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Vehicle Damage Model Improvement Considerations
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*I will explain the problem, how it should work, and a possible solution.


The main problem with the vehicle damage model is that every vehicle explodes when its Hull reaches the "Red" state of damage. Sometimes the vehicle will even explode when the Engine is fully damaged, but with a delay. This is not how vehicles work at all unless they are pumped chock full of nitroglycerin. This explosion upon destruction causes many unrealistic and game breaking scenarios which you can see in almost anything involving Arma and a vehicle.

How it should work:

• Hull Damage: When something damages a vehicle so badly that the structural integrity of it is lost, it will most likely be completely disabled. This means you most likely can't steer, opening the doors will be difficult, and the whole frame will be bent up. In the case of helicopters the tail will probably be broken off. In fixed-wing aircraft the wings will probably be broken.

• Engine Damage: When the engine of a vehicle is disabled, you will have no power to maneuver with the exception of helicopters and planes. A rod may be thrown, there could be a fire, water could have got into the fuel, there could be no oxygen (Underwater), or other things that will break your engine. Some of these have no need to be simulated in Arma.

• Fuel Damage: If your fuel tank is damaged, it can really do one of two things. It can leak out fuel, or catch fire. The fuel in the tank catching fire is extremely unlikely, as unless and incendiary or explosive munition is sent into the fuel tank there will not be enough oxygen for a fire to occur. A fuel leak is what will happen 99% of the time. Some fuel tanks have the capability to automatically repair holes in the fuel bladder.

• Wheel Damage: Wheels can be deflated, punctured, etc.


I will list what the damage levels in-game should mean for the vehicle's functionality / damage level
• Hull:

  • White: Normal, no damage.
  • Yellow: Hull / Armor is banged up a bit, a few bullet holes.
  • Orange: Hull / Armor banged up even worse, a lot of bullet holes / explosive impact burns.
  • Red: Hull / Armor is bent, damaged badly, some parts blown off. VEHICLE WILL NOT EXPLODE. Vehicle likely immobilized, in the case of helicopters the tail section will likely break off. THE CREW WILL NOT DIE UNLESS HIT WITH THE WEAPON THAT DAMAGED THE VEHICLE. The vehicle's model should look somewhat like the Slammer static wreck, the Blackfoot static wreck, or the Hunter static wreck. See attached picture for reference..

• Engine:

  • White: Normal, full capabilities.
  • Yellow: Engine has lower performance, some parts damaged (Maybe a warning sound? Like "beep beep beep"?)
  • Orange: Engine badly damaged, very low performance, some smoke coming out from the hood. (*Beeping intensifies)
  • Red: Engine is totally disabled, no power output, fire and smoke coming out of the hood. NO EXPLOSIONS. (*Beeping and maybe an "ENGINE FIRE" warning on the HUD?)

• Fuel:

  • White: Normal function
  • Yellow: Slight leaking, depending on if the vehicle has a self-sealing fuel bladder.
  • Orange: Moderate fuel leakage.
  • Red: Severe fuel loss, possible fire from leaked fuel under the vehicle. If there is a fire from the fuel, there will initially be a fireball, but it won't hurt anything really (Well it burns, but it won't hurt anyone in the vehicle). Crew cabins are designed not to have the crew die in a fiery death.

• Ammunition: The only time a vehicle really ever explodes is if these three things are true:

  1. The ammunition is stored inside the vehicle.
  2. The ammunition is hit with something that will detonate it.
  3. The vehicle is not out of ammunition.

