Talk:Guides:Ranged vs. Melee Weapon Efficiency

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It's interesting that you mathematically derived a fact that I had figured out through induction, i.e. through personal experience. --Xiombarg 04:19, 27 Nov 2005 (GMT)

Because I'm pedantic - You mean "empirical data", not induction.... What? Math minor. That's all. Riktar 23:28, 3 Dec 2005 (GMT)
I think Xiombarg was referring to logical induction ("inference of a generalized conclusion from particular instances" -Merriam-Webster), not mathematical induction. --Grim Leaper 10:00, 20 Dec 2005 (GMT)

Do these calculations take into account the fact that you can find loaded weapons and not just ammo when searching? Also, have the chances of finding x number of rounds in a weapon been found yet?

Feb 2006 Update:

Until now, the Guide did not take into account partially loaded weapons -- which makes a massive difference (especially for Gun Store Bargain Hunters).

Calculations now include Ammo, Partially Loaded Weapons, and Flare Guns. Although the flare gun correction is less than 1% (0.01 d/ap). Calculations assume that each number of rounds (0 to full) is equally likely in a found weapon. While this does not match current experimental data, the difference is small -- about 0.5% (up to 0.02 d/ap).

I snipped the following two out-of-date notes from the front page:

  • Note: calculations of efficiency were updated 10/20/2005 to reflect improved search statistics from the wiki.
  • Note 2: There was an error in the pervious formulas, it assumed in some places that there are two shots per shotgun shell. Fixed, Vasi 20:48, 9 Dec 2005 (GMT)

In my opinion, the next priority is to use updated Search Odds including December 2005 and January 2006. The updated search odds can then be percolated through someone's Excel spreadsheet to compute efficiency at all the various skill levels, which would enable us to update the entire Skill Progression and Melee Weapon Efficiency sections of this Guide. Thanks! --Tycho44 18:06, 8 Feb 2006 (GMT)

It might be worthwhile to note that the AP cost of travel affects overall efficiency: When you use firearms, you sit in one place until you've got your inventory filled with enough ammo to use all your AP killing zombies, then you travel once to find zombies. With the axe, by contrast, you have to move between shelter and prey every day. --Dan 20:24, 3 April 2006 (BST)

I find the reverse to be true: with a Fire Axe, I can find shelter much closer to the front lines of combat. I'm not a pure trenchcoater, so what with my syringes, FAKs, GPS, cellphone, generators, fuel, Fire Axe, and the like filling my inventory, I find that I can easily unload my ammo in just a few days, and then I have to return all the way back to the Mall in order to get more ammunition. I guess it depends on how often you have to restock ammo, and how far the Mall is from the zombies. --Tycho44 W! 01:56, 29 April 2006 (BST)


This article answered some questions I didn't even know I had. Your Lord approves. -- (GOD) 02:45, 4 August 2006 (BST)

What if I do this...

Alright, I've always recommended that I and my death-culty brethren simply drop any empty shotguns and shells they pick up during a Mall siege while searching their HP away for parachuting purposes. I do this because I've always had a hunch that shotguns are not worth the AP to load. Can you re-work the numbers to take this into account? As in, make it so that searching up a shotgun shell or a shotgun with no shells pre-loaded simply yield nothing, AND eliminate the load cost for shotguns? I'd like to see if this is more efficient than actually loading shotguns. And I already instruct my crew not to use axes because pistols searched up from Malls are more efficient damage-dealers (we use knives for GKing).

So here's what I'm looking for:

1. Assume that the character has all relevant skills (hell, assume a level 41). 2. Assume Mall search rates. 3. Drop the load cost for shotguns. 4. Assume that searches yielding shells and empty shotguns yield nothing.

I just want to see if the gains from 3 actually outweigh the losses from 4. I ask you to do this because I am not good at teh maths, whereas you obviously are.

