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Guide to Armour - 4/30/2014 12:31:35 PM   
Osito


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Erik Rutin's post on armour, from June 2013, never seemed to make it to a post of its own, so I'm copying it here, and hoping Icemania will include it in the Guide to Guides.

*****************************

This is what Erik said:

"Armor is struck by weapons fire when shields are fully depleted, or when the weapon is a rail gun and it bypasses shields. When the weapon is a gravity beam or gravity area weapon (these gravity weapons completely bypass both shields and armor)

Phaser weapons are also better at penetrating armor: the reactive rating is effectively halved when a phaser strikes it, thus allowing easier destruction of the armor.

Armor protects other components from damage. The only instance where other components should be damaged before armor is in the case of a hit from a gravitic weapon, which bypasses armor. Gravitic weapons damage components randomly once they hit and they can damage armor as well as normal components. No other weapon types completely bypass armor. By design, all other weapon types must first destroy armor before any damage occurs on other components.

When weapons fire strikes Armor there may be damage to the armor when the remaining weapon strength exceeds the Reactive Rating of the Armor component, i.e. the weapon is powerful enough to penetrate the reactive rating of the armor.

If the remaining weapon strength is less than or equal to the Armor reactive rating, then there is a small chance that the armor will still be breached. The actual chance depends on the ratio of remaining weapons strength to the reactive rating of the armor, but is never more than 20%.

If the reactive rating of the armor is penetrated then there is a random chance that the armor component will be destroyed (i.e. damaged component). The actual chance depends on the ratio of the standard Rating of the armor component to the remaining weapons damage amount, but is never less than 10%.

The armor damage is in two phases:

1. Penetrating the Reactive rating of the armor (max 20% chance for weapons with insufficient power)
2. Actually damaging the armor component (always at least 10% chance)

Some equations:

For Phasers: Damage = (Remaining Phaser strength at time of impact - (Armor Reactive rating / 2))
For other weapons: Damage = (Remaining weapon strength at time of impact - Armor Reactive rating)
BUT when Armor Reactive rating > Remaining weapon strength at time of impact THEN:
chance of penetrating Armor Reactive rating = (Armor Reactive rating / Remaining weapon strength at time of impact) * random factor (with Maximum chance of 20% when Remaining weapon strength at time of impact = Armor Reactive rating)
AND in the above case remaining weapon damage that passes to phase 2 below is ALWAYS 1 (i.e. minimal damage)
Actual chance to destroy armor = Max(0.1, (Damage / Armor standard Rating))

Using the above equations against Standard Armor (level 1):

Level 1 Maxos Blaster from range 100:

strikes target with remaining strength of 4, Armor Reactive rating (2) reduces damage to 2
chance to destroy armor component is 20% (Armor Standard Rating = 10, damage of 2 divided by 10)

Level 1 Rail Gun from range 100:

strikes target with remaining strength of 6 (no distance losses), Armor Reactive rating (2) reduces damage to 4
rail guns (and missiles) have less chance of destroying armor (50% reduction), thus actual damage is 2
thus chance to destroy armor component is 20% (Armor Standard Rating = 10, damage of 2 divided by 10)

Level 3 Impact Assault Blaster from range 100:

strikes target with remaining strength of 9 (3 distance loss), Armor Reactive rating (2) reduces damage to 7
chance to destroy armor component is 70% (Armor Standard Rating = 10, damage of 7 divided by 10)

Level 3 Shockwave Torpedo from range 100:

strikes target with remaining strength of 20 (4 distance loss), Armor Reactive rating (2) reduces damage to 18
chance to destroy armor component is 100% (Armor Standard Rating = 10, damage of 18 divided by 10)

Keep in mind Rail guns are also less accurate and much shorter ranged.

While these values are unchanged since Legends, in Shadows we have improved the random number generator to be more random. Thus this may have also increased the chance of reactive armor penetration and/or armor destruction.

Note that there are also some special cases for Armor: Shandar have stronger armor (including reactive rating) at their spaceports (racial bonus). Also, rail guns and missiles inflict less damage on armor (i.e. less chance to destroy once penetrate reactive rating).

Against rail guns, armor, speed/maneuver (as they are short range) and ECM are the intended counters. Ships that do not have enough armor, are not faster/more maneuverable than the rail gun ship and don't have an ECM advantage should not do well.

Against gravitic weapons, the intended counters were ECM, speed/maneuver (as while they are not short range, missiles and torpedos significantly outrange them), larger ships and repair bots.

What about when firing at unarmored ships, or ships which have had their armor destroyed?

For normal components, the remaining damage is reduced by the SIZE of each destroyed component, until the damage is exhausted (i.e. single shot can damage multiple components). Damage that hits normal components (NOT armor components) is also reduced by the damage reduction percentage first, then the remaining damage amount destroys components."

And this:

"Yes, damage control is for when you take damage beyond your armor. It can significantly increase survivability by limiting damage to just one component for each hit through armor, but it does not affect damage to armor. Repair bots help repair armor and other damage, damage control makes your normal ship components more resilient."

