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Zwiebelchen

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

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First, consider these quotes:
 

Barring the use of abilities or spells, no class attacks inherently faster than another.  Weapons have different attack speeds (and reload speeds, for crossbows and firearms) based on their animations.  Following their attack (or spell cast or item use), every character processes a proportional recovery time before they perform their next attack or action (movement simply pauses recovery time).  Heavier armor increases the recovery time.  Spells and abilities that speed up attacks/actions will reduce recovery times until there is no pause between attacks (this is pretty rare and I don't think it's actually possible with current bonuses).  After that point, the attacks themselves speed up.
 
So if you had three characters with sabres run up to attack a target, assuming they all arrived at the same time, they would all attack simultaneously.  One of the attackers wears no armor, one is in mail, and one is in plate armor.  Assuming no other modifiers, the one wearing no armor will execute their next attack first, followed by the one in mail, who is in turn followed by the one in plate.  If the unarmored character moves during their recovery, their recovery would be paused for the duration of their movement, meaning it's entirely possible that if they hop over to someone nearby, their next attack would wind up following the other two characters who have a statistically slower recovery.
 
Both rangers and monks have abilities that can speed up their attacks.  For rangers, it's a mode they enter that lowers their Accuracy as well.  For monks, it's a short-duration boost that costs them Wounds (their power resource).

It's based off of the overall action time + recovery time, but the recovery time is the first thing modified so we can maintain the animation speed. If an attack takes 30 frames and the recovery takes 30 frames, a 20% slowdown will make the recovery 42 frames (30+12 from a total anim time of 60 frames increased by 20%).


 
 
 

 

How is a reduction on recovery time on con conceptually different from an increase in action speed from dex, which is already in the game?

 
Mostly in that it's more limited, which might make it worth scaling the penalty reduction from Con faster. I'm not sure I see a problem with that redundancy either way, though.

 

 
That's true. While deflection is on two attributes, I consider the reduction on recovery time to be just inferior to the bonus of dex, as the bonus of dex already implies a reduction of recovery time. The bonus would have to be huge to be worth it and at the same time trivialize your choice to disregard any inferior armor. Why not simply make a talent for it? It's more clean, easier to balance and can be made to give more interesting specializations in armor.
 
 

 

How is a reduction on recovery time on con conceptually different from an increase in action speed from dex, which is already in the game?
 
Action speed scales with all actions independent of armor while the proposed recovery time on con is conditioned on equipment, which no other stat is? Sounds kind of strange to me.
 
I do think however that using talents in order to decrease the slow down of armor and enhance them would be a good idea.
 
Also, I'm confused because no one seems to mention that currently some armor types already give different numbers of DR to different kind of damage types, thus separating them conceptually?

Well, conceptually, its about being tough enough and conditioned for the armor.  The change to the lower DR armors is to remove the penalty for even thinking about armor, which I find pretty strange.  If you want to encourage a variety of strategies and builds, you don't put a penalty on the minimums.  
 
As to the difference with dex- quite a bit. Dex modifies the action animation, while the armor penalty affects the recovery animation.  Totally different timers. 
 
As for the armor type issue.  Eh.  Part of it is presumably 'realism,' but what it mostly comes down to is exploiting the inventory system, switching armors out that best fit the enemies you've just spotted.  Aside from gaming the system, I don't see a lot of benefit.

 

 

I interpret the post from josh to mean that dex affects the total time, so in particular recovery animation as well. Unless con far outweights dex in terms of time reduction, why would i take con over dex? And if it outweights it, wouldn't it trivialize armor usage in the first place?

 

Since you can't change armor during fights, you still have to settle for one armor at any given battle. If having medium armor shine in certain situations because you get a high DR against a relevant damage type while taking less slowdown compared to heavy armor, then the middleground is not useless.

If that implies that this system leads to exploition, then you will not be able to have meaningful choices at all, because you can always minmax every encounter if you just reload and prepare everything perfectly. Of course there will always be a best choice, but the problem should be that it is not easy to be able to identify it.

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Unless the fight starts out of a cutscene, the current AI makes it trivial to make sure that only your tank is attacked.  You can try it yourself, have your tank walk forward and draw aggro, then let everybody else walk up and start shooting stuff.  See how long it takes for anyone else to get damaged.

Sure, that is my usual strategy. I don't think the AI is nearly aggressive enough about attacking your back-line, but I have had beetles tunnel past my front-line, and enemy casters hit everyone with AoEs. In unfamiliar areas, you can also get adds coming in from unexpected directions. Melee DPS characters are attacked more often, and are more likely to be worth putting in armor.

 

Even if that were ever fixed, both deflection and DR give minor boosts to surviability when you have none and increasingly larger benefits as you stack them.   Characters with low defense gain little if they choose to invest in defense but lose a large amount damage.

