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Kingtiger Mantlet and Coax MG problem, and an attempted 3D model Fix


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So. The Kingtiger in-game seems rather crude. Apart from a comparatively low def 3D model, a lack of data for the coax MG which fires out of the model center instead of besides the main gun, there's another problem.

 

After a few test runs with 8 Kingtiger vs 8 IS-2 at a range of 1000m, I was shocked. The IS-2s seemed able to penetrate Kingtiger turret center front and knock it out.

It was more than a year ago when CMRT was first released. At the time I thought it looked like KT's armor was assigned very bad quality. As I absolutely love this iconic tank, I felt bummed and moved on to other games.

 

 

Friday came and I felt a bit CM itch. So re-downloaded and installed CMRT v1.03. Re-ran the test. Same deal. But this time I noticed, that the turret penetration hits were not on "turret front", but "weapon mount", as the hit texts and hit decals show. And every hit on the mantlet penetrates or at least partial, most of them knocking out the tank, rarely the tank survives but ends up with a destroyed main gun and coax. On the other hand however, hits that are on the "turret front" proper, either bounced or only induced armor spalling. Penetration only happens once in a blue moon.

th_mount4_zpsag3rdrau.png

th_mount3_zps0hp09alo.png

th_mount2_zpsxv6xjk3s.png

th_mount1_zpsoufp374f.png

 

 

Thought this was very weird. There should be 180mm of armor behind the mantlet, which alone should be sufficient to stop the 122mm round. Why is it in CM that mantlet penetrations are fatal?

And so I formed the theory of how CM game engine handles the damage modeling in this case. To demonstrate, I first drew a simple scheme of the real tank turret. The orange area is tank internal space and hits into internal is considered fatal. An incoming heavy AP round penetrates the gun mantlet, but is then stopped by turret front armor and the tank remains fine.

0_real_zpsthlgwpno.jpg

Next is a picture of how CM's game engine handles the armor scheme. On the real tank, the combination of mantlet + turret essentially creates a "multi-layered", spaced armor. But as far as CM's game engine is concerned, there is no such thing. I believe the game engine only knows that, behind armor, whatever it is, be it turret armor, hull armor or gun mantlet, is tank internal space. I remember doing tests on Tiger I mantlet in CMBN, hits on the mantlet edge would penetrate while others wouldn't in the same test, despite real Tiger I mantlet edge being backed by 90mm(?) of turret front armor - It is the same problem. However, it becomes much more profound on the TigerII, because here we have 180mm of center turret armor, that is omitted by the game engine. Hits on the mantlet would go directly through to tank internal space. What should be an area that is almost impenetrable, has become a glaring weak spot.

1_CM_zpsnm89i2if.jpg

 

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Next: attempted fix.

 

Usually, as we know it, one'd start a forum thread to get developer attention. But instead of doing that, which either ends up with a multi-page debate with no conclusion, or mostly being neglected, in either case the chance of a fix is rather minuscule, and which should I say after doing similar things on various forums over the years has become a very frustrating experience, I decided to do something myself. So armed with a hexeditor, relentless trial-and-error spirit and hours of free time over the weekend, I came up with a solution.

 

The intention and achieved result is simple: to make the game engine think, that there is no mantlet on this tank.

Plus a proper coax MG.

2_Edited_zpsu7afrjqf.jpg

 

I will not go into how to do it here, only that it's actually not that hard once knowing which is what in the hex address - The majority of time is spent looking for that (and various different detoured solutions...)

And obviously I'd say it is for single player only.

The down side of this edit: 1. there will be no hit decals on the gun mantlet. Because far as the game engine is concerned there isn't one. 2. The mantlet area is not impenetrable like the real thing. It is still only 180mm of armor. But it certainly is miles better than the original.

Below are screenshots using the edited files.

Coax MG:

th_coax1_zpslv4zwff2.png

th_coax2_zpsswqofup9.png

122mm hits that should've penetrated without the fix:

th_dodge1_zpsvhfsr4jx.png

th_dodge2_zpscc5h1yeo.png

Hit decals have moved to turret front instead of gun mantlet:

th_sesame1_zpsvyamaybn.png

th_sesame2_zpsxecetxwy.png

 

 

Mediafire link (forum doesn't seem to allow for direct attaching):

http://www.mediafire.com/download/83la473sf58iou1/CM+KT+3D+Fix.rar

 

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Impressive job and convincing argument. You basically just did a lot of competent bug hunting work for free. Should be a no-brainer for BattleFront to look at your conclusions and fix the issue in the game. Probably it's something that applies to a lot of tanks and vehicles.

