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Quantifying Alpha Strike: A primer

Author
Liang Nuren
No Salvation
#21 - 2012-01-06 00:26:17 UTC  |  Edited by: Liang Nuren
Petrus Blackshell wrote:
Liang Nuren wrote:
Petrus Blackshell wrote:
Infographic for Kahega's post because I think he sucks at explaining things. It also looks like more common sense to those not math-oriented.


Its even easier if you use a line chart with time across the bottom and "total damage dealt" as the vertical axis.

-Liang


Here you go.


Thanks! Everyone should look at this graph - it perfectly explains why when two ships can apply the same total DPS that the higher the volley the better. As to Aamrr's point, missiles look flat at zero until they spike up. Then again, missiles don't exactly have fail DPS when considered at range and thus if you can keep up the missile spewage you will generally run way ahead with damage.

-Liang

Ed: ALSO, missiles lose damage when your target dies. This is very real, and a much stronger phenomenon than the "overstrike" problem high volley Direct Damage (turrets) have.

I'm an idiot, don't mind me.

Kahega Amielden
Rifterlings
#22 - 2012-01-06 00:31:40 UTC
**** you people and your graphs
*grudgingly links it in the OP*
Cambarus
Aliastra
Gallente Federation
#23 - 2012-01-06 00:38:53 UTC
The only problem I have with the OP is that he lines the alpha damage up with the EHP perfectly. Let's say for example that the target in the OP has 410 HP instead of 400:

The first target dies in 5 volleys from the higher alpha ship, taking 40 seconds (5 volleys - the first freebie)
The lower alpha ship also takes 40 seconds. (41 volleys - the first freebie)

Right away you can see the problem. Under the right circumstances this advantage of the high alpha ship is gone even as the first target dies.

Then they engage the second target, and without the frontloaded alpha being factored in (since each ship must wait until the end of its last cycle to get the first shot off) the times are 5 volleys and 41 volleys, taking 50 seconds and 41 seconds each.

So killing 2 ships takes ship A 90 seconds, and ship B 81seconds, and the difference only gets bigger with each additional target.

Liang touched on this earlier, but IMO if you're looking into quantifying just how good higher alpha is (which is absurd btw, ignoring other aspects of turrets entirely to focus on one stat, ignoring WHY said stat is even important in the process etc. ) you can't just look at scenarios that favour the higher alpha ships while ignoring their inherent flaw.


Not commenting on game balance with that btw (the biggest problem with long range turret balance is probing, not alpha or any of that crap), just pointing out the flaw in the OPs reasoning.
Petrus Blackshell
Rifterlings
#24 - 2012-01-06 00:39:09 UTC
Kahega Amielden wrote:
**** you people and your graphs
*grudgingly links it in the OP*


You're just mad that I can explain with a small graph what you need a wall of text to explain.

Accidentally The Whole Frigate - For-newbies blog (currently on pause)

Kahega Amielden
Rifterlings
#25 - 2012-01-06 00:42:59 UTC
Petrus Blackshell wrote:
Kahega Amielden wrote:
**** you people and your graphs
*grudgingly links it in the OP*


You're just mad that I can explain with a small graph what you need a wall of text to explain.


Your graph does not explain how one can quantitatively determine how effective alpha is, which, per the third sentence in my post,

Quote:
However, no one ever speaks about alpha damage quantitatively,...


is the point. The graph is helpful but the idea expressed there isn't really why I made this post.
Metal Icarus
Star Frontiers
Brotherhood of Spacers
#26 - 2012-01-06 00:56:05 UTC  |  Edited by: Metal Icarus
Petrus Blackshell
[url=http://i.imgur.com/NvtEG.png wrote:
Here you go[/url].


Is there even a problem?

Are equal DPS ships supposed to finish killing their targets at the same time?

If they are, is there problem?
Petrus Blackshell
Rifterlings
#27 - 2012-01-06 00:59:01 UTC
Metal Icarus wrote:
Petrus Blackshell
[url=http://i.imgur.com/NvtEG.png wrote:
Here you go[/url].


Is there even a problem?

Are equal DPS ships supposed to finish killing their targets at the same time?

If they are, is there problem?


Nope, it's not a problem. This is just an informative discussion about the common misconception that equal DPS ships will take the same amount of time to kill a target.

Accidentally The Whole Frigate - For-newbies blog (currently on pause)

Vaurion Infara
Doomheim
#28 - 2012-01-06 03:50:59 UTC
Liang, is there some sort of reward that I'm unaware of, for self-importantly commenting on every single thread on the forum? When do you actually play Eve? Long time admirer, first time caller-outer.

this is it

Liang Nuren
No Salvation
#29 - 2012-01-06 04:57:46 UTC  |  Edited by: Liang Nuren
Vaurion Infara wrote:
Liang, is there some sort of reward that I'm unaware of, for self-importantly commenting on every single thread on the forum? When do you actually play Eve? Long time admirer, first time caller-outer.


