Feedback talk:User/Armond/Armor rating and damage reduction

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Exponential decay functions vs additive functions[edit]

I'm ambivalent about making armor more simplistic: ever since AD&D paper/pencil games, RPGs (and other games) have been locked into a break-point/dice-roll mentality...which is silly, because computers can perform more complicated calculations, allowing games to be more realistic in how they deal with health, relieving toons of health, and countering changes to health. Exponential functions are a good (theoretical) step in that direction because each point provides the same fractional advantage. (In GW1, every 40 points of armor doubles the protection.)

The problem in GW1 is that ANet wasn't consistent: they use exponential functions (armor), step functions (all attribute-dependent scaling), and both types of packet buff/debuff (e.g. Reduced Physical Damage lowers loss by points, while Pain Inverter is percentage-based). They also setup the AI to preferentially target foes by health and ignore armor, even though any human player knows to go after the squishies first.

I'm better at criticism than I am at design, so I'm not sure what the solution might be, but I'd love to see ANet break out of the paper/pencil origins of gaming and introduce true continuous functions for combat mechanics (fractional damage, fractional durations, etc) and also make it simpler, so that people like you & I don't have to use a spreadsheet to prove that armor buffs are generally superior to health buffs (except when they aren't). Gaming mechanics should be obvious to the casual player (while still allowing minimax gurus to argue about specific tweaks for optimization/efficiency). – Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 20:56, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Exponential growth is also more interesting than linear growth, for the most part - it makes it so at different levels of <stat>, you may or may not decide to trade it for <other stat>. That said, linear armor growth gives exponential survival gains.
The other side of it is, in the thick of combat - both in game and irl - it's hard to notice the increased realism. You can up the server load by calculating where the attack hits and how much defense that piece of armor provides against that kind of attack, and so on and so forth, but the end user still just sees his red bar go down. It's after combat, when you're licking your wounds, that you figure out you have half an arrow in your forearm.
All that said, I believe the GW engine is based off processing power from some time ago and the GW2 engine could handle this sort of thing much better.
-- Armond WarbladeUser Armond sig image.png 21:18, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I'm sure that a lot of GW1 design was to ensure that gw.exe could run off just about any available PC. And I completely agree that realism should never, ever trump playability. (Plus, playability for RPGamers is different than it is for FPSers.) But that doesn't mean that step-functions are the best choice either. So maybe I should not have used, realism when what I really want to see is an end to break-points: the difference between rank 12 and 13 shouldn't be more significant than between 5 and 6. – Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 21:38, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Maybe we could just have complicated formulae, but have special calculators that will tell us how much damage we will receive when under the effects of certain skills. This would have been appreciated when I gave myself a headache trying to figure out how to maintain protective bond on myself, and then equip 160 hp armor, and then use my LB title to make myself invincible. A sort of thing where you select different skills you plan on using into the window and it will tell you the reduction you will receive. For example, say I am a secondary ele that wants to use Armor of Mist. I max my water magic out, and then put Elemental Lord, Glyph of Elemental Power, and Armor of Mist on there. Then it will tell me the basic reduction I will receive, and I can select certain sources of damage, and it would tell me how much damage I would receive from them. Kormon Balser User Kormon Balser Tango-dervish-icon-small.png 16:50, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
That would be very useful. Instead of being forced to experiment to figure out what might happen, the game engine could offer a scenario tool; this would also help clarify order-of-effect, effect caps, etc. Then players could make an educated decision about whether to go for max health or max armor or a combo, instead of having to spend hours reading discussions on build theory (and often ending up none the wiser). Will you be posting this as a formal suggestion? – Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 18:38, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
No, I don't think so. Kormon Balser User Kormon Balser Tango-dervish-icon-small.png 01:32, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Would you permit me to borrow the idea so that it's submitted through the Feedback system? – Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 02:13, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
By all means... Kormon Balser User Kormon Balser Tango-dervish-icon-small.png 14:03, 3 January 2012 (UTC)