Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Proven in the field

So, a week or so back, I argued that Titan tracking against much smaller targets is broken.  This is one of those things that I say that -- despite being controversial -- I really believe.  It's not a troll.  It's my opinion, which I believe we've seen proven in the field.

Oh man, was I called all sorts of names.  People came out of the woodwork to tell me I was full of shit on that one.  Some of them were Titan pilots today.  Others no doubt hope to be Titan pilots soon themselves, and get some of these impossible kills.  And most of all, I was told that the people these kills were against were just flying stupidly.  I was told this repeatedly.  Titan tracking is fine.  People just drove right up into those Titan guns to die.  Of course that's what happened.

One of the chief dissenters was LtCol Laurentius (formerly from Agony Unleashed).  This is a guy that I have a ton of respect for, for a lot of reasons.  Laurentius's argument was the same, but for a bit different reason from everyone else's:
@RipardTeg Btw Jester, your math on the tracking of Titans is way off. You forgot to factor in the guns signature resolution. #tweetfleet
I replied:
@LtColLaurentius Large guns against small targets do much better in the field than your calcs say they should. #tweetfleet
and his response, reasonably enough, was:
@RipardTeg I'd be glad to see a shred of evidence supporting that claim tbh. Because all you have got right now are killmails.
Fine.  Challenge accepted.

One of the fleets that Rote Kapelle likes a lot are arty Tornado fleets.  These are Tornados fit with 1400mm guns, plus a bit of tracking: a single Tracking Enhancer II and a single Tracking Computer II.  Under normal circumstances, Rote uses twelve or so of these ships at between 35 and 40km to alpha our targets to scrap.  There's not a lot of finesse involved and our ability to kill frigate-size targets with these ships is minimal or non-existent.  Standard tracking is 0.012 rads/second.  So, frigate-hunting is part of the support for this fleet, not the main body.

But I decided to do a Kirk and change the conditions of the test.  Laurentius and the other critics of my Titan post say that if a pilot is flying smartly, then all the tracking in the world shouldn't matter.  I shouldn't be able to hit, say, a fast-moving inty in this Tornado no matter what I do.  And even if I hit him, I shouldn't be able to hurt him.  Well, let's find out.  Thanks to some adjustments to the standard Tornado fit, a supply of faction Depleted Uranium ammo, and a highly illegal-in-Empire Drop booster, I increased the tracking of my Tornado by about three-fold, to 0.036.

Now all I needed was a suitable target during our next Tornado roam.  But even if one appeared, a lot of my critics say that I shouldn't be able to hit him unless he flies dumb.  Laurentius says that even the target flies smart and I somehow hit him, I won't do significant damage because my gun's signature is 400m.

Hey, Laurentius and everyone else?  Here's your shredded evidence:

For the record, Billy Colorado is one of Agony's finest nano pilots.  The irony here is bigger than a Titan.  I didn't expect to have the chance to prove my theory against an experienced Agony pilot, but sure.  I loaded up my tracking ammo, injected the Drop, and took aim.  This guy knows more about using speed and transversal to avoid damage than I will ever learn.  He was moving against our fleet exactly as he should have.  Anyone want to claim he was flying dumb?  Check out every other ship in our fleet using large guns missing him by a mile.

Check me out, hitting him not once, but with all three of my gun groups, including the shot for the kill mail.

Laurentius's response, when I showed him this kill mail?
@RipardTeg Aww this is just wrong man. There is NO way you should be able to hit a ceptor with BS guns :) The game is broken i tell you.
The game is broken in this regard?  Really?  Seems to me, I remember saying that.  Thank you for agreeing.  ;-)


  1. A lot of people don't seem to understand that there is a gulf of difference between "possible" and "probable".

    "To hit" and "damage quality" are percentage based expressions: your chance to hit is never actually 0 until rounded to an integer. Your damage is never actually 0 until rounded to an integer.

