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Omnicron

Should DR have been percentage based?

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It seems like one of the main things to keep in mind when playing on PotD is overcoming enemy DR. Hence one seems to be able to get higher dps from Slow Two handed weapons than dual wielding light fast weapons, making Vulnerable attack a mandatory skill for many weapons (This is not based on any personal tests but just reading forums and playing the game). Would it have been better for weapon balance and variety if DR reduced damage by a percentage rather than a flat number? So instead of reducing the damage by 12 it is rather 30% or something. This would reduce really strong attacks by a large number, but it would allow small weapons to still get 70% of their damage through.

 

Just a thought and wondered what others had to say :)


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I use the old established terms. DR is damage resistance (%)

DT (damage threshold is what PoE has)

 

DR is always better for many reasons. One is fast light attacks like you mention, its hard to balance.

 

Another is vs normal enemies DT makes many encounters trivial with enough of it.

 

While DT is still worthless vs huge boss attacks.

 

The end result is uneven poor game balance

Edited by Tennisgolfboll
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It really depends on whether it should scale or be a simple threshold.

 

Typically percentages help scale better and make it more fair.

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If you make it % based then all weapons will simply have to follow the exact same x damage / y speed formula. Yes, that would be easy to balance, but do we really want all weapon choise to be purely cosmetic? I have no idea how well PoE actually accomplished the goal of the armor system (which is fast weapons vs low DR, slow weapons vs high DR), but it seems to me any issues are a matter of tuning the numbers, and not some fundamental flaw of the system.

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I use the old established terms. DR is damage resistance (%)

DT (damage threshold is what PoE has)

 

DR is always better for many reasons. One is fast light attacks like you mention, its hard to balance.

 

It's hard to balance but unless you are making a multiplayer game you have to try, because contextually overpowered abilities are great fun. Occasionally your tank needs to be able to stand in the middle of an army and eat an apple, occasionally your cleric needs to be able reduce an army of skeletons to dust, occasionally your rogue should be able to open the encounter with a stun on the big bad and turn the encounter into a cake walk. Occasionally your fast hitter should hit harder than the heavy hitter and vice versa, that's fun ... it boiling down to the same thing is anti-fun.

 

Sacrificing all hard to balance mechanics is simply not worth it in a single player game, or a pen and paper roleplaying game for that matter ... that road leads to 4e.

 

So what I'm saying is there should be damage reduction in the game ... percentage based DR however doesn't really serve much purpose, just increase HP or defence instead. Works out the same math wise. The mistake was focusing so much on damage reduction ... not having it in the game period.

Edited by LeonKowalski

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DR is always better for many reasons. One is fast light attacks like you mention, its hard to balance.

 

 

No way, compare Fallout 3 to New Vegas, DT is way better in that situation.  With DR in Fallout 3, raw DPS is all that matters, so you can use the same weapons in basically every situation, but in the New Vegas you need to balance DPS with armor peneration whether through raw damage or penetrating weapons and so you have more incentive to change weapons depending on the situation.

 

Part of the problem right now with Pillars is that DPS and attack speed isn't very transparent, so it's hard to know when faster higher DPS weapon are worth it or not.  It also seems like most enemies have fairly high DT, the fast weapons are often inferior more than they should be.  There also seems to be a shortage with faster weapons with abilities like rending that help with DT.

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It seems like one of the main things to keep in mind when playing on PotD is overcoming enemy DR. Hence one seems to be able to get higher dps from Slow Two handed weapons than dual wielding light fast weapons, making Vulnerable attack a mandatory skill for many weapons (This is not based on any personal tests but just reading forums and playing the game). Would it have been better for weapon balance and variety if DR reduced damage by a percentage rather than a flat number? So instead of reducing the damage by 12 it is rather 30% or something. This would reduce really strong attacks by a large number, but it would allow small weapons to still get 70% of their damage through.

 

Just a thought and wondered what others had to say :)

 

I'm fine with how DR works as is. It makes sense to me that small weapons do poorly against heavy armor (or whatever the DR represents on the particular enemy). While at the same time, characters that are built to use single handed weapons can do very good damage.

 

As for balance, if small light weapons did more damage then rogues would be able to do even more damage (when they are already top at single target damage). Making things worse, rather then better.

