Effective shooting of enemies

Started by Arganot, March 21, 2022, 07:34:15 PM

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I was looking at mods for my next run when I came to weapon mods to add some variety for the weapon pool. But then I asked myself if any of the weapons are even a weapon I would want to use. Which got me thinking about if there is particular damage numbers that might be better for killing or downing enemies. To determine that however, I would need to know the mechanics of what kills and downs.

The wiki has a fairly in-depth explanation on how the game selects which part of the pawn gets hit, but I wasn't clear on how "internal" damage effects the "external" part. Like if a Lung gets hit for 16, does the torso also take 0, 15 or 16 damage every time / sometimes?

How much damage and which wounds kill / down a pawn?

Then which damage sizes and damage types would be most effective if damage is some times halved or if it isnt halved at all?


Francis John made a pretty detailed video comparing the vanilla weapons and how they work.  You might find some useful information there which would help you decide on a weapons mod.


Also, he made in in-depth guide about how armor and damage works, which you would need to factor in when deciding on which weapons to use.  He explains exactly what your question was about organs taking damage in this video.



I am familiar with this material. It focuses mostly on DPS and specific guns vs various tiers of armor. However I am looking at something a little more focused. To be fair I was rather tired when I wrote the original post and might not have gotten my point across very clearly.

If we imagine a variety of guns that all have perfect accuracy, the same DPS, and the same AP (Armor Penetration) but different per bullet damage; Do any of the guns kill/down pawns faster on average? I started with 15 damage because legendary minigun users seems rack up kills faster then others (John Francis' pawn 'Karl Wallace' showed that pretty clearly in his recent combat tile run. And yes I know Karl was a Trigger-happy Shooting Specialist. We will get to how aim-time/CD effects killrate after we figure out optimal bullet damage.) The reason I figured 15 was doing better is because lungs, kidneys, and heart are all 15hp. So if we say that RNG was going to direct your bullets in following order: Left lung, Right Leg, Right Lung, Left Arm, Left 2nd toe. With the 15 damage gun (not necessarily a minigun) would kill with the 3rd bullet, by which time a gun that does the same DPS but with 10 damage bullets would land 5 shots (rounding in its favor.) The 15 damage gun has the kill because both lungs are gone where the 10 damage gun would only have maimed and maybe not downed (I am not clear on how much pain is generated from damage and if where the damage is affects pain.) Obviously rearranging the order of part hit can shift which gun kills faster, but I am looking for the average.

So then I decided to collect all the reasons I could think of a pawn would die or down. (I don't think it is complete)

Die: Consciousness=0, Breathing=0, Blood Filtration=0, Blood Pumping=0, Blood Loss(100%), Death on Down from Pain(80%*1*), other Vital Part Destroyed (Head, Neck, Torso), or Lethal Damage(?150?)

Down: Consciousness(<30%), Movement(<15%), Pain(80%*1*), EMP'ed Bionic Brain

*1* Pain Shock Threshold can be modified by Wimp, Veil, and War Mask. For this math lets just assume 80% for now.

Disable: Manipulation=0, EMP'ed bionic stomach.

So this makes the relevant parts: Brain (10), Liver (20), Heart (15), Both Kidneys (15 each), Both Lungs (15 each), Neck (25), Head (25), Torso(40), Spine(25), and Leg(30/25/25/25 Each*2*)

*2* To disable a leg any of: Leg(30) or Femur(25) or Tibia(25) or Foot(25). Results in the entire leg being 'disabled' (-50% moving.) Following shots can still hit other parts of the leg, unless the Leg(30) was destroyed.

So with this info does that mean that guns doing 15, 20, 25, 30, and 40 damage (unmitigated) shots end up killing / downing pawns faster when DPS is the same? If so, how big of an impact is this?

So info I am looking for: Are there any combat reasons for death / down that I missed? How does doing internal part damage (and over-damage) relate to the damage of the overall part? How does damage (Sharp, blunt, and burn) translate to pain? Does pain from damage to a finger remain if the arm is later shot off?


I think the answer to the question about how to down a pawn the fastest will depend entirely on the armor of the enemy.  Multiple low-damage shots spread over many body parts is by far the best method to down a pawn vs losing limbs.  However, if your weapon does not match the armor of the enemy, your shots will either be entirely deflected, or they will start removing limbs.

But think about the question and what you are asking.  That answer can not be found in the game code.  The only way any one can answer that question for sure is to run a lot of test scenarios similar to what Francis John did in the weapons video.

What is the goal?  Do you want recruitment with less collateral damage to the pawn?  If so, then you would want to do of small amounts of damage over lots of body parts so that the chances of limb loss is much less likely, and they simply collapse when the pain is too much.

If you are simply looking to end the battles quicker by downing enemies, and want to ensure that your shots will actually inflict damage regardless of the enemy armor, then you want high damage per shot to increase the likelihood of limb loss, organ damage, or headshots. 

The problem is that you can not predict what armor your enemy will be wearing, so for an optimal scenario, you would need to change weapon types for each fight.  In-game, though this is not practical.  If your enemies have very little armor, then many low damage projectiles are better.  If they have better armor, then high damage projectiles are better, even if they have unpredictable results, because low damage projectiles will just be deflected.

My suggestion is to use the Character Editor mod and start damaging and then removing fingers and toes and record the pain level.  Then remove the hands and legs, and see if the pain goes up or down.