    1. OK, but what does that mean in this case?

    2. The formulas that players think are used, aren't the ones actually used: they are merely "best approximations" given some study of sensible situations (i.e.: I don't think anyone tried shooting an interceptor with battleship weapons because that was an absurd situation according to the preconceptions of the people reverse engineering the tracking and damage equations)

      The "hit chance" equation is just that: hit chance.

      Three lucky strikes against an interceptor is possible even if not highly probable.

    3. It means you do, in fact take damage. And in most cases, a lot.

      So glad you are blogging on this. I have been saying this since the speed changes. This game is so broken in favor of large ships right now because of unlimited drone space, turret tracking, and poor scaling on EWAR and Neuting.

      Hope some devs read this blog and see the light.

    4. First, even the best interceptor pilot has to approach you somehow. At any range, an approach will reduce the angular velocity. If the pilot is hoping for a rapid approach to get to you "between cycles", their angular velocity will be drastically reduced, making them far easier to hit. You know that.

      Second, random numbers are random. They don't form patterns, so if you have a 10% hit chance, you won't see one hit every ten shots. You know this.

      Third, random numbers are random. Getting three shots in a row when your hit chance is 5% is not statistically significant. You should know this, but I wonder if you are aware of just how unusual it is to get three shots in a row when the hit probability is in single digits?

      Fourth, given the damage output by artillery (very high salvo damage) even glancing blows will cause significant damage. Three hits for less than 400 damage is not really that exciting, and while it certainly makes for good coffee table conversation, it doesn't mean that the maths of the game is broken.

      So my Oracle vs Merlin test has been running for a while. The Merlin has an angular velocity around the Oracle of 0.04086 rad/s at 10km, sig radius of 54m (thank you, PWNAGE). The Oracle has a tracking speed of 0.061552 with Mega Pulse Laser IIs. The Oracle has not scored a single hit in several hundred rounds. This is expected.

      Send the Merlin out to 20km, the angular velocity drops to 0.02068, I score a few hits. A few too many as it turns out, and my Merlin pops. Oops. 4/27 shots hit the target, and all were "barely scratches" for 500-700 damage. That I got 4 hits out of 27 shots means I got about 15% hit rate, with a confidence interval of about 28%. That roughly means that the error bars on that 15% hit rate are 14% either direction, so 4/27 is a reasonable number of hits for a hit chance of anywhere from 1% to 29%.

      Next time I'll use Radio instead of Multifrequency, and single turrets instead of a group ;)

      There is a significant difference between the semantics of possible and probable. Just because you don't think it's likely that a tornado would be able to score glancing blows on an interceptor doesn't mean that it's impossible. Also, just because something is highly improbable doesn't mean that 3 shots in a row is impossible.

      Whatever format EVE Online uses on the server for calculating hits, even a very small chance is still not zero until it gets too small to be represented by the particular Real number representation being used (e.g.: binary coded decimal, single precision float, or double precision float).

      So repeat your experiment a thousand more times. When you have done so, you'll have a collection of killmails that will provide a confidence interval of about 95%. Of course you will also need to be recording the angular velocity at the time of each shot, otherwise the sample is useless.

      Just remember: random numbers are random. Statistics is the study of large populations. One sample is not sufficient to make a case in this argument.

      PS: "glancing blows" from large and extra large weapons still produce a significant amount of damage as far as frigate hulls are concerned.

      PPS: none of this changes my opinion that XL weapons should have significantly larger sig resolutions: not quite an order of magnitude, but at least double or triple the current resolutions. This will reduce damage vs smaller targets by an order of magnitude.

      PPPS: http://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/Turret_damage is a good read for everyone interested in this matter.

      PPPPS: I would suggest that (X/Y)^2 is not the same as (X^2)/(Y^2). Thus changing the turret damage formula from (Sig Resolution / Sig Radius)^2 to (Sig Resolution^2)/(Sig Radius^2) would drastically change the balance of combat in EVE Online.

    5. Oh, and did I mention that 1 killmail is not enough to establish your case that "this is broken"? There is not enough information in, "this guy was a really good interceptor pilot" to determine such essential data as angular velocity.

