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Fixing the armor min/maxing: an interesting new gameplay mechanic?


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#41
Luckmann

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So you're min/maxing and complaining that things are being min/maxed? Nobody forces you to do anything. That's like saying the game economy sucks because you loot everything there ever was.

 

Two points here.

The complaint isn't really that things are "are being" min/maxed. The complaint in general is that the game promotes and rewards min/maxing, so to the point that it's hard to even make an argument as to why not do it.

Second, the comparison to the broken game economy isn't apt, in the context of PoE, because you will loot everything there ever was. I'd see this argument in some games, like D:OS, where there could be an argument that if you loot everything that isn't bolted down, including random cups and such, you're going to "break" the economy by using it in a way it was not intended. In PoE, however, you have an infinite stash that you can access anywhere at any time. If you don't loot everything, the question really is why.
 

I always use variety of armours, usually heavy for front liners, medium for skirmishers and light for back liners and find the current system decent enough. Added onto that are look and feel of course, which are quite important to me as well.

 
The thing is, just because you do something one way, even to the detriment of yourself, doesn't mean that there's no issue. Yes, it's entirely possible to gimp yourself and still play through the game. Yes, it's entirely alright if someone wants to limit themselves for the sake of roleplay or a fun idea. I should know; my first character is likely going to be a duelist Paladin specializing in Resolve, dressed in nothing but cloth.

And that's fine. I realize that this is sub-optimal, and I accept it as it is, because I'm willing to bite that bullet.

But it doesn't mean that there's no issue. Just because I say "I'm going to use one-handed light weapons even though it's objectively terrible, because I like the idea" doesn't mean that being a duelist isn't inferior, or that light weapons aren't bad by comparison. And it's the same with armours. Just because you will be using medium armours doesn't mean that medium armours are balanced.

When someone comes onto the forum and asks us "What armour should my character pick?", there should be an argument, there should be a discussion. What does he want to do? What does he want to be defended against? What does he hope to achieve? What kind of character is it? X is good at Y but Z is good at A, B, C, but you might want to consider Å, Ä or Ö for rape prevention.

But today, it boils down to "Nothing" vs. "Full Plate", depending on whether he's a DPS/Caster or a Melee Tank. If the only argument for the in-betweens that we can collectively come up with equates to "Chill out and do whatev, like, man", that is a problem. Yes, you can probably make it through the game, it's not like you're pulling the trigger to your head, but you could probably "make it through the game" playing as a murderhobo vagrant with a pogo stick.


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#42
morhilane

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So you're min/maxing and complaining that things are being min/maxed? Nobody forces you to do anything. That's like saying the game economy sucks because you loot everything there ever was.

 

Two points here.

The complaint isn't really that things are "are being" min/maxed. The complaint in general is that the game promotes and rewards min/maxing, so to the point that it's hard to even make an argument as to why not do it.

 

All games reward min/maxing without exception. Min/maxing is the idea of exploiting the game mechanics as much as you can to trivialize the content.



#43
mutonizer

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[..]the question really is why.

 
Because it's up to you, that's the point I was trying to make. Depending on how you approach these games, you'll have vastly different experiences and that's a good deal why they're cool in my book.
 
You cannot fight (nor is it in any way a good idea, I mean, they do whatever they want) against players who will just try to "beat the game", they will always look for the next advantage they can get because that's how they play and it's fine. If this was a competitive game, then sure, go ahead and really limit how people can play it, balance everything and whatnot, but this isn't, so why bother. It's 100% single player so the game is defined by how YOU play it, as long as it has decent base mechanics of course, which I think, PoE now has (didn't before they pushed release though, not to me at least).
 
Same argument came up with rest-spamming, which brought us supplies. What does that changed? Nothing whatsoever. People who rest-spammed before, will rest-spammed now, only find it more tedious and either will stop playing, or just mod/cheat it. It however affects people like me, who never rest-spam, by adding some completely useless mechanic that wastes my time (running back and forth) and is completely devoid of any interesting potential (no ambushing etc) for the slightest mistakes. That'll be the first thing I do before booting the game: mod it out.
 
