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Erik

A case against attack/defense types

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This is a critique on the armor/defense and weapon/attack types system,
in hopes it doesn't get added to VS and current implementations (arrows) get removed in the future.

While the rock-paper-scissors system of armor and weapon types (cutting-blunt-piercing) is easy
to implement and is easy to balance, it does massively limits in player freedom:

Players with a wrong weapon or armor type are at a massive disadvantage, making
the combat much less skill based, but luck based instead. To counter this, players will need
to carry multiple weapons, of which they will only be effectively able to use one against
a certain enemy, because the others are at a massive disadvantage.

By choosing your armor, you can effectively dictate which weapon the opponent has to use and so does
your opponent for you. This is obviously not a good thing, because your weapon is
arguably the item with the most gameplay impact in combat and dictates the way to play.

Instead of having weapon types, a more classical approach with weapons having different armor
penetration values would be better. Sure, heavy armor is still best countered by a weapon with high
armor penetration, but there are significantly more options for the player,
because there would be a very broad range of weapons with different armor penetration values,
not all weapons being specialized. A warhammer would be specialized against heavy armor
and a dagger against armorless opponents, but swords and most other weapons would sit
in-between, being effective in any scenario.

Furthermore, the armor and weapon types system isn't very transparent for players,
the tooltips would need to provide a lot of information which can help confuse the player.
Judging the weakness of enemy armor is also somewhat hard, how can the player
see that the armor is ineffective against piercing damage?
Only having one armor penetration value on the weapon makes the system much easier to
understand and players should easily be able to see the difference between
heavy armor and light armor.

In short, I think armors and weapons should have only a very loose dependence
on each other. Weapons should be balanced against other weapons and armors against
other armors, as that broadens the possibility for more combat gameplay 
and gives the player more freedom.
 

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