 

Just my thoughts.

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DR is always better for many reasons. One is fast light attacks like you mention, its hard to balance.

 

No way, compare Fallout 3 to New Vegas, DT is way better in that situation. With DR in Fallout 3, raw DPS is all that matters, so you can use the same weapons in basically every situation, but in the New Vegas you need to balance DPS with armor peneration whether through raw damage or penetrating weapons and so you have more incentive to change weapons depending on the situation.

 

Part of the problem right now with Pillars is that DPS and attack speed isn't very transparent, so it's hard to know when faster higher DPS weapon are worth it or not. It also seems like most enemies have fairly high DT, the fast weapons are often inferior more than they should be. There also seems to be a shortage with faster weapons with abilities like rending that help with DT.

New vegas is one of the best games ever. To bad it had DT.

 

When you get 25 DT in new vegas and rad child you can literally afk in any wasteland raider encounter and your hp regain and DT will protect you. So give that band of raiders 30+ minutes and you still wont die. It makes the normal encounters pointless and only the hard ones matter. Its bad game design.

 

And they had to tweak all automatic weapons (years after release) to try and balance them, in the end most of them were useless (not enough dt peneration while a few like the light machine gun was incredibly overpowered because it had enough base damage and penetrating power to kill any boss in a few seconds).

 

Again had DR been on that boss the same fight would have been so much more epic.

 

Finally new vegas had DR untop of this with drugs, which you could get endless supply of. Med x for example you got delivered to your mail box after completing DM. I had hundreds. The combo of DT and DR is incredibly hard to balance.

 

More complex does not always mean better. In fact often its the other way around.

Edited by Tennisgolfboll

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I use the old established terms. DR is damage resistance (%)

DT (damage threshold is what PoE has)

 

DR is always better for many reasons. One is fast light attacks like you mention, its hard to balance.

It's hard to balance but unless you are making a multiplayer game you have to try, because contextually overpowered abilities are great fun. Occasionally your tank needs to be able to stand in the middle of an army and eat an apple, occasionally your cleric needs to be able reduce an army of skeletons to dust, occasionally your rogue should be able to open the encounter with a stun on the big bad and turn the encounter into a cake walk. Occasionally your fast hitter should hit harder than the heavy hitter and vice versa, that's fun ... it boiling down to the same thing is anti-fun.

 

Sacrificing all hard to balance mechanics is simply not worth it in a single player game, or a pen and paper roleplaying game for that matter ... that road leads to 4e.

 

So what I'm saying is there should be damage reduction in the game ... percentage based DR however doesn't really serve much purpose, just increase HP or defence instead. Works out the same math wise. The mistake was focusing so much on damage reduction ... not having it in the game period.

Powerful weapons and armor is fun. But if they become to powerful like DT tends to do or completely useless (which DT tends to do) its just poor game balance.

 

Yes its fun to see your heavy armor protect you against those alley muggers (DR) but if you afk for minutes you should still die.

 

DT will make normal encounters way to easy with enough of it. Or even hard ones. While some heavy hitters will be almost unaffected by it. And that will be to much for the game designers to balance. They will fail even with alot of time (years for new vegas for example)

Edited by Tennisgolfboll

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Oh and i think fallout 1 and 2 belongs to the top ten games ever made but they also had DT which was problematic.

 

But since then game designers have learned to scale DT back. In fallout 2 you often got hit for 0 damage because of DT. But in new vegas and PoE they have made DT capped with damage resistance (max 80% absorbed) which is a great change to DT. Its great because it tries to fix the unbalance DT creates, as ive mentioned, but its a bandaid (a good one but nevertheless). Notice how the fix is damage resistance in percent.

 

One day im sure they will learn and fix it alltogether.

Edited by Tennisgolfboll

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The DR system in PoE is fine.

 

The problem with percentage based systems is, that they inflate in numbers and don't scale very well with progressing power creep.

 

Integer-based DR can be stacked endlessly, as long as the damage scales accordingly. With percentage-based DR, you will hit a point of diminishing returns eventually.