Thanks! --New Coldness 03:07, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

I have run the numbers for you in my spreadsheet.
I assumed the opponent has no flak jacket, because it doesn't matter for the comparison. I also did not take into account the chance to find shotguns or pistols with ammo in them, which should have no effect or tilt towards the shotguns side (numbers across the board are lower but it should balance.) I didn't bother to include that in the spreadsheet yet.
As a pessimist who hates to leave enemies standing, I sought an 80% minimum confidence to hit (but not to find,) which will regularly return better results in reality than in theory.
When searching in a mall, the combination outperforms just a pistol by 90 HP of damage dealt in 73 AP, vs. 90 HP dealt in 81 AP. So the combination is about 11% more efficient, entirely by virtue of the doubled find chances.
I repeated the calculations for the baseline 63% confidence to hit and find and came up with: 150 HP damage in 108 AP for the combination, and 150 HP damage in 128 AP for just a pistol. So the combination is over 18% more efficient, simply because numbers are higher across the board due to the lower confidence rating.
The precise accuracy can be disputed because of the things I didn't factor in, but the relationships hold so the bottom line confirms the original poster's assumption that exploiting every round you can find always pays off so long as you have equal skills. --MeatHead 12:26, 2 August 2007 (BST)


I'm pretty sure this is really out of date. I seem to remember another page which calculates this more up-to-date, can someone find this? --AlexanderRM 02:54, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Shopping before Advanced Pistol Training

I was at the point where I was deciding on if I should get shopping before pistol training. I agree that pistol training should come before shopping, but I calculated that getting shopping before advanced pistol training yields more exp per AP. The exp/ap range of having shopping and looking for clips at malls: 1.398245614~1.505263158. But then the exp/ap range of looking for clips in PDs (essentially not getting shopping) and getting advanced pistol training: 1.263716814~1.384513274. The lower end represents a zed with 60hp and flak jacket and the higher end represents a zed with 50 hp no flak jacket (basically worst case scenario to best case scenario). Ziptrickhead 01:07, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Often Misinterpreted (AKA, utter bullshit)

I added the following section to clarify the interpretation of these often cited and (IMO) very misleading figures. SIM Core Map.png Swiers 18:58, 14 April 2008 (BST)

A lot of people misread the "efficiency" numbers, especially for guns. Individually, gun numbers are not that high, but when you simply use every gun you find (and have maxed skills) the numbers are quite good.

Lets looks at this another way, using the same figures given above. Lets say you spend 100 AP searching in a mall gun store with the bargain hunting skill. According to the numbers used on this page, you will find, on average, 10 clips, 10 shells, 5 pistols, and 5 shotguns. (I actually rounded these numbers down when they should be rounded up, so my figures here will be a bit pesimistic, but it makes for easier math.) Those pistols will contain an average total of 15 shots, and the shotguns an average total of 5.

You can shoot all this weaponry using 10 AP to load the pistols 10 times, 75 AP to shoot the pistols 75 times, 10 AP to load the shotguns 10 times, and 15 AP to shoot the shotguns 15 times.

So, having spent a total of 210 AP, you find and use 15 shotgun shots and 75 pistol shots. On average, vs a flacked target, with maxed out skills, that does a total of 351 points of damage. Thats an "Effciency" of 351 Damage / 210 AP = 1.67, which is considerably higher than the figure given above- and remember, this is with pessimistic rounding, against a flak jacketed target (the above figures assume no flak jacket).

Overkill section, "a target with 3 AP".

I wasn't certain if you meant "a target with 3 HP" here, or "a target, if you have 3 AP to spend on attacking them". I also couldn't understand where you were getting the .2538 for the pistol. If the target has 3 HP, then average DPA(damage per AP, or damage per attack? I assume per AP, though for axe it is the same-1.2) is 1.2/3 (3 being damage needing to be dealt for a kill, or damage axe does per successful hit?). I believe it is possible you meant "a target with 3 HP" and that the .2538 figure is, perhaps, a miscalculation or misstatement on your part, but I am not sure. I just need some clarification. Also, though I know it might not be possible to figure in, an axe wielder doesn't have to spend AP travelling to and from a mall or police station to stock up on ammo(assuming one follow's the advice not to sleep in these places), and this would seem to possibly make firearms less efficient than your numbers indicate. I thank you for the article, I just didn't quite get this bit.