      I'll take angular velocity to one significant digit as a much more useful indicator of the combat parameters than, this guy was a really good interceptor pilot from a really important internet spaceship guild.

      Statistics is not a popularity contest.

    6. hes probably implying that you can never prove your claim because everything is possible. even if you shoot 20 intys out of the sky with bs guns they (titan pilots and others who disagree) can always say that there ofc is a chance for that, no matter how bad the tracking, so its still no "prove"...

      just to be clear, i agree with you jester. just wanted to say what i think he is implying

    7. Yeah, but when that's working as intended, you get hits for one, two, and three damage.

      I still remember the days before the huge nano nerf, sitting in Tama in my awesome Drake as gangs of ridiculously fast ships would dip in and out of our range, orbiting endlessly out where they were safe and waiting for a chance to cull someone from the herd. (There was this dipping kite thing they did with some sort of fast drone boat that I never understood but it was trollishly effective against idiots, of which we had great supply.) The part of this memory that's relevant here? I'd lock up one of these superfast ships orbiting superfast and spam missles at them, and if one of the guys changed his orbit or something so that my missiles could actually catch him, my entire flight would connect ... for 1 dmg. Or 2 dmg. Or 3 dmg.

      The situations are not comparable, but the rounding math is. An "almost nothing" strike should round to single-digit damage, not "ooops, pop!"

    8. That you got a lucky hit in.

      It would be interesting to see some more data on this, since it is hard to draw any conclusions from a sample size of 1.

      1-on-1 I'd be very surprised if you could take out an interceptor (properly flown ofc) with a tornado but over enough time (or attempts or whatever) I *would* expect that you could hit and damage it a little.

  2. RoemyScheider on failheap loves making dps vs range graphs. Hit him up for one.

    1. DPS vs range is not the issue here, the issue is hit chance, with applied damage per shot being a separate issue.

      DPS vs range smooths out the lucky shots. If you have a ~1% chance to hit, it will always be wrecking shots that hit, thus your minimum DPS will reflect a 3% chance to hit.

  3. Well I agree with you jester tracking can really help out a ship even with the way resolution is suppose to work. On my megathron I use two tracking comps with tracking scripts. That allows me to move my megathron anyway I want it to and still hit cruisers.

    If I remove one tracking comp for a sebo, I usually have to align with a cruiser for my megathron to hit.

    Forgot to mention this is for lvl 4 missions.

  4. The sig res of gun vs the sig of a ship is the % of damage the ship takes(as it has been explained to me). So when you have titans doing 100k+ volleys they are still doing around 1k volleys to MWDing ceptors and more to any other MWDing frig(cause everyone uses MWDs in null, or so I'm told).

  5. Anyone who says Titan tracking is fine either fly one, plan to fly one, or have never faced a Titan fully tracking-fit with boosters et al. Simple as that.
    Titans don't need tracking. They should only be aiming at ships that are challenged to outpace an ice 'roid and have an equivalent footprint.

    1. Here's a hypothetical for you: a salvo from titan guns might be capable of, say 10k damage. They have a resolution of 1000m (far too small for such large guns). Your target is 100m (interceptor using MWD and hoping that the Titan will just keep missing). The titan scores a hit with a 1% chance to hit (i.e.: rolls 1% on the dice).

      The damage is mitigated by the size of the target: (100/1000)^2 is the ratio of surface area of the gun's scatter versus the surface area of the target, so you'd expect about 1/100th of the effective damage to be applied, which is about 100HP. However the hit chance was so small that only wrecking shots will actually hit (because if you roll 1%, that's a wrecking hit, and since the hit chance is 1%, all shots that hit will automatically be wrecking shots), so the damage actually applied is 300HP.

      IMHO the critical hit chance should be a portion of the total hit chance, not a fixed percentage. This should be impacted by the Surgical Strike skill (which should not impact DPS directly). Thus, for example, critical and wrecking hits might be fixed at 10% and 2% of the potential hits. If your chance to hit is 10%, your chance to get a critical would be 1%, your chance to get a wrecking would be 0.2%.

