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Scorn

Armor Mitigation/Penetration Breakdown Discussion

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(Feel free to tag anyone you think may have some good thoughts or ideas on this)
I'd like to talk about Armor Mitigation and Armor Penetration and my worries with the currently implemented system.
I'll try to keep it somewhat short.
This is especially relevant to my worries about new players vs established players with training/gear.
This is also ANOTHER way in which Crowfall is built in such a way that characters built for damage WILL outpace and outmatch characters built for Healing or Survival.
Which is understandable, Death comes for us all but the current values are too extreme.

Armor Breaks can take an Armor value to -%s but do not actually increase the damage taken. 0% effective Armor value seems to be the minimum.
From what I can tell from testing Armor Penetration directly cancels out a proportional amount of Armor value from a target.
Currently Armor Mitigation HARD caps at 75%. You can not Over Cap this value. If someone has 40% Penetration and you have 75% Armor you have 35% effective Armor value.
If you buff your Armor (with Runecaster or Overwhelming Odds) you would still have 35% effective Armor. 
If you were hit with a 20% Armor break you would then have 15% effective armor...except Armor breaks can be cancelled out with Armor buffs (such as Runecaster or Overwhelming Odds)

So Armor Breaks and Armor buffs cancel each other out, that's fine and dandy. But Penetration is problematic.
The only Penetration buffs in the game are Physical as far as I know. There are non-physical armor breaks.
Because of this, Physical damage will outpace non-Physical damage when those buffs are used.
There are no Penetration debuffs in the game as far as I know. Though there's plenty of Armor buffs, which don't matter for Penetration once Cap is reached.

penetration.png
Here we can see that the cap for Penetration appears to be 100.
There's something to be said for the odd mix of positive and negative numbers on display too but that's a display issue and of less concern.
A fully trained Ranger can get 24% Penetration from Combat and Class training I believe.
With Penetration weapons that number could climb another 15-20%
With a Penetration buff that can climb another 15%
We're talking about ~55-60% Penetration now
Before possible Armor Breaks...
With numbers like those there's not really a concept of 'heavily armored target' anymore as the most effective Armor value you're dealing with is 15-20% 
Add in Personal Damage Modifier from Block/Buffs and a capped out 'Tank' Blocking would be mitigating 30-40% incoming damage.
But wait, that could get debuffed too by 15-20% so...

Basically Tanks get shredded and there's nothing they can do.
Anyone less than that Tank will only get shredded more down to the effective 0% Armor value
Now that same Tank against a character without the training/gear/buffs will be mitigating a full 75% from Armor and maybe more from Personal Damage Modifier/Blocking
If Armor cap were adjusted to match up to the 95% Physical Armor value given by Druid Passive (which of course loses a lot of it's value with the non-overcap) that only makes things that much worse for players without Penetration...

I think there's a serious problem here but am not quite sure of the solution.
I would like to find one that does not penalize stacking armor or penetration too much on a trained character but does not leave a new player drowning in the dust.
I don't think allowing Armor to overcap really does it, while it would address some of my concern with cancelling out higher penetration potential it would screw the new players that much longer.

Possible fixes all rest on Penetration in my mind.
Allow/add debuffs that reduce a character's penetration stat.
Blinds/Dazes could have this implemented, Blurred vision/Shaking Hands etc.
Lower the Penetration Cap. 30% would seem to have a fairly significant effect while still allowing for Defensive builds to feel fairly 'Tanky'
Perhaps as high as 40% but that's almost too much IMO
50% or more Penetration just seems obscene.
 

Edited by Scorn

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2 minutes ago, Tinnis said:

+ templar holy damage conversion to avoid all armor mitigations :)

I actually think there's no problems with that.
It's a class defining feature, is limited to melee range and has a big visual indicator as well.
Perhaps the downtime between uses could be adjusted.
I have no concern over Holy damage bypassing all armor right now.


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Penetration caps would seem to be the way to go, short of changing the way penetration works entirely. This still leaves armor breaks as an option for dealing with Tanks. The amount of ranged physical damage being done by rangers from 75m or more is obscene. Your finely crafted plate armor may as well not even be there.