And this:

One thing to add to my above post, in the case of the Shockwave Torpedo example, I forgot to explain how the additional damage works. The remaining torpedo damage after you reach 100% of the Standard Armor Rating will carry over and destroy the next armor component, or if no undamaged armor remains then will destroy a normal component.

< Message edited by Osito -- 5/1/2014 10:59:32 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: Guide to Armour - 4/30/2014 9:08:39 PM   
Spidey


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Nice job. Thank you.

Edit: Formatting request removed.

< Message edited by Spidey -- 5/1/2014 9:13:56 AM >

(in reply to Osito)
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RE: Guide to Armour - 4/30/2014 9:21:00 PM   
Osito


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Regarding Spidey's request for formatting change: Yes, no problem.

< Message edited by Osito -- 5/1/2014 11:01:55 PM >

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RE: Guide to Armour - 5/1/2014 6:18:06 AM   
Darkspire


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You forgot this post.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

One thing to add to my above post, in the case of the Shockwave Torpedo example, I forgot to explain how the additional damage works. The remaining torpedo damage after you reach 100% of the Standard Armor Rating will carry over and destroy the next armor component, or if no undamaged armor remains then will destroy a normal component.


Darkspire

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RE: Guide to Armour - 5/1/2014 10:00:05 PM   
Osito


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Darkspire

You forgot this post.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

One thing to add to my above post, in the case of the Shockwave Torpedo example, I forgot to explain how the additional damage works. The remaining torpedo damage after you reach 100% of the Standard Armor Rating will carry over and destroy the next armor component, or if no undamaged armor remains then will destroy a normal component.


Darkspire


I did?

(Ah, gotta love that edit option)

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RE: Guide to Armour - 5/2/2014 12:33:45 PM   
Jeeves


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By golly I KNEW there was some reason why I always put phasers on my cruisers even though they fire slowly, just plain forgot that armor reactive rating being halved... Thanks for the post!

Lonnie Courtney Clay


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Live long and prosper!

Lonnie Courtney Clay

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RE: Guide to Armour - 5/11/2014 10:47:17 AM   
FireLion1983

 

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With this in mind, is there an optimum amount of armor to use when compared to current enemy weapon dmg values?

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RE: Guide to Armour - 5/21/2014 12:17:27 PM   
Spidey


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I've done a little spreadsheet tinkering to sort of get a better feel about armor and a few things seem to stand out. I say "seem" because the armor algorithm is probabilistic and not just additive, which takes us into shark-infested waters that I don't really like swimming in. I went binomial on the problem and I don't see why that wouldn't be the right approach but statistics make my brain hurt for some reason. Anyways, the details.

1) I really don't understand this little bit.

quote:

chance of penetrating Armor Reactive rating = (Armor Reactive rating / Remaining weapon strength at time of impact) * random factor (with Maximum chance of 20% when Remaining weapon strength at time of impact = Armor Reactive rating)


If it's react rating divided by weapon strength then the number will grow as weapon strength drops, which seems counter-intuitive. I modeled it as Max( 0.2 + 0.02 * (Damage - Reactive Rating) ; 0.05 )

That is to say, I took out of the random bit and made an attack have a max probability of 20% chance to leak through the reactive rating when damage = reactive rating and then a gradual drop with 2% for every point reactive rating beats damage, until a minimal chance of 5% is reached. This isn't really what the game does but I'm hoping it will suffice as an approximation.

2) If Damage > React Rating then the reactive rating on the armor is always beaten and PostReactDamage = Damage - React Rating.

3) If React Rating >= Damage then there's at best a 20% chance of 1 damage leaking through, meaning an 80% chance of 0 damage leaking through. This one damage is then treated exactly as if the Damage had initially been one point higher than the reactive rating on the armor.

4) The chance of breaking armor is Max( 0.1; PostReactDamage / Armor Rating ), meaning always at least 10%.

5) One can observe that at best, a shot that does damage equal to the reactive rating will have a 20% chance of doing 1 damage, and since the weakest armor in the game has an armor rating of 10, this effectively means a 20% chance to have a 10% chance of breaking the armor. 20% of 10% is 2%.

6) A table with armor breaking probabilities. To use the table, check how much damage your weapon does at the range in question and look in the table how that damage would do against the armor type in question.

	Armor	Enh	React	UD
		Armor	Armor	Armor
React	2	4	7	10
Rating	10	18	25	40
------------------------------------

Dmg - Probability to break armor:
1	2%	1%	1%	1%
2	2%	2%	1%	1%
3	10%	2%	1%	1%
4	20%	2%	1%	1%
5	30%	10%	2%	1%
6	40%	11%	2%	1%
7	50%	17%	2%	1%
8	60%	22%	10%	2%
9	70%	28%	10%	2%
10	80%	33%	12%	2%
12	100%	44%	20%	10%
14	100%	56%	28%	10%
16	100%	67%	36%	15%
18	100%	78%	44%	20%
20	100%	89%	52%	25%
22	100%	100%	60%	30%
24	100%	100%	68%	35%
26	100%	100%	76%	40%
28	100%	100%	84%	45%
30	100%	100%	92%	50%
35	100%	100%	100%	63%
40	100%	100%	100%	75%
45	100%	100%	100%	88%
50	100%	100%	100%	100%

 



7) So how many times must you shoot on a plate with a 2% chance of breaking it in order to have a 90% chance of actually having broken the plate? This is the binomial thing I was talking about. I'm not aware of any good formula for calculating this but reversing the problem (what is the probability of a plate with a 98% chance of not breaking having experienced 0 failures in x shots?) and running a loop on x, I ended up with something that really should be the same thing. So I made a table that lists break probabilities and the number of "trials" needed for the commulative probability of 0 failures to drop below 10%, which is a different way of saying that there's a 90% chance of the armor being broken.

