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To double, or to triple... that is the question!  XML
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Wicked Sick!

Joined: 01/07/2005 21:28:14
Messages: 589
Location: Da'Burgh (Pittsburgh) PA

Whether tis nobler...wait a sec, wrong cue card...

I know that there have been a few discussions on the server this past week regarding things like whether one should use the double magic artifact on a vorpal shock, or whether one should use the triple. Well, I figured, being the engineer with the math background, I would pose the question and answer it mathematically, especially after 320 noted the following in a different thread, in reply to one of my replies:

320 wrote:

Not to threadjack, but as Bot pointed out awhile back, a vorp 20 doesn't have a 10% chance to instagib, as it might appear on the surface:

Vorp 10 = 5% to instagib
Vorp 11 = 6%
12 =7%
13 =8%

So vorp 20 will vorp, on average, every 6.66 shots. Vorp 22 will vorp every 5.88 shots. Vorp 22 is like hitting three 7s on a slot machine.


So, we know that a vorp 22 weapon will, if the <self-censored> PRNG (pseudo-random number generator) is working like they are supposed to, produce the wonderful bang of a insta-gib and the resulting death 17% of the time. Or as 320 said, every 5.88 shots. I know it certainly does not work that way for me, as there have been some maps where I have done a couple of hundred shots without getting a single vorpal, and then there are times that it seems like every other shot is one. Of course, this is why people can get their PhD on PRNGs, work for the goverment, and basically tell their bosses how much more they should be paid than their boss gets. But, I digress. Let us say we have a titan with 900hp. If I use a vorpal shock 10, it does 45hp base damage with another 45hp from the +10, for a total of 90hp. If I use the double magic modifier, the damage goes up to 45+90=135hp, meaning that it would take me 6.6 shots with no vorpal, damage bonus or damage reduction. Now, I could potentially be doing 80% more damage, and the titan could have upto 50% damage reduction, so this could be as low as 3.7 shots, or as high as 7.4. Either way, if things are working the way they should, I **might** get a vorpal about as frequently as I would normally be killing the titan.

yea, I know I am also ignoring things like wave difficulty...but hey, you get the idea. And besides, how does that and other modifiers factor in to a monsters DB and DR?? Either way, I am ignoring it on both possibilites, so it mostly reduces out.

Now, lets go back and look at the triple. Remember that we were doing 90hp before any artifact modification. Well, with the triple, the damage would be 3x this, or 270hp. So now, instead of taking somewhere between 3.7 and 6.6 shots to kill that 900hp monster, I am now taking 3.3 shots before DB/DR, and with them, it goes to somewhere between 1.8 and 3.7 shots. And unlike with the double magic, where you are hoping that you will get a vorpal, this is guarenteed to kill the monster faster, with no unpredictable and unreliable vorpal being counted upon in the mix. Add to this that if the bang is on the first shot, I will only get 1 or 2 xp as opposed to the 16xp.

And one quick thing about this before we leave the vorpal weapons. Only the shock, LG and sniper are vorpals (though things like the mines and deemer can pick up the magic if they activate while you are using a vorpal weapon). And of these, the shock and sometimes the LG will reflect, and can hit you. Now, which would you rather be hit with...a weapon which has a 17% chance of killing you when it vorpals, or one which has only a 6% chance?? If you answered the 17% chance, BZZZZT... Sorry Hans, wrong guess! Would you like to go for Double Jeopardy where the scores can really change?

Now, let's switch to a Rage +10 flak, and look at just the flak grenade (secondary fire), which does 142hp of base damage (the primary does 117 if all the shards hit). The +10 of rage doubles this, for 284hp of total damage. That 900hp titan will drop in 3.2 shots before DB/DR, and between 1.8 and 3.5 with it. Now, if we use the double magic, the resulting +20 rage will cause 426hp of damage, dropping it in 2.1 shots before, or between 1.2 and 2.3 shots after DB/DR. But, if I use the triple, then this changes to 852hp total, and the bug drops in 1.1 shots before, and between .6 and 1.2 shots after DB/DR. The advantage of the triple seems pretty clear. But then there is that self-damage from the rage... you take 10% of the damage, but last I knew, it did not increase when you started using the triple, while with the double magic, it did increase. So, the advantage is once again in favor of the triple.

And let us look at one last thing...the double magic modifier uses 10 adren per second, while the triple uses 7 adren per second. Unless the triple turns off adren gains and the double magic doesn't doesn't, once again the advantage is to the triple.

So, given all the above, I know what I will do given the choice most times...I will opt to be a triple terror...So Go Go Gadget Triple!!!

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LA -- *BEL*_e (level 283 - Extreme AM), LW -- *BEL*_o (level 26) MM - ?? ( *BEL*_Rolaids ?? *BEL*DrWho??, Engineer... *BEL*BS_E_E [BSEE '89, Ohio U] (level 22)

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Wicked Sick!

Joined: 10/11/2005 21:28:38
Messages: 605

The only time I go with the double magic over the triple for a vorpal is with a shock, due to its rate of fire. I get a lot of pops.

A few things, though. Damage Reduction is not capped for monsters as it is for players. So their DR is often much higher than you mentioned. My own experience is that a vorp shock 11 with triple will take 5 - 6 shots. I'll count the next time I luck out with one though.

