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Dispersion Pistol damage statistics (primary/secondary/splash) at each level?

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NaPaliShore
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Subject: Dispersion Pistol damage statistics (primary/secondary/splash) at each level?

Post Posted: 23 Nov 2012, 07:49

I apologize if this has already been covered in a detailed way somewhere, but I've been reading around and can't find a concrete statistical breakdown of all the different amounts of damage dealt by the dispersion pistol, in different situations (and also how those numbers are effected by the various levels of powerups).

If I understand correctly, there are 3 possible firing modes for the dispersion pistol, at any given powerup "level":

(1) primary fire - does a fixed amount of damage with a direct hit, little or no splash damage
(2) secondary fire (without charging up) - tap the button and it sends out a bolt that does a fixed amount of damage with a direct hit, or can do a lesser amount of "splash damage" to one or more opponents within a certain radius
(3) charged secondary fire - by holding down the secondary fire button, one can "charge up" an amount of energy equivalent to 100%-500% of a primary fire bolt (depending on how long you hold down the button) and then release it at your opponent. A direct hit does full damage, and nearby opponents may also take some splash damage.

In addition to these variations, there are also 5 different power levels available for the DP, starting with the bare DP with no powerup, and increasing with each additional powerup until the 4th powerup.

According the the UnrealSP Weapons page (http://www.unrealsp.org/gameguide/armoury.html), "each charge only does a pitiful 15 points of damage ... unless you have a powerup that increases the power of its primary fire mode."

So I take it that the powerups do not increase the damage of the secondary fire mode (whose bolts remain blue, even when the primary bolts reach the red level)?
Does an "uncharged" secondary fire bolt (where you just tap the alternate fire button) always do the same damage, regardless of the powerup level?
And does each stage of "charged" secondary fire (from 100%-500%) always do the same amount of damage with a direct hit, regardless of the powerup level?

If so, would that mean that a single "red" (primary fire) DP bolt does the same damage as a fully charged secondary fire DP bolt at any level (= 500% of the "base damage" of 15 points that a primary "blue" bolt does)? Or does the damage not scale in a linear fashion with each level of powerup? (Does a red shot not do 5 times as much damage as a blue shot? And does a yellow shot not do double the damage of a blue shot, etc?)

Another way of phrasing the question would be: does charging up a secondary fire bolt to certain "level" of charging yield the same amount of potential damage as sending out a primary fire bolt with the equivalent "level" of powerups installed?


Basically I've been realizing that I rarely remember to use the secondary fire of the DP, even after playing through most of the reviewed map packs on this site. And I'm wondering if I'm overlooking some important gaming tactics by not using the secondary mode enough. I'm also confused about whether there is still any increase in overall damage, or in "damage per unit of energy", to be gained from charging up a secondary shot, once your DP reaches level 4 or 5 (with red primary shots)? Or is it just the ability to do splash damage that makes the secondary fire useful, for those higher levels of DP? (Is it only at the lower levels of DP that you can experience a significant gain in damage-dealt-per-shot by charging up a secondary bolt?)

I think I've read that secondary DP shots are helpful when taking out certain kind of pests like pupae (isn't that UBerserker's advice?). Is that because those enemies have both low hit points and also jump around a lot and dodge your shots, so you might not land a direct hit but can still kill them that way with splash damage? And would you use "uncharged" secondary shots for the most part (just tapping alternate fire instead of holding it down), in that situation? What strategic uses would there be, if any, for charging up a secondary shot - once you get your DP powered up to one of the higher levels?

Finally, is there a formula for calculating the splash damage that a given enemy would receive from being in the radius of effect of a secondary DP bolt? Would the amount of damage received be affected by whether it was an "uncharged" or "charged up" secondary bolt, or by the distance of the enemy from the point where that bolt first struck something, or by the powerup level of the DP that sent the bolt?

Thanks to anyone who can help clarify these questions!

P.s.: Maybe this answers some of my questions?:
http://www.oldunreal.com/wiki/index.php?title=Dispersion_Pistol

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Subject: Re: Dispersion Pistol damage statistics (primary/secondary/splash) at each level?

