Have you ever asked yourself these questions:
What is the damage per turn (DPT) of each weapon?
At short range, is the Rifle auto-shot more deadly than the Heavy Cannon snap-shot?
At long range, is the Laser Rifle more deadly than the Plasma Rifle?
What is the chance of killing a Sectopod with a direct Blaster Bomb hit? What about a Heavy Laser?
A mind-controlled soldier fires a Laser Pistol at a Power-Armored Captain. What is the chance of dealing no damage at all?
Why is the Laser Cannon so useless? Why is the Plasma Beam so overpowered?
How many Fusion Missile Launchers are needed to be more effective against a Battleship than an equivalent number of Plasma Beams?
At the beginning of the game, what is the best weapon layout for 2 interceptors? Cannon + 2Stingray + Avalanche, or Cannon + Stingray + 2Avalanche?
If 3 interceptors with 6 Stingrays engage a Supply Ship, on average, how much damage will the fleet sustain?
How many Fusion Defenses are needed to have a 90% chance of destroying a Battleship? What about 99.9%?
Does the Missile Defenses' low maintenance make them more cost-effective than the Fusion Defenses in comparison to their effective power?
What is the most profitable item to manufacture?
I have the mathematically correct answers for all of these questions and many, many more.
I have seen dozens of balance mods, and I believe that 90% of them have been subject to poor choices:
How many balance mods increase the ammo of the Fusion Missile Launcher?
Many.
How many of them have answered the previous question?
"How many Fusion Missile Launchers are needed to be more effective against a Battleship than an equivalent number of Plasma Beams?"
None.
I want to give everyone the correct information, so that hardcore-players can make the best in-game decision to win, and hardcore-mod-makers can make the best game-making decisions for their mods. :)
For the last few months I've been working on several Google Sheets with formulas and google scripts to calculate lots of metadata about the original game.
These sheets answer all of the above questions, calculate, and compare all the content in the game.
They are separated in 4 files:
Battlescape (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1N5xQqvQTauSiwEqyV3Pl9LIepvbiKp52zdE_xfqheE0) - Calculations for every soldier, alien, armor, weapon, ammo, grenade, and equipment. DPT (Damage per turn) for every weapon and each fire mode in the game (assumes the player is using X-COM Extender Accuracy). Kill models for each damage type VS each unit.
DMG sheet - Regular weapons: DPT calculations. Score of each weapon = DPT + Bonus for TUs left.
For example, if you compare the aimed shot of the Laser Rifle against the Plasma Rifle, the Laser has higher DPT (120 vs 114), but the Plasma has higher Score (102 vs 120). This is because the 2 aimed shots of the Laser leave the soldier with 0% TUs (cannot even turn to face the enemy!), so the Laser gets a Score penalty. However, the Plasma Rifle aimed shot + snap shot leave the soldier with 10% TUs left to move for a line of fire, turn if necessary, or even kneel; so the Plasma gets a Score bonus.
HE sheet - DPT and score calculations for all High Explosive weapons and grenades.
Grenades have a different calculation method: RadDmg = Radial damage = power * radius / weight.
Grenades with higher power or radius have higher scores.
Grenades with more weight will be harder to throw, and have lower scores.
INC sheet - DPT and score calculations for all Incendiary weapons.
STUN sheet - DPT and score calculations for all Stun weapons and smoke grenades.
Other sheet - Comparison of clip sizes and weight of all weapons, grenades and equipment.
HWP sheet - DPT and score calculations for all tank weapons.
Armor sheet - Comparison of all armor values and resistances for X-COM armors, tanks, and aliens.
Soldiers sheet - Comparison of all soldier stats.
Aliens sheet - DPT and score calculations for all terrorist alien weapons. Comparison of all alien stats.
KillModel sheet - Kill models for each damage type VS each unit.
Interception (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qityDtFune1dalRAO_-p2R8oF_hDTk1iHBv-qYPmKPE) - All X-COM crafts, weapons and UFOs, DPS for all weapons. UFO destroy chances. Full interception simulation models for all weapons VS UFOs, including double and triple interception scenarios. Takes into account craft approach and projectile travel times. Easier to read summary sheets that allow the player to know, for each technology level, what layout of weapons is most effective for 1, 2, and 3 crafts (up to 6 weapon combinations).
Crafts sheet - Comparison of all X-COM Crafts and UFO stats.
