Since the release of patch 4.005, IL-2: Great Battles Series has had an all new damage model in place and in my recent article on it, there’s been a mixed reaction to the damage model. Although nearly universally praised for the way it works for WWII aircraft, it’s the WWI aircraft that seem to have run into some snags. 1CGS has been researching the problem and we’ve got a really encouraging response from Petrovich from the IL-2 team on the problem. Let’s have a look!
Loss of wings an issue
While the new damage model seems to work great for WWII aircraft, the same can’t be said for WWI aircraft and players have pointed out loss of multiple wings after just a few bullets. My first look at this and I immediately got the impression that something isn’t quite right.
Fortunately it seems that Petrovich, a member of the IL-2: Great Battles Team and one of the creators of the flight and damage models, is on the case and is looking into the problem. He’s provided a detailed and transparent discussion on what their damage model can and can’t do as well as what they have noticed during their inspection of how the code interacts on their WWI aircraft. Let’s have a look!
I’ve read the last few pages very briefly and I would like to give a few quick answers:
1. We are aware that a significant part of FC players perceive the new DM as a step back to the RoF. We hear your voices and are working on this issue.
2. In the current DM, as in the previous one, the direction of the bullet’s impact into the wing is taken into account. For example, if the bullet hits the wing from above or below, the chance of spars damage is significantly reduced. Thus, most likely, the bullet “hits the air” in this case. The probability of hitting the spar when hitting the wing depends on the direction in 3D-space.
3. We do not want to use detailed hit-boxes for each element of the airframe structure (such as spars, stringers, ribs, wires, rods, hinges, etc.) because of two major reasons:
3-a) we try to save CPU time, while increasing the number of hit-boxes leads to an increase in cross-checks in collision detection algorithms, as well as usage of memory for all layers of 3D-models in geometric progression; and
3-b) an increase in the internal detailing of 3D models increases the cost of producing detailed content (in terms of time and money) and pushes us out of business.
Therefore, we use major hit boxes with combination of methods of probability theory to clarify the fact of getting into a particular major element of the airframe structure.
4. Yes, we are aware that a couple of years ago ED started developing a very detailed model of hit-boxes for some airplanes in DCS. We still think that this significantly affects performance and this decision is premature for the real-time simulation of more or less massive dogfight on typical PC.AnPetrovich on the IL-2 forums
5. We do not take into account the angle of hit the fabric. Every bullet makes a ‘virtual hole’ in the skin of size that depends just on the caliber. As you know we have only three levels of visual damages to the skin for each part of the airplane. This is a convention of the simulator at this stage.
6. When a bullet hits a spar (taking into account the probability of hitting it), wing loses its strength. The load that the wing can withstand depends on the degree of damage of its spars.
7. The extent of damage to the spar depends on its material and on the number and caliber of bullets that hit the spar ‘mathematically’ at the same place (based on probability theory). That means that size of spar makes sense.
8. During the check of this ‘FC problem’ we figured out that the data source we used for determine dimensions of spars for all our WW1 airplanes was unexpectedly not very accurate. Last week I checked all blueprints and charts that we have, and I must say there is quite a difference with data we used. Some of our WW1 airplanes have almost right size of spars (Pfalz f.e.), while others have them from 10% to 30% (such as Albatross, Halberstadt, etc.), or even more than 70% thinner (Fokker D.7). That’s sad, and we will correct this as soon as we are ready with the new and well checked data.
9. But this is only one side of the problem. The other side is that we need to improve the airframe DM from AP bullets anyway.
Work in progress…
First, I think this response is good. It both details some of the things that the team needs to do to balance a high performing simulation alongside trying to make a damage model and other features work at a reasonably high level of fidelity. This is line that IL-2 walks better than most and it shows most of the time.
It is interesting that, in my experiences so far, aircraft like the Pfalz D.IIIa seem to have the least amount of difficulty with their wings being shed and that aircraft is singled out as being one of the most accurate when it comes to the size of the spars.
Obviously this is something that needs some work and Petrovich says that their efforts here are a work in progress. Although the current state is obviously a bit of an issue, the response here is music to my ears and an indication that 1CGS is working on it. That’s all I needed and I think that’s what a great many were wanting to hear.
Hopefully we’ll see a couple of quick fix opportunities for now and more to come in the future.