Ship Damage Overview for Wing Commander Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

As part of his never ending quest to better understand how Wing Commander works, Unnamed Character has shared some interesting insight into how the original games calculated damage. There's some good raw numbers here in terms of how much damage fighters and capships can take as well as how much damage different weapons do. Even more fascinating is how random factors are computed for individual component damage. Most of you may never code or mod a WC fan project, but understanding how these things work certainly enhances my enjoyment as I play!
From what I have been able to determine, the damage system differentiates between capital ships and fighter ships. Capital ships employ a simple system, once the shields and armor are gone, the ship starts taking generic ship damage. Once this damage reaches an upper limit, the ship is destroyed; the upper limit varies by ship type (see list below). Interestingly, Kilrathi capital ships take damage more quickly; less engineering proficiency I guess :).

Fighter ships employ a more complex system, once the shields and armor are gone, the ship starts taking generic ship damage as well as damage to specific ship components. Perhaps not surprisingly, the damage system differentiates between the PC ship and NPC ships (player character vs non-player character).

For NPC ships, the damage is determined at random and by the quadrant hit. For example, a hit on the front quadrant can result in destroying to the ship computer, losing communication, losing a weapon; a hit on the rear quadrant can result in damage to the fuel tank, the engine; the shield generator can be destroyed from any quadrant; etc. The ship also accumulates generic damage and will be destroyed when the upper limit is reached; the upper limit also varies by ship type (see list below).

For the PC ship, the damage is determined at random, by the quadrant hit, and the source of the hit: guns, missiles, or from impact (asteroid or ship). The ship also has a few more components and keeps track of damage severity allowing for repairs. The ship also accumulates generic damage and will be destroyed when the upper limit is reached.

Damage limits by ship type:

Ship 0: Hornet ; Damage: 5
Ship 1: Rapier ; Damage: 6
Ship 2: Scimitar ; Damage: 7
Ship 3: Raptor ; Damage: 8
Ship 4: Venture ; Damage: 70
Ship 5: Dilligent ; Damage: 60
Ship 6: Drayman ; Damage: 60
Ship 7: Exeter ; Damage: 200
Ship 8: Tiger's Claw; Damage: 560
Ship 9: Salthi ; Damage: 5
Ship 10: Dralthi ; Damage: 7
Ship 11: Krant ; Damage: 6
Ship 12: Gratha ; Damage: 7
Ship 13: Jalthi ; Damage: 7
Ship 14: Spikeri ; Damage: 45
Ship 15: Dorkir ; Damage: 35
Ship 16: Lumbari ; Damage: 35
Ship 17: Ralari ; Damage: 90
Ship 18: Fralthi ; Damage: 110
Ship 19: Snakeir ; Damage: 320
Ship 20: Sivar ; Damage: 200
Ship 21: Star post ; Damage: 120

The amount of internal damage is computed from the gun projectile damage, the missile explosive force, or the mass and velocity of a ship. A higher computed damage value will result in a greater number of ship components being damaged, increased severity of damage to a component, and additional generic ship damage.

Object 24: Laser cannon; Damage: 25; Explosive: 0
Object 25: Neutron gun ; Damage: 40; Explosive: 0
Object 26: Mass driver ; Damage: 30; Explosive: 0
Object 27: [Flak] ; Damage: 50; Explosive: 1000
Object 28: Dart DF ; Damage: 4; Explosive: 14500
Object 29: Javelin HS ; Damage: 4; Explosive: 13500
Object 30: Pilum FF ; Damage: 4; Explosive: 10500
Object 31: Spiculum IR ; Damage: 4; Explosive: 11500
Object 32: [Unused] ; Damage: 4; Explosive: 30000
Object 33: Porcupine ; Damage: 4; Explosive: 10000

The explosive force is not directly used as damage, but used to calculate the amount of damage based on the distance between the explosion and the ship. Once the damage value is calculated, it operates the same, through the shields, then the armor, then internal components.

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