Metal armor

Apr 11, 3:10 pm
#1
red_kangaroo's avatar
skeleton warrior


Joined: Apr 2, 2014
Location: North Tyris
Posts: 286
Ischaldirh wrote
Most players stick with the best soft armor they can find, and leave plate armor to rust in the dungeon.

see (https://attnam.com/topics/First-game-in-IVAN)

Based on this thread and the discussion above, plus my own experience, metal armor really isn't that good. It's heavy, has crippling stat penalties and its AV is nearly matched by good enough soft armor.

I don't think this should be the case. While it's definitely good to have some sub-par or questionable choices, double-edged, even useless items, I don't think it's good to shoehorn the player to only one type of armor. We have so many cool and interesting metals, why don't we make them interesting to use as well?

So, what would you say if we (some or all of below):

* decreased the penalties from stiff armor (not cloaks),
* increased AV bonuses of stiff armor (bulky and heavy, but very protective),
* decreased AV bonuses of soft armor (it's already too good anyway, also RE: GEF limbs),
* made AoGH somewhat better (it's already tradeoff enough to get the increase in danger level, making it also heavy and with lower AV is a bit of an overkill; plus it's pretty rare).

Thoughts?
Apr 11, 7:00 pm
#2
Joined: Dec 17, 2007
Occupation: Taking Names, Formerly Kicking Ass
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 747
IDK, I cant speak for most players but in most of my games I don't spend enough time Sci-talking to get Int high enough to create high level soft armors. Highly enchanting Atavus plate mail or maybe a mithril plate mail is usually the more expeditious route for me. I personally would like to see either more opportunities to train intelligence, or do away with having one of your stats be impossible to train.
Apr 12, 12:22 am
#3
Ischaldirh's avatar
Ex-Tyrant of the IVANers


Joined: Dec 8, 2007
Occupation: Student
Location: California
Interests: Physics
Posts: 2,627
I for one am all for more variety in viable play styles. In the current game, plate armor builds are not viable. Chain armor builds are iffy. I'd like to see that changed.
Apr 12, 1:02 am
#4
Joined: Dec 3, 2007
Occupation: Chaos Weaver
Location: Standing between all life and death.
Posts: 2,711
The biggest problem with metal armours is the absurd penalty rates. Even without it, one would weigh the pros and cons of weight vs AV because the damn things are so heavy. Either we need to soften the penalty rates, or we need to add some other function to make them viable.

Cookie points for whoever finds the two puns I made.
Apr 12, 4:28 am
#5
Joined: Sep 22, 2008
Posts: 610
Thing is, comparing materials with <15 INT requirements to stuff like arcanite, angel hair or even phoenix feather is of course going to look bad for the lower tier materials. Aside the obvious issues with stat penalties, iron alloy armor really mostly suffers because of the meteoric steel - adamant rift. Meteoric steel gives comparable AV to mithril at much lower INT requirements, but there are no higher tier iron alloy materials until adamant to actually compete with arcanite alloys or leathers. Adamant does suffer from the weight and stat drops when it comes to armor for limbs, but for stronger characters it's an awesome material for chest plates or helmets surpassed only by valpurium at 55 INT.

Buffing AoGH I do agree with though, it'd be nice if it wasn't just a trap.
Apr 12, 4:37 am
#6
red_kangaroo's avatar
skeleton warrior


Joined: Apr 2, 2014
Location: North Tyris
Posts: 286
I think the stat penalties are the most off-putting on all stiff armors. With no (for chain) or much lower (for plate) penalties, I think I could cope with the high weight and actually use metal armor. Meteoric steel armor could then be really nice with Loricatus.
Apr 12, 6:33 am
#7
Joined: Sep 8, 2010
Occupation: Petty Functionary
Location: Drinking pea soup in the world map
Interests: Mangoes
Posts: 842
Cookie cookie!

chaostrom wrote
...one would weigh the...

chaostrom wrote
soften the...