Without some numbers behind it, that's just not an argument. How minor a survivability boost? How large an amount of damage?

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Why use armour on a character that almost never gets attacked, if there is some drawback for using it? 

Because armor may have enchantmets that give +might +dex +crit etc

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Also, there's no inherent reason why you should wear armor. If you think your ranged characters will do fine just with enchanted clothes, that shouldn't be a problem. It is up to enemy composition and behavior to dictate what kind of equipment is effective or necessary, not stats.

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"You're a fool if you believe I would trust your benevolence. Step aside and you and your lackeys will be unhurt."


 


 


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Without some numbers behind it, that's just not an argument. How minor a survivability boost? How large an amount of damage?

 

It's an argument whether or not there are any numbers behind it.  But I have this chart kicking around from the last version, and I like charts, so here, enjoy this chart.  Paladins are assumed to have 5 deflection and 3 DR over fighters.

 

 

aq9feyB.png

 

 

 

Slapping the heaviest armor in the game on a wizard increases the average attacks until they die from 2.3 to 3.2.  Putting plate on a tanky fighter increases their lifespan from 23 swipes to 58 swipes.

 

Now, I'm sure you're going to say, but what about other creatures.  And let me assure you, the shape doesn't change much for other creatures.  But if there is a creature you would like me to put into the chart, I would be happy to do so.

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Without some numbers behind it, that's just not an argument. How minor a survivability boost? How large an amount of damage?

 

It's an argument whether or not there are any numbers behind it.  But I have this chart kicking around from the last version, and I like charts, so here, enjoy this chart.  Paladins are assumed to have 5 deflection and 3 DR over fighters.

 

 

aq9feyB.png

 

 

 

Slapping the heaviest armor in the game on a wizard increases the average attacks until they die from 2.3 to 3.2.  Putting plate on a tanky fighter increases their lifespan from 23 swipes to 58 swipes.

 

Now, I'm sure you're going to say, but what about other creatures.  And let me assure you, the shape doesn't change much for other creatures.  But if there is a creature you would like me to put into the chart, I would be happy to do so.

 

 

No, that chart is pretty interesting; I don't think there's much value in measuring against different creatures, this seems like a reasonable benchmark. I am interested in seeing the difference in survivability between no armor, light armor, and medium armor for melee DPS builds on Ciphers, Rogues, Barbarian, Rangers, etc, and seeing the difference in DPS for the different armors.

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I'm not sure what you're hoping to see.  Plate armor provides a trivial amount of survivability for non-tanky characters, a couple of hits at most.  All the other armors provide slightly less survivability.  You don't really need to run the numbers to know that as long as the dps loss is significant (which it is), then trading a significant amount of dps for an insignificant amount of survivability isn't a great deal.

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I'm not sure the DPS penalty is that high. It's something like -12% for padded armor, and -25% for a breastplate. That's a fair amount, but it's not apocalyptic (for padded, anyway) and classes you're likely to use for melee DPS all have higher endurance than the wizard, so they benefit more from DR.

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So, I did some quick calculations, and at least for 5th level characters fighting lions, if your tank is > 80% effective (that is, your tank is getting hit 80% of the time, and 20% of the time your DPSer is getting hit) then you're better off wearing clothing than armor. Between 80% and 40%, light armor beats medium armor, and under 40% tank effectiveness, you're better off in medium armor.

 

This is a very rough estimate, and the calculations are pretty sensitive to a number of variables (particularly how much damage your tank takes from attacks) but it seems to generally point to the idea that ranged characters really shouldn't be wearing armor (no great surprise there, I guess) but light armor may make sense for melee DPS characters.

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A simple solution would be to introduce proficiencies, but that would further convolute what were supposed to be flexible and intuitive systems. I also doubt that the designers would want characters to be able to wear certain armors "penalty free", even at the cost of talents. The dilemmas runs deep in PoE.

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A simple solution would be to introduce proficiencies, but that would further convolute what were supposed to be flexible and intuitive systems. I also doubt that the designers would want characters to be able to wear certain armors "penalty free", even at the cost of talents. The dilemmas runs deep in PoE.

 

A simple solution is to make AI go after softer targets first, so that they will take down your wizard firs, and deal with plated tank last unless absolutely forced to by positioning.

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A simple solution would be to introduce proficiencies, but that would further convolute what were supposed to be flexible and intuitive systems. I also doubt that the designers would want characters to be able to wear certain armors "penalty free", even at the cost of talents. The dilemmas runs deep in PoE.

 

A simple solution is to make AI go after softer targets first, so that they will take down your wizard firs, and deal with plated tank last unless absolutely forced to by positioning.

