What is *ACTUALLY* going on with Armor

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Re: What is *ACTUALLY* going on with Armor

Postby Alekan » Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:47 pm

Wow, things got murky very fast.

Cliffski, your initial idea was nearly perfect, but with one exception: the ArPen buff to all weapons. Buffing ArPen for all weapons while buffing ArRes is the definition of two changes cancelling each other out and being a waste of development time.


The most important thing to remember is that each shield generator has a built-in shield RE-generator… and that Shield Resistance is 100% effective right up until the shield generator stops working. Add in Shield Support Beams, where the receiving unit's Shield Resistance is 100% effective right up until ALL of its shields go down. With that support, all attackers need huge amounts of firepower to destroy a shielded ship.

As Total Armor goes down, the effectiveness of Armor goes down extremely quickly. Worse than that, Armor has NO REGENERATION. You can get an overall repair rating of only around 13 with 3x Repair modules. There are no Remote Repair Systems. Where you need a fleet’s worth of firepower to take out a shielded ship with support, you only need ONE Beam Laser - yes, just one - to negate an Armor Tank.

So yes, the dual buffs of Stacking and +ArHP are fully justified and needed.


The only weapons that need an ArPen buff are Beam Lasers. Missiles and Pulse are extremely popular… they do not need an ArPen buff. They NEED this indirect nerf so that Beam Lasers have a place on the field.

Buffing Armor and NOT buffing Missiles and Pulse is exactly what is needed to allow fleets to close the distance. If missiles cannot pen Armor Tanks – and only shorter-ranged Beam Lasers can – then the classic (non-Sledge) Rush becomes a viable option. And the Anti-Rush (heavy Armor to reduce Pulse effectiveness) also becomes a viable option. Right now there is very little reason to field anything other than Sledge Pulse, Missile spam, and Torpedo spam, which is a bad state for gameplay to be in.

Compromising high pen with reduced damage is not the way to go. Armor is a true Failure Cascade system with minimal regeneration – ANY damage to it is potentially fatal. So long as they can pen, the DPS of 1 or 2 beam lasers will quickly open the door for other weapons. By comparison, only a specialized Shield Disruptor strategy can open the door for other weapons against Shields.


TL:DR
Cliffski, please make the original changes you proposed, with one modification: only Beam Lasers (and Particle Accelerators, Fighter Beams, Fusions, etc. – but excluding Sniper Lasers) should receive any kind of penetration buff. All other weapons (Pulse, Missiles, Torpedoes, etc.) should not receive any buff or change.

The worst that will happen is that Armor will have a week or two to enjoy basking in the sun. That is just too bad for Shields, Pulse, and Missiles, who have dominated for the entirety of GSB2. Its long past time that, for the good of the game, they got taken down a notch.

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Re: What is *ACTUALLY* going on with Armor

Postby Danou » Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:32 pm

Alekan wrote:...
Cliffski, please make the original changes you proposed, with one modification: only Beam Lasers (and Particle Accelerators, Fighter Beams, Fusions, etc. – but excluding Sniper Lasers) should receive any kind of penetration buff. All other weapons (Pulse, Missiles, Torpedoes, etc.) should not receive any buff or change.
...

Same opinion from me.
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Re: What is *ACTUALLY* going on with Armor

Postby cliffski » Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:41 am

I always get very confused in these discussions. Rest assured I'm not trying to rush through changes, I just prefer it, as a gamer,. when there are less, but decisive patches regarding balances rather than constant tinkering, because I hate investing the time in working out decent strategies only to find they change literally every week. Company of heroes is notorious for this!

So it sounds like there is general agreement that sweeping changes to armor penetration values for weapons or armor damage is a very bad idea.

We all agree that the actual armor calculation mechanic needed fixing, and it now has been.
We all agree that the armor stacking penalty should be reduced (by 5% across the board) and I have also done this.

The only matter up for debate is exactly what changes should be made regarding armor penetration. My concern is that only dreadnought weapons currently have sufficiently high penetration. It sounds like the consensus is that we should boost armor penetration values (and only those values) for the following weapons:

All beam laser weapons apart from sniper lasers.


I'm guessing a 20% boost to armor penetration values would be appropriate?
Your feedback is, as ever, hugely appreciated.

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Re: What is *ACTUALLY* going on with Armor

Postby Xinxspuz » Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:25 pm

Cliff,
What's the highest armor value you can get on a Dreadnought with your new adjusted Armor Formula and Stacking modifiers?
Find a generic Dreadnought weapon and set the Armor Penetration to the next whole-number factor of 5 above that. (i.e. if you can get a DN with 31.77 armor, set the Particle Cannon to 35 AP).
What's the highest armor value you can get on a Cruiser? Do the same thing, for one or two Cruiser weapons. If the Cruiser weapons don't have as high an AP as the DN armor, that's probably ok. That encourages fleet diversity. Let's say the highest Cruiser weapon comes in at 30 AP, and it's a Fusion Beam (or Heavy Beam Laser).
Then you have some good end points for your range of AP values, and you can adjust the other beam-category weapons as needed. Light Beam Laser? Lower AP than a Heavy, but faster tracking speed. Kraugerisk Pulverizer Beam? Gratuitously high AP value. Etc.

