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I feel like the current armor system needs some work, currently it is very convoluted:

  • We have different damage types, flat damage protection, percentage protection and damage/defense tiers, high damage tier resistance.
  • What do damage types do? Currently nothing other than effect how much durability clothing loses when hit.
  • What does tier do? A lot of things, effecting durability loss, being an important factor in the damage equation, etc.
  • Is flat damage protection subtracted before or after percentage protection? Before percentage protection.
  • So flat damage protection doesn't really have much impact, based on the tiny amount on armor? Yes.
  • Is there something akin to armor penetration? Well yes, tier, but is is not utilized as such, as there is strictly tied to material.
  • How much damage will I roughly do with my tier 4, 4 attack damage iron sword against tier 2 black bronze chain mail with 1.25 flat, 83% percentage reduction? Em, I have no idea, can't even come up with a rough estimate because the tier calculation is so mythical it is contained in a for-loop.

As one can see, the system raises a lot of questions to the user while not offering any depth in return. So, instead of trying to insert new complexity, we will try to streamline while offering more depth/variation in armor choice.

First, let's cut damage types, sorta. While some basic damage types are required, like physical, flame, poison, suffocation, starvation, armor should only protect against physical damage, with there being no such thing as cutting, piercing or blunt damage anymore. The main reason for different physical damage types would be to basically have different weaknesses and strengths for different armors and while sounding like a good idea, it generally only archives players carrying multiple weapons to cover every weakness, wearing the armor that is the all-round best instead of diversifying. That is not to say that some anti-armor system isn't required.

Next, let us also cut tier. Tier just has too much influence on too many different things, making its impact hard to describe in words other than "bigger number better". This means the damage calculation is drastically simpler and easier to understand, as the obfuscation introduced by tier difference is removed entirely.

With tier removed from the damage calculation, it can also get some tweaks to make it simpler to calculate and offer more depth. Percentage reduction gets renamed to damage reduction but stays the same as a stat, as it is simple to understand and effective. Flat damage reduction gets completely reworked into a new thing called maximum damage reduction. Instead of the percentage reduction scaling into infinity, it is only allowed to reduce damage up to this maximum. The new damage calculation therefore is as follows:

damage_taken = damage_received - Min(damage_received * damage_reduction, maximum_damage_reduction).

This allows differentiating armors more than the flat damage reduction, as low percentage damage reduction high maximum reduction armors will be generally better against strong, high damage, attacks like the swing of an axe than high percentage damage reduction low maximum reduction armors, which will generally be better against weak, low damage, attacks like strikes from daggers. It also doesn't suffer from the issue of high flat damage reduction completely reducing an attack.

Now let us deal with durability loss, which previously relied on tier difference and the damage of an attack. With tier gone, we will need a new thing to implement its effects, albeit in a much cleaner way: durability damage. Durability damage is a new stat for weapons that determines how much loss of durability they will cause to armor. Better materials will have higher durability on armor and higher durability damage on weapons, emulating the tier system in a way, while being much more focused and less confusing. This also means that the attack damage of an attack will no longer have impact on the durability loss, allowing things like a war hammer that does a lot of durability damage, while still having generally low damage.

The last significant tweak to bring the whole system together and add anti-armor of sort is scaling the maximum with durability. Lower durability of your armor means it will be potentially less defensive, as the maximum amount of damage it can defend gets lower. Armor repairing and armor not being completely broken when durability reaches zero is obviously required to make this not unfair, but as far as I know that is already planned and needed anyway. Breaking, or at least damaging, armor becomes a core combat gameplay element rather than just some tedium. Because higher maximum damage reduction doesn't block more damage than the percentage reduction, armors having higher maximum damage reduction would be resilient for longer against durability loss, while not necessarily being more defensive overall as a side effect.

Naturally, with tier being gone, there need to be some adjustments to monsters and animals, who have previously relied on the tier system. The simple solution is to give their attack durability damage and have them actually "wear" armor, with their own durability, damage reduction and maximum damage reduction.

Overall these changes will lead to a lot more dynamic combat, as durability is now actually important to keep track of, like a second health bar, that can also be manipulated by opponents. Naturally the removal of the tier system is probably a bit controversial, but the durability damage system and defense scaling with durability basically fulfill its purpose of preventing damage and defense inflation while keeping new materials useful and additionally does a whole bunch of other nice stuff.

