What if? Turret tracking formula was changed

Jester’s post got me thinking about signature radius of ships.As part of the Gallente rebalancing, I was interested in whether Gallente tanking bonuses could be changed to a signature radius reduction instead of the active tanking bonus (which is rarely used except for on the Myrmidon). However, talking to people left me with the impression that while it would work ok for missiles, it wouldn’t work for turrets.

A while back, the missile damage formula was changed to factor in the ‘explosion radius’ of the missile vs the target’s signature radius. This had the effect of preventing cavalry Ravens from demolishing smaller ships by attenuating their damage.

Turrets, however, do not have this damage reduction.

I got to looking at the turret tracking formula, reproduced here:

Existing turret tracking formula.

There’s a few interesting things about this equation.

The first is that there’s a lot of squares and exponents being bandied around, which makes things difficult for a non-mathematician. However, the main thrust is that if you minimise all the numbers, blob becomes close to zero, which means damage shoots up to near 100%. Similarly, if transversal rises, it initially doesn’t make a difference, but as it rises further, the effect gets pretty S curvy and soon enough you’re missing all the time.

It’s also interesting to note that low transversal makes up for a multitide of other problems. If transversal is zero, all tracking numbers become irrelevant. However, the signature radius comparisons also become irrelevant. This leads to Titans volleying battlecruisers and smaller ships as a matter of course.

However, if there is transversal and your target has a huge signature radius compared to your guns, your tracking becomes a lot better. This means that small ships will generally hit larger ships even when orbiting tightly.


I’m no math genius but I propose a few changes to the tracking formula to achieve these aims

  1. Retain the same tracking for same-ship-size fighting.
  2. Do not break MWD signature bloom causing wrecking shots
  3. Make signature tanking a (semi) viable option
  4. Slightly nerf big ships killing small ships at zero transversal

So, here is my frankenstein formula:

Goodwill Hunting I am not

Let’s run it through, line by line

Line 1

Pretty much the same as the original formula, except that you no longer get tracking penalties for signature radius disparity – only bonuses for hitting large ships. Signature penalties are handled in the next line.

Line 2

The signature penalty is extracted to be totally independent from transversal, meaning a 40m frigate will be hit for about  12.5% damage with 400m battleship weapons, even with zero transversal. However, the tracking of those guns will be a lot better. In fact, I might not need that square root in there if it turns out this part of the formula needs to be more vicious.

Line 3

Range calculations won’t be affected.


This is by no means a perfect formula, but hopefully I have illustrated a way to decouple signature radius from transversal.

I haven’t flesh out the whole idea of ‘gallente = signature tanking’ fully, but turret changes are a necessary precondition to it.

3 Responses to “What if? Turret tracking formula was changed”

  1. 1 Mike deVoid
    March 20, 2012 at 7:47 am

    No responses to this post? A tracking change for guns is probably one of the most important and least addressed issue for Eve right now.

    Oh, did you make a mistake in eTracking btw? Should that be a min() instead of a max()? With the Max I get that you get no bonus for hitting a larger target.

    • 2 Serpentine Logic
      March 20, 2012 at 9:35 am

      Yeah, that probably should be a min(). I am the dumb.

      Since large guns already have damage mitigation vs small targets, I wanted to not penalize them further with the existing tracking penalty

      It’s arguable whether the max(1) is too low, meaning damage mitigation kicks in shooting anything smaller than your gun resolution, but not the tracking penalty. Perhaps it isn’t necessary at all.

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