Prob	Shots	Prob	Shots	Prob	Shots
1%	230	12%	19	35%	6
2%	114	14%	16	40%	5
3%	76	16%	14	45%	4
4%	57	18%	12	50%	4
5%	45	20%	11	55%	3
6%	38	22%	10	60%	3
7%	32	24%	9	65%	3
8%	28	26%	8	70%	2
9%	25	28%	8	75%	2
10%	22	30%	7	80%	2


< Message edited by Spidey -- 5/23/2014 2:21:43 PM >

(in reply to FireLion1983)
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RE: Guide to Armour - 5/22/2014 8:13:53 AM   
Spidey


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So I spent a little time wondering about the eternal question of Titan Beams vs Phaser Lances. It's not, in my thinking, an open and shut case. Phaser Lances will cut through armor much more easily per shot but they shoot so much slower that the Titans might make up for their lack of penetration by the sheer number of attempts to break through.

There's no easy shortcut that I can see so unfortunately it seems like it's math time. Let's start out with the basic stats, so we know what we're working with.
Weapon		Size	Fire	DMG	RNG	PEN/	Damage dealt at ranges			
			Rate			100	#0	#100	#200	#300	#400	#500
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Phaser Lance 3	9	4.2	32	500	0	32	32	32	32	32	32
Titan Beam 3	6	1.4	29	560	4	29	25	21	17	13	9


The first thing that really should be noted is the fire rate differences. Titan Beams are exactly two thirds the size of Phaser Lances and they'll get of exactly three shots in the time a Phaser Lance gets off one. What this means is that adjusted for size, a Titan Beam has 4.5 times the fire rate of a Phaser Lance.

With that out of the way, we may as well get started on armor penetration. The opposition is UltraDense Armor, meaning rating 40 and reactive rating 10. At all distances the Phaser Lance will lose 5 damage to the reactive rating, leaving it with 27 damage against the rating of 40. 27/40 = 67.5% chance to break the armor across the board.

The Titan Beam will bear the full weight of the reactive rating, losing 10 damage on top of the distance penalty. At range 400, what's left after distance and the reactive factor is just 3 damage, resulting in 7.5% chance to break the armor that per the formula is rounded up to 10%. At distance 500, the TBs can't even beat the reactive rating, meaning just a 20% chance of having a 10% chance to break the armor, otherwise known as 2%.

With those percentages, we can look up the percentages using the method described previously and then we should have an answer as to which ulimate weapon that actually does better against armor.

Weapon		Armor Breaking % at ranges			Shots requires for 90% vs UltraDense Armor
		#0	#100	#200	#300	#400	#500	#0	#100	#200	#300	#400	#500
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Phaser Lance 3	67.5	67.5	67.5	67.5	67.5	67.5	3	3	3	3	3	3
Titan Beam 3	47.5	37.5	27.5	17.5	10	2	4	5	8	12	22	114


Remember that Titan Beams essentially shoot 4.5 times faster per unit size. What that means is that if we index based on size adjusted TB fire rates then we need to multiply the PL values with 4.5, giving us the value 13.5 across all ranges. We can thus surmise that if we are satisfied with a 90% probability of having broken a piece of UD armor then Titan Beam 3s are in fact superior to Phaser Lance 3s until range 400.

Just for laughs, I did the same comparison using regular Reactive Armor, which is 25/7 against TBs and 25/3.5 against PLs. In other words, Phaser Lance 3s have a 100% chance to bust these in one hit regardless of the distance. Titan Beam 3s, on the other hand, are not guaranteed to bust them even at point blank. I ended up with these numbers.


Weapon		Armor Breaking % at ranges			Shots required for 90% vs Reactive Armor
		#0	#100	#200	#300	#400	#500	#0	#100	#200	#300	#400	#500
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Phaser Lance 3	100	100	100	100	100	100	1	1	1	1	1	1
Titan Beam 3	88	72	56	40	24	10	2	2	3	5	9	22


Again we need to adjust for size and fire rate and thus multiply the PL3s by 4.5, leaving us with the knowledge that TB3s are superior until range 300, at which point the PL3s will take off. A note must also be made about the difference between 100% and 90%. With TB3s, you are certain to at least break one armor plate per shot, even if those shots are relatively few and far between. The TBs are thus not superior in terms of being more likely to break the armor but simply in being likely to break more stuff in the time it takes the PLs to recharge for another shot.

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RE: Guide to Armour - 5/22/2014 6:56:02 PM   
Aeson

 

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Quibble with terminologies: rates are generally given in units of stuff per time unit, not time units per unit of stuff. Your rates of fire are really firing intervals, as they measure seconds per shot rather than shots per second.

