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When to move from Locators to Exploiters?

mournblade#1863 mournblade Member Posts: 74 Arc User
edited April 2020 in The Shipyard
Thanks in large part to the Endeavor Perks system, I'm about to hit 50% static* crit chance on my Romulan TAC captain (he's also currently at 135% static critical severity), at which point I was considering replacing the Locators with Exploiters. Doing so will drop me back down to 40% crit chance, which is still quite good, and will add 50% critical severity across five tactical consoles (at epic Mk XV) which will obviously improve my DPS dramatically. I realize there are some subjective opinions out there about this, but my question for those who are smarter than me is at what point does the math support the crossover?

(*By static I mean permanent; excluding anything that procs crit chance or anything that temporarily increases crit chance on activation.)


  • foxrockssocksfoxrockssocks Member Posts: 2,482 Arc User
    Well, If early morning math doesn't fail me, I think the basic formula to look at is y=(1-C)x+CDx where C is your crit chance, D is your crit damage multiplier, and x is your base level of damage, and y would end up being your average DPS. The first term (1-C)x should be your non-crit damage, and the second should be your crit damage.

    The real trick is to break down C and D to find out where you get the highest y value. So, C should be broken down into C=c+l where l is how much you get from locators and c is the rest of your crit chance, and D should be D=1+d+e where e is how much critd from exploiters and d is the rest of your critd, and 1 is counting your base damage, because the base 50% crit damage gives you 1.5 damage, not .5 when you crit.

    So if we assume a 50% crit chance and 135% severity, then we would see (1-.5)x+.5*2.35*x, or .5x+1.175x, or 1.675x. I don't remember the numbers on anything but if we say 10% of that crit chance is from locators and no exploiters, then your C would be .4+.1=.5 and D would be 1+1.35+0=2.35.

    So lets assume 2% per locator and 10% per exploiter for sake of math. Then we look at it with only exploiters, and your C would be .4+0=.4, and D would be 1+1.35+5*.1=2.85.

    Put that into the formula again and we have y=(1-.4)x+.4*2.85*x=.6x+1.14x=1.74x, which is slightly higher than 1.675x, thus a better choice. What about 3 locators and 2 exploiters? That comes out to be .56x+.44*2.55x=1.682x. Keep in mind we don't care about the actual value of x, it really doesn't matter in the end, as critting is always just a multiplier of your damage.

    You need to substitute your actual numbers, but you may already be past that point where it is time to switch to exploiters. It isn't going to be the same for everyone, because it isn't based on just crit chance but also critd. Consider if we had 50% or 40% crit chance with only 50% or 100% critd depending on locator/exploiters. The math would be y=.5x+.5*1.5x=1.25x or y=.6x+.4*2x=1.4x. It is still better to use exploiters, but notice the difference, its .15x between 1.4 and 1.25, compared to a .065x difference between 1.74x vs 1.675x in the previous one with a higher base critd, or in other words a 6.5% damage difference compared to a 15% damage difference.

    Now, because I was playing with numbers, look at a 200%/250% critd, and our same 40/50% crit chance, we now see .5x+.5*3*x=2x vs. .6x+.4*3.5*x=2x. They come out the same damage whether full exploiters or locators!

    Bottom line, input your values and work from there. I've played with it a bit and it definitely matters based on your actual crit and crit damage, as there are points where locators are better and points where exploiters are better.
  • mournblade#1863 mournblade Member Posts: 74 Arc User
    edited April 2020
    Thanks, @foxrockssocks. This is exactly what I was looking for. If I understand this correctly, I'm at the point now where transitioning to Exploiters will start to increase my DPS. Basically, moving from 50%/135% to 40%/185% will net higher DPS. And of course I could continue to push for more Crit chance, but at least on console, it starts to get very difficult to push past 50%.

    As for computing actual damage, that's a bit more tricky. My Romulan uses Disruptor and Plasma builds. The Disruptors in particular vary wildly in damage because one of those weapons is the Terran Task Force Disruptor, which increases in damage as enemy hull decreases. Whereas other weapons like the Nausicaan Disruptor are more consistent. Regardless, everything I have equipped is epic Mk XV. I might take one array from each build and plug it into the formula to get some final numbers.