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5 minutes ago, soulein said:

Penetration caps would seem to be the way to go, short of changing the way penetration works entirely. This still leaves armor breaks as an option for dealing with Tanks. The amount of ranged physical damage being done by rangers from 75m or more is obscene. Your finely crafted plate armor may as well not even be there.

Yeah, I'm thinking so. And it doesn't even need to be that fine to get a trained character to cap 8*{


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Another possible change is to make Armor Breaks/Pen be adaptive(percentage based).

Current System - 60% Mits - 20% Pen = 40% Mit

Suggestions - 60% Mits - (60x.20) = 48% Mit

 

This allows leather users to not always be at 0% Mit and still allows pen to be useful for tankier targets.

 

I know this conversation is mainly geared at Mit/Pen, but additional concerns I have are that Crit Dmg + AP do not have corresponding defensive Stats.

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12 minutes ago, Scorn said:

I actually think there's no problems with that.
It's a class defining feature, is limited to melee range and has a big visual indicator as well.
Perhaps the downtime between uses could be adjusted.
I have no concern over Holy damage bypassing all armor right now.

not debating it, but ACE do often wave the "but you are all running around in rags!" arugment with regards say damage inflation! :)


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3 minutes ago, Ussiah said:

Another possible change is to make Armor Breaks/Pen be adaptive(percentage based).

Current System - 60% Mits - 20% Pen = 40% Mit

Suggestions - 60% Mits - (60x.20) = 48% Mit

 

This allows leather users to not always be at 0% Mit and still allows pen to be useful for tankier targets.

 

I know this conversation is mainly geared at Mit/Pen, but additional concerns I have are that Crit Dmg + AP do not have corresponding defensive Stats.

I completely agree, it's one of my additional concerns. 
This game is built around damage, the skill trees especially.
Sure you can cancel out some of your opponent's mitigation (though not very much with the hard cap vs no cap apparently)
Sure you can cancel out some of your opponent's (and friendlies because too because Crit defense messes with Healing Crits too HAHAHA) Critical Hits

But if they crit, they will crit harder and harder due to AP and Crit Damage having no respective counter.

Edited by Scorn

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Agreed with you guys. Pretty nervous about the current system. 

Crit scales insanely well in this game at the moment, as is the case for most games, but not keeping it inn check will lead to even worse damage numbers than we have now imo

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Well said @Scorn.

ridiculous AP values from weapons + Armour Pen + buffed Jewellery and buffed shield stat values coming on the way it's going to get worse before it gets better IMO.  Newer players won't stand a chance, even in equal gear IMO.  Training is far too much vertical power.


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3 hours ago, Scorn said:

and friendlies because too because Crit defense messes with Healing Crits too HAHAHAn

dammit, why was i drinking when i read this

Oh+god.+It+s+been+a+_1dab53add962c56a6f9

*rolls eyes*

oh wait. this is why i drink! :P

so fae debuff going to increase the enemies chance of healing crits too i bet! 

Edited by Tinnis

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pent.png
Armor Pen does NOT cap at 40%, that might have just been wishful thinking. 30-40% would be a good number imo.
With SAFE experimentation I can get 1% Penetration on a 1hander per 2pips.
So we're talking 4-6% on a Blue easily. With a Bow that number only goes up.
My worries about 60% Penetration Ranger still stands.

3 hours ago, Destrin said:

Well said @Scorn.

ridiculous AP values from weapons + Armour Pen + buffed Jewellery and buffed shield stat values coming on the way it's going to get worse before it gets better IMO.  Newer players won't stand a chance, even in equal gear IMO.  Training is far too much vertical power.

Yup yup, stats on gear right now are all over the place. Better than training in almost all cases and way more than the x10 that I was hoping for.
Comparing an old big world Iron Metal Bar with 0.4 Attack power base and Copper Bar with .04Crit chance to the current Copper Bar 0.1Crit chance AND 7.5 Attack Power base...
That's one bar, no experiments, in a weapon.
And a skill node gives 15-25 Attack Power...

