Author Topic: Armor and Armor Piercing  (Read 1068 times)

Offline Pumpkin

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,194
  • Neinzul Gardener Enclave
Armor and Armor Piercing
« on: August 31, 2016, 04:50:34 AM »
Armor is fine. I don't want to remove it to "dumb down" the game. I want it to stay, but to have (1) a higher impact on the game, comparable to hull types/bonuses and (2) a much clearer, readable and understandable place in the game.

   Examples of things that are wrong:
* Standard fighters and LASER GATLINGS have a (very) high rate of fire and armor piercing. Armor is supposed to HARD COUNTER high RoF! Why do they have armor piercing?
* Lightning turret has 200 armor (from MkI to MkIV); Needler turret has 200 to 800 armor (from MkI to MkIV); Laser turret has 20 to 80 armor (from MkI to MkIV); Counter-* turrets have 2 armor; tractor turrets have 8 to 26 armor (MkI to MkIII); Gravitational turret has 12 armor (from MkI to MkIII). Comment: armor between 2 and 12 seems ridiculous compared to 200~800.
* Many ships have a small armor rating (2*(Mk+1)), including standard fighter and missile frigate. That seems to have a very light impact on the game and a confusing impact on players.
* Many high-RoF ships seems to have a small armor piercing to balance the wide-spread small armors. It's like a cat running after its tail.

   Suggestions:
* Armor, armor piercing and RoF are like a second layer of hull/hull bonuses. If this armor layer is to stay, it must be much more readable and coherent.
* Armor must mean "counter high RoF". No high RoF units must have armor piercing.
* Low RoF mean "counter armor". Some low RoF units may have armor piercing to reinforce that.
* Armor must be less common and have a bigger impact. Units must either have 0 or a significative amount of armor.
* Some high-impact units also have a high RoF, which is contradictory. (The Heavy Bomber starship is the perfect example: it has no hull bonuses, no armor piercing and is supposed to be effective against high-health units and weak against swarmers, but it has a very low reload time of 2 seconds. Multiplying that reload speed and its impact damage by 4 would be a good thing to better apply the role it is meant to convey.)
* Some units with high reload speed also have many shots per volley, which is highly confusing (for instance, the Missile turret and GP, the Sniper Guardian and GP, etc). Shot per salvo are needed for immense RoF units that are designed to cripple fleets, like guard posts; these must have the lowest reload time. Units with normal and high impact attacks must have 1 shot per salvo.
* Big units must be clearly identified: some have high impact designed to hit other big things, some have insane RoF (and shots per salvo) designed to face fleets.
* Still on big units, some have high armors and are impervious to most fleet's attacks and other high-RoF big units, and some are less armored and fleets can still put a dent in them.

   Case study:
* The Spire and Zenith starships are good examples of that, but they suffer from the game's global inconsistency.
* The Spire starship is designed as a "can opener", not with low-RoF/armor-piercing but with an original method, which is nice. However it is also designed as a slightly more fragile starship with a low armor; IMO, it must have NO armor at all to better convey that.
* The Zenith starship is designed as a fleet tanker: it has high armor, high health and very high RoF. This high RoF makes it poorly suited to attack big armored things like itself; however, with a MkI impact of 116, the armor 10 of the MkI Flagship or armor 14 of the MkI Armor Ship seems to have a very low impact. Let see. It has 25/4 hits per seconds, which makes 25/4*10 = 62,5 damages wasted per second on a 10 armored target, compared to the 25/4*116 = 725 DPS. This is less than 10% of wasted DPS on a "high" armored unit. Compared to the *6 hull multiplier of the triangle ships, this is utterly ridiculous. The calculus is equivalent at higher mark.
* The Zenith starship is also supposed to have a high armor that would theoretically allow it to better tank fleetships, specially ships with high RoF. However, the Standard Fighter MkI has 7 armor piercing, which allows it to ignore 70% of the MkI Zenith starship. At MkV, the Zenith Starship has 50 armor and the Standard Fighter 37 armor piercing, for a similar ignored percentage of armor.
* As a conclusion, the Zenith starship is meant to hard counter fleets of swarmers and high RoF ships, but the armor piercing of Standard Fighters and Laser Gatlings nearly negates its not-so-high armor.