For making the system even more accessible for the player, displaying health and armor bars of enemies may be a good idea, as well as signifying if a weapons attack is strong enough to exceed the maximum damage reduction.

What do you think about these ideas? How would you like the armor system be? Any feedback is welcome.

 

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In my personal opinion, I've never understood why we need item repairing at all. We do want a resource sink as a game mechanic, and having to replace items as they break serves that purpose; repairing existing items doesn't make a difference there. I mean, I guess it sort of makes sense for clothing as a special mechanic, because it's good to have the warmth benefit be more than a binary on/off. But for armor, weapons, and tools, I see it opening a big can of complexity worms in return for a mixed bag of advantages and disadvantages.

For example:

6 hours ago, Erik said:

durability is now actually important to keep track of, like a second health bar

That is a big no in my book, because then you have to keep track of a stat in combat that you cannot always see. Imagine if health, food, and temporal stability were not displayed above the hotbar, but you had to hit C everytime you wanted to check them? Yeah, this suggestion introduces something exactly like that.

Additionally, if you open the can of armor losing effectiveness with durability, then it's only fair that weapons receive the same treatment, scaling their effectiveness with remaining durability. And then tools stand alone as the only remaining members of the old system, and since people want to repair them too, might as well port them over! And suddenly your "armor rework" suggestion has changed every item with durability in the game and their associated gameplay.

I mean, if Tyron wants to to there, more power to him, but this is a gigantic rework.

 

That said, the rest of the suggestions? Yeah, I can see those working well. I don't particularly pay that much attention to armor stats right now; the most important thing is that you're wearing any kind of armor as opposed to not wearing any. That's what makes the big difference in combat survivability. The exact armor of choice doesn't matter that much until you go fighting the very high-end of monsters. Perhaps with the new system you propose, I'd be inclined to pay a bit more attention to what I wear.

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3 hours ago, Streetwind said:

That is a big no in my book, because then you have to keep track of a stat in combat that you cannot always see. Imagine if health, food, and temporal stability were not displayed above the hotbar, but you had to hit C everytime you wanted to check them? Yeah, this suggestion introduces something exactly like that.

Well, your right. But it could easily be fixed by adding an armor bar on the hud like in Minecraft. The bar would need to be split into three sections, representing the different armor pieces, but generally it would be something easy to implement and for the players to understand that practically fixes the issue.

4 hours ago, Streetwind said:

Additionally, if you open the can of armor losing effectiveness with durability, then it's only fair that weapons receive the same treatment, scaling their effectiveness with remaining durability. And then tools stand alone as the only remaining members of the old system, and since people want to repair them too, might as well port them over! And suddenly your "armor rework" suggestion has changed every item with durability in the game and their associated gameplay.

This is also a valid concern. After all, I think having tools and weapons effectiveness scale with durability is a terrible idea. But I think armor getting this doesn't have to cause other things to get this treatment too, I mean clothing already kinda has this very feature right now and it doesn't cause people to demand it for tools and weapons.

4 hours ago, Streetwind said:

In my personal opinion, I've never understood why we need item repairing at all. We do want a resource sink as a game mechanic, and having to replace items as they break serves that purpose; repairing existing items doesn't make a difference there. I mean, I guess it sort of makes sense for clothing as a special mechanic, because it's good to have the warmth benefit be more than a binary on/off. But for armor, weapons, and tools, I see it opening a big can of complexity worms in return for a mixed bag of advantages and disadvantages.

The armor repairing shouldn't act as a resource sink, crafting the armor is already quite the resource sink anyway. Repairing needs to be there so armor durability can be a short term resource, something that can be significantly damaged in combat without it causing the player to loose a whole lot of resources trying to repair it. The reason for the durability is not to provide a resource sink, but to have armor be a temporary defense in a combat scenario and not a permanent as well as not have armor defense be a binary on/off.

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i'm totally with you concerning the points cut damage types and changes to damage reduction.