I will also point out that three Titan Beam Mk IIIs have roughly double the power requirements of two Phaser Lance Mk IIIs, although by the time you can field either of these, you probably shouldn't be terribly constrained by power requirements. An interesting aside due to this is the relationship between the energy storage and output of a reactor to the weapons:
Weapon               Quantum Reactor 3           Fusion 3               HyperFusion 3
         Limit by:  output     storage      output     storage       output      storage
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Phaser Lance 3       12.6       5.7          8.7         4.5          18.8         9.3
Titan Beam 3          8.8       11.8         6.0         9.3          13.0         19.3

The table above gives the maximum number of weapons which can be supported by the reactor based on the per-shot energy requirement compared to reactor energy storage (storage limit) and the energy per second requirement compared to the reactor output (output limit). As can be seen above, due to reactor constraints, Titan Beams can provide a significantly better alpha strike, but Phaser Lances can make much better use of the reactor output (assuming that you stagger the fire of the Phaser Lances rather than having one big salvo every 4.2 seconds). This, of course, is not the whole story, as you also must account for the size requirements of the weapons; suffice to say that it is not necessarily accurate to say that you can field 3 Titan Beams for every 2 Phaser Lances, especially using the standard rule of thumb of matching reactor output to sum(weapon energy per second, cruise/sprint energy, shield recharge, static requirements). As a note to the table, the HyperFusion Reactor Mk I is roughly equivalent to the Quantum Reactor 3 rounded up, and the HyperFusion Reactor Mk II is more or less the linear interpolation between the Mk I and the Mk II, in terms of Titan Beams or Phaser Lances supported.

< Message edited by Aeson -- 5/22/2014 7:57:09 PM >

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RE: Guide to Armour - 5/22/2014 10:33:41 PM   
Spidey


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You're quite right that "fire rate" is misleading, but it's the term the game uses and I didn't feel any need to get into the discussion between fire rates and firing intervals.

As for the energy angle, that's an interesting complication that I didn't feel like getting into previously, since the armor question was interesting enough. You're quite right that the need to actually power weapons might change the balance a bit. I tend to measure weapons in terms of energy drain per second under continuous firing in order to get numbers that take into account differences in firing intervals. TB3s are 20 E/S while PL3s are 13.8 E/S.

Assuming reactor output is in fact energy per second, a Fusion Reactor 3 can manage 6 TB3s or 8.7 PL3s, so on the surface it seems like the PL3s have an advantage under long barrages. However, 9 PL3s and one Fusion Reactor takes up 9*9 + 15 = 96 units of space. 6 TB3s and a Fusion Reactor takes up 6*6 + 15 = 51 units of space. There's thus every possibility of adding another reactor (66 units of space used) and 5 more TB3s (96 units of space used), at which point the math says 11 powered TB3s vs 9 powered PL3s.

Doing this same thing with Quantum 3s gives us 12.7 (~13) PL3s per reactor for a total use of 135 units of space, which is comprable with two reactors and 17 TB3s at the cost of 138 units of space. With HypFus 3 the numbers are 18.8 (~19) PL3s per reactor at 191 units of space or two reactors and 26 TB3s at 196 units of space.

What I get from that is that the same amount of space with any of the better reactors will generally support as many or more TB3s firing continuously, even with space sacrificed to fit in another reactor. At some point I really should build a diagram to see if there are situations where this isn't true, but I'm confident it's true most of the time. And these numbers are based on E/S rather than per shot, meaning this is already assuming that the TB3s are firing three times for each one shot of the PL3s.

Anyway, time for perspective. The effect this has on the "number of shots" comparison made above is essentially that the safer evaluation is to multiply the PL3 shot count by 3 instead of 4.5 when comparing, which leads to the conclusion that TB3s are as good or a little better against UD Armor on ranges up to the 200s, at which point the PL3s overtake them. Against Reactive Armor, the PL3s will kill one plate at any range in the time a TB3 has gotten off three shots. 90% of the time, the TB3s won't need more than that in ranges up to the 200s.

And of course this all assumes that damage loss isn't gradual, since I don't know that it is and for some odd reason haven't ever bothered testing it. If it is, I really should make damage curves and find intersects rather than compare data points.

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RE: Guide to Armour - 5/23/2014 12:21:37 AM   
Aeson

 

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quote:

And of course this all assumes that damage loss isn't gradual, since I don't know that it is and for some odd reason haven't ever bothered testing it. If it is, I really should make damage curves and find intersects rather than compare data points.

Even if the damage loss is gradual, comparing data points gets you a general idea of where the breakpoints are, and a general idea of where the breakpoints are is probably all that is necessary for the discussion, though in the case of gradual damage loss it might be more useful to have more data points; still, six data points for a linear curve is probably plenty.

