So… our MAXes got a “buff”

This begs the question, “Which NC MAX should I use?”

There are several criteria to take into account: Damage Per Second, Max Damage Range, Min Damage Range, Pellet Spread, Magazine Size, and Reload Speed. For the first part of this analysis, we’ll stick with what everyone really wants to know: Damage Per Second at each Range.  (After all, who cares how much ammo you have in your magazine or how quickly it reloads if you’re dead, am I right?)  Then we’ll dig into WHY some MAXes have lower DPS at different ranges.

Feel free to follow along with the following chart:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19uH7orInNir3G8oDd23MDWDmAPN1iHFqLLvrXRhhzZI/edit?usp=sharing

Theoretical Max Damage on a Single Shot

All of the MAXes landed all of their headshots at 2 meters (with the exception of the Grinder, who missed a lone pellet, but it was so close, we’re counting it because it would’ve hit neck anyways.)   This means we can calculate 2 meters at a 1.5x damage multiplier for all four MAX types.  The rest of the ranges have a fair amount of deviation in pellet spread, so we’ll be calculating those at the solely normal body shot damage. NOTE: This is all theoretical damage, calculated as if you landed ALL of your pellets at every range using both arms with the same weapon on a single shot.

@2 Meters

Grinder (Head): 1500
20 pellets x 50 damage x 1.5 multiplier
Grinder (Body): 1000
20 pellets x 50 damage

@8 Meters

Grinder (Body): 1000
20 pellets x 50 damage

@12 Meters

Grinder (Body): 800
20 pellets x 40 damage

@15 Meters

Grinder (Body): 650
20 pellets x 32.5 damage

@20 Meters

Grinder (Body): 400
20 pellets x 20 damage

@50 Meters

Grinder (Body): 400
20 pellets x 20 damage

@2 Meters

Hacksaw (Head): 1125
10 pellets x 75 damage x 1.5 multiplier
Hacksaw (Body): 750
10 pellets x 75 damage

@8 Meters

Hacksaw (Body): 750
10 pellets x 75 damage

@12 Meters

Hacksaw (Body): 464
10 pellets x 46.4 damage

@15 Meters

Hacksaw (Body): 250
10 pellets x 25 damage

@20 Meters

Hacksaw (Body): 250
10 pellets x 25 damage

@50 Meters

Hacksaw (Body): 250
10 pellets x 25 damage

@2 Meters

Mattock (Head): 900
6 pellets x 100 damage x 1.5 multiplier
Mattock (Body): 600
6 pellets x 100 damage

@8 Meters

Mattock (Body): 600
6 pellets x 100 damage

@12 Meters

Mattock (Body): 600
6 pellets x 100 damage

@15 Meters

Mattock (Body): 600
6 pellets x 100 damage

@20 Meters

Mattock (Body): 578
6 pellets x 96.4 damage

@20 Meters

Mattock (Body): 450
6 pellets x 75 damage

@2 Meters

Scatter (Head): 1875
10 pellets x 125 damage x 1.5 multiplier
Scatter (Body): 1250
10 pellets x 125 damage

@8 Meters

Scatter (Body): 1250
10 pellets x 125 damage

@12 Meters

Scatter (Body): 950
10 pellets x 95 damage

@15 Meters

Scatter (Body): 725
10 pellets x 72.5 damage

@20 Meters

Scatter (Body): 350
10 pellets x 35 damage

@20 Meters

Scatter (Body): 350
10 pellets x 35 damage

Theoretical MAX DPS

Above shows your snapshot, wrist flick, how much damage do you do on the very first shot.  This next sections shows the damage for each MAX type hitting all body shots in a single second (Damage Per Second). Damage Per Second is calculated by dividing the weapons Fire Rate (rounds per minute) by sixty to see how many times it fires per second.  If you see a Light Machine Gun, Carbine, or SMG that has a fire rate of 600rpm, if you divide that by 60, you get 10.  That means that weapon fires 10 bullets per second.  Multiply the number of bullets per second by the damage of the weapon and you get its effective Damage Per Second.  In the case of Shotguns (including all of these MAX types) — instead of bullets per second, you get SHOTS per second, then you multiply that by the Pellet Count to get the actual bullets per second.  So in the case of the Grinder, which fires 10 pellets, twice per second (120rpm), it fires 20 bullets per second at 50 damage per bullet at max damage range.  (This means it does 1000dps at 0m to 8m theoretically).

