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Could Sentinel Surive a Thermonuclear Blast? | An Analysis


So there I was, planning an evening of flirting with my girlfriend and playing Last Epoch, and then I read this comment.

Naturally I am forced to drop everything because now my dumb brain cannot focus on anything else. It was going to be a 1-2 paragraph reply to the comment, but that wouldn’t satisfy me…

And thus, everyone’s least favourite community member is making a post about the real-life survivability of Last Epoch characters.

Part 1: The Nuke

When you think of big nuke abilities in the game, you probably think of the dragon charging kaboom attack, especially with all the Emperor of Corpses one-shots I’ve seen on YouTube and Twitch.

And okay, we have an ability to compare to a nuke then. So I just pull up Nag’s video of fully tanking it et voilà! LE characters can survive a thermonuclear bla- No no no no no! You really think I’d take the easy way out?

The Size of Sentinel

Consider the Sentinel model. A few months ago the devs posted this image of him:

The height of this character comes out to be ~1,164 pixels, with a shoulder-width of ~319 pixels. Since I can’t find data online of how tall he is, I must make some presumptions. The Sentinel appears to be an above-average height kind of guy. According to data accumulated by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2008 we see above-average ranges of height vary depending on age.

The Sentinel lore suggests their age is a few years after coming of age. Since his previous title was Knight, I’m going to assume “coming of age” refers to 21, the age when squires goes through the Accolade (coming of age ceremony) and become knights. So I’d say an upper-bound of 25 sounds fair. In exceptional cases (ie. videogame protagonist) this Accolade can happen sooner. So I’d say a lower-bound of 20. Thus I figure Sentinel is in the 20-25 age group.

From the data linked above, we can see the average height for Sentinel’s age is 176.53cm (or 5’9.5” for those who refuse the metric system). Since he “looks” above average in height, but probably also not a giant, I will look at the height at 1 standard deviation above, which is 184.15cm (cough 6’0.5” cough).

Therefore Sentinel’s shoulder-width is approximately 50.47cm (you know what, those of you who chose the imperial system can figure the rest out).

Emperor of Corpses’ Kaboom

So I meticulously watched Nag’s video, specifically the EoC fight, at frame-by-frame speed. I kept a close eye on the spin in each frame. Conveniently for us, the frame the EoC Kaboom goes off is also a frame where the Sentinel faces us directly.

This makes measuring easy peasy. I could do shenanigans with mathematics to find the equation of the circle created by this shockwave relative to Sentinel measured in centimeters (r = (x - 793.6)² + (y + 570.83)²), but since I have a photo editing program I can just count the pixels of the widest part of the circle, thus giving the radius of 884.1cm (or 8.84m).

Therefore, the shockwave generated by Emperor of Corpse’s kaboom travels 8.84m in 1 frame. Since this is a 60fps video, this equates to the shockwave traveling at 530.46m/s. Or, in a way that is easier to understand, 1,909.66km/h (or 1,186.61miles/h).

Or 1.55 times the speed of sound. In other words, 1.51 times faster than the shockwave generated by a thermonuclear bomb.

This means the amount of force generated by this kaboom is significantly stronger than the force of a thermonuclear blast. Also, like, rip Sentinel’s ears.

So, clearly, a Last Epoch character can survive a thermonuclear blast, only requiring 6,339 ward to do so (among other defense layers lol). Check out Nag’s post for more info on this.

But we’re not on Earth! What if the EoC arena has a denser atmosphere, thus an Earth shockwave would travel faster?

Shockwaves create a bubble of low pressure within a high pressure front. As this expands, the high pressure front loses energy until it is more or less regular air pressure. Since pressure travels from high to low, this low pressure bubble now collapses in on itself until its pressure overcomes this outward pressure and it re-expands and repeats.

Google “explosion bubble oscillations” if you want to know more.

This phenomenon is barely seen in air, but it is seen in denser fluids, such as water.

Based on the particle effects of the EoC kaboom, we cannot see pressure recollapse. Not even slightly. So if anything, the atmosphere of the EoC arena is less dense than Earth’s, thus making the shockwave even more deadly than a thermonuclear blast.

Part 2: Star Power

@aersdri’s comment mentions another thing:

We have confirmed that surviving a thermonuclear blast is a cakewalk for a Last Epoch character. But what about the core of a star?

One assumption we can make is that the core of a star is like a thermonuclear blast but continuous instead of instant. So if the EoC kaboom dealt 6,339 damage to Nag in a 60th of a second, then it would apply 380,340 damage per second.