If your endgame armors give 75% DR, what will you do in an upcoming expansion? Increase DR bonuses to 85%? What about epic levels? 95% DR anyone? In order for enemies to deal 100 damage against a 95% DR player, they'd need 2000 base damage. With a point based systems, your unit only needs 100 damage more than you have DR.

 

The system behind PoE was designed from the ground-up to avoid percentage-induced power creep. Deflection and Defenses work the same: Accuracy and Deflection can be stacked endlessly; as only the difference matters, not the actual value. A percentage based evasion stat (like most MMOs have) suffers the same power creep problem as percentage based DR.

 

If we take the most popular MMO as an example (World of Warcraft), then you will see that they changed the way Evasion, Parry and Block worked to a point-based system for exactly this reason. In Vanilla WoW, all evasion, parry and block scores were percentage based. However, the devs recognized the problem of power creep ("We can't give these items more evasion or players would basicly become immune to attacks... but if we don't add more evasion, what is the point in farming new items?") and changed the system in BC.

 

 

There is also more genius behind a point-based DR:

Weapon choices actually matter. In percentage based systems, only DPS is relevant. In point-based systems, DPS is a function of your per-hit damage and enemy DR. Which means that not all weapons are great against all types of armors. Fast weapons yield better DPS against low armored units, whereas slow weapons have an edge against heavily armored units. You can't achieve such an effect with a percentage based system. Everything would have to be equalized. Which is terrible and boring.

 

 

And just to go sure:

Dual wielding is not useless in PoE. Enemy DR scores are pretty moderate in most cases. Stilettos actually deal a fair amount of damage. Only heavily armored units are a problem (and those are rare); in which case you can pop a modal to give you more armor penetration.

Edited by Zwiebelchen
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I agree the system is fine. Alot better than most old games.

 

But they could have done it even better. DR would have made that possible.

 

The point that DR percent leads to power creep is just wrong. (So is the claim that WOW is percentage based, its formulas).

 

Having 95% DR is almost as bad as getting DT where 1 point of damage or none goes through.

 

 

But that isnt how DR should be used if you have a basic grasp of percentages.

 

The problem with DT is that it gives such an uneven result. DR does not.

Edited by Tennisgolfboll

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It should've been both.

 

Both percentage and flat modifiers, and the individual modifiers on top of that should've also been flat, not percentages like they are now.

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As others have mentioned DT is better than DR for simulating armor.

 

The DT system used lets heavy plate ignore small fast damage attacks, or at least 80% of them. While slower big hitting two handers are a real threat. Light armored foes are more threatened by the small fast attacks rather than the slower two handers.

 

The system works well as it is. If you want to hurt heavily armored foes you need to use bigger, slower weapons. Against no or low armor dual wielded fast weapons do the most damage. Both slow and fast weapons have a purpose and are better than the other depending on the foe. A pure DR system just rewards straight up DPS, no other consideration is made except for cosmetic.

 

I much prefer a system where each weapon type is better or worse against various foes rather than a system that is based solely on DPS for balance.

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1) The point that DR percent leads to power creep is just wrong. (So is the claim that WOW is percentage based, its formulas).

 

2) Having 95% DR is almost as bad as getting DT where 1 point of damage or none goes through.

 

 

3) But that isnt how DR should be used if you have a basic grasp of percentages.

 

4) The problem with DT is that it gives such an uneven result. DR does not.

 

1) WoW was percentage based in vanilla. Gear could for example have +2% evasion on their stats. Also, it does suffer from power creep. I gave valid examples and arguments for it. You can't just say "no it doesn't" and then provide no real counter argument.

 

2) You missed the point. Or the definition of power creep for that matter. And no, those cases are not comparable. To overcome DT completely, I just need twice as much damage. To overcome a 95% DR completely, I need 20 times as much damage. I think anyone can see the problem with this. DT vs. damage is a linear progression, while DR vs damage is exponential. Exponential systems don't scale very well.

 

3) Percentage is percentage, no matter how you use them. You can't extend a percentage based system endlessly without eventually running into power creep for all the reasons mentioned above.

 

4) You see, the problem is that we have a general disagreement here: I feel that uneven results are desirable, as it creates clear purpose for different weapon types. Not all weapons are created equal and that is what makes this game interesting. I'm sick of all the "which weapon do you want to use? Ahh... doesn't matter, both the dagger and the greatsword have 100 DPS" MMO bull.

