So, in the 8.4 update a small change was made to the after battle statistics, in that it started to display potential damage received. The idea, so far as I can tell, is to represent how much damage you would have taken if every hit actually penetrated and caused the average amount of damage. On one hand it is a somewhat meaningless little addition – after all the number of non-penetrating hits already gives some indication of how much punishment one was able to absorb. On the other hand 20 hits sounds fine, but what does that actually mean? Absorbing 20 hits from a tank two tiers below is quite different from absorbing 20 hits from tanks of the same tier with their best guns. Potential Damage Received gives some measure of quantifying it – and for tanks whose role is at least partly to absorb damage it is nice to be able to measure just how much one can do.
I have just had a battle in my KV-5 that gave me a real “wow” moment at just how effective being a target can be in taking damage away from the enemy. A standard Ensk map in a Tier VIII battle, with a southern start position. My team, after dawdling for some tens of seconds before entering the middle block of buildings, manage to push the enemy tanks out. They were concentrated on the corner between the western-most street and the northern and middle building blocks. I crossed over and wedged myself into the diagonal street, sidescraping, using the buildings to block my weakspot from view. What happened next was thirty or so shells being poured into my tracks – I spent much of the time unable to move. Whilst I kept their attention my team-mates eventually flanked them, and took them out, essential delivering us the victory. I say “eventually” – it seemed like ages as I was being shot at, but in reality was probably not that long.
In the after battle report I learned that I had been hit a total of thirty-nine times. That sounds a lot – and it is, though it is short of my personal record (50-something) and less than half the most hits I have ever seen a tank take in a battle (a KV-4 on my team that took 83 hits iirc). Thirty-nine hits though, what does that mean? In terms of potential damage received, it means 7430 damage. That is more than four times the hit points of my tank. Put another way, if I had only absorbed half the damage a further 2-4 tanks on my team could have been killed for that amount of damage. It just makes it a very clear way of seeing just how much one can do to help one’s team by being a target and helps to put a number on the value of being a Steel Wall.