 

 

I agree that this is needed, definitely, but if we look at the above chart again, we will notice that it doesn't fix the armor scaling problem. The core issue is that the defensive stats grow in importance exponentially, not linear. So even with the AI going after the softer characters first there's still literally no benefit in wearing armor as a DPSer. Because it doesn't matter if an enemy two-hit kills your character or two-point-one-hit kills your character.

 

What we need is a system that works logarithmic, not exponential:

 

If an enemy deals 100 damage and you absorb 50, one additional point of absorbtion increases your effective life by 2%. However, if an enemy deals the same 100 damage and you absorb 98, one additional point of absorbtion doubles your life. This is an inherent flaw in the system that needs to be accounted for if we want to keep the system as-is.

 

 

A simple way to fix this would be to "invert" the effectiveness curve and grant the defensive stats based on the difference, to achieve a linear or at least pseudo-linear scale:

Cloth, Leather and Mail receive an increase in defensive scores; the lower tiers stronger than the higher tiers. Plate armor should only be slightly better than Chain mail, simply because that "slightly better" has a huge impact due to how the mitigation mechanics work.

Edited by Zwiebelchen
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Without some numbers behind it, that's just not an argument. How minor a survivability boost? How large an amount of damage?

 

It's an argument whether or not there are any numbers behind it.  But I have this chart kicking around from the last version, and I like charts, so here, enjoy this chart.  Paladins are assumed to have 5 deflection and 3 DR over fighters.

 

 

aq9feyB.png

 

 

 

Slapping the heaviest armor in the game on a wizard increases the average attacks until they die from 2.3 to 3.2.  Putting plate on a tanky fighter increases their lifespan from 23 swipes to 58 swipes.

 

Now, I'm sure you're going to say, but what about other creatures.  And let me assure you, the shape doesn't change much for other creatures.  But if there is a creature you would like me to put into the chart, I would be happy to do so.

 

 

BOOM, HEADSHOT!


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I agree that this is needed, definitely, but if we look at the above chart again, we will notice that it doesn't fix the armor scaling problem. The core issue is that the defensive stats grow in importance exponentially, not linear. So even with the AI going after the softer characters first there's still literally no benefit in wearing armor as a DPSer. Because it doesn't matter if an enemy two-hit kills your character or two-point-one-hit kills your character.

 

What we need is a system that works logarithmic, not exponential:

 

If an enemy deals 100 damage and you absorb 50, one additional point of absorbtion increases your effective life by 2%. However, if an enemy deals the same 100 damage and you absorb 98, one additional point of absorbtion doubles your life. This is an inherent flaw in the system that needs to be accounted for if we want to keep the system as-is.

 

 

A simple way to fix this would be to "invert" the effectiveness curve and grant the defensive stats based on the difference, to achieve a linear or at least pseudo-linear scale:

Cloth, Leather and Mail receive an increase in defensive scores; the lower tiers stronger than the higher tiers. Plate armor should only be slightly better than Chain mail, simply because that "slightly better" has a huge impact due to how the mitigation mechanics work.

 

 

This is absolutely the best suggestion I've seen so far. I would love to see something like this, possibly in combination with a Constitution fix to ease the recovery penalty. Dunno if they'd really combine well, but those are the two things I've seen people suggest that have sounded good.


If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

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So after my most recent play-through, I really dislike how armor currently is.  the fact that medium armor really doesn't have any benefit for using it and that plate forces you into a tank role ruined the experience for me a little.  It really made armor feel "meh" all around.  Armor should be an exciting element not a punishing or pointless element.

 

Edit:  Honestly armor should not effect your damage output or at the very least not as much as it does.

Edited by DigitalCrack

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I will wear whatever looks coolest.

 

Which is interesting in it's own right, because it says straight up that you find the armor system pretty pointless.

 

 

@drunetovich, no that is bad as well.  Target soft targets first just changes to a different counterintuitive behavior- where dps characters have to suck up the penalties of heavy armor, and tanks go naked.

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@drunetovich, no that is bad as well.  Target soft targets first just changes to a different counterintuitive behavior- where dps characters have to suck up the penalties of heavy armor, and tanks go naked.

 

 

Why is that? How long you think your 'tank' will stay up naked? This is quite intuitive to protect your squad evenly and have flexible characters that can hold out on their own.

This tank\dps min\max mentality is what counterintuitive and artificial here.

Edited by drunetovich
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I have not read the entire thread, but...

 

CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:

 

Armor does not provide a speed penalty, and if it does it's fairly minor.

 

What armor does, is drastically increase the amount of stamina drained by fighting. Heavier armor drains stamina faster, causing exhaustion more often and forcing you to rest more often (or live with the penalties of being exhausted).

