As part of a discussion on the merits or not of repair systems, especially on Tribe, I needed to try and work out what Repair Rate on repair modules actually meant. After some fruitless searching around the forum in case someone had already done this, I decided to concoct a test that would let me try and work this out.

I created a design of cruiser to test this. This design would have one weapon, one module of armour, one repair system, and an engine so the ship can get to optimal range.

The weapon needed to have the quailities of a constant amount of damage per hit, and low rate of fire to allow the repair system to repair the damage completely between volleys. Cruiser Missile fitted the bill exactly.

At 1.0 speed, I used a stopwatch to time how long it took for the repair module to completely repair the damage to the armour. For a ship with Tribe armour, this was approximately 4.5 seconds; for Nanobot repair, this was around 6.5 seconds. This gave repair rates of around 6.67 hp/sec and 4.62 hp/sec respectively.

But these numbers bear little relation to the 0.15 and 0.11 values given in-game. This led me to wonder if the value was, in fact, measured in hp/tick. A quick bit of maths suggested, with the unscientifically small amount of data I had, tick frequencies between 41 and 44 a second, a variance I could certainly attribute to my clumsiness with starting / stopping the stopwatch.

So, I’m certainly fairly sure that the Repair Rate stat on repair modules indicates Hit Points per Game Tick. But how many ticks in a second?

Well, 40 is a nice round number, and is only just outside of the range of values my poor quality data suggests. But, I do know that Cliffski is a science fiction geek, and posts on his blog lead me to think he’s of a certain age where one number in that range would have significance.

Therefore, until I’m told otherwise with proof, I’ll hold the belief that the Ultimate Answer to Life, The Universe, Everything and The Number of Ticks in a Gratuitous Space Battles Game Second is 42.