Following the Roadmap: Possible Changes to Ground Vehicle Damage Models

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In the War Thunder Roadmap for Spring-Summer 2024, we promised to talk about new effects for damaging ground vehicle crews as well as healing them. We also mentioned that these changes will be based on player voting. We’ll being going through our proposals today and would like you to take the survey — let’s jump in!

Additional effects on vehicles when armor is penetrated

Most of us have experienced situations where penetrating lightly armored IFVs and APCs with large empty areas causes the shell and its fragments not to destroy or disable any crew or modules. This could also happen to tanks that are penetrated by shells with a narrow damage zone as well. When this happens, the shell and its fragments pass close to crew members and modules and sometimes even hits them, but is usually not enough to cause sufficient damage to stop the enemy from being able to fire back, at least for a short time.

We understand that this can be frustrating for the player who fired the shot, as from their point of view they did everything right. The enemy vehicle was hit, perhaps even close to vital modules, but they were subsequently unlucky.

We’re proposing three ways to solve this problem and plan to implement them in parallel. Let’s take a look at them.

The first way is to introduce a more detailed damage model to specific vehicles. There’ll be new types of modules, ranging from electronic modules for air defense vehicles, machine gun ammunition, electrical equipment, as well as detailing and correcting guidance modules such as the drives. This is labor intensive and painstaking work however, as it cannot be implemented for all ground vehicles in the game at once — each vehicle would require separate manual work. In particular as part of this task, we’re currently separating and detailing the elevation and traverse drives of the M1 and Leopard 2 series tanks with the addition of a hydraulic drive supply tank, where disabling this part will also disable the guidance drive.

The second way is to introduce new logic for damaging crew members and modules, which will reduce the likelihood of the situations we’ve described above, as hits will be effective even in these cases. Here’s how it’ll work. Any hit to a crew member causes a stun effect. When stunned, the camera will shake and sparks will be shown on your screen for a short period of time, about 1-2 seconds. Dealing damage to the gunner (or commander in vehicles with duplicate controls) causes a few seconds of concussion. It also causes the camera to shake, a ringing effect in your ears, and a temporary drift with a variable vector (a change in direction) is added to the gun aiming, which you’ll need to compensate for manually. In this case the initial aiming point when armor is penetrated moves away at the moment of receiving damage (taking into account the favor killer mechanics) to a random distance and direction within approximately 1/4 of the screen.

The third way is additional sources of fire in the fighting compartment, where damage to internal modules in this area may cause them to start an internal fire. Several things can burn and smolder inside a vehicle: crew clothing, wiring, machine gun ammo, plus rubbish and oil on the floor. In this case the fire can go out on its own, unlike an engine or fuel tank fire, and the damage it causes will be less than the damage caused by an engine or fuel fire.

Healing of wounded ground crew members

Due to numerous requests, we’re also considering the possibility of introducing healing for injured ground crew members. How do crew injuries currently affect gameplay? When calculating the repair time, active crew members that have been skilled are taken into account (knocked out crew are considered not skilled). The percentage of remaining health is linearly converted into a repair time multiplier in the range from 0.5 to 1. The average value is calculated for the entire crew in the vehicle.

For calculating reload time, only loaders are used. In their case, the percentage of health is converted into a reload time multiplier from 1 to 1.25. A loader who has taken maximum possible damage but is still conscious has a reload penalty with a parameter value of x1.25 from the normal reload time. If they’re knocked out, the penalty increases to 2x. If there’s several loaders, the average value for all of them is calculated. For conscious crew members, skilled crews are taken into account.

We want to go with the simplest and easiest-to-use implementation for the healing of wounded ground crew members: the automatic healing of the crew. If the crew does not receive any damage within a given time, their health is restored to the minimum level required to remove most of the penalty for the crew to perform their duties. If any damage is received during the healing process, it stops and the countdown to the start of the healing process starts from the beginning.

Take the survey!

We’ve created a survey with a few yes or no questions that you can take. Be sure to complete it and submit it to us!

Please note that the survey will be available until April 19th 13:00 GMT.


More detailed damage models are nice as long as it doesnt make some vehicles incredibly broken


All of the proposed mechanics and features here sounds amazing, you count with my full support!

Specially the increased modelling detailing of internal modules. I remember suggesting something similar a long time ago, I am glad to see this coming into effect!