But seriously, this needs careful balancing with a big spreadsheet.
Apr 12, 10:04 am
#8
Ischaldirh's avatar
Ex-Tyrant of the IVANers


Joined: Dec 8, 2007
Occupation: Student
Location: California
Interests: Physics
Posts: 2,627
I agree caution is warranted. As a discussion baseline, perhaps we could modify the penalties by a factor of .8 or .85? Maybe a bit more for AoGH - on the order of .7 or .75? This would reduce e.g. the Adamant Plate penalty to 16-17%, and the Adamant AoGH to 28-30%.

Chain is much better balanced than plate. If we fiddle with penalties there, I don't think we should apply a factor of less than ~.9 (adamant chain -> 9% penalty)
Apr 12, 3:40 pm
#9
Joined: Dec 11, 2008
Location: D.Island
Interests: Interrupting hunters
Posts: 1,728
Don't forget that chain boots/gloves/coifs/belts don't exist which leaves a bigger discrepancy for everything that isn't torso armor.

Quote
I think the stat penalties are the most off-putting on all stiff armors. With no (for chain) or much lower (for plate) penalties, I think I could cope with the high weight and actually use metal armor.

I was initially going to say that having no penalty for chain was a bad idea because it'd take a fat dump on cloth armors, but then I had a think about it and it might actually not be a bad idea after all - because there's still "soft" penalties to using chainmail, namely the facts that it's still heavy as anything to a point and it's susceptible to rust.

Again we come back to the jump between meteoric steel and adamant that causes a problem here. Did we ever implement Titanium from that thread forever ago?
Apr 12, 5:36 pm
#10
Ischaldirh's avatar
Ex-Tyrant of the IVANers


Joined: Dec 8, 2007
Occupation: Student
Location: California
Interests: Physics
Posts: 2,627
4zb4 wrote
chainmail [...] still heavy as anything to a point and it's susceptible to rust.

Again we come back to the jump between meteoric steel and adamant that causes a problem here.

It's a bit uncommon - in my experience - to get totally stuck in that gap. Arcanite plate armor is quite easily acquired from Atavus; though it doesn't come in a chain mail version, it's weight and penalties are still very low. Further, the Arcanite -> Mithril -> Octiron sequence is a good progression at middle intelligence levels. Achieving the 25 Int required to CM a set of chain mail into arcanite is quite reasonable for a PC who has cleared the Enner - and if you can CM to Arcante, you can harden directly to Mithril (though in the case of chain mail I don't personally feel that it would be worth it).

Now, if you aren't building your intelligence at all *and* are playing a mildly chaotic character without Atavus access, and as a result you are relying on Loricatus to do your hardening for you, then yes, the gap between meteoric and adamant is a bit broad. And yet, since (current versions of) the game ignore PC intelligence for Lorcatian hardening, the hurdle can be cleared with nothing more difficult than time and persistence.

I think one of the difficulties here is that due to the way the game works at present, any adjustment made to plate armor will also affect soft armor. (We can be pretty precise with chain mail adjustments, which is good, because I don't feel chain mail needs a lot of adjustment.) We can fiddle with the material attributes, but (with the exception of flexibility) anything we do here will also affect other items, such as weapons, made from the materials in question. Simply adding new materials is equally questionable in terms of balance. If we want to target *just* metal plate armor for balance changes, we might need to create a new item type, which of course presents complications with regards to item spawn rate weights...
Apr 13, 2:39 am
#11
red_kangaroo's avatar
skeleton warrior


Joined: Apr 2, 2014
Location: North Tyris
Posts: 286
4zb4 wrote
I was initially going to say that having no penalty for chain was a bad idea because it'd take a fat dump on cloth armors, but then I had a think about it and it might actually not be a bad idea after all - because there's still "soft" penalties to using chainmail, namely the facts that it's still heavy as anything to a point and it's susceptible to rust.

This was my line of thinking. Early game, you have to worry about carrying weight quite a bit, so low metal chain and (hard) leather armor would both have its pros and cons. Later, you would have access to both high-end soft armors and (rebalanced) plate, so chain should still not be OP / always the best choice.

