It was fun to read all the posts on this update, there's a lot of thinking power in this forum, I don't envy Josh (or whoever at Obsidian doing this work) though for trying to make it all into something useful for the game. Anyhow I would like to start with a question; Are you planning on using some kind of fuzzy logic combat system like in Quest for Glory IV: Shadows of Darkness (described by Corey Cole). I guess this would make sense when using RTWP for combat!?
My reason for asking is that i guess it changes how you can implement different combat modifiers.
Some of this has already been mentioned in earlier posts in one form or another but i hope you forgive me for repeating. My view of this is that i think you could have a number of different armor modifiers like; "how well does this armor stop cutting blows", "how well does this armor stop magic", "how well does this armor stop projectiles", "how much does this armor hamper my movement" etc. These modifiers would be represented by a gradual slider (0-100% for example) that would (or would not) be directly presented to the player. I also think the way it's presented to the player will determine if it is "just hard work" or "fun" to try different armor. By using a gradual system i think you wouldn't need tiers (from a mechanistic point of view) but tiers could be useful for explaining to the player the pro's and con's of the armor. I guess the amount of modifiers tied to every type of item in the game will be restricted by time and cost, I just think it's great that we can have ideas and hope you guys can make anything useful out of it!
One thing that I loved about BG was the written lore of certain armor/weapons (or objects of any kind) IMHO thats something that you just can't take away in PE. Like finding Baldurans helm and cloak felt really cool even though it wasn't the best items in the game. Maybe lore could be used to show value of objects instead of Diablo-like coloring systems?
Finally, thanks for a great update and thanks for doing them so often