According to my sig:
"""
Normally on 5:00 -> 9-10:00 Eve (Aus TZ?)
Blog: http://liangnuren.wordpress.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LiangNuren
"""

It seems that I should probably update that to say 6:00 Eve time because my wife has changed her schedule and I'm no longer able to log on so early. Also, I ignore the overwhelming majority of threads these days.

-Liang

Ed: My time in Heretic Army says I probably log in around 5:30-6 Eve and stay online until 10:30-11:00 Eve. On days I log in. I'll be logging in here in a little while when my wife goes to bed.

I'm an idiot, don't mind me.

L'Petit Object
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#30 - 2012-01-06 07:45:00 UTC
To sum up:

-High Alpha, when high alpha attacks first in optimal conditions contributes to much higher dps in short fights. Up to double the DPS in a two salvo fight.

-High Alpha, when the target has barely more hit points than the next stepping stone in the alpha (wholely unpredictable), becomes less efficient,by having to wait a full cycle to do as little as 1 more damage. (oh, nevermind, my drone popped him, thanks drones).

-Low Alpha, High DPS, when the high alpha attacks first under unfavorable conditions (bad tracking, out of optimal, etc) Loses relatively little DPS so long as it it can soon thereafter obtain optimal conditons.

- Low Alpha, High DPS, does badly in FAST fights (fast destruction of individual ships). But in long fights the advantage as x(time) approaches infinity y (damage advantage) approaches zero. (Graph that biatzes)

- Missiles at long range suck at actual DPS.

- Long range missiles suck at PVP. EXCEPT Off grid FOF (is that still possible?)


There is one dominant school of thought for PVP in eve. 'Count on the best possible circumstances when planning combat. Do not engage until those circumstances have been achieved.' High Alpha, High DPS, mono-weapon ships are the king of this. An arty ship, despite looking like a jagged hunk of rust, is a very specialized piece of equipement. Once you get into the sloppiness of practice, then you start needing tracking computers and webifiers and all kinds of **** that makes EFT numbers look so much worse.

Naomi Knight
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#31 - 2012-01-06 10:11:26 UTC
To sum it up: 10% more dps doesnt justify 150% alpha :P especially as that alpha is cap free

boost rails^^

oh and yep long range missiles dps is rly low due to not insta dmg, and you have that delay with each new target as you cant rly predict how much volley is needed to finish them off so you have to keep firing and you loose some missile cycles as target will blow up (hopefully) and the missiles in flight just goes into the void :( ,they should relock to the next target imho

fix missile sniping^^
Heun zero
MAYHEM BOYZ
#32 - 2012-01-06 10:43:28 UTC
Liang Nuren wrote:
- they say a picture is worth a thousand words and its true in this case. :)

-Liang



In this case the picture is worth more then 650 words....
Steve Ronuken
Fuzzwork Enterprises
Vote Steve Ronuken for CSM
#33 - 2012-01-06 10:51:52 UTC
Then there's alpha vs passive shield recharge. As it's not a linear curve, Alpha's more likely to skip the peak recharge and knock it down the steep slope towards 0 shields.

Woo! CSM XI!

Fuzzwork Enterprises

Twitter: @fuzzysteve on Twitter

Takeshi Yamato
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#34 - 2012-01-06 11:32:56 UTC  |  Edited by: Takeshi Yamato
Cambarus wrote:
The only problem I have with the OP is that he lines the alpha damage up with the EHP perfectly. Let's say for example that the target in the OP has 410 HP instead of 400:

The first target dies in 5 volleys from the higher alpha ship, taking 40 seconds (5 volleys - the first freebie)
The lower alpha ship also takes 40 seconds. (41 volleys - the first freebie)


Let's compare it across 400 + 10 * n hitpoints, where n starts at 1 and increases up to 10.

Time to kill for high alpha vs low alpha weapon:

410 hitpoints
High alpha: 40 seconds
Low alpha: 40 seconds

420 hitpoints
High alpha: 40 seconds
Low alpha: 41 seconds

430 hitpoints
High alpha: 40 seconds
Low alpha: 42 seconds

440 hitpoints
High alpha: 40 seconds
Low alpha: 43 seconds

...

500 hitpoints
High alpha: 40 seconds
Low alpha: 49 seconds

At this point it's pretty clear what happens and we don't need to do full analysis. The high alpha weapon is better in 9 out of 10 cases and equal in 1 out of 10. We can already see this in the graph in the OP:
http://i.imgur.com/NvtEG.png
Tarunik Raqalth'Qui
Native Freshfood
Minmatar Republic
#35 - 2012-01-06 15:00:48 UTC
Steve Ronuken wrote:
Then there's alpha vs passive shield recharge. As it's not a linear curve, Alpha's more likely to skip the peak recharge and knock it down the steep slope towards 0 shields.