However, I also like to use double magic with a poison 5 (poison 10).

Shantara mentioned that this equation, which I got from Kohan and posted in the strat thread, is not correct:

So if you plug in for +10, you get:

1.3^(10-1)*.05 = .53

So poison 10 does 53% dmg per tick.

Against a Titan, a +10 would do this:

Tick 1: 900 > 423
Tick 2: 423 > 224.19
Tick 3 224 > 118.72
Tick 4 118.72 > 62  

That math is wrong on my part as well because I didn't include the base weapon dmg. Be that as it may, I can say from experience that poison 10 is very powerful regardless. With a poison 10 shock, one shot would take a titan into the red and it takes a single shot from any flak to finish it after the poison does it's thing. On a crowded map, this won't help too much since everything goes down in two seconds. But when there are fewer players it's very useful.

I did an experiment today where I had Bot heal me to 450. I then doubled a poison 10 shock and shot myself with it. I went from 450 to about 50 when it was done. I have Cautioness 1, and I'm not sure if that factors into the poison dmg (don't think it does), and then of course, there's the weapon's base dmg. All in all, it comes down to ~50% dmg per tick.

Wicked Sick!
Joined: 02/20/2006 15:59:35
Messages: 713

Is damage reduction a number or a percentage of damage?

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Wicked Sick!

Joined: 10/11/2005 21:28:38
Messages: 605

Well, I got off the beaten path. I wanted to crunch the numbers to find out exactly what the vorp would do but then my mind started wandering.

Generally speaking, DR for monsters and DB for players typically balance out at around wave 9. I think someone figured this out awhile back.

At any rate:

Damage Done: Weapon base Damage w/magic bonuses * (1 + ('player damage bonus'- 'monster damage reduction')/200))

Monster Level = (min player level/4)+(2*wave number)

(Thanks to Szlat for the formulas).

So if the min player is level 5 on wave 16, then monsters are 5/4 + 2(16) = 33. Level*7 tells you how many stat points the monster gets. In this case, 231. Monsters spend half their points in DR and the other half in DB. So to determine DR is .5*231 = 115.5. So the monster has 115.5 points in DR.

If the lowest player is 20, then

20/4 + 2*16 = Level 37, therefore DR = 129.5

If the lowest is level 50, then

50/4 + 2*16 = 44.5 *7= 311.5, DR= 155.75

And then a really bad scenario happens around level 190:

190/4 + 2*16 = 82, DR= 278.25

If we plug this into the damage equation above for a plain flak, we get:

flak base dmg*(1 + ('player damage bonus'- 'monster damage reduction')/200))

110 * (1+(80-278.25)/200)) = .9625

If you are the last person on wave 16 at level 190+ and you are using a flak cannon, you're doing about 1 hit point of dmg per shot. So a totally healthy titan would take 900 shots.

Even at level 150, in the same scenario, you're doing about 18% normal dmg and you have to consider other options. Roughly speaking, you'd need to shoot a titan about 40 times to kill it.

I believe all deemers and painters ignore DR and DB, but I'm not sure. But if that's true, that would be good in this scenario.

A piercing is obviously the key weapon. The next best would be poison. Third best would probably be the mini (any mini) because of its rate of fire.

Your other (and more likely) option is to run away. A freezing or null distance weapon would be handy for this.


Wicked Sick!

Joined: 10/11/2005 21:28:38
Messages: 605

Grizzled_Imposter wrote:
Is damage reduction a number or a percentage of damage? 

It's better to think of it as a number, I think. At some point, monster DR will exceed 200, so if you think of it in percent, you just hit 100% and it doesn't really make sense anymore.

If you look at the damage equation in the previous post, you subtract monster DR from the player's DB. If you plug in some numbers for that equation, it becomes more clear.

Wicked Sick!

Joined: 05/18/2005 18:32:41
Messages: 2124
Location: UK

I think 320 had the best idea in this thread

Use both. Have a tripled vorpal +22

Wicked Sick!

Joined: 10/11/2005 21:28:38
Messages: 605

Szlat wrote:
I think 320 had the best idea in this thread

Use both. Have a tripled vorpal +22  

Here's a demo with bio rage 22 goo gun with triple damage. Not exactly my finest hour but I don't expect to come across another one of these anytime soon.
 Filename bio.demo4 [Disk] Download
 Filesize 1173 Kbytes
 Downloaded:  80 time(s)


Joined: 08/26/2006 03:23:48
Messages: 8

How about the vorpal shield gun???
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Wicked Sick!

Joined: 01/13/2006 15:23:41
Messages: 1239
Location: Florida

FYI, with Vorpal and Rage, you can't Triple them any more. DMM on the Vorpal is worth it on large maps and the titan waves (BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!) unless you're looking for XP - then you shouldn't be using the Vorpal too much (you only get the 1 xp for the kill and any streak XP when you vorp - the xp you might get for damage is not given at this time - Dru, does that need to be fixed or have you decided that's the design?).

A Rage flak is actually a good friend to the AM with his (or her) Globe (I've never bothered to DMM it). I think at least two of three of my AM's most recent personal bests were done with a Rage Flak, and I didn't die until 16.

Not that dying's all *that* bad when you have Denial 3 ...

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