is this just intended as an aid to make aiming more forgiving when a ship is targeted?  But why should target status have any effect on shooting itself?  Shouldn't the shells come out of the barrel at a certain trajectory, with a certain dispersion, regardless of what is or isn't being targeted?

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When you lock the target, the reticle automatically follows the target, i.e. it moves at the same speed as the target in the same direction. This means you don't have to worry about moving the reticle as you aim. This is very intuitive, and we hardly ever notice it, unless we're trying to track an unlocked target.

Dispersion is decreased by I think 50% on locked targets. This is to encourage actually locking on, and penalizes blind shots. Basically, you can take blind shots (into smoke, over islands, etc), but there's a penalty. It protects hidden ships more. It does make sense, the shots should be less accurate if you can't actually see what you're aiming at. Though real world is always an iffy comparison, think of it as having an incomplete firing solution.

You are correct in that the natural dispersion of the guns should not be affected by target solution, but this is a game. IRL, where the guns were aimed was not certain. Here, we know exactly around which point the shells will land. So messing with dispersion is the easiest way to decrease accuracy.

So the intention is to make hitting unspotted ships harder than just judging where they are and placing the reticle on that point. Increasing the dispersion does that, even if it's not the most realistic way. But if you want realistic naval gunnery aiming, WOWS isn't the game for you.

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3 minutes ago, AJTP89 said:

When you lock the target, the reticle automatically follows the target, i.e. it moves at the same speed as the target in the same direction. This means you don't have to worry about moving the reticle as you aim. This is very intuitive, and we hardly ever notice it, unless we're trying to track an unlocked target.

Dispersion is decreased by I think 50% on locked targets. This is to encourage actually locking on, and penalizes blind shots. Basically, you can take blind shots (into smoke, over islands, etc), but there's a penalty. It protects hidden ships more. It does make sense, the shots should be less accurate if you can't actually see what you're aiming at. Though real world is always an iffy comparison, think of it as having an incomplete firing solution.

You are correct in that the natural dispersion of the guns should not be affected by target solution, but this is a game. IRL, where the guns were aimed was not certain. Here, we know exactly around which point the shells will land. So messing with dispersion is the easiest way to decrease accuracy.

So the intention is to make hitting unspotted ships harder than just judging where they are and placing the reticle on that point. Increasing the dispersion does that, even if it's not the most realistic way. But if you want realistic naval gunnery aiming, WOWS isn't the game for you.

Cool, thanks.  That makes sense.  I figured that there must be some gameplay reason for it, since it is a bit of a departure from reality, and a bit contrived.

You state that there's a 50% dispersion decrease for locked shots.  I have noticed that.  But sometimes I feel as if there's more going on.  Specifically, there have been cases when I've been shooting at a target over an island, and scoring hits.  But then I lose visibility, and not only does my dispersion get worse, but my firing arc seems to flatten out as well, preventing me from lobbing shells into that area altogether.  I admit that this COULD be an illusion because increased terrain elevation could sometimes be what's causing me to lose line-of-sight in the first place, but I feel like something else is at play.

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8 minutes ago, ScottMeisterheim said:

Cool, thanks.  That makes sense.  I figured that there must be some gameplay reason for it, since it is a bit of a departure from reality, and a bit contrived.

You state that there's a 50% dispersion decrease for locked shots.  I have noticed that.  But sometimes I feel as if there's more going on.  Specifically, there have been cases when I've been shooting at a target over an island, and scoring hits.  But then I lose visibility, and not only does my dispersion get worse, but my firing arc seems to flatten out as well, preventing me from lobbing shells into that area altogether.  I admit that this COULD be an illusion because increased terrain elevation could sometimes be what's causing me to lose line-of-sight in the first place, but I feel like something else is at play.

First, clarification on dispersion. It gets worse when unlocked, which means the dispersion ellipse and so the scatter of the shells increases, not decreases as I said. You got what I meant though.

And yes, you are correct that aiming gets wonky when unlocked. The shell trajectory is the same. However, the reticle only aims in  a straight line. Basically, if you're locked onto a target, the reticle will place the shots at that distance, even if it's behind an island. So even if your cross-hairs are pointed at the island the ship is behind, the game is elevating the guns to put the shells behind the island. Of course, some times the island gets in the way of the trajectory, at which point the shells hit the island. However, when you are not locked on, the reticle is going where your crosshair is. So you can only aim at things that are in a straight line from you, you can't aim behind islands because you can't place the crosshair behind the island. You've probably had a point when you were locked on to a ship behind an island, he goes unspotted, and you fire, but the shells hit the island instead of going over it. This is because when the target went dark, you unlocked, and the aiming point snapped to where your crosshair was. So your trajectory is the same, but the way you aim is different without lock on. Hope that was clear, I didn't do the best job of explaining.