On the other hand we now got unlimited stash, but how you use it is 100% up to YOU. Heck, they now even have an option for "access anywhere", that really shows that how you play PoE is up to you. Personally, I'll limit myself to never use stash to store/grab anything while I'm "adventuring", and only use it as some kind of chest in the Stronghold (and tavern before that maybe). That'll put, to me at least, an interesting pressure on the money available, force me to choose what I loot, and bring back some of the inventory managements mechanics that I like.
But that's just my way. You might choose to just auto loot everything, down to every little piece of cheese hiding in the corner. To each his own. BUT if you start reducing the value of everything because you assume everyone will loot everything anyway, I'm screwed. I rather you just accept that some people will get INSANE cash and don't get bothered by it nor try to fix it.
 
Now for armour. Personally, since I really delved into it, I think anything below Path of the Damned is just "whatever man" as you said, so not even gonna bother because I don't want to spend 30+ hours just roflstomping everything like Josh did in all his demos. Now, Path of the Damned is another story entirely. Sure you can still cheese it, bring 4 druids 2 tanks and rest-spam, but if you don't, you'll want to put some armour on everyone because there are a LOT of dudes to fight and your one or two tanks won't hold them all up and if one of them gets a hit on your naked caster, it'll be a one shot.
 
That said, and it comes back to my issue with Critical hits and DR, I do agree that since you're back liners WILL be critted (low def) and because DR means **** when you get critted, armour as a whole is, indeed, a go max or go min thing. But, to me, THAT's the problem with armour, not what you described.
 

All games reward min/maxing without exception. Min/maxing is the idea of exploiting the game mechanics as much as you can to trivialize the content.

Exactly and it comes down, in the end, to the way YOU (as a player) play the game, not the game itself. That excludes competitive games of course, where min/maxing is the actual goal.

Edited by mutonizer, 18 March 2015 - 06:29 AM.


#44
gkathellar

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So you're min/maxing and complaining that things are being min/maxed? Nobody forces you to do anything. That's like saying the game economy sucks because you loot everything there ever was.

 

Two points here.

The complaint isn't really that things are "are being" min/maxed. The complaint in general is that the game promotes and rewards min/maxing, so to the point that it's hard to even make an argument as to why not do it.

 

All games reward min/maxing without exception. Min/maxing is the idea of exploiting the game mechanics as much as you can to trivialize the content.

 

 

True. But ideally, there are a greater variety of distinct ways to min-max. Having all characters divided along this Tank vs. Non-Tank line is kind of obnoxiously binary.


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#45
Luckmann

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So you're min/maxing and complaining that things are being min/maxed? Nobody forces you to do anything. That's like saying the game economy sucks because you loot everything there ever was.

 

Two points here.

The complaint isn't really that things are "are being" min/maxed. The complaint in general is that the game promotes and rewards min/maxing, so to the point that it's hard to even make an argument as to why not do it.

 

All games reward min/maxing without exception. Min/maxing is the idea of exploiting the game mechanics as much as you can to trivialize the content.

 

 

Except.. they don't. There are a lot of games where the choices aren't nearly as black and white as in this situation. It is entirely true that many games have a potential element of min/maxing (which I thought I acknowledged in my post, but I now realize that I was a bit vague). There is a difference between there being min/maxing and the game actively promoting and rewarding it, and a lot of games where it is possible to min/max, the way you min/max is different based on what you want to do or what you are.

DnD is a perfect example of this, where min/maxing is alive and well. But two characters will likely never be min/maxed in the same way, because the game is structured differently. Not specifically to avoid min/maxing, mind you, but it simply is.

But when it comes to PoE, min/maxing is blatant, obvious, and rewarded. The choice between the best armour is binary, independent of what what class you are, independent of what build you are. For the best possible outcome, unless you personally for whatever reason choose to actively gimp yourself, there are only two choices; the heaviest available, or none at all.

