I mentioned a few posts back that I was trying to solve a complex integral for damage calculations in EVE Online. I was doing so in the interests of identifying the “best” overall ship for tackling PvE, specifically L4 agent missions. My current ship (a T2-fitted Apocalypse) does a fine job of it and I’ve never had to warp out of a mission when I didn’t do something stupid to aggro the whole pocket. However, if I can be using something better, I’d like to know it.
The problem with the approach I was using, as pointed out by Fraser, is that there are many, many additional factors beyond simple DPS. In particular, the targets themselves play a big role. Their size, velocity, angular velocity relative to your ship, and the size of your own weapons all play into the damage calculation (if you’re curious what the full formula is, check it out). The Raven, for example, is an incredibly common PvE battleship because of how cheap it is to purchase and fast it is to train for at a basic level. Its main weapons are cruise missiles, which are intended for large targets like battleships. Consequently, they do less damage against small, nimble targets that can out-run their explosions. As a result, Ravens often do well to fit target painters, which artificially inflate the apparent size of a ship. Raw DPS calculations won’t account for this.
I’m not really sure how to resolve it. I do think there’s an answer — and a generic one, at that — but I’m just not sure what it is.