      At present, there's a simple roll table: 1% is wrecking. Then you draw a line on the roll table to say, 'everything above that line is a miss', and you roll the 1d100. If you roll a 1, not only do you hit, but you get a wrecking shot. Thus every unlikely shot that hits is automatically a critical hit.

      I'd also like to see the sig radius and resolution terms in the hit-chance calculation squared inside that term which is itself squared. This will greatly reduce the chance of large guns hitting smaller targets (and immensely increase the utility of target painters).

  6. The hit formula on eve wiki (http://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/Turret_damage) says that signature resolution vs signature radius differences can be compensated by tracking and the other way around.

    And even then the formula gives you only the chance that a hit will be made and in what quality range that hit can lie.

    Only if you can make that formula return zero as result is it not possible to get a hit.

    So I would say you got lucky with your hits.
    How lucky depends mostly on his angular velocity towards you at the moment of the hit.

    Am I making any sense here?

    1. You are, but Jester is operating from the premise that "big guns should not be able to hit small targets". The game says "big guns have a hard time hitting small targets".

      Jester says the game is broken. I say that when reality doesn't meet expectations, it's usually expectations that have to change. Of course in this case we can change "reality" to increase the impact of sig radius vs sig resolution in the hit-chance and applied damage calculations.

  7. The sig radius thing is a valid point, in that people often forget about it when they claim 'titans have the same tracking as 1400mm arty' or what have you - they don't. Remember though that the difference between BS gun sig and titan gun sig is roughly double, compared to BS vs frigates which is tenfold.

    People also forget that turret damage is not a binary choice between can hit and can't hit, it's a long sliding scale as Mara says and never really reaches zero. When people say that they 'can't hit something', what is usually actually the case is just that most shots are missing, but not all of them.

    When you add to that the huge dps difference between titan weapons and battleship guns, a titan hitting for 1/20th of its damage (a situation which against a BS, would require the BS to be orbiting with maximum transversal at about 6km) the titan's net damage output would still be equivalent to an arty maelstrom hitting for *full* damage. When you add in a second titan at 20-30km (making it impossible to have this kind of transversal against both), the 'not being able to hit well' still translates to a damage output of 6-7k dps for the more distant of the two - still assuming the BS has maximum transversal against both titans at all times, which without careful manual piloting will not be the case.

  8. Solution: make titans vulnurable to tracking disrupters

  9. A DNS fleet was on the receiving end of one of these Titans earlier in the week; it was able to one-shot Black Ops and T3s -- all of whom were reportedly trying to maintain traversal -- with ease. None of the victims were webbed IIRC.

    The only consolation was that the Titan got popped over the weekend, see: http://www.evenews24.com/2012/01/28/prime-intel-black-legion-erebus-down-in-geminate-by-test-alliance/

    The best proposal I've heard so far is adding a "minimum signature" limit to guns; see https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=55493

  10. Some minor parts of that killmail that leap out for no particular reason:

    Zealot (Heavy assault)
    Damage done: 2563 (47.26%)

    Claymore (Command ship)
    Damage done: 488 (9.00%)

    Rapier (Recon ship)
    Damage done: 263 (4.85%)

    1. Missing the point.

      The point was that he SHOULDN'T of hit it at all. And yet he did.

      Not that he killed it, or dealt the most damage. Just that people said he couldn't hit it at all.


    2. "Shouldn't have hit at all" according to Jester's mistaken view of the world. Jester has specifically crafted this story to make it sound much more shocking than it really is. Note that there was absolutely no mention of angular velocity.

      Reshape your statement to "shouldn't have had particularly high DPS against that target" and you'll start to understand what's going on in the situation that Jester described.

    3. What the mail shows is that even under ideal circumstances (gimpy tracking fit, tracking-bonused ammo, drop) with the target quad-webbed and dual-painted by a pair of max-skilled, Claymore-boosted Rapiers, large artillery was barely capable of landing a glancing blow on the target that did an inconsequential amount of damage. That's not broken, that's working as intended.

