A while back i mentioned that i'd tediously recorded over 1k results of the damage done with a maxed out M2100 (tt) pistol in a hunt. The intent was to see what kind of distribution the damage falls into, and also to compare with a follow-up in a year or so should i become less n00ber by then. n.b. Misses were not tallied.
I finally plotted the distribution, and present it here for your perusal. Nothing too surprising: the distribution is purely "random", with an equal probability of any damage value between 0.5 max and max.
Mean damage = 75.005% max
Mean damage, including crits = 77.270% max
Some comments, given the above conclusion:
- if a weapon without maxed stats (ie minimum damage lower than 1/2 maximum damage), follows a similar distribution, it will seriously impact your damage efficiency, whereas if the distribution were a modified normal distribution, un-maxed stats wouldn't have as much effect
- there's not really anywhere to go from here--the average damage is exactly 0.75 max, and i don't think that will change no matter how many more skills i gain
- crits can make a nice improvement on overall efficiency when your crit hit ability is maxed
Discuss amongst yourselves.
PS This posting brought to you by Comcast Broadband, which is incredibly accurate at reporting adverse weather conditions--it just fails leaving me connection-less. The ugly pixelation artifacts of the plots due to the transparency are because i'm too lazy to re-upload without a transparent color.
Edit: update May 2006
My thanks to my friend for lending me a nice weapon for hunting this weekend, which also prompted me to collect data for a non-SLB (skill learning bonus) weapon. Here's the plot with a red line added to indicate what the distribution approaches as skills (damage) are maxed. Kill strike and wounding are unlocked at the two positions marked.
There are a lot of bogus ideas about how damage is done with low skills. This test proves (well to my satisfaction anyway) that damage is always random within the range of min to max as described in the weapon stats. The minimum varies with skills, which is where the inefficiency arises with lower skills. It starts at 25% of the max and can increase up to 50% of the max (which is commonly seen in the opalo maxed stats, for example). This one single phenomenon is the reason the opalo is a dream weapon far superior to almost all others until one has very high skills as far as damage/pec economy is concerned. [Ed: this was before the amp system was changed to limit it to 50% of the gun damage; the opalo is still a very good weapon for beginners with an a101 amp but is no longer the economical wonder it was when it could be used with a huge amp; however, the many new (L) weapons with SIB have taken up the slack.] I don't think hit ability really affects economy that much, as i don't notice myself missing much more often at 2.2 Hit Ability than with the amped opalo. Of course it does make a difference, but it seems that the damage interval makes a bigger one. Subjectively. [Ed: i have used weapons without SIB more extensively now and it is clear that a low HA makes a large difference in effective economy. See the weapon tool in Entropia Tools for a handy calculator that takes into account hit ability as well as min damage.]
The one wildcard i still don't have good data for is how crit frequency is connected to crit hit ability and other skills. Regular crit hits raise economy significantly as seen in the data from the maxed wallgun up above.
Edit: update January 2007
This question comes up again and again so i hope for greater awareness of this kind of study. For those who are interested to know how to increase their minimum damage i recommend this post with the breakdown of skills that affect mindmg. The conjecture in that post that killstrike is at least part of the missing 12% contribution to mindmg is indeed correct. Whether it represents all 12% i don't know.