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Armor for All: From rule to choice - Official discussion thread


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We’re going to move this from being a RULE to a CHOICE   FULL STORY

I vote no to swapping armor midfight, or any other significant gearing changes. One weapon swap should do it.

I posted this earlier, but it feels like a good time to mention this again:   <The TLD read version:  Heavy armor should protect you better by decreasing the damage you take when hit and decreasi

No, no its not. Meet some real re-enactors. SCA to them is like community theater to broadway.

Cmon man, it's not that serious. ledier, I think the point to consider is that modern reconstructions do not take into account the use of either budget reproductions nor advanced materials which do not accurately depict how armor really works. Modern reconstructions often fall into altered production methods which result in significantly different properties, sometimes they stress safety over performance, other times they substitute industrial materials in ways that produce significantly different results.

 

There are many documentaries, researchers, experts and gurus who review authentic antique war armors who will pretty much unanimously state that full plate armor actually weighs less than chain mail. It's forged steel in economically proportioned quantity and geometrically shaped for deflection. I don't know if the chain mail your referencing is wide ring mail with little protection or modern light steel which would offer superior function in plates, or if the plate armor your referencing is poorly forged and overweight, but there are more reasons than protection that made plate superior armor.

Edited by bahamutkaiser

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If we care about "reality", the limiting factor on the use of plate armor was a combination of cost and inconvience.

 

If you look at typical European infantry from the late middle ages (Swiss pikemen, Spanish terico, Landsknechts, etc.) you'll see decent amount of breastplates and the like.  You don't see nearly as much armor on the lower legs and arms.  Even if the plate armor is "relatively" light and well distributed, its still a pain in the bottom to march around carrying a bunch of extra mass on your extremetries.  If you read accounts from to old military leaders, they all complain that the soldiers are throwing away pieces of armor trying to lighten their load.

 

Associated with this, by the late middle ages folks had figured out a lot of ways to decrease the weight of plate.  Case hardening, fluting, and the like.  However, this also significantly increased the cost of the armor and the complexity of the tool sets necessary to make it.

 

If you want to limit the use of plate, make sure that it is expensive to make and a pain in the butt to march around in.  (People wearing greaves and vambraces consume more food and move more slowly)

 

If you want to be VERY realistic, you might consider systems where high end armor needs to be "fitted" to particular users.

 

Plate arrmor can't be shared between races.

If you are lucky enough to loot some plate belong to another "human", you need to take it to an armorer to have it modified before you can use it.

Edited by narsille

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"The cinnabar is a lie"

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Overall I like the changes here.  However I would like to suggest a couple ideas/changes.  Wall of text inc:

 

Having targeted damage is amazing on paper, but in a video game it becomes extremely confusing for the player.   Ex.  I equip all chain armor except my helm for which I choose plate.  My stats indicate that my resistance to crushing is fairly high.  I get hit in the head with a war hammer.  I die.  Now I’m mad at the game because I died to a hammer in one blow even though I expected to be generally tough against a hammer.

 

You can mitigate some of this frustration with a well designed UI that shows your resistances per body area.  But what does that UI look like?  That’s a lot of info to cram into a character screen.  Also to really make good use of precision combat like that, you need a combat system on par with something like Dark Souls, where you make very deliberate types of attacks at specific points.  Otherwise all you’re going to get is frustration from the player at not being able to accurately take advantage of a player’s weakness.

 

Another option is to have skills that specifically target body areas.   Ex. I have a skill called “Head Crack” that specifically targets a players head.  This can work, but you’re going to need a LOT of skills to make this useful.

 

Also regarding magical damage types, it’s good to have them, but the fewer the better.  I would suggest lumping Nature, Disease and Poison into maybe just Nature.  Just my preference here, but I think it would be easier for players (especially crafters) to manage the elemental damage resistance types as just “Elemental” and not separately as fire, frost, or lightning.  This way my armor will have elemental resistance.  However, I would like to see different types of effects based on the element used.  Fire = DoT, Frost = Slow, Lightning = Stun etc.

 

I like this slightly more refined approach because it allows you to handle a variety of combat situations without the tedious armor management that plagues most games these days.  Ex.  If I’m up against a druid I don’t have to be worried about whether the druid is using poison or disease based abilities (if I could even recognize that without having played a druid) I just need to know what my “Nature” resistance is.