@2 Meters

Grinder (Head): 3000
1000 dps x 2 guns x 1.5 multiplier
Grinder (Body): 2000
1000 dps x 2 guns

@8 Meters

Grinder (Body): 2000
1000 dps x 2 guns

@12 Meters

Grinder (Body): 1600
800 dps x 2 guns

@15 Meters

Grinder (Body): 1300
650 dps x 2 guns

@20 Meters

Grinder (Body): 800
400 dps x 2 guns

@50 Meters

Grinder (Body): 800
400 dps x 2 guns

@2 Meters

Hacksaw (Head): 3918
1306 dps x 2 guns x 1.5 multiplier
Hacksaw (Body): 2612
1306 dps x 2 guns

@8 Meters

Hacksaw (Body): 2612
1306 dps x 2 guns

@12 Meters

Hacksaw (Body): 1616
808 dps x 2 guns

@15 Meters

Hacksaw (Body): 870
435 dps x 2 guns

@20 Meters

Hacksaw (Body): 870
435 dps x 2 guns

@50 Meters

Hacksaw (Body): 870
435 dps x 2 guns

@2 Meters

Mattock (Head): 2700
900 dps x 2 guns x 1.5 multiplier
Mattock (Body): 1800
900 dps x 2 guns

@8 Meters

Mattock (Body): 1800
900 dps x 2 guns

@12 Meters

Mattock (Body): 1800
900 dps x 2 guns

@15 Meters

Mattock (Body): 1800
900 dps x 2 guns

@20 Meters

Mattock (Body): 1736
868 dps x 2 guns

@20 Meters

Mattock (Body): 1350
675 dps x 2 guns

@2 Meters

Scatter (Head): 3750
1250 dps x 2 guns x 1.5 multiplier
Scatter (Body): 2400
1250 dps x 2 guns

@8 Meters

Scatter (Body): 2400
1200 dps x 2 guns

@12 Meters

Scatter (Body): 1900
950 dps x 2 guns

@15 Meters

Scatter (Body): 1450
725 dps x 2 guns

@20 Meters

Scatter (Body): 700
350 dps x 2 guns

@20 Meters

Scatter (Body): 350
10 pellets x 35 damage

RealitySide Gives Us a Reality Check

The reason we call the above stats “theoretical max damage” is because the reality of things is that you’re not going to land all your shots and pellets have a spread pattern that changes shot to shot.  So what can you really expect? Well, I took our MAXes to the firing range to collect some data.  NOTE: The following screenshots represent a single shot from two arms of the same weapon (aka two weapons, left arm and right arm were fired simultaneously) in order to get a single snapshot of what your accuracy MIGHT look like on any given shot.  I plan to do some comprehensive testing to generate average number of hits over time in the future. Without further ado, here are the more realistic damage outputs…

 P.S. NOTE:   The blue circle represents roughly the same area as if you were aiming for a headshot, so the green pellets represent what would have hit the head, if you were aiming for the headand the red pellets represent body hits outside of the inner circle.  ‘Body’ = all red + all green pellets.  ‘Head’ = all green pellets.   I aimed directly at center masse for all shots, using both arm weapons, and did NOT count any arm or head shots as you cannot rely upon those as counting in game. (pellet spread varies, no soldier has their arms at their sides).

 

@ 2 Meters
Headshot DPS: 3000
Bodyshot DPS: 2000

 

@ 2 Meters
Headshot DPS: 3918
Bodyshot DPS: 2612

 

@ 2 Meters
Headshot DPS: 2700
Bodyshot DPS: 1800

 

@ 2 Meters
Headshot DPS: 3750
Bodyshot DPS: 2500

 

@ 8 Meters
Headshot DPS: 900
Bodyshot DPS: 1700

 

@ 8 Meters
Headshot DPS: 1176
Bodyshot DPS: 2612

 

@ 8 Meters
Headshot DPS: 900
Bodyshot DPS: 1800

 

@ 8 Meters
Headshot DPS: 1500
Bodyshot DPS: 2500

 

@ 12 Meters
Bodyshot DPS: 960

 

@ 12 Meters
Bodyshot DPS: 1455

 

@ 12 Meters
Bodyshot DPS: 1800

 

@ 12 Meters
Bodyshot DPS: 1900

 

@ 15 Meters
Bodyshot DPS: 520

 

@ 15 Meters
Bodyshot DPS: 348

 

@ 15 Meters
Bodyshot DPS: 1500

 

@ 15 Meters
Bodyshot DPS: 1015

 

@ 20 Meters
Bodyshot DPS: 280

 

@ 20 Meters
Bodyshot DPS: 348

 

@ 20 Meters
Bodyshot DPS: 1446

 

@ 20 Meters
Bodyshot DPS: 280

 

What the Heck Does All of This Mean?