Agreed, the ability to "punch through" the peak recharge point is rather important for Stealth Bomber pilots taking down passive tanked opponents (say, a SNI). It's also another nail in the coffin for shield rechargers (with respect to fitting a shield extender or resist mod instead).
Dan Osiris
Never Not Contract
#36 - 2012-01-06 15:21:27 UTC
looks great on paper. if an artillery shot misses however, the damage per ten seconds - assuming it takes 10 seconds each shot - is already halved, and thats also assuming that the next shot hits.
while if an A/C misses, and assuming it takes one shot each second, it is only losing 10% of its of the damage per 10 seconds each time it misses.

by this logic, i think acs are the better choice in prolonged fights because a/cs have more chances to hit.
Naomi Knight
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#37 - 2012-01-06 15:33:29 UTC
Dan Osiris wrote:
looks great on paper. if an artillery shot misses however, the damage per ten seconds - assuming it takes 10 seconds each shot - is already halved, and thats also assuming that the next shot hits.
while if an A/C misses, and assuming it takes one shot each second, it is only losing 10% of its of the damage per 10 seconds each time it misses.

by this logic, i think acs are the better choice in prolonged fights because a/cs have more chances to hit.

by this logic if you have 10% chance to hit and you hit target with the first volley , you are far better of with the arty
Petrus Blackshell
Rifterlings
#38 - 2012-01-06 16:58:39 UTC  |  Edited by: Petrus Blackshell
Naomi Knight wrote:
Dan Osiris wrote:
looks great on paper. if an artillery shot misses however, the damage per ten seconds - assuming it takes 10 seconds each shot - is already halved, and thats also assuming that the next shot hits.
while if an A/C misses, and assuming it takes one shot each second, it is only losing 10% of its of the damage per 10 seconds each time it misses.

by this logic, i think acs are the better choice in prolonged fights because a/cs have more chances to hit.

by this logic if you have 10% chance to hit and you hit target with the first volley , you are far better of with the arty


I think what he means is that you have to ponder more when you fire the first shot with arty, since if you miss, it hurts you that much more. Autocannons and other fast RoF weapons are more dumb-fire. Edit: particularly since arty has terrible tracking.

Accidentally The Whole Frigate - For-newbies blog (currently on pause)

Naomi Knight
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#39 - 2012-01-06 17:03:57 UTC
Petrus Blackshell wrote:
Naomi Knight wrote:
Dan Osiris wrote:
looks great on paper. if an artillery shot misses however, the damage per ten seconds - assuming it takes 10 seconds each shot - is already halved, and thats also assuming that the next shot hits.
while if an A/C misses, and assuming it takes one shot each second, it is only losing 10% of its of the damage per 10 seconds each time it misses.

by this logic, i think acs are the better choice in prolonged fights because a/cs have more chances to hit.

by this logic if you have 10% chance to hit and you hit target with the first volley , you are far better of with the arty


I think what he means is that you have to ponder more when you fire the first shot with arty, since if you miss, it hurts you that much more. Autocannons and other fast RoF weapons are more dumb-fire. Edit: particularly since arty has terrible tracking.

Ok . But still it can give you an advantage too , smaller enemy orbits something far away , you fire your arties when you expect it has the lowest transversal , if you hit you insta popp , but with low alpha you would not insta popp it ,giving it time to disengage etc.
Petrus Blackshell
Rifterlings
#40 - 2012-01-06 17:08:36 UTC
Naomi Knight wrote:
Petrus Blackshell wrote:
Naomi Knight wrote:
Dan Osiris wrote:
looks great on paper. if an artillery shot misses however, the damage per ten seconds - assuming it takes 10 seconds each shot - is already halved, and thats also assuming that the next shot hits.
while if an A/C misses, and assuming it takes one shot each second, it is only losing 10% of its of the damage per 10 seconds each time it misses.

by this logic, i think acs are the better choice in prolonged fights because a/cs have more chances to hit.

by this logic if you have 10% chance to hit and you hit target with the first volley , you are far better of with the arty


I think what he means is that you have to ponder more when you fire the first shot with arty, since if you miss, it hurts you that much more. Autocannons and other fast RoF weapons are more dumb-fire. Edit: particularly since arty has terrible tracking.

Ok . But still it can give you an advantage too , smaller enemy orbits something far away , you fire your arties when you expect it has the lowest transversal , if you hit you insta popp , but with low alpha you would not insta popp it ,giving it time to disengage etc.


Yep. Arty remains king for suicide ganks and other sudden killing endeavors. Nobody disputed that.

Accidentally The Whole Frigate - For-newbies blog (currently on pause)

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