Also, a quick note. You actually stay locked on the target for about a second (forget the exact number) after he goes unspotted. So if you shoot immediately after someone disappears, you still have the full dispersion buff and target tracking. Don't take too long though, because it doesn't last long.

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5 minutes ago, AJTP89 said:

First, clarification on dispersion. It gets worse when unlocked, which means the dispersion ellipse and so the scatter of the shells increases, not decreases as I said. You got what I meant though.

And yes, you are correct that aiming gets wonky when unlocked. The shell trajectory is the same. However, the reticle only aims in  a straight line. Basically, if you're locked onto a target, the reticle will place the shots at that distance, even if it's behind an island. So even if your cross-hairs are pointed at the island the ship is behind, the game is elevating the guns to put the shells behind the island. Of course, some times the island gets in the way of the trajectory, at which point the shells hit the island. However, when you are not locked on, the reticle is going where your crosshair is. So you can only aim at things that are in a straight line from you, you can't aim behind islands because you can't place the crosshair behind the island. You've probably had a point when you were locked on to a ship behind an island, he goes unspotted, and you fire, but the shells hit the island instead of going over it. This is because when the target went dark, you unlocked, and the aiming point snapped to where your crosshair was. So your trajectory is the same, but the way you aim is different without lock on. Hope that was clear, I didn't do the best job of explaining.

Also, a quick note. You actually stay locked on the target for about a second (forget the exact number) after he goes unspotted. So if you shoot immediately after someone disappears, you still have the full dispersion buff and target tracking. Don't take too long though, because it doesn't last long.

Thanks for the explanation.  That actually makes total sense.

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38 minutes ago, ScottMeisterheim said:

But then I lose visibility, and not only does my dispersion get worse, but my firing arc seems to flatten out as well, preventing me from lobbing shells into that area altogether.  I admit that this COULD be an illusion because increased terrain elevation could sometimes be what's causing me to lose line-of-sight in the first place, but I feel like something else is at play.

not an illusion. the targeting reticle simulates calculating a firing solution for your guns. the game doesn't realize you want to lob over the island because you have no target. Also, the game needs a way to apply the RPG impacts of Camo and captain skills for you and the red ship. so,  wg devised and incentivized your use of the targeting reticle. So that the game can do its math and not guess who you are aiming at. 

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8 hours ago, ScottMeisterheim said:

What is the function of this?  I know from playing that, when you shoot at an un-targeted ship, you often get bad dispersion and weird shell arcs.  (I'm fairly certain of this, but please correct me if I'm mistaken.)  But why?  Sure, 99% of the time it's easy to target the ship you want to shoot, but occasionally there are times when you lose visibility (due to smoke/islands) and you know the exact spot where the target is, but it becomes much harder to hit that spot.

Is this just intended as an aid to make aiming more forgiving when a ship is targeted?  But why should target status have any effect on shooting itself?  Shouldn't the shells come out of the barrel at a certain trajectory, with a certain dispersion, regardless of what is or isn't being targeted?

If you want to see something really interesting, try shooting at a ship while you're locked onto a different ship.

Edited by Gunga_Dinner

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10 hours ago, Gunga_Dinner said:

If you want to see something really interesting, try shooting at a ship while you're locked onto a different ship.

Yes, I've noticed this.  This behavior seems to contradict the notion that the position of the reticle on the water's surface is necessarily the shot's average landing point.  So what's going on?

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2 minutes ago, ScottMeisterheim said:

Yes, I've noticed this.  This behavior seems to contradict the notion that the position of the reticle on the water's surface is necessarily the shot's average landing point.  So what's going on?

It shows how much help wargaming gives you when you're locked onto a target.  Especially with a range assist.  Once locked on a target Wargaming tries very hard to get your shells in the area of that target.  To the point you'll miss a perfectly aimed shot at a different ship.

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3 minutes ago, Gunga_Dinner said:

It shows how much help wargaming gives you when you're locked onto a target.  Especially with a range assist.  Once locked on a target Wargaming tries very hard to get your shells in the area of that target.  To the point you'll miss a perfectly aimed shot at a different ship.

You can do this for two ships either side by side or at a similar range from each other and do much better. It calculates your solution for the target you have targeted. You can actually abuse this against people who have PT and Incoming Fire Alert and it will never give them a warning.

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