Now, in Nag’s video, the highest increase of ward per second at any time was approximately 92,000 ward per second (~128,000 to ~220,000). Even if we quadruple that, there’s no way Nag’s Wardpath Sentinel could survive in the core of a star.

If we have a 4 million ward starting point, based on what LizardIRL saw, then the Sentinel would last 13.87 seconds in the core of a moderate star.


So where do Last Epoch characters stand in terms of a real-life power-level? Idk probably individually stronger than the entire US forces. Definitely a planet-level threat.

Can survive the blast of a thermonuclear bomb but not standing inside a star.

Note: I will note that I only took into account the thermonuclear blast and not the radiation fallout. idk I’m tired.


God bless you, this is why we love you…

However, I do have a few questions, initially, is the speed of the shockwave at the point of detonation really only the speed of sound? Will read the rest later after lunch.


No, the speed the thermonuclear blast shockwave and the EoC shockwave both exceed the speed of sound. Like, they are both powerful enough to force something that should be limited to the speed of sound to break the sound barrier.

Enjoy your lunch :yum:

Hahah, this thread is absoluty majestic! Kudos to you, @queermathsgirl !

Obviously, I did not intend my comment to lead to any serious dicussion, and mostly just posted it for lulz.

But if I calculated it myself, I’d do it somewhat differently. I totally dig the way you did it though, the shockwave idea is very cool =)

Shockwaves are interesting and complicated to calculate properly, but that’s not what I had in mind.
Because even if shockwave might be the biggest devastating factor of atomic blast, even some modern tanks are capable of surviving it to some extent, so that’s not very interesting.

I specifically mentioned the “ground zero of a thermonuclear blast”, because the destructive factor that dominates it is fundamentally different from the rest of the blast.

This factor is A HUGE AMOUNT of radiative energy, which is mostly transferred by highly energetic gamma-quants. The energy output is so high there, that things literally EVAPORATE (and even disintegrate) LONG LONG time before they can “feel” the shockwave.

This energy output was quantitatively measured in nuclear test and is known and can be googled.

Now how this transfers to a LE character?

I’d put it like that: I’d take a lvl 1 character with 0 armor and 0 res. I don’t remember how much hp it has, say 100, for example.
This is your your “average human being”.

Lets roughly assume, that raising a body temperature of a human to up to, say 60C will kill them VERY fast. I can’t tell how fast, but should be matter of minutes, if not faster, I think.

Now lets assume that raising a temperature of an average human from 36.6C to 60C requires the same amout of heat energy as warming 100 liters of water from 36 to 60. I’m not sure what’s the exact heat conductivity numbers of human body, but I assume it should be similar to water, may be a bit lower (hence 100 liters).

After I’d calculated that and got my answer in Joules, I’d draw a parallel to our LE character with 100 hp.
Should be around 10 MJoules, just by flinging numbers in my head.

So that means that 1 hp of damage could be translated to 100 KJoules.
Now, if you take into account resistances and armour, you can easily calculate how much “heat energy” it would take to “burn” through 4M ward (or around 10M EHP).

I can’t check the actual numbers for the amount of energy of a thermo nuke fireball, since I’m on my phone rn. But it should be rather straightforward from here.

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Ok…this is nice and all BUT

Can you tell me the airspeed velocity of both an unladen swallow and IF it has to carry a coconut?

Now, could said swallow bring a coconut to Europe? Where it could then be split in half and possibly used to re-create the sound of a horse?

Show your work.


An African swallow or a European swallow?

You have to know these things when you are a king


but will he survive…


Rabbit of Caerbannog…

da da daaaaaa…

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:boom: :+1:


Sorry, questions are not allowed.

Into the chasm with you.

Wow what a great review. I did start dabbling with the energy side of things but scrapped it because it was almost midnight, so I remember the most powerful thermonuclear has an output of 33.8 x 10²⁴ Watts. Or 33.8 x 10²⁴ Joules per second.

So, like, this is more than enough energy to heat the human body from 36°C to 60°C in an instant. In fact, enough to instantly turn all the blood and water into vapour in an instant, thus the body exploding in a… ahem vapourwave…

EDIT: ffs they changed their name to vapourfire so the joke doesn’t even work anymore :sob: Or were they always vapourfire and I just always misremembered it as vapourwave…?


Yeah, the general idea is pretty much that, but in details it’s slightly more complicated.
Now that I’m back home I can go into those details if you want.