Did you report this as a bug through the official channels?

Edited by Bulletpoint
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Impressive job and convincing argument. You basically just did a lot of competent bug hunting work for free. Should be a no-brainer for BattleFront to look at your conclusions and fix the issue in the game. Probably it's something that applies to a lot of tanks and vehicles.

I'm just trying to make a better game experience for myself atm, but it definitely would be nice if it can be properly fixed.

 

 

I am trying other edits. Without modding tools and locked database what can be done is very limited but, nonetheless it's worth a shot.

If anyone recalls there was a fix that lowered halftrack gunner's stance so they are less exposed to small arms fire (I still think Bil Hardenburger vs c3k's demo AAR had a big part to do with it!..). The same can be done to tank commanders.

 

Before:

 

before_commander_lower_zpsrvzwk0vx.png

After:

after_commander_lower_zpsxartn0b5.png

 

I've tested by lowering the commander completely into the turret, and incoming bullets weren't able to hit him. The rare exception is a "Hit: Opening" and the bullet ricochets inside to turret and causes the casualty.

Edited by Skwabie
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Hey Skawbie,

Well done! I'm sure quite a few of us who generally play against the computer would like to have the 'lowered' tank commander. Even if it means worse visibility I think it would be great to have as I always forget to button up when I get close to the enemy. Even if it is just for the Tiger tank shown - do you have a download for that too?

 

cheers

 

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Skwabie,

Nicely done.

1. Does the lowered TC spot better than a buttoned up TC?

2. Does the lowered TC spot as well as the "up" TC?

Mantlets: You're saying you've changed the code?

= I was unaware that TigerII's had bad coax mg's. I'll look at it.

= Mantlet issue which has armor behind them not accounted for: are you sure? Without repeating tests that you've done, if I'm going to send this in as a bug report to the developers, then it'd be good to see before and after results with the ranges, ammo types, and numbers of samples.

Thanks,

Ken

 

Edited for a followup: I've confirmed the coax issues. Thanks.

The bigger issue of the mantlet armor remains open, in my mind. Please post about your testing, as I've indicated above. Thanks.

Edited by c3k
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weta_nz/Bulletpoint, I'll upload a sample when home.

 

c3k, my bulk of free time has dried up for the moment, statistical testing would've to wait till later.

For spotting: what this edit does is lowering the TC's hitbox coordinates -- It looks like defining the hitbox is a primary funtion of the 3d model file. My (hopeful) guess is that spotting points, if there're such things within the game engine, are separately defined and aren't connected to the hitbox position.

For TigerII armor: have already tried my best explaining in first 2 posts, and in my limited tests, the results before and after the edit are quite black and white. To summarize:

 

1000m, 122mm AP__hits on turret front armor___hits on mantlet

before edit:________virtually no penetration____100% pen/partial pen, tank knocked out, or if lucky main gun and coax disabled + crew casualty

after edit:_________virtually no penetration_____no mantlet after edit, hits scored on turret front behind it, virtually no penetration

 

So to put more bluntly, if assuming game engine is working fine, we would have:  thickness of mantlet + thickness of turret front < thickness of turret front.  ---> This is false, hence assumption is false.

(uhh need some sleep...)

Edited by Skwabie
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uploaded files for lowered commander position. Also nulled the main gun hitbox, so main gun won't be disabled by weapon hits, although it is just an experiment to see if I like it.

http://www.mediafire.com/download/mlfdu1d442bm91y/lowered+TC.rar

 

The edits are extremely simple, one can use a hex editor that has a file compare function to find them.

 

 

Interesting! Would it have been possible to change the thickness of the mantel so that it was the sum of the actual mantel plus turret front? 

Negative... Armor quality, thickness and most assorted other datas are definitely hardcoded. As mentioned, what can be achieved on the 3D model is very limited. But since CM is so very tight on modding, I still find relief that at least something can be done.

