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The armor system needs work


Marceror

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I feel that this deserves its own topic.

 

I'm seeing a lot of discussions about how one of the more effective combat strategies is to have most of your party go nude (i.e. wear no armor) and attack from range, while one or two characters do the tanking. And even those tank characters aren't probably going to be best served by wearing heavy armor because its slows their attacks so much.

 

I find this highly disturbing. There was a design goal that there would be no throw away armor types, but it seems that armor overall is going to be largely throwaway... which is far worse in my opinion.

 

I have to believe this was not the intended result OE was looking for in their armor system. I sincerely hope this system will be tweaked as to ensure that wearing armor makes sense. Nude parties running around... just doesn't sound heroic or inspiring, and it certainly undermines all the hard work OE has put into making those armors.

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They should probably reduce the Attack speed penalties from Heavy Armor and remove them completely from Light and then adjust all the attacks from there. 

That would be a step in the right direction. I'm not sure it's the solution though. With this you likely just have everyone running around in light armor of the highest possible quality. I'd like to see certain classes, like fighters learn to minimize and perhaps even eliminate the speed reduction in heavy armor. Perhaps they can take a talent to minimize the impact.

 

I'm just spit balling here, mind you.

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Ranged characters could easily run around "nude" in the IE games as well. It's just that there was no reason for them not to wear armor, so you just slapped some on whenever you found some.

 

The strong association between armor types and classes in AD&D helped motivate players to do this - thieves wear leather! mages wear robes! fighters and clerics wear plate! Don't ask why, they just do! And players went along with that, and received their beloved archetypes, even if they didn't actually really have to.

 

But when a game gives you more choices, well, you suddenly realize you don't actually have to make a choice at all.

 

But I digress. Ranged enemies firing back at your ranged characters should be the motivation for wearing armor; perhaps this will end up being Josh's rationale for increasing ranged damage on bows, as Sensuki fervently desires. Or maybe there just need to be more ranged enemies.

Edited by Infinitron
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Ranged characters could easily run around "nude" in the IE games as well. It's just that there was no reason for them not to wear armor, so you just slapped some on whenever you found some.

 

The strong association between armor types and classes in AD&D helped motivate players to do this - thieves wear leather! mages wear robes! fighters and clerics wear plate! Don't ask why, they just do! And players went along with that, and received their beloved archetypes, even if they didn't actually really have to.

 

But when a game gives you more choices, well, you suddenly realize you don't actually have to make a choice at all.

 

But I digress. Ranged enemies firing back at your ranged characters should be the motivation for wearing armor; perhaps this will end up being Josh's rationale for increasing ranged damage on bows, as Sensuki fervently desires.

I guess there's a lot of ways to skin this cat. For my part I'm more interested in raising the problem at this point than I am identifying the solution. But am certainly interested in hearing all the opinions.

 

At the moment it seems there isn't a lot of incentive to have those ranged characters wear armor, since they can dish out a lot more damage than they'll likely receive. If ranged attacks become a lot more lethal, than maybe that means a lot more characters will be putting on some exceptional padded armor. An improvement, but probably still not the solution.

 

I'd still like to see more incentive for more traditional tank characters to wear heavier armors. Fighters and Paladins with the ability to master heavy armor (minimal to no speed reduction). Barbarians and Priests in medium. Rogues Rangers in light. I love those archetypes, and see no reason to totally throw them to the wayside.

 

You can still have the heavily armored wizard character if you desire, but it's going to suffer a large penalty to attack speed.

Edited by Marceror
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Fair enough. I don't necessarily agree that there should always be a reason for ranged characters to wear heavy armor, though. It won't be a tragedy if they wear padded armor most of the time.

 

I mean, let's face it, they're ranged. Not having to wear heavy armor kind of comes with the territory. Maybe later on in the game, when there are mages that inflict huge damage from a distance or something, a "plate-armored archer" type of thing might come into play.