Naturally, athletics would help lessen the stamina drain of heavy armor.

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@drunetovich, no that is bad as well.  Target soft targets first just changes to a different counterintuitive behavior- where dps characters have to suck up the penalties of heavy armor, and tanks go naked.

 

 

Why is that? How long you think your 'tank' will stay up naked? This is quite intuitive to protect your squad evenly and have flexible characters that can hold out on their own.

This tank\dps min\max mentality is what counterintuitive and artificial here.

 

You take the armor off the tanks to make them 'softer' targets so the enemies stay focused on them, since your idea tweaks the AI to have monsters magically attracted to whatever value 'softer' is. Unless you're arguing that monsters should just magically know what your health bar is, in which case I'm just going to frown at you.

 

Min/Max mentality is neither counterintutitive nor artificial.  It recognizes how the game world works and reacts to it appropriately. 

 

Think of it as the age of gunpowder, with dps characters taking the role of guns, and tank characters taking the role of swords.   The overwhelming power of guns (dps characters) makes armor irrelevant.  Logcailly killing people as quickly as possible so they deal less damage overall is superior just trying to tough it out.

Edited by Voss

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So, I built a much more complete and accurate model of when it's appropriate to wear different armors. It models a tank and a DPSer at around level 5 wearing Fine armor fighting lions. It doesn't do much to change the conclusions from my earlier calculation, though. Clothing is (obviously) the best armor for ranged attackers, plate is best for tanks, and there is a good argument for putting melee DPSers in padded armor. Unfortunately, the model also shows that breastplates (and presumably other medium armor) is completely useless. This saddens me, because I think it's the best looking armor in the game.

 

A chart can be found below:
post-40632-0-97796800-1427081777_thumb.png

 

The model can be viewed here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1W5D9oTAMkiYpPAVwz6gnSxNCamI1bvQTBcXwJ8FnIKE/edit?usp=sharing

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So, I built a much more complete and accurate model of when it's appropriate to wear different armors. It models a tank and a DPSer at around level 5 wearing Fine armor fighting lions. It doesn't do much to change the conclusions from my earlier calculation, though. Clothing is (obviously) the best armor for ranged attackers, plate is best for tanks, and there is a good argument for putting melee DPSers in padded armor. Unfortunately, the model also shows that breastplates (and presumably other medium armor) is completely useless. This saddens me, because I think it's the best looking armor in the game.

 

A chart can be found below:

image.png

 

The model can be viewed here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1W5D9oTAMkiYpPAVwz6gnSxNCamI1bvQTBcXwJ8FnIKE/edit?usp=sharing

 

 

It's unfortunate that Medium armor is essentially RP armor, but medium armor has had this problem in a large amount of games. I for one hope Obsidian takes a second look at armor to resolve this issue. For now I am just going to grind my teeth and do my best to ignore it when I play the game proper. The robes especially will break my brain since my Main is going to be a wizard. But.. I'm.. 15%.. slower... noooooo....

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So, I built a much more complete and accurate model of when it's appropriate to wear different armors...

[snip]

 

Interesting.  It looks like that model is assuming a 1:1 ratio of dps to tanks, does it change any if you assume that there are 2 or 3 dps'ers per tank?

 

Also I don't think it changes anything, but those deflection values seem a little odd.  46 seems a little optimistic for dps (the bb fighter has 38 at level 5) and 64 seems a little low for a tank (bb fighter does have 67 with a shield and defender activated, but he's missing 20 points of deflection he could have from better talents and another ~18 from stats).

 

And yeah, there's some really neat looking armors inbetween plate and padded.  It'd be nice to have a reason to wear them.

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So, I built a much more complete and accurate model of when it's appropriate to wear different armors...

[snip]

 

Interesting.  It looks like that model is assuming a 1:1 ratio of dps to tanks, does it change any if you assume that there are 2 or 3 dps'ers per tank?

 

Also I don't think it changes anything, but those deflection values seem a little odd.  46 seems a little optimistic for dps (the bb fighter has 38 at level 5) and 64 seems a little low for a tank (bb fighter does have 67 with a shield and defender activated, but he's missing 20 points of deflection he could have from better talents and another ~18 from stats).

 

And yeah, there's some really neat looking armors inbetween plate and padded.  It'd be nice to have a reason to wear them.

 

 

The model assumes one dps and one tank, but changing that shouldn't have any affect on the results. All that matters is the ratio of attacks that go to the tanks vs the dps's. The deflection values were just read off the bb rogue and bb tank from one of my saves, but the bb builds are a bit weird. I played around with some other deflection values, and it shifts the ranges where you want clothing, padded, or plate armor around a bit, but it doesn't change any of the conclusions. Critically, there are no deflection values that make breastplates viable.

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