[Vehicle] Stats Interpretations Question: The PPA & The Prowler.

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by Stormsinger, Oct 12, 2015.

  1. Stormsinger

    As many know, I've been posting piles and piles of stats here and there about various things. I would like to pose you all a question regarding some stats. Rather then blather my own interpretations at extreme length, I'd like to hear what people of all factions have to say. I will be posting screencaps of the P2-120 AP, P2-120 Heat, and the PPA over the last few years. Historically, the Prowler's primaries and the PPA were quite good, so overall usage was high. I will be using the KPU stat, as it appears to be the most population tolerant.

    PS2 oracle is the source here. Here's from the FAQ, and additional clarification from the site creator
    KPU - Kills per Unique, i.e Kills / Uniques. For normal-high usage weapons, this is a performance stat and not a usage stat, as the average KPU is calculated on a per period basis (one day).

    In other words, what this stat actually means, is that if a player pulls a P2-120 AP and drives around all day, but scores no kills, he is not counted towards that stat for that day, so his lack of kills is not artificially lowering performance. If he gets a singe kill, then logs off, counts, and lowers the average. If he pulls multiple prowlers, and gains a total of 34 kills, then only the 34 kills is counted towards that unique player's score, which is then counted towards the overall stat. I don't trust the KPH stat, as it shows that even the pre-buff marauder was on-par to superior compared to the pre-nerf PPA.

    I picked the weapons I did, as both Prowler Primaries and the PPA are historically the TR / VS's heaviest hitters. They are used primarily as farming tools. I expect that the P2-120 AP would score a lower number of kills, due to it's AV nature. It's fired at vehicles more frequently simply because they are good at damaging them, therefore tanks / sunderers / etc are priority targets over advancing infantry. I expect that the PPA would have an inflated number of kills compared to either of the P2-120 cannons, as it is exclusively anti infantry, and is not capable of damaging heavy armor.

    Averages for each 3 month chunk of time is depicted in the bottomleft of each screenshot.

    Firstly, near the start of the game.

    Later on that year, Saron's have been nerfed vs AI, thus, we see a migration of users to the PPA. KPU is a population tolerant stat, so this is where farming began in earnest. Despite no recent stat changes, the PPA outpaces the P2-120 in KPU, but only barely.

    Directly after the previous screenshot. PPA KPU is now far and away the highest of the three, despite no stat changes. The Saron was nerfed, HE was nerfed, so things like the P2-120 and PPA are the only options for those that want to do dedicated farming (On the ES side of things, at least. Liberators are still quite good, here.) This is where the true capabilities of each weapon system began to show - the PPA is the better farmer tool.)

    After forum whining about the PPA reached critical mass, it was nerfed, the effect was clear.

    Here's today's performance.

    So, a question for you all. The PPA was whined about starting when it was even with the Prowler's AP, at around 10 KPU.

    The absolute highest KPU the PPA reached (over a 3 month chunk of time) is 11.75 within the date range 2014-08-01 to 2014-10-30 - 734 average users scoring 8777 kills.
    The absolute highest KPU the P2-120 reached (over a 3 month chunk of time) is 10.64 within the date range 2014-10-08 to 2015-01-06 - 1300 average users scoring 13,110 kills.

    Now that we have a new Creative Director, perhaps some changes will be made. With that in mind, I ask this.

    Why is a KPU of 10.64 for an AV weapon perfectly fine when a KPU of 11.75 for an anti-infantry exclusive weapon is not? The P2-120 AP shreds armor and infantry alike, while the PPA can't even scratch a sunderer's paint? (To be clear, i'm not defending the PPA, or the P2-120 AP, for that matter. I'm curious as to what others think.)

    What, if anything, should be done about the Prowler's P-120 AP's AI potential, or the PPA's lack of performance?
    • Up x 4
  2. \m/SLAYER\m/

    Because Vanguard was OP and AH and Ravens, and .... most NC AV toys better at killing infantry then dedicated AI tools.
  3. Pelainis117

    Well your thread makes alot of sense I'am glad that you created this. Hope this threat will get alot of attention from daybreak company. Good luck :)
  4. Scr1nRusher

    Buff the PPA & Undo the August 2014 Tank Cannon Splash nerfs.
    • Up x 1
  5. CMDante

    People should use the PPA as a point-defense weapon instead of trying to farm kills with it from mountain tops like it used to do.
    Not saying it wasn't over-nerfed. But if the TR can suck it up and keep using the terrible Fractures and Banshee, the VS can do the same with the PPA.