Edited by Zwiebelchen

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1) The point that DR percent leads to power creep is just wrong. (So is the claim that WOW is percentage based, its formulas).

 

2) Having 95% DR is almost as bad as getting DT where 1 point of damage or none goes through.

 

 

3) But that isnt how DR should be used if you have a basic grasp of percentages.

 

4) The problem with DT is that it gives such an uneven result. DR does not.

1) WoW was percentage based in vanilla. Gear could for example have +2% evasion on their stats. Also, it does suffer from power creep. I gave valid examples and arguments for it. You can't just say "no it doesn't" and then provide no real argument about why you think so.

 

2) You missed the point. Or the definition of power creep for that matter. And no, those cases are not comparable. To overcome DT completely, I just need twice as much damage. To overcome a 95% DR, I need 20 times as much damage. I think anyone can see the problem with this. DT vs. damage is a linear progression, while DR vs damage is exponential. Exponential systems don't scale very well.

 

3) Percentage is percentage, no matter how you use them. You can't extend a percentage based system endlessly without eventually running into power creep for all the reasons mentioned above.

 

4) You see, the problem is that we have a general disagreement here: I feel that uneven results are desirable, as it creates clear purpose for different weapon types. Not all weapons are created equal and that is what makes this game interesting. I'm sick of all the "which weapon do you want to use? Ahh... doesn't matter, both the dagger and the greatsword have 100 DPS" MMO bull.

WOW isnt percentage based. It is, and has always been, using formulas. It shows you dont understand what a percentage based system is.

 

 

If you for example cap DR at 50% it will not scale the way you describe it. Having it cap at 95% then it becomes like DT when your DT is almost the same as an incoming attack.

 

The problem with DT is that it will make you immune to many attacks and still not work at all vs big hitters.

 

A tank has 10 DT. The standard enemy does 10 damage. He then never takes any damage. O damage taken, poor game balance. Boring.

 

He then encounters a wolf, that hits twice as slow but for 20 points. He will suffer massive damage compared to the standard enemy.

 

Then a dragon that deals 100 damage, he dies after a few attacks. He cant tank it because of DT.

 

Then you have hundreds encounters like this. And game designers will not be able to balance it. Because of DT.

 

In a percentage based system none of these problem ever happen.

 

And seeing how game designers cant even get systems working as intended (bugs) its a mighty tall order to have them use DT. They will create imbalances that does not need to be there. That they never intended or wanted.

Edited by Tennisgolfboll

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1) The point that DR percent leads to power creep is just wrong. (So is the claim that WOW is percentage based, its formulas).

 

2) Having 95% DR is almost as bad as getting DT where 1 point of damage or none goes through.

 

 

3) But that isnt how DR should be used if you have a basic grasp of percentages.

 

4) The problem with DT is that it gives such an uneven result. DR does not.

1) WoW was percentage based in vanilla. Gear could for example have +2% evasion on their stats. Also, it does suffer from power creep. I gave valid examples and arguments for it. You can't just say "no it doesn't" and then provide no real argument about why you think so.

 

2) You missed the point. Or the definition of power creep for that matter. And no, those cases are not comparable. To overcome DT completely, I just need twice as much damage. To overcome a 95% DR, I need 20 times as much damage. I think anyone can see the problem with this. DT vs. damage is a linear progression, while DR vs damage is exponential. Exponential systems don't scale very well.

 

3) Percentage is percentage, no matter how you use them. You can't extend a percentage based system endlessly without eventually running into power creep for all the reasons mentioned above.

 

4) You see, the problem is that we have a general disagreement here: I feel that uneven results are desirable, as it creates clear purpose for different weapon types. Not all weapons are created equal and that is what makes this game interesting. I'm sick of all the "which weapon do you want to use? Ahh... doesn't matter, both the dagger and the greatsword have 100 DPS" MMO bull.

WOW isnt percentage based. It is, and has always been, using formulas. It shows you dont understand what a percentage based system is.

 

 

You obviously refuse to read my posts or actually look up the facts. Which makes all further discussion pointless.