    4. No, you can't count on that. Killing blow damage is always inaccurate, even quite often showing the killing blow did zero damage. This is particularly true when the killing shot is arty.

    5. I don't doubt that those three shots would have been criticals or wrecking shots. It is more likely that you will get wrecking shots when your hit chance is low, since you have to roll a very low number to hit in the first place, and all low numbers are automatically critical or wrecking.

      That part of the game is broken, for sure, but it's done to reduce the number of calculations required during combat. Rolling separately for critical chance will add an extra random number generation to the combat cycle, which will increase the number of random numbers used by about 50%.

      I think it can be "fixed" by scaling the critical chance to the "window" of to-hit chance. Thus only 1% of all shots that ever hit will be wrecking, as opposed to 1% of all shots ever fired. This only requires a float division as opposed to a random number generation.

      But there is also the issue of the reduction in chance to hit being slower than expected when target size shrinks. At present it is possible to hit a circling interceptor at maximum (non-overheated) warp disruptor range, and since it is not highly probable in the first place, the chances are good that any hit will be a wrecking shot.

      There is also the lack of understanding of the behaviour of trigonometric functions, and how drastically the angular velocity is reduced by simply trying to spiral in towards the target.

      Once we can get people "on the same page" regarding how hit chance is actually calculated, we can start a meaningful dialogue on whether this is in fact "broken" and how CCP might go about "fixing" it.

      I suspect that inverse-square isn't quite sufficient, but inverse-quartic (inverse squared squared) is probably far too much. Note that changes to the to-hit formula should also allow smaller ships to land far more wrecking shots against larger targets, effectively amplifying the DPS of a frigate against a Titan since the smaller ship has much more target to shoot.

      So for example if a smaller ship has a 1000% chance to hit a larger ship, scale the critical scale to that 1000%, then roll the (0,100] random (the brackets mean that the roll can't be zero, but can be 100). The "1% chance for wrecking" will be scaled up to the 10 on the scale (i.e.: if you roll 10 or less, you get a wrecking shot, and note that this isn't 1d100, this is an infinite range (0,100]).

      If the larger ship has a 1% chance to hit the smaller ship, the wrecking shot chance is scaled down to 0.01%, because the 1% crit chance is scaled inside the range (0,1] of the to-hit chance.

      This is one extra division before determining hit quality. That shouldn't be too taxing on dogma.

      Too much maths, it far too early in the morning.

  11. Turret dammage is a factor of tracking and range; so let's do some calculations!
    *The Ares has MWD active with interceptor 5 (sigrad = ~75m).
    *1400mm artillery has a sig of 400m.
    *Your raw tracking is 0.036 rad/s before calculations.
    *Range isn't an issue, the 2nd half of the hitchance calculation is 0 (target is within your optimal).

    The tracking part of the formula has two parts, one that deals with tracking, and one that deals with signature sizes.
    Right off the bat, we can calculate the signature part:
    400/75 = 5.33 (recurring)

    The tracking part requires knowledge of his angle of attack, but if he knows what he is doing and isn't burning straight at you, we can assume he was spiraling in at a 45 degree angle (please correct me if this isn't the case).

    In essence:
    0.5(([Target Angular Velocity]/0.036 * 5.333)^2 + 0)

    I can't calculate his angular velocity without knowing the range and speed at which he was when hit though, but I can give you a figure for what his angular velocity would need to be below to actually let you hit him with a 50% hit probability (on a per turret basis):
    0.00477 rad/s

    Why is this a 50% hit probability?
    Because the dammage calculation for eve compares a random number generated by the server between 0 and 1 with the result of the HitChance calculation above.
    If X > HitChance, it is a miss.
    If X < HitChance, it is a hit.
    Finally, X also determines the quality (eg. dammage multiplier) of a hit; with 0.01 being a 'wrecking' hit.

    My conclusion would be that either he was quite far out, or maybe you just got plain lucky and rolled a couple of low X values serverside (I'm dismissing that he might be burning right at you due to his testimony stating otherwise).

