Comparison: Antimatter vs Void (and bonus Null appearance).

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Cassiel Seraphim

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Post 2018.03.24 12:26

Comparison: Antimatter vs Void (and bonus Null appearance).

A question that often comes up is whether Void is better than Antimatter for a Vindicator in vanguards. The short answer is no it's not worth it just keep using antimatter and null, but here's a more detailed explanation for those curious as to why that is.

Basic differences in ammo penalties and bonuses:

Void sacrifices overall range flexbility in the form of reduces falloff for a bit longer optimal range and slightly more damage, making it stronger within optimal range (which is now further out) but significantly weaker in falloff. It also takes a significant tracking penalty. In comparison, Antimatter has a penalty to optimal range, but doesn't suffer any tracking or falloff penalties whatsoever, making it quite strong and flexible within its falloff range. Null sacrifices tracking and damage for more range, both optimal as well as falloff range.

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(the comparison tool ingame is a nice tool in general, I highly recommend it for module or ammo checkups)

Fits and values:

For this comparison I'll run a so called "normal" fit, which is based off of a high-end fit with a faction tracking computer and a "locus" fit, which is based off of the alternative warp-speed rigged high-end variant that often comes with a locus rig for extra range and an additional tracking enhancer. Fits with antimatter or void will have an incoming faction remote tracking computer scripted for range, while the null fits will get tracking speed. All the fits also have +6% tracking implant, -6% rate of fire and +6% damage. It also has the web implant, for maximum range on the webs.

In the simulation, only one web will be used, so the target will be running at 10% maximum speed. This might seem weird, since all those fits will have 2 webs, but it's a simulation to counter the fact that ships don't automatically drop dead to 1% speed if you put two Vindicator webs on it, it'll slow down over time. Even assuming 10% speed (full effect from 1 web) is somewhat unrealistic, as you'll probably spend more time shooting at it prior to hitting 10% than after. But this compromise doesn't put Void is a negative light, quite the opposite, so it's an acceptable compromise. In short, this comparison is giving Void the absolute best chance to shine.

Rudimentary paper comparison:

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Normal fit (antimatter): 6.91km+27.8km range with 11.2 WAS and 1,640 dps (13.86km at 25% falloff, 34.71km at 100% and 62.51km at 200%).
Normal fit (void): 10.4km+13.9km range with 8.42 WAS and 1,830 dps (13.875km at 25% falloff, 24.3km at 100% and 38.2km at 200%).
Normal fit (null): 15.1km+24.7km range with 15.3 WAS and 1,307 dps (21.275km at 25% falloff, 39.8km at 100% and 64.5km at 200%).

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Locus fit (antimatter): 7.45km+28.4km range with 11.8 WAS and 1,549 dps (km at 25% falloff, km at 100% and km at 200%).
Locus fit (void): 11.2km+14.2km range with 8.87 WAS and 1,729 dps (km at 25% falloff, km at 100% and km at 200%).
Locus fit (null): 7.45km+28.4km range with 11.8 WAS and 1,235 dps (km at 25% falloff, km at 100% and km at 200%).

So in this best-of-scenarios, the initial data shows that Void is only better at ranges < 17km for the "normal" fit and after that is quickly drops off and becomes useless by comparison. If we take into consideration that most of our targets are within the 15-20km range, Void would overall not be a benefit, as whatever it gains within 17km is offset by the loss of performance in the 17-20km range. For the "locus" fit it comes off a little bit better. The extra range pushes into a relatively critical area, putting Void slightly ahead up until a breaking point around 19km. But that's just compared to other locus fits ... how does it compare to the regular "normal" fit with antimatter? It actually doesn't perform better than the normal fit with antimatter past 17km, so the 19km comparison is a bit of a misleading advantage.

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Factoring in reload times:

It takes 5 seconds to reload hybrid ammo, plus at least 1 second of UI handling to issue the reload as a human being. Then double that to change ammo back, so 12 seconds at the least (more if you're not quick with your UI handling). In the time you reload you could shoot up to 3 times. Over a period of 2 minutes, assuming you normally shoot 30 times, you're giving up 3 shots which is ~11.11% of your damage (30/27 =~ 11.11), so any improvement would need to be much higher than +11.11% in order for you to even benefit from reloading.

Now in a lot of scenarios you can almost remove this offset. For example you can reload in between sites or while locking up the next wave. This wouldn't impact anything as you're not shooting anyway, thus a +10% bonus from reloading would be worth it in a scenario where that ammo is useful for the entire wave. This is why we often recommend swapping ammo for the third wave in an Override Transfer Array and for Nation Commander Outpost sites.

Factoring in tracking:

Now both void and null suffer from tracking penalties, which will offset the raw dps values in any real scenario where ships are moving and at different angles. Ultimately this changes the initial premise a little bit, by showing that the tracking comes into play much sooner than the theoretical paper dps graph above would have you believe. It shows that all things considered, there's really no realistic scenario where void comes out on top.

Here are some graphs showing applied dps on a Schmaeel as well as a Romi for a "normal" fit:

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And here's the same for the "locus" fit:

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There's a theoretical window up to like 18-19km shooting a Romi, where void pulls ahead a little compared to antimatter, but that is such an outlier as they will more often than not stay closer to the 20km mark. And even so, the gain for shooting the Romi in that specific scenario doesn't outweigh the loss of efficiency in shooting everything else. You could make the argument that it (void) would benefit from hitting the Augas harder, as they come in closer than the rest, but while that's true the Vindicator is usually not tasked with hitting the Augas and again it's not as big of a bonus to offset the lack of efficiency hitting all the frigates.

Conclusion:

If you stare blindly at some edge cases at close range, void looks really nice and effective, not to mention cheap. But if you start factoring in actual scenarios, reloading, tracking, targets of opportunity shooting while they are burning in, also being able to help finish off the Romis once the frigates are dead and just about anything else that happens outside the bubble that is paper dps ... then you quickly realize that void isn't all that for us. The way we run incursions, the fact we run vanguards etc, all ends up being factors promoting antimatter over void.

Now there could be scenarios where void is better. Perhaps you're double-linked or if you're running headquarters where you're much closer due to having a propulsion module burning right up to people. But at the end of the day, for us, for our community, I find no argument for using void. As such, the recommendation still stands to use antimatter and null :)
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Lunaria Veil (Biomassed 2018.04.15)

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Post 2018.03.24 13:31

Re: Comparison: Antimatter vs Void (and bonus Null appearance).

Fantastic write up Cass! Thank you!

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