A further interesting aside is that, using the Hyper Fusion Reactor Mk III, you can mix Phaser Lances and Titan Beams in a ratio of 4.55 Phaser Lances and 9.85 Titan Beams to maximize the usage of both the energy storage and output sides of the reactor, which will balance the alpha strike and continuous damage sides of the picture and reduce the range-dependency of the ship's damage-dealing capabilities. It also combines the superior (at close range) performance of Titan Beams against shields and unarmored hulls with the superior (at least at long range, and possibly at mid range) performance of Phaser Lances against armored hulls. Whether or not that's better than a 'pure' approach is variable. Using a mix of 10 Titan Beams and 4 Phaser Lances, and comparing to the alpha strike potential of 19 Titan Beams (alpha), 13 Titan Beams (cont.), and 9 Phaser Lances on a per-unit-size basis (using a HyperFusion Reactor III):
Alpha Strike Damage
Range:                      000    100    200    300    400    500
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Titan Beam (alpha)          4.24   3.65   3.07   2.48   1.90   1.32
Titan Beam (cont.)          4.01   3.46   2.90   2.35   1.80   1.24
Phaser Lance (alpha)        2.97   2.97   2.97   2.97   2.97   2.97
Phaser Lance (cont.)        1.62   1.62   1.62   1.62   1.62   1.62
Mix                         3.73   3.38   3.02   2.66   2.30   1.95

And continuous dps on a per unit size basis, with a mix of 10 Titan Beams and 4 Phaser Lances compared to 13 Titan Beams, 18 Phaser Lances (cont.), and 9 Phaser Lances (alpha):
Continuous DPS
Range:                  000    100    200    300    400    500
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Titan Beam (cont.)      2.86   2.47   2.07   1.68   1.28   0.89
Titan Beam (alpha)      2.07   1.79   1.50   1.21   0.93   0.64
Phaser Lance (cont.)    0.77   0.77   0.77   0.77   0.77   0.77
Phaser Lance (alpha)    0.71   0.71   0.71   0.71   0.71   0.71
Mix                     2.12   1.87   1.61   1.36   1.10   0.85

In the above tables, the (cont.) entries represent the continuous-fire variant (13 Titan Beams + 1 HyperFusion Reactor or 18 Phaser Lances + 1 HyperFusion Reactor), while the (alpha) entries represent the alpha strike variant (19 Titan Beams + 1 HyperFusion Reactor or 9 Phaser Lances + 1 HyperFusion Reactor). These are interesting because the mix will optimize the reactor usage for both alpha strike and continuous fire, and should also help to cover the Phaser Lance's lack of DPS and the Titan Beam's long-range armor penetration issues.
         Titan Beam (alpha)   Titan Beam (cont.)   Phaser Lance (alpha)   Phaser Lance (cont.)   Mix
Size:           130                  94                    97                    178             112

Something further to consider is that this is considering that you have a ship which only has the energy storage from the reactors whose output covers the weapons to play with. A ship could theoretically have a much larger energy reserve than assumed here to power an alpha strike if the fraction of the reactors being used to power the engines and cover static needs is relatively large, which will tend to increase the number of weapons that can be supported in the alpha strike, which helps the Phaser Lance more than the Titan Beam as the Phaser Lance design for continuous fire has more guns than the Phaser Lance design for the alpha strike, unlike the Titan Beam designs, where the extra energy for an alpha strike would only be committed to weapons which cannot be used in continuous fire mode.

< Message edited by Aeson -- 5/23/2014 8:40:36 AM >

(in reply to Spidey)
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RE: Guide to Armour - 5/23/2014 1:25:35 AM   
FireLion1983

 

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I'm a bit dense, can we get a layman's breakdown of what all this means to actual gameplay?

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RE: Guide to Armour - 5/23/2014 2:45:28 AM   
Spidey


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Sorry, FireLion. I think we got carried away a bit. This was supposed to be an armor thread and now we're flat out discussing the merits of phaser lances and titan beams.

Anyway, to recap the latest posts, I started out doing a bit of number crunching on armor, providing some tables that serve to give people an idea of how well their weapons will do against various kinds of armor. I then decided to look into how Phaser Lances and Titan Beams do against strong armor. It turns out that at close range and given the same amount of size dedicated to weapons, TBs can at least keep up with PLs. Aeson then added an interesting detail about the importance of considering the reactor space requirements for the weapons and the implications that has is really what we've been discussing subsequently.

@ Aason

I'll probably make a dedicated Phaser Lance vs Titan Beam topic once I've mulled over what you said a bit.

One quick thing I feel like saying, however, is that I'm not sure I follow the idea of using TBs as an alpha strike weapon. They're a rapid fire weapon rather than a heavy hitter and they excel exactly because their cooldown is minimal. Rather than alpha striking and running out of juice, I'd personally much prefer just go with 13 per HypFus. PLs would be a solid alpha strike weapon due to the damage and fire rate but a reactor is the same space as two PLs, so the gain by going alpha instead of continuous doesn't strike me as huge.

I do like your idea of mixing the weapons, though. I think I'll try to tinker with an exhaustive optimization approach to find out just how well that can do, but the finer details will probably have to come in a more appropriate topic.