    Might I ask if the Ares was microwarpdriving? In what direction? And at what range?
    Knowing that would let you get a concrete piece of evidence for a scenario; but let me tell you something Jester, and this is something you should know already from all the statistics you've done before.

    One piece of evidence does not a case make. Repeat the feat, gather the evidence (numbers), do the calculations, and if it turns out that you seem to be getting stupidly lucky on the chance based part of the calculation, THEN you can claim something is wrong and needs to be looked at. Right now, it's a gut feeling at best; although I do tend to agree that some guns might need a tracking nerf ;)

    Now I'm going to go take a break from doing internet spaceship maths.

    NB: If you want some sources on that...
    [The Altruist] http://tinyurl.com/7tn2y77
    [Evelopedia] http://tinyurl.com/6vdyqr4

  12. fire enough shots law of averages say's your going to hit occasionally.

  13. Now take in account Loki webs, logistics and TiDi and fleets of 50 titans can rule the universe since Tidi makes sure the webs are applied and logis can keep lokis alive....

  14. Hey Jester, i'll leave a comment as 140 chracter tweets is not a suitable format :)

    First, gratz on not detecting the sarcasm in my last quoted tweet lol. I must be loosing my touch.

    As for the matter at hand, yes Mara Rinn is right. Occasionally even XL guns will hit small targets, but more importantly, even a glancing hit from a big gun will do significant damage to a ship with only 1000 EHP.

    Furthermore, a MWD will increase a 90m dictor to the size of 1.5 battleships - making it 1.2 kilometres big in diameter. Unless you really mean that any ship class shouldnt be able to hit the class directly below it (say a battleship shouldnt be able to hit cruiser), your real gripe seems to be the massive bloom a MWD gives to most ships.

    Because if you really mean a XL gun with 1000m sig resolution shouldnt hit a 624m target, and you extrapolate that to all ship classes in EVE - no ship should be able to hit the class directly below it. And that my friend, would truly be broken.

  15. When you made your last post about Titans hitting Interdictors I didn't much care, because Titans and Dictors don't mean much to a Lowsec Pirate. Tornadoes and Interceptors, on the other hand, are something that piqued my curiosity enough to want to run the numbers...

    And there's just not enough information here to do it. You, with your Tracking Speed of .036 and Signature Resolution of 400, hit a target with a Signature Radius of 94.5 at an unknown range going an unknown speed at an unknown angle. If you were at 60km (Still inside your optimal) and he was going ~600m/s (There are 2 Rapiers on the KM with you) at the best possible angle for him, you'd hit him 38% of the time for some amount of damage less than 88% of your possible damage.

    Of course, maybe he wasn't triple webbed, maybe he wasn't at the perfect angle, maybe he wasn't at the perfect distance and maybe there are just too many variables unknown for this to have proven much at all. Clearly you hit him, and your 6.84% of the damage was the final blow, but as far as how unfair it is for you to hit "a ceptor with BS guns" I'd certainly like to know more before drawing any conclusions.

  16. http://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/Turret_damage

    same thing really.

    You probably still remember the conditions of the kill, so please apply to the formula and share with us.

    There is one thing that seems a bit odd in that model: the part SigResolution/SigRadius is modelling the inerent imprecision of the guns as a scalar number, instead of an angular value.

    Example: you take a combat rifle to a shooting range. The combat rifle "stats" are 40cm SigResolution, 1500m optimal + 150m falloff.

    You stand still and take aim at a stationary target at 50m. According to the formula, you have very good chances to hit a circunference of 40cm diameter centered at the target.

    After that, you take aim at an identical stationary target at 1000m. Yet again, that formula says you have a very good chances to hit a circunference of 40cm diameter centered at the target.

    Really? Somehow, aiming at a more distant target makes you hold the rifle more steadily? How so?

    It doesn't get better with moving targets either: target 1 is at 100m, 10m/s transversal, 0m/s radial; target 2 is at 200m, 20m/s transversal, 0m/s radial; according to the formula, you have the same chance-to-hit target 1 and target 2.