    I don't run Crit/CritD on weapons (with the exception of torpedoes). For beams or cannons, if I'm able to re-engineer them, I run DMG x4, DMG/ACC. If I'm running a torpedo, I'm running CRITD x4, CRITD/DMG. Some weapons can't be re-engineered. Basically, all my Crit chance and Crit severity come from my spec, traits (personal space and space reputation), BOFFs (SRO x5), Endeavor Perks, Locators x5 (or Exploiters when I swap over to those), and other consoles (e.g. Tachyokinetic Converter, among others). And yes, I'm admittedly a bit shy on Crit severity, which is another reason why I'm contemplating moving to Exploiters on that specific character. Yet I also don't follow general rules like 1:5 ratio for Crit/CritD because it simply doesn't make sense at certain numbers, which is why I asked at what point does the math support the crossover for this specific character.

    Thanks again to everyone for taking the time to respond.
  • foxrockssocksfoxrockssocks Member Posts: 2,482 Arc User
    Its a good point on the weapons, you do have to factor them into the numbers manually. CRTDx4 is 80% critd, which is a huge skew on the numbers. Don't forget the innate antiproton bonus for the basic AP weapons if anything you use runs that. But, your 135% critd would actually be 215% for non AP weapons in that case. And in that case, that would push you into that 1:5 range where you might not need to change anything.

    I'm not sure how DMG works, but if your weapons are primarily critd anyway, that makes it easy to ignore that problem. And that guideline of 1:5 works well, as my little example at the bottom showed where the numbers were equal either way, that was in that 1:5 area.

    Again though, you don't have to calculate actual damage for this. It is irrelevant because you only care about the multiplier that critical hits are which gets multiplied by whatever your damage is, whether you are a newbie doing 10k DPS or a vet doing 100k, the crit factor you have is going to multiply your damage by that amount regardless of how much or how little you do. What you want to do is get your exploiters and locators set up to get that crit multiplier as high as you can given the rest of your crit and critd.
  • mournblade#1863 mournblade Member Posts: 74 Arc User

    I'm only running CritD x4 on whatever torpedo I'm running (assuming it can be re-engineered). So I don't really factor that into the equation, since I'm only ever running one torpedo on a TAC DPS build, and sometimes I'll substitute it for another beam/cannon weapon on Elite TFOs. And as I mentioned, I'm running DMG x4 on my beams/cannons. So again, no Crit or CritD is really coming from my weapons, except the torpedo. But based on everything said thus far, moving to 40%/185% sounds like the better ratio and according to your formula, does represent a DPS increase over 50%/135%. That's all I was really looking for here.
  • foxrockssocksfoxrockssocks Member Posts: 2,482 Arc User
    DMG would significantly affect crit ratio when you consider it has a direct effect on how much critd you have. If you're doing dmg x4 on your weapons, you're not getting that extra 80% critd, which is a huge difference in the ratio. It also matters what category bonus it is which makes a big difference in other ways than just crit.
  • mournblade#1863 mournblade Member Posts: 74 Arc User
    edited April 2020

    The argument about DMG vs CritD is separate from the question posed in this post. According to DPS League, DMG is considered slightly better than CritD for high-end ISA builds, but the difference is marginal. Generally speaking, they recommend running DMG over CritD if your combined Cat2 and CritD is in excess of 500%. My build isn't quite at that level yet, but that's ultimately my goal to push it to toward that end of the spectrum. Regardless, debating that isn't something I want to engage in here because it can get very subjective. Suffice it to say, running DMG vs CritD on my weapons makes it much easier to track my overall Crit/CritD picture as was pointed out, although as I mentioned previously, I do run CritD on my torpedo.

    One thing I should reiterate here is that when I calculate Crit/CritD ratio, I'm only using static (permanent) bonuses. I'm excluding anything that procs Crit/CritD because those are temporary bonuses and you can't always count on them. If I were to include those, I'd be a bit higher than 42%/190% (which is where I am currently after transitioning to Exploiters). Also, my Cat2 damage is somewhere near 200%, which does include activated and proc'd bonuses. As you all know, a lot of Cat2 damage bonuses are temporary or situational.
    Post edited by mournblade#1863 on
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