 

As programmers/designers it’s easy for us to forget the end user experience and focus on what we think is cool or good design from an internal system perspective.  I would strongly encourage ArtCraft to take a hard look at these issues during combat testing.  The goal is always to find the ultimate “fun factor”.

 

TLDR:  Complexity is nice when implemented well.  Don’t forget to consider the fun factor.

Edited by GhostEye
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There are many documentaries, researchers, experts and gurus who review authentic antique war armors who will pretty much unanimously state that full plate armor actually weighs less than chain mail. It's forged steel in economically proportioned quantity and geometrically shaped for deflection. I don't know if they chain mail your referencing is wide ring mail with little protection or modern light steel which would offer superior function in plates, of if the plate armor your referencing is poorly forged and overweight, but there are more reasons than protection that made plate superior armor.

Forgive the poor typing, on a phone.

Any documentaries you recommend? I haven't come across many which address the use of chain instead of plate. The periods/regions I have focused on only really went into its supplemental use.

 

Regarding quality of plate vs chain - agreed plate is better with the exception of flexibility. If I appeared to suggest otherwise I apologize!

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No reason to apologize, you probably offer more first hand experience than us. I'll try to dig but most of the documentaries we're one offs which I didn't follow, shows like Deadliest Warrior and ThregnThand do various experiments with varying degrees of authenticity, scholars and experts like Lindy and Matt Eastern have a lot of first hand research and handling with authentic equipment. And there are quite a few varied European reenactors who do demonstrations with authentic reconstructions in and around many ancient landmarks.

It's really just one thing leading to the next, and you do have to use your judgement and scrutinize some of them, because research comes in various qualities.

My favorite is Scholagladitoria though. Oh yeah, skallagrim does weapon destruction testing too.

 

Edit: an old video, foreign video on Plate Armor function, I have no idea how authentic it is, but it's a nice demo. https://youtu.be/5hlIUrd7d1Q

Edited by bahamutkaiser

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This is clearly a step in the right direction from a player's point of view, even though it will require more work/time/money to implement compared to the previous simplistic gear system. But gear, and by extension character customization (visual and statistical), is a huge, super critical part of most mmorpgs, and will still be important to some extent in CF despite the de-emphasis on vertical progression. Not only is there more visual diversification with this new system (always good imo), but there is also exponentially more gameplay-effecting character customization choices, and I think almost everyone is in favor of changes that essentially boil down to more choice/more freedom for the players. It's a valuable change that's worth the extra work.

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I wonder how much more work it actually is? Half the archetypes are human, and adapting them to other races might only require minor alterations for some.

 

If it's in fact the same armor with the same appearance on each archetype, seems like it would be fairly reusable. Good thing I guess.

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I'm excited about the change. I love a "strength vs weakness" type armor system and it's something I've been missing from games for a long time. You can mix things up so you have a little of everything, not too weak or strong. Or you can focus your build to be super strong in one direction, and when facing your intended type of foe, be the bane of their existence ..but then vulnerable against other types. If some "meta" arises where a particular type of armor/resistance gets popular, you'll also have anti-meta people built specifically to kill them.

 

Nobody can be strong vs everything. I guess you could get a different kind of "strong" on each armor piece, but only being strong on your arm vs x-damage doesn't do much good for the rest of you. So you can go the "little of everything" route and maybe that will have its uses, or you focus on a particular type and then try to pick your fights rather than have them pick you. You could be as resistant as possible to cold and have Frostweavers curse your existence, but then drop like you were paid to vs somebody else. In a system where strengths must come with weaknesses, nobody can be all-powerful. Pick what you want to be strong with, and play with others who have what you lack, then go out and try to make the best of it. I love this.

 

I also don't think you should be able to change armor during a fight and even a weapon swap might be a bit much. I feel once the fight begins, you should pretty much have to work with what you've got.

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No reason to apologize, you probably offer more first hand experience than us. I'll try to dig but most of the documentaries we're one offs which I didn't follow, shows like Deadliest Warrior and ThregnThand do various experiments with varying degrees of authenticity, scholars and experts like Lindy and Matt Eastern have a lot of first hand research and handling with authentic equipment. And there are quite a few varied European reenactors who do demonstrations with authentic reconstructions in and around many ancient landmarks.

