DOOM by the Numbers #7 – Shoot At It Until It Dies

  • Nov 29, 2019
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  • By: Parker Wilhelm

Numbers and data sound boring at first, but a franchise like DOOM has accrued some interesting stats over the years. In this series, we highlight DOOM’s cool numerical accomplishments and what they mean – this is DOOM by the Numbers!


Previously in the Slayers Club, we’ve covered the “Cyberdemon Protip” meme and how weapon damage calculations in DOOM (1993) aren’t always static – the damage can actually vary ever-so-slightly from shot to shot.

DE Protip in-body

This leads us to the final chapter in what we never originally intended to be a three-part saga: Exactly how much do you need to shoot the Cyberdemon until it dies? That’s right, Slayers: we’re doing math.

First, we need a weapon. The weapon in the image appears to be the Rocket Launcher, so let’s use that for our calculations. The Rocket Launcher’s damage deals between 20 - 160 damage in 20-damage increments per missile, plus 128 damage from the blast radius. This means the maximum damage possible with a direct hit from a rocket launcher is a whopping 288 points!

The Cyberdemon, however, is a sturdy fella. He has 4,000 hit points and is immune to splash damage. Taking that into account, you could theoretically down a Cyberdemon in 25 direct hits. The problem is that ‘theoretically’ doesn’t mean ‘probably’ – the odds of dealing maximum damage with that is essentially a d8 roll 25 times in a row is (1/8)^25, or about 0.0000000000000000000003% probability. There may be a slight margin of error ‘cuz we ain’t mathematicians, but it is safe to say that winning with 25 hits isn’t likely.

Rather, let’s use the statistical average damage the ol’ rocket launcher deals minus the splash damage (90 points), which comes out to ~44 hits. The fine fans over at the DOOM Wiki have calculated this before and even took it further by incorporating standard deviation to their calculations, enhancing the result to 45.2 shots.

And thus the mystery is solved! To defeat the Cyberdemon, shoot at it 45 times until it dies. Of course, that’s if he decides to sit still and just let you land direct hit after direct hit on him, which he won’t. Sorry, Slayers: number crunching only gets you so far – get to circle strafing that big beasty and let your guns handle all the ‘rithmetic!