Post Posted: 23 Nov 2012, 09:17

Had a look at the code. If I understand it correctly, the secondary fire works as follows:

The dispersionpistol is completely charged after (2.0 + 0.6 * PowerLevel) seconds. Damage is 8.25 + 9.9 * chargetime (in seconds). It does direct damage to the hit actor and additionally splash damage with a hurt radius of 150 unreal units. So an uncharged shot can do up to 16 damage, when it hits its target (direct + splash), and up to 7 damage, when it hits a wall nearby (splash won't deal full damage). When charging, it will consume 1 ammo every 0.3 seconds. So it can only do 6 additional damage per each ammo spent (3, if you hit a wall nearby).

When you completely run out of ammo (all weapons), then firing rate with uncharged secondary fire is much higher than with primary fire. That's, when I always use it. It's also useful, when you want to hit a SkaarjWarrior, which is hiding behind a wall (and don't want to come out). But you'll need an eternity to kill it (note, that splash damage is reduced by distance. Each damage dealt is rounded down, so you'll deal only 3 damage or so, when you hit the ground. Then difficulty multiplier is applied and the result is rounded down again. So in hard or unreal, you'll only do 2 damage instead of 3)

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Subject: Re: Dispersion Pistol damage statistics (primary/secondary/splash) at each level?

Post Posted: 23 Nov 2012, 11:57

The Dispersion Pistol is not a good weapon. It is recommended purely to reserve ammunition if it happens to be really scarce or you're really unhappy about spending it on something tiny (such as Pupae). It is clearly designed as a last-stand weapon to fall back to when you depleted all your ammo, as it's outperformed by any other gun, so you shouldn't feel bad about not using it. It has its moments to shine (such as when combined with an Amplifier at max power), but you're not really missing out on anything if you don't use it.

IIRC you can hold down RMB longer the more powerups you get. At the very least I remember the weapon shaking much stronger at level 5 charge-ups compared to level 1. I'm sure there is some form of difference.
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UBerserker
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Subject: Re: Dispersion Pistol damage statistics (primary/secondary/splash) at each level?

Post Posted: 23 Nov 2012, 12:16

The Dispersion Pistol is a good weapon. Use the secondary fire against Skaarj in open areas and see how much he dodges. Foresee where he lands? Throw a bolt to him. Rinse and repeat.
It's the best non-destructive weapon against Pupae and Tentacle, and a lvl5 DP bolt can deal a lot of damage against normal enemies (Skaarj, Mercenary and Krall) very quickly if used right. Oh yeah, a well-timed secondary fire (or just spam it) can also destroy the Slith' goo orbs*.
With the splash damage you can literally kill enemies that are hiding behind something.

The range is immense. You can damage enemies on the other side of the globe and if they don't see you they won't move and you can repeat the action again and again. Nifty way to deal with Gasbags and Skaarj Snipers.


*EDIT: can also destroy several Titan boulders.
Last edited by UBerserker on 23 Nov 2012, 12:24, edited 4 times in total.
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NaPaliShore
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Subject: Re: Dispersion Pistol damage statistics (primary/secondary/splash) at each level?

Post Posted: 23 Nov 2012, 12:18

integration wrote:Had a look at the code. If I understand it correctly, the secondary fire works as follows:

The dispersionpistol is completely charged after (2.0 + 0.6 * PowerLevel) seconds. Damage is 8.25 + 9.9 * chargetime (in seconds). It does direct damage to the hit actor and additionally splash damage with a hurt radius of 150 unreal units. So an uncharged shot can do up to 16 damage, when it hits its target (direct + splash), and up to 7 damage, when it hits a wall nearby (splash won't deal full damage). When charging, it will consume 1 ammo every 0.3 seconds. So it can only do 6 additional damage per each ammo spent (3, if you hit a wall nearby).

