For the Record: On Matilda Black Prince
Pondering a modelling problem within World of Tanks and getting a change made
By a community member US forum (SS: yes, I know his identity, but he wished to write this as "anon")
There are a variety of threads and continual moans and groans directed at the World of Tanks developers and one can be sympathetic to all of the stupid ‘We want the Ratte’ or ‘Let me have an M1Abrams’ type of requests they get.
Occasionally however there are those threads (more of a quest really) where a player actually tries to be respectful, polite and use good research to have some genuine changes made for the betterment of the game and to please those tank enthusiasts for whom historical accuracy (particularly when it comes to the ‘look’ of a tank is so important) Noteable within these threads is the one started by Vollketten on the NA server regarding the Matilda Black Prince.(MBP)
Voll. started the thread here at http://forum.worldof...ack-prince/#top back in November 2012 and there have also been various questions raised on the EU and RU servers about this vehicle as well.
Voll. sums it up as follows:
“1st) The side armour is wrong. Plain wrong. It should be 75mm. The Russian Matilda enjoys 75mm of side armour. The MBP in game has only 55mm of side armour.
2nd) The Turret Armour is wrong. Cromwell Turret armour turret front: 76mm side: 63.7mm rear:56.7mm
Game Armour for turret front: 76mm side: 54mm (9.7mm less) rear: 51mm (5.7mm less)
3rd) Gun elevation/depression is wrong. Cromwell turret has -13°/+20°, MBP has only -9°/+12°.
4th) Physical model is wrong. The real tank clearly has an extended armoured collar around the hull top as part of the adjestments to take the bigger turret. In the game the armour is just not there leading to abnormally high number of turret jam shots. See pics to illustrate this:
5th) Size, the MBP is just, well, too big. Even though it is on the same hull (albeit with less armour) than the Russian Premium Matilda it is significantly bigger:
6th) Weight; it's too heavy: Despite the MBP carrying LESS ARMOUR (in game) than the Cromwell turret which it has, it actually weighs more!”
Pretty succinct summarizing of the problems with the game model compared to the real vehicle. Now it should be remembered that there is only a single image of this vehicle ever existing and here it is: (complete with armoured collar which is missing in the game)
In real life tank:
In game tank:
How the collar looks in real life:
and in detail:
The size issue:
When the 8.2 patch came out it was announced that “Changed the armor values more in line with historical real-world values for T34-85, IS, Matilda (British) tanks.”
Now if this was true then the problems with the armouring would be corrected in 8.2 and our story would end there.
The one thing that the real life Matilda was famous for was having very thick armour, when the Matilda came out and first saw action she was virtually immune to all but the biggest German guns like the 88’s. Indeed the Lend Lease Matilda available as a premium Russian tank has the correct armour values but the British Matilda has different hull armour values and is bigger even though it is the SAME tank. The SAME hull is on the MBP (albeit with a collar added) and has even worse armour and weighs MORE.
The suggested changes to the armour and model of the MBP in game were as follows:
• Increase the speed slightly. (There is a report of a twin diesel unit designed in the US for use in the Matilda which had the MBP entered production could well have been fitted and would have given it a power to weigh ratio similar to that of a Panther!) Also the MBP used a newer Wilson transmission intended to improve maneuverability and speed which should be taken into account.
• Increase the side armour to what it really was. (see here for a diagram of the correct armour layout for the Matilda hull)
• Add an armoured collar to the hull of the MBP as it had one in real life. (Indeed it appears that the 60 or so vehicles sent to Australia were all fitted with this collar even though they had the standard Matilda turret) This removes the shot-trap problem.
• And finally; make all of the hulls for the vehicles the same size, to have the same vehicle in game in three incarnation in different sizes is frankly silly. (are all of the Stuarts or T-34’s the same size?)
The inconsistencies with the turret are pretty stark as well. It is fitted with the turret of the A24/A27 which is also fitted to the Cromwell but weighs 4 tonnes more! To fit this turret on a Matilda hull with a turret ring diameter of 54.3 inches they had to create an adapter ring to fit the Centaur turret which had a turret ring 57.2 inches in diameter. This meant that the turret sat up a little higher and obviously the designers designed and fitted a collar to protect this gap. All of the Matilda hulls were made at the Vulcan foundry and are the same size in real life with a variation of up to 5% in hull plate thickness. (The front hull was cast in one piece which meant it was always thicker than the 78mm designed and had to be manually ground thinner meaning it was always 78mm up to nearly 82mm thick)
The armour layout:
(From David Fletchers 'Matilda Infantry Tank' book)
If the ONLY proof this tank existed is the single photo then why is the model of it SO wrong?
