General Category > AI War II - Resolved Ideas

Armor and Armor Piercing

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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.

* 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!)

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.


--- Quote from: chemical_art on August 31, 2016, 10:33:39 am ---I would say  that as a goal "armor piercing" should be eliminated
--- End quote ---
Higher "impact" (high damage per bullet at lower low RoF) is the way to counter armor.


--- Quote ---I would say  that as a goal "armor piercing" should be eliminated
--- End quote ---

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
--- End quote ---

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.

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.


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