Demystifying this Relationship
By: George Argyropoulos
There are times when a subject matter comes up that, in my mind, is easy to envision, yet when I try to articulate an explanation it turns out more complex than what I see in my mind. Spread and Splash in in that category.
Spread is defined as the area that the projectiles will hit within. Projectiles may hit in the center of this area or they may hit to the edge of this area. When we look at stats, Spread is given as an absolute number, however, in order to understand the interactions, you have to convert that number into actual spread off-center. To do this you have to divide your spread number by 5 (this info is directly from Kixeye).
For example, if your build has an absolute spread of 90, the true spread from the center point of your targeting would only be 18 (90 divided by 5). It would look something like this:
Splash is the area that is damages . While spread is where a projectile may land with regard to a specific targeted spot, Splash is the damage that radiates out from that point of projectile impact. This is what we see when we target a ship or turret and our mortars or scatterguns damage and sometimes destroy nearby turrets, ships and walls. The higher the Splash the further out the damage reaches.
Splash is an interesting mechanic in that damage is a linear drop off from point of impact. In other words, at the impact point (center of your Splash circle), you will have 100% damage and the further away you progress from the center, the less damage will be dealt. Generally, the drop off at the edge of the splash radius is 50% of the damage of the weapon (old mortars value). Some are more, some are less, but the drop off is always linear.
For example, a hull with a total splash of 54.8 (Weird number, I know, but I'm using a specific build.) and damage of 1,000 per shell will have that amount halved to 500 at the 55 range (outer edge of the Splash circle) and at the mid-point of the range (27.4) the damage would be 750.
The general consensus is to always increase your splash as much as possible. As 'standard' wisdom in the game, many players do not realize why this bit of wisdom makes your weaponry more effective. In essence, you want your weapons to hit your target so that the inner ring is what is dealing the damage. The closer to the center, the more damage is imparted. This then begets the question of spread v. splash and is a perfect segue...
Spread v. Splash :
Coverage Efficiency = Splash / (2*(spread/5))
Damage Density = .5 * Splash / (2*(spread/5))
(These are relational equations based solely on known mechanics and may not accurately reflect actual in game performance due to unknown factors ranging from RNG to actual min. damage % of weapons to enemy armor. M'kay?)
The first calculation (Coverage Efficiency) should give you an effective coverage percentage for your weapons. Using the above example you would calculate 54.8 / 36 = 152% meaning that your weapons would cover over 100% of the spread radius in damage and that you would guarantee hitting anything (standing still) at the point of targeting. This is reflected above by the red ring.
The second calculation (Damage Density) will give you an idea of how efficient the damage dealt would be from this build. Again, using the above example we would get 27.4 / 36 = 76%. This percentage would reflect the amount of your weapons that would damage anything (standing still) at the point of impact with the 'inner ring' of damage. This allows you to tune your build to maximize this damage. This is reflected above by the orange ring.
As you can see, the relationship between these two mechanics is a little more complex than one would initially consider. Hopefully, in now knowing their interactions, you can more efficiently build toward your intended target and fine tune builds to maximize your available options when building.
And to steal a friend's line:
- Always increase Splash.
- Spread is a choice. Make sure it's a good one.