Now there were some changes made; WoT fixed the side armour (partially) by corrected a fault with the spaced armour. (It was modelled as not being spaced originally) but left the values the same.
If all this talk seems confusing lets compare the three versions of the Matilda available in game: (taken from Vollketten’s thread)
"Comparison of all three versions.(colour coded for ease)
Matilda UK Medium Tank Tier IV
Matilda Lend Lease USSR Medium Tank Tier V
Matilda Black Prince UK Medium Tank Tier V
Hit Points: 370 HP with upgraded turret
Hit Points: 610HP
Hit Points: 610HP
Result: British Matilda has nearly half the hit points of its premium counterparts.
Weight Limit: 26.97/29 t with all upgraded modules
Weight Limit: 27.4/31 t
Weight Limit: 30/32 t
Result: MBP actually has highest load capacity, British Matilda has the worst.
Engine Power: 190 hp with upgraded engine
Engine Power: 274 hp standard but with removed speed governor and LL Oil this is boosted by 15.5% to 316.47 hp (This is a consumable NOT available to the British)
Engine Power: 190 hp
Result: Russian Matilda has significantly higher engine power. 190hp for the standard Matilda means it has the same horsepower as the heavier MBP making the MBP even more worthless. With the extra bonus from consumables not available to either British version the Russian Matilda is like a hotrod for the faster acceleration.
Speed Limit: 24 km/h
Speed Limit: 25 km/h
Speed Limit: 22 km/h
Result: Russian Matilda has the highest speed. MBP is slower than the already slow Matilda and don't forget the Russian version also gets to use the speed governor removal device and the lend lease oil to further improve performance. Neither of which is available to either British versions.
Traverse: 36 deg/s
Traverse: 35 deg/s
Traverse: 35 deg/s
Result: Regular Matilda has a very small advantage of 1 degree/s.
Power/Wt Ratio: 7.044 hp/t
Power/Wt Ratio: 10 hp/t standard but with removed speed governor and LL Oil this is boosted
by 15.5% to 316.47 hp giving 11.55 hp/t
Power/Wt Ratio: It is 6.324 hp/t
Result: The MBP is dreadful. Russian Matilda is like a thoroughbred racehorse in comparison to either of the British version with nearly twice the hp/ton. (BUT if WoT introduced the possible twin diesel engine it could be as high as 15.5 hp/ton)
Damage: 41-69 HP
Damage: 82.5-137.5 HP
Damage: 56.3-93.8 HP
Result: Russian vehicle does the most damage doing nearly double the MBP on average per shot. British standard Matilda is laughable by comparison. The MBP looks even worse only giving a slight advantage over the standard Matilda for all that extra weight and size.
Penetration: 65-108 mm
Penetration: 83-138 mm
Result: The Russian version actually has the lowest penetration but does much more damage than either of the others. MBP is even worse than the standard Matilda when fully upgraded.
Rate of Fire: 28.57r/m no change for upgrading
Rate of Fire: 16.15r/m
Rate of Fire: 26.09r/m
Result: Standard Matilda fires fastest but has the worst best pen and but low damage. MBP has better ROF than Russian Matilda.
Accuracy: 0.36m no change for upgrading
Result: British standard Matilda has the most accurate gun. Both MBP and Russian vehicle are both the same.
Aim time: 1.9s
Aim time: 1.71s
Aim time: 2.3s
Result: MBP has worst aim time, MBP is the worst but upgrading the standard Matilda actually makes the aim time worse by 0.2 seconds, meaning that the Russian Matilda has the best aim time.
Turret Traverse: 34 deg/s no change for upgrading
Turret Traverse: 34deg/s
Turret Traverse: 34deg/s
Result: No difference.
Elevation Arc: -10°/+20° no change for upgrading
Elevation Arc: -14°/+25°
Elevation Arc: -9°/+12°
Result: Incredible gun depression and elevation allow Russian Matilda to make best use of terrain. MBP has worst gun depression and elevation despite using basically the same gun and turret as the Cromwell which has -13°/+20° for depression/elevation.
Ammo Capacity: 92 rounds no change for upgrading
Ammo Capacity: 60 rounds
Ammo Capacity: 55 rounds
Result: Lowest ammo capacity is MBP despite using basically the same gun and turret of the Cromwell which could carry 75 rounds of 6 pdr ammunition.
Chance of Fire: 15 %
Chance of Fire: 15 %
Chance of Fire: 15 %
Result: No difference, all use diesel engines.