   The origin of the problem (IMO):
* Small armors were widely spread.
* So swarmers and high RoF units like the Std Fighter and the Laser Gatling were underwhelming.
* So they were given some armor piercing.
   The solution (IMO):
* Remove small armors.
* Boost high armors.
* Remove armor piercing on high RoF units.
   Also, to reinforce that Armor/RoF layer:
* Diminish RoF and increase impact on low-Rof/high-impact units (missile turret/GP, sniper GP/Guardian, heavy bomber starship, etc).
* Give some armor piercing to some high-impact units.
* Tell that in unit's descriptions: "powerful against armored units"; "weak against armored units"; "powerful against swarms and fleets"; "better suited against armored starships"; etc. (And a unit being "armored" or not must be made ultra-clear: no 2~3 armor values! Never!)

Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline chemical_art

  • Core Member Mark IV
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,865
  • Fabulous
Re: Armor and Armor Piercing
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2016, 10:33:39 AM »
I concur with what is being said here. Armor must be streamlined and made consistent across the board.

The combat triangle of armor ---> swarmers ----> low rotf ----> armor could be pursued. Keep it as simple as possible. I would say  that as a goal "armor piercing" should be eliminated, because that in itself exponentially complicates things. Done right the value would not be needed.
Life is short. Have fun.

Offline Pumpkin

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,194
  • Neinzul Gardener Enclave
Re: Armor and Armor Piercing
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2016, 11:13:16 AM »
I would say  that as a goal "armor piercing" should be eliminated
+1
Higher "impact" (high damage per bullet at lower low RoF) is the way to counter armor.
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline kasnavada

  • Hero Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 911
Re: Armor and Armor Piercing
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2016, 11:57:15 AM »
Quote
I would say  that as a goal "armor piercing" should be eliminated

I disagree with that - having armor piercing with low damage overall is a nice design possibilty as far as units are concerned. Else "tanks" would be in danger to high damage units only. It creates a niche where low damage units could kill tanks, but not "regular" weakly armored units.

Quote
about armor

The current armor mechanic though... Does anyone know what 800 armor means ? A system that's immediately understandable is needed there.
I'm personally in favor of a system with 2 stats / "damage type": fixed damage reduction + percentage reduction.

Offline Draco18s

  • Resident Velociraptor
  • Core Member Mark IV
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,879
Re: Armor and Armor Piercing
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2016, 12:04:29 PM »
For the record, high-ROF ships with armor piercing should have a valid niche.

In fact, I think that's where the laser gatlings should be.  Their damage is so abysmally low that it's almost meaningless unless there's a huge blob of them.  Add in the armor piercing and they can harry even the "bomber" high-impact armored types.  But they'd be less good at the no-armor "fighter" types, as the fighters would simply out-DPS them.

Offline Pumpkin

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,194
  • Neinzul Gardener Enclave
Re: Armor and Armor Piercing
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2016, 04:43:58 PM »
For the record, high-ROF ships with armor piercing should have a valid niche.

In fact, I think that's where the laser gatlings should be.  Their damage is so abysmally low that it's almost meaningless unless there's a huge blob of them.  Add in the armor piercing and they can harry even the "bomber" high-impact armored types.  But they'd be less good at the no-armor "fighter" types, as the fighters would simply out-DPS them.
I'd prefer Laser Gatlings to have better-than-average DPS, insane RoF and no armor piercing. If armor is less common (reserved only to actually armored units), they would be (very?) good against all unarmored units and terribad against even slightly armored units. (Making them powerful against unarmored units is just a question of DPS. Making them bad against armored units is a question of RoF.)

Anyway, AIW2 isn't kickstarted yet...
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline Kahuna

  • Core Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,207
  • Kahuna Matata!
Re: Armor and Armor Piercing
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2016, 01:06:40 AM »
The current armor mechanic though... Does anyone know what 800 armor means ?
It means the damage will be reduced by 800 but by 80% at most. Armor can not reduce the incoming damage by more than 80%.

