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Iridar’s Weapon Analysis Toolbox

This video is outdated and doesn’t include many new features, but it explains the general purpose and spirit behind this tool.

This Excel Spreadsheet is a culmination of years of work on theorycrafting PlanetSide 2 weapon mechanics. It uses Visual Basic macros to pull weapon stats from DBG API, to calculate damage and recoil statistics and draw graphs to visualize them.

This toolbox arms you with all necessary tools for comprehensive weapon analysis.

Current version: v4e

Attention! When you first open the toolbox, you will see a yellow bar with a security warning about macros. You have to allow the use of macros, or the Toolbox will not function. 

Structure

The Excel file has 7 pages:

Toolbox pages

They contain cells of different color:

soft-orange  Soft orange cells. When you double click or right click a weapon on the Stats page of the spreadsheet, weapon’s stats will be copied into soft orange cells on other pages. These cells also accept manual input. You can edit them without fear of breaking anything.

light-greyLight grey cells contain calculations and references to other cells, do not edit grey cells, or you will break the tool’s functionality.

pale-yellow Pale yellow cells store values for configuration, and you may need to edit them in specific situations.

Toolbox chosen cell Light green filling indicates that this cell’s value has been selected, likely by double clicking.

Toolbox tooltipSmall red triangles in the corner of a cell indicate a tooltip. Put your mouse over the cell to display the tooltip.


Note: Toolbox’s calculations always assume worst case scenario: weapon damage is rounded down and target health is rounded up.

Stats Page

Toolbox stats page

This huge table has stats of all known infantry weapons. 

Normally you don’t work with this table itself, and only use it to export stats into other pages:

Double click or right click on any weapon to copy its stats into soft orange cells on other pages.

Other functions:

Double click on Item ID of the weapon to open a JSON query for that weapon for your default browser.

The Toolbox is not perfect, and may sometimes pull wrong stats, or fail to pull stats at all. There is no substitute for looking at a query with your own eyes. 

Select a weapon and click “Export 1” button. A window with exported weapon’s stats  and attachment list will show.

Pulling stats and adding new weapons

The Pull Stats button will initiate a download of weapon stats from DBG API, using JSON queries for each Item ID in the first column. When a new weapon is released, simply insert its Item ID and Name to the end of the list, and its stats will be downloaded as well. 

If you know weapon’s exact name, you can find out its Item ID this way, or you can simply copy-paste it from Attachments Page.

add-new-weapons

Keep in mind that “Name” column is not downloaded, and you will have to fill it manually for any new weapon releases.

The “Date” field near the “pull stats” button stores the date when stats were last downloaded. Normally, you should re-download stats only after a patch that changed something.

Damage Page

damage toolbox page

This page serves to analyze weapon damage at different ranges and/or with different attachments. You can compare two weapons at the same time.

On “Stats” page, double click on a weapon to export its stats for the first weapon, and right click for the second weapon.

You can add attachments to weapons by clicking corresponding buttons. If the weapon doesn’t have a certain attachment, you will be informed with a pop up window, but you can’t see whether weapon has access to an attachment on this page without clicking the Check Box.

The calculations for Minimum and Maximum damage ranges are self-explanatory.

To calculate weapon’s damage stats at certain range, enter it into soft orange Range cell.

Target Settings

target-health 

Both weapons are simulated against the same target. You can specify target’s parameters on the middle left.

Below the Health block, there are reference tables for Health, Nanoweave Armor and Kinetic Armor. 

Double click on Health or Damage Multiplier value to automatically apply it.

Both weapons have Headshot Damage Multiplier listed. You can double click on its value to apply it to the Damage Multiplier. 

Since both weapons fire at the same target, and damage multiplier is tied to the target, it may be inconvenient to compare headshot properties of two weapons with different headshot multipliers. 


The most common way to analyze a weapon is to look at its performance against the default target with 1000 HP and against a Full Nanoweave target with 1250 Effective HP, so these are the default parameters, and statistics for standard Full Nano target are calculated automatically.