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RE: Guide to Armour - 5/23/2014 3:46:05 AM   
Aeson

 

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What Spidey said. The balancing thing is more of an interesting thought experiment, but might possibly provide a better overall optimization than purely one or the other, as it offers similar (but slightly lower) alpha strike and DPS to the pure Titan Beam, and has some of the armor-piercing advantages of the pure Phaser Lance design.

quote:

One quick thing I feel like saying, however, is that I'm not sure I follow the idea of using TBs as an alpha strike weapon.

The idea of using Titan Beams as an alpha strike weapon is that you can get roughly 50% more Titan Beams on the alpha strike than you can on the sustained. This isn't something that I'd do for the big ships, but for something like a small escort? A 550-damage alpha strike (at zero range, so not really practical, but whatever) is no laughing matter when you can get it for only 130 size points invested in reactors and weapons, especially when the sustained-DPS equivalent has only 375 damage on the alpha strike for 94 size units of weapons and reactors. The Phaser Lance takes too much energy per shot to use as an alpha strike weapon, as a reactor can support more Phaser Lances for sustained DPS than it can for the alpha strike, which means that any sustained-DPS Phaser Lance design can have the same alpha strike as an alpha strike Phaser Lance design (unless you have very significant amounts of 'extra' energy storage, due to having a large fraction of your reactors powering static loads and thrusters instead of weapons; with the Phaser Lance, in order for an alpha strike optimization to have more alpha strike than a sustained-DPS optimization, more than half of the reactors on the ship must be powering thrusters and static loads, as the output-energy storage balance on high-end reactors fairly consistently allows sustained-DPS optimizations to have roughly twice as many Phaser Lances as alpha strike optimizations; since I don't feel that it is likely that you'll ever have a ship with more reactors powering static and thrust loads as you'll have powering weapons at the point in the game when you'll have Phaser Lances, the Phaser Lance is an inappropriate weapon for an alpha strike design).

Beyond that, the Titan Beam has a higher cap on its damage per size unit at many ranges than the Phaser Lance does, although the Phaser Lance may be advantaged in that its alpha strike is better at long range than the Titan Beam's alpha strike is (where long range is greater than ~250 range, if you aren't making use of the 'spare' energy storage from the reactors taking care of the static and cruising energy requirements). I'm not really sure what range the alpha strike normally happens at, though.

< Message edited by Aeson -- 5/23/2014 5:13:16 AM >

(in reply to FireLion1983)
Post #: 15
RE: Guide to Armour - 5/23/2014 5:13:13 AM   
FireLion1983

 

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Thanks for the summary of the debate. Any useful conclusions gleaned from the discussion? Such as how much armor is a good minimum? Maximum? Is the tech worth going for early, or is it pretty much useless? Thanks, guys! :)

(in reply to Aeson)
Post #: 16
RE: Guide to Armour - 5/23/2014 7:33:22 AM   
Aeson

 

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Getting at least the lowest level of armor early is always worthwhile, since railguns have a chance to bypass shields but have trouble penetrating armor and pirates tend to field lots of railguns. What the good minimum and maximum values for armor are is rather more difficult to answer, as it depends a lot on what else your design carries, what kinds of weapons your opponent is fielding, and what your steel situation looks like (armor tends to require lots of steel) - if you don't see any railguns in play, then it's not unreasonable to not use any armor at all as you can theoretically tank all the damage on your ship's shields, although I'd say it's better to have at least a minimal amount of armor (perhaps 5 or 10 plates for something of at least 300 size) than to go completely without; similarly, lots of phasers would tend to suggest a low-armor strategy because phasers are good at penetrating armor but have low enough DPS that shield regeneration can be a bit of an issue for them. On the other hand, if your enemy is fielding lots of high DPS weapons like blasters, you'll probably want more armor because your shields are less suited to dealing with high DPS and low per-shot damage (high DPS should rapidly overcome the shield regeneration, but low per-shot damage means that the armor is more likely to absorb the shots rather than being destroyed). Note that if you're facing a weapon which is very likely to destroy one armor plate per shot, you're probably better off relying mostly on shields regardless of whether the weapon is high DPS or not.

quote:

One quick thing I feel like saying, however, is that I'm not sure I follow the idea of using TBs as an alpha strike weapon. They're a rapid fire weapon rather than a heavy hitter and they excel exactly because their cooldown is minimal. Rather than alpha striking and running out of juice, I'd personally much prefer just go with 13 per HypFus. PLs would be a solid alpha strike weapon due to the damage and fire rate but a reactor is the same space as two PLs, so the gain by going alpha instead of continuous doesn't strike me as huge.