First of all, using Watts for evaluating the yield of a nuclear blast is not reliable. It’s a blast, right? Not a power station with a constant output. It goes BOOM, the power output rises exponentially, then it goes back to zero. Total energy is much more reliable.

Let’s take for example a pretty standard yield bomb, Minuteman III, which has a yield of approximately 300 Kilotons of TNT. Then we google an energy equivalent in Joules for TNT and calculate that 300 KT translates into 300*4.184×10^12 J = 1.2552×10^15 J

That is, obviously A LOT!!!

But now we must understand, that not all the energy that yields those 300 KT is relevant to us. We are only interested in the energy that is transferred via thermal radiation. Wiki says it’s between 30% and 50% of the total energy: Effects of nuclear explosions - Wikipedia
So that’s 6.276×10^14 J.
Which is still a lot, of course.

But then we didn’t consider, that this energy is for the whole blast, right? I.e. if you draw an imaginary hemi-sphere of a certain radius, covering the the blast entirely (assuming that the blast is happening on ground surface) – this is gonna be the energy flow, that is “spread” across this entire hemi-sphere.
But our dude is relatively small, right?
We are interested in particular in the surface of the average human body – the google says it’s 1.9 m^2 for adult men. Let’s make it 2 for simplicity, and because our sent is larger than average dude, right? (we take into account the full surface, assuming that the heat is piercing the body from ALL directions)
Now we need to place our sent at some distance from the bomb, let’s say R = 10 m.

Here’s a little illustration by me:

So, now we can calculate what percentage of the energy from the entire hemisphere of the blast is going to our sent. 2/(0.54pi*R^2) = 0.0032 – that’s not much, right?
Now we can calculate the total energy that our dude receives, standing at 10 m from the epicenter: 6.276×10^14 J * 0.0032 = 1.8828 ×10^12 J.

As I pointed out in my previous post, in order to kill an average human via heating you need approximately 10 MJ = 1×10^7 J. Which in LE terms equals 128 effective HP.
But our sent dude is not an average human, right? He has ~10 MILLIONS of effective HP (via ward, armor and resistances). So in order to kill our sent by heating we need 1×10^7 J * 10^7/128 ~= 7.8 ×10^11 J.

Which is approximately ONLY 2.4 TIMES LESS that what he’ll receive standing in the middle of a MInuteman III explosion, 10 m away from the bomb.

But if he was standing >16 meters from the bomb detonation point – he’d survived.

Needless to say, that the smaller the yield of the bomb, the closer he can stand.
Up to the point, that he could probably shove the Hiroshima bomb up his ass and be okay with that :joy:

The calculations for the core of a star are quite similar, I’ll leave it to the reader :wink:


“The proof is left as an exercise to the reader” OH MY FUCKING GOD :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:


Doing the necessary, and critical math I would never dare. Great job! I’ll just trust your numbers are correct. Though it does leave me to wonder how much the odds would change if the Sentinel had a shield of bees?


for comparison’s sake, this is how we could balance the game around defense!

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Haha! Glad you’re liking our little arithmetic shenanigans :joy:

The biggest assumption in my calculations was the parallel that I draw between real life humans and LE character.
That “killing an average human by heating them from 36.6C to 60C” and “dealing 128 points of fire damage to LE character is exactly the same thing physically.

The rest is just data from google and wiki and some middle-school math and may be a pinch of high school physics.
So it’s not like I’m solving non-linear differential equations here :joy:

Well, obviously, in LE terms if the sent “blocks the nuclear blast” he receives less damage.
But in real life terms I doubt it would change anything, because as soon as our sent is engulfed by a nuke’s plasma ball, he starts absorbing the heat from ALL directions. Front, behind – even his heels are on fire.

  • That’s why I used full surface S of the human body in my calculations, and not just the frontal half S/2, as I would do, for example in vacuum, where there’s no surrounding matter to heat
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I come to forums for dumb memes and whiners not for a math and thermonuclear physics lesson.


My head…


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I don’t seem to recall glancing blow, endurance or dodge being factored. Don’t forget, all this could be for naught, if the sentinel passes his dodge check(s).

That would only affect the initial shockwave, not the radiation (which is clearly a DoT) or the fireball or any subsequent effects.

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But those would still be subject to armor reductions, resistances, and endurance.

Resists & endurance, yes, armour, no. But it’d still be a several million degree (and I’ll even let you use your barbarian “farenheit” degrees rather than the proper centigrade/celsius or enlightened Kelvin) fireball…