So basically:
If Damage-Armor>=Damage*0,2
DamageTaken=Damage-Armor

If Damage-Armor<Damage*0,2
DamageTaken=Damage*0,2
set /A diff=10
if %diff%==max (
   set /A me=:)
) else (
   set /A me=SadPanda
)
echo Check out my AI War strategy guide and find your inner Super Cat!
echo 2592 hours of AI War and counting!
echo Kahuna matata!

Offline chemical_art

  • Core Member Mark IV
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,865
  • Fabulous
Re: Armor and Armor Piercing
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2016, 01:11:25 AM »
The current armor mechanic though... Does anyone know what 800 armor means ?
It means the damage will be reduced by 800 but by 80% at most. Armor can not reduce the incoming damage by more than 80%.

I will say that the fact there is an 80% cut off is just one many examples of just how arbitrary it the armor system is. I am not discussing balancing or anything like that. I am just saying it is arbitrary, it follows an obscure set of rules that make no sense in a big picture way.
Life is short. Have fun.

Offline chemical_art

  • Core Member Mark IV
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,865
  • Fabulous
Re: Armor and Armor Piercing
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2016, 01:19:51 AM »
Just to add fuel to the fire, how much value does armor have when you consider hull types. when facing 6x multipliers how can armor make a meaningful impact. the whole concept seems shaky.


Is it truly neccesarily? don't hull types accomplish the goal already? can you really make armor a thing with 4x to 10x damage multipliers floating around?

either hull types or armor types need a total revamp. armor seems far easier to just remove.
Life is short. Have fun.

Offline kasnavada

  • Hero Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 911
Re: Armor and Armor Piercing
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2016, 02:02:59 AM »
The current armor mechanic though... Does anyone know what 800 armor means ?
It means the damage will be reduced by 800 but by 80% at most. Armor can not reduce the incoming damage by more than 80%.

I will say that the fact there is an 80% cut off is just one many examples of just how arbitrary it the armor system is. I am not discussing balancing or anything like that. I am just saying it is arbitrary, it follows an obscure set of rules that make no sense in a big picture way.

This, and the next post.

Offline Kahuna

  • Core Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,207
  • Kahuna Matata!
Re: Armor and Armor Piercing
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2016, 02:06:53 AM »
I thought a lot of people already agreed that attack multipliers (not necessarily hull types) need to be removed.

Attack multiplier system could be replaced with x weapon type is good vs y hull type.

Armor could be reworked.

set /A diff=10
if %diff%==max (
   set /A me=:)
) else (
   set /A me=SadPanda
)
echo Check out my AI War strategy guide and find your inner Super Cat!
echo 2592 hours of AI War and counting!
echo Kahuna matata!

Offline Pumpkin

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,194
  • Neinzul Gardener Enclave
Re: Armor and Armor Piercing
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2016, 02:23:37 AM »
Is it truly neccesarily? don't hull types accomplish the goal already? can you really make armor a thing with 4x to 10x damage multipliers floating around?
While I agree armor could be removed, I think its problem is it has not enough impact on the game. Technically, -80% precisely counters a x5 multiplier. (Am I wrong?) My "case study" shows that armor, as it is currently distributed, can show stuff like -10% damage on high RoF units. I would like to see situations like "my swarmer/high-RoF unit has no bonus against that enemy unit but I still can send them in the fight." BUT the enemy unit had armor and the swarmer/RoF unit do -50% ~ -80% (or even less if we remove the artificial 80% limit) and the player is punished for bad game lecture. The player is also rewarded for more-than-shallow knowledge of the game (I can't say deep for knowing armor > high RoF) if he uses armored units against swarmers.

I like to see the armor/RoF/impact mechanism as a less obvious hull bonus mechanism, giving a bit more depth to the game. :D

However we can see the two systems as overlapping and make the choice of keeping only one or the other.
I don't want to see one go in favor of the other. :'(
However I understand the reason and I'll bend to the final decision.

I thought a lot of people already agreed that attack multipliers (not necessarily hull types) need to be removed.