 

It's really just one thing leading to the next, and you do have to use your judgement and scrutinize some of them, because research comes in various qualities.

 

My favorite is Scholagladitoria though. Oh yeah, skallagrim does weapon destruction testing too.

 

Edit: an old video, foreign video on Plate Armor function, I have no idea how authentic it is, but it's a nice demo. https://youtu.be/5hlIUrd7d1Q

 

Thanks! I'll check those out!

 

 

I also don't think you should be able to change armor during a fight and even a weapon swap might be a bit much. I feel once the fight begins, you should pretty much have to work with what you've got.

 

I agree. Changing armor during a fight shouldn't be allowed.

 

Weapon swap between a few pre-defined weapons on the other hand is reasonable and has historic precedence. Knights often carried a "finishing dagger" for attacking the joints. (basically a thin bladed thrusting dagger). Archers have their dominant hand free most of the time and could easily draw a sword if required. LARPers and re-enactors are fairly good at "hot swapping" weapons too :P 

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One other thought:

 

Turn metal armor into a heat sink.

 

Let's assume that you get hit with some nasty spell like a firebolt or an ice lance or what have you.

Cloth or leather act as insulators and are better at blocking the damage.

 

If you are wearing metal armor, that armor is going to suck up a LOT of heat.  Arguably, this might decrease the amount of direct damage that you take, however, from then on you're wearing a DOT.  (and that same DOT is going to do terrible terrible things to your straps and your gambeson and the like)

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"The cinnabar is a lie"

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One other thought:

 

Turn metal armor into a heat sink.

 

Let's assume that you get hit with some nasty spell like a firebolt or an ice lance or what have you.

Cloth or leather act as insulators and are better at blocking the damage.

 

If you are wearing metal armor, that armor is going to suck up a LOT of heat. Arguably, this might decrease the amount of direct damage that you take, however, from then on you're wearing a DOT. (and that same DOT is going to do terrible terrible things to your straps and your gambeson and the like)

Metal armor has been worn in desert warfare and frozen tundras, so there are plenty of ways to insulate them. Fire in particular could ignite cloths, so there are many ways elemental damage could interact with armor :-/

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In the end of this entire long thread, we come to one basic conclusion. RL doesn't matter and armor is nothing more than binary method of creating fair playing field by altering things between tankiness and damage statistics. The more damage you can output the lower your defenses. Or a method of altering what kind of armor you have, full plate being pure physical damage reduction and zero magic, leather being a mid ground, and cloth being full magic resistance and almost no physical. It is only a representation of rock paper scissors without any real strategy involved unfortunately.

"Lawful Good does not always mean Lawful Nice."

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One other thought:

 

Turn metal armor into a heat sink.

 

Let's assume that you get hit with some nasty spell like a firebolt or an ice lance or what have you.

Cloth or leather act as insulators and are better at blocking the damage.

 

If you are wearing metal armor, that armor is going to suck up a LOT of heat.  Arguably, this might decrease the amount of direct damage that you take, however, from then on you're wearing a DOT.  (and that same DOT is going to do terrible terrible things to your straps and your gambeson and the like)

Cloth and leather are both flamable, cloth lights up fast and you are left wearing nothing, leather acts like a wick and the animal fats and hide simply make the fire burn hotter and longer, more fiercely devouring your body. 

 

Fire has been a constant in warfare and metal armor fares the best against it.

"Lawful Good does not always mean Lawful Nice."

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Overall I like the changes here.  However I would like to suggest a couple ideas/changes.  Wall of text inc:

 

Having targeted damage is amazing on paper, but in a video game it becomes extremely confusing for the player.   Ex.  I equip all chain armor except my helm for which I choose plate.  My stats indicate that my resistance to crushing is fairly high.  I get hit in the head with a war hammer.  I die.  Now I’m mad at the game because I died to a hammer in one blow even though I expected to be generally tough against a hammer.