I'm not sure how well would it actually work, though.

Ischaldirh wrote
I think one of the difficulties here is that due to the way the game works at present, any adjustment made to plate armor will also affect soft armor. (...) If we want to target *just* metal plate armor for balance changes, we might need to create a new item type, which of course presents complications with regards to item spawn rate weights...

If we change the way of how stat penalties are calculated rather than adjusting flexibility of materials, that should only affect armors, shouldn't it? Plus soft armors already have next to no stat penalty, so the effect on them would hopefully not be dramatic.

I would try to avoid creating a new item type. Someone would then SoCM armor balanced for soft materials into metal or vice versa and we're right at the beginning.
Apr 13, 2:47 am
#12
Joined: Dec 3, 2007
Occupation: Chaos Weaver
Location: Standing between all life and death.
Posts: 2,711
fejoa wrote
Cookie cookie!



red_kangaroo wrote
If we change the way of how stat penalties are calculated rather than adjusting flexibility of materials, that should only affect armors, shouldn't it? Plus soft armors already have next to no stat penalty, so the effect on them would hopefully not be dramatic.

This is my line of thinking as well. The code may actually be different, but in-game there is no real distinction between "soft" and "hard" armours; if you try changing the material of plate mail to fabric it won't be a "fabric plate mail", but just soft armour, and the reverse also applies, resulting in armours turning into plate mail. So an adjustment of the penalty rates should suffice.
Apr 13, 3:54 am
#13
red_kangaroo's avatar
skeleton warrior


Joined: Apr 2, 2014
Location: North Tyris
Posts: 286
chaostrom wrote
in-game there is no real distinction between "soft" and "hard" armours

Speaking of which, we could make soft gauntlets be called "gloves" and soft boots "shoes", just for the extra flavor. These are like 2 lines in script files, AFAIK.
Apr 13, 5:52 pm
#14
Joined: Dec 11, 2008
Location: D.Island
Interests: Interrupting hunters
Posts: 1,728
red_kangaroo wrote
Speaking of which, we could make soft gauntlets be called "gloves" and soft boots "shoes", just for the extra flavor. These are like 2 lines in script files, AFAIK.

Had a quick look. At first glance you'd just need to add:

FlexibleNameSingular = "[soft version name]";

...but in reality, the game only checks for flexible names for body armor - in gear.cpp, line 58:

long bodyarmor::
...
{ return GetMainMaterial()->GetFlexibility() >= 5 ? item::GetFlexibleNameSingular() : item::GetNameSingular(); }

So each item would need to have that changed so that they accept the FlexibleNameSingular. Not hard but it'd be a bother.

As for the boots I actually think the names should be the other way around! Leather boots for example are, after all, not unheard of.
However metal boots are little bit out of the ordinary, so perhaps they could do with a more fitting name like sabatons or sollerets.

Though in IVAN they're your only leg protection since we don't distinguish between feet and legs (or hands and arms) so we could probably get away with greaves or something (while including the boots alongside the greaves graphically).
Apr 14, 3:41 am
#15
Joined: Sep 8, 2010
Occupation: Petty Functionary
Location: Drinking pea soup in the world map
Interests: Mangoes
Posts: 842
So there's some unanimity in what we need to change?
If I interpret the discussion rightly wrongly, people want to remove the plate mail dexterity and agility penalties? That would require the following change: https://github.com/Attnam/ivan/commit/79dd7381b13cd726cc5638...