Personally I think the best way to address this is stricter caps for certain stats.
This way a new player with super good gear could conceivably be on a similar level as a trained veteran with mediocre gear.
ACE have brought up having multiple ways to reach the 'finish' line before and this would fit
I just think it's problematic when the 'finish line' is so far out of reach for most people that you have to stretch to reach it on most characters. 
 


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I honestly dont think armor should give more than 30-35% mitigation max, and pen should only take half of that.

75% armor mitigation against an opponent that is undertrained when compared to you, plus you being able to bypass ALL of his mitigation and defenses is just LOL.

you deal full dmg, while he deals 1/4 of his dmg.

I also agree with Scorn on more strict hard caps for most stats.


 

 

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56 minutes ago, Rikutatis said:

I honestly dont think armor should give more than 30-35% mitigation max, and pen should only take half of that.

75% armor mitigation against an opponent that is undertrained when compared to you, plus you being able to bypass ALL of his mitigation and defenses is just LOL.

you deal full dmg, while he deals 1/4 of his dmg.

I also agree with Scorn on more strict hard caps for most stats.

I don't mind the higher mitigation values but think you should need to build/buff to get up there.
Wearing mediocre plate I'm capped for Physical resists on a Knight or Templar.
At this point Runecaster or Overhwhelming Odds are useless to me , as are any specific Armor buffs.
I would prefer to see lower armor values from armor and training and consciously decide to build or get buffed in order to get high mitigation values like that.

Of course things would need to be rebalanced which would take some effort.


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would be of more interest if such mitigation and penetration values were tied to more active buffs and debuffs instead of generally passive in nature

[e.g. say if 10% physical penetration increased the benefit you got when attacking a target with an active armor break debuff etc]

[e.g. say if extra mitigation increased the effects you got from barrier powers or blocks etc]

but w/e


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On 3/3/2018 at 12:35 PM, Scorn said:

I don't think allowing Armor to overcap really does it, while it would address some of my concern with cancelling out higher penetration potential it would screw the new players that much longer.

Overcap is the only thing I can think of without totally gutting armor penetration. 

So if I have 65% mitigation and I get a 20% armor buff I'd be at 85% but effectively cap out at 75%. But If I get hit with a 20% armor break it only takes me down to 65% because I'm actually over the 75% cap at 85%. 

That's the only way to combat armor penetration without removing a whole lot of it.  


Blazzen <Lords of Death>

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18 minutes ago, blazzen said:

Overcap is the only thing I can think of without totally gutting armor penetration. 

So if I have 65% mitigation and I get a 20% armor buff I'd be at 85% but effectively cap out at 75%. But If I get hit with a 20% armor break it only takes me down to 65% because I'm actually over the 75% cap at 85%. 

That's the only way to combat armor penetration without removing a whole lot of it.  

I agree with this and originally thought that was how it worked, and in some ways that's because I want it to.
Stack enough armor buffs and you could be seeing 140%...except it would still be capping at 75% max.

That being said I think that if Armor did overcap it would not address the problems with new players.
They'd be stuck barely scratching established targets for quite awhile during which time they would most likely get discouraged and quit.
I don't want people to quit


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1 hour ago, Scorn said:

I agree with this and originally thought that was how it worked, and in some ways that's because I want it to.
Stack enough armor buffs and you could be seeing 140%...except it would still be capping at 75% max.

That being said I think that if Armor did overcap it would not address the problems with new players.
They'd be stuck barely scratching established targets for quite awhile during which time they would most likely get discouraged and quit.
I don't want people to quit

There's lots that can be done for new players (catch up mechanic, more horizontal skill tree, skill locked campaigns, etc.) but I don't want to derail this thread with all that. It's a much larger issue than armor vs. armor penetration. 

 


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Armor buffs bump up against the maximum cap 75%. Armor breaks/debuffs don't even interact with the casters armor penetration cap because it's being applied to a target. So even if I had 100% armor penetration I could still use a centuar armor break on a person and technically cut through 120% armor. 