 

This is not a good system, again, unless we can come up with better arguments to use the in-betweens than "I want to, because, uh, reasons". There should be practical incentives to engage in game content and game mechanics beyond "This looks fancy", "I like the look of it" or "I enjoy gimping myself". I'd even go beyond dismissing these arguments as acceptable, but downright counter-productive in that they're aimed against attempts to balance the game further.

 

Edit: Ninja'd by Gkathellar. :lol:


Edited by Luckmann, 18 March 2015 - 06:53 AM.

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#46
Voss

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Trivializing the content? No. Responding appropriately to the game world and understanding system mastery is part of the RPG experience.

 

 

 

 

As for how I'd fix the armor problem, I'd do two things (Note: all numbers are arbitrary and can be changed)-

 

First, rework the armor recovery times into something sane:  0% recovery penalty for robes and padded, keep plate at 50%, and put everything else on a curve from 10% (leather) to 40% (brigandine).

 

Second, add a % ignore recovery time to Consitution, say at 3% per point.  This wouldn't be a percentage reduction, but an absolute number that subtracts from the recovery percentage of armor.  So, say a 14 Con character would ignore 12% recovery time, so they would suffer no recovery penalty from the revised number for leather, and drop Plate recovery penalty to 38%.  

 

This would encourage some armor on everyone, more use of medium armors, and as a bonus, find a use for Con.  Rather than the defacto dragon age style system of 'wizards only wear this and fighters only wear that.'  Which is what the current system effectively amounts to while trying to pretend it doesn't by filling in the middle with junk.


Edited by Voss, 18 March 2015 - 07:20 AM.

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#47
mutonizer

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This is not a good system, again, unless we can come up with better arguments to use the in-betweens than "I want to, because, uh, reasons". There should be practical incentives to engage in game content and game mechanics beyond "This looks fancy", "I like the look of it" or "I enjoy gimping myself". I'd even go beyond dismissing these arguments as acceptable, but downright counter-productive in that they're aimed against attempts to balance the game further.

First, **** balance.
Second, look'n feel is easily one of the most important aspect in these games, as long as it has a decent enough core system. PoE system takes a while to get into, but once you get it, you can play around with it a bit.

This is also a new system without the decades of feedback and experience that DnD has and probably very little tabletop practice. They'll learn from this release and will most likely tweak things around for add-on and sequels as well as expand possibilities, builds, etc.


Really odd though that they ended up with this, which I agree promotes min/maxing like nothing I've seen before, while they wanted the opposite. But with difficulty settings being total cakewalks, that's probably how they achieved their goal: Pick whatever, click click click.
Almost gave up and cancelled my pre-order when I saw Josh demo the game on hard, it looked like a game made for one-handed paraplegic retards. Glad I finally came back around couple weeks ago and tried Path of the Damned though, totally changed it for and now I'm supra high on the hype train...can't wait for release.

#48
Quetzalcoatl

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So you're min/maxing and complaining that things are being min/maxed? Nobody forces you to do anything. That's like saying the game economy sucks because you loot everything there ever was.

 

Two points here.

The complaint isn't really that things are "are being" min/maxed. The complaint in general is that the game promotes and rewards min/maxing, so to the point that it's hard to even make an argument as to why not do it.

 

All games reward min/maxing without exception. Min/maxing is the idea of exploiting the game mechanics as much as you can to trivialize the content.

 

 

Except.. they don't. There are a lot of games where the choices aren't nearly as black and white as in this situation. It is entirely true that many games have a potential element of min/maxing (which I thought I acknowledged in my post, but I now realize that I was a bit vague). There is a difference between there being min/maxing and the game actively promoting and rewarding it, and a lot of games where it is possible to min/max, the way you min/max is different based on what you want to do or what you are.

DnD is a perfect example of this, where min/maxing is alive and well. But two characters will likely never be min/maxed in the same way, because the game is structured differently. Not specifically to avoid min/maxing, mind you, but it simply is.

 

Armor in AD&D is pure benefit. That's an example of a binary choice.