I’m glad you asked. ;D

AF-23 Grinder – Close Range – Forgiving

This MAX is capable of killing a full health, full shield Heavy Assault with body shots in one second at 0m to 8m, and can finish him in under 2 seconds at 12m.  The Grinder sputters out past 12m.  The Grinder will never do more damage than a Hacksaw where it counts in its range of 0m – 12m, but it has double the shots per magazine, and sprays double the pellets per shot; making it an excellent choice for a beginner.  Double the magazine means you have to reload less often, which is crucial for someone who hasn’t mastered “movement” as any time you have to reload is a time you are vulnerable to attack without being able to retaliate.  Double the pellets per shot means it’s much more forgiving if you aren’t the best shot and any “left over” pellets that spray past a target as you drop them could potentially hit a second target.  Do not use this MAX if you expect to be fighting at 15m or further.

AF-41 Hacksaw – Close Range – Max Damage

This MAX is the highest damage output at 0m to 8m, allowing you to mow down ranks of enemies in mere seconds.  Past 12m and it really starts losing damage output. The Hacksaw essentially trades longevity for raw damage output compared to the Grinder.  It fires over 50% faster with half the number of shots per magazine.  However, it has the lowest reload time out of all of the NC MAXes at 2s.  Pair this MAX with an Aegis Shield, hold down your trigger until both barrels start reloading, and then turn on your Aegis Shield.  You will reload while the shield takes all of the damage, then you can drop the shield and send out another volley of death dealing lead.  This MAX can still “one shot” infantry at 12m, but don’t waste your ammunition at 15m+.  Due to the fast rate of fire, small magazine, and short range limitations of this MAX, the Hacksaw is particularly vulnerable to enemy C-4 explosives.

AF-34 Mattock – Medium Range – Consistent – Semi-Automatic

The Mattock is the only NC Shotgun Max that cannot “one shot kill” a full-health infantry with a headshot (except for infiltrators) but don’t let that fool you.  The Mattock still kills full shield, full health Heavy Assaults in less than a second and it can do that all the way out to 20 meters without blinking an eye!  It is a semi-automatic weapon, which can get tricky when trying to rapidly click both mouse buttons at the same time (a very necessary evil in order to get the DPS max output) but in the hands of an experienced player, this MAX is deadly at short to medium range.   It can even continue to effectively kill infantry at 21m to 50m as it has very little damage drop off, with minimum damage range of 50m (that’s 30m further than ANY of the other NC Shotgun MAXes btw).  It only fires 3 pellets per gun per shot, but can fire 3 times per second once you master semi-automatic fire and it has the lowest pellet spread making this a “sniper shotgun”.  This MAX is for the player who knows they can land their shots and quickly move from one target to the next.  This max is not very forgiving if you “spray and pray” given it’s very low spread and fewer pellets per shot.

NCM1 Scattercannon – One Shot, One Kill

The Scattercannon almost matches the Hacksaw for raw damage output at 0m to 8m, and in exchange for the less than 10% reduction in damage at that range, it gets: the highest single shot damage of all of the MAXes, a slower rate of fire that does almost the same damage, meaning you can kill about as many people and not have to reload as quickly as the Hacksaw. It starts doing more damage than the Hacksaw at 10m and does more damage than any other MAX between 10m to 12.5m, and continues to out damage both the Grinder and the Hacksaw until 17m, where it quickly becomes the lowest damage max.  However, at 15m, it’s still getting non-overshielded infantry kills in under one second.  This MAX is perfect for you’re finding the Hacksaw needing to reload too often and having trouble at that 12m to 15m range.  Remember:  this MAX hits the hardest on a single pull of the trigger, so it’s gained a reputation with the other factions.  Around 15m is when the damage on this guy rapidly drops off, but until then, this MAX puts out more damage than the Mattock at close range, and does better than the other two MAXes at medium range.