View Range: 340m with upgraded turret
View Range: 350m
View Range: 350m
Result: MBP and Russian Matilda can see further than standard British Matilda. Upgraded turret gets a whopping extra 10m view range. *sarcasm
Signal Range: 450m
Signal Range: 570m
Signal Range: 570m
Result: MBP and Russian Matilda can signal much further than standard British Matilda. Upgraded the standard Matilda still has a view range far behind the others.."
So something would change right?
From this blog date: 28-11-2012
"- premium tanks are buffed/nerfed rarely, devs are afraid to touch them (because of whine)"
OP:(Apart from the Type-59 which gets a nice little buff)
So it is worth having a look at making a case to WoT to change it (more sales means more money afterall)
Stats are valid in December 2012.
MBP (Matilda Black Prince), LLM (Lend Lease Matilda): (No stats available for the Matilda Mk2)
"Data for this statistics is based on 930,865 battle results with 27,925,950 tanks participated. Effects of Premium Accounts have been removed."
Average Efficiency..........MBP 1,200.1............LLM 1.359.8.............Difference: LLM is more efficient by 0.159.7
Average Experience........MBP 428.7..............LLM 490.9.................Difference: LLM earns more by 62.2 per battle
Average Survived...........MBP 37.8%..............LLM 36.4%................Difference: MBP survives 1.4% more battles
Average Battle Time.......MBP 4.7 min.............LLM 4.7 min..............Difference: None
Won/Lost ratio................MBP 54.6%.............. LLM 54.6%...............Difference: None
Accuracy.........................MBP 65.0%..............LLM 67.4%................Difference: LLM is 2.4% more accurate
(and yet according to figures they should have the same accuracy. Practice versus theory.)
Damage ratio..................MBP 111.3%............LLM 101.0%..............Difference: MBP does 10.3% more as a ratio of damage
Average Damage dealt...MBP 497.9...............LLM 461.7.................Difference: MBP does 36.2 hp more damage
Average Damage received MBP 453.4...........LLM 460.3..................Difference: MBP has less damage received by 6.9hp
(Basically the difference is negligible)
Average Damage per Kill...MBP 452.4............LLM 411.5..................Difference:MBP does 40.9 more hp of damage to get a kill
(So the MBP has to work 'harder' to get a kill than the LL Matilda ?)
Average Damage assisted.MBP 103.4............LLM 137.1..................Difference: LLM does 33.7 hp more
Average Kills per Battle....MBP 0.7..................LLM 0.6......................Difference: MBP does 0.1 more kills per battle
(Basically the difference is negligible)
Average Mileage..............MBP 824.5m............LLM 962.0m..............Difference: LLM goes 137.5 m further
(Not a surprise considering how much faster it is)
Average Spotted Tanks....MBP 0.7.................LLM 1.0......................Difference: LLM spots 0.3 tanks more
Average Net Income.........MBP 8,905.1cr........LLM 10,107.9cr.........Difference: LLM earns 1202.8cr more
Average Gross Income.....MBP 12,466.7cr.......LLM 14,337.1cr........Difference: LLM earns 1870.4cr more
(Self-evident the LL Matilda is a far better earner than the MBP)"
So in conclusion we can see that overall the MBP is a worse earner in terms of credits and XP than the Russian LL Matilda.
It’s not to say that there weren’t changes made though; in 8.2 we saw:
• A reduced engine cost of the Leyland E164 engine to 310 XP (makes no difference to the tanks problems though)
• Increased the cost of the researching the Churchill to 11,500 XP meaning the Matilda takes even longer to grind.
• Added the option of a Mk.10T High Explosive shell for the Matilda which makes no difference to the tanks problems either.
• Fixed the armouring of the Matilda’s sides (slow down don’t think is the end of the story) Only the LL Matilda benefits from the armour becoming spaced because the other two (British) version remain in game with lower than real life armour values. So when WoT says they fixed the situation they used the other meaning of ‘fixed’ it appears.
It had to be transparent that there a dual standard at play when the Russian version benefits more and was better to start with than the British version but Voll. persists.
The next event was the Reddit with the Devs where this issue was actually brought directly to their attention and this was the conversation:
Q: “Are you considering fixing the Matilda BP? Such a horrible tank, especially for one thats costs gold.”
A: “We’ll take a look at it. Nothing is changing in 8.2, but we’ll see. We certainly don’t want premiums to be terrible tanks, but they also shouldn’t be something played becasue they’re superior to the standard options at that tier”
But WoT own figures prove that the MBP is so bad that noone really wants it. Of all of the premium tanks in game at the time is was the worst seller with only 10,167 sold.