For example, I just spent a few minutes playing around in the Character Editor, and found the following: A finger has 8 HP. A gunshot of 1 HP to a finger gives 1% pain.  7 HP missing gives 8% pain.  Each loss of a finger inflicts 10% pain per finger up to 50% pain per hand.

If you then remove the hand afterward, they are in 25% pain.  If you then shatter both the Humerus and Radius, it does not inflict any more pain, since that part is entirely missing.  However, if you just reduce the HP of the Humerus and Radius to 1 HP, they will be in 54% pain. If they then lose the entire arm, they are in 38% pain.

If, however, you simply inflict medium damage to all those body parts, they will be in much more pain than if you had simply shot off the limb.  5 missing fingers, and gunshots to the hand and the Humerus will give 100% pain and down the pawn, vs 38% if they had just had the arm shot off.

In practice though, which weapon type is better?

The lower damage the shots, the more likely it is to deflect off the armor, so if you hake 20 shots at 5HP each, none of them will do any damage if the enemy has any armor.  If you make 5 shots at 20 HP each, they are more likely to lose body parts if they have little armor.

I think you will simply have to test different weapons vs different armor types to get a concrete answer.  Draft a pawn and set up a firing line.  Have everyone shoot at them with machine pistols until they fall, and count how many seconds it takes.  Then change to different weapon types and do it again.  The results will vary wildly depending on the armor of the pawn.  In your actual gameplay, are you going to change weapon types depending on the enemies' armor type?

Damage type does not affect pain level, only missing HP does.  A bruise to the arm causes the same amount of pain as a burn or a shredded limb if they each cause 20 HP of damage.


Quote from: VitaKaninen on March 22, 2022, 03:10:16 PM
The lower damage the shots, the more likely it is to deflect off the armor, so if you shoot 20 bullets at 5HP each, none of them will do any damage if the enemy has decent armor.  If you shoot 5 bullets at 20 HP each, they are more likely to lose body parts if they have little armor.

That isn't how armor works. Armor doesn't care how big the bullet is, it simply has a chance to reduce the damage to half or to zero based on the relevant protection vs attackers armor pen.

I did a bunch of testing and came to the conclusion that sharp damage guns (didn't try melee but should be the same) cause 1.25% pain / damage up to the max HP of the part and removes pain from any "down the line" parts if the super part is destroyed. Like you said, 38% pain for a severed shoulder even if fingers or the hand was damage before the shoulder was destroyed. Also, super parts take equal damage from sharp attacks that hit internal parts (bones, kidney, lung, ect.) This makes internal shots worth double pain if the internal isn't destroyed.

I wasn't looking in particular to kill or down, but both. I think I have come to the conclusion that downing through pain is likely the fastest way to kill, as a pawn that has taken that much pain from bleed causing guns isn't getting back up without help.

My most recent test I found that 8 damage (10.0% pain) is better then 15 damage as destroying both lungs or kidneys is actually pretty rare. With 8 damage you don't get 1 shot brain or heart kills, but a 8 damage shot to a brain still downs them. Also if you completely shoot out an organ it is worth no pain where a damaged one is worth normal pain. This way if you can land eight, 8 damage shots you down the pawn unless you double to quad tap the same parts. 8 also means you don't waste any damage hitting finger/toes. And remember, internal shots count for double, so you could drop a pawn with 4 shots.

With burn damage weapons from mods, 1 damage = 1.875% pain. I haven't put a lot into burn weapons yet, but 4 x11, 8 x6, 9 x5, and 11 x4 would seem like good breakpoints for all the same reasons as 8 is good for sharp.


All my posts keep getting deleted.  This must be the 25th-30th time I have posted in this thread over the course of this day, and all my posts get deleted after 5 mins - 1 hr.

What is wrong with the post below?  It is a direct copy/paste of the one that was just deleted a few minutes ago.


I'm not deleting anything and I'm the most active staff here 95 percent of the time. Idk, PM me directly if it happens again as I'm not really sure why its been deleted; possibly a posting error? Noooooot too sure friend.
Ugh... I have SO MANY MESSES TO CLEAN UP. Oh also I slap people around who work on mods <3

"Back off man, I'm a scientist."
- Egon Stetmann



This post lasted 14 hrs before it was deleted.


You are right. The first part of my statement was not correct.  Armor is not more likely to deflect projectiles if their damage is low. 

Maybe I am not understanding your question.  What is the final question you are trying to answer?  Which weapon to use?  Are you trying to make a mod for a new weapon and trying to decide how to design the optimal weapon?

Are you trying to understand some of the game mechanics?  It seems like you already know everything about all the subjects you have talked about so far...

You are talking about equating hitpoint loss to pain%, but each body part has a different number of HP, and each has a different chance to be hit, with the Torso being far in the lead.

Are you looking for a breakdown of body parts by HP, and likelihood of being hit so you can decide how to inflict the most amount of pain?  Unless you want to go reading into the game code, I think the best option is to run tests and gather data.  As above, Francis John already collected a lot of data which you might be able to use.  Damage type does not seem to affect pain%.

If you had all the game data at your fingertips, what would you look for, and what would you do with it?

Side note:  If you are looking for an easy way to perform tests for different damage shots, you can use the "Simple Turrets" mod and modify the weapon damage and rate of fire of the Standard Turret in the mod's XML.  Use this with the "All Turrets Can Set Forced Target", to hold fire, target, and then test the effectiveness of different damage projectiles, and rates of fire.