 

You can wear no armor to maximize your DPS, but it also means you might get dropped with just a hit or two. That's a risk you take.

 



#49
Headbomb

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Personally, I use medium and light armors. I want my rogues to have some protection, but not so much that they have the attack rate of a glacier.

 

Now to me the main problem is that you always get the same type of bonus (DR), and always have the same type of penalty (attack speed). If you vary the bonuses and penalties, then you get different flavours of armor that is beyond "ajust the DR/attack rate slider to where you want it".

 

Here's some proposed solution to diversify things a bit more

 

Unarmored  DR Defl Speed  Crit Special

                          Dmg

Cloth       0  +10   -0%   -0%

 

Light

Robe        2   +7   -5%   -0%

Padded      3   +6  -10%   -0%

 

Medium

Hide        4   +4  -15%   -5%

Leather     5   +3  -20%   -5%

Scale       6   +2  -25%   -5%

 

Heavy

Breastplate 8   +0  -25-15%  -1 Stealth

Mail        9   +0  -30-15%  -1 Stealth

Brigandine  10  +0  -35-15%  -1 Stealth

 

Heaviest

Plate       12  +0  -50-25%  -2 Stealth

 

Not saying the balance is perfect here, but that would allow for each armor to have more flavour.


Edited by Headbomb, 18 March 2015 - 08:24 AM.

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#50
Luckmann

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Armor in AD&D is pure benefit. That's an example of a binary choice.
 
You can wear no armor to maximize your DPS, but it also means you might get dropped with just a hit or two. That's a risk you take.


In AD&D, maybe, but I didn't say AD&D specifically. The point was that there's different armours, and all of it will get used, based on what choice of class you are and so on. The Min/Maxing will be different based on what you play. There is no such distinction here, which was my whole point. In AD&D, Wizards will use robes, thieves will use leather, and fighters will use full plate.
 
In PoE, anyone that isn't a tank will do best in clothes, and the tank will be best supported by people capable of killing things before the party is violently murdered, which armour interferes with.

I would not trade the PoE system for the AD&D system for all the butter in Småland, but my point still stands.

#51
Quetzalcoatl

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Armor in AD&D is pure benefit. That's an example of a binary choice.
 
You can wear no armor to maximize your DPS, but it also means you might get dropped with just a hit or two. That's a risk you take.

In AD&D, maybe, but I didn't say AD&D specifically. The point was that there's different armours, and all of it will get used, based on what choice of class you are and so on. The Min/Maxing will be different based on what you play. There is no such distinction here, which was my whole point. In AD&D, Wizards will use robes, thieves will use leather, and fighters will use full plate.

If a class is locked into a single type of armor, this is binary.

 

In PoE, anyone that isn't a tank will do best in clothes, and the tank will be best supported by people capable of killing things before the party is violently murdered, which armour interferes with.

The other people in this thread say otherwise.

 

 



#52
GreyFox

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It's pretty lame that the system goes like that...either enchanted tshirts and shorts or Plate.....booooring.



#53
Luckmann

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If a class is locked into a single type of armor, this is binary.

 

Doesn't matter. The system encourages (albeit through force) different kinds of characters to use different kinds of armour, which, again, was my entire point. There is a meaningful choice in what you want to play and what kind of armour you can and will use. Yes, thieves WILL not be able to wear plate, but leather WILL be used if you have a thief in the group, and part of creating a thief was the knowledge that you would only use leather. And so on.

PoE mechanically encourages no different use of armours except as heavy as possible or none at all. For everyone.
 

The other people in this thread say otherwise.

 

That's still not an argument. The most fundamental argument so far has amounted to "Because". There no accounting for personal taste, we're talking strictly about a mechanical, fundamental level here. Like I said, I'll be playing a heavily underoptimized character myself, simply because I will enjoy doing so, but I'd never be able to formulate a coherent argument as to why anyone else would or should do this. I can say "Hey, this is a lot of fun", but it will always be followed by "But remember that it's underoptimized as hell, you will be shooting yourself in the foot".

