Damage Caps (PVP)

See Damage Caps (NPCs) for information about damage caps for selected NPCs. Bases also have damage caps.

PvP Damage Cap Rationale

A smaller ship build with fewer decks should be harder to target and hit then a larger ship. So the game gives smaller ships a relative advantage by capping the amount of damage other ships can do to them. Meta.game-wise, smaller ships are generally lower-ranked ships, and the damage cap ensures that more experienced larger ships do not 'bully' newer players.

PvP Damage Cap Formula

The current PvP damage cap formula is the LARGER of the following two possible formulas:

  • Decks / 2
  • (Rank + 19) / 2

A ship that minimizes their damage cap using either formula is considered a small ship build or SSB.

The PvP damage cap is a critical element of the PvP combat formula that determines how much damage you actually do to an enemy ship.

  • Damage per shot = damagecap * tanh[ attack*(random(0.6 to 1.666)) / (defense*5) ]
  • Damage per shot = damagecap * tanh[ attack/defense * (random(0.12 to 0.333)) ]

PvP Damage Cap Evolution

Rationales for damage cap changes highlighted in red

Webguydan 14feb2010:

Post Re: Ship Defenses
The formula is more complex than just attack - defense. If this were true, many ships could be 1-shotted. It is based instead a hyperbolic tangent formula, random variances, and a single shot damage cap. The damage cap means that it has to take at least 4 shots to disable any ship (even a level 1). If you have raised your shields/hull, only to see it get hit harder, this is because the cap was applying to you.

Webguydan 03apr2010

Hull repairs have changed! Instead of paying for the total amount of hull you are repairing, you will instead pay for the % (1-100) of damage your hull has taken, regardless of how powerful your hull is. This should encourage players to stack hull modules more, as it will not impact how much your repair costs will be.

Webguydan 02jul2010:

Combat damage calculations have been adjusted. Prior to this change, there was a scaling damage cap to prevent ships from being 1-shotted. However, this algorithm was a bit flawed and caused scaling hull and shield values to inflict more incoming damage when there was not enough defense. The damage cap has now shifted to scale based on the size of the ship instead. Thus, larger ships have a higher damage ceiling than smaller ships.

As a result of this change, you will notice a few things:

  • Shield and Hull are much more powerful (and needed) than before, especially as your ship gets larger.
  • Typical damage thresholds you may have been used to seeing will be different

Webguydan 13jul2010

SpoonyJank wrote: the only problem I see with it is that a lower level could just neglect defense and use the space for something else to take advantage of the cap

Nope, that wouldn't work. As the ship becomes larger, it is more likely to be 1-shotted without defense.

SpoonyJank wrote: Not if they spent most of their points on crew and use all their existing space for weapons.

Well, maybe folks will start putting points into crew now.

Webguydan 23jul2010

Re: Battle Calculations and what exactly are they?
Attack vs Defense is the primary damage calculation. A ship's size determines the maximum amount of damage that can be done in a single shot.

Shields and Hull indicate how much damage your ship can take before it is disabled, but they have no effect on how damage is calculated. These are just 2 types of 'Hit Points'.

Webguydan 28jul2010

Shields now recharge at a rate of 2% of your total shield capacity (or 1, if greater) per 'tick', instead of just 1 per tick. This makes shields a great option even for higher Rank players.

Nocifer Deathblade 30aug2010

David Vs Goliath style of combat!
In this post, Nocifer outlines his first encounter with a scout of mass destruction.

Nocifer DeathBlade 22sep2010

By this time, the forum consensus was that the damage cap was:

Nocifer Deathblade wrote: damage cap is based on defender ship decksize/2.

just me 22nov2010
just me 01feb2011

A couple of posts by Just Me outlining the advantages AND the challenges faced by the scouts of mass destruction.

Robert 12feb2011

Robert wrote: This was implemented ... to help stop bullying and encourage low deck/high crew builds instead of everyone following the same exact build of decks decks decks decks.

Webguydan 14feb2011

Players will now be rewarded Combat Badges when engaging in player-vs-player activity against *eligible opponents.

There had been intermittent gripes on the forum about the damage cap, but the introduction of combat badges and badge market artifacts meant that more people got involved in pvp.

Fizzle 15mar2011

Fizzle wrote: Since the addition of the badge market, I have encountered what I consider to be a serious problem with damage calculations in PvP. Some people do not spend any (or at least very few) rank points on adding decks to their ship. The damage calculator has an apparent limitation based on the size of the ship. This results in significantly smaller ships being able to deal more damage to me than I can deal to them. This really needs to be adjusted to use ship level instead. Using ship level ensures that each ship has had a minimum number of rank points to improve their ship. How people choose to spend those points is their decision, but not spending them on decks shouldnt result in a benefit to PvP.

Matress_of_evil responded: Small ships by definition are small and agile, allowing them to dodge incoming weapons more easily. Larger ships are less agile but are capable of firing more weapons. Dan has always made it clear that he intends the damage calculations to reflect this, so in that respect there's nothing wrong with the damage calculations.

Webguydan 03apr2011:

Damage cap ceilings have been adjusted.

Prior to this change, the maximum damage dealt to a ship in a single shot was (0.5 x # of ship decks)

Now, that ceiling is (0.5 x # of ship decks), OR (0.5 x (player rank + 19)), whichever is greater.

Most ships will not notice this change, as they typically apply at least 1 deck per rank.

Further discussion has continued in the years since, but no further tweaks to the damage cap formula have been made.

is this cowardly? 24aug2011

damage cap for tiny ship builds NEEDS to go 06jan2012 to 04dec2013

ship cls and size 17sep2012 Golgotha holding off 3 legions on Exotica

pvp damadge needs to be looked at 13dec2012

Rebalancing SSB, MSB, and LSB.. from a MSB perspective 31aug2013

  • suggestion for 'critical' hits that could do a multiple of damage cap

Fellow SSBers- A question 14jan2014

  • comments that EVERY ship will eventually reach 'SSB' status

Shout out for Munchin! 12apr2014 another Exotica stand.off topic, this time by a rank 173

Damage cap rebalance 24jun2015

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