Thinking about this further, it occurs to me that, as far as Phaser Lances go, going with an alpha strike optimization is not a terrible idea - the alpha strike optimization given in the above tables has 2.97 damage per size unit on the alpha strike and 0.71 DPS per size unit sustained, while the sustained DPS optimization has an alpha strike of only 1.61 damage per size unit and a sustained DPS of 0.77 DPS per size unit. Thus, the alpha strike optimization has nearly double the alpha strike while losing less than 10% of the sustained DPS, at least per size unit dedicated to weapons and the supporting reactors. Larger vessels with a greater percentage of their size taken up by weapons will benefit more from a Phaser Lance alpha optimization than smaller vessels will, as smaller vessels are less able to support enough Phaser Lances to have a meaningful difference between the alpha strike and sustained DPS optimizations. This is significantly better than the percentage trade-off with the Titan Beam, which gains ~5% extra damage on the alpha strike while losing ~28% of its sustained DPS per unit size dedicated to weapons and supporting reactors. Moreover, because the Phaser Lance alpha strike optimization doesn't fully utilize the reactor output and you probably have some energy storage capacity available from the fraction of your ship's reactors which are supporting the static and cruising energy requirements, the Phaser Lance alpha strike optimization can be boosted to have a slightly larger alpha strike while bringing the sustained DPS closer to that of the sustained DPS optimization, whereas increasing the alpha strike on the Titan Beam alpha strike optimization will only worsen its sustained DPS per size unit dedicated to weapons and supporting reactors relative to the sustained DPS optimization. I would still tend to say that a Titan Beam alpha strike optimization is fairly decent for a small vessel, since small vessels don't really have that much staying power in the first place, but the trade-offs between the alpha strike and sustained DPS optimizations using the Phaser Lance are much more favorable, especially for larger ships. (I have edited the tables to include the Phaser Lance (cont.) entry in the Alpha Strike table and the Titan Beam (alpha) entry in the Continuous DPS table, since these are worth having for comparing the trade-offs on the optimizations.)

< Message edited by Aeson -- 5/23/2014 8:42:39 AM >

(in reply to FireLion1983)
Post #: 17
RE: Guide to Armour - 5/23/2014 7:44:39 AM   
Bingeling

 

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I did not really digest all of the above, but my understanding is this. I may be off ;-)

A shot that is past the shields will hit a random component. As long as armor is present (and not destroyed), it will make sure that the random component is an armor component. The above discusses the probability of destroying (and of penetrating) the piece of armor that is hit.

You may try to make a proper armor tank, where you have repair bots that try to repair faster than attackers can damage. I have never tried it and ignore this case.

In other cases, I view armor as the items that save a ship that is shield down. It protects the key components that it needs to jump away. It also defends against rail guns. For a normal "shield based" ship in early game some extra armor may give "longer patrol time" against rail gun equipped pirates. You can take a few more hits before heading for repairs. If you manage to avoid the AI freaking out and refusing to do anything related to combat while armor is damaged, that is.

Lots of armor needs to be balanced against other things like more shields or more mobility, both that can also help the ship stay alive. Or more guns, dead stuff don't fire at you. Some armor is necessary due to rail guns. I am very fond of repair bots that will fix the armor damage suffered in normal situations.

(in reply to FireLion1983)
Post #: 18
RE: Guide to Armour - 5/23/2014 8:01:01 AM   
FireLion1983

 

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Great replies, thanks folks.

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Post #: 19
RE: Guide to Armour - 5/23/2014 1:00:58 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Great discussion.

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(in reply to FireLion1983)
Post #: 20
RE: Guide to Armour - 5/24/2014 4:43:44 PM   
FingNewGuy


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From: Boulder, CO
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Aeson

Getting at least the lowest level of armor early is always worthwhile, since railguns have a chance to bypass shields but have trouble penetrating armor and pirates tend to field lots of railguns. What the good minimum and maximum values for armor are is rather more difficult to answer, as it depends a lot on what else your design carries, what kinds of weapons your opponent is fielding, and what your steel situation looks like (armor tends to require lots of steel) - if you don't see any railguns in play, then it's not unreasonable to not use any armor at all as you can theoretically tank all the damage on your ship's shields, although I'd say it's better to have at least a minimal amount of armor (perhaps 5 or 10 plates for something of at least 300 size) than to go completely without; similarly, lots of phasers would tend to suggest a low-armor strategy because phasers are good at penetrating armor but have low enough DPS that shield regeneration can be a bit of an issue for them. On the other hand, if your enemy is fielding lots of high DPS weapons like blasters, you'll probably want more armor because your shields are less suited to dealing with high DPS and low per-shot damage (high DPS should rapidly overcome the shield regeneration, but low per-shot damage means that the armor is more likely to absorb the shots rather than being destroyed). Note that if you're facing a weapon which is very likely to destroy one armor plate per shot, you're probably better off relying mostly on shields regardless of whether the weapon is high DPS or not.

quote:

One quick thing I feel like saying, however, is that I'm not sure I follow the idea of using TBs as an alpha strike weapon. They're a rapid fire weapon rather than a heavy hitter and they excel exactly because their cooldown is minimal. Rather than alpha striking and running out of juice, I'd personally much prefer just go with 13 per HypFus. PLs would be a solid alpha strike weapon due to the damage and fire rate but a reactor is the same space as two PLs, so the gain by going alpha instead of continuous doesn't strike me as huge.

