EVE Online - Combat BasicsConcise, reliable, PRINTABLE fingertip facts for EVE Online
Basic Weapon Damage Table
This table should be of great help in picking the armament mix for your ship, or in optimising ships for special combat functions. There is a fundamental difference between the various weapon damage types (EM, Explosive, Kinetic, and Thermal) in how their damage is applied to Shields and Armor. You can see the Base Shield Damage and Base Armor Damage numbers in the Show Info/Attributes screen for most weapons and ammo (yet the EVE Online Database ignores these essential numbers).
So, if your weapon does EM damage, 100% of its damage is applied to the target if you're hitting shields, but only 40% is applied if you're hitting the ship's armor. For example, a small Laser Turret with a Radio S Frequency Crystal does base damage of 5 points - if it hits the shields it will do 100%x5=5 points base damage, but if you're past the shields and working on armor, it will only do 40%x5=2.0 points. These numbers, as always, are modified by many attributes, such as ship, weapon, and character combat bonuses.
In short, EM type weapons are great for whittling down enemy shields, but are rather ineffective once the shields are down. Likewise, if you're using only explosive weapons, you may never get through the shields to do your armor blasting.
A common weapon mix on a solo ship is to install long range lasers for wearing down the enemy shields as you approach, and then weapons optimised for armor/structure in the shorter ranges.
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