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ARMA3 Mechanics: Silence the silencers argument


radek
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tl;dr - Silencers don't degrade the gun's performance, they improve it.

 

In Arma3, this was not implemented correctly, different mods tried to rectify it (e.g. ACE3.0.0+). Meanwhile the mechanic was corrected in arma itself.

 

The barrel is made physically longer. The explosive charge has more time to propel the projectile and the trajectory becomes a bit more stable. The projectile does not meet any objects or interactions in the silencer/suppressor. It only affects the hot gases (flash) and shockwave (sound) leaving the barrel through the muzzle (which happens after the projectile is gone).

 

A silencer does not make the shot itself silent. The bullet still travels supersonic (Mach 3 at muzzle) and makes a loud whiplash bang. The difference is that this is hard to locate and relate to the origin of the shot. Special use of sub-sonic ammunition (usually marked "U" or "SD") can result in a pretty stealth shot - it makes just a silent "whoosh" sound passing by/in.

 

These effects are currently (1.6+) applied to ballistic parameters in ARMA3 (RHS weapons changes noted separately):

 

+ no change in projectile "hit" power


+ Reduces audible detection to 3 or 4% of normal

that sounds A LOT. If it means 3% of the detection distance, which makes -30dB, which would be a good market value. There seems to be some confusion in the documentation (audibleFire parameter).  If it means 3% of the original sound pressure - it is reduction of -15dB, which seems to be a entry stock value.

A normal shot is anywhere between 100-150dB, depending on it's power/charge. The mechanical part of guns can be pretty loud on their own (the "clicking", 60-100dB) - these are not affected and still can give away our position.

RHS reduce to only 40% (-8dB)

ACE applies 10% on stock items (-20dB)

 

+ Increases muzzle velocity by 5%

5% increase in speed is not insignificant. it amounts for a 10.25% increase in kinetic energy (i.e. effective range and/or penetration). The "marksman dlc" suppressors for .338 and 9.3x64 are even better, given their length, they add 10% to muzzle velocity (21% energy increase). This affects your scope zeroing quite a bit! - aim low.

RHS add only 1% (2% eff.range).

ACE removes velocity change of stock items.

 

+ Reduces dispersion by 20%
For a sniper rifle standard of 1 MOA (minute of angle = 0.29 milrad, or 0.00029 rad) a suppressor reduces your "bullseye" at 1000m from 29cm radius, to 23cm -- Or, you will hit the same target size at 1250m. Which can be pretty significant; accounting for the faster bullet; in dealing damage with the mid-caliber guns (7.62, .338, ...)

RHS also use this value.

ACE re-balances stock weapons to arbitrary MOA values + defines a 5% accuracy bonus on suppressors.

 

+ Reduces visible detection to 30% of normal
+ Halves visible and audible detection times

these parameters are not really documented what they actually mean... but if you see the monster flash size at night, on NVG, it makes you think.

RHS reduces flash to 20% and 50% visible time, does not apply audible time reduction.

ACE leaves defaults here.


- Increases weight, reduces dexterity

the gun is apparently longer, making it more difficult to manouver (the crosshair reacts to mouse movement a bit more sluggish).
The length can be a factor especially in CQB, but since it does not collide with anything in arma, this is only a "roleplay" limitation. But then again, the flash and echoing suppression can be considered beneficial.

ACE applies a 5% reduction in recoil of stock components, which is also a real effect, due to a more controlled gas ejection

 

Yes, it sounds less cool. But get over it. Even on a MG :)

 

silencer.jpg

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6 hours ago, radek said:

A silencer does not make the shot itself silent. The bullet still travels supersonic (Mach 3 at muzzle) and makes a loud whiplash bang. The difference is that this is hard to locate and relate to the origin of the shot. Special use of sub-sonic ammunition (usually marked "U" or "SD") can result in a pretty stealth shot - it makes just a silent "whoosh" sound passing by/in.

 

The 3-4% audible detection, while I won't argue with the data, is ever so bullshit.