Other than sturdy / overwhelming odds, the armor buffs are also a lot harder to apply than the debuffs. Runecaster you have to bunch up, bards have to maintain the song, etc. 

Reveal weakness is a fire and forget 15% armor penetration buff for the whole group, caltrops is a ground target AoE, centaur armor break is a charge/cone AoE.

Much easier to get a debuff on someone than maintaining a buff on someone. 

Because it's so much easier to debuff someones armor than it is to buff it I see no problem with allowing "overcapping" of armor so that if you do get debuffed you still maintain the armor you've stacked.  


Blazzen <Lords of Death>

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Penetration itself is a solution in search of a problem as a gear stat. The math of it (which everyone has already laid out) is pretty silly compared to the armor cap but really my question is how many plain damage stats do we actually need on gear?

Damage typed penetration and resist skill nodes that aren't an actual choice bug me like crazy. Damage typing should be handled by gear and gear alone (and by gear I also mean discs) as the broad dictates of a class skill tree essentially mandating minmax damage put a damper on build diversity by enforcing a "best type"

Not only that, we have a pretty wide and well considered range of damage types, most classes have access to several types through mastry discs or other equipment mechanisms, and at least the physical types are designed specifically to have various special effects to encourage diversity.

I mean lets count them off here, discounting special/middle case things like thorns or barriers and just look at the raw boring kill and not-die related stats.

Defensive Stats (All incoming damage has a type. All armor has a broad spread of resists for multiple types.)

  • Resistance (Mitigates Penetration, Typed)
  • HP (Mitigates Everything, Untyped)
  • Crit Defense (Mitigates Crit chance)

Offensive Stats (All outgoing damage has a type, most builds deal a single type with very few deviations.)

  • Attack Power
  • Weapon Damage
  • Crit Rate
  • Crit Damage
  • Penetration (Typed)
  • Final Damage Modifier (Multiplier to literally all damage)

 

Something doesn't add up for me here. Isn't the basic function of penetration already accomplished by just adding more of literally any other damage stat, and if so, why does it need to be a typed stat when spiking resists for specific types on armor isn't? Aren't armor break abilities that cause a flat loss in universal or typed mitigation already largely required for "tank breaking", and if so what is the point of putting penetration stats on gear? Why does penetration need to be a gear stat in the first place when we have multiple ways to add damage, make damage more or less reliable and more or less spikey, and largely rely on abilities to gain noticeable advantage from penetration?

Is having only one damage penetration type in a class skill tree really encouraging the kind of diverse buildcraft otherwise encouraged by the discipline system, or are we intended to have a vast option of suboptimal builds on offer just to avoid having our rocks scissored by damage type specific counter discs?

Like, where's the interesting build choice there? You're not going to build penetration unless you're stacking it with something that already grants a large block of penetration or as a dump stat/replacement for attack power because you can't actually get attack power in that slot.

Penetration is interesting as an ability. Penetration is problematic and boring as a stat. For these reasons I think we should just replace penetration on gear with more interesting stats like damage type proc chance/proc duration in stead. Skill tree penetration can be replaced with FDM for a similarly powerful but much less problematic damage buff that doesn't pigeonhole people in to "expected" damage types.

If "Penetration bleed proc chance" replaces "Damage penetration: Piercing" its now an interesting stat. Do I build for more raw damage and take penetration powers to punch through armor with big hits, or do I build more proc chance to get more bleeds and spread it out? Damage up front or more executes on the back end? Damage or cc procs?

We also avoid the arms race of armor stacking versus penetration, which doesn't require us to set armor caps/overcaps to a ludicrous  value that are completely unassailable by lower geared people who don't have penetration skills/training, and still allow those lower geared people to actually equip arrmor with resists that can measurably increase their survival. Those lower geared people can ALSO go for penetration focused builds easier as it is now a choice of discs which should have longer term utility and need replaced a lot less frequently than armor and weapons.

Edited by PopeUrban

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