First of all what is a “mod”?
A “mod” is merely the modification of a client-side program file for the game World of Tanks (WoT). WoT allows the modification of files to change the “graphical presentation” on the client-de (your PC). No modification of actual game play or game data is allowed, only how it is graphically displayed.
WoT is a client-server game. All the computations of the game are done on the WoT servers, that information is returned to your PC (Client) via the net and the files on your PC display that information in a graphical format. WoT allows changes to these client files in order to get the graphical presentation that best suits you.
The data to be displayed determines the type of files that WoT uses. The general types are:
Dynamic data: This is data that changes as the battle progresses. Examples are; sights (crosshairs), damage indicator, damage meter, ammo panel, artifact panel, minimap, players panel, and debug panel. In order to update and display the changing information graphically, WoT uses “flash” files (.swf). These files are mainly located in the /gui/flash folder.
Static data: This is data that remains static during the game. Examples are; the garage, vehicle icons, ammo and artifact icons, crewmember icons, crew medals, crew rank, login background screens, battle loading background screens, battle map content (buildings, trucks, trains, etc). WoT uses static image files to display this information. These are usually .png, .dds, or .tga formats. They can be changed by modifying the image and saving back in the proper format and resolution.
Hybrid data: I classify custom tank skins and audio mods as hybrid. Although it is static in nature, it interact with the changing data of the battle. Skins and audio also install a little differently that the other mods and sometimes come with various options.
What do mods do?
As stated above, they merely change the graphical presentation of game data, they DO NOT change the data or gameplay.
Most mods change the battlefield view for the user. They move information to different areas on the screen, display different data in various formats, or add data is is sent by the server, but not displayed in the “vanilla” format. An example of this is damage meters that display a list of your hits. The game sends out this info, but the vanilla display does not use it.
The most popular mods are those that change the crosshairs or sights in the game. Some add information such as reload time, distance to target, your health status, and rounds remaining. They also can change the shape of the crosshair and the shape and colors of the sights.
Another popular mod is the Over Tank Markers (OTM). Although this is now included in the vanilla game package, many users like to have more options or to customize the OTM to their design. There are many programs out there that let you do this.
So mods are your friend, they are not hacks, and can make the game more enjoyable to play.
Next installment is how to install…