Part 144: Mechanics Talk 15 - Work Damage CalculationMechanics Talk 15: Work Damage Calculation
Today we'll be covering something I did only once in the form of mad post-it note scribblings: figuring out average expected work damage. I mostly eyeball it because it's faster, but for anyone who wants a more surefire way to calculate expected damage we'll be covering that today.
The first step in figuring out average work damage is to figure out an Abnormality's average damage. Today, let's work with Blue Star, which has a damage range of 6-9 White damage. Adding that together and dividing that by 2 we get an average damage of 7.5 White damage per failed box. The second thing we need to know is how many boxes the Abnormality generates. Again looking at Blue Star, it creates 33 per work. This is where things get complicated.
The next number we need to figure out is our Work Success rate. This is a little bit more complicated, and requires either a mod to show our work success % (The 'More information mod' does this if you are modding your game) or access to a gigantic list of all of the base success rates of every Abnormality in the game, which is full of spoilers and shouldn't be viewed unless we really want to know the names and general information of every Abnormality in the game.
If you do, it's over here, but please continue not mentioning any information on this list in the thread, because much like the wiki it is full of spoilers. If we look at Blue Star's Insight work rates, they're a solid 50% across the board-so we'll work with that. From there, we look at our agent's Work Success bonus (remember that they get +1 to the success rate for every 5 points in the Work Success stat) Let's say they have 100 Temperance, for a +20 to the success rate, for a total of 70%. Then, because our Observation Level is 4, we get +8 more to the success rate for a final total of 78%. And now we do math.
Taking the 33 PE boxes that Blue Star has, we multiply it by 0.78 for our total success rate to get an expected result of 25.74 successes-between 25 and 26 boxes. This leaves an average result of 7-8 failures, which would give us an average result of 7.5 damage times 7-8 failures to get an average damage of 52.5-60 damage, depending. Ouch! That's not where we should stop, though, unless we want to risk a panic. Not all of our runs are going to be average.
Estimating for a bell curve is a realm of mathematics that is beyond me, a simple middle manager, so my go-to rule is to assume that I will fail up to (1 per 10% below 100%) time(s) than the average says I will. For Blue Star, that puts the lowest bound at 22 boxes out of 33, a total of 11 hits for a net of 82.5 base damage. We could do this math for the other end of the bell curve as well, but that side won't kill our Agents so who cares?
This gives us 3 numbers to work with, 52.5, 60, and 82.5 for our averages and our high end damage. What we want to do is find modifiers among our gear that will let the first 2 numbers hit less than 70% of our SP, while keeping that last number from killing us outright. Since Blue Star requires a Prudence of 5 to work, our minimum Prudence to work it would be 85-making the entire thing a nonissue. Just don't wear something that gives them a net weakness and our Agent will be fine.
That said, let's calculate things anyways just to be safe. Laetita's suit is a 0.7x White damage HE-tier suit, making it perfect for a test calculation. We take that 0.7x modifier, and then multiply it by 1.2 (the modifier for an ALEPH level hitting a HE level threat) to get a final modifier of 0.84x.
This means that, if we were to work Blue Star with a 100 Temperance and Laetitia's armor, we could usually expect to take ~44-50 damage per work, and a bad run would get as high as ~69.3. Not only is that survivable, we could actually squeeze in a couple more failures on our hypothetical 85 SP Agent without actually hitting a panic-a nice cushion to have.
Obviously there are some things that I don't take into account here (Overloads being the biggest one, remember that after the first work the success rates for ALEPH/WAWs fall), but the math can be applied to those as well-just redo the success% with the new numbers, and rework the math from there.
If all of this math is intimidating, then take heart-we really don't need to do this to figure out how well our Agents will do on a work, and after playing for long enough it becomes second-nature to be able to sort of eyeball this information on the fly.
Still, if ever we want to know if x agent in y suit can survive z work with a Abnormality, sometimes it's a good idea to do the numbers. Especially if it mathematically proves that Laetitia is a good girl who has done nothing wrong in her life.