    But to be honest, even if they would change the formula to take this into account (and face the mammoth task of rebalancing virtually all ships and modules in face of this) I am not certain it would solve the problem described in this post and in "KotW: Alpha"

  17. It means, that just because something is unlikely, doesn't mean it won't happen. It would be interesting to know how many shots did you fire to hit him? Was it just the three that killed him or were there several that missed? Also, one KM doesn't prove a point, too small of a expirement size. Now if you managed to kill 10 experienced Interceptor pilots with the exact same setup, that would be highly disturbing and would warrant a closer look by CCP into the tracking mechanics.

  18. I think what he means is that the system allows for the possibility of outliers. A million Titans firing a million guns will kill something like 100 Hictors. Obviously an exaggeration, but we don't see the kill mails for all the times they missed.

  19. Not saying you're wrong because I believe and agree with you that titan tracking is broken but a killmail still doesn't prove jack shit.

    Even if he was keeping his transversal up against the main body of the fleet there's nothing to say you didn't head him off to reduce that transversal or catch him in a tight turn.

    Get some fraps next time.

  20. Regardless of how the game is currently, I believe we can agree that titans being able to kill cruisers and destroyers is badly designed gameplay.

  21. OK, remember: the premise here is that large guns should only hit small targets if the target is flying poorly. Laurentius shared a couple of KMs with me last night where that was the case. Here's a few more, from that same gang at about the same time as the Ares kill:

    If you want to make the case that "frigate-size targets only die to large guns when they fly poorly", there's good evidence on those three KMs for you to make your case with. In particular, in every case, multiple Tornados hit each of those targets for lesser or greater damage.

    Now go back to the Ares, which was definitely NOT flying poorly:

    There are 23 ships involved in the KM. Billy was running parallel to the main body of the fleet's path of advance at a range of about 35km. He was there for about 10-12 seconds; I and the Tornados only had time for a single volley, but ships like those Zealots and that Claymore got several volleys off. Based on the evidence, I believe he was double-webbed, once from each of our Rapiers. His speed when I took my shot was about 1600m/s, at a signature of about 100m. He was running parallel to the right side my ship, ahead of me at an angle of about 45-50 degrees, range from me was roughly steady. I do not know when the other ten or so Tornados in the KM took their shots. My guns were grouped 4-1-3, and I fired them in that order. All three groups hit; the group of three caused the KM.

    I'm having a VERY hard time believing that it was just dumb luck that caused ten other Tornados to all miss and me to hit, particularly when I took a lot of trouble to ensure I'd be able to hit a target in this situation and nobody else in the fleet did.

    1. This doesn't look right:
      0.5^((((1600/sqrt(2))*400)/(0.036*35000*100))^2 + 0) =
      0.5^(((1131*400)/(0.036*35000*100))^2) =
      0.5^((4*0.03232/0.036)^2) =
      0.5^12.899 =

      Perhaps the formula posted in the eve-wiki isn't really the one used in the game.

      Another possibility is that this is the miss chance, in which case the people saying you got lucky by hitting a cruiser sized ship are mistaken.

  22. Oh, and before someone says "LOL, you hit him because you took all these steps to be able to hit him, where's the broken, LOL", my opinion is that a ship using large guns should not be able to hit a small target no matter WHAT I do *IF* the small target is flying smartly.

  23. And one other thing: I believe his signature was 100m or so. I did not see an Agony command ship on the field, but now that I really think about it, that doesn't mean there wasn't one there. The remainder of the fleet was in armor HACs and support, so there was almost certainly a Loki CS somewhere in the system, making Billy's sig smaller and his speed faster than the numbers above.

  24. Just hopping in to say amen to someone rather coherently explaining the difference between statistical significance and three killmails spread among the thousands of Eve players (Mara and Co.).

    Jester, while you do have three Killmails showing these kills happening, I can point to almost every single time I have fleeted up with my corp mates in battleships and they cannot even touch my inty while we screw around shooting at each other.

