Bug Reporting needs to change

This is my suggestion on changes to bug reporting and issues with the current system. It is long and covers many areas, I hope you don’t get too bored reading it.

The way bug reporting modern vehicles and weapons, which have classified data and statistics, needs to change. It is becoming extremely difficult, if not outright impossible, to try and report vehicles with errors since the sources used in reports are deemed not appropriate or not in great enough quantity. Even if you can get a bug report in, it is treated as a suggestion in some cases and no feedback is given.

These are the current rules for sources required to bug report a vehicle:

"What is appropriate source material for historical issues?

  • OEM Manuals (primary source): User manuals, repair manuals, factory manuals, operating manuals, technical manuals etc. Single source is required (preferred source).
  • Authored works (secondary source): Reference books on collections of vehicles/aircraft/ships (‘coffee table books’), biographies, specialist books, “expert” opinion publications, industry magazines etc. At least two unrelated sources required.

Please be reminded that Wikipedia or other private websites are not considered reliable sources.

You need to provide the following information about the source:

  • Title and if applicable: publication date, document number, ISBN.
  • Author or organisation
  • Image of the cover
  • Images of all the referenced pages and their page numbers
  • References for photographs"

Primary Sources

Modern vehicles generally have few declassified documents that can be sourced and used in bug reports. It is almost impossible to acquire OEM Manuals, the primary source required in bug reports, as almost all of these are classified, and this has caused incidents before (Challenger 2 classified manual leak). This essentially rules out any hope of getting hold of a primary source.

Secondary Sources

Authored works are more accessible and can be found much more easily (and legally) online. However, the way authored works are approached should be changed.

  • For one, the fact that “expert” publications is in quotation marks shows it’s entirely up to interpretation. This can be perceived differently by bug reporters and technical moderators. This needs to be clarified in some sense, so that bug reporters know what to work with.

  • Gaijin needs to also consider reputable private websites as a valid source. For example, Janes, a widely recognised and highly reputable source for OSINT data is run on a private website, and I have seen sources from Janes been turned down before as not being appropriate sources (please correct me if I’m wrong). Janes’ data has been used by reputable organisations before for combat simulations and threat assessments. This is just one example. Private websites with a good reputation should be used to improve the accuracy of estimated vehicles.

  • Industry magazines should include magazines and other materials posted by said industry. This is not the case so far, and this needs to change. One personal example is when I tried to claim the “Code One Magazine”, a magazine officially published by Lockheed Martin as a source, however it was turned down as, quoting a tech mod, “manufacturer pages are not to be always trusted because it is just a website at the end of the day, many have errors.” I was then given an example.

    If this is the case, any authored work could potentially have errors too, so why accept those? If an article written directly by the manufacturer cannot be trusted, what can? Data should be compared between multiple publications from the same company and potentially other documents to prove authenticity, instead of immediately dismissing the sources as invalid. “Industry magazines” currently seems to only include marketing brochures handed out to potential customers, and not any other media published by the company, which needs to change.

  • Authored books and paper publications are also given excessive priority over online publications. Just because something is written in a book and published, does not necessarily mean it is any more reputable than an online article published on any reference website. I suggest that authored online articles, published on reference sites, such as F-16.net, should be compared with one other online publication to check accuracy, and then taken into consideration with the same weighting as book publications. There is far more information regarding classified vehicles on reference sites which can be compared and considered than on paper publications, especially for some of the most recent modern vehicles.

The requirement for 2 secondary sources makes sense for online articles, which should be taken into consideration. Seperate online sources should be cross checked to ensure that data is reliable, before being taken into consideration.

Sources directly from the manufacturer should be taken as primary sources, especially for classified weapons systems where performance data is scarce.

Third Party Sources

News outlets and other websites which report data on modern classified vehicles (e.g. state run news organisations, etc), should be taken into consideration instead of outright denied. News outlets often report on information they discern through their own OSINT research and through interviews and other means which are generally accurate and helpful in realising a weapons systems’ abilities. I strongly suggest these are taken into account in bug reporting, as they are good and up to date sources of information that can be obtained regarding especially modern weapons systems. Again, news sites should be vetted and crosschecked across sites to ensure that data is reliable through 2 or more sources as with secondary sources.

