Miscalculation in DPS of Homing Torpedoes

Terran Stellar Navy Forums (OOC) Division Development Miscalculation in DPS of Homing Torpedoes

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    Ok, something that has been going round and round in my head is the DPS of torpedoes. I have taken a look at the artemis wiki and on there, with the standard torpedo strength of 20, it cites dps of a homing torpedo to be between 1.66 and 4. This, I believe, is incorrect for multiple reasons. I also believe it is not possible to accurately calculate the dps of torpedoes due to the nature of them and their flight time. It is possible to state a maximum and minimum value, but these values are likely to be extemely different. I want to explain why, but will have to make up some values as I haven’t yet done the necessary tests. However, to explain my point, the values are not as important at this time. I will endeavour to obtain them for a follow up post.

    Here are my reasons:
    The maximum dps of a torpedo (in our mod) is actually 60 (that is the damage value of a single homing torpedo). As you increase the time that the homing torpedo takes to impact its target though, the dps drops dramtically. This time is determined by the distance it has to cover to hit its target, as well as the time it takes leading up to firing the torpedo. We also have to consider that all homing torpedoes have a maximum time they can travel for (which cannot be altered). If they burn out before hitting their target, or miss for some other reason, then the dps and total damage is automatically 0.

    For sake of arguement, I am going to say that homings can travel for a maximum time of 12 seconds (of course, if anyone has the proper value, it would be appreciated, but will only serve to calculate the minimum dps of a torpedo). I am also going to assume that the torpedo is in the tube, ready to fire, in order to simplify my initial points.

    On firing, if the torpedo takes 1 second, or less, to hit its intended target, the maximum dps is therefore 60.

    If it takes 2 seconds, this dps is halved, down to 30. (60 damage dealt, taking 2 seconds to deal it – 60/2=30)

    Travelling for 3 seconds, the dps drops to 20 (60/3=20); 4 seconds it drops to 15 (60/4=15); 5 seconds it drops to 12 and so and so forth.

    Once you hit the maximum travel time (assumed to be 12 seconds for this example), the dps has dropped down to 5 dps (60/12=5)

    So in this example, a single torpedo, fired at maximum range is, in effect, scoring only 5 dps.

    The assumption above is that the torpedo is in the tube, ready to fire (which could be a likely case when entering combat). Factoring something like 8 seconds for tube load time (a rough estimate) a torpedo could be doing as little as 3dps. (20 seconds from load, firing and impact at maximum range, with a damage of 60 when it hits).

    What would be interesting then would be to have the accurate values for the flight time of a torpedo and the load time (if systems were at 100% initially) to find out the actual dps.

    To try and compare this to a beam weapon throws up even more considerations, such as the length of time you can spend in combat, the number of salvos you can fire in that time etc.

    For example, consider a ship with 8 homing torpedoes and two tubes. Using the values above, at maximum range, those 8 homing torpedoes can deal 6dps. The ship would be engaged in combat for about 80 seconds. It would deal 480 damage in total, after which it would have to retreat due to its torpedo compliment being used. What is interesting is that, the same ship firing torpedoes at the maximum dps (which would be calculated at 60/9(8 seconds to load, 1 second to hit the target)=6.67, giving a total of 13.34 per salvo per second) would be able to remain in combat for 36 seconds (9s x 4 torpedo salvos) and would deal 480 damage.

    On the otherhand, an Artemis Light Cruiser with two primary beams would deal 12dps. During 80 seconds it would therefore deal 960 damage. During 36 second in combat, it would deal 432 damage. Of course, the beams firing from the ship are limited by the energy and other status of the ship itself (e.g. damage) but not to the extent that homing torpedoes are limited.

    Of course, there are many assumptions made here and it is a hugely simplified example but it serves to illustrate my point.

    I hope though, my example above illustrates why we may have been looking at torpedo dps incorrectly and that the complexity of trying to calculate such values to use as a comparison between ships is immense. Particularly if we consider practises such as entering combat with torpedoes already loaded, and the range at which we engage the enemy and the length of time we are able to stay in combat (which is dependent so much on the crew, their skills and their action, as well as the situation and the approach taken).

