War Thunder: Parallax and Updated Sights for Ground Vehicles

Ground battle fans! Not so long ago, the third-person-view sight, the main weapon of every War Thunder tanker, was updated. We’ve added a new marker whose main purpose is to notify the gunner in advance about potential obstacles in the shell’s flight path.

Aiming the cannon is now based on data from three main markers, two old ones and one new one:
  • The large central marker: Not the gun sight, but the player’s view indicator and the center of convergence to which the gun tries to turn.
  • The new half-transparent small marker: This marker notifies the gunner in advance about potential obstacles between the gunner and the target, and displays the point at which the gun will be aimed after aiming is complete. It follows the large central marker almost without delay, but in contrast to the first, takes into account the limits of the gun’s aiming angles and the presence of obstacles in the estimated line of fire.
  • The small opaque marker: This marker’s task is to indicate the weapon’s actual trajectory at the current moment in time. When this marker matches the new semi-transparent marker, and if they are both aimed at the target, you can freely open fire.
The new marker not only provides a timely warning of obstacles in your line of fire, but also provides a means to significantly reduce the influence of the parallax effect, which we will now describe in more detail.

It is rare for skirmishes to take place on a completely clear field with only a few trees between you and your opponent. The battlefield is more often a complex collection of objects, full of bomb craters, strewn with the wreckage of war other obstacles that make aiming difficult. But there is another factor separating the gunner from their prey.
In most game modes, the camera is located above the vehicle model, allowing you to better control the vehicle and view the battlefield, but the price of this convenience is the so-called “parallax effect”. After all, as much as we might want it to be otherwise, the gun is mounted on the tank and the shells fly from its barrel, which, in third-person view, can cause a distorted understanding of the battle conditions, leading the player to hit a defenseless rock or a nearby hill instead of the opponent.
Parallax in action – the target is visible to you, but not to the tank’s gunner.​

“How can this be?” you ask. It’s all very simple.

Look: in third-person view, when your line of sight floats above your tank, you can see your opponent, but the crew’s view is another story entirely.

The enemy will be destroyed!

A rock will be destroyed.​

If you fire in this situation, the shell will hit nothing but stone, and the enemy will be sure not to miss in response.

Of course, the parallax effect also has an influence in the sky, but the issue of aiming there is not so critical, and the victim of parallax is, in the worst case, an ally who gets between you and the target you’re attacking. The effect itself can be smoothed by configuring the vertical and horizontal aiming of aircraft weaponry.

The most reliable solution to the problem is informing the player about the shell’s behavior after it is fired. And this new aiming mechanic is already available to all tankers.
But before that, we have made another very significant change to aiming mechanics – when aiming the weapon, obstacles that aren’t part of the earth’s surface were ignored; this solved a problem that presented itself as a barrel raising up when approaching large objects.

The enemy is in our sights and we’re ready to open fire as soon as we come out of cover – the barrel won’t move.

The convenience of aiming around obstacles increased, but the new mechanic made the parallax effect even more apparent to players, showing it not only at the time of the shot, but also when aiming from obstacles. An unavoidable consequence of all these changes aimed at improving aiming mechanics in battle was updating the main weapon of any tanker – the sight.

From now on, the sight takes into account natural obstacles, but doesn’t concentrate on them, at the same time allowing you to both easily aim at the enemy and take into account potential obstacles in the firing line before the weapon turns in the required direction.

Even the most insignificant obstacles can cause shell detonation!

Enemy detected, sight aimed – all that remains is to wait for the turret to turn.

Parallax has been defeated, now all you have to do is defeat your enemies. Good luck in battle, we wish you many frags!

The War Thunder Team