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Add damage warning system for jets
Reviewed, WishlistPublic


Although ejecting was recently fixed to allow the player to actually eject instead of bailing out WWII style, it is still useless. The reason being that there is no way of telling how damaged your aircraft is.

Although more parts of the aircraft should show up in the damage indicator (instead of just "hull", should include wings, engine, flaps, gear, etc), the thing we really need is some sort of alarm or more significant way of telling how damaged the aircraft is.

A simple trail of fire from an (or both) engine(s) when the plane is under say, 10% health would suffice. An audible warning in the cockpit or a warnings/advisories panel in the cockpit would be even better. Eventually, it would be nice to see some form of loss of control or thrust.
The current system of slightly darkening exhaust and then a spontaneous explosion makes the pilot survival rate very low, and also eliminates any possibility of search and rescue missions, which could add much depth to some missions.


Legacy ID
Health System
Additional Information

TL;DR - planes currently show very little signs of taking damage until they spontaneously explode, making ejecting a useless action (because you are never told when to). Jets should deteriorate over time, both visually and performance wise, and audio and/or in-cockpit warnings should advise the player when the aircraft's health has lowered to a critical level.


Another idea:

When aircraft reaches 100% damage, start a timer (for maybe, 3-5 seconds). The pilot has these seconds to eject before the plane explodes. If not, it blows up, taking him with it.

Another idea to add to that one, is to read the amount of damage past 100% is dealt. The more damage over 100, the less time to eject. That way, if you were killed by one too many bullets (perhaps the damage was at say, 103%), you would have a good 7 seconds before the systems melted down and the jet exploded.
However, if an AA missile exploded just a tad too close (112% damage), the time would be much shorter, maybe 2-3 seconds. A direct hit with a AAA missile from a tank might inflict much more damage (perhaps upwards of 125% damage), the jet would explode instantaneously, leaving no time for an ejection.

here is a simple linear equation that would calculate the time, where x represents damage level, and y represents seconds to eject:

y = 10-(x-100)

because we are calculating damage over 100%, we subtract 100 from x.
we subtract this overkill value from 10 (the maximum time to eject), giving us y, a time in seconds for the pilot to eject.

we could also give our pilot a slightly more forgiving curve, such as y = -1/2x + 10.

As I am not sure the exact damage values of the various weapons, it is difficult to come up with an exact equation on the spot, but with some data for damage output, it could be done quite easily.

Event Timeline

the_Demongod edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
the_Demongod set Category to Health System.
the_Demongod set Reproducibility to N/A.
the_Demongod set Severity to None.
the_Demongod set Resolution to Open.
the_Demongod set Legacy ID to 2848008261.May 7 2016, 6:27 PM
Bohemia added a subscriber: AD2001.Apr 20 2014, 5:10 AM
Unknown Object (User) added a subscriber: Unknown Object (User).May 7 2016, 6:27 PM
Unknown Object (User) added a comment.Apr 20 2014, 12:00 PM

/downvoted, either you can fly or your plane explodes, damage has no effect on performance and whatever kills you will kill you anyway, HMG will still get you on seconds and any missile 1-shot-destroys you

@Dr Death, I'm afraid I don't follow.. are you saying the system should be as it is? I don't know about you, but your descriptions of damage never happen to me. Damage definitely should have an effect on performance, if you get an engine shot out, you should loose thrust from that side and enter a spiral/flameout state. I have never been one shotted by a missile, I also rarely take more than a couple of HMG bullets at a time, so for me at least, death by HMG is a slow process, where I take a bullet or two every strafing run, and eventually one bullet is the straw that breaks the camels back, and I spontaneously explode.
Please reread my ticket, your comment makes it appear to me that you did not read it carefully.

Unknown Object (User) added a comment.Apr 20 2014, 9:10 PM

i am not talking about the damage model, i am talking about the damage warning.

I still don't follow. What part of my suggestions do you disagree with? Ejecting is essentially a broken mechanic because it is impossible to tell how damaged your plane is.

Unknown Object (User) added a comment.Apr 21 2014, 12:17 AM

i disagree with the ticket because you are asking for more information about the damage of a plane and its states when there is just "it can fly" and "it exploded"

But the aircraft still has an amount of damage ranging from 0 - 100%, which is why the exhaust darkens slowly as you take more and more damage. I am not requesting for loss of control or more hitpoints yet or anything. All I'm asking is that once the plane drops below a certain amount of health, there is a more significant change that shows you that you are extremely damaged and should eject. This could be as simple as an audible warning "caution, caution," perhaps in conjunction with "EJECT" flashing on the HUD, or even just flames coming from the engines and thick black smoke trailing behind. When a jet is shot down (completely destroyed in midair), it exhibits this behavior. All we need is for this effect to apply a little earlier, so that the pilot can tell if he needs to eject.