But the Tiers i'm not too sure about, on one side armor tiers are different to tool tiers something i don't really understand, on the other side it could be reworked to fit better in the other items tiers, maybe durability damage depends on tiers? both items could get damaged by a fixed durability damage multiplied by the quotient of the tiers? both take the same durability damage at the same tier, but if for example a tier 2 weapon hits a tier 4 armor the weapon would take 4/2 times that durability damage, while the armor would take only 2/4 of it...
clothing would then be tier 0.5 (but would only take damage when armor gets damaged or not sufficient armor pieces are worn), non metal armor tier 1, copper tier 2, iron tier 4, steel tier 5 i think, other metals tier 3. Durability would be dependant on how much material was needed to craft the armor, i'd say for example 300 durability per used copper ingot or 1050 per used iron ingot (around the average of the tools using 1 ingot to craft), or if we get a rework of metal working it could be made dependant on the actual metal voxels/units used instead of the rough per ingot scale. The high damage tier resistant attribut of plate armor and gambeson would just mean they count as 0.5 tiers higher.
Sure that'll mean metal armor would have really high duarabilities with a copper chainmail helmet (which are 10 ingots) having 3000 duarability, but as armor would be long term investments losing efficiency in their armor value when not in good conditions would provide incentives to keep them at conditions of over 50% (like with clothes), maybe let's instead say the downwards spiral starts at 90% (meaning after having lost quite some material already, in case of a plate helmet you lost 2 ingots worth of durability at this point) and under 10% armor would only save the clothing beneath and not give a real benefit in combat anymore (as long as the item on an armorstand still looks fine you than would have an additional incentive to use armor as decoration), meaning over 90% durability full benefits, between 90% and 10% declining benefits and under 10% no benefits other than protecting the clothing.

repairing stuff can actually be a material sink too, maybe each time you repair an item (tool, weapon, armor, clothing) you get less durability per item used, at some point it would be better to craft/buy a new one as you'd need more material for a complete repair than for a new item, but repairing is less time consuming and therefore you would still repair it as long as you have a big surplus of material. Each repair could be 5% less efficient than the last one, meaning you repair your copper armor with a copper plate to get 600 durability when you do it the first time, then use an ingot the next time but get only 285 durability, next time you use another plate because it got quite damaged which then gives 541, ... maybe capped at 50% at the lowest point... that way you might want to have items worth more than an ingot or two for big armor repairs, maybe chainmail helmets?

 

here are some other suggestions (or links to the topics) concerning metal working:

 

Edited by Hal13
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On 2/23/2021 at 4:58 PM, Hal13 said:

But the Tiers i'm not too sure about, on one side armor tiers are different to tool tiers something i don't really understand, on the other side it could be reworked to fit better in the other items tiers, maybe durability damage depends on tiers? both items could get damaged by a fixed durability damage multiplied by the quotient of the tiers? both take the same durability damage at the same tier, but if for example a tier 2 weapon hits a tier 4 armor the weapon would take 4/2 times that durability damage, while the armor would take only 2/4 of it...
clothing would then be tier 0.5 (but would only take damage when armor gets damaged or not sufficient armor pieces are worn), non metal armor tier 1, copper tier 2, iron tier 4, steel tier 5 i think, other metals tier 3.

Refitting tier to just durability damage is an option, but I don't think it is the best one. Taking the quotient of the tiers would mean that differences of lower tiers are making more durability damage than differences of higher tier. Tier 5 to tier 4 is just a durability damage multiplier of 1.2, while tier 2 to tier 1 is a multiplier of 2. That would mean that higher tier armor would last significantly longer in general, especially when the better materials also have higher durability, as the system still lacks some form of anti-armor.

On 2/23/2021 at 4:58 PM, Hal13 said:

Durability would be dependant on how much material was needed to craft the armor, i'd say for example 300 durability per used copper ingot or 1050 per used iron ingot (around the average of the tools using 1 ingot to craft), or if we get a rework of metal working it could be made dependant on the actual metal voxels/units used instead of the rough per ingot scale. The high damage tier resistant attribut of plate armor and gambeson would just mean they count as 0.5 tiers higher.

I don't think tying the armor balance to the crafting recipe is a good idea at all, from a design perspective (as the system loses a lot of flexibility, it is generally a really bad idea to tie a specific balance to a system) and from a gameplay perspective. It would shift balance too much in favor of full plate armor. There is also the problem of balancing the different armor pieces durability with this system, as doing so would be completely dependent on the crafting recipes. There can be reason for the different pieces to have not the same durability, but maybe scaling with hit chance, so less frequently hit pieces like the head would also have appropriately less durability.

