Welcome to the fifth installment of Game Mechanics
Revealed. Star Trek Online is filled
with vagaries; the devs are not forthcoming with clarification; the forums are
a source of confusing and contradictory knowledge; the chats are rife with
conjecture and misinformation. In this
series, I will attempt to find the answers and dispel the myths that plague our
game.
My partner in science is the ever patient and ever
enthusiastic @JeanLPicard.
Game Mechanics Revealed: The effects of Weapons Power
greater than 125
The game has a cap of 125 for the maximum power to any of
the four ships power systems, however, with consoles and captain skills it is
possible or sometimes even likely that, theoretically at least, power can be
boosted beyond this number. There is
some debate about this topic, with some claiming that there is an “invisible
reserve” from which weapons power can be drained thus preventing multiple
weapons firing from sapping your dps, but with most of the recent argument
coming down on the side that there is no reserve since at least the start of
the Season 5 free to play patch, and that any weapons power above 125 is
completely wasted. Most of the forum
posts I’ve seen have been pretty vehement that this is the case, and I myself
have repeated this opinion on numerous occasions, but is it true?
During some of our other tests, @JeanLPicard
presented tantalizing evidence that this is not the case, and we decided to
test it further.
Premise
If there is an “invisible reserve” of weapons power that
provides some sort of buffer against energy drain when firing multiple energy
weapons, this should increase sustained dps and allow targets to be destroyed
faster.
Experiment
The aggressor is an escort armed with 4 polaron dual cannons
and 3 polaron turrets. At a range of 5km
and a weapon power of 125, the aggressor fires at a target until the target is
destroyed. The test is repeated with the
addition of 4 plasma distribution manifold mk ix, which raise the theoretical
weapon power to 135.
Results
Time to Kill Galor Cruiser, seconds


Test

125

125 (135)

1

33

32.5

2

32

32

3

33

32

4

32.5

29.5

5

32.5

32

6

33

30

7

33

32

avg

32.71429

31.42857

Analysis
Null hypothesis, Ho, is that the two means of the time to
kill are the same, or u1 – u2 = 0.
Therefore the alternate hypothesis, Ha, is that the two means are not
the same, or u1 – u2 ≠ 0. We will compare
the outcome with Student’s t distribution.
There are 7 data points per sample, implying 7 + 7 2 =12 degrees of
freedom and we are using a onetailed test, Ta(12) = 2.179 at the 95%
confidence interval. Therefore we will
reject the null hypothesis if t > 2.179.
n

7

7

average

32.71429

31.42857

sample standard deviation

0.393398

1.170063

sample variance

0.154762

1.369048

Pooled s^2

0.761905


s

0.872872


t

2.755676

since 2.755676 > 2.306 the null hypothesis is rejected at
the 95% confidence interval.
The result shows a statistically significant improvement in
killing power with the 4 plasma distribution manifolds installed, however the
improvement is very small and not at all convincing. Can we make it a little more apparent?
Experiment 2
Second verse, same as the first, except at a range of 8
km. This will expand the differences
between the two dps rates, and allow for some more time for the natural healing
of the target cruiser to come into play, thus further drawing out the time
differences.
Results 2
Time to Kill Galor Cruiser, seconds


Test

125

125 (135)

1

58.5

51.5

2

61

54

3

58

52

4

58.5

54

avg

59

52.875

Analysis 2
Null hypothesis, Ho, is that the two means of the time to
kill are the same, or u1 – u2 = 0.
Therefore the alternate hypothesis, Ha, is that the two means are not
the same, or u1 – u2 ≠ 0. We will compare
the outcome with Student’s t distribution.
There are 4 data points per sample, implying 4 + 4 2 =6 degrees of
freedom and we are using a onetailed test, Ta(6) = 2.447 at the 95% confidence
interval. Therefore we will reject the
null hypothesis if t > 2.447.
n

4

4

average

59

52.875

sample standard deviation

1.354006

1.314978

sample variance

1.833333

1.729167

Pooled s^2

1.78125


s

1.334635


t

6.490209

since 6.490209 >> 2.447 the null hypothesis is
rejected at the 95% confidence interval, and how.
Conclusion
This result was surprising to me, and as unexpected as it
was, we also did a few more tests to rule out any other effects. We tested the base damage of a ship at 125
weapons power vs. 125+ weapons power.
This single firing test showed that there is no difference in max damage
with the added consoles. Actually, in
the test we ran the cannon did more damage without the consoles, which we can
chalk up to a little bit of luck and small sample size. We also tested time to kill running at 115
weapon power and using the 4 consoles to make 125 weapon power. In this test there was no statistically
significant difference from test with the natural 125.
What does this mean?
It means that everything anyone ever told you about energy weapons power
above 125 is wrong. The invisible
reserve does indeed exist and you can get a notinsignificant boost to killing
power by running with a setup using your natural captain abilities and skills,
consoles, emergency power to weapons, or energy siphon to raise your
theoretical weapon power into the 130’s.
The effect is emphasized with tougher targets or more energy
drainheavy builds, so you will see a much greater improvement with a beamboat
cruiser firing against a tough dreadnought than you will for a dual cannon and
torpedo escort firing against frigates.
4 tests for the second run is hardly convincing data. Especially with all of the interference from critical hit probabilities, rep passives and various other sources. If you could state beyond any doubt that there was absolutely not one single critical hit scored during all 4 tests, this data might be more relevant. Even then, the damage dealt per hit varies randomly within a range.
ReplyDeleteI would recommend at least 20 tests, with a clean character, no reputation passives, and no skill points in starship energy weapons specialization, weapons with no [CrtH] or [CrtD] modifiers. Otherwise this really clears up very little.