Playing without the penalty just now, it's pretty easy to reach the SPOILER ALERT. Click here to see text.
mother plant and melee to the stairs with a big sword


EDIT: I'm change neutral, just illustrating the code change needed to meet the brief cause a distraction
Apr 14, 8:06 am
#16
Joined: Apr 9, 2016
Occupation: Priest(ess) of Sophos
Location: Standing on a big mine in GC1
Interests: the relation of queer crystal hyperfeminism and amphibious neutronium cybersocialist art
Posts: 246
With no inelasticity penalty on plate armour, thanks to Loricatus I would be using adamantine plate mail as soon as my leg strength allowed it. I already do this with adamantine chain, despite the inelasticity penalty. This change sounds really unbalanced.
Apr 14, 8:26 am
#17
Joined: Sep 8, 2010
Occupation: Petty Functionary
Location: Drinking pea soup in the world map
Interests: Mangoes
Posts: 842
Serin-Delaunay wrote
This change sounds really unbalanced.

Yep. You'll have to forgive my earlier post, I crashed into the discussion after 4 months away and felt like I had to dev something. My post actually misrepresents the thread discussion, I think the guys mean they want to change some other related aspect of plate armor in a more balanced way.

I spent some time trying to catch bugs. Jeez that hungry dig bug is making me dig trenches. Time for bed.
Apr 15, 12:45 am
#18
Joined: Dec 11, 2008
Location: D.Island
Interests: Interrupting hunters
Posts: 1,728
The general way the discussion seems to be leaning towards is reworking the penalties of using plate armor because currently it gets outperformed by both cloth and chain since the penalties are too harsh on your DEX and AGI to justify using it at any stage in the game.
The real question is how to best rebalance the penalties. Spreadsheets and discussion are all well and good but I personally think we'd be better off trialing one suggestion for the penalty changes and playtesting to see how it feels.
Apr 15, 4:31 am
#19
Ischaldirh's avatar
Ex-Tyrant of the IVANers


Joined: Dec 8, 2007
Occupation: Student
Location: California
Interests: Physics
Posts: 2,627
Is there any other way we can approach this, besides fiddling with numbers? A change in how they behave, or something?

Lets me think. Disregarding gloves and boots, we have:

Cloth armor: (Effectively) no penalties, low weight, poor-to-moderate protection
Chain mail: Moderate penalties, moderate-to-low weight, moderate-to-good protection
Plate armor: Substantial penalties, high-to-moderate weight, good protection
AoGH: .... Everything is bad, nevermind

Instead of taking away from plate, is there anything we can add? Something that isn't as easy to compare? Deflection chances, elemental protections, etc?
What about an armor proficiency skill, with unique benefits depending on the specific skill?

Currently every armor has some level of penalty, some amount of weight, and some degree of protection. Generally, higher AV comes at a cost of weight and dex/AGI penalties. I feel a bit like if all three armor types performed in a perfectly balanced manner in these three categories, the game would become... more balanced, sure, but also more bland. It would be interesting if choosing an armor type was a deliberate thing, something you could consider the options, weight the consequences, then pick one based on whatever criteria was most important at the time.

Let me paint a hypothetical example of a system. We'll say that we still only have 3 viable armor types. Chain mail, being the most moderate of the three, offers a great balance of weight-to-AV with reasonable penalties. No major drawbacks. But no major benefits, either. It's main draw is economy: the best raw AV for it's weight. A PC skilled in mail might be able to reduce it's penalties to virtually nil. By comparison, we have light armor (which would include cloth and even bare skin). These have quite low weight, and effectively zero penalties, but don't really provide much meaningful AV either. Their advantage comes entirely with skill: a talented light armor warrior could gain increasing chances of completely avoiding attacks - including traps. Lastly, would be the heavy armor group. High weight, moderate penalties, and excellent AV. Not really economical in the short term, however. But if you are strong enough to wear it, and skilled in it's use, you gain not only good protection against physical attacks, but are able to apply a larger amount of it's AV to fireballs (and lightning bolts?). So which do you choose? Some chance to totally negate traps and attacks? Better protection against the elements? Or sheer, balanced, physical protection?