    What are others views on this? If there are errors in my calculation, I would be interested to know. Also, if there are concrete values to replace my assumptions, it would go some way to trying to figure out the accurate values.

    • This topic was modified 6 years, 11 months ago by Xavier.

    Torpedoes have a run time of 18 seconds and travel at 100m (times torpedo speed). This is why vanilla torpedoes run 5.4k, since that’s 18*100*3.

    I think useful dps breakpoints would be 1km, 2km, and 5km. 1km is the maximum range for most beams, when you would be able to bring beams and missiles to bear. 2km would keep you safe from enemy beams yet be “close enough” to enemies for tactical flexibility, and 5k is the edge of the combat view range.

    For purposes of clarity, it looks like you are assuming 300% auto for beam dps comparison. Torpedoes require 15 seconds to load in vanilla, approximately. I don’t remember if this is configurable and if it is whether that is changed in the TSN mod. Homing torpedoes have a base speed of 5 currently in the TSN mod.

    I can drill into this further tomorrow, but a single preloaded torpedo has 30 dps at 1km. Counting the time it takes to load, a single torpedo has just under 4 dps between loading and firing at 100% power over 1km and just under 9 dps for 300% power over the same range. Scale appropriately for the other breakpoints.


    For beam dps, I took the stated value from the Artemis wiki. If this is incorrect, what is the dps of a primary beam?

    The time it takes to load a torpedo is not something we can change. In game, it is possible to decrease the time by boosting power to that system however. At 100% though, it will take 15s.

    Calculating assuming a torpedo is already loaded, you’d be doing a dps of 60 then. The range would have to be 500m to achieve this (flight time of 1s x 100 x 5).
    Calculating assuming a torpedo must first be loaded (and settings are at 100% for torpedo systems), the dps would be 3.75 at 500m. (60 damage divided by 16 seconds to load and fire, then travel the 500m).

    Are these calculations accurate, or have I missed anything?

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 11 months ago by Xavier.

    Ok,consider two ships in combat for 2 minutes at a range of 500. If we say the ship with beams can cause 4dps (systems set to 100%), it will deal 480 damage.
    The ship firing 8 homing torpedoes would also deal a maximum 480 damage.
    Extend the time to 2 minutes and 30 seconds, the ship with primary beam will deal 600 damage. Unless the ship firing 8 homing torpedoes converts energy to torps, it will still only deal a maximum of 480 damage in that time. If it does convert energy to torps, it will only serve to decrease the time that it can be in combat.

    If you reduce the time in combat, the damage dealt by both ships decreases. So if you are in combat for a minute, the homing torpedoes would cause 360 damage (or 480 if you had pre-loaded two torps before the combat began). For beams you’d get 240 damage.

    Increasing the distance out to 1k, so that beams can still hit, means the torpedoes dps is reduced and therefore fewer can hit the target within the time limit.

    Of course, over 1k, beams will do 0 damage whereas torpedoes can still do up to 480 damage (depending on the length of time spent in combat.

    I think, it should be possible to draw up a table and even graph the damage to show all this. Of course, it would all be dependent on the many variables involved (distance, time, power to settings) and would be further impacted by the crew and how they perform. Everything so far assumes the homings are loaded at the exact same time, fire instantly and reloaded.


    Not sure you will ever be able to calculate a valid “Monstermark” for a ship with tubes. The ship benefits from taking no return fire while out of beam range.

    And again, balancing capabilities is of limited value. When running Excalibur I quickly accepted she would never do the damage of any of the other ships, had no heavy ordnance to deal with fleets and could not come close to Lancer’s ability to take on single targets. And you know what? It didn’t matter. She just had to be the best she could be, the extra pair of hands that enabled other vessels to do more. But she was huge fun to run because you really needed the best out of every bridge station to maximize her effectiveness.

    Matthew Vaj

    There’s all this talk about the Loki class right now, but I’d be interested in designing destroyer variants instead of cruiser variants. We have several cruisers, but only one destroyer. Since the 4LD is a light division, maybe getting a battleship back could be balanced by replacing a couple cruisers with destroyers. Just a thought 🙂

    Edit: Sorry if this is a bit off topic.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 11 months ago by Matthew Vaj.
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