BTK Thresholds

Toolbox BTK Thresholds

The “Calculate Thresholds” button will calculate BTK Thresholds for both weapons.

For example, the results on the picture above read as:

Gauss Rifle kills in 6 shots at 0m to 10m, and in 7 shots at 11m+.

“Draw Graph” button will also recalculate Thresholds and then draw a comparative graph.

Recoil Page

toolbox recoil page

This page serves to analyze weapon’s recoil properties.

Both double click and right click on a weapon on the Stats page will import its stats into soft orange boxes of the Recoil page.

Click Calculate Stability to calculate Average and Maximum horizontal Deviations and to update Probability Distribution Graph.

The Visual Basic macro fires a virtual gun in bursts with listed “Burst Length” for the amount of times, listed in “Simulations” cell, and then averages out the results. 

“Average Deviation” is the average distance of the crosshair from the burst’s starting crosshair position. The lower it is, the better is the weapon’s horizontal recoil.

“Graph Scale H” refers to the maximum Horizontal Recoil value, visible on the graph. The default value of 1 is fine for most cases, but for weapons with lower Horizontal Recoil, you may want to reduce Graph Scale H to 0.5 to increase chart’s accuracy / detail.

Vertical Recoil module is self explanatory, you’re mostly interested in Vertical Recoil per Second. 

For the purposes of vertical recoil, it’s better to have high RoF and low vertical recoil per shot, to ensure nice and soft, consistent pull.

FSRM value is listed mostly for your reference, it doesn’t participate in any calculations.

The Average Deviations listed in Recoil Angle block show how much a weapon is affected by Recoil Angle Variance. They basically show you the size of the yellow area:

Serpent Recoil Pattern
Serpent’s recoil pattern – not included with the Toolbox

Cone of Fire Page

toolbox cof page

This page serves to analyze weapon’s Cone of Fire properties using my Angular Size research.

Both double click and right click on a weapon on the Stats page will import its stats into soft orange boxes of the Recoil page.

Target is set up identically to the Damage page, the only exception is that you also have to choose your Aiming Point, since they have different Angular Sizes. Enter “1” for Center Mass and “0” for Head.

The purpose of this page is to calculate the ideal burst length for a weapon at a certain range based on calculated target size on your screen. Calculations ignore recoil completely.

Double click on weapon’s CoF value to import it into analysis window.

Here you can find an example analysis.

Attachments Page

attachments toolbox page

This page stores a table with known effects of known attachments on all weapons. When you add attachments to weapons on other pages, this is where their effects are taken from.

To update the table, click “Pull Attachments“. A VBA Script will pull Names and Item IDs for all weapons from weapon categories on Categories Page, and then pull attachment data for them.

You can also double click on weapon’s name to open a JSON query for that weapon’s attachment list. This may be necessary if a weapon has access to atypical attachment, since the table is formatted only for known effects of known attachments.

Categories Page

categories toolbox page

This page contains a list of weapon categories. It is used when you Pull Attachments

Temp Page

This is a temporary page for storing calculations results. You don’t need to interact with this page at all.

Changelog and To-Do

v1 – initial release.

v2 – added CoF import functionality and reworked Cone of Fire page. Special thanks to FISU. Weapon names also update when you add attachments.

v2a – added the ability to double click on weapon’s Item ID to open JSON queries. 

v2b – Pull Stats will also pull Falling CoF (for flying / jumping with Carbines). Falling CoF will also be imported into Cone of Fire page. Also fixed a bug that any value of 1 character long was not pulled from the API. 

v3 – The toolbox will now also pull ADS movespeed multiplier and other missing stats. Fixed several issues, minor improvements. 

v3a – Fixed a Reload Time export.

v3b – Added the button to pull  information about weapon’s projectiles.

v4a – Added functionality to download exact effects of weapon attachments and apply them to weapons. 

v4c – Cleaned up unnecessary code in order for the Toolbox to work with 64 bit version of Excel. Also fixed a minor bug with HVA on Damage page.

v4d – Downloaded weapon and attachment stats for latest patch, including NSX Tanto. 

v4c – Cleaned up unnecessary code in order for the Toolbox to work with 64 bit version of Excel. Again.