 

You can mitigate some of this frustration with a well designed UI that shows your resistances per body area.  But what does that UI look like?  That’s a lot of info to cram into a character screen.  Also to really make good use of precision combat like that, you need a combat system on par with something like Dark Souls, where you make very deliberate types of attacks at specific points.  Otherwise all you’re going to get is frustration from the player at not being able to accurately take advantage of a player’s weakness.

 

Another option is to have skills that specifically target body areas.   Ex. I have a skill called “Head Crack” that specifically targets a players head.  This can work, but you’re going to need a LOT of skills to make this useful.

 

Also regarding magical damage types, it’s good to have them, but the fewer the better.  I would suggest lumping Nature, Disease and Poison into maybe just Nature.  Just my preference here, but I think it would be easier for players (especially crafters) to manage the elemental damage resistance types as just “Elemental” and not separately as fire, frost, or lightning.  This way my armor will have elemental resistance.  However, I would like to see different types of effects based on the element used.  Fire = DoT, Frost = Slow, Lightning = Stun etc.

 

I like this slightly more refined approach because it allows you to handle a variety of combat situations without the tedious armor management that plagues most games these days.  Ex.  If I’m up against a druid I don’t have to be worried about whether the druid is using poison or disease based abilities (if I could even recognize that without having played a druid) I just need to know what my “Nature” resistance is.

 

As programmers/designers it’s easy for us to forget the end user experience and focus on what we think is cool or good design from an internal system perspective.  I would strongly encourage ArtCraft to take a hard look at these issues during combat testing.  The goal is always to find the ultimate “fun factor”.

 

TLDR:  Complexity is nice when implemented well.  Don’t forget to consider the fun factor.

If they have a reticle (which they pretty much confirmed in the recent combat video) or similar free aiming function, then it becomes a lot better in aiming your attacks for more precision and skill based attacks. Best example of this is headshots on ranged classes, such as the Stalker and Ranger. If they have a reticle, it certainly cleans up ability bloat, such as your "head crack" or "groin kick" or "ankle hamstring" and "knee hamstring," as the reticle makes whatever your aiming at upon activation "x hamstring". That said, I do see what you mean, as it can lead to a lot of combat bloat and data crunching which could contribute to lag for something that seems a little overkill.

 

I say have hit locators for precision ranged classes (stalker and ranger) for things like headshots for crits and foot/ankle shots for cripples, while the rest use a more generalized abilities. Does it hurt immersion, sure, but not as much as lag would. They may decide to have a class of abilities that target certain areas like you said, but again, this just seems like bloat to me.

 

Also, I can agree that disease and poison can pretty much be lumped together, but I'd prefer to keep it from nature, what with the different aesthetics between the druid and the rogue/stalker classes. Don't want to think of my rogue as a tree-hugger, or my druid wielding biological contaminants on the battlefield

Edited by RKNM
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After an initial read, I don't really like the idea. It isn't realistic from what armor actually does and the purpose of it. I would much rather see restriction in movement, and attack speed when balancing these armors. Plate armor is weaker than all other armors at resisting crushing damage? Please, do some tests in the parking lot with some cloth, leather and chain, vs. a helmet, and bring a mop! ;)

 

I am also concerned, as seeing you have a small team, you are opening yourself up to 4x the amount of work when it comes to balancing things. You now have to worry about many more variables, which is going to add a lot more work.

 

I also think this is going to cause issues with player silhouettes, and identifying the groups of players you are engaging (from a distance). Is a mage class in full plate going to look like a Knight? Is a Knight in Cloth going to look like a Mage? A lot of this is going to come down to "how it feels", like anything.

 

I could go on and on with issues I see, but I will hold off until I can get my teeth sunk into the game to pass further judgement.

 

I like how they are trying to jump into uncharted territory with this, but I think they are jumping backwards attempting a double back flip ... and I am not sure they are going to stick the landing. Anyways, I look forward to your attempt at proving me wrong and changing my mind. It will definitely be a good thing to try out early on, rather than a few months before release, hah! Good luck!

