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Nanoweave Armor:
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Planetside 2 Weapon Analysis Tool - v0.61

How to use

Choose a target class and equipment (Kinetic Armor for MAX suits, Nanoweave Armor for everything else) then select one or more guns (highlight the weapon name then press Add, or just double-click) to generate the selected graph type (damage, DPM, DPS, or time to kill) as a function of distance.

You can filter the weapon list by choosing empire and/or weapon type. Mouse over a chosen weapon at the left to bring its line to the forefront.

As of v0.6 you may choose Simple TTK as a graph type. This is a simplistic model of the minimum time to kill from the moment you start firing a weapon, assuming the weapon is automatic and your accuracy rate is as indicated. Some parameters to this graph type must be chosen by you, using the sliders provided when Simple TTK is chosen as the graph type. This model calculates time to kill as a function of multiple factors: the distance (D) and shooter's skill (S); the target's health (H) and damage reduction (DR); the weapon's single bullet damage (M), projectile velocity (V), refire time (R), long reload (LR), and clip size (C):

BTK = ⌈H / ((M ⨯ (1 - DR)) ⨯ S)⌉
CTK = BTK / C;
TTK = (D / V) ⨯ ⌈CTK⌉ + ((BTK - ⌈CTK⌉) ⨯ R) + (⌊CTK⌋ ⨯ LR)

Shooter's skill is configurable using the provided slider; typical values are in the neighborhood of 10-30%. You might consider looking up your own actual accuracy stats, but if you tend to fire a lot of rounds at nothing when killing time, these may not be as high as they should be. Since the adjustment to projectile velocity for high velocity and soft point ammunition types is not known, you may select a desired value to use. In practice these projectile velocity adjustments have little effect on TTK.

As of v0.2 you may choose ideal damage/sec as an alternate graph type, which is just the ROF times the damage divided by 60 (because ROF is in rounds per minute). Ideal DPS bears little relation to actual DPS. It's the steady state damage output of the gun if you never miss and have an infinite magazine.

For damage graphs, the Y axis is labeled with the 'knee points' where the number of hits needed to kill the target change: a value like 167 [6] means that 6 hits at 167 damage each will deal 1002 damage, which will (just barely) kill a standard infantry soldier. All damage values between grid lines have the same BTK as the lower gridline -- that is, a grid line represents the minimum damage required to achieve the BTK number indicated.

A weapon is missing!

If the source data doesn't contain a minimum damage for a weapon then it can't be reliably graphed, because you need two points to determine a line. If you want to help me do some in-game testing to rectify that, drop me a line.

Damage Model

The data used to generate the charts is Janitor's spreadsheet. The source data is a combination of game file analysis and in-game testing. Not all game mechanics are 100% understood, but this model uses the following parameters:

  1. Weapons have a max damage and a min damage with accompanying range for each, and weapon damage decreases linearly according to the range between those two endpoints. For example, the TRAC-5 decreases from 143 at 10m to 112 at 65m.
  2. All classes have 500 health and 500 shields, except for Infiltrators which have only 400 shields and MAXes which have 2000 health and no shields. Nanoweave armor increases the wearer's health by 10/12.5/15/20/25%. For Heavy Assault classes, according to Megawatt's spreadsheet1, Nanite Mesh Generator and Adrenaline Shield provide 50 points per bar while Resist Shield provides 45% damage reduction. This model assumes 700 additional health2 for NMG/Adrenaline, and 45% DR for Resist.
  3. MAX suits have a baseline small arms damage reduction of 80%. Each level of Kinetic armor increases this resistance by 1%.
  4. Soft Point Ammunition increases the range of the maximal weapon damage by 5m. It also reduces the bullet velocity (by an unknown amount) but this effect does not change the model output. This has not yet been extensively tested in-game.
  5. High Velocity Ammunition increases the range at which minimal weapon damage is reached by 10m. It also increases both projectile velocity and vertical recoil, but neither of these affects the current damage model.
  6. ESFs have 2500 health and a 80% small arms damage reduction rate, according to my in-game testing3. Composite Armor raises this rate by 4/6/8/10%.
  7. Flashes have 7500 health and 0% small arms damage reduction. Composite armor adds 20/30/40/50% damage reduction.
There is more to weapon effectiveness than damage! All kinds of things factor into the usefulness of each weapon in Planetside 2, not just the damage it deals. Most weapons are in some sense sidegrades to the starter weapon of their type, meaning the variation is never night-and-day. No one weapon is best for every situation. Each weapon will be slightly more or less suited to different situations, and the combination of attachments used will further adapt it to a particular niche. Beyond damage dealt, you should factor in ROF, recoil, COF and attachments when deciding which weapons you would like to spend your SC or certs on.