To Do

Determine if BASR time between shots = chamber time.

Overall weapon rating based on multigon square calculations.

CoF / RoF probability distribution to determine weapon consistency (done in alpha)

Reword the horizontal recoil probability distribution graph to be more accurate

Horizontal Recoil Stability Calculator

The recent fiasco with AF-4 Cyclone guide has reminded me that a mere possibility of a weapon’s recoil being less stable doesn’t necessarily mean it will be less stable on average.

Let me remind you the raw numbers:

Statistic Cyclone
Armistice Eridani
Horizontal Recoil 0.212 / 0.4 0.347 / 0.376 0.3 / 0.392
Horizontal Recoil Tolerance 0.9 (2-3 kicks) 0.9 (2 kicks) 0.9 (2 kicks)

 

Compared to other 1st generation SMGs, the Cyclone has bigger difference between minimum and maximum recoils. It can also potentially have an extra recoil kick, increasing the total width of the recoil pattern.

That led me to conclude that Cyclone has less stable horizontal recoil. 

It is true that potentially Cyclone can kick further from the start than other 1st gen SMGs.

However, statistically, it is very unlikely. The probability of several hits in the same direction and with the recoil magnitude being in specific bounds is simply too low to be worth considering.

Discouraged by my error, I have created a tool that will allow to judge the stability of horizontal recoil pattern in an objective manner.

Horizontal Recoil Stability Calculator

This excel spreadsheet will calculate stability of a weapon’s recoil pattern as average distance from the starting crosshair position.

 Horizontal Recoil Stability Calculator

Important! To be able to open this file, you will need a Microsoft Office with enabled Excel Macros. Supposedly there are security risks for doing this. Responsibility is yours, though I promise there’s nothing malicious in specifically my excel files.

How to use

Enter the weapon’s Horizontal Recoil stats into the three orange boxes at the top (where to get stats?). It’s fine to leave Burst Length and number of Simulations to their default values. 

Click “Calculate Stability” button, and the sheet will automatically update all results and the recoil distribution graph.

The Probability Distribution graph is your main instrument for assessing weapon’s horizontal recoil stability. 

The horizontal axis of the graph represents the distance from the center of the recoil pattern, and the vertical axis represents the probability of that position being chosen. 

“Graph Scale H” defines the horizontal scale of the graph. It is set to “1 degree” by default, and generally it should be high enough for all PS2 infantry weapons. For weapons with low horizontal recoil and low tolerance values, you can reduce Graph Scale H to 0.5 to make the graph more accurate.

Ideally, you want a weapon whose graph looks like this:

ideal

Basically, a weapon without horizontal recoil whatsoever.

The closer the spikes of the graph to the left side, the higher the probability of the crosshair staying near the center of the recoil pattern – near crosshair’s original position at the beginning of a burst.

“Stability” is simply the average distance of the crosshair from the burst’s starting point. The closer it is to zero, the more accurate the weapon is on average. 

“Maximum Deviation” is the highest value taken by Horizontal Recoil during simulation.


You can copy paste the graph as image in order to compare different weapons:

copy as image

This is a graph for Gauss SAW.


On the next picture, I’m manually holding it with my mouse over the graph for Cyclone, allowing us to easily compare them.

overlay


Returning to Cyclone

Statistic Cyclone
Armistice Eridani
Stability 0.264 0.305 0.294
Maximum Deviation 0.848 0.810 0.840

 

Cyclone vs Armistice vs Eridani

As you can see, both Armistice and Eridani have lower stability, and a higher chance for the crosshair to be kicked further from the start. While Cyclone will generally shake in wider bounds, half of these bounds is still closer to the center due to lower minimum recoil. Cyclone may be less predictable on small scale, but it will be more stable on average.

Why Excel Sheet?

I’d love to eventually add this functionality into Weapon Simulator, along with other few minor updates, but for the time being I’ve lost the ability to make any additions to it. My Visual Studio died, basically 🙁