    As far as the Prowler cannon goes, it's a tank that can shoot twice, of course it hammers infantry.
  6. MikeyGeeMan

    Good points.

    But isn't the ppa the secondary weapon on the maggie?

    In which case a mbt secondary should be much less than an mbt primary.

    Not to mention asymmetric balance. Where comparisons between two weapons is meaningless when not taking the entire Arsenal into account?

    I.e. If my max isn't as good as your max my mbt should be better than your mbt.
  7. Campagne

    I think this is a good example of why a weapon's in-game performance should be considered as well as its stats.

    The graphs you've selected don't show any particular reason to have nerfed the PPA so hard, and is more so a case for buffing the P2-120HE.

    However, the PPA's in-game performance was of course phenomenal, and was deserving of a nerf.
  8. Villanuk

    The PPA had to be nerfed everyone knows that. Did it need the nerf hammer, no but hey, TR are used to it.
    The next hammer will fall on the goose, the most OP item in the whole game atm and its shocking how that thing is not nerfed.
  9. CipherNine

    Thanks for pointing this out. It never occurred to me that KPU can be thought of as "kills per day" performance metric.

    You've left one thing out of the equation. Prowler's KPU contains vehicle crew kills. According to stats page in last 30 days AP Prowler had KPU of 9.6, vehicle KPU of 4.95 and aircraft KPU of 0.55. That means at least half of Prowler's KPU consists from vehicle crew kills.

    So PPA's pure infantry KPU of 11.75 isn't comparable to Prowlers KPU of 10.64 which includes tank crew, Battle Sunderer crew and Liberator crew kills. Prowler's true infantry KPU is at least 2x lower than its nominal KPU.
  10. Stormsinger

    The TR should not have to 'suck it up' and use terrible fractures / banshee. The Banshee was overnerfed, as were fractures. The VS aren't bothering with the PPA, its useless. The Magrider's primary cannon is by far the worst of the three, so the original design choice was to make it's secondary more potent then the competition, to account for it's underperforming primary cannon. The secondaries were nerfed, without account for it's underperforming primary.

    That's part of my point, since it shoots twice, of course it's going to hammer infantry. Should it hammer infantry as hard as it does, or have a secondary as effective as it is?
    As far as asymmetrical balance is concerned,
    • I can see one faction having the best primary cannon, and lesser secondary cannons. Pre new-AV secondary patch, this was the Prowler. Now it has the best primary and the best secondary, by a very large margin. As it stands, both the P2-120 AP / HEAT are outperforming the Magrider's AP.
    • I can see one faction having the best secondary cannon, and a lesser primary. Pre PPA / Saron nerf, this was the Magrider, it has been loosing ground steadily over the last year / year and a half.
    • Over all this, the Vanguard has held it's middle ground fairly steadily, gaining some when the Enforcer Modified became the Canister, and gaining more when the new reload mechanic was introduced for the Enforcer / Canister.
    The TR have the highest performing rocketpods vs AI, performing somewhat beneath the Scythe's L-PPA. (Rocketpods used to be more balanced then they were, then the Banshee was nerfed, so TR air farmers have turned to Hellfires. This is a similar situation to when the Saron was nerfed vs AI, so more VS started using the PPA, which gave rise to that performance spike in the 3rd screenshot I posted.)

    For the TR:
    • The most AI kills with their tier 1 AV: Pounders, which are used for AI more then AV. If the goal of these things is AV, I would like to see these things have less splash, and much less drop. Let them be fired at vehicles downrange in exchange for being less effective vs infantry.
    • Fractures have a average KPU of 1.89 and V-KPU of 2.95, compare this to the Vortex's KPU of 2.86, and V-KPU of 3.77. Fractures are underperforming, and could use a buff.
    • The Striker has a KPU of 2.17, a V-KPU of 1.9, and an A-KPU of 1.08
    • the Lancer has a KPU of 2.62, V-KPU of 2.82, and an A-KPU of .38
    I see a disparity here, the TR do indeed have an AV disadvantage for it's infantry, but in order for this to be corrected, I believe a few prowler primary / secondary reductions are also fair. The huge performance advantage prowler primaries / secondaries currently offer is quite high, and it means that other elements of the TR arsenal have to be underpowered to compensate, I'd like that to change. Prowlers should compete roughly on par with the Vanguard / Magrider, perhaps with the best primary, but worst secondaries... in exchange for having fully viable Fractures / Striker AV performance.