Third party sources often provide invaluable information that may be hard to find in other places.

Estimates of performance

  • For many modern systems, exact data cannot be found on certain aspects (e.g. exact armour thickness), where sources may list a range (e.g. 100-120mm) value of thickness instead of an exact value. The source may be reputable, but since it doesnt not state an exact value, it is now invalid. The in-game model would be an estimate and utilise 50mm of armour for example, but since this source is a range, even if it is more accurate is denied. I suggest for range values, they should be taken as the median value and utilised. (eg. 110mm from a range of 100-120mm). This would provide for much more accurate modelling of classified vehicles which use estimated values.

  • An even better example of this is where an add on armour package could be described by the manufacturer to “increase kinetic protection by 40-50%”. Since this is a percentage and not an exact figure, it is not deemed reliable and is ignored. A median value should be taken in this case, as it is more likely to be accurate than an estimated value of say 70% in-game.

  • When a weapon is well documented to exceed the performance of a more well documented weapon, at the worst case, the weapon should at least have performance comparable to the more better known one, if not better. One example of this is how the AAM-4 missile is modelled in game. It is said in many sources that the range performance of the AAM-4 exceeds that of the AIM-120B+ missile series, however in game it’s range performance is significantly worse than that of the AIM-120A. Even if the weapons performance can’t be accurately estimated, for example, the AAM-4 should be at least given the range performance of the AIM-120B to match the weapon is is shown to exceed in performance.

Using estimates of performance and being more lenient with data would allow for the full utilization of sources we can obtain, and positively impact how weapon systems are modelled closely to their real life counterparts in game.

How bug reports are dealt with on the bug reporting site Gaijin.net // Issues

Bug reports about issues with armour, reload time, shell / missile performance, armament carried, etc should be passed as bugs and not suggestions to the dev team. Suggestions are well known among bug reporters to be “forgotten about” and generally no response is ever seen regarding the outcome.

“We will consider every protection report that is made in compliance with the general guidelines and contains general, evaluative information from secondary sources, such as monographs, articles, and studies. Such reports will be treated as suggestions, not bugs or historical issues.”
[Development] Reports concerning the protection of post-war combat vehicles - News - War Thunder

Errors in armament and performance are bugs, and should be treated as such and rectified as soon as possible, instead of labelling them as suggestions. If an certain armament or change in reload time (on autoloader tanks even more so) makes a vehicle more powerful, then this should be reflected by changing the BR of the vehicle.

Artificially modifying aspects such as the reload rate, especially on autoloaded vehicles (such as on the CT-CV 105HP), or giving vehicles armament they never had in order to nerf / buff them ahistorically and keep them in a certain BR bracket (e.g. F-16A MLU removed flares and no AIM-9Ms) is not the way that vehicles should be balanced. BRs exist solely to balance vehicles, and to maintain historical accuracy, vehicles should have their real life performance and balanced accordingly only using BRs.

Weapons systems should also not be added in an unfinished or incorrect state in order to fill gaps in BRs and tech trees. Gaijin should take pride in its claim for historical accuracy and maintain this by adding vehicles with their real life capabilities.

This second part is how bug reports should be treated on the bug reporting site. Its not entirely related to the main post topic.

Bug reporting on the site becomes extremely painful when threads are closed immediately sources are denied. Instead of immediately locking threads and labelling them “not a bug”, I suggest they are labelled “info requested”, left unlocked, and time is given to the bug reporter to produce more sources. If they cannot produce more sources within a time period (e.g. a week), then the thread can be closed at that time. Closing bug reports only makes it harder for bug reporters to do their job and results in more duplicates.

Suggestions should also be given feedback on. If a passed suggestion is denied by the Devs, then please inform the person who took the time and effort to write the bug report that they have been denied, instead of leaving them waiting hopefully for a change that will never come.

End of suggestion. Thank you for reading through this. I am human and I may have made errors, please correct me if I am wrong.

I am open to feedback and discussion on this and I hope that these changes can be made and will benefit classified and inaccurately modelled vehicles in the long run.


Gaijin: “Submit as a suggestion to the developers”