However, I believe that as many counterpart tanks as possible should receive these changes simultaneously, as oppossed to only a few at a time. The damage model changes will have a big impact on the game for them, so it should come for at least 1 vehicle series of each nation, in my opinion.

I also like being able to heal injured ground members. When they are orange/red, it feels like they would be better off dea- I mean, unconscious, hahah. Glad to see this will now be solved!

I am also happy for this since, even as of now, the Crew Vitality skill parameter talks about health regeneration, but, until now, it had no effect.

And, as polarising as this will likely be: I like the idea of stunned crew! We will need to see how it works and maybe tweak it a little bit, but tanks are crewed by flesh and bone human beings, and it feels odd to have them be hit without them being affected in any way beyond physical injury/death. So I am glad to see this new mechanic would make the crews feel more like the flesh and bone humans that they are!

All in all, I hope all of the suggested mechanics are fully implemented. They add more realism and gameplay dynamism alike. Can’t wait to have them ingame!

EDIT: oh, you also made the poll results public live, that’s great!

EDIT 2: this shouldn’t even be necessary to be said, but here we are; agree or disagree as much as you want, but do so in a civil manner. We don’t need toxicity here and it is not welcome.


Just make sure ALL light tanks have this. I don’t wanna hear “the 2S38 doesn’t get this because it’s an SPAA not IFV”


Screen shaking makes me physically ill. Pls don’t.


That should be toggleable


I agree that stun shouldn’t come in that form.
Seems very nausea causing.


In general i really like the proposal to update the damagemodels with seperating modules aswell as potentiall more flamable components.

I will however say that stun mechanics are in general quite jarring and unfun. So unless this is the gameplay direction Warthunder has decided to go, id hedge against it outside of maybe simulator battles.

But id put that up to players who play sim.


Here’s to hoping the new modules come spread out well. Here they mention detailing the M1/Leopard 2 turret drives and adding a hydraulic fluid reservoir. I’d like to see more detailed autoloaders, and electronics for helis, modeled too.


I despise the idea of ‘crew stun’.

It was absolutely horrible in WoT and effectively removes counterplay after the first shot is fired, especially if it temporarily stops reloads/movement.

If volumetric wasn’t so poorly done, good shots would be consistently rewarded, with poor shots leading to obvious opportunities for counterplay. However we have stuff like HEAT rounds ricocheting off of sand etc…


Can’t wait for the Leo and Abrams to get their highly detailed internal damage models, but not the contemporary Russian tanks because that would take too much work, please wait until next update)))))


The more they complicate the game and add all this special effects the harder it will be to balance the game. Look at volumetric where after many years it’s still broken and you can’t pen the side of a bmp with APFSDS just because you hit overlapping plates. The crew effect especially sound terrible because some people will get sick with their effects.


I have friends who get nauseous easily so unless that can be disabled I’m gonna be a hard no on that mechanic.


If these changes fix several frustrations like rounds not doing anything to light vehicles, I’m all for it. Its also nice from a realism aspect. Being able to disable a tank even without managing to deal a lot of damage or any would also be nice. Like being able to stun the crew of a Maus or JS-4M with big shells.

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well if the Chally 2 “remodel” was anything to go by, i cant imagine a “detailed” modelling of anything will result in anything good for anyone.


I think we really should be able to play some games with these effects before we vote on such literally gamechanging things. The ideas might sound good or bad in theory, but could work out very differently in game


I’d like to see different effects depending on crew role.

Ie Driver gets hit and tank starts turning or moving a random direction for a second, Gunner gets hit and we have the barrel moving as mentioned above, commander gets hit and night vision/thermals get a strong noise effect for a couple seconds, etc.


Honestly they should just model internal walls and let shrapnel bounce around inside vehicles


Additionally to this, I would like to see an effect where if either:
A) An internal fuel tank is breached
B) An external fuel tank is breached facing into the tank

That fuel that would be in there ‘pools’ inside the tank, increasing the likelihood of a fuel explosion kill by hitting anywhere in the breached compartment with a second shot. This would compensate for the randomization of fuel tank explosions by making a second hit much more likely to kill a tank if the initial hit didn’t cause a fuel tank explosion.


It’d be nice if we could get the option to test these different options in their own separate mode then vote on them again afterwards, like we got to with the severe damage mechanics