    But again, that's just me - I'd like to see balanced factions, and i'd be willing to give up a bit of asymmetrical balance to see a more enjoyable game for everyone in general.
  11. Stormsinger

    Glad to help.

    As for the Prowler's KPU, many, many infantry manage to escape their vehicles prior to exploding, and quite a few of those are unmanned sunderers, which never had crews in them to begin with. As there are no publicly available stats for this, I ignored it in favor of going with the best known stats, which are what I posted.

    The moment we start saying, "Well, roughly half the kills are vehicle crews" ... or adjusting for estimated crew escape rate, unmanned sunderers, etc - this is the moment that it becomes a theory which we cannot prove without access to Daybreak's internally recorded metrics. Given that AP is used to farm infantry more then HE / HEAT these days, that overwhelmingly weights KPU in favor of farming infantry as opposed to vehicle pilots / gunners that simply went down with their vehicles. I don't really count Liberator crews, only one out of two Prowler pilots will even score an air kill with their primary cannon on a given day. Certainly some gunners / pilots go down with their vehicles, but my thought on the matter is that this number is insignificant next to the rate of sheer infantry farming.

    Either way, a kill is a kill regardless of how it was obtained, the cannon excellent at collecting them either way, to a degree that other cannons do not compete with.
  12. Stormsinger

    Yep, the PPA needed a nerf hammer to the same degree that the Prowler's AI potential does, although the PPA had a few advantages that the Prowler does not - although this does not seem to be reducing the Prowler's effectiveness, so any advantages were minimal.

    (The PPA could shoot through vehicle shielding at amp stations, this made sieges infuriatingly annoying, that part needed a nerf above all else. Really, I think the PPA being given a magazine size of 20, and reducing reserve ammo by ~70% would have been enough to reign in the unending spam, but that's another topic entirely. My full thoughts, for if you're interested there. https://forums.daybreakgames.com/ps...roton-ppa-ii-thoughts-and-suggestions.234054/ )

    Yep, the Betelgeuse needs a nerf to the tune of it's heat mechanic being blasted. It either should not cool down when you have other things active (medkits, pistol, etc), or it should not cooldown at all, and force a manual heat dispersion (reload) when it's 'magazine' is empty (full heat) - Currently, the battlegoose is getting 26413 kills, with 548 users. That's the 4th LMG over all for kills rankings, just beneath the default LMGs. Battlegeese are currently getting more kills then the top performing MBT AP Primary of each faction combined, it's outputting more performance then the PPA ever did by ~triple, with a fraction of the user base.

    After the Battlegoose, i'd say the rank of currently massively-OP things goes to the Gatekeeper, followed by ravens, but again... other topics. :p
  13. LodeTria

    How comes you're using the Harasser version and not the magrider PPA?
  14. Stormsinger

    I've covered this at extreme length in other threads ( I recently did one that covers every weapon type save for small arms, and another that focused on just small arms) but the short version that pertains to this thread is essentially: The Prowler is intended to have excellent primaries, and lesser secondaries. The Magrider is intended to have an inferior primary cannon, and much stronger secondaries to make up for this fact. It was this way for literally years, and it was the original asymmetrical balance design goal. Currently, the Prowler has the best of everything for every role, Primary AI, Primary AV, Secondary AI, secondary AV, nothing does any of the above better then the current loadout options on the Prowler, for either the VS or the NC.
  15. Stormsinger

    I chose the higher performer between the MBT / Harasser versions - The PPA-H has historically had a significantly higher KPU, so it provides a better benchmark as to what the PPA was capable of.

    Edit for comparison baseline:
    Same day is highlighted as in the 3rd graphic above.