In terms of profitability (one of the main reasons to buy a premium in the first place)
(Figures from December 2012)
- Matilda Tier 4 Medium 6,148.89 cr
- Matilda IV Tier 5 Medium 9,754.76 cr
- Matilda Black Prince Tier 5 Medium 8,627.34 cr
What that means is that the MBP was the WORST performing Tier 5 premium tank. So bad in fact that there are 3 premium tier 3 and 4 vehicles which outperform it! (i.e FCM36 and Pz B2 for example)
Another thread on the NA server summed up the general feeling very nicely:
"In 8.2 Wargaming boosted the side armour of the Matilda from 50mm to 70mm
BUT THEY DIDN'T INCREASE THE ARMOUR OF THE MATILDA BP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
THIS IS RIDICULOUS!!!!!! THE TIER 5 MATILDA NOW HAS WORSE ARMOUR THAT THE TIER 4 MATILDA!!!!!!! IS THIS SOME KIND OF JOKE!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?"
And yet again from this blog:
16.12.2012 - tanks will get additional armor screens (spaced armor - optional equipment) according to the fact whether they had them historically or not.
That means that the devs agree that the MBP should have the correct side armour and yet still no.
17-1-2013 "- tank popularity is only one of the secondary parameters, when considering how well it is balanced"
Perhaps this was the answer, they don’t care if it is popular or not.
2-2-2013 “apparently, the devs consider the in game Matilda Black Prince historical (SS: it's not clear what the question meant as the original question was already deleted, presumably it concerned some armor sleeve around the turret, several Russian players mentioned that before)”
Incredible isn’t it? The devs consider it is correct. So after 4 months of bringing this to the attention of various people in WoT it still is not an issue on which they say ‘it is being looked at’.
So recently we have 27-2-13 (patch notes for 8.4)
"Fixed minor bugs with the damage model of the following tanks: AT-15А, Matilda Black Prince, Matilda (USSR), Grille, AMX 13-75, AMX 13-90, AMX 12t, Churchill I, VK 4205B, M12, M41, Object 212, Caernarvon, M46 Patton, Maus, Е-100."
So after all of this they are amending the damage model of the MBP but not the undamaged model. This is not a help playing the tank as it has to be dead to be correct?
Essentially after all of this work and effort the main issues remain unresolved, namely:
1. Incorrect side hull armour. There was never a Matilda II ever produced with only 55mm of side armour. The sides at the thinnest area were 40mm lower hull sides with an additional 25mm of side skirt armour (70mm upper side hull). WG admitted that the original release 55mm side armour was a bug.
2. The lack of armour collar protecting the turret.
3. Incorrect turret side and rear armour. The A24 Cavalier turret always had an additional 12.7mm I.T.110 Carbon manganese steel backing plate. The current armour values takes the I.T. 110 backing plate factored in the front of the turret but not at the side and rear. The backing plate's absence can be seen in the turret's statistics, the Cromwell (which shared the Cavalier's turret) having 76/63.7/56.7 mm while the Matilda Black Prince only has 76/51/44 mm.
So now we have reached an impassse...or have we?
from the Reddit with SerB 3rd March 2013:
"Q: Is there any plans to fix the size of the model of the Matilda Black Prince? Currently it is considerably larger than every other Matilda in the game, and the turret weight is another issue, why is it so much heavier than the turret on the Cromwell? It is currently 3 tons heavier, is it not supposed to be the same turret
A: I can't track everything. If the people responsible for that find an inconsistency, they will correct it."
So is anything going to change???
What this thread shows is that sometimes there is an educated and genuine attempt to improve a vehicle both to make it historically accurate but also more enjoyable to play both of which are to benefit the company and their profits (more sales means more money. So this thread will stay open as it appears Voll. is stubborn on the issue and until the issues are resolved we wish him the best of luck.
What this means for anyone seeking to have changes made is don’t give up, but don’t expect anything to happen easily or quickly if at all.
Just to add possible insult to injury there is a rumour of this modelling chnage to the Russian Matilda in the 8.4 release:
Yes that's right, an armour buff for the LL Matilda.
Editor's note - 8.4 addition:
I recieved a following message from the author of this article today:
I thought I ought to let you know that 8.4 has actually impleneted the collar for the MBP. I only know because I took mine out last night and saw that it had the collar in place. So changes can be made. I wish WoT had actually announced the change but I'm still happy. All that remains to be changed is the armour values.