When you completely run out of ammo (all weapons), then firing rate with uncharged secondary fire is much higher than with primary fire. That's, when I always use it. It's also useful, when you want to hit a SkaarjWarrior, which is hiding behind a wall (and don't want to come out). But you'll need an eternity to kill it (note, that splash damage is reduced by distance. Each damage dealt is rounded down, so you'll deal only 3 damage or so, when you hit the ground. Then difficulty multiplier is applied and the result is rounded down again. So in hard or unreal, you'll only do 2 damage instead of 3)


[Edit: corrected some arithmetic below, based on starting at PowerLevel0 in the formula, and possibility of double damage from additional splash damage, in a direct hit with charged secondary shot]

Wow - thanks for figuring that out so quickly! That's very interesting...

So if I understand correctly, each additional Powerlevel adds 0.6 seconds to the maximum charge time for a secondary shot, which will add 9.9*0.6=5.94 (rounded to 6) to the damage of a fully charged secondary shot. And each additional Powerlevel means 0.6/0.3=2 more ammo will be used up for a fully charged secondary shot.

Am I correct in assuming that we do not calculate any additional "splash damage" for a charged secondary shot? (I.e., that the damage amount that we calculate as 8.25 + 9.9 * chargetime will represent the total/maximum potential damage dealt by that charged secondary shot?) If so, then at Powerlevel 1 we should expect a maximum damage amount of 8.25+(9.9*2.0)=28 for a charged secondary shot, and each additional Powerlevel will add 6 more to the total. And I did some tests and verified that a fully charged secondary shot at Powerlevel 1 uses 7 ammo, with each additional Powerlevel using 2 more ammo for such a shot.

Therefore, filling in the damage figures for Primary DP shots at each Powerlevel from http://liandri.beyondunreal.com/Dispersion_Pistol_Powerup, and your calculations about the damage for an uncharged secondary shot, I came up with chart below:

Maximum Damage Amounts for Dispersion Pistol Shots:

Powerlevel 1:
Primary Fire (uses 1 ammo): 15
Secondary Fire, fully charged shot (uses 7 ammo): 28 (up to 56 w/ splash damage?)
Secondary Fire, uncharged shot (uses 1 ammo): 16 (direct hit+splash) or <=7 (splash only)

Powerlevel 2

Primary Fire (uses 3 ammo): 25
Secondary Fire, fully charged shot (uses 9 ammo): 34 (up to 68 w/ splash damage?)
Secondary Fire, uncharged shot (uses 1 ammo): 16 or <=7 (splash)

Powerlevel 3
Primary Fire (uses 5 ammo): 40
Secondary Fire, fully charged shot (uses 11 ammo): 39 (up to 78 w/ splash damage?)
Secondary Fire, uncharged shot (uses 1 ammo): 16 or <=7 (splash)

Powerlevel 4
Primary Fire (uses 6 ammo): 55
Secondary Fire, fully charged shot (uses 13 ammo): 45 (up to 90 w/ splash damage?)
Secondary Fire, uncharged shot (uses 1 ammo): 16 or <=7 (splash)

Powerlevel 5
Primary Fire (uses 7 ammo): 75
Secondary Fire, fully charged shot (uses 15 ammo): 51 (up to 102 w/ splash damage?)
Secondary Fire, uncharged shot (uses 1 ammo): 16 or <=7 (splash)


======================================

*** Please, anyone feel free to correct me if I have misunderstood something, or have made any calculation errors.

CONCLUSIONS: [Edit: most of this would need to be rethought in light of the possibility of "doubling" the damage for a charged secondary shot due to the apparent fact, if Integration is right, that in a direct hit one shot can do an equal amount of additional "splash damage" on top of its "main damage"...]

Fully charged secondary shots are a "poor value" in terms of damage/unit ammo used, especial at the lower Powerlevels (at Powerlevel 1 you spend 7 times as much ammo to do just over double the damage of a primary shot).

But at Powerlevel 1 and Powerlevel 2 you do get significantly more total damage out of a fully charged secondary shot, compared to a primary shot. However, this advantage disappears after Powerlevel 3 - and at Powerlevel 5 you expend 8 extra ammo to deal out 17 less total damage than a primary (red) shot! So unless you really need the splash damage, or have caught an enemy unawares and want to deal more damage with your first shot before he figures out you're there, it seems unwise to waste your ammo on charged secondary shots. And the "doing more damage with the first shot when catching the enemy unawares" only works for Powerlevel 1 & 2.