 

We probably just need more ranged enemies, and also more melee enemies that break disengagement and try to make a run for your ranged guys if they're doing too much damage.

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You can still have the heavily armored wizard character if you desire, but it's going to suffer a large penalty to attack speed.

 

I still won't wear it. Just like I never wore Plate in IWD2 for my Wizard or Sorcerer. Sure I could, but a 35% spell failure rate? No thanks. Once you introduce penalties, I won't even look at it for my ranged characters. Having no penalties is a step in the right direction though.

 

In fact, I'd rather get rid of penalties altogether and go back to the archetypes from the early IE games. But I know it won't happen.

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I'd still like to see more incentive for more traditional tank characters to wear heavier armors. Fighters and Paladins with the ability to master heavy armor (minimal to no speed reduction). Barbarians and Priests in medium. Rogues Rangers in light. I love those archetypes, and see no reason to totally throw them to the wayside.

 

You can still have the heavily armored wizard character if you desire, but it's going to suffer a large penalty to attack speed.

 

I concur, the homogenization that goes on between no bad build and all that imbalances things in ranged characters favor. Sure wearing heavy armor as a mage is cool but it detracts from your more tank oriented classes if the penalties are exactly the same. Fighter have to be in mele range or they are useless, not so with mages.

Ranged characters could easily run around "nude" in the IE games as well. It's just that there was no reason for them not to wear armor, so you just slapped some on whenever you found some.

 

The strong association between armor types and classes in AD&D helped motivate players to do this - thieves wear leather! mages wear robes! fighters and clerics wear plate! Don't ask why, they just do! And players went along with that, and received their beloved archetypes, even if they didn't actually really have to.

 

But when a game gives you more choices, well, you suddenly realize you don't actually have to make a choice at all.

 

But I digress. Ranged enemies firing back at your ranged characters should be the motivation for wearing armor; perhaps this will end up being Josh's rationale for increasing ranged damage on bows, as Sensuki fervently desires. Or maybe there just need to be more ranged enemies.

This is true but still it says to me, ok on lions and beetles and things with no range, I'm going naked for the damage increase.  Then if I encounter some Mages or Rangers I will slap on some armor if needed.

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Maybe a high level wizard can eventually learn to be more effective in heavier armors, but will have to invest more resources (i.e. talents) to attain this, in lieu of taking talents to increase spell casting related abilities. So it's a conscious decision, with trade offs, to build that heavily armored wizard and make him effective.

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This is true but still it says to me, ok on lions and beetles and things with no range, I'm going naked for the damage increase.  Then if I encounter some Mages or Rangers I will slap on some armor if needed.

 

 

Well, that's tactics, and you are taking a risk by doing that - if an enemy does somehow get close to your naked character, he's in trouble.

 

You know what could be interesting, though? Have enemies prioritize lightly armored characters, and try to make a beeline for them. Have naked characters generate more aggro, basically.

Edited by Infinitron
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I agree. The incentives on armor are all wrong. Can't think of an obvious way to fix it though without introducing new mechanics.

 

@Valorian's idea for a fatigue mechanic would help here, though. Not sure if it wouldn't make the combat feel way more RTS-y and way less IE-ey though. For example:

 

1. Characters have, in addition to Endurance and Health, a third CON-related stat, Fatigue.

2. The Fatigue meter runs down whenever you move, attack, or use special abilities, and recovers (relatively quickly) when you're standing still and not doing anything.

3. Heavier armor makes Fatigue run down faster. 

4. When Fatigue drops below certain thresholds, penalties are applied, and eventually you won't be able to run, only walk.

 

It should be balanced so that a heavily-armored, high-CON melee combatant can get through a typical encounter without falling over from exhaustion, but a low-CON character who runs around a lot would.

 

Can't think of anything else ATM and I'm not sure introducing new mechanics is the way to go.

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I agree. The incentives on armor are all wrong. Can't think of an obvious way to fix it though without introducing new mechanics.