Like Alekan pointed out, Armor is currently a cascade fail system, so you really only need one or two weapons that can penetrate extremely high Armor Values. Once those weapons strip some of the armor off, the other weapons will be able to do damage, and you'll rapidly blast off the remaining armor with little trouble. High Armor Values should be a counter to people who field fleets with a lot of shield-pen weapons but no armor-pen, i.e. people who spam one type of ship or weapon. High Armor as a viable strategy encourages more diverse fleets and ship designs.

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Re: What is *ACTUALLY* going on with Armor

Postby yurch » Fri Aug 14, 2015 3:04 pm

cliffski wrote:I always get very confused in these discussions. Rest assured I'm not trying to rush through changes, I just prefer it, as a gamer,. when there are less, but decisive patches regarding balances rather than constant tinkering, because I hate investing the time in working out decent strategies only to find they change literally every week. Company of heroes is notorious for this!
I don't think we've had much general disruption, yet. Sweeping change doesn't bother me if it's a change for the better.

So it sounds like there is general agreement that sweeping changes to armor penetration values for weapons or armor damage is a very bad idea.

I don't think there's exactly a consensus - many of us are just sick to death of sledgehammer pulse type spam and I think people are unwilling to give that weapon any further concessions. We're latching on to armor for this because theoretically pulse should be bad at destroying armor at 35% damage, right?

If we look how armor is used:
As an opposition, I don't consider armor much of a threat. I have token beams arrayed across my front line cruisers, and there's always at least one high penetration weapon located on the nose of my rear ships. Many times they don't even come into play, as lucky hits from fighters or death explosions are just going to lower armor to trivial values anyway. Trivial here is the 19-16 armor range, which is defeated easily by the most popular weapons in the game.

The only significantly armored units (21+) I use are my carrier (which is in the back and always fights last against a tattered opponent) and a torpedo boat I use for breaking MWM spam. Both of those rely on my opponent playing poorly, which isn't a vote of confidence for armor resistance as a defensive system.

I don't think either of those scenarios will change a whole lot regardless of where we put the penetration values.

If it were up to me, I'd be trying this or trying large, large nerfs to armor damage values.

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Re: What is *ACTUALLY* going on with Armor

Postby cliffski » Fri Aug 14, 2015 4:42 pm

Ok, I've been doing some test play-throughs and its pretty clear that there is no real danger of armor becoming in any way 'overpowered' just because I've reduced that stacking penalty. I just fielded a bunch of armor tanks against some challenges, and although they did last longer now than they would have, they still eventually fell before enemy weapons, so I'm suspecting that it would make sense just to get that new 'fixed armor resistance' mechanic out there and see how people feel about the usefulness (or otherwise) of armor once thats live and in the field...

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Re: What is *ACTUALLY* going on with Armor

Postby Alekan » Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:35 pm

Cliffski, by ‘fixed armor resistance’ I’m assuming you mean Yurch’s idea?

If so, the ‘block chance’ mechanic looks like a really good idea. It has clear strengths and weaknesses, and should provide at least ‘some’ additional defense for Frigates and Fighters. Actually it is quite an Elegant idea – and that’s pretty high praise. Mechanically it is a big change, but the big picture of ‘armor increases survivability, but has clear weaknesses’ does not change.

I think you should apply the Stacking change, +ArHP, increase Beam Laser (except Snipers) Pen (Xinx’s idea), AND switch to the ‘fixed armor resistance’ mechanic. If you are willing to try it, I’m on board.

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Re: What is *ACTUALLY* going on with Armor

Postby cliffski » Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:45 am

Arrgh, no by 'fixed' i just mean make sure that the in-game values match the design values, nothing more yet. (plus the stacking values change)

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Re: What is *ACTUALLY* going on with Armor

Postby Danou » Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:18 pm

cliffski wrote:Arrgh, no by 'fixed' i just mean make sure that the in-game values match the design values, nothing more yet. (plus the stacking values change)

Making sure that the in-game values match the design values is needed.

But I think you should also at least boost some armor penetration values, because otherwise armor cannot be penetrated on "no dreadnought" maps (see your own post below)

cliffski wrote:Ok, I've fixed it and also changed the armor stacking penalties so they are reduced by 5% in each case (so 85% is now 90% etc).
In my test case of a yootan capone cruiser, I can get an average armor of 27.12 with 9 heavy armor modules, meaning that only pulverizer beams and particle accelerators can hurt me, making me invulnerable to everything but a dreadnought.
I think at the very least heavy beam lasers and fusion beams/sledgehammer pulse cannons should be capable of doing some damage here so I propose a general 50% boost to all armor penetration values as a result.

So the multiple warhead launcher would do 22.5 armor penetration, for example.

As well as this, I think the actual damage absorbable values of armor modules are generally too low and need raising, possibly just by 25%, so as to not to completely destabilize everything.
Thoughts on these two proposals?

1) 50% boost to all armor penetration values (suggestion: only beam weapons [excluding Sniper Laser])
2) 25% boost to all armor damage absorbables. (Yes, do it.)

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