I like big arguments!
Well, I suppose I would be curious to know the exact odds. It sounds like it's a rare enough occurrence that I should post the demo. I'll put it in the misc demos thread in the demos forum.
I finished the tests (implemented Doom's rand calls and sequence in a simple Java program, as per the simple shotgun) and took 10000 samples of firing the SSG consecuteviely 2, 3, 4 and 5 times (I let the RNG run freely in the mean), add the damage for each run, and print it out. The position of the Doom's RNG was randomized with Java's rand()*256 every time a single shot of barrage started, to simulate different positions where it might be found during gameplay.
The full results are in an XLS file along with the code that generates the graphs and the Java code that does the sim. Keep in mind that these were obtained using DOOM's RNG, with an as close simulation as possible of its usage within the firing functions.
If you want a summary analysis:
Damage range for 2 consecutive SSG shots is from 340 to 495 (nowhere near 600!). This means that Revenant kill chances with two shots are 100%, since all possible values are >300. Chances to kill the next most tough monsters, Cacos and PEs are 79.58%. Not bad.
Damage range for 3 consecutive SSG shots is from 525 to 720, with values over 700 being at the very tail, with a 16/10000 or 0.16% chance. This doesn't rule out 3-blast archvile kills, but we're talking about an extremely rare occurence. However killing a Hell Knight/Arachnotron with 3 SSG shots is always possible, and the chances of killing a Mancubus are 83.245%
Damage range for 4 consecutive SSG shots is from 725 to 945. This means that an archvile will always die from 4 shots (OK, maybe with 1 million sims an occurence with all minimal damages could occur), but not a Baron of hell, even with all shots giving maximal possible damage.
I also did sims for 5 shots: damage ranges from 905 to 1050 (notice the overlap with 4 shots): the chance of killing a Baron of Hell is 87.75%, so stumbling upon a "tough SOB" kind of Baron is not entirely negligible.
You can download the sim bundle from here and run/correct/study the results yourself. I stopped at 10000 sims per case because Excel has a limit of 16000 or so rows per table, and to do more I'd have to use my own stat gathering functions, which is more than I can be arsed to do right now. I don't think the stats would change dramatically beyond this point, though.
Last edited by Maes on 06-05-10 at 23:01