 

@Valorian's idea for a fatigue mechanic would help here, though. Not sure if it wouldn't make the combat feel way more RTS-y and way less IE-ey though. For example:

 

1. Characters have, in addition to Endurance and Health, a third CON-related stat, Fatigue.

2. The Fatigue meter runs down whenever you move, attack, or use special abilities, and recovers (relatively quickly) when you're standing still and not doing anything.

3. Heavier armor makes Fatigue run down faster. 

4. When Fatigue drops below certain thresholds, penalties are applied, and eventually you won't be able to run, only walk.

 

It should be balanced so that a heavily-armored, high-CON melee combatant can get through a typical encounter without falling over from exhaustion, but a low-CON character who runs around a lot would.

 

Can't think of anything else ATM and I'm not sure introducing new mechanics is the way to go.

 

This thread is primarily about heavy armor not being useful enough and you just suggested a mechanic to make it even less attractive

Edited by Infinitron
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A talent to reduce penalties in armor or increase base speed would be cool. Not sure of the degree though, I don't think it would be good design if you could attack just as fast in plate armor as you could in padded.

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The bigger problem is people reporting doing 10 - 20 minute battles due to enemies with too high DT. Characters without armor can be fixed with robes like in IE games (after all, wizards, monk, sorcerers and some others also didn't wear armor).

 

Also, since there are no weapon proficiencies, each armor must be weak to at least one type of weapon and players need to be able to change weapons mid combat to better combat that armor type. Penalty of changing weapons will be some recovery time while in IE you could not hit ****. 

Edited by archangel979
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3. Heavier armor makes Fatigue run down faster.

 

You do realize that this essentially does the same thing as the current system, except worse  :facepalm:

 

A talent to reduce penalties in armor or increase base speed would be cool. Not sure of the degree though, I don't think it would be good design if you could attack just as fast in plate armor as you could in padded.

Waste of a talent, IMO. You don't even need to wear padded armors atm.

Edited by Sensuki
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:facepalm:

 

A talent to reduce penalties in armor or increase base speed would be cool. Not sure of the degree though, I don't think it would be good design if you could attack just as fast in plate armor as you could in padded.

Waste of a talent, IMO. You don't even need to wear padded armors atm.

 

Well it wouldn't be a waste for your tank character(s). And additional tweaking such as making ranged weapons more lethal and/or having the AI prioritize squishy characters could add incentive.

 

Improving this situation isn't likely going to be achieved by a single "silver bullet" change. It will require a variety of mechanical tweaks and balancing changes.

Edited by Marceror
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He looks incredibly cool. I wish I was that guy. Imagine walking into a mall like that, checking out the nearest Subway, and then selecting Subway Melt, with a dark, entrancing voice: "I want it all".

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Well it wouldn't be a waste for your tank character(s). And additional tweaking such as making ranged weapons more lethal and/or having the AI prioritize squishy characters could add incentive.

There are balancing issues with that. Being able to ignore a good portion of the armor speed penalty (let's say 20%) gives you a 20% increase in DPS at DT 0 (less against higher DT), which is the same as 10 Might. Now this is not as strong as 10 Might, it's probably worth 6-7 Might maybe, do you think you'll be seeing items that give +6-7 Might ?

 

I don't.

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He looks incredibly cool. I wish I was that guy. Imagine walking into a mall like that, checking out the nearest Subway, and then selecting Subway Melt, with a dark, entrancing voice: "I want it all".

And then someone walks by, accidentally bumps into that 10 watermelon head. Balance is pushed off kilter. Next thing you know, he's fallen and he can't get up!

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Marceror: Some plate mails were like that. The knight fell off his horse and was done for. However, in other plates you could be surprisingly agile and fast. I'm glad this isn't a simulationist game. I'd really prefer a gamist approach that still makes sense within that fantasy setting and within or laws of physics as well (but just barely).

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

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