Unknown Object (User) added a comment.Apr 21 2014, 2:25 AM

wouldn't work too well, try making 2 planes (one you, the other AI) fight against each other, let yourself get shot by an AA missile or use one against the other plane, chances are that your plane explodes on impact. Then try the same thing but against an unarmed jet just to test the machineguns, you will notice that in seconds the other plane is already exploding, yet because it took more than 1 hit the AI is likely ejecting.

I can't say I've ever been killed by one AA missile ever. Nor do I "let" them hit me, I generally try to avoid them :P. I also don't see where this concerns AI - all this is about is warning the pilot when his jet has a critically low amount of health. To be honest, I really have no idea why you downvoted. If you get killed instantly by an AA missile, so be it. But if you're flying along and take one too many HMG round from an MRAP or similar, you should be alerted that you have a very low amount of health. It doesn't seem like an unreasonable request to me.

Unknown Object (User) added a comment.Apr 21 2014, 7:04 AM

most of the time i have been killed in so little time and effort that i consider plane states as "dead" and "alive"

Ah but you see,
You aren't even aware that you've taken damage. Sometime when you are flying, go into 3rd person. If you freelook backwards, you may see the exhaust of your plane turning dark and smoky, when it should be clear. This just proves my point if anything else. If there was a better damage system, you would actually be able to tell that you were taking damage. You could be doing CAS runs and take some HMG round that bring your jet down to 5% health. The problem is, you can't even tell because the jet still sounds, looks and functions just fine. Now it takes just one bullet to get shot down. I'm sure being killed in so little time is very frustrating, and having a warning system like the one I've described would allow you to know when you are extremely damaged, allowing you to either eject safely, or return to base.

B00tsy added a subscriber: B00tsy.May 7 2016, 6:27 PM

They could add a delay of some sort that will give you 3 seconds to eject when damage is 100% instead of dying and exploding instantly. If you did not eject in that time then the pilot will get killed as well.

So: damage = 100%, do warning sound - sleep 3 secs - check if pilot is still in jet - if so then pilot is dead too - do jet explosion.

Yeah actually that's a really good idea
it would prevent a jet that has like .1% health from being able to safely fly home and land (it shouldn't). That way would actually make the ejection a requirement, and make pilots have to act quickly to save their lives. I have posted a video as well in additional information that shows how the smoke trail isn't a clear/sufficient indicator.

Unknown Object (User) added a comment.Apr 21 2014, 7:14 PM

talking about landing with .1% of health, that reminds me that the game usually takes most of the softests landings as light damage

hmm, that's odd. what controls do you use to fly? I use joystick and pedals, so avoiding missiles and cannon fire + landing softly is no problem for me. Practice is also a big part of it. I play most games just to fly, so these sort of issues mean a lot to me.
@B00tsy, earlier today I though that maybe the amount of time you had to eject would have to do with how much damage over 100 you had taken. If you took one too many cannon rounds, (maybe 103% damage) you would have more time to eject, but if you took an AA missile (perhaps would take you to 120% damage), the time would be very little (perhaps 1.5-2 seconds) before the jet exploded. This means that large AAA missiles (i.e. SAM missiles from AAA tanks) have a chance of destroying the aircraft instantly. I feel like this would produce the most fair system for both the pilot and the one who destroyed the jet. If you have ever played DCS World, you will know that most missiles cause only external/minor systemic damage, allowing the pilot to eject most of the time. But very large AA missiles have a chance of destroying an aircraft completely in mid-flight.

Unknown Object (User) added a comment.Apr 21 2014, 11:59 PM

i use the PC master race good olde keyboard and mouse, but the problem its the game, not how hard i hit the ground, sometimes the game engine thinks all contact between the wheels and the ground is damage.

Yeah my friend uses keyboard and mouse to fly, he really likes it. I'm more used to a flightstick. I have definitely noticed that problem with helicopters, their wheels don't actually turn for some reason :P. I rigged a simple mission that shows the health of my vehicle, so maybe I'll test it and see how much damage you take when you land. Do you agree with B00tsy's method he described above?

Unknown Object (User) added a comment.Apr 22 2014, 6:26 AM

i do, actually

izaiak added a subscriber: izaiak.May 7 2016, 6:27 PM

Upvoted +1 for you, but i've to say to have this into the game they have to solve several basic aircraft problems :(

well, I just thought this was an important one. I too wish they would fix more fixed wing problems. I would actually be just as happy if they didn't change anything now, but promised a DLC down the road that made all aircraft amazing. I just want to know that it will get better.