 

 

But just because you insist on telling me that I'm wrong, even though I have been playing WoW since Vanilla beta, I looked up the patch that changed percentage modifiers to the rating system we have nowadays. And guess what; turns out the reason for that was power creep. Who would have known?

 

http://wow.gamepedia.com/Combat_rating_system

 

EDIT:

Since you've edited your post, here's my response to that:

 

Your examples are a matter of taste. A lot of people (including me) like exactly this behaviour about the game.

And to prevent becoming immune to small attacks is why we have a DR bypass stat.

 

But let's just take the dragon example you provided to show you another reason why a percentage based system is flawed:

A dragon dealing 100 damage was deliberately designed to deal that damage. If it was not meant to deal that much damage, the devs would have just given it less damage. If it was meant to deal only 20 damage to a tank; the devs could have just changed the initial damage number with the average gear DT score for an equipped tank of appropriate level.

 

If an appropriate tank given a percentage based DR system would have a 50% DR and barely survive an attack with 100 base damage, that would mean that a caster with zero DR (due to wearing cloth), would take twice as much damage and pretty much die instantly, whereas a difference of 10 DT on a point based system just increases damage by 10 for an unarmored character. Which is way less dramatic.

A point-based progression allows much better fine-tuning and balancing of encounters, as you can make sure that the difference between tanks and non-tanks for lethal attacks is not completely lopsided towards the tank.

 

And besides; PoE actually has a percentage based (but still linear, due to stat and counterstat resolution) damage mitigation mechanic: Deflection and Defense scores. So it's actually mixing up the best of both worlds.

Edited by Zwiebelchen
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I can see some of the arguments for either side, and I understand both, but shortly after posting this I recalled my experience in Skyrim where I got 85% immunity against everything and the game was a boring walkover with a life-drain weapon (since getting those numbers was quite easy).

 

It seems both systems will give you relative immunity, especially in PoE where even though it works with DT it will never cancel out all damage, which means you are in the same situation as a DR system against small mobs with only a small percentage coming though. Which feels quite balanced actually. And as Zwiebelchen noted, we also have deflection which means you probably wont get hit anyway (and which is apparently % based).

 

As noted DT seems easier to balance with power creep and I don't think I've seen an example of how you can cap or work from a situation where you have say 85% DR. 

Edited by Omnicron

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Huh, integer damage reduction is pure evil and is the source of all imbalance and exploits and is impossible to balance

 

%damage reduction is not perfect, but easy to balance, just cap it anywhere around 60%. If a game allows 95% dr, its game design failure.

 

The reason is % scales with enemy strengh so party strength is possible to predict to design proper encounters, meanwhile integer dr does not scale, so you are either immune or one-shotted. This is not a good design in any case.

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And besides; PoE actually has a percentage based (but still linear, due to stat and counterstat resolution) damage mitigation mechanic: Deflection and Defense scores. So it's actually mixing up the best of both worlds.

 

 

Exactly if you want to tank something that hits harder than armor can withstand, then you need make it miss.  I'm fine with dragon being so strong than your armor is almost useless, it's a dragon.  I'm fine with guns rendering plate armor obsolete, guns did make plate mail obsolete.  The game is intended to be early modern fantasy setting, not medieval and part of that is beginning of a transition away from heavier armor.

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If we take the most popular MMO as an example (World of Warcraft), then you will see that they changed the way Evasion, Parry and Block worked to a point-based system for exactly this reason. In Vanilla WoW, all evasion, parry and block scores were percentage based. 

 

From your link, second sentence or something

 

 Rating is converted linearly to percentage

 

It seems you do not understand what they did, namely making item stats more manageable, which has nothing to do with point based system in general or with integer dr in particular. The reason for that is again scaling so it wouldnt be possible to eqiup 100 junk items with 1% evasion and become 100% immune to damage. In a way in Wow, they removed point based system, so it wouldnt be possible to stack them, so exactly the opposite of what you are saying.

 

The problem with evasion is it doesnt prevent spike damage, so bg2 it was possible to get 95% evasion, and it was pretty pointless, because alternative ways offered better protection w/o sacrifices. And in general evasion tanks are the weakest in all games.

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I believe the best way is DR and DT together, like it was in Fallout 1 and 2.