Weapons sheet - Stat comparison and DPS calculations for all X-COM Craft Weapons and UFO weapons.
Weapons VS UFOs sheet - Chance of destroying each UFO with each weapon. Simple Interception Model of 1 Weapon vs 1 UFO. For each scenario: average damage taken and summary of interception outcome.
Interception Simulation x2 sheet - Full Interception Model (scripted) of 2 Weapon combinations vs each UFO. For each scenario: average damage taken and summary of interception outcome.
Interception Simulation x3 sheet - Full Interception Model (scripted) of 3 Weapon combinations vs each UFO. For each scenario: average damage taken and summary of interception outcome.
Interception Simulation x4 sheet - Full Interception Model (scripted) of 4 Weapon combinations vs each UFO. For each scenario: average damage taken and summary of interception outcome.
Interception Simulation x5 sheet - Full Interception Model (scripted) of 5 Weapon combinations vs each UFO. For each scenario: average damage taken and summary of interception outcome.
Interception Simulation x6 sheet - Full Interception Model (scripted) of 6 Weapon combinations vs each UFO. For each scenario: average damage taken and summary of interception outcome.
Early Game sheet - Easy to read summary sheet! "Hey, I just started the game. What weapons should I equip my fleet with?"
After Laser sheet - Easy to read summary sheet! "Hey, I just researched the Laser Cannon. What weapons should I equip my fleet with?"
After Plasma sheet - Easy to read summary sheet! "Hey, I just researched the Plasma Beam. What weapons should I equip my fleet with?"
After Firestorm sheet - Easy to read summary sheet! "Hey, I just manufactured a few Firestorms. What weapons should I equip my fleet with?"
After Fusion sheet - Easy to read summary sheet! "Hey, I just researched the Fusion Missile. What weapons should I equip my fleet with?"
After Avenger sheet - Easy to read summary sheet! "Hey, I just manufactured a few Avengers. What weapons should I equip my fleet with?"
Facilities + Prices + Manufacture (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1cpnaRix4lbsmvgD_msYfouYNiPtGN5rt7CsF0jM7CZ0) - Effectiveness calculations for base defenses. 90%, 99%, and 99.9% chances of defending against invading Battleships. Prices, rents, storage sizes and transfer times. Manufacturing costs, and all profitability calculations
Facilities sheet - Comparison of all facilities stats. Defensive probabilities calculation for each Base Defenses.
Prices sheet - Comparison of the prices of all items that can be bought or sold.
Manufacture sheet - Comparison of the basic manufacture info of all manufacturing projects.
Profitability sheet - Calculation of profitability for all manufacturing projects, based on the number of Workshops available - takes into account Workshop space and maintenance, Living Quarters maintenance and Engineer salaries.
Scoring + Research (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ksDdSkkUTnfzq3qpsHzTWAKJRfYNJF0p4fctVX938TU) - Comparison of all scores that can be obtained from Battlescape and Geoscape, including alien activity. Research times for all research, compared to scores of each research completion. Total research time for the entire game, depending on the number of labs.
Geoscape sheet - Comparison of scores that can be obtained in the Geoscape (interception results + alien activities)
Battlescape sheet - Comparison of scores that can be obtained in the Battlescape (items, casualties, and mission objectives)
Research sheet - Comparison of research times and scores for all research subjects. Calculation of total months required for all the game's research, depending on the number of labs.
The goals of this project are twofold:
1 - Provide calculated info for vanilla XCOM1 - all the player might ever need decision making in-game. I plan to add much of this information to https://ufopaedia.org
2 - Provide a template that can be copied, and fully re-written for new mod-makers that want to properly balance their game, without having to make / change any complicated formulas - just filling in the basic numbers, and copy-pasting.
- Adding some graphics to the most important comparison tables (i.e. DPT comparison for all weapons)
- Adding more notes / comments to make the more complicated sheets easier to understand.
- Adding a quick how-to tutorial on how to copy and change the sheets for new mods, without breaking any formulas / scripts.
- Create a script to upload ruleset files, which automatically fills-in all the base info to the sheets.
- Create a generic formula to calculate the number of damage actions of each weapon (still calculated by hand atm).
- Create a generic formula for the chance to destroy UFOs (still calculated by hand atm).
- Create a copy of the sheets for TFTD.
If you have any doubts, if you feel that there is missing information, or if you believe that are any errors, please message me or post in this thread. 8)