But by the same token, if you're just measuring the efficiency of a shot in terms of damage/unit ammo, even the Primary fire shots (beyond Powerlevel1) do not represent as good a "value" as the uncharged secondary shots. For example, at Powerlevel2, you use 3 times as much ammo on a Primary shot as you do on an uncharged secondary shot, but you only get a little over 1.5 times as much damage out of it (so the "ammo" efficiency of the uncharged secondary is twice as high). That ammo efficiency ratio decreases slightly as the Powerlevels increase, so that by Powerlevel 5 you are using 7 times as much ammo to deliver 4.69 times as much damage, and the "ammo" efficiency of the uncharged secondary is now 1.49 times as high.

So in the end it comes down to whether the situation at hand is one where the most important factor is damage/shot, or damage/unit time, or damage/unit ammo. And given that the ammo recharges itself over time, if you're not in danger of running out of ammo in the middle of an important battle where you need DP, then damage/unit ammo might not be the most important factor. On the other hand, if you're just breaking open a wooden box, chest, or barrel, and your DP is more than Powerlevel 1, you definitely want to use an uncharged secondary shot, to avoid wasting ammo!

Whew - that was a lot of calculating, but hopefully this might be useful in some way. (Assuming I didn't misunderstand how to apply the formulae that Integration so helpfully provided! :)

Summary of the key conclusions:

-- fully charged secondary shots deliver more damage when you are below Powerlevel 3, but after that are less useful
-- beyond Powerlevel 1, uncharged secondary shots are best for breaking boxes and barrels, and generally when conserving ammo is important
-- I need to keep my eyes open for those situations where splash damage is tactically useful
Last edited by NaPaliShore on 23 Nov 2012, 23:00, edited 1 time in total.

NaPaliShore
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Subject: Re: Dispersion Pistol damage statistics (primary/secondary/splash) at each level?

Post Posted: 23 Nov 2012, 12:27

UBerserker wrote:The Dispersion Pistol is a good weapon. Use the secondary fire against Skaarj in open areas and see how much he dodges. Foresee where he lands? Throw a bolt to him. Rinse and repeat.
It's the best non-destructive weapon against Pupae and Tentacle, and a lvl5 DP bolt can deal a lot of damage against normal enemies (Skaarj, Mercenary and Krall) very quickly if used right. Oh yeah, a well-timed secondary fire (or just spam it) can also destroy the Slith' goo orbs.
With the splash damage you can literally kill enemies that are hiding behind something.


Man, I'd love to see watch a YouTube video of UBerserker beating down Skaarj with the DP! I don't really have that technique down, of anticipating where they will dodge next - though I will sometimes launch a Lvl5 bolt at one who stops moving in a corner for a while and seems like he won't dodge.

Nice tip about being able to destroy Slith goo orbs with secondary DP - I'll have to try that.

One final question: when aiming to kill enemies that are hiding behind something, do you get better spash damage from a charged secondary shot, or is it better to just fire a volley of uncharged secondary shots?

Thanks to everyone for the feedback - maybe I'll slowly evolve into a more strategic user of the Unreal weapons that I feel a little less "masterful" with at the moment...

NaPaliShore
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Subject: Re: Dispersion Pistol damage statistics (primary/secondary/splash) at each level?

Post Posted: 23 Nov 2012, 12:30

UBerserker wrote:The range is immense. You can damage enemies on the other side of the globe and if they don't see you they won't move and you can repeat the action again and again. Nifty way to deal with Gasbags and Skaarj Snipers.


Wow - that's very helpful to know. I didn't fully realize that they have to see you, and not just your shots, in order to become aware of you and start dodging. At medium range I find that Gasbags dodge my DP shots too easily, but I haven't tried pegging them from a long distance, where they don't see me yet - I usually waste automag ammo in that situation. This is fun to learn new tips and tricks to try out!

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Subject: Re: Dispersion Pistol damage statistics (primary/secondary/splash) at each level?