Attack multiplier system could be replaced with x weapon type is good vs y hull type.

Armor could be reworked.
If the armor system is kept, sure, it will be reworked. I, if nobody else, would do it.
But if hull bonuses are not removed but instead changed to a more coherent ammo-VS-hull system (basically, still hull bonuses but all the same for a same ammo type), I would be so happy.
Maybe we can also link (more or less) armor to hull type and RoF to ammo. Like all Neutron units have an armor between 5x and 8x their mark level depending on the ship (random numbers for example) and all MLRS weapons shot 5 missiles per second, fixed (the damage of each missile depends on the unit and its mark).
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline Draco18s

  • Resident Velociraptor
  • Core Member Mark IV
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,879
Re: Armor and Armor Piercing
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2016, 01:00:30 PM »
The main problem with the armor system as it is right now, as I see it, is that things fall into two categories:

1) Things with no armor
2) Things with so much armor, it may as well be infinite.

Then there are the things with armor piercing that again, fall into two categories:

1) Things with no AP
2) Things with so much AP they reduce all armor to 0.

If I challenged you to find a unit that didn't fall into these categories you'd find like six.  "2 armor" is "effectively zero" due to the numbers on damage-per-shot.  In fact, things with less than 100 armor have their armor pretty much always rounded down to zero.  On the other hand, things with more than about 1000 armor fall into the second category: having so much it may as well be infinite.  Virtually no ships fall into the range between 100 and 1000, or if they do its only for a single mark level (e.g. 900*mk--mk1 has 900--or 25*mk--mk5 has 125).

Spoiler for Hidden:
Hilariously the Armor Ship falls into the first category: at Mk 5 it has a whopping 74 armor.
Armor Boosters have the same issue: they cap out at 37 armor, or 74 when boosted by an armor booster.
Space Tanks on the other had, are in the second category (having 1500 armor at Mk1).

Offline Pumpkin

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,194
  • Neinzul Gardener Enclave
Re: Armor and Armor Piercing
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2016, 01:50:53 PM »
The main problem with the armor system as it is right now, as I see it, is that things fall into two categories:

1) Things with no armor
2) Things with so much armor, it may as well be infinite.
Strange. I have an opposite point of view. I think there are only middle ground, there are small values of armor everywhere. I wish to see this stat more rarely and, when I see it, with more impact.
But maybe we disagree on the scale. Maybe when you say "no armor", you mean "less than 30" or something.

   The origin of the problem (IMO):
* Small armors were widely spread.
* (...)

But it's true, some have a ridiculous amount of armor (I suppose there were some values forgotten when all the health and damage stats went down by a factor of several powers of ten), and some units have basically the "ignore armor" perk.

Also, I feel this whole thing is a matter of balance. The true important point for now on which we have to agree (or disagree; at least on which we have to debate) is wether or not the armor mechanism must be brought to AI War 2. The numbers and balance and stuff must be saved for another day. And I'm the first to blame: I posted this here instead of under "ideas for latter". Shame on you, Pumpkin! Yeah, sorry.

Personally, it's yes: keep the armor. I think the armor/armor piercing system is something that we (devz and moders) can play with. I think it's a system with a large design potential (there is also the RoF/Impact system behind that get rather insignificant without armor). But you may disagree... Let's discuss that instead of numbers and balance, shall we?
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline Draco18s

  • Resident Velociraptor
  • Core Member Mark IV
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,879
Re: Armor and Armor Piercing
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2016, 02:04:07 PM »
But maybe we disagree on the scale. Maybe when you say "no armor", you mean "less than 30" or something.

We probably disagree on scale. "No armor" is "less than 100" for me.  Yeah, there's a fair few ships that are effected heavily by 75 armor, but in the general case, I don't think its true.

Quote
Personally, it's yes: keep the armor. I think the armor/armor piercing system is something that we (devz and moders) can play with. I think it's a system with a large design potential (there is also the RoF/Impact system behind that get rather insignificant without armor). But you may disagree... Let's discuss that instead of numbers and balance, shall we?

I agree with keeping armor as a mechanic.