Edited by Skwabie
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Have you raised the issue as a bug or is it working as Battlefront intended? 


I agree with you that it is odd that the mantle is weaker than the rest of the turret front. However, I am not sure that the turret behind the mantle has much armor. As far as I understand then the idea of the mantle is to protect the gun, provide some movement while maintaining the protection and maintain the ammo in the gun under armor (at least according to wiki). So maybe it works as intended.

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Skwabie, at first I was in agreement with you...However, then came the thought that ( as kch001 mentioned ) the Mantle is there for protection and articulation of the Gun, and the space behind the Mantle should have an opening alittle bigger then the gun (or the size of KT Mantle). Now, I could be wrong, and the gun fits exactly through the opening of the Turret Face and the Mantle wraps around the Gun sleeve as added protection ( Turret Face 150mm + Mantle Armor 180mm sloped=320mm  ). 

Now, in saying the above, even though the 122 shouldn't penetrate the Turret Mantle or Upper Hull ( penetration is 160mm @45 degrees at 1000 meters ) I still think a 122 Shell would have drastic affects no matter where it hits...Crew casualties ( dead or unconscious ), System failures, Armor failure ( cracking, spalling, etc ), Vehicle catches on fire, etc. all rendering the Vehicle inoperable.

So, as far as I'm concerned, I'm fine how the game handles the effects of the 122 and KT ( unless until something else comes up to change this ). 

Joe

Edited by JoMc67
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uploaded files for lowered commander position. Also nulled the main gun hitbox, so main gun won't be disabled by weapon hits, although it is just an experiment to see if I like it.

http://www.mediafire.com/download/mlfdu1d442bm91y/lowered+TC.rar

 

The edits are extremely simple, one can use a hex editor that has a file compare function to find them.

 

Stupid question, but how do you install this? 
 

I am also a bit surprised / annoyed with the fact that a TC seems to survive about 10 seconds on the battlefield when unbuttoned. Of course he should be vulnerable but less than he is in the standard game

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I am more interested in what happens when you play someone else h2h with the modified game files on your system.

How does that work or not work.

And if it does work, I could see this leading to a path that I don't like.

Because if it creates a chance to cheat, then there will be someone who will do just that. " just saying"

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@Skwabie - I don't think you are right with the assumption that CM only calculates the first layer of armour. Proof: you can kill two vehicles with one shot. So you can assume the trajectory of the shell is followed through.

But nonetheless it looks likes something is wrong here.

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I don't think you are right with the assumption that CM only calculates the first layer of armour. Proof: you can kill two vehicles with one shot. So you can assume the trajectory of the shell is followed through.

LOL is a good one! Don't think I thought of it. I suppose one can further illustrate with a ricochet shot hitting and killing nearby infantry. But I suppose once the shot comes into contact with a 2nd entity (infantry, vehicle, etc) it is a new calculation?

 

About the turret armor on the real tank. For me the assumption that there is a.. hole.. behind the mantlet sounds almost absurd. I'm too busy to do extensive research, but also see no meaning in pointless debate. If you guys want to continue I really suggest that definitive proof is provided.

About cheating, I've never played HvH nor imagine doing so in the future. If someone's actually bothering to do it, he's risking a whole lot for little to zero gain.

The real benefit of lowering the tank commander further down is reducing player micro-managing workload, far as I see. CM's tank commanders are way too insensitive to incoming small arms fire and buttons way too late. I'd even say that this is a universal problem and way more important for a fix from the developer than the armor scheme on a single tank.

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Wow Skwabie what an amazingly good job!

Since day 1 I was wondering how the Panther could be penetrated so easily by hitting the mantlet. You probably have discovered a hugely important bug. The developers should gift you the next game.

I have been wondering this myself.. Even at some of the ranges I was like.. WOW... impressive... most impressive.  Lost a lot of King Tigers due to Front Mantle penetrations.. anyways awesome work.  I wonder how many other tanks need fixing.

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I also agree that Vehicle Crews become casualties far to quickly due to Small Arms, and CM really needs to look into solving this issue...Your Mod, Skwabie, atleast takes this in the right direction. 

I have to concur with this as well... they have little life expectancy.. which may be the case but when fired at they either do not button up on their own, or they get picked off way too easily it seems.

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