Post Posted: 23 Nov 2012, 12:44

Enemies hiding behind something is always a gamble because the splash damage does actually push the enemy away, and you may not be able to damage them anymore unless you change your position a bit. If you can't aim for the body, barrage of uncharged bolts. If you can hit the body, try charged. Watch out, there may be a possibility that the enemy (especially Skaarj) will react and run somewhere else (rarely he'll chase you).

As for the Gasbag thing, play something like Palace of Chizra from DV2 and look for a Gasbag guarding an area of the valley. Stay FAR away from him, near a place where you can hide. Shoot him (primary or charged secondary bolt) and quickly run away behind something (a mountain). If done correctly the Gasbag is damaged but he thinks that nothing happened. Do it until he dies. You can do this with the Skaarj Snipers in Map 15 (always Deja Vu 2).
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Subject: Re: Dispersion Pistol damage statistics (primary/secondary/splash) at each level?

Post Posted: 23 Nov 2012, 15:29

You know what else has splash damage and can therefore hit stuff around corners? Eightball rockets, flak shells and ASMD combos! :P I really don't see how a weak 50-damage shot that needs to be charged up for centuries is extremely useful in combat.
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UBerserker
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Subject: Re: Dispersion Pistol damage statistics (primary/secondary/splash) at each level?

Post Posted: 23 Nov 2012, 15:50

Use those for heavier stuff or when it's really necessary (the Eightball is also centre-only, which kills the exploit because you need to get out of your cover). See Xenome and Zephon.
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Subject: Re: Dispersion Pistol damage statistics (primary/secondary/splash) at each level?

Post Posted: 23 Nov 2012, 17:05

Sorry, the "powerlevel" in the formular is 1 less than in the oldunreal guide, i.e. you start with powerlevel 0. So the numbers for the charged secondary should move one class lower. I also verified them with some damage-triggered movers. I got 28|34|39|45|51 for powerlevel 1 - 5. So pretty much the same numbers, just rounded down.

Note, that the real damage can be the double of those numbers (direct + splash). On powerlevel 5 you should be able to deal 102 damage with a direct hit.

But in practice secondary fire doesn't improve with powerlevel. Charging your dispersion will alarm enemies and has a worse damage per ammo ratio. And unlike Gesbiorifle hurtradius isn't increased. In my opinion, primary fire even gets worse. Damage per ammo gets worse for powerlevel 2 and 3, and firerate massively sinks for powerlevel 4 (bad against Skaarj). So I don't collect powerups. If I had designed the dispersion, I would have let it consume as much ammo as powerlevel in primary fire mode and let it recharge faster for more maxammo.

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Subject: Re: Dispersion Pistol damage statistics (primary/secondary/splash) at each level?

Post Posted: 23 Nov 2012, 17:26

What? The secondary fire does get better with power-ups. Even uncharged, it deals more damage than, what I can say, Automag (and it's a perfect replacement of the primary fire of lvl1 DP :/); when the ammo almost runs out, the recharge rate increases a lot for a while, also.

Charging the DP does not alert enemies.

The primary also gets a massive damage boost and you can kill Skaarj Scouts/Warriors/Assassin very easily. Use the melee exploit or the 2ndary fire Skaarj/Krall dodge exploit I mentioned. Of course you can combine the assault with another weapon and finish the enemy with a coloured big bolt.
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Subject: Re: Dispersion Pistol damage statistics (primary/secondary/splash) at each level?

Post Posted: 23 Nov 2012, 17:49

Unless there's something missing from the equation, seeing the math that the DP secondary gets much worse than the primary at higher levels is interesting as I always suspected it. Slith balls being destructible is also interesting and I'll have to try it out.
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Subject: Re: Dispersion Pistol damage statistics (primary/secondary/splash) at each level?

Post Posted: 23 Nov 2012, 19:52

I like to destroy Slith balls with the ASMD secondary. It has a huge collision size. I tried it out with Dispersion now, but didn't work well for me.

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Subject: Re: Dispersion Pistol damage statistics (primary/secondary/splash) at each level?

Post Posted: 23 Nov 2012, 22:20

People seem to forget that the DP also gets amped by the Amplifier.

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