And if someone still wants to do it, no-one cares, just like no-one cared if you decided solo Baldur's Gate or play a Paladin/Barbarian/Bard in Icewind Dale II.

If someone wants to gimp themselves, that is perfectly fine, but let's get the facts straight on the matter so there can be a honest discussion. It is a real issue in this system that there is absolutely no incentive to use anything between Clothing and Full Plate beyond "Eh, it's shiny". It's boring, predictable, and binary.


Edited by Luckmann, 18 March 2015 - 08:52 AM.

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#54
Headbomb

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It ain't. DPS comes at the cost of protection. You can make perfectly viable non-specialized builds. If you defined "optimization" as "this number here must be maximal", then yes you need to go to extremes. Doesn't mean that someone that's smack in the middle is disadvantaged. Sure you want tanks to be tanky and DPS to be DPSy, but that's like saying you can only create rogues and fighters. It's perfectly fine to put hide armor on your melee priest. You just trade DPS for defence. Or the other way around.

 

Personally, I like Leather on my rogues. Not because it's the rogue archetype, but because I find it offers a good protection/dps tradeoff. Rogues get hit. Naked rogues may damage more, but they'll die more too. If you're fine with that, go for it. I'd rather have more survivability.


Edited by Headbomb, 18 March 2015 - 09:00 AM.

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#55
Tartantyco

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I'm going to laugh when everyone running around with naked ranged characters get whooped by enemies burrowing, charging, and teleporting past their frontline.


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#56
Shevek

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I use tend to use scale on my reach users and ranged fighters but I do agree that there few other instances where I would use it.

To the OP: your solution is a bit too convoluted. It would be difficult to communicate to the player. I am not sure what other solution would work honestly. Just spitballin, but perhaps small things like in combat movement speed could be the answer? Similarly, you could do speed of stamina regen. So, a character in lighter armor could get a greater bonus from potions and heals due to not being weighed down as much. You could also do the whole you are clumsy in armor thing and give heavier armors a disengagement penalty. These fit thematically and could be communicated to the player easily.

Edited by Shevek, 18 March 2015 - 09:45 AM.

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#57
DigitalCrack

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All categories, including no armour, should have differing penalties and bonuses. Like no armour you take almost all direct health damage along with endurance but you get an appropriate bonus for being unhindered by armor. Where as all armor would mitigate that direct health damage and then each category would have a differing bonus along with a penalty.
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#58
View619

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All that being said, how difficult is it to mod the values related to armour types? It's beginning to sound like personal adjustments will need to be made to keep certain armour types relevant, imo.



#59
Shevek

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I know with weapons, there is a base assest bundle that affects all item files of that type of weapon. I am not sure if that exists for armor. So, you might have to edit each armor file. Time consuming but doable.

I am not sure if modding item files currently works. I tried to edit a couple talents and ran into a few stumbling blocks. Once its working, you should be able to add existing scripts (effects) to item files.
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#60
SergeantHans

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Trivializing the content? No. Responding appropriately to the game world and understanding system mastery is part of the RPG experience.




As for how I'd fix the armor problem, I'd do two things (Note: all numbers are arbitrary and can be changed)-

First, rework the armor recovery times into something sane: 0% recovery penalty for robes and padded, keep plate at 50%, and put everything else on a curve from 10% (leather) to 40% (brigandine).

Second, add a % ignore recovery time to Consitution, say at 3% per point. This wouldn't be a percentage reduction, but an absolute number that subtracts from the recovery percentage of armor. So, say a 14 Con character would ignore 12% recovery time, so they would suffer no recovery penalty from the revised number for leather, and drop Plate recovery penalty to 38%.

This would encourage some armor on everyone, more use of medium armors, and as a bonus, find a use for Con. Rather than the defacto dragon age style system of 'wizards only wear this and fighters only wear that.' Which is what the current system effectively amounts to while trying to pretend it doesn't by filling in the middle with junk.


This is an excellent idea imo!




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