Help! It doesn't work!

This tool uses d3.js, which requires a modern browser to work properly. Don't use Internet Explorer 8 or below. I like Chrome, so that's what I primarily test in, but Firefox/Safari/Opera/IE9 should all work too. If you encounter an error with one of these, please contact me (contact info below).

Who's responsible for this?

[DRev] axiom80 - Axiom808 @ Waterson. Message me on Enjin (<--first link) or the Planetside 2 forums if you have some questions, fixes or suggestions.

Possible Changes/Additions to Come


1 See also the accompanying thread. Megawatt's testing is from December 2012. If you know of more recent test data, please share.
2 Assumes 1 bar lost due to activation. A case can be made for assuming 2-3 bars lost (thus 650 or 600 additional health) due to the NMG 'ticking away' but the estimate used here is closer to a worst-case scenario.
3 Why yes, I'll show my work! This analysis has changed since VR training became available in GU04.

A plain ESF can take 12,500 points of small arms damage: 88 shots from a TR LC2 Lynx kills a Mosquito (88 x 143 = 12584); 63 shots from a NC6 Gauss Saw kills a Reaver (63 x 200 = 12,600); 88 shots from a VS Serpent kills a Scythe (same as TR). This is effective health, which is some combination of actual health and damage reduction. If H is the real health of a target, and R its base damage reduction, then we have:

H = 12500 x (1 - R)

I did several tests in VR Training to determine the value for R, using mostly Mosquitos with fast-ROF TR carbines and LMGs dealing 143 damage at 10m and closer. Fast-firing weapons are best because they reduce the amount of damage dealt to the ESF from fire, which skews calculation the more it burns. Roughly speaking, you can fire twice as many rounds into a Level 4 armor ESF as an unarmored ESF to reach the same point in its health display, whether that point is blinking, red or dead. This strongly suggests that the baseline damage reduction is 80% (because 90% DR with Level 4 composite armor would essentially halve all damage dealt, which explains needing twice the number of shots).

The 'blink point' (approximately 40% health gone) is reached at 37 shots to an unarmored ESF and 74 with Level 4 composite armor. Using the formula above we can solve for R:

37 ⨯ 143 ⨯ (1 - R) =~ H =~ 74 ⨯ 143 ⨯ (1 - (R + 0.1))
1 - R =~ 2 ⨯ (0.9 - R)
R =~ 0.8

Again, R seems to be 0.8. Similarly, 88 rounds to an unarmored ESF is the largest number of 143-damage rounds I could fire before the ESF was dead. If R=0.8 that gives:

88 ⨯ 143 ⨯ 0.2 = 2516.8

This suggests the health of an ESF is likely 2500 points. That jibes with the behavior of dumbfire rockets if we assign ESF damage reduction against such rockets to be -45%:

1700 ⨯ 1.45 = 2465

Nearly enough to kill an ESF, and fire will do the rest shortly after a rocket strike. In-game testing shows that two 143-damage rounds (effectively 57.2 damage after reduction) followed by a dumbfire rocket results in instant ESF death (rather than fire causing the death), which supports the hypothesis that ESFs have 2500 health.