Gary L. Simmons  rev 09/05/03
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Anvil Tips | Quartz'  Quarry | Hit Points | Theta | Adding Textures

What's a hitpoint worth?


NOTE: This article only applies for Anvil PM editing, if there are other M2/ºº PM editors out there, this issue may not affect them.

This is a small article for anyone who (like me) has designed a custom critter and custom ammo types, only to find out that the number of shots it takes to kill it according to the math, and the number of shots in "Real Life™" don't add up.

-The Summary-
The numbers you type into any given shot's damage base and damage random fields aren't really what the shot will be using, the actual value depends on other variables like the class of the weapon that's firing it.

-The Details-
Ever noticed some of the oddball things in the PM when it comes to shots and weapons? like how the fist does 50 points of damage, according to the values in the default? Well, this had puzzled me too, but it didn't really hit me until I started creating my own baddies and some new shots to kill them with.

What I found out is a little weird, but sorta makes sense if you think about it (if anything in Anvil can ever really make sense...). The principal is really simple once you figure it out- the actual damage a shot inflicts is dependent on more than just it's damage base and damage random fields, there are actually 3 layers to the equation, which I'll list here:

  1. values entered (damage base, damage random)
  2. weapon class multiplier (for melee weapons this value varies according to the speed of the person firing the shot)
  3. "weaknesses" options

The first two in this list are the most important, but I'm only going to cover #2 in depth in this article (most people already know what others are and how they work anyway).

1. Values entered
This is the first and most obvious thing people will change. Unfortunately, it's not the only thing that needs to be addressed, and so it causes lot of people unnecessary frustration.

The values here are simple: base is the minimum damage a shot will inflict, and random is a random amount between 0 and this number that is added to the base.
(so a shot doing 100-base and 10-random can inflict anywhere between 100 and 110 damage points)

Note again, though, that this is not the actual damage inflicted, as we still haven't factored in the multiplier yet.

1) AFAIK, the "alien damage" check box seems to be ignored if a player is generating the shot (which makes sense, I guess).

2. The weapon class multiplier
This is the oddball part, and the one that's the least obvious. The amount of damage a shot does is actually lessened by either a modest or a substantial amount depending on the class of the weapon that's firing it.

In short, once the shot's base+random value has been generated, the sum is then divided by a greater-than-1 number (or multiplied by a less-than-1 number, depending on how you want to look at it).

So far, these values seem to be 6/25 for stationary melee weapons (i.e, shot does 6/25 of the sum of the base+random generation) and 2/3 for everything else (except "none", which isn't a valid weapon class anyway). For the non-mathematically inclined, simply divide by 12 for melee, and 1.5 for normal.

If you don't believe me, do this simple test- take a pistol bullet, change it's base value to 81 and drop the random to 0. Now, go find a major pfhor and shoot it.
Note that it doesn't die.
Note also that according to logic and the PM it should, considering that a major pfhor's health rating is 80. This is because of the weapon class multiplier, which dropped the shot's value to 54 [81 / 1.5 = 54].

Now increase the pistol bullet's base to 119 and go shoot another major pfhor. This time it still doesn't die, but note that with one punch you can finish it off. Again, this is because of the multipliers [119 / 1.5 = 79.333,,,]
(critters can have non-integer health values, note that this equation brings the pfhor down to a .666,,, health rating, which is far below the minimum damage the weakest shot in the standard PM can inflict, thus, the fatal punch.)

1) I'm almost certain the multiplier is factored in after the random has been added to the base, but I can't quite figure out a way to test this theory.

2) I have no idea if monster generated shots are affected by a weapon multiplier, as I can't yet figure out a reliable way to test this either.

3) the multiplier for a melee weapon varies according to the speed of the player... the divisor for stationary is
12,but when moving this can drop to as little as 1.5. This explains why the fists are so much more powerful when running ([50 / 12 = 4.1666,,, but 50 / 1.5 = 33.333,,,]that's an eightfold increase!)

3a) Moving melee multipliers are a pain to figure out... I'm not sure if the engine counts lateral speed when doing the equation (i.e, sidestep-running may or may not make the shot more powerful than normal running... I have no idea since I have extreme trouble shooting at things when doing this :)

3b) the melee weapon multiplier varies solely on player speed, whether or not a shot has the 'melee' flag turned on or not is ignored as far as calculating hit points go.

3. Weaknesses
This is the easiest one. Simply put- for any given critter (except the marine), a shot flagged as 'having a weakness for' will do 2x it's normal damage on that critter.
Or, to put it another way, if a critter has any weaknesses, those types affected will do twice the damage they otherwise would.

1) For whatever reason, the immunities and weaknesses flags don't seem to affect the marine. This probably has something to do with the 'placeholder' status of the marine slot.


Anyway, I just thought I'd share this little tidbit of info.
HTH somebody somewhere :)

- Quartz


Please feel free to email Quartz to ask him questions about what you read here. Also be my guest and pester the hell out of him for more contributions to Anvil Tips. This guy is very knowledgeable in things Marathon and if it takes putting him on the rack to pry this out of him then, I have the lumber, anyone have some rope?

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