Thinking about this further, it occurs to me that, as far as Phaser Lances go, going with an alpha strike optimization is not a terrible idea - the alpha strike optimization given in the above tables has 2.97 damage per size unit on the alpha strike and 0.71 DPS per size unit sustained, while the sustained DPS optimization has an alpha strike of only 1.61 damage per size unit and a sustained DPS of 0.77 DPS per size unit. Thus, the alpha strike optimization has nearly double the alpha strike while losing less than 10% of the sustained DPS, at least per size unit dedicated to weapons and the supporting reactors. Larger vessels with a greater percentage of their size taken up by weapons will benefit more from a Phaser Lance alpha optimization than smaller vessels will, as smaller vessels are less able to support enough Phaser Lances to have a meaningful difference between the alpha strike and sustained DPS optimizations. This is significantly better than the percentage trade-off with the Titan Beam, which gains ~5% extra damage on the alpha strike while losing ~28% of its sustained DPS per unit size dedicated to weapons and supporting reactors. Moreover, because the Phaser Lance alpha strike optimization doesn't fully utilize the reactor output and you probably have some energy storage capacity available from the fraction of your ship's reactors which are supporting the static and cruising energy requirements, the Phaser Lance alpha strike optimization can be boosted to have a slightly larger alpha strike while bringing the sustained DPS closer to that of the sustained DPS optimization, whereas increasing the alpha strike on the Titan Beam alpha strike optimization will only worsen its sustained DPS per size unit dedicated to weapons and supporting reactors relative to the sustained DPS optimization. I would still tend to say that a Titan Beam alpha strike optimization is fairly decent for a small vessel, since small vessels don't really have that much staying power in the first place, but the trade-offs between the alpha strike and sustained DPS optimizations using the Phaser Lance are much more favorable, especially for larger ships. (I have edited the tables to include the Phaser Lance (cont.) entry in the Alpha Strike table and the Titan Beam (alpha) entry in the Continuous DPS table, since these are worth having for comparing the trade-offs on the optimizations.)


Awesome. Thanks!

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Post #: 21
RE: Guide to Armour - 7/1/2014 10:21:31 PM   
FarAway Sooner

 

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Just one more question, and I apologize if I missed it in the thread above, but am I correct in assuming that, if a shot penetrates armor AND destroys armor, then the act of destroying that armor uses up damage points that made it past the armor? (e.g., in Erik's first example in the OP where 2 damage penetrates, if the random number generator determines that the 20% of a "destroy armor" result actually happens, does that mean that 1 damage destroys the basic armor component (basic armor is a Size 1 component, I believe) and another one passes on to destroy some other component?

Or is the armor destruction assumed to come from the damage that was already absorbed by the Reactive Rating?

I haven't had this much fun figuring stuff out since first using the hit tables in Avalon Hill's Tobruk title back in 1983!!

(in reply to Osito)
Post #: 22
RE: Guide to Armour - 12/8/2014 2:47:41 PM   
Yank31

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: FarAway Sooner

Just one more question, and I apologize if I missed it in the thread above, but am I correct in assuming that, if a shot penetrates armor AND destroys armor, then the act of destroying that armor uses up damage points that made it past the armor?


Given what I read above, I'd say so.

quote:

in Erik's first example in the OP where 2 damage penetrates, if the random number generator determines that the 20% of a "destroy armor" result actually happens, does that mean that 1 damage destroys the basic armor component (basic armor is a Size 1 component, I believe) and another one passes on to destroy some other component?


No, I'd suppose the size formula does not apply to armor components, because armor components have standard rating and reactive rating instead.

So if 2 damage "penetrates" (gets past the reactive rating reduction), then they face the standard rating (10) and not the size (1). And that is why the chance of destruction is 20% (because 2/10 = 0,2 = 20%). So there is no residual damage in this case.

There would be residual damage only if the damage that "penetrates" (gets past the reactive rating) are superior to the standard rating.

The size rule regarding destruction does not apply for armor.

At least, that's my understanding, given the above thread.

quote:

I haven't had this much fun figuring stuff out since first using the hit tables in Avalon Hill's Tobruk title back in 1983!!


I'm a tad younger but I do enjoy this whole game more and more as a find gems in this forum \o/


---


Also I had a question of my own : we speak a lot about standard rating and reactive rating but that's always for ONE piece of armor.

As far as i understand, there is no particular value in having, say, "600" armor. Other than having 60 times 1 piece of armor. Not sure if I make sense here...

In other words, it seems to make much more sense to say "this ship has 30 pieces of armor, each one having a standard rating of 10 and a reactive rating of 4", than "this ship has 300 armor, with a reactive rating of 4" (which is what the ship design window does, though - I guess for the sake of simplification and looks).

I guess my issue is that you lose the information about the "standard rating" value in the latter case, which seems to be quite primordial, much more than the total armor value of a ship, if I understood this whole thing correctly.


Edit : I know how to make sense.

Let's consider the basic armor (std 10, react 2) and the UD armor (std 40, react 10).

Now, for the same TOTAL value of 400 armor on one given ship, that would take 40 pieces of basic armor or 10 pieces of UD armor.

But given, well, basically everything above, one can clearly see that a "400" total armor ship (with basic armor) is way, way weaker than a "400" total armor ship (with UD armor).

In other words, what seems to actually matter is of course the ratings, and immediatly after the number of armor components, while the actual total armor value seems to have little to none practical... value.

I guess I solved my misunderstanding :)

< Message edited by Yank31 -- 12/8/2014 5:27:47 PM >

(in reply to FarAway Sooner)
Post #: 23
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