Having differing durability damage on weapons also seems like a bad idea, since I see no gameplay reason to do so other than being a bit more consistent when having tiers.

On 2/23/2021 at 4:58 PM, Hal13 said:

Sure that'll mean metal armor would have really high duarabilities with a copper chainmail helmet (which are 10 ingots) having 3000 duarability, but as armor would be long term investments losing efficiency in their armor value when not in good conditions would provide incentives to keep them at conditions of over 50% (like with clothes), maybe let's instead say the downwards spiral starts at 90% (meaning after having lost quite some material already, in case of a plate helmet you lost 2 ingots worth of durability at this point) and under 10% armor would only save the clothing beneath and not give a real benefit in combat anymore (as long as the item on an armorstand still looks fine you than would have an additional incentive to use armor as decoration), meaning over 90% durability full benefits, between 90% and 10% declining benefits and under 10% no benefits other than protecting the clothing.

I have thought about adding some buffer before the downward spiral, but there is already a kind of buffer: The maximum damage reduction. When the maximum damage reduction is really high, it may take very long, before the weapon actually does more damage. A higher damage weapon would however be allowed to bypass this buffer sooner, which I think is good as it helps to further distinguish weapon types, in case material has little to no impact on the damage of a weapon. As the maximum damage reduction is also a stat on the armor, it is far more flexible than a static buffer.

On 2/23/2021 at 4:58 PM, Hal13 said:

repairing stuff can actually be a material sink too, maybe each time you repair an item (tool, weapon, armor, clothing) you get less durability per item used, at some point it would be better to craft/buy a new one as you'd need more material for a complete repair than for a new item, but repairing is less time consuming and therefore you would still repair it as long as you have a big surplus of material. Each repair could be 5% less efficient than the last one, meaning you repair your copper armor with a copper plate to get 600 durability when you do it the first time, then use an ingot the next time but get only 285 durability, next time you use another plate because it got quite damaged which then gives 541, ... maybe capped at 50% at the lowest point... that way you might want to have items worth more than an ingot or two for big armor repairs, maybe chainmail helmets?

Having repairing be a resource sink is a bad idea, when the armors are balanced to break rather quickly in combat, as is the case with my system, where armor durability is actually a dynamic stat in combat. Crafting the armor is already quite the huge resource sink, I think punishing the player for crafting a lower durability armor which quickly broke against a high armor damage mob more than having a big disadvantage in combat with having to use a lot of material to repair it is just unfair. It also devalues armors made out of early game metals, as they would be a very quick way to lose a lot of resources, so people are just better of waiting to craft armor until they have steel, like is the case now.

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On 2/25/2021 at 2:04 PM, Erik said:

It also devalues armors made out of early game metals, as they would be a very quick way to lose a lot of resources, so people are just better of waiting to craft armor until they have steel, like is the case now.

does anyone actually go through the hassle of making an early metal armor?

It takes way too much work and ressources to craft a metal armor that is comparable good to nonmetal armors, i'm speaking of chainmail of course.

At least I never bothered to craft any metal armor below iron (there are way too many things needing copper and bronze i normally don't get enough to get much more than an anvil a hammer and a pickaxe; iron is available abundably), I may craft gold or silver for their decorative value if i ever get enough ore to do that (have never found enough gold or silver to get even a single ingot).

Edited by Hal13
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5 hours ago, Hal13 said:

does anyone actually go through the hassle of making an early metal armor?

It takes way too much work and ressources to craft a metal armor that is comparable good to nonmetal armors, i'm speaking of chainmail of course.

At least I never bothered to craft any metal armor below iron (there are way too many things needing copper and bronze i normally don't get enough to get much more than an anvil a hammer and a pickaxe; iron is available abundably), I may craft gold or silver for their decorative value if i ever get enough ore to do that (have never found enough gold or silver to get even a single ingot).

Exactly, no one crafts early metal armor right now. Making early metal armor even more useless, by having its frequent repair also be a resource sink is therefore a bad idea. But having early metal armors last without huge resource investments and them having relatively good stats may actually still not be enough to have people use them, as people can shoot through the metal ages very quickly, like you describe, but it would at least give some more incentive.

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