Edited by MattVid

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After an initial read, I don't really like the idea. It isn't realistic from what armor actually does and the purpose of it. Cloth would not be better than plate at anything except for movement, this is where I would like to see the advantages and disadvantages. Plate armor is weaker than Chain Mail at resisting crushing damage? Have you ever heard of a biking helmet before? There is a reason it isn't made of chain linked cloth. So much for "real physics", right? ;)

 

I am also concerned, as seeing you have a small team, you are opening yourself up to 4x the amount of work when it comes to balancing things. You now have to worry about many more variables, which is going to add a lot more work.

 

I also think this is going to cause issues with player silhouettes, and identifying the groups of players you are engaging (from a distance). Is a mage class in full plate going to look like a Knight? Is a Knight in Cloth going to look like a Mage? A lot of this is going to come down to "how it feels", like anything.

 

I like how they are trying to jump into uncharted territory with this, but I think they are jumping in a little too deep. Anyways, I look forward to your attempting to prove me wrong and change my mind. It will definitely be a good thing to try out early on, rather than a few months before release, hah! Good luck!

 

These were just a examples and an initial representation of how armor stats would work.

 

Oh!  That chart was just an example.  The actual chart is very large (ARMOR TYPES) * (DAMAGE TYPES), so we just made that one up to illustrate the point. 

 

(We probably shouldn't have made it look 'balanced' at all, because the actual data won't look like that.  PLATE will offer more protection against more types in total than LEATHER, but will have other shortcomings beyond resistances/susceptibilities -- like decreased movement speed, stamina, inventory grid, whatever.)  

 

The actual chart (which came to us compliments of one Thomas P. Blair, esquire) is absoutely monstrous, and it will likely be tweaked dozens (and dozens...) of times between now and launch.

 

Todd

ACE

 

 

 As far as how things are going to look:

 

I think they said in the previous system that most armors and looks in the game would remain largely consistent with that archetype, so you'd essentially have (in the previous model) 4 different looks of armor of the same type that had the same aesthetic differing in "coolness" as you approached top tier armor. Under the current model, you'll still look like you're wearing top tier armor, only now you have 4 different looks of 4 different armor types (plate, mail, leather, and cloth) with the same aesthetic (so the centaur will look like he's wearing a Toga in cloth, or a Roman Centurion in plate, etc.).

 

So if a warrior traded his plate armor (where he looks like a medieval knight) to a Legionnaire (who looks like a Roman Centurion), the Legionnaire will still look like a centurion. That was a lot more confusing to write than I thought.

 
So your mage in plate will still have the mage aesthetic (By mage, I'm assuming you're talking confessor...they'll still look like they're with the inquisition, but in plate they'll probably look like they're conquistadors or crusaders as opposed to monk robes).
 
(Yes, I'm quoting my own stuff...just tired and lazy...)
Edited by RKNM
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After an initial read, I don't really like the idea. It isn't realistic from what armor actually does and the purpose of it. I would much rather see restriction in movement, and attack speed when balancing these armors. Plate armor is weaker than all other armors at resisting crushing damage? Please, do some tests in the parking lot with some cloth, leather and chain, vs. a helmet, and bring a mop! ;)

 

I am repeating myself here, but the system they described does not make Plate armor weaker than Cloth at resisting crushing damage.  We don't know the armor values that those damage types are modifying.  Plate armor will probably be better than all other armors at resisting Crushing damage.  It just won't be as good at resisting Crushing as it is at resisting Slashing.

 

Cloth will have a low armor value that will be the same versus each of the three listed types.  Plate will have a high value that will get modified for the differing types.  In the end, Plate will still be better at resisting Crushing than Cloth is.

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I am repeating myself here, but the system they described does not make Plate armor weaker than Cloth at resisting crushing damage.  We don't know the armor values that those damage types are modifying.  Plate armor will probably be better than all other armors at resisting Crushing damage.  It just won't be as good at resisting Crushing as it is at resisting Slashing.

 

Cloth will have a low armor value that will be the same versus each of the three listed types.  Plate will have a high value that will get modified for the differing types.  In the end, Plate will still be better at resisting Crushing than Cloth is.

So the table is simply a list of how each armor's statistics compare to the amor's other statistics? Plate armor would most definitely be Slashing>Pierce>Blunt resistance wise. What an absolutely terrible way to display it :P As I said, I will await to see it before passing anymore judgement. I am glad to hear that it is overly simplified.

Edited by MattVid

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