Totally hypothetical, though. It's 2:30 and I'm hardly in a condition to be coming up with good game design ideas. Think of it as a springboard, if you want to discuss further.
Apr 16, 12:13 am
#20
Joined: Dec 3, 2007
Occupation: Chaos Weaver
Location: Standing between all life and death.
Posts: 2,711
That's what I first said. Either the penalty rates, or some other functionality to make those penalties worth it. Before trying anything new like armour skills, we should attempt adding the damage types that have been around forever. Cloth would protect against blunt but not much else, chain would protect against pierce and slash, but plate would protect against all of them, or something like that.
Apr 16, 9:23 pm
#21
Joined: Sep 8, 2010
Occupation: Petty Functionary
Location: Drinking pea soup in the world map
Interests: Mangoes
Posts: 842
chaostrom wrote
That's what I first said. Either the penalty rates, or some other functionality to make those penalties worth it. Before trying anything new like armour skills, we should attempt adding the damage types that have been around forever. Cloth would protect against blunt but not much else, chain would protect against pierce and slash, but plate would protect against all of them, or something like that.

What about

Cloth:
+50% slash protection
+0% blunt
+0% pierce

Chain:
+50% slash protection
+0% blunt
+50% pierce

Plate:
+50% slash protection
+50% blunt
+50% pierce

In another suggestion, we could use the character's size attribute to scale the effectiveness of plate armor. Small character is better with cloth, large character is better with plate.
Apr 17, 3:23 am
#22
Joined: Dec 3, 2007
Occupation: Chaos Weaver
Location: Standing between all life and death.
Posts: 2,711
That'd be cool too. Point is, right now plate mail is next to worthless and that needs to change.
Apr 17, 1:22 pm
#23
red_kangaroo's avatar
skeleton warrior


Joined: Apr 2, 2014
Location: North Tyris
Posts: 286
Ischaldirh wrote
Cloth armor: (Effectively) no penalties, low weight, poor-to-moderate protection
Chain mail: Moderate penalties, moderate-to-low weight, moderate-to-good protection
Plate armor: Substantial penalties, high-to-moderate weight, good protection
AoGH: .... Everything is bad, nevermind

Right now, it's more like:

Cloth armor: No penalties, low weight, sufficient-to-good protection (leather is good enough for early game, end game cloth materials like GEF are nearly unsurpassed)
Chain mail: Moderate penalties, moderate weight, moderate protection (yeah, this one is passable, but not as good as cloth, IMO)
Plate armor: Substantial penalties, high-to-moderate weight, moderate-to-good protection (only end game metals may be worth it, and not always)
AoGH: Yeah...

Basically, cloth is OP right now.

I like the different damage type reductions for different armor, but I still think we should try to have the least armor types possible, not add new ones, because then SoCM would open a whole can of mind worms...
Apr 17, 6:21 pm
#24
Joined: Apr 9, 2016
Occupation: Priest(ess) of Sophos
Location: Standing on a big mine in GC1
Interests: the relation of queer crystal hyperfeminism and amphibious neutronium cybersocialist art
Posts: 246
chaostrom wrote
That'd be cool too. Point is, right now plate mail is next to worthless and that needs to change.

Plate armour made from copper-path materials is next to worthless, but any bonuses to that would carry over to cloth-path materials, arcanite-path materials, and valpurium plate, which are really good options at various stages of the game.

Some weapons have (IIRC) a FormFactor atttibute, which scales their damage with their weight or flexibility. This makes GEF halberds and diamond whips do less damage. Perhaps something like that could be done to separate soft and hard armours - plate armours would get a bonus to AV from on weight, and maybe a penalty from flexibility. Soft armours would have opposite factors, and would probably be balanced to have lower AV even at endgame levels.
Apr 18, 2:20 am
#25
Joined: Dec 3, 2007
Occupation: Chaos Weaver
Location: Standing between all life and death.
Posts: 2,711
You say it'd carry over, but there is no cloth-path for plate mail. It just turns to soft armour if you try changing plate to cloth. You have a point for magical metals, but even then, only those who go out of their way to get favour from Atavus or taming a guard in Attnam will use plate, and those have pre-requisites that are randomly generated. Nobody uses plate mail they find.
Jump to