• Miscellaneous:

  • Bullet impacts in glass should be very visible. For example a few 7.62mm rounds hitting the Kajman's cockpit should pretty much blind the pilot from that window, because it is covered in cracks from the impact. Sort of like a spiderweb.
  • When vehicles are fully damaged, they will not explode.
  • When vehicles are fully damaged, they will not explode.
  • When vehicles are fully damaged, THEY WILL NOT EXPLODE.
  • I cannot stress this enough. Vehicles do not explode unless their ammunition storage is hit, and only if the ammunition is stored inside the vehicle. Seriously. {F24755}


Legacy ID

Event Timeline

gutsnav edited Steps To Reproduce. (Show Details)Sep 8 2014, 2:19 AM
gutsnav edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
gutsnav set Category to Engine.
gutsnav set Reproducibility to N/A.
gutsnav set Severity to None.
gutsnav set Resolution to Open.
gutsnav set Legacy ID to 3009158497.May 7 2016, 7:23 PM
R3vo added a subscriber: R3vo.May 7 2016, 7:23 PM
R3vo added a comment.Sep 10 2014, 3:51 PM

Thanks for all your effort, you've got some truely amazing ideas there. I hope BI get to see that.

Yet not voted.
You are right in many parts, but I think, if deprive the vehicles explosions, then this will create many additional problems.
In this case, will need to add a huge number of effects of the damage to each vehicle! This is a broken glasses, the destroyed out doors, damages textures, effects and may be deformations of the vehicle case.
It will be a huge of work and it is unlikely and unfortunately the developers will want to do it!

gutsnav added a subscriber: gutsnav.May 7 2016, 7:23 PM

We already have many of the effects described in this ticket (broken windows, smoking engine, damage textures). They just aren't noticeable enough (or nonexistent). The main problem is that vehicles explode. It's fine if there's a fireball, like when the fuel leaks out and starts burning, but vehicles don't explode unless they have something to make them blow up (stored ammunition). Sure in "The A-Team" they do, but that's because they are loaded with Hollywood explosives. What I am saying (mainly), as represented in this ticket, is that the crew really shouldn't die from an explosion when the vehicle is dead. RPGs or AGMs are what is going to kill the crew, not the vehicle itself.

"RPGs or AGMs are what is going to kill the crew, not the vehicle itself."

I think, if the car or light armored vehicle will get hit from a Missile launcher or Anti-Tank mine, then he always should have a explosion, but in other variants of attack, I would agree with you.

"We already have many of the effects described in this ticket (broken windows, smoking engine, damage textures)"

Today in Arma3 Weak damage effects. It is not enough. New effects will be needed, because the player needs to see the vehicle damage, if the player does not see the vehicle explosion.

pops added a subscriber: pops.May 7 2016, 7:23 PM
pops added a comment.Jan 31 2015, 7:59 PM

I wholeheartedly agree. I noticed that the karts have a different damage model than other cars, only catching on fire when critically damaged. Maybe that can be adopted for all unarmed vehicles.

I'd like to be able to escape a burning vehicle and not having to worry about a detonation 5 seconds later. A detonation (velocity of expanding gases and thus shrapnel exceeding 1 km/s) requires proper explosives to be present, while fuel usually burns with a much lower speed (so called deflagrations, velocity several m/s). This difference is what makes a deflagration usually survivable, especially given proper clothing (kart overalls).

Yep. Unless you get the fuel on you, you'll likely get away with minor injuries and no eyebrows.

add wheel damage modelling. Military wheels have runflat capabilities. Eighter multi-chambering with active inflation system that would keep wheels with bulletholes still rolling or like for HMMV wheels which are partly made of a half rigid framing that forms still a wheel without any air pressure inside.

mickeymen added a comment.EditedApr 21 2017, 7:20 PM

+1000% but this ticket forgotten

That makes a lot of sense! .. and a long road from:

  • additionally to no consistency at all, between classes like HUNTERs or STRIDERs (for example) for: glasses, doors opening, main turret damages. (Example: Why can you open the HUNTER doors but not the HUNTER HMG/GMG ones?)
  • additionally to little ancillary problems like the dynamic simulation which postpone all explosions at player's progression. That's totally weird!
R3vo removed a subscriber: R3vo.Jul 21 2021, 6:05 PM