    To be fair, I have no experience flying against anything in the capital class.

  25. Well just use your OP BS more often in pvp battles if stacked tracking is OP as it is suggested. This is EVE you discover exploits then use them, ya dont tell everyone them.

  26. Also everyone stop distracting jester in the comment section or else we wont get another blog anytime soon.

  27. "PPPPS: I would suggest that (X/Y)^2 is not the same as (X^2)/(Y^2). Thus changing the turret damage formula from (Sig Resolution / Sig Radius)^2 to (Sig Resolution^2)/(Sig Radius^2) would drastically change the balance of combat in EVE Online."

    I'd expect someone talking math like you do to know that:

    (ab)^2 = abab = aabb = a^2 b^2

    good post otherwise

    1. I was transcribing poorly from my notes. The second expression is supposed to be ((X^2)/(Y^2))^2, since the surface area (not ratio of diameters) is impacting the value inside the term which is then squared, which is then the exponent of 0.5.

      I'm sure I posted that correction, but it hasn't appeared yet.

  28. The formula for chance to hit is publicly available, but folk can always go onto the test server and run practical experiments if they do not trust Excel. A max-skilled Avatar pilot using Meta XL pulses can get a tracking speed of 0.0195 or so with two scripted tracking computers and two scripted tracking links. It will have a 62% chance to hit a Maelstrom with sig radius of 600 orbiting at 100m/s at 10km; the chance to hit increases with range.

    But as Azual pointed out, it's very difficult, if not impossible to maintain maximum transversal against multiple titans, and a titan hitting for even 20% of its maximum damage will still melt a battleship in short order.

    Whether or not this is a bad thing is a different matter.

  29. No disrespect, but all this handwaving about killmails could not serve as a basis for any reasonable argument. A claim like this could and should be easilly proven/disproven hoping on sisi and doing what Mara did, measuring the number of hits with known sig radius and radial velocity within optimal and then comparing it statistically with the results of the formula. If it turns out the formula is working correctly, the beef (if you happen to have one) is with the particular numerical values of sig radius and gun tracking (which I think everyone suspects is the case).

    Ofc whenever things like webs/target painters come into play, you can no longer demand that the small ships be untouchable, for obvious reasons. Which is perhaps also the case with the PL tracking fit titans, which are helped substantially by the webbing lokis.

  30. Guys.... its a game set in the future, where technology allows near instant jumping from one part of the galaxy to another. Where ships can navigate around (or through) planets at "warp" speed. I'm pretty sure computers and scanners are clever enough to manage to track a 30m or greater target with a "laser beam" no matter how fast its going.
    Its not exactly imersion breaking.

  31. Does EVE have no tradition of proper theorycrafting? One of my favorite parts of WoW (yes yes, the blasphemy, I was young, etc) was running tests, gathering data and trying to work out the exact math behind everything, in order to optimize tactics and equipment.

    Has anyone actually done scientific tests on tracking-boosted big guns vs. frigates at various ranges and speeds and collected a few thousand shots to establish statistical significane? If not, why not?

    Jester may well be making a mountain out of a statistical molehill with a single anecdote, but it doesn't seem to me that anybody's responses are any more scientific. Mara Rinn is making an equally unsupported mountain out of equally unfounded hand-wavy claims to the contrary.

    Won't someone please gather some real hard data? You wouldn't even have to do it all yourself -- just get a bunch of cheap t1 frigates to orbit your titan, put all the relevant numbers on your overview (angular, transversal, velociy, target size), pull up the info on your guns (sig res, tracking), and record a video of a few thousand shots. I'm sure the community would be more than happy to pore through every frame to write down the real data.

  32. Good reading.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but it wasn't the Tornado who killed the ceptor. Nearly 70% of the damage was done by Zealot and something with much smaller guns. Your Tornado did only 7% damage.

    So yes, you can hit, but damage wasn't that impressive. Could you repeat and share actually how much DPS you did? I.e. by showing the combat log.



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