Thread: Starship Weapons Calculator View Single Post
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 Starship Weapons Calculator
10-14-2011, 08:31 PM
Introducing The Starship WeaponsCalculator

The Starship Weapons Calculator is based on my previous Weapon Scaling Tests. After many hours of testing, I have finally amassed enough data to create a simple tool for calculating the DPS of various weapon combinations.

With this program you can enter any combination of weapons, and the calculator will determine the firing arcs relevant to your build, and the relative DPS of each one. In addition, you can compare two builds to one another, see the impact of activating certain weapon skills, and even view a graph of your DPS results. Screenshot of the Starship Weapons Calculator in action.

Initially I intended to create a simple spreadsheet to serve as the calculator, similar to PatricianVetinari's Ship Power Level Calculator, however it turned out that spreadsheet programs lacked the necessary complexity to achieve my vision. As a result I turned to Visual Basic 6.0 to create the calculator, since I had some limited Basic programming knowledge and an old copy of Visual Basic that had been given to me by a friend. Since I'm a self taught Basic programmer, some of the code probably isn't optimal, but it's good enough to get the job done for this simple program.

The current version of the calculator is 4.0. Please let me know if you find any bugs, or have any complaints about the user interface. Once I gather some feedback I will release a full version, although the current beta should be fully functional in every important way.

How Does The Calculator Work?
It would simply be impossible to test every possible combination of weapons, so the calculator is only made possible by the fact that I discovered you could get very accurate figures by averaging different weapon tests together. In a nutshell that is how the calculator derives different build results.

How Accurate Is The Calculator?
Considering all of the intricacies of the combat system I was initially skeptical that this approach would work, but the calculator is actually quite accurate. In most cases the difference between the calculated DPS output and the actual in-game DPS is less than 1%.

That slight difference can be explained by the fact that in any given test run there is some margin of error. It's even possible to tell from looking at my scaling charts that some of the results are not 100% exact (some of the curves aren't completely smooth). But, at some point you have to say "this is good enough". I'm sure that with a lot more testing I could reduce the margin of error further, but for almost everyone's purposes, the current accuracy should be more than sufficient.

Understanding Relative DPS
By default, the calculator measures DPS results in what I have dubbed "Relative DPS". Basically what this means is that the damage from all weapons is measured against that of a single Beam Array at 100 weapon power, which is set to 100 DPS. If a weapon/power combination does five times as much damage as said Beam Array, then the DPS figure will be 500. If a weapon/power combination does half as much damage, then its DPS will be 50, and so on.

The reason for using Relative DPS is so that the results are general enough to be used easily at every tier and every skill level, with a minimum of input from the user. The calculator is capable of figuring your actual damage output, but in order to get an accurate result you need to enter your exact skill and console bonuses. Using Relative DPS avoids this hassle, because the calculator can simply tell you how specific builds stack up against one another when all things are equal (including skill level, consoles and weapon marks).

For an easy comparison, I recommend sticking to Relative DPS. But, for those who want results that most accurately reflect in-game damage, you may fully customize the program's parameters in the Advanced Settings.

Using The Calculator
The calculator should be fairly intuitive to use, but if you have any questions, please read the included documentation, which you can access from the About window (accessible from the extended options), or by opening the ReadMe located in the program's folder, and also available online at this link.