  16. Deffington

    I have seen you using these graphs in another thread as well. But as you said, it counts only kills. For really clear picture it would be good to see number of picks and deaths as well. Weapon (A) that has much greater KPU than it's counterparts (B) is not necessarily A-KPU/B-KPU times better, but probably just picked more often. It goes like this: underperforming TR AV MAX --> bigger usage of vehicles. Now that we got a weapon that fits Prowler arty style, you could predict that number of Prowlers with Gatekeeper would grow. Therefore high KPU of Prowler guns and GK. And that is something I can also see in game. I meet Prowlers quite often, a bit less of Magriders and just a few Vanguards. People from other factions seem to prefer Lightings when they pull armor. This doesn't mean their MBTs are worse, but maybe their faction doesn't push them to purchase a MBT - Ravens, Vortexes and other stuff. Or maybe a big portion of players are not spending nanites.

    I don't mind asymmetrical gameplay, somehow I got used to it. I don't have to get copy-pasted weapon with different model, we have NS for that. I got used to run a Vulcan and Prowler with GK and I got used to seeing Ravens everywhere. I have seen NCs using Ravens inside BioLabs - probably some shotgun haters. And I think that VS players are running HA more often than other factions. But why not? If it's useful...

    The number you wrote to Pounders are higher than I expected. I also run with double Pounders and I expected it to be better against infantry than it is. Splash is already bad. Maybe they should rename it, since it's anything but High Explosive. Pounder is a good example of weapon that works well in VR Training, but in game enemies are evading and moving. Hitting a vehicle is also damn hard.

    By the way, those graphs are from all servers, or just one?
  17. Collin

    Stormsingeris trying to fool you again:) the problem was never the ppa-h it was the ppa on the magrider and then this whole thing falls apart
  18. Stormsinger

    No, not these graphs - I take new screenshots for every thread, to provide the most up to date information. The screenshots in this post are for KPU. Compare a user base of two weapons: Weapon 1 has 5000 users 50000 kills, weapon 2 has 1 user with 10 kills. In both cases, the weapon has a KPU of 10, it's the most population tolerant stat.

    I did post the users / kills to go with the KPU, however.

    P2-120 AP had more users then the PPA, and scored more kills per unique user to go with it. In both cases, the P2-120 AP has higher performance in any 3 month chunk of time I saw.

    As far as the Pounders are concerned, yeah - they are by far the best AV weapon versus infantry, so I see many individuals pulling them for close quarters. As long as your target is relatively close, you'll have an effective weapon regardless of whether you run into other MAXes, infantry, armor or air. (I obliterated a low-hovering galaxy last night, Lockdown double pounders are just evil.) - That said, they are intended to be anti vehicle, and in the vast majority of cases, being as close to a vehicle as is necessary to hit reliably usually means death for the MAX, so Pounders simply aren't used as AV all that often, but they are effective provided you can get close enough. This does leave a hole in the TR AV arsenal, however. I'd like to see AV weapons used for AV, so more range / less splash and would be nice.

    All PC servers, no PS4 stuff to my knowledge.
  19. Stormsinger

    Oh.. kay? I play my TR more then my VS these days, my VS already has everything maxed, so i'm focusing on my TR. It's highlighted certain issues for me that I bothered to go investigate prior to posting about it. What am I trying to fool you about, specifically? I'd like examples here, did you find holes in my data? If so, i'd thank you to share them, as I'm trying to post accurate info here.

    The problem wasn't the PPA-H, you say? The Magrider was the problem? Why then did the PPA-H output significantly higher performance? I picked the one with the higher KPU / Kills / Users, after all - the Magrider's PPA did quite a bit less then the Harasser's version. See the below - the Harasser's PPA-H (the one I posted the data for above) has a KPU of 14.25 compared to the Magrider's PPA KPU of 9.2 on the highlighted day below.


    I don't see anything falling apart at all. I picked the better option between the PPA / PPA-H for the comparison for a reason. The PPA stats look lackluster against the P2-120 AP's, the PPA-H holds up better.
  20. CipherNine

    Well in that case we don't have enough data to reach the conclusion.

    Whether Prowler AP should be nerfed depends entirely on subjective opinion whether half kills are vehicle crews or not.

    That is your opinion. Imagine a weapon which could insta-kill vehicles but couldn't damage infantry with direct hits. That weapon would have high KPU yet it would be utterly useless as an anti-infantry weapon.

    There needs to be a disclaimer that Prowler KPU contains tank crew kills. Then let everyone decide for himself whether comparison with PPA is valid.