 

The testing I've done, which essentially amounts to shooting dudes in the chest 100 times in a row, with and without a suppressor on, at point-blank, 100, 300 and 500 meters with 5.56 out of an RHS HK416D14.5, lead me to believe that the hit values were lowered with a Suppressor screwed on, which would make sense as compared to the sound you hear when firing.

 

From the info you've posted though, it seems clear to me that Suppressors are broke as hell, currently, given that you get all of the good with none of the bad, and I don't mean the bad that wouldn't apply to a game, such as the maintenance issues.

 

Personally, I find it incredibly boring to use Suppressors. It's a special-purpose gadget, not something soldiers use on any sort of a regular basis. It's also pretty ineffective when the guy sitting four meters off your right shoulder is SAWing away without one.

 

 

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what would be those negative effects? what version/year did you test that in? 

 

Again, neither ACE nor RHS attachments touch the "hit" value of the bullet (which relates to the shape, nature and composition of the core/penetrator), or change other ballistic damage properties (mainly caliber). and that's the correct way to do it.

 

anyway, a real suppressor does deliver around -30dB of sound pressure. if you can pick up an assault rifle 150dB shot being fired in your direction from, let's say, 20'000m, when it drops to ~60dB and starts to "blend in", a "silenced" 120dB shot will reach the same level only at 750m = 4%. That being said, we are still talking marksmen ranges and 120dB, which is painfully loud. That does not mean it works the same for actually locating the origin (which has much more to do with echoes, bounces and weather - and Arma AI logic itself) but that's how dBs work.

 

for the budget savvy, there are more simpler flash suppressors and muzzle brakes in the arsenal, which provide only some visual stealth bonus

 

a condom is also a boring special purpose gadget, and it too improves your combat performance. so you should use it, when available and leave it off only when doing fun practice and/or on safe fire ranges...

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And yet you can fire a suppressed 7.62x51 in the direction of an enemy and be undetected much closer than those 750 meters, meaning the muffling effect is much greater than it should be.

 

Looks to me like the game treats the  values like we're firing subsonic, but not the muzzle velocity.

 

Other than that, my distaste for suppressors is largely that they make combat boring as hell. Special-purpose tool, pretty much only for special ops or snipers.

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In ACE the values are defined through a combination of weapon, magazine and round (and with Advanced Ballistics enabled it also includes wind, temperature, height and several barrel variables).

The difference between normal rounds and subsonic rounds is huge though (eg. initial velocity is 60% slower!), which should lower the given damage as well by a fair amount. At least in ACE.

 

Both in ArmA3 core and ACE there are no references found to modifications of the silencer itself (except for sound). So unless there's some hidden code in ArmA3 which handles the suppressors, I don't think the item itself modifies any values.

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5 hours ago, Amentes said:

And yet you can fire a suppressed 7.62x51 in the direction of an enemy and be undetected much closer than those 750 meters, meaning the muffling effect is much greater than it should be.

 

so you are not wearing earplugs neither, huh? :)

 

750m/60db were example value. but alas you can fire a nuke at AI and they are likely to ignore it. Rounds have additional values that define how likely AI is to react to the fly-by and nearby impact and those seem to be more important. I think this is an generic AI issue, not exactly related to our topic.

 

 

21 minutes ago, Grezvany13 said:

In ACE the values are defined through a combination of weapon, magazine and round (and with Advanced Ballistics enabled it also includes wind, temperature, height and several barrel variables).

The difference between normal rounds and subsonic rounds is huge though (eg. initial velocity is 60% slower!), which should lower the given damage as well by a fair amount. At least in ACE.

 

subsonic ammo does have a much lower "hit" defined to start with, compared to full speed counterparts. It's a vanilla feature.

RHS has subsonic variants for the russian AKM 7.62x39 (68% hit) and ak74 5.45x39 (40%). the Makarov pistol and Skorpion SMG use subsonic ammo by default. sorry USF, none for you.

 

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Super-modern suppressors are actually pretty damn durable. It's true, in the olden days, you would empty a mag and then have your firearm jam up due to soot buildup.

 

On something like an M249, yeah, the volume of fire spewed through the suppressor might be an issue, though I'm not sure how dangerous that'd be to the suppressor itself. Might make it a pain to get off again, I guess.

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