Armored Warfare Dev Diary – High Explosive Ammunition

The Armored Warfare developers certainly know how to get straight to the point! In a new Developer Diary, Andrew Rowe, Systems Designer for the game, talks all about High Explosive ammunition and how it interactions with targets in Armored Warfare.

High Explosive rounds are very unique in several different ways. First off, High Explosive rounds explode in an area of effect, potentially dealing damage to multiple components on a vehicle. HE rounds from tank cannons and artillery can also potentially damage targets even if they do not hit them directly if a target is within their explosion radius. Auto-cannons however, do not have this feature – they need to hit a target directly to deal any damage.


If a High Explosive shell penetrates a target, it deals full damage and explodes inside the vehicle, potentially damaging internal components and crew. To prevent all crew from being wiped out in a single explosion, however, one-shotting vehicles is impossible. If all crew would normally be wiped out in a single hit, the Commander will survive the explosion. This is only when the crew is all undamaged though, it’s possible for all crew to be wiped out if they’ve been previously hurt from another attack.

Splash Damage

Indirect hits from tank cannons and artillery deal a lower amount of damage in comparison to direct hits, which is called splash damage. Splash damage for tank cannons equals 25% of the nominal damage of a shell. This is the minimum possible damage for tank cannon HIgh Explosive shells, so it is not further reduced by armor. The splash damage for artillery shells differs between 25% and 75% of nominal damage, depending on how far away from the vehicle the shell lands. The damage can also be reduced by the target’s effective armor, down to a minimum of 25 of the nominal damage. Artillery is therefore better at splashing lightly armored targets than tank cannons are, but their splash damage will be just as low against heavier targets.


Components can be splashed as well. If this happens, the damage to these components is split up based on how many secondary components were hit. Hull is not part of this “split damage” and is not reduced if the player hits additional components.

Interaction with Armor

Each High Explosive shell has a “Full Damage (Armor Threshold)” and a “Min Damage (Armor Threshold)” displayed in the tool-tip. If a High Explosive shell hits an enemy vehicle, the damage is reduced if the target’s effective armor thickness vs. HE exceeds the “Full Damage (Armor Threshold)” of the shell. This “Full Damage (Armor Threshold)” is usually a low number, meaning that High Explosive shells only deal full damage to very weakly armored locations.

If the target’s effective armor thickness vs. HE is equal to or higher than the “Min Damage (Armor Threshold)”, the shell deals its minimum possible amount of damage. For tank cannons and artillery, this is 25% of the nominal damage of the shell. For auto-cannons, this is currently 10% of the nominal damage of the shell, however we will be reducing it to 0 damage in the future, making it possible for auto-cannon HE shells to deal 0 damage if a target’s armor is sufficiently thick.

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If the target’s armor thickness is in between the “Full Damage (Armor Threshold)” and the “Min Damage (Armor Threshold)”, the shell’s damage will be partially reduced. This last scenario can be explained with the following equation:

Damage Reduction % = ((Effective Armor Thickness vs. HE – Full Damage (Armor Threshold)) / (Min Damage (Armor Threshold) – Full Damage (Armor Threshold).

Generally speaking, HE shells are very effective against targets with thin armor, but can also be used by low-power guns to deal at least some damage to targets with very thick armor where regular armor-piercing shells would simply bounce off.


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