This system allows for very varied armor types (Leather has DR but no DT, Mail has both but not as much, Plate has a lot of DT but not a lot of DR) and just easier to balance overall

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Powerful weapons and armor is fun. But if they become to powerful like DT tends to do or completely useless (which DT tends to do) its just poor game balance.

 

Yes its fun to see your heavy armor protect you against those alley muggers (DR) but if you afk for minutes you should still die.

 

DT will make normal encounters way to easy with enough of it. Or even hard ones. While some heavy hitters will be almost unaffected by it. And that will be to much for the game designers to balance. They will fail even with alot of time (years for new vegas for example)

 

 

If there is a good balance between high damage reduction and damage sponge enemies then balanced parties will do fine ... the heavy hitters would be chipping away at the damage sponges while the fast attackers would blender it. Min/max'ers will debuff DR and/or make switch hitters and will do better than fine.

 

What Obsidion needs to get rid of is the mindset that "everything should be solo'eable" and "every build should be viable" complete and utter bull****. Until tripple crown solo becomes plain impossible without cheating this game will never be balanced.

Edited by LeonKowalski

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If we take the most popular MMO as an example (World of Warcraft), then you will see that they changed the way Evasion, Parry and Block worked to a point-based system for exactly this reason. In Vanilla WoW, all evasion, parry and block scores were percentage based. 

 

From your link, second sentence or something

 

 Rating is converted linearly to percentage

 

It seems you do not understand what they did, namely making item stats more manageable, which has nothing to do with point based system in general or with integer dr in particular. The reason for that is again scaling so it wouldnt be possible to eqiup 100 junk items with 1% evasion and become 100% immune to damage. In a way in Wow, they removed point based system, so it wouldnt be possible to stack them, so exactly the opposite of what you are saying.

 

The problem with evasion is it doesnt prevent spike damage, so bg2 it was possible to get 95% evasion, and it was pretty pointless, because alternative ways offered better protection w/o sacrifices. And in general evasion tanks are the weakest in all games.

 

 

You took that sentence completely out of context and drawed the wrong conclusion out of it. And no, it isn't percentage based. It's integer based, as it compares your rating with the rating of enemies, instead of applying only the raw percentage that you had on items regardless of comparison.

 

Old system:

A level 10 Item had for example

23 DPS

+1% block.

 

A level 60 item had for example

69 DPS

+1% block.

 

New system:

The same level 10 Item had for example

23 DPS

4 block rating.

 

The same level 60 Item had for example:

69 DPS

20 block rating.

 

Note that 1% of block wasn't converted into 4 block rating in both situations? It actually is roughly 5 times higher at level 60, yet still only blocks 1%.

 

The block rating is a mysterical thing in that you can't really convert it into a flat percentage. It's based not only on the difference in levels, but also on a complicated diminishing returns calculation. All this was done to make sure that your equipment doesn't suffer from power creep and that the item treadmill could basicly go endlessly without powercreep.

That 12 block rating translates into a lower block percentage the higher you go in levels, giving you a feeling of inverse progression: instead of getting stronger, you actually become weaker with going up a level - as long as enemies also go up a level. This is classic behaviour of integer based damage mitigation systems.

 

A 12 block rating at level 10 is easily 4% of block chance. A 12 block rating at level 60, however, is less than 1%.

 

So, no, the system is not percentage based. Not by definition. It's a linearized formula in that it changes with level. And this is what the quoted sentence was implying.

 

You seemed completely in denial that WoW ever had a flat percentage system. I linked this to show you that you were wrong. And yet you still insist it's not even true? The wiki article even mentions the exact same reason I've been explaining the entire time.

Edited by Zwiebelchen

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It should've been both.

 

Both percentage and flat modifiers

I agree with this. As stated, flat DR is hard to balance and easily leads to boring situations if you make optimal choices. Fast weapons being next to useless against meaningful enemies, plated tanks being pretty much completely immune to hordes and so on. Pure % DR is even worse as it makes all weapon type choices irrelevant like many of you already said, but a combination of those lets weapon type be meaningful while also dodging the annoying edge cases of flat DR system.

 

The problem of fast weapons being bad vs. all the cool enemies could be partly solved even with the current system by giving some of the tough enemies larger health pools with low DR.

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